Morning Brief: Fannie mayhem

Top Story Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Shares in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sank Thursday to levels not seen since 1991. The New York Times reports that Washington is considering a government takeover of the mortgage titans, a key lynchpin of the U.S. housing economy. Shares continued to fall today on the news. Decision ’08 Did ...

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594111_080711_detour5.jpg

Top Story

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Shares in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sank Thursday to levels not seen since 1991. The New York Times reports that Washington is considering a government takeover of the mortgage titans, a key lynchpin of the U.S. housing economy. Shares continued to fall today on the news.

Top Story

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Shares in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sank Thursday to levels not seen since 1991. The New York Times reports that Washington is considering a government takeover of the mortgage titans, a key lynchpin of the U.S. housing economy. Shares continued to fall today on the news.

Decision ’08

Did the Bush administration ask Germany to spike Barack Obama’s planned speech at the Brandenburg Gate?

John McCain distanced himself from comments by Phil Gramm, his campaign cochair and economic advisor, who said that the United States had “become a nation of whiners.”

Economy and Environment

Oil prices jumped more than $4, reaching new heights as tensions escalate between Israel and Iran.

The U.S. economy is reaching a “delicate point,” Steven Pearlstein writes.

Scientists are growing increasingly alarmed at the rate at which coral reefs are dying.

Americas

Fifty percent more Mexican-born immigrants became U.S. citizens in 2007 compared with the year before.

Online classes are booming at U.S. colleges, thanks to high gas prices.

The solar power craze has set off a “land grab” in the American Southwest.

Asia

China’s trade surplus shrank by 20 percent in June.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak called for “full dialogue between the two Koreas” to resume.

The Afghan government says U.S. airstrikes killed 47 civilians this past Sunday.

Middle East and Africa

Iraq’s government said it is seeking a withdrawal of U.S. troops in three to five years, depending on conditions.

Iran vowed to press ahead with oil and gas development after French energy company Total canceled its planned investment in the country.

The International Criminal Court is gearing up to charge Sudan’s president with genocide.

Europe

The eurozone may be facing an imminent recession.

Iran’s recent tests prove that a missile shield in Europe is not needed, says Russia’s foreign minister.

InBev and Anheuser-Busch may be nearing a deal.

Today’s Agenda

Zimbabwe’s rival factions are holding talks in South Africa. Time explains why.

Today is World Population Day. The United Nations wants to see more family planning.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture releases its latest monthly reports.

The new iPhone goes on sale worldwide.

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