Must-Reads from Around the World, May 14, 2012

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrives for a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the 66th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. (Photo: Seth Wenig / AP)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrives for a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the 66th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. (Photo: Seth Wenig / AP)

Hunger Pains - The Guardian writes that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has warned Israel of “disaster that no one could control” as Palestinian hunger strikers near death. Tony Blair, the Middle East quartet representative, urged Israel to “take all necessary measures to prevent a tragic outcome that could have serious implications for stability…on the ground,” the newspaper says. But the Jerusalem Post reports officials are close to an agreement to end the strikes.

Nowhere to Go - The Washington Post reveals Iran is storing unsold oil on tankers which routinely switch off satellite tracking systems “as they ply the oceans in search of open ports and willing buyers.” U.S. security officials and diplomatic sources tell the Post: “Hobbled by sanctions against its banks and a growing international boycott of its petroleum, Iran is seeing its revenue sag while its oil sits in storage depots and floats in tankers with nowhere to go.”

Terror Tips - The Times of India questions whether the country’s security agencies have been tricked into issuing false terror alerts following a dubious May 6 alarm. “Sources in the government said that post-26/11 [the Mumbai terror attacks], conmen have been approaching Indian agencies and journalists; in one case even a politician, offering ‘credible information’ for money,” the newspaper reports.

Learn To Turn – After Angela Merkel’s conservative party suffered a blow in the North-Rhine Westphalia state election on Sunday, The Independent argues that the German Chancellor must no longer “ignore” what it labels “the austerity backlash” that has emerged across Europe, suggesting that a failure to do so could result in a spreading of “political instability of the kind that we are already seeing in Greece” and a drive of “extremists to the fore.”

Press The Right Buttons – After a media frenzy surrounding President Obama’s public support for gay marriage, a Washington Post columnist distinguishes between the two types of ways a media organization can be “in the tank for Obama.” The columnist draws a distinction between the “laughable bias” and “well-what-do-you-expect” types of pro-Obama coverage, following conservative complaints of the media “obsession” with presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s past of high-school bullying.

Fools Economy? – As economic angst pervades the European public, Al Jazeera asserts that the European Central Bank is run by “people who are not very good at economics,” obsessed with hitting “low inflation rate” targets and “ignoring” other economic matters. The news organization likens the ECB hierarchy to the Communist Party in the former Soviet Union, where “acceptance of the ideology is the price for admission into the clique” who can influence policy. It praises popular movements for making it “increasingly difficult” for European governments to impose ECB measures.

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