Excerpts from recent editorials in the United States and abroad:
The Boston Herald on Donald Trump:
And so it ends for the GOP — in Indiana, the heartland, and in May.
Not in a brokered national convention. Not with much drama as it turned out. Just the last two opponents of the businessman who would be president, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, acknowledging that the Stop Trump movement has been, well, stopped in its tracks.
And thus ends Part I of the most improbable political campaign in recent American history by a man who turned his signature brand of provocation against no fewer than 16 rivals for the Republican presidential nomination and came up victorious.
In politics it is often all about the moment, and Donald Trump managed to capture the moment for voters — voters with fears and anxieties about the economy, about the world around them, and about the inability of Washington to do anything about any of that to make their lives better.
In this latest contest the thrice-married Trump even won the votes of more evangelical Christians than Cruz, the pastor's son.
There may well be some morning-after remorse among any number of folks, especially those who berated the rest of the field as RINOs (Republicans In Name Only), clearing the field for the ultimate RINO himself — a man whose loyalty to the party — and its principles — has always been about as precarious as the next primary.
Principles? Trump don't need no stinkin' principles. He's Trump, right?
And that, in the general election, may be his biggest advantage — especially against one of the most unprincipled Democrats ever to wear that particular label. The unpredictability of the Trump juggernaut will simply drive Hillary Clinton and her well-heeled campaign crazy.
But eventually the name-calling and the hate-mongering, if continued over the course of the next six months, will grow wearying. Angry and fearful voters will begin to look not simply for someone who stokes their fears, but for someone who has answers — answers that amount to more than "trust me, I'm great."
The Trump campaign Part II will have to provide those answers.
The Telegraph, United Kingdom on young refugees in European
No aspect of the migration crisis in Europe has greater capacity to tug at the heart strings than the plight of unaccompanied children left to fend for themselves. There are thousands in several EU countries and campaigners here want Britain to take in many of them. The Government has declined to do so; but the House of Lords has twice supported an amendment proposed by the Labour peer Lord Dubs insisting that this policy changes.
Next week, the matter returns to the Commons amid signs that a number of Conservative MPs will break ranks and support the Dubs amendment. It is rumoured that David Cameron will seek to forestall a defeat by backing down. This would be a mistake. The position the Prime Minister has taken is rational and compassionate. The Government is helping Syrian refugees in the camps come to the UK because to do otherwise is to encourage people to send their children on dangerous journeys in the hope that they will be offered sanctuary.
Lord Dubs has a powerful personal story to tell because he came to Britain as a Jewish refugee on the Kindertransport scheme. But there is no comparison with today: in 1938, Jewish children who stayed in continental Europe would have been in mortal danger and had to make it to Britain. Child refugees who have arrived in other EU countries today should be properly looked after there. Are France, Germany and other countries ill-treating these children; and if so, why? Britain is prepared to take child refugees from the camps in the Middle East and is doing more than most to help. Mr Cameron should stick to his guns. He may fear losing the vote next week but he has not lost the argument.
The Los Angeles Times on the Washington Redskins nickname:
The Supreme Court may rule sooner than expected on whether the Washington Redskins are entitled to trademark protection for their controversial name. The outcome, we hope, will be a holding by the court that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office may not withhold trademark protection from a business or product just because its name is offensive.
"Redskins" certainly is offensive to native Americans and demeaning to the team and its fans. We have urged the owners to find a new name. But the legal issue is whether the 1st Amendment was violated in 2014 when the patent office canceled the Redskins' trademark registration, citing a law that prohibits trademark protection for names that "may disparage ... persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt or disrepute."
A federal district judge upheld the patent office's ruling in the Redskins case. But a federal appeals court in Washington came to the opposite conclusion last December when it ruled that the patent office wrongly denied trademark registration to The Slants, whose name is intended to comment ironically on a slur against Asian Americans.
Now the football team is asking the justices to fast-track its appeal if they also take up the federal government's appeal of the decision in favor of The Slants. The court should resolve both cases in favor of the trademark applicants.
In defending the constitutionality of the so-called disparagement clause, the Justice Department notes that a denial of trademark registration does not actually prohibit any speech or bar the team from calling itself the Redskins.
But that's not the point. Trademark registration provides certain benefits to the holder that shouldn't be dependent on whether or not the government likes the message a particular name conveys. As the appeals court concluded in the case of The Slants' trademark, withholding registration for that reason amounts to "viewpoint discrimination" in violation of the 1st Amendment.
By making that clear, the Supreme Court would be true to its free-speech precedents. And such a decision would be a welcome rebuttal of the view — especially popular on college campuses — that speech that is wounding to minorities or others isn't protected by the Constitution. A 2015 survey of U.S. undergraduates found that 35% of respondents thought — wrongly — that "hate speech" wasn't protected by the 1st Amendment.
No doubt some people regard names like "Redskins" and "The Slants" as not just offensive but hateful. But under the 1st Amendment government may neither outlaw their use or punish businesses that use such language. The purpose of the trademark system is to protect property rights, not to establish an index of forbidden words.
The Post and Courier of Charleston, South Carolina, on relations between Iran and Iraq:
President Barack Obama got a chilly reception in Saudi Arabia last month after his public comments suggesting that its leaders were overreacting to the threat from Iran. But the Iranian threat is real throughout the Mideast.
Consider Iraq, where a political mess threatens the success of U.S.-backed efforts to expel the Islamic State from Iraq's second city, Mosul. Iran is a major source of the continuing trouble in Iraq, though the Obama administration would rather not say so.
And the violence has continued to escalate, claiming an American life Tuesday when a Navy SEAL assigned to assist Kurdish forces was killed in a firefight with ISIS forces about 19 miles north of Mosul.
The Iraqi parliament has hit a roadblock over demands from Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and his powerful, Iran-backed militia to replace the government and end the alleged corrupt division of political spoils by faction.
The factions in the Iraqi parliament are largely sectarian, and the move attacks the political power of Iraq's Sunni population. Sunni grievances, in turn, have helped the Islamic State consolidate power in Iraq.
The Iraqi government, led by Haider-al-Abadi, agrees with the Obama administration that the Baghdad demonstrations organized by Mr. al-Sadr are effectively impeding progress in fighting ISIS. But demonstrators aligned with the cleric invaded the Iraqi parliament building this week and the government seems powerless to stop them.
Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that Iranian-backed Shia militias are acting as death squads in Sunni areas, leaving hundreds of thousands of Iraqis homeless despite modest gains by the U.S.-supported Iraqi military against Islamic State.
Iran is actively working against the U.S.-supported policy of reconciliation between Sunnis and Shias, according to the report, despite U.S. diplomatic efforts to gain Iran's help. Late last month, a Shia militia group attacked Kurdish militia, which has been a key U.S. ally in the fight against ISIS.
Iran's efforts to expand its power in the Mideast have not been moderated by last year's nuclear deal, which was strongly supported by President Obama. If anything, its aggression has accelerated.
The relentless Iranian push for a Shia-dominated Iraq using proxy groups like the militia headed by Moqtada al-Sadr and another answering to former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is reminiscent of Iran's virtual takeover of Lebanon by arming the Hezbollah Shia militia.
Mr. al-Maliki was a supporter of the U.S. against al-Sadr until President Obama withdrew U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011. He is now counted as pro-Iranian.
The effort to expand Shia political and military power has deeply religious roots long pre-dating the Iranian revolution.
Militant Shias in Iraq and Lebanon, like the government of Iran, wish to dominate Sunnis and also believe they have a religious obligation to destroy Israel.
The current clash between Shias and Sunnis is not limited to turf battles in Iraqi provinces. The Financial Times reports that a study of Iranian cyber warfare attacks, on nations that sees as its Sunni Arab opponents, has found that Iran tries to create maximum disruption and havoc.
Meanwhile, last month the U.S. Justice Department indicted seven men associated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps for cyber attacks on American banks and a dam in New York State.
President Obama has not called out Iran for its cyber attacks on the U.S., or its destabilizing actions in the Mideast, including Iraq. Perhaps the president fears that the nuclear agreement with Iran is too fragile for him to state those inconvenient truths.
But it's easy to see why Iraqi Sunnis, the Saudis, the Syrian opponents of Iran's ally Bashar al-Assad and the Israelis have expressed grave doubts about the Obama team's policies regarding Iran.
