Media Roundup

United States

Latin America

Asia-Pacific

Malaysia Quietly Worked Back Channels to Secure Bodies, Black Boxes

By Trinna Leong and Siva Govindasamy | Reuters

As Western leaders increasingly pointed the finger of blame at pro-Russian separatists, and Moscow itself, over the shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines plane in eastern Ukraine, the government in Kuala Lumpur said little.

U.S. Mentors Prepare to Let Afghan Forces Go It Alone

By Azam Ahmed | The New York Times

American Special Forces teams have been a central part of Afghanistan’s security landscape, and how Afghan forces will fare after their departure will help define America’s legacy in the country.

China Tests U.S. Military Ties

By Jeremy Page | The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

China is seeking greater access to U.S. aircraft carriers and guidance on how to operate its own first carrier, the Liaoning, testing the limits of a newly cooperative military relationship the two sides have tried to cultivate in the past year.

Subianto Withdraws From Indonesian Presidential Race

By I Made Sentana | The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

Prabowo Subianto withdrew from the two-man race to become Indonesia's next president, calling the July 9 vote "legally flawed" and pulling his team from the vote-counting process.

Africa

Boko Haram 'Controls' Nigerian Town

BBC

Nigeria's militant Islamists are in control of the key town of Damboa in north-eastern Nigeria, a local vigilante leader has told the BBC. The vigilante force defending the town fled on Sunday, and Islamist group Boko Haram's black flag is now flying over Damboa, he said.

U.S. Debating “Historic” Support for Off-Grid Electricity in Africa

By Carey L. Biron | Inter Press Service

Pressure is building here for lawmakers to pass a bill that would funnel billions of dollars of U.S. investment into strengthening Africa’s electricity production and distribution capabilities, and could offer broad new support for off-grid opportunities.

Creating a Slum Within a Slum

By Adam Bemma | Inter Press Service

At the eastern edge of Nairobi’s Kibera slum, children gather with large yellow jerry cans to collect water dripping out of an exposed pipe. The high-rise grey and beige Soweto East settlement towers above them. A girl lifts the can on top of her head and returns to her family’s third floor apartment.

Europe

Turkey Arrests More Than 50 Senior Police Officers

Agence France-Presse

Turkish authorities on Tuesday arrested 55 senior police officers in a criminal probe over alleged corruption and abuse of office, the latest apparent crackdown on opponents of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of presidential polls.

U.N. Security Council Unanimously Approves Probe of Crash in Ukraine

By Tina Susman | Los Angeles Times

The United Nations Security Council, increasing pressure on Russia over the downing of a jetliner of Ukraine, adopted a resolution Monday calling for investigators to have unfettered access to the crash site and demanding a cease-fire in the area.

Ukraine: Train Moves Bodies From Conflict Zone

By Margaret Coker, Robin Van Daalen and Robert Wall | The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

The refrigerated train carrying the bodies and remains of those killed aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 has left the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine and is expected to reach forensics specialists in Kharkiv on Tuesday afternoon.

Middle East

Islamic State Crushes and Coerces on March Towards Baghdad

By Maggie Fick and Isra' al-Rubei'i | Reuters

Using its own version of "soft" and "hard" power, the Islamic State is crushing resistance across northern Iraq so successfully that its promise to march on Baghdad may no longer be unrealistic bravado.

U.S. Scrambles as Violence Escalates in Israel-Hamas Conflict

By Guy Taylor | The Washington Times

With diplomats from Middle Eastern states and several outside powers scrambling to stem the spiraling Israeli-Palestinian crisis on Monday, President Obama called for a cease-fire and cited "serious concerns" about the rising toll of dead on both sides.

Israel Faces Difficult Choice in Gaza Conflict

By Jodi Rudoren | The New York Times

With the lopsided casualty count mounting, world leaders are demanding a halt to the hostilities. But Israel’s ground invasion has uncovered more militants’ tunnels than it expected.

Women and the War In Syria

By Hillary Margolis | Foreign Policy in Focus

Meet five women who are bearing the burden of conflict in Syria and persevering in spite of it.

United States

The Downside of Giving Weapons to Rebels in Ukraine or Syria

By Eugene Robinson | The Washington Post

The bodies and debris that rained from the Ukrainian sky offer a cautionary lesson about the danger of giving heavy weapons to non-state actors. I hope the hawks who wanted President Obama to ship anti-aircraft missiles to the Syrian rebels are paying attention.

The Transatlantic Growth Gap

By Daniel Gros | Project Syndicate

The key to the economic-performance gap between the US and the EU in the last three years is the resilience of private consumption by American households. How were US households able to reduce their debt burden during a period of high unemployment and almost no wage gains while sustaining consumption growth?

