Saturday, September 6, 2008

Daily Sources 9/6

1. Tunku Varadarajan at the Wall Street Journal has an interesting interview with Paul Theroux on how the world has changed over the last 40 or so years.

2. Foreign Policy Magazine and the Fund for Peace have published their fourth annual Failed States Index, which lists the top (or bottom) 60 failed states and gives you a sense of how they ended up on the list. Not sure how useful these types of lists are for considering anything, but they are interesting nonetheless. There are a few surprises. For example, Indonesia and Israel make the list. Egypt barely scores better than Tajikistan! Nigeria hardly fares better than North Korea (meaning they're both basically failed, I suppose) ... though I think North Korea is pretty stable, if not interested in protecting its people.

3. Jane Perlez and Salman Masood at the New York Times report that Asif Ali Zardari was elected President of Pakistan today. He has pledged to reduce the role of the Presidency so that it is mostly answerable to the Parliament. He also has pledged to resolve the judiciary issues, but many suspect he will not keep his promise in terms of deposed Supreme Court Justice Chaudry, as he was an important mover behind the corruption charges Zardari has faced.

4. Canwest News Service reports that the Angola election is being carried over into a second day of voting. UNITA is unhappy with the way the polling has been carried out.

5. Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post does a good job of giving the context of Condoleezza Rice's meeting with Libya's Moamar Ghaddafi yesterday. Both the New York Times and this Post article mention last year's remarks by Ghaddafi on Sec'y Rice, to wit: "'I support my darling black African woman. I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders,' [Ghaddafi] said in [a] March 27, 2007, interview. 'She beckons to the Arab foreign ministers, and they come to her, either in groups or individually. . . . Leezza, Leezza, Leezza. . . . I love her very much. I admire her, and I'm proud of her, because she's a black woman of African origin.'" Do you think these reporters yearn for the human interest beat?

6. Libyan Oil Minister and head of the Libyan National Oil Company, Shukri Ghanem, said that the oil market was oversupplied on Friday, according to AFP. But he added that OPEC was not likely to do anything until they had studied the matter some.

7. Rebekah Kebede and Gene Ramos of Reuters on Friday reported that production in the Gulf is restarting very slowly, perhaps on concerns regarding Hurricane Ike.

8. Accuweather provides the following path forecast for Hurricane Ike.

9. Deborah Solomon and Damian Paletta at the Wall Street Journal write that the Treasury Department is close to finalizing a plan which would put Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

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