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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Monday Morning Quarterbacking

    The Wildcat comments on the weekend’s news

    The good, the bad and the regents

    The good news: 80 percent of students in Arizona’s public universities are receiving some sort of financial aid to help pay for their college education. The bad news: Most of that aid is student loans, which leave the average undergraduate mired in about $18,000 of debt by graduation. And although over a billion dollars of student aid was handed out last year, it only covered an approximate 64 percent of undergraduates’ financial need. Although the College Cost Reduction Act, a promising bill to increase federal financial aid, was signed into law by President Bush on Thursday, Arizona students need a similarly comprehensive aid boost if our universities hope to remain attractive institutions for bright students; Arizona is at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to student financial aid. Fortunately, the Arizona Board of Regents is discussing a state financial aid overhaul, including possible grant programs and credits for students who pledge to teach in public schools after graduation. We hope they can come up with aid innovations – before too many students rack up massive debt or head elsewhere for their education.

    Information wants to be free

    As throngs of monks lead growing protests against the military government of Myanmar, the oppressive junta that controls the country is striking back. This weekend, police and soldiers violently cracked down against many protesters, leading governments around the world to condemn the heavy-handed actions of the Burmese generals. But as hard as the regime tries to trample dissent and prevent media outlets from documenting their blunt tactics, pro-democracy activists and journalists have an important tool on their side: the Internet. Although camera equipment and computers have been seized from many journalists at gunpoint, news is still flowing out of Myanmar. A foreign correspondent for ABC filed a report filmed on his cell phone after his camera was confiscated at the border. Protesters are using blogs and text messages to organize. And the protests have been well documented on Web sites like Flickr and YouTube, on which a video showing the apparent shooting of Kenji Nagai, a Japanese photojournalist, was posted Friday. These days, to quell a revolution, authorities need to shut down the Internet. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the generals are attempting to do. And they’re not the only ones – next door in China, the government censored more than 18,000 sites in an attempt to quell criticism before an upcoming Communist party congress. But the digital documentation spilling onto the Internet from both nations is part of a true “”information revolution.””

    Going nuclear

    In a Friday meeting with leaders of other industrialized nations at the State Department, President Bush presented a visionary new plan to fight global warming. In his own words, “”each nation will design its own separate strategies for making progress toward achieving this long-term goal.”” Although it’s good to see climate change on the agenda, the world needs more than vapid discussion. Solutions like voluntary restrictions and cap-and-trade systems were tossed back and forth for show at the conference, but we need a carbon tax sooner rather than later to efficiently curb the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. Still, there are glimmers of hope for the future of mankind: Last week, the first application to build a new nuclear power plant was filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which expects as many as 28 more proposals to build clean, green reactors over the next year. Although nuclear is a good start, it’s still not enough – plants have huge start-up costs, and won’t actually begin replacing gassier energy sources until years from now, when they’re completed and go online. In the meantime, as polar ice continues to melt, it’s time to get serious about global warming.

    Means, Kurds, and ways

    Turkey and Iraq on Friday signed an agreement that promises to reduce growing tension between the two governments over armed groups in Iraqi Kurdistan. Ankara has rebuked the Iraqi government for failing to control raids by the Kurdish PKK guerrillas into eastern Turkey, a largely Kurdish region that many Turks fear could try to secede and create an independent Kurdish state. Over the past few months, Turkish generals have grown increasingly exasperated with attacks by the PKK, labeled a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, and threatened military incursions or full-scale invasion of northern Iraq – a prospect that would end the relative success of Iraq’s northern provinces since the U.S. invasion. Although the two nations failed to agree on rules allowing Turkish troops to pursue militants across the border, they did agree on greater intelligence sharing, military cooperation and financial oversight to rein in the raids. At least the Iraqi government can agree with someone.

    OPINIONS BOARD: Editorials are determined by the Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Allison Hornick, Sarah Keeler, Connor Mendenhall, Justyn Dillingham, Jeremiah Simmons and Allison Dumka.

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