TIME South Korea

U.S. Envoy to South Korea Injured in Blade Attack

US ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert covers his face as he leaves the Sejong Cultural Institute in Seoul on March 5, 2015.
Yonhap—AFP/Getty Images US ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert covers his face as he leaves the Sejong Cultural Institute in Seoul on March 5, 2015.

He was taken to a hospital for treatment

(SEOUL, South Korea) — U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert was slashed on the face and wrist by a man wielding a weapon with a 10-inch blade and screaming that the rival Koreas should be unified, South Korean police said Thursday.

Media images showed a stunned-looking Lippert staring at his blood-covered left hand and holding his right hand over a cut on the right side of his face, his pink tie splattered with blood.

The U.S. State Department condemned the attack, which happened at a performing arts center in downtown Seoul as the ambassador was preparing for a lecture, and said Lippert was being treated at a local hospital and his injuries weren’t life threatening.

YTN TV reported that the suspect — identified by police as a 55-year-old, surnamed Kim — screamed during the attack, “South and North Korea should be reunified.” A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still happening, said the suspect in 2010 threw a piece of concrete at the Japanese ambassador in Seoul.

The suspect shouted anti-war slogans after he was detained Thursday.

Yonhap TV showed men in suits and ties subduing the attacker, who was dressed in a modern version of the traditional Korean hanbok, and Lippert later being rushed to a police car with a handkerchief pressed to his cheek.

The attacker’s comments on Korean reunification seem linked to lingering, deep divisions in South Korea that stem from the Korean War. The rival Koreas have been divided for decades along the world’s most heavily armed border. The U.S., which backed South Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War, still stations 28,500 troops in South Korea as a deterrent against North Korea, and some South Koreans see the U.S. presence as a barrier toward a reunified Korea, a view North Korea’s propaganda machine regularly pushes in state media.

Anti-U.S. protesters have recently been demonstrating to voice opposition to annual U.S.-South Korean military exercises that North Korea says are preparation for an invasion. Seoul and Washington say the drills, which will run until the end of April, are defensive and routine.

North Korea each year reacts with fury to the drills, which the impoverished country is forced to respond to with drills of its own. In 2013 it threatened nuclear strikes on Washington and Seoul, and on the first day of this year’s drills, Monday, it test-fired short range missiles in a demonstration of anger.

Lippert, 42, became ambassador last year and has been a regular presence on social media and in speeches and presentations during his time in Seoul. His wife gave birth here and the couple gave their son a Korean middle name. Lippert was formerly the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian affairs and a foreign policy aide to President Barack Obama when Obama was a U.S. senator.

Obama called Lippert after the attack to express his thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery, the White House said.

“We strongly condemn this act of violence,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said. She had no other details.


AP writers Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul and Josh Lederman in Seoul contributed to this report.

TIME diplomacy

Iran’s Foreign Minister: We Believe We Are ‘Very Close’ to Nuke Deal

NAIROBI, KENYA - FEBRUARY 02: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends Iran-Kenya business forum in Nairobi, Kenya o February 02, 2015. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends Iran-Kenya business forum in Nairobi, Kenya on Feb. 2, 2015.

"We don't believe nuclear weapons bring security to anybody, certainly not to us"

Iran has no intention of building a nuclear weapon, and the sooner the world recognizes that, the sooner there will be a deal aimed at curbing its nuclear capabilities in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told NBC News.

“Iran is not about building nuclear weapons,” Zarif said in an exclusive interview with Ann Curry Wednesday. “We don’t want to build nuclear weapons, we don’t believe nuclear weapons bring security to anybody, certainly not to us.”

Zarif said his country’s nuclear ambitions were solely in the pursuit of “scientific advancement” and boosting national…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME China

Prince William Speaks Out in China on Illegal Wildlife Trade

Britain's Prince William feeds Ran Ran, a 13-year-old female elephant in southwest China's Yunnan province on March 4, 2015.
CHINATOPIX—AP Britain's Prince William feeds Ran Ran, a 13-year-old female elephant in southwest China's Yunnan province on March 4, 2015.

The prince has been passionate about protecting wildlife around the world

On the last day of his tour of China, Prince William spoke passionately about the importance of protecting wildlife at a conservation conference in Yunnan Province.

