Connect with us

World

World News: Turkey to ask for Patriot missiles; Britian hardens stance on Syria

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

World News: Turkey to ask for Patriot missiles; Britian hardens stance on Syria | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly
PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Turkey to ask NATO for Patriot missiles – report
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Turkey will imminently lodge an official request with NATO asking the military alliance to deploy Patriot missiles along its border with Syria to guard against violence spilling over, a senior Turkish foreign ministry official said yesterday.

If approved, the deployment would represent a further deterioration in relations between Turkey and Syria – once close allies – and see more military hardware poured into a region where tensions are already high.

Britain also appeared to harden its stance on Syria when Foreign Secretary William Hague said he had ordered UK diplomats to talk directly to Syrian rebels. Britain’s previous stance had been to engage only with political representatives of the opposition.

Syria’s war, in which the opposition estimates 38,000 people have been killed, raises the specter of wider Middle East turbulence and poses one of the greatest foreign policy challenges for US President Barack Obama as he starts his second term.

Analysts said Obama had been unable to make bold moves on Syria during the election period because of the risk that doing so would hurt his popularity. Britain and Turkey have joined US calls for President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

Syrian rebels fired mortars at Assad’s palace in Damascus yesterday but missed, an attack underlining the growing boldness of those fighting to end his family’s 42-year rule and the rebel strategy of launching high-profile attacks against symbols of his rule.

A July bomb that killed four of Assad’s top lieutenants was swiftly followed up with an advance into Damascus by rebels but they were then partially beaten back by Assad’s forces.

Damascus residents told Reuters heavy-caliber shells apparently aimed at the palace had hit the nearby residential Mezze 86 district that is home to members of Assad’s Alawite sect. State-run media said at least three people had been killed and seven wounded in what it described as a terrorist attack.

The violence has highlighted the sectarian dimension of a civil war that is deepening the rift between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims in the region – Assad’s Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam.

Allegations of Syrian soldiers looting foreign aid surfaced after a medical aid group said troops had been seizing the supplies and reselling them or channeling them towards government loyalists, putting millions of lives at risk.

“When the regime attacks one of our medical facilities, whether it’s a hospital or something else, they load up everything they can carry, and they burn the rest,” said Tawfik Chamaa, a Geneva-based doctor and spokesman for the Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organizations (UOSSM).

Direct contact with rebels
“(The armed opposition) are playing an increasingly influential role within Syria as the conflict worsens,” Hague said in a statement.

“I have therefore now authorized my officials to have direct contact with an even wider range of representatives including military figures in the armed opposition.”

He said Britain would continue to only supply non-lethal support to the unarmed opposition, in compliance with a European Union arms embargo and British export licensing laws.

British officials would stress the importance of human rights and the rejection of “extremism and terrorism”, and contact with the rebels would be limited to political dialogue, he said.

On a visit to a Jordanian refugee camp, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that efforts to halt the bloodshed so far had been fruitless.

“I am standing with the Syrian border just behind me and every night 500 refugees are fleeing the most appalling persecution and bloodshed to come to safety and frankly what we have done so far is not working,” he said in Zaatari, a camp housing about 30,000 Syrian refugees in northern Jordan.

International and regional rivalries have complicated efforts to mediate a resolution to the conflict – Russia and China have vetoed three U.N. Security Council resolutions that would have put Assad under pressure.

The conflict has also started to suck in neighboring countries. Turkey has been responding in kind to mortar shells hitting its territory as a result of fighting between Syrian rebels and Syrian government forces.

A senior Turkish foreign ministry official told Reuters on Wednesday that the government would make an “imminent” request to NATO to protect its 910-km (560-mile) border with Syria with Patriot surface-to-air missiles.

The official said there was a potential missile threat to Turkey from Syria and Turkey had a right to take steps to counter such a threat. He gave no further details.

The United States and other Western powers say a resolution to the conflict has also been frustrated by divisions and in-fighting between Syrian opposition groups.

