Headline: Obama Calls for Patience in Iran Talks
To Read: Anne Applebaum points out how disasters such as the one in the Philippines show that the US is still very much the superpower which the world depends on-
Americans, like Europeans, have long believed that strength and wealth entail responsibility. That’s why two former U.S. presidents voluntarily coordinated the international response to the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia, even though Indonesia had no U.S. naval base…
That’s also why an American president who is actively uninterested in engaging with the Syrian conflict has pledged $1.16 billion in humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees, accounting for nearly 30 percent of all such aid; European contributions as a whole make up a good percentage of the rest. China’s contribution, meanwhile, comes to $3 million, less than that of Luxembourg. China plays an enormous political role in Syria — the Chinese veto has helped keep the United Nations firmly sidelined there — but clearly does not feel obligated to help those affected by its decisions.
Quote: "[There are] probably recollections of the time, more than 30 years ago, when Iran was the regional gendarme of the United States. That would mean a long-term strategic erosion in their relative position in the region", Chas Freeman -- a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia talking with David Kenner about the Saudi fears of a US- Iran alliance.
Number: 14%, US companies' surprisingly low share of the world's growing international infrastructure construction market.
To Read: Rajan Menon examines the strategic war between Netanyahu and Rouhani-
But if the Iranians appear to have outmaneuvered Netanyahu of late, their apparent confidence that he cannot exercise the military option under the current circumstances may be misplaced. The Prime Minister has domestic constraints of his own, having drawn a big red line and staked his reputation, which he much prizes, as a leader who can be counted on not to flinch when hard decisions are required to defend Israel—something he believes that only he can reliably do.
There is, in short, a game of chicken afoot between Israel and Iran. What’s not yet clear is which player, if either, will be the first to swerve.
Quote: "If we have disagreements we should voice them, but we should remember that the Americans also know a thing or two. We are not the only ones", President Peres about the reported 'crisis'.
Number: 70, the number of Palestinians which the Israeli police arrested for illegally residing in Israel.
The Middle East
To Read: Iran expert Abbas Milani takes a look at the reasons why Iran came back to the negotiation table-
First and foremost, the nuclear reality the Iranian regime apparently hoped for was to have a break-out capacity: the ability to have not the bomb, but the ability to build one in short order. All evidence is that such a break-out capacity is now a virtual fait accompli.
Quote: “When the prophet was dying, he told Aisha [his wife]: ‘I feel the pain of the poison I ate in Khaibar [a Jewish town].’ The poison he ate in Khaibar. He continued to suffer from the pain until he died”, Mahmoud Habbash, PA Minister for Religious Affairs, using the recent allegations about the poisoning of Arafat to remind the world that the Jews also poisoned Muhammad.
Number: one million, the number of people currently sheltered in Raqqa, a city currently controlled by an al-Qaeda affiliated organization.
The Jewish World
To Read: Michael Medved writes about the massive political shift of Canada's Jewish voters and asks whether a similar shift could ever take place in the US-
For forty years, Republican operatives have been consistently frustrated in their energetic and well-funded efforts to win the support of Jewish voters for their presidential candidates. Looking toward the first battle of the post-Obama era in 2016, battered conservative activists might take encouragement and inspiration from the surprising success of their Jewish counterparts north of the border.
Quote: “I know that he does not represent or embrace the purpose or the mission of this group, and therefore I wish he would not speak there”, Abe Foxman commenting on George W. Bush's appearance at a Jews for Jesus event.
Number: 35, the number of houses searched in a crackdown on a neo-nazi organization in Italy.