TOP NEWS: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs: June 6, 2012
- Syrian President Appoints New Prime Minister
- Greece Warns Going Broke
- EU Outlines Plans for Banks
- Drone Strike Killed No. 2 in Al Qaeda
- China Sees Role in Afghanistan
Syrian president appoints new prime minister following parliamentary vote- AP, Washington Post
Syrian President Bashar Assad appointed a loyalist as prime minister Wednesday as he battles a 15-month uprising against his rule that has grown increasingly violent, the government said. Riad Farid Hijab, a member of the ruling Baath Party and the former agriculture minister, will form a new government following last month’s parliamentary elections.
Greece Warns of Going Broke as Tax Proceeds Dry Up- Liz Alderman, NY Times
As European leaders grapple with how to preserve their monetary union, Greece is rapidly running out of money.Government coffers could be empty as soon as July, shortly after this month’s pivotal elections. In the worst case, Athens might have to temporarily stop paying for salaries and pensions, along with imports of fuel, food and pharmaceuticals.
EU Outlines Plans for Banks- Clare Connaghan, WSJ
The European Commission on Wednesday announced proposed legislation that aims to shift the cost of dealing with future bank failures away from taxpayers and on to investors.The rules are the latest effort to ensure that the massive government-funded bank bailouts of recent years aren’t repeated. The commission hopes that in the long term, the proposals would mean a greatly reduced likelihood of a systemic crisis.
Drone Strike Killed No. 2 in Al Qaeda, U.S. Officials Say- Declan Walsh and Eric Schmitt, NY Times
A Central Intelligence Agency drone strike in Pakistan’s tribal belt killed Al Qaeda’s deputy leader, Abu Yahya al-Libi, American officials said on Tuesday, dealing another blow to the group in a lawless area that has long been considered the global headquarters of international terrorism but the importance of which may now be slipping.
China Sees Role in Afghanistan- Brian Spegele, WSJ
To prevent wider regional disruptions, China, Russia and Central Asian nations need to do more to bring stability to Afghanistan, China’s President Hu Jintao declared. Mr. Hu’s remarks, published in an interview with the Communist Party’s flagship People’s Daily newspaper Wednesday, underscored the ambition of members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to serve one day as a regional security bloc and possibly an alternative to Western-led groups like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
A Road Map for Syria- David Ignatius, Real Clear World
Kofi Annan is tinkering with a radical idea for reviving his moribund peace plan for Syria — a road map for political transition there that would be negotiated through a “contact group” that could include, among other nations, Russia and Iran. The former secretary-general’s new plan was outlined Tuesday by a diplomat who is familiar with the U.N. mission. The proposal, which is expected to be presented to the Security Council later this week, comes as Annan’s peace mediation with President Bashar al-Assad appears to have hit a dead end in Damascus, leading to growing concerns that the Syria crisis will spiral into all-out civil war.
Spain pleads for help in European crisis-Anthony Faiola and Michael Birnbaum,Washington Post
Spain’s treasury minister said Tuesday that his country was being choked off from access to credit, sounding the country’s clearest call for help yet in the 21 / 2-year-old crisis that could leave one of Europe’s largest economies on life support.Only three small euro-zone countries have resorted to international bailouts and the hard conditions that come with them, and Spain, the currency union’s fourth-largest economy, is desperate to avoid becoming by far the largest casualty.
As China’s economy slows, its leaders face an impasse on which levers to pull-Keith B. Richburg, Washington Post
A slew of recent statistics confirm that China’s growth is slowing at a faster pace than expected, forcing anxious policymakers to debate which levers to pull to revive the economic juggernaut and preserve the ruling Communist Party’s last major pillar of legitimacy. Unlike in past slowdowns, Chinese officials appear far less confident this time about what to do. Facing unpalatable choices — each carrying risks — the country’s top leaders have sent out confusing signals and statements in recent days.
Emergency Law Broadens Canada’s Sympathy for Quebec Protests- Ian Austen, NY Times
Until recently, the daily student protests that have clogged the streets of Montreal since late February did little to win public support for their cause.But when the provincial government of Quebec tried to end the demonstrations by arresting more than 2,500 people and passing an emergency law that some Canadian lawyers consider heavy-handed and perhaps unconstitutional, it helped turn what had been a narrowly focused student strike against increases in college and university costs into a battle over a broader set of grievances that has introduced some of the greatest political turmoil Canada has seen in decades.
Nobel laureates highlight violence against women in Mexico, Central America- Mariano Castillo, CNN
Increased militarization in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala has created more insecurity, especially for women, a report spearheaded by two Nobel laureates found. “The war on drugs … has become a war on women,” Nobel Peace Prize laureates Jody Williams and Rigoberta Menchu wrote in the report, based on a 10-day fact-finding mission. “Efforts to improve ‘security’ have only led to greater militarization, rampant corruption and abuse within police forces and an erosion of rule of law.”