Editorial voices from elsewhere
Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States and abroad as compiled by the Associated Press.
It is with great pleasure that last week, after years of effort and decades of suffering for many coal miners, we saw that new rules tightening acceptable levels of coal dust in mines and better monitoring of those levels went into effect.
Those new rules – the first on improving air quality in mines in 40 years – will lower the legal limit on coal dust in mines per mine worker shift to 1.5 milligrams per cubic meter, down from 2.
Also, all miners will be equipped with continuous personal dust monitors that will allow miners and coal operators to see in real-time how much dust exposure they are receiving.
The United Mine Workers of America called the new regulations “a good rule.”
“While there will still be much more to do in order to get this rule fully implemented, I believe that we will see improvement in mine atmospheres soon, which will be to the miners’ benefit,” said UMWA President Cecil E. Roberts.
“There will come a time when we will look back to this day as the point where we began to finally wipe out the deadly scourge of coal worker’s pneumoconiosis,” Roberts added.
And that is where the next battle must be fought – improving health care and funding for miners who have black lung already.
The situation in Ukraine is getting worse every day.
Pro-Russian rebels are destabilizing that country, and the latest reports are the Russian military is sending in heavy military hardware such as heavy machine guns, tanks and anti-aircraft guns.
The Russians have a lot of blood on their hands. While it has not been 100 percent confirmed, it is known a Malaysian passenger plane shot down a few weeks ago by a surface-to-air missile was launched from an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists inside of Ukraine. The death toll from the incident is 289.
We agree with President Barack Obama and other leaders that there should be no American boots on the ground in Ukraine, but we could give that nation such things as anti-aircraft guns, anti-tank weapons, heavy machine guns and artillery, ammunition, tanks and other types of hardware they need.
By doing so, we would be keeping boots off the ground, protecting an ally and showing Russia we will not tolerate its aggression on a sovereign nation.
Even as the Ebola virus serves as a reminder of Africa’s manifold challenges, a much brighter future for the continent was on display in Washington this week, where more than 40 African heads of state were attending a summit meeting led by President Barack Obama. Done right, with sufficient follow-through, the event should strengthen American ties to a continent that is expected to outpace China and India in population by 2040 and is widely viewed as the world’s last major economic frontier.
Administration officials have been eager to persuade Africa that America’s democratic capitalistic system can offer advantages that China’s authoritarian system cannot. As Susan Rice, the national security adviser, said last week, “We don’t see Africa as a pipeline to extract vital resources, nor as a funnel for charity.” She described a broader vision in which the United States is committed to being a partner to create jobs, resolve conflicts and develop the human capital needed to build a better future.
The world largely associated Africa with desperate struggles against war, poverty, famine and dictatorial leaders. But there are positive trends, too. Africa is home to six of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world, an emerging middle class and markets that are increasingly open to foreign investment. In short, there is money to be made there.