World

Desmond Tutu, South Africa’s moral compass
World

Desmond Tutu, South Africa’s moral compass

Desmond Tutu, South Africa's moral compass Quick to crack jokes -- often at his own expense -- Tutu was always ready to dance and laugh uproariously with an infectious cackle. JOHANNESBURG: South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who died Sunday at the age of 90, was the moral compass of his beloved "Rainbow Nation", never afraid to speak truth to power, whatever its creed or colour. A tireless activist, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for combatting white minority rule in his country. "The passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa," President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement. Famously outspoken, even after the fall of the ra
UN Security Council condemns Myanmar massacre
World

UN Security Council condemns Myanmar massacre

UN Security Council condemns Myanmar massacre This handout image from the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) taken and released on Dec 25, 2021 shows burnt vehicles in Hpruso township in Kayah state. NEW YORK: The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday condemned last week's massacre in Myanmar of more than 30 people, including two Save the Children staff, that was blamed on junta troops. The killings took place on Christmas Eve in eastern Kayah state, where pro-democracy rebels have been fighting the military, which took over the government from the democratically elected administration in February. In a statement released Wednesday evening, Security Council members "stressed the need to ensure accountability for this act." They also called "for the immediate cessation o...
Chinese soldier seen throwing stones on Vietnamese construction workers
World

Chinese soldier seen throwing stones on Vietnamese construction workers

New Delhi: The Chinese soldiers seen throwing stones on the Vietnamese construction workers at the border fence.  Following the recent blocking of border ports by Chinese authorities and stranding of Vietnamese trucks carrying perishable agricultural goods, social media in Vietnam is full of anti-China comments. Recently there was a video (Jan 3) on twitter account of one Lee Ann Quann showing Chinese soldier throwing stones on Vietnamese construction workers and hurling abuses on the unarmed workers in Ha Giang province. A popular blog in vernacular language, which is otherwise banned by Vietnamese government for its anti-China posts, posted (Jan 4) an article quoting the tweet and recalling 1979 China-Vietnam War. Google translation of the article is placed belo...
EXPLAINER: Why didn’t China send troops to aid Kazakhstan?
World

EXPLAINER: Why didn’t China send troops to aid Kazakhstan?

BEIJING (AP) — China gave strong verbal backing to Kazakhstan’s leader for his deadly crackdown to quell violent unrest, but stood aside as Russia sent in special forces troops. Resource-rich Kazakhstan, on China’s western border, has economic and strategic importance for Beijing and is an important link in its “Belt and Road“ infrastructure initiative to expand its global trade and political influence in rivalry with the U.S. and its allies. China’s response to the crisis underscores how it prefers to influence outcomes with verbal assurances and offers of assistance, without committing troops. “The growing closeness between Russia and China means we can expect more rhetorical support for Moscow’s overseas ventures, particularly when they go up against Western geostrategic aims,“ said
CP chief upbeat despite inflation fears
World

CP chief upbeat despite inflation fears

CP chief upbeat despite inflation fears Mr Suphachai believes 2022 will be a good year for Thailand, which has the capacity to serve as a regional hub. The head of Charoen Pokphand Group (CP) says Thailand is on a quest to become a regional hub in several sectors despite concerns hyperinflation could affect the nation's economic growth in 2022. Hyperinflation worries stem from a combination of factors including US-China geopolitical tensions, the global food and energy crises, a potential cryptocurrency bubble, and massive ongoing capital injections into the world economy to keep it afloat during the pandemic, said CP chief executive Suphachai Chearavanont. But after weighing the pros and cons, Mr Suphachai believes 2022 will be a good year overall, especially for Thailand, as the king...
Book banning is a mark of societies losing their minds
World

Book banning is a mark of societies losing their minds

At a school board meeting last month in what I choose to call Bumf--k, Virginia, elected officials dropped all pretence of rational debate by outright calling for the immolation of books they deemed offensive because of sexual explicitness. “I think we should throw those books in a fire,” declared one councilman. A marginally less combustible colleague chimed in about wanting to “see the books before we burn them so we can identify within our community that we are eradicating this bad stuff.” The books under the gun were “Call Me by Your Name,” which focuses on a gay relationship, and “33 Snowfish,” about three homeless teenagers. Both have been critically acclaimed by people who actually, you know, read books for a living. This week, the town’s sheriff’s and fire departments were in at
Omicron casts ‘clear doubt’ on economic forecast for 2022: BMO expert
World

Omicron casts ‘clear doubt’ on economic forecast for 2022: BMO expert

BMO Financial Group’s chief economist told a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce audience to prepare for a “bit of a roller coaster” in 2022 during a virtual event on Tuesday. But while it might seem like things are a little bit “halting” at the beginning of the year, Douglas Porter predicted a strong economic rebound in the months to come. Porter, who has over 30 years of experience analyzing global economies and financial markets, shared his expert opinion during the chamber’s Economic Outlook 2022 event, which was held via Zoom on Dec. 14. During the event, he said that it’s a “very interesting and complex time” to be delivering an economic outlook in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The dominant story by far has been the supply shortages that we are seeing around the world an
Anger as Cambodia’s Hun Sen meets Myanmar military leader
World

Anger as Cambodia’s Hun Sen meets Myanmar military leader

BANGKOK (AP) — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Myanmar seeking to revive peace efforts after last year’s military takeover has provoked an angry backlash among critics, who say he is legitimizing the army’s seizure of power. Hun Sen is the first head of government to visit Myanmar since the military takeover last February. The authoritarian Cambodian leader has held power for 36 years and keeps a tight leash on political activity at home. In his role as the current chairperson of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, he met with Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, who ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, plunging Myanmar into violent conflict and economic disaster. In their meeting, Min Aung Hlaing told Hun Sen that Myanmar had extended a ceasefire with all ethn
Philippine governor warns of looting without typhoon aid
World

Philippine governor warns of looting without typhoon aid

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The governor of a central Philippine province devastated last week by Typhoon Rai pleaded on radio Tuesday for the government to quickly send food and other aid, warning that without outside help, army troops and police would have to be deployed to prevent looting because of growing hunger. Governor Arthur Yap of Bohol province said he could no longer provide rice and other food aid after his contingency fund ran out and that many of the 1.2 million people in his island province, which remained without power and cellphone service five days after the typhoon struck, have become increasingly desperate. The most powerful typhoon to hit the Philippine archipelago this year left at least 375 dead and more than 50 missing, mostly in the central region, including near
Taiwan announces to fund USD 1bn to a joint project with Lithuania
World

Taiwan announces to fund USD 1bn to a joint project with Lithuania

Beijing, China:With an aim to finance joint ventures, Taipei and Vilnius will create a USD 1 billion credit program, Taiwanese Minister of National Development Kung Ming-hsin made the announcement. Taiwan last week had also announced establishing a USD 200 million fund to invest in Lithuanian industries during a press conference with Lithuanian Economy and Innovation Minister Ausrine Armonaite, according to Sputnik. It came as Lithuanian companies have been facing difficulties at Chinese ports as the Communist regime reportedly removed the name of the Baltic nation from its customs system. Due to the move, a large number of Lithuanian exports are stranded in Chinese ports, concerning businessmen for the uncertain future of their consignments. Lithuania is being targeted by Beiji...