Editorial voices from elsewhere

April 18, 2014

Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States and abroad as compiled by The Associated Press:

The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune

It has been 20 years since the genocide that took as many as a million lives and left Rwanda in ruins. So it is illuminating that a new report shows that life expectancy in the formerly splintered African nation has doubled in that time.

The development reveals what can happen when murderous, corrupt regimes are replaced with leadership focused on maintaining peace and improving living conditions.

The 1994 genocide, carried out chiefly by the country’s Hutus against their rival Tutsis, killed nearly 20 percent of the nation’s population and displaced millions more.

In Rwanda today, the genocide – while it will never be forgotten – has been put aside as the victims and the perpetrators join hands in a remarkable effort to build a better nation.

Investment in Rwanda has nearly tripled since 2005, and although it lacks many natural resources, the country has become economically vibrant.

If this kind of reconciliation and revival can happen in a forlorn corner of the world like Rwanda, couldn’t it also happen in other places?

And although it took 20 years to overcome the horrors of Rwanda’s genocide, we can only hope that the reconciliation offers similar hope to other troubled parts of the world.

Kansas City Star

By agreeing to serve as President Barack Obama’s health and human services secretary five years ago, Kathleen Sebelius assumed a front-and-center role in a historical effort.

Presidents since Harry S. Truman have tried to end the moral injustice that left millions of Americans without access to affordable health care. Obama and the Democrats in Congress had a mission and an opportunity to change the system.

Sebelius left the Kansas governor’s office to become a part of it. Her role in getting the Affordable Care Act up and running was never easy, and it would become excruciating. But Sebelius, who resigned her post April 11, contributed a great deal toward creating a fairer and better health care system for America.

As Kansas governor, Sebelius was a wonkish, detail-oriented executive. But she lost control of the development of HealthCare.gov, the insurance marketplace. Sebelius either didn’t realize the extent of the problems or she downplayed them to Obama. Both scenarios are equally bad.

The turnaround of HealthCare.gov has been as dramatic as its crash. By the March 31 deadline, enrollment in the insurance exchanges exceeded expectations.

Thanks in part to her work, millions of Americans can see a doctor and deal with serious medical problems without fear of financial ruin. Insurance policies can’t be canceled when a consumer becomes seriously ill or reaches a lifetime limit on treatment. Hospitals are reducing errors and controlling costs.

Khaleej Times, Dubai

The latest ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, striking down “aggregate limits” relating to political campaign funding has led to a complete reversal of contribution laws enacted in the aftermath of Watergate to prevent rich Americans from buying votes.

The Supreme Court in McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission struck down the overall limits on campaign contributions. Led by Chief Justice John Roberts and four other conservative judges, the court said the overall limits intrude on a citizen’s ability to exercise the most fundamental First Amendment activity.

Critics have, however, slammed the judgment arguing that this would encourage political corruption on an unheard of scale. Justice Stephen Breyer, one of the four dissenting judges, warned that the ruling “eviscerates our nation’s campaign finance laws.”

Unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court has, in a series of judgments in recent years, diluted America’s tough laws relating to political contributions and preventing the influence of big money.



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