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Japan and Australia must cooperate with US on North Korea, Building public trust in science, Arresting WikiLeaks founder would set 'dangerous precedent,' Better Holocaust education needed everywhere, Combating climate change through citizen action

A roundup of global commentary for the May 8, 2017, weekly magazine.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks from the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London on Feb. 5, 2016.
Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP/File
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  • Monitor editors

The Japan News / Tokyo

Japan and Australia must cooperate with US on North Korea 

"It is crucial that both Japan and Australia support the United States, which is urging China to wield Beijing’s influence over Pyongyang while intensifying its military pressure on North Korea...," states an editorial. "With the United States – an ally of both Japan and Australia – at the core, expanding multilayered cooperative relations between Japan and Australia, which have common values, would bring about various synergistic effects.... There is the possibility that trilateral cooperation among Japan, the United States and Australia will advance further in the future. Thus, it is important to actively explore the realization of joint military drills and security dialogue with India, South Korea and Southeast Asian countries."

The New Zealand Herald / Auckland, New Zealand

Building public trust in science 

"In a time when alternative facts are peddled as legitimate, a pall has been cast over scientific knowledge...," writes Jarrod Gilbert. "But [President] Trump is not the creator of the problem, he is a symptom of a much wider one; the evidence for which is most stark in America, but is just as obvious in New Zealand.... If the side of truth is losing, it is a signal something is wrong.... And here we find the crux of the broader issue, that being less about the quality of science and more about the quality of scientific communication. Academics need to be more successful in communicating findings and data. When demonstrably false issues are being peddled there is a responsibility, nay, an absolute imperative, to fight back. But fighting these reactive battles is not enough; scientists need to focus on broader public education outside of the classroom."

Deutsche Welle / Berlin

Arresting WikiLeaks founder would set a 'dangerous precedent' 

"Wikileaks is inconvenient," writes Matthias von Hein. "Especially for organizations with a lot of power that like to do their business under the radar, away from the public eye.... Democracy lives on this type of inconvenience because it works best when voters have as much information as possible. Democracies, democratically-legitimized governments must be able to sustain a critical look at their activities. Especially when it makes them look bad.... By pursuing charges against Wikileaks, US prosecutors would set a dangerous precedent which could open the door for the prosecution of other news organizations."

Haaretz / Tel Aviv

Better Holocaust education is needed everywhere 

"The Holocaust, as we all know, has become a touchstone for discussion about the human capacity for evil," writes Robert Rozett. "However, the fact that in many places there is a recognition of the Holocaust does not necessarily mean that people know much about it. Even in places [close] to the stage upon which the events occurred, people frequently have only a very vague idea of what the Holocaust was.... Given this situation, why should anyone be surprised when public figures speak about the Holocaust with glaring inaccuracy, or misappropriate or manipulate it for their own reasons? One could argue that this is the price for a wider awareness of the Holocaust. But must it be this way? Undoubtedly education, perhaps better education, is key." 

The Guardian / Lagos, Nigeria 

Combating climate change through government and individual action 

"Against the backdrop of the deadly effects of climate change, it is important that Nigeria mitigates these by letting people appreciate the reality and the need to practice mitigation and adaptation...," states an editorial. "Nigeria must protect the remaining rain forest in Cross River State as a way of mitigating climate change.... Individuals should plant trees and cash crops like kola-nuts and cocoa; use indigenous technical knowledge to complement government efforts by using saw dust and palm-nut shaft for making fire.... In pursuit of green growth and a resources-saving society, Nigeria needs to establish sound legislations, policies, regulations and standardisation frameworks and green jobs for the youths."