He also visited wildlife sanctuary Elephant Valley, where the 32-year-old quickly made friends with 13-year-old Ran Ran, a female elephant who was found injured nearby and rescued.

At the conference, the prince said the illegal wildlife trade was everyone’s “common enemy” and expressed his fear that rare species, such as elephants, could be extinct in his lifetime.

“We seem to be hurtling towards that tragic outcome,” he told the audience at the Botanical Gardens in Xishuangbanna – where his grandfather Prince Philip visited almost 30 years ago.

Last year William helped set up United for Wildlife and has been campaigning for a crackdown on the trade in illegal animal products and curbing demand for them from consumers.

In his speech, William commended China’s decisions to ban shark fin, bird nests and wild animal products at official dinners.

He added: “Ultimately, ending demand for ivory is down to citizens across the world. No tradition or fashion is worth the extinction of an entire species.”

The Prince also welcomed China’s recent decision to ban the import of ivory carvings for one year to help safeguard Africa’s elephant population.

During his meeting with President Xi Jinping earlier this week, William expressed his hope that China would become a world leader in the fight for animal preservation.

In his speech, William revealed that his four-day trip, during which he visited Beijing and Shanghai, had given him lasting memories of China’s economic dynamism, ancient culture, and natural heritage.

“This afternoon I planted a tree in these botanic gardens in the shelter of a Wang Tian tree my grandfather planted 29 years ago,” he said.

“When we plant a tree we do so knowing that, although it will take years to grow, it will yield great benefits for future generations. The same is true of the decisions we make today to protect wildlife.”

Before speaking at the conference, the royal visited a Dai village where he was presented with plumeria flowers and splashed with “lucky water” by locals.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME energy

This Is Why Warren Buffet Dumped His Exxon Holding

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett during an interview with Liz Claman in Omaha, Neb. on May 5, 2014.
Nati Harnik—AP Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett during an interview with Liz Claman in Omaha, Neb. on May 5, 2014.

The leading investor likes "buying things cheap"

America’s leading investor, Warren Buffett, gave a wide-ranging interview to CNBC in which he gave a fitting explanation of why his company, Berkshire Hathaway, sold all its stock in Exxon Mobil Corp. in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Buffett’s bottom line? “We thought we might have other uses for the money,” he said, and was quick to add, “Exxon Mobil is a wonderful company.”

The Nebraska-based entrepreneur, often referred to as the “Oracle of Omaha,” didn’t say what “other uses” he might have for the $3.7 billion that he’d invested in Exxon Mobil. But he did say why he sold the stock.

“Its current earning power, obviously, is diminished significantly from where it was a year ago, as is true with all oil companies,” Buffett said, referring to the drop in profits, and sometimes losses, suffered by energy companies because of the 8-month-old plunge in oil prices. “But Exxon Mobil has been one of the great investments of all time.”

Read more: Buffet Dumps Exxon Amid Price Slump

Berkshire had held 41.1 million shares in Exxon, worth an average of $90.86 per share in 2013, according to the oil company’s latest annual report. In fact Berkshire was one of Exxon’s largest shareholders until the stock selloff. Exxon shares sold for nearly $3 more during that period, so it’s possible that Buffett even made a profit on the sale.

This and other sales of assets, as well as various acquisitions, were not made public until a regulatory filing on Feb. 17, which is required of investors who manage more than $100 million.

So can Buffett’s reasoning be taken at face value? Was he simply looking for another place to put his money? Evidently so, according to Fadel Gheit, an analyst for Oppenheimer & Co. in New York. Despite its prowess investing in a variety of industries, Berkshire has “not really had the hot hand in energy,” he said, and the plunge in oil prices means the rules have changed dramatically.

Perhaps the best way to understand Buffet’s benign attitude to Exxon Mobil is to liken it to his feelings about IBM. Like Exxon Mobil, IBM has suffered lower sales, yet Berkshire increased its stake in the computer company during the fourth quarter of 2014 and now holds 77 million shares.

Read more: Why Oil Prices Must Go Up

Still, Buffett said, he thinks IBM will continue on a steady course, with no spikes or plunges in its earnings, and its stock price remains stable, making it easier to sell if the need arises.

“The best thing that could happen,” Buffett said, “would be if the stock did nothing for five years. … People have the conception – misconception – [that] when we [investors] buy a stock, we like it to go up. That’s the last thing we want it to do.”

