Iranian Detente? — Shortly before being elected Egyptian President, Mohamed Morsy called for closer relations between Egypt and Iran, the Daily Telegraph reports. Speaking to the Iranian Fars news agency, Morsy claimed that closer ties “will create a balance of pressure in the region.” Morsy became the first Islamist to be elected President of Egypt, beating former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, with nearly 52% of the vote, 18 months after former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime was ousted.
Syria Tension – Following the shooting of a Turkish military plane by Syria, The Guardian reports on the disagreement over how to respond within Turkey. The political leadership is taking pains to present a united front and has called for a meeting with NATO to discuss Syria’s actions. Mainstream newspapers have broadly agreed with the government, but have opposed military retaliation. On Twitter, meanwhile, some voices have called for stronger action. Pop singer Nihat Dogan tweeted, for instance: “Turkey should not miss this chance and occupy Syria while it was fighting with its own opposition.”
Letter from Mexico – Ahead of the July 1 Mexican presidential election, the New Yorker reports from Guadalajara on the country’s deadly drug war. “In Mexico, it is often impossible to know who is behind something—a massacre, a candidacy, an assassination, the capture of a crime boss, a ‘discovery’ of high-level corruption,” it mused. “Either the truth is too fluid and complex to define or it remains opaque to anyone not directly involved in manipulating events.”
China’s Bubble – China’s state-run Global Times defends the government’s move to curb spiraling property prices in the country. “With China’s financial markets still at an immature stage, stock market volatility levels through the roof, and a long line of Western countries serving as examples of how rocketing property prices can eventually lead to general economic disaster,” it said, “[dampening] investment and speculative housing demand… can only be good news for those attempting to get on the property ladder.”
Donation Drop-off — With European countries struggling to contain the debt crisis and failing to boost their beleaguered economies, humanitarian aid from the continent fell last year for the first time in nearly a decade, Reuters reports. Fourteen E.U. members, including Greece and Spain, slashed financial assistance to poorer nations, according to a report by the anti-poverty group ONE, with overall aid from the E.U. falling by 1.5% in 2011. The group, co-founded by U2 frontman Bono, fears this could limit opportunities for African economies to become financially independent.