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May, 4, 2016

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Commentary
Ebru Umar was sleeping in her summer residence on Turkey's Aegean coast when police arrived at her door and took her away for questioning about two of her tweets that were deemed offensive to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
 
It's hard enough for the leaders of the United States and the European Union to muster public support for the ambitious TTIP transatlantic trade talks.
 
In mid-April, the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong sponsored a lunch talk on the rule of law in China. What set this talk apart was the speaker: Wang Zhenming, head of the Law Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong.
 
It would be the world's biggest ever trade deal, linking the United States and Europe Union, two giant economies, which are home to 850 million people.
 
Hasnain Kazim, German news weekly Der Spiegel's resident correspondent in Turkey, last year applied to renew his Turkish press card -- usually a mere formality.
 
Austria's far-right has a new golden boy in the shape of Norbert Hofer, a smooth-talking gun enthusiast who sent shock waves through the political establishment by defying polls and shooting to the top in Sunday's first round of a presidential ballot.
 
At this late stage of the ongoing Philippines presidential contest, the man to beat appears to be Rodrigo Duterte -- until very recently an outsider to national politics who very few thoughtful Filipinos took seriously. How does one account for the phenomenal rise to national stature of a local politician from a remote corner of southern Philippines?
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For the first time in its history, there will be a Nobel Peace laureate and the world's most famous political icon in the family of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM), which serves as the ASEAN annual meeting.
 
On April 25, 2015 I witnessed the powerful earthquake that struck Nepal. It was an enormous tragedy that hit this country. The earthquake took the lives of nearly 9,000 people, injured twice as many and displaced hundreds of thousands.
 
Thailand's bitter political rivals may be finding themselves in unfamiliar waters leading to the upcoming referendum on the charter draft. That is to say that the Pheu Thai and Democrat parties may have to conspire for the sake of their very slight common interests. Having fought bitterly in a cutthroat showdown that was largely responsible for the military intervention a couple years ago, the country's two biggest political camps must want to restore at least a semblance of the arena where they used to go toe-to-toe.
 
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