Features

The mega-machines helping China link the world

Kalv 1a

China is creating a network of ambitious land- and sea-based transport links to connect its booming economy with those of Europe and Africa. Tom Calver BBC And it’s wasting no time – designing incredible bespoke construction machines to get the job done fast. President Xi Jinping’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched in 2013, aims to connect two-thirds of the world’s population across 70 countries through a network of land links (the “belt”) and sea routes (the… Officials talk about lifetime ... Read More »

Losing Egypt to Russia Isn’t the Real Problem—but Collapse Is

Cece 3c

Cairo is no long a prize to be won, but a weak state in need of reform. Andrew Miller and Michele Dunne The National Interest While most attention regarding U.S.-Russian competition in the Middle East is concentrated on Syria and Iran, Russian president Vladimir Putin has quietly been trying to make inroads into Egypt. For instance, a recent article by Anna Borshchevskaya presents an alarming picture in which the United States is on the verge of losing Egypt to Russia. We have ... Read More »

Donald Trump has suggested Montenegro could be the cause of World War III

Mode 3c

DONALD Trump has suggested this tiny, unthreatening country could bring about the start of World War III. But is it really time for us to start panicking? Gavin Fernando news.com.au EVER travelled to Montenegro? The tiny Balkan country, bordered by Serbia, Albania and Bosnia, is best known for its Mediterranean climate, the touristy beachside town of Budva and its various mountain and water activities. But thanks to Donald Trump, it’s making headlines as a potential breakout spot for World War ... Read More »

Is a Democratic ‘Blue Wave’ Really Coming?

I voted 1a USA LLLL

Grass-roots frustration within the Democratic Party could lead to the Left’s own version of a Trump phenomenon. Nikolas K. Gvosdev The National Interest Democrats are counting on a “Blue Wave” in the fall 2018 elections to return them to the majority, at least in the House of Representatives, and to pave the way for retaking control of the Executive Branch in the 2020 presidential election. For many card-carrying members of the Democratic foreign policy establishment in Washington, this offers the ... Read More »

Averting War in Gaza

Brenk 1a

Israel and Hamas stand on the brink of another full-scale confrontation in Gaza. The only viable exit from the ongoing cycle of escalation is for international actors to use carrots and sticks to bring about intra-Palestinian reconciliation, thereby allowing the Palestinian Authority (PA) to govern the Gaza Strip. ICG What’s new?  What is new is that little is new: despite repeated claims that efforts are being made to address the situation in Gaza, Israel and Hamas once again are sliding ... Read More »

Russia news: Putin tests hypersonic MISSILE it says is ‘invincible to Nato defence system’

Pere 4d

RUSSIAN authorities have released details of five devastating new weapons which Vladimir Putin, who yesterday was invited by the White House to Washington, says are “invincible” to Nato’s defences. Charlie Moloney Express Broadcast by Moscow’s defence ministry on Russian state media, the videos include footage of the Poseidon nuclear submarine; a hypersonic guided missile which can be fired into the earth’s atmosphere; and a fighter jet releasing a missile which ignites and accelerates into the distance. The accelerating missile is ... Read More »

S Korean ex-leader sentenced to 8 more years

Kora 1a

A South Korean court sentenced former South Korean President Park Geun-hye on July 20 to an additional eight years for abusing state funds and violating election laws. Hurriyet She now faces the prospect of more than three decades behind bars. She’s already serving a 24-year prison term over a massive corruption scandal that led to her removal from office last year. Seoul Central District Court on Friday found her guilty of causing substantial losses to state coffers by unlawfully receiving about 3 billion won ($2.6 million) from chiefs ... Read More »

Ortega puts blame on ‘satanists,’ bishops

Orte 2b

Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega blamed “satanical criminals,” Catholic bishops and the US for a wave of unrest he has violently sought to extinguish, as he marked on July 19 the 39th anniversary of the… MANAGUA Hurriyet The protesters, financed by the “North American empire” and domestic business chiefs, had been conspiring to mount a “coup d’etat” in the Central American nation, Ortega claimed to a… Catholic bishops who had attempted to mediate dialogue between him and the opposition were also “behaving like coup plotters,” he said, ... Read More »

