World News Brief, Friday July 30

Judge slaps down Arizona's immigration laws, sets up debate for midterms (+ analysis & ruling); Britain and Pakistan trade insults over Afghanistan; Russian spy service gets more power; Japanese oil tanker damaged – terrorism or wave?: and more

Top of the Agenda: Key Parts of Immigration Law Blocked

US District Judge Susan Bolton blocked key parts of Arizona's immigration law from taking effect (WashPost). Bolton focused on the most controversial parts of the law, notably sections calling for police officers to check a person's immigration status (NYT) while enforcing other laws. The ruling sets up a lengthy battle that will create fodder for midterm elections and could end up before the Supreme Court (AP). Republican leaders warned that the ruling will hurt Democrats in November (Politico).

In her ruling (PDF), Bolton said, "Requiring Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies to determine the immigration status of every person who is arrested burdens lawfully present aliens because their liberty will be restricted while their status is checked." However, the ruling did not help assuage concerns of Mexicans in the United States (Reuters) who say they feel xenophobia is on the rise.


Bolton's ruling means the United States is essentially back to looking to Washington for a durable solution, says CFR's Ted Alden.

The Arizona case will almost certainly end up in the Supreme Court, with its issues of state versus government responsibilities on a major issue, says CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

In this CFR expert roundup, four religious leaders discuss the role of the religious community in the immigration debate.


Read the full text of Arizona's Senate Bill 1070.

"Unfortunately, reform has been held hostage to political posturing and special-interest wrangling--and to the pervasive sentiment in Washington that tackling such a thorny and emotional issue is inherently bad politics," US President Barack Obama said in this July 1 speech on immigration reform.


PACIFIC RIM: Japanese Tanker Damaged Near Oman

A Japanese tanker loaded with crude oil was damaged in the Strait of Hormuz (Guardian). Though the owners of the vessel blamed a possible terrorist attack for the blast, port officials in the United Arab Emirates port of Fujairah, where the damaged ship anchored for repairs, said they believed the explosion was caused by a freak wave (WSJ).

China: China's stock market, one of the worst performers in the first half of the year, has rebounded as investors bet that aggressive government efforts to control the economy have peaked (WSJ).



- Cameron Raises Pakistan's Ire
- Medvedev Expands FSB Powers
- Castro Autobiography Due in August


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