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Their Views

Obama needs Congress to OK war

WASHINGTON — The United States last declared war many wars ago, on June 5, 1942, when, to clarify legal ambiguities during a world conflagration, it declared war on Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. Today’s issue is not whether to declare war but only whether the president should even seek congressional authorization for the protracted use of force against the Islamic State.

Short on firepower

In launching two previous wars in Iraq, the United States assembled formidable coalitions of dozens of countries. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and Oman were among the Arab states that deployed substantial ground forces during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Though derided by some as a “unilateral” U.S. action, the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq was supported by troops from 39 countries, nine of which deployed more than 1,000 soldiers.

Football has proven its moral vacancy. It’s time for fans to start quitting.

After decades of soaring popularity and profits, professional football is at a moral crossroads. For decades, the NFL’s entire business model has been predicated on presenting an athletic spectacle so thrilling that fans were willing to ignore the dark side of the game — its extreme and inherent violence, its antiquated gender roles and its nihilistic greed, which places profits above all else, even the health of its players.

The case of two wrongly imprisoned men exposes the flaws of the judicial system

The case of two North Carolina men who spent 30 years in prison — one on death row — for a crime they didn’t commit calls attention once again to the familiar failings in the U.S. justice system that lead to false convictions. As much as we would like to cheer the release of Henry McCollum and his half-brother Leon Brown, we can’t help but be sobered by how long they spent behind bars — and how many other innocent people may remain locked up or susceptible to false arrest and imprisonment.

Obama must deliver on tough talk

No one wants to be at war. But the barbaric animals who fancy themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria must be stopped. We cannot stand by as they murder Christians and Jews, behead journalists, throw children off cliffs, rape and enslave women and mass execute whichever demographic they don’t like.

Nail polish could help spot rapists

They’re not athletes or celebrities, but Ankesh Madan, Stephen Gray, Tyler Confrey-Maloney and Tasso von Windheim have gotten a lot of press lately — all because of some nail polish. The four N.C. State University students are working on a special kind of polish that can detect the presence of date-rape drugs.

EU surprises Putin for once with new, sensible sanctions

For the first time since Russia annexed Crimea six months ago, the European Union has surprised President Vladimir Putin instead of the other way around. Despite a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, and despite Russia’s apparent withdrawal of troops from the region, the EU decided Thursday morning to impose new sanctions on Russia.

Scotland’s epic independence vote

WASHINGTON — Tucking into a dish of Scottish haggis is not a task for the fainthearted. There are various haggis recipes, but basically it is sheep’s pluck — the heart, lungs and liver — cooked together, then mixed with suet and oatmeal and boiled in a sheep’s stomach, then served, sometimes drenched with Scotch. People who pour whisky on oatmeal are not shrinking violets. Remember this on Thursday when Scotland votes on independence from the United Kingdom.