Syrian rebels take control of Palestinian refugee camp; US and China deeply divided by deeply divided over how to tackle North Korea's rocket launch; Philippines passes landmark bill to provide sex education in schools; Mexico to form new security force to police violent regions; UK withdrawal from EU 'imaginable' says Cameron; and more

Top of the Agenda: Syrian Conflict Draws in Palestinians

Syrian rebels took full control (al-Jazeera) of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp on Monday after fighting raged for days on the southern edge of President Bashar al-Assad's Damascus power base and air raids killed at least eight people sheltering in a mosque there. The battle came after heavy fighting broke out two weeks ago between pro-Assad Palestinians (WSJ) and rebels supported by other Palestinian fighters. Meanwhile, Syria's prime minister--a top target of rebels--made a rare visit (ABC) to the war-torn Aleppo in an attempt to shore up support for president Bashar al-Assad's regime, which has faced a 21-month-old uprising in which 40,000 people have been killed.

Analysis

"The latest violence, which has left at least a dozen Palestinians dead in Damascus, has drawn Syria's Palestinian population more deeply into the country's conflict. It also poses a new challenge to the government in Lebanon, whose stability has long been tested by Palestinian refugees on its territory," write Nour Malas and Joshua Mitnick for the Wall Street Journal.

"The upsurge in violence prompted a rare intervention by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who warned the Syrian administration not to drag the 500,000-strong Palestinian population in Syria into the now 21-month old civil war," writes Alistair Dawber for the Independent.

"UNRWA has repeatedly warned that if all parties to the Syrian armed conflict fail to fulfill their obligations to protect Palestine refugees and respect their neutrality, the consequences would be devastating and long lasting. The Agency has advocated to maintain the neutrality of the 525,000 Palestine refugees in Syria and not implicate them in the conflict," writes the Palestine News Network.

 

PACIFIC RIM

China to Veto North Korea Sanctions

U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke said Monday that the United States and China are deeply divided (AFP) over how to tackle North Korea's violation of UN Security Council resolutions, saying that China is resisting U.S.-led efforts at new sanctions against North Korea over its rocket launch.

This CFR Crisis Guide delves into the issues in the Korean Peninsula.

PHILIPPINES: Philippine legislators passed a landmark bill (ManilaBulletin) Monday that provides government funding for contraceptives and sex education in schools, despite strong opposition by the Roman Catholic Church.

ELSEWHERE:

Mexico to form new security force to police violent regions

UK withdrawal from EU 'imaginable' says Cameron

This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org.

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