Buffett, sitting in his Omaha office, added, “Look around the room. You can see I like buying things cheap.”

And that may be Buffett’s point about Exxon Mobil: The drop in oil prices can’t last forever, and a bottom will emerge eventually. And from there, logic would dictate that the only direction for Exxon Mobil’s stock would be up.

This article originally appeared on Oilprice.com.

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TIME russia

Putin Says He’ll Rid Russia of ‘Shame and Tragedies’ of Political Killings

President Putin attends Russian Interior Ministry Collegium meeting
Mikhail Metzel—Corbis Russian president Vladimir Putin addresses a meeting of the Russian Interior Ministry's Collegium on March4, 2015 in Moscow.

The Russian President's remarks come days after the murder of Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov

Russian President Vladimir Putin says it is “necessary to finally rid Russia of the shame and tragedies” of political killings following the murder of former deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov.

Putin’s televised remarks to the interior ministry come several days after Nemtsov was fatally shot on Friday, the BBC reports. Nemtsov had been a vocal opponent of Russia’s role in the in eastern Ukraine conflict and said he worried the president would have him killed because of his criticism. Putin’s aides have denied the Kremlin’s involvement.

“It is necessary to finally rid Russia of the shame and tragedies like the one that we lived through and saw quite recently,” Putin said. “I mean the murder, the brazen murder of Boris Nemtsov right in the center of the capital.”

The Russian President had previously called Nemtsov’s murder a “provocation,” a word that, as TIME’s Europe correspondent Simon Shuster has reported, carries more than one meaning:

To the average viewer of state-TV, Putin’s use of the term “provocation” would be enough to evoke the invisible hand of Russia’s enemies, while also hinting that the Kremlin, once provoked, could be justified in responding in unpredictable ways. Back in 1983, for instance, the Soviet Union claimed that its downing of a Korean airliner full of passengers was in fact the result of a blatant American provocation.

Putin has said he will work to bring Nemtsov’s assassins to justice. Meanwhile, Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia’s federal security service, told reporters curious about possible suspects Tuesday that “there are always suspects.”


TIME Libya

ISIS Fighters Take Over Major Libyan Oilfields

ISIS Islamic State Lybia
AFP/Getty Images An image made available by propaganda Islamist media outlet Welayat Tarablos allegedly shows members of the Islamic State (IS) militant group parading in a street in Libya's coastal city of Sirte, released on Feb. 18, 2015.

Oilfield guards retreated after running out of ammunition

Fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) took over at least two oilfields in Libya and attacked another on Tuesday, according to oil and government sources.

Mashallah al-Zewi, the oil minister in the Tripoli-based government said ISIS attacked the Dhahra oilfield, before retreating. He told AP on Wednesday that the militants swept down from the central city of Sirte and attacked Dhahra oil field to the south, trading fire with guards and blowing up residential and administrative buildings before eventually retreating.

Colonel Ali al-Hassi, a spokesman for Libyan oil industry security told the BBC said the same fighters first took the oilfields at Bahi and Mabruk. “Extremists took control of the Bahi and Mabruk fields and are now heading to seize the Dhahra field following the retreat of the forces guarding these sites,” he said.

Images published online by the Libya Observer news organization showed smashed metal equipment and the charred wreckage of a pickup truck at the Bahi field.

The attacks came as Libya’s warring factions escalated their ongoing conflict. Forces aligned to the government in Tobruk and the rival Libya Dawn administration in Tripoli both staged air strikes on each other’s positions on Tuesday.

Libya has passed through several phases of turmoil since 2011 when its leader Muammar Qaddafi was overthrown in an armed uprising supported by NATO airstrikes. Today, two rival governments are vying for power in a country divided among multiple armed groups.

ISIS, which sent fighters from Iraq and Syria to Libya last year, has also emerged as force in Libya, attracting some support among local militias. Last month Egyptian fighter jets struck ISIS targets in Libya after the group released a video showing the execution of 21 Coptic Christian hostages.

Read more: Inside ISIS, a TIME Special Report

The two oil fields, located south of the city of Sirte, have been shut down for weeks in part due to security concerns. An attack on the Mabruk field last month left at least 12 people dead.

