TOP NEWS: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs: October 19th, 2012
Top Five News and Analysis Links (Excerpts Below)
- Suspect in Libya Attack Scoffs at U.S.
- Among the Snipers of Aleppo
- Greek Violence in a Strike Over Austerity
- China Steps Up Isles Spat With Navy Drills
- US/Germany: Irreconcilable differences?
Excerpts and more top news and analysis
LIBYA: Suspect in Libya Attack, in Plain Sight, Scoffs at U.S. - NYT
Days after President Obama vowed to apprehend those behind the Sept. 11 attack on American diplomats, a suspected ringleader spent an evening at a luxury hotel full of journalists.
LIBYA: Early Uncertainty on Libya Account - WSJ
The night before U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice went public with the administration’s assessment of the Sept. 11 U.S. consulate attack in Libya, intelligence analysts were receiving new information that contradicted the account she gave.
LIBYA: The Trouble with ‘Terrorism’ in Benghazi - BLOOMBERG, LISA BEYER
The word “terrorism” took on almost magical qualities during this week’s presidential debate.
SYRIA: Among the Snipers of Aleppo - NYT, BENJAMIN HALL
All the chaos in Syria would seem to bolster the argument for Western intervention. But the rebel brigades are often at cross purposes, creating a dangerous quagmire.
SYRIA: Seized by Rebels, Town Is Crushed by Syrian Forces - NYT
Airstrikes sent up dust and rubble and crushed several dozen people who had returned to what they thought was a new haven in a country mired in civil war, witnesses said.
SYRIA/TURKEY: As Bombs Fall, Turkey Backs Call for Cease-Fire in Syria - NYT
Turkey, a major regional player in the Syrian crisis, threw its diplomatic weight on Friday behind an appeal for a cease-fire “at least” through a three-day Islamic holiday.
SYRIA: Syrian Government Airstrikes Kill Dozens - WSJ
Government airstrikes in northwestern Syria killed dozens in one of the bloodiest recent incidents in the country’s civil conflict, as the international mediator on Syria said he would go to Damascus in an attempt to broker a cease-fire.
EUROZONE/GREECE: Greeks Take to the Streets, Some Violently, in a Strike Over Austerity - NYT
Tens of thousands of Greeks moved to bring the country to a near-standstill in a bid to show European Union leaders that fresh austerity cuts would be crippling.
EUROZONE: Europe Leaders Agree on Banking Supervisor – WSJ
European leaders early Friday agreed to have a new supervisor for euro-zone banks up and running next year, a step that will pave the way for the bloc’s bailout fund to pump capital directly into banks throughout the single-currency area.
EUROZONE: Italy, Spain Win Surprise Bond Relief - WSJ
Big bond auctions in Italy and Spain gave a surprising boost to the biggest countries reeling under Europe’s debt crisis, with Italy selling enough to satisfy its borrowing needs for the rest of the year in one unexpected stroke.
EUROZONE/SPAIN: Leaders Say They Expect Agreement on Aid for Spanish Banks This Year – NYT
European Union leaders said Friday that legislation enabling rescue aid to be channeled directly to Spanish banks should be agreed by the end of the year.
EUROZONE/SPAIN: Spain’s Largest Union Calls Nationwide Strike – WSJ
Spain’s largest union federation said it would organize a nationwide strike for Nov. 14, the latest sign of how the conservative government’s economic reforms are raising social tension.
EUROZONE/GERMANY: Merkel’s Rival Strikes Early - NYT
A year before general elections, Peer Steinbrück asserted that Chancellor Angela Merkel had failed to convince Germans about the benefits of euro membership.
CHINA/JAPAN: China Steps Up Isles Spat With Navy Drills - WSJ
China flexed maritime muscle in its dispute with Japan over a chain of uninhabited islands, holding naval exercises in the East China Sea.
CHINA/TIBET: Into Tibet - WSJ, MARY KISSEL
Ambassador Gary Locke promotes human rights with a rare trip into a restive region.
CHINA: China Must Learn That Size Only Gets You So Far - BLOOMBERG, ODD ARNE WESTAD
For more than three decades, China has been courting its neighbors to the south. Enticing the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) into closer cooperation has been a top goal of Chinese foreign policy since the days of Deng Xiaoping, and it has brought great rewards.
CHINA: China Faces Tough Choice on Growth – WSJ
China’s incoming leaders could shore up the economy by doubling down on an exhausted growth model, or take a risky bet on reforms to tackle income inequality.
