Accepting others, China-Russia alliance is no cause for concern, African economy and ‘Brexit,’ should school zoning go?, lessons from the 1990s

A roundup of global commentary for the July 11, 2016-July 18, 2016 weekly magazine.

Daniel Leal-Olivas/AP
'Remain' supporters demonstrate in Parliament Square, London, to show their support for the European Union in the wake of the referendum decision for Britain to leave the EU, on July 2, 2016.

Arab News / Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Accepting others

“[D]iversity adds to the beauty of life,” Saad Dosari writes. “Unfortunately, it is a concept some of us in [Saudi Arabia] are still struggling to comprehend and to live with.... [T]he superpower of the world, the United States of America, has built its greatness by effectively utilizing the talents of immigrants. Regardless of its long struggle with racism, the country transformed and progressed when people from different roots and backgrounds learned to live in harmony and work together. Shockingly though, the very thing that made America great, its diversification, is the one aspect the current presidential aspirants are playing around with. Understanding that the Kingdom has a society with diverse people with different skin color and religious sects is very important.” 

China Daily / Beijing

China-Russia alliance is no cause for concern

“To some in the West, that China and Russia are becoming closer is reason to worry,” states an editorial. “So the two joint declarations that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed ... in Beijing may cause them even more concern. But that should not be the case.... [T]hey went out of their way to assuage suspicious third parties that the China-Russia relationship is non-alliance in nature and is not targeted at any third country.... Beijing and Moscow have recommended their relationship as a model for building harmonious, constructive, equal, trustful, mutually beneficial, and win-win relations between major countries. Like it or not, there indeed is something to learn from how these two giant neighbors overcame historical grievances to become friends.” 

Business Daily Africa / Nairobi, Kenya

African economy and ‘Brexit’

“From an African point of view, the immediate aftermath of Brexit has exacerbated problematic trends in international markets which have already hit the continent’s growth prospects...,” Anzetse Were writes. “[T]he departure of the [United Kingdom] from the [European Union] complicates African access to EU markets.... Kenya’s horticultural sector, particularly cut flowers, will suffer. Flowers are one of Kenya’s top exports and the UK is a major destination.... If Brexit triggers a UK recession, Africa will have to contend with more medium to long-term problems. Not only will there be dampened appetite for African exports thus muting trade, foreign direct investment (FDI) from the UK will also be negatively hit. This will particularly be bad news for Nigeria for which the UK was the largest source of FDI in 2015.” 

The New Zealand Herald / Auckland, New Zealand

Should school zoning go?

“Zoning was designed to stop prestigious schools poaching pupils from the less fortunate,” states an editorial. “Whether it has succeeded in that purpose is hard to tell because probably for every potential pupil excluded from these schools, another has found a way to enter its zone.... [L]ocal MP David Seymour is suggesting a law change to let schools exclude prospective newcomers.... [I]t would be simpler to abolish zones and restore schools’ freedom to [enroll] aspirants from anywhere.” 

the carnegie moscow center / moscow

Lessons from the 1990s

“Two decades ago ... Boris Yeltsin faced Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov in the runoff of Russia’s presidential election...,” Andrei Kolesnikov writes. “You could say that this moment marked the fall of the Russian political class, symbolized by the infamous incident in which Yeltsin aides were caught carrying Xerox boxes full of cash. Those efforts to get Yeltsin elected look positively amateur compared to the electoral manipulations we see today. But we can see a direct line between the price paid back then for victory and subsequent developments. Modern Russia’s dishonest elections grew out of the experimentation of the 1990s.” 

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