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Media Roundup

United States

Top News

July 30, 2015

Russia Brands U.S. Democracy-Promoting Group 'Undesirable'

By Carol J. Williams | Los Angeles Times

The Russian government on Wednesday formally branded the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy as an "undesirable" operation, a designation that will force the civil society advocates to shut down their offices and cease issuing grants to Russian rights groups.

Opinion

July 30, 2015

The Iran Deal’s North Korean Shadow

By Christopher R. Hill | Project Syndicate

Many critics of the Iranian nuclear agreement compare Iran’s behavior to that of North Korea, suggesting that the deal will not hold because deals with North Korea never have. The key question is whether Iran's leaders understand that the agreement represents a defining moment for their country.

The Syria Sham and the Iran Deal

By Bret Stephens | The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Syria cheated on its chemical commitments. Iran will cheat on its nuclear ones. Obama provides cover for both.

How to Make Iran Keep Its Word

By Dennis Ross | Politico Magazine

The alternative to the agreement is not war but a mess with our allies. If the Iranians say they will not renegotiate the deal and will not implement the agreement unless the United States does as well, whose side will the other members of the 5+1 be on?

The Americas

Top News

July 30, 2015

Uber Cars Bashed in Mexico, Cabbies Protest Rideshare Apps

By Peter Orsi | The Associated Press

A raucous crowd attacked Uber drivers and their vehicles with clubs and stones outside the Mexico City airport, the company said Wednesday, as licensed taxi drivers demonstrated to demand a "total halt" to app-based rideshare services in the capital.

Off the Radar

July 30, 2015

Barbados and Rwanda Establish Diplomatic Ties

Latin American Herald Tribune

Barbados has established diplomatic relations with Rwanda, a foreign ministry spokesperson told EFE on Wednesday, describing the move as part of the Caribbean country’s strategy of expanding ties with Africa.

Mexico, which has started to open its nationalized oil industry to additional private investment, will postpone auctions for deep-water oil exploration and production contracts and adjust the terms of upcoming tenders after an inaugural oil auction failed to meet the government’s modest expectations.

Colombia-Venezuela Border Closed After Merchant's Death

By Jacobo G. Garcia | The Associated Press

Colombian street vendors clashed for hours with Venezuela's national guard Wednesday after an alleged Colombian smuggler was killed, leading authorities to briefly close the main border crossing between the two countries.

Europe

Top News

July 30, 2015

Preliminary Hearing Underway for Ukrainian Pilot in Russia

By Alexander Roslyakov | The Associated Press

A preliminary hearing in the trial of a Ukrainian officer charged in the deaths of two Russian journalists started in Russia's south on Thursday but was adjourned shortly afterward to consider an appeal of the defense.

Off the Radar

July 30, 2015

Africa

Top News

July 30, 2015

Somalia President: No Elections in 2016

By Abdi Guled | The Associated Press

Somalia's president is ruling out the possibility of holding elections that are due next year, citing security challenges stemming from an Islamic insurgency. Opposition parties charge that that his government is taking advantage of poor security to extend its mandate through postponement of elections.

Middle East

Top News

July 30, 2015

Turkish Fight Against Kurdish Militants Escalates

By Dion Nissenbaum and Yeliz Candemir | The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Turkey’s renewed fight with Kurdish militants intensified as the government launched a new wave of airstrikes in northern Iraq and a blast temporarily crippled a key oil pipeline in southeastern Turkey.

Opinion

July 30, 2015

Erdogan's War: The Turkish President's Big Gamble

By Joshua W. Walker and Andrew J. Bowen | Foreign Affairs

Although observers had expected such an escalation for some time, a number of factors played into Erdogan’s decision to go big now. It remains to be seen, though, whether his calculated risk will pay off in the form of greater security, more regional influence, and more power at home, or will backfire.

Off the Radar

July 30, 2015

The United States will deliver eight F-16 Block 52 aircraft to Egypt within the next two days, the US embassy in Cairo said in a statement, part of a military package that had been unfrozen earlier this year.

Asia / Pacific

Top News

July 30, 2015

China's Defense Ministry on Thursday accused the United States of "militarizing" the South China Sea by staging patrols and joint military drills there, ramping up the rhetoric ahead of a key regional security meeting in Malaysia next week.

Myanmar has pardoned and released 6,966 prisoners, including 210 foreigners, the government says. The amnesties, which the information ministry says the president issued "on humanitarian grounds," come ahead of general elections in November.

Kazakhstan Pins Hopes on Winning Olympic Bid This Week

By Michael Birnbaum | The Washington Post

In a rare two-city Olympic race between Beijing and Kazakhstan’s valley city of Almaty, the Chinese capital might appear to have all the advantages: name recognition, glitz and a geopolitical colossus standing behind the effort. Many Olympics fans would struggle to find Kazakhstan on a map. But the former Soviet republic on the steppe is using its bid for athletic glory to color in the gap between Russia and China in the world’s consciousness.

Opinion

July 30, 2015

Reports on Wednesday that reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar had died will be rightly hailed by some as the demise of an American nemesis. But the death of the one-eyed Afghan commander may also scuttle the most promising peace talks in Afghanistan in a decade.

The Ballad of Mullah Omar

By Jon Lee Anderson | The New Yorker

Mullah Omar’s Taliban survived NATO’s extended presence in Afghanistan. In some ways, it can be argued that it defeated it.

