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Thursday, February 12, 2015
Japan's outrage over the slaying of two Japanese hostages by the Islamic State group is settling into a heightened awareness of the risks associated with the country's pursuit of lucrative energy projects and other economic ties in the Middle East.
The sodomy conviction of Malaysia's opposition leader has set back, but not derailed, Washington's improved ties with a country that is becoming increasingly important for U.S. diplomacy and trade policy in Asia.
As presidential aspirants weigh possible 2016 runs, many are hitting the road far beyond Iowa or New Hampshire, to unofficial campaign stops where passports are required: London, Tokyo and Jerusalem.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Textile professional finds Taiwan fascinating
Drawn by Chinese culture and interested in learning the Chinese language, San Francisco-born Courtney Cruzan flew to mainland China four years ago. She and her husband stayed in Zhejiang province (浙江省) for two years before they came to Taiwan.
Loving memories of Taipei
As I walked into the NYC subway, a familiar odor greeted the grimace on my face. It is just another shoot for a student filmmaker. In other words, another day of lugging two suitcases worth of equipment for a 50-minute train ride downtown to a grumpy house owner who for reasons unknown has decided to let us use the location. As I struggle to squeeze past the bulking passengers in their giant winter coats to reach the middle part of the compartment, I can't help but reminisce about the time when I was filming in Taipei.
The one thing I noticed during my short stay in Taiwan was that the students here all shared one common trait: They all wore thick glasses and carried super-heavy school bags wherever they went. This seemed odd to me. After all, didn't parents, teachers, government officials and experts all say that children should enjoy their childhoods and that it's all right for them to be kids?
Parents: guide, don't dictate
My Taipei
Having lived in Toronto, Philadelphia and New York City, I've never forgotten what my Taipei feels like. My Taipei is the 50 Lan on the way to the subway near my childhood home. My Taipei is the sweet smell of baked yam stands and the convective heat as you walk past.
When Barack Obama was in Beijing in November for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) annual meeting, the U.S. president met with the leaders of 11 other countries — Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Peru, Chile and Brunei — and called for the early conclusion of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, a trade grouping that is intended to set high standards for the 21st century.
Perturbed by Thailand's coup, the United States has scaled back a showpiece joint military exercise with its Southeast Asian ally, but analysts say that with China circling for influence, Washington will not push the kingdom's generals too far.
Aspiring to force an order of relations among nations in Asia that would center on China: This basic policy line of the administration of Chinese President Xi Jinping will most likely remain unchanged.
  
  
  
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