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48° Good Afternoon

Letters: Challenge Democrats on foreign policy

Newsday's editorial claims that "Democrats had a more policy focused debate" ["Tense nation seeks clarity," Oct. 15].

I observed far too few questions regarding U.S. foreign policy. The Obama administration's foreign policy has been ineffective, feckless and incoherent. The result is that the Middle East is far more dangerous today. Civil war in Syria, terrorism in Israel and disequilibrium in Libya have resulted in thousands of refugees migrating into Turkey and Western Europe, creating widespread instability.

Russia and China have replaced the long-standing U.S. military presence in the region while the threat of terrorism from the Islamic State group flourishes.

Michael P. Mulhall, Rockville Centre

Poor headline on West Bank story

An Associated Press news article in Oct. 18's Newsday began, "Palestinian assailants carried out five stabbing attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank yesterday, authorities said, as a monthlong outburst of violence showed no signs of abating. At least four assailants were killed."

The article's headline read, "4 Palestinians killed in unrest."

Where in the headline is it mentioned that the four Palestinians were killed in the act of attacking and stabbing innocent Israelis? This headline is the worst kind of misleading journalism. The headline is an outrage, and it is often the only part of the article that is read.

The Palestinians who were killed were not peaceful protesters or innocent bystanders. They were terrorists, even if they were first-time teenage terrorists.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a mess, and both sides continue to act badly at times, to say the least. But the media do not foster intelligent public discourse through this kind of coverage.

Lawrence Israeloff, Melville

E-cigarettes need more regulation

It seems every week a new hookah bar or vaping shop opens in Suffolk County ["Hookah bars getting zoned out," News, Oct. 13]. This isn't a good thing for our communities, especially our youth.

The Suffolk County Sanitary Code mandates a vendor education class for businesses registered to sell tobacco. However, this class is not mandatory for selling electronic cigarettes. County law prohibits the sale of electronic cigarettes to anyone younger than 19 and prohibits smoking e-cigarettes where smoking traditional cigarettes is banned. However, it is almost impossible to know where e-cigarettes are sold and therefore to enforce age restrictions.

Moreover, e-cigarettes come in flavors such as fruit, bubble gum and mint that appeal to children. Many adults and children are unaware that some of these are also nicotine delivery devices and falsely view them as safe.

Also, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, the exposure to formaldehyde from e-cigarettes could be five to 15 times higher than from smoking cigarettes. The "vape pen" used for e-cigarettes is also used to inhale the drug known as "K2" or "spice."

We must educate the community that e-cigarettes are far from a safe alternative.

Robyn Berger-Gaston, Riverhead

Editor's note: The writer is the division director of Youth, Senior and Intergenerational Services for the Family Service League.

Why not ban alcohol and drugstores, too?

I hope the Islandia board of trustees that "unanimously voted in favor of a law to amend zoning codes to ensure that marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes will not be allowed" has also outlawed any places that sell alcohol, which is recreational drug use ["LI village bans sales of medical marijuana," News, Oct. 12]. Also pharmacies, which sell medicinal drugs. At least then the board will be consistent.

Jim Brennan, Rocky Point

Subject school killers to public contempt

School killers could go from sick glory to everlasting shame: Build a "wall of shame" in the World Trade Center area, or Washington, or both ["Get tougher on gun traffickers," Editorial, Oct. 14].

It would contain the names of these school killers, the 9/11 terrorists, etc. These people will know that they will be disrespected by visitors who will be free to spit on their names.

Clyde Smith, Belle Terre


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