A reader questions whether US foreign policy will change if the presumptive Republican nominee is elected president in November. Other letters topics: rewards for recycling, water-borne watermelons and a plea for peace on the subcontinent.
More of the same from Romney?
Regarding Do all signs in Israel point to war with Iran? (August 15), whatever Mitt Romney might say, I don't expect much change in US foreign policy if he becomes president.
What I can't understand, though, is the media's obsession with the US elections. They hold meaning and relevance only for Americans.
When Barack Obama became president, analysts predicted miracles, with peace-lovers in west Asia and the subcontinent expecting a favourable change in American policy.
Mr Obama may have been a welcome change for the US, but he should also have "waged peace" on people in the rest of the world.
The reality is that America has initiated wars in the recent past and spent billions of dollars on them. And yet the end result has not given enough comfort to its own people, who still demand an improved economy and better job opportunities.
Ramachandran Nair, Oman
Plea for peace on the subcontinent
For the past 70 years, whenever I have been asked my place of birth, I say Pakistan. However, there was no Pakistan in 1942; I was born in an area that became Pakistan.
So, I am an Indian. It could be said that Manmohan Singh is Pakistani, because he was born in a place that became Pakistan, and that former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf is an Indian, because he was born in Delhi.
My concern is that politicians and those people wanting to make money will allow hatred to simmer between India and Pakistan until there is a war and people get killed.
It is 65 years since Pakistan and India became nations (UAE ceremonies mark independence, August 16). In 1971, Bangladesh separated, and there are other hot spots on both sides of the border that would like to become independent.
I have been in the UAE for the past 32 years. I do not distinguish between Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. They are all close to me. On either side of my apartment are Indians, and I have the best of relations with them. We exchange food.
However, these South Asian nations are busy being nuclear powers when areas have no electricity, no food, no schools, no hospitals and pitiable conditions.
I am a professional military man, but I have no animosity with India because it is my home.
I hope we all can live in peace.
Kanwar Hayat, Dubai
Bare facts about going shoeless
Regarding Fitness versus footwear (August 15), the barefoot movement is growing and I can give you many great reasons to join us.
Shoes are the leading cause of almost all foot problems in the United States and other developed nations. We wear them for cultural reasons, not physical need.
The foot works best when bare; adding orthotics, arch supports, cushioning, motion control and other features actually does us harm.
However, our feet are debilitated by years of wearing shoes and you should transition to living barefoot gradually, with lots of barefoot walking before you try barefoot running.
Daniel Howell, US
I go barefoot as a matter of life choice, and I believe I can sue a fitness club that requires me to dress in a certain way that is not required by law. Equally, if someone at a club tells me to wear shoes and I don't, and I get hurt, the club is not liable for my injury.
Then there is the health issue. A person who works out barefoot strengthens the muscles and tendons in the foot and ankle, thereby gaining a better foundation for the body.
Also, as your story pointed out, nasty things like athlete's foot grow because of shoes.
David Greene, US
Thanks for the watermelons
I have just read Cargo of melons capsizes dhow (August 16), and now I know why we've have had loads of watermelons and other fruit washing up on the beach at Palm Jumeirah.
Duncan Carruthers, Dubai
I'm surprised your story, which evoked Sir Isaac Newton's observations about gravity, didn't also mention Archimedes, who could have told the unfortunate captain that the sea level would rise (albeit very slightly) when the watermelons fell overboard.
Trevor Long, Abu Dhabi
Incentive unfair to regular recyclers
In reference to Recycling? Green households have an app for that (August 16), it's all very well giving away iPads as an incentive.
But what about people like me who have always independently recycled our rubbish and driven it to the local recycling point on a weekly basis?
What thanks do we get?
Aimee Davidson, Dubai