World News Brief, Tuesday December 2

Hillary Clinton takes over at State, Robert Gates to remain at Pentagon as Obama names more cabinet members; where does Clinton stand on world issues?; Chinese manufacturing contracts; Protesters rally in Bangkok; Chavez wants power until 2021; and more

Top of the Agenda: Obama's Cabinet Announcements

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is expected to formally introduce his secretaries of state and defense today, rounding out his cabinet. The Washington Post reports Obama will name his primary election rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) to serve as his top diplomat as secretary of state. The Post reports Obama will also ask current U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to continue in his role. Taken alongside Obama's other cabinet selections, the Post article says Gates and Clinton represent a "daring gamble on an eclectic group of personalities to confront a turbulent world."

The New York Times reports Clinton's selection to head the U.S. State Department could come along with a shift in attitude toward the role of that department. The Times says Obama's vision for tackling major foreign policy issues includes expanding the corps of U.S. diplomats and aid workers in a broadened effort to prevent conflict and rebuild failed states around the world.

(Ed's note: Those appointments have now been confirmed).

The Wall Street Journal also examines Obama's national security strategy. The article says Obama is moving slowly as he works to select officials to head U.S. intelligence agencies, focusing his search on experienced intelligence leaders who aren't associated with President Bush's controversial policies on interrogation methods.


  • CFR's Transition 2008 website takes a broader look at the shifts Obama seeks to implement, including the personnel he has tapped for high-level positions.


Pacific Rim: Chinese Manufacturing Woes

Reuters reports new data shows China's manufacturing sector--which had been a major driver of the country's recent economic growth--is now contracting due to declines in new orders.

North Korea: Pyongyang today cut cargo train traffic with South Korea, potentially setting back relations between the countries. Seoul expressed regret (Yonhap) about the new restrictions.

Thailand: The Bangkok Post reports on the ongoing demonstrations in Bangkok. Protesters led a rally at Bangkok's City Hall today in an effort to prevent a "silent coup" by the Thai judiciary, and other protesters, aiming to bring down the Thai government, stormed the country's airports.



Indian officials step down following Mumbai attacks.
Chavez floats new plan to alter Venezuelan constitution.

This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on