Climate change pact: Trump shouldn’t have, but Duterte has to

West Cebu Industrial Park

West Cebu Industrial Park in the Philippines

A commentary by Manila Times journalist Rigoberto D. Tiglao supporting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision not to honour his country’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.

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PRESIDENT Trump’s announcement that the US will pull out of the landmark Paris Climate Agreement adopted in 2015 has shocked the world, with near universal condemnation of the move.

After all, the US is the world’s second biggest polluter—accounting for 14 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emission—after China with 30 percent. If you include India’s 7 percent, these three countries already account for 51 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. If the US doesn’t cut its carbon emissions, the climate pact is doomed.

China has suddenly become the world’s environmental leader, announcing that it wouldn’t pull out of the pact which it struggled mightily not to join.

After all, the US is now the most advanced industrialized nation, and had already polluted the world for over a century, using the cheap, polluting coal the West is now condemning. In contrast, China is still struggling to be an industrialized nation, and its argument against joining the pact is certainly valid: Now that the West has already become industrialized, it has no right to demand that China stop using the cheapest source of power, coal, that the Western countries used before.

Trump’s move though is good news for us. We could use it as a perfect excuse to withdraw from the past administration’s commitment to the pact that was so unrealistic, and could even block our development.

Read more here.

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Blogger and website owner Steven Ooi, a First Class Honours grad from NUS, retired from a distinguished 14-year career as an English and General Paper tutor in 2016.

To view tutors recommended by him, click here.

GP or English tutors keen to be listed on this website (consistently ranked top 10 on Google for GP tutors/ tuition) as a Recommended Tutor, please email stevenooi18 @ yahoo.com (remove the spaces). Those interested in having links to their website are also welcome to contact him.

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Exclusive: Manchester suicide bomber used student loan and benefits to fund terror plot

Salman

Salman Abedi (Picture: The Telegraph)

The Manchester suicide bomber used taxpayer-funded student loans and benefits to bankroll the terror plot, police believe.

Salman Abedi is understood to have received thousands of pounds in state funding in the run up to Monday’s atrocity even while he was overseas receiving bomb-making training.

Police are investigating Abedi’s finances, including how he paid for frequent trips to Libya where he is thought to have been taught to make bombs at a jihadist training camp.

More from The Telegraph

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Blogger and website owner Steven Ooi, a First Class Honours grad from NUS, retired from a distinguished 14-year career as an English and General Paper tutor in 2016.

To view tutors recommended by him, click here.

GP or English tutors keen to be listed on this website (consistently ranked  top 10 on Google for GP tutors/ tuition) as a Recommended Tutor, please email stevenooi18 @ yahoo.com (remove the spaces). Those interested in having links to their website are also welcome to contact him.

Read GP model essays here.

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Donald Trump’s Firing of James Comey Is an Attack on American Democracy

Donald Trump_s Firing of James Comey Is an Attack on American Democracy

PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK PETERSON / REDUX FOR THE NEW YORKER

By John Cassidy, The New Yorker

May 9, 2017

At a time like this, it is important to express things plainly. On Tuesday evening, Donald Trump acted like a despot. Without warning or provocation, he summarily fired the independent-minded director of the F.B.I., James Comey. Comey had been overseeing an investigation into whether there was any collusion between Trump’s Presidential campaign and the government of Russia. With Comey out of the way, Trump can now pick his own man (or woman) to run the Bureau, and this person will have the authority to close down that investigation.

That is what has happened. It amounts to a premeditated and terrifying attack on the American system of government.

Read more in The New Yorker.

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Blogger and website owner Steven Ooi, a First Class Honours grad from NUS, retired from a distinguished 14-year career as an English and General Paper tutor in 2016.

To view tutors recommended by him, click here.

GP or English tutors keen to be listed on this website (consistently ranked  top 10 on Google for GP tutors/ tuition) as a Recommended Tutor, please email stevenooi18 @ yahoo.com (remove the spaces). Those interested in having links to their website are also welcome to contact him.

Read GP model essays here.

 

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Is Taiwan’s Freedom Better than Singapore’s ‘Caged Canaries’ and Hong Kong’s ‘Lost Soul’?

Canaries1

By Justin Hugo
The News Lens

Why you need to know: Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong: Three very different fates for three Asian tigers.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) recent remarks about countries south of Taiwan at the 30th anniversary of local magazine The Journalist ruffled some feathers. His comment that Hong Kong “doesn’t even have a soul that is free” drew a rebuttal from Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong.

Today’s Hong Kong is tomorrow’s Taiwan,” Wong said. “Even though our histories and systems are different, when it comes to the China factor, it is necessary for Hongkongers and Taiwanese to join hands.”

However, Ko’s remarks about Singaporeans being “caged canaries” largely went unchallenged. It did not evoke a response from any of Singapore’s political leaders or civil society, perhaps a reflection of the subdued behavior that has evolved in the island state.

Indeed when pressed further on his remarks, Ko said that he had mentioned something along similar lines in the face of a senior Singaporean official when he previously visited Singapore. He also said that he had even once thought of moving to Singapore but gave up on that idea when he realized after visiting that Singapore is not what he had imagined it to be.

Read more here.

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Blogger and website owner Steven Ooi, a First Class Honours grad from NUS, retired from a distinguished 14-year career as an English and GP tutor at the age of 42.

To view tutors recommended by him, click here.

GP or English tutors keen to be listed on this website (consistently ranked top 10 on Google for GP tutors/ tuition) as a Recommended Tutor, please email stevenooi18 @ yahoo.com (remove the spaces). Those interested in having links to their website are also welcome to contact him.

Read GP model essays here.

