Love triumphed in the rescue of the Thai soccer team, Why North Korea should denuclearize, It is time to rein in the world’s ‘big four’ accounting firms, Russia was a World Cup winner, Cheer up because the world is actually getting better

A roundup of global commentary for the July 23, 2018 weekly magazine.

Royal Thai Navy via AP/File
Thai rescue teams arrange a water pumping system at the entrance to a flooded cave complex during the rescue mission to free 12 boys and their soccer coach who were trapped between June 23 and July 10, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand.

The Guardian / London

Love triumphed in the rescue of the Thai soccer team

“Sometimes all other news seems irrelevant,” writes Suzanne Moore. “The Thai boys and their coach are out.... This story touches us because it is elemental, but also because every detail runs counter to the egomania and selfishness and fake bravado that appears to be running the world. The parents of the boys wrote to reassure the young coach that they didn’t blame him.... [W]hat we have seen was not a random act of kindness but a model of international cooperation and coordinated selflessness. This is how human beings can be, and it has been magnificent. The boys have been freed by bravery, incredible expertise and a word that I am scrabbling for and can now, finally, use: love.” 

Korea JoongAng Daily / Seoul, South Korea

Why North Korea should denuclearize

“In a visit to Vietnam on [July 9] following his third trip to North Korea, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed that denuclearization will surely lead to peace and prosperity for the recalcitrant state...,” states an editorial. “Pompeo also reaffirmed the U.S. government’s determination to not ease up on sanctions until denuclearization is complete.... In the U.S. Congress, suspicions over [North Korean leader Kim Jong-un] dragging his feet on denuclearization and criticism of the Trump administration’s North Korea policy are deepening.... The Singapore summit was a historic moment.... The meeting offered hope that Pyongyang could take a path toward denuclearization. But optimism is giving way to pessimism. We hope North Korea makes a wise choice for a better future.” 

EUObserver / Brussels

Why it is time to rein in the world’s ‘big four’ accounting firms

“The unchecked power of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms is causing increasing unease among policymakers worldwide,” writes Matt Carthy. “The focus of much of this concern has been the role played by Deloitte, PwC, EY and KPMG in the global tax avoidance industry. But at the same time as they advise their corporate clients on how to shift profits offshore, the Big Four are involved in auditing the books of these same corporations – and all the while they are consulting for governments and public institutions on important policy issues.... The four firms have an annual combined turnover of €120bn and 750,000 employees.... It’s time to rein in the unchecked power of the Big Four and ensure they are regulated and scrutinised.” 

Arab News / Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Russia still a World Cup winner despite being knocked out

“Russia will not win the prized World Cup trophy this year, but its squad came so close to reaching the semifinals ... that millions of Russians celebrated this historic feat,” writes Osama al Sharif. “In fact, Russia has been in a celebratory mood since the championships kicked off on June 14.... Russia has already come out as a winner both at home and abroad. No amount of money – it actually cost more than $11 billion to host the event – could have bought Russia the kind of global publicity that it has enjoyed for a month.... And Russia did its best to impress: In the view of many experts, this was one of the most well-organized World Cup events in decades.” 

The National / Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Cheer up, the world is actually getting better

“Cheer up, it’s not as bad as you think,” writes Gavin Esler. “That’s not my opinion; I know it for a fact, and that fact is as follows: things are, mostly, getting better around the world. It may be difficult to believe at a time when it’s easy to recite a long list of things that are not going well.... But just because there is a lot of bad in the world does not mean that things are not improving for most of us. In reality, they are. And there’s a recently published book that goes to great lengths to prove it: Factfulness by the Swedish doctor, researcher and academic Hans Rosling. In his own words, Mr Rosling’s life’s mission was ‘to fight devastating ignorance with a fact-based worldview.’ ”

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