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Latest in Opinion


Rejecting the power to waste

By Malavika Jain Bambawale SINGAPORE: Our ancestors preached it. Our parents taught it to us. The West is adopting it. So why are we Asians abandoning it? I’m talking about environmental consciousness. Conserving water. Switching off a TV that no one is watching. Calling the municipality to get a recycling bin in the building. Not flushing …

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Nicaragua should confront its demons

By César Chelala NEW YORK: For a long time it has been one of Nicaragua most guarded secrets. But a new Amnesty International report, “Listen to their Voice and Act: Stop the Rape and Sexual Abuse of Girls in Nicaragua,” brings it to light. Rape of teenagers in Nicaragua is widespread, and nothing is being done …

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Defying the Garden of Eden syndrome

By Kandeh Yumkella ACCRA: When you fly into Takoradi, Ghana’s fourth largest city and an industrial and commercial center, one of the first things you notice are the oil rigs along the coast. It is a panorama that is increasingly characteristic of modern-day Africa. Nearby, in the city of Elmina, one can see the scars of …

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In the footsteps of Gandhi, Mandela, and Havel

By Ma Jian LONDON: Liu Xiaobo, the imprisoned Chinese writer and human-rights campaigner, will receive the Nobel Peace Prize on Dec. 10. For the first time in history, however, neither the laureate nor any member of his immediate family will be present in Oslo to accept the award. China’s government has blocked Liu’s wife, the acclaimed …

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What size the fire exit?

By Daniel Gros BRUSSELS: The eurozone is being thrown into turmoil by a collective rush to the exits by investors. Yields on government debt of peripheral eurozone countries are skyrocketing, because investors do not really know what the risks are. Officials want to be reassuring. Investors should not worry, they argue, because the current bailout mechanism …

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The lessons of Europe’s carbon trade

By Denny Ellerman FLORENCE: As the Cancún climate change summit approaches, discussions about the viability of carbon trading systems is intensifying. The world can look to Europe as a model that is not only up and running, but that works. In 2005, the member states of the European Union became the first to create a cap-and-trade …

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Dubai: Confidence boost

By Oxford Business Group There are signs that Dubai is hitting the road to recovery, with investors once again eyeing the benefits of the emirate’s foreign direct investment (FDI) credentials and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicting a modest growth rate of 0.5 percent this year. A robust recovery by Asia has impacted positively on Dubai’s …

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Finally, Afghan perspectives from inside Afghanistan

By Karl Inderfurth and Theodore Eliot WASHINGTON, DC/BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: One is constantly reminded of the grim realities of Afghanistan today, a country in its tenth year of war and a government in Kabul commonly viewed as corrupt and ineffective. But there is another perception that should be taken into account: what the Afghans themselves think of …

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The North Korean enigma

By Joseph Nye CAMBRIDGE : What is going on in North Korea? On November 23, its army fired nearly 200 artillery rounds onto the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, near the two countries’ disputed maritime border, killing four – including two civilians – and demolishing scores of houses and other structures. The presence of civilians, many …

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Egyptian youth climb to the top for a good cause

By Rasha Dewedar CAIRO: Egyptian youth are putting a face on positive change in action — and undoing stereotypes at the same time. This September, 26 Egyptian climbers succeeded in climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania as participants of The Right to Climb initiative, organized with the goal of raising support for children with special needs in …

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Editorial: Long live the NDP!

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: The people of Egypt have spoken, and according to the results of the first round of parliamentary elections held last Sunday, they have collectively chosen the National Democratic Party. To the sore losers who claim that the elections were rigged, the NDP and the venerable electoral commission that supports it, have …

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Sports Talk: Surprise and surprise

By Alaa Abdel-Ghani Qatar gets the World Cup. So does Russia. The first World Cup in the Middle East and the first in East Europe. This is what FIFA decided Thursday, the Russian bid being picked ahead of England, Spain-Portugal and Holland-Belgium to host the 2018 event. Qatar got the better of the United States, Australia, …

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WikiLeaks, secrets, and lies

By Simon Chesterman SINGAPORE: The latest information dump from WikiLeaks offers fascinating insights into the workings of the US State Department that will keep foreign policy wonks and conspiracy theorists busy for months. Much of what has been reported is not “news” in the traditional sense, of course, but a series of embarrassing gaffes: truths that …

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Will my breasts blow up this airplane?

