Media Roundup

United States

As Much of the World Frowns, U.S. Supports Israel

By Helene Cooper and Somini Sengupta | The New York Times

The failures of the Arab Spring to spread democracy have left many in the United States more inclined to side with Israel, which has lost backing elsewhere, analysts say.

Officials: U.S. Knew 3 Days Before Mosul Fell That Islamic State Was Moving Forces

By Hannah Allam | McClatchy Newspapers

The Obama administration knew an attack was in the works three days in advance of the Islamic State’s offensive in northern Iraq, but U.S. efforts to mount a response were hampered by the Iraqi government’s insistence that it could handle the threat, two top U.S. architects of Iraq policy said Wednesday.

Latin America

Colombian Army Kills ELN Rebels in Arauca Province


The Colombian armed forces say they have killed eight rebels from the left-wing National Liberation Army (ELN) in the east of the country. The air force and federal police took part in the operation, which targeted rebel bases in Arauca province.


Touaregs Seek Secular and Democratic Multi-Ethnic State

By Karlos Zurutuza | Inter Press Service

The government of Mali and Touareg rebels representing Azawad, a territory in northern Mali which declared unilateral independence in 2012 after a Touareg rebellion drove out the Malian army, resumed peace talks in Algiers last week, intended to end decades of conflict.

CAR Armed Groups Sign Ceasefire Agreement

Agence France-Presse

Rival armed factions in the Central African Republic agreed to a tentative ceasefire on Wednesday at a peace conference held in neighbouring Congo.

Nigeria and Neighbours Form New Force to Fight Boko Haram


Nigeria and three other states have pledged to speed up the creation of a 2,800-strong regional force to tackle militant Islamist group Boko Haram. Defence ministers of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger said they would each contribute 700 troops to the force.

Air Algerie Flight Reported Missing With 116 on Board

By Christopher Bjork, Robert Wall and Stacy Meichtry | The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

Air Algérie lost contact with Flight 5017 after takeoff from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, as the jetliner headed to Algiers with 116 people on board, Algeria's state news agency and the plane's operator said Thursday.


Tragedy Fails to Quiet Ukraine

By Anton Troianovski, Lukas I. Alpert and Carol E. Lee | The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

Two Ukrainian fighter jets were shot down Wednesday over separatist-held territory not far from the site of the Malaysia Airlines crash as international outrage over the tragedy has done little to slow fighting in Ukraine.

Two Ukrainian Fighter Jets Downed by Missiles Near Russian Border

By Steven Zeitchik | Los Angeles Times

Two Ukrainian fighter jets were shot down in contested airspace near the Russian border Wednesday as tension between the two countries increased a week after a missile struck a passenger jet, killing all 298 people onboard.

At a Spanish Border, a Coordinated Scramble

By Carlotta Gall | The New York Times

African migrants said they camped out for months to study the border guards' patterns as they prepared to scale the fences and enter Europe.

As Airliner Dead Are Honored, Germany Chides Russia for Inaction

By Matthew Schofield | McClatchy Newspapers

As about 1,000 relatives of the dead from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 gathered Wednesday to meet the first bodies returned to the Netherlands, European anger at Russia’s involvement in the months-long conflict in eastern Ukraine appeared to grow and the pro-Russian separatists in the region reportedly shot down two more military jets.

Middle East

Iraq’s Kurds Want U.S. Help to Hold Off Islamic State Extremists

By Loveday Morris | The Washington Post

Each day, Kurdish security forces­ in northern Iraq skirmish with fearsomely armed Islamic State militants along their new, nearly 650-mile border. The Kurds have held their own so far. But without fresh arms supplies or financial assistance their fight is unsustainable, a senior Kurdish official said.

Missed Deadline on Iran Nuclear Talks Sparks a Blame Game

By Ramin Mostaghim | Los Angeles Times

Though Iranian officials insist that the failure of negotiators to produce a deal by the original July 20 deadline isn't a serious setback, it means that talks will drag on until November, and that any easing of the sanctions that have been damaging Iran's economy are further off than many Iranians had hoped.

