Must-Reads from Around the World

On deck for Friday: Israel warns Iran may have a nuclear bomb by spring, most-wanted Mexican drug lord behind bars, Syrian refugees are predicted to number 700,000 by the end of the year

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Nick Cornish / i-Images / Polaris

New arrivals from Syria waiting to be given a tent at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan on Sept. 3, 2012.

Bibi’s Thin Red Line: Brandishing a drawing of a bomb at the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu urged other nations to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, Al Jazeera reports. During his speech, he held a cardboard diagram illustrating the levels of Iran’s nuclear development. With a red marker, he drew a line under the 90 percent level. “Red lines don’t lead to war; red lines prevent war,” he said. He warned that Iran had built 70 percent of its nuclear infrastructure, and might produce its first nuclear weapon by next spring if its program is not shut down .

Drug Lord Captured: Mexican authorities announced Wednesday that they had captured one of the country’s top drug lords, Ivan Velazquez Caballero, known as “El Taliban,” according to The Associated Press. The arrest of Caballero, a leader of the Zetas cartel, strikes a blow to one of the country’s most powerful and violent criminal organizations. Caballero’s bloody power struggle with another Zetas chief was fuelling recent mass killings in northern Mexico, say officials. Authorities hope that the arrest of Caballero, who had a $2.3 million bounty on his head, will quell the uptick in violence.

Syrian Refugees: The U.N. predicts 700,000 refugees will be streaming out of Syria by the end of the year, three times the number it previously forecast, Voice of America writes. Over the past 18 months, nearly 300,000 Syrian refugees have fled their homeland to neighboring countries like Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq. The U.N. refugee agency is asking for $500 million to provide their basic needs, warning that the situation will become more dire as winter falls.

Olympics Security Fiasco – Two senior executives of British firm G4S have resigned following an review of the firm’s botched contract to provide security for the London 2012 Olympics, the BBC reports. While CEO Nick Buckles will keep his job, chief operating officer David Taylor-Smith and managing director Ian Horseman Sewell stepped down Friday. An independent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that the company had failed to augment its “structures and processes” to deal with the unique challenge of the Olympics. British politicians have called for G4S to return the £57 million contract fee following this summer’s debacle, when British army troops had to step in after G4S failed to provide a promised 10,400 guards.

Merkel Challenger – Germany’s main opposition party is on the brink of nominating a challenger to Chancellor Angela Merkel in next year’s election, sources told Reuters.  Former finance minister Peer Steinbrueck, widely credited with shepherding Germany through the 2008 financial crisis, is reportedly the center-left Social Democrats’ nominee, though the party has not yet confirmed the selection, the AP reports.  The Social Democrats face an uphill struggle to unseat the popular Merkel and her conservative Christian Democrats, though polling suggests straight-talking Steinbrueck, who once publicly chastised his party for appearing like “crybabies,” may have an edge with swing voters.