Media Roundup

United States

CIA Apologizes for Snooping on Senate Staff Computers

By Denver Nicks | Time

A report from the CIA’s inspector general faulted agency employees for improperly accessing Senate staffers’ computers during an investigation into Bush-era CIA interrogation practices.

Latin America

Argentine Leader Defies Wall Street for Main Street

By Juan Forero, Ken Parks and Shane Romig | The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

Argentines awoke Thursday to find their country was once again a financial pariah after the populist President Cristina Kirchner stared down Wall Street hedge funds and pushed her country into its second default in 13 years.

Laws that Kill Protesters in Mexico

By Daniela Pastrana | Inter Press Service

People in this town in the central Mexican state of Puebla found out the hard way that protesting can be deadly. A new law passed in Puebla makes it possible for police to use firearms or deadly force to break up demonstrations.

Asia-Pacific

State-Appointed Muslim Leader Killed in China

By James T. Areddy | The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

The state-approved leader of China's largest mosque by size was killed in the far western Chinese city of Kashgar, according to multiple accounts, in the latest violence in a region beset by ethnic and religious strife.

Africa

Uganda Court Invalidates Anti-Gay Law

By Rodney Muhumuza | The Associated Press

A Ugandan court on Friday invalidated an anti-gay bill signed into law earlier this year, saying it was illegally passed and is therefore unconstitutional.

Human Rights Low on U.S-Africa Policy Summit

By Julia Hotz | Inter Press Service

As the White House prepares to host more than 40 African heads of state for the upcoming U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, civil society actors from the U.S., Africa and the international community are urging the Barack Obama administration to use the summit as an opportunity to more thoroughly address some of Africa’s most pressing human rights violations.

Europe

Ukraine's Parliament Rejects Prime Minister's Resignation

By Steven Zeitchik | Los Angeles Times

A week after Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said he wanted to resign, the government offered a reply: You can’t. The Ukrainian parliament voted Thursday to keep Yatsenyuk as prime minister. The tally was 109-16 against Yatsenyuk’s resignation. A total of 325 members either abstained or weren’t present.

Middle East

Islamic State Imposes Media Controls in Syrian Province

Reuters

Islamic State, the al Qaeda splinter group which has seized parts of Syria and Iraq, has told activists in Syria's Deir al-Zor province they must swear allegiance to it and submit to censorship, a monitoring group said on Friday.

In Libya, Islamist Rebels Claim Control of Benghazi

By Amro Hassan | Los Angeles Times

The announcement comes a day after the militant group Ansar al Sharia defeated government troops fighting alongside rogue former general Khalifa Haftar's army to take over the biggest special forces base in the city. The group joined forces with other Islamist militias under the umbrella of the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries.

Cease-Fire in Gaza Collapses; Israeli Soldier Is Captured

By Isabel Kershner and Fares Akram | The New York Times

A humanitarian cease-fire in the Gaza conflict collapsed hours after it came into effect on Friday with the Israeli military announcing that a soldier appeared to have been captured by Palestinian militants.

Libya Wakes from a Dream

By Hisham Matar | The New Yorker

In the days after the revolution, Libyans were full of hope. Now they face the abyss of civil war.

United States

Leaving U.S. Allies Adrift as Chaos Rises

By Joseph Lieberman | The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

In Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East, America's friends are on the defensive and increasingly feeling alone.

The Islamic State’s Challenge to the United States

By David Ignatius | The Washington Post

Warnings from U.S. officials about the terrorist Islamic State that has established a haven in Iraq and Syria sound ominously like the intelligence alerts that preceded al-Qaeda’s attack on Sept. 11, 2001.

Latin America

Support Religious Freedom in Cuba

By Katrina Landos Swett and Mary Ann Glendon | Miami Herald

After coming to power, the Castro government broke its pro-democracy pledges and, despite recent improvements, maintains a problematic record on human rights, including religious freedom.

New Hope for Haiti

By Ban Ki-moon | Project Syndicate

In recent years, the UN's commitment to Haiti has helped to reduce the toll of the cholera epidemic that has been ravaging the country since 2010, while promoting security, stability, and human rights. The international community now must step up to support continued progress in these areas.

Mercosur Blues

By Andrés Velasco | Project Syndicate

When the leaders of Mercosur met in Caracas this week, the usual bluster about standing up to imperialism filled the air. But so did the unmistakable scent of decay.

