Morning Brief: The Hillary show

Top Story In nearly five hours of testimony yesterday, Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton promised to seek “real security for Israel, normal and positive relations with its neighbors,” acknowledged that she was “open to looking to a positive, effective way of engaging with Iran,” and vowed a “very aggressive effort” to stop North Korea’s nuclear ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
589543_090114_hills5.jpg
589543_090114_hills5.jpg

Top Story

In nearly five hours of testimony yesterday, Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton promised to seek "real security for Israel, normal and positive relations with its neighbors," acknowledged that she was "open to looking to a positive, effective way of engaging with Iran," and vowed a "very aggressive effort" to stop North Korea's nuclear program.

The hearings were generally cordial, though Clinton was questioned about the donations of foreign entities to her husband's foundation. Clinton denied these would pose any problems with conflict of interest saying, "It will not be in the atmosphere."

Top Story

In nearly five hours of testimony yesterday, Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton promised to seek “real security for Israel, normal and positive relations with its neighbors,” acknowledged that she was “open to looking to a positive, effective way of engaging with Iran,” and vowed a “very aggressive effort” to stop North Korea’s nuclear program.

The hearings were generally cordial, though Clinton was questioned about the donations of foreign entities to her husband’s foundation. Clinton denied these would pose any problems with conflict of interest saying, “It will not be in the atmosphere.”

For more FP coverage of the hearings, be sure to read Laura Rozen coverage at The Cable, and live-blogging from Jezebel’s Megan Carpentier at Madam Secretary.

Middle East

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Israel as troops moved in on Gaza City and the death count neared 1,000. More rockets from Lebanon have hit Israel.

Saudi Arabia unilaterally cut oil production beyond the level agreed to by OPEC.

Americas

Sixty-one former Guantanamo inmates have returned to terrorism, says the Pentagon. The Bush administration’s top official on military commissions told the Washington Post‘s Bob Woodward that the military engaged in torture at Guantanamo.

The State Department has denied that the United States changed its vote on the Gaza cease-fire at the request of Israeli PM Ehud Olmert, as he has suggested.

A U.S. appeals court will today hear arguments from jailed Panamanian Gen. Manuel Noriega, who wants to be repatriated to his home country.

Europe

The prime ministers of Bulgaria and Slovakia are headed to Moscow to try to resolve the ongoing Ukraine gas crisis. 

Latvia’s capital, Riga, was hit by antigovernment rioting.

Ireland’s government warned it may be forced to seek help from the IMF.

Asia

The number of Chinese Internet users increased by nearly 42 percent in 2008.

Japan’s long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party is crashing in the polls.

A U.S. plan to arm villagers to defend against the Taliban is making some Afghans very nervous.

Africa

Ethiopian troops have pulled out of Mogadishu.

A severe food crisis threatens Mozambique.

Niger delta militants are accusing Nigerian troops of breaking a cease-fire.

U.S. Presidential Transition

Treasury secretary nominee Timothy Geithner’s confirmation process has been complicated by his failure to pay $34,000 in federal income taxes.

Republicans are preparing witnesses to delay or derail the confirmation of Eric Holder as attorney general.

President Bush declared Barack Obama’s inauguration a state of emergency in order to get more federal funds to help D.C. cope with crowds.

Photo: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

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

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