TOP NEWS: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs: June 12, 2012
- UN warns of escalating violence in Syria
- Putin Opponents Defy Kremlin Efforts to Muffle Protests
- Spanish Bailout Shows Europe Still Doesn’t Get It
- The Netanyahu Paradox
- U.N. Report on Syria Cites Abuses of Children
More news and excerpts below
al-Jazeera – The UN has warned that violence in Syria is getting worse as the military steps up assaults on civilian centres and the opposition increasingly turns to co-ordinated attacks on government forces.
David M. Herszenhorn and Ellen Barry, NY Times - Demonstrators gathered in a drenching rain in central Moscow on Tuesday, in a show of defiance toward a government that evidently hopes to bring an end to the large gatherings protesting Vladimir V. Putin that began here six months ago.
The Bloomberg View - The challenge of bailing out Spain’s banks is compelling Europe’s leaders to confront a question they had hoped never to contemplate: How to prevent financial and economic malaise from overwhelming the euro area’s fourth- largest economy.
David Margolick, Vanity Fair - A nuclear Iran threatens. The Palestinian conflict smolders. Meanwhile, Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has largely vanquished his domestic foes—the Israeli media, the political opposition—in a battle backed by two U.S. billionaires and reportedly fueled by his wife, Sara. Interviewing the 62-year-old leader, David Margolick explores why “Bibi” is in control of his country, but not of its destiny.
Nick Cumming-Bruce and J. David Goodman, NY Times - The effort to pressure unnamed “governments with influence” to use their power to halt the violence comes a day after the United Nations included Syria in its latest report on children and armed conflict, saying that Syrian forces and pro-government shabiha thugs had used children as human shields to protect soldiers.
Borzou Daragahi, Financial Times - Political upheavals across Egypt and the rest of north Africa have created fresh hurdles for a rising class of Arab entrepreneurs already struggling against stodgy bureaucracies, lackadaisical work ethics and a persistent preference for public-sector employment [...] But though it may be a cliché to say so, the new era has also opened up tremendous opportunities in countries such as Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.
Shaiq Hussain, Washington Post - A three-member judicial commission has concluded that then-Pakistani ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani was behind a memo sent to U.S. officials seeking Washington’s help in averting a military coup in Pakistan…
Joshua Partlow, Washington Post - The new restrictions by NATO on the use of air power in Afghanistan have failed to mollify President Hamid Karzai, who demanded Tuesday that the coalition cease all bombings of Afghan homes, even by forces acting in self-defense.
Nicholas Watt and Martin Chulov, The Guardian - Britain has for the first time raised the spectre of al-Qaida operating in Syria, while at the same time accusing Damascus of brutally targeting specific communities and driving Syrians to take up arms.
David Ignatius, Washington Post - The Iran nuclear negotiations may not be headed toward a dead end in Moscow next week, as feared. Iran’s top negotiator has said he is ready to “engage on the proposal” from Western nations for Iran to export its supply of 20 percent-enriched uranium as a first step toward a broader nuclear deal.
Iran’s Ahmadinejad wounded but wily in final year
Nasser Karimi, Associated Press via CBS News - The one-time favored son of Iran’s theocracy — its flame-throwing populist in a common man’s wind breaker or bureaucrat’s off-the-rack suit — is now limping into his last year in office sharply weakened and in the unexpected position as an outcast among hard-liners.
Fion Li and Simon Lee, Bloomberg - Joseph Yam, the former Hong Kong monetary chief who helped introduce a dollar peg in 1983 and defended it against speculators during the Asian financial crisis, said the city should review its currency policy.
Colleen Barry, Bloomberg - The confirmation on Monday that Italy’s recession is deepening heightens pressure on Premier Mario Monti’s government, which is struggling to fend off the debt crisis and the perception that Italy could be next to seek a bailout following Spain’s decision to ask for help for its ailing banks.
Ezequiel Minaya and Kejal Vyas, Wall Street Journal - Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez defied speculation that he is losing a fight with cancer and officially registered his candidacy for October’s presidential elections Monday, in a mass rally meant to showcase his good health and popular appeal.