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Africa's Zimbabwe Burden, Carter and Hamas, and Food Security

April 16, 2008


Age (Australia)

  • In an editorial the Age says finding the answer to the question of how to provide better food security around the world looms as one of the great challenges of this century.

Business Standard (India)

  • In an editorial on Nepal’s future relations with India following victory by Maoists in recent elections, the paper says India may be the loser if it plays the role of big brother.

Christian Science Monitor

  • In an editorial on Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe, the paper says it is heartening that South Africa's ruling party has split with President Mbeki on the elections and wants to contact ZANU-PF and the MDC directly for talks.

Daily Telegraph

  • In an editorial also on Zimbabwe, the Telegraph examines Thabo Mbeki’s motives for his continued support of Robert Mugabe, and says Mbeki genuinely believes that British criticism of Mugabe is motivated by a desire to denigrate black people and, in particular, to demonstrate their unfitness to govern their own countries.
  • Damian Thompson of the Catholic Herald writes of the pope that the publicity surrounding his current trip to the United States should remind Catholics that the current pontiff is every bit as formidable and saintly as John Paul II, even if he cannot attract quite such mighty crowds.
  • Columnist Malcolm Moore, commenting on Silvio Berlusconi’s election victory in Italy, points out that he will need to depend on the support of Umberto Bossi of the Northern League, although the two men have never gotten along.

Dawn (Pakistan)

  • In an editorial on a vote in the National Assembly to ask the UN to conduct an independent investigation into the killing of Benazir Bhutto, the paper asks if this is an admission on the part of the government that it has no faith in state institutions to carry out an independent and credible probe.  

Financial Times

  • CFR President Richard Haass writes that the era of American hegemony is over and Washington will have to change its ways to succeed in the new environment. Haass elaborates on this position in a new Foreign Affairs article.
  • In an editorial on Silvio Berlusconi, the FT says there has been nothing to suggest the billionaire prime minister is now ready to put the national interest ahead of his private interests.
  • In a further editorial, the paper comments on China’s recent dealings with Taiwan, which it describes as calm, rational and sophisticated and says if this "softly-softly approach" succeeds, Chinese leaders might realize that a similarly tactful approach would do wonders for their reputation in Tibet.


  • Bill Emmott, a former editor of the Economist, which in 2001 declared Silvio Berlusconi “unfit to govern,” says his election victory should be deeply troubling for anyone who cares about democracy.
  • In an editorial on Nepal, the Guardian points out that not since the Shah fled Iran in 1979 has an established monarch succumbed to republicanism, and says that makes this transition to republican democracy all the more remarkable.

Independent (London)

  • In an editorial on Zimbabwe, the paper says it is now time for the African Union to become involved and condemn Robert Mugabe's "coup". It adds that the African Union's credibility is on the line and, the West should make clear, so is the financial and political backing that the industrialized nations currently offer it.
  • Ivor Roberts, a former British ambassador to Italy, writes that Silvio Berlusconi needs to refocus his attention away from the literally ad hominem legislation, which so disfigured his last government, and towards the crises which did in the last Italian government.


  • In an editorial on rising food prices, the paper says the pernicious influences of climate change on food production can be countered only with the active participation of the developed countries. The paper believes that in particular the developed world should be persuaded to rethink their biofuel policies.

International Herald Tribune

  • In an editorial the paper says Pope Benedict XVI's trip to the United States will be a gauge of how well he can blend pastoral understanding with doctrinal rigor.

Middle East Times (Egypt)

  • In an editorial, the paper says that hard as it may be to comprehend or accept Jimmy Carter's initiative to engage Hamas in talks, it should be encouraged, if not welcomed.

News (Pakistan)

  • In an editorial on a renewed proposal by President Musharraf for gas and oil pipelines to China, the paper says this in many ways makes sense, but adds that Pakistan’s leadership needs to consider why what appears to be a viable scheme has failed to move beyond the stage of broad-based talks.

New York Times

  • The Times says in an editorial that Silvio Berlusconi’s victory owes little to his past, shockingly meager achievements in office.

Times of India

  • Arun Maira, a management advisor, writes that it is time to transform capitalism, to make it more inclusive and sustainable.

Times of London

  • In an editorial on Silvio Berlusconi, the paper says the ebullient bravado of the self-made billionaire is what has long attracted voters, and what probably persuaded Italians to forgive his gaffes, dubious record and self-interested legislation.

Wall Street Journal

  • In an editorial on Kim Jong Il, the Journal says the North Korean dictator rarely makes a promise he doesn't break, and that includes his latest nuclear disarmament pledge. It adds that he can thank his enablers in Washington for letting him get away with it.
  • Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, who is visiting the United States, writes of Britain’s relationship with the U.S. that there is still far more that unites the two countries than can ever divide them.  
  • In an editorial in the Journal’s Asia edition, the paper says class and race divisions in India are being codified and extended through affirmative action, and that if the country wants to give its citizens equal opportunity to prosper, the judiciary needs to put a brake on this train, fast.

Washington Post

  • Michael Gerson, a CFR senior fellow writing on Barack Obama, says the Democratic candidate has a knack for undermining his own political strengths.
  • Ann Gildroy of the Marine Corps Reserve and Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution write of their belief that there is a reasonable prospect of achieving a sustainable stability in Iraq within the next few years, and set out six key reasons why.  
  • In an editorial, the Post questions those who believe the Chinese people support its government on Tibet, asking how it is possible to know what the Chinese people think.

Washington Times

  • In an editorial the paper says Jimmy Carter's decision to meet with the terrorist organization Hamas is turning the former president into something of a political pariah.
  • In a further editorial, on Zimbabwe, the Times says now is the moment for neighboring countries, the United Nations and Western powers to speak as one as they cut off the Mugabe regime's financial lifeline and call for the dictator to step down.

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