World News Brief, Friday September 23

Palestinian Authority to submit UN membership application despite opposition; Global markets plunge on perception Fed is running out of ideas; Greece comes to a standstill due to strikes; Yemen deaths grow prompting fears of civil war; China opposes US-Taiwan fighter jet deal; and more

Top of the Agenda: Abbas Moves Ahead with UN Statehood Bid

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will submit a formal membership application (WSJ) to the United Nations Security Council tomorrow, despite a plea by US President Barack Obama for Palestinians to abandon a unilateral bid for statehood.

In an address to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, Obama said there could be "no shortcut" (al-Jazeera) to peace between Israelis and Palestinians. He said the only way to create a Palestinian state was through direct negotiations, not a UN resolution.

Obama reportedly told Abbas in a private meeting that the United States would veto (Telegraph) a Palestinian membership application.

However, French President Nicolas Sarkozy rejected Obama's approach (NYT) and threw France's weight behind the Palestinian bid, indicating that the United States may no longer be the prime arbiter in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Overshadowed by the issue of Palestinian statehood, President Barack Obama offered a strong defense of Israel but little in the way of specifics to revive the Mideast peace process, writes CFR's James Lindsay.

American Jews are unmoved by attacks on Obama over Israel. But an agenda-setting Republican-Likud alliance is dangerous, writes the New America Foundation's Daniel Levy in the Guardian.

For the Palestinians and much of the international community, the things Obama left unsaid in his UNGA address reinforced a growing sense that US domestic politics restrain Washington from playing an honest broker role, writes TIME's Tony Karon.

This CFR Crisis Guide offers an in-depth, multimedia look at the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its geopolitical repercussions.


China Criticizes US over Taiwan Deal

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun condemned a US deal to upgrade Taiwan's fighter jets, saying the move would "inevitably undermine" (BBC) bilateral relations between China and the United States.

Should the United States maintain its commitment to Taiwan, or should it consider disengaging in order to accommodate China? Shyu-tu Lee, Douglas Paal, Charles L. Glaser ask the question in Foreign Affairs.

NORTH KOREA: The United States and North Korea are planning to hold a second round of bilateral talks (Yonhap) to determine conditions for resuming six-party negotiations over ending the North's nuclear weapons program.



Global markets plunge after Fed announcement

Anti-austerity strikes paralyse Greece

Fears Yemen descending into civil war


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