Tuesday, January 19, 2016
The Taliban have demanded a hefty new "protection tax" from Afghan mobile phone companies, industry and militant sources told AFP, as the resurgent group tightens its stranglehold on a rare successful business in a slumping war economy.
Looking more avuncular than authoritarian, Cambodian premier Hun Sen crouches for a selfie for his Facebook page with young scouts -- part of a social media blitz selling the strongman's cuddlier side as he seeks to extend a 30-year grip on power.
When future generations write the history of humanity's faltering quest to repair Earth's climate system, 2015 will have its own chapter.
Monday, January 18, 2016
As President-elect Tsai Ing-wen pledges a stronger Taiwan that is proud of its identity, tensions with mainland China are already simmering as Beijing watches and waits.
Iran's release of four Americans gives President Barack Obama the opportunity to deliver a harsh reminder to the Republicans wanting to succeed him: You can promise to pull back the hand I've extended to Iran and Cuba -- nations the U.S. once cut off -- but it won't be easy and it may be lonely.
Yes, this is scary. Stock prices plunged again Friday and are down more than 8 percent in just two weeks, an unprecedented slide for a start of a year.
The Islamic State group may be losing ground in its strongholds of Iraq and Syria but as the attack in Indonesia this month showed, the jihadists are rallying other groups under their banner, analysts say.
For President-elect Tsai Ing-wen, who was elected with a strong mandate and backed with a legislative majority, the time for policy specificity has become critical. Before Tsai's election, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je surmised that the economy and China would be the greatest challenges facing her.
Sunday, January 17, 2016
A visiting professor from the Taichung area asked three days ago what I'd write about for today.
One short plane ride, one small step on track and field's marathon road to redemption. Sebastian Coe could have locked himself in a dark room, hands covering his ears and yelling "Not listening! Not listening!" rather than board a flight to Germany to hear first-hand how the sport he leads appears to have been worm-riddled with corruption.