Good morning! Here’s what you need to know:1. Relations between Saudi Arabia and The United States are “in crisis,” according to Foreign Policy magazine. “King Abdullah thinks the Obama administration’s love of universal freedoms is naive and inappropriate for conservative Gulf Arab states like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, when the big threat is Iran.”
2. Relations between Pakistan and The United States have reached a new low. Jane Perlez reports that the dispute over CIA operations inside Pakistan signal a “fundamental rift.”
3. The State Department “has secretly financed Syrian political opposition groups and related projects, including a satellite TV channel that beams anti-government programming into the country, according to previously undisclosed diplomatic cables.” Full report is in The Washington Post.
4. Al Qaeda is emerging as a player in the “Arab Spring” sweeping the Middle East and North Africa. Juan Zarate sketches out the terror group’s opportunistic strategy.
5. The Financial Times reports: “An end to global monetary policy easing is on the horizon, with the US Federal Reserve set to signal it will cease asset purchases at the end of June.”
6. The Wall Street Journal reports: “Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Republican leaders have assured the White House they are prepared to lift the debt ceiling in time to avoid disruptions to capital markets and a potential credit default.” It is unclear how Republican leaders can make such assurances.
7. Will the European Union come apart because of the ocean of bad debt threatening to engulf it? Wolfgang Munchau, who has emerged as the Boswell of the EU’s unravelling, says “no, not yet, they’ll keep delaying the reckoning.”
8. The “eurosceptic” True Finns party gained 34 seats in yesterday’s election in Finland. Every other political party lost seats. The Finnish balloting could doom the EU’s Portuguese bail-out package.
9. Sarah Palin, campaigning in Madison, Wisconsin over the weekend, unleashed a blistering attack on the Republican Congressional leadership for its “capitulation” to President Obama and the Democrats during the last round of budget negotiations.
10. Donald Trump told CNN’s Candy Crowley yesterday: “I’m a much bigger businessman and have a much, much bigger net worth. I mean my net worth is many, many, many times Mitt Romney.”
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