Global Issues

The race for EU membership

EU - Politico

Enlargement is not high on the EU’s agenda, but that isn’t stopping its would-be members. Politico Ryan Heath The United Kingdom might be trying to check out of the European Union, but there are at least 10 countries keen to be in. There’s a problem though… The race for EU… Read More »

The 350+ islands set to disappear

Islands - BBC

Panama’s indigenous Guna tribe have called San Blas home for hundreds of years. But the entire idyllic archipelago is at risk of being underwater within a matter of decades. BBC News Colleen Hagerty Ever since I’d arrived in Panama, I’d been hearing about San Blas, an archipelago of more than 350 islands in the Caribbean Sea. The suggestions to visit came both from… The 350+ islands set to… Read More »

Myanmar: A New Muslim Insurgency in Rakhine State

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Recent attacks by an émigré-led force of trained Rohingya fighters mark a dangerous turn. ICG To remove a main root of the violence – Rohingya despair – the government must reverse longstanding discrimination against the Muslim minority, moderate its… Myanmar: A New… Read More »

Why Japan and Russia never signed a WWII peace treaty

Soviet troops - Asia Times

The islands keeping Japan and Russia from signing a peace treaty Asia Times Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in Japan on Thursday for talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe aimed at improving ties, but both sides have scaled back expectations of major progress towards a peace treaty formally… Why Japan and Russia never signed a… Read More »

Blocking access to illegal file-share websites won’t stop illegal downloading

Internet - The Conversation

The Australian Federal Court ruled today that TPG, Optus, Telstra and other internet service providers (ISPs) must take “reasonable steps” to stop customers accessing file-sharing websites The Pirate Bay, IsoHunt, TorrentHound and Torrentz. The Conversation Paula Dootson, Kylie Pappalardo and Nicolas Suzor In total, Australian ISPs must block access to 61 domains registered to these four websites, or to the IP addresses specifically listed in the orders. The court also ordered that addresses… Blocking access to illegal file-share… Read More »

Colombia pardons 110 FARC rebels as part of peace deal

Colombia - Al Jazeera

Pardons apply to political crimes, but not killings and rape, minister says, as FARC expels uncooperative commanders. Al Jazeera News The Colombian government has pardoned at least 110 FARC rebels as part of a peace deal to end a 52-year conflict, the country’s justice minister said. “I believe around 300 pardons could be… Colombia pardons 110 FARC rebels as… Read More »

Why Abe Is Seeking a Settlement with Russia

Putin Abe 1a LLLL

In Asia’s unstable regional context, it makes more strategic sense than at any time for Japan to forge a peace treaty with Russia. The National Interest Tomohiko Taniguchi, Daniel Bob Vladimir Putin is slated to visit Japan on December 15 and… Why Abe Is… Read More »

Oil Zone Fighting Threatens Libya with Economic Collapse

Ayio 1a

New clashes over Libya’s oilfields could wreck the fragile remains of the country’s economy. ICG Beyond security help, international actors must support compromises on state financing between the opposing factions and help pull Libya back from the… Oil Zone Fighting… Read More »

Russia and Turkey Pushed the West Out of Syria

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Neither the U.S. nor European powers seem to have been aware that Russia and Turkey were negotiating a ceasefire and evacuation deal for Aleppo on Tuesday. Bloomberg View By Leonid Bershidsky After the capture of the ravaged but all-important city by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, this may be the… Russia and Turkey… Read More »

California governor: ‘If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite’

Kule 2b

California Gov. Jerry Brown gave a fiery speech on climate-change policy on Wednesday, during which he said, “If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite,” according to The Los Angeles Times. Business Insider Rafi Letzter Brown was speaking at the 2016 meeting of the… California governor: ‘If… Read More »

Catalan separatists defy Spain in pursuit of ‘utopia’

Mayor of Berga Montse Venturos (R) raises her fist as she leaves the courthouse in Berga on November 4, 2016.
The mayor of the small Catalan town of Berga became today the first arrested for disobeying political independence of justice in the process of secession began in this region of northeastern Spain. / AFP / PAU BARRENA        (Photo credit should read PAU BARRENA/AFP/Getty Images)

Pro-independence parties prepare for mass acts of civil disobedience against the Spanish state. Politico Guy Hedgecoe BERGA, Spain — A large Catalan independence flag hangs from the city hall of Berga, a town of 16,000 inhabitants in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Known as the Estelada, the red-and-yellow… Catalan separatists defy Spain in… Read More »

Atlantic wave biggest ever recorded by buoy

Wave - BBC

The highest-ever wave detected by a buoy has been recorded in the North Atlantic ocean. BBC News The 19-metre (62.3ft) wave happened between Iceland and the United Kingdom, off the Outer Hebrides, the World Meteorological Organization said. It was created in the aftermath of a… Atlantic wave biggest ever… Read More »

Advice for Trump: Don’t let China displace US in Asia-Pacific

Asia Times

The two things that leaders in the Asia-Pacific region wish to hear and see from President-elect Donald J. Trump are an assurance that the United States will continue to provide and underwrite security in the Asia-Pacific and that it will remain a benign hegemon, opening its economy to friends and allies. Asia Times Shivshankar Menon Without this confidence, Asian leaders could turn to other expedients, and to China, for the prosperity and security they seek. The greatest strategic challenge confronting… ... Read More »

New Study Casts Doubt On A Key Metric For Predicting Global Warming

Scientists - The Daily Caller

New research suggests scientists may be wrong about a key measurement for projecting man-made global warming. The Daily Caller Michael Bastasch Meteorologist Anthony Watts and amateur scientist Willis Eschenbach released new research suggesting “global climate sensitivity to increased carbon dioxide, and the potential feedback mechanism of increased water vapor in… New Study Casts Doubt On A Key… Read More »

Only swift action can avert South Sudan genocide, says UN human rights chief

Sudan - The Guardian

Targeted sanctions and peacekeeping force among measures urged at special session of UN human rights council as violence compared with Rwanda The Guardian Ben Quinn Conditions in South Sudan were repeatedly likened to those in Rwanda on the eve of genocide at a special session of the UN human rights council held on Wednesday, with a top official warning that escalating ethnic violence has… Only swift action can avert South Sudan genocide, says… Read More »

How Russian hackers hijacked the US election

Hackers - Irish times

Long read: The inside story of cyber attacks and leaks that officials believe tipped the election scales The Irish Times Eric Lipton, David E Sanger and Scott Shane When special agent Adrian Hawkins of the FBI called the Democratic National Committee in September 2015 to pass along some troubling news about its computer network, he was transferred, naturally, to the help desk. His message was brief, if… How Russian hackers hijacked the… Read More »