3 March 2017

On the regular Policy File we round-up some essential weekend policy reading from around the web. This time around we look at the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the future of the coal industry, and the debate over the death penalty in the Philippines.

Malaysian investigations continue into the bizarre assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Writing for Al Jazeera, J Berkshire Miller argues that the attack highlights the risk of proliferation of chemical weapons to non-state actors. On Policy Forum, James Chin takes a look at Malaysia’s long history of offering sanctuary to political exiles, and writes that Kim Jong-nam’s killing won’t be the last.

As reports of serious human rights violations continue in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, The Diplomat’s David Hutt questions whether Aung San Suu Kyi is still a champion of human rights and democracy. At Asia Times, Bertil Lintner writes of the growing sense of disappointment among National League for Democracy supporters. Meanwhile at New Mandala, Andy Buschmann takes an empirical look at the question of whether or not Myanmar is enjoying an expansion of civil liberties.

Debate is raging in the US and Australia about renewable energy and the future of the coal industry. At the Washington Post, Maria Zuber writes that policymakers must not equate a war on coal emissions with a war on coal communities. On DevPolicy Blog, Scott Ludlam argues that Australia’s aid program should focus on reducing energy poverty through renewables. On Policy Forum, EAS Sarma writes that coal exporting countries shouldn’t count on a welcome market in India in the years ahead.

The Philippine House of Representatives has this week paved the way for the reintroduction of the death penalty. At The Manila Times, Yen Makabenta takes a look at the arguments both for and against capital punishment in the Philippines, while Asian Correspondent examines the potential economic fallout facing the Philippines if it goes ahead with the move.

South Korean politics has been rocked by the arrest of Lee Jae-yong, the de facto leader of Samsung. Analysis from Stratfor delves into the enduring influence of family-run conglomerates in South Korean politics, while Michael Schuman at the Straits Times argues that the scandal-plagued chaebols won’t change unless South Korea’s Confucian business culture changes too.

The issue of parental leave is being debated in the US, the UK, and Australia. At The Independent, Charlotte England takes a look at Trump’s family leave plan, while The Guardian shares stories about the challenges facing parents returning to work after parental leave. On the topic of parenthood, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis reports on new research highlighting the stigmatisation facing those who choose not to have children.

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