Global Issues

Watch out for ‘Land of Morning Warning’

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Japan is universally known as the Land of the Rising Sun and the Korean peninsula as the Land of Morning Calm Abhijit Bhattacharyya, The writer is an advocate practising in the Supreme Court. The views expressed here are personal. The Asian Age It is now time for a new template. Yes, be ready to acknowledge China as the indisputable “Land of Morning Warning”. This new proverb was introduced by none other than Chinese President Xi Jinping. On a chilly winter morning, ... Read More »

Sanctions, refugees and the marginalised: Iran uprisings are Australia’s concern too

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Tehran’s response to this week’s anti-government protests in Iran has been harsh and reminiscent of the state response to the post-election uprising of 2009 Omid Tofighian ABC Back then, Iranians contested the re-election of former ultra-conservative president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by taking to the streets in support of reformist candidate Mir-Hussein Mousavi, and decrying election fraud. A key difference this time around is that the leader of Iran’s reformist movement — former president Seyyed Mohammad Khatami — has joined centrist President ... Read More »

‘Don’t fear death,’ China’s Xi tells army

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President Xi Jinping has issued a blunt call for China’s military to be ready for war and unafraid to die defending the country, as geopolitical tensions mount in Asia. SHANGHAI – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Xi’s exhortation to the world’s largest fighting force, parts of which were revealed only late Jan. 4, came during what state media characterized as a rare address by the Chinese leader to the country’s entire military. Xi cemented his status as China’s most powerful leader in ... Read More »

Book revelations put new focus on Donald Trump’s mental health

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Yale psychiatric professor who briefed members of Congress last month tells the Guardian ‘the danger has become imminent’ Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House review – tell-all burns all Sabrina Siddiqui in Washington The Guardian The revelations in Michael Wolff’s explosive book about Donald Trump’s first year in office have renewed scrutiny of the president’s mental health Although the White House has denounced Wolff’s Fire and Fury as “complete fantasy”, the book sheds light on concerns among top White ... Read More »

Publicly, We Say #MeToo. Privately, We Have Misgivings.

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You can be sure that this weekend at the Golden Globes, Hollywood celebrities, not exactly known for their independent thinking, will turn the red carpet into a #MeToo moment replete with designer duds. Daphne Merkin The New York Times Many have promised to wear black dresses to protest the stream of allegations against industry moguls and actors. Perhaps Meryl Streep will get grilled — again — about what she knew about Harvey Weinstein. The rest of us will diligently follow ... Read More »

Will a 25p charge change Britain’s throwaway coffee cup culture?

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On a busy Guildford high street reaction to the proposed ‘latte levy’ is mixed Sandra Laville The Guardian While many welcome the move to change peoples’ habits, for some, already feeling the squeeze of a weak pound, the 25p hit is too high. Turn any corner in the busy town centre of Guildford on a weekday morning, and someone is carrying a disposable cup bearing the logo of one of the major chains. Each minute in the UK about 500 ... Read More »

Latvia, a disappearing nation

RIGA, LATVIA - MARCH 22:  The Freedom Monument  honouring soldiers killed during the Latvian War of Independence from1918 to 1920 is pictured on March 22, 2013 in Riga, Latvia.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Since it joined the EU, the country has lost one-fifth of its population. By GORDON F. SANDER Politico RIGA — Atis Sjanits has an unusual remit for an ambassador. The Latvian diplomat is not responsible for relations with another nation — but with his own country’s diaspora. Sjanits’ job is to respond to the exodus triggered by Latvia’s accession to the EU. Since joining the bloc, nearly a fifth of the nation has left to work in more affluent EU ... Read More »

Ötüken Union Party, an openly racist/fascist political party, founded in Turkey

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The Ötüken Union Party, Turkey’s first openly racist and fascist political party, was established on Dec. 20, 2017, according to a report by online news outlet Duvar on Friday. Stockholm Center for Freedom By citing the political party list released by the Supreme Court of Appeals Prosecutor’s Office at the end of the year, Duvar has reported that “Ötüken” is a legendary capital city in both Turkic mythology and Tengrism, a shamanistic central Asian religion that once prevailed over Turkic ... Read More »

