Weekend Roundup: Coming Clean on Torture Makes America Stronger, Not Weaker


Nathan Gardels is the editor-in-chief of Noema Magazine.

The soft power of America’s open society has once again come to the rescue of its hard power misadventures, this time by coming clean on the post-9/11 practice of torture. As China and several other countries intensify their crackdown on the Internet and open expression in general, the U.S. offers a lesson: honest criticism fortifies the legitimacy of government, not weakens it, because it assures an avenue for self-correction.

In The WorldPost this week, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who led the charge as head of the Senate Intelligence Committee that released the controversial torture report, writes that “torture goes against the very soul of our country.” Howard Fineman reports why Sen. John McCain, a leading Republican and POW during the Vietnam War, also believes torture is a “stain” on America’s national honor — and ineffective to boot.

As the world watched the news of the U.S. torture report take center stage, Brazil released its own torture report. We turn to that report in this week’s Forgotten Fact series.

This week also marked the launch of HuffPost India. The WorldPost collaborated with the new international edition by cross-posting content for the common viewing of what Pawan Khera labels “the most connected diaspora: Indians.” Kailash Satyarthi writes about “a child friendly world being within our reach” on the same day he jointly received the Nobel Peace Prize with Malala in Oslo. India’s bestselling English language novelist, Chetan Bhagat, takes on the widespread attitude in conservative India that the way a woman dresses invites sexual harassment or assault. Shashi Tharoor, also one of India’s best known authors, as well as a top parliamentarian, breaks the taboo and talks about caste. WorldPost editorial board member and senior Indian journalist Dileep Padgaonkar wonders if Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s good fortune so far means “the Buddha is smiling on India.” Nayan Chanda praises Modi’s decision to settle disputes with Bangladesh as “historic.” Saroj Kumar Rath warns that “jobless jihadis” from Afghanistan may well turn their sights on India.

Urban planner Alykhan Mohamed brings India’s jarring juxtapositions into focus by examining Modi’s plan to build “smart cities” across the country, including in the holy city of Varanasi on the Ganges River, where LED sensors will detect pollution and cell towers will rise next to funeral pyres. Sanjay Sanghoee wonders whether Uber can reach its potential in India after a rape incident involving one of its drivers surfaces.

Moving to Europe, fallen Russian oligarch-turned-dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky argues that Russian President Vladimir Putin is waging war on European values and that sanctions are a mistake if the aim is to change that. Mikhail Gorbachev worries that “we may not survive through these years” of renewed conflict between Russia and the West. Former German Foreign Minister and Green leader Joschka Fischer hails Chancellor Angela Merkel’s stiff resistance to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. In an interview, Mathias Döpfner, who runs Germany’s powerhouse publishing group, Axel Springer SE, sees a threat to Europe from another direction: Google.

In a new collaboration this week with the Los Angeles Times, The WorldPost published three parts of a powerful four-part investigative report on the harshly exploitative conditions of workers on the mega-farms in Mexico that export vegetables to U.S. supermarkets.

Kofi Annan and Ernesto Zedillo call for a global carbon tax this week as U.N climate negotiators gather in Lima, Peru to prepare for a new treaty to supplant the Kyoto Accord. Arriving in Lima on the heels of an agreement with China, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says that “no single country” can deal with climate change on its own.

In a whimsical report, WorldPost Middle East Correspondent Sophia Jones chronicles in photos the adventures across Cairo’s cityscape of a man dressed in a Spider-Man outfit. In a more tragic report, she cites the U.N. refugee agency as saying that nearly 400,000 migrants attempted to cross the Mediterranean in 2014 in search of a better life in Europe. China Correspondent Matt Sheehan takes a look at the welcome mat Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, including at Facebook, laid out for Lu Wei, when China’s Internet czar visited there this week. He also created a timeline to document China’s biggest political takedowns since Mao. Writing from Shanghai, Han Zhu offers a mainlander’s perspective on the lessons of the Hong Kong “Occupy” movement.

Finally, our Singularity University column this week examines the human impulse to explore the universe.


EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Senior Advisor to the Berggruen Institute on Governance and the long-time editor of NPQ and the Global Viewpoint Network of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Senior Editor of the WorldPost. Alex Gardels is the Associate Editor of The WorldPost. Nicholas Sabloff is the Executive International Editor at the Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s 12 international editions. Eline Gordts is HuffPost’s Senior World Editor.

CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Istanbul; Matt Sheehan in Beijing.

EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media) Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun).

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large.

The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.

Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.

ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as the Advisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail, and Zheng Bijian.

From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.


The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets.

We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out.