Must-Reads from Around the World: June 5, 2012

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A droplet of water falls from a tap in front of the euro sculpture at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, Friday, Nov.11, 2011. (Photo: Michael Probst / AP)

A droplet of water falls from a tap in front of the euro sculpture at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, Friday, Nov.11, 2011. (Photo: Michael Probst / AP)

High Stakes – The Guardian reports that Germany is weighing up a plan for a eurozone banking union to end the debt crisis, as Spain pleads for an E.U. rescue of its beleaguered banks. “The plan could see vast national debt and banking liabilities pooled – and then backed by the financial strength of Germany – in return for eurozone governments surrendering sovereignty over their budgets and fiscal policies to a central eurozone authority,” it says.

Going Local – The Washington Post writes that Mikhail Prokhorov, the billionaire owner of the New Jersey Nets who ran for the Russian presidency this year, has launched a political party for independents aimed at local elections. “Prokhorov envisions a bare-bones group that will exist on paper to enable independents to run for office. The organization will be a platform for them because candidates here have a hard time joining a race without party backing,” it says.

Backroom Dealing – Japan Times analyses Prime Minister Noda’s efforts, through a minor Cabinet reshuffle, to build support among the opposition for raising the consumption tax. “Noda might have solved some of the issues…only to find another set of problems on his hands,” one commentator told the newspaper. Its take: “While Monday’s Cabinet reshuffle puts the ball in the opposition’s court, Noda’s acquiescence to their demands could quickly backfire.”

Suspect Prospects – As tensions build over Iran’s nuclear development endeavors, the Jerusalem Post argues that “no details were available” of an agreement between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over a request from the latter to access the Parchin site in Iran, “long suspected” of hosting a nuclear testing facility for the development of “explosives.” It asserts that in order for the IAEA to “convincingly prove that all [military-related] components have been done away with” in the country, then Iran “must agree, unconditionally, to provide access to all suspect facilities” – something the piece concludes Iran would “never permit.”

Rock ‘n’ Royalty – The morning after the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert outside Buckingham Palace, the Guardian reviews the show, arguing that “rebel sentiment” was missing from the music acts that played. It interprets performances from the likes of JLS, Jools Holland and Jessie J as “trying to bore the assembled members of the royal family into submission.” The piece singles out Madness as the “real highlight” of the show.

Venus In Transit – For the first time since 2004, the planet Venus will slide between Earth and the Sun, in an extremely rare solar event that will not take place again until 2117. The New York Times runs a piece analyzing the way astronomers can learn from this spectacle, hoping to “expand their understanding of our solar system” and become able “to get clues about what happens when any planet … transits its star.” It describes the imminent scene as “the beauty spot – as beautiful as Marilyn Monroe’s – bestowed by Venus on the Sun.”

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