Trump Budget Cuts Endanger Developing Nations’ Clean Energy Plans

Trump Budget Cuts Endanger Developing Nations’ Clean Energy PlansIf US President Donald Trump has his way, developing countries will struggle more than ever to clean up their energy programs. Clean energy innovation is one of the main casualties of Trump's detailed budget proposal for 2018, released yesterday. It is US research networks that drive the low-carbon innovations that many developing countries benefit from. The budget also includes…

The Izumo Deployment: Japan’s Hat In the Ring

The Izumo Deployment: Japan’s Hat In the RingThe maiden deployment of Japan’s largest post-WWII warship, the JS Izumo to a South China Sea cruise at a time when the US and China in particular are contesting for political and military primacy in the region has set tongues wagging in many parts of the world, particularly in Beijing.  It is Japan’s biggest foray…

A New Look at North Korea

A New Look at North KoreaThe Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has been in the news a lot lately, with the DPRK testing new missiles and the United States moving a naval strike group off the Korean peninsula.  The commentary almost always revolves around strategic issues, especially North Korea’s nuclear program. But in focusing so narrowly on the country’s military and…

India Shies Away from the OBOR Party

India Shies Away from the OBOR PartyChinese President Xi Jinping's highly-choreographed One Belt One Road Summit in Beijing last weekend, touted as China’s “grand coming out globalization party,” saw attendance from presidents, prime ministers and global leaders from 28 countries. However, one country was conspicuous by its absence from the megawatt show: India. The event was aimed to map out China's…

China’s OBOR Vision: No Development Masterpiece

China’s OBOR Vision: No Development MasterpieceThe One Belt-One Road summit held last weekend in Beijing is fundamentally the elaboration of a Chinese dream wherein participant countries appear only as facilitators and fade away when compared with the gains China would make out of it. A look at the extent of money China is planning to pour in justifies the contention…

Massive Break Illustrates Indonesia’s Prison Dilemma

Massive Break Illustrates Indonesia’s Prison DilemmaOn May 5,  when officers unlocked detention rooms to allow inmates to perform Friday prayers, 448 of them  suddenly attempted to breach the main gate of Sialang Bungkuk Prison on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and, having failed that, boiled out of a side gate, overwhelming the outnumbered officers.  In the midst of utter pandemonium, the…

Myanmar Struggles to Control Illegal Logging

Myanmar Struggles to Control Illegal LoggingPyar Aung remembers the first time he saw a chainsaw. It was a German-made number being used by one of the logging companies operating in the forest around his remote village in Myanmar’s northwest Sagaing region in 2013. “It was so powerful and fast!” recalled the 50 year-old Aung, who lives in the tiny village of…

Chinese Company’s Monument to Disaster

Chinese Company’s Monument to DisasterA vast, ornate, moldering gambling resort complex on the Gulf of Thailand has come to embody many of the problems plaguing foreign projects in Cambodia – lack of transparency, poor planning, environmental hazards and displacement of local communities. The resort, built by the Tianjin-based Union Development Group (UDG), a Chinese entity, was meant to be…

Philippines Seeks to Reverse Duterte’s Foreign Policy Botch

Philippines Seeks to Reverse Duterte’s Foreign Policy BotchPhilippine Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol is attempting to undo an international gaffe by President Rodrigo Duterte, moving to establish a research facility on Benham Rise, a 13 million-hectare underwater plateau 250 km. east of the island of Luzon. The United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf declared the area part of Philippine…

Trump’s Ominous Climate Plans

Trump’s Ominous Climate PlansThe United States could start the process of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement on climate change as early as this week. But some experts believe the alternative that President Donald Trump is considering – simply downgrading the country’s climate targets – could ultimately prove even more damaging for the environment.  During his campaign, Trump said…
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