TOP NEWS: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs: May 22, 2012
- U.N. Nuclear Monitor Says Deal With Iran Is Near
- Qaeda Ally Says Yemen Bomb Was Payback for Attacks
- IMF calls on UK to do more to boost economy
- Putin shifts former ministers to Kremlin
- Damascus ‘Bubble’ Belies Violent Reality of Assad’s Syria
U.N. Nuclear Monitor Says Deal With Iran Is Near - Alan Cowell, Thomas Erdbrink and Jodi Rudoren, NY Times
In an apparent breakthrough that could play into the broader confrontation over Iran’s disputed nuclear ambitions, the leader of the United Nations nuclear monitoring arm said on Tuesday that, despite unspecified differences, he expected to sign a deal with Tehran “quite soon” on arrangements for an investigation into potential military applications of the program.
Qaeda Ally Says Yemen Bomb Was Payback for Attacks - Robert F. Worth and Eric Schmitt, NY Times
A huge suicide bombing in the heart of Yemen’s capital Monday left more than 100 people dead and hundreds wounded, stunning the country’s beleaguered government and delivering a stark setback to the American counterterrorism campaign against Al Qaeda’s regional franchise, which has repeatedly tried to plant bombs on United States-bound jetliners.
IMF calls on UK to do more to boost economy – Associated Press via Yahoo News
The International Monetary Fund has issued a tough assessment of U.K. economic policy, urging the coalition government and Bank of England to do more to boost demand in the economy.
Putin shifts former ministers to Kremlin – Steve Gutterman, Reuters via Yahoo News
Russian President Vladimir Putin named several trusted former cabinet ministers to Kremlin posts on Tuesday, asserting his authority in a move likely to weaken Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s new government and undermine its mandate for change.
Damascus ‘Bubble’ Belies Violent Reality of Assad’s Syria – Donna Abu-Nasr, Bloomberg
More than 14 months into the Syrian uprising, the government of President Bashar al-Assad is projecting a facade of normality belied by a breakdown in security and a proliferation of defensive emplacements. Sandbags, blast walls and heavily armed men seek to protect government buildings in Damascus, where suicide bombers killed at least 55 and injured almost 400 in twin attacks on May 10.
Nato sets ‘irreversible’ roadmap to withdrawing troops from Afghanistan – James Kirkup, The Telegraph
Barack Obama and Nato have set an “irreversible” roadmap to “gradually and responsibly” withdraw 130,000 combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
Obama snubs Pakistan as conflict over supply routes continues – Associated Press via Fox News
In an unmistakable snub, President Barack Obama left Pakistan off a list of nations he thanked Monday for help getting war supplies into Afghanistan. The omission speaks to the prolonged slump in U.S. relations with Pakistan that clouded a NATO summit where nations were eyeing the exits in Afghanistan.
On Eve of Historic Egyptian Vote, Crime Wave Is the Main Topic – David D. Kirkpatrick, NY Times
With robberies, kidnappings and other crimes rising, and the police appearing unwilling to go after criminals, some areas are seeing a rise in vigilante justice, with mobs sometimes killing suspects.
As Myanmar opens, protesters test boundaries of freedom – Jason Szep and Aung Hla Tun, Reuters via Yahoo News
As long-isolated Myanmar opens up, its people are flexing their newly democratic muscles and testing the boundaries of freedom in a series of protests over chronic power outages.The protests pose a difficult test for reformist President Thein Sein [...]
Merkel’s isolation among G-8 on economic policy reflects sentiment in Germany – Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post
Amid increasingly raucous pushback on German-advocated austerity, Merkel appeared isolated at Camp David discussions about Europe’s rising unemployment and continued economic pain. But she is being faithful to public sentiment in Germany, where unemployment is at its lowest in decades and her hard-line policies remain popular amid belief that excessive European debt triggered the crisis.
Newly Elected, Serb Affirms Commitment to Joining European Union – Dan Bilefsky, NY Times
Tomislav Nikolic, Serbia’s newly elected president, [...] touts Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany as his preferred regional ally and says that Serbia’s path to the European Union is inevitable.