Media Roundup

United States

Official Says Obama Open to Talking With Iran President

By Paul Richter | Los Angeles Times

President Obama would be open to a repeat of last year’s historic conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at next week’s United Nations General Assembly session, a senior administration official said Thursday.

Obama Given Green Light to Battle Islamic State in Renewed War on Terrorism

By Stephen Dinan | The Washington Times

Congress gave final permission Thursday for the Pentagon to train and arm Syrian rebels, approving part of President Obama’s war plans before fleeing Washington for a two-month break, leaving the White House free rein to fight a war against the Islamic State on its own terms.

Seeking War Powers, Obama Now Ties Islamic State to al Qaeda

By Guy Taylor | The Washington Times

President Obama for years insisted that the new breed of "local" extremists in the Middle East weren't really part of al Qaeda, but now claims the Islamic State group is indeed the same as Osama bin Laden's original network — a rhetorical shift used by the White House to justify its widening war on terrorism without explicit authorization from Congress.

Is Newly-Renovated U.N. Readying For Balkanisation of World?

By Thalif Deen | Inter Press Service

When world political leaders arrive next week for the annual ritual of addressing the United Nations, they will be speaking inside a newly renovated General Assembly hall – part of a hefty 2.1-billion-dollar, seven-year refurbishing project – with an extended seating capacity for 204 member states, 11 more than the current 193.

Latin America

Brazil's Rousseff Closes in on Silva Ahead of October Vote

By Anthony Boadle | Reuters

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has clawed back support at the expense of her main opponent in next month's presidential election, a poll showed on Friday, suggesting the runoff that should decide the vote is too close to call.

Forest Land Rights Need Global Focus

BBC

Recognising the land rights of local people could provide cost-effective protection for many of the world's tropical forests, a report says.

Asia-Pacific

China Debates How to Impose Carbon Caps

By Lucy Hornby | Financial Times

China has recognised the need to temper carbon emissions by imposing a cap but is engaged in fierce debate over how to do so, the nation’s chief climate change negotiator said on Friday.

India Presses China on Border Dispute

By Niharika Mandhana | The Wall Street Journal

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pressed China's president for a speedy resolution of boundary disputes, as Indian and Chinese forces faced off in the Himalayas, while also announcing plans for China to invest $20 billion in India.

Africa

Mugabe Critic Killed in Lagos Church

BBC

A Zimbabwean opposition politician is among at least 80 people who died when a church hostel in the Nigerian city of Lagos collapsed a week ago.

Europe

Scots Reject Independence From Britain in Historic Vote

By Steven Erlanger and Alan Cowell | The New York Times

Scotland decisively turned away a bid for secession from Britain, with the “no” campaign winning 55.3 percent of the vote and the pro-independence side winning 44.7 percent.

Middle East

British Journalist Purportedly Shown in IS Propaganda Video

By Alexander Dziadosz | Reuters

Islamic State militants fighting in Iraq and Syria released a video on Thursday that they said shows British journalist John Cantlie in captivity saying he will soon reveal "facts" about the group to counter its portrayal in Western media.

The Middle East and Its Armies

By Brian M. Downing | Asia Times

The military successes of the Islamic State - at first apparently just a tatterdemalion bunch of ill-equipped jihadists before they became more clearly in focus as a force to be reckoned with - underlines the question of why regular armies across the Middle East and beyond have frequently proven to be ineffective under fire.

Al Qaeda in Syria Threatens West

By Siobhan Gorman and Julian E. Barnes | The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. is tracking multiple terror plots based out of Syria that target the West—threats that current and former intelligence officials say have been traced to al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate and not to Islamic State.

United States

Latin America

This Is What a Leader Looks Like

By David J. Rothkopf | Foreign Policy

Why Marina Silva’s message resonates from the Amazon to the Middle East to the White House.

We Can Save the Caribbean’s Coral Reefs

By Jeremy Jackson and Ayana Elizabeth Johnson | The New York Times

We need to stop overfishing and impose strict regulations on coastal development and pollution.

