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Highlights from the world's press

Compiled by Ravi Agrawal for CNN
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(CNN) -- Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet died on Sunday at the age of 91. Pinochet rose to power following a U.S.-backed coup, and has been accused of torturing and killing thousands of people during his 1973-1990 regime. The controversial dictator's death saw thousands of pro-Pinochet demonstrators gathering to mourn his death in Santiago on Sunday, as well as a reported 6,000 anti-Pinochet demonstrators celebrating his death in the city's Plaza Italia.

The Economist says that few in Chile will mourn Pinochet's passing away.

"After more than a decade of basking in praise for running South America's most successful economy, Chileans resent having a dark chapter of their past raked over yet again. It proves embarrassing for those who supported or tolerated his regime and painful for those who suffered at its hands. For both sides, they will welcome the chance to bury that part of their country's past along with General Pinochet."

The New York Times says for a man who masked his corruption and brutality by tailoring his level of repression to just what he needed to retain power and prestige, it is a puzzle that Pinochet had retained some admirers in Chile and abroad.

"Investigators also discovered at least $28 million that General Pinochet held in more than 100 secret bank accounts, most of them in the United States. At the time of his death, he was under indictment for kidnapping, torture and murder, as well as corruption-related charges of tax evasion and possession of false passports. Time has revealed that the once-admired General Pinochet was accomplished only at holding power."

Newsweek says in his last years Pinochet had become a political pariah shunned by nearly all Chileans outside his own family and the armed forces.

"It wasn't the recurring allegations of murder, torture and kidnapping that prompted even right-wing politicians to distance themselves from the ailing ex-dictator in his final years. What shocked his most diehard apologists was mounting evidence that Pinochet in the end seemed no different from the hundreds of corrupt civilian chiefs of state in Latin America who have lined their pockets during their terms in office."

Turkey

The Times in the UK reports on how governments are poised to "punish" Turkey at this week's EU summit by putting large segments of the negotiation regarding its' ascession to the EU in the deep freeze, where it will stay until all EU members decide otherwise. The paper's editorial states this would be an "error of historic proportions" for Europe as well as for Turkey.

"The political and strategic case for embracing Turkey has been made stronger, not weaker, by the Islamist challenge. Its part-Asian identity should be seen as an asset, as should its proxim-ity to and knowledge of the Middle East. EU entry is contingent on Turkey showing that Islam can sit with secular democracy, a challenge that Turkish modernisers are determined to meet... Turkey will not settle for second-class citizenship, as Mrs Merkel knows and should publicly admit. There is no middle way. Turkey's road into the EU will be long. The Union should not make it unnecessarily crooked."

Abdullah Gul, the foreign minister of Turkey, writes in the International Herald Tribune that the EU's impending decision has the ominous potential of redefining Turkey-EU relations, which will have an impact felt far beyond the country's borders.

"I cannot help wonder whether Europe is really aware of the consequences of not sustaining the accession process at a time when a modern and prosperous Turkey is becoming increasingly relevant to the well-being of the European Union and beyond. Let me remind readers that Turkey, which has already achieved a cumulative growth rate of 35 percent in the last four years, will soon become the sixth largest economy of Europe. The pace and depth of reform in Turkey complements this huge economic growth."

Pakistan's Dawn says behind the bickering of Turkey-Cyprus relations are two radically opposed views of Europe -- and the world.

"Despite their global ambitions, Berlin and Paris continue to harbour a narrow, provincial view of Europe and fear that the entry into Europe of a Muslim nation will dilute the bloc's current Christian identity and worsen its current sense of drift. Those favouring Turkey's accession argue that cold-shouldering Turkey will not only slow down the reform process in Turkey but also send a negative message about Europe's tolerance and openness to the Islamic world."

Global Day for Darfur

Yesterday was Human Rights Day, which was also being marked as the second Global Day for Darfur -- focusing on sexual violence against women.

In the UK's Guardian, Peter Tatchell describes how rape is used as a weapon of war in the killing fields of Darfur.

"The survivors of rape remain burdened by life-long stigma in Darfur's deeply traditional African and Muslim cultures. They are also rendered destitute if, as often happens, they are ostracised by their families and communities. And if as often happens they are forced to bear the children of their rapists, the babies, too, will be treated as social outcasts... Under international law, the use of sexual violence as a tactic of war is considered a crime for which individuals, military chiefs and high state officials can be held accountable... How long must the women of Darfur wait before the international laws against sexual war crimes are enforced?"

South Africa's Business Day has criticized African governments for downplaying the Sudanese government's responsibility at the new UN Human Rights Council created this year, saying the Africa group did no more than offer a weak draft resolution.

"It seems unthinkable that the Human Rights Council should shrink from addressing the problems of Darfur and the violence in Chad -- with crucial implications for the security of civilians in the Central African Republic and beyond. And yet, SA refused even to identify Sudan's self-evident responsibility to protect its own people, choosing to support a weak statement which deliberately avoided pointing the finger of blame. It is a disappointing and inexplicable failure."

In an article in The Washington Post discussing the lessons he has learned in his ten years as UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan says we are all responsible for each other's security in today's world.

"Only by working to make each other secure can we hope to achieve lasting security for ourselves. This responsibility includes our shared responsibility to protect people from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. That was accepted by all nations at last year's U.N. summit. But when we look at the murder, rape and starvation still being inflicted on the people of Darfur, we realize that such doctrines remain pure rhetoric unless those with the power to intervene effectively -- by exerting political, economic or, in the last resort, military muscle -- are prepared to take the lead."


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