Off the Radar

July 30, 2015

United States

Top News

July 30, 2015

Russia Brands U.S. Democracy-Promoting Group 'Undesirable'

By Carol J. Williams | Los Angeles Times

The Russian government on Wednesday formally branded the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy as an "undesirable" operation, a designation that will force the civil society advocates to shut down their offices and cease issuing grants to Russian rights groups.

Opinion

July 30, 2015

The Iran Deal’s North Korean Shadow

By Christopher R. Hill | Project Syndicate

Many critics of the Iranian nuclear agreement compare Iran’s behavior to that of North Korea, suggesting that the deal will not hold because deals with North Korea never have. The key question is whether Iran's leaders understand that the agreement represents a defining moment for their country.

The Syria Sham and the Iran Deal

By Bret Stephens | The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Syria cheated on its chemical commitments. Iran will cheat on its nuclear ones. Obama provides cover for both.

How to Make Iran Keep Its Word

By Dennis Ross | Politico Magazine

The alternative to the agreement is not war but a mess with our allies. If the Iranians say they will not renegotiate the deal and will not implement the agreement unless the United States does as well, whose side will the other members of the 5+1 be on?

The Americas

Top News

July 30, 2015

Uber Cars Bashed in Mexico, Cabbies Protest Rideshare Apps

By Peter Orsi | The Associated Press

A raucous crowd attacked Uber drivers and their vehicles with clubs and stones outside the Mexico City airport, the company said Wednesday, as licensed taxi drivers demonstrated to demand a "total halt" to app-based rideshare services in the capital.

Off the Radar

July 30, 2015

Barbados and Rwanda Establish Diplomatic Ties

Latin American Herald Tribune

Barbados has established diplomatic relations with Rwanda, a foreign ministry spokesperson told EFE on Wednesday, describing the move as part of the Caribbean country’s strategy of expanding ties with Africa.

Mexico, which has started to open its nationalized oil industry to additional private investment, will postpone auctions for deep-water oil exploration and production contracts and adjust the terms of upcoming tenders after an inaugural oil auction failed to meet the government’s modest expectations.

Colombia-Venezuela Border Closed After Merchant's Death

By Jacobo G. Garcia | The Associated Press

Colombian street vendors clashed for hours with Venezuela's national guard Wednesday after an alleged Colombian smuggler was killed, leading authorities to briefly close the main border crossing between the two countries.

Europe

Top News

July 30, 2015

Preliminary Hearing Underway for Ukrainian Pilot in Russia

By Alexander Roslyakov | The Associated Press

A preliminary hearing in the trial of a Ukrainian officer charged in the deaths of two Russian journalists started in Russia's south on Thursday but was adjourned shortly afterward to consider an appeal of the defense.

Off the Radar

July 30, 2015

Africa

Top News

July 30, 2015

Somalia President: No Elections in 2016

By Abdi Guled | The Associated Press

Somalia's president is ruling out the possibility of holding elections that are due next year, citing security challenges stemming from an Islamic insurgency. Opposition parties charge that that his government is taking advantage of poor security to extend its mandate through postponement of elections.

Middle East

Top News

July 30, 2015

Turkish Fight Against Kurdish Militants Escalates

By Dion Nissenbaum and Yeliz Candemir | The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Turkey’s renewed fight with Kurdish militants intensified as the government launched a new wave of airstrikes in northern Iraq and a blast temporarily crippled a key oil pipeline in southeastern Turkey.

Opinion

July 30, 2015

Erdogan's War: The Turkish President's Big Gamble

By Joshua W. Walker and Andrew J. Bowen | Foreign Affairs

Although observers had expected such an escalation for some time, a number of factors played into Erdogan’s decision to go big now. It remains to be seen, though, whether his calculated risk will pay off in the form of greater security, more regional influence, and more power at home, or will backfire.

Off the Radar

July 30, 2015

The United States will deliver eight F-16 Block 52 aircraft to Egypt within the next two days, the US embassy in Cairo said in a statement, part of a military package that had been unfrozen earlier this year.

Asia / Pacific

Top News

July 30, 2015

China's Defense Ministry on Thursday accused the United States of "militarizing" the South China Sea by staging patrols and joint military drills there, ramping up the rhetoric ahead of a key regional security meeting in Malaysia next week.

Myanmar has pardoned and released 6,966 prisoners, including 210 foreigners, the government says. The amnesties, which the information ministry says the president issued "on humanitarian grounds," come ahead of general elections in November.

Kazakhstan Pins Hopes on Winning Olympic Bid This Week

By Michael Birnbaum | The Washington Post

In a rare two-city Olympic race between Beijing and Kazakhstan’s valley city of Almaty, the Chinese capital might appear to have all the advantages: name recognition, glitz and a geopolitical colossus standing behind the effort. Many Olympics fans would struggle to find Kazakhstan on a map. But the former Soviet republic on the steppe is using its bid for athletic glory to color in the gap between Russia and China in the world’s consciousness.

Opinion

July 30, 2015

Reports on Wednesday that reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar had died will be rightly hailed by some as the demise of an American nemesis. But the death of the one-eyed Afghan commander may also scuttle the most promising peace talks in Afghanistan in a decade.

The Ballad of Mullah Omar

By Jon Lee Anderson | The New Yorker

Mullah Omar’s Taliban survived NATO’s extended presence in Afghanistan. In some ways, it can be argued that it defeated it.

Off the Radar

July 30, 2015

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