World News Brief, Wednesday August 12

Obama backtracks on immigration promise and targets drug war; Aung San Suu Kyi convicted; Hundreds feared dead in Taiwan; Iraq death toll reaches 100 in four days; and more

Top of the Agenda: U.S. Immigration Reform Delayed

U.S. President Barack Obama said comprehensive immigration reform would likely have to wait until at least 2010 (LAT), emphasizing the need to "sequence these big initiatives." In the meantime, Obama said, his administration is working on a bill that could gain bipartisan support, so that "when we come back next year . . . we should be in a position to start acting."

Obama addressed the issue at the end of a two-day summit of North American leaders in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he met with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon. After talks, the three leaders reasserted their call for the reinstatement of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya (MercoPress).

The leaders also pledged to work to curb carbon emissions, and to provide adequate aid to Mexico's drug war efforts (WashPost). During talks, Obama questioned Calderon on reports of human rights abuses by law enforcement officials fighting drug traffickers. Calderon assured Obama of Mexico's "strong commitment" to human rights, and said security forces who commit abuses are punished.

A CFR Task Force Report on U.S. immigration policy examines the relationship between trade and migration.

A Toronto Star editorial criticizes Harper for complaining about the "Buy America" provision in the U.S. stimulus package, saying the issue hurts Harper's ability to push more important agenda points.


The joint statement from the summit is available here.

The New York Times reports on the drug trade's continuation in Mexico's prisons.

This CFR Backgrounder looks at Mexico's drug war.


PACIFIC RIM: Hundreds Missing in Landslides

Nearly eight hundred people are missing and feared dead after Typhoon Morakot caused a mudslide that buried all of Shiao Lin village (BBC) in southwest Taiwan. A separate landslide caused several apartment buildings to collapse in a town in eastern China, burying an unknown number of people (Xinhua). A million people have been evacuated from their homes in China as a result of the storm.

Burma: A Burmese court convicted pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (Myanmar News) of violating her house arrest by letting an American visitor stay at her home. Military junta leader Than Shwe overturned the court's sentence of three years in prison, ordering that Suu Kyi spend another year and a half under house arrest. She has already been detained for more than fourteen years for leading an uprising against the military regime.



Clinton emphasizes human rights in Democratic Republic of Congo.
Fifty killed in Iraq bombings.

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