TOP NEWS: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs: August 3, 2012
- Russia Sends Ships to Syria, Officials Say
- Europe’s Bank Rattles Investors
- Turkey Ramps Up Kurdish Offensive
- Bahrain Disperses Protesters, Arrests Activist’s Daughter
- Clinton Urges South Sudan, Sudan To settle Oil dispute
Excerpts and more top stories
Ellen Berry & Alan Cowell, NY Times – Unnamed Russian defense officials told news agencies on Friday that three warships, with 360 marines aboard, have been deployed to the Syrian port of Tartus and will arrive within several days.
Editorial Board, Washington Post, Opinion -Kofi Annan turned in his resignation as United Nations special envoy to Syria on Thursday, but his mission was over months ago. It was doomed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who was never serious about peace and determined to crush the opposition, and by his chief backer, Russian President Vladimir Putin.
EUROZONE: Europe’s Bank Rattles Investors
Brian Blackstone & Charles Forelle, WSJ – European Central Bank President Mario Draghi dashed hopes the central bank would take imminent action in troubled euro-zone debt markets, unleashing a global selloff.
Paul Hanlon & Alex Brittain – Business activity in the euro zone continued to shrink in July, new orders plunged and German private-sector activity fell at its steepest rate in more than three years, a sign that the euro zone’s debt crisis is taking its toll on the region’s biggest economy and main source of financial support.
Emre Peker & Joe Parkinson, WSJ -Turkey’s military escalated its offensive against Kurdish fighters seeking autonomy in the southeast, with warplanes and helicopters pummeling the mountainous region with bombs, forcing many villagers to flee their homes, witnesses and officials said.
Reuters via Chicago Tribune – The daughter of a prominent Bahraini opposition activist and 40 other people were arrested early on Friday, hours after security forces used tear gas and birdshot to disperse hundreds of protesters demanding political reforms, activists said.
Andrew Quinn, Chicago Tribune – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged South Sudan and Sudan on Friday to end an oil dispute that has brought the neighbors to the brink of war, during the highest-level visit of a U.S. official to Juba since its independence a year ago.
John Prendergast & Dave Eggers, Washington Post, Opinion – Despite all the predictions at South Sudan’s birth that it would become a failed state, the much more vexing problem lies across its border — what to do about Sudan, whose government is responsible for more death and destruction than all of its neighboring Middle Eastern and North African dictatorships combined.
Kevin Sieff, Washington Post – After U.S. soldiers left Combat Outpost Conlon in February — packing up weapons, generators and portable toilets — their Afghan successors rushed to the American barracks and command center, eager to inspect their inheritance.
AFGHANISTAN: Local policeman kills 11 people in southern Afghanistan
AP via Washington Post – Afghan officials are looking for a member of a government-backed village defense force suspected of killing 11 civilians at a house in southern Afghanistan.
INDIA/CHINA: Trade Gap Strains India-China Ties
Amolsh Sharma, WSJ – India is pressing China to buy more of its goods—from pharmaceuticals to software—and taking steps to reduce Chinese imports as it grows increasingly worried about its widening trade gap with its Asian rival.
Sruthi Gottipatti, NY Times – In one of India’s most violent internal conflicts, between Maoist rebels and government security forces, civil society activists appear to be collateral damage.
John F. Burns, NY Times – After a week of unusually quiet streets, idling cabs and easily navigated shops, fears of the Gridlock Games have transformed into complaints about the Ghost Town Olympics.
ROMANIA: Bringing Romania Back From the Brink
Mircea Geoana, NY Times, Opinion – Romanians are even more tired, frustrated and angry than many other Europeans. Romania, the seventh most populous country in the European Union, ranks at the very bottom of almost all European human development measures.
NORTH KOREA: N Korea seeks UN aid after flooding
Simon Mundy, Financial Times – North Korea has requested emergency aid from the UN after flooding that has displaced more than 60,000 people over the past month.
NORTH KOREA: North Korean Leader Calls for Greater Prosperity
Choe Sang-Hun, NY Times -The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for building a “prosperous country” in a major policy guideline published on Friday, a day after he told a visiting Chinese delegation that he was focused on “developing the economy and improving people’s livelihoods.”
ZIMBABWE: Disaster Averted, Newspaper Says
AP via NY Times – The state media says the people who delivered deadly cyanide — evidently in error — to a main water treatment plant will face charges of the attempted murder “of the people of Harare.”
Karla Zabludovsky, NY Times – The people of Cherán, Mexico, who say they have long been terrorized by an armed group of illegal loggers, rose up and took the law into their own hands.
Josh Kron, NY TImes – Uganda’s sharp reduction of its AIDS rate has long been hailed as a Cinderella success story, inspiring a wave of aid programs and public health strategies to fight the disease across the developing world.
SWEDEN/BELARUS: Sweden says Belarus has expelled its ambassador ‘for being too supportive of human rights’
AP via Washington Post – Carl Bildt says Sweden in turn has decided that the incoming Belarusian ambassador to Sweden won’t be welcome. He also says two Belarusian diplomats have been asked to leave the Nordic country.
ASIA: Mongolia’s ex-president found guilty of corruption, sentenced to 4 years in jail
AP via Washington Post – Mongolia’s former president was sentenced to four years in jail for corruption and the ill-gotten proceeds of his dealings were ordered confiscated, Chinese state media said Friday.
More News, Analysis and Opinion on Syria
Kofi Annan, Financial Times – Aleppo is under siege and the prospect of the loss of thousands more civilian lives in Syria is very high. The UN has condemned the further descent to civil war but the fighting goes on with no sign of relief for Syrians.
SYRIA: Mortars strike Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, killing 21
AP via Washington Post – Mortars rained down on a crowded marketplace in a Palestinian refugee camp in the Syrian capital, killing 21 people as regime forces and rebels clashed on the southern outskirts of Damascus, activists said Friday.
SYRIA/IRAN: Iran blames west for Annan departure
Monava Khalaj, Financial Times – Iran blamed western and Arab countries for the failure of Kofi Annan’s Syria peace plan, the official IRNA news agency said on Friday, a day after the former United Nations secretary-general quit as international envoy.
C.J Chivers, NY Times – With diplomatic efforts dead and the future of Syria playing out on the battlefield, many of the Syrian government’s most powerful weapons, including helicopter gunships, fighter jets and tanks, are looking less potent and in some cases like a liability for the military of President Bashar al-Assad.
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