China’s effect on the world, Israel should support Kurds, drawbacks to Olympics, wind turbines still good, different protest in Armenia

A roundup of global commentary for the Aug. 15, 2016-Aug. 22, 2016 weekly magazine.

Karo Sahakyan/AP
Protesters march during a night rally to support the radical opposition group gunmen in the Republican Square in Yerevan, Armenia.

The Hindu / Chennai, India

China’s effect on the world

“China sees the U.S. hand ubiquitous in the July 12 award by the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the Scarborough Shoal dispute in the South China Sea...,” writes Jayant Prasad. “The ruling has comprehensively rejected China’s territorial and sovereignty claims in the disputed area.... China’s contribution to global recovery since the crisis of 2007-08 has been significant. Its faltering, or falling prey to adventurist action in the South China Sea, will not be good for itself, the region, or the world, including India.” 

The Jerusalem Post / Jerusalem

Israel should support Kurds

“There are many reasons Israel should foster ties and cooperation with the Kurds, including support of an independent Kurdish state in Northern Iraq when Kurds decide to take the next step toward statehood,” states an editorial. “First, the Kurds and Israel have common enemies.... The Kurds, who are mostly Muslim, see Israel as an ally. Kurdish society is freer and more tolerant than most neighboring societies. Women’s rights are respected.... Financially, Israel can help the Kurds by buying Kurdish oil when other countries are less willing to do so.”  

Business Day Live / Johannesburg, South Africa

Drawbacks to Olympics

“The Rio Olympics are upon us with more than the usual critical commentary about the host’s readiness...,” writes Gavin Keeton. “Supporters [of the Olympics] also claim supposed economic benefits from investment in facilities and related infrastructure, as well as the large influx of foreign visitors. There is, however, little evidence that these benefits ever exceed the high costs of hosting. Envisaged benefits are usually exaggerated and are swamped by additional costs that way exceed initial estimates.... Port Elizabeth and other South African cities have discovered how expensive maintaining underutilised Soccer World Cup stadiums can be.” 

The Sydney Morning Herald / Sydney, Australia

Wind turbines still good

“First they were supposed to be destroying birds, then sleep,” says Peter Martin. “Now wind turbines are being blamed for destroying the Australian electricity market and pushing prices as high as $14,000 [Australian; US$10,648] per megawatt hour. As Victoria gives the green light for a massive $650 million wind farm with up to 104 turbines at Dundonnell, 200 kilometres west of Melbourne, and with talk of more wind farms in [New South Wales] a Liberal senator has been calling for a moratorium on new turbines until the Productivity Commission examines what they are doing to prices.... Asked to model the cheapest possible way of supplying electricity in the future if Australia needed to cut its emissions by three quarters, Ben Elliston of the University of NSW and Jenny Riesz of the Australian Energy Market Operator came up with a scheme in which 60 per cent is produced by wind, 17 per cent by gas and only 6 per cent by coal. That’s the future facing our traditional generators as more turbines get built ... extinction. I reckon it’s the real reason their friends are upset.” 

The Moscow Times / Moscow

Different protest in Armenia

“That thousands of Yerevan residents should take to the streets ... is no real surprise,” writes Grigor Atanesian. “It is, after all, the fourth summer in a row that mass protests have gripped the Armenian capital.... But this summer’s protest is different.... No longer are the demands social and economic; now the ultimatum is regime change.... A consensus has formed in Armenian society that corruption and the authoritarian regime are the main problems facing the country.... The groundswell of support for the [militants] Sassoon Daredevils, taking in everyone from retirees to youth carrying smartphones, is an indication that the ruling elites are not in for an easy ride.” 

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