Between Russian and the West: Ukraine’s Insurmountable Task (Rzeczpospolita, Poland)
Mar20

Between Russian and the West: Ukraine’s Insurmountable Task (Rzeczpospolita, Poland)

Is there any hope whatsoever that Ukraine’s young government, born out of the fire of revolt against Russia-friendly President Viktor Yanukovitch, will survive the apparent loss of Crimea to Russia? For Poland’s Rzeczpospolita, columnist Jedrzej Bielecki paints an intimidating picture for interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who leads a nation deep in debt, comprised of squabbling factions, which has been left to face...

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Russia Today and European Video Coverage of the Ukraine Crisis for March 20, 2014
Mar20

Russia Today and European Video Coverage of the Ukraine Crisis for March 20, 2014

Worldmeets.US has been putting these together most days since the Ukraine crisis broke: VIDEOS: European Video Coverage of Ukraine Crisis for Mar. 20 from Russia Today, Deutsche Welle, Euronews, France 24, and the BBC. First, a roundup of segments from Russia Today on the Ukraine crisis for March 20: First up, this is the latest episode of the program World’s Apart with host Oksana Boyko. Former Australia Prime Minister Malcolm...

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‘Screams’ of Fukushima Must Not Be Ignored Like Those of Okinawa (Chunichi Shimbun, Japan)
Mar20

‘Screams’ of Fukushima Must Not Be Ignored Like Those of Okinawa (Chunichi Shimbun, Japan)

Three years after the Fukushima earthquake and nuclear catastrophe, it appears that people who lived near the disaster zone are being ignored by Japan’s government, as it rushes to declare the region safe again. This editorial from Japan’s Chunichi Shimbun compares the victims of Fukushima to the survivors of the Battle of Okinawa in terms of the damage done and the way they have been treated, and castigates Tokyo for...

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President Tells Lithuanians: Show Russia No Fear and be ‘Ready to Shoot’ (Diena, Latvia)
Mar14

President Tells Lithuanians: Show Russia No Fear and be ‘Ready to Shoot’ (Diena, Latvia)

The three tiny Baltic nations of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, have long and painful histories with the Russian bear, and do not wish to live under Russian domination again, which is why the events in Ukraine are having such an impact there. In this news account from Latvia’s Diena newspaper, Lithuania President Dalia Grybauskaite issues a call to arms for Europe and people in the Baltics, warning that leaders in Western Europe...

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Film about Noah ‘Not Forbidden’ Under Sharia Law (Al-Mogaz, Egypt)
Mar14

Film about Noah ‘Not Forbidden’ Under Sharia Law (Al-Mogaz, Egypt)

For those wondering what the debate is like among Muslim scholars over the new Russell Crowe film Noah, this is an Islamic analysis of whether the film violates an injunction against ‘personifying The Prophets in art.’ Noah is – like Abraham, Moses and Jesus – a saint and prophet, so the film is just as touchy form Muslims as it is for Christians or Jews. According to this column from Egypt’s Al-Mogaz by...

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Recognize Russia’s Legitimate Interests or Ukraine is Doomed (de Volkskrant, The Netherlands)
Mar11

Recognize Russia’s Legitimate Interests or Ukraine is Doomed (de Volkskrant, The Netherlands)

Is it time for leaders in the West to cut talk of confrontation and accept the fact that Crimea is legitimately in Russia’s sphere, and that Ukraine must be seen as neither West nor East? For de Volkskrant, columnist Thomas von der Dunk looks at history and geopolitical reality in an effort to awaken Western policy makers from what he regards as a deluded, self-righteous slumber. For de Volkskrant, Thomas von der Dunk launches...

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Annexing Crimea ‘Too Costly for Russia to Bear’ (Gazeta, Russia)
Mar10

Annexing Crimea ‘Too Costly for Russia to Bear’ (Gazeta, Russia)

Even if it wants to, can Russia afford to incorporate Crimea into its territory – either economically or diplomatically? Western media is not alone in posing the question. This editorial from Russia’s Gazeta is categorical in its conclusions: ‘No’ and ‘No.’ The non-nonsense Gazeta editorial starts off this way: Crimea may not turn out as a “triumph of historical justice and Russian...

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Feeling Slighted By Obama, Tokyo Pins Hopes on Republican Win in 2016 (47 News, Japan)
Mar03

Feeling Slighted By Obama, Tokyo Pins Hopes on Republican Win in 2016 (47 News, Japan)

It would appear that Japanese officials have a lot in common with U.S. Republicans: they both find President Obama stiff, unemotional and hard to get to know. This editorial from Japan’s 47 News details some of the unusually-open criticism of Barack Obama by Prime Minister Abe and members of his cabinet, both over the president’s personal style, and a sense that the White House has sided with China and South Korea on the...

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El Chapo’s Capture: Mexicans Debate If It Makes Any Difference (Milenio, La Jornada)
Feb25

El Chapo’s Capture: Mexicans Debate If It Makes Any Difference (Milenio, La Jornada)

Now that one of the world’s most wanted and influential men, Archivaldo Joaquin Guzman, aka/El Chapo, is, with U.S. help, in the custody of Mexican authorities for the third time, the question arises: how much of a difference will it make? Will the mass slaughter of the last decade during which upwards of 50,000 civilians have been killed, now draw to a close? Here we have two opposing views from Mexico on the subject. First,...

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Venezuela Calls U.S. and Canada More Repressive (Pagina 12, Argentina)
Feb24

Venezuela Calls U.S. and Canada More Repressive (Pagina 12, Argentina)

Should the governments of the United States and Canada be lecturing Venezuela about arresting students, when crackdowns on students and demonstrators in both North American nations have resulted in significant numbers of wounded and arrested? Argentina’s Pagina 12 reports that Venezuelan officials are firing back at accusations by President Obama of Venezuelan government wrongdoing, charging the United States with funding and...

