Morning Brief: Rice arrives in India

Top Story Condoleezza Rice has arrived in New Delhi, where she intends to show solidarity with India after last week’s terrorist incidents in Mumbai and defuse a dangerous diplomatic standoff in South Asia. At a press conference today, the U.S. secretary of state called on Pakistan to “cooperate fully and transparently” with investigations into the ...

591341_081203_rice5.jpg
591341_081203_rice5.jpg

Top Story

Condoleezza Rice has arrived in New Delhi, where she intends to show solidarity with India after last week's terrorist incidents in Mumbai and defuse a dangerous diplomatic standoff in South Asia.

At a press conference today, the U.S. secretary of state called on Pakistan to "cooperate fully and transparently" with investigations into the Mumbai attacks. Although India and the United States appear to agree that the perpetrators came from Pakistan, the question now is whether the Pakistani government and/or military is involved.

Top Story

Condoleezza Rice has arrived in New Delhi, where she intends to show solidarity with India after last week’s terrorist incidents in Mumbai and defuse a dangerous diplomatic standoff in South Asia.

At a press conference today, the U.S. secretary of state called on Pakistan to “cooperate fully and transparently” with investigations into the Mumbai attacks. Although India and the United States appear to agree that the perpetrators came from Pakistan, the question now is whether the Pakistani government and/or military is involved.

Indian officials are convinced that the terrorists communicated with Yusuf Muzammil, a top aide to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakvhi, the operational commander of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba. The militant group is thought to have had extensive links with Pakistan’s security services in the past, but the organization is now banned and it’s unclear to what extent those ties still exist.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, however, has not even accepted that the lone surviving attacker came from his country. “We have not been given any tangible proof to say that he is definitely a Pakistani. I very much doubt … that he’s a Pakistani,” he told CNN’s Larry King Tuesday.

U.S. Presidential Transition

The U.S. public seems pleased with how the transition process is going.

That said, President-elect Barack Obama’s agency review teams are causing some minor anxiety in the Bush administration, and his handling of John Brennan’s potential appointment as CIA director is provoking concern within the agency.

The Wall Street Journal interviewed incoming national security advisor James L. Jones on how he views his new assignment.

Robert Gates says he has “no intention of being caretaker secretary” and that his tenure at the Pentagon has no time limit. His top deputy, however, is definitely leaving.

Economy

Led by Thailand, a fresh global round of interest rate cuts is on the way.

Detroit’s Big Three automakers, warning of imminent collapse and seeking a $34 billion bailout, returned to Washington yesterday with somewat more concrete restructuring plans. “Bankruptcy is not an option,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, urging a rescue.

Americas

Paramilitary groups are still running amok in Colombia, the LA Times reports.

Brazil plans to reduce Amazon deforestation by 70 percent over the next decade.

Asia

International flights may be resuming in Bangkok, but a Newsweek article argues that Thailand’s political conflict is “far from over.”

Afghanistan’s finance minister has resigned. No reason was given.

In China, thrift has become a liability as the country tries to jump-start consumer spending.

Middle East and Africa

There’s a rumor going around Baghdad that Barack Obama is a Shiite.

Local elders convinced a group of Somali pirates to release a Yemeni cargo ship without ransom.

As oil prices tumble, Iran’s economy — and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s political future — looks increasingly vulnerable.

Europe

The United States agreed to let NATO resume dialogue with Russia, while the EU resumed its strategic partnership talks with Moscow.

Italy has foiled an alleged plot to bomb a military base and other targets north of Milan.

The radical Islamic preacher known as Abu Qatada is headed back to prison in Britain.

Today’s Agenda

President-elect Obama gives a press conference at 11:40 a.m. ET to name New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as secretary of commerce. 

Vice president-elect Joe Biden gets briefed on a new report on terrorism and WMD.

Arizona Sen. John McCain is touring South Asia.

Roughly 100 countries are set to sign a treaty banning cluster bombs. The United States is not among them. More here.

The U.S. Federal Reserve releases the latest Beige Book — anecdotal reports from Fed branches on the state of the U.S. economy. It will be ugly.

Photo: PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images

Tag: India

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