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Eighty-three years ago on Sep.18, a Japanese Kwangtung Army lieutenant placed dynamite at a small section of Liutiaohu on the South Manchurian Railroad, which was owned and operated by the Japanese, to create a conflagration for which the Chinese would be blamed, thus creating an excuse to attack a Manchurian Army garrison in nearby Beidaying. The purpose of the plot was the conquest of Manchuria.
Yesterday's announcement of the framework of reforms for the “direct election” of Hong Kong's chief executive in 2017 disappointed a large portion of Hong Kongers. For many, it was another severe blow to the prospects for democracy to flourish in the city.
Beijing is expected to soon decide how Hong Kong is going to elect its next leader amid growing calls from activists for a truly democratic election process. China is likely to promise universal suffrage in 2017, but the candidates will have to be vetted by a nominating committee. Is that really democracy?
U.S. President Barack Obama's launch of air attacks against the Islamic State (IS), an extremist terrorist group that took over huge swaths of Syria and Iraq, is the beginning of another test of commitment by the U.S. in a region where it has turned in a record of disastrous involvement. Mistakes that were made back then cannot be unmade.
An urgent humanitarian crisis involving more than 1,000 dead, many more starving children, destroyed life savings and a lack of basic living amenities such as water and electricity are overwhelming the people of Gaza. Beyond this round of killings, there must be a serious and sustained effort to address the livelihood needs of the Gaza Strip. This includes making sure that prevention of a new round of hostilities 10 months, a year, two years from now is the highest strategic goal.
Over the last weekend, the summer blockbuster “Transformers: Age of Extinction” became the first film to take over US$300 million in mainland China. Michael Bay's action-packed robot warfare movie surpassed James Cameron's space fantasy “Avatar” as the highest grossing production in China.
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Malaysia Airlines flight 17 was brought down as it flew over territory in eastern Ukraine controlled by separatist militia on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur last Thursday. All 289 crew and passengers aboard were killed.
If a court had a track record of only prosecuting people of one color or one religion, there would be predictable and justifiable outrage. The International Criminal Court (ICC), the international institution set up specifically for the prosecution of crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes, is under pressure from African nations furious at justifiably perceived bias against Africa.
A Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down Thursday by an anti-aircraft missile purportedly fired by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. The deaths of the 298 people on the plane are an outrage of unspeakable proportions, and it is time to call for a credible international investigation into the tragedy and urge Russia, which supplies separatists with a steady flow of support, including heavy weapons, training and antiaircraft systems, to cooperate.
On Saturday, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Michael Fuchs called on the parties in South China Sea territorial disputes to agree to a 'voluntary freeze' on provocative behavior. Fuchs appealed for a concrete development of principles laid out in the 2002 Declaration of Conduct (DoC) signed between China and ASEAN.
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