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August, 31, 2016

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Commentary
Friday, Sept. 9, marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Mao Zedong, who led the Communist revolution to victory in 1949.
 
War-torn South Sudan's slide into chaos resumed last month with fresh fighting in the capital Juba that forced rebel leader turned vice president and peace deal signatory Riek Machar to flee.
 
The cruel murder of an 84-year-old Catholic priest in France by two Muslim youths, who slit the fragile man's throat during a morning mass he was conducting in his serene church, left me numb for days.
 
The Islam Defenders Front (FPI) -- imagine its members roaming the streets of Jakarta, hunting down Playboy magazines and vandalizing cheap liquor stores -- may no longer epitomize religious conservatism in Indonesia.
 
Donald Trump isn't making it easy for top supporters and advisers, from his running mate on down, to defend him or explain some campaign positions.
 
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's critics are condemning the means employed in the ongoing campaign against illegal drugs, while the chief executive is defending his goal.
 
Across much of South Asia, there is a growing strain of state-sponsored nationalism that is potentially dangerous in its consequences. From India to Bangladesh, and from Pakistan to Sri Lanka, political dissent of various hues is being branded as anti-state and clamped down on viciously.
 
For sports officials, the work to ensure that the Philippines doesn't slip back to an empty haul in Tokyo should begin.
 
He labored like a beaver strong/ By rivers wide and long/ A Man whom there are none to praise/ And very few to amaze.
 
In view of the unprecedented deadly extremist violence affecting the body politic, concerned citizens might be wondering how a significant number of otherwise suave and liberal educated young men could have been motivated to commit such ghoulish actions.
 
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