Lula: Blame whitey

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva says white people are to blame for the financial crisis, specifically blue-eyed ones:

“This crisis was caused by the irrational behaviour of white people with blue eyes, who before the crisis appeared to know everything and now demonstrate that they know nothing.”

“I do not know any black or indigenous bankers so I can only say [it is wrong] that this part of mankind which is victimised more than any other should pay for the crisis.”


Morning Brief: Mosque bombing in Pakistan

Top Story

A suicide attack killed over 50 people at a mosque in Northwest Pakistan in the country's deadliest attack this year. The attack near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border completely demolished the mosque and is thought to have killed many members of Pakistan's paramilitary Frontier Corps.

The Obama administration will release its new strategy for the war in Afghanistan, which will likely focus more on quelling the insurgency in order to preserve stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan as opposed to the Bush administration's broader nation-building goals for the country.

Middle East

Israel says it has successfully tested a new anti-rocket system.

Police have dropped one of the corruption charges against Israeli PM Ehud Olmert.

Sixteen people were killed in a bombing at a bus stop in Baghdad.


North Korea has positioned a rocket on a launch pad in preparation for April's launch.

The U.S. is still working to keep its airbase in Kyrgyzstan open.

A massive dam collapse caused deadly flash-floods near Jakarta, Indonesia.


Israel attacked a convoy of trucks bringing weapons to Hamas in January, various news outlets are reporting. FP's Laura Rozen has more. 

There's still no word from the European tankers taken by Somali pirates yesterday.

Kenyan police are reportedly holding a man wanted for war crimes in former Yugoslavia.


The Czech Republic's opposition Social Democrats are working to form a coalition after the collaprse of Mirek Topolanek's center-right government.

Workers at a French 3M plant have freed their boss after holding him hostage for over 24 hours.

New data shows the British economy declining even faster than previously thought.


The Obama administration has raised eyebrows in Mexico by appointing an expert in failed states as its new ambassador.

The U.S. is cracking down on "parallel exchange" trading between the U.S. and Venezuela.

The U.S. Senate approved the largest expansion of public service programs since the 1960s.