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Reading Obama, Rising Oil, Doubting David

SPOTLIGHT: SHOULD OBAMA APOLOGIZE IN HIROSHIMA?

When Barack Obama becomes the first sitting U.S. President to visit Hiroshima tomorrow, the ceremony will include hibakusha, survivors of history's only nuclear attacks. No doubt, each victim of the 1945 bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will have their own expectations of the American president, and depart with their own feelings. Obama, for his part, has already made it clear to the Japanese he wouldn't make a direct apology.


But why not? The U.S. president who vowed soon after his election to strive for a world without nuclear weapons could find the words to turn the tragedy of the past into a permanent reminder for the future. Still, as The New York Timeswrites, Obama's primary concern is a more present American realpolitik. While an apology would likely be welcome in Japan, it could also be misinterpreted in other Asian countries for which Hiroshima and Nagasaki represent not just the end of World War II, but also the close of years of brutal Japanese rule.


"Apologies tend to be the exception and non-apologies the rule," Adam Taylor writes in The Washington Post, explaining that the logic behind this "is not moral but rather political." It should be noted that this is the case for most countries, with the notable exceptions of … Germany and Japan. Or perhaps, the unwritten rule of history is simply that only the losers must apologize.

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade, The World Is Watching

As the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion rights, many fear an imminent threat to abortion rights in the U.S. But in other countries, the global fight for sexual and reproductive rights is going in different directions.

"Don't abort my right" At 2019 pro-choice march In Toulouse, France.

Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via ZUMA
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Sophia Constantino

PARIS — Nearly 50 years after it ensured the right to abortion to Americans, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case, meaning that millions of women in the U.S. may lose their constitutional right to abortion.

The groundbreaking decision is likely to set off a range of restrictions on abortion access in multiple states in the U.S., half of which are expected to implement new bans on the procedure. Thirteen have already passed "trigger laws" that will automatically make abortion illegal.

U.S. President Joe Biden called the ruling "a tragic error" and urged individual states to enact laws to allow the procedure.

In a country divided on such a polarizing topic, the decision is likely to cause major shifts in American law and undoubtedly spark outrage among the country’s pro-choice groups. Yet the impact of such a momentous shift, like others in the United States, is also likely to reverberate around the world — and perhaps, eventually, back again in the 50 States.

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