Month in brief

Ousted Oz PM to quit parliament

Ousted Oz PM to quit parliamentAustralia’s ousted prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has informed senior Liberal colleagues he will soon quit federal parliament, thereby sparking a likely by-election in his seat on October 6. The move will leave the coalition one seat down for two sitting weeks, leaving new PM Scott Morrison in an unstable position with no majority in parliament. Mr Turnbull has not yet announced his resignation from his eastern Sydney seat but told reporters recently that it would not be long.


Missing,now found

Pakistan’s Commission on Missing Persons, headed by former Supreme Court judge Javed Iqbal,has traced a total of 3398 people who ‘disappeared’ over the past seven years. The term refers to those who were taken by state agencies and incarcerated or murdered. The actual number of people who vanished is put at 5290, and some 1828 cases are currently being scrutinized by the commission. Many families live in hope that their loved ones are still alive and might soon return.


Taiwan: another lost ally

Taiwan: another lost allyEl Salvador’sannouncement of a severing of ties with Taiwan and a shift of allegiance to Beijing meansTaiwan has lost another diplomatic ally to China – its third in just months. The governments in Taipei, Beijing and San Salvador all confirmed the move days after Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen visited Central and South America to bolster ties with the island’s remaining allies.The loss reduces the number of Taipei’s formal diplomatic partners to just 17, following the cuttingof ties by Burkina Faso and the Dominican Republic in May.


Iran’s new missile

UNVEILING: Iranian Defence Minister Amir Hatami with Iran’s new Fateh-e Mobin short-range ballistic missile

Iran’s defence minister recently unveiled a new short range missile said to be a tactical, agile, stealth and precision guided weapon. He said the new missile was 100% Iranian made, adding that Iran would enhance its defences in all fields. This development is an early response to President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal agreed with his predecessor, Barack Obama, and other world powers including the UK, Russia and China.


First for BGCS

Birmingham University’s Dr Sudha Sundar has been chosen as the President-Elect of the British Gynaecological Cancer Society – the first female gynaecological oncologist to be elected to this post. The BGCS advocates advances in care, helps improve training and education for gynaecological cancer professionals and works in partnership with charities and patients. A Senior Lecturer in Gynaecological Oncology at the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, Dr Sundar is the third BGCS President to be elected from the University of Birmingham.


Korean reunion

North and South Korean family members met for the first and probably last time in nearly 70 years in an emotional cross-border reunion. Millions of people were separated from their loved ones by the 1950-53 Korean War, which left the peninsula split by the impenetrable Demilitarised Zone (DMZ). Fewer than 60,000 South Koreans remain alive who have registered to meet their Northern kin at these occasional gatherings. This latest took place in North Korea’s Mount Kumgang resort.


Artificial education

English-speaking AI robots are set to assist in around 500 Japanese classrooms from next year as the country seeks to improveboth children’s and teachers’ English skills.The pilot project will cost around 250 million yen (S$3.1 million) and aims to improve Japanese students’ oral and written English. The move comes ahead of a planned change in the national curriculum in two years that will require all children from the age of 10 to learn English.


Save the elephants

Wildlife campaigners and celebrities launched a drive toban adverts for foreign holidays involving rides or live shows with elephants. They delivered a petition to Downing Street, calling on Theresa May to take measures to protect the endangered Asian elephant from the suffering caused by the tourism industry.Tourists visiting India, Thailand and other countries in southeast Asia pay to ride elephants, or visit circuses featuring them.But the animals endure unseen brutality as humans force them to comply, driving them mad and also endangering the population.

 

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