Global Issues

Trump Sows Chaos On Day 3 Of His ‘I Want A Wall’ Christmas Shutdown

The president has been all over the map on what his wall (which he promised Mexico would pay for) even means, exactly. S. V. Date HuffPost WASHINGTON — Maybe President Donald Trump cannot get his “great, great” concrete border wall because Congress refuses to pay for it, despite candidate Trump’s repeated promises that he would make Mexico do so. Or wait: It seems Trump has already built big sections of the wall, thanks to some $5 billion Congress has already ... Read More »

Russia-Ukraine War: Kiev’s Navy Says ‘We Will Be Ready’ and Prepared to Use ‘Weapons’ If Moscow Attacks Again

One month after Russia attacked three Ukrainian navy ships in the Kerch Strait, Ukraine’s navy chief said his country was prepared to defend its sovereignty from its bigger neighbor and exert its freedom to navigate in the… Cristina Maza Newsweek “There’s a war going on, initiated by Russia…and this war is raging at the sea too, since 2014. Whether we want and don’t want to lay low at bases and offices; we have to fulfill our duties regarding the… And the ... Read More »

47% of Jobs Will Disappear in the next 25 Years, According to Oxford University

“No government is prepared,” The Economist reports. Philip Perry Big Think The Trump campaign ran on bringing jobs back to American shores, although mechanization has been the biggest reason for manufacturing jobs’ disappearance. Similar losses have led to populist movements in several other countries. But instead of a pro-job growth future, economists across the board predict further losses as AI, robotics, and other technologies continue to be ushered in. What is up for debate is how quickly this is likely to occur. ... Read More »

Asia’s version of Palestine emerging in Bangladesh

Rohingya refugees are being courted by Middle East and South Asia extremist groups, a dynamic that could turn Bangladesh’s overflowing camps into a… By BERTIL LINTNER CHIANG MAI, DECEMBER 24 Asia Times When Myanmar security forces launched its now notorious “clearance operations” in western Rakhine state in August 2017, it was not the first time the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority had fled en… But a failed attempt to repatriate a first group to Myanmar in November and the construction of solid, concrete buildings ... Read More »

Indians promised benefits of 100 smart cities, but the poor are sidelined again

India’s urban population is growing. More than 50% of the country’s population is forecast to be living in cities by 2030. Sujeet Kumar The Conversation This is a major challenge for government because the country’s cities lack the infrastructure (affordable housing, roads) and basic services (sanitation, water, health care) for existing inhabitants, let alone the… Globally, one in eight people live in slums where they face issues of durable housing, access to safe drinking water and toilets, and insecure tenure. ... Read More »

Scotland considers continental wildcats to save native species from extinction

Releasing ‘pure’ animals could counter interbreeding with domestic cats, experts say Severin Carrell and Libby Brooks The Guardian Conservationists could release wildcats captured from other European countries in the Scottish Highlands in a final effort to protect Scotland’s population from extinction. Recent genetic testing by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland of 276 Scottish wildcat samples found those in the wild are so heavily interbredwith domestic cats that they are close to becoming functionally extinct. Leading ecologists have said the trend ... Read More »

What if Donald Trump did fire the Federal Reserve chairman?

Reports that US President Donald Trump discussed whether he could fire Federal Reserve board chairman Jerome Powell with his advisers have produced widely differing opinions of what would happen if he did. Stephen Bartholomeusz The Age The reports elicited a peculiar response from the White House. While Trump himself remained silent, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin tweeted on his behalf. “I totally disagree with Fed policy. I think the increasing of interest rates and the shrinking of the Fed portfolio is ... Read More »

Apple reveals scale of government requests for users’ data

National governments demanded access to 163,823 Apple devices in the first half of 2018, according to figures released by the company. Laurence Dodds & Olivia Feld The Sydney Morning Herald The Telegraph, London, with the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age The latest Apple transparency report showed that it received 32,342 requests to access the contents of iPhones, iPads and other gadgets, a 9 per cent increase from the second half of 2017. The tech giant, which granted 80 per cent of requests ... Read More »

Trump says Fed is ‘the only problem’ of US economy

President Donald Trump has lashed out at the US central bank for stock market turmoil, saying the American economy’s only problem is the Fed itself. BBC In a tweet, Mr Trump said the Federal Reserve lacks understanding of markets and “necessary trade wars”. The salvo came as Mr Trump’s treasury secretary scrambles to calm nervous investors. The Dow Jones fell 400 points on Monday, before recovering slightly. Last week was its worst in a decade. The sharp decline comes amid ... Read More »

‘Blood on their hands’: Border Force slammed after second employee suicide

Former colleagues of an Australian Border Force officer who took his life say he was deeply distressed by his treatment at work and his superiors have “blood on their hands”, in the second suicide linked to the… Nicole Hasham The Canberra Times Border Force commissioner Michael Outram says bullying and other unacceptable behaviour is not tolerated in the organisation, an arm of the Department of Home Affairs created in 2015 when customs, immigration and… However this publication has been contacted ... Read More »

Matteo Salvini: Italian ports closed to migrants

Two charities sought permission to drop off people rescued off the Libyan coast. By THIBAULT LARGER Politico Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini on Sunday reiterated his stance that migrant vessels are not welcome at the country’s ports, following requests from NGOs to allow two rescue ships to dock. “Italian ports are CLOSED,” the right-wing leader tweeted in one of a series of posts on social media. “The traffickers of men and their accomplices know that our ports are closed, STOP!” he said. Two ... Read More »

Brexit paralysis: Theresa May shelves flagship ‘ghost policies’ for workers, householders and abused women

Prime minister accused of ‘repeated consultations, endless delays and vague promises of legislation that simply never appear’ – despite vow to tackle ‘burning injustices’ Rob Merrick Independent Theresa May has shelved flagship policies that promised help to workers, householders and abused women as the Brexit crisis has devoured her government, The Independent can reveal. A batch of key pledges – now dubbed “ghost policies” – have hit the buffers as the huge task of leaving the EU has sidelined her other priorities. ... Read More »

Australian troops to stay in Middle East despite US pullout: Morrison

Australian troops will remain in the Middle East despite US President Donald Trump announcing the withdrawal of thousands of soldiers from Syria and Afghanistan in a… Eryk Bagshaw Brisbane Times Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia’s presence “will remain” in the region, where more than 600 troops continue to conduct operations and train local troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. “We have to be conscious of the potential for a resilient and a resurgent [Islamic State],” he said.  “We’re in regular ... Read More »

‘No more Huawei’: Vodafone CEO expects telcos to dump Chinese suppliers

Vodafone Hutchison Australia chief executive Iñaki Berroeta believes the government’s decision to ban Chinese telecommunications equipment providers from Australia’s high-speed 5G rollout means Huawei will be phased out from all local mobile networks. Jennifer Duke WAtoday Vodafone uses equipment from Swedish supplier Ericsson in the core its 3G and 4G mobile networks where sensitive information processing takes place, and Finland’s Nokia and China’s Huawei for non-core parts. The Australian government banned Huawei on security grounds in August, making it the first country ... Read More »

A Christmas story: the arrival of a sweet baby boy – or a political power to change the world

Dear tiny Jesus, with your golden fleece diapers, with your tiny little fat balled-up fists … Dear 8 pound 6 ounce newborn infant Jesus, don’t even know a word yet, just a little infant so cuddly … Robyn J. Whitaker The Conversation So goes the now infamous grace prayed by aspiring racing legend Ricky Bobby in the movie Talladega Nights. When his family interrupt to remind him that Jesus grew up, Ricky Bobby says: Look, I like the baby version ... Read More »

Frank-Walter Steinmeier: Our democracy is as strong as we make it

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has urged the people of Germany to address tensions in society by engaging with each other. Christoph Strack DW The country must not be allowed to drift apart, he says in his annual Christmas speech. Political and societal dissent in Germany have grown louder and more intense in 2018. There is much talk of social division, of alienation between politicians and ordinary people. Many express anger, especially on so-called “social” media, where there’s often no real interest ... Read More »