Morning Brief, Friday, April 18

Global Economy ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images Rising food prices are leading to the “worst crisis of its kind in more than 30 years,” according to Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs. Rice traders are beginning to panic. The volume of world trade grew more slowly in 2007 than in 2006. Asia The United States may be willing to ...

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595401_080418_manila2.jpg

Global Economy

ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images

Rising food prices are leading to the "worst crisis of its kind in more than 30 years," according to Columbia University's Jeffrey Sachs. Rice traders are beginning to panic.

Global Economy

ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images

Rising food prices are leading to the “worst crisis of its kind in more than 30 years,” according to Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs. Rice traders are beginning to panic.

The volume of world trade grew more slowly in 2007 than in 2006.

Asia

The United States may be willing to paper over differences with North Korea to preserve an agreement on plutonium. South Korea is considering setting up a new, permanent diplomatic channel to the North.

In a move that could smooth the way to a free-trade deal, South Korea agreed to lift import restrictions on U.S. beef.

The United States has no “coherent plan” for Pakistan’s tribal areas, according to the GAO.

Middle East and Africa

Israel plans to build 100 new settlement homes in the West Bank. Talks with the Israelis have brought “no results,” according to the Palestinian foreign minister.

The U.S. military is freeing thousands of (mostly Sunni) detainees in Iraq and building a wall in Sadr City. Al Qaeda’s No.2 man says the U.S.-led war in Iraq is a “failure.”

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice plans to call on Arab states to protect Iraq from Iran’s “nefarious influences.”

The United States criticized Zimbabwe’s neighbors for indulging Mugabe.

Europe

In a snub, British PM Gordon Brown met with the three presidential contenders before seeing U.S. President George W. Bush. Bush and Brown are in synch about Iran, though.

Russia’s Gazprom inked a deal with Libya and may reach agreement to transport Nigerian gas to Europe.

Russia suffers from a massive shortage of skilled labor.

Americas

Mexican migrants are sending a lot less money home these days.

Farmers in Argentina stand accused of setting their fields on fire.

2008 U.S. Elections

The U.S. public’s views of Iraq and the economy are heading south.

The new AP-Yahoo! poll finds growing support for Barack Obama in the primaries, but John McCain is making gains against either Democratic nominee.

Today’s Agenda

The pope addresses the United Nations.

Robert Mugabe celebrates Zimbabwe’s independence by bashing Britain.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak visits Japan.

Yesterday on Passport

 

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