Australian Outlook

Issues brief

14 Mar 2014
Colin Chapman

The United Nations now says it has enough evidence to lay war crimes charges against those involved in both sides of the Syrian conflict.

Much of the reporting in the Australian media about Indonesia tends to be all about  asylum seekers, with little coverage of the impending national elections. So you might want to read an excellent editorial in the Jakarta Post headed “The Circus Begins”.

It’s not just Indonesia that’s upset about being spied upon. The Israelis are attacking their American allies for doing the same, and have asked them to stop.

The events in Ukraine and Crimea turn one’s thoughts back to the Cold War; the New York Times demurs, but agrees it’s decidedly chilly in Eastern Europe.

According to the well-informed Pawel Swieboda, Poland holds the key to Ukraine’s future.

Question: Who has the biggest reserves of shale gas? Australia? Wrong. The United States? Wrong. The US government says it’s China. Read the  free article from STRATFOR.

A former editor-in-chief of the Sydney Morning Herald argues that the tension in North Asia is, at least partly, a battle of wills.

Finally, listen to a discussion on poverty in the Pacific Islands where the World Bank estimates one in five live below the poverty line. But then 16 million in Europe and  Central Asia are living on less than $2.50 a day. Not enough to book a passage with a people smuggler!