Features

US position on artificial islands

The Manila Times 1a logo

CHINA’s artificial islands in the South China Sea (SCS) and their upgrades have been serving as tools to Filipino politicians who’ve been mobilizing anti-Chinese sentiment against President Rodrigo Duterte who has been generally congenial to Beijing. By SASS ROGANDO SASOT The Manila Times Yet have you ever wondered what’s the actual position of the US on building artificial islands within a coastal state’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ)? It’s necessary to ask this as the Americans have been positioning themselves as ... Read More »

US military leader warns on China

Eney 1a

The head of US Pacific Command has issued a strong warning about China’s military buildup Admiral Harry Harris says China is trying to win dominance in the Indo-Pacific region as it issues a challenge globally. NHK He made the remarks at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday. Harris said he was most concerned about China’s activity in the South China Sea. That included the militarization of 7 outposts, despite a ruling by an Arbitral Tribunal under the Law ... Read More »

Japan thinks Brexit is an ‘act of self harm’, says former ambassador

Chek 8h

Sir David Warren says Britain’s withdrawal from EU could have ‘grave’ consequences for bilateral relations Chris Baynes The Independent Japan sees Brexit as an act of economic and political “self-harm” that will weaken the UK as a world power, according to the former British ambassador to Tokyo. Sir David Warren, who served in the post between 2008 and 2012, said Britain’s withdrawal from the EU could have “grave” consequences for relations with Japan. His comments came after the Japanese ambassador to London warned Prime Minister Theresa ... Read More »

What’s Actually Behind Cape Town’s Water Crisis

Thei 3c

Blame austerity-obsessed technocrats, irresponsible development, and willful ignorance. RICHARD POPLAK The Atlantic The city of Cape Town was plonked by its founders onto a peninsula not far from where the Indian and Atlantic oceans merge, often violently, beneath the imposing banks of Table Mountain. To its north lie the fertile fruit and wine farms that weigh down the city’s restaurant tables with unimaginable bounty. Every day when the clock strikes noon, a cannon blast echoes from Signal Hill, a reminder ... Read More »

Turnbull announces sex ban – and signals Joyce should consider his position

Chek 6f

Malcolm Turnbull has announced that, from now, sexual relations between ministers and their staff will be prohibited under a change he has made to the ministerial code of conduct. Michelle Grattan The Conversation Addressing a news conference late on Thursday, Turnbull also strongly hinted he would like to see Barnaby Joyce step down. Joyce had made “a shocking error of judgement in having an affair with a young woman working in his office”. In doing so he had set off ... Read More »

Alex Salmond blasts ‘shameful’ repeal of Offensive Behaviour at Football Act

Bai 5ee

Alex Salmond has slammed political opponents who voted to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act The controversial act, which was piloted by Salmond in 2011 was scrapped at Holyrood in January through a Member’s Bill. Angus Howarth The Scotsman However Salmond blasted those that voted to repeal accusing them of political point-scoring over principles. MSPs voted 65-61 to repeal the Act in January in a move that Salmond dubbed ‘shameful’. He said: “It is totally shameful. It is perfectly ... Read More »

Ai Weiwei on the project that awoke his political voice – The Start podcast

Bai 1a

The artist and activist tells how investigating schoolchildren’s deaths in the Sichuan earthquake of 2008 spawned his mammoth installation, Remembering Produced by Eva Krysiak with sound design by Chris Wood and original music by Stephen Fiske The Guardian In 2008, an earthquake devastated Sichuan province in China, claiming the lives of more than 69,000 people. Following accusations from parents that substandard construction caused the collapse of schools across in the region, the artist Ai Weiwei set upon a political investigation that would name every missing student ... Read More »

Guns and the British empire

Luk 9i

Eighteenth-century Indian arms were as sophisticated as European. Then came the British Empire to drive industry backwards Priya Satia Aeon In the mid-18th century, advanced areas of northwest Europe and east and south Asia enjoyed roughly comparable life expectancy, rates of consumption, and potential for economic growth. But around 1800, in what scholars call the ‘great divergence’, the power and wealth of the West suddenly and dramatically eclipsed that of India, China and the Ottoman Empire. The British in particular ... Read More »

