Current Afghanistan news emphasizes disagreement between Kabul and Washington, but that is only part of a complex picture. In a surprising move, outgoing President Hamid Karzai is refusing to authorize U.S. military involvement beyond December, and negotiating with the Taliban. While U.S. forces will withdraw, there has been an assumption of a small residual presence.
If it's Tuesday, this must be Havana. Given U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's peripatetic global travels, the two-day visit to Cuba, especially in the midst of a frigid New York winter, seemingly made sense. After all, the trip was officially to attend the meeting of the
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has dragged Nazi Germany into the debate on China's disturbing efforts to claim disputed territory in the South China Sea.
The uproar in the last few days over alleged rice smuggling merely reinforces the fact that rice is a politically charged commodity, and just how confusing the Indonesian government's policy is regarding this national food staple.
While national and security interest have raised tensions in East Asia in recent months, the United States is hoping that economic interests can keep tempers in check.
Clouds of doubts surrounding the proposed peace talks between the Pakistan government and the outlawed Pakistan Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP) further thickened on Tuesday, with each side accusing the other of not doing enough to make the process sustainable and result-oriented, and raising questions over each other's seriousness toward solving the issues.
The Chinese count the year by combining one of the ten Heavenly Stems (天干) and one of the twelve Earthly Branches (地支). The Chinese Lunar Year which started on Jan. 30 is the Year of Jia (甲) and Wu (午), the former being the first of the Heavenly Stems which identifies with Wood (木) and the latter being the seventh of the Earthy Branches which identifies with the Horse (馬).
- Joe Hung
Last month, China disclosed figures for 2013 confirming that it had replaced the United States as the world's largest trading nation, passing another milestone in its march towards superpower status.
The U.S. President's annual State of the Union address is primarily about domestic policy with foreign flourishes and interludes. Barack Obama, facing lackluster poll ratings, presented a pedantic and populist address with the usual laundry list of political promises.
The 46-percent turnout by voters in the election on Sunday may seem as though Thais turned their backs on the election and want political reform first — when compared to the 75-percent turnout in 2011.