Opposition Rally Attacked in Myanmar Ahead of Crucial Election
A U.N. human rights investigator called Thursday for free elections in Myanmar, even as an opposition rally there was attacked, leaving a local lawmaker wounded. Several men armed with machetes or knives attacked the rally being held in Yangon late Thursday by the National League for Democracy.
Naing Ngan Lynn, a local lawmaker running for a seat in the regional assembly, was hospitalized and two other men were injured in the attack. Officials say at least two of the attackers were arrested, adding a motive has not been determined. The attack is likely to raise fears of violence ahead of Myanmar’s general elections scheduled for November 8. It will be the first general election in 25 years in the formerly junta-ruled nation, also known as Burma. VOA
China Ends One-Child Policy
Driven by fears that an aging population could jeopardize China’s economic ascent, the Communist Party leadership ended its decades-old “one child” policy on Thursday, announcing that all married couples would be allowed to have two children.
The decision was a dramatic step away from a core Communist Party position that Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese leader who imposed the policy in the late 1970s, once said was needed to ensure that “the fruits of economic growth are not devoured by population growth.” For China’s leaders, the controls were a triumphant demonstration of the party’s capacity to reshape even the most intimate dimensions of citizens’ lives. But they bred intense resentment over the brutal intrusions involved, including forced abortions and crippling fines, especially in the countryside.
The efforts to limit family size also led to a skewed sex ratio of males to females, because traditional rural families favor boys over girls, sometimes even resorting to infanticide to ensure they have a son. 点击查看本文中文版 The New York Times
Iranian-American businessman arrested in Iran
An Iranian-American businessman based in Dubai was arrested earlier this month in Iran, making him the fourth American holding dual citizenship to be held in Tehran. People briefed on the situation told The Wall Street Journal that two weeks ago, Siamak Namazi, the head of strategic planning at Crescent Petroleum Co., was arrested while visiting relatives.
The arrest was made by the Revolutionary Guard’s intelligence service, which reports to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, not the Iranian government. Several businessmen interviewed from both inside and outside of Iran told the Journal that in recent weeks, Iranian businessmen with ties to foreign companies have been detained, interrogated, and warned against getting involved in economic monopolies held by the Revolutionary Guards.
Namazi’s arrest could also be linked to hardliners within the Iranian judiciary and intelligence services hoping to threaten the Iran nuclear deal by creating a point of tension with the U.S. Friends of Namazi’s told the Journal intelligence agents ransacked the home he was staying in, took his computer, and have launched cyberattacks against some of his email contacts. The U.S. State Department is calling on Iran to release three other Iranian-Americans currently imprisoned in the country. The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post
GOP campaigns want RNC out of the debate process
On Sunday, representatives from several Republican presidential campaigns plan to meet in Washington, D.C., for a summit on how to change the way GOP debates are held and remove power from the Republican National Committee, multiple sources told Politico.
The meeting is coming after Wednesday night’s highly criticized CNBC debate, deemed disorganized and unprofessional by many of the candidates, as well as RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. Sources said the RNC has taken a bigger role in the 2016 debate process, but RNC leaders are not listening to the concerns of the candidates.
The meeting — organized by the Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal, and Lindsey Graham campaigns — will be a way for the campaigns to discuss a new way of structuring the debates, leaving the RNC and television networks out of the process. No one from the RNC is invited to this meeting. Issues that will likely be discussed include unequal speaking time and the polling used to determine who qualifies for the prime-time and undercard debates. Politico
US releases last Briton prisoner from Guantanamo
On Friday, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed that the U.S. has released Shaker Aamer, 46, from Guantanamo Bay after 13 years, meaning the controversial U.S. prison camp no longer holds any British residents.
Aamer, a Saudi national, was picked up in Afghanistan in 2001 and has been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002, though he was never charged with a crime and has been cleared for release since 2007 by both President Obama and his predecessor, George W. Bush. He will be allowed to stay indefinitely in the U.K. since his wife is British. Aamer, who has four children, has become something of a cause célèbre in the U.K., with British lawmakers lobbying the U.S. government for his release and Prime Minister David Cameron broaching the subject with Obama last June. BBC News, The Independent
The Aegean Sea is bounded by Turkey on the east and Greece on the west. Greece — with its extensive coastline, which is difficult to patrol — is a common destination for people seeking to enter the European Union.
And some Greek islands lie in the eastern part of the sea, close to the Turkish coast. Once people reach them, they have officially set foot on European Union soil, and they can file claims for the right to stay in the EU.
UN: Climate plans must go further to prevent dangerous warming
The UN has released its assessment of national plans to limit climate change, submitted by 146 countries. Officials say the submissions, in their current form, won’t keep global temperatures from rising by more than the 2C danger threshold.
The global total of carbon emissions will continue to grow, although more slowly than over the past two decades. However the UN report says the plans are a major step forward and the 2C goal is still “within reach”. The UN believes that these national climate plans, called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) will form the cornerstone of a binding, global treaty on climate change that will be agreed at a conference in Paris in December.
According to the UN, the submissions now cover around 86% of global emissions: about four times the amount covered by the Kyoto Protocol, the world’s first carbon cutting treaty. BBC
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