Laws banning kids from playing video game, hacking as a form of protest, breaking the cycle of poverty with contraceptives, Yemen's brain drain, US-Russian alliance agaisnst Islamic State

This week's round-up of commentary covers South Korean laws that ban kids from playing video games, why hacking isn't a good form of protest, how contraceptives are helping fight poverty, why Yemen must work to keep its educated youth, and how a US–Russian alliance can beat the Islamic State.

Ted S. Warren/AP/File
A giant monster looms over gamers playing Evolve, a video game published by 2K Games, which is scheduled to be released in early 2015, Friday, Aug. 29. In Korea, under current law, those 15 and under are banned from playing video games between midnight and 6 a.m.

The Korea Herald / Seoul, South Korea
Laws should fight Internet addiction among youth

“The government announced [recently] that children aged 15 or under will be allowed to play online games after midnight, if they have their parents’ approval. This will only expose our children to greater risk of computer game addiction...,” states an editorial. Under current law, those 15 and under are banned from playing video games between midnight and 6 a.m. “A recent survey found nearly 12 percent of those aged 19 or under are addicted to the Internet. Many of them are frequent, longtime players of online games and they fail to abandon the addictive habit as they grow older.... Few parents, except for those who want their children to become professional gamers, would be happy to see their children sitting in front of the monitor until the early morning....”

Dawn / Karachi, Pakistan
Hacking as a form of protest hurts those it attempts to help

“[H]ackers ... have attacked hundreds of local websites belonging to the government, media and security forces. The weeklong campaign rendered many sites temporarily inaccessible...,” states an editorial. “While the role that hacktivism and online data leaks play in exposing corruption and human rights violations has been applauded worldwide ... the ongoing hacking spree targeting local sites is hardly worthy of praise.... [T]he public interest does not translate to leaking thousands of bank records, names, [and] contact information ... of [people] unrelated to the political crisis.... If those undertaking this hacking campaign are doing so under the misguided notion that they are raising political awareness, the attacks could at best be labelled mischief with unintended but potentially dangerous results.”

El Universal / Mexico City
A plan to break the cycle of poverty with contraceptives

“The federal government will resume campaigns to prevent unwanted pregnancies...,” states an editorial about a new family planning program called Prospera designed to introduce contraceptives to rural communities and end teen pregnancy. “The fight against poverty requires a comprehensive approach. It is a multi-factorial problem [and teen pregnancy] is one of the factors that affect those who live in extreme poverty. Even worse, those who have a way of moving up the social ladder end up trapped because they have to face parenthood with their meager means.... It is necessary to break the cycle of poverty.”

Yemen Times / Sanaa, Yemen
Yemen must work to retain educated youth 

“[Yemen’s] fight to retain human capital and avoid ‘brain drain’ is vital, as a loss of talent and minds will pose a serious threat to [Yemen’s development]...,” write Murad Alazzany and Robert Sharp. “Yemen’s brain drain is a real concern and directly impacts the country’s deteriorating health and education services. Hisham Sharaf of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research stated that there are many young Yemenis who were funded by the government to study abroad but who never came back, preferring to settle in the countries they studied in or to seek work in the richer Gulf countries....” 

The Moscow Times / Moscow
US and Russia: potential as allies against Islamic State

“The U.S. and Russia have been equally committed and determined to counter [Islamic State]; both have been directly threatened by the group [and] both have an interest in a sovereign and unified Iraq...,” writes Roland Dannreuther, a professor of international relations at the University of Westminster, London. “If one looks at the Middle East more broadly, Russian and U.S. interests are actually closer than often suggested. Although there has been continued disagreement about Iran, both Russia and the U.S. are committed to seeing that Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons.... With the escalation of the crisis in Iraq, Russia can potentially play an important role in facilitating the coordination between Iran, the Iraqi government and Syria, which will be critical if IS is to be defeated.”

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