TOP NEWS: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs: October 2nd, 2012
- U.S. Abandoning Hopes for Taliban Peace Deal
- A New Sign of Distress as Iran’s Currency Falls
- American Journalist Held by Islamists in Syria
- World Bank Sees Long Crisis Effect
- Chinese Ships Back in Disputed Waters
Excerpts and more top news and analysis
AFGHANISTAN: U.S. Abandoning Hopes for Taliban Peace Deal – NYT
Once ambitious American plans for ending the war in Afghanistan are now being replaced by the far more modest goal of setting the stage for Afghans to work out a deal among themselves.
AFGHANISTAN: How Karzai Could Make Himself a Hero - NYT, OP-ED
JIM MARSHALL: As Afghanistan’s chief executive, Hamid Karzai has a duty to act now to ensure a fair election whose results are broadly accepted.
AFGHANISTAN: Haqqani network leader arrested - KHAAMAPRESS, VIA CFR
Afghan and coalition security forces arrested a Haqqani network leader responsible for a suicide bomb that killed two NATO troops in eastern Logar province.
IRAN: A New Sign of Distress as Iran’s Currency Falls - NYT
RICK GLADSTONE: The rial has fallen in value by about 40 percent over the past week, battered by economic sanctions and new anxieties among Iranians about their government.
IRAN: Iran Currency Falls to New Lows - WSJ, EDITORIAL
The Iranian currency, battered by international sanctions and turmoil in the domestic economy, fell to new lows.
IRAN/ISRAEL: Muffling the drums of war – WP
Israel and Iran must break free from history’s trap.
SYRIA: Video Seems to Show American Journalist Being Held by Islamists in Syria – NYT
DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK: The video of the journalist Austin Tice was publicized by a Web site that supports President Bashar al-Assad, and its authenticity could not be confirmed.
SYRIA: Fighting and Chaos Spread Through Syrian City, as Services Vanish - NYT
In a striking contrast from six weeks ago, battles in Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, have spread into areas that had been sheltered, threatening to open new rifts among ethnic groups.
SYRIA: Syria Claims Refugee Crisis Was Invented - NYT
Walid al-Moallem, the Syrian foreign minister, said that the country’s enemies concocted the refugee crisis and that a dialogue on a political transition was still possible.
EUROZONE: World Bank Sees Long Crisis Effect - WSJ
Europe’s debt crisis could weigh on the world economy for years, Kaushik Basu, who was named the World Bank’s new chief economist, said in an interview.
EUROZONE: Euro-Zone Factory Prices Accelerate - WSJ
The prices charged by euro-zone factories for their goods rose sharply in August, a development that could raise concern at the European Central Bank.
EUROZONE/SPAIN: Spain to Request Eurozone Bailout - REUTERS
Spain is ready to request a bailout for its public finances as early as next weekend, but Germany has signaled that it should hold off. Some European partners are pressuring Madrid to seek a rescue program that would trigger the European Central Bank to buy its bonds.
EUROZONE/GREECE: Greece unveils painful draft budget - FT
Deep spending cuts demanded by international lenders have been frontloaded with the aim of achieving a primary budget surplus in 2013 of 1.1 per cent of GDP
CHINA: Chinese Ships Back in Disputed Waters – AFP, VIA CFR
Four Chinese maritime surveillance ships entered waters around the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands on Tuesday, a week after they last left and days after heated exchanges between ministers at the UN General Assembly.
CHINA: Obama Sued Over Wind-Farm Project – WSJ
The Chinese executives that President Obama blocked from acquiring a wind-farm project in Oregon challenged the rare rejection with a lawsuit alleging that the president acted unconstitutionally.
CHINA: With a Transition Near, New Questions in China - NYT
With only six weeks to go before the formal unveiling of a new set of leaders, Communist Party elders are still deciding on who will ascend to the top ruling bodies.
LIBYA: All US personnel withdrawn from Benghazi - WP, VIA CFR
The Obama administration has withdrawn all official government personnel from Benghazi, where U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed last month.
