Today's briefing: Pakistan's next hot spot, Mexico returns to normal

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Among the news we're following today:

On the international front:

– On the site now is a very interesting piece (read it here) by our South Asia correspondent, Ben Arnoldy, who reports on how the Pakastani city of Karachi may soon become the next front in Pakistan's war with the Taliban.

– From Mexico City, Sara Miller Llana is looking at how Mexico's capital is returning to normal after the huge disruption caused by swine flu. (Here is her report.)

– And our Middle East correspondent, Ilene Prusher, examines a controversy over the location of the pope's speech in the West Bank. Israel has moved the venue to a less visually depressing location and the Palestinians are upset.

In US news:

Gail Russell Chaddock is assessing Sen. Arlen Specter's first days as a Democrat. It hasn't been smooth. He didn't carry his seniority with him when he switched parties, and Democrats have been disappointed to see him voting with his old party in some cases. Catch up with the Specter defection here.

– Diplomatic correspondent Howard LaFranchi is writing about how the real audience for this week's trilateral summit involving the US, Pakistan, and Afghanistan is the US Congress, which has the power to approve billions more in aid to the two embattled countries.

– And late in the day, Mark Trumbull will be previewing tomorrow's report on the "stress tests" that US banks have been going through and what we might learn about US financial institutions and the health of the economy. Meanwhile, Gail Chaddock also reports on how Congress is poised to let the TARP money, which banks got when they were in trouble, be reloaned to other banks, turning the program into a revolving account. It's a way for the banks to continue to get federal help without Congress having to vote for more bailout funds for popular banks.

Laurent Belsie writes that the ADP national employment report indicates job losses are not as bad as they were earlier this year (read Laurent's post here). By the way, if you were trying to get the "best job in the world" ... well, it's taken. Sorry.

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