Morning Brief: U.N. demands truce, fighting continues

Top Story Israel’s two-week-old offensive in Gaza continued after the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling for an immidiate cease-fire. “The firing of rockets this morning only goes to show that the U.N. decision is unworkable and will not be adhered to by the murderous Palestinian organizations,” said PM Ehud Olmert. The United Stated ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
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Top Story

Israel's two-week-old offensive in Gaza continued after the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling for an immidiate cease-fire. "The firing of rockets this morning only goes to show that the U.N. decision is unworkable and will not be adhered to by the murderous Palestinian organizations," said PM Ehud Olmert.

The United Stated had planned to support the U.N. resolution, but decided to abstain from the final vote. Ali Larijani, the speaker of Iran's parliament, attacked the plan as "honey injected with poison."

Top Story

Israel’s two-week-old offensive in Gaza continued after the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling for an immidiate cease-fire. “The firing of rockets this morning only goes to show that the U.N. decision is unworkable and will not be adhered to by the murderous Palestinian organizations,” said PM Ehud Olmert.

The United Stated had planned to support the U.N. resolution, but decided to abstain from the final vote. Ali Larijani, the speaker of Iran’s parliament, attacked the plan as “honey injected with poison.”

More than 750 Palestinians have died in the conflict so far.

The rockets fired from Lebanon on Thursday appear, for now, to have been a fluke.

Tensions are growing between Israel and the Vatican since an aide to Pope Benedict on Wednesday described Gaza as a “big concentration camp.”

Asia

A New Year’s Day CIA strike in northern Pakistan killed two senior al Qaeda members. 

Pakistan sent India a response to its dossier on Pakistani complicity in the Mumbai attacks.

Malaysia is boycotting U.S. goods over the United States’ support for Israel.

Europe

Russia will resume gas shipments to Europe. The EU plans to send monitors to Ukraine to ensure that Russian gas keeps flowing. 

Frace and Germany warned the U.S. not to try to stop them from enacting new financial regulation.

Middle East

The U.S. and Iran share interests in Afghanistan, says Gen. David Petraeus.

Oil rose to over $42 a barrel, perhaps due to fears that the Gaza fighting could spread throughout the Middle East.

Two army convoys have been attacked in northern Iraq in the last two days.

Americas

Crowds in Caracas cheered the expulsion of Israel’s ambassador to Venezuela.

While Cuba celebrates 50 years of revolution, Fidel Castro is notably absent.

Passing a stimulus package may be harder than Obama realized.

U.S. Presidential Transition

Barack Obama will hold his first meeting with a foreign leader since his election on Monday when he sits down with Mexican President Felipe Calderon. 

Obama filled four key defense department vacancies.

Obama named Virginia Governor Tim Kaine to head the Democratic National Committee.

Africa

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is seeking a meeting with President Robert Mugabe in a last-ditch effort to save Zimbabwe’s power-sharing government.

The ANC’s Jacob Zuma will run in South Africa’s presidential election, whether or not he’s charged with graft.

The son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor will be sentenced today in Miami for his crimes during the Liberian civil war.

Correction: Yesterday’s Morning Brief inaccurately said that Pakistan’s defense minister had been fired. It was the the national security advisor.

Photo: David Silverman/Getty Images

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

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