EU-US relations, shock treatment for smokers, Iran's nuclear program, the most beautiful German word and the Kyoto protocol grabbed the attention of DW-WORLD readers this week.
Which pumpkin is scarier?
Bush and EU-US relations
A Bush re-election will help relations with the EU in the long-run but will probably disappoint many Europeans in the short-run. I think Perle is exactly right when he uses the comparison of President Bush to President Reagan in the context of European opinion making. Do you remember the large protests staged in the capitol cities of Europe in the early 1980s? The negative media comments and reporting of Reagan's policies? We in the US remember them well. I think the political leaders, and the media and educational elite in western Europe need to do some internal soul searching within their own countries. Blaming Bush for your problems won't solve your problems. Kerry won't be able to help you either. -- Boyd Lawrence, US
Bush's re-election will neither help or harm European relations. The damage was done long ago, mostly, but not entirely by Bush. A Bush re-election allows Europeans an opportunity to vent their anti-American feelings. A Kerry win would, in the short term, foster feelings of improved relations. However, that would end once they realize that there won't be any significant change in US foreign policy. -- Bill Hayman
Let us hope and pray enough thinking people turn out to vote. The planet needs Kerry. Bush is anti-Europe, anti-environment, anti-truth and (EU-US relations) will only go downhill if he gets re-elected. -- Bonnie Aller, US
Shock pictures on cigarettes packs
Some of proposed shock pictures for European cigarette packs
It is smart move, and I wish that some more hard evidence would be presented to curb teenage smoking. The employees of tobacco companies should be taxed more than others to discourage business. -- Zahid Hamid
Nowadays, we are all becoming concerned about the effects of cigarettes on our health. Governments are also concerned about the effects of smoking on health expenditures. In fact, increasing health costs are spoiling their budgets, which have suffered as a consequence of economic stagnation and taxes reduction policies. However, in my opinion we have to analyse the potential result of this new proposal. Probably they could help young people to think carefully about the health risks of smoking. They could also illustrate the consequences of indirect smoking and its impact on our lives. But I am sure that we have to take into consideration another matter related to the discussion. Is it legal that governments oblige companies to print these kind of figures on cigarette packs? How can we (as a society) conciliate the company's right to invest huge quantities of resources in promotion against these photographs? -- Carlos Adrian Ferretti, Argentina
Favorite German word
My favorite German word is Heimatland, or homeland. I love it because my late husband always spoke so longingly of East Prussia, his Heimatland. I love the notion of everything it stands for. When he and I went to Denmark, I got very choked up and cried. I wasn't sure exactly why. Let's face it, it hardly looks any different than northern Germany. My Danish grandfather had never waxed lyrical about Denmark. My husband wasn't a bit surprised by my emotional reaction to seeing Denmark for the first time. He said something along the lines of, "Of course you're choked up. It's your Heimatland. This is where you and your people are from." My husband left East Prussia when he was drafted in the Reicharbeitsdienst (a compulsory working scheme under the Nazis) and never returned. After four years in a prisoner of war camp in Egypt there was no going back home. He felt he never had a home on this earth. -- Laurie Kunze
My favorite word in German is Smaragd (emerald). It has a timeless, mythical feel to it. It makes me think of dragons and fairy tales. Emeralds are also a beautiful stone in themselves. -- Emma Gray
Iran's nuclear program
It would be a political coup de grace for Iran to make a treaty with the EU and provide cheap energy for its people with a properly supervised nuclear power plant. It would certainly be a slap in the face of the US's bully attitude of false self-righteousness to have Iran peacefully cooperating with "western" powers completely without them. -- Wolfgang Conrad, US
Iranian lawmakers during a visit to the Isfahan uranium conversion facility in central Iran on Sunday.
I applaud Russia's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. This isolationism that Bush is pushing is ridiculous and ill willed. He is dividing the world at a time when the world needs to come together to solve the common problems we all have. We can all give a little and end the problems. Bush is selfish and only wants to fill his pockets and those of his big business donors. He is not concerned with the welfare of people nor of the future of the planet. He is a "get-rich-now-and-get-out" person. Not one to be trusted, nor one to be president again. I ask the international community to pressure the US to sign the Kyoto Protocol. John Kerry said he will sign it. I ask the international community to enlighten the United States citizens that Bush is not a good president for democracy nor our future in the global world. -- Patricia L. Shenk
The Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer shows a hole in the ozone layer over the Antarctic.
I do not believe that the United States will feel pressure to reverse its position on the Kyoto Protocol now that Russia has ratified the treaty. Currently, the United States as a whole feels very disconnected from Europe, except for Great Britain, and most citizens do not believe that Europe has much influence over the US. Instead, the United States is independently developing more innovative and cleaner ways to protect its own environment. There are many private organizations in the US that are helping to keep the environment clean, the US government has been passing more stringent emissions laws, and the government has expressed the desire to research cleaner coal-burning technologies. Also, many American car manufacturers are producing more fuel-efficient cars that are being demanded by the American consumer. As far as industry goes, the US government has scrutinized manufacturing plants for many years and has passed countless environmental laws against manufacturers. -- Drew Myers, US
If Bush continues to be our president, I am confident that no progress will be made towards the US accepting the protocol. If Kerry becomes president, I am hopeful that Washington will lean towards at least discussing it. It is time that we accept that preserving the environment is important (necessary), even if it means spending money to do it. -- Brian Krahmer, US
This "change of mind" that is referenced to in your Web site is better known as Iran playing games with the EU. This is what Saddam did and this is what Arafat has done for the last decade. The Iranian mullahs figure that they can string out the EU long enough so that the European press and media has time to build sympathy for the "Iranian cause" among the European public. Then it will be up to "Cowboy Bush" and the American military to get Iran to the negotiating table. Good luck EU with this utter nonsense. -- Boyd Lawrence, US
My choice for the most beautiful word in German is Gemütlichkeit. To me it speaks of a pervasive condition of "welcoming and cozy ambience." There is not a comparable English word that I am aware of that encompasses the special meaning of this word. -- Charles Morey, US