Syrian Shame - The Washington Post reports on unconfirmed accounts of a fresh massacre in Syria on Wednesday, just as representatives from 55 countries met in Washington to explore ways to sharpen sanctions against the Assad regime. “Reports said dozens of civilians in a small village near the central city of Hama were slain by pro-government militias… echoing the circumstances of the killings of more than 100 people in the village of Houla on May 25,” it says.
Rival Plays – With Defense Secretary Leon Panetta touting America’s pivot to the Asia-Pacific region on a visit to New Delhi and Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing, the Times of India analyzes the impact of the country finding itself in the “rare and enviable situation of being wooed by the competing giants.” Its take: “The unfolding rivalry creates problems for India.”
Healing Words – Exiled Burmese media outlet the Irrawaddy reports on a speech Thursday from Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi urging people to settle religious differences “in accordance with the law and not to lash out in anger.” The call comes in the wake of recent anti-Muslim violence in northwestern Burma and a downtown protest organized by some Muslims in Rangoon Wednesday.
Taekwondos and Don’ts – With the selection process for Britain’s Olympic team under way, The Independent condemns the process as “little touched by the professionalism that brings gold medals,” citing the example of Aaron Cook, the world No. 1 in his class in taekwondo, who failed in his third attempt at being selected for the Games, suggesting he was “being penalized for training independently.”
Euro Solo – Following the G8 summit in the U.S. last month and the E.U.’s informal talks in Brussels after that, The Financial Times says that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is cutting “a distinctly lonely figure” in discussions about the euro’s future. The paper says one of the reasons for this is the missing “double act” nicknamed “Merkozy,” referring to the cozy consensus enjoyed by Merkel and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was ousted in elections last month.
Diamond Debate – With the Diamond Jubilee celebrations now over, TIME’s Ishaan Tharoor requests that the British monarch “hand over the diamond” – specifically, the Koh-i-Noor diamond, which intermittently belonged to India before being handed over to Queen Victoria in 1850 “in a ceremonial act of surrender.” It now resides in the late Queen Mother’s crown, locked up in the Tower of London.