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Czech Prime Minister: Obama Stimulus is the "Road to Hell"

The New York Times reports that embattled Czech Prime Minister and E.U. President Mirek Topolanek, addressing the European Parliament, described Obama's fiscal package as the "road to hell," saying the bailout would "undermine the stability of the global financial market."

Yesterday, Topolanek was defeated in a no-confidence vote by the Czech parliament -- largely due to criticism of his handling of the financial crisis.

Photo: Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images

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Morning Brief: Attention turns to Mexico

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is visiting Mexico today in what many see as a critical juncture in U.S.-Mexican relations. The Obama administration announced yesterday that it is sending additional federal agents and equipment to the United States' border to prevent spillover from Mexico's drug violence and keep cash and guns from heading south.“I think if one U.S. citizen is killed because of foreign nationals who are engaging in violent crime, that’s enough of a concern to do something about it,” Obama said.

Mexicans, for the most part, reacted positively to the plan, though senior Mexican military officers expressed concern about the possibility of U.S. national guard troops being sent to the border, as Texas Governor Rick Perry has requested. Obama has, so far, made no mention of sending troops.

The visit also come at a time when the 15-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement seems in danger from a growing climate of protectionism. The U.S. recently passed restrictions on Mexican trucks crossing the border and Mexico has responded by slapping tariffs on U.S. goods.

Americas

In a primetime press conference, President Barack Obama said he was beginning to see "signs of progress" in the U.S. economic recovery.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said that the AIG situation highlighted the need for more comprehensive financial regulation.

Four soldiers were killed in a rebel attack in Colombia.

Europe

A former Sinn Fein politician was charged with killing a police officer in Northern Ireland.

Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek lost a no-confidence vote in parliament but has not yet resigned.

The IMF agreed to a $27 billion loan for Romania.

Africa

Sudanese President Omar al Bashir visited Egypt where he was hosted by President Hosni Mubarak, despite the international warrant for his arrest.

The IMF says Zimbabwe must pay its debt before it receives more aid.

Madagascar's new leader offered to start talks with allies of the president he ousted in a military coup.

Middle East

Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu promised that his government would puruse peace but made no mention of Palestinian statehood.

Gulf states have been delayed in their plan to introduce a single currency for the region.

The U.S. military says attacks in Iraq are at their lowest level since 2003.

Asia

Japanese exports fell by half in February.

India is seeking to play a greater role in stabilizing Afghanistan.

North Korea has charged the two U.S. reporters it has detained with espionage.

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