Community radio cuts, preparing for severe weather, Orlando aftermath, guidelines for Ramadan, defense research for Japan?

 A roundup of global commentary for the June 27, 2016 weekly magazine.

Craig Rubadoux/Florida Today/AP
People hold candles at a candlelight vigil for the victims of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando as they gather at Lake Eola Park in Orlando, Fla. on June 19, 2016.

SBS / New South Wales, Australia

Community radio cuts

“Thousands of community radio listeners, volunteers and supporters have petitioned against the Coalition Government’s decision to cut $1.4 million per annum to the sector’s digital service...,” writes Sophie Verass. “As a former general manager and long-time volunteer of a large community radio station in Canberra, I understand the impact government funding has on these sizable organisations that have huge expenditures, very little income and a pressing responsibility to perform a crucial role in the community.... Multicultural and non-English speaking groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people of diverse sexualities lack representation in most national media, and rely heavily on community radio to get information and have their stories heard.” 

Ottawa Citizen / Ottawa

Preparing for severe weather

“With northern Alberta still reeling from the wildfire that forced the evacuation of Fort McMurray and neighbouring communities, the federal environment commissioner ... released a report that suggests Canada is not adequately prepared – or preparing – for severe weather...,” states an editorial. “The logical response is to focus on what’s dubbed disaster ‘mitigation.’ This means anticipating and planning for potential disasters.... But government moves slowly; neither private sector businesses nor individual families can depend on it for quick results in the immediate future. All sectors need to be smart, especially with disasters such as the 2013 Calgary floods still fresh in Canadians’ minds. Disasters can’t all be averted; but everyone can prepare to some degree.” 

The Irish Times / Dublin, Ireland

Orlando aftermath

“There will be no sudden dawning of light, no road-to-Damascus moment,” an editorial states. “Those determined to believe that owning automatic weapons is a God-given right, that ‘guns are not killers, human beings are’ will continue to defend the constitutional right to bear arms as vociferously as ever. Their confidence and certainty, unshakeable by even the worst atrocity. Gun control advocates will tear their hair out in despair. A few politicians, Barack Obama included, will insist that ‘something has to be done.’ Most will hide. And nothing will be done....” 

Daily Observer / Gambia

Guidelines for Ramadan

“The Public Relations Officer of the Gambia Police Force, Inspector Lamin Njie, has signed a press release, on behalf of the Inspector General of Police, warning people to cast aside morally obscene things during this Holy Month of Ramadan: music, dancing and drumming,” states an editorial. “This diktat is wholly reasonable as it is sensible.... What is absolutely great about our country is a sense of deep tolerance, forged on the bond of deep inter-religious understanding between people of our different faiths. We hope that people will see the directive for what it is: keeping the sanctity of a sacred month for Muslims. Nothing more nothing less.” 

The Japan Times / Tokyo

Defense research for Japan?

“The Science Council of Japan, the nation’s largest and most powerful group of scientists, has launched a panel to discuss whether the group should drop its long-standing vow that scientists will not take part in defense-related research,” states an editorial. “That policy is an important principle that Japan’s scientists have upheld for decades in view of the history of academic institutions cooperating with the military during the nation’s past wars and the massive damage the wars brought to the people of Japan and other countries. The group should not tinker with the principle.” 

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