The dire status of the newspaper industry calls for a government bailout of journalism. If the government can bail out banks, insurance companies and automobile firms, why can’t they do the same for the newspapers? Industry experts have suggested some ways for the government to help and the Obama administration needs to act on them. The consequences of the death or even a trimming down of print journalism are disastrous. How will the public get extensive coverage on various global crises? Who will expose corruption and officials mistakes the way investigative journalists do? Without the guardian role of the print media, the American society wouldn’t have been where it is today. Most recently, the print media’s exposures of George W Bush’s lies on the Iraq war and his umpteen policy failures have been instrumental in securing a landslide win for Obama.
The survival of the US print media will be in the interest of global press freedom. And the government must bail out this industry.
From the Peninsula yesterday an editorial that discusses the recent spoof of the piracy circulating the internet and discusses the seriousness of the piracy business. They call for tough action but offer no suggestions.
Power of piracy
If Somali pirates were to announce their annual results, bulls would rule the floor on Wall Street; if they were to inject funds into cash-strapped banks, our markets would be awash with liquidity, and if they were to share their business wisdom with our idea-starved corporate moghuls, the global economy would emerge from recession and boom ahead! Such has been the acumen with which Somali pirates have run their business that the world can only watch in awe, literally, being unable to do anything to check them. A phony Bloomberg story which was doing the rounds recently celebrated their audacity and had shell-shocked Wall Street financiers in splits. The story said the pirates, known for hijacking ships, including most recently a $200m Saudi Arabian oil tanker, are negotiating a purchase of Citigroup. The pirates planned to finance the deal with existing cash stockpiles and by selling Pirate Ransom Backed Securities. The bid resulted in Moody’s upgrading Somali pirates to AAA, and financial experts calling the Pirates fundamentally sound and their stocks best buy. Pirate spokesman Sugule Ali said that the negotiations had entered the final stage. “You may not like our price, but we are not in the business of paying for things. Be happy we are in the mood to offer the shareholders anything,” said Ali.
This is no time for humour, but the helplessness of the global community, with all its military might and nuclear arsenals, to confront the pirates is bound to generate some harmless humour. On Wednesday, the pirates took on the most powerful country in the world, the United States, by hijacking a ship in which there were 20 American crew. Gunmen briefly hijacked the 17,000-tonne Maersk Alabama freighter, but the crew retook control after a confrontation far out in the Indian Ocean, where pirates have captured five other vessels in a week. The four gang members were holding the captain on the ship’s lifeboat and the crew were trying to negotiate his release, while a US Navy destroyer arrived at the scene to apply pressure on the pirates. Ironically, the ship was carrying thousands of tonnes of food aid destined for Somalia and Uganda from Djibouti to Mombasa, Kenya, when it was attacked about 300 miles off Somalia. The attack makes a mockery of an unprecedented international naval effort against the pirates, including ships from Europe, the United States, China, Japan and others.
With the latest incident, one thing is clear: either the international community is powerless to tackle this menace, or they are not serious enough and has not yet mustered the political will to do so. Whatever the reason, the shipping industry will continue to have sleepless days. A solution to this threat on the seas is extremely difficult, but the sooner they find one, the better.
From the day before yesteday's paper we see that
Qatar welcomes Obama’s address
Doha: Qatar has welcomed the US President Barrack Obama’s recent address in Turkey in which he has asserted the US appreciation of Islam and that US was no and would not be in a war against Islam, and that the relationship between the West and Islam should be based on mutual understanding, respect and joint interests, an official source at the Foreign Ministry said in a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA).
The official said the US President’’s address was a significant and positive step that would contribute to supporting dialogue among civilizations, enhancing confidence building and establishing a constructive relations between US and Muslim world in a way that contributes to fostering the international security and peace.