Wednesday's global agenda: House panel marks up foreign ops bill


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The discussion comes as Russia prepares to join the World Trade Organization and Congress prepares to vote on establishing permanent normal relations with the country, despite ongoing concerns with its human-rights record. On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted out a human-rights bill that originally targeted Russians complicit in the death of a whistle-blowing Russian lawyer.

Elsewhere on the Hill, the House Judiciary subcommittee on intellectual property holds a hearing on international intellectual property enforcement. And the Senate Homeland Security panel holds a markup. 

Clinton headed to Russia: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is on a three-state tour to Finland, Latvia and Russia that will culminate with a dinner with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, where Syria is expected to once again dominate the agenda. The bilateral meeting comes as United Nations/Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan is seeking to organize a meeting of the five members of the U.N. Security Council this weekend in Geneva to prevent the collapse of his peace plan. [The Moscow Times]

Clinton will be in St. Petersburg for the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Women’s and Economy Forum. Before that, her travels to Finland and Latvia will focus on climate change, the environment, the Arctic, Afghanistan and opportunities for U.S. businesses, according to a State Department briefing on her trip.

In other news

Syrian rebels are reported to have stormed a pro-government television station and killed several employees, a day after President Bashar Assad said the country was living in a “state of war.” [The New York Times]

The attack comes as Turkey warned Syria to keep its military away from the border after Syria shot down a Turkish jet. [The Washington Post]

Israel began evacuating buildings built on Palestinian land near Ramallah, the first such eviction carried out by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. [The Wall Street Journal]

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