The map that shames Australia: The dark truth behind every heart on this graphic of our nation

Daum 4d

The severity of Australia’s domestic violence crisis has been highlighted in a shocking interactive map profiling victims and the circumstances of their death. Brooke Rolfe Daily Mail More than a thousand women and children have had their stories told in the nation-first memorial map, titled ‘Australian Femicide Map’, by The Red Heart Campaign. The Google Map commemorates lives lost at the hands of domestic abuse and was designed with the aim of raising awareness and lobbying for… Among the plethora of ... Read More »

Indonesia’s Papua Cover-Up Reflex Prompts Police Dormitory Raid

Nec 4d

Authorities Cite ‘Hidden Activities’ to Cancel Screening of Papuan Film Michelle Winowatan HRW Dozens of Indonesian military and police personnel raided a student dormitory in Surabaya on July 6 to stop the screening of a documentary about security force atrocities in Papua. It’s the latest example of the government’s determination not to deal with past abuses in the country’s easternmost province. Security forces carried out the raid following social media postings about the planned screening of “Bloody Biak.” The film documents the ... Read More »

More than half of WA kids’ calls to helpline were dropped last year

Xen 3c

Questions posed in the WA parliament have revealed over half of the calls made to the Kids Helpline last year were dropped. Hannah Barry WAtoday Greens MP Alison Xamon asked the question of Minister Sue Ellery in parliament in May this year, regarding how much the state government had committed to service provider Yourtown between 2012 and 2017, how many calls were made by WA young people to the helpline and… Ms Xamon received answers during a Legislative Council sitting ... Read More »

Full speed ahead on the new US Navy frigate

Katad 2b

The U.S. Navy is, by its own admission, in trouble. Over the last several decades, its shipbuilding account has been underfunded and the Navy has too often mismanaged the money it did have. Jim Talent Defense News The Navy has focused too much on high-end ships and has neglected the importance of less expensive, smaller vessels that can perform important combat missions on their own for sustained periods on the high seas, even in… No one has more respect for ... Read More »

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg clarifies Holocaust comments after outcry

Dete 3c

Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, recently defended the company’s decision to keep on its platform the site Infowars, a prominent right-wing outlet known for spreading conspiracy theories and… Hamza Shaban Brisbane Times / The Washington Post Zuckerberg said in an interview published by Recode on Wednesday that Facebook has a responsibility to curb the viral spread of hoaxes and blatant misinformation. But he maintained Facebook should not ban publishers for spreading false claims, a position he described as “too extreme.” “The ... Read More »

Building on Afghanistan’s Fleeting Ceasefire

Epu 6f

The end-of-Ramadan truce in Afghanistan was brief but encouraging, demonstrating that both Afghan government soldiers and the Taliban rank and file will respect ceasefire orders from above. ICG Both sides, alongside the U.S., should now seize the opportunity to edge closer to meaningful talks about peace. What’s new? The Afghan government, international forces, and Taliban insurgents all observed a temporary ceasefire during the Eid al-Fitr holiday. The truce was unprecedented in Afghanistan’s long war, brought a remarkable decline in violence ... Read More »

Burundi: African Union Shouldn’t Tolerate Banning Pregnant Girls from School

Ola 1a

In June, Burundi joined a small group of African countries that ban pregnant girls from continuing with formal education in government schools. Agnes Odhiambo and Elin Martinez allAfrica Burundi’s Education Ministry banned the boys who get the girls pregnant as well as the girls themselves from going to public or private school. Burundi’s ban is contrary to the country’s constitution and many domestic laws , and undermines the state’s education goals . Indeed, Burundi’s law against gender discrimination protects girls’ ... Read More »

Lebanon: Same-Sex Relations Not Illegal

Way 4d

Homosexuality Not an ‘Unnatural Offense,’ Appeals Court Rules (Beirut) – A district court of appeal in Lebanon issued a groundbreaking ruling on July 12, 2018, that consensual sex between people of the same sex is not unlawful, Human Rights Watch said. HRW The ruling follows similar judgments from lower courts that have declined to convict gay and transgender people of “sexual intercourse contrary to nature” in four separate rulings between 2007 and 2017. It is the first such ruling from ... Read More »