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Tsipras Blinks?, Sinai Attacks, US-Cuba

Tsipras Blinks?, Sinai Attacks, US-Cuba

Photo: Haryono/Zuma


Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has reportedly offered new concessions to the country's financiers, even as Greece failed to meet the IMF payment deadline Tuesday night. According to a letter to creditors obtained by the Financial Times, Tsipras is ready to accept most conditions that were proposed before talks on the Greek debt collapsed. A referendum called by the Greek government to decide whether or not Greece should accept the bailout conditions, currently slated for Sunday, could now be called off if an agreement is reached, said the Greek Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis.


At least 30 people were killed when suspected ISIS militants attacked several military posts in Egypt's North Sinai province Wednesday, Al Jazeera quotes security and medical sources as saying. About 70 attackers simultaneously launched the attacks. At least 22 of the suspected jihadist fighters and 11 Egyptian soldiers were killed. A local mortuary said it received 35 bodies so far and local media suggested the death toll could be much higher.


The toll keeps rising on the military plane that crashed into a neighborhood in the Indonesian city of Medan Tuesday. According to Reuters the number of confirmed dead has topped 140. There were no survivors among the 122 people aboard the aircraft and at least 20 people were killed on the ground. Search and rescue efforts were still ongoing Wednesday and the cause of the crash remained unknown.


French authorities have launched an investigation into alleged acts of sexual abuse on minors by French soldiers in Burkina Faso, a Paris prosecutor told Le Monde. The ministry of defense confirmed Wednesday that it had suspended two soldiers suspected of committing sexual abuse on children in the country on Monday. An earlier case, in which a dozen soldiers are accused of raping minors in the Central African Republic between the end of 2013 and June 2014, had been brought to light by The Guardian last April.


The Tunisian gunman who killed 38 people Friday on a beach in Sousse before being shot dead by authorities had trained in a camp in Libya last year, Al Jazeera quotes the Tunisian secretary of state for the interior ministry Rafik Chelli as saying.


ISIS militants posted a video online Wednesday in which they threaten to end the rule of the Palestinian armed group Hamas in Gaza, Al Arabiya reports. Fighters based in Syria's Aleppo are seen condemning a recent crackdown by Hamas on Salafist groups in Gaza, as well as a supposed failure to implement the "law of God."


The deadline for the Iranian nuclear talks has been extended to July 7, The Washington Postreports. Negotiators from Iran and the P5+1 group (U.S., UK, France, China and Russia plus Germany) are gathered in Vienna to attempt to find a comprehensive agreement on Tehran's nuclear program. The initial deadline was June 30.


President Obama is set to announce Wednesday that the U.S. and Cuba will open embassies in each other's capital cities, USA Today quoted senior administration officials as saying. The move is a major step in the re-establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries started last April. The U.S. had frozen any relation with Cuba in the 1960s and imposed an embargo on the island.


Greece, confronted by its creditors, and Iran, facing a showdown over the nuclear dossier, may have less to lose from the failure to reach an agreement than their counterparts, Dominique Moïsi writes in the French daily Les Echos. Yet the calculations in high-stake international negotiations have a complexity all their own. "In these two standoffs, are the negotiators, Greek or Iranian, not mainly looking to gain time in order to create a balance of power that would be more favorable for them? Are they not knowingly playing with the divisions that exist between the other parties of the negotiation — divisions that they know about and manipulate with a certain talent — all the while, working hard to balance the divisions that exist within their own camp?" Read the full article: Greece, Iran And The Imperfect Art Of International Poker.


In Spain, one newspaper is warning about "contagion" of the Greek crisis closer to home.


The first Tour de France took place on this day 102 years ago and 76 years later, Sony introduced what then seemed to be a pretty cool gadget.


It turns out Europeans don't seem to care much about Greece leaving the European Union. Only the French seem a bit concerned, as this chart shows.

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D.C. Or Beijing? Two High-Stakes Trips — And Taiwan's Divided Future On The Line

Two presidents of Taiwan, the current serving president, Tsai Ing-wen, and her predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou from the opposition Kuomintang party, are traveling in opposite directions these days. Taiwan must choose whom to follow.

Photo of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen

Tsai Ing-wen, the President of Taiwan

Pierre Haski


PARIS — Tsai Ing-wen, the President of Taiwan, is traveling to the United States today. Not on an official trip because Taiwan is not a state recognized by Washington, but in transit, en route to Central America, a strategy that allows her to pass through New York and California.

Ma Ying-jeou, a former president of Taiwan, arrived yesterday in Shanghai: he is making a 12-day visit at the invitation of the Chinese authorities at a time of high tension between China and the United States, particularly over the fate of Taiwan.

It would be difficult to make these two trips more contrasting, as both have the merit of summarizing at a glance the decisive political battle that is coming. Presidential and legislative elections will be held in January 2024 in Taiwan, which could well determine Beijing's attitude towards the island that China claims by all means, including force.

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