It's easy, Oprah, so why not vote? Oprah, we know you are a busy woman, being a media mogul and everything, but don't you think you could vote in a presidential primary once in a while? You haven't cast a ballot in a presidential primary since 1988, a detail we might have completely glossed over if you hadn't started raising money for Barack Obama's primary campaign. You even allowed the wealthy to trample your meadow grass recently during an Obama fundraiser at your Santa Barbara mansion. Despite your fancy digs in California, you've been registered to vote in Chicago, and it wouldn't take much to slip on a pair of your “Favorite Things” slippers and saunter on down ... to your assigned polling spot.
Once there, you can cast your vote, privately, just the way you like it, in the building's lobby. Then you can trot back home to your high-rise and play with your dogs. You could wear a hat and big glasses, but ditch the security guards, because that's a real tipoff to fans who may be lying in wait for a glimpse of the daytime diva.
All this is not to take away from your perfect attendance during the presidential elections. You have a robust voting record in those contests, but you only voted in (non-presidential) Illinois primaries in 1994 and 2002. How could you miss a chance to participate in the democratic process? Making a difference is supposed to be what you're about.
- Chicago Sun-Times
Bear out of hibernation | The Issue: Russian investments, interests in Asian arms trading
Their View: Country on comeback trail of its own in weapons business -
Moscow is back as an importance influence in Asia for the first time since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Russia has established itself as the region's largest arms trader.
Customers include major powers like China and India, but also such smaller states are Malaysia, Vietnam, Burma, Bangladesh, Laos and South Korea.
On his way to a summit of Asia and Pacific countries, President Vladimir Putin stopped in Indonesia, where he signed agreements for the sale of submarines, jet fighters, helicopters and tanks. Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim nation, and is strategically important because of its proximity to the Malakka Strait, where 75 percent of oil for Japan and other eastern Asian industrialized countries passes.
Indonesia has just two submarines, which for long periods have been unable to dive because of technical problems. They now will be replaced by Kilo class submarines, paid for through a billion dollar loan from Russia. New oil wealth makes it possible for Russia to offer attractive financing, an irresistible argument when relatively poor countries buy costly military materiel.
Russia is not just interested in selling to others, but also has great ambitions of modernizing its own forces in the East. It will take a long time to correct many years of neglect, but no one should doubt the plans will be accomplished as long as the Russian economic upswing continues.
- Aftenposten, Oslo, Norway