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NORWAY



Published: Mon, July 11, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



NORWAY

Bergens Tidende, Bergen, July 5: It wasn't hard to be jubilant during the weekend's Live8 concert. But now both G8 countries' leaders and ourselves will be challenged to show whether we are willing to sacrifice anything at all for change.

For many countries, debt relief means a badly needed economic freedom. But for many African countries, more basic reforms are needed. The rich countries can help with some changes. Others, the countries must carry out themselves: the battle against corruption and building institutions and democracy.

Trade barriers

The great challenge is the debate on trade barriers. Everyday, the rich countries subsidize agriculture with one billion dollars. These subsidies keep many of the poorest countries from building a foundation for managing without the sporadic, alms of the rich.

UGANDA

The New Vision, Kampala, July 2: Just before the summit of the Group of Eight nations, President George Bush has said that he is willing to double aid to Africa but is not willing to tackle global climate change.

This is a tragedy for the whole world, Africa and the United States included.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair had wanted the G8 summit in Gleneagles to commit to increased aid for Africa as well as a concerted effort to end global warming.

But the Bush administration completely denies that climate change is happening and that carbon emissions are responsible.

Extreme climate fluctations

Yet the world is undoubtedly getting warmer and climatic fluctuations more extreme. The desert is now predicted to spread in southern Africa, hurricane damage is intensifying in the United States, corral reefs are dying as oceans heat up and glaciers are melting on mountains.

Any benefit from extra aid to Africa will be lost if climate change accelerates further and makes the agricultural environment in Africa even more difficult.

EGYPT

The Egyptian Gazette, Cairo: The kidnapping of the head of Egypt's diplomatic mission in Baghdad does by no means do good to Iraqis' interests. The opposite just holds true. Ihab al-Sharif's kidnappers should remember that he represents a country, which openly opposed the U.S.-led war in Iraq and espoused a peaceful end to the Iraqi crisis.

In the run-up to the Iraq war, Egypt sternly warned against the dire consequences to be unleashed by the American military adventurism. Over the past two years, Egypt has been in the forefront of countries wholeheartedly seeking to re-establish stability to Iraq. So kidnapping an Egyptian diplomat is not the proper way to show appreciation to Cairo's efforts.

Grim reminder

Al-Sharif's abduction comes as a grim reminder of deterioration in Iraq. Insecurity is a major hindrance to the return of life to normal to Iraq and the flow of badly needed investments. Over recent months, Iraq has been hit by a spate of kidnappings, many of them unleashed by gangs seeking ransoms. Likewise, the deadly attacks, the victims of which were innocent civilians.




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