Merkel Visits Greece – The German Chancellor has arrived in Athens for what will be her first visit to Greece since the eurozone crisis began nearly three years ago, writes the BBC. Security is high in the centre of the capital where police have banned protests. Left-wing newspapers encouraged people to protest but in a non-violent fashion. Many Greeks consider Merkel the architect of the austerity measures that have brought the country to a standstill. A spokesperson for the Syriza party, Yiannos Bournos, explained to the BBC how “people are frustrated and enraged because they clearly understand that Mrs Merkel’s visit is just a theatre play for the political support of a collapsing coalition.” The Guardian is live-blogging the day’s events.
Risky Equipment? — The House Intelligence Committee said two Chinese telecommunications firms–Huawei Technologies and ZTE Inc.–pose a national security threat to the U.S, examines the New York Times. A new report released by the panel recommends that the U.S. government stop doing business with the two firms and American businesses should avoid buying equipment from them because it could be used for spying. “Allowing the Chinese companies to do business in the United States, the report said, would give the Chinese government the ability to easily intercept communications and could allow it to start online attacks on critical infrastructure, like dams and power grids,” wrote the Times.
Wheat Production — A new study shows that wheat production in sub-Saharan Africa is at 10 to 25% of its potential and the region could easily grow more to improve food security, notes Reuters. The report, conducted by the non-profit group International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, shows that farmers in sub-Saharan Africa produce 44% of the wheat consumed locally and import the rest from international markets. “If Africa does not push for wheat self-sufficiency, it could face more hunger, instability, and even political violence, as bread riots in North Africa showed in recent years,” said Bekele Shiferaw, a lead author of the study.
Missile Crisis? – North Korea has announced that its missiles now have the capacity to reach the American mainland, reports the New York Times. An estimation of the missile capabilities of a country as closed-off as North Korea is not easy. But, according to military officials and the South Korean government, the North has already deployed ballistic missiles capable of reaching Guam, an American territory in the Pacific. The news comes in response to the recent agreement between Washington and Seoul to extend the reach of South Korean missiles. The North claims this agreement is only increasing the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula.