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ITALY



Published: Mon, February 21, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



ITALY

Corriere della Sera, Milan, Feb. 16: The Protocol is an imperfect instrument, it doesn't consider the pollution produced by China and by developing countries and ignores the voices of the scientists that still don't see proof of the greenhouse effects.

Washington must however keep in mind ... that one quarter of the noxious gases of the world are "made in the U.S.A."

Better instead for all, starting from the G8 meeting in July at Gleneagles in Scotland, to work on the mediation of the American senators John McCain and Chuck Hagel that, even if they don't endorse the Kyoto Protocol, propose a common ecological plan.

Correct path

Kyoto is not the panacea against pollution, but it indicates the correct path, there is no contradiction between development and environment.

The best thing is not to make a new case of it and divide ourselves, but to discuss together how to confront the criticism of the Protocol.

SOUTH AFRICA

The Star, Johannesburg, Feb. 16: The Iraqi election results ... revealed that 58 percent of registered voters cast their ballots. This was remarkably brave, considering the intense violence and intimidation against the poll by insurgents.

The results prove many things; above all that the insurgency is not a popular uprising against the U.S.-led occupation. Most Iraqis probably want the Americans and their allies to leave, but would prefer to effect that peacefully -- through the ballot.

Universal values

So it's still a long road to freedom. But at least Iraqi democracy now has a chance, which it did not have when Saddam Hussein was holding sway. Whatever happens now, the elections proved what should perhaps have been obvious, that democracy and the love of freedom are universal values. From Soweto, to Harare to Basra, if you give people even half a run at a ballot box, they will take it.

JORDAN

Jordan Times, Amman, Feb. 15: Lebanon was seeking hard over the last decade to come out of the ashes of 15 years of civil war. But yesterday, a man who was devoted to rebuilding Lebanon was blown to bits in Beirut.

The assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is a savage blow to a country that was just beginning to enjoy relative, admittedly fragile, peace, particularly as its parliamentary system sought to be representative of the complex ethnic and religious groups that make up Lebanon.

Monday's carnage was reminiscent of the devastating conflict that crippled Lebanon from 1975 to 1990. ...

International investigation

The European Union's condemnation of the assassination and French President Jacques Chirac's call for an international investigation into the attack were indicative of their outrage at the brutality of the incident and their concern for Lebanon. In contrast, the U.S. wasted no time in implying that Syria was culpable, and Iran pointed its finger at Israel.

While no one really knows for certain who was behind the assassination, the Arab world is plummeted further into mourning for its dead, grieving for its wounded aspirations.

BRITAIN

The Times, London, Feb. 16: It is not the taking part that counts on this occasion, it's the winning. Britain cannot win the bid for the 2012 Games this week but it can lose it.

Already the bid alone has seen the city promised new athletics and cycling stadiums and a 63 million-pound aquatic centre. The 900 million pounds needed to extend the East London line has been secured. The bid has given fresh impetus to Crossrail, and were the Games to come to the capital, regeneration of the Thames Gateway, along a 40-mile stretch of the river east of the Docklands, would be assured.

Diversity, history and style

If the world's greatest sporting event comes to Europe, Europe's most exciting city should be the one to host it. Nowhere else can match London for diversity, history and style, and nowhere else would the Games legacy be more vividly memorable.




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