[News] News From Other Places!


It's news you can use from places with different views! (Don't misuse or abuse you yahoos.)

So, can I start a thread for news from... uh... places that AREN'T the U.S/Europe? As I may have done before? Until something (I haven't looked and refuse to) happened?

The Philippines are having an election!

So, are you at all familiar with this guy?


Him and his wife (the lady with the shoes) were... let's go with "controversial" figures.

Anyway, his son is probably going to win the Presidency.

Polls opened in the Philippines on Monday as the country decides its next president in a polarising race between frontrunner Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the son of the late dictator, and a human rights lawyer who has vowed to tackle old, rotten politics.

Opinion surveys suggest Marcos Jr, known as Bongbong, is poised to win the election, despite his family’s notorious history of human rights abuses and corruption. The Marcoses plundered as much as $10bn from the state, while thousands of his opponents were arrested, tortured and killed.

Analysts say the Marcoses and their supporters have harnessed the power of social media to rebrand the family name and spread disinformation that downplays or denies past atrocities. False claims have been spread widely online, portraying Marcos Sr’s rule as a golden age of prosperity and peace. Marcos Jr denies any coordinated online network.

Marcos Jr has not apologised for his family’s political history, and instead praised his father as a “political genius”, and his mother, Imelda, as the dynasty’s “supreme politician” during a recent interview. Imelda Marcos, infamous for her collection of 3,000 pairs of shoes, is appealing against a 2018 criminal conviction on seven graft charges.

Marcos Jr, whose slogan is “together we shall rise again”, has campaigned with a message of unity and rekindling a former greatness.

Good times. Good, frustratingly familiar times.

Also, in news that surprises no one, the Taliban have basically gone back on every single one of their promises and reinstituted mandatory face veils for women.

I SWEAR TO GOD I posted this before I saw this:

How the Marcos family returned to power

The tl;dr is: the poor in the Phillipines believed the lies they were told, and also the Marcoses hitched their wagon to the current President, Duterte. Duterte is an extremely popular and extremely brutal leader, probably best known for advocating extrajudicial murder as a method of combating drug addiction.

So essentially, the Filipinos, much like their American counterparts, largely don’t mind if their political leaders enrich themselves while in office or brutalize the vulnerable.

#NotAll, obv.

Couple in India sue son for not giving them a grandchild

A couple in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand are suing their only son and his wife for not giving them a grandchild after six years of marriage.
Sanjeev and Sadhana Prasad, 61 and 57, say they used up their savings raising their son, paying for his pilot's training as well as a lavish wedding.
They are demanding compensation worth nearly $650,000 (£525,000) if no grandchild is born within a year.
The highly unusual lawsuit was filed on grounds of "mental harassment".
Mr Prasad said he had spent all his savings on his son, sending him to the US in 2006 for pilot training at a cost of $65,000.
Shrey Sagar, 35, did eventually get a job as a pilot. His parents say they arranged his marriage to Shubhangi Sinha, now 31, in 2016, in the hope that they would have a "grandchild to play with" during their retirement.

Maybe get a pet instead?

Stop giving parents ideas!

A nice piece on Bongbong's victory in the Philippines, but neatly segues into a larger analysis of the growing march of illiberalism across the globe.

The Australian election is going well so far. I mean, it's not like we're electing a good party, but we're definitely electing a much less awful one.

I can only hope the outgoing government has a moment of self-reflection to understand why. I'm far too cynical to think they actually will, though.

halfwaywrong wrote:

I can only hope the outgoing government has a moment of self-reflection to understand why. I'm far too cynical realistic to think they actually will, though.


Hahaha that's probably true, but I'm on too much of a success/alcohol fuelled high to feel this way so far .

Hopefully that just means that Liberal voters are a dying breed.

Vic and WA were waiting at the ballot box with baseball bats for Scomo.

And who knew that Brisbane people who have been flooded out of their homes again would think action on climate change might be worth voting for?

Yeah, us West Australians weren't particularly happy with Scomo calling us cavemen and backing Clive Palmer over us. I think that alone gained a huge amount of votes.

What I really love is how many more people nation-wide were putting Greens as a first preference. And I might be wrong, but it's looking like none of our fringe right wing parties are picking up seats.

I'm feeling optimistic about this country for the first time in a long time. It's nice. Hopefully we make the most of this opportunity.

An update for those watching from afar.

We voted on Saturday and the new government was sworn in at 9AM Monday morning.

Considering the power of the Murdoch cancer there, the result is a bit of a surprise for me.

In retrospect Murdoch and ScoMo sticking to their guns wrt climate change wasn't a smart move in a country which has alternated between being on fire and being submerged underwater for the last three years

Prederick wrote:

Considering the power of the Murdoch cancer there, the result is a bit of a surprise for me.

Yeah, the swing towards the left was a surprise to me too. Which just made me wonder, how much power does Murdoch really have? Hopefully we aren't just seeing a one-off thing.

