Asia

The Indian restaurants that serve only half a glass of water

While many parts of India are going through a sustained water crisis, the western city of Pune is trying to deal with the problem in a rather unusual way, writes the BBC‘s Geeta Pandey. The dystopian future we worried about is already here. Many restaurants in the city of Pune have begun serving only half glasses of water to guests. At the pure vegetarian Kalinga restaurant, a couple have just been seated when a waiter approaches their table and asks ... Read More »

Hunger, violence and constant stress: The brutal truth of life as a child refugee

As a former child refugee, I feel very strongly for the children on Nauru. I know the sense of uncertainty and hopelessness that comes from being stuck in limbo — not knowing if or when you might get to live freely in a… Sayed Rabbani ABC I was just 9 years old when my family fled Afghanistan for the third time in 2001, when the war in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks on America began. I remember the first airstrike ... Read More »

U.S. Military Tests Russia at Sea Days After Warning From China

The U.S. military has sent a message to Russia by sailing through a disputed waterway near Japan. Tom O’Connor Newsweek The move came only a week after China mobilized its own vessels in response to a perceived transgression by the Navy. Navy Lieutenant Rachel McMarr, a spokesperson for the Pacific Fleet, told CNN Wednesday that Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS… The Navy considered the move one of its “freedom of navigation” operations, which are outlined in the 1982 United Nations Convention on ... Read More »

Yemen: Giving Peace a Chance?

Preliminary peace consultations on Yemen are scheduled to start in Stockholm on 6 December. This is the second attempt in three months to jump-start talks. Crisis Group consultant Peter Salisbury explains why the Sweden talks are so important and what could go wrong. What are the talks in Stockholm expected to achieve? In September, the UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, failed to bring the parties to the table in Geneva after last-minute wrangling. This time he hopes to have ... Read More »

Turkish historian launches digital archive documenting Armenian genocide

Turkish historian Taner Akçam, a professor of Armenian genocide studies at Clark University in Massachusetts, has launched a digital archive of evidence collected by an Armenian genocide survivor  which documents the… Ahval Akçam, the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Professor in Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University’s Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, worked with Turkish experts and… Turkey has never officially acknowledged that events leading to the death of hundreds of thousands of… ... Read More »

‘Escalation’: Trump’s meeting with Xi likely to make trade war much worse, says Goldman Sachs

President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina this weekend, in what is among the most widely watched bilateral meetings of 2018. Will Martin Brisbane Times There have been tentative signs that a deal may be struck, but according to analysts at Goldman Sachs, the most likely outcome of the meeting is that the trade war actually escalates. “We currently see ‘escalation’ as the most likely ... Read More »

Chinese government orders fishing boats to behave during G-20 summit

Beijing has issued a notice to Chinese fishing boats operating overseas, warning them to avoid illegal activities during the G-20 summit in Argentina this weekend. Nyshka Chandran CNBC Asia-Pacific The country’s Agricultural Ministry released a statement this week asking Chinese offshore fishing enterprises to stay at least three nautical miles away from other countries’ marine exclusive economic zones. This distance will ensure that violations such as cross-border fishing don’t occur, it… These measures are designed to protect China’s image as ... Read More »

Six Steps to Make the Most of the U.S. Senate’s Yemen Vote

By an unexpectedly large margin, the U.S. Senate voted on 29 November to move ahead with a bill to end U.S. involvement in the Yemen war. ICG Crisis Group calls on the key actors to seize this opportunity to suspend the fighting and… The U.S. Congress is notoriously reluctant to take tough decisions on matters of war and peace, which makes the Senate’s 29 November vote on the conflict in Yemen all the more remarkable. The Senate voted by a ... Read More »

Prominent Chinese photographer taken by police in Uighur region: wife

Beijing: Lu Guang’s photos exposed the everyday realities of people on the margins of Chinese society: coal miners, drug addicts, HIV patients. WAtoday AP Now, the award-winning photographer is at the centre of his own stark story. He was taken away by state security agents three weeks ago for unknown reasons, Lu’s wife, Xu Xiaoli, told The Associated Press. Xu said Lu was traveling in Xinjiang on November 3 when she lost contact with him. He had connected with photographers in ... Read More »

Goodbye Grotius, Hello Putin

Russia’s provocations in the Kerch Strait aren’t just a challenge to Ukraine. Like Beijing in the South China Sea, Moscow is seeking to undermine international maritime law. James R. Holmes FP Sunday’s encounter between Russian and Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait, the entryway to the Sea of Azov east of the Crimean peninsula, revived an age-old question in international politics: Can a coastal nation own the sea? International law says no; authoritarian states such as China and Russia say ... Read More »

Pentagon Moves Closer To Cutting Turkey’s Role In The F-35 Program If It Buys S-400 SAMs

Turkey remains steadfast in its plans to purchase the air defense systems as its relations with the United States remain cool Joseph Trevthick TheDRIVE The U.S. government could reportedly reexamine Turkey’s participation in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program if that country goes ahead with its purchase of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia. But even if that particular issue is resolved, there could still be major hurdles in unfreezing deliveries of the jets to the Turkish Air Force. The ... Read More »

Intel: Why the US opposes UN calls for a Yemen cease-fire

CNN reported today that the United States is pulling its support for a Yemen cease-fire resolution at the United Nations after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed frustration over language calling for increased humanitarian aid and… Al-Monitor Why it matters: The report indicates that the Donald Trump administration is contradicting its stated policy goal in Yemen, which was to get the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-backed Houthis to the… US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has signaled for weeks that the ... Read More »

Afghanistan: the Hazaras are not safe

In late October 2018, the Taliban in Afghanistan launched a new campaign of attacks, taking them into areas which until then had been “peaceful”. Niamatullah Ibrahimi and William Maley Lowy Interpreter The attacks started in the Khas Uruzgan district, part of the very province where Australian defence personnel served as part of their lengthy deployment in Afghanistan. In the first week of November, the Taliban extended the campaign into the Jaghori and Malestan, districts of the neighbouring province of Ghazni. ... Read More »

‘Pandora’s box has been opened’: Scientist’s baby gene-editing claim fuels backlash

Beijing: A Chinese scientist’s claim that he has created the world’s first genetically edited babies has provoked a strong backlash from China’s science community, with several institutions supposedly linked to the… Kirsty Needham The Canberra Times Hundreds of Chinese scientists signed a letter on social media on Monday which condemned direct human experimentation as “crazy”. He Jiankui, a researcher in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, said he altered the genes of a pair of twins while they were embryos to ... Read More »

Xi-Duterte deals stir a furor in the Philippines

Chinese President and Philippine leader entered 29 new agreements that opposition critics claim lack transparency and could undermine sovereign interests in the South China Sea Richard Javad Heydarian Asia Times One week after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s historic visit to the Philippines and domestic opposition to President Rodrigo Duterte’s engagement policy towards Beijing is on the boil again in Manila. The nationalistic criticism has flared up periodically during Duterte’s two-years in office and underscores the structural challenges ahead for Philippine-China ... Read More »

Even a ‘Diplomat’s Diplomat’ Can’t Solve Syria’s Civil War

The United Nations’ Syria envoy, Staffan de Mistura, is stepping down. Is there any role left for the international community to play in ending Syria’s slaughter? David Kenner The Atlantic BEIRUT—If the only thing you knew about Syria was UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura’s briefing to the Security Council this month, you might assume dramatic events were afoot. There had been an important meeting in Istanbul, he said, while equally vital summits in Astana, Kazakhstan, and of the G-20 countries in ... Read More »