World News Brief, Tuesday May 17

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn agrees to forensic examination for investigation into alleged sex assault on Manhattan hotel maid; Strauss-Kahn arrest has prompted fears in Athens that they have lost a powerful advocate for economic recovery; Chinese artist Ai Weiwei allowed visit with wife--the first contact with family or friends since his arrest six weeks ago; Japanese authorities say they will have shut down Fukushima nuclear reactors by the end of the year; Egyptian authorities turn on pro-Palestinian protestors; John Kerry to visit Pakistan for counter-terrorism talks; Mississippi floodgates opened to save Baton Rouge and New Orleans; and more

Top of the Agenda: Questions over IMF amid Strauss-Kahn Case


IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn agreed to undergo a forensic examination for an investigation of an alleged sexual assault (FT) on a maid at a luxury hotel in Manhattan over the weekend. Strauss-Kahn's arraignment is scheduled to be held today. Strauss-Kahn, who denies the allegations, has until now been considered a favorite for the Socialist candidate for French president in 2012. Analysts claim the embattled IMF chief (BBC) has been central in helping to stabilize the finances of struggling eurozone member states, and assert that his detention is likely to complicate the process.

During his stewardship of the IMF, Strauss-Kahn has been widely credited with expanding the organization's resources after the financial crisis (NYT) and improving its governance. He was a prominent proponent of easing austerity measures in Greece, and his arrest has prompted fears in Athens that they may have lost a significant advocate.

Strauss-Kahn's plight also means also means he will be unable to attend Monday's meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels to confer over a bailout package (DeutscheWelle) for debt-stricken Portugal. However, a spokesman for the European Commission said the case should have no effect on bailout plans for troubled eurozone states.


This article from the Economist examines how the Strauss-Kahn affair changes the landscape of French politics and the politics of rescuing Greece's economy.

This editorial for the Wall Street Journal discusses the political implications for France and the IMF.

This article for the Financial Times asserts that the next managing director for the IMF should be a European, given the continent's prominence in the fund's current priorities.


PACIFIC RIM: China Allows Wife to Visit Ai Weiwei


Chinese authorities permitted dissident artist Ai Weiwei (WashPost) to see his wife at an undisclosed location in Beijing on Sunday. It is the first contact Ai has had with family or friends since police arrested him six weeks ago.

Japan: Japanese authorities vowed to shut down reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant (VOA) by the end of the year. The timetable is consistent with a plan the plant's operator announced one month ago, but since then it has become clear that the facility suffered worse damage than previously thought.



- Egypt Police Use Force on Protestors
- Senator Kerry Arrives in Pakistan
- Mississippi Floodgates Opened

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