Global Issues

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

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

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

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

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

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 »

Atlantic wave biggest ever recorded by buoy

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 »

Catalan separatists defy Spain in pursuit of ‘utopia’

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 »

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

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

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

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

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 »

Democracy Inaction: Two Major Parties, One Major Train Wreck

Labor, Liberal, it doesn’t really matter, writes Richard King. New Matilda Richard King Even by the standards of the Australian parliament, this year has been a dull affair, at least for those of us more interested in policy than in the politics of politics. The recent agonies over the backpacker tax were… Democracy Inaction: Two Major… Read More »

The British ‘Snoopers Law’: Implications for the US and government surveillance worldwide

Almost lost in the turmoil over Brexit and the fraught negotiations for the terms of Britain’s departure from the European Union, the British Parliament several weeks ago passed the most sweeping government surveillance and internal spying law thus far legislated by any Western nation. AEI Claude Barfield The Investigatory Powers Law, dubbed the “Snoopers Law” by its many critics, was passed after many months of debate and a few amendments aimed (unsuccessfully) at mollifying its vociferous dissenters among civil… The ... Read More »

Teenager moved to Barwon prison from youth detention had human rights infringed, judge says

A teenager being detained in a temporary youth justice unit at Victoria’s maximum security prison has had his human rights infringed, a Supreme Court judge has found. ABC Emma Younger The teenager, who cannot be identified, applied for bail last week after being moved to the Grevillea Unit at Barwon Prison, a newly designated youth justice centre. Dozens of youth were moved there after the… Teenager moved to Barwon prison from… Read More »