Even if they were able to operate the fields, insurgents would find it difficult to export oil via the country’s Mediterranean ports. An attempt in 2014 by Eastern Libyan rebels to smuggle crude oil was stopped when U.S. special forces boarded the ship, the Morning Glory, off Cyprus.

Experts believe that large-scale oil smuggling from Libya is more difficult than in Iraq where ISIS has been able to export oil to Turkey, Jordan and Iran.

“There’s no way to smuggle oil in Libya,” said Jason Pack, a researcher on Libya at Cambridge University. “The difference from a place like Iraq is Iraq has a long tradition of oil from the Kurdish region going in trucks to Turkey. Libya has no such tradition.”

Analysts say ISIS’s advances in Libya have been made possible by the political conflict in Libya. This week’s escalation comes as the recognized government in Tobruk officially appointed Khalifa Haftar as its armed forces chief. Haftar’s military campaign launched last year against Islamist-leaning factions has further divided the country.

“There’s ISIS in Libya because there’s a lack of a state, and there’s the inability of every militia group to control territory because the major factions won’t work together,” says Pack. “The absolutely only way to eliminate territorial pockets in places like Sirte and Derna is if these groups are willing to work together against ISIS.”

Read next: Hear Jihadi John Defend Himself Against Charge of Extremism

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME energy

Impotent Western Sanctions Fail to Disrupt Russian Energy Exports

Getty Images

Analysis shows that Russian energy exports are continuing apace, and even increasing

Energy exports from Russia, in the form of coal, oil, natural gas and uranium, continue to flow unimpeded, despite Western efforts to damage the Russian economy for interfering in Ukraine.

In some ways, the sanctions have had the desired effect. But in others, notably the energy trade, they have failed, and in fact it could be argued they have backfired, by hurting the businesses that do business with Russia. Moreover, the sanctions have further isolated Russia from Europe and drawn it closer to alternative energy partners, namely Turkey and China.

To recap, in March of 2014 the United States and the European Union, along with other countries and international organizations, implemented a series of sanctions against individuals and businesses from Russia and Ukraine, in response to the perceived annexation of Crimea, a peninsula in southern Ukraine. Russia retaliated by imposing sanctions of its own, including a ban on food imports from the EU, US, Norway, Canada and Australia.

As the unrest continued into southern and eastern Ukraine, the sanctions were expanded. The first round targeted Russian and Crimean officials seen to have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, with asset freezes and bans on travel. The second round, so-called sectoral sanctions, focused on major businesses and parts of Russia’s financial, energy and military industries. Targets included Rosneft, Transneft and Gazprom.

In December of 2014, US President Obama signed a bill allowing the White House to levy further sanctions against Russia, although no action has yet been taken to introduce them. The new US sanctions would hit Russia’s state-owned energy and defense industries.

Read more: Russia Prepared To Sell Strategic Deposits, But Who’s Buying?

It is important to understand what exactly the sanctions apply to and what they exclude, because even a surface analysis shows that Russian energy exports are continuing apace, and in some areas, even increasing.

The first example is coal. Despite sanctions, Russian coal is moving at higher volumes to the European countries most dependent on the cheap fossil fuel for home heating. German coal imports are the highest since 2006, as importers take advantage of a lower ruble and lower oil prices. According to the news site RT, Germany imported over 12 million tonnes of coal from Russia in 2014, despite the country’s reputation as a leader in renewable energy, symbolized through “energiewende”, the much-lauded plan to switch Germany from nuclear power and fossil fuels to renewables. The dirty truth is that Germany gets about half of its electricity from coal, with the other half coming from natural gas and nuclear. About a third of German coal comes from Russia. In addition, the former World War adversaries also trade a lot of natural gas; 25 billion cubic meters per year imported by Germany, to be exact.

Other countries have jumped on the Russian coal train. Poland is the second-biggest consumer of Russian coal behind Germany. Ukraine – whose territory Russian natural gas must cross in order to reach its destination in Europe– has quietly been buying Russian coal, fueled no doubt from constant threats by natgas provider Gazprom to shut off the taps. The latest threat came on Feb. 25. According to RT, Ukraine bought 50,000 tons of Russian coal in December.

