Media Roundup

United States

Obama Says U.S. Will Be 'Relentless' in Pursuing Islamic State

By Christi Parsons, Kathleen Hennessy and W.J. Hennigan | The Los Angeles Times

A clearly furious President Obama condemned the Islamic militants who claimed responsibility for beheading an American journalist, vowing Wednesday to beat back “this cancer” and showing no sign of constraining the U.S. military intervention in Iraq.

ISIS Demanded Ransom from U.S. Before Killing Reporter

By Rukmini Callimachi | The New York Times

ISIS Pressed the United States to provide a multimillion-dollar ransom for Foley's release, according to a representative of his family and a former hostage held alongside him.

U.S. Staged Secret Operation Into Syria in Failed Bid to Rescue Americans

By Adam Goldman and Karen DeYoung | The Washington Post

U.S. Special Operations forces staged an unsuccessful operation this summer to rescue photojournalist James Foley and other Americans being held in Syria by Islamic State militants, according to senior Obama administration officials.

Latin America

Asia-Pacific

Pakistan Protest Leader Backs Out of Talks

By Munir Ahmed | Associated Press

Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan suspended talks with the government Thursday after it appointed a new police chief in the capital ahead of a possible crackdown on thousands of anti-government protesters who have besieged parliament.

China's Top Graft Buster, Wang Qishan, Probing Thousands

By Lingling Wei and Bob Davis | The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

NANCHANG, China—When Wang Qishan, China's top graft-buster, dispatched a dozen investigators to this south China river town last summer, his message was clear: The investigators should inspire "shock and awe" among local officials, according to an account posted on a government website.

Indonesia Police Fire Teargas Ahead of Court Verdict on Election

By Kanupriya Kapoor and Fransiska Nangoy | Reuters

Indonesian police fired teargas to disperse thousands of protesters outside the country's top court in Jakarta on Thursday, as judges started delivering their verdict into last month's disputed presidential election.

Africa

Ebola Provides Glimpse Into Christian Relief Organizations

By Brady Dennis | The Washington Post

The Ebola outbreak has made it clear how much governments, especially those of poorer countries, rely on nonprofit groups to deliver medical care and supplies and sound an early alert on emerging health crises. 

European Peacekeepers in CAR Gun Battle

Al Jazeera

Fighting between international peacekeepers in the capital of Central African Republic and local armed men has killed one Red Cross volunteer and injured at least 31 people.

Europe

Ukraine Suffers Heavy Losses in Counterattack by Pro-Russian Rebels

By James Marson | The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Ukraine suffered heavy losses Thursday in a counterattack along a key supply route to the separatist capital of Donetsk, signaling that despite steady advances by government forces pro-Russian rebel fighters still pose a significant threat.

Russian Aid Convoy Starts Moving Into Ukraine

Reuters

The first trucks from a Russian aid convoy on Thursday passed a Russian border check point and started moving towards the border crossing with Ukraine, a Reuters reporter at the scene said.

Middle East

Israel Strike in Gaza Kills Three Top Hamas Commanders

By Jodi Rudoren and Fares Akram | The New York Times

Israeli airstrikes killed three senior commanders of the armed wing of Hamas early Thursday in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, Israeli and Palestinian officials said.

Some Islamic State Commanders Retreat Back to Syria

By Nour Malas | The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

ERBIL, Iraq—Iraqi officials say U.S. airstrikes have driven some ground commanders of the Sunni radical group Islamic State from northern Iraq across the border into Syria.

United States

Would American Money Have Saved James Foley?

By James Traub | Foreign Policy

European governments pay millions of dollars in ransoms to free their hostages. The White House needs to decide whether it’s willing to sacrifice principle for people.

Latin America

A Second Mexican Revolution?

By Pamela K. Starr and Michael C. Camuñez | Foreign Affairs

Since the December 2012 inauguration of President Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico has implemented a series of reforms that could forever change Mexican governance and its economy’s competitiveness. The undisputed centerpiece of the legislation is energy reform.

Asia-Pacific

A Sense of Destiny Inspires China's Maritime Claims

By Philip Bowring | Financial Times (registration required)

China’s creeping occupation of the South China Sea is not primarily motivated by oil, let alone by its diminishing stock of fish. It is about two things: strategic position, and what the nationalists running the country today view as its "manifest destiny."

Human Rights and Cross-Strait Relations

By Jerome A. Cohen and Yu-Jie Chen | The Diplomat

Human rights need to be part of the cross-Strait conversation. A consular-type agreement would be a good place to start.

Europe

Why Jews are Worried

By Deborah E. Lipstadt | The New York Times

Europe isn't on the cusp of another Holocaust. But the situation is still pretty bad.

Open Borders are Russia's Birthright

By Andrei Kortunov | The Moscow Times

The history of the Russian state is marked by periodic bouts of isolationism and fence-building. Again today, the Ukrainian crisis and economic sanctions from the West have instigated discussions of Russia's "self-sufficiency," about the benefits of "depending on one's own strength," and the danger of foreign influence.

Fixing Europe's Orbán Problem

By Thorsten Benner and Wolfgang H. Reinecke | Project Syndicate

One might expect European conservatives, in particular, to react strongly to Orbán’s actions, which discredit their entire political movement. But they seem determined to continue treating Orbán with kid gloves, even as he spurns liberal democracy.

Middle East

Assad's ISIS Gambit

By Tariq Alhomayed | Asharq Al-Awsat

The attempt to exploit a threat to serve one’s own interests is a policy that the Assad regime has long often to, not just in Syria but also Lebanon and Iraq, and is a strategy that Assad has pursued with other extremist Islamist groups. 

Obama, Be Upfront on Iraq

By Robin Wright | Los Angeles Times

Let's be honest. The United States has crossed the threshold on Iraq. We're in it to salvage the country — again — using American military might.

Permanent Cease-fire May Require Palestinian Authority's Return to Gaza

By Samuel R. Berger | The Washington Post

A fragile cease-fire has temporarily stopped the violence in Gaza, and Israeli and Palestinian delegations have made efforts to negotiate a more permanent resolution. The only way they can succeed is to let the Palestinian Authority and its security forces back into Gaza.

Latin America

Opposition Attacks Education Reform in Chile

By Sam Edwards | The Santiago Times

Chile's opposition right-leaning Alianza coalition announced Tuesday its latest attempt to halt the proposed overhaul of the country’s education system by calling Education Minister Nicolas Eyzaguirre in front of Congress for a formal grilling.

Argentina Tries to Boost Exports to Russia

Telam

Argentine Minister of Industry Debora Giorgi and Minister of Agriculture Carlos Casamiquela started negotiations in Moscow aimed at expanding Argentine exports to Russia, following President Putin’s decision to veto the imports from the EU and the United States.

Peru President Approves New Peru-Chile Border Map

Andina

Peruvian President Ollanta Humala signed on Tuesday a supreme decree approving the Map of External Border which establishes that the maritime boundary between Peru and Chile begins in the Concordia Point.

Asia-Pacific

China, Mongolia Explore Ways to Expand Economic Ties

People's Daily

Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected, during his upcoming visit to Mongolia, to work with Mongolian leaders to explore effective ways to expand and deepen bilateral economic and trade relations between two countries.

Africa

Nigerian Soldiers Mutiny Over Lack of Weapons

News24

Dozens of Nigerian soldiers have refused to deploy for an offensive against Boko Haram Islamists until they receive better weapons, several of the mutineers told AFP on Wednesday.

Europe

NATO Eyes 'Alliance Assurance' Force

By Jorge Benitez | Defense News

In response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, NATO leaders are examining the need to enhance the readiness of deployable military forces to reassure allies and deter threats to the alliance. If all members agree, this will be one of the major reforms to come out of the NATO summit in Wales, Sept. 4-5.

Middle East

Top Kurdish Minister Rejoins Iraqi Government

Al Jazeera

A Kurdish minister who suspended his participation in the government of outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has rejoined the administration, in an apparent sign of reconciliation in the politically fractured country.