Civilians as Shields? Gaza War Intensifies Debate

By Anne Barnard and Jodi Rudoren | The New York Times

Israel said it takes precautions to avoid killing civilians, but has also accepted as inevitable that there will be large numbers of civilian casualties when its adversaries embed forces throughout Gaza.

New Government in Iraq an ‘ongoing process,’ Obama Administration Says

By Karen DeYoung | The Washington Post

The ongoing effort to form a new government in Iraq “now has traction,” the Obama administration told Congress Wednesday, with the appointment of a new parliamentary speaker and an emerging consensus to install a federalist system that will give local communities more power and an equitable share of national resources.

United States

Obama to World: Drop Dead

By Daniel Henninger | The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

Asked on "Meet the Press" Sunday whether this was the lowest moment in U.S.-Russia relations since the Cold War, America's robo-Secretary of State John Kerry replied: "We live in an extremely complicated world right now, where everybody is working on 10 different things simultaneously." Well, not everyone.


A Chinese Gold Standard?

By Kwasi Kwarteng | The New York Times

With a balanced budget and a gold-backed currency, China's economy could become even more formidable.

Indonesia's Jokowi Needs World's Backing

By Karen Brooks | Los Angeles Times

Democracy prevailed in Indonesia this week. Now leaders there and around the world must quickly get behind the country's president-elect.

A Carbon Tax’s Ignoble End

By Julia Baird | The New York Times

Australia lost its leadership on climate change and bowed to rank populism when it repealed its carbon-pricing law.

Down Under, a Carbon Tax Goes Down

By Hendrik Hertzberg | The New Yorker

Last week, Australia’s right-wingers made a move to outdo their American counterparts, when they won final legislative approval for repeal of Australia’s carbon tax on major polluters.


Fear and Boredom in Vienna

By Hooman Majd | Foreign Affairs

Vienna's opulent Palais Coburg was originally designed as a palace for Austria’s former Habsburg dynasty. But amid the tense negotiating sessions over the future of Iran's nuclear program, it could sometimes feel more like a prison -- for diplomats and journalists alike.

MH17: Cold War Replay?

By John Feffer | Foreign Policy in Focus

The last time the U.S. accused Russia of downing a civilian airliner, nuclear war nearly broke out.

Interview: What MH17 Means for Russia

By Bernard Gwertzman | Council on Foreign Relations

The focus of the EU and U.S. response should go beyond the passenger jet downing and address broader concerns about Russia's policies toward Ukraine, says CFR's Stephen Sestanovich.

Middle East

We are Israeli Reservists. We Refuse to Serve.

By Yael Even Or | The Washington Post

Whenever the Israeli army drafts the reserves -- which are made up of ex-soldiers -- there are dissenters, resisters, and AWOLers among the troops called to war. Now that Israel has sent troops to Gaza again and reserves are being summoned to service, dozens are refusing to take part.

Ban Ki-moon's Shameful Message in Israel's Hour of Need

By Anne Bayefsky | The Jerusalem Post

It is hard to imagine two more unwelcome, uninvited visitors to Israel in the middle of a war against Palestinian terrorists than UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry. But even more unwelcome is that they are working together.

Netanyahu Bolstered Hamas While Rejecting Abbas

By Sefi Rachlevsky | Haaretz

Hamas’ racism and messianism must be fought. An iron wall must be erected against them, and against all racism. But that can’t be done by a regime that is itself tainted with racism and messianism.

Images From Gaza Should Trouble Every Israeli

By Gideon Levy | Haaretz

Israeli hearts are brimming with concern for Israeli soldiers in Gaza; but they have no compassion for victims on the other side, not even for children who are dying in gruesome numbers.

Gaza and the Beirut Invasion Scenario

By Abdulrahman Al-Rashed | Asharq Al-Awsat

A host of Israeli newspapers have published calls for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to obliterate Hamas, not just suppress it. Those calling for a full-scale invasion admit the war will cost the Israelis a high price, but say local public opinion is willing to accept those costs.

Hope in the Abattoir

By Roger Cohen | The New York Times

The peoples of the Holy Land are condemned to each other. Realizing that is their only way forward.

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