Warring Words – China’s state-run Global Times issues its most threatening commentary yet on the continuing standoff with the Philippines over disputed islands in the South China Sea. Under the headline “Peace Will Be a Miracle if Provocation Lasts,” the op-ed accuses Manila of exploiting the situation to cement its rule and worryingly warns: “Under the circumstances, the Philippines needs to be taught a lesson for its aggressive nationalism.”
Darfur Revisited – Online-only Global Post launches an in-depth series exploring aspects of the conflict in Sudan’s South Kordofan region near the border with South Sudan, asking whether the escalating fighting will turn the area into the next Darfur. “The situation is fast becoming another humanitarian crisis to equal Darfur, but the international community has barely responded,” it writes.
Birth Defects – Der Spiegel takes a revealing look at newly released German government documents showing that many in (former leader) Helmut Kohl’s Chancellery had strong reservations about the introduction of a European common currency. “First and foremost, experts pointed to Italy as being the euro’s weak link. The early shortcomings have yet to be corrected,” the news magazine says.
Economy Reigns – Ahead of the speech by Queen Elizabeth in which she’ll announce the government’s legislative plans for the next parliamentary session, the BBC says the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition leaders will likely be more focused on the economy than other reforms in the coming year, suggesting “there is nothing” they regard “as absolutely central” other than “getting its message right on the economy.”
Feisty Lady – In the aftermath of François Hollande winning the French presidential election, The Independent praises his partner, French journalist Valérie Trierweiler, whom it describes as “a feisty, educated, ambitious female.” The British daily also expresses the hope that the President-elect’s “chuntering powers-that-be” are unable to succeed in “clipping her wings.”
Correct the Right – The Washington Post criticizes Mitt Romney, the presumptive U.S. Republican presidential candidate, for being unwilling to “confront the darker forces of the right,” and suggests he lacks “the strength of character to push back against the most dangerous voices on his side.” The paper cites as evidence his refusal to disagree with one of his supporters who insisted that President Obama should be “tried for treason” and his recent “scant effort” to defend an aide who stepped down due to his homosexuality.