Then there’s the United States. As President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry last year lambasted Russia for supporting pro-separatist rebels in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, and accused the Kremlin of involvement in the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner, a huge coal carrier was crossing the ocean to deliver 40,000 tons of thermal coal to the Schiller Station coal-fired power plant in New Hampshire. Forbes broke down the reasons for the apparent contradiction nicely, stating that for the East Coast, Russian coal is “easy to get and cheaper to ship.” An added advantage: coal from Russia emits less sulfur than US coal, making it easier to comply with environmental regulations.

Many US citizens would also be horrified to learn that a considerable amount of nuclear power produced in the United States comes from Russian uranium, none of which is yet subject to Western sanctions. According to the US government’s National Nuclear Security Administration, about half of the fuel used in American nuclear reactors comes from dismantled Soviet warheads, purchased under the $12-billion “Megatons to Megawatts” program. While that program expired in 2013, Russia continues to work with the United States in supplying enrichment facilities to enrich uranium for use in nuclear power plants as Russia is the world leader in supplying enriched uranium. In 2012 the two countries reached six-year deals to supply over $1 billion worth of reactor fuel to four American utilities, and to provide enrichment services for the US Enrichment Corporation (USEC) for nine years. According to a report by The Jamestown Foundation, “[if] US sanctions extend to include the Russian nuclear industry, one of the biggest losers could well be the US nuclear industry itself.”

Marin Katusa, chief energy investment strategist for Casey Research, agrees that sanctions will have a negative effect on the American economy. Katusa, whose recent book “The Colder War” outlines Vladimir Putin’s strategy for worldwide energy domination, quotes former Texas congressman Ron Paul as saying that “The US government’s decision to apply more sanctions on Russia is a grave mistake and will only escalate an already tense situation, ultimately harming the US itself. While the effect of sanctions on the dollar may not be appreciated in the short term, in the long run these sanctions are just another step toward the dollar’s eventual demise as the world’s reserve currency.”

If there is one area in the energy sphere where sanctions have had an appreciable effect, it’s oil and gas exploration. While current supplies to the West remain unaffected, the sanctions target Russia’s long-term oil and gas operations and future projects. This includes construction of future pipelines, technology used in offshore drilling, and equipment for LNG plants.

Probably the biggest loser so far has been ExxonMobil, which over the past two years has been collaborating with Russia’s largest oil company, Rosneft, to conduct exploration and research in the Black Sea and Arctic Ocean, as well as onshore in western Siberia.

In December, as a result of Western sanctions, the two companies terminated contracts for five service vessels that were to begin operating in the Kara Sea, after ExxonMobil made a billion-barrel discovery last September. In January, ExxonMobil said in its annual report that anti-Russian sanctions have cost the company $1 billion:

“In compliance with the sanctions and all general and specific licenses, prohibited activities involving offshore Russia in the Black Sea, Arctic regions, and onshore western Siberia have been wound down,” the report states.

Geopolitically, sanctions have accelerated Russia’s shift of focus from Europe, its traditional market for oil and gas, to China and Turkey – with the latter being an important conduit for getting gas to Europe while avoiding the Ukraine quagmire, and the former as an important buyer of Russian gas that has blithely ignored Western sanctions.

As proof, consider that last October, Russia and China signed 38 energy, trade and finance agreements, along with a currency swap worth 150 billion Chinese yuan ($25 billion) that assiduously avoids using the US dollar. The agreements — which include a deepening of cooperation between Rosneft and the Chinese National Petroleum Company in building LNG projects – followed a colossal $400-billion deal between the two nations to supply China with Russian gas for the next 30 years.

Indeed the shift from west to east is already occurring. Russian energy data released last fall showed crude supplies to China from January to September rose by almost 45 percent, while shipments to Europe via the Black Sea port of Primorsk fell almost 20 percent, according to Reuters. In a further undermining of Russian sanctions, Chinese credit rating agency Dagong Global in February gave Gazprom its highest AAA rating, allowing the company to place its shares in Hong Kong and expand its investor base in the Asia Pacific region. Western ratings agencies like Moody’s, S&P and Fitch have all downgraded Russia’s sovereign rating to junk or near-junk levels, said IBT Times.

Read more: When Conspiracy Theory Becomes Fact

The sanctions have also pushed Russia away from European trade partners and into the arms of Turkey, the largest consumer of Russian gas behind Germany. The long-envisioned South Stream pipeline that would have carried Europe-bound Russian gas underneath the Black Sea through Bulgaria, was abruptly cancelled in December. Instead, the Kremlin announced that a new pipeline, known as Turkish (or Turk) Stream, would run from Russia under the Black Sea to the Turkish town of Kiyikoy, before continuing overland to the Greek border.

