Congress, Obama at odds over new Iran sanctions
Bradley Klapper, The Associated Press — July 23, 2013
Congress is considering a new series of hard-hitting Iran sanctions on everything from mining and construction to the Islamic republic’s already besieged oil industry, despite concern from the Obama administration that the measures could interfere with nuclear negotiations.
Tight IAEA Inspection Regime Hampers Iran’s Nuclear Breakout
Barbara Slavin, Al-Monitor — July 22, 2013
…However, Iran’s ability to break out or sneak out of its non-proliferation obligations is hampered by an inspection regime that keeps extremely close track of Iranian uranium enrichment facilities.
Iran’s New President Reaches Out, Washington Balks
Massimo Calabresi, Time Magazine — July 22, 2013
…Rouhani’s move to highlight a largely symbolic letter by a powerless group of House Democrats is part of his broader effort to shore up Iranian political support for improved relations with the U.S. And it shows just how big an atmospheric shift is under way in Iranian diplomacy in the wake of Rouhani’s election.
Iran: Missed opportunities and false hope
Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post — July 22, 2013
Perhaps the greatest failing of the Obama administration was its inability and-or unwillingness to grasp the import of Iran’s Green Revolution and to support its aims. But that is not the only stumble with regard to the Islamic revolutionary regime, not by a long shot.
North Korea stops work at long-range rocket launch facility, but why?
Foster Klug, The Associated Press — July 23, 2013
An eight-month construction standstill at a North Korean site meant to launch bigger and better long-range rockets may signal Pyongyang is slowing or even stopping development of larger rockets, according to a new analysis of recent satellite imagery.
North Korea’s 2013 Arirang Mass Games Begin, Featuring Over 100,000 Performers
Michelle FlorCruz, International Business Times — June 22, 2013
A breathtaking gathering of North Koreans displaying discipline and dedication to their nation — no, it’s not another one of the North’s military drills. It’s the Mass Games. Monday, North Korea marked the beginning of the country’s largest annual celebration of performing arts and gymnastics, with huge groups of performers, highly trained to work as a group.
Defense spending bill: U.S. surveillance, Syria at issue as debate begins
The Associated Press — July 23, 2013
Limits on secret U.S. surveillance programs and President Barack Obama’s push to help Syrian rebels were in dispute as the House weighed legislation to fund the nation’s military.
Conservative groups push Republican leaders to open up Defense bill
Jeremy Herb, The Hill — July 22, 2013
A group of 11 conservative organizations are calling on Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to keep the Defense Appropriations bill open to all amendments when it hits the floor.
White House issues veto threat of defense funding bill
Rick Maze, Marine Corp Times — July 22, 2013
A veto of a $512.5 billion defense funding bill was threatened Monday by the White House budget office, not so much because of complaints about the level of defense spending but because the Obama administration doesn’t want military spending to rob money from other federal programs.
Japan: Nuclear Plant Admits Leaks
Martin Fackler, The New York Times — July 22, 2013
The operator of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant said Monday that contaminated water had been seeping from damaged reactors into the Pacific, reversing its previous denials.