Category: International Relations

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Climate-Change Documentary Streaming for Free

Before the Flood starring Leonardo DiCaprio shows him travelling the entire world showing the effects of climate change all over the world.

The documentary — which had lackluster publication — first debuted in September at the Toronto International Film Festival. On October 21, the documentary opened in theaters.

National Geographic had secured the rights of the film and released it on YouTube for free viewing. The video was also embedded on Twitter, Facebook, Hulu and the website of National Geographic itself.

The filmmakers’ intentions are clear that it is a message to all people that climate change issues are real and they are having adverse effects that could lead to humanity’s extinction.

DiCaprio said of the film:

“We cannot afford, at this critical moment in time, to have leaders in office that do not believe in the modern science of climate change,” he said. “We need to galvanize the world community to put in office people who are not only believers in the science, but are going to take rapid action immediately. And that’s why we wanted this film to come out before the next election, because as we’ve cited in this film, the United States is the largest contributor to this issue. We need to set the example for the rest of the world to follow.”

MH17 Prosecutors Will Release Findings on Wednesday

Two years after Malaysian Airlines MH17 flew over Eastern Ukraine and fell into uncharted territory, an international team of prosecutors will look into the findings of MH17 investigators and release their findings this Wednesday.

Earlier reports from the Dutch Safety Board indicated that a Russian-made Buk missile had hit the plane. The board did not indicate who fired the rocket.

Prosecutors from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine will be part of the Joint International Team.

Due to the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and further violence in the region, the United States and the European Union had widened sanctions against Russia’s clandestine activities.

Political analysts are quite surprised with the announcement. According to BBC’s Anna Holigan, the motives of the criminal investigators who are about to release the information this week are still unclear. The meeting would open the door against suspects who may be involved in the situation and give them a window to clear their names.

News networks indicated that families of the victims remain frustrated as prosecutors and investigators still could not say who was responsible for the atrocious airline disaster.

Pessimism Invades Businesses After Brexit Vote Decision

Upon voting exit, it would seem businesses and investors have lost confidence in the economy and the UK’s current stature.

According to research from YouGov at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, pessimism had increased about 25% the week before the referendum to 49%. This would mean companies and investors are pulling back or scaling down their activities in the United Kingdom.

Scott Corfe, director at the CEBR, said that the figures indicated a “significant shock reaction” among UK businesses following the vote last month.

He said:

“Businesses are clearly spooked by the referendum result and they’ve reined in their intentions for capital spending. They’ve reined in their expectations for exports and domestic sales growth.

“And business confidence is a leading indicator for where the economy is heading over the coming quarters. What it suggests is that the economy is in for quite a significant slowdown over the next three to six months.”

As the pound took a beating after the initial Brexit shock, global markets are also destabilising. Japan’s Yen had increased after investors sought safety with the pound’s devaluation.

As uncertainty looms over the United Kingdom, several figures see positivity in the ‘brave new world.’

Former Senior Economist at the International Monetary Fund Ashoka Mody believes the Remain campaign’s message to stay echoes much about establishment of certain parties’ interests that they are left to defend such.

Mody said the idea of new deals and the deliberate reduction of value for re-negotiating terms are flaws in a system that could open new doors of possibilities for the country.

Mediterranean Singkings in the Atlantic Kills 700 Migrants

said that it estimates about 700 migrants killed during the three consecutive sinkings of three sea vessels from different conflicted areas. The incident was the deadliest since April 2015.

According to rescue teams said the incident was “pretty gruesome.”

Giorgia Linardi, a rescue team member from the German NGO Sea Watch who arrived on Friday, many dead bodies had already been floating in the sea. Some of them were still breathing but not reacting.

The rescue teams could not ascertain the faith of the migrants because crew from Italian warships had taken the migrants off their hands as they continue to find more survivors.

Giorgia said they found couples hugging each other until death, a little child of few months dead in the sea. She said most of the dead were young people.

