WASHINGTON – This morning, the president and the vice president attend the PDB in the Oval Office. In the afternoon, the president and the vice president will participate in a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews marking the return of the United States Forces-Iraq Colors and the end of the war in Iraq.
WASHINGTON – President Obama spoke by telephone with Prime Minister Noda of Japan yesterday evening. The two leaders conferred on the situation on the Korean Peninsula following the death of Kim Jong Il. The President underscored the United States’ commitment to the defense of our close allies, including Japan. He also conveyed the importance he places on maintaining the stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region. Both leaders agreed that the United States and Japan would monitor events carefully and stay in close touch.
DAMASCUS – The Arab League is sending observers in 48 hours to Syria. If the ceasefire falls apart, the league indicated it would go to the UN Security Council. But the UN has shown little capacity for intervention in situations as tough as this one.
CAIRO – Egypt is once again a violent and dangerous place, especially for women. Video of a partially clothed woman being dragged, beaten and stomped on through the streets has drawn shock and concern from around the world. It looks like we have a standoff between the Muslim Brotherhood (on the side of the protesters) and the military. Neither is backing down.
MOGADISHU – Al-Shabaab allegedly held a conference recently and changed its name to the “Islamic Emirate of Somalia.”