"Mr. Obama also refuses to bend on any part of ObamaCare—except when he unilaterally announces bending in his own political interest. He decided on his own, and contrary to the plain text of the law, to delay for a year the business mandate to provide insurance for employees. He also unilaterally delayed verifying the income of Americans seeking subsidies," the Wall Street Journal writes in an editorial.
"Delaying the health law by a year, supported by all but two House Republicans, would prevent 11 million uninsured people from getting coverage in 2014 and raise premiums for those buying coverage in the individual insurance market. The real goal is not to delay but to destroy health reform by making it appear unworkable," the New York Times writes in an editorial.
"And so we have arrived at the bizarre juncture where it makes more sense for Mr. Obama to talk to the leader of Iran than to talk to Congress. Republicans will soon face the choice of climbing down from their demands or pressing the fiscal equivalent of the nuclear button. Either route will bring them defeat. Everyone must hope that they opt for the less glorious version this time," writes Edward Luce in the Financial Times.
Hagel Says U.S. Won't Cut Force in Korea
U.S. defense secretary Chuck Hagel toured the Korean demilitarized zone and said the United States didn't plan to reduce its 28,500-member force in South Korea (Reuters). "This is probably the only place in the world where we have always a risk of confrontation," he said.
A bomb ripped through a historic market in Peshawar, the third to hit the Pakistani city in a week, killing at least forty-three people (Dawn). Government officials blamed Taliban insurgents and decided to form a special task force to deal with terrorism in the region.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan outlined a sweeping proposal to change Turkey's treatment of minorities, allowing Kurdish and other languages to be taught in private schools, abolishing penalties for the use of certain letters used in Kurdish, and ending the use of a student oath (Hurriyet Daily).
This Backgrounder explains the origins and structure of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
Protests Continue in Sudan
Thousands of Sudanese protesters took to the streets of Khartoum demanding freedom and the ouster of longtime president Omar al-Bashir after dozens were killed in clashes last week (AP). The government responded by saying it would distribute cash to impoverished families.