Top of the Agenda: U.S. Kills Al-Qaeda's No. 2 Amid Drone Tensions
The killing of deputy al-Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al-Libi (NYT), confirmed by U.S. officials yesterday, comes amid new tensions in Islamabad (ExpressTribune) over U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan. The covert U.S. campaign targeting militants in Pakistan has been heightened since U.S. forces found and killed Osama bin Laden last year. Libi, like many other al-Qaeda affiliates, had been sheltered by ethnic Pashtun militants in Pakistan's lawless tribal belt.
"So Obama is under the post-9/11 authorization for the use of military force--methodically whittling away at those who would do American harm--as well as those the CIA and President believe might do the nation harm. 9/11 showed that suicidal zealots, no matter where they are today, can attack the U.S. tomorrow. That broadens the President's rifle scope to include the entire world. It's a slippery slope," writes TIME's Mark Thompson.
"But this push-button solution to warfare poses very real risks to civilians, especially as targeting criteria deteriorate to the point where a special reporter to the United Nations has described them as a 'vaguely defined license to kill.' The rules for using strike drones should be clarified, and the tests that determine who is a legitimate target should be explicit," writes Louise Arbour for ForeignPolicy.com.
AUSTRALIA: Gross domestic product was up 1.3 percent in the in the first quarter of 2012 from the previous quarter, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today, making the country the fastest-growing in the developed world (WSJ).
Spain said rising interest rates on Spanish bonds could put the country at risk of losing access to financial markets (WSJ), while suggesting it may become the latest eurozone country to seek financial support from the EU amid an ongoing sovereign debt crisis.