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The Problem with TB
Re “The Drugs Don’t Work” [March 4]: The rise of drug-resistant tuberculosis is not due to the failures of medicine alone. It is brought about by the failure of governments to do two things: regulate the misuse of antibiotics in the health sector, especially in the private sector; and provide well-ventilated housing to the poor, if this is supplied at all. No magic medical bullet will save us from TB if we do not address these two points. Without such systemic investments, “consumption” will continue to haunt our grandchildren, as it did our forefathers.
Kupela Clarke,
Lusaka, Zambia

In a country like India, where medical help is procured at a high premium as the public-health system fails to keep pace with a burgeoning population and advances in medicine, reports like these show that critical research is being undertaken by private stakeholders. While research on public-health issues is welcome, what we need is adequate checks and balances when research work is funded privately and sought to be harnessed commercially rather than for the good of the wider population.
Anna Thomas,

Cyber Reform
After reading Hannah Beech’s in-depth and astonishing report “China’s Hacker King,” I think the country’s reckless and relentless hackers have punctured new leader Xi Jinping’s suggestion that China must embrace reform and show more regard for the rule of law [March 4]. If Xi cannot rein in China’s rampant hackers, the nation will be perceived as the No. 1 threat in the global community, with respect and trust out the window. It’s thus imperative that Xi bring China’s army of hackers to order.
Song Xiaowen,
Pingzhen City, Taiwan

Parallel States
Reading the piece on the Somali government’s effort in rebuilding its nation, I could not help but draw parallels with the present crisis in northern Nigeria [“Saving Somalia,” March 4]. Not only do the ruling parties bear the same acronym (PDP), but in a country likewise fragmented, where numerous communities have become mini failed states as a result of the Boko Haram menace, Nigerian authorities would do well by imitating their Somali counterparts. Honest focus on reducing the intellectual gap, tackling corruption and providing essential infrastructure will help in shrinking ignorant chauvinism prevalent in the north.
Nze Ibekwe-Uche,
Lagos, Nigeria

The Next Pelé?
Re “Game Changer” [March 4]: For the second time since November, the wrong soccer player has been put under the spotlight. Mario Balotelli will never be a great player, and the “Next Pelé,” Brazil’s Neymar, seems to be on the wrong track. Just ask Pelé himself.
Gerhard Fruehmann,

Words of War
Re Briefing [March 4]: In describing his role as commander of special operations in Iraq, retired U.S. Army general Stanley McChrystal described his role by saying, “It is sexy, it is satisfying, it is manly.” I have always held McChrystal with the utmost regard and am disappointed with this high-ranking officer. While the words sexy, satisfying and manly do have a place in our vocabulary, they are not, I believe, words that do justice to this general’s skills and experience. Those three words are — to me, at least — not usually associated with war, and I would hope they never are again.
Marie-Louise Rosson,
Cromwell, New Zealand

Comic Significance
Re “Cats, Bears and Bacon” [Feb. 25]: Matthew Inman’s case of encouraging specific social-funding activity solely through Web comics was surprising to read. A lot of Web comics are published in South Korea, but only through certain platforms that are supported by portal-site conglomerates. Because of this association, if Inman tried to fundraise in the same way in South Korea, he would inevitably be met with suspicion, particularly from the media. The fact that cartoons can exert a great degree of social influence in America reminded me that the Korean Web-comic ecosystem needs to loosen up its bureaucratic predilections.
Cara Yun,

Retirement Plan
Re “Second Act” [Feb. 25]: Pope Benedict XVI could not cast off the shadow of his predecessor, John Paul II, who was a charismatic and popular personality the world over. Benedict’s scholarly and timid approach failed to tackle the problems he encountered as head of the Catholic faith. It is not surprising that he threw in the towel as the deputy of Christ on earth to make room for a new Pontiff, who could start with a clean slate to restore trust in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith once again. Benedict can use his scholarly knowledge by writing books on theology and Catholic ethics without the tremendous burden of being head of the Catholic Church. He may just have better luck in retirement.
Syed Rashid Ali Shah,
Vroomshoop, The Netherlands

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