Australian Outlook

Issues Brief

06 Mar 2014
Colin Chapman

While we still do not know the fate of the Malaysian Airlines 777 that vanished between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, we do know that both governments and airlines have been increasingly lax about checking for stolen passports. At least two of the passports used to board the MH flight were stolen. Britain’s The Independent reports that more than one billion air journeys were taken last year without passports being checked against Interpol’s data base of stolen documents.

Spare a thought for Ukrainian soldiers stranded in Crimea. They could be excused for not really knowing which side they are on. Also on Ukraine, Japan is between a rock and a hard place.

Recently President Barack Obama met the Dalai Lama to discuss the unsolved Tibetan issue. Kerry Brown of the University of Sydney China Studies Centre offers some suggestions on how to solve the issue.

The Guardian describes how Nigeria has fallen into a state of war as an Islamist insurgency rages.

Meanwhile The Economist says Sri Lanka is edging towards a war crimes inquiry and the New York Times reports growing doubts about a negotiated deal with Iran on nuclear weapons.