Morning Brief, Wednesday, February 13

AFP/Getty Images The Potomac Primary Barack Obama and John McCain swept electoral contests in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, giving the Democratic candidate a streak of eight victories in a row and putting the Republican front-runner within striking distance of the nomination. Obama racked up huge wins in all three states, while McCain ...

596490_080213_potomac2.jpg
596490_080213_potomac2.jpg

AFP/Getty Images

The Potomac Primary

Barack Obama and John McCain swept electoral contests in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, giving the Democratic candidate a streak of eight victories in a row and putting the Republican front-runner within striking distance of the nomination. Obama racked up huge wins in all three states, while McCain survived a close scare in Virginia.

AFP/Getty Images

The Potomac Primary

Barack Obama and John McCain swept electoral contests in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, giving the Democratic candidate a streak of eight victories in a row and putting the Republican front-runner within striking distance of the nomination. Obama racked up huge wins in all three states, while McCain survived a close scare in Virginia.

Hillary Clinton’s deputy campaign manager has quit.

Next up: Hawaii for the Democrats, and Wisconsin for both parties, on Feb. 19. (The Republicans are also holding a contest in Guam on Feb. 16.)

Middle East

Hezbollah’s notorious operative Imad Moughniyah, who was thought to have masterminded the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, died via car bomb in Damascus.

After a stormy legislative session, Iraq’s legislature finally passed its 2008 budget and new amnesty measures.

The United States is pressuring Europe to sanction two key Iranian banks. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday she would support new U.N. sanctions, but is reluctant to take action outside of the Security Council process.

Asia

Malaysia’s struggling prime minister dissolved parliament and called for snap elections.

Australia’s government has formally apologized to its Aboriginal population for decades of discriminatory policies.

[D]efeat is now a real possibility,” writes veteran British diplomat Paddy Ashdown, referring to the Taliban’s growing strength in Afghanistan.

Europe

The EU unveiled its new biometric border-security measures.

Georgia’s opposition leader has died in Britain under what investigators are treating as suspicious circumstances.

Ukraine and Russia have ended their gas-pricing dispute.

Martin Wolf: “Why Putin’s Rule Threatens Both Russia and the West.”

Elsewhere

Venezuela cut off oil supplies to ExxonMobil in retalition for the company’s lawsuit over the seizure of its Venezuelan operations.

The writers’ strike is over. Who won? Blogger Tyler Cowen.

Hollywood director Steven Spielberg will no longer help with the Beijing Olympics out of concern for China’s role in the situation in Darfur.

Today’s Agenda

  • U.S. President George W. Bush is expected to sign the vaunted economic stimulus package.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice testifies on Capitol Hill about the president’s budget request.
  • Abu Dhabi teams up with the Urban Land Institute to sponsor a conference on sustainable development.

Yesterday on Passport

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