Media Roundup

United States

Obama Stays Low-Key on Ukraine, Waits for Europe to Take Bigger Role

By Kathleen Hennessey | Los Angeles Times

In the week since the downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet snapped the world’s attention onto the war in Ukraine, President Obama has made three statements, called several world leaders, identified the parties responsible and repeatedly expressed moral outrage.

Obama Faces a Test as Crises Cascade and Converge

By Peter Baker | The New York Times

Rarely has a president been confronted with so many seemingly disparate foreign policy crises at once, and the interlocking nature of them all is making the current upheaval more complicated.

Obama Orders Pentagon Advisers to Ukraine to Fend Off Putin-Backed Rebels

By Maggie Ybarra | The Washington Times

A team of Pentagon officials is heading to Ukraine to help the country rebuild its fractured military, a mission that lawmakers and analysts expect will result in recommendations for greater military assistance in the country’s fight against pro-Russia separatists amid international outrage over the downing of a commercial airplane.

U.S., Russia, China Hamper ICC’s Reach

By Joel Jaeger | Inter Press Service

Despite making important strides in the first dozen years of its existence, the International Criminal Court (ICC) faces a daunting task if it hopes to create a reputation as a truly global institution.

Latin America

Venezuela Tower of David Squatters Evicted

BBC

Venezuelan soldiers and officials have begun removing hundreds of families from a half-built 45-storey tower that dominates Caracas. Correspondents say that the eviction of 3,000 squatters from the Tower of David is proceeding peacefully.

Argentina Debt: Judge Orders Non-Stop Negotiations

BBC

A U.S. judge has ordered Argentina and its creditors to meet "continuously" to avoid the nation defaulting on its debts. Argentina has been in a legal dispute with investors holding debt from the nation's default in 2001-2002.

Mexico: Promises of Hope Tarnished by Lack of Change

By Damien Cave | The New York Times

Even as the president garners international praise for pushing through reforms in energy, education and taxes, voters are less willing to embrace platitudes without true transparency.

Asia-Pacific

Understanding Indonesia's Presidential Election

By Matt Hansen and Paul Olund | Los Angeles Times

After weeks of ballot-counting, Indonesia’s elections commission released the official results from the country’s presidential election, the first with a non-incumbent candidate in 10 years.

Africa

Nigeria's Boko Haram Blamed for Blowing up Bridge

BBC

Militant Islamists are suspected to have blown up a major bridge in north-eastern Nigeria, disrupting transport links with Cameroon, residents said. Cars and lorries loaded with goods are stranded on the highway unable to cross the Ngala Bridge, they told the BBC.

Niger Is Hurt by Runaway Birthrates

By Adam Nossiter | The New York Times

Niger, with its exploding population and its vast unfertile territory, has one of the lowest rates of contraceptive use in the world, a researcher reports.

Europe

Kiev: Rebels Down Two Ukrainian Warplanes

By James Marson | The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

Separatists shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets over a town close to where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed, a Ukrainian defense ministry spokesman said.

U.S. Intelligence Nearly Certain Pro-Russian Separatists Downed Flight

By Guy Taylor and Dave Boyer | The Washington Times

U.S. intelligence officials say they are now nearly certain it was pro-Russian separatists who fired the SA-11 antiaircraft missile that downed a Malaysia Airlines flight last week, and that the separatists likely did not know they had hit a commercial airliner until after it had slammed to the ground.

Middle East

Islamic State Says Carried Out Baghdad Suicide Bombing

Reuters

Islamic State militants claimed responsibility on Wednesday for an overnight suicide bombing in a Shi'ite district of Baghdad which killed 33 people, one of the deadliest recent attacks in the Iraqi capital.

100 Candidates Vie for Iraq Presidency in Sign System Is Out of Control

By Roy Gutman | McClatchy Newspapers

Iraq’s parliament will meet Wednesday to elect a new president, a crucial step toward naming a new prime minister and government, but questions are growing about whether anyone can save the country after the collapse of its army and the loss of as much as half its territory to the radical Islamic State.

United States

The Big 2016 Foreign Policy Debates

By William A. Galston | The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

Rand Paul will fight the GOP hawks, and Joe Biden could run to the left of Hillary Clinton.

A Crisis Made in Washington

By Tariq Alhomayed | Asharq Al-Awsat

Has the West become accustomed to crises taking place in the Middle East, no longer caring about them (with the Syrian conflict serving as a prime example here)?

