July 2nd, 2013
05:45 PM ET

What we're reading

By Fareed Zakaria

“Young French people need to go abroad, to work, to travel, to see how things can work differently in cultures and countries that don’t play by the same old rules — and then come back to France, and reinject some of the energy and enthusiasm they’ve absorbed to help reconcile the broader population with the global reality that France has shunned for far too long,” writes Felix Marquardt in the New York Times.

“Though it may be anathema to French pride that anyone would want to leave (and that evidently Ms. Merkel, France’s No. 1 partner and rival, agrees), young people voting with their feet and coming back with a new worldview could be the best thing to happen to France in 30 years.”

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“If Mohamed Morsi falls or steps down, millions of Egyptians will view it as a victory. Perhaps he could be succeeded by a salvation government, and some kind of stable progress will ensue, though the Brotherhood can hardly be expected to quietly allow their project to dissolve around them, and it would likely mean the return of the army to a guiding role,” writes Evan Hill in the Globe and Mail.

“Revolutions come with chaos. History teaches us that many years may pass before a country comes out of such upheaval with a working government, satisfactory justice and reconciliation, and a consensus about national identity. But even in such a positive scenario, it is hard not to view the first two and a half years of Egypt’s revolution as a series of squandered promises.”

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How to fix America’s health care
July 2nd, 2013
09:39 AM ET

How to fix America’s health care

By William A. Haseltine, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: William A. Haseltine is president of ACCESS Health International, a non-profit that aims to improve access to health care worldwide, and the author of ‘Affordable Excellence: The Singapore Healthcare Story.

The American health care system is failing. Despite spiraling costs compared with other highly developed nations, the outcomes or results we are getting for all of our expenditures often don’t compare favorably. We spend almost 18 percent of our gross domestic product on health care – an astounding amount of money translating to $2.8 trillion dollars per year. In contrast, Japan spends just over nine percent of GDP; France is below 12 percent; and the United Kingdom spends 9.5 percent.

Some argue that we pay more but get the best health care in the world. Unfortunately, that just is not true – we are most definitely not getting what we are paying for. A recent survey by the National Institutes of Health looked at health care outcomes in high-income countries around the world, and we simply did not measure up. We had the highest rates of mortality for newborns and for children less than five years of age. We had the shortest overall longevity rates, and the highest rates of death from lung and heart disease. There are many other comparisons I could cite, but the unavoidable conclusion is that our system simply does not deliver.

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Topics: Health • United States
July 2nd, 2013
09:32 AM ET

In praise of unpaid internships

By Michael Moroney, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Michael Moroney is the director of communications at the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. The views expressed are the writer’s own.

Lawsuits are in vogue this summer as unpaid interns go after their former employers. HearstCondé Nast, and even Gawker are feeling the heat as disgruntled former interns take them to court.

As a recent graduate who used paid and unpaid internships to garner experience and help figure out a career path, I was taken aback by the recent slew of suits. When I was a rising sophomore I started my first unpaid internship at a government relations office Washington, DC. The experience gained and relationships made were worth far more to me than the paycheck I could have made at a normal summer job. My first internship served as a springboard to many other internships – paid and unpaid – that eventually led to the career path I'm on now. The diversity of the internships I completed helped shape my professional skill set and prepared me to compete in an over-saturated job market.

As our modern economy gets more challenging and complex, unpaid internships are an integral part of preparing for the current job market.

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Topics: Economy • Youth
Why the West is wrong about Africa
July 2nd, 2013
09:27 AM ET

Why the West is wrong about Africa

By Ambassador Johnnie Carson, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Ambassador Johnnie Carson is special advisor to the president of the U.S. Institute of Peace. He was assistant secretary of state for African affairs from May 2009 to March 2013 and has also served as ambassador to a number of African nations. The views expressed are his own.

As President Barack Obama wraps up his six-day, three nation trip to Africa, much of America’s traveling press will be packing up to leave, too. Let’s hope that the media take home with them a more nuanced view of the continent – and how the United States has a genuine opportunity to improve its standing across the continent and reaffirm its longstanding historical, cultural and political ties to Africa.

Africa is changing rapidly, but much of the way Americans and Europeans view the continent is caught up in old stereotypes.  Driven by episodic headlines and the publicity of well-intentioned humanitarian organizations and advocacy groups, many people across the United States and Western Europe believe that Africa is run by dictators, mired in conflict and overwhelmed by poverty, disease and starvation.  They point to the conflicts in Somalia, Sudan, Mali and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and then draw unfair conclusions about what is happening on a continent comprised of nearly a billion people, living in 54 countries and occupying a land mass that is three and a half times the size of the continental United States.

Yes, conflict, poverty and disease continue to challenge various parts of this large continent, but this is not the whole story and it should not be portrayed as the dominant one.

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Topics: Africa • Economy • United States