Morning Brief: ‘Shoe bomber’ bids farewell to Bush

Top Story On a surprise visit to Baghdad, George W. Bush was forced to dodge a pair of flying shoes thrown at him by an Iraqi journalist during a press conference with Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki. After throwing the shoes, the man yelled, “this is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog.” See photos ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
591096_081215_bush5.jpg
591096_081215_bush5.jpg

Top Story

On a surprise visit to Baghdad, George W. Bush was forced to dodge a pair of flying shoes thrown at him by an Iraqi journalist during a press conference with Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki. After throwing the shoes, the man yelled, "this is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog." See photos and video here.

The journalist who threw the shoe, Muntather al-Zaidi, has become the talk of Baghdad, with thousands demonstrating for his release from jail. McClatchy reports that Zaidi had been deeply affected by the U.S. bombing of Baghdad's Sadr City.

Top Story

On a surprise visit to Baghdad, George W. Bush was forced to dodge a pair of flying shoes thrown at him by an Iraqi journalist during a press conference with Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki. After throwing the shoes, the man yelled, “this is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog.” See photos and video here.

The journalist who threw the shoe, Muntather al-Zaidi, has become the talk of Baghdad, with thousands demonstrating for his release from jail. McClatchy reports that Zaidi had been deeply affected by the U.S. bombing of Baghdad’s Sadr City.

Bush flew to Afghanistan early on Monday morning for one last meeting with President Hamid Karzai. This surprise trip to the region will likely be Bush’s last. 

Zaidi’s protest has understandably grabbed headlines during the president’s farewell tour, but a new 500-page government report detailing how $50 billion in U.S. taxpayer money was badly misspent during the reconstruction of Iraq may prove more significant to Bush’s legacy.

Asia

Thailand’s opposition leader will become prime minister after winning a vote in Parliament.

A newly released survey shows a grim outlook for Japan’s economy.

British PM Gordon Brown visited India and Pakistan, offering help in fighting terrorism.

Daily flights have begun between Taiwan and China.

Europe

Greeks aren’t happy with their government’s response to last week’s riots.

Angela Merkel seems unlikely to roll out further stimulus for the German economy in the near future.

Ireland will provide a €10 billion bailout fund for its banks.

Dozens of antigovernment protesters were arrested in Russia.

Middle East and Africa

A six-month ceasefire in Gaza comes to an end this week. Hamas’s leadership may be divided over whether to extend it.

Meeting in Algeria, OPEC countries are considering cutting oil production by up to 2 million barrels a day

Somalia’s president fired his prime minister.

Americas

Arrested New York “hedge fund” manager Bernard Madoff may have pulled off the largest Ponzi scheme in history. Some of the world’s top banks were exposed to the scam.

Cuban leader Raul Castro made his first overseas trip to see his “nephew” Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

A group of Russian warships visited Cuba for the first time since the end of the Soviet era.

Today’s Agenda

A new round of anti-government demonstrations are planned in Greece.

Electoral College delegates meet to officially elect Barack Obama.

Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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