20 May 2016

Each week on the Policy File we round-up some essential weekend policy reading from around the web. This week we look at India’s heatwave, the Philippines election, and US-Myanmar relations. 

A searing heat wave, coupled with a drought in parts of India and Southeast Asia have brought death and misery for hundreds of people, with temperatures soaring to record levels. On The Wall Street Journal, Vibhuti Agarwal looks at the consequences, including how reservoirs have dwindled to 22 per cent of their full capacity.

On the BBC, Navin Singh Khadka looks at how India plans to divert water from its rivers to help tackle the drought, while The Telegraph and Mashable show the extremes of the heatwave in a collection of dramatic images. On Policy Forum Cecilia Tortajada and Asit Biswas look at another place with water woes – China – and how the country’s incredible growth has given it a groundwater problem.

There was a record turnout for the Philippines elections, with 82 per cent of the 54 million registered voters taking part in the ballot. The people of the Philippines spoke strongly and elected Rodrigo Duterte to lead the country.

On The National, James Gabrillo says the election signaled a turning point in the maturity of the system – but social media cast a celebrity light on the president-elect. On Iteraksyon, Tony Maghirang says the election made the Philippines one of the top social media countries in the world, while Aim Sinpeng on New Mandala takes a look at how Duterte won the election on Facebook.

The Diplomat looks at the many surprises of the election and what it means for the country, while The Hindu takes a look at the man who will lead the Philippines into the future.

This week, the United States lifted more of its economic sanctions on Myanmar, signaling its support for ongoing political reform in the country. On The Hill, Brian Harding and Michael Fuchs take a look at a new start for US-Myanmar relations, while on the Council of Foreign Relations, Beina Xu and Eleanor Albert look at the background and political history of Myanmar.

The Australian federal election campaign is in full swing. On Policy Forum this week, Lachlan Blackhall turns the focus to science, technology, and innovation policy, and asks whether Australia is ready to move beyond the ‘ideas boom’ and become an innovation nation. Don’t forget our event series at The Australian National University runs every Tuesday night ahead of the Australian election. This Tuesday coming the panelists will look at the issues of defence and foreign policy. Register for free here.

In the Australian Financial Review, David Binning looks at how technology and governments are creating uncertainty for business, while Jeremy Liddle at Startup Smart asks whether the Turnbull government’s $1.1 billion innovation statement is just a cash-splash for votes. Meanwhile, in the region, Shamshad Akhtar takes a look at how science, technology and innovation could drive economic recovery and sustainable development.

Don’t forget you can debate key public policy issues by joining the Asia and the Pacific Policy Society’s LinkedIn group – a closed group exclusive to Society members.  Be part of the conversation – we’ll see you there.

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Hayward, K. (2016). The Policy File - Policy Forum. [online] Policy Forum. Available at: http://www.policyforum.net/20may2016/