"Cold fear that a US default could tip the world back into a slump jostled with schadenfreude as Europeans recalled the stern American lectures on their handling of the euro crisis. The eurozone may be dysfunctional, but so too is the U.S. Humility is called for: the eurozone has danced the edge of the economic precipice for three years. The latest episode in America's fiscal tragicomedy ran for three weeks," writes Philip Stephens in the Financial Times.
"By most accounts, the past few weeks have exposed a drastic maturity gap between the U.S. and Chinese governments. The purported icon of democracy watched its system descend into chaos and petty political gamesmanship, coming within hours of a default that would have sparked global economic disorder," writes Damien Ma for Bloomberg.
"Forget the consultants, the pundits and the pollsters; good policy is good politics. If the Republicans had not fought on ObamaCare, the compromise would have been over the budget sequester. Instead, they have retained the sequester and for the past three months ObamaCare and its failings have been front and center in the national debate," writes Jim DeMint in the Wall Street Journal.
India and China are close to an agreement to end tensions on their contested border, which includes large areas of the Himalayas (Hindu). The deal is set to be signed when Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh visits Beijing next week.
CFR Military Fellow William J. Parker III writes about China's militarism in this blog post.
This CFR Backgrounder explains the Security Council's structure, history, and prospects for reform.
SYRIA: General Jamaa Jamaa, a top military intelligence officer who had commanded Syrian forces in Lebanon and was questioned about the Rafik Hariri assassination in 2005, was killed in eastern Syria (AFP).
Rights Group Accuses Ethiopian Police of Torture
Ethiopian authorities torture and mistreat prisoners to extract confessions, Human Rights Watch said in a report released Friday (BBC). The group accused Ethiopia of using counterterrorism laws to stifle dissent, but the government dismissed the report as biased and lacking credible evidence.
President Barack Obama plans to nominate Jeh Johnson, former general counsel at the Department of Defense, as the new secretary of homeland security (Politico). The announcement is expected Friday afternoon.