World News Brief, Tuesday July 7

Obama meets with Russian leaders; 140 killed in China protests; Myanmar pledges to hold open election; Zelaya attempts to return to Honduras

Top of the Agenda: U.S.-Russia Summit Underway


U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Moscow Monday to meet with Russian leaders (NYT) to negotiate a new agreement on nuclear arms reduction, and to discuss areas of shared interest, including the war in Afghanistan and Iran's nuclear plans, among others. The summit comes ahead of the impending expiration of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) at the end of this year.  A new deal would likely further restrict (Ria Novosti) the number of nuclear warheads as well as delivery vehicles.

The text of the treaty is available here.

Moscow Times reports the two sides may also sign an agreement that would allow the United States to transport military equipment over Russian territory to Afghanistan.

In a new interview to Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, President Obama discussed his plans to reset U.S. relations with Russia. He also addressed Moscow's concerns over U.S. plans to deploy missile defense system in Europe saying Washington will not build a system that is aimed to respond to an attack from Russia."We first and foremost are seeking to build a missile defense system that protects the United States and Europe from an Iranian ballistic missile armed with a nuclear warhead," he said.


-CFR's Stephen Sestanovich predicts hard bargaining on both sides at the talks.

-A new CFR Contingency Planning Memorandum examines potential conflict scenarios between Ukraine and Russia, and outlines steps the United States could take to reduce the chances of such crises, and how to respond if they do occur.

-The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists predicts U.S. congressional support for a new U.S.-Russian arms control agreement.


PACIFIC RIM: Protests in China


At least 140 were killed and over 800 injured in riots between Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese in the country's restive western region of Xinjiang Sunday, Xinhua reports. The riots sparked after information calling for demonstrations in the city of Urumqi spread on the Internet. BBC reports Uighurs in Urumqi were reportedly angry over an ethnic clash last month in the city of Shaoguan in southern Guangdong province.

A Backgrounder looks at the Uighur population in Xinjiang.

Myanmar: Myanmar's government promised United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that the country will hold a fair and open election (Xinhua) in 2010, Ban said Saturday at a press conference in Bangkok. But it denied Ban's request (AP) to meet with jailed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Next year's elections are part of the government's "roadmap to democracy," but critics say they will strengthen the military regime's grip on power (BBC).

This CFR Backgrounder looks at Myanmar's regime and U.S. policy toward the country.



-Zelaya prevented from returning to Honduras


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