As well they might.
It's clear that Iran will remain a serious challenge for President Obama's successor in the White House.
The New York Times on India's water crisis:
Some 330 million people — about one quarter of India's population — are reeling from a drought that has turned vast areas of the subcontinent into a dust bowl, withering crops and forcing farmers from their lands. Coal-fired power plants — the major source of India's electricity — have had to suspend output because there is not enough water in nearby rivers to generate steam. Armed guards are being posted at dams to prevent desperate farmers from stealing water.
Part of the problem is El Niño, the climate pattern that puts extra heat into the atmosphere. But much of the problem is a result of years of mismanagement of water resources, a failure to crack down on corruption and dithering by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government on taking action to help those affected.
Back in 2009, an American report by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration based on satellite images showed a sharp decrease in groundwater levels under northern India's irrigated fields of wheat, rice and barley. The response — drilling wells deeper as water levels fell — has made the problem worse.
Reservoirs and wells are now running dry. India's so-called sand mafia, operating in collusion with local officials, has also contributed to the problem by illegally removing sand — important to allow water to percolate into underground aquifers — from riverbeds to supply concrete for India's construction boom.
India is now entering the hot season, and temperatures have soared to record levels. Thankfully, El Niño is in retreat, and the India Meteorological Department is forecasting an above-average monsoon season later this year, which will provide some relief. But unless there is a way to build infrastructure to quickly capture the rain, much of it will simply run off or evaporate.
Mr. Modi's most urgent task is to help those suffering from the drought. He must also place water at the center of his development agenda. A growing population means that India's water needs will only increase, even as climate change will most likely make water scarcer.
Tampa Bay Times on 2015 bombing of Afghanistan hospital:
The Pentagon has partly explained the series of errors that led to an American attack on a charity hospital in Afghanistan last year that left 42 people dead. But the heavily redacted report still is not an acceptable finding, and the Defense Department has not held itself or those officers involved adequately accountable for failing to prevent this tragedy. With the United States ever-engaged in the fight against Taliban extremists, the Pentagon needs to do more to restore faith here and abroad in America's military mission.
The 3,000-page report paints a disturbing picture of laxity in the ranks, a headlong rush to attack despite confusion on the American side and a broken chain of command that delayed the cessation of firing. American forces dispatched an AC-130 gunship in October over the Afghan city of Kunduz in an effort to take out a Taliban compound. But the mission went off course from the start, thanks to a breakdown in communications and equipment that resulted in the deadly attack on a hospital operated by Doctors Without Borders.
Missile fire from the ground forced the gunship miles away from its target, complicating its effort to locate the Taliban camp. The U.S. Special Forces spotter on the ground mistakenly identified the hospital as a Taliban compound. The air crew could not confirm the target because they took off too early to be fully briefed, and a database that identified the hospital as a protected site had not been uploaded to the plane's computers. A satellite radio aboard the AC-130 failed, knocking out the crew's ability to upload the database or to send and receive vital emails. The gunship's targeting systems wrongly directed the aircraft to an empty field, forcing crew members to calculate the target's location with their own eyes. And the air crew was confused by the directions from the American forces on the ground. Doctors Without Borders was able to reach American officials only minutes after the attack began, but it took at least 30 minutes before the firing was stopped. By that point, the low-flying gunship had fired more than 200 rounds of ammunition into the hospital.
Gen. Joseph L. Votel, the top officer at Central Command, said at a Pentagon news conference Friday that American military personnel "failed to comply with the rules of engagement in the law of armed conflict." Despite that serious charge, the 16 U.S. service members said to have been punished for their roles have not been identified. The Pentagon said the punishments will be "administrative actions" only, because those involved did not knowingly attack a hospital. Human rights groups criticized the findings, saying the inquiry should have been independent and faulting the U.S. military for not seeking tougher penalties under the military conduct code.
The errors in judgment that led to this tragedy at least call out for those responsible to be named, and for the Pentagon to clearly explain the discipline it meted out to each individual. It's also unacceptable that after more than a decade of war the United States still operates in such a threadbare fashion, with communication lapses that put civilians at risk. These mistakes, and the rather soft punishment that followed, undermine the U.S. mission.