1. Riots broke out in the Libyan city of Benghazi after a human rights activist was arrested. A call for nationwide demonstrations on Thursday has been posted on the Internet.2. The Iranian government threatened opposition leaders with execution and arrested Green Movement organisers, a day after huge anti-regime protests rocked Tehran.
3. The power of popular movements is “transforming the political landscape of the Middle East.” The epicentre of the moment for these “movements” is Manama, Bahrain.
4. Two US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were shot yesterday on the road from Mexico City to Monterrey. One agent is dead. The other is listed in stable condition.
5. At his news conference yesterday, President Obama called on Pakistan to release former US Special Forces operator (and current US embassy “contractor”) Raymond Davis from jail in Lahore. Tensions between the US and Pakistan are high and tight.
6. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) flew to Lahore, Pakistan to press for Davis’s immediate release. He promised the Pakistan government that once Davis was released, the US Justice Department would begin a criminal investigation into the death of two Pakistanis who were shot by Davis.
7. President Obama conceded yesterday that his new budget does not even begin to address the nation’s fiscal woes. But he asked for patience and promised that he would get cracking on it eventually.
8. How lame was the President’s budget proposal? So lame that former Obama Administration “car czar” Steve Rattner attacked it in the pages of The Financial Times. Rattner says it’s a “dispiriting time for fiscal sanity in the US.”
9. Banks are going straight to states and municipalities and saying: “don’t do a bond offering, take a loan!” This is known in the trade as direct lending and banks around the country are working it hard.
10. Senator John Ensign (R-NV) looks weak. Rahm Emanuel looks strong. Sen. Olympia Snowe’s Tea Party opponent is a bit odd. Democrats want the Pentagon out of NASCAR. The fate of Democratic majority control of the US Senate may depend on President Obama’s ability to convince his lieutenants to run in difficult, uphill races (like Virginia).
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