Must-Reads from Around the World, July 23, 2012

Among today's picks: the Syrian situation, Burma and Thailand play good neighbors and inside Argentina's soccer hooligan culture.

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Syrian Free Army reorganizes with Liwa al-Islam and Tawhid Brigade in Aleppo, Syria, on July 20, 2012

Syrian Escalation – As the Guardian reports on “bloody urban warfare” raging on the streets of Damascus and Aleppo Sunday, the Associated Press covers Israel’s prime minister warning his country would “have to act” if the Syrian regime collapses and there’s the risk of chemical weapons and missiles falling into the hands of militant groups. “Could you imagine Hezbollah … having chemical weapons?” Benjamin Netanyahu asked during U.S. TV interviews Sunday.

Neighborly – Thailand’s the Nation reports on Burma President Thein Sein’s three-day official visit. As Burma continues to open up its economy, Thailand is eager for involvement, including developing a deep water port in the city of Dawei. “Thailand intends to stress economic cooperation with [Burma] as a new prospect for their relations although the two countries also have many other unsolved issues such as [Burma’s] detention of 92 Thais,” said the newspaper.

Football Mad – Australia-based Global Mail examines the violence plaguing Argentinian soccer — 11 people have died so far this year in football-related incidents though the problems between rivals goes back many years — and the country’s soccer mafias, known as the barras bravas. “These are no normal football hooligans,” wrote the online magazine. “That is to say that while English hooligans are for all intents and purposes outside of the system, the barras bravas are intricately involved in the system.”

Libyan Migration – Despite the newly elected government’s plans to establish legal channels for guest workers, Al Jazeera English writes that people smuggling continues in Libya. Migrants comprised over 30% of Libya’s workforce before the revolution and demand has not abated. The summer months are “the peak time for migration flows through Libya, when sea crossings to Europe are at their calmest.” However, the government has signalled a tougher stance by deporting an estimated 800 men across to border to Chad.

Election Protest – “Thousands of people marched through Mexico City on Sunday to denounce the July 1 election of Enrique Pena Nieto as president,” states Reuters. It is the latest in a series of challenges to the election verdict. A legal challenge was launched by second-placed rival Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has accused the President of money laundering and vote-buying. It came after an official recount confirmed Pena Nieto as the victor.

Accompanying Rebels – The BBC interviews rebel fighters slipping into Syria through the last remaining illicit route left from neighboring Lebanon. Although divisions exist between Free Syrian Army (FSA) who call for Syria to become a civil state and the Salafis who are calling for an Islamic emirate, one Salafi fighters states, “But that is not the time for that. Now is the time to finish the regime.” The two armed groups are presently united in bringing down President Bashar Assad’s regime.

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