Must-Reads from Around the World, June 27, 2012

What you need to know on June 27, 2012: Ahead of elections, scandals and intrigue grows in Mexico; Turkey raises the heat on Syria; Germany digs in its heels ahead of Euro summit; the slow, but steady pace of reforms in Burma continues

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Blame Game — As tensions continue to rise between Turkey and Syria after the downing of a Turkish jet last week, the New York Times reports “a preliminary analysis of the available data suggested that there may have been more to the aircraft’s mission than just a routine training exercise to test Turkey’s air defenses.” The Washington Post also says that Syrian President Bashar Assad gave a defiant speech declaring Syria “in a state of real war.”

Mexico Votes — As the July 1 presidential election in Mexico nears, the Guardian reveals that a secretive unit inside the country’s predominant television network set up and funded a campaign for frontrunner Enrique Peña Nieto, according to documents seen by the newspaper. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times profiles leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, whose supporters “see him as the only option for ‘real change’ in Mexico, a sort of heir of the great liberal leaders of Mexico’s past.”

Toughening Up — Der Spiegel reports on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s latest, and most vocal, statement against communitizing the euro-zone debt, in which she told MPs there would be “no euro bonds as long as I live.” “Her choice of words would seem to indicate that she is not in a mood to compromise, despite the dark clouds currently gathering over the common currency area,” the paper writes. 

New Winds of Change — The Daily Telegraph covers the latest speech from South African leader, Jacob Zuma, in which he advanced the notion that “the time has come to do something more drastic to accelerate change, towards economic transformation and freedom.” His speech at the party’s annual conference focused on the lack of change in the country since apartheid, saying “the economic power relations of the apartheid era have in the main remained intact.”

Gray Area — The issue of how much of the U.S. natural gas bounty should be shared with the rest of the world has largely gone unnoticed, reports Reuters. “Lobbyists on both sides of the issue say it suits them best to keep the subject out of the headlines,” it writes. Currently a small unit within the U.S. Energy Department is assessing the impacts exporting natural gas, Reuters says.

Step-by-Step — Exiled Burmese media the Irrawaddy covers the U.S. decision to suspend economic sanctions against Burma. “This is a step-by-step process, and there’s quite a road to go, as I think our Burmese guests would agree with,” spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters, according to the online outlet.