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Eastwest Press Review – The world in ten news items – 23 June 2017


Eastwest Press Review offers a weekly geopolitical collection of recent global trends, beyond the main headlines. The world, one news at a time.


Happy Birthday, Brexit! One year later and it’s still unclear what Brexit really means

Today, Brexit turns one year old and how time flies! While, the UK’s vote to leave the European Union and “take back control” was always going to be complicated, the issue has managed to become even more confusing over the past year. It’s still unclear what Brexit will ultimately mean and more divisions are emerging in the government (Read more on Quartz)

Refugee or migrant? Sometimes the line is blurred

June 20 is World Refugee Day, a time to reflect on not just refugees but on those people who are both refugees and migrants. The day of commemoration comes at a historic moment: for the first time ever, all United Nations member states are working together to develop two new global compacts. The first is on shared responsibility for refugees and the second on more humane, coordinated and dignified approaches to governing global migration. (Read more on The Conversation)

The EU is in talks with South Korea and China on a broker role in North Korea negotiations

The European Union is in discussions with South Korea and China about taking a potential role as a broker for negotiations with North Korea on ending its nuclear program, according to EU officials involved in the effort. The discussions reflect concern in Brussels, Seoul and Beijing that sanctions alone won’t persuade Pyongyang to halt its nuclear program and that negotiations are needed to avoid military conflict. (Read more on The Wall Street Journal)


There is more than one story to be told about Muslims in Trump’s America

Donald Trump’s executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US is not fake news. It’s real news. And as a community, we have to deal with it. […]The best way not to believe what we’re told is not to go fact-checking each and every thing we hear. Instead, I propose we start building our ability to understand people who are different from us, in context, rather than relying on harmful stereotypes. (Read more on The Conversation )


Polio has paralyzed at least 17 children in Syria, the World Health Organization said

At least 17 children in eastern Syria have been paralyzed from a recently confirmed outbreak of polio, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, punctuating the health risks to a population ravaged by more than six years of war. […] Along with a recent measles outbreak near Damascus, the Syrian capital, and a cholera scourge raging in war-torn Yemen, Dr. Venters said, the new polio outbreak “is another indication that public health systems have been decimated by these conflicts.” (Read more on The New York Times)


Red Cross: Safe Burial Practices Helped Prevent Spread of Ebola in West Africa

A new study by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies says that safe burial practices may have helped prevent the transmission of thousands of cases of Ebola during the epidemic in West Africa between 2013 and 2016. More than 11,300 people died from Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea before the epidemic was stopped in those countries in 2016. (Read more on Voa News)

World leaders converge in Uganda for first Refugee Solidarity Summit

Uganda is hosting the first Refugee Solidarity Summit backed by the United Nations to find support for the over 1.3 million refugees in the country for the next four years. Opening in Kampala, the two-day summit aims to raise $2 billion for the second largest refugee hosting country globally after Turkey and to showcase Uganda’s celebrated refugee model. (Read more on Africa News)


How Chinese rule has changed Hong Kong since the British handed it over in 1997

On July 1, 1997, the Chinese national flag was raised over Hong Kong for the first time, ending 156 years of British rule and beginning an unusual experiment in democracy by Beijing. As President Xi Jinping prepares to visit the city for the 20th anniversary, he’s facing new questions about China’s commitment to the handover deal and human rights in general. (Read more on Bloomberg)

Did the US just abandon Tibet?

Reversing its stand on Tibet policy and giving a huge jolt to the Tibetan aspirations, the Trump administration recently took a step away from precedent by proposing zero aid to the Tibetans in 2018. This move points to both the changing internal politics of the United States, especially after Trump’s election, and also the new geopolitics and emerging world order, which is overshadowed by the People’s Republic of China. (Read more on The Diplomat)


Australia suspends airstrikes in Syria after Russian threat to target coalition planes

Australia‘s military said on Tuesday it was temporarily halting air missions over Syria, following the shooting down of a Syrian jet by US forces, and a Russian threat to target US-led coalition planes operating west of the Euphrates river. The decision came amid increasing tension between the US and Russia, which warned it would track coalition aircraft in Syria as potential “targets”, and halted a military hotline with Washington over the incident. (Read more on The New Arab)


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