Trump proposes massive expansion of offshore drilling

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The Trump administration is proposing to greatly expand the areas available for offshore oil and natural gas drilling, including off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Timothy Cama The Hill In the first major step toward the administration’s promised expansion of offshore drilling, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said nearly all of the nation’s outer continental shelf is being considered for drilling, including areas off the coasts of Maine, California, Florida and Alaska. The proposal, which environmentalists immediately panned as an environmental disaster ... Read More »

How Iran’s President Rouhani Can Turn Crisis into Opportunity

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Daily street protests across Iran since 28 December 2017 have pitted many young Iranians against the government, but the state’s response is revealing deep fractures in the political establishment. Ali Vaez ICG To outflank both the unrest and his political opponents, President Rouhani’s best option is to address head-on the drivers of the protests and pursue popular reform. Manifold reasons lie behind Iran’s ongoing protests, but the immediate trigger appears to be widespread disgruntlement over the country’s economic performance, especially ... Read More »

We must help vulnerable people to make the best decisions

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New legal measures will bolster rights of those with diminished decision capacity Áine Flynn The Irish Times “Do you know where you are?” “Do you know what date it is?” “Can you name the Taoiseach?” “Can you spell ‘world’ backwards?” These questions are from the traditional mental status examination. They are an example of how not to assess the decision-making capacity of someone with an intellectual disability, mental illness, dementia or acquired brain injury. A person whose… We must help… Read More »

Tony Blair: Government could oppose final Brexit deal

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Discussions over Border highlight central dilemma for Theresa May, says former PM Denis Staunton The Irish Times The Government would have a strong case to oppose a final Brexit deal without a clear, detailed agreement on how to avoid a hard border, Tony Blair has said. The former British prime minister said the deal agreed between Theresa May and the European Union last month did not resolve the issue of the Border. “The important thing about the deal on Ireland was that ... Read More »

Iceland has made it illegal to pay men more than women

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ICELAND is the first nation in the world to legally ensure women are paid equally to men David Bol TheScotsman The Arctic country has passed legislation meaning companies and government agencies that employ more than 25 workers, will be forced to receive official certification from the government for their equal-pay policies. The law came into effect in Monday and companies failing to demonstrate equal pay could be fined. Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, board member of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association, ... Read More »

China and India dominate planned pipelines additions

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GlobalData’s latest analysis of global planned trunk/transmission oil and gas pipelines for the period 2018 to 2022 shows that the Xinjiang–Guangdong–Zhejiang SNG gas pipeline in China is the longest planned pipeline globally with a length of 8,972 kilometres (km). By GlobalData Energy Hydrocarbons Technology The onshore pipeline is expected to start operations in 2022 China Petrochemical Corp has 100% equity in the pipeline while China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation is the operator. The pipeline has a… The second longest planned ... Read More »

For richer or poorer: 4 economists ponder what 2018 has in store

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Editor’s note: We asked four economists to offer their thoughts and insights on what they expect to be a key theme or issue in 2018. Greg Wright, assistant professor of economics, University of California, Merced Patricia Smith, professor of economics, University of Michigan Christos Makridis, Ph.D. candidate in labor and public economics, Stanford University William Hauk, associate professor of economics, University of South Carolina The Conversation Income and wealth inequality are currently at levels last seen during the Gilded Age ... Read More »

Taiwan court orders dentist to pay mother for raising him

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Taiwan’s top court has ordered a dentist to pay his mother around Tw$22.3 million ($744,000) as reimbursement for the money she spent raising and educating him. TAIPEI – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet  The supreme court Jan. 2 upheld a previous ruling that the 41-year-old, identified by his family name Chu, should honor a contract he signed with his mother 20 years ago promising to refund her. The plaintiff, surnamed Lo, divorced her husband in 1990 and raised their two sons on ... Read More »