World News Brief, Friday July 18

More discussions for Israel and Hamas; Australia repeals carbon tax; Nigeria to borrow $1 billion from United States for arms to fight Boko Haram; six Guantanamo detainees to be moved to Uruguay; and more 

Top of the Agenda

Fragile Calm Between Israel and Hamas

Representatives of Israel and Hamas gathered in Cairo on Thursday, along with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas and Mideast peace envoy and former British prime minister Tony Blair, to negotiate a comprehensive cease-fire (Haaretz). Various Hamas and Israeli officials denied an agreement had been reached (AFP), contradicting an initial report from the BBC (Times of Israel). The meetings came amid a five-hour humanitarian truce pushed for by the UN, which went into force Thursday morning (WaPo) and appeared to hold despite early mortar fire. Israel said it thwarted a major assault from Gaza prior to the truce.


"Exiled and subjugated communities like the Palestinians today usually behave in ways that seem strange to middle class consumers in faraway lands, including fighting apparently futile battles and subjecting their populations to prolonged suffering and death — and then doing the same thing again a few years later. This can only be understood by appreciating the nature of 'resistance' and the allure of 'liberation,'" writes Rhami G. Khouri in the Daily Star.

"What the Obama Administration seems unable to grasp, or finds inconvenient to admit, is that the peace process cannot just be paused; to say that the parties to the conflict must want peace more than Americans is to condemn them to leaders who, in the short run, benefit from conflict, and hand Americans, and everyone else, an insufferable future," writes Bernard Avishai for the New Yorker.

"So what does the current round of violence mean for the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict following the recent round of violence? Our research as well as other studies would suggest a pessimistic outcome. Given the increase in the number of Israelis who are within the range of rockets, and the high number of Palestinian casualties, the recent round of fighting is likely to cause individuals on both sides to harden their attitudes towards each other, making a peaceful resolution of the conflict less likely," write Anna Getmansky and Thomas Zeitzoff for the Monkey Cage.



Australia Repeals Carbon Tax

Australia's senate on Thursday repealed the carbon tax levied on the country's biggest polluters, making it the first country to make such a retreat on climate policy (SMH). The repeal, a central pledge of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's campaign, was decried by environmentalists (NYT).

CFR's report card on climate change governance evaluates Australia as a "truant."

CHINA: China's first-ever participation in the Rim of the Pacific naval exercises raised unprecedented legal and political challenges for its U.S. organizers (WSJ).


Nigeria to borrow $1 billion from US for arms

 Six Guantanamo detainees to be moved to Uruguay

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