Is Egypt getting the bomb?

Is Egypt getting the bomb?

Is Egypt getting the bomb?

What the foreign papers are saying.
July 3 2002 2:30 PM

Egyptian Nukes?

The Middle East Times of Egypt posts a story on its Web site today about the possibility of Egypt acquiring nuclear weapons. The article says that pressure is building within the country to match the Israeli nuclear threat, and vague government statements such as President Hosni Mubarak's claim that Egypt has the " 'might and power' to stop Israel from using any nuclear weapon" have only fed speculation. It cites a June 22 story in the German newspaper Die Welt that said Egypt is seeking China's help in extracting weapons-grade plutonium from the Sinai Peninsula.

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Britain's Sunday Telegraph  runs a story about British officials' "astonishing attack" on the United States' conduct in Afghanistan. It quotes anonymous members of Prime Minister Tony Blair's administration as saying that America was "blundering" with a "march-in shooting" approach that would inevitably "backfire and increase sympathy for al-Qaida."

Criticism of American policy is equally loud across the pond, as the Buenos Aires Herald reports that Argentine President Eduardo Duhalde blames U.S. "ignorance" for the country's difficulties in obtaining foreign aid. He says that the oil-fueled American focus on the Middle East amounts to discrimination against Latin America. The day before, Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso was quoted as saying, off the record, that President Bush "knows nothing about Latin America."

The Sydney Morning Herald covers Australia's Lewinsky-like sex scandal, complete with an elaborate coverup. A recently exposed e-mail from Gareth Evans, a former deputy leader of the Labor Party, to Cheryl Kernot, who abandoned her leadership of the Democratic Party and defected to Labor, reveals that the two had a lengthy affair that they kept under wraps. Evans called the romance a "grand consuming passion." The couple denied being involved while they served in the Australian legislature, and Kernot's recent book about her time in the Labor Party made no mention of her relationship to Evans.

Dan Rosenheck is the Economist's bureau chief for Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.