Plastics are among the most popular materials in use today. Given the material’s versatility, it is little wonder that some 320 million tons of it are used around the world each year. But plastics also pose a serious environmental threat. ...As plastics change, the ways countries integrate them into their economies must change, too. By Michael Stephen
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Results for Opinion
Wednesday 17 January 2018
London, United Kingdom
Wednesday 10 January 2018
London, United Kingdom
Since Donald Trump took over the United States presidency a year ago, doubts over his mental stability and his very sanity have been mounting. But, beyond claiming on Twitter that he is a “very stable genius,” what could Trump actually do to prove that he is psychologically fit for what, by some definitions, is the world’s highest office? There is no clear physical test for mental illness. By Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen
Tuesday 9 January 2018
Washington D.C., U.S.A
The size of oxygen-starved ocean “dead zones,” where plants and animals struggle to survive, has increased fourfold around the world, according to a new scientific analysis. “Oxygen is fundamental to life in the oceans,” said Denise Breitburg, lead author and marine ecologist with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. “The decline in ocean oxygen ranks among the most serious effects of human activities on the Earth’s environment.”
Thursday 4 January 2018
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Because mankind has a deep yearning for a sense of belonging and for leadership, humans naturally form groups with established leaders. Some groups are positive manifestations of collaboration and solidarity among individuals. But when groups are based on an ideology or a particular tribe, they can become discriminatory and oppressive toward non-members, especially if a domineering, charismatic leader is in charge. The emergence of populist and nationalist movements in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and other European countries suggests that tribalism is on the rise in the West. By Sami Mahroum.
Wednesday 20 December 2017
We all know how bad tobacco is, that it kills millions of people every year, and that it harms many more. We also know that tobacco companies have consistently lied about how much damage their products cause. The WHO Protocol to Eliminate the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products aims to prevent illicit trade, such as smuggling. While 33 countries and the European Union have signed the protocol, it needs the support of seven more governments before it can enter into force.
Wednesday 13 December 2017
A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the buyer of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," for which he spent $450.3 million. Had he given the money to the poor, as the subject of the painting instructed another rich man, he could have restored eyesight to nine million people, or enabled 13 million families to grow 50% more food. - Peter Singer.
Monday 11 December 2017
New York, USA
Globalization, which was supposed to benefit developed and developing countries alike, is now reviled almost everywhere, as the political backlash in Europe and the US in recent years has shown. The challenge is to minimize the risk that the backlash will intensify, and that starts by understanding – and avoiding – past mistakes.
Thursday 7 December 2017
The US has talked itself into Kim Jong-un’s trap of exaggerating how much power his rocketry gives him. If the US could deter a much stronger Soviet Union from taking an isolated West Berlin for three decades, it can deter North Korea. - Joseph S. Nye.
Thursday 30 November 2017
On this year’s World AIDS Day, on December 1, we should remember the 35 million people who have died of AIDS-related illnesses, and the 76 million who have been infected with HIV since reporting began. And we can celebrate the fact that nearly 21 million people living with HIV now have access to life-saving treatment. But we also must not lose sight of the fact that more than 15.8 million people are still awaiting treatment, while an estimated 11 million people do not even know they have the virus.
Monday 27 November 2017
The Australian government has published a new Foreign Policy White Paper. It is 14 years since the Howard government launched its own Foreign Affairs and Trade White Paper in 2003, although the Gillard government produced the 'Australia in the Asian Century White Paper' in 2013. Much has changed in Australia’s international environment since either of those papers were released. ...The White Paper makes clear that the most significant of the challenges Australia's policymakers now face stems from the two major powers in our region — the United States and China — and the relationship between them. - East Asia Forum, ANU.
Tuesday 21 November 2017
Brighton, United Kingdom
Despite the clear evidence linking poverty to psychological distress, policies tackling poverty do not typically take shame into account. ... Being poor is a highly shameful experience, degrading one’s dignity and sense of self-worth. While the manifestations and causes of poverty differ, the humiliation that accompanies it is universal. Recent research conducted at the University of Oxford found that from China to the United Kingdom, people facing economic hardship – even children – experience a nearly identical assault on their pride and self-esteem.
