NAFTA’s replacement will have to do, Untangling the Skripal poisoning case, In US tariff talks, Japan should push principles of free trade, Sexual abuse survivors also face #MeToo consequences, Forced evictions are a global problem

A roundup of global commentary for the Oct. 15, 2018 weekly magazine.

Evan Vucci/AP
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Lotte New York Palace hotel during the United Nations General Assembly Sept. 26, 2018, in New York.

The Globe and Mail / Toronto

NAFTA’s replacement will have to do

“The North American free-trade agreement was ... stitched back up without major damage to the Canadian economy...,” writes Campbell Clark. “The peace treaty worked out [recently] isn’t going to be a glowing ode to the principles of free trade.... The deal ... doesn’t have so-called poison-pill demands that the U.S. made last October.... Could [Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau have done better if the Canadian team hadn’t been pushed aside when the U.S. and Mexico started to hammer out the framework of an agreement in summer? It’s hard to know.... It’s not the ‘win-win-win’ deal Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland kept talking about during negotiations. Mr. Trudeau will take it.”

Deutsche Welle / Bonn, Germany

Untangling the Skripal poisoning case

“The true identity of Ruslan Boshirov, a suspected perpetrator of the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, is Anatoliy Chepiga, a Russian colonel who has been personally honored by President Vladimir Putin...,” writes Ingo Mannteufel. “Since the Novichok assassination in March, Russia’s leadership has consistently denied and tried to cover up any orchestration of the crime. Back in the UK, however, there have been many pieces of evidence that convincingly point the finger at Moscow’s involvement.... Russia will deny all the evidence presented.... But with this new smoking gun, the truthful realization will finally prevail: The Kremlin was behind the Novichok poisoning attack on British soil.”

The Asahi Shimbun / Tokyo

In US tariff talks, Japan should push principles of free trade

“The new round of bilateral trade talks that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump have agreed to represents a radical policy shift for Japan...,” states an editorial. “The Trump administration is seeking to gain the upper hand in trade talks with other countries with the threat of high tariffs that ignore international trade rules.... It is quite possible that the Trump administration may pressure Japan to make further concessions.... [H]owever, the Abe administration should not compromise its basic principle of fair and free trade.... It also has a duty to work closely with other countries that respect the principle of free trade to keep pressing the United States to change its stance.”

The Times of India / Chennai, India

Sexual abuse survivors also face #MeToo consequences

“Over the past year a key result of the #MeToo movement has been that it has uncloseted sexual abuse accusations going back decades...,” states an editorial. “Christine Blasey Ford has been pilloried for alleging assault by US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.... [A]s former Miss India and actor Tanushree Dutta revoices sexual harassment accusations from a decade ago, she too is being bombarded with the question, why now?... Social conditions that create long silences about abuse will change when women’s testimonies are no longer dismissed as conspiracies or sham. To the argument that a man shouldn’t pay for an act he committed in youth ... the woman pays the price for the rest of her life.”

Mail & Guardian / Johannesburg, South Africa

Forced evictions are a global problem

“Affordable housing is one of Kenya’s ‘Big Four’ development priorities...,” writes Malavika Vartak. “One cannot [help but] wonder how the government aims to achieve this when it continues to render thousands of families homeless.... In eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), hundreds of subsistence farmers have been rendered homeless and deprived of their means of livelihood as they have been pushed off the land to make way for development.... International human rights law ... is unequivocal: forced evictions are illegal.... No doubt, as another World Habitat Day dawns on us, leaders and policy makers will once again pay lip service to achieving adequate housing for all.... If world leaders are serious about achieving adequate and affordable housing for all, ending forced evictions is a crucial first step.”

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