LIBYA: Militant Link to Libya Consulate Attack – WSJ
The revolutions that swept the Middle East and North Africa also emptied prisons of militants, a problem now emerging as a potential new terrorist threat.
SPAIN/CATALAN: Debate over Catalan secession hots up - FT
Parties opposed to independence for Catalonia are heading for a heavy defeat in a snap parliamentary election in November, according to opinion polls
NORTH KOREA: N. Korea on S. Korea at the UN General Assembly – YONHAP, VIA CFR
North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Pak Kil-yon blamed South Korea for “the worst” inter-Korean ties, warning on Monday at the UN General Assembly of a nuclear war on the peninsula.
PAKISTAN/INDIA: Pakistan Says Jammu and Kashmir Not Integral Part of India – HINDUSTAN TIMES, VIA CFR
A Pakistani minister said on Monday that Jammu and Kashmir had never been an integral part of India, signaling a fiery response to an Indian minister’s remarks that Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari made “an unwarranted” reference to the regions during his speech at the UN General Assembly.
MALI: U.S. Official Calls for Military Action In Mali - ALL AFRICA, VIA CFR
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson acknowledged in a briefing on Monday that military action may be needed to regain control of northern Mali from Islamic extremists after a military coup in March took control of the region from the central government.
EGYPT: Egyptian women fear regression on rights - FT
The panel drafting the constitution includes Islamists who favour diluting Egypt’s commitment to upholding the rights of women and children
VENEZUELA: Venezuela Ballot Changes Could Hurt Opposition - MIAMA HERALD, VIA CFR
Four political parties previously on Venezuela’s voting ballot dropped out of the race, complicating the voting system, which could hurt Henrique Capriles, President Hugo Chávez’s key rival in the tight presidential race.
VENEZUELA: Uncertainty looms for victor in Venezuela – FT
Whether Hugo Chávez retains his presidency or Henrique Capriles wins Sunday’s election, the country’s future is far from bright
VENEZUELA: Chávez Pulls Purse Strings in Venezuelan Election Bid - WSJ
In facing a tough re-election fight on Sunday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is trying to improve his odds by repeating his past formula for electoral success: lavish government spending to pull support.
GLOBAL ECONOMY: How to Negotiate Peace With Honor in Global Currency Wars - BLOOMBERG, EDITORIAL
Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, and her finance minister, Guido Mantega, are attacking the U.S. Federal Reserve for embarking on a third round of quantitative easing. By aggressively buying bonds, the Fed aims to push interest rates lower, and that will nudge the dollar down as well.
GLOBAL ECONOMY: US manufacturers defy global gloom – FT
Asia and Europe continue to feel impact of slowing world economy
FOREIGN AID: Foreign aid is under fire - WP
Will embassy attacks, the deficit at home, and election politics reduce soft-power U.S. programs abroad?
SLAVERY: To Combat ‘Modern Slavery’ - NYT, EDITORIAL
President Obama has begun meaningful new initiatives against human trafficking.
JAPAN: U.S. Sends Aircraft to Okinawa, Despite Fierce Opposition – NYT
Safety concerns about the Osprey have become a lightning rod for deeper grievances about the American military presence on the island.
RUSSIA: Moscow Court Postpones Pussy Riot Hearing - NYT
One of the three members of the punk protest band said she wanted to fire her lawyers because of disagreements, and an appellate court pushed the hearing back to Oct. 10.
GEORGIA: Georgia’s President Concedes Defeat in Parliamentary Election – NYT
President Mikheil Saakashvili said on Tuesday that the opposition had the lead in Georgia’s hotly contested parliamentary race and should form the new government, news agencies reported.
HONG KONG: 6 Crew Members Detained in Hong Kong Ferry Disaster That Killed Dozens – NYT
A boat packed with revelers on a long holiday weekend collided with a ferry and sank off Hong Kong, killing at least 37 people and injuring dozens.
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