Sunday 19 November 2017
Next year’s “Talanoa Dialogue” – to be convened by Fiji, which last week became the first island state to chair UN climate talks – will help countries identify exactly how they can achieve the goals set in the Paris agreement. That dialogue, which countries should approach in good faith, must be a springboard for further action. By Hilda Heine and Kevin Rudd
Friday 10 November 2017
What kind of government would Tongans like to have working for them following the 16 November election? It's evident that the new government, to be formed by the end of this year, has an enormous challenge ahead, because our elected leaders need to rescue Tonga from a “free-fall” situation that we have found ourselves in, after seven years under a reformed system that has not met the public's expectations. Editor's Comment, by Pesi Fonua
Thursday 9 November 2017
Over the last few weeks there has been ample amounts of negative media attention given to Mate Ma'a Tonga fans. I in no way support fans fighting or being aggressive and it is worrying. However, what I am most concerned about is the amount of negative articles that have been circulated by some media outlets. The constant reporting of a few incidents where a minority group of fans were fighting has dominated the media and has painted all Mate Ma'a Tonga fans as being out of control. - Jean Allen
Wednesday 8 November 2017
Solutions to the climate crisis are often associated with big conferences, and the next two weeks will no doubt bring many “answers.” Some 20,000 delegates have now descended on Bonn, Germany, for the latest round of United Nations climate change talks. The talks in Bonn should focus on the implementation of the Paris climate agreement. And the path forward is clear. By Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder and Jörg Haas.
Wednesday 1 November 2017
Perhaps the most enduring lesson of Luther’s call for a scholarly debate – and his use of technology to deliver his views – is that it failed. Instead of a series of public discussions about the Church’s evolving authority, the Protestant Reformation became a bitter battle played out via mass communication .... The question today is how we can ensure that new technologies support constructive debate. The world remains full of heresies that threaten our identities and cherished institutions; the difficulty is to view them not as ideas that must be violently suppressed, but as opportunities to understand where and how current institutions are excluding people or failing to deliver promised benefits. By Nicholas Davis.
Sunday 29 October 2017
The outcome of Tonga's November 16 General Election could be a game changer for the slow-moving democratic parliamentary reform that was begun in 2010. Editor's Comment by Pesi Fonua
Sunday 29 October 2017
New York, USA
For the last 40 years, China has implemented a national strategy that, despite its many twists and turns, has produced the economic and political juggernaut we see today. It would be reckless to assume, as many still do in the US, Europe, and elsewhere, that China’s transition to global preeminence will somehow simply implode, under the weight of the political and economic contradictions they believe to be inherent to the Chinese model. ...When China does become the world’s largest economy over the next decade, the current rule-based international order will not remain immune from this fundamental geo-economic and geopolitical change....To believe otherwise is willfully to ignore the deep changes that are now afoot. By Kevin Rudd
Tuesday 24 October 2017
The Earth today is more than 1°C hotter than it was in pre-industrial times, and the terrible symptoms of its fever are already showing. This year alone, back-to-back hurricanes have devastated Caribbean islands, monsoon flooding has displaced tens of millions in South Asia, and fires have raged on nearly every continent. Pulling the planet back from the brink could not be more urgent. Those of us who live on the front lines of climate change – on archipelagos, small islands, coastal lowlands, and rapidly desertifying plains – can’t afford to wait and see what another degree of warming will bring. By Loren Legarda
Monday 16 October 2017
With Tonga only weeks away from a snap General Election, the Tonga government is taking full control of the Tonga Broadcasting Commission, in a move that has annihilated its right to function as an honest Public Broadcaster. Its two most senior journalists have been ordered out of the newsroom and into a corner. By Pesi Fonua