TOP NEWS: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs: July 5, 2012
- NATO: Pakistan Supply Trucks Resume Afghanistan Trek
- Europe, China lower rates in urgent effort to spur recovery
- U.N. Commander Says Syria Violence Is ‘Unprecedented’
- Mexico Drug War: New President Could Target Small Gangs
- The Higgs boson: Science’s great leap forward
Excerpts and more top stories
Salman Masood, NY Times – Pakistan agreed to reopen NATO supply routes on Tuesday after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made a telephone call to Pakistan’s foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, and said she was sorry for American airstrikes in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on the Afghanistan border.
EUROZONE/CHINA: Europe, China lower rates in urgent effort to spur recovery
Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post – Central banks around the world took major steps Thursday to stave off fears of global recession, with the European Central Bank slashing interest rates, China unexpectedly cutting bank lending rates and the Bank of England pumping billions of pounds into Britain’s stimulus program.
Alan Cowell, NY Times – The officer commanding United Nations monitors in Syria said on Thursday that violence there has reached “unprecedented” levels, making it impossible for his unarmed observers to resume their mission, which was suspended last month.
Michael Weissenstein, Huff Post – Mexico’s next president has boldly promised to halve the number of kidnappings and murders during his six-year term by moving law enforcement away from showy drug busts and focusing on protecting ordinary citizens from gangs.
The Economist - After decades of searching, physicists have solved one of the mysteries of the universe. On July 4th physicists announced that they had found the Higgs boson. Its significance is massive. Without the Higgs there would be no mass.
More top stories
Donovan Slack, Politico – President Obama is using his campaign bus tour through Ohio on Thursday to announce the administration’s intention to file an unfair trade complaint against China with the World Trade Organization.The complaint alleges China has unfairly placed new duties on American-made cars and sport utility vehicles, including Jeep Wranglers made in Toledo, Ohio.
Thomas Erdbrink and Clifford Krauss, NY Times – The hulking tanker Neptune was floating aimlessly this week in the warm waters of the Persian Gulf, a fresh coat of black paint barely concealing its true identity as an Iranian ship loaded with hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil that no one is willing to buy.
Staff, Huff Post – A Palestinian official says Gaza’s prime minister will head to Cairo within the next two weeks to meet with Egypt’s new Islamist president, who has close ties with the territory’s Hamas rulers. Haniyeh wants Egypt to open its border with Gaza.
Nick Miroff and William Booth, Washington Post —Newly elected Mexican President Peña Nieto campaigned on a promise to break with dirty tricks, but PRI activists allegedly handed out prepaid gift cards from the grocery chain Soriana to voters in some districts, according to amateur video
EUROPE: Wealthy hit hardest as France raises taxes
Hugh Carnegy, Financial Times – Socialist government announces one-off increase in wealth taxes, the biggest single element in a €7.2bn package of new levies to meet budget deficit target
RUSSIA/SYRIA: For Putin, Principle vs. Practicality on Syria
Ellen Barry, NY Times – President Vladimir V. Putin’s support of President Bashar al-Assad has reflected his wariness of Western intervention but perhaps also an underestimation of the uprising in Syria.
Hiroko Tabuchi, NY Times – The nuclear accident at Fukushima was a preventable disaster rooted in government-industry collusion and the worst conformist conventions of Japanese culture, a parliamentary inquiry concluded on Thursday.
SYRIA: WikiLeaks Has Data From 2.4 Million Syrian E-Mails
AP via NY times – WikiLeaks’s Sarah Harrison told journalists at London’s Frontline Club that the e-mails reveal interactions between the Syrian government and Western companies, although she declined to go into much further detail.
Isabel Kershner, NY Times – A potentially explosive re-examination of the circumstances behind the death of Yasir Arafat, the symbol of the Palestinian national struggle, has galvanized Palestinian suspicions that he was poisoned and led the Palestinian Authority to agree in principle on Wednesday to an exhumation of his remains, possibly within days.
SPAIN/EUROZONE: Spain opens Bankia fraud probe
Miles Johnson, Financial Times – Spain’s high court said on Wednesday that it had accepted a case brought by a small political party to establish whether Mr Rato and other executives were responsible for falsifying Bankia’s accounts and misleading investors during its stock market listing, ahead of the lender’s €23.5bn state rescue.
By Paul Wolfowitz and and Mark Palmer, Washington Post – There is no reason to doubt Annan’s sincerity. And his willingness to be so critical of the U.N. performance, and his own, in Srebrenica is praiseworthy. Yet the former secretary general is once again at the center of a failure by the international community in the face of a brutal slaughter of defenseless victims. Will he be obliged in a few years to repent yet another failure, this time in Syria?
Sebnem Arsu and Rick Gladstone, NY Times – Aided by the American undersea explorer who found the Titanic, rescue teams from Turkey on Wednesday located the wreckage of an unarmed Turkish jet downed in the Mediterranean by Syrian gunners nearly two weeks ago, with the bodies of the two pilots trapped inside.
By Keith B. Richburg, Thursday, Washington Post — For three decades, China has enjoyed astronomical growth through massive government investment and by becoming the world’s exporting powerhouse. But those days are coming to an end, and the government is looking to Chinese consumers to drive future expansion.
ASIA PACIFIC: South Korea Detains Activist Who Visited North
Choe Sang-Hun, NY Times – A South Korean activist was arrested on Thursday after he returned from an unauthorized visit to North Korea, where he called for the reunification of the two Koreas and bitterly criticized President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea for his hard-line North Korea policy.
Bouazza Ben Bouazza, Huff Post – A dean at a Tunisian university appeared before a court Thursday on charges of assaulting a veiled student, a case that is part of a long-running dispute between secularists and religious conservatives at the school.
Edward Wong, NY Times – The western region of Xinjiang has increased security measures at all 16 of its airports after a failed hijacking attempt, according to a report on Thursday by Xinhua, the Chinese state news agency.
Reem Khalifa, Huff Post – A Bahraini court ruled Thursday that an 11-year-old boy accused of taking part in anti-government protests may remain at home but must be monitored by authorities. The ruling appeared to bring the case to a close.
Michael Brinbaum, Washington Post – The European Central Bank slashed its interest rates to a record low on Thursday, as European policymakers took steps to ease their long-festering economic crisis. The ECB announced that it was reducing its benchmark interest rates to 0.75 percent, down from 1 percent — a move that will make borrowing cheaper and could stimulate the sputtering countries that share the euro currency.