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Here’s what you need to know this morning:1. Al Qaeda appears to be getting closer to acquiring weapons of mass destruction. The Daily Telegraph reports on the latest Wikileaks document dump.
2. A leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt calls for closing the Suez Canal and says Egyptians should prepare for “war against Israel.”
3. The upheaval in the Middle East has been bad for the Jewish state. The nightmare scenario is that Islamists take control of Egypt, effectively surrounding Israel with Iranian allies.
4. Every tenet underlying Israel’s geopolitical strategies has disappeared with the protests in Egypt. But the argument that this destroys any chance for peace between Israel and Palestine is dangerous and wrong, writes Thomas Friedman.
5. Michigan faces a $1.5 billion budget shortfall for 2011. The state’s debt is more than $70 billion, not including $55 billion in unfunded pension obligations. Newly-elected Gov. Rick Snyder has published the “Citizen’s Guide to Michigan’s Financial Health,” in an attempt to explain this major fiscal crisis.
6. The president of Yemen said Wednesday that he will not seek re-election in 2013. He hinted that his son would not run either.
7. Oil prices could skyrocket if the upheaval in Egypt spreads to Saudi Arabia. A dramatic increase in oil prices would almost certainly throw the U.S. – and the rest of the world – into a recession.
8. The Republican Party is already fielding strong U.S. Senate candidates to run against shaky incumbent Democrats in 2012. The GOP’s goal of recapturing control of the Senate seems achievable.
9. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is polling well in South Carolina, indicating that the Huckabee brand still pulls weight among GOP voters. The Fox News host also led recent Iowa polls and remains at the top of several nationwide polls, according to Politico.
10. Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana warns that debt “threatens every one of us, whatever our view are.”
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