Libby Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison

Ahmed Rashid, guest journalist and writer on Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia, reflects on the West's relationship with Gen Musharraf. (BBC)

Bush and Putin Share Little Common Ground Before G-8 Meeting

By Sheryl Gay Stolberg and David E. Sanger

At a moment of rising tensions between Washington and Moscow, President George W. Bush and President Vladimir Putin of Russia appear likely to use a summit meeting in Germany this week to focus on the one area where they appear to share a common interest: Slowing Iran's ability to produce nuclear fuel. (International Herald Tribune)

How the Mighty are Falling

They are beginning to fall like ninepins. On Monday June 4th the trial began in The Hague of Charles Taylor, Liberia's former president and Africa's most famous warlord. He is accused of planning and financing horrific crimes committed during Sierra Leone's brutal civil war in the 1990s. Mr Taylor showed his disdain for the process by boycotting the start of the trial. A few days earlier, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia announced the arrest on genocide charges of a former Bosnian Serb general, Zdravko Tolimir, one of the most wanted war-crimes fugitives in the Balkans. These are just the latest examples of a flurry activity by the institutions of international justice. (The Economist)

Muzzling the Press

By M Ismail Khan

Imagine, millions of people, who have been content with watching dramatic political events from their TV rooms, forced to hit the road to catch a glimpse of Chief Justice Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry in person. Imagine the kind of energy and potential chaos this would create in the streets if people who up till now have been patiently following the report and analysis on their TV screens turn in to a mob expressing its opinion through bricks and sticks like the Lal Masjid brigade. Imagine – well imagination is what one needs in understanding the delicate relationship between politics and media in the age of YouTube. (Daily Jang)

Peace not Bombs

By Ahmed Abdel-Halim

Peace and security in the Middle East cannot be achieved without a political settlement, a suitable level of economic cooperation, and even-handed security measures. For that to happen, we need to address current nuclear programmes in the region and build momentum towards the Middle East being declared an area free of all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear arms. (Al-Ahram)

Dr. Kevorkian's Wrong Way

Dr. Jack Kevorkian — a k a "Doctor Death" for helping chronically ill and terminally ill patients commit suicide — has emerged from prison as deluded and unrepentant as ever. Brushing aside criticism by other supporters of medically assisted suicide that his tactics were reckless and harmful to their cause, Dr. Kevorkian asserted: "I did it right. I didn't care what they did or didn't do. When I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it right." (NY Times)

The JFK Airport Plot and the Caribbean Connection

U.S. and Guyanese authorities were still searching June 4 for a fourth suspect wanted in connection with an alleged plot to blow up jet fuel pipelines and storage tanks at New York's John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport. Although a serious flaw in the plot made the threat far smaller than the suspects apparently planned, the case does highlight the link between jihadism and the Caribbean islands -- and the effectiveness of jihadist propaganda. (Stratfor)

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