PAKISTAN: Where in the world do people dislike America most? Pakistan, according to Pew surveys. Now the United States plans to resume $1.5 billion in economic and military assistance to Pakistan, saying tensions have eased since the 2011 U.S. raid inside Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden.
The funds may make their way to continued support for textbooks in Pakistan’s government schools that call for jihad against Christians and Hindus.
ITALY: As Europeans work to grapple with the spike in mass Mediterranean migrations—highlighted by the early October deaths of over 350 when a boat of refugees capsized off the coast of Lampedusa—African leaders are notably silent.
Migrants attempting sea crossings from north Africa (largely Libya) have jumped from about 15,000 in 2012 to over 32,000 so far this year.
FRANCE: Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Paris, with espionage topping the agenda. French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said he summoned the U.S. ambassador to France to respond to a story published in Le Monde that alleges the NSA engages in widespread recording of French phone calls and text messages.
HUNGER: The 2013 Hunger Index out this week shows 23 out of 120 countries tracked have made “significant” progress in reducing hunger. Angola, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Niger, along with Bangladesh, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam are among the most improved.
AFGHANISTAN: The United States’ rocky relationship with Kyrgyzstan is coming to a close as the Pentagon announced Friday it’s handing over the massive transit base at Manas. The U.S. has been paying $60 million a year in rent (plus $100 million in other aid) in a corruption-riddled deal to get needed materiel into Afghanistan. “It became too complicated,” a defense official told Foreign Policy magazine. “The juice wasn’t worth the squeeze.”