Morning Brief: McCain calls for bipartisan change

Top Story Alex Wong/Getty Images Arizona Sen. John McCain accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for president Thursday, speaking to an energized crowd in Minneapolis-St. Paul. In a speech interrupted several times by anti-war protesters, McCain criticized the GOP and presented himself as the man to change Washington. “Instead of rejecting good ideas because we didn’t ...

592804_080905_mccain5.jpg
592804_080905_mccain5.jpg

Top Story

Top Story

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Arizona Sen. John McCain accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for president Thursday, speaking to an energized crowd in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

In a speech interrupted several times by anti-war protesters, McCain criticized the GOP and presented himself as the man to change Washington.

“Instead of rejecting good ideas because we didn’t think of them first, let’s use the best ideas from both sides,” he said. “Instead of fighting over who gets the credit, let’s try sharing it.”

Pundits weighed in almost immediately. “His acceptance speech was as halting as Obama’s was fluent,” Slate‘s John Dickerson observes. McCain set himself a tough task, Peter Baker writes: “As a matter of history, it is easier to run as the opposition party if you actually are the opposition party.” For the Wall Street Journal editorial board, “McCain reinforced for Americans his stellar leadership qualities.” Dana Milbank pokes fun at the copious use of the word “maverick,” an image E.J. Dionne says “has disappeared.”

Doubts remain, meanwhile, about McCain’s vice presidential pick. Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman is reportedly headlining a team of experts coaching Sarah Palin on foreign policy ahead of her upcoming debate with Democratic VP choice Joe Biden, roughly a month away.

Global Economy

Stocks fell Thursday on renewed fears about the U.S. economy.

Those fears appear justified, as today’s jobs report finds that the U.S. unemployment rate soared in August to 6.1 percent, a level not seen in 4 1/2 years.

Americas

Five opposition governors in Bolivia threatened to cut off the country’s gas exports if President Evo Morales doesn’t meet their demands for more autonomy.

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez moved to seize control of the fuel-transport business.

Tropical Storm Hannah is making it hard to reach Haiti’s most desperate.

Asia

The United States may increase the use of cross-border raids in Pakistan, despite mounting political risks, officials say. U.S. forces have allegedly launched three such attacks in the past three days, though the Pentagon has not acknowledged its role. Pakistan’s Parliament is outraged, calling for the Pakistani Army to “repel such attacks in the future with full force.”

China admitted for the first time that some of its schools, many of which crumbled in the Sichuan earthquake, may not have been well-constructed.

Middle East and Africa

The United States has been spying on Iraq’s PM Nuri al-Maliki, according to Bob Woodward’s new book.

Top Pentagon officials are recommending the United States shift a small number of troops from Iraq to Afghanistan. The plan would leave about 146,000 troops in Iraq through June.

Iraq wants to buy F-16 fighter jets.

Europe and the Caucasus

Meeting with top leaders in Kiev, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney blamed Russia for Ukraine’s political problems. So did Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko, who vowed to push ahead with his country’s NATO bid.

Moscow blamed Cheney for encouraging Georgia’s “dangerous ambitions.”

Russia’s central bank has had to intervene to shore up the tumbling ruble.

Weekend Agenda

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said today’s visit to Libya is “an historic moment.” Indeed, it’s the first such trip since 1953. Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi spoke fondly of the woman he calls “Leezza” last year, saying, “I support my darling black African woman.”

Rice will also stop in Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.

U.S. nuclear envoy Christopher Hill is visiting Beijing to discuss the North Korea situation after Pyongang threatened to rebuild its reactor.

Angolans are voting for the first time in 16 years.

Jane Perlez profiles Asif Ali Zardari, who will likely become Pakistan’s next president after Saturday’s parliamentary vote.

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