Asia-Pacific

Africa

The Dangerous, Valuable Work of U.N. Peacekeepers

By Stephen Schlesinger | Los Angeles Times

In mid-August, two United Nations peacekeepers from Burkina Faso were killed and several wounded in a suicide attack in the Timbuktu region of northern Mali.

Interview: Epic Failures Feeding Ebola Crisis

By Danielle Renwick | Council on Foreign Relations

Despite new pledges of international support, West Africa's Ebola outbreak is outpacing efforts to contain and combat it, says CFR's Laurie Garrett.

Europe

We the People of Scotland

By Roger Cohen | The New York Times

The vote to say in Britain amounted to a powerful reminder of the virtues of democracy.

Europe’s Bargain

By Michael Spence | Project Syndicate

Eurozone member countries should implement fiscal and structural reforms in exchange for short-run relaxation of fiscal constraints -- not to increase liabilities, but to focus on growth-oriented investments to jump-start sustained recovery. If they do, private investors would take note, accelerating the recovery process.

Don't Let Ukraine Into NATO

By Josh Cohen | The Moscow Times

Neither NATO membership nor any other privileged association with the alliance should be an option for Ukraine, a fact the West should have learned long ago.

It’s the Colonialism They Hate, Not Jews

By Zeev Sternhell | Haaretz

Most Europeans do not doubt the Jews’ right to an independent state, but they vehemently object to a reality in which we are keeping masses of people under occupation and consciously trampling their basic rights.

Middle East

Sisi’s Foreign Policy

By Abdulrahman Al-Rashed | Asharq Al-Awsat

No one, not even Sisi’s opponents, can deny that the president has taken risky decisions on the domestic front and that he has been able to implement and pull these off.

Latin America

Five Hurt During Second Day of Protests in Guatemala

Latin American Herald Tribune

At least five people were injured and two demonstrators were arrested Thursday on a second day of protests by Guatemalan peasants demanding passage of a law to promote comprehensive rural development.

Mexico Rights Body Probes Deadly Army-Gang Faceoff

By Mark Stevenson and E. Eduardo Castillo | Associated Press

Mexico’s Civil Rights Commission says it is investigating the circumstances of a June confrontation between the army and a suspected drug gang that left 22 people dead.

Environmentalists Call on Peru’s Government to Fight Illegal Logging

Latin American Herald Tribune

Illegal logging is the source of more than 40 percent of mahogany and cedar that Peru exports to the United States, and is behind the death of those who oppose that sector of the lumber industry, such as the four Indian leaders murdered in early September by suspected illegal loggers, environmentalists said.

Asia-Pacific

Japan PM Abe Seeks Summit With South Korea's Park Amid Frosty Ties

By Jack Kim and Antoni Slodkowski | Reuters

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asked South Korean President Park Geun-hye for a summit meeting in a letter handed over on Friday, seeking a breakthrough in the two countries’ frosty ties over Japan’s wartime past, including running military brothels.

Africa

7 Killed While on Guinea Ebola Education Campaign

Associated Press

The prime minister of Guinea says seven bodies have been found after a group of local residents attacked Guinean health workers carrying out Ebola awareness efforts in a rural area.

Europe

Poland Picks New Foreign Minister in Reshuffle

By Monika Scislowska | Associated Press

Poland’s prime minister-designate on Friday named a new foreign minister to replace Radek Sikorski, who has been vocal internationally on the conflict in Ukraine.

Middle East

Yemen Shiite Rebels Agree to Stop Fighting in Sanaa

Agence France-Presse

Yemeni Shiite rebels agreed Friday to stop the fighting against Islamists and troops north of Sanaa, which has killed dozens this week, in their campaign for a new government and greater political clout.

Bahrain Activist Maryam Al-Khawaja Released

Al Jazeera

Authorities in Bahrain have released Shia political activist Maryam Abdulhadi al-Khawaja but the charges against her still stand, the Gulf state’s interior ministry said in a statement.