around the world in 80 minutes | 2 april 2013

THE GUARDIAN: The Brics are building a challenge to western economic supremacy.
THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE: A Global Mission to Fight Sexual Violence Against Women.
THE GUARDIAN: Nouriel Roubini: The world economy’s winners and losers in 2013.
THE GUARDIAN: UN general assembly passes first global arms treaty.
THE WASHINGTON POST: In Bosnia, Turkey brings back a gentle version of the Ottoman Empire.
REUTERS: World Bank chief calls for ending extreme poverty by 2030.
SPIEGEL: Record High: European Jobless Rates Show North-South Rift.
THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE: The Debate Over Welfare Reform in Britain … and Even France.

THE NEW YORK TIMES:Double-Digit Inflation Worsens in Iran.
THE GUARDIAN: Don’t underestimate Ahmadinejad’s chosen heir in Iran election.
BBC:VIDEO | Syria crisis: Lebanon struggles with influx of refugees.
THE FINANCIAL TIMES: The UN fund for Syrian refugeees is running low.
REUTERS: Syria shell lands in Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
AL JAZEERA: Saudi Arabia eases ban on women riding bikes.
THE GUARDIAN: Saudi Arabia expels thousands of Yemeni workers.
REUTERS: Palestinians protest after Israeli jail cancer death.

THE GUARDIAN: Sudan frees political prisoners in first wave of amnesty.
REUTERS: Bomb hits Somalia’s biggest bank after militant threat.
THE GUARDIAN: Tunisian government has no hidden agendas, says new prime minister.
THE GUARDIAN: Abdel Hakim Belhaj: Jack Straw fails to explain role in Libyan dissident seizure.
BBC: Egyptian students protest mass food poisoning.
THE WASHINGTON POST: Jon Stewart sparks Twitter fight between U.S. Embassy and Egyptian president’s office.

THE GUARDIAN: Kenya is stuck with Uhuru Kenyatta, for better or worse.
THE GUARDIAN: Nigerian president is ‘squeezing the life out of our country’
REUTERS: Congo promises action on mass rapes in eastern town: U.N.

THE GUARDIAN: Afghanistan peace deal: Taliban talks hit deadlock.
THE NEW YORK TIMES: Anti-Rape Law Means India Needs More Female Cops.
THE GUARDIAN: India makes inroads on polio as mosques spread the word.
THE GUARDIAN: Battling Pakistan militants’ ban on polio vaccines in North Waziristan.

THE GUARDIAN: Cambodia’s women activists are redefining the housewife.
BLOOMBERG: Abe Says BOJ May Miss Price Target If Global Economy Changes.
FOREIGN POLICY: Morning Brief: North Korea vows to restart nuclear reactor.
THE NEW YORK TIMES: For Hong Kong Markets, Bad Omen in a Movie Premiere.

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Air Pollution Linked to 1.2 Million Premature Deaths in China.
THE FINANCIAL TIMES: In China, how to end it like Beckham.

THE GUARDIAN: Julian Assange’s Australian Senate campaign to be led by anti-monarchist.

THE GUARDIAN: 25 years after Chico Mendes, killings in the Amazon are endemic.

THE GUARDIAN: UK manufacturing sector continues to shrink.
REUTERS: Ukraine’s opposition thwarted over Kiev mayor.
THE FINANCIAL TIMES: French cuts threaten health of ‘le tabac’
BLOOMBERG: Cyprus Finance Minister Sarris Quits After Brokering Rescue.



Patrick Kingsley | The Guardian
The Arab Spring gave the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates the chance to play vital roles in the Egyptian, Tunisian and Libyan revolutions. But now the organisation has itself become the target of violent protests. So, who are these men and how did they get where they are?



John Thornhill and Patrick Jenkins | The Financial Times

Napoleon Bonaparte played an important if unwitting role in spurring the City of London’s rise as the world’s first truly global financial centre. In its efforts to fund its seemingly interminable wars with the French, the British government turned to the City for financing, enabling the poorer country to spend up to five times the proportion of gross national product on military spending as France – and to win the battle of Waterloo.

. . . Today, some financiers believe that Britain is again facing an insidious threat from across the channel that is jeopardising the City’s future – but might yet turn out to be another opportunity in disguise. As they see it, a slew of regulations from the European Commission and parliament on issues ranging from bankers’ and fund managers’ bonuses to alternative investment funds to insurance companies’ solvency ratios is being targeted at the City. They fear the red tape from Brussels will tie the City in knots as it struggles to compete with other financial centres, such as New York and Hong Kong.


Aaron David Miller | Foreign Policy

It is the cruelest of ironies that President Barack Obama’s legacy in the Middle East — a signature issue for many U.S. presidents — now lies in the hands of two of his most intractable adversaries: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. It also probably doesn’t make him sleep any easier that the third major player is a man with whom he has a famously dysfunctional relationship: Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu.

It’s cruel because saving Syria, resolving the Iranian nuclear issue, and achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace seem well beyond the president’s capacity — even if he boasted the support of willing and trusting partners. And it’s ironic because Obama set out not to preside over catastrophes in the Middle East but to transform the region for the better. He now risks being the president on whose watch it all became so much worse.

Is this unhappy tale primarily Obama’s fault? No. But on the four key issues that will likely define the president’s legacy in this region, his critics have already reached a very different conclusion — and history may too.


Matt Andrews | Foreign Policy

. . . At first glance, many of these reforms seem to have yielded success. In Afghanistan, for example, new laws adopted after 2003 have modernized the government’s budgeting and financial management system. The system’s quality was ranked “higher than a middle-income country” in a 2008 assessment using the multi-donor Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) framework, which compares countries’ governance systems with what is considered “international good practice.” Similarly, Uganda’s anticorruption reforms have produced new laws that donors tout as world-class. The think-tank Global Integrity rated these laws as best in the world in 2008, giving them a perfect 100 score. Canada scored 90; Italy got 82.

When one examines these reforms more closely, however, the picture is less impressive. While Afghanistan’s public financial management system may look like one in a middle-income country, donors still express reservations about whether funds are actually spent where the budget says they are. Allegations of corruption are rife, and financial controls that work in the central ministry of finance buildings in Kabul are still not operational in many sectoral ministries (especially those located outside the capital) where most spending remains outside of the national budget.




Jahangir Alam, officer in-charge of Upashahar police camp, lies on the street after Jamaat-e-Islami activists smashed pieces of bricks on his head during a clash in Rajshahi, Bangladesh April 1, 2013. At least four policemen were injured, one critically, and a firearm and a walkie-talkie were snatched from them when Jamaat-e-Islami activists and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir clashed with police in Rajshahi city on Monday morning, local media reported.

THE GUARDIAN | Eyewitness: Lijiang, China

Diego Azubel | EPA
Performers from Naxi, Yi and Bai ethnic minorities in the Impression Lijiang
Performers from Naxi, Yi and Bai ethnic minorities in the Impression Lijiang, a traditional cultural show set beneath the 5,596-metre Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Yunnan province.


Damir Sagolj | Reuters
Muslim funeral in Rangoon, Burma
Burmese Muslims attend the funeral of 13 boys who were killed by a fire in an orphanage at an Islamic school in Rangoon. Burmese authorities have announced that the blaze was caused by faulty electrical equipment.



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