09 Apr

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

English Online International Newspapers

For a change from the same old news stories from the same old news networks, here are links to English-edition online newspapers from other parts of the world. Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers, with an emphasis on the Middle East and Asia. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.

Some of the available newspapers:

Asia & CIS


China & Hong Kong









‘Dramatic’ shift in polar motion attributed to effects of global warming and the impact humans are having on the planet

Global warming is changing the way the Earth moves on its polar axis. A new Nasa study says that Melting ice sheets are affecting the distribution of weight on Earth, which is causing both the North Pole and the wobble, which is called polar motion, to change course. Scientists say the polar motion shift is harmless, but that it highlights the impact humans are having on the planet

Global warming is changing the way the Earth wobbles on its polar axis, a new Nasa study has found.

Melting ice sheets, especially in Greenland, are changing the distribution of weight on Earth. And that has caused both the North Pole and the wobble, which is called polar motion, to change course, according to a study published on Friday in the journal Science Advances.

Scientists and navigators have been accurately measuring the true pole and polar motion since 1899, and for almost the entire 20th century they migrated a bit toward Canada. But that has changed with this century, and now it’s moving toward England, according to study lead author Surendra Adhikari at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Lab.

“The recent shift from the 20th-century direction is very dramatic,” Adhikari said.

While scientists say the shift is harmless, it is meaningful. Jonathan Overpeck, professor of geosciences at the University of Arizona, who wasn’t part of the study, said that “this highlights how real and profoundly large an impact humans are having on the planet.”

Since 2003, Greenland has lost on average more than 272 trillion kilograms of ice a year, and that affects the way the Earth wobbles in a manner similar to a figure skater lifting one leg while spinning, said Nasa scientist Eirk Ivins, the study’s co-author…………..


Russia claimed ‘Putinphobia’ was afoot, but Iceland’s PM was less cool under pressure – and David Cameron is still feeling the heat

David Cameron and Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson

David Cameron and Iceland’s Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson in 2015. Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock


What did we learn?

Vladimir Putin’s friend – a cellist called Sergei Roldugin – has secret offshore companies registered in his name worth many millions of dollars. Roldugin has said he is no businessman. But the Panama Papers reveal $2bn flowing from Russian state banks to offshore companies and a firm in the British Virgin Islands called Sandalwood Continental Ltd. The money is cycled back to Russia. Some $11m of it went to a ski resort outside St Petersburg called Igora, where in 2013 Putin’s younger daughter Katerina got married. The evidence suggests Roldugin is a proxy, with managers at Bank Rossiya in St Petersburg running his affairs. The US has designated Bank Rossiya a “crony bank” for top Kremlin bigwigs. It says its boss, Yuri Kovalchuk – another presidential buddy – is “essentially Putin’s personal banker”.


What did we learn?

It was known that David Cameron’s late father, Ian, ran an investment fund called Blairmore Holdings Inc. The fund was based in the Bahamas and named after the family’s ancestral home in Aberdeenshire. It managed tens of millions of pounds on behalf of wealthy clients. The new facts, however, were piquant. In 30 years of trading, Blairmore did not pay any UK tax on its profits. Additionally, the fund’s directors went to extravagant lengths to give the impression that the company was based in the Caribbean. They hired 50 officers from the Bahamas, one of them a part-time bishop. (This was the late Solomon Humes, a lay bishop with the non-denominational Church of God of Prophecy.) The fund also used bearer shares, where the person who holds the physical share certificate is the company’s owner. Ironically enough, David Cameron outlawed bearer shares as PM, recognising that they could be used for money-laundering……………..


Papal document calls for Catholic church to revamp its response to modern family life, but remains firmly anti-abortion

Pope Francis greets people as he makes a tour of St Peter’s Square, the Vatican

Pope Francis says ‘every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected’. Photograph: Giorgio Onorati/EPA

Pope Francis has called for the Catholic church to revamp its response to modern family life, urging greater acceptance for divorced people and those in same-sex relationships while adhering to traditional church teachings.

The landmark papal document, entitled Amoris Laetitia (Joy of Love), was hailed as a “paradigm shift” by Francis’s biographer Austen Ivereigh, who said it had the “potential to shape the church’s response to the family for generations to come”.

