Features

‘Pandora’s box has been opened’: Scientist’s baby gene-editing claim fuels backlash

Beijing: A Chinese scientist’s claim that he has created the world’s first genetically edited babies has provoked a strong backlash from China’s science community, with several institutions supposedly linked to the… Kirsty Needham The Canberra Times Hundreds of Chinese scientists signed a letter on social media on Monday which condemned direct human experimentation as “crazy”. He Jiankui, a researcher in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, said he altered the genes of a pair of twins while they were embryos to ... Read More »

Xi-Duterte deals stir a furor in the Philippines

Chinese President and Philippine leader entered 29 new agreements that opposition critics claim lack transparency and could undermine sovereign interests in the South China Sea Richard Javad Heydarian Asia Times One week after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s historic visit to the Philippines and domestic opposition to President Rodrigo Duterte’s engagement policy towards Beijing is on the boil again in Manila. The nationalistic criticism has flared up periodically during Duterte’s two-years in office and underscores the structural challenges ahead for Philippine-China ... Read More »

Best photos of 2018

National Geographic’s 100 best images of the year—curated from 107 photographers, 119 stories, and more than two million photographs… PHOTOGRAPH BY BRIAN SKERRY BY SUSAN GOLDBERG, EDITOR IN CHIEF CURATED BY SARAH LEEN, DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY SARAH LEEN HAS a job most people in the world would envy. She looks at photographs for a living. And not just any photographs — National Geographic photographs. As our Director of Photography, Leen estimates she has looked at as many images “as there are stars in the sky,” ... Read More »

‘One of the greatest matriarchs’: Indigenous activist Bonita Mabo dies

She has been remembered as of the country’s most influential advocates for Indigenous Australians and South Sea Islanders. By NITV Staff Writer Source: NITV News SBS Bonita Mabo, the Indigenous rights activist and widow of Edward “Koiki” Mabo, has died aged 75 years.. Mrs Mabo was known for her advocacy work for Indigenous schooling and her campaigning for the rights of Indigenous Australians and Australian South Sea Islanders, and worked alongside her husband’s side throughout his struggle for land rights. Her daughter ... Read More »

Even a ‘Diplomat’s Diplomat’ Can’t Solve Syria’s Civil War

The United Nations’ Syria envoy, Staffan de Mistura, is stepping down. Is there any role left for the international community to play in ending Syria’s slaughter? David Kenner The Atlantic BEIRUT—If the only thing you knew about Syria was UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura’s briefing to the Security Council this month, you might assume dramatic events were afoot. There had been an important meeting in Istanbul, he said, while equally vital summits in Astana, Kazakhstan, and of the G-20 countries in ... Read More »

Mexico: Forced Disappearance, an Ongoing Crime

As human rights lawyers, we generally don’t rank the crimes we document. But after interviewing the families of countless victims over the years, I’m convinced there’s no crime more cruel than the “disappearance” of a human being. Daniel Wilkinson HRW Published in El Universal In 2003, during one of my first research trips to Mexico, I interviewed women in Guerrero state who had lost family members during the country’s “dirty war” in the early 1970s. Their missing loved ones were presumed ... Read More »

Life Under Gang Rule in El Salvador

Over the last three years, gang violence has killed nearly 20,000 people in El Salvador, propelling tens of thousands northward in search of safety. ICG With U.S. help, the Salvadoran government should try to counter gangs with crime prevention as much as with law enforcement. Nearly 20,000 Salvadorans were killed from 2014 to 2017. That’s more violent deaths than in several countries that were at war during those years, such as Libya, Somalia and Ukraine. The murder rate – an ... Read More »

Rio Tinto warns climate inaction poses ‘greatest long-term threat’

The new chairman of global mining giant Rio Tinto has described inaction on climate change as “perhaps the greatest long-term threat” facing the business and promised it would be part of the solution rather than the… Nick Toscano WAtoday Speaking at an investor meeting on Monday, Rio Tinto chairman Simon Thompson said society – particularly Millennials – were demanding higher standards from the companies they worked for and… He signalled a renewed emphasis from Rio Tinto’s board on environmental, social ... Read More »

