PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION NEWS
Three Reasons Obama Will Win; Three Reasons Romney Will Win
David Lauter, LA Times – November 6, 2012
The most expensive election in U.S. history is almost over, and most public polls suggest President Obama has a small, but persistent, edge over his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney. But before the final vote counts, here are three reasons each candidate has to expect victory, and a key place to watch to see who is right.
Would Mitt Bomb Iran?
Jeremiah Goulka, Salon – November 5, 2012
It’s the consensus among the pundits: foreign policy doesn’t matter in this presidential election. They point to the ways Republican candidate Mitt Romney has more or less parroted President Barack Obama on just about everything other than military spending and tough talk about another “American century.” The consensus is wrong. There is an issue that matters: Iran.
Trouble in Pyongyang
Joel S. Wit, Foreign Policy – November 5, 2012
Whoever wins Tuesday’s election will face a long list of foreign-policy challenges, ranging from Iran’s nuclear weapons program to the Arab Spring. Usually lurking somewhere behind the frontrunners is North Korea and its own home-grown nuclear effort. But there are good reasons why dealing with the threat presented by Pyongyang should be near the top of the to-do list for a new president.
Syria’s Main Opposition Group Broadens Base
Karin Laub, AP – November 6, 2012
The main Syrian opposition bloc on Monday broadened its ranks to accommodate more activists and political groups from inside the country, officials said, in an apparent nod to international demands for a more representative and cohesive leadership. However, the Syrian National Council’s reforms, approved on the second day of a five-day convention in Doha, may not suffice to counter a U.S.-backed plan to create a new opposition leadership that would greatly dilute the SNC’s influence.
Russia Urges Syria Opposition to Drop Demand for Assad to Quit
Suleiman Al-Khalidi, Reuters – November 6, 2012
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday urged the Syrian opposition to abandon its precondition that President Bashar al-Assad step down before any talks can be held on ending the conflict. Speaking after meeting former Syrian Prime Minister Riad Hijab, who defected to Jordan last August, Lavrov accused the opposition of disregarding Syrian lives by demanding the immediate removal of Assad.
Iran Nuclear Weapons Bid Might Trigger Arms Race, Cameron Says
Kitty Donaldson and Robert Hutton, Businessweek – November 5, 2012
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron warned that an Iranian development of nuclear weapons might “trigger a nuclear arms race” across the Middle East. Iran obtaining nuclear arms would not only be a “desperately bad development for our world,” it could make the region “a more unstable and more dangerous place,” Cameron told students at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi today at the start of a three-day visit to the Middle East.
Iran Nuclear Fuel Move May Ease War Fears – For Now
Fredrik Dahl, Reuters – November 5, 2012
A slowdown in Iran’s accumulation of its most sensitive nuclear material may have helped put off the threat of a new Middle East war for now, but Tehran’s expanding uranium-enrichment capacity suggests any relief could be short-lived. By dedicating a big part of its higher-enriched uranium to make civilian reactor fuel , Iran is removing it from a stockpile that could be used to make nuclear weapons if refined further and which would otherwise have grown faster.
IAEA: Iran Not Providing ‘Necessary Cooperation’ in Nuclear Probe
Reuters – November 5, 2012
Discriminatory implementation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has left many countries feeling that being a party to the anti-atom bomb pact hinders cooperation in the field atomic energy, Iran’s U.N. ambassador said on Monday. Western diplomats and analysts have long expressed concern that Iran might one day follow North Korea’s example and pull out of the NPT and produce a bomb. North Korea withdrew from the treaty in 2003 and tested nuclear devices in 2006 and 2009.
UK Nuclear Deterrent Plan Triggers Divisions
Simon Hooper, Al Jazeera – November 6, 2012
At an unknown location somewhere deep beneath the world’s oceans, a British submarine sits primed to launch up to 40 nuclear warheads with a collective destructive power almost 300 times greater than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. Since the late 1960s Britain’s nuclear deterrent strategy has required that at least one of the Royal Navy’s four-strong fleet of Vanguard submarines be operational and fully armed at all times, providing, according to the navy’s website, a “round-the-clock insurance policy”.
Storing Nuclear-Bomb Waste in Glass
Andrew Morse, Wall Street Journal – November 5, 2012
In early 2011, John Raymont was hoping his company, Kurion Inc., could break into the business of cleaning up nuclear waste, an industry dominated by large multinationals and mostly off limits to start-ups. Then in March, an earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, causing its reactors to dangerously overheat. The crisis gave Mr. Raymont an idea.
U.S. Clears Sale of Lockheed Missile Defense System to UAE, Qatar
Reuters – November 6, 2012
Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have requested the sale of up to $7.6 billion in Lockheed Martin Corp missile-defense systems to counter perceived threats and lower their dependence on U.S. forces, the Pentagon announced on Monday. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which oversees foreign arms sales, formally notified lawmakers on Friday that it had approved the possible sales, which come against the backdrop of heightened tensions with Iran.