Capitalism isn’t an ideology — it’s an operating system

Stru 5e

Bhu Srinivasan researches the intersection of capitalism and technological progress. Today’s TED Talk Instead of thinking about capitalism as a firm, unchanging ideology, he suggests that we should think of it as an operating system — one that needs upgrades to keep up with innovation, like the impending take-off of drone delivery services. Learn more about the past and future of the free market (and a potential coming identity crisis for the United States’ version of capitalism) with this quick, ... Read More »

Churches unite to propose Religious Freedom Act

Luk 8h

Major submission to Ruddock panel calls for a new legal “right” John Sandeman Eternity A wide range of Evangelical and Pentecostal Christian churches have spoken with one voice to the Ruddock panel on religious freedom, whose call for submissions closed today. They have received 13,500 submissions: “I think it is safe to say that people are concerned about religious freedom,” says Michael Kellahan, executive director of Freedom for Faith (FFF), a Christian legal think tank. The federal government has set ... Read More »

Israeli Knesset Rejects Bill Recognizing the Armenian Genocide

Chek 1a

JERUSALEM (A.W.)—The Israeli Knesset (Parliament) rejected a bill on Wednesday, which would have recognized the Armenian Genocide. The Armenian Weekly Sponsored by Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid, the bill was rejected in a preliminary vote. “There is no reason that the Knesset, which represents a nation that went through the Holocaust, shouldn’t recognize the Armenian Genocide and have a remembrance day for it,” Lapid was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying. “The Israeli leadership diminishes itself by so ... Read More »

Why our obsession with GDP ignores harm done to welfare and the world

Bez 1a

One of the first things economics students learn about is Gross Domestic Product (GDP) GDP is also a central concept in many political debates, including Brexit. The Converstion Will it rise? Will it fall? What effect will this have on our lives? Gross Domestic Product measures the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country, calculating the net value added by each economic “actor”. So if you produce a car sold for £10,000 but you bought parts ... Read More »

Dutch FM resigns triggering vote of no-confidence

Bai 4d

Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra resigned on Feb. 13 after admitting lying, triggering a political bombshell and a vote of no-confidence in the country’s prime minister THE HAGUE – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Prime Minister Mark Rutte overwhelmingly survived the vote brought by his arch-foe far-right politician Geert Wilders, with 101 MPs against and only 43 in favor. But the scandal has erupted in just a few days in the Netherlands, and threatens to undermine Rutte’s fledgling and fragile four-party coalition. ... Read More »

Emotional intelligence: What it is and why you need it

Stru 4d

When emotional intelligence first appeared to the masses, it served as the missing link in a peculiar finding: people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time. Travis Bradberry World Economic Forum This anomaly threw a massive wrench into what many people had always assumed was the sole source of success—IQ. Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. Emotional ... Read More »

Oxfam scandal: development work is built on inequality but that’s no reason to cut foreign aid

Oxfam 2b boxes LLLL

Revelations that Oxfam workers paid for prostitutes in Haiti as the organisation was supporting survivors of the earthquake in 2011, have reopened a longstanding debate about foreign aid in the UK. The Conversation Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, suggested government funding to Oxfam could be cut if it could not show “moral leadership”. The scandal raises challenging questions about the conduct of aid workers, yet public outrage reveals a deeper problem in how British society thinks about the development ... Read More »

US leads globally with most planned and announced pipeline length additions

Shef 9i

GlobalData’s latest analysis of the global planned and announced trunk/transmission oil and gas pipelines for the period 2018 to 2022 shows that the US has the longest planned pipelines length globally with 35,065km. By GlobalData Energy India and Russia follow with 29,142 km and 26,566 km respectively Presently, the US accounts for 14.3% of the total planned and announced trunk/transmission oil and gas pipelines length globally. The country has the highest number of planned and announced pipeline additions with 184. ... Read More »