Lessons from Irma and Harvey
Florida lies battered without power in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Houston is still recovering from Hurricane Harvey. However, the chief of the US Environmental Protection Agency maintains it is insensitive to discuss climate change at this point.
Scientists have also been reluctant to link the two calamities with climate change, but others like Miami’s Republican mayor haven’t been as diplomatic. Writing in the Washington Post, columnist Eugene Robinson says that not acknowledging the role climate change might have played in these freakish weather events is an insult to those who died and suffered due to them.
Robinson points out that climate change shouldn’t be a political topic but one that is battled unitedly. And the least that the government can do is rebuild the cities considering the impact of climate change. But Paul Krugman paints a more dismal picture in The New York Times. Arguing that Republicans are not just against scientists but science itself now, the economist says that the Repubican establishment is too far in the grip of propagandists. This wilful ignorance is frightening and could even mean the end of civilisation, he says.
New sanctions against North Korea, but will Russia help subvert them?
The US had to tone down its own proposals in the UN Security Council to ensure all nations backed fresh sanctions against North Korea. But it was pleasantly surprised to find support from all nations, including China, to impose sanctions that include the stalling of import of textiles from North Korea and exports of oil to the nation.
While the US is understandably happy with imposing what it says are the most harsh sanctions on North Korea, ensuring they work may not be as easy as it seems. US officials say that while China, North Korea’s biggest trade partner, is putting the squeeze on the dictatorship there, Russian entrepreneurs are rushing to book profits.
A Washington Post report says that official data shows more tankers plying between Vladivostok in Russia and North Korea even as Russian entrepreneurs set up “a maze of front companies to conceal transactions and launder payments”.
Singapore set to get its first woman president
There were three candidates in the running. But two of them were dismissed for not meeting the criteria set, so Singapore is set to get its first woman president. Halimah Yacob, the speaker of Singapore’s parliament till August, is the only candidate to get a certificate of eligibility to contest the election on 23 September.
But its not just the one-horse race part of the election that’s controversial. Yacob is contesting for the post after authorities declared that the post was reserved only for ethnic Malays, reports the South China Morning Post.
If no other candidate makes the cut, Yacob will be the next president of the city state but will largely enjoy only veto powers on the appointment of key government posts and on the use of Singapore’s financial reserves, the report says.
But if it weren’t for the reservation of the seat and the somewhat controversial constitutional amendments that preceded them, the election of a devout, hijab-wearing Muslim woman as Singapore’s president might have been considered a bigger breakthrough.
Hillary’s got a new memoir and it’s not very kind to Donald
She’s largely been out of the public eye since her stunning defeat to Donald Trump in the US presidential election. So it’s no surprise that Hillary Clinton’s new memoir has nothing kind to say about the Republican president.
Clinton compares Trump war on truth to something from George Orwell’s 1984. The former secretary of state says that for Trump it’s all about dominance and that he has taken the war on truth to a whole new level.
“If he stood up tomorrow and declared that the Earth is flat, his counselor Kellyanne Conway might just go on Fox News and defend it as an ‘alternative fact,’ and too many people would believe it,” she writes, according to The Guardian.
Clinton’s memoir is said to be funny in parts and frank in others, blames many things on her defeat including racism, sexism, the FBI, Bernie Sanders and her own mistakes. Not necessarily in that order.
The Rs 20,000 beef noodle soup
India’s tourism minister may have advised tourists coming to the country to eat beef before they enter the country’s shores. If you must eat beef abroad, apparently this Taiwan eatery where a beef broth is sold for a princely $325 (around Rs 20,000), maybe the best place to have a plate before flying into a largely beef-less India.
The Presidential Beef soup in the Niu Ba Ba restaurant in Taiwan took years to perfect and has now been sold for the past 20 years.
“The price tag was left blank for almost 14 years — we asked customers to pay what they thought it was worth. Many said they were willing to pay TWD10,000 for the noodles,” Eric Wang Yiin Chyi, the owner of the restaurant told CNN Travel.
Each bowl has four types of beef cuts from the U.S. and Australia which are then frozen before being cut for texture and flavour. Six types of beef stock are blended to complete the broth and customers can choose from five types of noodles and other ingredients. If you are headed there though, it’s best to reserve a table a couple of days in advance.