– As South Sudan is set to celebrate the birth of its nationhood, its cease-fire talks with the north over a disputed, oil-rich border region stalled.
– A Pakistani government spokesperson said U.S. Admiral Mike Mullen’s accusation that Pakistani intelligence was involved in the killing of a journalist was “extremely irresponsible” and vowed that the government would not aid an investigation.
– Canada ended its combat mission in Afghanistan yesterday. Canadian soldiers bore the brunt of some the heaviest fighting in Kandahar province throughout the war. More than 150 Canadian troops died in 9 years of fighting in Afghanistan.
– The U.S. and its closest allies still account for about two-thirds of world military spending but this number is expected to drop from 77 percent in 2005 to 66 percent in 2015, according to a just released Council on Foreign Relations survey.
– Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn, the second-ranking official at the Defense Department, announced he is resigning for “personal, family reasons,” but will stay in his post until his successor is in place this fall.
– U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford made an unannounced visit yesterday to the Syrian city of Hama, the focal point of the anti-government uprising, “as a show of solidarity with the residents there.” The Syrian government called Ford’s visit “provocative.”
– Scandal-plagued Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said that from the start he opposed the NATO intervention in Libya which, he said “will end in a way that no one knows.” He claimed he had his “hands tied” by a parliamentary vote.