- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 18, 2007

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Asahi Shimbun

On greenhouse gas emissions:

TOKYO — Japan is unlikely to make good on its promise to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol unless it takes further action, a government interim report said Friday.

The report calls on the business community to develop a voluntary action plan by setting a tough numerical target for each industry. But the energy efficiency of Japanese manufacturing plants has already been improved considerably. The amount of CO2 emissions from the industrial sector in fiscal 2010 is projected to be about 9 percent lower than the level in fiscal 1990. A new incentive is needed to motivate businesses to make efforts to cut emissions even further.

Nuclear power generation has been promoted as a powerful means to prune greenhouse emissions. But inspections needed to allay the public concerns about the earthquake safety of nuclear power plants are bound to lower capacity utilization at plants. An energy policy that depends too much on nuclear power cannot be a reliable cure for the problem of global warming. The government should change its nuclear power-oriented energy policy and focus more on efforts to promote the use of solar power and other alternative energy sources. Consumers also need to contribute by changing their lifestyles.


On India’s 60th anniversary:

LONDON — … India turns 60 today determined to demonstrate that it is never too late to be young. …

Twenty years ago, casual travelers would not have found India and Pakistan to be wildly different. Guidebooks listed obvious differences: Muslim Pakistan, Hindu-plus-a-little-bit-of-everything India; democracy stifled in Pakistan, flourishing in India. But they would have felt quite similar; crowded, ramshackle countries with stunning vistas, potholed roads and safe streets. Today the world sees only contrast.

Pakistan’s history has been a triumph of experience over hope. Democracy has been cheated, and the great civic virtue of tolerance eroded, by self-perpetuating civil and military elites, alternately sharing and disputing power. Outside this charmless circle are a disempowered and frustrated middle class, and, treated with cavalier contempt, the poor and calamitously illiterate majority. …

Yet India has its own backlog of failures, a combination of too much government — all that red tape — and too little government — disgraceful neglect of such public goods as education, and an inexplicable indifference to the maintenance of roads, railways and drains. Democracy famously thrives, but accountability is another matter. The contrasts are not quite as clear-cut as appears.

Politically Pakistan is in crisis, yet it is growing at 7 percent, not all that far below India’s 9 percent. …

Indians have embraced globalization with genuine enthusiasm; the country must now embrace free trade. Protectionism is a blast from India’s sluggish past that sits ill with its new dynamism.


On Stasi order to kill deserters:

RIGA, Latvia — Eighteen years after the Berlin Wall was torn down and several days prior to the 46th anniversary of the wall’s construction, researchers at the archive of the former communist eastern Germany secret police — Stasi — acknowledged that they have uncovered an order authorizing border guards to shoot anyone who attempted to flee across the border to western Germany.

The precise number of people killed is not known — it could be from 270 up to 780 — however, former communist regime leaders and functionaries always denied that border guards had been authorized to shoot deserters. …

However, researchers do not doubt the document’s authenticity and are certain that they have found the first documentary evidence of communist leaders’ will “to detain or liquidate” those who attempted to flee, including women and children, as is said in the order issued by Stasi on Oct. 1, 1973.

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