Latin America

What Vladimir Putin and Raúl Castro Want From Each Other

By Carlos Alberto Montaner | Miami Herald

Vladimir Putin sharply made it clear that his country does not plan to restart electronic intelligence operations at the “Lourdes” base near Havana. That was predictable. Getting in bed with the Castros again makes no sense at all.

Asia-Pacific

Geopolitics Trumps Economics

By Ramesh Thakur | The Japan Times

Western countries' insensitivity toward others' voices, values and interests lies behind the creation and evolution of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), whose New Development Bank will give priority to loans for developing countries to finance infrastructure projects and industrialization.

Europe

Putinism Thrives on Dirty Money

By Oliver Bullough | The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

Western leaders ignored Putin's bad behavior as long as Russian money flowed in. Flight 17 changes all that.

Turkey’s Culture Wars

By Elif Shafak | The New York Times

The battle between religious conservatives and secularists is fought most fiercely over women’s bodies.

The Suns of August

By Roger Cohen | The New York Times

Bodies rot, looters roam. The Russian-enabled downing of Flight 17 marks the nadir of the West.

The Case for Phasing Out U.S. Tactical Nukes in Europe

By Barry Blechman and Russell Rumbaugh | Foreign Affairs

Talk of a new confrontation with Russia aside, U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in Europe had little military value during the Cold War and they have even less today. Instead of giving these aging weapons a costly upgrade, Washington should begin phasing them out.

From the Kursk to MH17, Putin Just Doesn't Care

By Anna Pivovarchuk | The Moscow Times

Considering Putin's track record in dealing with human suffering, it seems unlikely that he will give the investigation into flight MH17 the support it deserves.

Middle East

Hardliners Maneuver Over Iran Talks Extension

By Mahan Abedin | Asia Times

By exaggerating the level of opposition in the establishment towards a long-term agreement, the conservative establishment hopes to prevent normalization of ties with the US.

Hamas's Civilian Death Strategy

By Thane Rosenbaum | The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

Gazans shelter terrorists and their weapons in their homes, right beside sofas and dirty diapers.

How to Break Hamas’s Stranglehold on Gaza

By David Ignatius | The Washington Post

What goal is Israel pursuing in its latest war in Gaza? That has been a hard question to answer, as Israel expanded its war aims from seeking “quiet” from Hamas rocket attacks to closing tunnels to destroying rocket-launch sites in northern Gaza.

A Gaza Solution: Demilitarization

By Michael B. Oren | Los Angeles Times

The key to ending the current battle between Hamas and Israel -- and preventing more fighting in the future -- is the demilitarization of Gaza. Simply put, Hamas without rockets is not the same Hamas.

Israel’s Hollow Victory Over Hamas

By Brent Sasley | Haaretz

Israel is far from having lost the strategic war to Hamas. But the real cost has been to its social cohesion: violence and intolerance both domestically and toward the death of Palestinian civilians.

Saving Yemen

By Salman Aldossary | Asharq Al-Awsat

The Houthis are nothing more than a rebel movement in Yemen that has gotten out of control, attempting to become a state within a state.

The New Thirty Years’ War

By Richard N. Haass | Council on Foreign Relations and Project Syndicate

The similarities between the unrest in seventeenth-century Europe and that in the modern Middle East are many and sobering.

Will Iraqi Blacks Win Justice?

By Saad Salloum | The New York Times

Iraqis need to recognize that theirs is a multiethnic country, and that respect for minority rights is what makes any nation strong.

Latin America

Colombia’s Santos Vows to Restore Presidential Term Limits

Latin American Herald Tribune

President Juan Manuel Santos told lawmakers at the opening session of Colombia’s Congress that among the priorities of his second administration will be undoing the 2004 constitutional amendment allowing an incumbent head of state to seek re-election.

Bolivian President Vows to Expand Coca Crops

Houston Chronicle

Bolivian President Evo Morales has been re-elected head of the country's largest union of coca growers and promises to expand crops if he wins a third term as the nation's leader.

Asia-Pacific

Cambodia Reach Agreement to End Political Deadlock

By AP | Bangkok Post

Prime Minister Hun Sen and Cambodian opposition parties said Tuesday they agreed on a joint solution to end a political deadlock and the opposition's year-long boycott of the national legislature.

Africa

Europe

Defying Allies, France to Deliver First Warship to Russia

By Yann Le Guernigou and Guillaume Frouin | Reuters

French President Francois Hollande won broad domestic applause Tuesday for defying allies Britain and the United States by confirming plans to deliver a helicopter carrier to Russia, with one backer dismissing the objections as hypocritical.

South Korea, Portugal Agree to Form Business Ties

The Chosun Ilbo

South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva on Monday agreed to pursue joint projects in the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP).

Middle East