Media Roundup

United States

Top News

Jeb Bush Tests Choppy Republican Waters

By Megan Murphy | Financial Times

As Jeb Bush appeared to edge closer to a presidential run in recent months, pundits have salivated over the prospect of a 2016 showdown between America’s two modern political dynasties—the Bushes and the Clintons.

Opinion

An Empty, Token Gesture

By Abdulrahman Al-Rashed | Asharq Alawsat

During a hearing in the US Congress dedicated to discussing Syria and the war on ISIS, some congressmen were surprised that the American government military training program for the Syrian opposition will begin next spring and end a year later in the spring of 2016! “What are we supposed to do until then? Bomb marginal targets while the training plan continues?” they asked.

The Sound of Torture

By Peter Maass | The Intercept

The problem of American torture is much larger than what happened to 119 detainees at CIA black sites from 2002 to 2006. It also happened across Iraq and Afghanistan.

The CIA Interrogations Followed the Law

By Michael B. Mukasey | The Wall Street Journal

Some of those now criticizing the program as illegal seem oddly uninterested in the laws they themselves helped write.

The Americas

Top News

Uruguay Leader: Ex-Gitmo Prisoners Not Terrorists

By Leonardo Haberkorn | The Associated Press

The United States guaranteed that six former Guantanamo Bay prisoners had not been involved in terrorism before they arrived to Uruguay as refugees, President Jose Mujica said on Tuesday.

Opinion

Is Pena Nieto Facing a Mexican Spring?

By Arjan Shahani | Americas Quarterly

Two years ago, Enrique Pena Nieto took office as Mexico’s president, under the banner of a renovated Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) and with a promise of a brighter economic, social and political future.

Off the Radar

Europe

Top News

EU Court Takes Hamas Off Terrorist List

The Associated Press

A European Union court on Wednesday ordered the Palestinian group Hamas removed from the EU terrorist list for procedural reasons, but says the bloc can maintain asset freezes against Hamas members for now.

Ruble Remains Volatile as Fear Grips Russia

By Michael Birnbaum | The Washington Post

The currency was swinging wildly on Wednesday, fueling bad memories of Russia’s unstable economy of the 1990s. Meanwhile, Putin remains mum.

Off the Radar

EU to Tighten Sanctions on Russia Over Crimea This Week

The Moscow Times

The European Union will widen its ban on investment in Crimea to target Russian Black Sea oil and gas exploration, EU officials said Wednesday, tightening sanctions first imposed over Moscow’s annexation of the region.

Russia to Give Belarus Four S-300 Surface-to-Air Missile Systems

TASS

The Belarusian army will get four S-300 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia next year, Russian ambassador to Belarus Alexander Surikov said in Minsk on Wednesday. Russia also plans to increase the number of combat aircraft deployed in Belarus to 12, and the number of trainer aircraft to two.

Africa

Opinion

Off the Radar

Middle East

Top News

Yemen’s Shiite Rebels Close Port, Storm Newspaper

By Ahmed Al-Haj | The Associated Press

Yemen’s powerful Shiite rebels who seized the capital, Sanaa, earlier this year shut down a strategic Red Sea port on Wednesday, and stormed the offices of the country’s main state newspaper, officials said.

ISIS: The Inside Story

By Martin Chulov | The Guardian

One of the Islamic State’s senior commanders reveals exclusive details of the terror group’s origins inside an Iraqi prison—right under the noses of their American jailers.

Iran Criticized for Executing Drug Offenders

By Rick Gladstone | The New York Times

Rights groups have called on the United Nations to halt its counternarcotics aid to the country because of its mandatory death penalty for drug crimes.

Opinion

The Calm Before the Storm: Why Volatility Signals Stability, and Vice Versa

By Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Gregory F. Treverton | Foreign Affairs

Instead of trying to predict “Black Swan” events such as coups or crises, forecasters should look at how political systems handle disorder. The best indicator of a country’s future trajectory is not a lengthy past stability but recent moderate volatility.

