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Should the Australian government impose sanctions on Myanmar?

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Almost 400 Myanmar civil society organisations wrote to Australia’s Foreign Minister this week, accusing Australia of “shameful inaction”.

The groups are urging the Morrison government to impose sanctions on army generals who staged the February coup.

Christopher Lamb is the President of the Australia Myanmar Institute and a former Australian diplomat who served as Ambassador to Myanmar.

He is calling on the Australian government to impose sanctions on Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the leader of Myanmar’s military.

“The hope would be, that by putting sanctions on Min Aung Hlaing, it would bring other people in the senior military ranks to realise that Min Aung Hlaing was not the future for the country or for them,” Mr Lamb told Ticker News.

DFAT says imposing additional sanctions could limit Canberra’s influence.

But Mr Lamb says he hasn’t “seen any evidence at all that we’ve been able to exercise any influence of any value”.

“At a point you need to consider where Australia should be moving, both publicly and privately, to secure its objectives in the region. I’m not satisfied yet that the Australian government has identified clearly enough what those objectives are.”

Australian man Sean Turnell, who worked as an economic adviser to the deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, was taken into custody in February.

Mr Lamb believes the military may see him as “someone who can help them as they consolidate their case against Aung San Suu Kyi”.

“It doesn’t surprise me that this military hasn’t released him. I think they want him for reasons unconnected with his potential guilt, and I don’t think he’s got anything to do with the situation that has come about in the country or has led to it.”

Business

Russia defaults on foreign debt for the first time in a century

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Russia has failed to pay out its overseas debt for the first time in over 100 years

The country missed its Sunday deadline due to challenges in transferring the payments to international creditors.

Moscow has the funds to make the 100 million dollar payment but sanctions have complicated the process.

The country is unhappy with the situation with the finance minister calling the situation “a farce”.

The last time that Russia defaulted on its foreign debt was in 1918 when leader Vladimir Lenin did not pay out debts on behalf of the Russian Empire.

Russia has been hit with sanctions by a number of countries in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

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Over 20 young people mysteriously die at nightclub

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Authorities in South Africa are investigating the deaths of 22 people, who were mysteriously found in a nightclub

Victims were found spread across the tables and floors in a coastal town.

They have been taken for testing, as authorities scramble to find a cause of death.

South Africa’s President is sending his “deepest condolences” to families of the victims, most of whom are teenagers.

The tragedy has taken place during Youth Month, where South Africa pushes for more opportunities to help young people from poor socio-economic backgrounds.

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World

Deadly stadium collapse at bullfighting event in Columbia

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At least four people have died, and 500 injured at a bullfighting stadium in Columbia

Videos show a stand collapsing during the event, as emergency workers race to help.

Local media reports that hospitals have begun helping those who were injured.

The nation’s newly-elected President is calling for an end to bullfighting, tweeting that tragedies like this have already happened in the past.

He is urging local authorities to not allow more shows that involve the death of people or animals.

Investigations continue into the cause of the collapse.

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