Ties Fraying, Obama Drops Putin Meeting
Peter Baker and Steven Lee Myers, The New York Times — August 7, 2013
President Obama on Wednesday canceled next month’s Moscow summit meeting, ending for now his signature effort to transform Russian-American relations and potentially dooming his aspirations for further nuclear arms cuts before leaving office.
Nixed Putin-Obama summit not really about Snowden, analysts say
Carol J. Williams, The Los Angeles Times — August 7, 2013
President Obama’s decision to skip a one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin…has been cast by some political commentators and the White House itself as censure of the Kremlin’s grant of temporary asylum to fugitive espionage suspect Edward Snowden…Two prominent Russia analysts…argued that Snowden had little to do with it.
Kremlin disappointed by Obama canceling Moscow trip, says it’s ready to keep working with US
The Associated Press — August 7, 2013
The Kremlin voiced disappointment Wednesday with President Barack Obama’s decision to cancel his Moscow summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but said it remains ready to cooperate with the United States on bilateral and international issues.
Israel says Iran is accelerating nuclear quest
William Booth, The Washington Post — August 7, 2013
Saying the United States and the world are being misled by a false face into thinking that Iran has a more moderate leader, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday charged that Iran is not only continuing its nuclear program but has accelerated its quest to build a bomb in the weeks since voters there elected Hassan Rouhani president.
Iran has new rocket site, ballistic missile tests possible: report
Marcus George and Raissa Kasolowsky, Reuters — August 8, 2013
Iran has constructed a rocket-launching site that could be used for testing ballistic missiles, a report from a military intelligence publication said on Thursday.
Iran’s proposed cabinet: The old guard is back in charge
Ali Reza Eshraghi, CNN — August 7, 2013
On Sunday…Hassan Rouhani presented Majlis [the Iranian parliament] with a list of proposed cabinet members…A look at candidates shows that after eight years… the old guard is in charge again. Senior ruling elites (the average age of Rouhani’s new cabinet is 57) are celebrating their victory after surviving Ahmadinejad pressures to uproot them.
U.S. Institute: North Korea Expanding Nuclear Plant
George Jahn, The Associated Press — August 7, 2013
A U.S. institute tracking North Korea’s nuclear weapons program says recent satellite photos show Pyongyang is doubling the size of its uranium enrichment plant, jibing with the country’s announced plans to expand technology that can be used both to create energy and the core of nuclear weapons.
Pentagon finds savings, cuts civilian furloughs
Robert Schroeder, The Wall Street Journal — August 7, 2013
…Civilian workers for the Pentagon will be taking fewer unpaid days off this year thanks to $1 billion in savings found by the Defense Department…More than 650,000 civilian workers will take six furlough days in the final 11 weeks of the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, versus the 11 days they were originally scheduled to take in that period.
DOD planning for sequestration in fiscal 2014; can’t rule out force reductions
Chris Carroll, Stars and Stripes — August 7, 2013
The Pentagon is working out specific plans for reductions in force and involuntary separations in the coming year if budget cuts from sequestration are repeated in 2014, the Defense Department’s No. 2 executive said Wednesday.