Times Backs Away From Offensive Cartoon

Martin Indyk confirms the Obama-Netanyahu duo’s “bad chemistry.”

For more commentary/analysis, see staff-eds in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and The Age, plus Daniel Gordis and Frida Ghitis.

Iranian Atomic Urgency

Iran Iran arrested a number of journalists, accusing them of collaborating with opponents of the government. CNN has the big picture, while the BBC describes intimidation against its Persian personnel:

The authorities are attempting to put pressure on BBC journalists by arresting their family members in Tehran, it says, and false Facebook pages have been set up where presenters and other staff members admit to allegations of sexual misconduct and working for the M16.

Although Iran denies anything happened at Fordow, Israeli officials “confirmed” to the Times of London that there was a major explosion at the impregnable nuclear site.

One Israeli official said: “We are still in the preliminary stages of understanding what happened and how significant it is.” He did not know, he added, if the explosion was “sabotage or accident”, and refused to comment on reports that Israeli aircraft were seen near the facility at the time of the explosion.

Rest O’ the Roundup

Clashes continue in Egypt, Morsi declares state of emergency, three provinces under curfew. AP updates the situation.

Even if Hezbollah was behind the Bulgaria bombing, EU designation of it as a terror group is still unlikely. European Union officials quoted by the EU Observer sound every bit like pencil-necked bureaucrats with their heads buried in the sand.

An EU diplomat said: “It’s difficult to say what will happen until Bulgaria files its report. The way these things are phrased could be very important. There could be lots of ifs and maybes or it could contain very concrete elements.”

He added: “Hezbollah plays a very important political role in Lebanon.”

Worth reading: Twitter’s Speech Problem: Hashtags and Hate. While we’re talking about France, a survey found 39 percent of the French think Jews have too much power in business, and nearly half question their loyalty.

The Israeli cabinet voted to recognize previously illegal Bedouin villages. YNet says its part of a larger effort to better regulate Bedouin settlements.

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.

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