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News in Brief: Rouse Named White House Chief of Staff, and More

Rouse Named White House Chief of Staff

Rouse Named White House Chief of Staff

President Obama has officially named adviser Pete Rouse to replace Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff. Rouse, called “a longtime aid of few words” by The Washington Post, will replace Emanuel on an interim basis as the former chief of staff launches a campaign for Chicago mayor. Rouse has been pegged as a “fixer,” and many question how his calm demeanor will fare with a fiercely partisan Congress.

Ecuadorian President Says He Was Victim of Attempted Coup

An uprising by the police officers in Ecuador in response to benefit cuts led to President Rafael Correa being held captive for more than ten hours on Thursday, and the chief of the national police force resigning, reported The New York Times. Correa was rescued by the Army from the hospital where he was under siege, and later said that there had been at attempt to overthrow him, the BBC reported.

Insider Look at Federal Reserve May Be Lucrative for Some Firms

An investigation by Reuters has found that access to some of its secrets can be lucrative for former employees and big investors. Consulting firms who worked with the Fed are privy to policy decisions up to three weeks before the public is, providing them with a glimpse of the Reserve’s thinking well ahead of other investors. For example, former Fed governor Larry Meyer’s consulting firm charges clients for its forecasting service, often based on inside scoops from the Fed.

Israel Rejects US-Backed Settlement Incentives

Democracy NOW! reports that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected US-backed incentives for extending their settlement freeze. Netanyahu told Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz that he rejected that requirement to extend the freeze for another two months. The incentives included a strengthened, long-term military presence along the eastern border between Israeli and the future Palestinian states, military equipment and a promise to veto all UN resolutions on peace negotiations for a year. The Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat meanwhile believes that it is possible to “establish the two-state solution, a state of Palestine on the 1967 borders, [and] to live side by side in peace and security with the state of Israel.”

Al-Maliki Gains Endorsement in Iraqi Elections From Former Foes

A Shiite block formerly opposed to Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has backed him, The New York Times reports. The endorsement by the Sadrists puts Maliki one step closer to winning a decisive victory “over another former Prime Minister, Ayad Allawi, and his alliance, Iraqiya.” Maliki’s party, State of Law, was edged out in the elections by opposition party Iraqiya in Parliament 91-89. But for a new government to be chosen, Parliament must meet first, “something it has rarely done since spring.”