World News Brief, Thursday June 17

Obama addresses nation on oil spill as BP agrees to $20 billion fund; EU calls for further sanctions against Iran and US extends sanctions against North Korea; Order restored in much of Kyrgyzstan; Is Mexico losing control in war against drugs?; and more

Top of the Agenda: Obama Addresses Nation on Oil Spill

US President Barack Obama addressed the country from the Oval Office on Tuesday to talk about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill (NYT), vowing to "make BP pay" and urging the country to end its dependence on fossil fuels. He used the still unresolved crisis to press for a shift in energy policy. Republicans quickly accused Obama of exploiting the crisis to pass an already unpopular bill. Obama also appointed a long-term recovery coordinator and demanded that BP set up a multibillion-dollar escrow account to compensate oil spill victims.

Bowing to pressure, BP agreed to establish a $20 billion fund.

Michael Bromwich, who Obama appointed as new director of the Minerals Management Service, has no experience with oil and gas issues but knows how to clean up (WashPost) problematic organizations.


In the Wall Street Journal, Holman Jenkins, Jr. says the White House is holding BP's stock price hostage. "It doesn't benefit the victims, who will continue to line up for years to come, if BP can't reinvest to sustain and grow its business."

In the Financial Times, Clive Crook says Obama should have done more to explain the chain of command in clean-up efforts, rather than pivoting to clean-energy policy.

In Newsweek, Jonathan Alter says Obama's shots at lax regulators helped "place the larger blame for the disaster where it belongs."


The worst oil spill in US history, still growing in the Gulf of Mexico, has intensified debate about alternative fuel options. Here, four experts discuss how to reduce US oil consumption.


PACIFIC RIM: Chinese Strikes to Cut Honda Profits

Profits at Japan's Honda Motor Company may drop (Bloomberg) by as much as $109 million, after the company's worst strikes in eighteen years of making cars in China.

North Korea: President Obama renewed unilateral US sanctions on North Korea (AFP) for one more year, citing the country's nuclear threat.

The Obama administration should mount a more vigorous effort to address North Korea's nuclear weapons program, says Charles L. (Jack) Pritchard, co-chairman of a new CFR Independent Task Force report.



- EU to Authorize New Iran Sanctions
- Kyrgyzstan Violence Subsides
- Calderon Asks Mexicans to Fight Crime

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