Morning Brief: Obama’s opening argument

Top Story In his first address to a joint session of congress, President Barack Obama put forth a series of ambitious proposals to pull the United States out of its economic crisis. “While our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken, though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
588247_090225_obama5.jpg
588247_090225_obama5.jpg

Top Story

In his first address to a joint session of congress, President Barack Obama put forth a series of ambitious proposals to pull the United States out of its economic crisis. “While our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken, though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this. We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.”

While he offered few specifics, Obama did urge to adoption of a cap and trade plan to reduce global warming, broad health-care reform, and stricter regulation of the financial sector. The speech can probably be seen as a preview for Obama's first full budget, which will be released on Thursday.

Top Story

In his first address to a joint session of congress, President Barack Obama put forth a series of ambitious proposals to pull the United States out of its economic crisis. “While our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken, though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this. We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.”

While he offered few specifics, Obama did urge to adoption of a cap and trade plan to reduce global warming, broad health-care reform, and stricter regulation of the financial sector. The speech can probably be seen as a preview for Obama’s first full budget, which will be released on Thursday.

While the address was mostly domestic in focus, Obama did reiterate his pledge to close down Guantanamo Bay and end the use of torture, and promised that a comprehensive plan for Iraq and Afghanistan would be coming soon.

Middle East

Officials say Obama may announce a 19-month schedule for withdrawing from Iraq later this week.

Iran says it has successfully carried out a test of its Bushehr nuclear power plant, which will soon be ready for activation.

After being rebuffed by Labor and Kadima, Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu is turning to other right-wing parties in his attempt to form a coalition.

Asia

Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan have agreed to allow the transport of NATO non-military cargo through their territory into Afghanistan.

North Korea’s Kim Jong-il has reportedly been touring the site where his country is planning a missile launch.

Pakistani officials say U.S. airstrikes have worsened the terrorist threat to Pakistan.

Africa

Fighting in Somalia is the worst it’s been in weeks.

After five weeks of fighting, Rwandan troops have begun pulling out of DR Congo.

The International Criminal Court will announce in March 4 whether it will prosecute Sudanse leader Omar al-Bashir.

Americas

Employees of disgraced financier Allen Stanford had roles at a regulatory group charged with preventing abuses in the financial sector.

The U.S. House of Representatives is due to vote on a bill to ease travel restrictions between the United States and Cuba for Cuban-Americans.

Gunmen killed the mayor of a town in Western Mexico as the U.N. warned that the country needed help to fight traffickers.

Europe

Holocaust-denying bishop Richard Williamson returned to Britain after being expelled by Argentina.

Russia’s economy declined by 9 percent in January.

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

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

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