14 November 2016   Leave a comment

There is a long standing conflict between ethnic Burmese and the Bengali-speaking Rohingya minority in the Rakhine area of Burma.  The Rohingya are primarily Muslims and are regarded by the Buddhist majority in Myanmar (Burma) as illegal immigrants.  Indeed, many Burmese object to the word “Rohingya“, insisting that those who claim the name are actually Bengalis and should not be regarded as part of the ethnic heritage of Burma.  The violence is increasing and Human Rights Watch has documented the human rights violations by the Burmese government.

Image result for rakhine state

US President-Elect Trump has made clear that he wishes to pull the US out of the nuclear agreement with Iran.  That agreement, now a year old, created a framework whereby Iran could maintain a peaceful nuclear energy program but set up serious obstacles to a nuclear weapons program.  Trump disagrees with the agreement, but it required the cooperation of the four other Permanent Members of the UN Security Council (Britain, France, Russia, and China) as well as Germany.  All of these countries have relationships with Iran that require the agreement to remain in force.  If the US wishes to renege on the deal, Trump will likely face strong opposition from all these countries.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released a report which states that global temperatures in 2016 averaged 1.2° C above pre-industrial averages.  That is the hottest year on record and the third year in a row setting a record high temperature.  According to The Guardian:

“The record-smashing heat led to searing heatwaves across the year: a new high of 42.7C was recorded in Pretoria, South Africa in January; Mae Hong Son in Thailand saw 44.6C on 28 April; Phalodi in India reached 51.0C in May and Mitribah in Kuwait recorded 54.0C in July. Parts of Arctic Russia also saw extreme warming – 6C to 7C above average”

The target for the Paris Agreement was to stabilize temperature increases to 1.5°C.  It seems unlikely that the planet can avoid going well above that temperature increase.

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Posted November 15, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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