Protests in Hong Kong, digital gap in Argentina's education, dangers of being a witness in Pakistan, and Liberia's reaction to US aiding in the fight against Ebola

This week's round-up of commentaries covers protests in Hong Kong, the digital gap in Argentina's education, dangers witnesses face in Pakistan, and Liberia's reaction to US aiding in the fight against Ebola. 

Wong Maye-E/AP/File
A pro-democracy activist shouts slogans on a street near the government headquarters where protesters have made camp, Oct. 1 in Hong Kong.

China Daily / Beijing
‘Illegal’ protests paralyze Hong Kong

“A group of political extremists made good on their threat to paralyze Hong Kong’s central business district by kicking off their illegal ‘Occupy Central’ campaign on [Sept. 28]...,” states an editorial. “ ‘Occupy’ advocates have had to resort to the pretext of ‘popular will’ since realizing they have negligible legal and moral grounds for fighting for an electoral mechanism outside the legal framework. They are doing this with threats of taking Hong Kong’s economic well-being and social stability hostage.... [T]he Occupy organizers are trying to take advantage of the students’ idealism and enthusiasm for promoting democratic advancement in the city.... With this latest trick to manipulate the will of others, the political extremists in the city have completely exposed the opportunistic nature of their endeavors.” 

The Guardian / London
Students admirably fight for democracy

“The Chinese can’t say they weren’t warned. Everybody with even an ounce of common sense told Beijing and its local satraps in Hong Kong that their transparent attempt to fix the election of the next chief executive of that territory by ensuring that only vetted candidates could stand was likely to blow up in their faces,” states an editorial. “So it has proved, with police ... battling student demonstrators whose admirable commitment to democracy seems to have surprised the government.... There is stress [in pro-Chinese media] on ‘illegality’ and the culpability of citizens who ‘do not love China’.... The democratic forces are not, however, anti-Beijing. They want democracy because they believe in it as a principle.”

Buenos Aires Herald / Buenos Aires
Digital gap keeps education system from advancing

“One of the main problems [with Argentina’s education system] is a digital gap which prevents today’s schooling from entering the 21st century and nor is this at all easy when the traditional educational hierarchy would be upset by embracing a technology where the schoolchildren are more at home than the teachers...,” states an editorial. “[T]he main question is whether high standards geared to the science and technology of the future should be implacably maintained with a view to long-term social advance or whether the social inequalities making any curriculum abstract will first have to be remedied to make that education possible.”

Dawn / Karachi, Pakistan
Judicial system leaves witnesses in danger

“In Pakistan, one of the major factors contributing to rampant lawlessness is quite simply that criminals don’t get caught. And if they do, weak investigation and prosecution means that soon enough, dangerous individuals are back on the streets...,” states an editorial about a Faisalabad police report that found 8,000 suspected criminals were released. “The suspects were let off because witnesses were too afraid to testify, while even investigation officers and judges faced threats.... The need for effective witness protection programmes has long been highlighted in the country, yet progress is painfully slow. Unless the state ushers in long-lasting changes in the investigation and prosecution systems, it will be unable to provide justice to the people and law and order will continue to plummet.”

The Analyst / Monrovia, Liberia
US soldiers welcomed with gratitude

“The massive flow of foreign support expressed in financial and human contribution to the fight against the deadly Ebola Virus is exceeding remarkable and must be lauded by all well-meaning Liberians...,” states an editorial about the 3,000 US soldiers that have been dispatched to help with Liberia’s Ebola outbreak. “As strong signs of the Americans’ support has begun to appear, and believing that the US-led international intervention presents a formidable remedy to Ebola, which has threatened the very existence of the Liberian state, we say hats off to all the partners, particularly the United States. We welcome them and wish them a safe and successful stay, and God bless them.”

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