Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
FreeBeacon.com: U.S. intelligence agencies recently monitored a secret meeting between Egypt’s intelligence chief and a senior Iranian spy that is raising new fears the Muslim Brotherhood government in Cairo could begin covertly supporting global terrorism.
HAARETZ: The White House’s response marks a new low in relations between Netanyahu and Obama, underscored by the fact that this is the first time Netanyahu will visit the U.S. as prime minister without meeting Obama.
AP: It was another week at war in Afghanistan, another string of American casualties, and another collective shrug by a nation weary of a faraway conflict whose hallmark is its grinding inconclusiveness.
NY Times: The European Central Bank on Thursday announced a sweeping program for buying the bonds of troubled euro zone countries, giving the bank potentially unprecedented power.
Foreign Policy: A team of U.S. State Department economic officials is nearing an agreement on $1 billion in debt relief to Egypt, and plans for increased U.S. investments. The United States has traditionally given Egypt $1.3 billion a year in military assistance, as the country has remained a strong U.S. ally in the region, particularly in its commitment to a peace treaty signed with Israel in 1979.
Yahoo News: Scotland will introduce a bill within nine months on holding a referendum on independence, First Minister Alex Salmond said on Tuesday, paving the way for a vote that could result in the eventual breakup of Britain.
Middle East Forum: In the past two weeks at least nine Americans have been killed by their Afghan allies in what is known to as “insider killings.” Members of the Afghan army, having been trained and armed by NATO forces, are turning their weapons in increasing numbers against their foreign allies, killing at least 40 NATO troops this year so far.
AP: Leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday that he is refusing to recognize the results of Mexico’s presidential election . . .
Reuters: Western envoys are urging Arab states not to berate Israel over its assumed nuclear arsenal at the U.N. atomic agency’s annual conference, fearing this could imperil wider efforts for a nuclear weapons-free Middle East, diplomats say.
AP: Unemployment in France is 10 percent, but nearly 23 percent for those under the age of 25 . . . In Spain, youth unemployment is over 52 percent; it’s 34 percent in Italy.
AP: Gunmen in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa shot dead a Muslim cleric accused by Washington and the United Nations of supporting al-Qaida-linked militants in Somalia, sparking rioting by youths in which one person died and at least one police car was burned.
News.Yahoo.com: Insurgents beheaded 17 civilians in a Taliban-controlled area of southern Afghanistan, apparently because they attended a dance party that flouted the extreme brand of Islam embraced by the militants, officials said Monday.
AP: Israeli officials said Tuesday that Egypt is violating the historic 1979 peace treaty between the two countries by deploying tanks in the demilitarized Sinai desert near the Israeli border.
TimesofIsrael.com: TV reporter adds: ‘I doubt Obama could say anything that would convince PM to delay a possible attack’ . . . The report added that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak believe Obama would have no choice but to give backing for an Israeli attack before the US presidential elections in November.
Yahoo Finance: a Chinese business magazine said a state bank has provided $1 billion in loans to help companies with listings abroad move them to domestic exchanges . . . The withdrawals follow accusations of improper accounting by some companies and a deadlock between Beijing and Washington over whether U.S. regulators can oversee their China-based auditors. Some Chinese companies say they are pulling out of U.S. markets because a low share price fails to reflect the strength of their business. Withdrawing also eliminates the cost of complying with American financial reporting rules.
AP: Egypt’s military has shown no sign of opposing the president’s surprise decision to retire the defense minister and chief of staff and seize back the powers the military grabbed from his office.
Belfast Telegraph: The Republic of Ireland is abandoning religion faster than almost every other country worldwide, a massive global survey on faith reveals.
Reuters: Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair told a German newspaper he was “deeply worried” Britain might opt to leave the European Union in a referendum, particularly if too many powers were transferred to Brussels without democratic legitimacy.
NY Times: President François Hollande is vowing to impose a 75 percent tax on the portion of anyone’s income above a million euros ($1.24 million) a year.