It was odd how much News and Ch9 papers were prepared to toss away some credibility by taking Clive's money and printing any old fever dream crap he was paying for. eg the WHO scare.

Outrage in Brazil as mentally ill Black man dies in police car ‘gas chamber’

Unrelated: Gotta remember to keep up with the Lula v. Bolsonaro election this fall.

Brazilians have responded with outrage to the death of a mentally ill Black man who was bundled into the back of a police car by officers who then released a gas grenade inside the vehicle.

Genivaldo de Jesus Santos, 38, was stopped by the federal highway police in the city of Umbaúba on Wednesday. Video footage of the incident shows two officers in helmets holding the car boot closed on his thrashing legs, as clouds of gas billow out of the vehicle.

“They’re going to kill the guy,” an onlooker can be heard saying, as Santos’s legs go still.

Meanwhile, China:

China GDP: Premier Li signals ‘clear urgency’ on reviving economy, but no change to zero-Covid

Premier Li Keqiang’s honest assessment of the stress facing China’s economy and rare warning of a potential contraction in the second quarter after two months of zero-Covid containment show Beijing is stepping up efforts to stabilise the economy, analysts say.

Li’s video conference with more than 100,000 government cadres on Wednesday also reinforced the pressure Beijing is putting on local authorities to prevent economic growth losing momentum.

Earlier in the week, the State Council, China’s cabinet, unveiled a package of 33 policies to support the economy, including fast tracking infrastructure projects and loan extensions for business, increasing tax breaks and rebates, encouraging car sales, and adding support policies by the end of this month.

“The premier’s urgings could result in more aggressive efforts by local governments to help companies resume normal operation, which have so far been hamstrung by the continued cautious approach toward Covid-19,” Andrew Batson and Wei He, analysts with Gavekal Dragonomics, said in a note on Thursday.

US-China relations may be worsening, but young Americans still welcome the chance to work in world’s No 2 economy

Kush Davidd, a third-year student at the University of California, knows about the coronavirus lockdowns in Shanghai and China’s political friction with the United States. But the 20-year-old American is studying Mandarin, and would still consider a job in China if offered.

“I’m sure Covid will clear up,” said Davidd, who is double majoring in economics and computer science at the university’s Berkeley campus. He imagines taking a computer science job in China that pays one and a half times more than one in the US.

“China in the future – although not better overall, the opportunities there are better than in the US.”

His outlook on employment in China is shared by others across his campus of 45,000 students. They say they would go for the pay, the travel perks and the adventure of living in a country unlike their own.

With the number of Australian citizens who have been incarcerated as part of a political ploy, I wouldn’t even go there on vacation.

Taiwan scrambles jets after China makes largest incursion into air defence zone since January

China has made the second largest incursion into Taiwan’s air defence zone this year with Taipei reporting 30 jets entering the area, including more than 20 fighters.

China wanted a swift diplomatic victory in the Pacific. But the region's leaders won't be rushed

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s first publicly advertised engagement was with Mr Puna at the PIF (Pacific Islands Forum) Secretariat the next day.

The visit had a somewhat perfunctory air. China is a Dialogue Partner with PIF, but the brute reality is that Beijing is impatient to bypass the regional organisation, and has moved quickly to set up its own direct dialogue with all Pacific Island countries it has ties with.

China talks a lot about consensus, but has done very little to seek it.

Right now, its diplomats are in a hurry, with no time for navigating the careful (sometimes torturous) processes of negotiation and consensus building at the core of PIF.

The Chinese officials shepherding Wang through the Secretariat certainly weren't treading carefully.

When they saw the ABC's cameraman positioned to film the greeting, they objected loudly and angrily, arguing the visit was limited to Chinese and Fijian media only.

One minder even placed herself directly in front of the ABC's camera.

PIF's impressive media representative, Lisa Williams-Lahari, (not a woman who is easily intimidated) had to rather forcefully remind them that they were visitors rather than hosts, and that PIF — not China — was setting the rules for media.

Fijian journalists also backed in the ABC in an impressive display of solidarity.

Australia and the United States will hardly be celebrating — Beijing has signalled it will press ahead with negotiations and it seems determined to land the agreement in one shape or another.

But they still see clear signs of over-reach from China.

I've been following the Australian election results, weirdly absent from any news coverage here in Belgium. I have a few questions...

Labor won a slim majority in the Parliament, but the result in seats are rather lopsided as compared to the first-choice votes cast. Is this because of how the Liberals/Coalition forms a big tent alliance? Does this raise questions with regards to representation, with Labor having a 21 seat advantage over the Coalition while getting 500K/3,3% fewer votes?

With the Senate not having a Labor majority, how do you estimate the impact on passing legislation? I read that for most legislation, 13 non-Labor votes would be needed.

