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Highlights from the world's press

Compiled by Ravi Agrawal
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(CNN) -- The International Herald Tribune says it is "terrible" that U.S. House leaders knew Representative Mark Foley had been sending inappropriate e-mail to Capitol pages and did little about it.

"It is the latest in a long, depressing pattern: When there is a choice between the right thing to do and the easiest route to perpetuation of power, top Republicans always pick wrong."

"It's astonishing behavior for a party that sold itself as the champion of conservative social values. But then so was the fact that a party that prides itself on fiscal conservatism managed to roll up record-breaking deficits, featuring large amounts of wasteful appropriations earmarked to the districts of powerful legislators or the profit sheets of generous campaign contributors."

The Washington Post echoes the view: "The most troubling aspect of the Mark Foley scandal is not his conduct, disgusting as it was, but what the response of the leadership reveals about the rancid state of partisanship and the consequent decline of the House of Representatives. Since the House is incapable of washing its own dirty laundry and policing itself, the speaker has to turn over that responsibility to the attorney general and the executive branch of government."

The downside of globalization

The New York Times says "Globalization brings wealth and opportunity to many people around the world. But to poor slum dwellers in the failing state of Ivory Coast, it has brought horrible sickness and death after hazardous waste, shipped nearly halfway around the world, was stealthily dumped in backyards around Abidjan. This need not and should not have happened."

"The waste -- a fuming mix of petrochemicals and caustic soda -- that started out in the Mediterranean and ended up in Africa could have been safely disposed of earlier in its journey ... Instead, 85,000 people ended up seeking medical treatment, and at least eight have died.

"The lesson is plain. Without strict, and strictly enforced, international rules on waste disposal, dangerous cargoes will find the course of least resistance, least cost, and least regulation, scarring the lives of some of the world's poorest, worst governed and most defenseless people."

India-South Africa

India's Hindustan Times has lauded the success of PM Manmohan Singh's recently concluded visit to South Africa, saying a shift in focus from earlier non-aligned policies to an emphasis on "building bilateral relations with influential countries" will have a positive "global spin-off."

"South Africa has extended [support] to India in its effort to get the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to end its embargo on nuclear trade and cooperation with [India's] civil nuclear sector, and New Delhi has shown willingness to back South Africa as a permanent member in a reformed U.N. Security Council. In this, New Delhi and Pretoria have shown how global politics, as much as its domestic version, is the art of the possible."

South Africa's Mail & Guardian reports on complimentary remarks shared by the Indian Prime Minister and Nelson Mandela.

"India had influenced [South Africa's] struggle 'a great deal' said Mandela. 'I am happy I'm in a position again to say thank you.'"

"Singh described Mandela as 'the greatest Gandhian of them all' for transforming the lives of millions."

Borat

In an editorial in The Guardian, Kazakhstan's ambassador to the United Kingdom Erlan Idrissov calls the jokes of Borat -- a character invented and portrayed by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen -- stupid and racist.

"Baron Cohen possesses a great comic talent and remarkable inventive powers. So inventive, in fact, that in creating Borat he has also created an imaginary country -- a violent, primitive and oppressive place which he calls 'Kazakhstan', but which bears no resemblance to the real Kazakhstan.

"Borat's most striking features are his rudeness, ignorance, racism and chauvinism. He is a pig of a man: Stupid, belligerent, charmless. In one show he asks a dating service for a girl with 'plough experience.' He says that in his country women are kept in cages, and that wives can be bought from their fathers for 15 gallons of insecticide. He proudly declares: 'In Kazakhstan we say, God, man, horse, dog, then woman, then rat.'"


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