Korean Quagmire – Following negative reaction to North Korea’s planned satellite launch, China’s Communist Party-linked Global Times defends Beijing’s approach towards Pyongyang — under the headline “Why China Can’t Persuade [North] Korea Alone.” The paper’s conclusion: “As long as South Korea, Japan and the U.S. do not give North Korea a sense of security, it will not stop lashing back at them.”
Bali Threat – Reuters reports that Indonesian police shot dead five suspected militants over the weekend who had identified and surveyed targets for attack — possibly to coincide with Nyepi, or the Day of Silence, a major religious holiday for Balinese Hindus. “Police said the suspected militants were about to stage armed robberies, to fund their cause, when they were killed in gunfights with police,” it says.
Libyan Splits – The Christian Science Monitor explores calls for autonomy in eastern Libya after the region’s role in deposing Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi and the recent formation of an interim council to examine the issue. “Easterners hope that such a return to federalism…could provide them with better community services and a greater share of the spoils from Libya’s oil industry,” it writes.
School Shooting – A guman who opened fire in front of a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, killing three children and a teacher, may be linked to other recent slayings in the region, BBC reports. The school shooting, which killed at least four and wounded several others, comes a week after a solider was gunned down in another area of the southwestern city and days after two soldiers were shot and killed in front of an ATM in nearby Montauban. All three attacks were committed by a gunman on a motorbike and early reports suggest the same caliber weapon was used in each.
Next Chapter – The Los Angeles Times investigates what the death of Coptic Christian leader Pope Shenouda III means for the Egyptian Christian community. The late spiritual and sometime political leader worked to calm tensions between Egypt’s Christian minority and Sunni Muslim majority, particularly in the year following the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak.