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ARGENTINA



Published: Mon, August 22, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



ARGENTINA

La Nacion, Buenos Aires, Aug. 16: Last month on the heels of the London terror attacks, plainclothes British police were the protagonists of a grave incident ... in which an innocent Brazilian citizen was chased and felled by five bullets to the head "under the suspicion" of being an Islamic terrorist. This horrifying news caused an uproar in the entire world.

Unleashing terror

It is clear that final responsibility for this death rests with those who unleash terror. But circumstances call for caution and moderation when states use force to repress terrorism ... nations cannot fall in the snare set by the terrorists and respond blow-by-blow to violence.

BRITAIN

Daily Telegraph, London, Aug. 16: The world is too used to violence in the Middle East to be much surprised at the scenes from Gaza yesterday. Yet the sight of Israeli citizens burning tires in the path of Israeli soldiers alerts us to a real change in the arrangements of power in that devastated region.

We can expect a race between the forces of the Palestinian Authority and those of Hamas to erect their flags on the public buildings of Gaza. And that internecine battle is more important to the future of the region than the sad conflict between the Israeli settlers and the Israeli government.

PA's flag

Only the PA's flag should fly in Gaza. Infested by terrorists, blasted by poverty, it is an unpropitious place to start a state. But it is here that the embryonic polity known as "Palestine" must mature, if peace is to come to the Middle East.

ISRAEL

Ha'aretz, Tel Aviv, Aug. 17: The good-intentioned people who planned the Gaza disengagement operation down to the last detail dragged the army and police into a two-stage evacuation: the first phase is passive, sensitive and tearful, and the second is more determined. It's too early to say whether this tangled plan has proven itself and whether it really prevented still more violent clashes.

The financial sanctions set in the evacuation law against those who don't leave by Aug.17 are significant, but among the settlers -- unlike among the other sectors in the country -- there is not just faith in the kindness of heaven, but primarily faith in the right-wing politicians who will make every effort to change the law in their favor, or at least ignore what's written in the law. One can assume that not a single evacuation refusenik is concerned about the fate of his compensation payments.

Upper hand

When people say the settlers, up to the last minute, have not internalized the evacuation, what they are essentially saying is that they have done well at internalizing the fact that all their desires are usually fulfilled, and rightly believed that this time too they would have the upper hand.

GREECE

Kathimerini, Athens, Aug. 17: It appears that the crash of the Helios Airways Boeing 737 was caused by negligence of flight safety regulations. The recent accident, and others that have taken place in recent years, raise the issue of whether the cost-cutting measures employed by at least some of the airlines have resulted in omissions in maintenance and safety checks.

Passengers' ability to evaluate airliner credibility is limited to checking their punctuality and the quality of services. Ordinary consumers, however, are unable to assess other safety determinants. Nor can they put their full trust in air carriers, particularly after so many new companies have made their way into this highly competitive market, struggling to survive by offering lower prices.

Safety standards

To be sure, declining prices as a result of market competition is a welcome development, provided that it does not imply a decline in safety standards.

In light of the deregulation of the airlines sector and the emergence of a large number of new companies, some of which are hardly known for responsibility or their infrastructure, the state and international authorities must play a crucial role in ensuring compliance with safety standards. Otherwise, the reliability of air travel will be thrown into question with all the subsequent consequences for our way of life and culture.




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