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21-Jun-11 World View — U.S. And Pakistan Close To Total Divorce


This morning’s key headlines from

Syria’s al-Assad gives speech that infuriates protesters

Bashar al-Assad gives speech on Monday
Bashar al-Assad gives speech on Monday

On Monday, in a nationally televised address that lasted over an hour in front of a crowd of cheering supporters at Damascus University, President al-Assad alternated between defiance and a conciliatory tone. He said he would prosecute all those guilty of bloodshed, not mentioning that it was his own military that had been implicated in shooting hundreds of unarmed protesters. Referring to the 10,000+ refugees in Turkey, he urged the “displaced” to return to their homes and said security forces would protect and not attack them. This was Assad’s third major televised speech since the protests began. Day Press (Syria)

Syrians in cities across the country poured into the streets to hold defiant rallies after Assad’s speech using language that varied from disappointment to anger. According to one activist, “People were still hoping he would say something meaningful that would result in tanks and troops leaving the streets. They were disappointed and started going out as soon as Assad finished talking.” Global Post

Tension on Syria / Turkey border continues to grow

Some sources indicate that Turkish military helicopters are infiltrating northern Syria on reconnaissance missions. Arab sources report Nato is planning to fly extra troops from Spanish and Germany bases to the Izmir Air base in western Turkey to expand the current number of 400. Damascus accuses Turkey of seeking to seize Syrian territory on the pretext of providing a buffer zone for Syrian refugees. Debka

Worst flooding in 56 years in east China province

Citizens sit in boats amid floods
Citizens sit in boats amid floods

The worst floods since 1955 have hit an east China province, with over 4.41 million people affected, forcing the evalucation of 80,000 people so far, and with the worst rains yet to come. 70 kilometers of dikes are close to overflowing, with possible drastic consequences. The flooding is contributing to China’s food price inflation, with the destruction of 241,600 hectares of farmland destroyed. Xinhua

U.S. and Pakistan close to total divorce

The joint counter-insurgency strategy of the U.S. and Pakistan after 9/11 began to deteriorate almost as soon as it began, because Pakistan’s military is culturally anti-India, and supports, rather than opposes, jihadi groups that attack India’s assets. The capture of Osama bin Laden seems to have been the last straw. A Corps Commanders Conference on June 9 seems to have sealed the fate of the deteriorating Pakistan-U.S. relations on the question of how to carry out the war on terror in the future. The Corps Commanders Conference decided to stop accepting financial assistance from the United States in the future, and also decided to limit intelligence sharing with the United States and “share intelligence strictly on the basis of reciprocity and complete transparency.” Jamestown

UN says that poor countries carry most of the refugee burden

Major refugee hosts
Major refugee hosts

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, ‘rich countries’ complain about having to deal with refugees, but it’s ‘poor countries’ that carry most of the load in providing shelter for refugees from other countries. Sydney Morning Herald

Singapore asks China to clarify claims on South China Sea

Tensions have been escalating in the South China Sea, as China claims sovereignty over all the islands in the entire region, including islands historically governed by other countries, including Vietnam and the Philippines. Singapore is not a claimant to any of the islands, but it said on Monday that China should clarify its claims. “We have repeatedly said that we think it is in China’s own interests to clarify its claims in the South China Sea with more precision as the current ambiguity as to their extent has caused serious concerns in the international maritime community.” Reuters


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