What in the world: Sympathy for Rodriguez... and sharks

New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez grimaces after striking out in a game on September 25, 2013. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Alex Rodriguez guilty only of a 'thoughtcrime'?

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

Today's must-read

I'll confess that Echo Chambers has a soft spot for sports. It's like politics, but the winners and losers are easier to identify.

This week's big loser? New York Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez, who was banned from the sport for a year in a doping scandal.

The media have piled on Rodriguez of late, but Deadspin's Tim Marchman offers a full-throated (and colourfully worded) defence of the beleaguered player, writing that his suspension on the basis of the testimony of a questionable witness with no concrete testing evidence is "fundamentally insane, something like convicting someone for cocaine possession on the say-so of a dealer who may have been selling baby powder, and may not have been selling anything at all".

He writes that by allowing athletes to be checked for steroids, the baseball players' union opened the door for arbitrary punishment at the hands of the owners:

Alex Rodriguez, to be clear, wasn't suspended because anyone could prove he did anything; he was suspended because there was good reason to think he wanted or tried to do something. He was convicted, in other words, of a thoughtcrime.

Rodriguez often has behaved on and off the field like a petulant child, but Marchman's efforts make it easy to wonder how you'd feel if your favourite player received the same treatment from the professional sports establishment.


A bloody US mess - Yemen Minister for Human Rights Hooria Mashhour writes that the latest drone strike on a wedding party is further evidence that all US drone attacks must end. "Drones tear at the fabric of Yemeni society," he contends.


The tale of a banned journalist - Hudson Institute's David Satter writes about the events that led up to his being the first US journalist to be banned from Russia since the Cold War. (He also will be a guest Wednesday on BBC Newsnight.)


Jonathan Jay Pollard deserves no clemency - Jonathan Jay Pollard was "an enthusiastic and willing spy for profit" who gave US secrets to Israel, writes former FBI official ME Bowman. Because he harmed US security and the information he revealed may have ended up in Soviet hands, he should be forced to serve the remaining four years of his 30-year sentence.


Sharks should be spared - The debate over killing sharks to prevent attacks on humans is spurred "by some sort of primeval fear, deep in some people's psyche rather than true logic and actual risk", writes the Newcastle Herald's Jeff Janson.


A hawk's case against sanctions - Bloomberg View's Jeffrey Goldberg writes that although he takes a hard line against Iran, the US Senate should give negotiations a chance before voting for new sanctions.


Canada can be the hero in China-Japan standoff - Serving as an honest broker between Japan and China could be Canada's chance to shine on the world stage, writes the National Post's John Ivison.

United Kingdom

Shale won't conquer Britain - Paul Stevens of the think tank Chatham House writes that government regulation and lack of capital likely will mean the UK won't have the same sort of natural gas boom that has made the US nearly energy independent.

BBC Monitoring's Quote of the Day

Egypt's constitutional referendum: "As Egypt finalizes the referendum voting and waits for final results, it has impressed the world with a big turnout and silenced the hypocrites and the Brotherhood terrorist organization." - Muhammad Hassan Al-Banna in al-Akhbar

One more thing…

Landing at the wrong airport is easier than you think - How can a trained airline crew get so mixed up that they land at the wrong airport? It's happened several times in the past few months, so there must be some explanation. Robert Goyer, editor-in-chief of Flying magazine, writes that it occurs when pilots ignore their instruments and visually land their aircraft.

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.

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