NFL concussion lawsuit loses its 'golden boy'

A photograph of quarterback Dan Marino from his days as an NFL star. Dan Marino is an NFL "golden boy"

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It seems National Football League Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino won't be suing the league over the possible health consequences of concussions incurred during his playing days after all.

Less than a day after the Los Angeles Times reported that Mr Marino would become perhaps the highest-profile name to join the roughly 5,000 players seeking damages from the NFL for allegedly ignoring the long-term consequences of repeated head injuries, his attorney announced that he was withdrawing his name, which he said had been included erroneously.

Mr Marino, his lawyer said, wanted to "ensure that in the event he had adverse health consequences down the road, he would be covered with health benefits".

"It is a shame that we won't get the spectacle of the NFL being publicly shamed by one of its golden boys," writes Bloomberg View's Kavitha A Davidson. The inclusion of a younger, wealthier player would help dispel the perception, held by some, that the lawsuits are part of a "money-grab by players who made poor choices before limping into obscurity".

Deadspin's Kyle Wagner writes that Mr Marino is in a difficult situation, since he appears to not have any symptoms right now. He would not have been able to make a claim to any of the $765m (£490m) settlement the NFL had offered to injured players before a court rejected it:

That's what's at the heart of the problems with the $765m settlement, which is meant to be a slush fund for all future claimants. You're left with guys in Marino's position, who aren't trying to sue just yet, but are worried about degenerative symptoms at a far earlier age than is usual - Marino is just 52 - enough to be anxious to get their hat in the ring as soon as they need to.

China

A repressed memory of Tiananmen Square massacre is not forgotten - The Chinese government's high-alert status during the Tiananmen Square massacre's 25th anniversary is a sign that the event "continues to reverberate across China", writes Wu'er Kaixi, a student leader during the uprising who now lives in exile.

Although those who remember are reluctant to talk about the event, and the young have never been told, he says, under the right circumstances the passion that led the 1989 demonstrations "could spread again" and "quickly wash away the Communist Party's claim to rule on behalf of the people".

A slowing economy and societal conflicts have led to unrest similar to 25 years ago, he writes.

"Just as in the heady days of 1989, when I took to the streets of Beijing and marched against the party leadership along with 100 million people China-wide, a spectre haunts the government," he asserts. "That spectre is the growing realization by China's population that 30 years of heady growth has enriched an entrenched, powerful elite."

United Kingdom

Twilight for the royals? - The abdication of Spain's Juan Carlos has Europeans looking again at the value of the monarchy.

The Guardian's David Priestland writes that, at their best, monarchs can "rise above 'mere' politics and 'embody' a spirit of national unity", as the Spanish king did in moving his nation toward democracy after the death of Francisco Franco.

There is a downside, he says, when royalty becomes symbols of "outdated and indefensible privileges and inequalities".

Such is the risk for the UK's Prince Charles, he says, who has expensive tastes and a "hierarchical view of the world".

"Charles has failed to understand that monarchies have largely survived because they provide a service - as non-controversial and apolitical heads of state," he concludes.

Japan

Shinzo Abe pushes rule of law at sea - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says his nation is "in a better position than ever before to play a larger and more proactive role in ensuring peace in Asia and the world".

He says the nations of the world know that Japan "stands for the rule of law - for Asia and for all people" - in particular, maritime law.

China, he writes, has failed to live up to agreements mad with Japan "to create a maritime and air communication mechanism in order to prevent unforeseen incidents between our countries from generating tensions and miscalculation".

He calls for renewed negotiations between the two nations.

"We do not welcome dangerous encounters by fighter aircraft and vessels at sea," he says. "What Japan and China must exchange are words."

Turkey

A cold friendship with Israel - Despite claims of the inevitability of an alliance between Turkey and Israel, the Middle East's only secular democratic regime, writes Radikal's Fehim Tastekin, Israel still "dared to attack" the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara in 2010.

"Israel predicted that no serious retaliation would come from Turkey and made the whole world see Turkey's capacity during an international crisis," he says.

Israel does not appear to need Turkey as an ally, he says, particularly after threats from Syria, Libya and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood appear to be neutralised.

Turkey continues to rely on Israel for commerce, however, and will continue to do so, even if an Istanbul court issues arrest warrants four Israeli soldiers involved in the Mavi Maramara.

BBC Monitoring's quotes of the day

Russian commentators react to US President Barack Obama's trip to Europe, where he announced plans to increase Nato's military presence in the alliance's eastern nations.

"The policy of countering 'Moscow's expansion in the former USSR' has turned into a fetish for Washington. This policy is destructive for Europe and will eventually strike a blow to America's true national interests." - Mikhail Rostovskiy in Moskovskiy Komsomolets.

"Even if the European members of the alliance respond to the US call, military expenditures are unlikely to grow considerably. European politicians are dependent on their voters and will not be able to make significant cuts in welfare obligations and infrastructure spending in order to boost military expenditures. Let us hope that today's developments will not give a start to a new arms race." - Pavel Aptekar in Vedomosti. ‎

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