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EDITORIAL ROUNDUP

on September 08, 2013 1:10 AM

Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States and abroad:

Seattle, Sept. 3: The Seattle Times on Microsoft buying Nokia, keeping smartphone choice alive:

With the $7.2 billion Nokia acquisition, Microsoft becomes a player in making smartphones. The Finns are sore about this. Nokia is Finland’s flagship company. In 2010 Stephen Elop, a Canadian, left Microsoft to become the first foreign chief executive of Nokia. Now he’s headed back to Microsoft with a shot at becoming CEO and taking half of Nokia with him.

That is the sort of thing that happens when a company falls behind. In 2007 Nokia had 40 percent of the world market in handsets. That share has slipped to 15 percent, and in the next-generation product, smartphones, it has only 3 percent. Without a new owner, it could be the end of the road for Nokia’s phone business. With a new owner comes cash, talent and another chance.

It just won’t be a Finnish chance. …

Microsoft’s acquisition buys a lease on life for Windows Phone. Google and Apple have 90 percent of the smartphone operating-system business — this time around. But in technology, change is the one constant. Any strong player can win the next round, provided it stays in the game. In any scenario, the shopper with the most choices wins.

Omaha, Sept. 4: Omaha World-Herald on swimmer’s feat offers lessons:

Diana Nyad’s successful effort in swimming across 110 miles of open water to get from Cuba to the Florida Keys says a lot.

It speaks of Nyad’s amazing determination — the swim across the Florida Straits requires overcoming wind, waves, sun, currents, stinging jellyfish and more, and all without benefit of a protective shark cage.

It speaks of Nyad’s commitment — the swim took nearly 53 hours of near-constant exertion. It speaks of Nyad’s persistence — she first tried this feat in 1978, and success finally came on her fifth attempt. It speaks, too, of the power of the human spirit. Nyad, after all, is 64 years old and accomplished something she couldn’t do at age 28. After reaching Florida, she said the swim showed that “we should never ever give up” and “you’re never too old to chase your dreams.”

Those are powerful lessons for anyone at any age.

DUBAI, Sept. 4:  The Khaleej Times, Dubai, on basketball diplomacy:

Kim Jong Un is once again playing host to Dennis Rodman. The United States basketball player, though on a private sojourn to the Stalinist state, has stirred the media over his possible role as an emissary to build bridges between Pyongyang and Washington.

But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Apparently, Rodman before flying off to Pyongyang from Beijing said that he will be meeting his “best friend,” who is a great fan, and his visit is merely part of a basketball diplomacy tour. So far so good! But the fact is that the reclusive leader had agreed to host Rodman just days after refusing a formal diplomatic request from the U.S. special envoy for North Korean rights, who wanted to deliberate with Kim over the fate of jailed Korean-American Kenneth Bae, who is facing a sentence for illegally entering the country and allegedly plotting to topple the regime. Thus, this faceoff speaks for itself. ...

If ping-pong diplomacy could broker the world’s greatest diplomatic thaw between China and the United States in the 1970s — through the auspices of Pakistan — what is stopping a repeat now between Pyongyang and Washington? Rodman can take a lesson or two from Henry Kissinger’s … policies — and help Kim and Obama opt for a handshake over a game of basketball anywhere in the world! Let sportsmanship triumph in the midst of brinkmanship.

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