Austrian crisis, vice chancellor removed
Heinz-Christian Strache, Austria's vice chancellor (left) with Sebastian Kurz, Austria's chancellor (right) | Photo: Lisi Niesner | Bloomberg
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The sting video involved Austria’s Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache

The Austrian government has found itself in a deep crisis as all ministers of the far-right Freedom Party are resigning.

Currently, Austria is governed by a coalition of the Freedom Party and the centre-right People’s Party.

The current crisis comes after Austria’s Vice-Chancellor and leader of the Freedom Party Heinz-Christian Strache was caught in a sting operation. In the video, Stache was purportedly shown to be offering government contracts to the niece of a Russian oligarch.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz immediately fired Strache.

Following this, multiple resignations from the Freedom Party poured in after Kurtz insisted that Interior Minister Herbert Kickl, the General Secretary of the Freedom Party, also resign, accepting the responsibility for the scandal.

Retaliating to Kurtz’s actions, Kickl has threatened to call for a vote of no-confidence.

Meanwhile, Kurtz responded by proposing to appoint technocrats to the vacated ministries such as defence and transportation.

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‘Port of Colombo aims to enhance marine transport in South Asia’

In an attempt to meet China’s Belt and Road vision, India and Japan are planning to jointly build Sri Lanka’s Port of Colombo, according to a report in Nikkei Asian Review.

The goals of the project would be to “increase container volume and enhance marine transport in South Asia.”

India and Japan would be partnering with Sri Lanka to develop the port. They are likely to sign a memorandum of understanding by summer, and the work is expected to start by March next year.

Global sea level may rise by over 2 metres by 2100, says new report

A new environment report, trumped all conventional understanding, when it argued the global sea level is set to rise by over 2 metres by 2100.

Until now, the conventional understanding suggested that the sea level would rise by around 1 metre by the end of this century.

This finding came from the fifth assessment (2013) published by the elite global environmental institution — Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC).

Some scientists found that IPCC gave a very conservative estimate.

In order to provide a better assessment, scientists carried out a “structured expert judgment study, where the scientists make predictions based on their knowledge and understanding of what is happening in Greenland, West and East Antarctica.”

And their findings suggest if the emission levels continue at the same pace, then the global sea level is likely to rise between 62 and 238 cm by the end of the century.

In other news:

North Korean women ‘forced into sex slavery’ in China – report, BBC

Trump grants temporary reprieve from Huawei ban, Financial Times

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