Morning Brief, Monday, February 18

DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images Europe Amid euphoria in Pristina and anger in Belgrade, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. Britain, France, and Germany are expected to recognize the new country any minute, but other EU countries worry about their own separatist minorities. Spain, for instance, already said “no.” Russia denounced Kosovo’s move and vowed to fight it. ...

596394_080218_kosovo2.jpg
596394_080218_kosovo2.jpg

DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images

Europe

Amid euphoria in Pristina and anger in Belgrade, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. Britain, France, and Germany are expected to recognize the new country any minute, but other EU countries worry about their own separatist minorities. Spain, for instance, already said "no." Russia denounced Kosovo's move and vowed to fight it. [UPDATE: "The Kosavars are now independent," U.S. President Bush said today in Tanzania.]

DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images

Europe

Amid euphoria in Pristina and anger in Belgrade, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. Britain, France, and Germany are expected to recognize the new country any minute, but other EU countries worry about their own separatist minorities. Spain, for instance, already said “no.” Russia denounced Kosovo’s move and vowed to fight it. [UPDATE: “The Kosavars are now independent,” U.S. President Bush said today in Tanzania.]

French police arrested the alleged ringleaders of last November’s suburban riots.

British PM Gordon Brown defended his decision to temporarily nationalize Northern Rock, the imploding mortgage lender.

Asia

Memo to reporters covering today’s parliamentary elections in Pakistan: The rigging began long ago. Now it’s a question of how extensive — and successful — the rigging will be.

A car bomb killed a reported 35 people in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province, a day after another bomb killed more than 100 Afghans.

India’s Tata Motors is considering producing a car that runs on compressed air.

Smugglers are bringing tens of thousands of iPhones to China.

2008 U.S. Elections

John McCain vowed “No new taxes” if elected president.

Barack Obama is seeking to peel away Latinos and blue-collar white voters from Hillary Clinton. Obama went to North Carolina Sunday to win the endorsement of John Edwards.

Middle East

Syria has arrestedsuspects of various Arab nationalities” for the slaying of Hezbollah leader Imad Mougniyah, a Damascus newspaper reports.

Iran opened its first oil-trading market on the island of Kish.

Iranian officials say a space probe they launched recently is sending data back to Earth. Iran plans to launch a satellite this summer.

Elsewhere

U.S. President George W. Bush is being “smothered with affection” in Tanzania, but Obama is getting most of the attention. Bush announced new funding for bed nets to prevent malaria.

Tension between Ethiopia and Eritrea is heating up again, with U.N. peacekeepers caught in the middle.

A California meatpacker faces a recall of 143 million pounds of its beef, a record.

Today’s Agenda

  • Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Wisconsin and then Ohio. Mike Huckabee is in Wisconsin. John McCain is in Houston, where he will be endorsed by former President George H.W. Bush. Barack Obama is in Ohio and Wisconsin.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Kenya, where she is pushing that country’s political leaders to agree to share power.
  • It’s Presidents’ Day in the United States.

 

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