World News Brief, Tuesday May 19

Iran top of agenda at Obama-Netanyahu meeting; analysis of Netanyahu's politics; PNG unrest over Chinese business; Tamil Tigers in 'final battle'; Indian markets climb; and more

Top of the Agenda: Obama-Netanyahu Meetings

U.S. President Barack Obama meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today, the first meeting between the two men since they each took office earlier this year. The Jerusalem Post reports the meetings are likely to focus on Iran and how to deter Iranian nuclear development--not the more charged issue of the Middle East peace process and Netanyahu's refusal, thus far, to support a two-state solution, which Obama supports. The Washington Post concurs, reporting that despite Obama's and Netanyahu's differences on how to approach the peace process, "fireworks" are "virtually guaranteed not to happen" at the meetings. The Post quotes unnamed officials saying it is in neither man's interest to have a public spat over their disagreements.

Meanwhile, Ynet reports that on the eve of the meetings, only 31 percent of Israelis consider Obama to be "pro-Israel," with the majority labeling him "neutral."


CFR's Israel-Palestine Crisis Guide.

Reuters outlines the main issues at stake in the peace process.


In a new CFR interview, former U.S. ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk discusses Netanyahu's politics.

Writing in this weekend's New York Times, Jeffrey Goldberg argues Netanyahu's sharp focus on Iran could be an attempt to move the conversation away from the Middle East peace process.


PACIFIC RIM: China on U.S. Envoy

President Obama tapped his chief envoy to China yesterday--Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., a moderate Republican--and Beijing responded with optimism (Global Times), saying Washington had coordinated with Beijing through the nomination process.

CNN profiles Huntsman here.

PNG: Rioters looted Chinese-owned businesses (BBC) in Papua New Guinea amidst anger at China's business presence on the island.



Tamil Tiger rebel chief killed in what Sri Lankan government calls "final" battle.
Indian markets surge following decisive Congress party victory in elections.
Lithuania elects first female president.

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