Streep’s speech is only the beginning, The reimagining of education in East Africa, Putin’s dilemma, Parliament: a fading force?, China’s Taiwan conundrum

A roundup of global commentary for the Jan. 23, 2017 weekly magazine.

Paul Drinkwater/NBC/AP
Meryl Streep accepts the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., Jan. 8, 2017. Ms. Streep gave an impassioned speech criticizing President-elect Donald Trump for mocking a disabled reporter and called for the defense of a free press.

The National / Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Streep’s speech is only the beginning

“Such is the politicisation of Hollywood that nobody was surprised when Meryl Streep used her acceptance speech at the Golden Globe Awards to deliver a blistering attack on ... Donald Trump,” states an editorial. “Hollywood, with its traditional left-wing tendencies, has a record of targeting Republican presidents, such as George W Bush, and their policies.... You may or may not agree with Streep’s critique, but one thing is clear: over the next four years we’re going to hear a lot more of this type of rhetoric. In American politics, power resides in your ability to reach an audience.”

The New Times / Kigali, Rwanda

The reimagining of education in East Africa  

“One of the biggest businesses in East Africa these days is conferences, summits, dialogues or whatever you may choose to call them...,” writes Allan Brian Ssenyonga. “The conversations are often interesting and insightful and can be referred to for years thereafter.... Of late there has been a lot of what I would call noise regarding education in the region.... Is it not time we sat down as a region and talked about the kind of education that can take us forward?... Can we sit and talk about the kind of education that harnesses natural sports talents, arts and makes us generally competent and competitive in this age?... What is our game plan as East Africa?”

The Spectator / London

Putin's dilemma

“How to celebrate the centenary of the Russian revolutions of 1917?...” asks Owen Matthews. “[T]he anniversary of the coup that brought the Bolsheviks to power and led to the creation of the USSR presents a dilemma for Vladimir Putin. He reveres the Soviet Union, which he served as a Communist party member and KGB officer, but abhors the popular uprising that created it.... Putin is first and foremost a Russian imperialist, and a believer in stamping out dissent.... Indeed, Putin’s Russia in many ways resembles the kind of country that the White Guard would have built had they, not the Reds, won the Russian Civil War.... A century ago, Russia’s avant-garde represented the boldest concentration of imagination and talent in the world. They invented the future in which we now live. Today’s Russia, by contrast, lives in a cloud of nostalgia for a lost Soviet past.”

El País / Montevideo, Uruguay

Parliament: a fading force?

“Us Uruguayans have always been proud of our parliamentary tradition...,” writes Pablo Da Silveira. “Parliament is a key institution in modern democracies. It’s there that you see reflected the diversity of opinions and interests of the people, and it’s there that political agreements are struck that maintain governments.... [In] recent years, the institution [in Uruguay] has lost some of its central role.... The loss of stature of the Uruguayan Parliament has to be seen in the light of local factors, the most important of which was the emergence of various governments with an outright majority, which meant they had no need to seek external support.... Will 2017 be the year that our Parliament recovers at least some of its diminished relevance?”

The Manila Times / Manila

China’s Taiwan conundrum

“Taiwan’s leader, President Tsai Ing-wen, arrived in Honduras [recently] for a closely watched four-nation Central American visit...,” writes Frank Ching. “The four Central American countries represent a significant portion of the 21 countries that still accord diplomatic recognition to Taiwan.... China needs to gauge the wisdom of attempting to strip Taiwan of all its diplomatic allies.... At present, Taiwan’s formal name is the ‘Republic of China’ and the 21 countries that recognize it have relations with the ROC, not with a ‘Republic of Taiwan.’ If no country in the world recognizes the Republic of China, Taiwan will have no choice but to be Taiwan. It will no longer be Chinese.”

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