Morning Brief: Thwarted coup or power grab?
Top Story The New York Times reports that 35 Iraqi interior ministry officials have been arrested over the past few days for attempting a coup. The officials, including four generals, had allegedly been planning to reconstitute Saddam Hussein’s Baath Pary. The officials were arrested by an elite counterterrorism unit that reports directly to prime minister ...
The New York Times reports that 35 Iraqi interior ministry officials have been arrested over the past few days for attempting a coup. The officials, including four generals, had allegedly been planning to reconstitute Saddam Hussein’s Baath Pary. The officials were arrested by an elite counterterrorism unit that reports directly to prime minister Nuri al-Maliki. According to the Times, “the involvement of the counterterrorism unit speaks to the seriousness of the accusations.”
Maliki’s opponents, particularly Sunni political leaders, accuse him of using the arrests to consolidate power. Prominent followers of the Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr have also been detained in recent months.
OPEC agreed on the deepest cuts in oil production ever, in order to balance supply with flagging demand.
Iraqi lawmakers held an angry session of parliament to debate the fate of shoe-thrower Muntazar al-Zaidi. According to Prime Minister Maliki, al-Zaidi has apologized for embarassing him.
Russia is offering to sell 10 warplanes to Lebanon.
Barack Obama plans to close the Guantanamo Bay prison within two years of becoming president.
The LA Times profiles a mysterious Tijuana crime lord.
Alleged fraudster Bernard Madoff is under house arrest in New York.
U.S. Presidential Transition
Barack Obama was named person of the year by Time magazine.
Obama selected former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack as secretary of agriculture and Colorado Senator Ken Salazar as secretary of the interior.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the time is not right to send peacekeeping troops to Somalia. China is a sending a naval fleet to battle pirates.
Former Rwandan army colonel Theoneste Bagosora was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the 1994 genocide.
Dozens of children were killed by poison medicine in Nigeria.
India’s cricket team pulled out of a planned tour of Pakistan for political reasons.
The last Japanese troops left Iraq.
South Korea will launch a $15 billion bank bailout fund.
NATO and Russia are planning their first high-level meetings since the war in Georgia
New clashes broke out between police and anti-government protesters in Greece.
German business confidence is at its lowest since the early 1980s.
SABAH ARAR/AFP/Getty Images
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating
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