Good morning! Here’s what you need to know:
1. A video of the corpse of a 13-year-old boy has galvanised the political opposition in Syria. The New York Times reports: “His skin is scrawled with cuts, gashes, deep burns and bullet wounds that would probably have injured but not killed. His jaw and kneecaps are shattered, according to an unidentified narrator, and his penis chopped off.”
2. Coptic Christians in Egypt, long protected by former President Hosni Mubarak, are increasingly under attack. Muslim violence against the “Copts” has increased dramatically since Mubarak’s fall. Sectarian violence threatens to derail the Egyptian “revolution.”
3. Islamist forces appear to have consolidated their control over a second city in southern Yemen. The country is on the brink of chaos.
4. There are no “soft options” for resolving Greece’s insolvency, only hard choices. It appears the EU will step up to insure continued IMF cooperation. Wolfgang Munchau has a concise analysis.
5. California is a failed state, argues Walter Mead. “Let there be no mistake: when you produce so many criminals that you can’t afford to lock them up, you are a failed state. Virtually every important civil institution in society has to fail to get you to (that) point. “
6. President Obama yesterday announced that Gen. Martin Dempsey will be the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Mr. Obama appointed Admiral James “Sandy” Winnefeld Jr. as the new Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
7. The US “intervention” in Libya is almost certainly illegal. It clearly violates the War Powers Act. Not that anyone seems to care.
8. The Washington Post reports: “Setting the stage for a long summer of heated negotiations, the House is expected to reject a proposal Tuesday that would increase the nation’s ability to borrow money without also making major cuts in federal spending.”
9. The Wall Street Journal reports: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he won’t support a deal to raise the U.S. federal debt ceiling unless it restrains the growth of Medicare spending.
10. Sarah Palin rode on a motorcycle in Washington and visited some historical sites as well. This generated a lot of media coverage. Meanwhile, three potential GOP presidential candidates (Rick Perry, George Pataki and Rudy Giuliani) sent signals that they might be interested in running in 2012.
11. The Democratic victory in New York’s 26th Congressional District has some national Democrats thinking they could re-capture control of the US House of Representatives in 2012.