Media Roundup

United States

Identifying James Foley's Executioner Seen as Possible, if Difficult

By Christopher Werth | Los Angeles Times

The black-hooded executioner who beheaded American journalist James Foley may have left more clues to his identity than he intended, experts said Thursday, beginning with his distinctly British voice, a sonic fingerprint that gives investigators a fighting chance of determining his identity.

Latin America

Asia-Pacific

Persistent Pakistan Protests Raise Fears of Military Intervention

By Farhan Bokhari | Financial Times (registration required)

Thousands of anti-government protesters were camped across the road from Pakistan’s parliament on Friday, prolonging a deadlock between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and opposition politicians. The week-long protests have raised the prospect of an eventual military intervention in the nuclear-armed south Asian country.

Beijing Faces Pressure to Spur China's Economic Growth

By Mark Magnier | The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

China's economy faces an uphill battle for the rest of 2014, adding pressure on Beijing to step up government spending or free up money to spur growth.

Africa

Europe

Rebels Falter, But Russian Border Buzzes With Activity

By Andrew Roth | The New York Times

The activity and overt presence of separatists in Russian border towns, which are closely watched by the Russian border guard service, are evidence that the rebels' activities are at the very least tolerated.

Russia Ramps Up Information War in Europe

By Anton Troianovski | The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Its image battered by conflict in Ukraine, Russia is pushing to rebuild and expand Soviet-Era foreign state media.

A Fast-Food Symbol of America Falls in Moscow

By David M. Herszenhorn | The New York Times

The Russian government ordered four McDonald's in Moscow closed on Wednesday. The official reason given by the country's consumer protection agency was "numerous violations of the sanitary code," but the move appeared to be political.

Middle East

Death Toll in Syria War at Least 191,369 Through April 2014: UN

By Stephanie Nebehay | Reuters

At least 191,369 people have been killed in Syria's conflict through April, more than double the figure documented a year ago and probably still an under-estimate, the United Nations human rights office said on Friday.

Iran Denies Report Linking Iraq Cooperation to Nuclear Talks

Reuters

On Thursday a story from the official Iranian News Agency (IRNA) cited by several news organizations reported Foreign Minister Javad Zarif as saying that if Iran agreed to “do something in Iraq, the other side in the negotiations will need to do something in return".

United States

No Time to Lead from Behind

By Michael Gerson | The Washington Post

Obama remains a rhetorical spectator to events in Iraq and Syria that he does not want to own and that he believes the United States has a limited ability to influence.

The New Battle Against Evil

By David Ignatius | The Washington Post

Obama’s voice could have been clearer and more emphatic, early on, but the basic course of his policy has been correct. He has moved strategically, step by step, gathering the tools that will be needed to confront this malignancy.

Will Sanctions Sideline the U.S. Dollar?

By Conn Hallinan | Foreign Policy in Focus

The recent round of sanctions aimed at Moscow could backfire on Washington by accelerating a move away from the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

Asia-Pacific

China's Fire Next Time

By Yu Yongding | Project Syndicate

Unless Chinese officials stem the rise in corporate leverage, economic crisis will ensue.

Africa

How to Prevent Total Disaster in South Sudan

By Rajiv Shah, Valerie Amos, et al. | Foreign Policy

After half a year of fighting, the world's newest country is barreling toward calamity. But its leaders can pull it back from the brink -- if they choose to do so.

Africa's City On a Hill

By Seth Kaplan | Foreign Affairs

Life in Lagos is improving, and so the city offers a potential lesson for struggling states looking to stage a turnaround. 

Europe

NATO Needs Strong Policy Against Cyber Threats

By James G. Stavridis and Dave Weinstein | The Boston Globe

NATO needs to get serious about the potential for cyber conflict. That means formulating a clearly defined policy and deciding upon an appropriate response.

NATO's Second-Class Members

By Slawomir Sierakowski | The New York Times

There is no need to pretend: Those members who have no NATO bases are simply a gray area of second-class membership.

Italy's Downward Spiral

By Hans-Werner Sinn | Project Syndicate

Italy is now in a triple-dip recession. But it didn’t get there by itself. Yes, the economy’s long slide reflects Italian leaders’ failure to confront the country’s loss of competitiveness; but it is a failure that is widely shared in Europe.

Middle East

No Middle Road

By Tarek Osman | Foreign Affairs

The violence gripping the Middle East has distracted the world from the seismic changes transforming almost all large Arab societies. These changes will confront the Arab middle classes with difficult choices and shape the future of the region.

Turkey's Failed Foreign Policy

By Aaron Stein | The New York Times

After initially receiving accolades, Mr. Davutoglu's decision-making has become a source of controversy in the West. And in the Middle East, Turkey's embrace of religiously conservative political movements has run afoul of several Persian Gulf States, and now Egypt, contributing to its political isolation.

Latin America

Asia-Pacific

India FM to Visit Vietnam to Boost Ties

By Smriti Kak Ramachandran | The Hindu

To give a fillip to India’s bilateral ties with Vietnam and in keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Look East policy, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will leave for a three-day visit to Vietnam on August 24.

South Korea Hints at Mending Ties With Japan

By Kang Hyun-kyung | The Korea Times

Seoul officials have recently been cautiously but increasingly talking about a possible South Korea-Japan summit, sending signals that such a meeting would be possible if Japan takes sincere measures to resolve the wartime sex slavery issue.

U.K.'s Clegg to Lead Business Delegation to India

By Parvathi Menon | The Hindu

Education, research, the retail sector, and aerospace will be the major focus areas of a large trade delegation led by British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg that will visit India for three days starting Aug. 25.

North Korea Likely to Have Abduction Report Ready by Mid-September

By Jiji | The Japan Times

North Korea is expected to make an initial report on its investigation into Japanese nationals abducted or believed to have been abducted by the reclusive country in the second week of September at the earliest, according to informed sources.

Africa

Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia to Resume Water Talks

Egypt Independent

Water ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will resume next Monday three-party negotiations on the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam crisis in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

CAR Unveils New Government

By AFP | News24

The prime minister of the Central African Republic unveiled his new government Friday, a broad coalition which includes representatives from rival armed groups.

Europe

Middle East