- The Washington Times - Friday, November 26, 2004

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

The Scotsman

Exploiting terror threat?

EDINBURGH — The horrific events of 9/11 in America, the subsequent attacks on Australian tourists in Bali, the station bombings in Madrid earlier this year and the various explosions at British offices in Turkey … all prove without doubt that, currently and for years to come, there is a major terrorist threat to ordinary Western civilians going about their business. However, there is a growing feeling in Britain that the government is exploiting this … for electoral purposes.

The government, to give it its due, has been highly active on the anti-terrorist front. As well as introducing tough legal measures … it has spent more than [$3.76 billion] on anti-terrorism activities in the last three years. … But in recent weeks there has been a slight tinge of hysteria in government pronouncements on the anti-terrorist front. … Could it be that the new anti-terrorism rhetoric is more to do with the forthcoming election?

… This week, there was a carefully orchestrated leak to a major newspaper … that the British security forces had foiled a plot to fly planes into major London office blocks. If true, why a restricted leak rather than a parliamentary statement by the prime minister? Or was the news meant to “dramatize” for electoral effect the various new security measures subsequently announced in the Queen’s Speech, including the introduction of ID cards? …

Asahi Shimbun

The falling greenback

TOKYO — Will the dollar stop falling? As leaders gathered in Chile for the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, currency traders carefully followed their words for clues to the answer.

Remarks in Santiago seemed to be omens of an imminent upturn of the greenback. President Bush told Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi that his administration remains committed to a “strong dollar.” … But the currency market did not respond to these remarks; the dollar fell against the yen after the APEC summit. …

America’s federal balance sheet, which swelled into a comfortable surplus under … Bill Clinton, tipped into deficit soon after Bush came to the White House. The red ink has since snowballed. The deterioration of the U.S. fiscal health was partly due to an economic downturn that depressed tax revenue, but much more of the blame lies with Bush’s massive income tax cuts and hefty military spending for the war in Iraq.

U.S. expenditures for the military operations in Iraq are unlikely to start shrinking as long as U.S. forces keep fighting insurgents there. In addition, Bush has refused to change his plan to make the income tax cuts permanent despite the criticism that they favor only the rich.

E. African Standard

Violence against women

NAIROBI, Kenya — [Thursday marked] the International Day Against Violence Against Women, while December 10 is International Human Rights Day. Between the two there are 16 days, but the days have something in common.

It is impossible to separate the rights of women from the rights of humans, which is why women’s rights are human rights. So human rights campaigners have created a 16-day-long campaign to link the two days.

That is why [on Thursday] the Standard, in solidarity with women in Kenya and around the world and the global movement linking women’s rights and human rights, [launched] its own 16 Days campaign against violence against women. …

In a world in which more adult women, girls and minors are exposed to the dangers of rape and other forms of sexual abuse, the risk of their contracting the incurable AIDS-causing HIV virus cannot be gainsaid.

Indeed, as the recent U.N. report on HIV/AIDS demonstrates, women bear the brunt of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, both the most infected and most affected. … During these 16 days, campaigners for women’s rights must also campaign for the better protection of women from violence and for those who have been victims of this violence.

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