Behind the scenes at the NY Times, China's finances and Mike Tyson's op-ed

Edward Snowden speaks at a dinner with a group of US ex-intelligence workers.
Image caption The New York Times editorial calling for clemency for Edward Snowden was 'weeks in the making'

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

Today's must-read...

Yesterday, we wrote about the New York Times' call for clemency for NSA leaker Edward Snowden. The Times public editor has an article explaining the piece was "weeks in the making". Editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal is quoted as saying that he hopes President Barack Obama will heed the call, but "we have been very disappointed with him on these issues".


Cops shoot workers over minimum wage - Slate's Matthew Yglesias writes that Cambodia's rapid growth coupled with an illegitimate government are turning the country into an political powder keg.


Is Greece fit to lead the EU? - The presidency of the EU gives Greece the chance to repair its damaged reputation, writes the Telegraph's Colin Freeman.


Will the February general election actually happen? - The Thai elections season is off to a rocky start, writes the Nation's Suthichai Yoon, and a delay could be inevitable, putting political reform in limbo.


Optimism for Afghanistan - With all the bad news following the US troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, writes Michael O'Hanlon of the think tank the Brookings Institution, it's easy to be pessimistic about the nation's future. There are signs, however, that Afghanistan is stable enough to survive.


Is a financial disaster looming? - Patrick Chovanec of Silvercrest Asset Management writes that China's massive debt spending could cause "a financial train wreck" that would "send tremors through global markets".


Bombing shows that civil war has arrived in Beirut - The Syrian civil war has spilled over into neighbouring Lebanon, writes the Weekly Standard's Lee Smith, and the US is likely to be caught in the middle.


Visa laws could force gay couple apart - The Guardian's Senthorun Raj writes that Australia's "convoluted" visa laws could lead to deportation and jail for a Pakistani man.

One more thing…

Mike Tyson: fighting to kick the addiction habit. - Who would have predicted that retired boxer Mike Tyson would write an op-ed for the New York Times, and a good one at that? The former heavyweight champion shares stories of his struggles with sobriety. "This is the best I've ever felt," he writes. "I'm on the pathway to humility, fully aware that you can't rule until you've served."

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