Uruguay

♦ Martin Wolf argues that the fiscal crisis that the US faces is not about debt as the fiscal position has improved dramatically and poses no medium-term risks.” The debate is about whether citizens will fund the government.
♦ The US government shutdown produced “much sardonic merriment in Beirut“, says David Gardner. “What are these Americans fussing about?… Lebanon has, after all, been without a government since March – and few of its citizens would be able to spot the difference anyway.”
♦ Bernard Kouchner, founder of Médecins Sans Frontières, says, “Lampedusa is a metaphor for the EU: there were once high hopes but there are no longer any expectations… It is not even able to rescue those who still believe in the European dream.”
♦ Der Spiegel speaks to refugees struggling to get by in Hamburg, where there have been protests of the treatment of asylum seekers.
♦ There is a new exodus from Egypt of citizens who feel defeated by the tragic turn taken by their country and have grown tired of waiting for better days.
♦ Uruguay is set to become the first country in the world to legalise marijuana, bringing a $40m industry under state control.
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Daniel Dombey

By Daniel Dombey, US diplomatic correspondent

There was a certain comic opera quality to the Uruguayan presidential inauguration that Hillary Clinton attended today. Compared with neighbouring states such as Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay is a minnow, though a wealthy, well educated and sometimes idyllic one. Read more