TOP NEWS: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs: May 9, 2012
- Rare Double Agent Disrupted Bombing Plot, U.S. Says
- German foreign minister: up to Greece if it stays in euro
- Iran Seeks to Scuttle U.S. Pact With Kabul
- Libyan Missiles on the Loose
- New Israel Partner Offers Moderate Voice on Iran
Excerpts and more top stories
Rare Double Agent Disrupted Bombing Plot, U.S. Says - SCOTT SHANE / ERIC SCHMITT, New York Times
The suicide bomber dispatched by the Yemen branch of Al Qaeda last month to blow up a United States-bound airliner was actually an intelligence agent for Saudi Arabia who infiltrated the terrorist group and volunteered for the mission, American and foreign officials said Tuesday.
German foreign minister: up to Greece if it stays in euro zone – Staff, Reuters
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Wednesday that it was up to Greece if it wanted to stay in the euro zone. [...] The leader of Greece’s biggest party said on Wednesday that plans proposed by leftist leader Alexis Tsipras for a new government would push the country out of the euro zone.
Iran Seeks to Scuttle U.S. Pact With Kabul - NATHAN HODGE / HABIB KHAN TOTAKHIL, Wall Street Journal
Iran is raising pressure on Afghanistan to scuttle a newly signed security accord with the U.S., threatening to deport Afghan refugees and migrant workers if Afghanistan’s parliament ratifies the deal.
Libyan Missiles on the Loose - David Ignatius, Washington Post
For the past few months, I’ve been hearing private warnings about the spread of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles from Libya after the overthrow of Moammar Gaddafi’s regime. A State Department official said in February that Gaddafi had acquired 20,000 of these weapons, and that only 5,000 of them had been secured…
New Israel Partner Offers Moderate Voice on Iran - ISABEL KERSHNER, New York Times
Less than two weeks ago, Yuval Diskin, the recently retired chief of Israel’s internal security agency, carried out a blistering verbal assault on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his defense minister, Ehud Barak, questioning their judgment in handling what they regard as an Iranian nuclear threat [...] On Tuesday, it was as if the prime minister was offering some kind of response, especially for a jittery Israeli public generally averse to a lone Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
From Beijing With Love - JEFFREY H. SMITH, New York Times Op-Ed
The case of Chen Guangcheng, the dissident who escaped house arrest and sought refuge in the American Embassy in Beijing, attracted global attention not only because Mr. Chen bravely stood up for human rights in China but also because American officials seemed to stumble when he sought our help. But these cases are never simple.
Behind Twists of Diplomacy in the Case of a Chinese Dissident - STEVEN LEE MYERS / MARK LANDLER, New York Times
Over two days of meetings with China’s leaders in Beijing last week, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had not uttered a word about Chen Guangcheng [...] Then, last Friday, she finally broached the subject . The confrontation was a pivotal moment in a diplomatic drama replete with unanticipated twists, threats and counter-threats, and at times comical intrigue.
China State Construction Signs Abu Dhabi Deal - ESTHER FUNG, Wall Street Journal
China State Construction Engineering Corp. said Wednesday it has signed a memorandum of cooperation on the first phase of a real estate project worth $2 billion with Abu Dhabi a sovereign-wealth fund. [...] The Shanghai-listed construction company will undertake the construction of hotels, office buildings and high-end residential buildings in Abu Dhabi…
New Greek poll looms as government efforts founder - George Georgiopoulos / Karolina Tagaris, Reuters
Greece moved closer to a second snap election on Wednesday when the head of the biggest party launched a new attack on radical leftist Alexis Tsipras, saying his plans for a new government would push the country out of the euro zone.
Turmoil in Greece Raises Euro Risk - CHARLES FORELLE, Wall Street Journal
Financial markets’ relatively calm reaction to the Greek turmoil masked rising risks Greece is on a road that leads to its exit from the euro zone, with hard-to-predict consequences.
Jobs@Arabia.com - THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, New York Times Op-Ed
There is another Arab Spring going on alongside the drama in the streets of Cairo and Damascus. It is an explosion of start-ups by young Arab techies. Ground zero is a complex of buildings here in the heart of Amman, built to be Army headquarters. At the last minute, King Abdullah ordered the army elsewhere and declared it a special economic zone. [...] It’s where Lawrence of Arabia meets Mark Zuckerberg.
Fears of Syrian civil war deepen; U.S. aids opposition - Michelle Nichols / Erika Solomon, Reuters
Security forces killed at least 10 people in fighting across Syria on Tuesday, activists said, in a 14-month-old revolt that international mediator Kofi Annan, the Red Cross and Arab League warned was deteriorating into a civil war.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israeli power play: Winners and losers - Staff, The Week
In a surprise move, the prime minister creates a unity government with a centrist opposition party, effectively making himself “king of Israel.” What’s the score now?