TOP NEWS: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs: October 17th, 2012
Top Five News and Analysis Links (Excerpts Below)
- The Ground Truth from Benghazi
- Unexpected Optimism on China Growth
- UK Police Stop Pakistani Girl’s hospital ‘Well-Wishers’
- UN envoy warns of Syria crisis spillover
- Sanctions Won’t Stop Iran
Excerpts and more top news and analysis
LIBYA: The Ground Truth from Benghazi - FP, CHRISTOPHER STEPHEN
The politicians in Washington are beating each other up over the Benghazi consulate attack. But they don’t seem to be paying much attention to the evidence from the scene of the crime.
LIBYA: Key Libyan Suspect at Large – WSJ
The founder of Libya’s Islamist militia Ansar al-Sharia was at the U.S. consulate compound during the deadly attack here, Libyan officials say, but he remains free a week after those allegations were disclosed to Libyan political leaders and U.S. investigators in Tripoli.
LIBYA: Rights group accuses Libyan militias of carrying out ‘mass executions’ of Gadhafi loyalists – WP
Libyan rebels appear to have “summarily executed” scores of fighters loyal to Moammar Gadhafi, and probably the dictator himself, when they overran his hometown a year ago, a human rights group said Wednesday.
CHINA: Unexpected Argument for Optimism on China Growth - WSJ, BOB DAVIS
China will slow over the coming years, but not as much as many predict, write Israel Malkin and Mark Spiegel, because of much of the country is so lightly developed that growth there will continue to speed along.
CHINA: Hong Kong Antigraft Body Charges Former Minister - WSJ
Hong Kong’s antigraft body has charged former Development Minister Mak Chai-kwong and a current official in the Highways Department with conspiracy to defraud the government.
CHINA: Chinese woman reaches outer space, but no space for women in China politics - WP
With a once-a-decade leadership transition set to kick off Nov. 8, many now are waiting to see if another ambitious Chinese female, State Councilor Liu Yandong, can win one of the nine spots at the apex of Chinese power.
CHINA: Committee May Strip Bo of Immunity- NYT
The review announced by Xinhua on Monday is to begin on Oct. 23; Mr. Bo was expelled from the party last month and is expected to stand trial on a wide range of criminal charges
CHINA/S.KOREA: Chinese Fisherman Dies in S. Korea Coast Guard Clash - WSJ
A Chinese fisherman died on Tuesday after being hit by a rubber bullet while resisting the seizure of his boat by South Korea’s coast guard for illegal fishing in the Yellow Sea, coast guard officials said.
U.K./PAKISTAN: British Police Stop ‘Well-Wishers’ in Pakistani Girl’s Hospital - NYT
Hospital authorities insisted that there had been no threat to the safety of Malala Yousafzai, who was spirited out of Pakistan out of fear that the Taliban might try again to shoot her.
PAKISTAN: In Pakistan, a school gripped by fear – NYT
Classmates at the girls’ school of a Pakistani teen shot by the Taliban last week voice support and courage, but also trepidation.
PAKISTAN: Pakistani Taliban’s indoctrinated child bombers - AJE
Most children used by Taliban as suicide bombers are from poor families who are indoctrinated through religious schools.
U.K./PAKISTAN: Pakistani Girl Responds to Treatment - WSJ
A teenage Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting girls’ education has responded well to treatment and impressed doctors with her strength, the British hospital where she was being treated said.
SYRIA: UN envoy warns of Syria crisis spillover - AJE
Lakhdar Brahimi, currently in Lebanon, says if the conflict is not solved, it will set the entire region ablaze.
SYRIA: UN envoy to Syria calls on government to initiate cease-fire with rebels for Muslim holiday - WP
The international envoy to the Syrian conflict on Wednesday called on President Bashar Assad’s regime to take the lead in implementing a cease-fire during a major Muslim holiday later this month.
SYRIA: French minister: Syrian air force using deadly barrel bombs in attacks on neighborhoods - WP
France’s foreign minister says Syria’s air force is using so-called barrel bombs — makeshift weapons consisting of containers stuffed with TNT — to heavily damage neighborhoods.
SYRIA: Historic bazaar in Aleppo, Syria, now a battleground - LAT
The familiar passageways have turned hostile, the comforting labyrinth now a maze of menace.
IRAN: Sanctions Won’t Stop Iran – NP via RCP, GEORGE JONAS
Few would have thought that the MAD world of Mutually Assured Destruction might seem like an era of sanity in retrospect.
IRAN: Iran Sanctions May Cut Supply of Currency - NYT
At a time of inflation caused by Western economic sanctions, Iran may face difficulty getting more banknotes printed.
EUROZONE: Talks on Euro Zone Approach, This Time Under Calmer Conditions - NYT
For once, the crisis atmosphere that usually accompanies such summit meetings is absent, with general recognition that the euro seems here to stay.
