Quitting cigarettes in Indonesia (Stephen Grenville, The Interpreter)

Nearly two-thirds of Indonesian males smoke. This is said to be the highest rate in the world, and includes the notorious case of the two-year-old with a forty-a-day habit.


Shinzo Abe “outside the net” (Donna Weeks, The Interpreter)

What if you invited 10,000 of your closest acquaintances to a cherry blossom viewing party in Tokyo, only to find that the blossoms had peaked only days before? What if you flew halfway around the world to play golf with your buddy in Florida, only to have him undercut your deals? What if your entire reason for pursuing constitutional reform in a heightened security environment was punctured after two leaders divided by the 38th parallel stepped over the border between their two countries?


Immigration links: Cox’s Bazaar monsoon, Kakuma entrepreneurship, more (Erin Harris, The Interpreter)

At the Foreign Policy blog, Sophie Cousins discusses the impending monsoon in Bangladesh, pointing out that the Rohingya have fled one crisis for another. The monsoon is predicted to bring disease, landslides, and flash flooding to the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar.


The prospect of North Korea’s economic reform (Khang Vu, The Interpreter)

Amid the huge fanfare North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in generated at the third inter-Korean summit, the two leaders made a huge step forward in economic cooperation between Seoul and Pyongyang.


Ebola strikes again (Alexandra Phelan, The Interpreter)

On 8 May, the Democratic Republic of Congo notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of a confirmed outbreak of Ebola. Since early April, there have been 49 reported cases of the disease in Congo, including 26 deaths. While the majority of cases have occurred in the rural town of Bikoro, over the past week local authorities have confirmed four cases in Mbandaka, a city of 1.2 million people.


Challenges mount up (Bob Bowker, The Interpreter)

Across the Arabic-speaking world, repression comes naturally to regimes under threat, be they governments, patriarchs of families, or other holders of privilege. Within the realm of government and security apparatuses, and even beyond such circles, there is deep anxiety about the question of what it means to be young, Arab, Muslim, and “modern”, and where accountability for failures to meet aspirations begins and ends.


US naval accidents revisited (Sam Bateman, The Interpreter)

The US Navy is usually acknowledged as the biggest and best navy in the world. It is by far the biggest, and the best in terms of the hardware of naval warfare, although that position is now being challenged by China in some dimensions, such as missile technology and a ship-mounted electromagnetic railgun.


Missed opportunities in the internationalised university (Fran Martin, The Interpreter)

With government investment in higher education continuing to decrease, Australian universities are becoming more and more financially reliant on international student fees. As has been the case for a number of years, students from the People’s Republic of China are the largest group by a wide margin, and there is every indication that they will remain so into the foreseeable future.