Latin America

‘Two Countries, No Home’

By Verity Oswin | The New York Times

After having grown up in the United States as an undocumented immigrant, Rufino Santiz Díaz decided to return to Chiapas, Mexico -- and now finds himself caught between two worlds.

Asia-Pacific

Europe

The u.S. and Germany

By David Ignatius | The Washington Post

After a high-level meeting in Berlin this week, this long-standing but veiled cooperation may have a firmer legal and political base.

Russia Should Be Punished for Destabilizing Ukraine -- But Not Isolated

By Stephen J. Hadley | The Washington Post

The shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 has focused the world’s attention on Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. But the most basic questions are still unanswered: What is Russian President Vladi­mir Putin up to? How far will he go? And what should the United States do about it?

Russians Will Back Putin, No Matter the Cost

By Georgy Bovt | The Moscow Times

The more pressure the international community applies, the stronger anti-Western sentiment will become and the higher Putin's ratings will climb.

Putin’s Tipping Point?

By Nina L. Khrushcheva | Project Syndicate

When incompetence in the Kremlin turns murderous, its incumbents can begin to tremble. As news of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine trickled into Russia, people with a long memory recalled the Soviet Union’s attack, 31 years ago this September, on Korean Air Lines Flight 007, and its political consequences.

Middle East

War and Media in the Gaza Strip

By Jake Flanagin | The New York Times

The conflict in Gaza is playing out on two fronts: on the ground, and in the media. And when it comes to the latter, some say Israel is losing ground.

The Last Great Myth About Egypt

By Steven A. Cook | Council on Foreign Relations

Egypt has never been the impartial mediator between Israelis and Palestinians that Washington expects, and continued fighting is in its interest.

The Hamas Strategy in Gaza

By Frida Ghitis | Miami Herald

Hamas cannot beat Israel in an open military confrontation. That’s no secret. Hamas knows it as well as anyone.

Gaza Needs a Permanent Solution

By Ali Ibrahim | Asharq Al-Awsat

It almost seems like the inescapable destiny of the Gazan people is that every two years a war breaks out in their country, with airstrikes and an Israeli ground offensive that takes a heavy toll on civilians.

United States

Latin America

Asia-Pacific

Muslim Rebel Attacks Kill 18 People in Philippines

By AFP | The China Post

An escalation of fighting between the Philippine army and a breakaway Muslim rebel group in the country's south killed 18 people in a single day of violence, the military said Tuesday.

China Offers to Train Maldives Maritime Personnel

By Ananth Krishnan | The Hindu

China has offered to train maritime personnel in the Maldives as well as boost its involvement in infrastructure projects in the island nation, as Beijing moves forward with plans to deepen its economic links with the region through its new “maritime silk road” initiative.

Africa

South Sudan Rebel Team Leaves Uganda Without Meeting on Mending Ties

By Elias Biryabarema | Reuters

South Sudanese rebels who want to mend ties with Uganda and press for the withdrawal of Ugandan troops from South Sudan left Kampala without meeting the president, blaming miscommunication between the two sides, a rebel official said Tuesday.

Foreigners to be Barred From Buying Land in South Africa

By SAPA | Times Live

The government will introduce legislation to stop foreigners buying land in South Africa but does not think it wise to expropriate existing foreign-owned land, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said.

DRC Military Assault Leaves Eight Dead

By Juakali Kambale | Africa Review

The attack by rebels on the Democratic Republic of Congo presidential guards' barracks Tuesday left at least eight people dead, officials said.

Uganda, Kenya Resolve Sugar Disagreement

By Stephen Otage | The East African

The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) have finally resolved the sugar trade dispute which has been raging between the two countries over the source of sugar entering Kenya.

Ethiopian Airlines to Connect Uganda to South Sudan

By Titus Kakembo | New Vision

Traders and other organizations transacting business in South Sudan are beaming with smiles of satisfaction after Ethiopian Airlines was granted permission to operate direct flights between Entebbe and Juba starting next week.

Middle East

Qatar, Saudi Rulers Meet for Gaza Cease-Fire Talks

By Abdullah al-Shihri | Associated Press

For the first time since an unprecedented diplomatic rift among Gulf powerhouses, Qatar's emir flew to Saudi Arabia late Tuesday in a surprise visit and met with King Abdullah to discuss cease-fire efforts that have yet to bring an end to 15 days of war in the Gaza Strip.