Syrian opposition groups will meet on Thursday to form a new 50-member civilian group that will later choose a temporary government for Syria and coordinate with the revolt’s military wing.

Palestinian infighting
Highlighting how Palestinian refugees have been drawn into the conflict, rebels killed 10 members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), which is loyal to Assad, in fighting near the Palestinian camp of Yarmouk in Damascus, opposition sources said.

Syrian rebels and pro-opposition Palestinians announced the formation of a new brigade last week to battle the PFLP-GC.

The Syrian foreign ministry said Syria would stand “with full determination against any attempt to drag the Palestinians into what is happening in Syria”, the state news agency SANA reported, quoting a ministry official.

Air strikes and artillery barrages unleashed by the Syrian military in the last few weeks have wrecked whole districts of the capital, as well as parts of towns and cities elsewhere.

Yet, for all their firepower, Assad’s forces seem no closer to crushing their lightly armed opponents, who in turn have so far proved unable to topple the Syrian leader.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based opposition watchdog, says it had the names of at least 38,000 people confirmed dead by friends and family. The death toll is going up every day, with a thousand or more killed in some weeks.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Find more SE Asian News courtesy of The Thaiger.

Broke? Find employment in Southeast Asia with JobCute Thailand. Rich? Invest in real estate across Asia with FazWaz Property Group. Even book medical procedures worldwide with MyMediTravel, all powered by DB Ventures.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Business

Singapore’s population contracts along with its GDP

The Thaiger

Published

on

Singapore’s population contracts along with its GDP | The Thaiger

The little south east Asian island nation of Singapore, which has always punched way above its weight, with the fourth largest economy, but the biggest GDP per capita in the region, is getting smaller. Both its economy and population. The population of the Republic of Singapore is shrinking for the first time since 2003. Border closures and, mostly, job losses, are forcing 10s of 1000s of foreign workers back to their home countries.

Singapore’s overall population dropped by nearly 20,000 people, or 0.3% of the population at the endow 2019, to 5.69 million people.

There’s been a sharp drop in expats, down 2% to 1.64 million, and a smaller drop in permanent residents. At the same time, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a number of citizens to return from overseas, swelling the numbers of locals slightly.

The annual report of Singapore’s demographics notes that the transitions are nearly entirely due to the coronavirus outbreak. The report also says that there has already been an economic decline officially estimated between 5%-7% for 2020.

“These trends were largely due to Covid-19 related challenges, brought about by weak demand and travel restrictions. The government has been raising barriers for foreign hiring to preserve jobs for locals.”

Singapore’s non-resident population has surged 200% over the last 2 decades, fuelling mega population growth in the city-state with one of the world’s lowest birth rates. If not for the influx of foreigners, Singapore would have been recording a net drop in population.

The rise of Singapore’s middle class, and the ‘trend’ to hire domestic help, has caused an influx of low-paid migrants to act as nannies, maids, cleaners, drivers and construction workers. Many of these have either voluntarily headed back to their countries, mostly the Philippines, or been sacked.

National University of Singapore sociologist Tan Ern Ser notes that the decline in non-resident population is mostly due to the departure of work permit holders, who take up jobs which Singaporeans avoid in the first place. He says the trend probably signals some sectors of the economy are not doing well.

“The issue of foreigners in our midst cannot be addressed simply by cutting down their numbers, without negative consequences for our economy.”

Meanwhile, Japan says it has made an agreement with SE Nations Singapore and Brunei to reopen their borders for newly arriving expats from next Wednesday and and other long-term residents from October 8.

Those eligible to travel will be allowed in on condition they self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival as a preventative measure against the spread of Covid-19.

Brunei and Singapore join 7 other ASEAN countries, including Vietnam and Thailand, with the new travel bubble with Japan. Japan still has a ban in place for the entry of travellers from 159 countries and regions. Japan’s foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi says the government is seriously considering how to restart travel back to Japan, both for business and tourism.

“We see the resumption of new entries (of foreigners) to Japan as an extremely important issue.”

