Morning Brief, Wednesday, March 12

2008 U.S. Elections Jemal Countess/Getty Images Barack Obama soundly defeated Hillary Clinton in Mississippi primary. He leads 1,608 to 1,478 in CNN’s delegate count. The focus of the race now shifts to Pennsylvania, where 158 delegates will be up for grabs on April 22. Middle East Theories abound as to why CENTCOM combatant commander Adm. ...

596022_080312_obama2.jpg
596022_080312_obama2.jpg

2008 U.S. Elections

Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Barack Obama soundly defeated Hillary Clinton in Mississippi primary. He leads 1,608 to 1,478 in CNN's delegate count. The focus of the race now shifts to Pennsylvania, where 158 delegates will be up for grabs on April 22.

2008 U.S. Elections

Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Barack Obama soundly defeated Hillary Clinton in Mississippi primary. He leads 1,608 to 1,478 in CNN’s delegate count. The focus of the race now shifts to Pennsylvania, where 158 delegates will be up for grabs on April 22.

Middle East

Theories abound as to why CENTCOM combatant commander Adm. William J. Fallon suddenly resigned yesterday. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says Fallon’s departure doesn’t mean war with Iran, as some fear.

New statistics on insurgent attacks in Iraq show a “stalemate” since November 2007, and even a slight uptick in the violence since January.

Turkey plans to invest up to $12 billion in its mostly Kurdish southeast as a means to reduce unemployment and combat militancy.

Jordanian authorities released Sheikh Abu Mohammad al-Maqdisi, a mentor figure for slain al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Asia

China announced the creation of five new “superministries,” including one for the environment, in an attempt to make the country’s sprawling bureaucracy more effective.

Human rights groups are stepping up their criticisms of China ahead of the Olympic Games, even as the U.S. State Department removes China from its list of the 10 worst human-rights offenders.

Chinese police fired tear gas at monks in Tibet who were protestesting for a second straight day.

Europe

The U.S. ambassador to Belarus is taking a temporary hiatus, according to an opposition leader in “Europe’s last dictatorship.”

Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders announced they will hold talks later this month.

Politicians from Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland sharply criticized a proposal to have schoolchildren pledge allegiance to Britain.

Elsewhere

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s $200 billion liquidity boost gave Wall Street its best day in five years. Other central banks joined in. Some worry, however, that the Fed’s action won’t be enough to unfreeze the credit markets.

The United Nations has taken on more peacekeeping responsibilities than it can handle, NYU’s Center on International Cooperation warns in a new report.

Time is running out for the controversial U.S.-Colombia free-trade agreement.

The price of oil inched close to $110 per barrel amid news that Chinese demand remains strong.

Today’s Agenda

  • President George W. Bush addresses the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
  • Thaksin Shinawatra, former prime minister of Thailand, faces a corruption trial in Bangkok. So far, he has plead “not guilty.”
  • U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice testifies at a House committee hearing on the international affairs budget. You can catch the 10 a.m. Webcast here.

Yesterday on Passport

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