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In the press

Supporting Syrian rebels, taxing finance and roaming Africa

The world papers focus on secret orders from Washington to support Syrian rebels, Hillary Clinton's 11-day African tour which is perhaps not just about democracy and development, and a tax on international finance to combat poverty which was supposed to be global, but begins in France.

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The Huffington Post reports that Barack Obama has signed a secret order approving support for rebels trying to depose Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. It would allow the CIA and other agencies to provide broad support - which the US says is "non-lethal," consisting of radio and communications equipment. US and European officials say rebels are operating more coherently, effectively.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has begun an 11-day African tour, beginning in Senegal, and moving on to South Sudan. French left-leaning daily L'Humanité says the tour is about more than the speeches endorsing development and democracy. It's really a race between China and the US to gain access to increasingly profitable African markets. China is the continent's largest trading partner, and Washington noted recently in an internal document that Africa could be the world's next big economic success story. 

Le Monde covers the infamous tax on lucrative financial transactions, which was meant to be global. Now it has begun in France, and the authors of this opinion piece say it's time the rest of Europe embraces it, so as to contribute to the costs of combating poverty and climate change. 

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