World PM News Briefs For Monday, 22 February 2016
Hello Australia!! - The US wants Oz to stand up to China - Voters tell a president if he can hold his job for two decades - Beijing is moving the goalposts behind a shroud of caustic air pollution - And more in your CareerSpot World News Briefs:
A US Navy admiral is calling on Australia to challenge China's claims on some South China Sea islands, and conduct "freedom of navigation" naval operations within 12 nautical miles of them. Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin is visiting Australia to discuss security issues including China's island-building campaign. The US has twice sailed Navy ships close to the island, where China has built apparent military bases now armed with rocket launchers. "What we're trying to ensure is that all countries, no matter size or strength, can pursue their interests based on the law of the sea and not have that endangered by some of these actions," said Admiral Aucoin.
Bolivians voted down a referendum to allow President Evo Morales to run for a fourth term, which could have kept him in office until 2025. Mr. Morales' current term ends in 2020, so Bolivia hasn't seen the sun set on Evo just yet, and he is likely to stay active in politics after leaving office. The nation's first indigenous president is credited with drastically reducing poverty and illiteracy, expanding health care, growing the economy by about five percent per year, making expressions of racism illegal, and expanding women's rights. Evo took office in 2006 and is still very popular, but exit polls indicate people just don't want any president to serve for 20 years.
Troops are reportedly moving in a protesters blocking a road near New Delhi, after attempting to retake control of a key canal that supplies water to the capital area. Officials warn of water rationing in Delhi if the situation isn't calmed. Members of the Jat caste are protesting because their upper-caste status makes many ineligible for civil service jobs and education slots reserved for lower castes. The protesters want the Jat's status to be lowered so members can apply for these reserved positions. The death toll from the rioting in the state had risen to 19, with another 200 people wounded.
Beijing officials have come up with a way to avoid raising red alerts over air quality because of the acrid smog that frequently makes the air unbreathable in the Chinese capital: By raising the criteria for a red alert. In other words: Beijing's extra-chunky air might be as bad or worse than 8 December when officials declared the first-ever smog red alert, but officials won't make a big deal out of it unless it reached a higher bar. Assuming anyone can actually see the bar through that opaque atmosphere. During the December emergency officials closed schools, factories, and construction sites, and took millions of cars off of the road.
The death toll in Fiji has been reported from ten to 18 lives lost, as damage from Tropical Cyclone Winston becomes more apparent. Images of flattened villages are emerging. "The damage has been widespread, homes have been destroyed, many low-lying areas have flooded, and many people have been left stunned and confused about what to do," said Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama. "This is a time of sorrow, but it will also be a time of action," he vowed. The storm appears to have spared most of the resorts and the capital Suva.