Asia

The secret story of how America lost the drug war with the Taliban

A high-stakes plan to indict Afghan drug lords and insurgency leaders on criminal conspiracy charges ran afoul of the Obama team. Five years later, it remains buried under Trump. Josh Meyer Politico As Afghanistan edged ever closer to becoming a narco-state five years ago, a team of veteran U.S. officials in Kabul presented the Obama administration with a detailed plan to use U.S. courts to prosecute the… The plan, according to its authors, was both a way of halting the ... Read More »

The Australian doctor playing a key role in Thai cave rescue

An Australian doctor is at the centre of the desperate attempt to rescue 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave in Chiang Rai. Josh Dye The Age Richard Harris, an anaesthetist from Adelaide, has been revealed as one of the international dive experts seconded to assist with the difficult and dangerous rescue mission. On Saturday, Dr Harris undertook the dangerous dive through to the 12 Thai boys and their coach. He gave the final approval on the boys’ ... Read More »

Swedish activist granted Palestinian citizenship

Palestinian resistance group Hamas condemns Israel for not allowing Benjamin Ladraa to enter Palestine World Bulletin Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas granted Palestinian citizenship Friday to Swedish activist Benjamin Ladraa, who has been walking from Sweden to Palestine to raise awareness on human rights violations. “This step is taken to appreciate Ladraa’s efforts and his position to support the Palestinian people,” Abbas said according to a report by the official Wafa news agency. Ladraa was barred by Israeli police from entering ... Read More »

Israeli intelligence firm targeted NGOs during Hungary’s election campaign

People working for Black Cube secretly taped meetings that were then cited by Prime Minister Victor Orbán. Lili Bayer Politico The Israeli private intelligence firm Black Cube was involved in a campaign to discredit NGOs ahead of Hungary’s April election, according to a former Black Cube employee and a person with knowledge of the company’s inner workings. Between December 2017 and March 2018, Hungarian NGOs and individuals connected to American-Hungarian businessman George Soros were contacted by agents using false identities who… Israeli intelligence ... Read More »

Thai cave boys: the psychology of surviving underground

When 12 young footballers and their coach entered the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand, it was supposed to be a fun outing after football practice. Sarita Robinson The Conversation But when a torrent of flood water rushed in after heavy rain, the group became trapped on a small rock shelf deep inside the cave’s vast network of tunnels. It was nine days before two British divers, John Volanthen and Richard Stanton, located the group – mercifully alive and ... Read More »

Outspoken Aberdeen University academic arrested in Turkey for criticising the government

An outspoken Aberdeen University academic has been arrested in Turkey for posting critical commentary online about the country’s leader. Kieran Beattie The Press and Journal Lawyer Hanifi Baris, who graduated from Aberdeen University’s Centre of Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law with a PhD last year, was yesterday arrested by police in Istanbul for “posting items with criminal content on Facebook and Twitter accounts”. Mr Baris, who moved to Turkey after leaving Aberdeen last year to be with his ... Read More »

NATO Is Obsolete

“Europe is prosperous and treats America like a patsy. Let it stand on its own.” Before the United States President Donald Trump attempts real diplomacy with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit in Helsinki on July 16, he’ll first be subjected to another summit. Christian Whiton The National Interest That first summit is a gathering of leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). These leaders continually assure the United States they are America’s best allies, even as most ... Read More »

Ousted Pakistani PM Sharif sentenced to 10 years in prison

Islamabad: A Pakistani court on Friday sentenced ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in prison for corrupt practices linked to his family’s purchase of upscale London flats, in a major blow to his party ahead of general elections on July 25. Saad Sayeed The Age Reuters The guilty verdict in absentia against Sharif, 68, threatens to end the career of one of Pakistan’s most high-profile politicians of the past four decades, a political survivor who was prime minister three ... Read More »

Chinese hackers breach ANU, putting national security at risk

China-based hackers have successfully infiltrated the IT systems at the Australian National University, potentially compromising the home of Australia’s leading national security college and key defence research… Nick McKenzie & David Wroe The Canberra Times Federal government cyber security officials have been working with the university since detecting the cyber attack, assessing the scale of any information theft and who in China could be responsible for… The ANU conducts research that has defence, strategic, scientific, technological and… Chinese hackers breach… Read More »

Iran tells EU to implement guarantees before US sanctions return

Remaining signatories of nuclear deal meet in Vienna as France doubts economic package implementation before November. AlJazeera Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has called on European powers to implement economic measures to protect the 2015 nuclear deal before US sanctions against Tehran snap back between… Zarif made the statement on Friday after meeting in Vienna with foreign ministers from countries that are still signatories to the multinational deal following the US’ unilateral withdrawal in May. “Now we need to enter ... Read More »

Lessons in Chinese history as America shuts off from the world

Those who have studied history understand the importance of being engaged in the global economy. Walid Hejazi The Conversation Two thousand years ago, China represented nearly 25 per cent of the global economy. In 1600, it was 30 per cent, and a third in 1820. The country was a global powerhouse, to say the least. There is a famous story from 1792 when King George III’s ambassador led a trade mission to China with a cargo of the latest European ... Read More »

Clothing Brands Need to Step Up and Keep Women Safe in Their Factories

In a recent survey of experts, countries were ranked according to how safe they are for women. India came out as the most dangerous, followed by Afghanistan and Syria. Aruna Kashyap HRW Leaving aside the survey’s obvious challenges – including its attempt to use six measures to compare 10 very different countries – it paints a dire picture for women’s safety in the world. One area in which women everywhere face discrimination, inequality, harassment or violence in their everyday lives ... Read More »

Here’s How the Road to Iraq Is Repeating Itself with Iran

America had better hope that its leaders and media learn from the clamor for invading Iraq in 2003. Christopher A. Preble The National Interest Rob Reiner’s movie “Shock and Awe,” due to hit theaters on July 13, reminds us of the role that provocateurs and conspiracy theorists played in building the case for war with Iraq. (Spoiler alert: this article reveals key movie plot lines, including that the United States did, in fact, invade Iraq in 2003, and that most of the ... Read More »

When an Indian hospital ran out of oxygen, doctors tried to help – so why were they jailed?

Gorakhpur: It was a shocking story: A government hospital in the far north of India ran out of liquid oxygen because it hadn’t paid the supplier. Over the next two days, dozens of children died in care. By Shashank Bengali & Parth M.N. The Age LA Times At the time, authorities specified that 34 of 60 children who died were babies in the neo-natal intensive care unit, while 12 died because of encephalitis. The rest died of other unspecified causes. Amid ... Read More »

Number of Yemenis fleeing Al-Hudaydah tops 121,000: UN

More than 121,000 people have recently fled Yemen’s port city of Al-Hudaydah due to fierce attacks by Saudi-led coalition forces, according to a new UN report. AL-HUDAYDAH, Yemen – Anadolu Agency Hurriyet The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its latest situation report on Al-Hudaydah released on July 4 that displacement from the Al-Hudaydah Governorate continues and… “More than 10,000 displaced households (nearly 80,000 people) have been assisted with food, emergency kits, and other life-saving support,” ... Read More »

Rohingya crisis: Bangladesh to deploy thousands of police to refugee camps to improve safety

Bangladesh is deploying thousands of extra police to Rohingya refugee camps in the south, officials said, after a series of mostly unexplained killings that have sown fear among hundreds of thousands of people who have fled from… Reuters ABC Since August, when a military crackdown in Myanmar forced many of the Muslim minority to cross the border into Bangladesh and seek shelter in the crowded camps, 19 people, some of them community leaders, have been killed. Police have made a ... Read More »