Iraqi vice president sentenced to death; Japan confirms purchase plan for disputed islands; China reports weaker economic growth for August as imports drop; US hands control of Bagram prison over to Afghan officials; Hollande outlines new austerity plan for France; and more
Top of the Agenda: Iraqi Vice President Sentenced to Death
Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi was convicted of murder and sentenced to death (NYT) yesterday following a series of bombings and insurgent attacks that left at least 100 people dead. It was the most violent day in Iraq since U.S. troops withdrew last year. Hashimi, in self-exile in Turkey, today rejected the verdict as "false and unjust." Sunni Muslim supporters of the vice president accused the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of trying to remove them from a power-sharing arrangement intended to limit sectarian strife.
"The most serious risks to Iraq's internal instability come from the overlapping and interacting effects of renewed ethnic or sectarian conflict, on the one hand, and an irreversible breakdown of the current constitutional order, on the other. Either of these conflicts could arise along any of the major fault lines in Iraq: Shia-Sunni, Arab-Kurd, or intra-Shia," explains this CFR Contingency Planning Memo.
Japan Confirms Purchase Plan for Disputed Islands
The Japanese government today confirmed a plan to purchase from private owners the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea (BBC), which are also claimed by China and Taiwan. China has criticized the move as "illegal and invalid."
CHINA: The country reported weaker economic growth for August as imports fell (WSJ) and exports grew less than expected, amid concerns over slowing industrial production and signs of rising inflation.
China's global investment boom is slowing, which could affect its trading partners. But its economy does not have to be doomed to slow growth, says expert Patrick Chovanec in this recent CFR Interview.