Weekend Roundup: Pope Pushes Ajar the Door to Modern Families


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

This week, Pope Francis sought to push ajar the heavy door of doctrine to accommodate the reality of modern families. In China, leaders of the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement sat down for talks with authorities while the Central Committee of the Communist Party in Beijing pondered how to move forward on “the rule of law.” Elsewhere, in some good news, Nigeria cleared itself of Ebola. The fierce fight for Kobani continued as the western suburbs of Baghdad came under intense attack. Ukrainians head to the polls in the midst of a “frozen conflict” with Russia.

In our monthly series from the Vatican, “Following Francis,” Sébastien Maillard recounts the ups and downs of the synod on family and the pope’s efforts to outmaneuver conservatives among the assembled cardinals.

From Hong Kong, WorldPost China Correspondent Matt Sheehan traces the origins and evolution of the Umbrella Movement in a timeline. He also explores — in photos — the movement’s artistry and inventiveness. Writing from Shanghai, Deng Xiaoping’s former interpreter, Zhang Weiwei, argues that developing countries like China need education, a well-established common culture and rule of law before attempting democratization. Citing Adam Smith, Wang Yong writes from Beijing that no society can become wealthy without the rule of law. In a WorldPost essay we posit that Hong Kong has the unique opportunity to forge a “middle way” between East and West through a governing system that is part meritocratic selection, part democratic election. As the new president, Joko Widodo, takes over the helm in Indonesia, the world’s third largest democracy, Elizabeth Pisani offers some early advice on governing that vast and complex country.

Indian writer Pankaj Mishra says the growing “weakness of the West” is opening up the rest of the world to new alternatives — some good, some really bad.

Nigerian physician Utibe Effiong discusses the challenges of quarantine and treatment, as well as the risk to health workers of fighting Ebola. Harvard Medical School’s Paul Farmer and Rajesh Panjabi argue that Ebola need not mean “a death sentence” if emergency aid provides “staff, stuff, systems, and space.” In an interview with The WorldPost, former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano scores Congress for its “shameful” grandstanding and politicization of the Ebola scare. Senior Editor Kathleen Miles reports that Senator John McCain will push for “U.S. boots on the ground” to defeat ISIS if the Republicans take a majority in the U.S. Senate in the November elections.

WorldPost Middle East Correspondent Sophia Jones reports on a gruesome video that surfaced online. It appears to show Islamic State militants stoning a woman to death in Syria for the crime of adultery.

Writing from Stockholm, European statesman Carl Bildt argues that how Ukrainians vote in this weekend’s election will impact Russia, and Russia’s response in turn will determine its relationship with Europe. Writing from western Ukraine, school teacher Marianna Glynska wonders whether all the death and violence in the name of patriotism in Ukraine is worth it. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch reports the use of “cluster bombs” by Ukrainian forces in rebel territories.

In the wake of the shootings in Ottawa, this week’s WorldPost “Forgotten Fact“ series explores Canada’s complicated history with terrorism.

Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s vice-chancellor and minister for economy and energy, explains how NSA spying on Germany, conflicts with Google over search monopoly and chlorinated chickens from the U.S. that would arrive in markets as part of a proposed free trade pact are driving his country and America apart.

Reporting from around the world, Charles Sennott and Lauren Bohn note that the perennial concern of millennials everywhere is the lack of employment opportunities.

Finally, in a wide-ranging interview, architect Norman Foster discusses how his buildings, from the Reichstag in Berlin to the London “Gerken,” are “an expression of values.”


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 10 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.


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