TOP NEWS: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs: August 31st, 2012
Excerpts and more top stories
IRAN/ISRAEL: Report on Iran Nuclear Work Puts Israel in a Box - NYT
An International Atomic Energy Agency report detailing Iran’s ramped up nuclear capabilities may force Israel to strike Iran or concede it cannot act on its own, according to experts.
IRAN: Inspectors Confirm New Work by Iran at Secure Nuclear Site - NYT
Iran has installed most of the centrifuges it needs to complete an underground site for the production of nuclear fuel, a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency said.
IRAN/SYRIA: Summit Meeting in Iran Disrupted by Rebukes of Syria – NYT
At a meeting of world leaders in Iran, President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt denounced the repression of the armed uprising in Syria, a close Iranian ally.
CHINA/GERMANY: China and Germany Promise to Strengthen Ties - NYT
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany agreed with Chinese leaders to strengthen ties between the two countries. China also promised to invest more money in a struggling Europe.
CHINA: China’s coming leadership change met with a shrug – WP
As Party Congress approaches, swaths of Beijing teeter between utter apathy and intense concern.
CHINA: Chinese Dissident in Yahoo Case Is Freed After 10 Years
Wang Xiaoning had been convicted of state subversion based on evidence provided by the Internet company.
CHINA: Chinese tourists boost Taiwan economy – FT
Big rise in visitors from mainland is helping job creation and fuelling hope of a better relationship.
SOUTH AFRICA: In Police Shooting of Miners, South Africa Charges Miners - NYT
Two weeks after the police fired on workers engaged in a wildcat strike at a platinum mine, killing 34 people, prosecutors are charging the workers themselves.
SOUTH AFRICA: Miner Violence weighs on Zuma re-election hopes - FT
The violence at the South African mine puts into question the president’s leadership as his ruling party ANC heads to a conference in December
SYRIA: Threat to Syrian Civilians Is Growing, Officials Say - NYT
Top United Nations officials attending a special Security Council session reported alarming new data on the severity of the crisis, including a doubling in the number of civilians who need emergency aid.
SYRIA: Fresh Syria clashes swell refugee numbers - FT
Host countries that are already suffering from spillover effects of the Syrian conflict are wondering how they will sustain the growing number of Syrians
SYRIA/TURKEY: Turkey Asks UN For Syria Safe Zone - AP
Turkey asked the UN Security Council for a safe haven for Syrians fleeing the ongoing civil war, but any council agreement is unlikely (AP). Syria allies Russia and China have already vetoed three Western-backed resolutions seeking to increase sanctions on President Bashar Assad’s government.
ASIA: Clinton eyes South Pacific influence – FT
US secretary of state’s presence at island governments forum indicates region is becoming part of the geopolitical contest between the US and China
EUROZONE: GERMANY: Merkel faces EU clash over China - FT
German chancellor calls for talks to avoid an anti-dumping action by European solar-panel makers against their Chinese rivals.
EUROZONE: Crisis sharpens divisions over EU budget - FT
For some states the crisis is a reminder of a need to rein in EU spending while for others it is has reinforced the need to invest resources to fuel growth
EUROZONE: The Central Bank can’t save the Euro - ECONOMIST, OP-ED
Don’t expect the European Central Bank single-handedly to save the euro.
EUROZONE: FRANCE: Hollande seeks to win over business - FT
France’s company leaders have been alarmed by tax-and-spend measures announced by the government, including a big rise in wealth taxes
EUROZONE: BELGIUM: Brussels pushes for wide ECB powers - FT
Plan puts Brussels on a collision course with Germany and the ECB itself, which want a more decentralised first step towards ‘banking union’
WORLD BANK: World Bank Reports Rising Food Prices - BLOOMBERG
The World Bank reported a 10 percent gain in its food price index in July, due to the record U.S. drought. Corn and soybean prices last month exceeded 2008 records, when food riots erupted in Africa and the Middle East, but the bank said current supplies might be able to forestall unrest.
JAPAN: In Japan, a Setback for Apple in Patent Fight - NYT
A Tokyo court ruled Friday that Samsung’s mobile products did not infringe on Apple’s patents.
RUSSIA: Russian Tycoon Loses $5.8 Billion Case Against Ex-Partner - NYT
A London judge declared Boris Berezovsky an “inherently unreliable” witness Friday, drawing to a close his epic legal battle against a former associate, Roman Abramovich.
INDIA: India’s Economy Continues to Be Weak – NYT
Manufacturing and mining showed almost no growth at all in the latest financial quarter.
DIGITAL SECURITY: Software Meant to Fight Crime Is Used to Spy on Dissidents – NYT
Two researchers say an off-the-shelf computer program has been used to monitor and spy on dissidents in countries around the world.
DIGITAL SECURITY/QATAR: Qatar group falls victim to virus attack – FT
One of the world’s largest producers of natural gas has become the second major Middle East energy company to be hit by computer hackers
ENERGY/OIL: Shell to start work on Arctic wells – FT
Europe’s largest oil company received permission to start work on Arctic exploration wells, which may allow for drilling before the arrival of winter sea ice.
BRAZIL: Amazon forest threat is greater outside Brazil – WP
A relentless push in an arc of forest from Bolivia to Colombia and east to French Guiana should be a wake-up call, environmentalists say.
BRAZIL/VENEZUELA: Venezuela to Investigate If Brazilian Miners Massacred Indian Village – NYT
An account presented to prosecutors in southern Venezuela by a Yanomami Indian group claims that illegal Brazilian gold miners killed most of the approximately 80 people living in a remote village.
MEXICO: Mexican Presidential Election Loser’s Challenge Rejected - RTT via CFR
The country’s top electoral court upheld the vote in the July 1 presidential election (RTT), rejecting a challenge by leftist runner-up Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and paving the way for centrist Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party to take office.
AUSTRALIA: Australia Ends Search in Boat Sinking With Scores Presumed Dead - NYT
Nearly 100 passengers are thought to have died when a boat packed with refugees sank south of Indonesia this week, Australian officials said on Friday.
ANGOLA: Change Unlikely From Angola Election, but Discontent Simmers - NYT
The governing Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, which has been in power for more than three decades, was expected to win the legislative elections on Friday handily.
GERMANY: Shmuley Boteach: Germany’s Circumcision PoliceA13 - WSJ
Here’s an idea: Send an international delegation of rabbis and imams to seek arrest in protest.
ARGENTINA: YPF seeks partner for shale oil reserves – FT
New chief of Argentine group unveils five-year $37bn investment plan including about $4.5bn sought from a partner in its shale development
ARGENTINA: Argentine Tax Agents to Track all Credit Card Buys - AP
Argentina is tightening its grip on credit card purchases in an effort to stem capital flight and tax evasion….
The Common Good publishes an international news digest every weekday, available here.