Today’s Headlines

November 4, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

Must Reads

USGLC in the News

History tells us: Fund diplomacy (Peter Petrihos, The Hill)

As Congress turns to the difficult task of reducing the U.S. deficit, it is imperative that we equip our diplomats with the resources necessary to execute a foreign policy that reflects the lessons of history, exports our values and perpetuates lasting relationships. Failing to do so would put the United States and our allies at risk.

Smart Power

U.S. pledges financial aid for Pakistan (CBS News)

The Obama administration is pledging robust assistance to Pakistan despite demands on U.S. finances and a sometimes rocky relationship with Islamabad, according to a status report on Afghanistan and Pakistan.  The State Department report outlines U.S. goals in the region more than a decade after the Sept. 11 terror attacks triggered the war against al Qaeda, and the progress after billions of dollars have been spent and American lives lost. It also outlines the steps forward, looking ahead to the withdrawal of U.S. combat forces by the end of 2014.

Gates tells G-20 that aid to poor nations should continue (Elizabeth Stuart, Deseret News)

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates asked global finance leaders Thursday to prioritize international aid spending, arguing budget cuts would not only hurt the poor but undermine innovations in health and agriculture. The Microsoft Corps cofounder, who has committed to give the majority of his wealth to charity, is the first private citizen to testify before the G-20, a group of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors that meets annually to discuss key issues facing the global economy. During a time when even the world’s most well off countries are wrestling with budget cuts, French President Nicholas Sarkozy asked Gates to share ideas on how to finance international aid during this year’s G-20 meeting in Cannes, France.

Michael Douglas backs State Dep’t in budget battle (Bradley Klapper, Associated Press)

The actor who once declared “greed is good” is telling Congress to remain generous with foreign aid.  Michael Douglas visited the State Department on Thursday to discuss nuclear disarmament efforts and speak out against congressional efforts to slash billions of dollars in foreign assistance.

Politics/Foreign Policy

Romney: How I’ll tackle spending, debt (Mitt Romney, USA Today)

President Obama inherited a severely imbalanced budget, and he made it much worse. Many now question whether we can ever return to fiscal sanity, let alone fiscal strength. A point of no return may well be approaching — a decade of huge deficits could drive our principal payments and interest rates beyond our reach while starving the economy of the capital it needs to grow.  We can still correct course because our economy retains tremendous capacity for growth. As president, I will bring to Washington the turnaround philosophy it so badly needs.

Greece Blinks on Euro Threat (Marcus Walker and Alkman Granitsas, Wall Street Journal)

Greece’s leadership struggled to restore political stability to the country and safeguard its membership in the euro zone, as global powers gathered in France looked for ways to halt the spiraling European debt crisis.  Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Thursday agreed to shelve a controversial plan for a referendum on Athens’s latest financial bailout. The turnabout followed a tumultuous few days that thrust Greece to the brink of political chaos, forcing euro-zone leaders to contemplate the possibility that Greece would exit from the single currency.