Morning Brief, Friday, April 4

2008 U.S. Elections ALEX WONG/Getty Images Barack Obama is out-fundraising his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by a 2 to 1 margin. The polls are still extremely tight, however. Republican presumptive nominee John McCain is not being guarded by the Secret Service. Middle East In Iraq, PM Nuri al-Maliki is moving to defuse tensions with the ...

595653_080404_obama2.jpg
595653_080404_obama2.jpg

2008 U.S. Elections

ALEX WONG/Getty Images

Barack Obama is out-fundraising his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by a 2 to 1 margin. The polls are still extremely tight, however.

2008 U.S. Elections

ALEX WONG/Getty Images

Barack Obama is out-fundraising his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by a 2 to 1 margin. The polls are still extremely tight, however.

Republican presumptive nominee John McCain is not being guarded by the Secret Service.

Middle East

In Iraq, PM Nuri al-Maliki is moving to defuse tensions with the Mahdi Army militia. He’ll have his work cut out for him. More than 1,000 Iraqi government troops deserted last week in Basra, and Moqtada al-Sadr has called for a million-man march on Najaf on April 9 to protest against the U.S. occupation.

Meet al Qaeda’s heir apparent, Abu Yahya al-Libi.

A suicide bomber killed at least 15 people at a funeral in Iraq’s Diyala province.

IED use is spreading beyond Iraq and Afghanistan.

Asia

China is looking for PR advisors to help with the Tibet issue. Here’s an idea: don’t do this or this or this. This won’t work, either.

North Korea has suspended food rations for six months, suggesting a crisis may be imminent.

Cambodia is banning marriages to foreigners.

Europe

Russia has agreed to allow the transportion of NATO equipment across its territory.

A British court heard alarming details of a plot to blow up seven airliners bound for North America.

Elsewhere

There are many conflicting reports from Zimbabwe. The Guardian reports that Mugabe will step down in exchange for immunity from prosecution; aides tell the Washington Post  and the New York Times there are three options under discussion; Reuters says Mugabe plans to compete in the runoff election, and there are signs of an intimidation campaign. The opposition MDC insists its candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, won outright.

Hugo Chávez nationalized Venezuela’s cement industry.

Fear of food-related unrest is spreading in Africa.

More than 80 percent of Americans say the United States is on the wrong track.

Global temperatures haven’t risen since 1998?

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