Pat Buchanan at Human Events: “Apart from political maps of mankind, there are natural maps of mankind. … One of the first laws of political stability is to draw your political boundaries along the lines of the natural map of mankind.” So wrote H.G. Wells in “What Is Coming: A Forecast of Things to Come After the War” in the year of Verdun and the Somme Offensive.
Richard Landes at Wall Street Journal: But Israel (which neither book examined) and the Arab world (which only the Landes book examined) illustrate the primacy of culture as both necessary and sufficient for economic development. Israel, a country with no natural resources, an economic backwater even in the Ottoman Empire, rose to the top of the developed world in a century on culture alone. The Arab nations, on the other hand, illustrate the necessity of a certain kind of culture: Even those with vast petrodollars still have among the least productive economies in the world.
Telegraph: Egypt’s Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, has been forced to accept a cabinet dominated by army backed figures in a sign that the military’s political clout remains largely unbridled.
CBS: Arab countries pushed ahead Wednesday with a symbolic U.N. General Assembly resolution that tells Syrian President Bashar Assad to resign and turn over power to a transitional government.
Reuters: President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, U.S. sources familiar with the matter said.
JTA: A White House spokesman noted that Mitt Romney’s calling Jerusalem the “capital of Israel” contradicts United States policy over several successive administrations.
AP: China criticized Mitt Romney on Tuesday, saying the U.S. presidential candidate’s statement that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel could worsen an already tense Mideast situation, or even re-ignite a war between Palestinians and Israelis.
Christian Science Monitor: Of all the things to laud in Britain’s long history, the director of the opening ceremonies for the London Olympics chose for his second act … universal health care.
FoxNews: Mitt Romney on Sunday gave his unequivocal support to Israel and its effort to thwart Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability, saying the United States has “a solemn duty and a moral imperative” to help in that effort.
Reuters: Gaza Islamist leader Ismail Haniyeh met Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi on Thursday in an official visit that signaled a big shift in Cairo’s stance toward the Hamas movement after the election of a Muslim Brotherhood head of state in Egypt.
AP: A bipartisan group of 51 senators on Thursday threatened to oppose a global treaty regulating international weapons trade if it falls short in protecting the constitutional right to bear arms.
Rasmussen: A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 61% of Likely U.S. Voters think it is at least somewhat likely that Israel will attack Iran in the next year while just 23% see such an attack as unlikely.
U.S. News: For the first time in recent history, the average Canadian is richer than the average American, according to a report cited in Toronto’s Globe and Mail.
ACLU: The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) today filed a lawsuit charging that senior CIA and military officials violated the Constitution and international law when they authorized and directed drone strikes that resulted in the deaths of three U.S. citizens, including a 16-year-old boy, in Yemen last year.
PR Newswire: The United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) received a $50,000 grant from The UPS Foundation, the charitable arm of UPS (NYSE: UPS). The grant will be used to benefit UNA-USA’s Global Classrooms® Model UN program, which engages middle and high school students around the world on contemporary international issues and institutions in an educational setting, cultivates global literacy, and builds the leadership skills necessary for active citizenship.
CNN: The leader of Mexico’s leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, announced Tuesday that he has asked Mexico’s Federal Election Institute for a recount of the ballots cast in Sunday’s presidential election.
The Guardian: French police have raided the home and offices of the former president Nicolas Sarkozy as part of an investigation into allegations of illegal campaign-financing by France’s wealthiest woman.
AP: But with 99 percent of the vote tallied in the preliminary count, Lopez Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party trails by just six percentage points behind the election’s apparent victor, Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.
The Hill: Some 130 lawmakers sent President Obama a letter on Monday expressing their opposition to a pending arms trade treaty if it impinges on gun rights and U.S. sovereignty in any way.
Washington Times: A pro-democracy heckler interrupted a speech by Chinese President Hu Jintao at the swearing-in of Hong Kong’s new leader Sunday, and tens of thousands of residents marched to protest Chinese rule on the 15th anniversary of the Asian financial hub’s return to Beijing’s control.
AP: Senior British lawmakers warned Monday that Britain must consider a future outside the European Union as the 17 members of Europe’s currency union, which the UK has stayed out of, develop closer fiscal and political ties.
