ASIA

Joshua Wong reflects on Hong Kong’s 1997 handover: “We desire and thirst for freedom, democracy”

"Twenty years ago, the idea of a large-scale political uprising that would paralyse the city for months was simply unthinkable. Equally implausible was the notion that a university student could enter LegCo [Legislative Council of Hong Kong] as an advocate for the city’s self-determination. Twenty years after the handover, what was once unthinkable and implausible is part of a political reality, proving that Hong Kongers are not just economic beings and are much more than what meets the eye. We desire and thirst for freedom, democracy and the rule of law just like anyone else. And we are prepared to fight tooth and nail for all of those things." (Read more on Quartz)

Why Do Chinese Reject Middle Eastern Refugees?

Public surveys show that a massive majority of Chinese (in some surveys, nearly 99 percent) strongly oppose the idea of settling Middle Eastern refugees, especially Muslim refugees, inside China. This public fear of accepting refugees, especially Muslims, first and foremost reflects China’s increasing Islamophobia. Although Muslim ethnic groups inside China, such as Uyghur and Hui, are only a small percent of the total Chinese population, the total number of Chinese Muslims exceeds 20 million. (Read more on The Diplomat)

How America and China Almost Started a Nuclear War over Taiwan

The United States remains legally committed to the defense of Taiwan, even though it no longer recognizes it as the government of China. Despite a recent spike in tensions, China-Taiwan relations are still massively improved, exchanging university students and business investments rather than artillery shells and aerial bombs. However, the capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army have drastically increased in the interval as well. (Read more on The National Interest)

AMERICA

Stepsister, Yes; Grandma, No: U.S. Sets Guidelines for Revised Travel Ban

Stepsiblings and half-siblings are allowed, but not nieces or nephews. Sons- and daughters-in-law are in, but brothers- and sisters-in-law are not. Parents, including in-laws, are considered “close family,” but grandparents are not. The State Department issued new guidelines Wednesday night to American embassies and consulates on applying a limited travel ban against foreign visitors from six predominantly Muslim countries. Enforcement of the guidelines will begin at 8 p.m. Eastern on Thursday. (Read more on The New York Times)

Donald Trump abandons traditional White House Ramadan celebration

Donald Trump has been criticised for not hosting an iftar dinner during Ramadan, breaking a nearly 20-year tradition. Despite events held by previous administrations from across the political divide, this year’s Ramadan – which began on 26 May – passed nearly unobserved by the White House. It was marked only by a statement published late on Saturday afternoon, coinciding with the end of the holy month. (Read more on The guardian)

EUROPE

Terrorism, Fire and Brexit Cast Long Shadow Over London's Summer

London, expanding confidently for decades as one of globalization’s great successes, appears unsettled and under siege. In less than a month, the British metropolis has suffered a terrorist attack claimed by Islamic State, an election upset that undermined the government and the worst residential fire of modern times, which has left at least 79 dead. Then, on Sunday night, a white man in his 40s drove a van into worshipers outside a north London mosque, fulfilling long-held fears of a terrorist assault against Muslims. (Read more on Bloomberg)

MIDDLE EAST

A new island in the Mediterranean...just off Gaza

Israel's intelligence and transport minister has long pushed the idea of an artificial island off the coast of the Gaza Strip, with plans for a port, cargo terminal and even an airport to boost the territory's economy and connect it to the world. But now the minister, Israel Katz, has released a slick, high-production video setting out his proposal in more detail, complete with a dramatic, English-speaking narration, colorful graphics and stirring music. (Read more on Reuters)

For Syrian refugees celebrating Eid in Lebanon, the environment is increasingly hostile

For Syrian refugees in Lebanon marking the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, it has been a struggle to find enough food to break their fast each evening after sunset. […] Lebanon, a small country of 4.5m people, already hosting 450,000 Palestinian refugees and more than 6,000 Iraqi refugees, it is now struggling to cope with approximately 1.5m Syrian refugees. This makes it the country with the highest percentage of refugees worldwide. One in four people in Lebanon is a refugee. (Read more on The Conversation)

AFRICA

More than half of the world’s population growth will be in Africa by 2050

By 2050 around 2.2 billion people could be added to the global population and more than half of that growth will occur in Africa. Africa will account for the highest population spurt with an additional 1.3 billion people on the continent, a new UN population report shows. Much of Africa’s population boom will come from Nigeria, currently the world’s 7th most populous country. By 2050, the report predicts, Nigeria will become the world’s third largest country by population, becoming one of the six nations projected to have a population of over 300 million. (Read more on Quartz Africa)

OCEANIA

New Zealand Law Student Launches Climate Change Court Case

A New Zealand law student, Sarah Thomson, 26, is taking the government to court in hopes of forcing it to set more ambitious climate change targets. She is challenging the government over commitments that include a pledge under the Paris climate accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. (Read more on Voa News)

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