Immigration policy in the United Kingdom, the Houthi movement in Yemen, US and North Korean relations, censoring content in India, and Canada's oil pipeline

This week's round-up of commentaries covers immigration policy in Britain, the Houthi movement in Yemen, restarting relations between the US and North Korea, the Indian government censoring content, and the need for an oil pipeline in Canada.

Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters
A British citizenship certificate is seen in London April 14, 2011.

The Times / London
Immigrants can stay, if they get work

“[I]t is important ... that national governments ... retain the right to decide whether migrants should or should not be eligible for benefits.... Nationals from other European Union nations who want to stay longer than three months have to be in work, seeking work or able to show that they will not become a burden on public funds. Anyone who is not working has to pass a ‘habitual residence test’ to prove a genuine link with this country. Claimants also have to show that they are actively seeking work. If they cannot do so, benefits are docked...,” states an editorial. “It is right to be tough on eligibility for benefits. It is hard to explain why someone with no work history in this country should be kept by the taxpayer.”

Yemen Times / Sanaa, Yemen
Houthi movement too fractured to lead

“A month after the Houthi [a Shiite insurgent group and a rival to Al Qaeda] conquest of [Yemen’s capital city, Sanaa] ... the Houthi leadership is trying to coax Yemen’s political elite into a coalition government, while south of [Sanaa], Houthi forces are pressing to consolidate their military power on the ground...,” states an editorial. “The Houthi face considerable obstacles consolidating their power in the middle regions, western coast, and in the eastern desert because people in these regions tend to see the Houthis as foreigners. To consolidate power in these regions, the Houthis must be able to establish security, stability, and justice, as they did in the north....”

Korea JoongAng Daily / Seoul, South Korea
Now is the moment for dialogue between the US and North Korea

“The decision [to release two Americans] came three weeks after freeing Jeffrey Fowle, another U.S. citizen who had been detained for five months for leaving a Bible at a club for sailors...,” states an editorial. “The U.S. government has underscored that the release is only a human rights issue, reaffirming that there will be no change in U.S. policy toward Pyongyang and that Washington will not agree to negotiations with the North until it proves its determination to disarm its nuclear weapons program.... As the North inches toward sophisticating of nuclear weapons, there are also rumors that it has begun to reactivate a second highly enriched uranium factory. Whatever the case, Washington and Pyongyang need to communicate. We hope the release of Americans serves a catalyst for kicking off dialogue.” 

The Hindu / Chennai, India
Government asks Facebook to censor some content

“Facebook has disclosed that it restricted as many as 4,960 items of content on the social networking site in India in compliance with official requests in the first half of 2014.... [The requests] were made ‘under local laws prohibiting criticism of a religion or the state...,’ ” states an editorial. “It is indeed a bitter reality that social media have sometimes been used to spread rumours.... However, the moot question is whether it will be reasonable to use the principle to bar all criticism of the state or religion.... If the government is making thousands of requests [to block] content, it should be transparent about the real nature of its requests. Only then will it be possible for citizens to know if they fall squarely within the constitutionally recognised reasonable restrictions, or if they amount to misuse of archaic laws.”

The Globe and Mail / Toronto
Energy East pipeline is needed for Canada’s economy

“If there were ever a major energy project that Canada’s economy needed, and needed to work well, it is the Energy East pipeline proposal from TransCanada Corp. If it ... lives up to its billing, the pipeline would demonstrate to skeptics the viability of transporting bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands via pipeline, lessen the oil industry’s growing dependence on rail, open up new markets for Canadian crude overseas and ... [create] a deep-water terminal...,” states an editorial. “Alberta’s oil industry is one of this country’s major economic drivers; the capacity to extract oil is there, more is being built, and that oil has to move somehow.”

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