Morning Brief: French military slims down

Top Story FRANCOIS MORI/AFP/Getty Images In a historic shift, France announced plans to cut its military by nearly a fifth, refocus on counterterrorism, and join NATO’s command structure. The new strategy would eliminate 54,000 jobs and close 50 military installations around the country, measures bound to arouse domestic opposition. More here. Americas Pentagon officials were ...

594602_080617_sarkozy2.jpg
594602_080617_sarkozy2.jpg

Top Story

FRANCOIS MORI/AFP/Getty Images

In a historic shift, France announced plans to cut its military by nearly a fifth, refocus on counterterrorism, and join NATO's command structure. The new strategy would eliminate 54,000 jobs and close 50 military installations around the country, measures bound to arouse domestic opposition. More here.

Top Story

FRANCOIS MORI/AFP/Getty Images

In a historic shift, France announced plans to cut its military by nearly a fifth, refocus on counterterrorism, and join NATO’s command structure. The new strategy would eliminate 54,000 jobs and close 50 military installations around the country, measures bound to arouse domestic opposition. More here.

Americas

Pentagon officials were researching harsh interrogation techniques in July 2002, the Washington Post reports — months before commanders at Guantánamo formally requested to be able to use them on detainees.

Are American suburbs becoming the new slums?

Decision ’08

John McCain plans to call for more energy conservation and exploration in a speech today. More here.

Al Gore finally endorsed Barack Obama.

Angering many Hillary Clinton supporters, Obama appointed Clinton’s ousted former campaign manager as chief of staff to his future running mate.

Obama says he’s “encouraged” by the declining violence in Iraq. Robert Kaplan comments.

Asia

Taliban fighters have seized control of several villages in southern Afghanistan, days after a brazen raid on a Kandahar prison. “Scores” of villagers have fled.

Pakistan has seen two apparent sectarian attacks in the last two days.

China is locking down Xinjiang for the Olympic torch relay.

Middle East and Africa

Facing the threat of new European sanctions, Iran reiterated its stance that “[uranium] enrichment is our red line.” The Islamic Republic has reportedly already withdrawn about $75 billion from European banks.

U.S. companies have been slow to invest in Iraq, even as foreign firms have begun moving in.

Thomas Lubanga, a former Congolese warlord charged with war crimes at the International Criminal Court, may get off the hook thanks to prosecutorial misconduct.

Europe

USA Today pronounces president Bush’s trip to Europe a success.

The EU plans to grant Ireland special status in a bid to save the Lisbon treaty.

Global Economy

Corn prices have reached new heights after floods in the midwestern United States devastated crops in the world’s largest grain exporter.

Meat prices are soaring.

China is blaming the United States for the troubled global economy.

Today’s Agenda

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is hosting a Chinese delegation for semiannual “strategic economic dialogue” talks in Annapolis.

Jordan is hosting more than 30 Nobel laureates who are gathering in Petra to tackle such topics as the global food crisis, economic development, and education.

The trial of Simon Mann begins today in Equatorial Guinea. Mann, a British mercenary, stands accused of plotting a coup in the oil-rich West African country.

Yesterday on Passport

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