Erdogan's Davos outburst

Davos got a bit more interesting yesterday when Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed out of a panel discussion after castigating Israeli President Shimon Peres for Israel's actions in Gaza. Erdogan was upset not just at the content of Peres's speech but by the fact that he had apparently been given less time to speak.

Erdogan returned home to a hero's welcome in Turkey where he gave a press conference saying Peres's manner was "unacceptable" and blaming the panel's moderator, Washington Post reporter David Ignatius, for not allowing him to speak.  "I cannot allow anybody to harm my country's dignity and honor," Erdogan said. 

Peres says the relationship between Turkey and Israel won't be affected by the event, though Erdogan had earlier stated that Turkish moderated talks between Israel and Gaza had been "shelved" after Gaza.


Morning Brief: Gitmo closure hits a snag

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President Barack Obama's plans to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay hit a snag yesterday as a military judge refused an order to suspend the trial of Abd al-Rashim al-Nashiri, who is accused of planning the attack on the U.S.S. Cole in 2000. The judge, Army Col. James Pohl, described the request to delay proceedings for 120 days as "not reasonable" and its legal rationale as "unpersuasive."

Survivors of the Cole bombing applauded the decision. The Pentagon still has the option of dismissing the charges against Nashiri and then filing new ones, effectively removing the case from Pohl's docket.

A new Fox News poll shows that nearly half of Americans think the prison should be closed, up from 22 percent in 2005. Karen Greenberg argues for FP that the security risks of closing Guantanamo are overblown. 

Middle East

Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan stormed off stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos after telling Israeli President Shimon Peres, "You kill people."

Envoy George Mitchell tried to keep expectations low about Mideast peace talks. 

Violence still plagues Mosul in the run-up to this weekend's Iraqi elections.


Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was removed from office.

Raul Castro met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a hunting lodge near Moscow. 

Venezuela is refusing to comply with a ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.


Iceland may be fast-tracked for EU membership to help it out of its economic crisis. 

Ireland's debt rating froom Moody's has fallen from "stable" to "negative."

Energy workers in the U.K. are on strike.


North Korea is scrapping all political and military agreements with South Korea.

Japan appears to be heading toward its worst recession since World War II.

Afghanistan set Aug. 20 as the date for its presidential election. 


Zimbabwe's opposition has reluctantly agreed to a power-sharing deal.

Somalia's parliament, operating in Djibouti because of security risks, will elect a new president today.

The L.A. Times' Scott Kraft assesses the state of South Africa's democracy.