Global Issues

China puts up ‘rescue center’ in West Philippine Sea

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 30) — China has established a “maritime rescue center” in the West Philippine Sea, state-run media said Tuesday. By CNN Philippines Staff Quoting China’s Ministry of Transport, Chinese news outfit Xinhua reported that the rescue center was opened Tuesday in Fiery Cross Reef or Kagitingan Reef, one of the Beijing-occupied artificial islands in the Spratlys in the disputed South China Sea. “The center will offer better support to maritime rescue operations in the southern part ... Read More »

Persecution of Christians across the Globe independent review: Foreign Secretary’s launch speech

Speech Jeremy Hunt made remarks at the official launch of the review that will be conducted by the Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen. From: Foreign & Commonwealth Office and The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP Archbishop, bishop, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, a very warm welcome this morning to this very important occasion and very significant launch. Last Sunday, many people here will have been going to church, as indeed was the case in the Philippines at the Cathedral of ... Read More »

Europe’s refugee crisis explains why border walls don’t stop migration

President Trump has long called migration a security crisis, but in recent weeks he has also referred to the situation along the southern border as a humanitarian crisis. Eleanor Paynter The Conversation As he ended the government shutdown in a televised speech on Jan. 25, Trump reiterated his claim that a border wall between the United States and Mexico would save the lives of Central American migrants, many of whom are women and children. “Walls work,” he said. “They save ... Read More »

Catholic Church orders nuns who protested Indian bishop accused of rape to leave state

Catholic nuns who protested against an Indian Bishop accused of rape have been ordered to leave the state of Kerala and serve the community from others parts of the country. Salvi Manish SBS A group of nuns who led a historic protest in the southern Indian state of Kerala that made the headlines worldwide last year have been issued with transfer notices by the Catholic Church. In response, the nuns have produced a letter to the Chief Minister of Kerala ... Read More »

‘Worse than last time’: Darling fish kill strikes again at Menindee

Hundreds of thousands of fish have died in the Darling River at Menindee, the second such event in three weeks, in what Niall Blair, the fisheries minister, described as “an environmental catastrophe”. Peter Hannam The Sydney Morning Herald Graeme McCrabb, a Menindee resident who was again among the first to raise the alarm, said the latest die-off could be “worse than last time”. “It’s started off bigger than three weeks ago,” Mr McCrabb told the Herald on Monday. While the ... Read More »

‘I pay taxes, I play football, I love Australia’: Hakeem al-Araibi speaks

Bangkok: Refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi has begged the Australian government to “keep fighting for me” and stop his extradition to Bahrain on what supporters say are politically-motivated charges. James Massola The Age Sixty-three days after arriving in Thailand for a one week honeymoon with his wife, the Melbourne man – who remains in detention pending an extradition request to his birth country – says “I am not good, I am afraid and alone and I miss my wife”. In an ... Read More »

Iranian parallels hanging over US-North Korea negotiations

With Washington focused on Pyongyang’s nuclear arms while overlooking missiles, it may be setting up a future Iran-style conundrum Stephen Bryen Asia Times In advance of the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, planned for next month, Vice President Mike Pence said the US will not require a complete list of missile sites from North Korea. Instead, the US plans to focus first on nuclear policy. But omitting a discussion on missile sites and missile ... Read More »

Interpreting the U.S. Talks with the Taliban

Talks with the Taliban in the Qatari capital Doha have raised hopes that the U.S. could end its involvement in Afghanistan’s war. ICG Our Asia Program Director Laurel Miller and Afghanistan analysts Borhan Osman and Graeme Smith break down what was achieved and what remains unresolved. How significant were the U.S.-Taliban talks? Last week’s six-day talks between the U.S. and Taliban were the clearest sign yet that the U.S. is intent on withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan, and that the ... Read More »

Not another online petition! But here’s why you should think before deleting it

Online petitions are often seen as a form of “slacktivism” – small acts that don’t require much commitment and are more about helping us feel good than effective activism. Sky Croeser The Conversation But the impacts of online petitions can stretch beyond immediate results. Whether they work to create legislative change, or just raise awareness of an issue, there’s some merit to signing them. Even if nothing happens immediately, petitions are one of many ways we can help build long-term ... Read More »

Unhappy, unhealthy lives aren’t fair exchange for higher incomes

In his Australia Day address, social researcher Hugh Mackay said that “the Australia I love today – this sleep-deprived, overweight, overmedicated, anxious, smartphone-addicted society – is a very different place from the Australia I… Ross Gittins Brisbane Times He identified three big changes: the gender revolution, increasing disparity in wealth, and social fragmentation. He approves of the first, but laments that we’re “learning to live with a chasm of income inequality” and that social fragmentation means Australians are become “more ... Read More »

Sweden Officially Backs a CryptoCurrency and Establishes it as their Official Coin

It’s finally happened. A major worldwide government has just bestowed a huge vote of confidence and legitimacy onto the world of cryptocurrencies. Sweden, in an unprecedented move, just announced that they are officially adopting a… The Swedish government just informed us that they have chosen a preferred firm for the purchase and marketing of their new coin – Kryptonex Research Group. The sales of Sweden’s coin officially started January 28 of 2019January 18 of 2019 and currently these coins can be bought ... Read More »

Hackers Turn the Tables on Russia

A new website features documents pilfered from Kremlin officials and agencies. By Amy Mackinnon, Elias Groll FP Russian government officials are getting a taste of their own medicine. A new site that collects hacked and leaked material from around the web late last week published a major collection of documents and emails belonging to Russian government officials and… On Friday, a site calling itself Distributed Denial of Secrets published a 108-gigabyte archive dubbed the “Dark Side of the Kremlin,” which ... Read More »

Centre-left Italian mayors are refusing to implement a government decree targeting migrants

Around 500 people will be evicted from a large refugee reception centre in Castelnuovo di Porto, a town close to Rome, before the end of January. Authors: The Conversation The move follows the adoption of a new “security decree” in early December 2018 by the Italian parliament, which reduces the rights of migrants and asylum seekers. The decree was spearheaded by Matteo Salvini, the deputy prime minister and leader of the right-wing Northern League, currently governing Italy in coalition with ... Read More »

The growing problem that could lead the world into a new kind of financial crisis

One particularly caustic attendee described this year’s Davos as a “reunion of losers”. Ben Wright The Sydney Morning Herald That might seem an odd thing to say given the Swiss mountain resort must have housed the greatest concentration of millionaires and billionaires anywhere on the planet over the past week. But he was alluding to how tarnished the company brands adorning the shop fronts along the promenade have become over the past year and the extent to which the mood ... Read More »

How to Protect Liberal Democracy

U.S. interests neither totally agree nor totally conflict with those of other states. Paul R. Pillar The National Interest The acquisition of power, through the ballot box, in a democracy by political forces that undermine that very democracy—by surreptitiously channeling the influence of a foreign state or by using authoritarian tactics to retain power—is the stuff of thriller fiction. It is grist for stories like The Manchurian Candidate . In a democracy such as the United States, such scenarios present political quandaries ... Read More »

The three biggest threats to humanity revealed in Lancet report

Obesity, undernutrition and climate change are the biggest threats to the world population, driven by profit motives and policy inertia, top international experts warn. Kate Aubusson The Age The Lancet‘s Commission on Obesity has called for a binding plan and trillions of dollars to thwart the dangers of unsustainable agricultural production, transport, urban design and land use. The commission’s stark message comes a week after the EAT-Lancet Commission warned humans must radically change their diets to avert catastrophic damage to ... Read More »