EUROZONE: Economic Woes Spur Separatists in Europe’s Pockets of Prosperity - NYT
The enduring economic crisis in Europe is providing a spur to separatist movements in some of the most prosperous regions, with voters being encouraged to break away from their national governments and go it alone.
EUROZONE: Hollande fires warning shot at Merkel over austerity - The Guardian
the French president, has warned for the first time that the Paris-Berlin motor driving Europe could stall over deep differences on how to resolve the euro crisis.
GERMANY: Energy Price Increases Pose Challenge for Merkel - NYT
In the aftermath of the tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan last year, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced perhaps her most sweeping domestic ambition, a plan to shutter Germany’s 17 nuclear reactors and switch to 80 percent reliance on wind, solar and other renewable sources by 2050.
AFGHANISTAN: Suicide bomber hits joint NATO-Afghan base - AJE
Attack on an army base in eastern Afghanistan has wounded at least 45 Afghan soldiers, local officials say.
AFGHANISTAN: CIA Official Said Among Afghan Victims - WSJ
An insider attack that killed four Afghan intelligence officials Saturday also led to the death of a Central Intelligence Agency operative and a U.S. military intelligence specialist, said people familiar with the incident.
AFGHANISTAN: Afghanistan’s online war of words - AJE, ALI M LATIFI
ISAF sets Twittersphere abuzz as it engages man allegedly affiliated with the Taliban on the micro-blogging site.
AFGHANISTAN: Suicide car bomber strikes U.S.-Afghan base in country’s east - WP
A suicide car bomber blew up his vehicle near the gate of a U.S.-Afghan combat outpost in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday morning, wounding 10 Afghan soldiers, officials said.
JAPAN: Arrests of 2 U.S. Sailors in Rape Case Threaten to Fan Okinawa’s Anger - NYT
Two United States Navy sailors were arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of raping a woman in Okinawa, an episode likely to further fan anger over the presence of a large American base there.
JAPAN: Japan defense minister condemns alleged rape by US sailors on Okinawa - WP
“This is a very serious crime,” Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto told reporters. Morimoto said the case follows another sexual assault in August, and he indicated he was considering discussing the matter with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
JAPAN: Japan outraged at alleged rape by U.S. sailors of woman on Okinawa island - WP
With two accused sailors in police custody, Japan summons U.S. ambassador to lodge formal protest.
JAPAN: The geopolitical implications of (another) American rape arrest in Japan - WP, MAX FISHER
The latest incident near the U.S. military base could play into long-running popular opposition and the tricky politics of Okinawa.
JAPAN: U.S. Sailors Arrested in Okinawa - WSJ
Japanese authorities arrested two U.S. Navy sailors in connection with an alleged rape, in a case that threatens to strain military cooperation between Washington and Tokyo.
JAPAN: Noda Seeks Stimulus Steps - WSJ
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda ordered his cabinet to draft an economic stimulus package, move likely to further antagonize the opposition who see it as a time-buying strategy by Mr. Noda to avert an early election.
U.K.: Britain Refuses to Extradite Computer Hacker Sought in U.S. - NYT
The home secretary, Theresa May, said there was a “high risk” that Gary McKinnon, who has admitted hacking into the Pentagon network, would commit suicide if sent to the United States.
U.K.: Britain deals blow to U.S. extradition treaty, blocks handover of hacker - WP
U.K. blocks handover of British computer whiz who hacked U.S. military databases.
U.K.: $11 Million Severance Reported for Murdoch Aide - NYT
Rebekah Brooks, who resigned as chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s scandal-plagued British newspaper group, still faces a variety of charges.
U.K./SYRIA: U.K. charges British man with taking Western journalists hostage in Syria - WP
Incident adds to growing concerns about foreign extremists traveling to the civil war-stricken Arab state and posing a future threat to the West.
U.K./SYRIA: UK man accused of kidnapping 2 photographers in Syria makes first court appearance - WP
Shajul Islam, a trainee doctor who was arrested last week on suspicion of terror offenses after arriving in London on a flight from Egypt, spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth.
CUBA: Easing Path Out of Country, Cuba Is Dropping Exit Visas - NYT
The move by the government would allow many Cubans to depart for vacations, or forever, with only a passport and a visa from the country where they plan to go.
CUBA: Cuba to Ease Travel Rules - WSJ
Cuba’s government will eliminate much-hated travel restrictions in January, making it easier for its citizens to leave the island, live abroad longer and return to the island, in a long-awaited move announced Tuesday.
MIDDLE EAST: Al-Qaeda Again on the Rise - BH, PETER BROOKES
After Team Obama’s horrid handling of the terrible tragedy in Benghazi, Libya, does anyone out there really cling to the left’s quickly unraveling yarn that this administration has a strong record on foreign policy and national security?
THE HAGUE/BOSNIA: Former Bosnian Leader Begins His Defense at Genocide Trial - NYT
Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb wartime leader, told judges at the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal on Tuesday that he should be “rewarded for all the good things I have done.”