Ukraine imposes martial law after Russia seizes naval ships

Seizure of Ukrainian military boats marks ‘a new stage of aggression’, says president The Irish Times Ukraine on Monday imposed martial law for 30 days in parts of the country most vulnerable to an attack from Russia after president Petro Poroshenkowarned of the “extremely serious” threat of a land invasion. Mr Poroshenko said martial law was necessary to bolster Ukraine’s defences after Russia seized three Ukrainian naval ships and took their crews prisoner at the weekend. Parliament approved the introduction of martial law after ... Read More »

The case for a new corruption watchdog is strong, but questions remain

Ask some in the federal public service, and watchers in academia, and they’ll tell you the case for a new, overarching national anti-corruption watchdog is weak. Editorial The Canberra Times Their arguments can be sweeping and carelessly naive. Countries with less perceived corruption than Australia don’t have a national integrity commission, so nor should we. Never mind the fact many are smaller nations, and all carry different political systems, histories, spreads of wealth, economic bases and bureaucratic architecture. And forget ... Read More »

Turkey Wipes Out the Christian Culture of Occupied Cyprus

A sixth-century mosaic of Saint Mark, stolen from a church after Turkey’s military invaded Cyprus in 1974, was recently recovered in a Monaco apartment and returned to Cypriot officials. Uzay Bulut Gatestone Institute The ancient masterpiece was described by Arthur Brand, the Dutch investigator who located it, as “one of the last and most beautiful examples of art from the early Byzantine era.” Many other cultural Cypriot relics, from churches and other sites, were stolen from Cyprus by Turkish invaders and ... Read More »

Meet Russia’s S-500: Can It Kill an F-22 or F-35?

Here’s all we know… As to when the S-500 will first come online, Lt. Gen. Viktor Gumenny, the Deputy Commander of Russia’s Aerospace Forces, said last year that deliveries of the initial systems should occur sometime around 2020. Zachary Keck The National Interest Russian state media have begun leaking some information about the country’s next-generation air and missile defense system, the S-500. (This first appeared… While maintaining that “most of the new system’s technical characteristics remain under wraps,” Sputnik this week began shedding some ... Read More »

E.U. Leaders and U.K. Agree on Brexit Divorce Terms

BRUSSELS — More than four decades after Britain tied itself to its Continental neighbors, Prime Minister Theresa May obtained the approval of the other 27 European Union members on a… By Stephen Castle and Steven Erlanger The New York Times The journey has been long and tortuous for both sides, and the drama is hardly over. Mrs. May must still get approval for the deal — a dense, legally binding divorce settlement and a… Since Britons voted in 2016 to ... Read More »

EU leaders have endorsed Brexit deal at summit in Brussels

Leaders met to agree text of UK Brexit deal and political declaration on the future relationship between the EU and UK Patrick Smyth The Irish Times European Union leaders formally agreed a Brexit deal at a Brussels summit on Sunday morning, urging Britons to back British Prime Minister Theresa May’s package, which faces furious opposition in the… The 27 leaders took barely half an hour to rubber-stamp a 600-page treaty setting terms for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union on March 29th and a 26-page ... Read More »

Brexit: Emmanuel Macron in EU customs union threat to Scottish fishing

Emmanuel Macron has put fishing at the heart of a fresh row over the future trade with the EU by threatening to keep the UK inside the customs union unless European fishermen keep the same rights in British waters after Brexit. Paris Gourtsoyiannis The Scotsman The French President said that unless a new fishing agreement is agreed by the end of 2020, maintaining reciprocal access to waters and imposing the same quotas as today, he would seek to trigger the ... Read More »

The anti-Brexiters can get by without a leader. But not without a plan

As the chances of securing a people’s vote increase, the campaign needs to address the discontents of those who voted to leave the first time Andrew Rawnsley The Guardian If there were another Brexit referendum, who should lead the campaign to stay within the European Union? Pop this question to a prominent politician on the Remain side and you sometimes get the response, usually after a faux modest pause, that maybe the best face of the cause would be the person ... Read More »