Good afternoon and here are a few of today’s headlines from English-language publications around the world. The headlines themselves are brought to us courtesy of Freedom Forum’s “Today’s Front Pages” exhibit, which we then summarize for you, the reader:
Politico, Published in Arlington, VA
Talks on infrastructure are once again in jeopardy as Republicans gamble on a bipartisan agreement in the hopes that it will derail other aspects of President Biden’s dual domestic policy initiatives: the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan. The incredibly complex web of negotiations at this juncture stems from the decision of Democratic Senate leadership to take a “two-track” approach to infrastructure; passing a bipartisan bill on physical infrastructure investment and another, intrapartisan deal on green energy initiatives and social spending through a party-line reconciliation vote. As a result of razor-thin majorities in the House and Senate, however, both the conservative and progressive-wing of the Democratic Party are making use of the immense leverage that gives them, with progressives threatening to kill the bipartisan deal if some form of guarantee cannot be made on the intrapartisan reconciliation deal and conservatives reluctant to make any sort of party-line vote at all. The Biden administration walks a very tight-rope and talks could unravel should any group -- Republican negotiators, conservative Democratic senators, or progressive firebrands -- overplay their hand.
The Hill, Published in Washington, DC
Attorney General Merrick Garland has requested the Justice Department’s Inspector General conduct a thorough investigation after revelations that the previous administration had collected “phone, email, and other records” on various politicians and journalists as part of its aggressive clampdown on government leaks. The revelations have caused outrage among members of the Democratic Party and the press and resulted in the resignation of a top Trump administration hanger-on within the Justice Department.
The Washington Post, Published in Washington, DC
The Biden administration perceives China and other autocracies around the world as a threat to democracy everywhere. As such, during his first overseas tour, he has made a great effort to show America’s allies that the country is ready to reclaim the mantle of leader of the free world and that the isolationism and unilateralism of the previous administration was an aberration. The Biden administration has led the push for NATO to pivot against autocracies such as China; in a communique published Monday the alliance stated that “China’s stated ambitions and assertive behavior present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order.”
The Japan Times, Published in Tokyo, Japan
The summit meeting in Cornwall between nations of the Group of Seven went a little differently than that of NATO, with Merkel’s Germany reluctant to take a hardline stance on China, so that the final communique agreed to did not contain any overt condemnations of Beijing. The communique did, however, urge the Chinese government to respect human rights, particularly in relation to violations in Xinjiang, and to respect the freedoms of Hong Kong enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. Additionally, the communique called for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the water-down language of the communique reflected “different levels of conviction about the depth of the (China) challenge” within the G7. China’s embassy in Britain relayed the government’s condemnation of the communique: “We urge the United States and other members of the G7 to respect the facts, recognize the situation, stop slandering China, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, stop harming China’s interests, and do more things that are conducive to promoting international cooperation instead of artificially creating confrontation and frictions.”
China has been flying sorties on an almost daily basis into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone
Haaretz, Published in Tel Aviv, Israel
The new Bennett-Lapid government faces two considerable political challenges that could rock the fractious national unity coalition of left, right, and center parties. A right-wing Flag March is scheduled to take place in Jerusalem's Old City which could respark tensions between Israel and Palestine. Already, Hamas has demanded the march not take place. Additionally, an illegal military outpost in the West Bank has been for some time slated for demolition; the decision to move forward or not on that decision also presents an obstacle to the coalition government.
Naftali Bennett, who, according to the coalition agreement, will lead the national unity government as Prime Minister until 2023, after which Yair Lapid takes over
Chinese warplane, courtesy of Wikimedia
Naftali Bennett, courtesy of Wikimedia