Ideal Getaway – As Manmohan Singh heads to Tehran, the Economist analyses the latest crisis — over an official report into the contentious awarding of coal fields to private firms — engulfing India’s prime minister. “He may be the only world leader who enters Iranian airspace, breathes a sigh of relief and feels his blood pressure fall,” it wrote. “It has escalated far above the level of soot and pick-axes to once again bring into question the government’s ability to run the country.”
Down South – After Mexican federal police shot up a U.S. Embassy vehicle this week, the Los Angeles Times reports on the loss of faith in the country at the supposed war on corrupt police. “A trustworthy federal police force was to be one of the most important legacies of Calderon’s six-year term,” it said. “For many here, whether the attackers turned out to be corrupt or just bumbling, Calderon’s new and improved federal police force is just more of the same.”
Neighborhood Ties – China’s state-run Global Times examines business ties between the Middle Kingdom and its rogue neighbor in the northeast, North Korea. “China sees a growing demand for energy behind its rapidly running economic engine,” it wrote. “However, despite China’s status as the main aid donor to North Korea, doing business remains unpredictable, and contradictory stories can often be heard behind Chinese investments in North Korea.”
Drawn-Out Conflict – As the BBC considers how Syria has become “engulfed in all-out war,” and “violence spreads to almost every corner”, Reuters interviews Basma Kodmani, who this week resigned from the opposition Syrian National Council. Kodmani said: “My sense was that the SNC was not up to facing the increasing challenges on the ground and was not up to the performance I would have liked it to be.” For more on the latest on Syria, TIME’s Tony Karon lists five reasons why the Assad regime survives.
Community Destroyed – The Daily Telegraph reports on claims made by Amazonian tribal leaders that at least 80 members 0f the Irotatheri, a remote tribal community on the border between Venezuela and Brazil, were wiped out by an assault by illegal gold miners. The alleged massacre is believed to have taken place in July, but “due to the remoteness of the village, information had to be relayed from village to village until it reached Yanomami tribal leaders who alerted the Venezuelan authorities.”
Miners Arrested – The Independent writes that 270 South African miners on strike have been arrested for the murder of 34 colleagues in violent clashes earlier this month, between the miners and police at the Marikana platinum mine. The arrests came “despite confirmation that the victims were shot dead by police,” in what is “the latest setback to prospects of peace in the South African mining industry.” Lawyers for the miners said their clients will not get a fair trial and have demanded their release.