Here’s what you need to know this morning:1. Pakistan has been expanding its nuclear arsenal since President Obama took office and will soon replace Britain as the fifth-largest nuclear weapons state, the New York Times reports this morning. The White House says it is aware of the build-up, which is a direct challenge to Obama’s national security and nonproliferation strategies.
2. More than a 100,000 protesters have gathered in Egypt’s Tahrir Square today for the planned “march of a million,” despite the government’s attempts to stop travel into Cairo. The Army has promised not to use force against the protesters.
3. The unrests in Egypt signal a new era of history in the Middle East, writes Gerald Seib. Although the outcome of this seminal event may not be known for years, the protests are likely to change the way the entire region sees itself.
4. Kabul Bank bribed senior government officials with secret loans and payoffs to block any investigation into the bank’s finances, according to the Wall Street Journal. Investigators looking into massive fraud at Afghanistan’s largest lender are only now beginning to uncover the scope of the corruption that nearly brought down the bank.
5. A federal judge in Florida struck down all of the healthcare reform law Monday, offering an erudite consideration of the legal questions at hand. The case is widely expected to go before the Supreme Court.
6. State tax revenue was up in the fourth quarter, on strong increases in income and sales taxes. Sadly, the gains won’t be enough to cover yawning budget deficits.
7. N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo slams Albany’s budget process in an editorial circulated by his office last night. Cuomo plans to announce huge budget cuts today.
8. Muni bond sales fell to their lowest level in more than a decade last month. Investors fretted over enormous state and municipal budget deficits and unfunded pension liabilities.
9. Jon Huntsman resigned his post as U.S. ambassador to China Monday. He is now likely to start the exploratory phase of a 2012 GOP presidential campaign.
10. The “dream of a democratic Egypt is sure to produce a nightmare,” writes Richard Cohen of the Washington Post. In particular, democracy in Egypt is the death knell for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
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