In praise of meat, Scotland and ‘Brexit,’ diplomacy’s role in the Syrian conflict, aisle or window?, sanctions for South Sudan’s leaders

A roundup of global commentary for the Oct. 31, 2016 weekly magazine.

Vincent Thian/AP
A man takes part in 'Pacu Jawi,' or mud cow racing, in Padang Pajang, West Sumatra, Indonesia, in 2012.

The Jakarta Post / Jakarta, Indonesia

In praise of meat

“Meat has become part of society, a sign of an urban lifestyle that indicates the rise of the middle-income sector...,” writes M. Ikhsan Shiddieqy, a researcher in Indonesia’s Ministry of Agriculture. “The flip side of the coin is ... growing awareness of the negative effects of meat production and consumption.... The environmental impact and health problems from meat are caused by the way we produce meat, how we raise cattle, how we cook meat and how much meat we eat.... We can achieve sustainable food by changing how we produce food and keep consuming it in appropriate amounts. So, we don’t have to lower our forks and step away from our steak knives.”

El Comercio / Quito, Ecuador

Scotland and ‘Brexit’

“In 2014, Scotland held a referendum,” states an editorial. “Then, 55 percent of the people decided to stay in the United Kingdom.... That ... decision, however, could change if – as the head of the Scottish government, Nicola Sturgeon, is hoping – a new referendum takes the idea of leaving Great Britain back to the ballot box. Things have changed. Scarcely four months ago a majority of the rural population in England ... imposed upon London and Scotland a departure from the European Union.... [I]n Scotland 60 percent voted against the now famous ‘Brexit’.... The plan of Scotland’s first minister is in conflict with the British government, determined to avoid disintegration.”

Iran Daily / Tehran, Iran

Diplomacy’s role in the Syrian conflict

“The [United States] and Russia seek to achieve their regional objectives without direct confrontations in the ongoing conflicts in Syria...,” writes Javid Qorbanoghli. “The White House is aware that increasing US military involvement in Syria prior to the presidential elections could have consequences for Democrats.... The Kremlin knows that losing ground in Syria will adversely affect its strategic goals worldwide.... Although Iran supports anti-terrorist operations in Syria, it does not necessarily have convergent views with Washington and Moscow.... Despite such divergent views, the Islamic Republic should hold talks with the US and other sides involved in the Syria crisis ... to help resolve the ongoing conflicts in Syria.”

The Economist / London

Aisle or window?

“The window seat is for those who retain a sense of adventure about travel,” states an editorial in Gulliver, the Economist’s business travel blog. “It is for those who ... cherish that sense of excitement as they descend, nose against the pane, into the blinking lights of a never-before-visited city.... The aisle seat, in contrast, is for those who value utility.... [I]t turns out that there has been research done.... And it seems that the more that you fly, the more likely you are to prefer the aisle seat.... Next time Gulliver flies, he is now determined to do so with his face pressed against the pane, looking out in wonder.”

Standard Digital / Nairobi, Kenya

Sanctions for South Sudan’s leaders

“A reporter’s question to [Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and South African President Jacob Zuma] on whether they were willing to go the extra mile and impose sanctions on the families and associates of President Salva Kiir [of South Sudan] and his former estranged Vice President Riek Machar if only to ensure there was peace in South Sudan was brushed aside...,” states an editorial. “Kenya has the levers by which it can force the hand of the parties to choose peace and abandon violence and destruction.... Kenya should make it clear that their family and kin will not enjoy peace and quiet in Nairobi suburbs while they do nothing to stop trouble back at home. Ultimately, it is up to the people of South Sudan to decide on the future of their country, but the rest of the region, least of all, Kenya, cannot afford to wait and see.”

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