Economic Turnaround? — Reuters analyzes the likelihood of Mexico’s newly elected President Enrique Pena Nieto in achieving his aim of “boosting growth to rates last seen in the 1970s.” It notes that “Sunday’s presidential election may be a chance for the most significant economic remodeling in a generation.” The last major economic reforms began in 1982 with the introduction of privatization, leading to bank deregulation and free trade, culminating in Mexico’s entry to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994.
Rebuilding Bridges — Pakistan’s Dawn reports Islamabad and Washington appear close to resolving the dispute over the reopening of NATO supply routes to Afghanistan, according to its official sources. “[They] pointed out that two new developments — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s call to Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and the presence of a high-level U.S. delegation in Islamabad — had raised hopes that the dispute might soon be resolved,” it said.
Mission: Burma — Thailand-based The Irrawaddy reveals U.S. Ambassador-in-waiting Derek Mitchell — the first such diplomat to Burma in two decades — is expected to travel to the country soon to head America’s mission there following his confirmation by the U.S. Senate last Friday. “Mitchell, currently the special US representative and policy coordinator for Burma, has been a key player in implementing the Burma policy of the Obama administration,” it added.
Reading the Riots — The Guardian continues reporting its findings from in-depth research of last summer’s disorder that spread across the country, revealing English police expect a repeat of the unrest and are concerned if they will have the resources to cope given budget cuts currently affecting forces. “Officers interviewed as part of the study said further disorder was likely, with many citing worsening social and economic conditions as the potential cause,” it wrote.
War Crime — The al-Qaeda linked Ansar Dine (Defenders of the Faith) Islamists have reportedly desecrated the tombs of seven ancient Muslim saints in Timbuktu, the Daily Telegraph writes. The International Criminal Court has branded the destruction, which took place over the weekend, a war crime. Following a military coup in March, several Islamist groups, including the Ansar Dine, wrested control of Timbuktu, and the rest of Northern Mali. The level of violence the region has been subject to has led UNESCO to list Timbuktu as an endangered site.
Hostages Released — Four abducted foreign aid workers have been freed by Somali government troops in an overnight rescue mission, the Guardian describes. All are reported to be “healthy and unhurt.” On June 29 the aid workers, who all work for the Norwegian Refugee Council, were kidnapped at the Dabaab refugee camp in Kenya. It was the first occasion that foreigners had been kidnapped in Kenya since October, when it sent troops into Somalia to quash an al-Qaeda-linked insurgency.