Letters to the editor | Edited November 18, 2021
Letters are welcome by email to [email protected]
Your article on vaccination passports referred to a paper-based “yellow card” that the World Health Organization has issued for 30 years (“Hard Passport”, October 30). This document contains the International Certificate of Immunization or Prophylaxis (ICVP), which is recognized by all countries, unlike country-specific covid-19 certificates. The WHO working on a digital version of this. In the near future the paper booklet will be revised to include an additional section on laboratory results aimed at providing a universally accepted tool for international travel.
Currently, the WHO it does not recommend that countries require proof of vaccination against covid-19 as a condition of travel, as there is limited and uneven availability of vaccination around the world. Nevertheless, an international certificate can be issued to travelers on the model ICVP to record that they were vaccinated with any of the vaccines they received WHO emergency use permit. Measures such as testing or quarantine may be reduced for vaccinated travelers, based on each country’s risk assessment and WHO guide
World Health Organization
“The math wars” (November 6) rightly highlighted a serious problem with American competitiveness and national security arising from the poor quality of education in mathematics. You spoke at length about teaching methods, but the real problem is the quality of teaching. Teachers are poorly paid. A graduate with an engineering or science degree can earn twice as much in the private sector.
Substandard teaching in math, science and technology has far-reaching consequences. I came to America on H. is-1B visa because my employer could not find an American with my skills. Visit any engineering office or laboratory now and you will find that about half of the workers received their primary and secondary education in a foreign country. Relying on immigration to make up for the shortage has worked so far, but America is becoming more attractive as a destination for a variety of reasons, making it harder to attract these skills.
San Antonio, Texas
Morocco and Western Sahara
Regarding the conflict in Western Sahara (“The disputed desert”, November 6), the claim by the Polisario Front, which seeks independence, is to control 20% of the territory is a serious violation of the 1991 ceasefire agreement, because the UN he noted time and time again. Under the agreement, 80% of the land is still under Moroccan control and 20% is designated as demilitarized buffer zones.
It is true that the Western Sahara under the rule of Morocco is flourishing. Subsidies are aimed primarily at Sahrawis, and not only non-Sahrawis from other parts of Morocco. On the other hand, Sahrawis in the camps on Algerian soil are held against their will. They are considered refugees but do not have the right to free movement or gainful employment, or to be counted and identified, as specified in the Geneva Convention and requested by the Government. UN Security Council. The Polisario receives 134,000 daily food rations from the World Food Programme, but aerial photographs and evidence on the ground suggest that those in the camps have less than 90,000. The European Anti-Fraud Office has accused Polisario in the past of importing shares and selling them on the black market, with the help of Algerian military officials.
War will only make an already terrible situation in the camps unbearable and explosive. Morocco has been trying to appeal to Algeria to open dialogue channels. It is incumbent on rulers in both countries to think about peace and not war, wealth instead of bells. Those who beat the drums of war would drag the region into a conflict where everyone would lose.
Minister in the government of Morocco, 2012-16
The elephant is not in the room
China pumps nearly 30% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, yet you named the prime ministers of India and Australia and a senator from West Virginia as guards on fossil fuels (“Cop out”, 30 October). Xi Jinping did not even appear at the COP26 roofs in Glasgow. China continues to increase its capacity for coal-fired power stations.
One widely neglected legal issue related to global warming is how international organizations, and the UN in particular, waterlogged states should be addressed; small islands and low-lying countries that may be flooded by 2100 due to sea level rise. Much has been said about moving populations from these places for their safety, but no consideration has been given to the legal standing of these states without a sovereign territory to govern. Will they continue to enjoy votes in the UN and other world groups?
PROFESSOR PETER HAAS
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Your analysis of American politics is grim (“Year on”, November 6). Joe Biden’s popular social, infrastructure and climate programs appear to be no match for the challenges he faces. The liberal party, diversity, education and the popular vote are mathematically humiliated at elections. All that remains is for Donald Trump to fulfill the predictions and return in 2024 with a Republican majority in Congress. Can a future edition give us details on how to immigrate to Canada? Or better yet, a path to freedom?
France’s addiction to acronyms actually extends to gastronomy (“PFUE? LOL”, 30 October). The acronym AAAA on menus indicating the origin of stuffed intestines approved by the Association Amicale des Amateurs d’Andouillette Authentique (Friendly Association of Authentic Andouillette Amateurs). I like to think that the abbreviation is somewhat tongue in cheek.
It is the Dutch who are on top of the Euro-abbreviations league. Theirs run the gamut from political parties (PvdA, D66, PVV, VVD) to football clubs (NEC, NO, VVV, MVV, A.Z). And the Netherlands definitely wins the prize for the world’s stupidest name for a football club: Go Ahead Eagles.
A crucial feature of an acronym is that it can also be said as a word. This was clearly understood by Admiral Ernest King when he was offered the position of commander of the US fleet by Franklin Roosevelt shortly after Pearl Harbor. He accepted, but insisted that the work’s acronym, cinTOO MUCH (“we sinned”), change to cominch.