Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from September 18, 2014

Can You Pass The "China Threat" Quiz?

By Jeffrey Rudolph

In terms of both economic and military power, the United States and China are the two most important countries in the world. While they are deeply connected, primarily by trade and investment, they also compete for power and influence. However, their mutually enriching interconnectedness, coupled with the lethality of modern weaponry, suggests that their rivalry will primarily focus on building coalitions of support.

 Nevertheless, world stability requires that the US, the established power, and China, the emerging power, effectively work out their differences over issues such as navigation rights in the seas surrounding China and the political status of Taiwan. Perhaps the greatest danger to peace is that China may overestimate its power—thus leading to hubris and aggression—or that the US may overestimate the threat China poses—thus leading to unnecessary fear and confrontation.

 The main purpose of the following Quiz is to examine China’s evolution into an importan…

Fight with ISIS spreads across globe: How are roles distributed in that battle?

AFP Photo/Ahmad Al-Rubaye



“This can’t be America’s fight alone,” US President Barack Obama stressed in his ISIS speech. Indeed, about 40 countries have joined the battle with the radical group that’s left scores dead in Iraq. But who does what on that battlefield?

The main role is still with the US, which has already carried out over 150 airstrikes against the Islamic State (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS/ISIL).

At the same time, the US is keeping relatively quiet about which countries are taking part in the fight and what they do exactly. Secretary of State John Kerry told CBS that nearly 40 nations have agreed to contribute to the fight, but “it's not appropriate to start announcing” what roles each will play.

However, an international conference on the IS situation is taking place in Paris on Monday, with world leaders set to debate the anti-ISIS coalition. The meeting includes representatives of some 30 countries, but excludes Iraq’s neighbors S…

$30mn bounty set to identify who shot down MH17 in Ukraine

An Emergencies Ministry member walks at a site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region, July 17, 2014. (Reuters/Maxim Zmeyev)



$30 million will be given to those who help identify the perpetrators of the downing of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine that killed all 298 on board, said an independent German fraud investigation company.

Two months have passed since the Malaysia Airlines plane on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot-down in eastern Ukraine on July 17 with 298 crew and passengers on board who all died in the crash. A preliminary report into the disaster carried out by Dutch investigators and issued on September 9 said that the MH17 crash was a result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that struck the Boeing from the outside.

The investigation company Wifka, based in Schleswig-Holstein, north Germany said that it has been charged with investigating the ca…

Hurricanes, quakes, tornadoes displace 22mn people in 2013, 3 times more than wars

Pedro Lacandazo, 57, shows scattered personal belongings amid the debris of his house after strong winds and storm surges brought by super typhoon Haiyan battered their town of San Joaquin at Palo, Leyte province, central Philippines December 23, 2013. (Reuters/Romeo Ranoco)


Some 22 million people were displaced by natural disasters in 2013 - three times more than from conflicts and wars. Asia became the displacement ‘hotspot’, accounting for over 80 percent of those affected.

Currently, twice as many people are displaced than there were in the 1970s, researchers stated.

The main cause behind the surge in numbers is the rapid urbanization, with the growth and concentration of urban populations, especially in “vulnerable countries.”

“This increasing trend will continue as more and more people live and work in hazard-prone areas. <…> More people today are exposed and vulnerable,” Jan Egeland said.

What’s more, this kind of displacement is “expected to be aggravated in the future by …

15 Syrian children dead following UN measles vaccination campaign

AFP Photo / SANA


The UN has halted a measles vaccination campaign in northern Syria after at least 15 children died after receiving shots, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed in a joint statement.

“UNICEF and WHO have been shocked and saddened to learn of the deaths of at least 15 young children in Idlib, Syria,”the statement said. “The deaths of the children occurred in areas where a measles immunization campaign had been under way.”

The children were all under the age of two, Reuters reported, citing aid workers.

Around one hour after being given a second round of the measles vaccine in Idlib on Tuesday, the children demonstrated signs of “severe allergic shock,” said Abdullah Ajaj, a physician administering the vaccinations at a medical center in Jarjanaz, according to AP. The second round of vaccinations began in Idlib and Deir Ezzour on Monday.




Reuters / Karoly Arvai



Following the vaccine, some of the children’s bodies swelled and they suffoc…