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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 October 2018

Kavanaugh marks a return to a distant patriarchal time

Our readers have their say on the Supreme Court, drug trials, Cincinnatus of Rome and the Houthis

Demonstrators protest against the appointment of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at the US Capitol in Washington DC. Roberto Schmidt / AFP
Demonstrators protest against the appointment of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at the US Capitol in Washington DC. Roberto Schmidt / AFP

I write in reference to Hussein Ibish’s opinion piece Kavanaugh’s confirmation is just the start of this sorry story (October 8). The Brett Kavanaugh confirmation is a clear-cut example of defeat for women not only in the US, but elsewhere as well, as the #MeToo movement gathers momentum in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein revelations.

The appointment of Mr Kavanaugh, bolstered by a defensive President Donald Trump, once again hints at a presidency that has tarnished, politically and morally, the image of the US. While on the one hand, comedian Bill Cosby has been jailed for his history of sexual assault and Harvey Weinstein castigated for his behaviour, a Supreme Court judge in waiting has trumped his accuser, leaving women across the world stunned as the race for parity between the two sexes takes a leap backwards into the patriarchal age.

AR Modak, Johannesburg

Low-skilled governance is all too prevalent today

I refer to your article Politicians could learn a lesson from ancient Rome and know when to quit (October 8). Gavin Esler’s article was meaningful and extremely accurate. He offers an excellent run down of governance failures in many places and sheds light on some of history’s most talented leaders, such as Cincinnatus of Rome, who is still being talked about to this day. It is, indeed, very possible that the legendary Roman leader of 2,000 years ago inspired the likes of George Washington of the US and Charles de Gaulle of France. Mr Esler is correct that low-skilled governance is all too prevalent today and those incapable of running modern nations should know when to stop.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

Adverse effects are not always related to drug trials

Please refer to Neha Dixit’s column India must not become a medical laboratory for the world (October 7). Cases of serious adverse effects, such as death and prolonged hospitalisation, are sadly inevitable. But whether these are related to the drugs being tested and the timeline within which they are reported should be the chief concern, because the same trials are ongoing in the US and across world.

Name withheld by request

The Houthis must focus on peace rather than destruction

I write in reference to your front-page story Houthis starve residents to push up prices (October 8). The Houthis are ignorant and arrogant. But the blame rests directly on Iran, which has armed them. Their crimes will achieve nothing but death and devastation in Yemen.

Name withheld by request