Must-Reads from Around the World: March 23, 2012

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Non-cooperation - The Jerusalem Post reveals Israel will not cooperate with an international probe into the effects of settlements on Palestinian human rights, after a 36 to 1 U.N. Rights Council vote in favor of the fact-finding mission Thursday. The U.S. was the only country to vote against it. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu labeled the Council hypocritical; the Palestinian Authority says “it hopes [the] decision will send [a] message to Israel,” the paper writes.

Fraying Ties - The Hindu covers India’s vote against Sri Lanka Thursday at the U.N’s top human rights body, the UNHCR, backing a resolution censuring the island nation for alleged rights violations during its civil war. “India initially showed reluctance to vote on a nation-specific resolution but changed its stand after political parties in Tamil Nadu exerted pressure on the United Progressive Alliance government to go with the resolution,” it states.

Fiery Resistance – The New York Times visits Maqu County, in China’s Gansu Province near Tibet, to examine the continuing spate of self-immolations by Tibetans protesting against Chinese policies — and the fierce reaction its provoking. “Beijing, alarmed about the threat to stability in a region seething with discontent over religious and cultural controls, has responded with an assortment of heavy-handed measures,” it says.

Anxiously Waiting - The Christian Science Monitor explores the uncertainty of French Muslims in the aftermath of the death of Mohammed Merah, a French Muslim of Algerian decent, who confessed to killing seven people, including three children. The tragic events come a few weeks before the French presidential election, and the campaign has seen a lot of talk about immigration and extremism.

A Moment of Peace – Pope Benedict XVI begins a trip Friday to Mexico and Cuba. His impending arrival in Mexico has already brought a temporary cease-fire from at least one group in Mexico’s drug war: a segment of the La Familia cartel has hung banners welcoming the Pope and promising not to attack rivals during his visit, NPR reports. TIME’s Tim Padgett investigates the changing (and sometimes controversial) role of the revived Catholic Church in Cuba.

Coup Comeback – While global leaders call for the return of Mali to constitutional law following the military’s overthrow of the government on Thursday, Foreign Policy questions if the coup d’etat is back in fashion. There may be one upside to the resurgence of change of power by military force, it writes: “The coups that do happen today are more likely to end in at least semi-democratic elections.”

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