TOP NEWS: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs: May 15, 2012
Excerpts and more top stories
Hollande Assumes the Presidency in France -Steve Erlanger, NY Times
François Hollande on Tuesday became the first Socialist to hold the presidency since François Mitterrand in 1995. Mr. Hollande was elected by a thin margin on May 6.
Iran Sees Success in Stalling on Nuclear Issue -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times
As Iran starts a critical round of talks over its nuclear program, its negotiating team may be less interested in reaching a comprehensive settlement than in buying time and establishing the legitimacy of its enrichment program, Iranian officials and analysts said.
Syrians Defy Leaders to Aid Those in Need -Staff, The New York Times
An increasingly organized underground network is providing food and medicine to people trapped by the offensive of President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
Greek deadlock heightens fears of full European economic crisis -Howard Schneider and Anthony Faiola, Washington Post
Political deadlock in Greece rattled world markets Monday, reviving fears that the fractious Mediterranean country could spurn an international bailout, abandon the common European currency and risk a fresh round of world economic turmoil.
NATO invites Pakistan to summit -Slobodan Lekic, Associated Press
NATO on Tuesday invited Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to the alliance’s summit in Chicago, after signs that the country could be moving to reopen its Afghan border to NATO military supplies.
Greece will hold new vote after failure to form government -Lefteris Papadimas and Dina Kyriakidou, Reuters
Greece will hold a new election after politicians failed to form a government on Tuesday, nine days following an inconclusive vote, prolonging a political crisis that pushes it closer to bankruptcy and exit from the euro.
Germany keeps eurozone from recession -Ralph Atinks in Frankfurt, Financial Times
An unexpectedly robust performance by Germany’s export-powered economy has allowed the eurozone to escape technical recession, despite contraction in the region’s south and stagnation in France.
After slamming brakes on growth, China reaches for stimulus -David Pierson, Los Angeles Times
Industrial production, imports and exports show signs of a slowdown. The deceleration is being felt in the U.S., especially Southern California. After months of careful tinkering aimed at slowing China’s supercharged economy, Chinese officials may have gotten more than they bargained for: The nation’s economic engine is decelerating with alarming speed.
Is China About to Get Its Military Jet Engine Program Off the Ground? -Gabe Collins and Andrew Erickson, Wall Street Journal
Tensions in the South China Sea—most recently with the Philippines—and Beijing’s unease about Washington’s renewed strategic focus on Asia are likely to strengthen calls from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) for more modern fighters and strike aircraft.
Nato’s battle of spin with the Taliban marks a new era for Afghanistan -Jason Burke, The Guardian
With no let-up in the US pullout and peace hopes receding, Afghanistan’s post-international-intervention era is taking shape. [...] So it’s no surprise that with the new summer fighting season declared open by the insurgents, and a major Nato summit coming up in Chicago on 20 May, the efforts to gain the upper hand in this battle of spin are intensive.
A novel idea in Egypt: Presidential candidates -Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times
The public, which for decades had only one real choice, is fascinated by the carnival-like spectacle of a contender’s arrival, speeches and mishaps.