Must-Reads from Around the World, June 12, 2012

The world news you need to know on June 12: Putin cracks down on opposition as protesters mass; the U.S. hands India, but not China, a waiver allowing it to temporarily circumvent sanctions and import Iranian oil; and the debate over gay marriage in the U.K. heats up.

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Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

An anti-Putin symbol is seen on an activist's t-shirt during an anti-government protest in Moscow June 12, 2012

Preemptive Action — Ahead of Tuesday’s march against Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Guardian reports police have launched raids targeting opposition figures. “The raids are the latest in a series of moves by the authorities against Russia’s opposition movement,” it writes. “New legislation that imposes draconian fines on participants in unsanctioned demonstrations was rushed through the Duma this month and signed into law by Putin on Friday.”

Euro Consensus — Der Spiegel takes “a sneak peek at tomorrow’s Europe.” The German news magazine writes that dramatic changes to the architecture of the E.U. could be imminent, with Brussels granted a greater say in national budgets in return for shared debt. “But the hurdles such a plan might face are high,” it says. “National parliaments would have to be amended across the continent and several countries would be required to hold referenda.”

The List — AFP reports on the U.S.’s exemption of seven countries—including India but not China—from new sanctions after they cut back on Iranian oil. “The move resolves one of the biggest points of tension in years in the growing relationship between the world’s two largest democracies,” it says of New Delhi’s inclusion. The other countries are Malaysia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan; E.U. nations and Japan were exempted in March.

Dancing With Dictators – As violence continues to rage in Syria, the Arab news agency Gulf News says that the refusal by China, Iran and Russia to condemn the “regime’s crackdown” is contributing to the “human tragedies” that have been “allowed to unfold as a result of jockeying for power and the cold war mentality.” The piece warns against “everyone … dancing with the dictators.”

Marriage Counseling – In light of the Church of England’s opposition to the British government’s proposal to legalize gay marriage, the Guardian argues that “it is the nation that must re-define marriage to include marriage between gay couples,” and that this “nation” has “forgotten about faith,” merely paying “lip-service” to religion by marrying in a church.

Loosening UpThe Bangkok Post reports that some of Burma’s newspapers—long censored by the country’s military regime—have been able to report more freely about the ethnic- and religious-based riots taking place in the western part of the country, “in detail that would have been unthinkable two years ago.” “It is hardly a model of journalism, but state-controlled newspapers reported fairly quickly the death toll in the riots,” the piece states.

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