Morning Brief, Tuesday, February 18

Americas ANDREW ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images Fidel Castro has formally resigned as president of Cuba. His brother Raúl will likely take the title this coming Sunday. The BBC excerpts Fidel’s retirement message, published in Granma, here. Foreign Policy and the Center for a New American Security have conducted an unprecedented survey of 3,400 retired and serving U.S. ...

596390_080219_castro2.jpg
596390_080219_castro2.jpg

Americas

ANDREW ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images

Fidel Castro has formally resigned as president of Cuba. His brother Raúl will likely take the title this coming Sunday. The BBC excerpts Fidel's retirement message, published in Granma, here.

Americas

ANDREW ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images

Fidel Castro has formally resigned as president of Cuba. His brother Raúl will likely take the title this coming Sunday. The BBC excerpts Fidel’s retirement message, published in Granma, here.

Foreign Policy and the Center for a New American Security have conducted an unprecedented survey of 3,400 retired and serving U.S. military officers. The findings reveal a military stretched thin by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Financial Times has the scoop here; full findings will be published on ForeignPolicy.com at 10 a.m. today. [UPDATE: Here they are.]

Asia

Opposition parties scored a huge win over the party of President Pervez Musharraf in Monday’s legislative elections in Pakistan. No party, however, will have a majority in parliament.

U.S. envoy Christopher Hill, hoping to move the disarmament process along, met with his North Korean counterpart in Beijing.

A new bird flu outbreak in Vietnam?

Europe

Demonstrators in Belgrade marched peacefully to protest Kosovo’s declaration of independence. The United States, Britain, France, Italy, and Germany have all recognized the nascent state, as have a few Muslim countries. EU chief Javier Solana is headed to Pristina today.

Russia’s North Pole flag-planting stunt took place with help from an American?

Middle East

Iran has reinstated a further 251 previously disqualified candidates for parliament, bringing the total reinstated to 831. More than 2,000 had been rejected, most of them reformists.

Fun fact: Israelis are 30 times more likely to be wiretapped than Americans.

Reuel Marc Gerecht argues that the Iraq war has discredited jihadism.

Elsewhere

Speaking from Rwanda, U.S. President George W. Bush called for the killing in Darfur to end.

U.S. banks have borrowed nearly $50 billion from the U.S. Federal Reserve in recent weeks.

Today’s Agenda

  • Wisconsin holds its presidential primary today. Hawaii holds a Democratic caucus; Washington state holds a Republican primary. The Democratic race is getting nasty (and populist).
  • Armenia is holding its presidential election.
  • The European Parliament is meeting in Strasbourg to debate the Lisbon Treaty.
  • Singapore hosts foreign ministers from ASEAN.

Yesterday on Passport

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