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Weekend Roundup

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As the dramatic events unfolded over the past week in Ukraine, The WorldPost published a passionate speech given by French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy to protesters in Kiev's Independence Square. At a time when citizens from Spain to Italy to Germany are doubting the very project of European unity, Levy told the crowd: "You have a dream that unites you. Your dream is Europe. Not the Europe of accountants, but the Europe of values. Not the Europe of bureaucrats, but that of the spirit."

Indian author Pankaj Mishra spends most of his time traveling around the world to places outside the cosmopolitan hubs. What he sees are "worldwide mutinies against globalization" as the "technocratic modernizers" have failed to deliver the goods for most of the planet's population. Turkish novelist Elif Shafak takes a different tack, calling for the revival of "a cosmopolitan ideal" to stem the divisive nationalism sweeping the world.

In the same vein as Mishra, "Consumptionomics" author Chandran Nair writes from Singapore that, "if Asia wants to prosper, don't listen to the IMF."

Taking up Shafak's theme, The WorldPost contributing editor Jehangir Pocha writes in his blog post "Shut Up India!" about the rising intolerance of free speech in India as members of the "Hindu right" and some ultraconservative Muslims seek to ban books and other media. He writes, "Too many Indians still cling to old, feudal notions of society. Too many still rank religion, state security and regard of authority far above free speech in their hierarchy of values."

From China, Yunnan Communist Party Secretary Qin Guangrong spells out how China's policy shift of putting a clean environment ahead of GDP growth is being implemented in his province. Our regular column from China Digital Times on "user-generated, censor chosen keywords" on China's Weibo, tracks the reaction to President Xi Jinping's purchase of steamed buns in a local restaurant.

Mo Ibrahim, founder of the largest African telecoms network, Celtel, calls for the rule of law as Africa's highest priority.

In the first of a series on what is going right in America's otherwise dysfunctional democratic politics, California Governor Jerry Brown talks about California's recovery and the need to remain prudent in the economic upturn. "Fiscal discipline is not the enemy of democracy, but its fundamental predicate," he says.

Finally, a small victory. At the request of Mexican poet and environmentalist Homero Aridjis, The WorldPost published an appeal from 150 scientists and writers (including Margaret Atwood, Laura Esquivel and Junot Diaz) calling on North American leaders to act to save the monarch butterfly at their summit on February 19 in Toluca, Mexico. In fact, the leaders did act. The final communiqué signed by U.S. President Barack Obama, Mexican President Enrique Pena-Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said: "We will continue to collaborate in the protection of our region's biodiversity and to address other environmental challenges, such as wildlife trafficking and ecosystems at risk. Our governments will establish a working group to ensure the conservation of the Monarch butterfly, a species that symbolizes our association."