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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Washington Be Damned, CELAC Makes Real ‘Our America’ (Opera Mundi, Brazil)
Jan29

Washington Be Damned, CELAC Makes Real ‘Our America’ (Opera Mundi, Brazil)

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, an organization fathered by Hugo Chavez on the premise of excluding the United States and Canada – and with the intention of uniting Latin America politically and economically – has just held its second summit in Havana. This column from Brazil’s Opera Mundi by Argentine academic Atilio Boron is notable for a number of reasons, and outlines the progress CELAC has...

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Why China’s People Favor American Police Over Their Own (Huanqiu, China)
Jan24

Why China’s People Favor American Police Over Their Own (Huanqiu, China)

A few days ago, an elderly Chinese gentleman in New York was injured in a tussle with New York police officers, who detained the man for jaywalking. According to this editorial from the state-run Huanqiu, the fact that Chinese public opinion sides with New York police in this case, and that in similar circumstances, Chinese police would be condemned, highlights a troubling lack of self-esteem on the part of Chinese, and ironically, a...

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Abe Adopts ‘North Korean Tactics’ on Yasukuni Shrine (Ismedia, Japan)
Jan24

Abe Adopts ‘North Korean Tactics’ on Yasukuni Shrine (Ismedia, Japan)

Why did Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, one of the most successful Japanese politicians in modern times, choose this moment to worship at the notorious Yasukuni Shrine, where 14 class-A war criminals are interred? For Japan’s Ismedia, columnist Koga Shigeaki seeks to explain Abe’s apparently self-destructive behavior, and in the process issues a powerful indictment of the Japanese right. For Ismedia, Koga Shigeaki writes in...

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Wikipedia’s ‘Invisible Hand’: More Right-Wing than Left (Le Temps, Switzerland)
Jan22

Wikipedia’s ‘Invisible Hand’: More Right-Wing than Left (Le Temps, Switzerland)

Why are so many academics still not sold on Wikipedia? After all, encompassing shared digital property provided for free by a collective, Wikipedia may seem like the realization of left-wing utopian ideal. But Dr. Frederic Kaplan, professor of digital humanities at Switzerland’s Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale, writes that by advocating decentralized conflict resolution and encouraging the emergence of a ‘neutral’...

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Polar Vortex: To Warm Up – Move to Alaska! (News, Switzerland)
Jan12

Polar Vortex: To Warm Up – Move to Alaska! (News, Switzerland)

Should the human race be concerned when the Behring Strait is warmer than Nashville, Tennessee? While climate change deniers talk themselves blue in the face about how global warming is a hoax given how cold it is in America, columnist Patrik Etschmayer of Switzerland’s News writes that global warming isn’t the issue at hand, but increasingly dangerous and unpredictable weather patterns that bring both cold and heat, and...

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The Cure for Terrorism: Forbid All News Coverage (Izvestia, Russia)
Jan09

The Cure for Terrorism: Forbid All News Coverage (Izvestia, Russia)

Is there a fast and effective way to halt terrorist attacks in their tracks? Just weeks before the Winter Olympics in nearby Sochi, and after two deadly bombings in the city of Volgagrad, Volgograd Oblast’s former vice governor writes in Izvestia that the history of terrorism makes clear that halting all press coverage of such crimes, as long as the public gives its consent, is a reasonable and effective measure that must be...

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The Pope’s Un-Christian Rejection of the Wealthy (Die Welt, Germany)
Jan03

The Pope’s Un-Christian Rejection of the Wealthy (Die Welt, Germany)

Has Pope Francis gone too far criticizing capitalism and hence alienating the world’s wealthiest people? For Germany’s Die Welt, columnist Torsten Kraue has come to the defense of the “bedeviled” affluent, arguing that they, too, are capable of redemption, and should be equal to the poor in the eyes of the church. For Die Welt, Torsten Kraue starts off this way: The luminous message of Jesus can be summed up in...

