Global Newsstand: Should Kenya follow in Ukraine’s footsteps? and more

See what the global press had to say this week about stories shaping the world.

Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters
Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy celebrates his election victory at his campaign headquarters in Kiev, Ukraine April 21.

Standard Media / Nairobi, Kenya

Should Kenya follow in Ukraine’s footsteps?

“Ukraine has voted for a comedian with no political experience [as] the next president of a country at war,” states an editorial. “... Volodymyr Zelenskiy, 41, apparently won by a landslide, taking out incumbent Petro Poroshenko. Perhaps Kenyans can borrow a leaf from Ukrainians. ... High-level corruption across all levels of government in Kenya threatens the integrity and basic functioning of the state. ... Zelenskiy, whose victory fits a pattern of anti-establishment figures unseating incumbents in Europe and further afield, has promised to end the war and root out corruption. ... Just as ministers are not politicians, perhaps the President need not be a politician. Kenyans need a manager, economist, leader and problem solver – not a politician who owes their allegiance to a party.”

Deutsche Welle / Berlin

Notre Dame fire could be a redeeming opportunity

“As firefighters moved into the burning church, they and a camera caught a glimpse of the fire-ravaged sanctuary, the cross seeming to glow through the smoldering darkness,” writes Christoph Strack. “... The catastrophic fire at Notre Dame Cathedral, just before Easter, cast the Catholic Church in a new light. ... For once, the many controversies that have surrounded the Roman Catholic Church – the sexual assault and abuse scandals, the infighting and competing alliances – were not on people’s minds. ... The glowing cross in the midst of Notre Dame’s destruction is a reminder of what’s most important. It stands for Easter’s central message, overcoming death – a symbol of the Christian faith. ... But if the Church really wants to win back respect, even trust, it needs to take this message seriously.”

The Gleaner / Kingston, Jamaica

Assange should not be charged with conspiracy

“Whatever emotion [Julian] Assange, 47, may elicit, this newspaper believes it would be wrong if he is extradited by Britain to face conspiracy charges,” states an editorial. “... It would be a significant blow to press freedom. ... WikiLeaks, at its height, was an important outlet for whistle-blowers. ... As hard as it is, or may be, for some of us to swallow, Julian Assange, with regard to WikiLeaks, behaved within the precepts of journalism, including those on the right and left, who engage in advocacy, and those who live by the mantra of ‘publish and be damned’. If we look sideways when those who make us uneasy are throttled, it becomes easier for the powerful to circumscribe those who are decent and with whom they disagree.”

Al ArAbiya / Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Egypt’s borders are vulnerable to neighboring unrest 

“Following the eruption of protests in Sudan and the military offensive in Libya, apprehensions of insecurity on Egypt’s western and southern borders have started growing,” writes Sonia Farid. “... It is difficult to predict at this point how susceptible Egypt is to a spillover of unrest. It is equally difficult to measure the sustainability of Egypt’s current alliances with both Sudan and Libya. ... If its southern and western neighbors embrace the same view of stability and adopt the same approach to national security, the Egyptian government can rest assured that neither protests nor armed struggles will be exported to its turf. ... Egypt’s formula of eliminating Islamists and putting the military in charge, however, is not easily applicable in Sudan and Libya. ... It is hard to predict, therefore, if either country will achieve full stability in the near future, keeping Egypt’s borders fully secured.”

The Asahi Shimbun / Tokyo

The shock value of President Trump’s behavior

“[President Donald] Trump’s numerous efforts to frustrate the investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election have recently been brought to light,” states an editorial. “Many people’s reaction to the revelations may have been ‘Yet again.’ But his acts as described in the document should shock everybody and provoke a cry of ‘Impossible!’ ... One source of solace is the fact that some of his aides and advisers chose to refuse or ignore his unreasonable orders and demands. ... Two different kanji can be used to write the Japanese word for getting accustomed, or ‘nareru.’ One can also mean ‘an animal becomes tamed.’ There were apparently some presidential aides who became accustomed to Trump’s flagrant norm-shattering behavior but did not become so tamed as to always try to curry favor with the president.”

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