Global Issues

China Uses DNA to Track Its People, With the Help of American Expertise

The Chinese authorities turned to a Massachusetts company and a prominent Yale researcher as they built an enormous system of surveillance and control Sui-Lee Wee The New York Times BEIJING — The authorities called it a free health check. Tahir Imin had his doubts. They drew blood from the 38-year-old Muslim, scanned his face, recorded his voice and took his fingerprints. They didn’t bother to check his heart or kidneys, and they rebuffed his request to see the results. “They ... Read More »

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg tells EU to double its climate targets

The 16-year-old Swedish climate activist has urged the European Union to double its ambition for greenhouse gas cuts. AFP-SBS Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who has inspired pupils worldwide to boycott classes, urged the European Union on Thursday to double its ambition for greenhouse gas cuts. At an EU conference, Thunberg warned that politicians who fail to tackle climate change will be “remembered as the greatest villains of all time” for leading the world to disaster. “If the ... Read More »

Managing Ethiopia’s Unsettled Transition

Ethiopia’s charismatic new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has generated great excitement with initiatives breaking with the past. ICG But he faces challenges as formidable as his promises are bold: he urgently needs to halt communal strife, smooth the road to elections and boost the ailing economy. What’s new? Ethiopia’s new premier, Abiy Ahmed Ali, has made peace with Eritrea, extended a conciliatory hand to opponents, and promised moves to free and fair elections, expanded political space and economic reform. But ... Read More »

Neo-Nazi in coast guard plotted attack on Democrats and journalists, say prosecutors

Lieutenant Christopher Hasson allegedly intended to ‘murder civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country’ Jon Swaine The Guardian A neo-Nazi serving as a lieutenant in the US coast guard has been caught plotting to attack Democratic members of Congress, including congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and well-known media personalities, according to… Christopher Hasson intended “to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country”, according to a filing to federal court in Maryland. Law enforcement officers seized 15 ... Read More »

Will Turkey Really Get an Aircraft Carrier Armed with F-35s?

Whether or not Turkey finally gets its hands on the F-35B, Anadolu will become one of the most important ships the Turkish navy has ever operated. Robert Farley The National Interest The missions she eventually undertakes will depend very much on political decisions in Ankara; how close to remain to the United States, how to manage tensions with Greece, and how to handle Russia. But Anadolu is a useful enough platform that she can make an important contribution to any ... Read More »

For Guernsey, free movement loss is a double whammy

After Brexit, residents will lose access to second homes on the Continent; businesses will lose access to EU labor. Eleanor Rose Politico LONDON — “I think the worst moment was going into the conservatoire the morning after,” said Peter Bourne, 21, of the 2016 Brexit referendum, which took place when he was studying music in Bordeaux, France. “I was faced with a load of French people who expected answers from me because I was ‘the English one,'” he said. “I had to ... Read More »

The AI Road to Serfdom?

Estimates of job losses in the near future due to automation range from 9% to 47%, and jobs themselves are becoming ever more precarious. Robert Skidelsky Project Syndicate Should we trust the conventional economic narrative according to which machines inevitably raise workers’ living standards? LONDON – Surveys from round the world show that people want secure jobs. At the same time, they have always dreamed of a life free from toil. The “rise of the robots” has made the tension between these ... Read More »

Ireland’s new abortion service is the envy of many healthcare systems

I am incredibly proud as a GP to be part of something so worthwhile and rewarding Mark Murphy The Irish Times I never thought I would be a provider of abortion services. It’s not that surprising really. Abortion was not mentioned once in the medical curriculum when I qualified 14 years ago. It was an unspoken phenomenon, a secret reality. Before I became a GP, I never had a real conversation about abortion. It’s astonishing to consider that fact now, knowing that 25 ... Read More »

Vladimir Putin says Russia will not move missiles closer to US unless American missiles move first

Vladimir Putin said he will match any move by the United States to deploy new nuclear missiles closer to Russia by stationing its own missiles closer to the US, or by deploying faster missiles, or both. ABC Reuters The Russian President said he was not seeking confrontation and would not take the first step to deploy missiles in response to the US Government’s decision this month to quit a landmark Cold War-era arms control treaty. But, in his toughest remarks yet ... Read More »

US deficit suggests impending economic avalanche

As many of the world economies teeter on the brink of a recession, the richest economy in the world is flirting with stagflation — growing inflation without economic growth — and a trillion-dollar national debt that threatens the… Fred Shoaff The Daily Illini Due to recent tax cuts, military spending and budget conflicts between Democrats and Republicans, Donald Trump’s American economy is heading toward an “extremely imbalanced” path… The tax cuts that were supposed to reignite the economy and create ... Read More »

A Syrian family fled to Canada to escape the war. All 7 of the children just died in a house fire

(CNN) – The loss of one child is devastating. The loss of seven? Unimaginable. Doug Criss But that’s the grim reality the Barho family faces after all seven of the family’s children died in a house fire in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The family from Syria sought refuge in Canada in 2017 to escape the civil war that’s decimated their home country. The fire struck early Tuesday morning, Halifax Regional Police said in a statement. A neighbor said she heard a loud noise ... Read More »

Sixth wastewater report reveals Australians spend over $9.3 billion a year on drugs

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission today released the sixth report of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program providing longer-term insights into drug consumption as the… Using wastewater data between August 2017 to August 2018, it is estimated that more than 9.6 tonnes of methylamphetamine is consumed in Australia each year, as well as more than 4 tonnes of… The street price of this quantity of these four drugs is valued at around $9.3 billion, underlining the ... Read More »

Heaven and Earth in Chinese Art is an exercise in spectacle

The exhibition Heaven and Earth in Chinese Art, Treasures from the National Palace Museum, Taipei, is the first major loan to Australia from this repository of what have become the canonical art works of… John Clark The Conversation It deserves to be seen by all those interested in Chinese art, and hopefully will be the precursor for many such loans in the future. Perhaps it will also prod the National Palace Museum in Beijing to do a major loan exhibition, ... Read More »

US-born Islamic State supporter in Syria won’t be allowed to return, Pompeo says

Secretary of state says Hoda Muthana ‘is not a US citizen and will not be admitted’ into the US MEE and agencies The United States is refusing to allow an American-born supporter of the Islamic State (IS) group to return to the country, after she left for Syria to join the militant group, Mike Pompeo has said. In a brief statement on Wednesday, the US secretary of state said Hoda Muthana, 24, “is not a US citizen and will not ... Read More »

Against ‘Suffocation’ of Azov Sea: Ukraine Pleading EU for Help Against Russia

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that his country would like to see the European Union and the European Investment Bank (EIB) engaged in efforts to avoid the “suffocation” of its Azov Sea shore. Written by @Eubulletin | The Azov Sea is a strategic territory coveted by Moscow. Russia has recently constructed a bridge across the Kerch strait, which Kyiv considers unlawful. Moscow moreover put in place controls over the international ships crossing the strait and Kyiv suspects that Russia ... Read More »

The Moment the Transatlantic Charade Ended

At the Munich Security Conference, Europe and the Trump administration stopped pretending to respect each other. Thomas Wrirgt The Atlantic Europe and the Trump administration have stopped pretending to respect each other. For the past two years, we have been treated to a transatlantic charade. Everyone knows there’s a problem, but publicly the leaders proclaim that nothing has fundamentally changed. But at the 2019 Munich Security Conference, which took place over the weekend, the charade ended. The American position is ... Read More »