Asia

Thai court rejects bid to block deportation of Saudi woman

A Thai court Monday rejected an attempt to block the deportation of a Saudi woman who made a desperate plea for asylum, saying she feared for her life after escaping an abusive family. BANGKOK – AFP Hurriyet Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun told AFP she ran away from her family while travelling in Kuwait because they subjected her to physical and psychological abuse. The 18-year-old said she had planned to travel to Australia and seek asylum there, and feared she would be killed if ... Read More »

Reconciliation remains elusive as Cambodia marks 40 years since fall of the Khmer Rouge

When you discuss the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, you will often hear people recite a very specific period of time: three years, eight months and 20 days. Holly Robertson ABC Even 40 years after Pol Pot and his cadres were brought down, the length of their reign is seared into people’s minds for the terror and brutality it evokes. An estimated 2 million people died from overwork, starvation and mass killings during the Khmer Rouge era. It’s difficult to overstate ... Read More »

Goldman Sachs Asks What If Lebanon Is Forced to Restructure Debt

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. still sees an imminent debt restructuring in Lebanon as unlikely but is already turning its attention to how much investors could recover as one of the world’s most indebted countries teeters on the brink of financial crisis. Paul Abelsky Bloomberg Under Goldman’s base scenario, foreign investors would recover 35 cents on the dollar, Farouk Soussa, an economist at Goldman Sachs, said in a report. But he said any debt overhaul would put the country’s banks first, meaning “the ... Read More »

China could occupy more areas in WPS — expert warns

MANILA, Philippines — China may end up occupying more areas in the West Philippine Sea if it would be allowed to unilaterally rehabilitate coral reefs in the disputed region, a maritime expert warned. Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) Jay Batongbacal, director of the UP Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, said China’s announcement that it would carry out coral reef rehabilitation and restoration in the South China Sea should be taken with a… “Interested states should take ... Read More »

Taxpayers to pay for Fraser Anning’s flights to far-right rally in Melbourne

Queensland Senator Fraser Anning says he was representing his constituents at the Melbourne rally. AAP – SBS Taxpayers will foot the bill of Queensland Senator Fraser Anning’s return flights to Melbourne to attend a rally involving both right-wing extremists and anti-fascists. The Queensland senator insists he was representing his local constituents on the interstate trip as his state is experiencing violence from African gangs. The controversial senator is adamant the rally was attended by “ordinary working people” rather than radicals ... Read More »

India’s Muslims: Rich Hunting Ground for Middle Eastern Rivals

How Turkey’s President Erdogan is seeking to expand his leadership claim in the Islamic world in India. James M. Dorsey The Globalist Indian Muslims, 180 million strong, constitute the Islamic world’s second-largest community, after Indonesia, and well ahead of Turkey and ten times larger than Saudi Arabia’s population. Thus, when the ever expansionist and ambitious President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently declared that Turkey was “the only country that can lead the Muslim world,” it stands to reason that he wasn’t ... Read More »

Malala’s new book brings voices of world’s displaced to the fore

As we ascend the lift in the Melbourne hotel where Malala Yousafzai is staying, we have a stowaway on board. Miki Perkins The Sydney Morning Herald Ten-year-old Dante Ascui is a capable assistant to his father, Age photographer Luis Ascui, carrying the tripod as we emerge into a large room with a view of the Yarra River. But for Dante, today is not about work. When his dad discovered his first booking of the day was to photograph Yousafzai, he doubled back ... Read More »

Japan finds a huge cache of scarce rare-earth minerals

Japan looks to replace China as the primary source of critical metals Rare earth elements are a set of 17 metals that are integral to our modern lifestyle and efforts to produce ever-greener technologies. Robby Berman Big Think The “rare” designation is a bit of a misnomer: It’s not that they’re not plentiful, but rather that they’re found in small concentrations, and are especially difficult to successfully extract since they blend in with and resemble other minerals in the ground. ... Read More »

