Morning Brief, Friday, February 22

Middle East AFP/Getty Images Turkish troops have begun a major land incursion in northern Iraq. A State Department official called the move “a whole new level” but did not condemn the action beyond saying it was “not the greatest news.” European experts fear Iran could produce enough highly enriched uranium to build a nuclear bomb ...

596339_080222_turkey2.jpg
596339_080222_turkey2.jpg

Middle East

AFP/Getty Images

Turkish troops have begun a major land incursion in northern Iraq. A State Department official called the move "a whole new level" but did not condemn the action beyond saying it was "not the greatest news."

Middle East

AFP/Getty Images

Turkish troops have begun a major land incursion in northern Iraq. A State Department official called the move “a whole new level” but did not condemn the action beyond saying it was “not the greatest news.”

European experts fear Iran could produce enough highly enriched uranium to build a nuclear bomb by the end of 2008.

U.S. Secretary of State Robert Gates now “hopes” to be able to withdraw more troops from Iraq after the “pause” once the additional combat brigades used for the surge are pulled out.

2008 U.S. Elections

Hillary’s Clinton’s campaign is accusing Barack Obama of shifting positions on Cuba during last night’s debate. Obama won the “Democrats Abroad” primary Thursday, bringing his total to 11 victories in a row.

A controversial New York Times article about John McCain’s alleged ties to lobbyists has done the one thing the candidate couldn’t seem to do himself: rally conservatives behind him. McCain’s aides now think they’ve “weathered the storm,” according to ABC News.

Asia

In Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari announced their parties will form a government together despite U.S. entreaties to include President Pervez Musharraf’s party. “I do not believe the pro-Musharraf forces exist,” Zardari quipped.

American officials fear the former opposition leaders won’t be as cooperative on drone strikes in the frontier areas as Musharraf has been. Musharraf, meanwhile, took his case to the op-ed page of the Washington Post.

China reported a huge rise in sexually transmitted diseases in 2007.

The United States plans to give China some data on its satellite takedown.

Europe

The EU warned Serbia to protect its member states’ embassies. In addition to the U.S. embassy, rioters attacked the British, German, Croatian, and Turkish missions Thursday. According to the U.S. State Department, the Serbian government has promised no repeat incidents.

A Swiss official apologized for comparing German tax investigators to the Gestapo.

The European Commission is warning of a big jump in inflation in the eurozone.

Elsewhere

The apparent sticking point in the negotiations in Kenya is over the extent of the new prime minister’s authority.

China loaned Venezuela $4 billion.

Today’s Agenda

  • U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is in Australia to secure defense commitments from the new Australian government.
  • The latest IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear program is due out today.
  • Today is George Washington’s birthday.

Yesterday on
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