World News Brief, Thursday May 13

New British government to focus on emergency Budget, taxes and immigration cap (+ analysis); more school attacks in China; smiles all round as Karzai arrives in Washington; Thai government moves against Red Shirts; and more

Top of the Agenda: Britain's Cameron Forms Coalition Govt

The new British Prime Minister David Cameron formed the first power-sharing coalition (BBC) between his Conservative party and the country's Liberal Democrats, lead by Nick Clegg. Clegg will be the new deputy prime minister, with four of his colleagues assuming cabinet positions. George Osborne is chancellor, William Hague is foreign secretary, and Theresa May is home secretary. The coalition government is the first in Britain since World War II, following thirteen years of Labour party rule. The government's agenda will include an emergency budget, compromises on taxes, a referendum on any further transfers of power to the EU, a commitment to delay adopting the euro, a cap on non-EU migration, and a referendum on electoral reform.

Cameron will have to contend (NYT) with politicians unaccustomed to a coalition government and an electorate that may bristle at painful budget cuts needed to fix Britain's deficit.

Clegg's new role comes without formal powers under the British constitution, so his authority will depend (Guardian) largely on how much the prime minister needs his support.


An Independent editorial says the Lib Dems and the Tories make awkward bench mates that will not serve the cause of progressive politics.

A Times of London editorial says Cameron achieved the creation of a strong, stable government that will encourage compromise and cooperation.

British Conservatives' skepticism toward European integration could weaken the bloc and its potential as a US partner, writes CFR's Charles Kupchan.

In an interview, Robin Niblett of Chatham House says a troubled economy and competing interests mean Britain's election results could be a "hinge moment" in the US-UK relationship.


Read David Cameron's speech outside 10 Downing Street.


PACIFIC RIM: Attacks Against Children Continue in China

The surge of attacks against children in China continues–with seven children and two adults killed and at least twenty more injured in Shaanxi province Wednesday–despite official pledges of stepped up security. The violence has prompted questions (TIME) about mental health in China.

Thailand: The Thai military said it would cut off (FT) water and power supplies to anti-government demonstrators and force them to move from Bangkok's commercial district unless they leave by midnight on May 12.



North Korean Arms Meant for Hamas, Hezbollah
Karzai Receives Warm US Welcome


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