Asia-Pacific

Aegis, Missile Defense and the U.S. Pivot

By Robert Holzer and Scott Truver | The Diplomat

Geopolitical developments across the Western Pacific region are generating a rise in military modernization efforts among U.S. allies and partners and other countries.

Africa

Africa’s Slide Toward Disaster

By Helen Epstein | The New York Times

A U.S.-Africa summit meeting needs to address how American policies have fostered a culture of abuse and rebellion.

Interview: What to Expect at the U.S.-Africa Summit

By Zachary Laub | Council on Foreign Relations

The first U.S.-Africa summit brings fifty heads of state to Washington to spur business, security, and political ties. CFR’s Jendayi Frazer says the event brings much needed attention to Africa’s needs and potential.

Europe

The Rise of Putinism

By Fareed Zakaria | The Washington Post

When the Cold War ended, Hungary occupied a special place in the story of the revolutions of 1989. It was the first country in the Soviet orbit to abandon communism and embrace liberal democracy. Today it is again a trendsetter, becoming the first European country to denounce and distance itself from liberal democracy.

Middle East

Why Israel Needs to Destroy the Tunnels

By David Keene | The Washington Times

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has the support of something like 84% of his fellow citizens for his effort to destroy the dozens of tunnels Hamas has dug under Israeli territory over the last few years because every Israeli knows that they allow Hamas fighters to infiltrate their country to kidnap and kill Israeli civilians or worse.

Israel's Doctrine of Proportionality in Gaza

By Dore Gold | Los Angeles Times

The images of destruction after the battle between the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas that began July 20 in the Shajaiya neighborhood in the Gaza Strip have caused many to declare, in a now-frequent refrain, that the IDF is behaving “disproportionately.”

Dead Palestinian Children in Gaza Tell Story of Impunity

By Ahdaf Soueif | Los Angeles Times

By the time you read this, who knows how many people will have been killed in Israel's latest onslaught in the Gaza Strip? As I write, some 1,400 mostly civilian Palestinians have been killed, including hundreds of children. Also, 59 Israelis have been killed, 56 of them military personnel.

What Happens When the Fighting Stops?

By Bakir Oweida | Asharq Al-Awsat

As mourners comfort each other over the passing of their loved ones, they often wish that the loss will be “the last of sad times.” But they are not aware that, in doing this, they unintentionally overlook the fact that sadness at the calamity of death only ends when life itself does.

Latin America

Chile, Japan Forge Closer Ties

Latin American Herald Tribune

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday strengthened bilateral relations by signing several pacts on mining and programs for coping with natural disasters.

Asia-Pacific

Japan Names 5 Disputed Islets in East China Sea

By Mari Yamaguchi | Associated Press

Japan on Friday gave names to five uninhabited islets in an island group at the center of a territorial dispute with China as part of efforts to reinforce its claim, sparking quick condemnation from Beijing.

Japan Offers Vessels to Vietnam to Boost its Sea Strength

By Martin Petty | Reuters

Japan will give six navy boats to Vietnam to boost its patrols and surveillance in the South China Sea, Japan's foreign minister said Friday, in the latest sign of a strengthening of alliances between states locked in maritime rows with China.

Thai Junta Gives Security Forces Majority in Interim Legislature

By Kaweewit Kaewjinda | Reuters

Thailand's junta Thursday named a majority of active and retired members of the security forces to an interim legislature of 200 people, as it seeks to keep tight control over the body it will task with enacting sweeping reforms.

Global Trade Deal Goes Back to Drawing Board

By John Heilprin | Associated Press

The World Trade Organization began regrouping Friday to see whether it is still possible to finalize a major deal to boost global trade after a deadline passed to formally adopt it.

Africa

Europe

Bulgaria Signs Nuclear Deal With Westinghouse

By Tsvetelia Tsolova | Reuters

Bulgaria, one of five EU states that depend totally on Russia for nuclear fuel, and Westinghouse Electric Company signed a shareholder agreement Friday paving the way for construction of a new nuclear reactor estimated to cost $5 billion.

Middle East

Lebanese Hezbollah Commander Killed in Iraq

By Bassem Mroue | Associated Press

A commander with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah was recently killed while on a "jihadi mission" in Iraq, officials in Lebanon said Thursday.