Editor's Note: The following is reprinted with the permission of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Addressing the German parliament, Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a "stability union" (DeutscheWelle) that would include tighter and more coordinated fiscal controls across the seventeen-nation eurozone. But Merkel again rejected calls for joint eurobonds, saying they would not provide a solution for the single currency's ongoing sovereign debt crisis.
Merkel warned that resolving the crisis would take years, but that European unity depended on the preservation of the euro (NYT).
She also called for speedy changes to the EU treaty (WSJ) that would pave the way for greater eurozone fiscal unity. She is set to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday to prepare proposals for a December 9 EU leaders summit.
France wants the European Central Bank to buy bonds. Germany wants greater fiscal discipline to be anchored in eurozone treaties. ECB chief Mario Draghi hinted on Thursday that both might get their way. But treaty changes must come first, explains this Der Spiegel analysis.
European leaders can still avoid the apocalypse, but only if they act boldly and quickly, says the Economist.
Europe may well muddle through with technocrats and tighter straitjackets, but the rule of the people must be guarded, writes the Guardian's Simon Jenkins.
UN Rights Chief Calls for Syria to Be Referred to ICC
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said the UN Security Council should refer Syria to the International Criminal Court, saying Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should be held accountable for crimes against humanity (al-Jazeera) committed during an ongoing crackdown on anti-government demonstrators.
Syria is faced with an increasing number of international sanctions for its bloody crackdown against protesters. The crises facing the regime are unprecedented, but the regime doesn't appear to be giving in, says CFR's Mohamad Bazzi in this CFR Interview.
EGYPT: The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party denied any "alleged alliance" with the far more conservative Al Nour Islamist party, as both groups appeared to garner significant wins in the country'sparliamentary elections (NYT).
Suu Kyi Welcomes Clinton
Myanmar's democratic opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the commercial capital of Yangon. She backed U.S. engagement with Myanmar's long-isolated government, saying it would help her country move forward on the "road toward democracy" (LAT).
Clinton is in Myanmar to gauge recent reforms by the military-backed regime. Experts are calling for further democratization, including strengthening the rule of law and reconciliation with ethnic minority groups, explains this CFR Analysis Brief.
CHINA: A recent Georgetown University report claims China could have up to three thousand nuclear warheads (al-Jazeera), rather than the previously estimated four hundred.
SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA
U.S. Says Pakistan Gave Go-Ahead Before NATO Strike
The United States said a NATO assault force consulted with Pakistani officials (WSJ) at an Afghanistan-Pakistan border control center before responding to fire from a supposed militant encampment along the border. NATO fire killed twenty-four Pakistani soldiers on November 26.
Amid increasingly strained U.S.-Pakistan ties, the Pakistani Senate passed a unanimous resolution against the NATO attack (Dawn), which stated the country would defend itself against foreign aggression.
One casualty of the latest U.S.-Pakistani frictions is the cutoff of critical supply routes for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, raising questions about cooperation in the region, explains this CFR Analysis Brief.
ICC Moves to Arrest Sudan's Defense Minister
ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo requested an arrest warrant for Sudanese Defense Minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein, who is suspected of committing war crimes (BBC) between 2003 and 2004 in Sudan's Darfur region.
SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: International investors targeting emerging markets should look at sub-Saharan Africa, where equities are trading at "exceptionally cheap" levels (Reuters), said Plamen Monovski, the CIO of Russia's Renaissance Asset Managers.
Ruling Party Win Guyana Presidency
The candidate of Guyana's ruling People's Progressive Party/Civic, Donald Ramotar, was elected president, even as the party narrowly lost its parliamentary majority (DemeraraWaves) for the first time in nearly twenty years.
CHILE: The Supreme Court requested the extradition of former U.S. Army Captain (MercoPress) Raymond E. Davis for his involvement in the murder of two U.S. citizens days after Chile's 1973 military coup.
EU to Issue New Sanctions on Iran and Syria
Meeting in Brussels, EU finance ministers (DeutscheWelle) agreed to new sanctions that would bar Syrian officials and Iranian business leaders from entering the EU. The ministers put off a decision on a potential oil embargo on Iran.
Battle Lines Drawn over Payroll Tax Break
The legislative fight over an extension of the payroll tax cut (NYT) intensified as two competing bills in the Senate ultimately fell short. Democrats and Republicans must resolve differences on how to pay for the extension before the cuts expire on December 31.
SMALL BUSINESS: House Republicans pushed through legislation that would force the government to examine the impact of federal regulations on small businesses (WashPost). Should the legislation pass both houses of Congress, senior White House advisers will recommend a veto.
STATE BUDGETS: Minnesota's growing economy and previous budget savings (StarTribune) unexpectedly left the state with a projected surplus of $876 million. The state cut a $5 billion deficit through service reductions, borrowing from public schools and private lenders, and a twenty-day government shutdown.
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