- The Washington Times - Friday, July 15, 2005

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

The Daily Telegraph

The terrorist attacks

LONDON — It was good and bad news. The police are to be congratulated for establishing so quickly the origins of the bombers who attacked London on July 7. For some days the public (and victims’ families in particular) have been kept in the dark about the identity of the bodies at King’s Cross, Aldgate East, Edgware Road and Tavistock Square. Now we understand why: The police were engaged in the gruesome task of “tissue matching,” and in tracing the movements of the men who planted the bombs.

But the bad news is far worse. It seems likely that the attackers were suicide bombers, and British. They came from Yorkshire, and possibly Bedfordshire, to murder and maim their fellow citizens in the nation’s capital.

This appalling development has a simple and serious implication. Police spokesmen spoke of the help they had received from “the communities.” That British Muslims had volunteered information after the event is highly welcome. But it is inconceivable that, as four young men became sufficiently radicalized that they were prepared to immolate themselves and others, no one around them noticed. Someone — in a home, a mosque, a study group — must have had a suspicion of where things might be heading. …

There can be no “communities,” plural, when Britain is attacked — only a nation, united in common values and self-defense. …

The Egyptian Gazette

Attack on Elias al-Murr

CAIRO — An attack, apparently targeting a senior Lebanese official, fuels fears that there are hitherto-anonymous quarters bent on plunging the country into an abyss of instability. Lebanon’s outgoing deputy prime minister Elias al-Murr survived this week what is believed to be a bid on his life. Al-Murr, who is also the country’s acting defense minister, escaped death with injuries when a car bomb exploded as his convoy passed in a Christian neighborhood in northern Beirut. At least two people were killed in the blast.

The assault revives grim memories which the Lebanese are painstakingly trying to overcome. It was the latest in a spate of attacks believed to be targeting stability and national unity of Lebanon itself. On Feb. 14, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri was killed in a similar bombing. On June 2, leading anti-Syrian journalist Samir Kassir was murdered when a bomb exploded under the driver’s seat of his car. Nineteen days later, Lebanon reacted with shock to the assassination of George Hawi, a former Communist Party chief, who was a vociferous critic of Syria. …

Asahi Shimbun

The asbestos scare

TOKYO — An asbestos scare of major proportions has recently unfolded across Japan. It emerged that many people who used to work at asbestos factories developed mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer. Family members and residents living near such plants have also been stricken. …

There are many urgent tasks. Consultation offices must be set up quickly so that affected people can get help and receive medical examinations. It is also essential to collate information about factories that no longer exist and businesses that used large amounts of asbestos.

Asbestos was a major issue in the United States and Europe in the late 1970s. There were numerous asbestos-related class-action lawsuits in the United States in the 1980s. The United States and countries in Europe tightened regulations controlling the product. In Japan, however, it was generally accepted that asbestos was safe if it was used carefully. That’s why so much asbestos was used in construction work, even until the late 1990s.

At issue now is whether the government allowed the use of asbestos despite its well-established risks overseas. Since a health hazard may be spreading among the public, that is tantamount to causing AIDS by allowing the use of tainted blood products. The government may yet be held accountable in this matter.

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