The Great Debate

from John Lloyd:

Once the hamburgers are gone, can a government hold on?

By John Lloyd
October 10, 2014

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It’s often said that Russia’s Vladimir Putin, along with the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, owe their popularity and the relative stability of their nations to their success in giving their people not so much bread and circuses but McDonald’s hamburgers and satellite TV. If the burgers and entertainment dry up, the foundations of the two regimes are supposed to tremble.

Meet Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi, a savior to children

By Monique Villa
October 10, 2014

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It is thanks to Kailash Satyarthi that thousands of children have been saved from a life of slavery and agony in India. It is thanks to his organization, BBA — the ‘Save the Childhood Movement’ — that these children can regain trust in other human beings, the vital ingredient of life.

Luck replaces grit in baseball playoffs, just like in real life

By Neal Gabler
October 10, 2014

MLB: NLDS-Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants

“Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America,” the scholar Jaques Barzun famously said, “had better learn baseball.” This week, during the first round of Major League Baseball playoffs, it seems more apt than ever. Not because, as Barzun may have thought, baseball captures America’s steadfast values that reward discipline and perseverance, but because the game reflects the nation’s newer values: You succeed by being lucky.

Why Hong Kong showdown could never have morphed into Tiananmen 2.0

By Sergey Radchenko
October 10, 2014

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As pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong confronted police in the fumes of tear gas, the world looked on in admiration of their spirit and bravery and in fear of a possible crackdown.

One reason Congress is broken? Negative ads cripple even the winners.

By David B. McLennan
October 9, 2014

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North Carolina is nearing the end of the most expensive U.S. Senate campaign in its history. The volume of negative ads in the race between Democratic Senator Kay Hagan and Republican state Speaker Thom Tillis is unprecedented. These ads matter — but not in the ways that the candidates and their campaign consultants hope they do.

from Breakingviews:

A creative NFL would lean in to Sheryl Sandberg as commissioner

October 8, 2014

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The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

Far from Hong Kong, ethnic minority regions in China are a tinderbox of tension

By Julia Famularo
October 8, 2014

A young Tibetan monk is seen in the smoke as monks burn trees during their morning ritual in the Dzamthang Jonang monastery in Barma township

As the Hong Kong demonstrations continue, foreign observers question whether the democracy movement might embolden minority groups seeking greater autonomy in Tibet or Xinjiang, also known as East Turkistan. Like Hong Kong, these regions were once promised greater autonomy, but have yet to see it fully realized.

Disappearance of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un could ease path to peace, coup or no

By Paul French
October 8, 2014

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Kim Jong Un has apparently gone AWOL. His movements unknown, the reason for his sudden invisibility mysterious. Nobody in Pyongyang is saying anything. But then nobody in Pyongyang ever says very much.

Why Iran, U.S. aren’t on quite the same side in fight against Islamic State

By Davoud Hermidas Bavand
October 8, 2014

Iraqi women walk past a poster depicting images of Shi'ite Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at al-Firdous Square in Baghdad

It might seem counter-intuitive to think that attacking the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, would damage Iran or Shi’ite interests in the Middle East. After all, Iran shares the West’s concerns about the radical Sunni group and is in a tacit alliance with the United States when it comes to defeating their common enemy. And yet, Iran fears it might end up being the loser in this battle.

from Breakingviews:

Free spirit (and marketing power) of Lollapalooza doesn’t come cheap

October 7, 2014

By Rob Cox

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.