Global Challenges

  • The Chinese drug culture is expanding.

    Bringing the Fight to China's Growing Drug Business

    If you like to take long walks in Shanghai, this may have been the first summer when you detected something new in the air: the scent of marijuana. It is a sad experience that leaves one apprehensive.

    Rising threat

    The metropolises of the advanced economies offer abundant warning examples.

    Despite billions of dollars spent on the war against drugs annually, drug cartels have distribution networks in over 200 US cities.

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  • China is lowering its carbon footprint, but it can do better.

    The Tangible Benefits to China from its Low Carbon Trajectory

    China has submitted its formal pledge to the UN climate negotiations. China’s target is a 60–65 percent reduction in the emissions intensity of its economy compared to 2005 levels by 2030, with carbon dioxide emissions peaking around 2030, and ‘best efforts’ made to peak earlier. China’s pledge will require a sustained policy effort, and it tallies with underlying trends in the economy and with overarching national policy priorities.

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  • Europe is facing unprecedented pressure from migrant flow.

    European Nations at Loggerheads over Migrants

    The financial woes in Greece are not the sole crisis dividing European states. Tensions over how to deal with thousands of migrants landing in the Mediterranean have spilled over as domestic political pressures threaten ideals of unity. Angela Merkel calls it “the biggest challenge in European affairs” in her time as chancellor.

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  • Sophisticated criminal activity shifts to the virtual world.

    On a Tear, On Tor, Until You're Caught

    On October 2 2013, after months of extensive joint federal investigations, the FBI arrested Ross William Ulbricht (aka “Dread Pirate Roberts") for his role in leading a major online criminal enterprise.

    In May, Ulbricht – now 31 years old – was sentenced to life in prison without parole after being convicted on multiple felony charges in connection with his operation of the Silk Road website, which had become an anonymous black market for drugs and other illegal items.

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  • No summit meeting for Geun-hye and Abe to commemorate the 1965 treaty.

    Shinzo Abe and Park Geun-hye Celebrate the 1965 Japan-South Korea Treaty

    The synchronised but separate 50th anniversary celebrations of the Japan–South Korea Treaty on Basic Relations illustrate the relationship between the two countries: inexorably close and painfully distant. The 22 June 2015 celebrations were quite unusual. There was no summit meeting, but two parallel ceremonies with President Park Geun-hye attending in Seoul and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.

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  • Africa has seen its fair share of celebrity activism, but to what end?

    The Link Between Celebrity Activism and Economic Progress

    Celebrity activism and support for African humanitarian causes – such as the Enough Project, Akon’s Lighting Africa and Kony 2012 – has become mainstream. However, what are the consequences, and is this something we necessarily want to promote?

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  • China's Xi Jinping seeks to pull corrupt Chinese officials from Australia.

    Rounding Up Corrupt Chinese Officials in Australia

    China has an emigration problem. Corrupt officials have decamped to all corners of the world and the Chinese Communist Party wants to haul them home. Australia should help China investigate these officials, but should try suspects in Australia rather than extradite them to China.

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  • Japan received sharp criticism on climate change at the G7 summit.

    Is Criticism of Japan on Climate Change Well-Placed?

    Japan has received some sharp criticism following the G7 meeting in June 2015 for its stance on climate change. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions of 26 percent below 2013 emission levels by 2030, which is equivalent to 18 percent less than 1990 emissions. If replicated globally, this would fall short of what is needed to keep the risk of catastrophic climate change to reasonable levels.

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