TOP NEWS: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs: May 16, 2012
- As Trained Afghans Turn Enemy, U.S. Imperative in Peril
- Greece Sets Date for New Vote Amid Euro Exit Fears
- Syrian rebels get influx of arms
- Moscow police clear occupied park
- Mladic taunts survivors at start of genocide trial
As Trained Afghans Turn Enemy, a U.S.-Led Imperative Is in Peril - Matthew Rosenberg, New York Times
The attack on Sergeant Hissong’s company, on March 1 at Combat Outpost Sangesar in Afghanistan, left two Americans dead along with two Afghan assailants, but it was not the first time that Afghan solders had attacked forces from the American-led coalition. The attacks, and the personal animosity that officials believe have driven most of them, are threatening the joint-training model that is one of the remaining imperatives of the Western mission in Afghanistan.
Greece Sets Date for New Vote Amid Euro Exit Fears – Liz Alderman and Rachel Donadio, The New York Times
A day after Greece’s president warned about the possibility of bank runs, Greek political leaders on Wednesday began forming a caretaker government before new elections next month that could lead the rudderless country to exit the euro, a prospect that has already sent jitters sweeping through world markets
Syrian rebels get influx of arms with gulf neighbors’ money, U.S. coordination - Karen DeYoung and Liz Sly, The Washington Post
Syrian rebels battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad have begun receiving significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, an effort paid for by Persian Gulf nations and coordinated in part by the United States, according to opposition activists and U.S. and foreign officials.
Moscow police clear occupied park - Will Englund, The Washington Post
Police cleared a campsite occupied by political protesters in the Russian capital early Wednesday morning, despite assurances that they would wait until noon. Within hours, another gathering had begun in a small park near the Barrikadnaya metro station, named for the barricades of Russia’s 1905 revolution. From the beginning of the protests, Russian government officials and television news programs have accused the U.S. of providing support to the demonstrations, a charge that the demonstrators themselves love to make fun of. But the move to Barrikadnaya raises the question of whether there’s actually a plan — or a need for one.
Mladic taunts survivors at start of genocide trial - Anthony Deutsch and Ivana Sekularac, Reuters
Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic made a throat-slitting gesture to a woman who lost her son, husband and brothers in the Srebenica massacre at the start of his trial on Wednesday for some of the worst atrocities in Europe since World War Two. He is accused of orchestrating not only the week-long massacre of 8,000 unarmed Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica but also the 43-month siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, in which more than 10,000 people were killed by snipers, machine guns and heavy artillery.
16 Retired Chinese Aides Call for 2 Top Officials to Quit - Ian Johnson, The New York Times
In a rare sign of open opposition against two of China’s most powerful leaders, a group of retired Communist Party members have called for the resignation of the country’s security boss, Zhou Yongkang, and a top propaganda official, Liu Yunshan.
Brazil’s President Faces Defining Decision Over Forest Bill - Simon Romero, The New York Times
President Dilma Rousseff is facing one of the defining moments of her presidency as pressure builds on her to veto a bill that would open vast protected areas of forests to ranching and farming, potentially reversing Brazil’s major gains in slowing Amazon deforestation.
Mexico’s six-year drug war behind the Mother’s Day massacre - Vera H-C Chan, Yahoo News
The mass dumping of headless bodies administers a shock to Mexico, long numbed by a death count of nearly 50,000 brought on by president Felipe Calderon’s war against the crime cartels. By the time his tenure ends this December, six years after his declaration, that number will likely surpass 60,000.
Many will profit if Pakistan reopens NATO supply routes – Richard Leiby, The Washington Post
The deal isn’t quite sealed, but Pakistan is set to announce in a matter of days its decision to again allow onto its territory the convoys that supply U.S.-led international forces [...] U.S. commanders in Afghanistan want to get war supplies rolling across Pakistan’s borders again. So do Pakistanis in places high and low — from officials trying to balance the nation’s budget to black marketeers who stand ready to plunder the NATO-contracted trucks and oil tankers expected to shortly resume passage into Afghanistan after nearly six months of closed border crossings.
In Egypt’s vote, revolutionaries lack a candidate - Maggie Michael, Associated Press via Yahoo News
Last year, Tahrir was the icon of the revolution, where hundreds of thousands massed daily in the uprising that ousted longtime authoritarian ruler Hosni Mubarak in the name of democracy. Now, it has seen better days, dirty and littered with trash. Ahead of Egypt’s historic election for a new president next week, Tahrir Square’s woes reflect the disarray of the protest movement that called for a democratic transformation in the Arab world’s most populous nation.
Yemen army advances on militants, fighting heavy - Mohammed Mukhashaf, Reuters via Yahoo News
Yemeni troops, backed by local tribesmen, captured a strategic mountain that controls access to cities long held by al Qaeda-linked militants amid heavy fighting that has killed at least 24 people, residents and local officials said.
Palestinians mark Nakba Day with slingshots, despite calls for calm - Rebecca Collard, Christian Science Monitor
Nakba Day, translated to ‘catastrophe day,’ marks the day the state of Israel was created and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced. Palestinian protesters marking Nakba Day clashed with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank today injuring at least 70, despite attempts from Palestinian leaders to avoid violence and a recent deal with Israel to end a prison hunger strike.
India promises “some austerity” as rupee collapses - Rajesh Kumar Singh, Associated Press via The Washington Post
Facing a collapse in investor confidence and a decline in the rupee to a record low against the dollar, India’s finance minister said Wednesday it was time for “some austerity” — but not time to panic.