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We are quite taken aback by the news that Bangladesh has joined Saudi Arabia's new Islamic Coalition against terrorism. Ambiguities surrounding the nature of the coalition calls for greater scrutiny. Former diplomats, academicians and military experts have expressed their surprise at this decision that has been made rather suddenly, without any notice or discussion in any public forum.
This has been a bad year for freedom of expression in Pakistan. For both media and civil society, both freedom of expression and access to information have, in general, deteriorated since the country launched the National Action Plan (NAP) against militants in the wake of the gruesome Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan-led attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar last year which killed over 140 people, mostly schoolchildren.
On the night of Dec. 12 in the French city of Paris, almost exactly a month after the horrific terrorist attacks there, the leaders of nearly 200 countries of the world adopted the historic Paris agreement on climate change under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will replace the Kyoto Protocol from now on.
After a successful election early last month, which handed down a landslide victory to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's National League of Democracy, there is a growing sense of anxiety within ASEAN about what kind of a new Myanmar is emerging.
On Dec. 2, 14 people were massacred in San Bernardino, California by a Muslim couple. The husband was a U.S. citizen while the wife was a Pakistan-born legal resident of the U.S. The duo were killed subsequently after a police chase.
The IMF announced on Nov. 30, that its Executive Board had approved the inclusion of the Chinese yuan into the basket of currencies making up the SDR, joining the U.S. dollar, the British pound sterling, the euro and the Japanese yen, to be effective from Oct. 1, 2016.
As of September of this year, the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund finally reached its target of US$30 million. In the aftermath of what was one of the worst industrial disasters in human history, it took more than two years for the fund to reach its target of US$30 million which was actually reduced from the original goal of US$40 million due to lackluster response from brands and retailers.
Last Friday's not-guilty verdict for the heads of Ting Hsin Group in the tainted oil scandal generated high levels of public outrage. Feeling betrayed by the corporate conglomerate system that overrides public trust, that writes its own rules and verifies its own dubious practices, Friday was seemingly the last straw as some believed that the conglomerate had bought the law.
This December's climate change summit in Paris could at last see an ambitious, legally binding deal. For the first time, this would encompass the bulk of global greenhouse gas emissions, since the biggest emitters -- including the U.S., China, and India -- are now closely engaged in the negotiation process.
A big question people have been asking since mainland China's leaders propounded the concept of Chinese Dream in 2012 is: What is the symbol of the mainland rejuvenation? Now we can say that the revival of the Silk Road is that symbol, not only for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, but also the rejuvenation of European, Asian and African nations, because it integrates the Chinese Dream with the dream of the world.
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