- Russia, U.S. Worry over Spy Ring Fallout
- Turkey Asks Iran to Renegotiate
- Taliban Attacks Afghan NATO Base
- German Elections Threaten Merkel
Russian and U.S. officials attempted to limit the potential diplomatic fallout from the U.S. bust of an alleged Russian spy ring (WSJ). Russia's Foreign Ministry called the arrests an unjustified throwback to the Cold War, while the State Department said the U.S.-Russia relationship was evolving, which meant the two countries did not always agree. Russian officials asked that their citizens have access to Russian consular officials and lawyers. Russian officials and analysts said they thought hawkish elements within the U.S. government engineered and timed the arrests to embarrass President Barack Obama and undermine the U.S.-Russian "reset." The scandal could hinder or delay the Senate's ratification of the new START treaty between the United States and Russia on reducing their nuclear arsenals.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said at the start of a meeting with former president Bill Clinton that the case showed that U.S. law enforcement agencies "have gotten out of hand" and that he hopes U.S. relations "will not be damaged" (WashPost).
A Financial Times editorial says it would be a shame for improved Russian relations with the United States, Central Europe, and Britain to wither over a spy mission that looks "more farcical than sinister."
In the Guardian, David Hearst says having a spy ring uncovered before it could do any work is embarrassing for Russia. It also harms Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's image as a modernizer.
Turkey called for Iran to negotiate with world powers as soon as possible over a nuclear fuel swap deal (WSJ).
Sanctions may slow Iran's nuclear drive but won't halt it, says Iran expert Karim Sadjadpour, who calls for shifting to a containment policy that helps "expedite political transformation."
Israel: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is ready to expand the powers of an investigation panel (BBC) into its deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, after panel head Yaakov Tirkel demanded the panel have the power to subpoena witnesses and recommend sanctions.
Benigno Aquino III was sworn in (NYT) as the fifteenth president of the Philippines and pledged sweeping reforms to improve citizens' quality of life.
China-Taiwan: Taiwanese analysts fear the sweeping trade agreement between China and Taiwan (AFP) could undermine their hard-won de facto independence.
The Taliban attacked a NATO base in east Afghanistan a day after U.S. commander General David Petraeus warned of escalating violence (BBC).
President Obama was wise to replace General Stanley McChrystal as Afghan commander, but he should now mount a thorough review of the costly and uncertain nation-building policy in Afghanistan, writes CFR President Richard Haass.
India: As many as two-hundred Maoist rebels ambushed paramilitary troops (AP) in eastern India, killing at least twenty-seven people.
South Africa unveiled the country's new mining plans (Reuters), which stick with a previous target of transferring 26 percent of the mines' ownership to black people by 2014.
East Africa: The European Commission and the East Africa Community, a trade bloc, failed to agree on the terms of new economic partnership agreements and delayed the signing until November (Monitor).
Leaders of Mexico's former ruling party gathered to mourn the assassination of a top gubernatorial candidate (WSJ), pick a replacement for this weekend's elections, and debate whether to back Mexican President Felipe Calderon's war on drug gangs.
Though Germany's president traditionally has little political influence, the country's presidential election is posing another threat to Chancellor Angela Merkel's troubled center-right coalition government (AP).
EU: The European Commission is calling for the general retirement age (DeutscheWelle) in Europe to increase to seventy by the year 2060, but governments are finding it difficult to convince people to retire later.
In cutting spending to rein in deficits, the world's governments are expecting the private sector to make up for the withdrawal of stimulus (NYT) spending over the next few years, and the markets are skeptical.
The latest G20 meeting failed to signal a clear path to resolving global debt and growth concerns, but the Toronto summit can claim success in positively influencing major powers' economic policies, writes CFR's Sebastian Mallaby.
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