World News Brief, Thursday March 25

Netanyahu has chilly meeting with Obama as Israel confirms building plans; Kurds lose sway in Iraq election; Private security guards kill Somali pirate; China's Google stance hurting its economy; and more

Top of the Agenda: Netanyahu and Obama Meet in Washington

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's meeting with US President Barack Obama at the White House failed to resolve (NYT) the impasse over a comprehensive Middle East peace agreement. Israel also faced chilliness from ally Britain, which expelled an Israeli diplomat over the use of fake British passports by suspected Israeli agents to assassinate a Hamas official. Netanyahu's cooling relationship with the United States stems partly from a difficult domestic political environment in Israel that some analysts say is forcing him further right. In the meeting, Netanyahu did not compromise on the American demand to reverse a housing plan in East Jerusalem. He was also unclear about US demands for negotiations with the Palestinians on issues like borders and security. He did agree to more rigid controls over announcements of construction in East Jerusalem.

The US dispute with Israel has exposed the limits (Washpost) of American power to pressure Israeli leaders.

A recent poll finds that support for the two-state solution among Palestinians dropped from 64 percent (CSMonitor) in December to 57 percent in early March.


On, CFR's Walter Russell Mead says by responding sharply to Israel's plans for increased settlements, President Obama strengthened his hand abroad and at home.

Obama's meeting with Netanyahu needed to stress that continued rejection of a peace settlement would erode the US-Israel relationship, says Middle East diplomatic historian William Quandt.

In Der Spiegel, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman explains why Israel is not ready to negotiate over Jerusalem.


PACIFIC RIM: China's Google Stance Harmful to Economy

China's rigid stance on controlling information flows could harm its links to the global economy and damage its image long term, the New York Times reports.

Google's decision to end censorship of its search content in China, and Beijing's response, appear to strike a balance between holding to principles and doing business, but US-China clouds continue to gather, writes CFR's Adam Segal.

Malaysia: A new Amnesty International report finds migrant workers in Malaysia face exploitation and widespread abuse (AP) and that the government is not doing enough to protect them.



Iraqi Kurds Losing Influence
Private Contractor Kills Somali Pirate
US, Mexico Revise Joint Drug Strategy


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