TOP NEWS: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs: August 15th, 2012
- Rebels claim responsibility for Damascus blast
- No Longer Stagnating, Euro Zone Contracts
- Russia’s Veto Diplomacy
- Investors Pull Money from China
- Morsi honours two sacked generals
Excerpts and more top stories
Al Jazeera via CFR – The main Syrian rebel group has claimed responsibility for a series of explosions in central Damascus near the hotel used by the UN observer mission in Syria. A Spokesperson of Free Syrian Army unit that planned the bombings says they targeted military, not UN.
SYRIA: What Syria’s Rebels Need
BARTLE B. BULL, NY Times, Op-Ed – America hasn’t done nearly enough to aid Syria’s rebels. With just a few key arms shipments, we could ensure the downfall of one of our chief adversaries.
SYRIA/CIVILIAN LIFE: Syrians Try to Balance Desires of Life With the Demands of a Growing War
An EMPLOYEE of THE NYT in SYRIA and DAMIEN CAVE, NY Times – Along with the many funerals of the war in Syria, there are guilt-ridden weddings, and births, with new arrivals sometimes taking on the names of the departed.
SYRIA/SANCTIONS: Sanctions on Syria and Iran are hindering opposition, activists say
James Ball, Washington Post – Activists voice concern that U.S. sanctions have hurt opposition groups by blocking access to online services and software such as e-mail, blogging platforms and security tools.
EUROZONE/ CONTRACTION: Europe Contracts, Concerns Grow
WSJ – The euro zone’s economy is shrinking, a development that threatens to worsen the global slowdown and intensify debate about Europe’s attempts to restore confidence in the currency bloc.
EUROZONE/GREECE: Greece seeks two-year austerity extension
Kerin Hope, FT – Prime minister Antonis Samaras is expected to outline proposal during talks next week with Angela Merkel in Berlin and François Hollande in Paris.
EUROZONE/UK/EMPLOYMENT: U.K. Jobs Market Defies Recession
WSJ – U.K. unemployment fell for a fifth straight period in the three months to June, adding to a mixed picture about the fundamental strength of the economy and uncertainty about the best course of action for policy makers.
RUSSIA: Russia’s Veto Diplomacy
DENIS CORBOY, WILLIAM COURTNEY and KENNETH YALOWITZ, NY Times, Op-Ed – Russia’s heavy-handed approach to the world is undermining the country’s status as a great power.
TOM ORLIK, WSJ – Investors and companies are increasingly pulling money out of China and its currency in a vote of concern over its growth prospects, a development that could hinder Beijing’s efforts to spark a turnaround.
WSJ – China’s property market has begun to show signs of a modest rebound, but property developers’ skittishness at land auctions shows lingering strains from Beijing’s campaign to bring down property prices.
Heba Saleh, FT – Clear effort by civilian president to signal all is well in relations with the military establishment that has sought to usurp his powers.
EGYPT/GAZA: New Egypt faces old ‘headache’ in Gaza
AP – Egypt opened its border with Hamas-ruled Gaza yesterday for a three-day period ahead of the Eid Al Fitr holiday this weekend, but imposed tight restrictions on who could travel and did not say whether it would resume normal border operations.
IRAN/CONFERENCE: U.N. chief should boycott Tehran conference
Washington Post, Editorial – It is passing strange that Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary General, might appear in Tehran to attend the conference of the Non-Aligned Movement, which opens Aug. 26.
ALISSA J. RUBIN, NY Times – Bombings and shootings took the lives of at least 43 Afghans on Tuesday. The assaults came as people were thronging shops to prepare for the Muslim holiday that ends the month of Ramadan.
AARON DAVID MILLER, NY Times – The Israelis have serious problems, but they’ve grown used to getting by with a strange mix of comfort and anxiety.
Joe Leahy, FT – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is set to unveil a R$133bn ($65.6bn) stimulus and investment package on Wednesday in an effort shore up flagging confidence in the world’s second-largest emerging market economy.
JAPAN/MAUFACTURING: How Japan Lost Its Electronics Crown
DAISUKE WAKABAYASHI, WSJ - Japanese companies have beaten rivals to the market with hardware breakthroughs, but foreign rivals have cashed in by delivering faster improvements, integration with easy-to-use software and online services, and smarter marketing, which has left Japan’s prized electronics manufacturers teetering,
JAPAN/N.KOREA: Japan to reopen talks with North Korea
Michiyo Nakamoto, FT – First talks in four years in an effort to end decades-long battle over retrieving the remains of Japanese nationals who died in the second world war
JAPAN/FUKUSHINMA: Low radiation found in residents after Fukushima disaster
Hristio Boytchev, Washington Post – The first published study that measured the radiation within a large number of residents reassured experts because the numbers reported imply only negligible health risks.
STEVEN ERLANGER, NY Times – Clashes in the northern French city of Amiens could represent a challenge to President François Hollande in a time of joblessness and flat economic growth.
Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post – Soldiers loyal to the former president’s son surrounded the Defense Ministry, where they battled government troops.
Neil Munshi, FT – Central bank unlikely to cut interest rates despite the fall in inflation and data showing the trade deficit expanding to $15.5bn in July.
U.A.E./NUCLEAR: U.A.E. Awards Nuclear Contracts
WSJ – The United Arab Emirates awarded contracts worth $3 billion to six international companies to supply nuclear fuel for its four planned nuclear reactors.
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