A 'Nazi salute', the Volgograd bombings and 12 important maps

West Bromwich Albion's Nicolas Anelka performs a "quenelle" after scoring a goal on December 28, 2013.
Image caption Is Nicolas Anelka preparing himself for life after football?

A review of the best commentary on and around the world...

Today's must-read...

Today we have a trifecta of columns, from the US, UK and Israel, about English Premier League footballer Nicolas Anelka's use of the "quenelle" gesture on Saturday to celebrate scoring a goal.

Haaretz's Anshel Pfeffer calls the gesture "a wink-wink disguised version of the Nazi salute". He writes that the Anelka is "no fool", and the incident is likely part of his plan to prepare him for a post-football career in "the wilder extremes of French show-business and perhaps even politics". He argues that moves to ban the gesture, however, will only "make it seem even hipper".

The Guardian's Charlie Eccleshare writes about the importance of football for recent Jewish immigrants and calls the West Bromwich Albion player's actions "insensitive, insulting and ill-advised".

Bloomberg View's Kavitha A Davidson notes that the quenelle has made an appearance among US sports, as well, with professional basketball star Tony Parker recently having to apologise for a three-year-old photo of him doing the gesture alongside its inventor, comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala. Anelka's actions, she writes, "emboldened legions of fans caught in the midst of convoluted and often contradictory racial tension to follow the lead of an opportunistic comedian and his anti-Semitic message".

Ukraine

Silencing the independent media - Journalists covering the Ukrainian protests are being silenced and the West needs to take action, writes Ukrainian newspaper editor Sergii Leshchenko.

Russia

Behind the Volgograd bombings - The American Foreign Policy Council's Ilan Berman writes that the recent terrorist attacks in Volgograd are just the first shot in a war against radical Islam that Russia could very well lose.

Latvia

Joining the Eurozone - Slate's Matthew Yglesias argues that the European monetary union is "not very workable", but the political significance of joining for countries like Latvia makes it very important.

Israel

The New Year in the Jewish world - "My new year is Rosh Hashana, not December 31," writes Ben-Gurion University's David Newman, who shares his views of holiday celebrations in Israel.

United Kingdom

Romanian and Bulgarian migration stir up suspicions of outsiders - With Romanians and Bulgarians free to move to the UK in the new year, writes the Guardian's Paul Quinn, populist politicians and some in the media are "fanning the flames of hatred".

Germany

A new generation of minority comedians makes light of racism - Spiegel's Alexander Kuhn wonders if Germany's young minority comedians and their "brash, cliche-rife performances", are hurting attempts at racial integration.

China

The end of US scientific dominance? - Asia, and China in particular, may be poised to become the global leader in technological innovation, writes the Sydney Morning Herald's Thomas Barlow.

Mexico

Boom times ahead - The Washington Examiner's Michael Barone contends that, thanks to the reforms of President Enrique Pena Nieto, Mexico is on a path to prosperity.

One more thing…

Twelve maps that changed the world - The Atlantic's Uri Friedmen asks author Jerry Brotton to explain the selections for his new book, A History of the World in 12 Maps, and what Google Earth means for the future of cartography.

Have you found an interesting opinion piece about global issues that we missed? Share it with us via email at echochambers (at) bbc.co.uk.