AP: Brazilian police say they have begun breaking up a ring that used Internet file sharing to distribute child pornography in 34 countries.
AP: One hereditary peer, ex-government minister David Trefgarne, has even claimed that mere mortals have no right to meddle with the Lords.He suggested that because his seat in the House of Lords was granted to his ancestors by Britain’s monarch – once regarded as having won the right to rule directly from God – the privilege is one conferred by divine right.
Al Arabiya News: Leading executives at global institution Standard Chartered say that Shariah-compliant banks are on track to boast around half of the region’s banking assets by 2020 – on the back of surging growth which has seen the industry expand by 30 per cent in the region in just two years, according to a report on Tuesday.
YNet.com: Warning from Putin: Visiting Russian president cautions Israel against hasty military action in Iran, says ‘look at what happened to the Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan’ . . . “Iraq has a pro-Iranian regime after everything that has happened there. These things should be thought out ahead of time before doing something one will regret later,” he said. “One should not act prematurely.”
AP: The organization in charge of creating hundreds of additional Internet address suffixes to rival “.com” has suspended the Web-based system it set up to help decide the order in which it will review new address proposals.
Religion Clause Blog: European Jewish Press reported yesterday that in Latvia, Justice Minister Gaidis Berzins resigned Thursday in protest of Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis’ announced plans to create a commission to investigate paying restitution to families of Latvian Jews who property was taken during the Holocaust.
AP: Israel is expelling an additional 150 South Sudanese as part of its campaign to reduce the number of African migrants who have slipped illegally into the Jewish state
AP: Germany’s finance minister is rejecting U.S. President Barack Obama’s calls on Europe to move faster in fighting its debt crisis, telling him to get the American deficit under control instead.
CNN: The Palestinian group Hamas says its military wing has agreed to an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire with Israel following a sharp increase in violence between the two sides.
Boston Globe (AP): Militants crossed from Egypt’s turbulent Sinai desert into southern Israel on Monday and opened fire, killing an Israeli worker, defense officials said. Two assailants were shot dead in a gunbattle with Israeli troops responding to the ambush.
Washington Times: Socialists took control of France’s parliament for the first time in ten years on Sunday in elections marked by high voter abstention. …
San Francisco Chronicle: Venezuela surpassed Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest holder of proven oil reserves, a resource that President Hugo Chavez promises to tap if he gets re-elected in October.
NCPA Policy Digest: This general principle, that government is better when it is closer to the people, now faces a movement without precedent in scale: the movement for the globalization of taxation.
Houston Chronicle: Undeterred by a sudden escalation in the Kremlin’s crackdown on the opposition, tens of thousands thronged Moscow’s tree-lined boulevards Tuesday in the first mass protest against Vladimir Putin since he returned to the presidency in May.
Yahoo (AP): Olivier Bailly spokesman said Tuesday that, legally, limits could be imposed on movement of people and money across national borders within the EU if it’s necessary to protect public order or public security.
Express.co.uk: A new poll showed more than 80 per cent of voters are crying out for a referendum. Nearly half of voters – 49 per cent – want their voices heard straight away, according to the survey. A further third, 33 per cent, believe that there should be a vote “in the next few years”
CNN: Eighteen victims of child pornography were rescued during a nationwide sweep by federal law enforcement agencies, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Friday.
AP: African migrants who entered Israel illegally will be given cash incentives if they leave on their own soon, or they will face expulsion, the Interior Ministry said Friday.
AP: The study released Wednesday by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea says all adults in the socialist state are categorized as one of three classes: loyal, wavering or hostile.
Rasmussen: Russia, China and several Arab countries are pushing for international control of the Internet through the United Nations, but U.S. voters overwhelmingly oppose the idea.
Rael Jean Isaac at the Wall Street Journal (via Google): Unless Europe radically rethinks its obsession with carbon-dioxide emissions and the anti-fossil fuel energy policies that flow from it, growth is likely to remain elusive.
Guardian: Official forecasts often predict light pollution while US embassy tweets say conditions are bad, hazardous or even ‘crazy bad’