On Friday, Pope Francis issued a landmark treatise on marriage and the modern family, in which he calls for a Church that is less strict and more compassionate. The 260-page document, entitled Amoris Laetitia (Joy of Love), does not make any formal alterations to the church’s doctrine, but calls for a more accepting tone towards gay people and the defence of traditional church teachings on issues such as abortion

Over more than 250 pages, Francis outlines a more compassionate vision for the church on family issues, urging priests to respond to their communities without rigidly enforcing church rules. “Each country or region, moreover, can seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive to its traditions and local needs,” he wrote.

The apostolic exhortation concludes a two-year consultation that saw bishops twice gather in Rome to debate issues affecting the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

Ivereigh said the document was “a remarkable step forward for the church”. It was “epic in scale, bold in ambition, and beautifully direct and tender, the fruit of decades of a holy man listening carefully to the truth of people’s lives”. He added: “It’s a fantastic piece of work.”………….


For more than a week, vast nocturnal gatherings have spread across France in a citizen-led movement that has rattled the government

Demonstrators gather in Place de la République for a peaceful sit-in as part of the Nuit debout movement

Vive la révolution: demonstrators gather in Place de la République for a nocturnal sit-in. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA

As night fell over Paris, thousands of people sat cross-legged in the vast square at Place de la République, taking turns to pass round a microphone and denounce everything from the dominance of Google to tax evasion or inequality on housing estates.

The debating continued into the early hours of the morning, with soup and sandwiches on hand in the canteen tent and a protest choir singing revolutionary songs. A handful of protesters in tents then bedded down to “occupy” the square for the night before being asked to move on by police just before dawn. But the next morning they returned to set up their protest camp again.

For more than a week, these vast nocturnal protest gatherings – from parents with babies to students, workers, artists and pensioners – have spread across France, rising in number, and are beginning to panic the government.

Called Nuit debout, which loosely means “rise up at night”, the protest movement is increasingly being likened to the Occupy initiative that mobilised hundreds of thousands of people in 2011 or Spain’s Indignados…………….


The continuing refugee crisis in Europe, the ongoing violence in Syria, the Nuit debout protest movement – the best photography in news, culture and sport from around the world this week

US politics

Election 2016

New York Sanders welcomed home to Brooklyn as Clinton and voters reunite

As it happened Sanders holds Brooklyn rally ahead of primary

Vatican Sanders to preach against ‘the idolatry of money’ during visit

Bernie Sanders to preach against ‘the idolatry of money’ during Vatican visit

The minute Sanders: no sleep till the Vatican



Can the rich and powerful violate subway rules? Photograph: Richard Drew/AP

New Yorkers got a chuckle on Thursday morning when Hillary Clinton rode the subway. On her way into the station, Clinton had a little bit of trouble swiping her MetroCard: it took five goes for her to finally get the green light and pass through the turnstile.

This little incident became the cause of much mirth. “Clinton struggles to get through subway entrance,” said Politico. “Former New York Senator Hillary Clinton Struggles to Swipe Her Subway MetroCard,” reported ABC. “Video Shows Hillary Clinton Struggling With MetroCard At Bronx Subway Station,” said the local CBS affiliate’s website.

There was another problem with Clinton’s ride aboard the 4 Train, one that the media all but ignored: Hillary Clinton broke the subway rules, and did so not only within full sight of New York City officials and law enforcement, who stood around and watched her do it.

According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Rules of Conduct, the subway system is for transporting riders to their destinations, and nothing else. But the rules list several exceptions, including “campaigning”. So far, so good, Hillary Clinton.

However, Section 1050.6(c)1 of the subway rules states unequivocally that none of these activities may be performed on the actual subway cars.

This is the rule Clinton broke. Clinton’s defenders might think the short subway trip wasn’t actually campaigning, but I’d urge them to watch a video of her two-stop ride – from Yankee Stadium to 170th Street – that clearly shows Clinton glad-handing on the train itself.

She’s aided in doing so by Rubén Díaz Jr, the president of the borough of the Bronx, who introduces her to strap-hangers as “the next president of the United States, Hillary Clinton”. If that wasn’t enough, Clinton then takes some questions from the press aboard the 4 Train car.

The incident is all the more galling because there are actual, regular New Yorkers trying to make ends meet who are arrested for violating the same rules that Clinton disregards with impunity. These regular New Yorkers are, of course, the acrobatic showtime performers and musicians – a cultural point of pride for the city – who perform legally on platforms and other areas of the transit system (not always without harassment) but are barred from playing on board subway cars by the same rules that should have prevented Clinton’s campaigning………………



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