Japan already allows short-term business travellers from Singapore to enter the country without doing quarantine, on condition they take a test before they travel to Japan, then another when they arrive, can provide an itinerary of their stay and take preventative steps to actively socially distance during their visit.

SOURCE: trip.sg

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

World

Richest 1% responsible for twice the amount of carbon emissions than the poorest 50%

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Richest 1% responsible for twice the amount of carbon emissions than the poorest 50% | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: Alexander Popov

The richest people in the world, who make up just 1% of the population, are responsible for a significant amount of carbon emissions. A study shows that the “1 percenters” make up twice as much carbon pollution than the poorest half of the world. Some say the poor are the least responsible for climate change, but have to deal with most of the negative consequences.

In a 25 year study led by Oxfam, researchers at the Stockholm Environment Institute found that wealthy countries were responsible for using up nearly a third of the Earth’s carbon budget. The study was conducted from 1990 to 2015, when annual emissions grew by 60%.

Oxfam is a confederation of 20 independent charitable organisations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty, founded in 1942 and led by Oxfam International. It is a major nonprofit group with an extensive collection of operations.

63 million people made up the richest 1% of the world. Since 1990, they have been responsible for 9% of the ‘carbon budget’. The carbon budget is the maximum amount of greenhouse gases that can go into the air before temperature rises to catastrophic levels. 3.1 billion people make up the poorest half of the world’s population. The carbon emissions growth rate of the rich 1% was 3 times more than the poorest half of the world.

There’s not just an economic inequality between the rich and the poor, according to the head of policy, advocacy and research, Tim Gore. He told AFP the research shows the world’s “carbon inequality.”

“It’s not just that extreme economic inequality is divisive in our societies, it’s not just that it slows the rate of poverty reduction …But there is also a third cost which is that it depletes the carbon budget solely for the purpose of the already affluent growing their consumption … And that of course has the worse impacts on the poorest and least responsible.”

Carbon emissions have decreased since the pandemic. But just a few months doesn’t take away the damage that has been done for years. Temperatures are still on track to rise several degrees this century. Although the 2015 Paris climate deal was set to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius above pre industrial levels, emissions have continued to increase.

“It’s clear that the carbon intensive and highly unequal model of economic growth over the last 20-30 years has not benefited the poorest half of humanity… It’s a false dichotomy to suggest that we have to choose between economic growth and fixing the climate crisis.”

Some say the global economy needs to prioritise “green growth.” If not, the decrease in pollution during the pandemic will have a very small and insignificant overall impact on climate change. Some say carbon emissions affect the poorest nations the most who don’t have enough resources to fight natural disasters possibly brought on by the rising temperatures, like wildfires and droughts.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | AFP

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

World

England’s self-quarantine rule breakers will receive up to a 10,000 pound fine

The Thaiger & The Nation

Published

on

England’s self-quarantine rule breakers will receive up to a 10,000 pound fine | The Thaiger

England’s self-quarantine rule breakers are receiving up to a 10,000 pound fine, starting September 28, according to British PM Boris Johnson. The fine will be handed down to anyone who tests positive for the virus or has been in contact with someone who has the virus and dodges the rules for self-quarantine.

For the first offence, rule breakers will receive a 1,000 pound fine and from there it will rise up to 10,000 pounds for those who repeatedly break the rules. Employers who threaten to fire staff over choosing to self-isolate instead of going to work will receive the maximum fine amount of 10,000 pounds. For those lower income workers, Johnson says they will receive a 500 pound support payment in addition to other benefits in which they may qualify.

Despite current British Covid-19 quarantine guidelines matching those of the rest of the world, there has reportedly been little enforcement of self-quarantine rules. Now, Britain is seeing a fast influx of Covid cases prompting the government to get the police involved in compliance checks.

Johnson has come under scrutiny after repeatedly being called to issue a lockdown nationwide with reports coming in that he is planning to reject calls from advisors to issue a 2 week lockdown to slow the virus’ spread.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading
Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending