8 August 2016   Leave a comment

Arctic sea ice is getting very thin, very quickly.  The cause of the thinning is the rise of sea temperatures due to global warming. The oceans are the primary sink for heat and some areas of the oceans (particularly off the North American coast) are heating up quite rapidly.  The Gulf Stream is carrying this added heat into the Arctic Ocean and thinning the ice.  Once the ice melts, then the waters above the Arctic Circle will begin to warm rapidly as well.

The Japanese monarchy is the oldest hereditary monarchy in world history, dating back more than 2,600 years.  The current Emperor, Akihito, is the 125th Japanese Emperor.  The position was made largely ceremonial after World War II, but the Emperor is still revered in Japan.  Akihito is now 82 and has indicated that he wishes to step down, but hard-line nationalists in Japan oppose that move, insisting that he must die before the throne can be passed on.  The Japanese Parliament must pass a law which would allow Akihito to step down.  If he does, he would be succeeded by his eldest son, 56-year-old Crown Prince Naruhito

Symbol of the Chrysanthemum Throne

Voters in Thailand have approved a new constitution which was written by the Thai military which has been in power since 2014.  The turnout for the referendum was low but the measure was approved by 61% of those voting.  According to The Economist:

“The charter introduces new electoral rules designed to produce weak coalition governments, which will be chaperoned by ‘independent’ commissions (stacked with the junta’s allies) who are to monitor politicians’ policies and moral conduct. The army will fully select the senate; assuming its support, the generals will need to persuade only a quarter of legislators in the lower house to back their choice of prime minister, who need not be an MP. The hurdles to amending the constitution are prohibitive.”

The results are a stunning rebuke to the pro-democracy citizens in Thailand and will leave the military firmly in control for the foreseeable future.


Posted August 8, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: