x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Armed guards are the best solution to sea piracy

A reader says the long, dramatic Amanda Knox murder trial should lead to some good books before long. Other letter topics today: piracy, Saudi women, traffic safety, crime, and "the cult of Apple".

Amanda Knox weeps in relief as she and co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito were acquitted Monday. A reader writes that the sensational and long-running case will surely lead to several books. AP
Amanda Knox weeps in relief as she and co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito were acquitted Monday. A reader writes that the sensational and long-running case will surely lead to several books. AP

I was interested in your stories about maritime piracy (Indian shipowners call for UN force to battle piracy and Three sailors guilty of possessing guns, both October 4).

It is becoming apparent that armed private security men are the best solution to the piracy plague.

Those Indian shipowners should take a look at how the UN does other things; their enthusiasm would evaporate.

And constant naval patrolling is astoundingly costly compared to having a few capable men with good weapons placed aboard each tanker or cargo ship.

But there has to be a way mariners with weapons can stay out of jail when they put into port.

Paulo Gomes, Abu Dhabi

Can't get enough of Knox case

I read with interest your coverage of the Amanda Knox case (Knox cleared of murder and set free, October 4). What a story!

I fear we will never know the truth, no matter what we suspect. I am always amazed by legal proceedings like this one, which become media circuses and in which the prosecutors can fall in love with their own case while the well-paid defence also has every reason to pull out all the stops.

No doubt there will be books about this case before long. I for one will read them all.

Alice Dell, Dubai

Saudi women getting started

Thank you for A veiled reading of Islam that Saudi women still pay for (October 4).

What good insights author Hissa Hilal offered into the practical difficulties for women who want to move forward in Saudi Arabia.

And what a good challenge she offered to the conservative forces in that country who are determined to ignore historical examples of women in public life in Islamic society.

Almost a century ago women in many western countries rebelled against being kept "barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen" and in the last few decades the drive to equality has swept away almost all barriers - and those societies are better off in many ways because of the changes. Now Saudi women are just starting on that journey.

The situation is different because the culture and religion are not the same, but the people are the same, in the sense that women in every culture have all the capabilities that men have.

Jane Gregory, Abu Dhabi

I hope Hissa Hilal will rest assured that there are many men, although not as many as one wishes, who seek a strong and equal companion in life and in society.

The "special" interpretation of our religion has created a culture that needs not only "dusting" but also a vigorous shake to uncover a better way of life.

Anees Sultan, Oman

Who let 14-year-old drive in traffic?

Boy, 14, dies after motorcycle crash (October 4) was a tragic story.

In the same paper you had an editorial about road safety and young people (A tragic lesson in driving responsibly).

But at age 14, human beings are not mature enough to assess risks wisely. Who let that child drive a motorcycle on a busy street?

Michael Khoury, Abu Dhabi

Longer jail terms would deter crime

I was struck by the news report One-year sentence in villa burglary (October 4).

I believe that one year is just too soft a punishment for such a crime. If the punishment is not severe enough to deter would-be criminals, then inevitably the crime rate will go higher.

Name withheld by request

Stadium photos were fascinating

The photo spread about the behind-the-scenes life of a sport stadium (Behind the sporting scene, October 4) was really interesting.

My son and I enjoyed seeing how things happen to prepare the place and the players for a match.

Austin Jackson, Dubai

Cult of Apple is unhealthy

I for one am fed up with the cult of Apple products. Your story (New iPhone at top of Cook's menu, October 4) was an informative analysis of the company's corporate prospects in the post-Steve Jobs era, but a lot of the "coverage" I see online is thinly-disguised drooling.

Worse, a lot of the stories have been drooling over an unknown product, since despite all the rumours nobody knew for sure in advance what Mr Cook would be announcing.

This mindless enthusiasm for all things Apple strikes me as foolish, and a little sick. Yes the products are fine but they do not deserve such idolatry.

Thomas der Groot, Abu Dhabi