GLOBAL PULSE: Britons in EU worry about Brexit-sacrifice, push Pakistan without pushing it toward China, and sing national anthem with fervour in the Philippines

BRITONS IN EU DON’T WANT TO BE BREXIT-SACRIFICE

British citizens settled in Europe have expressed concern that Theresa May is willing to sacrifice some of their rights post-Brexit to cement immigration limits on EU citizens coming to the UK. Two weeks ago, the EU tabled a four-page proposal that all rights of all EU citizens impacted by Brexit would be protected for life. This would mean status quo for both Britons in the EU, and EU citizens in the UK.

However, May came back with a proposal that would curtail some of those rights. Among the key concerns is a proposal to end EU citizens’ right to automatically have an elderly parent, a sick relative or an EU spouse join them in the UK.

“We run the risk of being the sacrificial lambs of Brexit,” said Jane Golding, chair of British in Europe.

 

EXPERTS ADVICE U.S. AGAINST TOUGHNESS AGAINST PAKISTAN

The Trump administration is considering taking a harder stance against Pakistan for supporting terrorist groups in Afghanistan. But experts say that attempts to strong-arm Islamabad could push it deeper into a growing alliance with China and Russia, which could lead to more instability. They say similar tactics have failed in the past, and advocate doubling force with diplomacy, something Trump seems to shun.

China offers Pakistan an opportunity to counter the US-India alliance. Among the tools being considered by the Trump administration are expanding drone strikes, withholding aid and revoking Pakistan’s status as a major non-Nato ally. The US policy on Afghanistan is evolving at a time when the Defence Department is particularly powerful in policy-making, and the State Department is weakening after the series of exits by veteran diplomats and a notable lack of urgency in replacing them.

 

THE DEADLIEST COUNTRY FOR JOURNALISTS IS MEXICO

Mexico is the deadliest country for journalists. Charred remains of television journalist Salvador Adame were found a month after a group of armed men abducted him. Adame is the seventh journalist to have been killed this year in Mexico.

Mexican prosecutors have previously ascribed vague motives such as “personal problems” to the killings of journalists. But of the seven journalists, at least four have been killed in direct retaliation for their work, said the Committee to Protect Journalists. Most of these killings go unpunished. In April 2016, Adame and his wife were detained by the police and beaten. They had been covering a protest at a government building. Their coverage “may have angered someone,” Adame said at that time, “but we were just doing our job.”

 

IRRELIGIOUS IN AUSTRALIA

After decades of rapid growth, the number of Australians marking “no religion” on their census forms has for the first time surpassed Catholicism as the most common answer in the country’s 2016 census about religion.

If all Christian denominations are considered together, they would make up just over half of respondents. The number of respondents who identified as nonreligious — 30.1 percent — almost doubled from 15.5 percent in 2001. Less than 1 percent identified that way in 1966. Men were also more likely to say they were nonreligious than women. The main growth in this category is in the 18-34 age bracket. Those older than 65 were most likely to identify as religious.

 

SING NATIONAL ANTHEM WITH FERVOUR, OR ELSE

Filipinos will be required to sing the national anthem when it is played in public — and to do so with enthusiasm — under a new bill that the House of Representatives has approved. If the bill is passed by the Senate and signed into law, a failure to sing the anthem with sufficient energy would be punishable by up to year in prison and a fine of about $1,000 to $2,000. A second offense would include “public censure” in a newspaper.

“The singing shall be mandatory and must be done with fervour,” the bill states.

The law would also mandate the tempo of any public performance of the anthem — it must fall between 100 and 120 beats per minute. Schools will be required to ensure all students have memorized the song.

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