No,
it’s not Clooney, and it’s not Bono; but another more important A-list
celebrity has touched down in Australia – the US Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice, says Michael Costello in The Australian. And if “Rice
has moved the conduct of US foreign policy
more towards diplomacy than the use of force, this does not seem to be
the case in relation to Iran”. From all accounts the US is fully
prepared to use military force if the rogue Iranian state doesn’t
shelve its nuclear ambitions. “Should the US accept a nuclear Iran? Or should
it go to war?” Condi’s will be a “crucial voice in that decision”. Now that’s
the real A-list.

It’s time to scrap the idea of producing an annual national budget, says Martin Wolf in The Financial Times (subscription). “They
are worse than a waste of a great many people’s time and energy; they
are actively harmful.” Just think about it for a minute. A year is not
an economic restraint but an astronomical one and being forced to
make decisions on taxation, spending and investment with a view to the
short term is hampering economies.

“Highly educated women are getting a bum rap from the press”, says Claudia Goldin in The New York Times:
if you believe the papers, university educated women are “opting out”
and choosing a family over career. But, as usual, the reality is
somewhat different. Women are not sacrificing their careers as much as
we’re led to believe. The truth, says Goldin, is that “a greater
fraction of college women today are
mixing family life and career than ever before. Denying that fact is
ignoring the facts.”

Today – on the 400th birthday of the newspaper – many pundits are inclined to
believe that “ink spread across newsprint pages seems old-fashioned and
destined to disappear”, says Gary Pruitt in the Wall Street Journal (subscription).
“The fact is, newspapers are still among the best media businesses –
and the most important.” Papers may be shedding hardcopy readers but
the business is not in the “precipitous decline” many would have us
believe. Papers are evolving to online, where they have become the backbone
of a media company’s online empire. The “shared middle – a place where
people basically agree about the facts and the issues, even if they
differ over what to do about them – is where we believe our
responsibilities as newspaper owners lie.” Newspapers have evolved to this point and there’s no reason they shouldn’t continue.

Worth reading Highly recommended

Peter Fray

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