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Commentary

Commentary: Now, a different clash of civilizations

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“The Darkest Hour,” a film which emphasizes the courage and iron will of Winston Churchill through the first weeks of the Second World War, is drawing audiences and praise on its release in North America. It shows new generations that this man – mocked and marginalized in the 1930s by his party – was an inspirational leader during those bleak days, and beyond. Yet the acclaimed war-time prime minister was also an imperialist and a racist.

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Commentary: What Roy Moore's loss says about smart politics

Roy Moore’s party has been punished for his refusal to do the right thing. While some Republican leaders wanted him to drop out of the Alabama Senate race after nine women accused him of sexual misconduct against them when they were teenagers, Moore refused – and went on to lose to Democrat Doug Jones in a special election Tuesday. That means Democrats who fretted that Al Franken shouldn’t have been pushed out of the Senate over the sexual misconduct allegations against him were wrong.

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Commentary: How Trump can get tough on Ukraine corruption

Ukraine's Western allies may finally have run out of patience with Kiev's unwillingness to fight the country's endemic corruption. The United States, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund have all criticized the recent undermining of an independent corruption investigation by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office – an organization itself accused of rampant fraud.

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Commentary: In Brexit Britain, economic gravity will take its toll

Britain looks set to get what it craves in its negotiations with the European Union. The British government has contrived a way around the impasse over avoiding controls at the Irish land border and bowed to paying more or less what the EU was demanding as a divorce settlement. Now European leaders meeting at the summit of Dec. 14-15 are expected to authorize talks over the UK’s main priority: future trade arrangements.

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Commentary: From Guernica’s ruins, a lesson in fake news

A little over 80 years ago, on April 26, 1937, German and Italian warplanes bombed the Basque town of Guernica, razing much of it. Italian planes targeted a bridge, while the German Condor legion hit the town with conventional and incendiary bombs, and machine-gunned men, women and children as they ran from the burning town.

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Commentary: The terrible cost of Trump's Jerusalem decision

Donald Trump's formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing some seven decades of American policy, is arguably the most unnecessary decision of his time in office and one that will have consequences lingering far past his tenure. The decision may yield some domestic political advantage among Jewish and evangelical Christian voters for the president, but at irrationally high expense globally.

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Commentary: The hidden health crisis of the opioid epidemic

The American epidemic of opioid abuse is finally getting the attention it warrants. While policy solutions continue to be inadequate, the decision by President Trump to declare a national opioid emergency has helped to increase discussion about the problem and how the country can solve it. But the conversation also needs to address a dangerous – and largely ignored – interconnected public health crisis wreaking havoc among young Americans.

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Commentary: Why Iraq should limit Islamic State trials

At the height of its power in Iraq, Islamic State controlled 40 percent of the country’s territory and the daily lives of millions of Iraqis. Tens of thousands of Iraqis came to serve the IS administration, including as doctors, teachers, judges, cooks, and lawyers, arguably contributing to the group’s control of the cities it occupied. Just as Iraqis were forced to join the Baath party under Saddam Hussein, many in IS-controlled areas say they were forced to join the group to keep their jobs – though no doubt some also supported IS’s extremism.

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Commentary: Blame Russia. But not too much.

“Missed a train? Lost a vote? Blame us!” reads one of the many posters recently posted on London’s underground transport system for RT, the Russian-based satellite broadcaster formerly known as Russia Today.

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Commentary: The problem with a post-Tillerson State Department

Donald Trump may be denying it, but there seems no doubt that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is a marked man.

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Commentary: Will Trump’s anti-Muslim retweets destroy U.S.-U.K. special relationship?

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s temptation must have been to counterpunch after receiving Donald Trump’s advice to concentrate her mind on the Islamist threat to Britain rather than reacting to his retweeting of British far-right anti-Islam videos. “@theresamay, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom,” the U.S. president tweeted to his 40 million-plus followers. “We are doing just fine.”

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Commentary: Can Congress stop a president waging nuclear war?

From the beginnings of the 2016 general election through the presidential debates and on to his “fire and fury” comments on North Korea this summer, the prospect of a president as impulsive as Donald Trump in command of nuclear weapons has worried experts in both parties and career military and government officials. This week’s North Korean test of a missile that might be able to reach the entire U.S. mainland with a nuclear warhead — and Trump’s initial response that “we will take care of it” — can hardly be expected to diminish the anxiety.

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Commentary: Don't call Putin a genius

Vladimir Putin’s global stature appears to be at an all-time high. Some observers call the Russian president the Middle East’s New Sheriff, and for good reason. Last week, during a series of meetings with the leaders of Syria, Turkey and Iran in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, Putin took the central role in a major diplomatic push to end Syria’s civil war by winning support from Turkey and Iran to host a Syrian peace congress.

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Commentary: Why the U.S. shouldn’t send arms to Ukraine

The National Security Council is reported to be on the verge of recommending the export of $47 million worth of defensive arms to Ukraine. The package will reportedly include a cache of Javelin anti-tank missiles, weapons that would reliably and efficiently disable the hundreds of tanks that the Russian-supported separatists in the country’s east have acquired since the conflict began.

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Commentary: What Merkel’s political woes mean for the EU

Want to be pessimistic about Europe? Let me count you the ways.

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Commentary: How Saudi Arabia has overreached on Iran, Lebanon

On Nov. 19, Arab foreign ministers gathered in Cairo for an hours-long gripe session against Iran and its ally, Hezbollah. The Arab leaders accused Tehran and the Lebanese Shi’ite movement of destabilizing the Middle East, but they fell short of agreeing on concrete action.

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Commentary: Africa’s deft handling of Zimbabwe’s ‘coup’

The sight of a civilian populace wildly cheering soldiers clinging to a tank, is the standard fare of coups d’état. In Africa, which has had a troubling tradition of the military overthrowing civilian administrations, it’s a jubilation that historically has rarely lasted for long, with the new rulers soon proving to be at least as venal and oppressive as those they have replaced.

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Commentary: Britain’s gravest economic challenge isn’t Brexit

Few British budgets have mattered as much as the one that Philip Hammond will deliver to the House of Commons on Nov. 22. The chancellor of the exchequer must shore up Theresa May’s perilously shaky government ahead of a vital Brexit summit of European leaders in mid-December. At the same time Hammond has to keep a grip on the public finances. But the gravest challenge he faces is economic: Britain’s persistent productivity blight.

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Commentary: Why social democrats have become irrelevant

In almost every country in Europe, parties of the center-left struggle to remain competitive in the political arena. Yet social democracy - though it can claim success in creating and developing public services which have improved the lives and health of citizens - can now rarely convince its former supporters that it’s still worth their votes.

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Commentary: Lessons from Zimbabwe’s coup

The speed of events in Zimbabwe this week has taken even experienced Africa watchers by surprise. An effective army takeover; President Robert Mugabe placed under house arrest and his wife – and would-be successor – reportedly fleeing the country.

About commentary

The views expressed by the authors in the Commentary section are not those of Reuters News.

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