Few things expose a nation like immigration policy. The debate over who should be allowed in, when and under what circumstances goes right to the heart of national identity.
In Australia, immigration is a controversial issue that has become highly politicised, particularly around the treatment of ‘boat people’.
An immigration nation
Australia has long been a nation of immigrants. From federation in 1901 until 1973, immigration was characterised by a ‘White Australia’ policy.
The annual Water Festival in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh on Monday has come to a deadly conclusion.
At least 378 people have been killed after overcrowding and pushing on a bridge late at night turned to panic. Another 755 people have been injured.
The incident took place on Diamond Island in the middle of the Tonle Sap River on the final day of the three-day festival.
An estimated two million people attended the traditional festival which marks the end of the rainy season and the reversal of the river’s flow.
On Saturday, the world watched as Aung San Suu Kyi – Myanmar’s ‘Nelson Mandela’ and Nobel prize-winning democracy leader – was released from house arrest.
Thousands of people came out to cheer her as she made her way into central Yangon, the country’s largest city.
But now that the euphoria of her release has died down, people are considering the cold reality of what she might actually be able to achieve.
This Sunday, long-awaited elections will be held in Myanmar, one of the most secretive and repressed countries in the world.
The Southeast Asian nation of 50 million people, formerly known as Burma, has been ruled by a brutal military regime since 1962.
It’s the home of famous democracy leader and Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party won 80% of the vote in Myanmar’s last elections in 1990 but wasn’t allowed to take power.
As the world economy stumbles along, there appears to be only one hope left in avoiding a second recession.
That is a series of law changes being made in China to encourage its people to start spending more.
The Chinese people currently save on average 25% of their income. But if they can start spending more, it will create millions of jobs in China, and millions of jobs elsewhere.
With the Commonwealth Games underway in India’s capital Delhi, much has been said about the high level of security preventing potential terrorist attacks.
But little has been said about who these terrorists are, or why they’re upset. Here are the causes fuelling India’s often over-looked battle with terrorism.
Just as China did with the Olympics two years ago, this was supposed to be India’s turn to announce its arrival as a great power.
But instead its preparations for the Commonwealth Games due to begin in India’s capital Delhi this week have only reinforced its reputation of being disorganised and corrupt.
The substandard quality of the infrastructure, venues and the athletes’ village has brought shame on the country rather than pride.
Yesterday afternoon, two of the three undecided independent MPs (members of parliament) finally announced who was going to win Australia’s election held 18 days ago.
The two chose to partner with the left-wing Labor party, while the third broke away from the trio and chose to side with the opposition.
In Japan, suicide is the leading cause of death among men aged 20-44 and women 15-34. Across the water in South Korea, one human life is lost to suicide every forty minutes. And in China, 287,000 people take their own lives every year.
These three countries have some of the worst suicide rates in the world, with Japan and Korea also topping the OECD (developed) country rankings.
Suicide rates provide a comparative measure, however experts say more focus needs to be on the reasons why.