Giorgia said they also used a net to extract people and belongings from the water. She said hands, heads and feet kept coming out of the net.

“They were watching a shipwreck at the same time as having themselves been rescued an hour before,” said Linardi. “There were dolphins jumping in the waves, as well as bodies in the water. It was a very weird situation.”

Prominent Names in the UK Back Staying in EU

About 300 actors, musicians, writers and artists have backed the call of the UK government to stay in the European Union.

The artists said remaining in the EU allows the UK to flourish with vital EU funding that allows them to work across borders in different projects from galleries to blockbusters.

The letter was organised by Britain Stronger in Europe Campaign. It said:

“Britain is not just stronger in Europe, it is more imaginative and more creative, and our global creative success would be severely weakened by walking away.”

It adds: “Leaving Europe would be a leap into the unknown for millions of people across the UK who work in the creative industries, and for the millions more at home and abroad who benefit from the growth and vibrancy of Britain’s cultural sector.”

“We believe that being part of the EU bolsters Britain’s leading role on the world stage. Let’s not become an outsider shouting from the wings.”

According to Conservative Peer and Author Lord Dobbs

“Our creative industries are booming because of the talent that is in Britain’s DNA.

“We are world leaders in so many creative areas. From theatre to literature, video games, feature films, fashion, music and so much else, British artists lead the way and are celebrated around the globe.

“It’s a success that has been created by the dedication, hard work and extraordinary creative abilities of our artists, it’s not because of the EU.”

Among others backing the letter are actors Bill Nighy, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sir John Hurt, Sir Patrick Stewart and Thandie Newton, architect Richard Rogers, artist Tracey Emin, author John le Carre, comedian Jo Brand, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, director Richard Curtis and writer Philip Pullman.

Netanyahu Vs. Obama: Obama Must Realise The Growing Threats

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke in the US Congress answering an invitation from the Republican Party. In his speech, he made clear one thing; he found Obama’s initiative to offer dispenses to Iran as something that could threaten the entire world.

In his speech, he said that the US is “paving the way” for Iran’s nuclear bomb. He highlighted that the IS only had “butcher knives” while Iran had a nuclear bomb and intercontinental ballistic missles.

According to Congressman Adam Kinzinger R-Channahon, “Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address reinforced my serious concerns about the direction of ongoing negotiations with Iran,” said Kinzinger, who has been outpsoken about tougher Iranian sanctions. “A compelling case was made as to why we must reject any deal that allows Iran a pathway that could be used to obtain nuclear weapons. It is time for this administration to stop ignoring the growing threats facing the international community and listen to the calls of our allies to demand Iran give up any nuclear enrichment for the long term.”

Republicans had greatly cheered Netanyahu’s speech, but US President Barack Obama said that Netanyahu “did not offer any solution or alternative”.

He said that the US and the world need insight on what is happening inside Iran, which is why the sanctions are needed. To turn a blind eye on Iran for its economic activities is a risk that can endanger the world.

Syrian Refugees Feel The Hurt of Lebanon Curbing

Lebanon’s government has implemented restrictions against Syrian refugees for good reason. They are receiving moderate international support for the refugees and their economy is suffering. The roads leading to Lebanon from Syria had become almost empty as the new restrictions were imposed.

The United Nations still wants Lebanon to explain “the most vulnerable refugees” from Syria and how they can gain access to Lebanon.

Today, there are more than a million refugees in Lebanon. A senior minister pointed out that Lebanon’s capacity is at its peak.

“We have enough. There’s no capacity anymore to host more displaced,” Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk said at a news conference on Monday.

Millions of Syrians have been displaced by the civil war as rebel forces try to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

Before the new measures, Syrian refugees could stay in Lebanon up to six months. These new measures need Syrian refugees to fulfil a criteria before they could have a visa to enter the country.

According to Lebanese Lawmaker Basem Shabb “It’s clear to most Lebanese that this situation cannot continue… because it will affect not only the Lebanese but finally it will affect the Syrian refugees in Lebanon if Lebanon descends into chaos.”

