Must-Reads from Around the World, June 21, 2012

Stories of note today: Western intervention in Syria, Pakistan's political dramas and more deadly protests by Tibetans in China.

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Syrian Situation – The Guardian reports the U.K. and U.S. are willing to offer Syrian president Bashar Assad possible clemency “as part of a diplomatic push to convene a U.N.-sponsored conference in Geneva on political transition in Syria.” The possibility emerged during talks with Russia at the G-20 talks in Mexico. Meanwhile, the New York Times reveals the C.I.A. are steering arms to the Syrian opposition, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers.

Pakistani Politics – Express News claims an Anti-Narcotics Force magistrate issued an arrest warrant Thursday for Pakistan Peoples Party’s prime ministerial candidate Makhdoom Shahabuddin. And Dawn analyzes the Supreme Court’s removal of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. “Only time will tell … whether this judgment will be viewed as a vindication of the judiciary’s authority or as an avoidable encroachment on the political domain of parliament,” it writes.

Self-Immolations – Voice of America said two more Tibetans set themselves on fire Wednesday while calling for independence, in China’s western Qinghai province, reporting at least one of the pair died. In a message, they claimed they acted to show love to the Tibetan people and loyalty to the Dalai Lama. “People like us are unable to contribute anything toward Tibetan religion and culture, or contribute economically to help Tibetans,” they wrote.

Legal High – Uruguay is set to become the first Latin American nation to legalize the sale and distribution cannabis, reports Al Jazeera. The move is part of 15 new measures to tackle drug-related crime in the nation, where it is already legal to consume the drug. “The goal was for “strict state control over the distribution and production” of cannabis, said Defence Minister Eleuterio Fernandez Huidobro.” They are also pushing for a worldwide legalization of marijuana sales.

No Winners —  The Independent analyzes the significance of future election results in Egypt, concluding that the real winners are most likely to be the military. “(They) will step in to guarantee public safety and, in their infinite wisdom, rule Egypt until they have decided to crown the man who will do their bidding.” However, as “pharaohs have a bad track record in Egypt” it writes, the army may not use similar repressive techniques as past regimes have done.

New Start, Old Faces – Der Spiegel focuses on the challenges facing Antonis Samaras as he tries to prove “to the voters that his government is not just a new version of the old system.” While all three parties in the new coalition “broadly support Greece’s bailout deal with the European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF)”, it notes that there remains “little sense of a new beginning in Athens.” TIME’s Joanna Kakissis takes a closer look at the jarring contrast of the aristocrat in charge of the flailing nation: “He is certainly cut from elitist cloth–strange garb in these austere times.”

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