Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Daily Telegraph: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s catching flak at home because he was repeatedly snubbed at the Rio+20 summit. Big sigh.
Having prided himself in fostering close ties with Latin American leaders, Mr Ahmadinejad found himself conspicuously frozen out at last week’s UN Rio + 20 summit in Rio de Janeiro, with none of his fellow leaders deigning to meet him.
Amid a clamour of media ridicule, one Iranian MP has criticised Mr Ahmadinejad for failing to abandon the trip when he saw that he – and by extension, Iran – was being treated disrespectfully.
• Israel convinced Russia to cancel a sale of surface-to-air missiles to Syria. According to the Jerusalem Post, this is no small feat:
One of the most advanced multi-target anti-aircraft missile systems in the world, the S-300 has a reported ability to track up to 100 targets simultaneously while engaging up to 12 at the same time. The estimated worth of the deal was $100 million.
• The UN in action: Action Group on Syria to hold emergency meeting in Geneva — on Saturday. There are lots of labels for meetings scheduled three days in advance — but emergency ain’t one of them. LA Times coverage.
• NY Times: A Syrian campaign of arrests has “snared tens of thousands of people.”
• Worth reading from Voice of America: Practical Concerns, Not Ideology, May Keep Egypt-Israel Peace.
• Natasha Smith, a British student journalist, was sexually assaulted by a mob of men in Tahrir Square. The horror’s vividly recounted on Natasha’s blog. She also talked to CNN about the incident, which notes — almost ironically:
Smith was on her first international assignment, shooting a documentary on women’s rights in Egypt as her final college project.
• Meet Egypt’s new first lady, who is already sparking Egyptian debate. The NY Times writes:
Naglaa Ali Mahmoud wears an Islamic head covering that drapes down to her knees, did not attend college and never took her husband’s last name, because that is a Western convention that few Egyptians follow. She also refuses the title of first lady, in favor of simply Um Ahmed, a traditional nickname that identifies her as the mother of Ahmed, her eldest son . . .
For some, she represents the democratic change that the revolution promised. She is a woman in the presidential palace who looks and lives like their sisters and mothers.
But to some in the westernized elite, she stands for a backwardness and provincialism that they fear from the Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• A Christian Science Monitor op-ed argues that mending Israel-Turkey ties is urgently necessary for the Mideast. But other than fostering mutually beneficial investment, the suggested steps for reconciliation are awfully one-sided. Israel pays compensation for the Mavi Marmara affair. Israel involves Turkey in decisionmaking over Mediterranean gas finds. Israel restores cancelled defense contracts. And the Turks?
In return, Ankara should stop making public demands on Israel regarding Mavi Marmara and use less accusatory language when referencing Israeli behavior in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It should also resume its bid to be a neutral arbiter and offer to host Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in an effort to make a positive contribution to the peace process.
• The News Corp. board approves plan to split its news and entertainment operations. According to AP, the Murdoch family “is expected to maintain control of both companies.”
(Image of Liel via YouTube/JewishNewsOne)
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