Features

I teach refugees to map their world

I first visited the Zaatari refugee camp in early 2015. Located in northern Jordan, the camp is home to more than 80,000 Syrian refugees. Brian Tomaszewski The Conversation I was there as part of a research study on refugee camp wireless and information infrastructure. It’s one thing to read about refugees in the news. It’s a whole different thing to actually go visit a camp. I saw people living in metal caravans, mixed with tents and other materials to create ... Read More »

Richard Glover: In need of some moral support

I’ve just signed a contract for a new book and – for the first time – there’s a clause demanding that I be morally upstanding. Richard Glover The Canberra Times It notes that the “commercial value of the work” is intrinsically linked to the “standing in the community of the author” and, therefore, if I misbehave they have a right to seize back the modest advance and – presumably – burn all copies of the… This puts a lot of ... Read More »

Indonesia’s grim new challenge: children carrying bombs

On her mother’s Facebook account, now deleted, a cherub-cheeked Famela Rizqita is leaning on a bench overlooking a lake. Jewel Topsfield & Amilia Rosa The Age She was nine when she died but here she is younger, adorable in a hot pink hijab with ruffles. The Facebook account is typical of besotted mothers the world over. There are multiple photos of Ita, as she was nicknamed, posing with her siblings. She is snapped coquettishly holding a rose, in front of ... Read More »

Henry Kissinger is a boring old fraud

If you were on the fence about whether artificial intelligence was among the most pressing questions of our time or a fad that tells us much more about those who take an interest in it than about the likelihood of a… Matthew Walther The Week The best thing that can be said about the essay in The Atlantic by our 56th secretary of state is that it is very much of a piece with the millions of published words attributed ... Read More »

Italy’s coalition agreement explained

In shaping policies, the far-right League seems to have come out ahead of the 5Stars. Giada Zampano Politico ROME — The populist parties seeking to form an Italian government unveiled what they say will be the final version of their coalition agreement Friday. The new “government contract” between the anti-establishment 5Star Movement and the far-right League backs away from some of the more explosive proposals contained in earlier drafts that have been leaked to the Italian press. But it still contains plenty ... Read More »

Cryptos rise as Hong Kong regulators apply the brakes

Are HK regulators striking a delicate balance, between staying on good terms with Beijing while staying relevant in Asia’s booming FinTech markets? Pete Sabine Asia Times Alarm bells have been ringing in the cryptocurrency industry in Hong Kong, with the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) alerting investors to the risks of using cryptocurrency exchanges and… On these censures, law practice Charltons Quantum noted that: “Most of the Hong Kong ICO issuers and crypto exchanges contacted, however, confirmed that their activities ... Read More »

Will Patriotism Push America Into an Unconstitutional War?

We cannot go to war on the whim of a single person and automatic obedience by well-meaning men and women who profess loyalty to a Constitution they don’t understand. Muckey Edwards The National Interest Last week I had the good fortune to hear one of America’s leading military officers deliver a thoughtful and inspiring address to a small group—there were about fifty of us—of people who have been concerned about the direction of the country. The meeting was private so ... Read More »

Pro-Erdoğan columnist: The world has a Jewish problem

In reaction to the killing of dozens of Palestinians by Israeli security forces on Monday, Yusuf Kaplan, a pro-Erdoğan columnist, said “the world has a Jewish problem,” calling on the… TM Claiming that Jews control everything from finance to the media, academia, the CIA, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, the Pentagon and the arms industry in the US, Kaplan wrote in his column published in the pro-Erdoğan Yeni Şafak daily on Friday, “The… Claiming that he was not fueling anti-Semitism, Kaplan said: ... Read More »

Could this be the new US Navy frigate design?

NORFOLK, Va. — The Italian navy frigate Alpino visited Norfolk this week after participating in exercises with U.S. ships while at sea. Mark D. Faram Navy Times But its mission goes deeper than that, as the Italian Defense Ministry also says it’s here to hopefully interest U.S. officials in the ship’s design and capabilities as the U.S. Navy investigates future frigate designs. Commissioned in September 2016, the ship is an anti-submarine variant of the European multi-purpose frigate and is built ... Read More »

Ecuador removes Julian Assange’s extra security

Ecuador has removed extra security at its London embassy following claims that $5m (£3.7m) was spent to protect WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. BBC The money was used to monitor Mr Assange’s visitors, embassy staff and UK police, media reports in the UK and Ecuador said. Mr Assange has been at the embassy since 2012 after being granted asylum. He fled there to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex crime allegations, which he denies. The Swedish authorities have since dropped their ... Read More »

‘Measuring success differently’: New Zealand budget’s shift in economic thinking

The Ardern government in New Zealand is articulating a bigger role for government in society, talking up wellbeing over traditional economic measures — while still playing on the standard “fiscal… David Donaldson TheMandarin New Zealand’s Labour-led coalition government has handed down its first budget, highlighting health, education and housing as areas of focus. “Our priorities are different from the previous government. We are determined to turn the page on the ideology of individualism and a hands-off approach to our economy ... Read More »

South Korea’s President Heads to Washington to Salvage Nuclear Deal

SEOUL — North Korea’s recent threat to pull out of the upcoming nuclear summit with the U.S. has added new urgency to South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s visit to Washington next Tuesday. Brian Padden VoA President Moon has played a key role in facilitating the meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump scheduled to be held in Singapore June 12. Diplomatic jeopardy At the recent inter-Korean summit Moon got Kim to affirm a broad commitment ... Read More »

German liberal leader’s ‘midlife crisis’

Christian Lindner stumbles on after turning down a shot at power in Berlin. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico BERLIN — Germans cherish few rituals more than the jaunt to the corner bakery for their daily portion of fresh rye, Brötchen and other leavened delights — so long as politics aren’t in the mix. Just ask Christian Lindner. The leader of Germany’s liberal Free Democrats (FDP) triggered a firestorm this week after regaling a party congress with an anecdote about a young Arab’s visit ... Read More »

Climate change an ‘existential security risk’ to Australia, Senate inquiry says

Threat is not a possible future one but one endangering Australia now, parliament told Ben Doherty The Guardian Climate change is a “current and existential national security risk” to Australia, a Senate inquiry has told parliament, one that could inflame regional conflicts over food, water and land, and even imperil life on Earth. The Senate committee inquiry into the implications of climate change for Australia’s national security recommended an increase in foreign aid to be dedicated to climate change mitigation and… The inquiry, ... Read More »

Turkish Foreign Minister Warns Damascus Against Attacking Syria’s Idlib Province

ANKARA (Sputnik) – Any potential attack by the Syrian government forces on the country’s Idlib province may result in a “catastrophe,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday. “Currently the most important issue is for the ceasefire not be violated in Syria. If this is achieved, political settlement will become closer. There are many fragmented terror groups. Our intelligence service and the General Staff are dealing with the matter. We have achieved certain results. If the Syrian regime launches an attack tomorrow under the ... Read More »

Hope and fear surround emerging technologies, but all of us must contribute to stronger governance

It’s been a big year for companies pushing the boundaries of technology – and not in a good way. The Cambridge Analytica scandal led to a public outcry about privacy, the Commonwealth Bank’s loss of customer data raised concerns about cybersecurity, and a fatal self-driving car crash put the safety of automated systems in the spotlight. Authors: The Conversation These controversies are just the latest warning signs that we urgently need better governance of the technologies redefining the world. There ... Read More »