- The Washington Times - Friday, February 9, 2007

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Corriere della Sera

About climate change

MILAN, Italy — The economic and financial world has become global: But the globalists that roam it travel like sleepwalkers.

They tell us that in 10 to 20 years, China will be the biggest world power, with India in second place, and in the meantime they throw themselves into China and they relocate services to India. Up to a point, in the short term, they are right, because the development of China is extraordinary. But is it sustainable? …

At midcentury, the Chinese should reach 1.5 billion people, and the same goes for the Indians. But how are we going to feed them?

It is a question that doesn’t shake the sleepwalkers. The answer is obvious to them: We will farm more. But how are we going to do it if water is growing scarce even today?

Planet Earth is risking a terrible water and food crisis, but our global sleepwalker doesn’t know and doesn’t want to know anything about this.

So far the sleepwalkers have coped by saying that there have always been climate changes and there’s nothing we can do about it. But no, that’s not true. This time, for the first time, it’s all our fault.”

Independent

Regarding ‘friendly fire’

LONDON — In the case of Lance Cpl. Matty Hull, who was killed when two U.S. aircraft mistakenly fired on his convoy in the first weeks of the Iraq war, investigations were conducted by the relevant military bodies in Britain, as in the U.S.

This is not, however, where their obligations stop. The authorities, military and civilian, also have a duty to be honest with the bereaved family about exactly what happened. It is a duty that is moral, as well as judicial. That the relatives of many servicemen and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan have had to wait so long — and in some cases fight — for the clarity they should have been accorded as of right, is nothing short of a disgrace.

The experience of Lance Cpl. Hull’s widow, Susan, has been particularly bitter. In common with more than half of all Iraq war widows, she had to wait almost four years for the inquest into the death of her husband to be opened. When it finally got under way, it was adjourned by the coroner, Andrew Walker, last Friday because he needed authorization to air the cockpit video of the U.S. pilots in action — and British officials refused point-blank to give it without first obtaining clearance from the Americans. …

The coroner had sight of the video only because he had received a copy “unofficially.” And … Mrs. Hull had previously been told such a video did not exist.

… Forgive our doubts. Had the coroner not received a copy of the video “unofficially,” had another copy not found its way into the public domain via the Sun newspaper, how long would it have taken for Lance Cpl. Hull’s inquest to reach its conclusion? …

This case was described … as a “real test for UK-U.S. relations.” We disagree. It was a test of honesty, common sense and humanity — a test which, until the 11th hour, and until they felt the intense pressure of outraged public opinion, officials on both sides of the Atlantic had grievously and shamefully failed.

Yomiuri Shimbun

Atomic-bomb survivors

TOKYO — The Supreme Court … handed down a ruling criticizing the attitudes of administrative organs, both central and local, concerning financial assistance to atomic bomb survivors living outside the country.

Based on the five-year statute of limitations stipulated in the Local Government Law, the central and local governments have been refusing to pay health care benefits when survivors living overseas claimed the benefits. …

In response to the Supreme Court ruling, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry will stop applying the statute of limitations and disburse unpaid benefits to the survivors. This is a natural course of action, taking into consideration the intent of the Atomic Bomb Victims Relief Law, which calls for “comprehensive assistance measures” for atomic bomb survivors.

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