The same month, Russian President Putin praised Turkey for refusing to join Western sanctions against Russia over Ukraine, while also announcing a near tripling of trade between the two countries from $32.7 billion to $100 billion. Turkey is able to avoid Western sanctions because it is an EU accession member, not a full member, Breitbart.com pointed out. The relationship building came despite Russia’s differences with Turkey over Syria, with Russia supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Turkey pushing for regime change.

Russian aggression in Ukraine certainly put its Western trading partners in a quagmire. While the stick of sanctions, exacerbated by plunging oil prices, has paid off from a Western point of view in terms of halving the value of the ruble, spiking inflation and causing Russia’s first contraction of GDP in five years, they have also had a boomerang effect. Victims of sanctions and countersanctions include American poultry businesses, which export around $300 million a year worth of chicken to Russia; European businesses that export to Russia; and big oil companies like BP and ExxonMobil that have had their exploration activities curtailed.

An editorial in the Japan Times quotes the chairman of the Association of European Businesses in Russia, as saying that sanctions against Russia could cause 300,000 layoffs in Germany and 100,000 in France. The last word goes to Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban, who in the same editorial, states “the sanctions policy pursued by the West causes more harm to us than to Russia. In politics, this is called shooting oneself in the foot.”

This article originally appeared on Oilprice.com.

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TIME Vatican

Pope Says There’s ‘No Future for the Young’ If Elderly Aren’t Respected

Pope Francis attends his weekly audience in St. Peter's Square on March 4, 2015 in Vatican City, Vatican.
Massimo Valicchia—NurPhoto Pope Francis attends his weekly audience in St. Peter's Square on March 4, 2015 in Vatican City, Vatican.

“A society where the elderly are discarded carries within it the virus of death"

Pope Francis urged crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday to show respect for the elderly, saying people will be judged by how they treat their older counterparts.

“Where the elderly are not honored, there is no future for the young,” Pope Francis told the 12,000 followers who attended his weekly address, Vatican Radio reports.“A society where the elderly are discarded carries within it the virus of death.”

The 78-year-old Argentine pontiff denounced the lack of care with which people treat their elders, even as life expectancy has increased. “If we do not learn to look after and to respect our elderly, we will be treated in the same way,” he warned. “The quality of a society, I mean of a civilization, is also judged by how it treats elderly people and by the place it gives them in community life.”

[Vatican Radio]

TIME Australia

Part of Australia Might Change Time Zones to Avoid TV Spoilers

It's good for live-tweeting

The Australian government is considering changing South Australia’s time zone to align with the clocks of either Western Australia or the country’s eastern states.

“South Australia’s half-hour time difference to the eastern states and 90-minute difference to Western Australia can cause confusion across the spectrum of our daily lives—from sporting fixtures to public-service administration and business transactions,” South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill said in comments reported by the Wall Street Journal.

But there’s another reason the government thinks the change might be a good move: avoiding TV spoilers. “Most of us have a story about spoilers—like hearing the winner of MasterChef from an interstate friend just as the finale is getting interesting on our local TV station,” reads a government website calling for citizen input. “It puts us adrift of most other Australians.”

The region’s television industry is already on board. South Australia’s networks have turned in a joint statement in support of aligning with the eastern states, highlighting “the benefits of up to the minute national news and current affairs, and live social media interaction with popular programs,” according to Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith.

Yes, the future of Australian time zones could just come down to live-tweeting.


TIME Television

Watch Conan O’Brien Sing, Dance and Shop His Way Round Cuba

TBS has released a preview of the late-night host's special from Cuba

Conan O’Brien’s much-hyped visit to Cuba airs on Wednesday at 11 p.m., and TBS has released a sneak peek.

In the clip, the TV funnyman dances with locals, sings karaoke, visits shops and chats with the “Cuban Andy.”

O’Brien visited the country in mid-February, becoming the first late-night host in more than 50 years to film a show in the country. The last time an American late-show visited Cuba was in 1959, when the Tonight Show‘s Jack Paar interviewed Fidel Castro.

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