Cambodia’s Virachey National Park in Danger

Cambodia’s Virachey National Park in DangerOn a January late afternoon I was sitting in a small jungle clearing about 500 meters over the Cambodian border in Laos, utterly lost in a lost world. It was almost completely silent save for the melodious warble of an unseen bird. There is almost nothing which demarcates the international border between Cambodia and Laos…

Return of the License Raj?

Return of the License Raj?Indian nationalists are attempting to push their country towards China-style mercantilism in hobbling US consumer giants Amazon and Uber from making inroads against local brands Flipkart and Ola, demanding that the government protect local companies against what they call predatory pricing.  The debate has been roiling corporate India ever since two of the country's leading…

New Mystery For Controversial Japanese Group

New Mystery For Controversial Japanese GroupThe Japanese conglomerate J Trust Group, which has come under the spotlight for a series of financial inconsistencies in Indonesia, Thailand and Cyprus, has added another. On April 14, an apparently frustrated J Trust put out a press release accusing the South Korean Financial Services Commission of refusing to act on a J Trust request…

Philippines Needs Commitment for Renewable Energy

Philippines Needs Commitment for Renewable EnergyThe Philippines took a major step towards a climate-resilient future after it ratified the Paris agreement last March. The country must fulfill its commitment to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent relative to projected business-as-usual levels by 2030, as stated in its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). Achieving this target would contribute to accomplishing…

Trump Drill Edict Likely Won’t Have Much Effect

Trump Drill Edict Likely Won’t Have Much EffectAlthough President Donald Trump signed an executive order on April 28 seeking to expand offshore oil and gas drilling in the United States, it isn’t likely to have much of an impact. Low oil prices and cheap shale oil have reduced spending on conventional oil projects to the lowest level in more than 70 years.…

Najib’s Latest Smokescreen

Najib’s Latest SmokescreenThe list of names, initials, deals and numbers can make it hard for the public to keep track of what has been revealed about the goings on at 1Malaysia Development Bhd., the government’s scandal-riddled sovereign investment fund, which may have liabilities amounting to as much as RM50 billion and which is arguably the biggest scandal…

Xi Jinping’s Massive Urban Monument to Himself

Xi Jinping’s Massive Urban Monument to HimselfIn a bid to decongest the sprawling and polluted capital of Beijing, the government is developing a “subsidiary capital” covering 2,000 sq. km. about 160 km. south of the capital city that President Xi Jinping envisions as a “world-class, green, modern, elegant first-class city.” It is potentially the largest development project in modern Chinese history…

An Urbanizing Asia Dares Earthquake Tragedy

An Urbanizing Asia Dares Earthquake TragedyMore than half a million people killed, 1.4 million injured, and 80 percent of buildings damaged in Bangladesh’s three largest cities: That’s the “worst-case scenario” outlined in an unpublished draft contingency plan for a large earthquake. The information may change by the time the plan is completed later this year, cautioned Henry Glorieux, an advisor at…

Empire 2.0? India Yawns

Empire 2.0? India YawnsThree British cabinet ministers plus the governor of the Bank of England and two other government ministers trooped through India just before Easter in a seemingly desperate bid to drum up support from their largest former colony as Brexit looms – and before, following today’s announcement, they start campaigning for the UK’s June 8 general…

US Shuts Down Rogue Bank

US Shuts Down Rogue BankAfter a three-year court battle, a US district court judge in Washington, DC has in effect put a rogue Tanzanian bank out of business that was accused of laundering money through its Cyprus branch for a failed Indonesian bank, the Russian Mafia, the Lebanon-based Shi’a Islamist group Hezbollah, al Qaeda and a long list of…