CHINA: China Must Recognize What It Is - NEW STATESMAN, AI WEIWEI
China – its government and people – has to develop a true understanding of the specific conditions of the country today, and so reinterpret our position in the world.
GERMANY: Irreconcilable differences? - WP, IAN BREMMER & MARK LEONARD
The U.S. and Germany are drifting apart.
GERMANY: Moody’s Warns of Weakness in German Banking Sector - NYT
The rating agency on Friday said German banks were vulnerable in part because of their investment in weaker euro zone countries.
PALESTINE/ISRAEL: An Intriguing New Mideast Peace Proposal – US NEWS, MORTIMER B. ZUCKERMAN
The Israeli Defense proposes withdrawing from the West Bank while recognizing Israeli settlements there still as a part of Israel
PALESTINE: In West Bank, dominant Fatah party is expected to win local elections – WP
There is scant sign of Arab Spring-era democratic fervor as Hamas plans boycott of Saturday contest.
PALESTINE: Vote May Deepen Palestinian Split - WSJ
Palestinians in the West Bank go to the polls Saturday for the first time in six years, holding municipal elections that could deepen the rift between Fatah and Hamas.
PAKISTAN: Pakistani Schoolgirl Shot by Taliban Showing Progress – NYT
Malal Yousafzai, who was shot by Taliban gunmen in Pakistan, is now able to stand with help and write, medical officials at the British hospital where she is being treated said on Friday.
PAKISTAN: Pakistan Squanders Its Malala Moment While the U.S. Stands Idly by - BLOOMBERG, EDITORIAL
Pakistan’s government is squandering its “Malala moment”: the chance to harness public outrage over the Taliban’s shooting of 14-year-old education activist Malala Yousufzai and take the fight to the terrorists who threaten the nation and its neighbors.
PAKISTAN/INDIA: Killings Derail Effort at Grass-Roots Governance in India - NYT
The unsolved murders of two officials have set off a panic among the new village councils in a district of Kashmir.
INDIA: India Puts Wal-Mart Deal With Retailer Under Scrutiny - NYT
Regulators are reviewing Wal-Mart’s investment of nearly $100 million in Bharti Retail at a time when India restricted investments in retailing.
EGYPT: Shariah’s Limits - NYT, ROGER COHEN
Egypt’s debate on a new constitution is the pivot of the attempt to reconcile Islam and modernity.
AFGHANISTAN: Afghan Officials Spar Over 2014 Vote – NYT
Western observers fear the next election might not be “acceptable,” let alone “free and fair,” if Afghanistan’s president and Parliament cannot agree on new laws.
N. KOREA: North Korea Threatens Violent Response to Propaganda Campaign – NYT
North Korea threatened to attack the South if activists proceeded with distributing leaflets critical of the Pyongyang regime. South Korea’s military said it would strike back if the North did so.
DRONES: CIA seeks to expand drone fleet – WP
The CIA is urging the White House to approve a significant expansion of the agency’s fleet of armed drones, a move that would accelerate the spy service’s transformation into a paramilitary force, U.S. officials said.
WORLD HUNGER: Hunger Makes a Mockery of Today’s World Economy - BLOOMBERG, WILLIAM PESEK
The lobby of Tokyo’s majestic Imperial Hotel was people-watching central last weekend.
YEMEN: 14 Soldiers and 12 Insurgents Killed in Battle in Yemen - NYT
The soldiers and Qaeda operatives were killed early Friday when suicide bombers attacked a military base in south Yemen, the Defense Ministry and local residents said.
MEXICO: Mexican Tomato Growers Offer New Trade Deal – NYT
In a bid to keep the Commerce Department from ending a 16-year-old agreement, they proposed increasing the minimum prices for their products.
MEXICO: Why Is U.S. Risking Mexico Trade War? – POLITICO, MICKEY KANTOR
Late in September, the Department of Commerce issued a preliminary decision to scrap a 16-year-old trade agreement governing the import of Mexican-grown tomatoes into the United States.
CANADA: A Rogue Climate Experiment Outrages Scientists - NYT
An environmental entrepreneur scattered 100 tons of iron dust in the Pacific Ocean this summer without any academic or government oversight, startling researchers and regulators.
LEBANON: At Least 8 Killed in Beirut Blast - WSJ
Lebanese Red Cross and security officials say a car bomb in east Beirut has killed at least eight people and wounded dozens in the worst blast the city has seen in years.
SAUDI ARABIA: Shiite protests pose major challenge for Saudi Arabia - WP
Clashes between demonstrators and police have become a front in the broader fight for regional supremacy.
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