Off the Radar

Turkish FM’s Iran Visit Highlights Split Over Syria

Hurriyet Daily News

A visit to Iran by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu today highlighted the two countries’ opposing views on the Syrian conflict, though both said “dialogue” was needed to close gaps.

German Cabinet Approves Training Mission to Iraq

By Reuters | Hurriyet Daily News

The German Cabinet on Wednesday agreed to send around 100 German troops to northern Iraq to train Kurdish peshmerga forces fighting so-called Islamic State (IS) militants.

Asia / Pacific

Top News

Pakistan School: Devastation Where 148 Were Slain

By Rebecca Santana and Riaz Khan | The Associated Press

The Taliban massacre that killed 148 people, mostly children, at a military-run school in northwestern Pakistan left a scene of heart-wrenching devastation, pools of blood and young lives snuffed out as the nation mourned and mass funerals for the victims got underway Wednesday.

In Japan-China Ties, the Past Is Personal

By Andrew Browne | The Wall Street Journal

China’s World: Abe’s firm election mandate could mean a warming with China. But Manchukuo, a wartime industrial wonder engineered by Abe’s grandfather in China, illustrates the heavy—and personal—weight of history on ties.

Opinion

A U.S.-China ‘Reset’?

By David Ignatius | The Washington Post

This year began with some Chinese and American foreign-policy analysts looking back a century to World War I and wondering if confrontation was inevitable between a rising power and a dominant one.

Thanking Bangladesh

By Shashi Tharoor | Project Syndicate

The demarcation of the India-Pakistan border by the British was a slapdash affair, concocted by a collapsing empire in headlong retreat from its responsibilities.

Off the Radar

India to Lease Second Nuclear Submarine From Russia

By Rajat Pandit/TNN | The Times of India

India is on course to acquire a second nuclear-powered submarine on lease from Russia to bolster its depleted underwater combat arm as well as train its sailors in the complex art of operating such vessels.

Top News

Jeb Bush Tests Choppy Republican Waters

By Megan Murphy | Financial Times

As Jeb Bush appeared to edge closer to a presidential run in recent months, pundits have salivated over the prospect of a 2016 showdown between America’s two modern political dynasties—the Bushes and the Clintons.

Opinion

An Empty, Token Gesture

By Abdulrahman Al-Rashed | Asharq Alawsat

During a hearing in the US Congress dedicated to discussing Syria and the war on ISIS, some congressmen were surprised that the American government military training program for the Syrian opposition will begin next spring and end a year later in the spring of 2016! “What are we supposed to do until then? Bomb marginal targets while the training plan continues?” they asked.

The Sound of Torture

By Peter Maass | The Intercept

The problem of American torture is much larger than what happened to 119 detainees at CIA black sites from 2002 to 2006. It also happened across Iraq and Afghanistan.

The CIA Interrogations Followed the Law

By Michael B. Mukasey | The Wall Street Journal

Some of those now criticizing the program as illegal seem oddly uninterested in the laws they themselves helped write.

Top News

Uruguay Leader: Ex-Gitmo Prisoners Not Terrorists

By Leonardo Haberkorn | The Associated Press

The United States guaranteed that six former Guantanamo Bay prisoners had not been involved in terrorism before they arrived to Uruguay as refugees, President Jose Mujica said on Tuesday.

Opinion

Is Pena Nieto Facing a Mexican Spring?

By Arjan Shahani | Americas Quarterly

Two years ago, Enrique Pena Nieto took office as Mexico’s president, under the banner of a renovated Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) and with a promise of a brighter economic, social and political future.

Off the Radar

Top News

EU Court Takes Hamas Off Terrorist List

The Associated Press

A European Union court on Wednesday ordered the Palestinian group Hamas removed from the EU terrorist list for procedural reasons, but says the bloc can maintain asset freezes against Hamas members for now.

