Daily Archives: October 3, 2013

Gideon Rachman

Barack Obama with Mahmoud Abbas at the UN (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Image)

“Let there be no doubt: in the Asia-Pacific of the 21st century, the United States of America is all in”, declared Barack Obama in a speech to the Australian parliament in November 2011. But Asians might be excused for having a few doubts about that now that Obama has cancelled half of his upcoming trip to Asia – so that he can stay at home and concentrate on his budget fight with Congress. For the moment, the president is still planning to travel to the Apec summit in Bali. But even that promise is under review, depending on what’s happening in Washington. It would be acutely embarrassing if Obama cancelled the trip to Apec, since it would be the third time he has failed to show up for a scheduled trip to Indonesia. Previous efforts to visit the country that he lived in as a child were cancelled – in March 2010 and then again in June of that year – because of an argument, first over health-care and then over BP. Read more

♦ The FT’s Matthew Garrahan looks at the effects of the sequester on a Los Alamos research centre.
♦ Silvio Berlusconi finds himself significantly weakened after making a U-turn and declaring his support for the coalition.
♦ Two Brookings Institute fellows warn that the US needs to change its policy on Egypt.
♦ Many of Egypt’s liberals moved to the right after the coup.
♦ Guadalajara is becoming the Bangalore of the Americas.
♦ A 72-year-old Syrian engineer and Munich resident’s kidnap, and escape, shows just how chaotic and confused the situation is on the ground in Syria.
♦ Ezra Klein at Wonkblog asks Robert Costa, Washington editor at the National Review, why John Boehner doesn’t just ditch the hard right.
♦ The Washington Post also looked at how Boehner came to be the man between a rock and a hard placeRead more

A resurgence of global terrorism?
The terrible attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi has refocused the world’s attention on the threat of urban terrorism. Gideon Rachman is joined in the studio by defence and diplomatic editor James Blitz, and down the line from Nairobi by Katrina Manson, east Africa correspondent to discuss whether we are facing a resurgence of global terror.