Asian Insider: Sri Lanka at crossroads | Humanity & environment

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Sri Lanka has a new president but uncertainty persists in the island state as Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe is unpopular among the protesters who have vowed to continue with their struggle.

In the latest edition of Conversations on the Future, a video series featuring prominent global thinkers, veteran diplomat Tommy Koh assesses humanity's record on the environment.

Sri Lanka at crossroads

The election of Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe as Sri Lanka’s new president is not going to appease protesters, who see the six-time prime minister as an ally of his ousted predecessor, reports correspondent Rohini Mohan. Analysts say the best option would be to hold general elections in order to pull the country out of the crippling economic crisis.

Meanwhile, the whereabouts and plans of ousted former leader Gotabaya Rajapaksa remain unclear. 

Who is Ranil: A veteran politician who 'swoops in at right time'

ST Explains: What’s next for bankrupt Sri Lanka under a new leader


Humanity's failure

SPH Brightcove Video
In Conversations on the Future, Singapore's ambassador-at-large and veteran diplomat Prof Tommy Koh shares his views with ST's Nirmal Ghosh on climate change, biodiversity, water sustainability and the law of the sea.

The global community has done "disastrously" to stop biodiversity loss and the world is "at the edge" when it comes to climate change, veteran Singapore diplomat Tommy Koh tells US bureau chief Nirmal Ghosh.

ICYMI: Previous editions of Conversations on the Future

In Australia, a recent report said that the country has lost more mammal species than any other continent and has 19 ecosystems that are at risk due to threats such as climate change, land clearing and pollution, reports Jonathan Pearlman..

As Europe and China sizzle in record temperatures, experts say Singapore is less vulnerable to such high-pressure systems, but it can expect frequent heatwaves in the coming years.

ST Explains: Why are countries around the world experiencing heatwaves? 

In-depth: More extreme El Nino, La Nina events could drive global warming


Scams in India

Police in India have uncovered an operation where con men staged fake cricket matches broadcast live on YouTube for an extensive betting operation in Russia, reports correspondent Debarshi Dasgupta. These hoax matches were elaborately organised, complete with halogen lamps for night-time matches and high-definition cameras.

In this Saturday's Asian Insider special, ST India bureau takes a closer look at the growing problem of cyber scams, exacerbated by improved Internet connectivity and increased unemployment among rural youth.


Police general and his bodyguard

Austerity v subsidy

Malaysia’s soaring subsidy bill is forcing the government to embark on an austerity drive that will take its toll politically ahead of an election due in a year, writes Malaysia bureau chief Shannon Teoh.

Economists say Malaysia needs to remove blanket subsidies and instead provide targeted subsidies to those who need them the most, reports correspondent Hazlin Hassan.


Creative learning

In the face of a government clampdown on tuition classes, parents and students in China have found creative ways to learn English. One of them is to tune in to bilingual live-streaming sessions where hosts teach English while selling farm products. Read about this interesting trend in correspondent Aw Cheng Wei's article.

Separately, China's banking sector regulation has been in the spotlight after a recent scandal involving the misappropriation of billions in deposits at several rural banks in Henan province.

Also in the news: Beijing scraps Covid-19 tracking bracelets following backlash 

Podcast: Is China's Covid-19 fight back to square one?


Kelantan's screaming schoolgirls

In the final episode of podcast series The Unsolved Mysteries of South-east Asia, regional correspondent Tan Jia Ning revisits the spate of mass hysteria in Malaysia's north-eastern state of Kelantan to find out why the disorder is more prevalent among schoolgirls.

Don't miss: Other unsolved mysteries of South-east Asia


Elsewhere in Asia

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