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With Obama, Hollande Plots ‘Economic War’ on Behalf of Multinationals (l’Humanite, Mediapart, France)
Feb19

With Obama, Hollande Plots ‘Economic War’ on Behalf of Multinationals (l’Humanite, Mediapart, France)

While the French media ‘feasted’ on President Hollande’s state dinner at the White House, an interesting narrative has emerged centered on negotiations for the Transatlantic Free Trade area – aka/the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Here is the crux of the issue: will this agreement, when and if signed and enacted, emasculate civil society by operating above the people’s elected...

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After Amanda Knox, it’s Back to the Drawing Board for Italian Justice (Diritto, Italy)
Feb19

After Amanda Knox, it’s Back to the Drawing Board for Italian Justice (Diritto, Italy)

What’s wrong with Italy’s legal system, when someone like Amanda Knox can be tried for murder, convicted, acquitted on appeal, and then convicted again? It appears from this column from Italy’s Diritto – a legal blog – that Italians are just as baffled about it as Americans. The reason, according to legal scholar and former politician Davide Giacalone, is that since 1988, Italy has adopted a mixture of...

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‘Free Press’ Won’t Spoil President Putin’s Sochi Experience (Izvestia, Russia)
Feb12

‘Free Press’ Won’t Spoil President Putin’s Sochi Experience (Izvestia, Russia)

Looking back and comparing the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Izvestia columnist Maxim Sokolov writes that surprisingly, the ‘free press’ is much angrier today than it was then. And why might that be? According to Sokolov, it is because Vladimir Putin personifies these Olympic Games, and this time, the West isn’t boycotting. For Izvestia, a sports averse Maxim Sokolov writes in part:...

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On Russian Spies and ‘Snowdenistas’: A Rebuttel of Edward Lucas (Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland)
Feb12

On Russian Spies and ‘Snowdenistas’: A Rebuttel of Edward Lucas (Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland)

It is becoming something of a cottage industry. Two weeks ago, Patrik Etschmayer of Switzerland’s News rejected historian Sean Wilentz, who in the pages of the New Republic, attacked Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Glenn Greenwald, by examining old blog entries, their early careers, and other information that has nothing to do with NSA mass surveillance. Today we have another well-known foreign columnist rebutting American...

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Obama ‘Deals Blow’ to Dream of Latin American Integration (El Mundo, Colombia)
Feb10

Obama ‘Deals Blow’ to Dream of Latin American Integration (El Mundo, Colombia)

Has the United States ceded ground in Latin America to opponents of freedom and liberal democracy? This editorial from Colombia’s El Mundo laments the fact that President Obama failed to even mention South America in his State of the Union speech, and that with Washington showing little or no interest in what was once called its ‘backyard,’ leaders opposed to U.S. influence are filling the void, and damaging rather...

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America’s Espionage Obsession: ‘To Understand is Not to Tolerate’ (Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany)
Feb07

America’s Espionage Obsession: ‘To Understand is Not to Tolerate’ (Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany)

News that the Bush White House ordered the NSA to spy on German Chancellor Gerhard Shroeder in the run up to the Iraq War is not going down well in Berlin. Seeking to hinder knee-jerk anti-Americanism, Sueddeutsche Zeitung columnist By Stefan Kornelius asks readers to take account of the situation in the United States at the time, in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. For him, this is entirely different from more recent NSA-related...

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Amanda Knox, Italian Justice, and ‘Conviction at All Costs’ (La Stampa, Italy)
Feb04

Amanda Knox, Italian Justice, and ‘Conviction at All Costs’ (La Stampa, Italy)

In the case of the trial of Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, how trustworthy is the recent reinstatement of their conviction for murder? For Italy’s La Stampa, columnist Alessandro Perissinotto writes that Italian prosecutors, goaded by a public weaned on TV crime dramas, are loathe to admit when a lack of evidence requires dismissal. To add insult to injury, he also says that as may be the case for...

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Kerry Thinks it’s Back to Business as Usual? ‘What a Miscalculation!’ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany)
Feb04

Kerry Thinks it’s Back to Business as Usual? ‘What a Miscalculation!’ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany)

It appears that the American delegation to the Munich Security Conference had hoped they could entirely avoid the subject of NSA spying while visiting Germany. No such luck. For the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, columnist Thomas Gutschker writes that rather than going away, the gap between the United States and Germany on the issue of spying is expanding, leading to the most alarming breach between the two countries since the start...

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Barack Obama has Been An ‘Absolute Disgrace’ (L’Hebdo, Switzerland)
Feb03

Barack Obama has Been An ‘Absolute Disgrace’ (L’Hebdo, Switzerland)

Perhaps even more than within this country, the Obama presidency has been a profound disappointment to people around the world. For Switzerland’s L’Hebdo, columnist Charles Poncet registers his sense of how badly things have gone since Obama took office, punctuating no less than four paragraphs by ending them with the word ‘disgrace.’ For L’Hebdo, Charles Poncet writes in part: To see the great American...

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Question for the New Republic: Who Gives a ‘Fart’ about What Snowden Thinks? (News, Switzerland)
Jan30

Question for the New Republic: Who Gives a ‘Fart’ about What Snowden Thinks? (News, Switzerland)

Should anyone care about the personality quirks of Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, or Glenn Greenwald? Last week, the New Republic published an article that attacks the three by examining old blog entries, their early careers, and other information that has nothing to do with NSA mass surveillance. For Switzerland’s News, Patrik Etschmayer calls the the New Republic article a ‘lesson in ad hominem attacks’ –...

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