Morning Brief: Brits to pull out of Iraq
Top Story In a surprise visit to Iraq, PM Gordon Brown confirmed earlier reports that British forces would pull out of Iraq by the end of July, 2009. Speaking with Iraqi PM Nuri al Maliki, Brown said, “The role played by the UK combat forces is drawing to a close.” There are currently 4,100 British ...
In a surprise visit to Iraq, PM Gordon Brown confirmed earlier reports that British forces would pull out of Iraq by the end of July, 2009. Speaking with Iraqi PM Nuri al Maliki, Brown said, “The role played by the UK combat forces is drawing to a close.” There are currently 4,100 British troops stationed around Basra.
Britain had been working to negotiate a deal to keep its troops in Iraq beyond the end of this year. Five smaller countries including Romania, El Salvador, and Estonia have also been “tacked on” to the British agreement.
At its height, Britain’s Operation Telic involved 100,000 soldiers, and 178 have died in the conflict. While Brown was making his announcement in Baghdad, a nearby car-bomb explosion killed 18.
World stock markets had mixed reactions to the Fed’s decision to cut interest rates to almost zero.
Countries throughout Latin America are launching stimulus plans to boost their slumping economies.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says the government is working quickly on a plan to bail out the auto industry, using the $700 billion financial-sector stimulus fund.
The recount in Minnesota’s governor’s race continues to get more complicated.
Middle East and Africa
Muntadar al-Zaidi appeared in court and admitted to throwing his shoes at President Bush. There’s still no confirmation of his brother’s claims that Zaidi has been mistreated in prison.
Eleven Qassam rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel, two days before a six-month ceasefire was scheduled to end.
The U.N. Security Council gave international forces the authority to pursue Somali pirates on land.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari says there’s still no evidence the Mumbai attackers came from Pakistan.
Voters in the embattled Indian state of Kashmir went to the polls for state elections.
Government forces launched a heavy assault on rebel bases in Sri Lanka.
China sentenced two people to death in the western region of Xinjiang for an alleged terror plot during the Olympics.
The European Parliament endorsed a package of bills intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020.
Anti-government protests continued in Greece, though the violence has died down since last week.
Three prisoners from Guantanamo Bay were released home to Bosnia.
U.S. Presidential Transition
Ths Bush administration has prepared a series of emergency-planning memos for Barack Obama’s team.
Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack was chosen as secretary of agriculture.
Obama has appointed a record number of Hispanics to his cabinet.
OPEC oil ministers meet to plan for a 2 million barrel cut in oil production.
Obama is expected to name Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar as his secretary of the interior.
Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating
More from Foreign Policy
At Long Last, the Foreign Service Gets the Netflix Treatment
Keri Russell gets Drexel furniture but no Senate confirmation hearing.
How Macron Is Blocking EU Strategy on Russia and China
As a strategic consensus emerges in Europe, France is in the way.
What the Bush-Obama China Memos Reveal
Newly declassified documents contain important lessons for U.S. China policy.
Russia’s Boom Business Goes Bust
Moscow’s arms exports have fallen to levels not seen since the Soviet Union’s collapse.