Friday, January 22, 2016
Vietnam's ruling Communist Party Thursday opened an eight-day congress to name the country's new set of leaders, who will determine the pace of critical economic reforms, the fight against corruption and relations with key trading allies, China and the United States.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
In one year, Barack Obama will leave 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. So what will life be like for America's first black president after two terms at the White House?
During the second oral hearing held at the Permanent Court of Arbitration ("PCA"), The Hague, Nov. 24-30, 2015, one of the Philippines' leading legal counsels argued in the South China Sea (SCS) arbitration case that all features in the Spratly Islands are incapable of sustaining human habitation or economic life of their own.
The Middle East is the land of the Abrahamic religions and has been home to many fine people down the ages. It has strong sacred values; but many unpleasing traditions and weaknesses have also arisen in the region.
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
The consternation in Hong Kong over the case of five missing booksellers -- especially the most recent case of the apparent disappearance of Lee Bo, feared to have been kidnapped and smuggled into the Chinese mainland -- shows that the chief concern of the local population has not changed since before the handover in 1997: It is to ensure that their personal security, guaranteed under British colonial rule, will continue after China resumed sovereignty.
Diplomatic triumph or travesty, America's relationship with one of its most intractable foes took two giant leaps forward this weekend when Iran released four Americans in a prisoner swap after locking in last summer's nuclear deal and receiving some US$100 billion in sanctions relief.
Was this weekend's nuclear deal and Washington's surprise prisoner swap with Tehran the final high point of a one-off diplomatic initiative or the start of a real realignment?
It's the No. 1 question headed into the primary season: Does Donald Trump merely have fans, or does the national front-runner for the U.S. conservative Republican Party presidential nomination have voters who will mobilize come caucus day in Iowa?
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
The lifting of crippling international sanctions linked to Iran's nuclear program and the flurry of diplomacy that led to the release of Americans held by Tehran suggests a new era could be dawning. But anyone hoping for rapid change is likely to be disappointed.
The Taliban have demanded a hefty new "protection tax" from Afghan mobile phone companies, industry and militant sources told AFP, as the resurgent group tightens its stranglehold on a rare successful business in a slumping war economy.