First round for Jeremy Corbyn; Russia in Syria; a strategy for building peace; developing renewable energy

A round-up of global commentary for the Sept. 28, 2015 weekly magazine.

Parliament TV/Courtesy via Reuters
Jeremy Corbyn, the new leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party takes part in his first Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons in Westminster, London, September 16, 2015. The new leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, veteran leftist Corbyn, confronted Prime Minister David Cameron in parliament for the first time on Wednesday and said the house's raucous weekly question-and-answer session should be less theatrical and more about hearing ordinary people's voices.

The Guardian / London
Only the first round for Jeremy Corbyn
“[T]he question of whether [Jeremy] Corbyn [who was elected as the new leader of Britain’s Labour Party] is electable [as prime minister] is a crucial one to which there are many views but no definitive answers. We are in uncharted waters and it’s unlikely to be plain sailing,” writes Gary Younge. “May revealed that the British electoral landscape is both fractured and wildly volatile. What works in London and Scotland may not work in middle England and the south-east. To some extent Corbyn’s success depends on how he performs as leader and the degree to which his supporters can make their enthusiasm contagious.”

Daily News / Cairo
Russia is a welcome presence in Syria
“The half-hearted coalition airstrikes being conducted inside Syria don’t seem to be turning the tide of war against or for one group or other, although it could very well be said that the coalition presence inside that country is fast becoming background noise to the warring factions. The US, it appears, is just there for the sake of being there...,” writes Duke Omara. “Which is why increased Russian involvement should be welcomed. The reluctance of the US to lead in this issue has become intolerable both from a political and humanitarian point of view. A forceful entry of the Russians into the fray is good news because it fills a yawning chasm in international leadership that has so far been filled by a disinterested and risk-averse US.”

The Moscow Times / Moscow
Syria won’t be another Afghanistan for Russia
“Will Syria become another Afghanistan for Russia? Does it make sense for Russia to meddle in this situation when it has serious economic problems at home?... In fact, Syria will not become another Afghanistan for Moscow. Russia will not interfere in that conflict on a scale even remotely comparable to its role in the Afghan war...,” writes Georgy Bovt. “The result is that the field for large-scale and dangerous geopolitical games is becoming wider and the players more numerous – with each striving to achieve his particular goal. None are willing to consider the long-term consequences or to talk with opponents about a possible compromise. And that is exactly how mankind has ... ended up getting drawn into major wars.”

Deutsche Welle / Berlin
A strategy for building peace in Africa and the Middle East
“If the Muslim world and Africa remain plagued by war, chaos, misrule, failed states and poverty ... nothing and no-one will be able to hold back the flood of desperate refugees...,” writes Nils Zimmermann. “Europe can start by pushing for a comprehensive embargo on weapons sales into the region.... [It] should fund sustained, very large-scale multimedia campaigns aimed at helping our neighbors have an open and honest conversation about religion.... Europe’s leading businesses ... should join forces to launch a Southern Sustainable Prosperity Project centred on setting up hundreds of Special Economic Zones throughout Africa and the less-developed parts of the Muslim world.... Africa could also learn from the [European Union’s] experiments and mistakes with a common currency.... It’s high time to get very real about building enduring peace and prosperity in Africa and the Muslim world.”

Business Day / Johannesburg, South Africa
The challenge of developing renewable energy
“In four short years, [South Africa’s renewable energy] programme has measurably reduced our reliance on coal, with the price of renewables falling (68% for solar and 42% for wind) to the point at which renewables now rival large-scale coal as the lowest-cost source of power...,” writes Paul Zille. “[The program] offers an example of the gains that can be leveraged, quickly and cost-effectively.... And it brings real resources and hope to destitute rural communities historically excluded from economic opportunity. Having proven its effectiveness ... the renewables programme faces the challenge of unlocking its economic development potential while avoiding fragmentation and competition that threaten to undermine it.”

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