Must-Reads from Around the World, May 17, 2012

  • Share
  • Read Later

Suspicious Minds – Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reveals that elderly Communist Party members in the Chinese province of Yunnan have been questioned after they penned a letter calling for the sacking of Zhou Yongkang, the country’s top security official, amid rumors of continued infighting following the downfall of Bo Xilai. The Financial Times reported Sunday that Zhou had already given up day-to-day control of China’s security machine.

Just Like Old Times – The Economist explores the motives behind the May 15 bomb aimed at Fernando Londoño, a conservative Colombian politician and commentator. FARC, the country’s biggest leftist guerrilla group, was initially blamed for the attack, but some suspect it came instead from the extreme right attempting to destabilize the government. The writer’s conclusion: “anything is possible in the illogical logic of Colombia’s still-violent politics.”

Protecting Teachers – Thai news agency MCOT reports on the first day of school in the country’s three southern, violence-wracked provinces where teachers have been targeted by insurgents. “The Royal Thai Army dispatched more than 5,000 soldiers to provide security at 400 schools in the southern border provinces, to escort education workers and students, at the start of the new semester,” it says. More than 5,000 people have been killed there since 2004.

Kenya’s Middle Class – East Africa’s daily newspaper, the Daily Nation, examines Kenya’s emerging middle class, which it puts at 23% of the population, and the effects its members have on the country’s society in general. The paper argues that the “poor are becoming fewer” in spite of what the country has “been hearing from NGOs” and asserts that the middle class “pulls the poor from deprivation through better wages.”

Better Late Than Never – As the former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic is put on trial for war crimes, The Independent notes that when justice is delivered, it will have been “a shamefully long time in coming.” The piece expresses concern at the “residual support” for the Bosnian Serb cause, suggesting that this renders the conflict’s resolution “far from complete.”

Sanctioning Resistance – As the U.S. announces that it is “ready” to use military force against Iran as a last resort in the standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program, the Iranian English-language daily Tehran Times advocates the creation of a “resistance economy”  to counter economic sanctions from the “global powers,” viewing sanctions as “opportunities for growth” rather than “threats.”