Editorial voices from the U.S., abroad
Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States and abroad as compiled by the Associated Press:
The University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project has released another disturbing report. It reiterates that marriage remains strong for college-educated couples – but it’s disintegrating in “Middle America,” the nearly 60 percent of the populace with only high school diplomas.
As the gulf between affluent Americans and the less-privileged keeps widening, vast numbers of high school graduates apparently can’t find careers solid enough to support secure families.
“Among that group, 44 percent of children are now born outside of marriage, up sharply from 13 percent in the 1980s,” the project says. This bodes ill because “children born or raised outside of marriage are more likely to suffer from a range of emotional and social problems – including drug use, depression, attempted suicide and dropping out of high school – compared to children in intact married families.”
To boost wedlock among less-affluent high school graduates, the National Marriage Project report urges various efforts such as more specialized job training, and “triple the child tax credit to shore up the economic foundations of family life in Middle America.”
Previously, the Project warned that fading wedlock among high school graduates may mean “that we will witness the emergence of a new society. For a substantial share of the United States, economic mobility will be out of reach, their children’s life chances will diminish, and large numbers of young men will live apart from the civilizing power of married life.”
When the most memorable moment of the Capitol’s State of the Union evening involves rising Republican star Marco Rubio lunging for a water bottle, it’s a sure sign this tradition is badly in need of rethinking.
The State of the Union has developed the annoying ritual of the president’s party standing and wildly cheering at each applause point while the other party sits grim-faced and arms folded. The Republicans cheer anything that sounds like a tax cut. Everybody cheers for the troops, whom the president committed to bring home from Afghanistan in substantial numbers. As formulaic and ineffective as the State of the Union speech has become, it now serves a new and useful role: In an increasingly polarized Congress, it is one of the few times all the members gather together to be reminded of their common purpose.
Too bad that reminder is so swiftly forgotten.
There is the possibility that wrestling – which has federations in 180 countries around the world and has played a prominent role in the Olympics in both ancient and modern times – will not be a part of the 2020 Olympic Games.
The decision is a blow to many countries including Japan, whose wrestlers have performed well internationally. It will discourage many Japanese youths who have taken up or plan to take up wrestling, including girls who were inspired by Saori Yoshida, who won three consecutive Olympic gold medals in women’s freestyle. Women’s wresting was introduced for the first time in the 2004 Athens Games. In the London Olympics, four events in freestyle were held for women and seven events in both Greco-Roman and freestyle were held for men.
The IOC Executive Board has the responsibility to provide a full, official explanation for its sudden decision, which appears to have been made in haste.
Japan should join the other countries that are opposed to the International Olympic Committee’s decision and launch strong lobbying activities to save Olympic wrestling.