Good morning! Here’s what you need to know:
1. The National Journal reports: “Last week’s U.S. raid into Pakistan is fueling one of the country’s most enduring—and potentially dangerous—conspiracy theories: that the U.S. has designs on Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and is prepared to send highly trained commandos into the country to seize control of the weapons.”
2. Two Pakistani media outlets aired the name of the CIA station chief in Islamabad. The source of this information was obviously someone from inside the Pakistan government. Pakistan’s government seems resolute in its determination to drive the country over a cliff.
3. US officials, from President Obama on down, stepped up the pressure on Pakistan’s government yesterday, saying that bin Laden clearly had a “support network” in Abbottabad and demanding access to three of bin Laden’s wives who are being held by Pakistani authorities.
4. A Taliban attack on Kandahar, Afghanistan brought the city to a standstill over the weekend. The attack was the first major event of the Taliban’s much advertised “spring offensive.”
5. The crackdown on the Sunni uprising in Syria continued. Reinforcements of government forces were mobilized and deployed in two major cities. The crisis in Syria now enters its eighth week.
6. The Financial Times reports: “European officials are preparing to revamp Greece’s bail-out package after concluding that Athens would be unable to raise money in the markets early next year, as envisaged under a €110bn ($158bn) rescue plan.”
7. You cannot have a monetary union without a political union. This basic truth is what prevents resolution of the rolling “debt crises” that threaten the EU. Wolfgang Munchau reports on the events of the last three days.
8.The Wall Street Journal reports: “The municipal-bond market appears to be surmounting one of its most urgent challenges of the year as banks renew billions of dollars worth of expiring credit agreements with state and local governments, avoiding a costly scramble to refinance.”
9. Newt Gingrich is expected to formally announce his candidacy for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination this week. Mr. Gingrich is formidable in part because he sits atop a large network of enterprises that he has created and built up over the course of the last 13 years. DC insiders call his network “Newt Inc.”
10. Former US Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman addressed the graduating class of the University of South Carolina over the weekend. “Be you. Remember others. Embrace failure. Find someone to love. Give back. Never forget to rock and roll,” he said. The text of his speech can be found here. Mr. Huntsman is considering a campaign for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.
11. Following last Thursday’s GOP presidential campaign debate in South Carolina, long-shot candidate Herman Cain has become something of a “hot property.” He’s gained what every long-shot dreams of: traction.
12. The Obama Administration will rachet up its push for immigration reform this week; a bit of Washington Kabuki theatre designed to convince Hispanics that Obama has a strategy for passing immigration reform even though everyone knows that he does not.