Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States and abroad:
Decatur, Ala., May 6, Decatur Daily on China not being the biggest U.S. creditor:
Populist politicians are much too eager to jump on the bogeyman bandwagon.
They seem not to care or notice that the bumps and jolts under their wheels are the facts being run over beneath them.
Consider the popularly held belief that China “owns” the United States because it holds the majority of our debt.
Despite what many politicians and fringe groups would scare us into believing, China is not the United States’ biggest creditor. That title goes to America itself.
China holds slightly more than 7 percent of the total U.S. debt, according to The Associated Press. And despite what you might hear, China has been cutting its holdings, down from about 10 percent a few years ago. ...
Yes, the United States has a huge debt problem, as evidenced by the $16.8 trillion deficit that is growing by the second. ... But Americans hold the bulk of the debt through the Federal Reserve, Social Security system, pension plans for civil service workers and military personnel, U.S. banks, mutual funds, private pension plans, insurance companies and individual investors. ...
It is one matter for U.S. politicians to zero in on real concerns, such as human rights, counterfeiting of U.S. products, trade policies, currency manipulation or computer hacking.
It is quite another matter for them to demonize China for controlling our destiny by owning the majority of our debt, when it is not true.
Dubai, May 7, The Khaleej Times on sexual crimes in Brazil:
It’s the biggest country in Latin America and has great potential to be a superpower in the future, but the rampant street crime in Brazil’s major cities is a big security challenge for the government. The gangs, petty thieves and drug peddlers, who lurk in the streets of Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, are a vexing problem for Brazil — the country that will be hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympics.
Recent cases of sexual crimes in Rio de Janeiro — Brazil’s commercial hub — have especially generated a big hullabaloo in the international media, raising concerns about the security of scores of tourists who are expected to visit the country for the sporting events.
The latest case of rape on a moving bus in Rio de Janeiro has shocked the country, and triggered a vibrant discussion on social media. ... This case has followed the gang rape of an American tourist on a moving bus in March, while her French boyfriend was handcuffed and physically abused by assailants with a crowbar. ...
The high incidence of sexual crimes in cities like Rio de Janeiro and Delhi show the difficulty of curbing crime in overpopulated places... But if countries like Brazil and India have to aspire to become superpowers one day, they have to ensure that their women are protected.