Proxy Pressures – The Washington Post relays American accusations that Russia will supply new attack helicopters to Syria, a move officials warned “would dramatically escalate the crisis and belie Moscow’s claim that it is not supporting… Assad’s violent crackdown on dissent.” Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Post says Israel is concerned Hizballah may move Syrian arms to Lebanon amid fears the regime may be losing control over certain military capabilities.
Oil and Politics – China’s state-run Global Times reacts to Monday’s decision by the U.S. to exempt certain countries—but not China—from penalties related to the purchase of Iranian oil. “Sanction is a repulsive word to Chinese,” it writes. “…Chinese hate to be forced to follow the American way. Sanctions against Tehran are designed to protect U.S. interests, but ignore China’s. The U.S.’s anti-proliferation policy hides the intention of toppling the current Iranian regime.”
End of the Affair: Germany’s love of President Obama is waning, Der Spiegel argues. Reporting on Obama’s approval ratings in the latest global survey on the president, the German publication points out that “after more than three years in office, Germans are disappointed in the U.S. President’s unilateralism; his use of force, particularly drone strikes; his inaction with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian situation and his lack of effort in curbing climate change.”
Euro-Fishing – The Guardian reports on the European Union’s decision to finally bring an end to the wasteful practice of throwing edible fish back into the sea. “More than 1m tonnes of healthy fish are annually thrown back dead into the sea by fishermen–due to EU rules, or in order to maximize their profits,” it writes. However, a date has yet to be set for the policy change, “raising fears that it may be implemented too late to save some species.”
Shooting the Messenger – The exiled Burmese publication Irrawaddy reports that Burma’s censors ordered the suspension of a weekly news journal blamed for igniting sectarian violence in Arakan State. Snapshot, the journal, published a photo of a woman raped and murdered in the western region of the country last month; riots followed between Buddhists and Muslims. “We don’t know how long [the suspension] will remain in place,” said the journal’s editor, Myat Khine.
Biblical Plague – South Africa’s Daily Maverick argues that Mali’s woes are about to get worse due to wider instability in the region. “The biggest threat to the region and its people comes not from rebels, the government or intervening foreigners,” it writes. “Instead, Mali is about to experience that most Biblical of problems: a plague of locusts.” Pest control is normally handled by Algeria and Libya, preventing them from reaching Mali’s borders, but “in the aftermath of the Libyan revolution, pest control has taken a back seat.”