From Syrians in Australia to democracy in Hong Kong

As I’m busy leading new students around the Hague for my university’s intro week, here are some more in-depth stories from this week that you may have missed.

Counting Russia’s secret dead

While Putin maintains that there are no Russian soldiers in Ukraine, organisations of soldiers’ mothers say differently. While taking the side of the separatists is popular for now, will support start to drop off as bodies return across the border?

Australia and Assad

Documents released by the Guardian show that Australia is going to unbelievable lengths to get rid of its Syrian refugees, even coordinating with the Syrian consulate. The documents just go to show how intent the Australian government is on stopping the flow of refugees – even when that flow is far smaller than that of other countries.

Hong Kong and ‘democracy’

This week the Chinese government announced that Hong Kong will not be able to choose its own leader in 2017. Instead, they will only be able to choose from pre-approved candidates – a move that will block pro-democracy candidates from running. The arrangement breaks from previous agreements, and shows Hong Kong’s fragile place in the ‘one country two systems’ framework.



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