Global Issues

After six tests, the mountain hosting North Korea’s nuclear blasts may be exhausted

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Tokyo: Have North Korea’s nuclear tests become so big that they’ve altered the geological structure of the land? Anna Fifield Washington Post The Sydney Morning Herald Some analysts now see signs that Mount Mantap, the 2200-metre-high peak under which North Korea detonates its nuclear bombs, is suffering from “tired mountain syndrome”. The mountain visibly shifted during the last nuclear test, an enormous detonation that was recorded as a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in North Korea’s northeast. Since then, the area, which is not ... Read More »

Catalonia mulls options as stakes go up

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Catalonia’s separatists were planning their response on Oct. 22 after Spain took drastic steps to stop the region from breaking away by dissolving its separatist government and forcing new elections MADRID – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and his regional executive — who sparked a major political crisis by holding an independence referendum on Oct. 1 — will be stripped of their jobs and their ministries taken over under measures announced on Oct. 21 by Prime Minister Mariano ... Read More »

High court proves we have free speech against environmental wreckers

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Adani and the loggers should watch out – we have a right to peaceful protest to protect our environment Bob Brown The Guardian The high court has drawn a line in the sand against laws which burden the right of Australians to peaceful protest. The court made no judgement on Tasmanian premier Will Hodgman’s decision to flatten the Lapoinya state forest in northwest Tasmania against the wishes of the local community. But it struck down his Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) ... Read More »

John Pilger On Hillary Clinton, Julian Assange And The ABC’s War On Truth

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ABC journalist Sarah Ferguson’s recent interview with Hillary Clinton was almost as devoid of journalism as it was of reality and facts. John Pilger reports New Matilda – the insider On 16 October, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation aired an interview with Hillary Clinton: one of many to promote her score-settling book about why she was not elected President of the United States. Wading through the Clinton book, What Happened, is an unpleasant experience, like a stomach upset. Smears and tears. Threats and ... Read More »

A Blueprint for Minimizing Iran’s Influence in the Middle East

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America needs a better strategy for containing and checking Iran, and that strategy is needed now. John Allen Michael O’Hanlon The National Interest President Donald Trump would be making a serious mistake were he to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—the 2015 nuclear deal between various world powers and Iran—in coming months. This action, which Trump has threatened if Congress does not act soon to toughen our overall Iran policy, would be a much more serious blow to American interests and to ... Read More »

Deep-Sea Mining Requires Transparent Environmental Management

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For three years researchers from eleven countries have been working intensively on these questions on the consequences on deepsea mining on ecosystems and environmental aspects in the project “MiningImpact” coordinated by the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel… Hydro International This week, they discuss their findings at the project`s final meeting at the Natural History Museum London, UK. They also presented recommendations for the protection of the marine environment. In the 19th century, some researchers believed that below water ... Read More »

Peru legalises medical marijuana in move spurred by mother’s home lab

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Proposal to decriminalise the drug came after police raided a makeshift laboratory where a group of women made cannabis oil for their sick children Dan Collyns The Guardian Lawmakers in Peru have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a bill to legalise medical marijuana, allowing cannabis oil to be locally produced, imported and sold. With a vote of 68-5, Peru’s Congress approved the bill which will be written into law in 60 days, once regulations for producing and selling cannabis have ... Read More »

The Sovereignty that Really Matters

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The preference of some countries to isolate themselves within their borders is anachronistic and self-defeating, but it would be a serious mistake for others, fearing contagion, to respond by imposing strict isolation. Javier Solana Project Syndicate Even in states that have succumbed to reductionist discourses, much of the population has not. MADRID – In his famous “political trilemma of the world economy,” Harvard economist Dani Rodrik boldly claims that global economic integration, the nation-state, and democracy cannot coexist. At best, ... Read More »

Insectageddon: farming is more catastrophic than climate breakdown

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The shocking collapse of insect populations hints at a global ecological meltdown George Monbiot The Guardian Which of these would you name as the world’s most pressing environmental issue? Climate breakdown, air pollution, water loss, plastic waste or urban expansion? My answer is none of the above. Almost incredibly, I believe that climate breakdown takes third place, behind two issues that receive only a fraction of the… This is not to downgrade the danger presented by global heating – on ... Read More »

Expansion of Gaza fishing zone ‘pointless PR stunt’

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For the 4,000 registered fishermen in the besieged Gaza Strip, a proposed Israeli plan to let them temporarily fish farther out from shore is “far from enough”. Farah Najjar Al Jazeera Fishermen told Al Jazeera that Israel’s move to slightly expand the fishing zone limit from six to nine nautical miles, implemented this week, will have little effect in reality. “It makes no difference whatsoever to us,” Nizar Ayash, head of Gaza’s fishermen’s union, told Al Jazeera. “It’s economically pointless, and this is ... Read More »

Should central banks have a ‘representative of the poor’?

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The Reserve Bank of Australia should have a board member whose job it is to “represent the poor”, says Catholic Social Services Australia in a report released this week. Usman W. Chohan The Conversation  This hasn’t been tried before but it’s an interesting proposal and worth considering – particularly as recent central banking programs like quantitative easing have inflated the value of assets belonging to the very rich, exacerbating inequality and even threatening democracy. The report is part of a ... Read More »

US, France slam detention of leading Turkish activist Osman Kavala

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U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert has said the arrest of the prominent activist and businessman Osman Kavala was an example of a “very alarming trend” of the detention of civil society leaders, human rights defenders, journalists, academics and… Hurriyet “We have expressed to the Turkish government our concerns on many occasions about this trend … It remains a major concern of ours,” Nauert told reporters in Washington on… The French Foreign Ministry also stated on Oct. 19 that it ... Read More »

How conversation can solve contemporary issues

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Premium content Modern philosophers dissect the ‘racist statue’ debate and focus on the very real and divisive issue which Australians face: our colonial past. * Andrea Simpson In August, the issue of Australia’s colonial past hit boiling point when a statue of Captain Cook in Sydney’s Hyde Park was defaced. ArtsHub Australia ‘Change the date’ and ‘no pride in genocide’ were spray-painted across the monument. Statues of Governor Macquarie and Queen Victoria were also graffiitied. <img src=’//bat.bing.com/action/0?ti=5201223&Ver=2′ height=’0′ width=’0′ style=’display:none; ... Read More »

Here’s How to Pull Turkey Back From the Brink

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Erdogan gets more authoritarian, and closer to Russia and Iran, every day. But kicking him out of NATO would make things worse. James Stavridis Bloomberg Since its founding nearly a century ago, Turkey’s foreign policy goal has been summed up in a simple phrase: “No problems with our neighbors.” But the situation today is different: “all our neighbors have problems.” And the Turks have plenty of their own. There is no understating how important it is that the U.S. and ... Read More »

Joyce McMillan: Are the Tories imploding over Brexit?

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Back in a different world, in April last year, I wrote a column about the difficult questions posed for then-prime minister David Cameron, and his chancellor George Osborne, by the decision of Tata Steel to sell off its entire UK operation. Joyce McMillan The Scotsman To the right of them, they faced the free market ideologues of post-Thatcher Toryism, who view state intervention to save threatened industries with scorn. Even further to the right, with Boris Johnson in the lead, ... Read More »

Trump Likely to Block Release of Some JFK Files

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If the decision holds, it could contribute to the belief that the government has something to hide. Conspiracy theorists of the world, get ready for some bad news. Philip Shenon Politico Trump administration and other government officials say privately that President Donald Trump is almost certain to block the release of information from some of the thousands of classified files related to the November 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy that are scheduled to be made public in less ... Read More »