Features

Why the first 1000 days are crucial for children all over the world

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From the start of pregnancy through to a child’s second birthday, the clock is ticking on a crucial window of opportunity: the first 1,000 days. Amy Cooper World Vision We now know wellbeing, nutrition and care in this period of life, more than any other, has a profound impact on a future adult, their eventual children – and even wider society. “Not a year goes by where we don’t learn more and more about the importance of the first 1000 ... Read More »

Rohingya crisis: UN sees ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Myanmar

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The security operation targeting Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar “seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”, the UN human rights chief says. BBC Zeid Raad Al Hussein urged Myanmar to end the “cruel military operation” in Rakhine state. More than 300,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since violence erupted there late last month. The military says it is responding to attacks by Rohingya militants and denies it is targeting civilians. The violence began on 25 August when the Rohingya militants ... Read More »

The Rise and Fall of Leftist Populism in Germany

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What happened to Martin Schulz? After Germany’s Martin Schulz stepped down as president of the European Parliament in late 2016, he embarked on a nationwide tour of his home country. Paul Hockenos The Atlantic His aim, he said, was to better understand the concerns of ordinary Germans.In speeches before packed union halls, beer tents, and farmers markets, Schulz, a prominent member of the troubled Social Democratic Party (SPD), touted the classic values of social democracy—fairness and dignity. Such values, in ... Read More »

‘Grandmother plant’: Ex-UN climate chief Christiana Figueres has advice for PM

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AGL’s Liddell power station is a “grandmother” plant that shouldn’t receive funds more usefully invested elsewhere to improve Australia’s energy prospects, Christiana Figueres, the former United Nations climate chief… Peter Hannam The Sydney Morning Herald Ms Figueres, who as executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change oversaw the Paris climate agreement, said time is running out for Australia to get its energy and carbon policies in… “The time is short,” Ms Figueres told Fairfax Media during a ... Read More »

What is the Future of the Media in Myanmar?

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Myanmar’s media is making progress, “two steps forward, one step back.” Edward Parker The Diplomat The media – once termed the “Fourth Estate” in society by British parliamentarian and philosopher Edmund Burke – plays a vital role in shaping democracy and open public discourse. Its role is particularly important in new democracies, as societies develop both economically and politically, with the people given the opportunity to think critically and vote in representatives of their choosing. The role of an open ... Read More »

Is the world ready for “Kurdexit”? Referendum among Iraqi Kurds has Middle East on edge

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Iraq continues to bedevil American foreign policy, and the world. Now the Kurds will vote on their own state VIDEO STEVEN A. COOK Salon It was an eventful summer, especially in the Middle East. It all began with the Qatar kerfuffle on June 5, followed soon thereafter with a change in Saudi Arabia’s line of succession. Then came violence and protests over security measures at the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem. Mosul and Tel Afar were liberated in Iraq. The American-backed Syrian ... Read More »

The Guardian view on climate change: see you in court

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It is possible to determine which nations and companies are responsible for damaging the climate. It’s only a matter of time before courts decide they must pay for global warming. Editorial The Guardian Recent days have seen Houston, Texas literally sunk under sheer weight of rain, Carribbean islands battered by powerful storms barrelling across the Gulf and now Florida homes blasted by Irma, the largest of three hurricanes churning in the Atlantic basin. It seems almost certain that man-made climate ... Read More »

Angela Merkel: Europe needs coherent foreign policy

German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers her speech as she attends an electoral meeting in Delbrueck, western Germany, on September 10, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / dpa / Friso Gentsch / Germany OUT        (Photo credit should read FRISO GENTSCH/AFP/Getty Images)

German chancellor calls for a common EU stance on China and Russia as well as more solidarity on migration Esther King Politico The biggest challenge facing the European Union in the coming years will be to forge a coherent foreign policy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview published Sunday. Merkel, who is poised to win a fourth term in Germany’s parliamentary election later this month, also expressed hope that a solution to the impasse over the distribution of migrants across the ... Read More »

ASEAN, Hong Kong wind up FTA negotiations

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Hanoi (VNA) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China’s Hong Kong on September 9 announced the conclusion of their negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and a related Investment Agreement. The announcement was made at the second ASEAN Economic Ministers-Hong Kong, China Consultations (AEM-HKC) in Pasay city, the Philippines. Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said that the two agreements will be signed in November this year. The agreements are comprehensive in ... Read More »

The abuse victims not on our radar and here’s why

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If I told you that right now, while you read this article, 200,000 Australian women were being abused, bullied or kept in social isolation you’d be outraged. Michael Riley Brisbane Times Correct? What about if a new report came out that the same number of children were being sexually abused both at home and in supposed safe institutions? Or if we read a news article that told us the same number of animals were being physically mistreated and left shaking ... Read More »

Master plan to protect sea

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HÀ NỘI — A master plan on the use of Việt Nam’s sea is being built by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, a necessary move according to experts. Viet Nam News The plan will map out sea-based socio-economic activities until 2035 in line with integrated management of sea and island resources and environment. It focuses on marine environment and resources, the value of marine ecosystems and appropriate exploitation of the sea. The plan is being built in accordance ... Read More »

The power bloc: Turkey is done with the EU, and now eyeing a Pakistan, Russia, China alliance

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Erdogan wants to join China-Russia bloc via Pakistan. Zain Khan TheDuran The power bloc A power bloc may just be formed from the friendship between Ankara, Islamabad, Russia and China. As celebrations are ongoing for the 70 years of diplomatic ties between Turkey and Pakistan, the long economic relations between Ankara and Islamabad bring China and Russia together to form a formidable four-nation bloc. The relationship between Pakistan and Turkey has dated back to several centuries and this has been ... Read More »

Turkey’s Genocide Denial: Four Narratives

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Turkey still denies the Armenian Genocide, during which 1.5 million Armenians perished. The Turkish state does not have just one policy or rhetoric concerning it. One could argue that there are four main narratives in Turkey concerning the genocide. Uzay Bulut  The Armenian Weekly Narrative One: We Did Not Slaughter Armenians; Armenians Slaughtered Us Accusing Armenians of being mass murderers and the actual perpetrators of genocide is a popular myth in Turkey. Last year, a public stage play that depicted ... Read More »

Get NATO’s Nukes Out of Turkey

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Even in this contentious era, one proposition still enjoys near-universal support: the United States should make it the highest priority to prevent nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of hostile states. Jonathan Marshall HuffPost It’s far too late to stop North Korea from getting the Bomb, despite all the militant rhetoric coming out of Washington. But we still have a chance to prevent an erratic Middle East strongman from holding the United States hostage by threatening to seize dozens ... Read More »

Trump Admin Quietly Pushing ‘Small Scale’ LNG Exports That Avoid Environmental Reviews

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The Trump administration proposed regulations to expedite the permitting process for natural gas exports from “small-scale” facilities on the Friday before Labor Day. Steve Horn – Joshua Frank CounterPunch The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) had proposed an alteration of the rules for the export of “small-scale” liquefied natural gas (LNG) under the Natural Gas Act. The proposal will now be open to a public commenting period set to end October 16. “The Trump Administration is focused on finding ways to unleash American energy and providing ... Read More »

Towards a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea

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What happens next? The South China Sea is crying out for institutional architecture to manage the crisis, Nengye Liu writes. Nengye Liu Policy Forum  The South China Sea has long been the focus of the world’s attention because of complex territorial disputes. In 2002, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) adopted the non-binding Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). Article 10 of the DOC states that “the adoption of a code ... Read More »