"Increasingly, it appears Syria is so badly shattered that no single authority is likely to be able to pull it back together any time soon. Instead, three Syrias are emerging: one loyal to the government, to Iran and to Hezbollah; one dominated by Kurds with links to Kurdish separatists in Turkey and Iraq; and one with a Sunni majority that is heavily influenced by Islamists and jihadis," Ben Hubbard writes in this New York Times analysis.
"What began in Syria as a revolt against an oppressive regime has evolved into a sectarian civil war and, more recently, into a proxy conflict. In the process, the struggle has become increasingly convoluted, with conflicting agendas among allies, together with deep-seated communal tensions, rendering the situation nearly intractable," writes Bernard Haykel in Lebanon's Daily Star.
"[G]iven the extent to which Syria has already plunged in the direction of state failure and widespread sectarian violence, it would be equally hard to sustain any agreement that might be reached. But it's worth the effort, because even if there's only a 10 to 15 percent chance of success, the alternative is just really terrible," says expert Frederic C. Hof in this CFR interview.
Cambodia Factory Collapse Kills Three
Three people were killed and at least six more were injured when the ceiling of a factory outside Phnom Penh that makes Asics sneakers collapsed (WSJ). The incident comes only weeks after a factory building in Bangladesh collapsed, killing at least 1,127 people, and further highlights problems with international garment manufacturing conditions.
BANGLADESH: Hundreds of Bangladeshi garment factories reopened after three days' closure following protests over pay and conditions (VOA) such as those that caused the deaths of more than a thousand people in a factory building last month.
Mobile phone service was cut in areas of northeast Nigeria, currently under a state of emergency, where the government sent more soldiers to fight Islamic Boko Haram extremists waging an insurgency (AP) in the region.
This CFR interactive tracks the political, social and economic roots of Nigerian violence.
FRANCE: French president Francois Hollande blamed eurozone austerity policies for a recession he says is eroding Europe's identity (Independent), and vowed to push for a political union within two years as well as for a eurozone economic government with powers to mutualize debt and harmonize taxes.
"Domestic demand in the euro area is now below the low point of the global crisis in 2009 in real terms. The recovery in European output since that time has come entirely from net exports. That is not sustainable for a region that accounts for one-fifth of the global economy," says Lael Brainard, undersecretary for international affairs at the Treasury, in this CFR discussion.
BOLIVIA: The Lower House passed a bill allowing President Evo Morales to run for a third term next year (Mercopress), following a Morales-appointed court's decision stating that the bill does not violate Bolivia's constitution.