Morning Brief: Without a plan
Top Story Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images After a basic deal was reached earlier on Thursday afternoon, an agreement on the $700 billion bailout plan stalled after talks between congressional leaders at the White House descended into partisan bickering. Republican leader John Boehner announced that his caucus could not support a plan with so large a role ...
After a basic deal was reached earlier on Thursday afternoon, an agreement on the $700 billion bailout plan stalled after talks between congressional leaders at the White House descended into partisan bickering. Republican leader John Boehner announced that his caucus could not support a plan with so large a role for government, which led to a near brawl with Democrats accusing Republicans of sabotaging the deal to help John McCain’s presidential campaign. In a bizarre scene, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson got down on one knee to beg Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi not to withdraw democratic support for the bill. Consitutional concerns are also being raised about the bailout plan.
Meanwhile, federal regulators seized control of Washington Mutual in the largest bank failure in American history. $1.9 billion worth of assets were immediately sold to J.P. Morgan. As you can probably guess, the markets aren’t responding well to all of this.
Neither presidential candidate seems to have participated significantly in the meeting, raising questions about the necessity of Sen. John McCain’s dramatic return to Washington. Still no word on whether tonight’s debate will take place.
U.S. and Pakistani ground forces exchanged fire over the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. There were no casualties.
China successfully launched its third manned space mission.
On the anniversary of last year’s crackdown, the Burmese junta is on high alert after an explosion yesterday.
Quoting unnamed European diplomatic sources, the Guardian reports that Israel gave serious thought to attacking Iranian military sites last summer but was talked down by President Bush. The Israeli government denies the report.
Israel’s West Bank settler movement is increasingly relying on violent tactics.
Neil Macfarquhar’s wide-ranging interview with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a must read.
Sarah Palin took questions from the press for the first time, but offered few specifics about her views.
Mississippi is planning on holding a debate, whether candidates show up or not.
European central banks moved to inject cash into troubled money markets.
The EU is imposing tighter testing standards on imported milk after China’s contamination scandal.
Two Somali-born terror suspects were arrested aboard a KLM flight in Germany.
South Africa swore in interim president Kgalema Motlanthe.
Somali pirates seized a Ukrainian ship carrying 30 armored tanks.
Robert Mugabe called on the UN to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe.
Vladimir Putin offered to help Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez set up a civilian nuclear power program.
Brazil rolled out a somewhat lackluster deforestation plan.
Baliout negotiations continue in Washington.
The UN Security council debates Israeli settlements.
The presidential candidates may have a debate of some sort. Or not.
Joshua Keating is a former associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating
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