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Why Rex Tillerson hasn’t quit; What Palestinian unity will, and won’t, achieve; Thaler’s ‘nudge’ worthy of the Nobel nod; The woman in the controversial Dove commercial; Choosing a leader for the Federal Reserve is not a game

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

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, walks behind President Donald Trump after answering questions from members of the media following their meeting at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Aug. 11, 2017.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
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  • Monitor Editors

The East African / Nairobi, Kenya

Why Rex Tillerson hasn’t quit

“Have you ever wondered why intelligent men (and women) in African governments will stay put in their positions even when ... their bosses abuse them?...” writes Jenerali Ulimwengu. “The thing in Africa is that a Cabinet post ... is an opportunity to ‘chop’ as my West African friends would put it.... But you do not expect the same thing to apply to wealthy Western[ers].... Rex Tillerson, [President] Trump’s secretary of state ... says he will not quit.... Come on, Rex! This is the same man who recently called his president ‘a moron’.... But what is it that makes Rex want to continue to serve...? He is a confirmed neo-con ... and ... the greatness of his country needs to be reasserted over everything, or anyone else.”

The Jordan Times / Amman, Jordan

What Palestinian unity will, and won’t, achieve

“For the last 10 years, the split in the Palestinian leadership structure has been primarily blamed for the extended stagnation of ... the Palestinian performance...,” writes Hasan Abu Nimah. “Despite justified hopes ...  it may still be too early to take a credible positive outcome for granted. There are still deep differences between the two sides.... Undoubtedly, a renewed Palestinian leadership ... would remove the pretext that Palestinian divisions ... were responsible for the stagnation.... Peace has been out of reach, because of the continued occupation that the Israeli leaders say is there to stay.... Will Palestinian unity change any of that? Will Israel agree to sit [for talks] with [a] united, Palestinian leadership...? That is hard to imagine.”

The Times of India / Mumbai

Thaler’s ‘nudge’ worthy of the Nobel nod

“Those who are saying that Richard Thaler has won a Nobel for slaying Homo Economicus are certainly guilty of exaggeration,” states an editorial. “But Thaler has been chipping away at economic models where humans robotically make rational choices to maximise their payoff.... Thaler has explained that as opposed to being highly rational, unemotional creatures like Spock in Star Trek, humans making economic decisions may be closer to Homer Simpson.... Thaler is one of the fathers of nudge theory.... Note that [it] is the obverse of the shove. It’s like giving people GPS. As Thaler says, we get to put into the GPS where we want to go, but we don’t have to follow its instructions. Indian policy makers must pay heed....”

The Guardian / London

The woman in the controversial Dove commercial

“I am a Nigerian woman, born in London and raised in Atlanta...,” writes Lola Ogunyemi. “[T]he beauty industry has ... [a] long history of presenting lighter, mixed-race or white models as the beauty standard.... This repressive narrative ... is why, when Dove offered me the chance to be the face of a new body wash campaign, I jumped.... If you Google ‘racist ad’ right now, a picture of my face is the first result.... However, the experience I had with the Dove team was positive.... While I agree with Dove’s response to unequivocally apologise for any offense caused, they could have also defended ... their choice to include me.... I am not just some silent victim.... I am strong, I am beautiful, and I will not be erased.”

South China Morning Post / Hong Kong

Choosing a leader for the Federal Reserve is not a game

“ ‘You’re hired!’ Those words may soon resonate in Washington as US President Donald Trump ... makes his pick to lead the Federal Reserve...,” writes Neal Kimberley. “Appointing the next [Fed] chair ... will be one of the most important decisions Trump makes.... In truth, no one should underestimate the influence of the chair of the Federal Reserve.... The current shortlist ... seems to consist of the incumbent Janet Yellen, the Trump-appointed National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, existing Fed governor Jerome Powell, former [Federal Open Market Committee] member Kevin Warsh and Stanford University economist John Taylor.... [I]nvestors should get familiar with these five names.... This is not ‘The Apprentice.’ This matters.”

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