China’s Crisis - As the Bo Xilai saga continues, the New York Times reveals that for much of the last decade, while the now-disgraced official was moving up the ranks of the Communist Party, his relatives were using his influence to quietly amass wealth estimated at more than $160 million. Bo’s downfall has surely changed the fortunes of his family, but The New Yorker wonders about the long-term impact on the Communist Party and on the future of China’s political landscape itself.
The Other Arab Spring - In an essay in Foreign Policy provocatively titled “Why Do They Hate Us?” American-Egyptian author Mona Eltahawy takes a hard look at the issue of women’s rights in the changing Arab world, from Saudi Arabia to Yemen. “Until the rage shifts from the oppressors in our presidential palaces to the oppressors on our streets and in our homes,” she writes, “our revolution has not even begun.”
Burma’s Makeover – After the European Union announced Monday that it would suspend nearly all sanctions on Burma for a year, The Christian Science Monitor explores how the policy change is likely to spur investment, bolster industry and create jobs in a country that has been cut off from the international community for over a decade. But as TIME’s Emily Rauhala points out, a political impasse between Aung San Suu Kyi and the military-backed ruling party over the wording of the parliamentary oath of office could be an early warning of political instability to come.
Shame Game – As both James and Rupert Murdoch take the witness stand at the Leveson inquiry into the relationship between the press, politicians and police in Britain this week, Channel 4 News suggests that their input may create “awkward moments” for U.K. prime ministers past and present, as Rupert Murdoch could claim to have had Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron “beating a path to his door” in order to gain influence with the press.
By the Numbers – In the aftermath of the first round of the French presidential elections, the BBC investigates why there is such high voter turn-out in France, totaling more than 80%. It “far outstrips” other areas of Europe, the report notes, citing recent election figures of 71% in Germany, 66% in the U.K., and 47% in Switzerland. The report says one reason may be that the election fell on a Sunday, but it also points to “grand” constitutional ideas of “equality and fraternity” in France.
Be Wal-Smart – Following a recent New York Times investigation into corruption and a bribery cover-up at a Mexican Wal-Mart, Reuters runs an opinion piece advising S. Robson Walton, the chain’s multi-billionaire chairman, to “channel his father’s spirit of integrity” when investigating the machinations of top executives allegedly involved in the scandal, suggesting that “any attempt to whitewash the charges “would send the company further into disrepute.”