Although I write on general trends and try not to predict the future, one has to admit that we have never had a period when data is all over the place and the future is truly murky. Just over 150 years ago, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln said, "The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew."
Shortly after announcing it had canceled United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's planned visit to the country this week, North Korea declared it had the ability to miniaturize nuclear weapons, which is a step toward building nuclear missiles.
The symbolic gesture of Chinese leader Xi Jinping meeting Narendra Modi in Xian, making the Indian prime minister the first world leader to be hosted outside Beijing, underlined the tenacity of historical links between the two peoples. These links embody the Silk Road that connected China and India through trade, scholarship and cultural affinity in an era of soft borders, long before the advent of nation-states and their jealousies and rivalries.
A crisis engulfing Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants and asylum seekers is currently plaguing Southeast Asia.
Data released by the South Korea National Tax Service this week drew attention again to a wide gender wage gap in the country and the need to bring more South Korean women into the workforce.
Shelter remains the top priority for the more than 2.8 million people in Nepal, according to U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), who no longer have a roof over their heads.
Society has been seduced to enter a world in which wealth, and the status attached to it, are equated with success and happiness. If we consider its toll on our natural environment and its longer term unsustainability, this very notion of universalizing affluence becomes highly suspect.
If the scandalous exclusion of women from the recent polling in Lower Dir does not lead to enforcement of their right to vote, nothing else will, as this case clinches the argument for long-delayed reform.
Over the centuries, millions have made the perilous journey from South Asia across the Bay of Bengal to Southeast Asia in search of trade, employment and a better life -- sometimes voluntarily, sometimes driven or forced by circumstances.
In its own commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, Tokyo should acknowledge that its years of denial have added to its historical guilt. Forgetting is bad enough as, without collective remembrance, history itself would not exist. But denying reopens the festering wound. That hurts.