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We are pleased to send you Edition 12 | 2019 of BEYOND BREAKING THE NEWS, a flagship news product, now in the fourth year, meanwhile published every Thursday by the International Press Syndicate Group, with registered offices in Canada, Germany, Japan and Singapore, and correspondents around the world. Previous editions are available on Read. Share. Publish; free of charge but mention us as source. We would appreciate your Feedback.
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International Press Syndicate | The Global Cooperation Council

Aid Access the Biggest Challenge in Aftermath of Cyclone Idai

By Lisa Vives and Sean Buchanan

NEW YORK | LONDON (IDN) – An estimated 1.7 million people in Mozambique were in the path of Tropical Cyclone Idai when it hit southern Africa on March 15, with upwards of 900,000 people affected in Malawi and thousands more in Zimbabwe.

With the World Food Programme (WFP) reporting that the scene of devastation is one of “inland oceans extending for miles and miles”, the major challenge now facing the region is how to get aid to those most affected.

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'From Village Boy to Global Citizen'

In Memory of Dr. Shelton Gunaratne, journalist and professor, who became world-renowned for merging Eastern philosophy with Western communication theory.

By Dr. Ari Wijetunga, Dr. Asoka Dias and Dr. Junius Gunaratne

NEW YORK (IDN) – Dr. Dhavalasri Shelton Abeywickreme Gunaratne, a former Sri Lankan journalist and professor emeritus of Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) in the United States, passed away on March 8, 2019.

A prolific academic, Dr. Gunaratne, made substantial contributions to the field of mass communication. He wrote and published numerous books and academic papers that analyzed media in the developing world, reflected on freedom of the press internationally and constructed theoretical frameworks to explain media development, particularly in Asian countries.

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Exploring How Europe Conquered the World

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power

LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) – By 1914 Europeans ruled 84 percent of the globe. How did they do it? Eleven hundred years ago Europe was a backwater. There were no grand cities, apart from Muslim Cordoba in Spain, and the remnants of Rome and Athens. The Middle East, India and China were further ahead. It was the Arabs who kept alive the teachings of the Ancient Greek' knowledge of science, medicine, architecture and philosophy.

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France and U.S. Striking Different Notes In Africa

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK (IDN) – There were smiles all around in Kenya as French President Emmanuel Macron and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta shook hands over a series of infrastructure deals worth $3.3 billion.

It was the third stop on the French president's East African charm offensive – and the first-ever visit to Kenya by a French head of state.

France wants trade and commercial relationships that are "fair and profitable for the Kenyan people," Macron said. Alluding to Africa’s many relationships with China often freighted with debt, French investments would be respectful of the receiving country's sovereignty and sustainable, he pledged.

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DR Congo President Resists Latest Power Grab by Predecessor

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK (IDN) – Joseph Kabila, ex-president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, may have gone once too often to the cookie jar, taking back one by one all of the powers and rights earned by his successor from a recent election, Felix Tshisekedi.

President Tshisekedi may have had enough.

After a disputed vote that gave the former president’s allies an overwhelming majority in the upper house of parliament, 80 out of 100 seats, while the actual president’s Union for Democracy and Social Progress party (UDPS) gained only three, the newly-named senators were blocked from taking office in a surprise move by President Tshisekedi.

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India at Crossroads as Modi's Promises Remain Unfulfilled

By Ram Puniyani

This article is the sixth in a series of joint productions of South Asian Outlook and IDN-InDepthNews, flagship of the International Press Syndicate.

MUMBAI (IDN) – Elections in a democracy can rightly be called as festival of the masses. They determine the course of the country in times to come. That is generally the case and Indian democracy has been steering this path, deepening the democratic process so far. It is not that there are no problems. Many issues related to money power, muscle power, electronic voting (EVM) machines' reliability have marred the objectivity of the process.

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Japan Funds UNIDO Projects in 9 Countries with $5.8 Million

By Reinhardt Jacobsen

VIENNA (IDN) – Japan will contribute more than US$5.8 million for sustainable development projects in Ethiopia, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, South Sudan, the State of Palestine and Syria. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has welcomed an official announcement to this effect.

“We thank the Government of Japan for the trust placed in us to deliver tangible results in close cooperation with all involved partners,” said UNIDO Director General Li Yong at a joint kick-off ceremony with Ambassador Mitsuru Kitano, the Permanent Representative of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna.

