Beijing Impasse — The Washington Post provides a comprehensive look at the challenge China’s economic slowdown is presenting to Communist Party leaders seemingly unsure how to proceed. “Unlike in past slowdowns, Chinese officials appear far less confident this time about what to do,” it says. “Facing unpalatable choices — each carrying risks — the country’s top leaders have sent out confusing signals and statements in recent days.”
Forcible Return – As Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa prepares to lunch with Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday as part of Jubilee celebrations, the Guardian reports accusations from a former Tamil Tiger rebel that the U.K. government is forcibly deporting asylum seekers who are then tortured in Sri Lanka. “The coalition is coming under increasing pressure to revisit its policy, which suggests it is safe to return Tamils to Sri Lanka,” it writes.
Political Pollution – After China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection demanded Tuesday that foreign embassies stop publishing air quality readings — saying it violates diplomatic treaties — the state-run Global Times wades into the controversy. “Speculation abounds that the US embassy publishes PM 2.5 data so it can request higher air pollution compensation for its American staff,” it writes. “The possibility of this incentive should not be completely ruled out.”
Diplomatic Spat – Day Press News, a Syrian media service, reports the Syrian Foreign Ministry is denying entry to some E.U., Western and foreign diplomats and ambassadors, labeling them “persona non grata.” The piece publishes a statement of the Syrian government barring 17 Western diplomats, including Britain’s ambassador to Damascus, in what Jihad Makdissi, the foreign minister, labeled as a “reciprocal measure” countering “E.U. countries that had expelled Syrian” representatives last week.
Striking Result – Following the news that Abu Yahya al-Libi, al-Qaeda’s second in command, had been killed by a U.S. drone attack in Pakistan, CNN reports there is “only one leader of any consequence” remaining in al-Qaeda – Ayman al-Zawahiri – who has the now “almost impossible” task of carrying out the organization’s “main mission” of attacking U.S. targets. The piece asserts that Americans’ fears of a jihadist terrorist attack are “irrational,” saying they have a greater chance of being struck by lightning.
Jubilee Ennui – After the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Britain, the Independent asks residents in Tottenham, an ethnically diverse northeast London borough, about the festivities and the monarchy in general. One 19-year-old responds with anger, saying “All the money being spent on the Jubilee could have been spent elsewhere.” A Brazilian, however, is positive about the royals: “The Queen should stay: it’s England, isn’t it?”