World News Brief, Tuesday August 11

Drugs, trade and immigration on agenda at North American summit; ETA re-emerges with Mallorca explosions; Israel bombs Gaza smuggling tunnel; Beijing air quality improves; and more

Top of the Agenda: North American Summit

U.S. President Barack Obama is meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at a summit in Guadalajara, Mexico (CNN), to discuss Mexico's drug war, swine flu, shared economic interests, and clean energy policies.

Immigration has also emerged as a significant issue (National Post) with tensions brewing between the Canadian and Mexican governments. Canada recently began requiring that Mexicans secure visas before entering the country, claiming that too many people were seeking political asylum in Canada. In response, Mexico began requiring Canadian diplomats have visas as well. Harper downplayed blame for the immigration issue on Mexico, saying the problem is the fault of Canadian refugee law, "which encourages bogus claims."

After the first day of talks, Canada pledged $15 million (Dallas Morning News) to train Mexican federal law enforcement officials.

The New York Times looks at other potential points of disagreement in the summit, including U.S. aid in Mexico's drug war, which Mexico feels should not be tied to human rights standards.

A Reuters Factbox outlines the important issues being discussed at the summit, including the situation in Honduras, cross-border trucking, and concerns over a "Buy American" provision in the U.S. stimulus package.

This CFR Backgrounder looks at policy initiatives and security tactics in Mexico's drug war.


PACIFIC RIM: China Air Quality

Chinese officials say air quality in Beijing is the best it has been in a decade (Xinhua) because of clean-up programs implemented in preparation for last year's Olympic games. Experts say the measures were expensive and cannot be easily replicated (BBC) in other polluted cities.

Maldives: GlobalPost looks at concerns on the Pacific island of Tuvalu, which is often named as the likely first community to be swallowed by rising sea levels.

A CFR interactive Crisis Guide looks at the policy options for coping with climate change.



Israel bombs Gaza tunnel.
Honduras turns away OAS delegation.
ETA sets three bombs in Mallorca.


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