July 12th, 2011
10:11 AM ET

CFR.org Roundup: Karzai's brother shot dead

Editor's Note: The following is reprinted with the permission of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ahmed Wali Karzai, the powerful half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, was shot dead (al-Jazeera) by a security official visiting his house in Kandahar on Tuesday morning. The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility for the murder, but Afghan officials insisted the man, Sardar Mohammad, was a longtime confidante of Karzai's.

Wali Karzai, a formidable powerbroker in the southern province of Kandahar–the Taliban's strategic base and locus of the U.S. military surge–had been accused by the United States of having ties to southern Afghanistan's lucrative narcotics trade and engaging in other corrupt practices. However, over the past year, U.S. officials courted his support, seeing him as necessary for stability (WSJ) in the fragile southern region.

FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: Daily Roundup
July 11th, 2011
09:36 AM ET

Daily CFR.org Roundup: Debt deal stalls over taxes

Editor's Note: The following is reprinted with the permission of the Council on Foreign Relations.

U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner abandoned plans (NYT) to continue negotiating a broad deficit-reduction plan with President Barack Obama–designed to reduce spending by $4 trillion over ten years–in the face of fierce opposition from fellow Republicans over a potential rise in tax revenues.

A meeting at the White House yesterday ended in a stalemate, as Republican congressional leaders pushed for ascaled-down budget package (WSJ) that would include $2 trillion in savings over the next ten years, absent the $1 trillion in tax increases for which Obama continues to argue.

A deficit-reduction agreement is essential for Congress to move ahead with raising the nation's debt ceiling ahead of an August 2 deadline. U.S. Treasury Secretary TimothyGeithner warned yesterday (WashPost) that if a compromise to raise the debt ceiling is not reached in time, the U.S. could default on its debt obligations, severely damaging the domestic and global economies. Similarly, IMF Chief Christine Lagarde warned that a failure to raise the debt limit could trigger interest hikes (AP) and see "stock markets taking a huge hit." FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: Daily Roundup
Daily CFR.org Roundup: White House and Congress seek broader cuts
July 8th, 2011
09:23 AM ET

Daily CFR.org Roundup: White House and Congress seek broader cuts

Editor's Note: The following is reprinted with the permission of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Following negotiations between President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders Thursday, Democrats and Republicans agreed toseek broader budget cuts (NYT) to reduce the national deficit, which would result in savings of nearly $4 trillion over ten years. The two sides tried to hash out a deal to raise the government's debt borrowing limit and avoid default ahead of an August 2 deadline.

The deficit-reduction plan (WSJ) being discussed would require spending cuts for domestic programs, defense, and entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, while also increasing tax revenues. FULL POST

Daily CFR.org Roundup: White House and Congress in budget talks
U.S. President Barack Obama takes part in a meeting with congressional leaders including House Speaker John Boehner on July 7, 2011 in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC. Obama on Thursday hosted his Republican foes for talks on an elusive deal to raise the US debt limit and avert an early-August default that could unleash global economic shock waves. The Washington Post reported that Obama planned to pitch Social Security reform and spending cuts to the Medicare health program, raising the prospect of a grand bargain that could infuriate his fellow Democrats. (Getty Images)
July 7th, 2011
12:10 PM ET

Daily CFR.org Roundup: White House and Congress in budget talks

Editor's Note: The following is reprinted with the permission of the Council on Foreign Relations.

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner will meet at a budget summit today, aimed at agreeing on a plan to reduce the deficit and lift the national debt ceiling ahead of an August deadline. Obama and Boehner have been in talks since the weekend (WSJ) over a full overhaul of the budget, which could include a significant revision of the tax code and a revamp of the government's three safety-net programs: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Obama, who is set to meet at the White House today with a bipartisan group of Congress members, has indicated that he wants to see savings over the next decade that are significantly higher than the $2 trillion (NYT) sought in earlier negotiations.

In a concession by Democrats, the president is expected to propose cuts in Social Security (WashPost) and Medicare, while extracting Republican support for increased tax revenues. FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: Daily Roundup
June 10th, 2011
09:33 AM ET

Friday CFR.org Roundup: Syrian army attacks rebel town

The Syrian army began a crackdown (al-Jazeera) on the northern rebel town of Jisr al-Shughu in retaliation for the alleged murder of 120 government security personnel earlier this week. Thousands of Syrians fled the town (BBC) in anticipation of government reprisals, with over two thousand people reportedly taking shelter in southern Turkey.

At least five thousand armed troops (Guardian) with dozens of tanks descended on the town, which has become the new focal point of anti-government protests in the country. One Syrian refugee reportedly told the New York Times, "They are also burning the harvest and livestock on the streets . . . and troops are shooting everyone who comes along their way."

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, called the Syrian government's actions an"atrocity" (KhaleejTimes), while reiterating that Turkey will keep its borders open to Syrian refugees. FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: Daily Roundup • Syria
Thursday CFR.org Roundup: Mulling a post-Gadhafi Libya
NATO has stepped up its bombing campaign against key targets in Libya's capital in recent days.
June 9th, 2011
09:33 AM ET

Thursday CFR.org Roundup: Mulling a post-Gadhafi Libya

As NATO steps up a bombing campaign targeting government strongholds in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, countries that comprise the so-called Contact Group are meeting in the United Arab Emirates today to discuss Libya's future after the expected fall of leader Moammar Gadhafi (BBC).

The group - which includes Britain, France, the United States, Jordan, Kuwait, and Qatar - is expected to outline plans for a joint fund that will support the Libyan rebels. The rebels' National Transitional Council has already set up shadow ministries in the eastern part of the country and named a civilian to head the military in anticipation of Gadhafi's fall (AFP).

FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: Daily Roundup • Libya
June 8th, 2011
09:27 AM ET

Wednesday CFR.org Roundup: Hints of transition in Yemen

The Yemeni regime officially opened a dialogue with the country's main opposition group, the Joint Meeting Party, in what sources describe as an unprecedented political concession (BBC). The decision to negotiate followed a day of mass protests outside the vice president's residence. Vice president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi remains the country's provisional leader as President Ali Abdullah Saleh continues to recover from serious injuries in Saudi Arabia.

The Yemeni opposition (Bloomberg) is pushing the regime to formally acknowledge the transfer of power from Saleh to Hadi in an effort to stoke the transition process and close the door on the president's three-decade rule. In the most recent failed transition deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council, Saleh refused to step down within thirty days and relinquish power to Hadi. FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: Daily Roundup • Yemen
Tuesday CFR.org Roundup: Yemeni opposition dialogue dismissed
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh (pictured in 2008) was injured Friday from an attack at his presidential compound.
June 7th, 2011
10:12 AM ET

Tuesday CFR.org Roundup: Yemeni opposition dialogue dismissed

Yemeni Opposition Dialogue Dismissed

The Yemeni government, under the current stewardship of Vice President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, rejected offers of negotiation from a coalition of opposition groups, claiming that no dialogue regarding political transition can occur until President Ali Abdullah Saleh (al-Jazeera) returns from medical treatment in Saudi Arabia.

Officials from the Yemeni regime have said Saleh will return in a matter of days, however medical sources claim it will be at least two weeks. U.S. officials said Saleh suffered burns over 40 percent of his body and a collapsed lung (CNN) in the attack on his compound last Friday. Supporters of Sadeq Al-Ahmar, head of the opposition Hashid tribe, are suspected in the attack. FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: Daily Roundup • Middle East • Yemen
June 6th, 2011
09:08 AM ET

Monday CFR.org Roundup: An uncertain future in Yemen

In the capital of Sanaa, a fragile truce seems to be holding between the embattled Yemeni regime (al-Jazeera) and anti-government forces backed by powerful tribal groups. The respite comes after two weeks of pitched battles that have threatened civil war, and as President Ali Abdullah Saleh recovers from medical treatment in neighboring Saudi Arabia from wounds he received when his compound was struck last week.

It remains unclear if Saleh will return, though government sources claim he will be back in Yemen in a matter of days. The country's main opposition alliance is already celebrating the political transition and says it will accept a transfer of authority (BBC) to Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Failing this outcome, the opposition "Joint Meeting Parties" said it is prepared to form a "transitional council" in concert with the "youth of the revolution." FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: Daily Roundup • Middle East • Yemen
Friday CFR.org Roundup: Escalating hostilities in Yemen
Yemeni anti-regime activists shout slogans next to the coffins of fighters loyal to opposition tribal chief Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar during a mass funeral in Sanaa after the weekly Friday prayer on June 3, 2011, as a security official said Yemen's embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh was wounded along with his premier and other officials when shells struck a mosque in the presidential palace compound.
June 3rd, 2011
11:08 AM ET

Friday CFR.org Roundup: Escalating hostilities in Yemen

Escalating Hostilities in Yemen

Pitched battles rage on in the capital of Sanaa between Yemeni regime forces and tribal fighters loyal to Sheikh Hamid al-Ahmar and the Hashed tribal confederation. President Ali Abdullah Saleh (BBC) was reportedly injured in an attack on his compound, along with the prime minister and the parliament speaker.

The attack marks the first time tribesmen have targeted Saleh's palace (AP) in the nearly two weeks of clashes with government forces. Yemeni officials say the rocket attack struck during prayers at a mosque inside the palace compound.

FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: Yemen
Thursday CFR.org Roundup: Clashes spread across Yemen
A Yemeni dissident tribesman is surrounded by family members and friends at a makeshift clinic outside Sanaa University on June 1, 2011, as gunbattles on the streets of Yemen's capital overnight killed 39 people after security forces and opposition tribesmen shattered a four-day-old truce. (Getty Images)
June 2nd, 2011
09:25 AM ET

Thursday CFR.org Roundup: Clashes spread across Yemen

Clashes between the Yemeni regime and prominent tribal forces continued in the capital of Sanaa today, as the country marches closer to outright civil war (al-Jazeera).

Violence also persisted in the southern city of Taiz, where over fifty people have died since the weekend, and the coastal town of Zinjibar, where the forces of President Ali Abdullah Saleh have pounded a suspected al-Qaeda insurrection.

The Obama administration dispatched top counterterrorism official John Brennan to Saudi Arabia and the UAE in order to increase pressure on Saleh to sign a Gulf-brokered transition agreement - which he has balked at three times already.

The United States and its allies in the region fear the chaos in Yemen could spill over to neighboring countries and threaten strategic oil supply lines (Reuters). FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: Daily Roundup • Yemen
Wednesday CFR.org Roundup: Violence rages on in Yemen
Yemeni anti-government protesters shout slogans during a demonstration calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa on June 1, 2011. (Getty Images)
June 1st, 2011
09:43 AM ET

Wednesday CFR.org Roundup: Violence rages on in Yemen

Heavy fighting continued in the capital of Sanaa (NYT) this morning as regime forces under President Ali Abdullah Saleh clashed with the tribal family of Hamid al-Ahmar for control of strategic positions in the city, including the Interior Ministry and state-run media.

Unconfirmed reports have put the death toll from the renewed violence at well above thirty people over the last two days. The country is facing increasing unrest in several areas after Saleh refused to step down for a third time, and analysts fear the continued bloodshed could drag Yemen into civil war. The U.S. State Department called for Saleh to leave office (BBC), urging the embattled president "to move Yemen forward." FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: Daily Roundup • Middle East • Yemen
« older posts
newer posts »
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,802 other followers