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Putin’s Punished Orphans in the Global Spotlight (Gazeta, Russia)
Jan02

Putin’s Punished Orphans in the Global Spotlight (Gazeta, Russia)

Since last year when U.S. Congress passed the Magnitsky Act aimed at official Russian corruption, the Kremlin has sought to gain political leverage by inflicting harm on its most vulnerable citizens. Russian lawmakers, at the instigation of the Kremlin, passed a law that prohibits Americans from adopting Russian orphans. For Russia’s Gazeta, President of Volunteers and Aid for Orphans Elena Alshanskaya describes the...

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America’s Delegation to Sochi: A Boycott By Any Other Name (Yezhednevniy Zhurnal, Russia)
Dec22

America’s Delegation to Sochi: A Boycott By Any Other Name (Yezhednevniy Zhurnal, Russia)

For Russians who consider themselves part of the modern world, the debacle over Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ laws is a source of tremendous humiliation. For Russia’s Yezhednevniy Zhurnal, columnist Anton Oryekh writes that Russia’s ham-handed lawmakers, thinking such laws were for domestic purposes only, never imagined that they would blow up in their faces in such spectacular fashion – and just in...

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Al-Qaeda and the Nazis: 4,481 Days that Terrorized the World (Die Welt, Germany)
Dec21

Al-Qaeda and the Nazis: 4,481 Days that Terrorized the World (Die Welt, Germany)

On December 18 we passed something of a milestone that went almost unnoticed: the post-9-11 world came of age, matching the length of time of the reign of Nazi terror. For Germany’s Die Welt, columnist Torsten Krauel wonders what it would have been like if for the past 4,481 days, Osama bin Laden was as dominant as Hitler was during his terrifying time on the world stage. For Die Welt, Torsten Krauel starts off this way: The...

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Sochi Boycott Call Reflects Lack of Western ‘Humility’ (Haunqiu, China)
Dec12

Sochi Boycott Call Reflects Lack of Western ‘Humility’ (Haunqiu, China)

Can Western critics of Russia’s law against gay propaganda be called ‘an arrogant mob’ seeking to ‘destroy global cultural diversity’? According to this editorial from China’s state-run Huanqiu, not any concern for equality, but the West’s dislike for ‘Russian conservatism,’ is behind calls to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. The once and future Beijing imperialists warn...

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‘Mind Control’ Achieved by Post-Snowden United States (El Espectador, Colombia)
Dec09

‘Mind Control’ Achieved by Post-Snowden United States (El Espectador, Colombia)

One of the most disturbing consequences of Edward Snowden’s revelations is the self-censorship that has begun to take hold in what was once called the ‘freest nation in the world.’ For Colombia’s El Espectador, columnist Juan Gabriel Vásquez cites a recent survey of American writers, and explains why going along to get along with surveillance makes a mockery of some of the West’s most cherished ideals....

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A U.S.-Russia-China Alliance Offers Iran and Israel a Way Out (Izvestia, Russia)
Dec02

A U.S.-Russia-China Alliance Offers Iran and Israel a Way Out (Izvestia, Russia)

Is there any chance that the U.S., Russia and China could join forces to guarantee the security of both Iran and Israel, thus defusing not only the Iran nuclear crisis, but the Syria civil war, the Israel-Palestinian peace process, and any number of other confounding problems? For Russia’s Izvestia, columnist Kiril Benediktov writes that if Israel’s hawks in and out of Washington would come to their senses, such an...

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European Reporter Battles for U.S.-Style Magnitsky Act (Le Figaro, France)
Dec01

European Reporter Battles for U.S.-Style Magnitsky Act (Le Figaro, France)

Despite the doom and gloom that appears to be all around us these days, are we entering a ‘new era’ for the enforcement of human rights? For Le Figaro, columnist Jean-Sebastien Stehli writes that a book by Russian-French investigative reporter Elena Servettaz called, Why Europe Needs a Magnitsky Law, may trigger major changes, making it impossible for human rights violators to travel freely or spend their ill-gotten gains....

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