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Highlights from the world's press

Compiled by Ravi Agrawal for CNN
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(CNN) -- With plans in the U.S. to reinstate compulsory military service, The New York Times says that even if the draft was a good idea, it would be impossible to achieve.

"This White House has never been willing to ask the American public to do anything but accept more tax cuts; it's hardly going to embrace something as difficult and unpopular as military conscription. But the idea is flawed as well. Because of the dire situation in Iraq, the Army is indeed having trouble meeting its yearly quota of 80,000 recruits. Yet military leaders nevertheless oppose a draft. They believe you don't get a highly skilled Army by forcing people to serve against their will, and they are right."


India's Hindu has called on India and Pakistan to abandon their time-honored populist practice of broadcasting allegations against each other in light of their recently setting up a joint mechanism to counter terrorism.

"There is no guarantee that the new mechanism will succeed but it must be given every chance. Islamabad must give up its habit of coming to the issue of cross-border terrorism in denial mode, regardless of the evidence that might turn up. New Delhi needs to abandon the doctrine of linkage, which suggests that detente and political dialogue are in jeopardy every time there is a major terrorist incident in India, even before evidence is found of the hand behind the incident."

Pakistan's Dawn has termed British Prime Minister Tony Blair's visit to Pakistan this week a success, saying the two countries can be pleased with their efforts to "intensify" their economic cooperation, stressing a need to continue fighting crime and terrorism together.

"Given Pakistan's geostrategic location, poverty and the misplaced priorities of the rulers in Islamabad, it is unfortunate that people supporting these unworthy causes have found a sanctuary in Pakistan. This has tarnished the country's image besides affecting its economy, politics and security... Since 9/11 and 7/7 the dividing lines between various groups unleashing terror in the U.S., the UK and India have become blurred. If they have to be eliminated, it is essential that the various groups fighting terror share information. It is also important for all partners to realize that they share a common interest in fighting terror and should therefore act in unison. On no account should they seek to exploit terror to promote selfish foreign policy goals."

Electoral experiment in Congo

Kenya's Daily Nation says with the election of Joseph Kabila as Congo's first democratically elected president in 40 years, the losing party should accept defeat and play the role of a loyal opposition.

"The electoral experiment in Congo, in which the United Nations invested heavily, was meant to help restore stability to a nation ravaged by civil strife that has claimed four million lives. With 17,500 troops, the U.N.'s biggest peacekeeping force ever, the international community has shown a solid commitment to sorting out the Congo mess. It will be a great shame if this experiment goes up in flames. The opposition presidential candidate, Jean- Pierre Bemba, put up a good fight. He should now concede defeat and contribute to the nurturing of democracy. Bemba's group should play the role of a loyal opposition; their goal should be to peacefully ascend to power in the next elections."

If they ran it...

With News Corporation announcing on Monday that it had cancelled O.J. Simpson's new book -- "If I did it" -- and the television special accompanying it, The New York Times says while Simpson's "simulated confession" in his book was despicable, so was the argument given by its publishers that they were looking for closure in eliciting his confession.

"Rupert Murdoch, the News Corporation chairman, and Judith Regan, who bought the book for ReganBooks, which, like Fox, is owned by News Corporation, have discovered that there is a limit to what the American audience will stand. And that's the trouble with this decision. Mr. Murdoch and Ms. Regan should have taken a firm editorial stance months ago and decided that "If I did It" was a morally scurrilous project not worth signing up. Instead, they seem to have decided that it was a morally scurrilous project that might just cause a profitable ruckus. Like Mr. Simpson himself, they were hoping to have it both ways."

Some men are born tall

On the heels of international media frenzy over the scientology wedding of Hollywood superstars Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes last weekend, The Times in the UK has drawn attention to their wedding pictures -- and how the shorter Cruise towered over Holmes in them.

"One minute [Cruise] is the perfect height to lick his bride's navel while standing fully upright, the next he's threatening to dwarf Frank Bruno... Why do diminutive men feel under pressure to camouflage that they are only as tall as a parking meter? Mussolini stood on a stool behind a balcony to make him look bigger. Mickey Rooney wed as many beautiful women as would have him, even though he needed mountaineering equipment to kiss Ava Gardner. Napoleon secured himself an empire, and then lost it."

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The Times points out that Tom Cruise towers over Katie Holmes in their wedding photos.



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