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Cautious of China’s rising affect, Australia overhauls its function within the Pacific with US$2.2 billion in growth funds – NEWPAPER24

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Cautious of China’s rising affect, Australia overhauls its function within the Pacific with US$2.2 billion in growth funds

2018-11-08 07:41:02


With a watch on China’s rising function within the Pacific, Australia on Thursday introduced A$three billion (US$2.2 billion) in monetary enticements to spice up its presence within the area, accompanied by a collection of safety and political initiatives.

Beijing is piling funding into the Pacific, sending ever extra fishing vessels deeper into its waters and reportedly mulling the development of a navy base on Vanuatu. Confronted with this growing Chinese language affect, Prime Minister Scott Morrison vowed to take Australia’s engagement “to a brand new stage”.

“We wish to work with our Pacific Islands companions to construct a Pacific area that’s safe strategically, steady economically and sovereign politically,” Morrison stated whereas getting ready for a significant Asian-Pacific summit in Port Moresby subsequent week.

He underscored a collection of safety, financial and diplomatic initiatives, together with the donation of patrol boats and the event of a joint navy base in Papua New Guinea.

The centrepiece nonetheless is chilly laborious money – a lot wanted by poverty-hit nations within the area – with Morrison asserting a A$2 billion fund “to considerably increase Australia’s help for infrastructure growth in Pacific nations and Timor-Leste [East Timor]”.

We wish to work with our Pacific Islands companions to construct a Pacific area that’s safe strategically

Scott Morrison

He additionally introduced an additional A$1 billion for export financing to help investments within the area.

Morrison’s authorities has been preoccupied by home infighting and has diverged politically from Pacific Island nations threatened by rising waters, by questioning local weather change.

Australia has lengthy been a significant political participant in a lot of the south and west Pacific, however has misplaced floor with China ploughing huge funding into the area as a part of its “Belt and Highway Initiative”.

Though the Pacific islands are small in dimension, and a much less important waterway for commerce than the contested South China Sea, their unique financial zones make up an enormous proportion of the world’s maritime belongings.

And the area has grow to be more and more vital as Beijing has signalled its intent to develop a “Blue Water” navy that may venture Chinese language energy far past its coastal waters.

The Chinese language authorities have additionally been eager to harness pure sources from hardwood to nickel and have – with notable success – tried to entice nations within the area to drop recognition of Taiwan, isolating its cross-strait foe.

The variety of Chinese language fishing vessels working within the tuna-rich waters of the Pacific has additionally elevated from 244 in 2010 to over 600, in response to knowledge from Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Fee.

With out mentioning China by identify, Morrison – whose international minister is in Beijing this week – hailed frequent values with island nations and stated he would develop Australia’s diplomatic footprint to “each member nation of the Pacific Islands Discussion board”.

Australian media reported that Morrison will proceed his attraction offensive on the Asia-Pacific summit in Port Moresby, the place he’ll host leaders for a barbecue.

He can have competitors from Xi Jinping, who can be anticipated to fulfill a number of regional leaders when he attends the summit. US president Donald Trump won’t attend, sending Vice-President Mike Pence in his stead.



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Younger Thai rappers ship blistering critiques of ruling junta, defying strict censorship – NEWPAPER24

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Younger Thai rappers ship blistering critiques of ruling junta, defying strict censorship

2018-11-13 05:19:11


“A rustic killing the individuals … doesn’t give a rattling about its kids,” spits 17-year-old Elevenfinger, one in every of a legion of acerbic younger rappers ripping into Thailand’s politics, dire schooling system and calcifying social mores.

Thailand’s hip-hop scene was anodyne, imitating the swagger – and profanity – of its American forefather however not the socially charged lyrics. However that has began to vary as pugnacious, political rhymes substitute the bubblegum verses, taking swipes on the ruling junta and the dominion’s sharp social hierarchies.

YouTube movies by teenagers and schoolchildren in uniform – some as younger as 12 – have garnered large social media followings.

“You’ve constructed the skytrains however schooling’s a lifeless finish,” says one in every of Elevenfinger’s lyrics – in a video known as Equality about Thailand’s poor schooling system, which is ranked among the many worst in Asia.

