Trump’s Golan Heights declaration will have regional repercussions, and more

2019-04-06 10:00:01

Arab News / Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

TRUMP’S GOLAN HEIGHTS DECLARATION WILL HAVE REGIONAL REPERCUSSIONS

“In a puzzling tweet [on March 21] US President Donald Trump announced that he would recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights,” writes Abdel Aziz Aluwaisheg. “It was puzzling because the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over this land runs against long-standing US foreign policy…. Breaking the global consensus on the Golan could destabilize the region because some countries would use it to justify their own territorial ambitions…. The long-awaited American peace plan for the Middle East will be a tougher sell now, as the US is perceived as having abandoned the pretense of being an honest broker…. Finally, Trump’s Golan announcement could squander decades of US diplomacy and make it very difficult for Washington to restore its influence and credibility in the region.”

The Moscow Times / Moscow

GLOBAL POWERS INTERESTED IN ARCTIC TERRITORY MUST REMEMBER GLOBAL WARMING

“Not a day goes by without a mention of a looming new Cold War in the Arctic,” writes Elizabeth Buchanan. “Apparently, conflict between Russia and the West is now linked inextricably to the phenomenon of melting icecaps…. The first potential avenue for Arctic competition to intensify is related to control of the Northern Sea Route (NSR). The NSR is an attractive maritime route…. Thanks to bolstered military capability along its Arctic coast, Russia now has plenty of bite to its bark over who can access the polar silk road…. Yet, Arctic states all have a greater challenge on their hands…. The future of the Arctic will be determined by how seriously Arctic powers treat the mutual security threat of global warming.”

The Guardian / Sydney

ECO-FASCISM CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO DERAIL CONSERVATION EFFORTS

“In his shoddy manifesto, the accused shooter in Christchurch identified as an ‘eco-fascist’…,” writes Jason Wilson. “In social media and the more secretive spaces of the online far right, eco-fascists are proselytising for genocidal solutions to environmental problems…. Of course, the vast majority of contemporary environmentalists … are political progressives…. They are not responsible for the co-optation of environmental thought by the far right…. But eco-fascism is a longstanding political ideology that is currently undergoing a revival…. This makes a democratic, just, and global response to climate change all the more urgent. We must save our planet, and we must not create even the smallest opportunities for fascists.”

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City Press / Johannesburg

WATER ACCESS IS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT

“World Water Day was on March 22…,” writes Patricia de Lille. “In 2017 and last year I was leading the City of Cape Town through an unprecedented one in 300-year drought…. In revising our approaches to water use, we should not neglect our duty to our people…. During Cape Town’s drought, officials proposed a temporary drought levy…. Community protests erupted across the city; with many citing the unjust high costs being imposed…. Lower-income neighbourhoods often have large families or shared premises…. Each water meter [there] serves many more people, meaning the water costs are higher…. The right to water is a basic human right. We must ensure that access is equitable and just.”

Ottawa Citizen / Ottawa, Ontario

IS CLASS SIZE REALLY ALL IT’S CRACKED UP TO BE?

“As one recent Ontario study claims, class size is one of the most researched, debated, scrutinized and politicized issues in education…,” write Deani Van Pelt and Derek J. Allison. “One of the more stable research findings is that teachers and parents tend to be more satisfied with smaller classes. This is important, but is likely due to fewer classroom management issues…. Even when academic gains are associated with reduced class sizes, other factors are involved…. Quality of teaching makes a far greater difference. Good teachers matter. Good curriculum matters…. If we’re interested in improving student learning, the decades of research show that tweaking class sizes will not, by itself, make a meaningful difference.”

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