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Germany Backs UN Chief in Countering Autonomous Weapons

By Ramesh Jaura

BERLIN (IDN) – Keeping humans in control of autonomous weapons and artificial intelligence is an important element of UN Secretary-General António Guterres' action plan to implement the Agenda for Disarmament, Securing Our Common Future, presented in May 2018.

"Essentially, the question is whether we are in control of technology or whether, ultimately, it controls us," said Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in his remarks on March 15 at the conference '2019 Capturing Technology. Rethinking Arms Control' at the German Foreign Office in Berlin. The development of fully autonomous killer robots, cyber weapons and new biological agents has created scenarios for which there are to date almost no internationally recognised rules, he added.

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New Report on Arms Control and the Convergence of Biology and Emerging Technologies

By Jaya Ramachandran

BERLIN | STOCKHOLM (IDN) – A new report has warned of the risks and challenges posed by the interaction of developments in biotechnology and advances in three emerging technologies: additive manufacturing (AM or so-called 3D printing), artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics.

The report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) cautions that the latest advances could increase the possibilities for the development, production and use of biological weapons. The existing biological arms control and non-proliferation governance framework, therefore, needs to be adapted to address the emerging security risks, says the report.

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Countering Challenges Affecting Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

Viewpoint by Izumi Nakamitsu

The following are extensive excerpts from remarks by Izumi Nakamitsu, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), at the International Conference on 'Capturing Technology. Rethinking Arms Control' in Berlin on 15 March 2019.

BERLIN (IDN-INPS) – Many of us feel a growing sense of unease about the challenges rapid technological developments pose to disarmament, arms control and international peace and security. The international community urgently needs to explore, articulate and confront these issues at the highest level. Because one thing is clear: the march of technology waits for no one.

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Overdue Ban on a Faction of the Nepalese Communist Party

By Ajit Kumar Singh

This article is the fifth in a series of joint productions of South Asian Outlook and IDN-InDepthNews, flagship of the International Press Syndicate. The writer is Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management.

NEW DELHI (IDN) – The Nepal Cabinet during a meeting on March 12, 2019, decided to ban the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist-Chand). An aide to Prime Minister (PM) K.P. Sharma Oli stated: "After being briefed by the four security agencies, the Government concluded that the Chand party’s activities were more criminal than political: so it needs to be dealt with accordingly."

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UN Chief Emboldens the 'Fridays for Future' Climate Movement

By J Nastranis

NEW YORK (IDN) – "My generation has failed to respond properly to the dramatic challenge of climate change. This is deeply felt by young people. No wonder they are angry," says UN Secretary-General António Guterres in an opinion piece for The Guardian, in the wake of unprecedented March 15 demonstrations by schoolchildren across the world against climate change inaction.

The youth-led School Strike for Climate movement Fridays for Future held the first global climate demonstration in history spanning over more than 100 countries from Australia to America embracing the developing nations of India and Uganda and the Philippines and Nepal – countries acutely impacted by climate change.

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Reflections on Evolving International Security Landscape

Viewpoint by A.L.A. Azeez

The writer is Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva.

GENEVA (IDN) – The security landscape in most regions, as well as globally in general, is becoming increasingly constrained by the day. It is, therefore, timely to reflect on some trends and developments in the international security landscape, and to seek to persuade the parties or forces that shape them, to take all possible steps in the direction of assuring and strengthening international peace and security.

The Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty is in jeopardy. Dialogue needs to be encouraged between the States concerned. As expressed by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, it would do well if parties could consider extending the New START Treaty for another term, from when it is due to expire.

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Upsurge in Middle East Arms Imports Amid Upswing in Global Weapons Trade

By Jaya Ramachandran

BERLIN | STOCKHOLM (IDN) – Global arms trade is on the upswing with the United States increasing dominance in the group of five largest exporters including Russia, France, Germany and China, which together account for 75 per cent of the total volume of weapons exports in 2014-2018. While the Middle East imports almost doubled in the past five years, Saudi Arabia became the world’s largest arms importer.

According to new data on arms transfers published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the volume of international transfers of major arms in 2014-2018 was 7.8 per cent higher than in the previous five years and 23 per cent higher than in 2004-2008.

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