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G-20 Hopes and Fears, Rising Sea Levels, and Tibet's Cause

March 12, 2009


Age (Australia)

  • Tibet: In an editorial commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the Dalai Lama's exile from Tibet, the Age considers his speeches this week about wanting 'meaningful autonomy'. It concludes the China's importance in today's world should not lead anyone to confuse its repression in Tibet with tolerance.

 Arab News

  • G-20 summit: In an editorial, Arab News assesses the prospects for the upcoming G-20 summit in London. The paper sees a split between the United States and the rest of the developed world over the question of stimulus, and says that this could be only one of many points which may lead to the summit being ineffectual.

 Business Day (South Africa)

  • New Life for IMF: In an editorial, Business Day writes that the current international financial crisis has given the IMF a new lease of life. The paper goes on to look at Africa's position in this context, and urges South Africa to represent the entire continent at the London G-20 meeting.

Christian Science Monitor

  • U.S. Decline: Steve Yetiv, a professor of political science at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, offers six reasons why the news of U.S. decline is not entirely true. These range from it still having the world's most competitive economy, to its position as still acting as a magnet for the world's best workforce.

Dar Al-Hayat (Lebanon)

  • Moderate Taliban?: Columnist Elias Harfoush considers President Obama's stated intention of opening a dialogue with 'moderate' Taliban elements. He links this with the British government's apparent readiness to include Hezbollah in talks about the future of the Middle East. The writer warns that these efforts could easily backfire faced with reality on the ground.

 Financial Times

  • G-20 agenda: In an editorial, the Financial Times argues that the G-20 summit in London must not get sidetracked by issues such as bonuses and tax havens. The meeting must concentrate, the newspaper argues, on the less populist issues such as coordinated action to provide a global stimulus and create financial stability.
  •  A U.S. Super-Regulator: In a further editorial, it supports U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in his calls for more regulation. Faced with the complexity of the U.S. insurance market, the paper argues, tighter controls are necessary and urgent.


  • Pakistan's Troubles: The Guardian, in an editorial, considers the growing turmoil in Pakistan. The paper says that the fledgling democratic government is facing its most serious challenge, although this comes not from the army, but from the failure of the government to keep its promises, and because it is imposing crackdown after crackdown.

Independent (UK)

  • Melting icebergs: In an editorial, the Independent considers the latest evidence from climate experts which suggests that the level of the world's seas may rise by much more than previously forecast. The paper says that nobody can ignore this crisis, and calls on the December Copenhagen summit on climate change to adopt bold measures.

Jordan Times

  • U.S. and Israel: An editorial in the Jordan Times sees the withdrawal of Charles Freeman as President Obama's choice to head the National Security Council as an example of the pressure that the Israeli lobby can still exert in Washington. The paper decries the Israeli influence, and hopes that one day the United States will free itself from this legacy of the past.

Moscow Times

  • G-20: Martin Gilman, a former senior representative of the IMF in Russia, outlines his fears of why the G-20 meeting in London could end in failure. He thinks it might just end with empty pledges, but sees a role for Russia's President Medvedev to display real leadership.

New York Times

  • U.S. and Russia: Theodore Postol, professor of science and technology at M.I.T., welcomes President Obama's offer to Russia to review the missile defense system proposed by former President George W. Bush. The writer argues that this plan should be replaced by a more strategic missile defense which will target the danger regions of the world more selectively and effectively.

Telegraph (UK)

  • Oceans Rising: Environmental consultant Fred Pearce is alarmed at the latest scientific predictions about the rising levels of the world's oceans. He finds the new evidence convincing, and urges the British government to take action.

Times of London

  • Electric cars: In an editorial, the Times of London thinks that the breakthrough moment for electric cars may have arrived. If the problem of recharging them quickly and cheaply has now been solved, the paper says, the future of road transport could be electric.

Globe and Mail

  • Obama's scientific lead: An editorial salutes President Obama's lead on stem cell research. It urges the Canadian authorities to follow this lead, arguing that supporting excellence in this time of crisis can offer long-term advantages.

Wall Street Journal

  • Middle East Peace: Daniel Doron, president of the Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress, calls for the use of economic aid to help unblock the stalemate between the Palestinians and Israel. The writer argues that there should be more control over this aid, which should go as directly as possible to ordinary Palestinians.

Washington Post

  • Freeman and the Israel lobby: In an editorial, it considers the withdrawal of Charles Freeman as a candidate to chair the National Security Council. The paper dismisses speculation that this was due to pressure from the 'Israeli lobby', and says that he would have been a poor choice anyway.