Morning Brief, Wednesday, March 26

Middle East ESSAM AL-SUDANI/AFP/Getty Images Heavy fighting continued for a second day in Basra and Baghdad, Iraq, including repeated mortar and rocket attacks on the Green Zone. Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki  has traveled to Basra to oversee the fighting, which is aimed at rooting out entrenched militias and regaining control of Iraq’s largest port. U.S. ...

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595783_080326_basra2.jpg

Middle East

ESSAM AL-SUDANI/AFP/Getty Images

Heavy fighting continued for a second day in Basra and Baghdad, Iraq, including repeated mortar and rocket attacks on the Green Zone. Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki  has traveled to Basra to oversee the fighting, which is aimed at rooting out entrenched militias and regaining control of Iraq's largest port.

Middle East

ESSAM AL-SUDANI/AFP/Getty Images

Heavy fighting continued for a second day in Basra and Baghdad, Iraq, including repeated mortar and rocket attacks on the Green Zone. Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki  has traveled to Basra to oversee the fighting, which is aimed at rooting out entrenched militias and regaining control of Iraq’s largest port.

U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney appears to have exaggerated the state of Iran’s nuclear program.

Asia

Lhasa may be under control and some foreign journalists have been allowed back in, but rural areas of the provinces bordering Tibet are still boiling over with anger.

Meet Sri Lanka’s War Monk.

South Korea’s new government will no longer shy away from criticizing North Korea’s human-rights record.

Carlotta Gall profiles the Awami National Party, the Pashtun nationalists who defeated the Islamists in Pakistan’s recent elections in the Northwest Frontier Province.

Europe

According to Russian media reports, NATO jets escorted Russian bombers in the vicinity of Alaska.

Masha Lipman says it’s “wishful thinking” to believe that Russian President-elect Dmitry Medvedev will be a liberalizer.

The trash problem in Naples, Italy, is hurting that city’s buffalo mozzarella business.

2008 U.S. Elections

John McCain put forth his plan to address the housing crisis. As Mark Halperin observes, all of the candidates are “flat-out not that good” in talking about economic issues.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez says McCain is “a man of war.” Chávez must be reading Anatol Lieven.

Elsewhere

Martin Wolf, writing about the financial crisis, says, “Deregulation has reached its limits.” Indeed, proposed new regulation is already in the works in Congress.

Wall Street is looking at nearly half a trillion dollars in losses, according to Goldman Sachs. A top analyst has slashed the outlook for four major banks.

The booming international shipping industry faces a massive manpower shortage.

U.S. President George W. Bush exceeded his authority, the Supreme Court has ruled.

Today’s Agenda

  • French President Nicolas Sarkozy is visiting Britain. Top of the agenda? Asking British PM Gordon Brown to help pressure the United States to strengthen the dollar.
  • Bangladesh celebrates its independence from Pakistan.
  • Senator McCain is expected to give a major foreign-policy address today in Los Angeles. Excerpts here.

Yesterday on Passport

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