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Asia Pacific report with: Sanusha Naidu

Nov 12, 2021

Umamah Bakharia

Singapore faces food insecurity due to COVID-19.

In a country known as a logistic and transport hub, the people of Singapore find themselves struggling to make ends meet due to the plunge that COVID-19 wrought upon its economy. 

In 2019, Singapore was ranked the world’s most food-secure nation in the Global Food Security Index. However, in 2021, the country once known for economic development faces food insecurity.

Reports have claimed that some families eat fewer meals to limit their spending, thus resulting in a nutrition deficiency. 

“Singapore was the most stable economy in the south-east Asia context and right now it is going to through a serious hunger crisis and that in itself tells us that food insecurity [is] stretch[ing] to countries like Singapore,” says Naidu. 

Chinese traditional medication threatens African wildlife. 

Traditional Chinese medication has been known for centuries to relieve illnesses. While it may be plant-based, some traditional medicines make use of animals which now threatens African wildlife. 

“In Chinese traditional medicine, they use a lot of wildlife, and it brings in the question of poaching,” says Naidu.  

She adds: “Nobody talks about the fact that there is an environmental issue, and it is not good.” 

“The trading in wildlife, for whatever reason the Chinese are using it for, they are essentially going in and ping and using it for their cultural [essence],” says Naidu. 

New Zealand mosque shooter considers appealing life sentence 

The man who killed 51 Muslim worshippers at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, is considering appealing against his life sentence, claiming that his guilty plea on the 2019 attack was under pressure. 

White supremacist Brenton Tarrant, 31, was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole last year for the murder of 51 people and attempted murder of 40 others at two mosques in Christchurch on 15 March 2019. 

This was the worst mass shooting in the country’s history.

Tarrant’s lawyer, Tony Ellis, told Radio New Zealand his client advised him to fight the life sentence because he pleaded guilty due to “inhumane and degrading treatment” he experienced in prison while awaiting trial.

“It is going to be an interesting case of the New Zealand legal system to see to what extent they will [argue if it is reasonable],” says Naidu.

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