Today’s top world news from The Washington Post:
-U.N. officials say Iran has slowed work on atomic facilities—Iran appears to have dramatically slowed work on its atomic energy program since the summer, U.N. officials said Thursday. The report could add momentum to diplomatic efforts to resolve a decade-old dispute over Iranian nuclear activities, reports Joby Warrick.
-Aid starts flowing to Philippine typhoon survivors, but thousands missing—Emergency supplies started flowing into typhoon-devastated areas of the Philippines on Thursday, with a U.S. aircraft carrier group bringing helicopters to ferry in medicine and water. But the aid effort was still so short-handed that bodies lay uncollected in the hot sun, and injured survivors of Typhoon Hainan had to wait in line for treatment of gashed limbs, reports Carmela Cruz and Chico Harlan.
-Egypt hosts top Russian officials, a sign it is turning further away from alliance with U.S.—Egypt edged further away from its traditional place within the U.S. sphere of influence Thursday, hosting Russia’s foreign and defense ministers in the highest-level talks between the two countries in years. The visit, which included discussions on strengthening military ties and diplomatic efforts on Syria, challenged the U.S. position as Egypt’s primary benefactor and was seen as a diplomatic swipe at Cairo’s increasingly estranged Western ally, reports Erin Cunningham.
-Ireland closes chapter in euro crisis with plan to end its bailout program—Irish officials said on Thursday they will exit their international bailout program next month as scheduled, without the need for follow-up financing from the International Monetary Fund or elsewhere — a first step in ending the IMF’s controversial support for the 17-nation euro zone, reports Howard Schneider.
OTHER TOP NEWS
-Obama announces change to address health insurance cancellations—President Obama relented to pressure from the public and his own party Thursday and changed one of the bedrock requirements of the new health-care law to fulfill his promise to allow people to keep their insurance plans if they want. While the move was aimed at solving a problem that was threatening the president’s credibility and public faith in the law, it raised a slew of new questions, including whether insurers would adjust, whether millions of customers would pay higher premiums and whether states would make the fix available, report Juliet Eilperin, Amy Goldstein and Lena H. Sun.
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-Health-care law’s problems test loyalty of Democrats in Congress—The political fallout from the botched launch of the health-care law is presenting congressional Democrats with one of their toughest tests of party loyalty in the five years of the Obama administration. Into this caustic mix stepped President Obama with his announcement Thursday that he will allow insurance companies to continue offering plans that do not meet the new law’s requirements, report Paul Kane and Jackie Kucinich.
-The Take by Dan Balz: For Obama, the last campaign may be the most difficult—Throughout his career as a national politician, President Obama often has benefited from comparisons with others. Nearing the end of the first year of his second term, he is running mostly against himself — and falling short. The disastrous rollout of his health-care law has put him on the spot in ways he has rarely been before.
-OPINION by Ruth Marcus: Obama’s political malpractice—The promise and the apology are the bookends of effective politics. President Obama has, tragically and perhaps irreparably, flubbed both. Overpromising is every politician’s temptation, every journalist’s gotcha, every political opponent’s handy club. A chicken in every pot. Read my lips. On the campaign trail, nuance is an unwelcome intruder.