SWEDEN: US Embassy evacuated in Stockholm after receiving suspicious letter - WP
Bomb disposal experts were sent to the embassy to remove the letter and analyze its contents. Streets around the embassy were closed but reopened after police had removed the letter.
NETHERLANDS: A Picasso and a Gauguin Are Among 7 Works Stolen From a Dutch Museum - NYT
Art thieves made off overnight with seven paintings, including a Picasso, a Matisse, a Gauguin and two Monets, from the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam.
NETHERLANDS: No ‘Thomas Crown Affair’ - NYT, ANTHONY M. AMORE
In the real world, thieves who steal art are not debonair “Thomas Crown Affair” types.
FRANCE: Free to Be a Sexual Predator? - NYT, LARRY WOLFF
Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s invocation of a life without moralistic limits bears similarities to the credo of the man whose name became a synonym for libertinism, Giacomo Casanova.
NIGERIA/FRANCE: French company: 6 Russian sailors, 1 Estonian kidnapped off coast of Nigeria oil delta – WP
Paris-based Bourbon SA offered only a tersely worded statement on its website about the attack Monday near the Niger Delta, where the company works closely with oil companies like French firm Total SA.
GREECE: Corruption Goes Unchecked in Greece - DER SPIEGEL via RCP, JULIA AMALIA HEYER
While Athens waits for more aid from the European Union, the country continues to be administered in the same old careless manner. Corrupt politicians and the rich continue to help themselves to Greece’s funds, and little is being done about it.
RUSSIA: How the Russian ‘Reset’ Explains Obama’s Foreign Policy – FP, DOUGLAS J. FEITH, SETH CROPSEY
The president’s naivete about Vladimir Putin is the root cause of his failure.
RUSSIA: Russian investigators open criminal case against opposition leader – WP
Investigators in Russia say they are opening a criminal probe against leftist leader Sergei Udaltsov and several other opposition activists for their alleged role in plotting mass riots.
SPAIN: Spanish Court Opens Trial Over Giant Prestige Oil Spill – NYT
A Spanish court on Tuesday opened the trial of a former ship captain and three other defendants over their involvement in one of Europe’s worst oil spills.
EGYPT/ISRAEL: Egypt’s New Envoy to Israel Says Brings Message of Peace – NYT
Egypt’s new ambassador to Israel took up his post on Wednesday, assuring the Jewish state of Cairo’s continued commitment to a 1979 peace treaty.
ISRAEL: Israeli army calculated calorie needs for Gazans to stave off malnutrition during blockade - WP
Critics claim the document is evidence that Israel limited food supplies in order to put pressure on Hamas, the violently anti-Israel militant group that seized power in the coastal strip in mid-2007.
ISRAEL: Antiaircraft Missile is Fired From Gaza, Israelis Say- NYT
Israeli defense officials say that Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip have for the first time fired an antiaircraft missile at Israeli aircraft.
AFRICA: Western money, African blood: How US and Europe paid for Africans to rout Somali militants - WP
Backed by a sweeping multinational effort that includes $338 million in U.S. equipment, wages and training, the force of Ugandans, Burundians, Kenyans and Somalis that was deployed to take on the country’s Islamic radicals can claim a degree of success that had initially seemed highly unlikely.
AFRICA: No Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership this Year–Again – CFR, JOHN CAMPBELL
But the lack of laureates is commonly taken to be an indictment of the quality of African leadership.
CAMBODIA: Thousands Mourn Former King Sihanouk in Cambodian Capital – NYT
Norodom Sihanouk died at 89, after six decades of deep involvement in Cambodia’s often devastating post-independence politics.
CONGO: Congo: Rwanda and Uganda Arm Congo Rebels, U.N. Report Says - NYT
The United Nations Security Council’s Group of Experts said in a confidential report that Rwanda and Uganda have continued to support M23 rebels in their six-month fight against Congolese troops.
KENYA: 3 terror suspects die in Kenyan coast city after police raid is greeted with a grenade blast - WP
Police say three terror suspects in Kenya’s largest coastal city have been killed after a raid turned violent.
URUGUAY: Uruguay Senate poised to legalize all first-trimester abortions, but with strings attached – WP
Senators in Uruguay were preparing for a final debate Wednesday on legalizing abortion, a groundbreaking step in Latin America.
INDONESIA: 2 police officers killed while investigating terrorist activities in central Indonesia – WP
Two police officers have been found dead in central Indonesia, a week after they disappeared while investigating suspected terrorist activities, authorities said Wednesday.
AUSTRALIA/INDIA: Australia, India to Discuss Nuclear Cooperation – WSJ
Australia and India will discuss steps toward cooperation in nuclear power as well as proposals to work together on water technology and energy security, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said.
VENEZUELA: Venezuela’s Opposition Struggles for Unity – NYT
Battered by the re-election of President Hugo Chávez the opposition has the difficult task of rousing its supporters for the elections for governors in the nation’s 23 states on Dec. 16.
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