Today’s top world news from The Washington Post:

Today’s top world news from The Washington Post:


-Iraq, a decade after U.S. invasion, torn between progress and chaos-- Ten years after the United States barreled into Iraq with extraordinary force and a perilous lack of foresight, the country is neither the failed state that seemed all but inevitable during the darkest days of the war nor the model democracy that the Americans set out to build. Haunted by the ghosts of its brutal past, Iraq is teetering between progress and chaos, a country threatened by local and regional conflicts that could drag it back into the sustained bloodshed its citizens know so well. The nation is no longer defined or notably influenced by its relationship with the United States, despite an investment of about $1.7 trillion and the loss of 4,487 American troops. In the end, Washington failed to carve out a role as an honest broker in postwar Iraq, an aspiration born out of the recognition that the country’s future may again have explosive implications for the region. By Ernesto Londoño


- Markets drop amid euro-crisis fears over Cyprus bailout-- Fears of renewed economic crisis in Europe flared Monday as officials took the unprecedented step of targeting bank deposits in Cyprus to help rescue the country’s ailing financial system. The proposal to tax all bank deposits, which requires approval by Cyprus’s parliament, led depositors to empty ATMs over the weekend and raised questions about whether the precedent could upset Europe’s banking system more broadly. By taxing all deposits, even those covered by government deposit insurance, the plan slaps at an important presumption of modern banking — that small accounts in publicly insured institutions are safe. By Michael Birnbaum and Howard Schneider


- Pope Francis was often quiet on Argentine sex abuse cases as archbishop-- Father Julio Cesar Grassi was a celebrity in the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires. The young, dynamic, ­media-savvy priest networked with wealthy Argentines to fund an array of schools, orphanages and job training programs for poor and abandoned youths, winning praise from Argentine politicians and his superior, Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Grassi called his foundation Felices los Niños, “Happy Children.” Today, Grassi is a convicted sex offender who remains free on a conditional release after being sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2009 for molesting a prepubescent boy in his care. Yet in the years after Grassi’s conviction, Bergoglio — now Pope Francis — has declined to meet with the victim of the priest’s crimes or the victims of other predations by clergy under his leadership. He did not offer personal apologies or financial restitution, even in cases in which the crimes were denounced by other members of the church and the offending priests were sent to jail. By Nick Miroff

ALSO: Catholic Church inaugurates Pope Francis in huge, open-air mass: By Jason Horowitz


- Treasury’s Lew, China’s Xi tackle thorny issues in Beijing-- In his first meeting with any foreign official as China’s new president, Xi Jinping discussed trade issues with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Tuesday, underlining the importance of U.S.-China economic ties. Both men stuck largely to boilerplate diplomacy in the short portion of the meeting open to media, emphasizing shared interests rather than differences. “I can say we have a seamless connection,” said Xi at the top of the meeting. But in private, according to U.S. officials, Xi and Lew discussed the two countries’ increasingly thorny points of contention, including cyber attacks, China’s currency valuation and intellectual property laws. By William Wan



- Support for same-sex marriage reaches all-time high, poll finds-- Support for same-sex marriage among Americans has jumped significantly in the past year to an all-time high of 58 percent, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. That number reflects a remarkable — and remarkably fast — turnabout in American public opinion on one of the most emotionally raw and politically divisive issues of the past decade. As recently as 2010, opponents of same-sex marriage outnumbered supporters. As recently as 2006, they outnumbered them by a double-digit margin, 58 percent to 36 percent. Seven years later, that picture has turned upside down. By David A. Fahrenthold and Jon Cohen


- Have political parties lost their purpose?-- Democrats and Republicans may be worlds apart on most things, but at their headquarters just two blocks away from each other on Capitol Hill, each is confronting the same question: Have political parties lost their purpose? In the wake of two presidential defeats, the Republican National Committee on Monday unveiled its Growth and Opportunity Project, an effort to give the party engine a top-to-bottom tuneup. The winning side of last year’s presidential election has been doing some reexamination, too. This past week has seen President Obama’s campaign operation relaunch itself as Organizing for Action, building a new political machine outside the Democratic National Committee and causing some quiet consternation among party traditionalists. By Karen Tumulty


-FACT CHECKER: Bachmann’s claim that 70 percent of food stamps go to ‘bureaucrats’ by Glenn Kessler


- For U.S.-E.U. deal, Europe will have its own negotiating to do-- U.S. trade talks with Europe seem, on the surface, like a slam-dunk. The world’s richest nations will sit across a bargaining table stacked with potential compromises on regulatory and other issues that may represent tens of billions of dollars in extra sales and jobs. But there’s a big potential hitch: The European Union is far from a unified negotiator, and the competing economic and political interests of its 27 member nations may outweigh the difficulties of reaching a deal with the United States. Europe’s struggle in recent years to contain a financial and sovereign debt crisis laid bare the region’s unfinished debate about local power vs. central authority. The issue has enraged Greeks who feel beset by German-enforced austerity and led the United Kingdom to threaten to leave the union altogether. By Howard Schneider


- Commerce chief Rebecca Blank to lead University of Wisconsin at Madison-- The acting commerce secretary, Rebecca Blank, will leave her post in July to become chancellor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. The top job at commerce has been snakebit for President Obama, dating to the days before his first term. Obama’s first two choices for the position, former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson (D) and former New Hampshire governor Judd Gregg (R), both pulled out before the Senate could vote on them. His eventual secretary, Gary Locke, left in 2011 to become ambassador to China. John Bryson took over but suffered a seizure in June and stepped down, leaving Blank as acting secretary. Obama has not yet nominated anyone to replace Bryson, who lasted less than a year in the job. By Jim Tankersley


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