Spurned by Washington, Pakistan Looks East

Spurned by Washington, Pakistan Looks EastNotwithstanding Pakistan’s upbeat claims about defeating terrorism, continuing military operations in both urban and rural Punjab and new operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) show how the menace of terrorism continues to defy solution through a straightforward application of military force. Part of the problem is that the jihadi infrastructure remains intact, and…

Good for Alibaba? SCMP Quashes Column on Xi-linked Tycoon

Good for Alibaba? SCMP Quashes Column on Xi-linked TycoonThe steady erosion of the journalistic independence of the South China Morning Post, once the region’s most influential English-language daily, was demonstrated last week when the paper’s editors pulled an article linking an investor in Hong Kong’s Peninsula Hotel Group to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s chief of staff. The article, by long-time Money Matters columnist…

Forbes Magazine Dumps an Article on an Influential HK Tycoon

Forbes Magazine Dumps an Article on an Influential HK TycoonThe continuing tightening of the noose around democratic practices in Hong Kong now appears to be playing itself out in the New York-based Asia Society, the prestigious nonpartisan educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding between Asians and the United States, and its billionaire Hong Kong chairman. There have long been worries about Chan’s influence.…

Philippines’ Duterte Claims a Crusading Newspaper’s Scalp

Philippines’ Duterte Claims a Crusading Newspaper’s ScalpThe July 7 announcement by Manila’s Prieto family that it would rid itself of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, arguably the country’s most important newspaper, has raised new consternation over the increasingly authoritarian posture of President Rodrigo Duterte, who declared war on the paper for its critical reporting of his bloody, violent drug war. Duterte has…

Canada: Expedite Snowden-Linked Asylum Cases

Canada: Expedite Snowden-Linked Asylum CasesThe Canadian government should fast-track its consideration of the refugee claims of seven people who sheltered US National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden before he left Hong Kong in 2013. The Hong Kong government has sent the adult asylum seekers detention notices, indicating that they could soon be deported to countries where they would face…

Floating Hospitals: Meeting Healthcare Gaps in Indonesia

Floating Hospitals: Meeting Healthcare Gaps in IndonesiaThe increase of Indonesia’s health budget allocation from 3.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product in the 1990s to 5 percent in 2017, totaling Rp104 trillion (US7.28 billion), is designed to alleviate some of the country’s healthcare delivery problems, with  75 percent of citizens still greatly depending on public health care. But one of the biggest…

Duterte’s Year One: Chaos Under the Surface

Duterte’s Year One: Chaos Under the SurfaceWith his first year in office completed, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte doesn’t know the difference between policy and bragging to drinking partners. He has simply not grown up. He remains a hambugerong bugoy, a teenage braggart. Thus the constant boasting about his sexual prowess, the dirty talk, the tilting against convention. He has an exaggerated…

Singapore’s Lee Family Rift and International Consequences

Singapore’s Lee Family Rift and International ConsequencesThe very public rift between Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his two siblings, Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang, is a sharp reminder of what a small place Singapore is and how splits in the family can become fissures among a once tight-knit elite. The core of the ruling People’s Action Party…

Glamorous Russian Lawyer Tied to Deeper Scandals

Glamorous Russian Lawyer Tied to Deeper ScandalsThe woman offering compromising information about Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump, Jr is no ordinary Russian aparatchik. She is Natalia Veselnitskaya, whose high-powered Moscow-based law firm represented a concern accused by the US Treasury Department of stealing US$235 million from a US-based investment fund through an audacious plan tied to top Kremlin officials.…

Duterte’s War on Drugs: What Has He Achieved?

Duterte’s War on Drugs: What Has He Achieved?Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte promised a savage drug war, the capstone of the campaign that made him the head of the government. With a year now under his belt, indeed change has come but not the kinds of changes he expected. Seven thousand killed before the newspapers stopped counting, perhaps daunted by the scale of…
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