Politics In 60 Seconds: What You Need To Know Right Now

Qaddafi

Photo: AP

Good morning!  Here’s what you need to know right now:1.  The United Nations Security Council last night voted to authorise “all necessary measures” to protect civilians under threat from the regime of Libyan strongman Col. Muammar Qaddafi.  The vote enables, among other things, the establishment of a “no-fly” zone over Libya.

2.  Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), ranking minority member of The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said yesterday that Congress must pass a formal declaration of war if the Obama administration decides to intervene in Libya.

3.  The Muslim Brotherhood is emerging as the winner in the Egyptian political transition.  There are signs that the Egyptian military has decided to align with the Muslim Brotherhood to slow the transition to democratic rule.

4.  Ethan Bronner reports: “Bahrain arrested six opposition leaders on Thursday, kept the main hospital surrounded by troops and tanks and imposed a nighttime curfew on the centre of its capital as it moved to the next stage of its crackdown on reform-seeking protesters, sending the political opposition into crisis.”

5.  US policy on Bahrain is caught between its “values” and its “interests.”  Relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States have been severely strained by recent events in the Middle East.

6.  Japan’s crippled nuclear reactors continue to bedevil engineers and remediation efforts.  The crisis remains acute.  Business Insider provides ongoing coverage.

7.  On the day after the arranged release of CIA operative Raymond Davis, US drone attacks killed as many as 32 people in a remote town in Pakistan.  Reuters has an excellent backgrounder on the events of recent days and their impact on US-Pakistan relations.

8. President Obama will choose a new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shortly.  One person in the running for the job is Gen. David Petraeus, but the WSJ hints that he’s unlikely to get the nod

9.  The WSJ reports: “Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed into law a measure that broadens state powers to intervene in the finances and governance of struggling municipalities and school districts, giving these local bodies a stronger hand in renegotiating labour contracts.”

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