“It’s like governments don’t need individuals to assume,” says Elevenfinger, whose actual title is Thanayut Na Ayutthaya.

His movies presaged the extraordinary success of RAD – Rap Towards Dictatorship – whose lyrical assault on the junta has racked up over 30 million views on YouTube.

The tune Prathet Ku Mee (What My Nation’s Received?) delivers stinging verses in opposition to censorship, corruption and the shortage of elections for the reason that navy seized energy in 2014.

“We would like individuals who take heed to the tune to return out and converse their minds,” stated Jacoboi, a co-founder of the group, whose neck boasts a tattoo of unbalanced scales of justice.

In Thai colleges, college students are anticipated to be taught most topics by rote and are taught deference to age, standing in addition to army-scripted guidelines overlaying all the things from the size of haircuts to the academic curriculum. That has cramped their capability to problem-solve, Jacoboi says.

“Thais should not taught to assume critically,” he says.

Like many Thais introduced up underneath that system, rappers often didn’t have interaction in political conversations, he added. However that modified because the nation lurched deeper into disaster.

A decade-long energy wrestle between the deeply conservative royalist elite and a grass roots motion loyal to billionaire former premier Thaksin Shinawatra has led to 2 coups and numerous rounds of bloody road protest.

Whereas older Thais have wearied of the battle, anger on the ageing political class governing their lives has intensified amongst many younger individuals. And the ruling generals have supplied ample materials, as they clumsily attempt to management dissent.

The younger era really feel annoyed and need to specific themselves in opposition to hierarchical teachings

Anusorn Unno, Thammasat College

“The younger era really feel annoyed and need to specific themselves in opposition to hierarchical teachings, social boundaries and the order to be ‘good’,” explains Anusorn Unno, a sociologist at Thammasat College. “And rap has given them the area to insurgent.”

At a Bangkok state college round 30 college students, aged between 12 and 15, rehearse rhymes in a membership based by Elevenfinger.

The session begins with the apprentices taking turns answering a query designed to set off dialogue: “What do you need to see improved on this college?”

Then come the rap battles: overlaying all the things from the mundanity of college life and unrequited like to harder-edged points like rising up in slums and bullying.

“With out rap, I’d not be so keen to speak about this stuff,” stated one 13-year-old rapper named Peachfullz, sporting boy scout apparel.

Elevenfinger, recognized for his verses on the social stigma of dwelling within the Thai slums the place he was born, began the membership a 12 months in the past as a approach to “break the partitions” of Thai schooling.

“I do know these college students have gotten one thing to say. And I would like this room to be their protected zone to say no matter they need,” he defined.

As Thailand gears up for elections early subsequent 12 months, dissent is spilling out throughout subcultures from pro-democracy punks to graffiti artists mocking the wealthy and highly effective. However rap has introduced social critiques mainstream. And with the success of RAD’s viral anti-junta rap, analysts say the genie can’t be put again within the bottle.

Sociologist Anusorn says rap could possibly be a game-changer for Thai society and “take down Thailand’s previous hegemony and create new cultural potentialities”.

In a small recognition of its energy, junta chief Prayuth Chan-ocha backed down from veiled threats about Prathet Ku Mee because the RAD video went viral. However dangers stay for rappers who need to denounce the strongmen. Authorities have threatened to probe the musicians for potential violation of legal guidelines on spreading “false” info.

“I’m slightly afraid of the authorities,” says 22-year-old Okay. Iglet, the youngest member of RAD. “However I can testify that these are my views on how I see my nation. It’s my reality. And I’ll carry on rapping.”



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NUS confers honorary diploma on Malaysia’s PM Mahathir – NEWPAPER24

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NUS confers honorary diploma on Malaysia’s PM Mahathir

2018-11-13 04:20:37

SINGAPORE: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad obtained an honorary diploma from the Nationwide College of Singapore (NUS) on Tuesday (Nov 13). 

Dr Mahathir was conferred the Honorary Physician of Legal guidelines in recognition of his excellent management of Malaysia, in addition to his enduring contributions to the longstanding bilateral relations between Singapore and Malaysia, NUS stated. 

His spouse, Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, was additionally honoured by the couple’s alma mater.

