Must-Reads from Around the World: June 4, 2012

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Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (R) participates in an arrival ceremony with Vietnam Minister of Defense Phung Quang Thanh (L) at the Ministry of Defense on June 4, 2012 Hanoi, Vietman

Pivot Watch — Following U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta‘s weekend visit to the Asia Security Summit in Singapore, China’s Global Times analyses America’s shift to an enlarged military presence in the region. Their take: “Despite the United States claiming that its naval shift to the Asia-Pacific is not designed at containing China, Washington’s strategy needs closer attention amid a tense maritime situation, analysts said.”

Different Rules — As pressure on Iran over its alleged nuclear weapons program continues, Der Spiegel reports Israel is deploying nuclear weapons on German-built submarines. “A German shipyard has already built three submarines for Israel, and three more are planned,” it writes. “The German government has known about Israel’s nuclear weapons program for decades, despite its official denials.”

Family Affair — The New York Times examines the power struggles swirling around Afghan President Hamid Karzai as his days in office near their end. “… members of his family are trying to protect their status, weighing how to hold on to power while secretly fighting among themselves for control of the fortune they have amassed in the last decade,” it reports.

Europe Unbalanced – As eurozone countries such as Greece and Spain struggle to keep their economies afloat, Al Jazeera argues that the European Union is powerless to instruct sovereign countries to obey the rules “if their citizens do not accept them anymore.” The piece suggests that a determination sustained by both leaders and citizens is the only way these beleaguered states can “show that they merit unreserved support” from the rest of the eurozone countries, and points out that “the larger member states are more equal than others,” and cannot be swayed by the E.U. as easily, which may “sometimes be for the best.”

Vapid Verdict – In the aftermath of former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak being convicted in an Egyptian court for “complicity in the killing of more than 800 pro-democracy protesters last year,” with a life sentence, the Times of India points out that the outcome of this “highly publicized trial,” which it suggests is “most likely” to be appealed, actually “falls short of the closure Egyptian people yearn for.” The reason? The court didn’t take into account “30 years of torture, police brutalities and other human rights violations” the paper suggests were committed under Mubarak’s regime.

Bad Experience – After Jeremy Hunt, the British Culture Secretary, took to the witness stand at the Leveson Inquiry into press standards last week, the Guardian analyses his demeanor and concludes that politics and power have ended up in the hands of “too many people” who manage to “style themselves as expert players of the game, but know far too little about the political fundamentals.” It warns against the “fatal modern mistake” of assuming that younger politicians – “untested youth” – or career politicians are necessarily a good thing for politics, referring to the “silly texts” revealed at Leveson, and the “weakness for iPad games” noted by David Cameron.