RAQQA, Syria - Using a mix of intimidation and organization, alliances of Islamist brigades are filling the vacuum in areas where Assad's army has withdrawn and more secular rebels have failed to provide order. Full Article
LONDON - Factory output in China, the world's second largest economy, weakened to a nine-month low in June, combining with a continued recession in the euro zone to threaten a global recovery led by the United States.
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DOHA - A fresh effort to end Afghanistan's 12-year-old war looked in disarray on Thursday after a diplomatic spat about the Taliban's new Qatar office delayed preliminary discussions between the United States and the Islamist insurgents. Full Article
MANAGUA/PANAMA CITY - For centuries since the colonization of the New World, entrepreneurs have dreamed of building a canal spanning Nicaragua to make it easier to tap Asia's riches. Now it's the turn of the Chinese. And skepticism is as strong as ever. Full Article
NEW DELHI - India has launched a wide-ranging surveillance program that will give its security agencies and even income tax officials the ability to tap directly into e-mails and phone calls without oversight by courts or parliament, several sources said. Full Article
To adapt to our new surveillance status quo we have to trust the state, the government, the politicians, the businesses, the bureaucracies, the police, the security forces, the journalists and, yes, ourselves. Commentary
In cash terms, the manipulation of supposedly objective reference rates and prices is a petty crime: relatively small gains for a few and microscopic losses for many. Ethically, though, the tolerance of untrustworthy behaviour makes the industry look particularly bad. Full Article