TOP NEWS: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs: June 18, 2012
More news and excerpts below
David D. Kirkpatrick, NY Times – Egyptian news organizations declared Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood the winner of the country’s first competitive presidential race on Monday just hours after the ruling military council issued an interim constitution granting itself broad power over the future government, all but eliminating the president’s authority in an apparent effort to guard against just such a victory.
Ellen Barry, NY Times – Talks on Iran’s nuclear ambitions resumed in Moscow on Monday, with a significant gap looming between the two sides’ positions as painful new sanctions are set to come into effect to further isolate Tehran from world oil and banking markets.
Stelois Bouras & Costas Paris, WSJ – Greece’s conservative New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras Monday began talks with peers on forming a pro-bailout coalition government after eking out a slim victory in Sunday’s elections but failing to secure an outright majority.
Andrew E. Kramer & Alan Cowell, NY Times – Introducing an unpredictable new element into the Syrian crisis, a news Russian agency said on Monday that two Russian naval vessels with marines on board were ready to head for Syria to protect Russian citizens and a naval base there, in what would be the first known reinforcement of Moscow’s military presence since the start of an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
Steve Erlanger, NY Times – President François Hollande’s Socialists and their allies won an absolute majority in runoff parliamentary elections on Sunday, strengthening the hand of Mr. Hollande both at home and in Europe, where he is pressing for less austerity and more growth in the face of a deepening recession.
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Has Germany Reached Its Limits?
Gideon Rachman, Financial Times – Angela Merkel’s speech to parliament in Berlin today marks a distinct shift in tone.In previous pronouncements on the fate of the single currency, Merkel has tended to take the line that Germany will do whatever it takes to save the euro. Not any more.
Rafael D. Frankel, National Interest – Seven years after Israel’s unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip, and twelve years after the same move from southern Lebanon, Israeli policy makers are once again debating the merits of another unilateral withdrawal—this time from parts of the West Bank east of the security barrier.
Paul Krugman, NY Times – Ever since Greece hit the skids, we’ve heard a lot about what’s wrong with everything Greek. Some of the accusations are true, some are false — but all of them are beside the point. Yes, there are big failings in Greece’s economy, its politics and no doubt its society. But those failings aren’t what caused the crisis that is tearing Greece apart, and threatens to spread across Europe.
Elisabeth Malkin & Simon Romero, NY Times – Mexicans looked on with envy in recent years as Brazilians won a reputation as Latin America’s chosen people. With a surging economy and a prominent place on the world stage, Brazil was the country poised for greatness while Mexico remained mired in bloodshed and destitution.
UN, BBC – The head of UN observers in Syria has urged warring parties to allow the evacuation of women, children, elderly and injured people from conflict zones.
Niall Ferguson, Newsweek - The Arab Spring has plunged Syria into a bloody civil war. Now, with allegations flying that the Russians are supplying helicopters to the odious regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, a familiar debate is underway. Should we intervene?