Sorry I’m not going to go into detail here but the topic you want to read about is preferential voting. So I suggest searching for a phrase like:
How preferential voting works in Australia

It’s pretty different but it does allow for a multiple party system (more than two) to work without being a total mess. And it explains how Labor won so many seats but didn’t necessarily get the same proportion of first preference votes (basically they got a lot more second preferences than the other major parties).

With regard to the senate, it’s considered a safety net, and voters almost never give the government an absolute majority there. Despite that, the major parties tend to have natural alliances that allows them to pass most non controversial legislation. In the case of Labor, they will probably work with the Greens for most legislation but may turn to the former government for certain legislation relating to tax cuts or business friendly policies (stuff that would make the former government look bad if they didn’t just pass it). Politics are still not quite as partisan as, say, in the US.

Yeah - the 2PP version of results is very skewed this election by the massive number of 1st preference votes going to Independent and minor parties - but those gains are very localised. We now have an unprecedented number of cross bench members in the House of Representatives.

As for the Senate, it has been a very long time since any government has had a majority on the floor with the cross bench required to pass any legislation. Greens plus David Pocock will provide the 13 votes required for most legislation in this parliament.

More seek gun training in Taiwan as Ukraine war drives home China threat

Since the war in Ukraine started three months ago, bookings have nearly quadrupled for lessons in how to shoot, said an official of a combat skills training company in Taiwan.

"More and more people are coming to take part," said Max Chiang, chief executive of Polar Light, which is based in a suburb of the capital, Taipei.

Some of those who came to the shooting range this year had not handled guns before, he said, adding that numbers had "tripled or quadrupled" since the start of the Ukraine conflict, which Russia has called a "special military operation".

Those preparing against a threat from China include Su Chun, a 39-year-old tattoo artist who was determined to learn how to use air guns.

"I wanted to learn some combat skills, including those that are not just limited to using a gun. Maybe skills to be able to react to any kind of situation," he said.

However, he added, gun training would be useful if the government called up reservists like himself to repulse a Chinese invasion.

"Most people don't want to go to war. I also don't want to go to war but, in the unfortunate event of this really happening, I will be mentally prepared."

Chinese fighter jet 'chaffs' Australian plane near South China Sea, Canberra alleges

A Chinese fighter jet's aggressive maneuvers endangered the crew of an Australian reconnaissance plane as it patrolled in the vicinity of the South China Sea, Australia's Defense Ministry claimed Sunday.

The Chinese J-16 drew alongside the Australian P-8 while it was on a routine surveillance mission in international airspace last month before releasing flares and chaff that entered at least one of the Australian aircraft's engines, Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said.
Military planes usually release chaff -- typically tiny strips of aluminum or zinc -- as a deliberate countermeasure to confuse missiles, but can also use it to sabotage pursuing aircraft.

The Dismantling of Hong Kong

Throughout February and March, as Omicron cases in Hong Kong climbed to tens of thousands a day, I’d leave my apartment every evening for a stroll along the waterfront in Sheung Wan. The sky was a wallpaper of twilight blue; being shut indoors felt like a waste of spring. The promenade bustled with others who had permitted themselves these daily masked excursions: children speeding past me in rollerblades, burning off excess energy from school days spent on Zoom, and office workers sitting on benches clutching plastic containers of takeaway dinners. Across the city, hospitals were overflowing with the sick and dying, but the scene on the promenade was placid: a man playing a tune on an erhu, another performing handstands near the edge of a fountain. Over the harbor, the massive display screen of a newly opened art museum flashed a half-hearted message expressing well-wishes.

Every time I think about Hong Kong, I inevitably return to the water — the masked couples making out in cars facing the smoggy sunset by Stonecutters Bridge; the tourists jostling before the postcard-perfect view of the harbor from Avenue of Stars at Tsim Sha Tsui; the tranquil walks along the reservoirs at the country parks surrounding the city. In the last few decades, Hong Kong has frequently been referred to as a global financial center, but the city first gained significance as a major port in the early 20th century; its fate has always been intimately tied to its waters. I know that were I to ever leave, they would be what I would miss most.

When I say I miss Hong Kong, what I mean is the city as I remember it between the years of 2014 and 2019. In the aftermath of the 79-day pro-democracy occupation protests in 2014, every neighborhood across the city set up its own grassroots form of civic engagement: Residents self-organized home repairs for the elderly and ran historical walking tours to build stronger community ties. When friends visited the city, we’d eat curries at Chungking Mansions, then walk over to Sai Yeung Choi Street, a popular shopping district, where political parties across the spectrum set up street booths and handed out flyers and balloons. On one weekend, I might have headed to Lamma Island to meet an artist from Milwaukee who ended up in Hong Kong because of his love of Wong Kar-wai films; the next weekend, I could have wound up at a mini-music festival hosted atop a mountain peak, at an industrial warehouse, or inside a cha chaan teng (tea café) in Yau Ma Tei with the shutters pulled down. Every June 4, we’d commemorate the Tiananmen massacre at Victoria Park with a candlelight vigil, then head to the dai pai dong (open-air food stall) above a wet market for beers.