How A Facebook Page Helped Two Women Enter The Sabrimala Shrine

As a conservative backlash sought to silence women who wanted to visit Sabrimala, they turned online to find each other. K.A. Shaji HuffPost THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Kerala —Forty two-year-old law professor Bindu Ammini, a law professor, and 44-year-old Kanakadurga, assistant manager of a state-run grocery store, first met online in… In the early hours of January 2 this year, the two women entered the shrine under heavy police protection, prompting a violent backlash from those opposed to allowing women “of… The two ... Read More »

The new generation of Filipino women rejecting skin whitening

“Growing up as a kid, I used to hate my skin as I was teased a lot because of it.” Kirsten Jelinek SBS Whitening lotion, whitening soap, whitening deodorant, and even capsules of glutathione – an antioxidant which purports to prevent skin cells from producing darkening melanin – fill the bustling shopping centres of Manila. The Philippines beauty standard of whitening goes by many names – skin lightening, skin evening, skin-fading and even skin brightening. Avon boutique owner Mary Anne ... Read More »

Why the Singapore model won’t work for the UK post-Brexit

The city state has a strange appeal to some Tories yet even its prime minister doubts its approach would work in Britain Patrick Wintour The Guardian The foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, on a visit to Singapore to learn how such a relatively isolated city state has become so successful is only the latest, but most explicit, of a long line of Tory ministers to extol it as the model for the UK post-Brexit. Quite how Singapore, an authoritarian state capitalist economy akin ... Read More »

China’s Atlantean ambition for the South China Sea

Beijing’s futuristic plan for an artificial intelligence-driven deep-sea submarine base promises to churn the contested sea’s already volatile waters Richard Javad Heydarian Asia Times Αs Southeast Asian nations look ahead to 2019, competition for control of the South China Sea looms large on the horizon. That strategic contest could enter a new destabilizing phase if China introduces as reported a new Atlantis-like deep-sea submarine base in the already volatile maritime area. The proposed new base, which could in theory be ... Read More »

How to negotiate infrastructure deals with China: four things African governments need to get right

“You don’t negotiate with China !” I was quickly told when I started interviewing African public servants about their infrastructure deals with Beijing. Folashade Soule The Conversation There is a widespread view in Africa that you accept whatever terms are offered, for fear that the money might go somewhere else instead. China is the leading infrastructure finance provider on the continent – as demonstrated by a recent pledge of US$60 billion (£47 billion), most of which is for infrastructure projects. Big projects on the slate include hydropower plants ... Read More »

Indian Teens’ Mental Distress Was Invisible, Invalid Until A Decade Ago

Writer Himanjali Sankar says her book ‘The Lies We Tell’ emerged from wanting to understand difficult mental states in a socially and culturally familiar context. Himanjali Sankar HuffPost Mental illness no longer carries the stigma it used to have even ten years back. But it is tagged by many , ranging from disappointment to impatience and annoyance at what is perceived as self-indulgence at some level. When those in greater control of their mental states come face to face with ... Read More »

Bernie Sanders Isn’t Just Another White Male Candidate. His Nomination Would Be Historic.

The 2020 Democratic primary will likely offer the most diverse field of candidates either party has ever put forward for the presidency. David Klion Forward At least four serious African-American contenders (Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Andrew Gillum, and Eric Holder) have been floated so far, as have at least four women (Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy… And then there are a large number of white men — the demographic that has accounted for all but one president to date — ... Read More »

Turkey’s gift of a mosque sparks fears of ‘neo-Ottomanism’ in Kosovo

Pristina badly needs a new mosque – but Turkish attempts to court the young Balkan state with investment and advocacy is making some uneasy. Maxim Edwards and Michael Colborne The Guardian It is six years since Islamic leaders and government officials laid the cornerstone of Pristina’s new central mosque – a slab of stone now hidden beneath weeds in a parking lot. Pulling back the weeds reveals it is covered with bright red graffiti – death threats to Kosovo’s chief ... Read More »