"Recent diplomatic breakthroughs, however, are anything but a success. They will entail more death in Syria, starting from Aleppo, Qalamoun, and eventually spreading to the Damascus suburbs. [Hezbollah chief Hassan] Nasrallah only cares about his party's interests first, which is an unceasing control over Lebanon and Syria. Unfortunately, his ambitions will only entice more sectarian hatred," Hanin Ghaddar writes for Now.
"More and more Lebanese might argue that if Hezbollah is working primarily on Syrian, Iranian, Palestinian and anti-takfiri issues, it would be best for it to base itself in the epicenter of those resistance challenges on frontier territories among Syrian-Iraqi-Iranian lands. The more Hezbollah accentuates its military actions abroad in the service of preserving the Iranian-Syrian-Hezbollah Resistance and Deterrence Front, the greater will be the criticism it generates inside Lebanon accusing it of being mainly an agent of Iran," Rami Khouri writes in the Daily Star.
"Even a permanent settlement would be unattractive to Israel if it meant that the United States would step back from the regional conflict spawned by Iran's decades-old effort to gain hegemony over the Middle East. Like Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab governments, Israel does not wish to be left alone to face Iranian aggression in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon or its terrorist activities across the region," the Washington Post writes in an editorial.
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Bad Loans Threaten China's Banks
A $6.6 trillion credit binge by Chinese companies over the past six years, encouraged by Beijing policymakers as stimulus to combat the global economic slowdown, has led to industries with excess capacity and a tripling of bad loans at Chinese banks (Bloomberg).
Protestors vandalized a controversial memorial in Cairo's Tahrir Square just hours after it was inaugurated by the country's prime minister (NYT). Egypt's revolutionary groups plan to mark the two-year anniversary of deadly clashes with security forces on Tuesday by marching in the square.
The Paris-based OECD reduced its forecast for the global economy by almost half a percentage point to 2.7 percent in 2013 and 3.6 percent in 2014, blaming weaker emerging markets, the showdown over the U.S. debt ceiling, and concerns over the Fed's taper for the downgrade (FT).