Must-Reads from Around the World: April 18, 2012

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Sang Tan, File/AP

Lawyers for a Libyan military commander, Abdel Hakim Belhadj, said they are taking legal action against Britain's former foreign secretary Jack Straw over claims he approved the Libyan's rendition to face imprisonment and torture.

Clutching at Straw – With former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw now being accused of complicity in the rendition and alleged torture of Libyan dissident Abdel Hakim Belhadj, The Week investigates why MI6 agents have let blame fall upon the politician, suggesting that the “the spooks are plotting their revenge,” after the “corporate shame” of their diminished reputation under former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Choppy WatersChina Daily has shot back at the governor of Tokyo’s announced aspiration for Japan to buy part of the disputed Senkaku Islands, which China calls the Diaoyu Islands. “Any unilateral action taken by the Japanese side… is illegal and invalid, and will not change the fact that these islands belong to China,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin reportedly said.

Aiming High – India’s Hindu newspaper reveals details of Wednesday’s launch of the country’s longest range missile to date, the Agni-V, which can reportedly hit targets up to 5,000 kilometers away. “The success of the mission will enable India join a select band of nations with capability to design, develop and produce Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles,” the newspaper says.

Giant Killing – Australia-based Global Mail reports from Kenya on how demand for ivory in China is reversing decades of reduced elephant poaching in Africa — and how local NGOs are struggling to stop it. “Changing the attitude of China’s booming middle-class is a big task for an African-based anti-poaching movement, and until people stop buying, poaching will continue,” it writes.

The End Of Spring – Al Jazeera argues that Tunisia, perceived to be an Arab Spring  “success story,” is facing a “social crisis” with a growing gap between those benefiting and those losing out from the revolution, with the working classes experiencing “little improvement in their daily lives.” The piece warns against Western powers seeing Tunisia’s revolution as “mission accomplished.”

Scripted Settlement – As Iran prepares to negotiate with the U.S. over its nuclear program, The Washington Post views Tehran’s bargaining rhetoric as the mark of a “dignified process” of making concessions, in which the U.S. government can call its easing of sanctions on Iran as “reciprocity” rather than a “climb-down,” and Iran can label its moves as “confidence-building” measures.