16 May

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

English Online International Newspapers

For a change from the same old news stories from the same old news networks, here are links to English-edition online newspapers from other parts of the world. Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.

Some of the available newspapers:

Asia & CIS


China & Hong Kong








south china

May 16, 2016

Alice Wu says Monday, May 16, is a day for reflection on the painful legacies of two past events – the signing of the Sykes-Picot Agreement and the start of Mao’s devastating campaign

We read history not for the sole purpose of allocating blame, shame and justification for revenge. Instead, in understanding the past, we can better understand our present. By confronting human failure and cruelty, we try not to repeat it.

A century ago, on May 16, two diplomats from Britain and France secretly signed the infamous Sykes-Picot Agreement (otherwise known as the Asia Minor Agreement), dividing the spoils of the Ottoman empire between the two countries by arbitrarily drawing a line across a map, behind the backs of their Arab allies. That “line” drawn in the sand marks the epitome of imperialist arrogance, ignorance and duplicity. Colonial spoils were divided without the knowledge of the people involved, or regard for the ethnic and religious divisions already present. To this day, the human carnage and destruction – not only in the Middle East – sown by the seed of Sykes-Picot is extraordinarily painful to bear.

The Sykes-Picot Agreement defined the borders of Iraq and Syria. It is the erasing of these very lines that has been a driving force for the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

The crises the world faces today are the legacy of false notions of supremacy, bad political decisions and colonial contrivances made a century ago. And the world has been paying for them with innocent lives. We must pause and recognise the role of the imperial mindset that set forth a century of suffering, and that includes the rest of the world – beyond the Middle East – that subsequent wars have “carved up”.

And, as we live with what has been made by history, do we sit back and read Ecclesiastes 1:9 with passive acceptance (What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun)? Or, do we try to stop this kind of “greatness” ideology that has driven the world to the brink many a time? We must, then, be wary of those who talk about restoring “greatness”, and of those who air their sense of supremacy and infallibility.

History tells us that drawing lines arbitrarily is a dangerous business – whether on or off a map. The “May 16 Notice”, issued 50 years ago on Monday, set in motion the devastating Cultural Revolution that, in the words of the “Resolution on certain questions in the history of our party since the founding of the People’s Republic of China” – adopted by the sixth plenum of the 11th Central Committee in June 1981 – “was responsible for the most severe setback and the heaviest losses suffered by the party, the state and the people since the founding of the People’s Republic”……………



Former operative says Americans believed the leader was ‘completely under the control of the Soviet Union’, report reveals

Nelson Mandela, left, stands with the commanders of the Algerian Army in 1962.

Nelson Mandela, left, stands with the commanders of the Algerian Army in 1962. Photograph: Getty Images

A tip from a CIA spy to authorities in apartheid-era South Africa led to Nelson Mandela’s arrest, beginning the leader’s 27 years behind bars, a report said on Sunday.

Donald Rickard, a former US vice-consul in Durban and CIA operative, told British film director John Irvin that he had been involved in Mandela’s arrest in 1962, which was seen as necessary because the Americans believed he was “completely under the control of the Soviet Union”, according to a report in the Sunday Times newspaper.

“He could have incited a war in South Africa, the United States would have to get involved, grudgingly, and things could have gone to hell,” Rickard said.

“We were teetering on the brink here and it had to be stopped, which meant Mandela had to be stopped. And I put a stop to it.”

Irvin’s new film Mandela’s Gun, about the months before the anti-apartheid leader’s arrest, is due to be screened at the Cannes film festival this week.

Mandela was eventually freed from prison in 1990 and went on to become South Africa’s president between 1994 and 1999 before dying in 2013 aged 95.

Zizi Kodwa, national spokesman of Mandela’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, called the revelation “a serious indictment”.

“We always knew there was always collaboration between some western countries and the apartheid regime,” he said.

He claimed that though the incident happened decades ago, the CIA was still interfering in South African politics.

“We have recently observed that there are efforts to undermine the democratically elected ANC government,” he alleged. “They never stopped operating here.”

“It is still happening now – the CIA is still collaborating with those who want regime change.”…………

Latest monthly figures add to string of recent temperature records and all but assure 2016 will be hottest year on record

A participant is pictured in front of a screen projecting a world map during the World Climate Change Conference 2015

Global land and sea temperature was 1.11C warmer in April 2016 than the average temperature for April during the period 1951-1980. Photograph: Stephane Mahe/Reuters

April 2016 was the hottest April on record globally – and the seventh month in a row to have broken global temperature records.

The latest figures smashed the previous record for April by the largest margin ever recorded.

It makes three months in a row that the monthly record has been broken by the largest margin ever, and seven months in a row that are at least 1C above the 1951-80 mean for that month. When the string of record-smashing months started in February, scientists began talking about a “climate emergency”.

Figures released by Nasa over the weekend show the global temperature of land and sea was 1.11C warmer in April than the average temperature for April during the period 1951-1980.

It all but assures that 2016 will be the hottest year on record, and probably by the largest margin ever.

The new record broke the previous one by 0.24C, which was set in 2010, at 0.87C above the baseline average for April. That record itself broke one set three years earlier at 0.75C above the baseline average for April.

The current blast of hot air around the globe is being spurred by a massive El Niño, which is a release of warm water across the Pacific Ocean. But it’s not the biggest El Niño on record and that spike in temperatures is occurring over a background of rapid global warming, pushing temperatures to all-time highs……………

Beijing shuts down any mention of the mayhem unleashed by Mao’s declaration of war against the ‘dictatorship of the bourgeoisie’

Badges of Mao Zedong on sale in Sichuan. President Xi Jinping has avoided any comment on the Cultural revolution because it will damage Mao’s reputation, one expert said.

Badges of Mao Zedong on sale in Sichuan. President Xi Jinping has avoided any comment on the Cultural revolution because it will damage Mao’s reputation, one expert said. Photograph: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

Beijing has marked the 50th anniversary of one of the most devastating and defining events of 20th century China with silence.

Chairman Mao’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution – a decade-long period of political and social turmoil – began exactly 50 years ago on Monday.

On 16 May 1966 a Communist party document fired the opening salvo of the catastrophic mobilisation warning that counter-revolutionary schemers were conspiring to replace the party with a “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie”.

What followed was an unprecedented period of upheaval, bloodshed and economic stagnation that only ended with Mao’s death, in September 1976. However, on Monday newspapers in mainland China were bereft of any coverage of the Cultural Revolution’s anniversary.

The party-run Global Times tabloid completely ignored the event leading instead with a story about Beijing’s anger over a Pentagon report detailing its land reclamation activities in the South China Sea.

Stories about Donald Trump and Boris Johnson’s comparison of the EU with Hitler both found their way into the pages of the Beijing Morning Post but there was not a single mention of Mao Zedong or his mass mobilisation.

The Beijing Times also shunned the anniversary dedicating its front page to a story about police efforts to find missing children………….

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