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Syria gas attack: Writing your GP essay with feeling

Youssef

Mr Youssef cradles his twins Ahmad and Aya before they are buried in Idlib (picture: The Telegraph)

When GP students think of science and technology, they often think of the iPhone and the Playstation VR. Well, don’t forget sarin gas, or the almost 10,000 kg, 30-foot long explosive known as the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb (nicknamed “Mother of All Bombs”) used by the US military against ISIS in Afghanistan. Even the seemingly simple assault rifle with its receiver, charging handle and firing pin can cause so much human agony, anguish and loss. Contemplate the suffering of Mr Youssef (in this Telegraph article) and write your GP essay with human feeling. Of course it is important to be logical, but being logical doesn’t mean expressing yourself in an emotionless manner or writing like a cold aluminium robot. A GP essay is an English essay, not a physics or economics essay – it is meant to be a work of art. You are trying to persuade human readers on subjective issues in a kind of written conversation, and it is very difficult to do this if you write in an unfeeling way and make no emotional impact. Therefore speak from the heart and soul as well as your head, without sacrificing logic.

This ability to influence people both in the mind and heart is part of the magic of GP. Imagine the value of this skill in your life, now and in the future. In an ever more competitive world, soft skills such as communication will provide more and more of an edge. This is why I often tell my students that General Paper could be the most important subject they’ll ever take.

Let me attempt to illustrate this with an argument in response to the essay question “Which is more important for the well-being of today’s world – the arts or the sciences?”. I will try to create emotional impact while remaining factual and logical (the parts with emotional power are in italics).

Look at the men and women, boys and girls [a more visual expression than just ‘people’] around us using their electronic devices slavishly, allowing it to take over their lives [greater impact than “becoming obsessed”]; warmongers [more impact than ‘aggressive leaders’] recklessly using high-tech weaponry and causing the death of thousands of innocents [more emotional effect than “many people”]; and human beings causing the release of carbon emissions selfishly through the excessive use of cars and electrical applicances, destroying the earth for their own personal comfort [this sounds a bit judgemental, but it delivers a punch hopefully without being too offensive to the people it’s describing]. This serves in my view as ample evidence that the advance of science has outrun [a more visual expression than just ‘overtaken’ – it creates the image and feeling of someone running] humanity’s wisdom, its capacity to deal with science with moral, emotional and philosophical maturity. If this continues unchecked, there will be even more devastating [a much more emotive word than ‘severe’ or ‘destructive’ – yet it is perfectly objective and justified, no exaggeration] impact on the well-being of today’s world. Thus I am convinced that the arts, which have tremendous power to awaken the conscience [more emotive than ‘raise moral awareness’] and deepen the thinking of humankind, are more integral [high class word!] than the sciences to the welfare and health of today’s world.

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Author and website owner Steven Ooi, a First Class Honours grad from NUS, retired from a distinguished 14-year career as an English and GP tutor at the age of 42.

To view tutors recommended by him, click here.

GP or English tutors keen to be listed on this website (consistently ranked  top 5-10 on Google for GP tutors/ tuition) as a Recommended Tutor, please email stevenooi18 @ yahoo.com (remove the spaces). Those interested in having links to their website are also welcome to contact him.

Read GP model essays here.

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The 89th Academy Awards offered drama of its own

Oscars

Prospero
The Economist

Feb 27th 2017

by N.B.

IT IS a pity that the 89th Academy Awards will be forever remembered for that last-minute bungle. Presenting the Oscar for best picture, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were given the wrong envelope, with Ms Dunaway announcing that “La La Land” was the winner. It was only after the producers of the hit musical had launched into their acceptance speeches that they heard that there had been an unprecedented, scarcely believable mix-up, and that the best-picture recipient was actually “Moonlight”. Oscar history was made. But it is important to remember that history would have been made, anyway, even without that excruciatingly embarrassing blunder.

Read more in The Economist.

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Author and website owner Steven Ooi, a First Class Honours grad from NUS, retired from a distinguished 14-year career as an English and GP tutor at the age of 42.

To view tutors recommended by him, click here.

GP or English tutors keen to be listed on this website (consistently ranked  top 10 on Google for GP tutors/ tuition) as a Recommended Tutor, please email stevenooi18 @ yahoo.com (remove the spaces). Those interested in having links to their website are also welcome to contact him.

Read GP model essays here.

 

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Gene editing, clones and the science of making babies

angel

From The Economist

Ways of reproducing without sexual intercourse are multiplying. History suggests that they should be embraced

IT USED to be so simple. Girl met boy. Gametes were transferred through plumbing optimised by millions of years of evolution. Then, nine months later, part of that plumbing presented the finished product to the world. Now things are becoming a lot more complicated. A report published on February 14th by America’s National Academy of Sciences gives qualified support to research into gene-editing techniques so precise that genetic diseases like haemophilia and sickle-cell anaemia can be fixed before an embryo even starts to develop. The idea of human cloning triggered a furore when, 20 years ago this week, Dolly the sheep was revealed to the world; much fuss about nothing, some would say, looking back. But other technological advances are making cloning humans steadily more feasible.

Some are horrified at the prospect of people “playing God” with reproduction. Others, whose lives are blighted by childlessness or genetic disease, argue passionately for the right to alleviate suffering. Either way, the science is coming and society will have to work out what it thinks.

Read more in The Economist.

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Author and website owner Steven Ooi, a First Class Honours grad from NUS, retired from a distinguished 14-year career as an English and GP tutor at the age of 42.

To view tutors recommended by him, click here.

English or GP tutors keen to be listed on this website (consistently ranked  top 5 on Google for GP tutors) as a Recommended Tutor, please email stevenooi18 @ yahoo.com (remove the spaces). Those interested in having links to their website are also welcome to contact him.

Read GP model essays here.

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