After the Trump-Putin meeting the world order is in for a shake-up, Trump is not Putin’s puppet, There’s still time to reverse the embrace of genome editing, Trade wars are not ‘good’ or ‘easy to win’, Djokovic found his way out of the sporting wilderness

A roundup of global commentary for the July 30, 2018 weekly magazine.

Grigory Dukor/Reuters/File
President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, July 16, 2018.

Arab News / Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

After Trump-Putin meeting, the world order is in for a shake-up

“The press conference following the Donald Trump-Vladimir Putin summit in Helsinki was easily the most unusual one any US president has given since World War II...,” writes Cornelia Meyer. “After lambasting his allies and even putting the EU on top of a list of foes, Trump gave in to Putin.... One could also argue that it is Trump’s job to secure all the advantages for the US he can on behalf of his allies. He seemed uninterested in that. He has a personal preference for autocrats over multilateral agreements and old established Western alliances.... A word of warning to all those who believe in democracy, a liberal world order, free trade, multilateral alliances and agreements: Fasten your seat belts, the ride is about to get very bumpy.” 

Al Jazeera / Doha, Qatar

No, Trump is not Putin’s puppet

“For American Democrats [and] some Republicans ... [President Trump’s July 16 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin] was yet another proof that Trump has become Putin’s puppet...,” writes Roman Dobrokhotov. “[But] Trump ... has to be judged by his actions, not by his rhetoric.... Oil and gas are the Kremlin’s main foreign policy weapon.... And what has Trump been doing about that? He’s been putting pressure on Saudi Arabia to increase its oil output in order to ... keep the prices low.... More importantly, Trump has also been demanding that Europe cancel Nordstream-2, a gas pipeline project which is meant to increase the supply of Russian gas to northern Europe.... In other words, Trump does not behave as Putin’s puppet. He behaves as a person who sees himself as a great deal-maker....” 

The Guardian / London

There’s still time to reverse the embrace of genome editing

“The Nuffield Council on Bioethics has taken what it clearly regards as a brave new step: it has openly endorsed the use of genome editing to engineer the traits of future children and generations...,” writes Marcy Darnovsky. “In effect, it argues that the creation of genetically modified human beings should proceed after a few bioethics-lite boxes are checked off. The report’s conclusion flies in the face of a widespread global agreement that heritable genetic modification should remain off-limits.... Sadly, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics has given its blessing to an unneeded and societally dangerous biotechnology.... There is still time to turn back. We can refuse to allow inequalities to be inscribed in our genomes.” 

South China Morning Post / Hong Kong

Trade wars are not ‘good’ or ‘easy to win’

“US President Donald Trump’s conviction that ‘trade wars are good, and easy to win’ certainly runs against well-established economic doctrine and history, both of which suggest no one can win and all will lose in such a mutually destructive war...,” writes Cary Huang. “The first shots of the current war have been fired, with the United States and China each imposing punitive tariffs [on one another].... Trump has also fired a salvo of shots on all of America’s main trade partners.... History provides ample evidence that trade problems have heightened tensions among nations. Such fights lead to economic crises, and trigger political and social crises and, finally, trigger wars.”

The Hindu / Chennai, India

Djokovic found his way out of the cruel sporting wilderness

“The sporting wilderness is a cruel, unforgiving place...,” states an editorial. “Ever since Novak Djokovic won his 12th Major at Roland Garros in 2016 ... he has wandered the wastelands that strugglers frequent.... He said he wasn’t sure if he would play on grass. And yet, a little over a month later, he was back on the most famous court in tennis, bending to extract some of its hallowed turf so he could chew it – a victory celebration that had all but slipped from collective memory. In many ways, the performance against Kevin Anderson in the Wimbledon final was vintage Djokovic.... [L]ike [Roger] Federer and [Rafael] Nadal have over the last year and a half, Djokovic showed that the elite can never be written off.” 

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