Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Deadlock continues at the Moscow-hosted atomic negotiations. I liked how the BBC summed it up:
With that, the travelling circus of nuclear talks – which has seen negotiations in Istanbul, Baghdad and Moscow in the last two months – has been grounded.
• A Washington Post staff-ed hopes the White House holds to its guns:
The Obama administration must nevertheless be prepared to take an Iranian “no” for an answer. It should resist any effort by Russia or other members of the international coalition to weaken the steps that Iran must take, or to grant Tehran major sanctions relief for partial concessions. It should continue to reject recognition of an Iranian “right” to enrich uranium.
• More leaks from “Western officials with knowledge of the effort” tell the Washington Post that Stuxnet and Flame were a joint US-Israel effort. It’s exposure was due to Israel’s blunder, they say:
Despite their collaboration on developing the malicious code, the United States and Israel have not always coordinated their attacks. Israel’s April assaults on Iran’s Oil Ministry and oil-export facilities caused only minor disruptions. The episode led Iran to investigate and ultimately discover Flame.
For those who don’t remember Bill Watterson’s game theory masterpiece, Calvinball is a game defined by the absence of rules — or, rather, that the rules are made up as they go along. Calvinball sometimes resembles recognizable games such as football, but is quickly revealed to be something else entirely . . . The only permanent rule is that the game is never played the same way twice. Is there any better analogy for Egypt’s current state of play?
And just as Calvin doesn’t always win at Calvinball, Lynch concludes that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces won’t necessarily win “Scafball” either.
• Egypt’s swirling with rumors that Hosni Mubarak is clinically dead. BBC takes a stab at the story.
• Bashar Assad bitterly divides Lebanon’s second largest city. According to this LA Times dispatch:
But here in Tripoli — more specifically in the volatile districts of Jabal Mohsen and Bab Tabbaneh, divided by the aptly named Syria Street — the “contagion” from Syria has already arrived, and it’s toxic.
A series of Syria-related clashes culminated this month in fierce urban combat that left 25 dead, as rivals from the two precincts exchanged machine-gun fire and volleys of rocket-propelled grenades from street corners and rooftops. Vandals torched Alawite-owned shops away from the shielded confines of Jabal Mohsen. Each side blames the other for starting the troubles.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• In an exclusive article for HonestReporting, the editor in chief of The Jerusalem Report, Matthew Kalman, comments on A Golden Age of Jewish Media. Keeping up with what’s happening in Israel has never been easier.
(Image of circuit board via Flickr/quapan)
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