Ruble Remains Volatile as Fear Grips Russia

By Michael Birnbaum | The Washington Post

The currency was swinging wildly on Wednesday, fueling bad memories of Russia’s unstable economy of the 1990s. Meanwhile, Putin remains mum.

Off the Radar

EU to Tighten Sanctions on Russia Over Crimea This Week

The Moscow Times

The European Union will widen its ban on investment in Crimea to target Russian Black Sea oil and gas exploration, EU officials said Wednesday, tightening sanctions first imposed over Moscow’s annexation of the region.

Russia to Give Belarus Four S-300 Surface-to-Air Missile Systems

TASS

The Belarusian army will get four S-300 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia next year, Russian ambassador to Belarus Alexander Surikov said in Minsk on Wednesday. Russia also plans to increase the number of combat aircraft deployed in Belarus to 12, and the number of trainer aircraft to two.

Opinion

Off the Radar

Top News

Yemen’s Shiite Rebels Close Port, Storm Newspaper

By Ahmed Al-Haj | The Associated Press

Yemen’s powerful Shiite rebels who seized the capital, Sanaa, earlier this year shut down a strategic Red Sea port on Wednesday, and stormed the offices of the country’s main state newspaper, officials said.

ISIS: The Inside Story

By Martin Chulov | The Guardian

One of the Islamic State’s senior commanders reveals exclusive details of the terror group’s origins inside an Iraqi prison—right under the noses of their American jailers.

Iran Criticized for Executing Drug Offenders

By Rick Gladstone | The New York Times

Rights groups have called on the United Nations to halt its counternarcotics aid to the country because of its mandatory death penalty for drug crimes.

Opinion

The Calm Before the Storm: Why Volatility Signals Stability, and Vice Versa

By Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Gregory F. Treverton | Foreign Affairs

Instead of trying to predict “Black Swan” events such as coups or crises, forecasters should look at how political systems handle disorder. The best indicator of a country’s future trajectory is not a lengthy past stability but recent moderate volatility.

Off the Radar

Turkish FM’s Iran Visit Highlights Split Over Syria

Hurriyet Daily News

A visit to Iran by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu today highlighted the two countries’ opposing views on the Syrian conflict, though both said “dialogue” was needed to close gaps.

German Cabinet Approves Training Mission to Iraq

By Reuters | Hurriyet Daily News

The German Cabinet on Wednesday agreed to send around 100 German troops to northern Iraq to train Kurdish peshmerga forces fighting so-called Islamic State (IS) militants.

Top News

Pakistan School: Devastation Where 148 Were Slain

By Rebecca Santana and Riaz Khan | The Associated Press

The Taliban massacre that killed 148 people, mostly children, at a military-run school in northwestern Pakistan left a scene of heart-wrenching devastation, pools of blood and young lives snuffed out as the nation mourned and mass funerals for the victims got underway Wednesday.

In Japan-China Ties, the Past Is Personal

By Andrew Browne | The Wall Street Journal

China’s World: Abe’s firm election mandate could mean a warming with China. But Manchukuo, a wartime industrial wonder engineered by Abe’s grandfather in China, illustrates the heavy—and personal—weight of history on ties.

Opinion

A U.S.-China ‘Reset’?

By David Ignatius | The Washington Post

This year began with some Chinese and American foreign-policy analysts looking back a century to World War I and wondering if confrontation was inevitable between a rising power and a dominant one.

Thanking Bangladesh

By Shashi Tharoor | Project Syndicate

The demarcation of the India-Pakistan border by the British was a slapdash affair, concocted by a collapsing empire in headlong retreat from its responsibilities.

Off the Radar

India to Lease Second Nuclear Submarine From Russia

By Rajat Pandit/TNN | The Times of India

India is on course to acquire a second nuclear-powered submarine on lease from Russia to bolster its depleted underwater combat arm as well as train its sailors in the complex art of operating such vessels.