There are large numbers of Syrians already in Lebanon who are not registered as refugees. Government officials have said those already in the country would not be forcibly expelled.


Greepeace Activists Could Face Extradition Due To Their Protests in Peru

Peruvian officials are considering extraditing Greenpeace activists for vandalising the Nazca lines in Peru. The centuries-old etching in the desert is a national historical treasure of the country.

The officials accused the activists of irresponsibility because they caused “irreparable damage” to the Nazca lines after its demonstrations and publicity stunt aimed to send a message to the UN climate talks in Lima.

Culture Vice-Minister Luis Jaime Castillo said “we will extradite them and bring them to face their penal and civil responsibility. Our heritage has been tarnished by this action. Now everyone wants to go the Nazca lines, but to see the area affected by Greenpeace’s actions.”

Peruvian authorities have identified six members of the group who participated in the Unesco World Heritage site protests last week. Proesecutors have filed charges of attacking archeological monuments, which could amount to six years imprisonment.

“Greenpeace says it wants to take responsibility but in not giving us the names so that those responsible can appear before a judge in Peru it is refusing to do that,” he said. “It’s a contradiction in terms.”

“It makes you wonder if they really are as ashamed as they say they are.”

Twenty activists entered the restricted area and left the sign “Time for Change! The Future is Renewable!” beside the giant figure of the hummingbird etched in the desert ground more than 1,000 years ago. Archaeologists said the protester’s footprints could remain on the desert ground for decades.


US Intelligence Points to Russia “Manipulating the Conditions” For MH17 Attack

Latest information from the United States Intelligence indicate that Russia created conditions favourable to ensure the attack against the MH17, which killed 298 passengers, majority of which were Dutch. Earlier intelligence indicated that the attack came from pro-Russian rebels because intercepted communications indicated in the same day a plane they have shot down.

US Officials also said that complex equipment, such as surface-to-air missile launchers, need training, and Russian forces are involved in training the pro-Russian rebels to use weapons they have provided. Information also indicates that the Ukrainian military is yet to fight through airstrikes because the fighting in Donetsk and eastern Ukraine is still on the ground.

Russia had tried to present their theory regarding a Ukrainian Military Jet flying close to the MH17 and shooting it down near Torez at eastern Ukraine to debunk the surface-to-air missiles theory and their suspected sponsorship of the Donetsk rebels.

Social media intelligence posted by rebels in the past show a surface-to-air armament situated in Shizhne, which is not far from the Russian border. US intelligence indicates the missiles were fired from this town.

Meanwhile, Netherland investigators are currently studying the bodies of the passengers of the MH17. Malaysian officials have also retrieved the black boxes from the rebels surrounding the downed aircraft.



Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France Find Truce at Ending Ukraine Hostilities

Foreign ministers from Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France have agreed to take on mutually-agreed steps to stop the hostilities in eastern Ukraine as the 10-day ceasefire between the Ukraine Military and Pro-Russian rebels have expired. A village with unknown assailants from the Ukraine Military and the Rebels have nine civilians dead during a skirmish on Wednesday.

The Foreign Ministers have agreed to hold talks including the pro-Russian rebels by July 5. According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the talks will discuss the conditions for truce that would help all sides stop hostilities as soon as possible. The Contract Group, composed of Ukraine, Russia, and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), will be maintaining three-way communications for the truce talks.

Ukraine Foreign Minister Pablo Klimkin said that Ukraine wanted all Rebel-held hostages be released and that Ukraine should have higher security detail on its borders to stop the rebels from having new fighters join their ranks and new weapons into east Ukraine.

German Foreign Minister Walter Steinmeier said that the situation in Ukraine “had escalated” and that it is on the brink of being out of control.

Hostages with the Rebels include Two Ukrainian TV journalists, who had been released earlier, and other Ukrainian military soldiers and officials.