July 23, 2014
SITUATION REPORT

Despite ongoing peace efforts and growing international criticism of Israel’s invasion of Gaza, Israeli officials seem in no hurry to end their Gaza operation in light of the large number of tunnels and weapons uncovered over the past five days. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday emphasized the need for Hamas to end the conflict, a shift from controversial comments made over the past few days that were critical of Israel for the Gaza invasion.

Israel Presses Gaza Offensive, Undeterred by Negative Press
Israeli soldiers evacuate their wounded at an army deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 23, 2014. (JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Change at the Top for EU Poses Potential Risk to US Interests
July 10, 2014
The landslide nomination of Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean Claude Juncker to head the European Commission has increased the prospect of Britain’s departure from the European Union, an outcome that could harm American interests.
Aging Cleric Uses Modern Media to Push for Peace in Iraq
July 10, 2014
An elderly, soft-spoken Muslim cleric with a heart problem has stepped into the chaos of battle-scarred Iraq, seeking to achieve in weeks what has eluded U.S. negotiators for years: convincing a wily prime minister to share power with his religious rivals.
China Is the Winner in Energy Deal With Russia
July 10, 2014
China and Russia signed a 30-year energy deal in May that was widely touted as a political victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin, but a more detailed assessment paints a different picture of the agreement. The culmination of nearly a decade of negotiation produces important benefits for Russia, but China will reap the largest political as well as financial gains, another sign of its changing relationship with Russia.
Turkey: Erdogan On Shifting Sands at Home and Abroad
July 9, 2014
In just a few years Turkey has been transformed from a global showcase of the Middle East to just another regional power dealing with dangerous events over which it has little or no control. The long-term challenge has been the country’s relationship to its Kurdish population as well as the Kurds of neighboring states. Turkey also has struggled with spillover from the Syrian civil war, which has raged on its southern border since 2011.
Spain Bets on Tax Cuts, Not Austerity, to Restore Growth
July 9, 2014
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is moving to ease painful austerity measures implemented in the wake of the European financial crisis, but the strategy carries significant risks. If the shift to growth succeeds, Spain will emerge as a shining example of success. If the gamble fails, Spain could falter quickly, dealing a serious setback to the European Union’s fragile recovery.
ISIS Topples al-Qaeda as Top Terrorist Group
July 9, 2014
The jihadist army that swept across Iraq with stunning speed has toppled al-Qaeda from its rank as the most feared terrorist group. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) could tempt a desperate al-Qaeda to craft a plot to rival its 9/11 attack, grab headlines and re-establish its leadership of radical Islam.
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