Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

from Environment Forum:

Backyard tigers

ENVIRONMENT-TIGERS/Would you keep a tiger as a pet?

A puppy-sized tiger cub can be bought in the United States for as little as $200, and there are probably about 5,000 such backyard tigers across the country, about the same number of privately owned tigers in China, according to World Wildlife Fund.

That is far greater than the approximately 3,200 wild tigers worldwide, compared to the estimated 100,000 wild tigers a century ago. The growing number of these animals in captivity poses a threat to the species in the wild, WWF reports.

"People don't realize when they buy a $200 tiger cub that it grows into a full-grown tiger, which means a huge enclosure and costs about $5000 a year just to feed," says Leigh Henry, an animal conservation expert at WWF. "So you end up with a lot of unwanted animals that are very poorly regulated."

These unwanted animals are a potent lure to poachers, who can use parts and products from these backyard tigers to sell on the lucrative black market. Because many of these beasts are untraceable -- it can be tougher to adopt a dog from a U.S. animal shelter than to sell a privately owned tiger -- many wind up in Asia, where tiger parts and products are used in traditional medicine.

Acronym soup swamps Malaysia reform drive

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Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak says he has embarked on a series of radical economic reforms. In reality it feels as if he has unleashed a barrage of incomprehensible acronyms on the unsuspecting public of this Southeast Asian nation.

The charge for economic reform is being led by the snappily named PEMANDU. As well as being the Malay word for “driver” it stands for the government’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit.

from Environment Forum:

Crustaceans rule!

Mex_00-hrEver wondered what kinds of wildlife dominate the world's seas and oceans? Now there's an answer, at least in terms of the number of species in different categories. It's not fish. It's not mammals. It's crustaceans!

A mammoth Census of Marine Life has revealed that nearly one-fifth, or 19 percent, of all the marine species known to humans are crustaceans -- crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill, barnacles and others far too numerous to mention here. The census didn't count the actual numbers of animals beneath the waves -- that would have been impossible -- but it did count up the number of species in 25 marine areas. The aim is to set down a biodiversity baseline for future use.

‘Stop me before I bet again in Singapore’

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A performer holds over-sized deck cards in front of the Resorts World Sentosa casino Feb. 14 (REUTERS/Pablo Sanchez)

SINGAPORE-CASINO/At least 264 people in Singapore have asked to be put on a list that would prevent them from entering the city state’s newly opened casino. Except for nine housewives and 19 unemployed people, the rest had jobs and probably families that they did not want to hurt with a gambling problem. Family members who think a relative might have a gambling problem can also apply to have them banned.

For Rudd, now it’s personal

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Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd may be a shoo-in to return to office late next year, but this week his reputation as a transformative leader will be on the line.

The Senate will vote whether Australia will cut its carbon output through an emissions trading system, or ETS. The debate is being closely watched overseas, particularly in the United States where lawmakers are debating their own proposals. The carbon trading scheme was a key promise of Rudd’s 2007 election campaign and he wants the ETS laws passed before December’s global climate talks in Copenhagen.

from The Great Debate UK:

Shining a light on China’s secret “Black Jails”

- Phelim Kine is an Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch. The opinions expressed are her own. -

When 15-year-old Wang Xiaomei made the long trip from Gansu province to Beijing last year, she hoped to find justice for her family. Instead, she met with abuse.

Pusan International Film Festival unveils line up

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The Pusan International Film Festival opens its 14th edition with “Good Morning President”, a movie taking a warm-hearted look at the ruthless and cold-blooded world of South Korean politics.

The festival is Asia largest and runs from October 8-16 in the South Korean port city of Busan. Organisers on Tuesday unveiled the line-up for the festival where 355 films from 70 countries will be screened, including 98 that will be world premieres.

Is Malaysia’s net clampdown at odds with knowledge economy?

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The opposition wants to cut the sale of alcohol in a state that it rules and now the government wants to restrict Internet access .

Malaysia is a multicultural country of 27 million people in Southeast Asia. It has a majority Muslim population that of course is not allowed to drink by religion. Yet clearly some do as shown by the sentencing to caning for a young woman handed down recently

Sex education again in Malaysia, thanks to the courts

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By Niluksi Koswanage

Gay Austrian fashionista Bruno will not be making an appearance on Malaysia’s screens this summer for fear of corrupting this mostly-Muslim nation’s youth.

But Malaysia’s parents will still not have it easy as the country’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim  is again on trial for sodomy in a re-run of a 14-month case that in 1998 generated endless sexually explicit headlines and questions from curious children.

Back to the future in Malaysia with Anwar sodomy trial II

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By Barani Krishnan

A decade ago, Malaysia’s former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim was on trial for sodomy and corruption in a trial that exposed the seamy side of Malaysian justice and the anxieties of a young country grappling with a crushing financial crisis and civil unrest.

Anwar is Malaysia’s best known political figure, courted in the U.S. and Europe and probably the only man who can topple the government that has led this Southeast Asian country for the past 51 years.

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