She was introduced with the NUS Distinguished Alumni Service Award as a tribute to her impression as a pioneer and an inspiring function mannequin for girls docs in Malaysia, and in recognition of her wonderful and sustained service within the areas of public well being in Malaysia and past. 

The 2 awards have been introduced at a particular conferment ceremony held at NUS’ Kent Ridge Campus. 

The ceremony was presided over by President Halimah Yacob, who can be NUS chancellor. 

Each Dr Mahathir and Dr Siti Hasmah graduated from NUS’ predecessor establishment King Edward VII Faculty of Medication within the 1950s. 

NUS President Tan Eng Chye paid tribute to the pair, highlighting that NUS is “deeply honoured and privileged” to recognise their “excellent achievements”. 

“Dr Siti Hasmah is a pioneer and an inspiring function mannequin for girls docs in Malaysia. She has additionally been a robust champion for public well being points in Malaysia and past,” he stated.

“Her life companion, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, is a charismatic and visionary statesman who has formed the historical past of Malaysia and the area in some ways.”

Prof Tan added: “Of their golden years, this widespread couple continues to serve their nation and communities with dedication and distinction.

“Their wonderful vitality and the impression of their mixed accomplishments function an inspiration for the NUS group.”

Dr Mahathir arrived in Singapore with Dr Siti Hasmah on Monday for an official two-day go to. 

READ: Singapore, Malaysia will ‘at all times have a novel place for one another in our hearts’: PM Lee

Previous recipients of the NUS Honorary Physician of Legal guidelines embody the late Singapore founding prime minister and alumnus Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Emeritus Senior Minister and alumnus Goh Chok Tong, United Nations Secretary-Normal Ban Ki-Moon in addition to alumna Mdm Halimah. 

Amongst those that beforehand obtained the NUS Distinguished Alumni Service Award are former Singapore Senior Minister of State for International Affairs Zainul Abidin Rasheed, Ambassador of Singapore to US Professor Chan Heng Chee, Ambassador-at-large Gopinath Pillai, Mayor of North-west district Teo Ho Pin and Chairman of DBS Group Peter Seah. 

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Full cost in 30 minutes: ComfortDelGro to introduce quick charging station for electrical automobiles – NEWPAPER24

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Full cost in 30 minutes: ComfortDelGro to introduce quick charging station for electrical automobiles

2018-11-13 03:44:06

SINGAPORE: Electrical automobile (EV) customers will quickly have entry to a charging station that would present a full battery cost in about 30 minutes, ComfortDelGro stated in a information launch on Tuesday (Nov 13). 

The direct present (DC) quick charging station will likely be operated by ComfortDelGro Engineering along with EV charging software program firm, Greenlots. 

In line with the information launch, the charging station gives two kinds of chargers – the alternating present charger that almost all charging stations provide and the brand new direct present quick charger. This will enable two electrical automobiles to cost on the similar time. 

DC charging service is at the moment not publicly obtainable in Singapore.

READ: What is going to drive demand for electrical automobiles?

“The DC quick charger is a perfect en route cease for EVs in want of a top-up as typical charging time could be as little as 30 minutes as in comparison with AC charging, which takes up between three and 4 hours,” stated ComfortDelGro.  

Charging is priced at S$0.40 per kWh for each kinds of charging, the transport operator added. 

“Now we have all the time supported the adoption of low-carbon emissions applied sciences, and hope that the introduction of this service will contribute in direction of the event of a dependable and accessible EV charging community in Singapore,” stated ComfortDelGro Engineering CEO Mr Ang Soo Hock.

ComfortDelGro could quickly introduce the direct present quick charging for electrical automobiles. (Picture: ComfortDelGro)

The service will likely be publicly obtainable as soon as the check paperwork are cleared with the related authorities, stated ComfortDelGro.

As soon as accepted, it will likely be accessible at ComfortDelGro’s premises in Braddell for Greenlots customers who personal BMW electrified automobiles, absolutely electrical Hyundai Ioniqs and Renault ZOEs.

House owners of these automobile varieties should apply for entry to the Braddell charging station by ComfortDelGro Engineering, and might verify its availability and pay for the fees by way of the Greenlots app.

Taxi drivers driving the absolutely electrical Hyundai Ioniq taxis don’t require the entry move, stated ComfortDelGro.

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