Global Issues

Arctic’s record warming propelling ‘broad change’ in climate: study

US scientists have warned that higher temperatures in the Arctic could be fueling extreme weather in the US and Europe. DW The NOAA report said 2018 was the second-warmest year on record in the Arctic since 1900. The warming of the Arctic is occurring at a record pace and having a significant impact across the planet, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has revealed in its 2018 Arctic Report Card. The report was released on Tuesday at the ... Read More »

Detention of Michael Kovrig

The International Crisis Group calls for the immediate release of its North East Asia Senior Adviser Michael Kovrig. ICG Michael was detained on Monday night in Beijing by the Beijing Bureau of Chinese State Security. Crisis Group has received no information about Michael since his detention and is concerned for his health and safety. We are making every effort to learn more and to secure consular access to Michael from the Chinese authorities. Michael has been a full-time and highly ... Read More »

Theresa May faces leadership challenge as Brexit deal anger boils over

London: British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a challenge to her leadership as anger surrounding her handling of Brexit boils over among her party colleagues. Nick Miller The Sydney Morning Herald But May, in a defiant speech on the steps of Number 10, said the challenge risked delaying or even stopping Brexit and warned a Conservative party leadership change would “put our country’s future at risk”. On Wednesday morning, London time, it was revealed that enough Conservative MPs had sent ... Read More »

The Writer Who Destroyed an Empire

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, born 100 years ago today, did more than anyone to bring the Soviet Union to its knees. Michael Scammell The New York Times When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, pundits offered a variety of reasons for its failure: economic, political, military. Few thought to add a fourth, more elusive cause: the regime’s total loss of credibility. This hard-to-measure process had started in 1956, when Premier Nikita Khrushchev gave his so-called secret speech to party leaders, in which ... Read More »

U.S. returns 3 church bells taken as war booty from Philippines in 1901

MANILA, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) — After 117 years, the United States returned the three original church bells taken by American soldiers as war booty during the Philippine-American war in 1901. Li Xia Xinhua A U.S. Air Force plane bearing the three historic bells landed in the Philippines on Tuesday morning. U.S. officials led by U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim handed the… “It is a most memorable day of our nation’s history and we celebrate it with deep gratitude ... Read More »

Syrian refugees remain trapped and marginalised by Lebanon’s power-sharing politics

World leaders gathered in Marrakesh on December 10 to sign a historic agreement safeguarding the rights of migrants. Drew Mikhael The Conversation Despite the withdrawal of some countries, the Global Compact on Migration was approved by 164 countries. It follows the Global Compact on Refugees, approved at the UN in mid-November by all countries, bar one – the United States. Despite the current optimism around the potential good these new global compacts on refugees and migrants will have, the current ... Read More »

Marise Payne urged to ‘step up’ at Aung San Suu Kyi meeting in Myanmar

Amnesty International Australia has called on Australia’s foreign affairs minister to act on the Rohingya crisis, as she visits Myanmar this week. Nick baker SBS As Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne begins her two-day visit to Myanmar, Amnesty International Australia has urged her to “step up and show leadership” at a meeting with controversial leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Ms Payne is in the Southeast Asian nation on Wednesday and Thursday and will meet with senior government ministers, including ... Read More »

Why do the media demonise African Australians?

Calling out the media for its biased reporting of crimes committed by African Australians is not about defending criminals or failing to sympathise with victims. Nyadol Nyuon The Age No African Australian I know supports criminal activity, thinks it is OK or wishes to excuse it in any way. What we are trying to do, however, is to highlight that the media consistently reports crimes committed by black people vastly differently from the way it reports crimes committed by white ... Read More »

Explainer: why is Australia adopting the global refugee compact but not the migration compact?

Australia was one of 176 countries to vote in favour of the Global Compact on Refugees (refugee compact) in mid-November this year. Azadeh Dastyari The Conversation The United Nations General Assembly will adopt it by the end of 2018. However, Australia did not join the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (migration compact) at a conference in Morocco on December 10-11. What are the compacts and what do they aim to do? There is much confusion about the ... Read More »

VN and Greece promote trade and investment

Viet Nam News – HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) signed a co-operation agreement with the Federation of Greek Industries (SEV) and the Athens Chamber of Commerce and… The agreement was signed at the Việt Nam – Greek Business Forum, which attracted representatives from Vietnamese businesses and 16 leading Greek groups in the fields of food, olive oil production, garments and… Speaking at the forum, Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Terens-Nikolaos Quick said Việt Nam and ... Read More »

Not wiped out. Why Whyalla, of all places, now has a sustainable future

Whyalla will be wiped off the map by Julia Gillard’s carbon tax, Whyalla risks becoming a ghost town, an economic wasteland if this carbon tax goes ahead – Then opposition leader Tony Abbott, campaigning against Julia Gillard’s carbon tax in 2011. Michael O’Neil The Conversation Whyalla’s “death notice” has been written a number of times over the past 40 years, beginning with the closure of the shipyards in 1978, continuing with predictions of doom in the lead-up to the carbon ... Read More »

Stop the boats: Email exposes Border Force plans to save money by halting ocean patrols

The Australian Border Force plans to save money on fuel by pulling ships from ocean patrols, amid a high-stakes political fight between the Morrison government and Labor over border… Nicole Hasham Brisbane Times The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age has sighted an internal Border Force email stating that “operational limitations” will be imposed to achieve a saving in the annual fuel budget and “ships… It also explains the move is in line with budget control measures, which are in ... Read More »

John Howard says it’s not ‘racist’ to cut Australia’s migrant intake

Speaking ahead of the release of sealed cabinet papers, the former prime minister told SBS News that Australia should be “mature” enough to debate the issue of migration. James Elton-Pym SBS Former prime minister John Howard says Australian governments should be able to cut the country’s annual intake of migrants “without being accused of racism.” Speaking to SBS News on Tuesday he said long-term migration was good for Australia but defended his cuts to the migration program when he came ... Read More »

Putin Hails Solzhenitsyn As ‘True Patriot’ On Centenary Of His Birth

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin has praised late Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn as a “true and real patriot” after unveiling a statue honoring the Nobel Prize-winning author in central… By RFE/RL With reporting by AFP Speaking at the unveiling ceremony marking the centenary of Solzhenitsyn’s birth, Putin said on December 11 that even in exile, the author “did not allow anyone to talk dismissively and badly… “He stood up against any expression of Russophobia,” said Putin, a former KGB officer. ... Read More »

‘Torture, crimes against humanity’: Class action for Nauru, Manus asylum seekers

The group will claim they have been subjected to intentional harm at the hands of the Australian government while detained in offshore detention. James Elton-Pym SBS A legal advocacy group has launched two class actions in the High Court on behalf of the roughly 1,200 remaining refugees and asylum seekers in offshore processing centres on Manus Island and Nauru. George Newhouse, director of the National Justice Project, told SBS News the legal team led by well-known QC Julian Burnside had lodged ... Read More »

‘Help us’: Call for greater assistance to locate 3000 Yazidis taken hostage by IS

More than 3000 Yazidi women and girls taken hostage after IS swept through northern Iraq in 2014 remain missing. By Fares Hassan, Sylva Mezher, Abdallah Kamal Presented by Good Morning Australia 6-9 AM Published: December 10 A councilman in the northern Iraqi region of Sinjar has called for a greater international assistance to locate the more than 3000 Yazidi women and girls still missing and presumed under IS captivity. Khodaida Al-Hamo, a Yazidi member of the Nineveh governorate council which overseas Sinjar, ... Read More »