By Naomi Wolf OXFORD: Just when it seemed that America’s “Homeland Security state” could not get more surreal, the United States Transportation Security Administration has rolled out a costly Scylla and Charybdis at major airports: either you accept dangerous doses of radiation and high-resolution imaging of your naked body, or, worried about the health risks of …

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No to green fundamentalism

By Alain Juppé BORDEAUX: Climatology and its emphasis on global warming is a comparatively recent addition to science. Yet, despite the relative youth of this research, a clear consensus has emerged: climate change — for which human activity is significantly, though not exclusively, responsible — now threatens our way of life, so we must develop the …

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Muslims integral to American seminaries

By Joshua Stanton NEW YORK: Seminaries, higher education institutions where professors of religion and religious leaders train students to become clergy, have been present in the United States for centuries. Because seminary students are generally being trained as religious leaders who will oversee congregations, their seminary education has a powerful impact on these students’ future congregations. …

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Kuwait: Towards a healthy future

By Oxford Business Group While Kuwait’s rapid modernization over the past two decades has seen a rise in life expectancies and a decline in illness rates, the changes in lifestyle associated with rising wealth have created their own set of challenges. In early November the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) released its latest human development index …

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In Focus: Politics of Revenge

By Khalil Al-Anani CAIRO: The sole outcome of the recent Egyptian parliamentary elections is a powerless assembly. With no surprise in the sweeping victory of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), the elections revealed its hideous face. For the sake of the analysis, one has to evoke the shadow of 2005 elections to grasp what happened …

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The G-20’s new thinking for the global economy

By Jeffrey Sachs NEW YORK: The Seoul G-20 summit was notable for the increasing political weight of the emerging economies. Not only was it located in one, but, in many ways, it was also dominated by them. In two crucial areas, macroeconomics and global economic development, the emerging economies’ view prevailed. And an excellent proposal to …

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India or China?

By Jagdish Bhagwati NEW DELHI: When US President Barack Obama visited India in November and complimented its leaders on the growing success and prowess of their economy, a tacit question returned to center stage: Will China grow faster than India indefinitely, or will India shortly overtake it? In fact, this contest dates back to 1947, when …

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Pakistani women have a league of their own

by Sara Khan LONDON: At a time when many Pakistanis think that not much seems to be going right in Pakistan — floods, suicide bombings, a weakened democracy, charges of corruption and game-rigging against the once beloved national men’s cricket team — the country’s national women’s cricket team and their win at the 16th Asian Games …

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Protecting our Christian neighbors in Iraq

By Ahmed Fahad NASIRIYAH, Iraq: Christians in Iraq are being exposed to a series of high-profile attacks, including the hostage situation and shootings at the Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad at the end of October, as well as separate attacks on Christian homes in the Al Mansour quarter in Baghdad two weeks ago. Pope …

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RAK: Ready for take-off

By Oxford Business Group The relaunch of Ras Al Khaimah’s national air carrier, RAK Airways, in October came as major upgrades of roads, ports and the airport are under way as part of the emirate’s plans to become a regional transport centre and increase exports. RAK Airways suspended operations a year ago in the wake of …

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Quantitative easing and the Renminbi

By Martin Feldstein CAMBRIDGE: The United States Federal Reserve’s policy of “quantitative easing” is reducing the value of the dollar relative to other currencies that have floating exchange rates. But what does the new Fed policy mean for one of the most important exchange rates of all — that of the renminbi relative to the dollar …

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Drifting towards the rapids

By Chris Patten LONDON: We are told that we live in anxious times, with lots to worry about and no more comforting certainty. But just how comfortable were all those past certainties, anyway? I grew up in a world in which peace and stability were assured by the threat of global nuclear annihilation. My first term …

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Srulik, meet Handala

By Gil Zohar JERUSALEM: Driving east from Jerusalem on the winding Jordanian-built road that once led down from the Mount of Olives to the Dead Sea, one passes through a series of Arab suburbs and soon comes to a dead end in front of the grotesque West Bank barrier. Called Geder ha-Hafrada (separation fence) in Hebrew …

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Praying hard to make the rain fall

By Arieh O’Sullivan JERUSALEM: It’s been said that everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it. Well, seven years of drought in the Holy Land has been so bad that it has brought together Muslim, Christian and Jewish clerics to offer prayers for rain. The rainy season should have begun over a …

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The dangerous myth of the hero entrepreneur

By Esther Dyson NEW YORK: Earlier this month, I sat on a panel in Monte Carlo, a hotspot of the establishment, discussing the question, “Why can’t Europe be more like the US?” The formal name of the panel was “Silicon Envy: Will Europe ever build the next new media giant?” But I think people are focusing …

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China and India exposed

By Pranab Bardhan BERKELEY: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s forthcoming trip to India, following hard on the heels of President Barack Obama’s recent visit, will provide another opportunity for the media to gush about the growing global economic clout of China and India. We can be sure that the soft underbellies of both economies will be kept …

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The Diarrhea Pioneers

By Henry I. Miller PALO ALTO: On top of the devastation caused in Haiti by the January earthquake, Hurricane Tomas this month, and the subsequent dislocations, exposure, and malnutrition, the country is now experiencing an accelerating cholera outbreak. At least 8,000 people are currently in hospital, and the death toll is near 600 from this waterborne …

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