Asia

Indonesia’s transition to democracy under threat as new president is sworn in

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On October 20, the new president of Indonesia, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, will be sworn in, but his incoming administration already faces political crisis. It might just be the crisis Indonesia needs to complete its transition to democracy. After Suhartoresigned in 1998, Indonesia rapidly introduced the institutions of liberal democracy, including popular elections, separation of powers and legal and judicial checks ... Read More »

Cambodians launch fresh rally against Aussie refugee deal

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PHNOM PENH (Xinhua) — More than 100 human rights activists, youths and Buddhist monks marched on streets here on Friday in the latest round of protests against a refugee deal that Cambodia signed with Australia last month. Under the deal, Australia will send refugees, who intend to seek asylum in Australia, and are being held at an offshore detention camp ... Read More »

Chinese President Xi Jinping warns against ‘immoral’ art

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Chinese President Xi Jinping has told artists, authors and actors that their work should present socialist values and not carry the “stench of money”. Mr Xi delivered a speech to some of China’s leading creative figures, according to state news agency Xinhua. He told them not to pursue commercial gain at the expense of artistic and moral value, Xinhua said. ... Read More »

Australian support for Hong Kong protests runs second to business interests

A pro-democracy activist in Hong Kong. Photo: Getty Images

There has been a deafening silence in support of the students protesting for greater democracy in Hong Kong. This movement, known as the umbrella revolution (for protection against tear gas), has been underway since September 28. It is a civil disobedience campaign concentrated in the Central business and governmental district and called therefore the Occupy Central with Love and Peace ... Read More »

Afghanistan’s Political Transition

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Afghanistan’s new president, Ashraf Ghani, inherits a government that is running out of money and losing ground to the insurgency. As foreign troops withdraw, the new government must stay united and move quickly on reforms. In its latest report, Afghanistan’s Political Transition, the International Crisis Group examines the politics surrounding the deeply contested 2014 presidential election, analysing threats and opportunities. ... Read More »

America’s ISIS War Now Called ‘Operation Inherent Resolve’

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U.S. military operations against the Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq and Syria, now in their third month, will officially go by the name Operation Inherent Resolve, the Pentagon says. Commander Elissa Smith, a representative for the Pentagon, confirmed the name choice to Newsweek Wednesday. Targeted strikes against the Islamic State (more commonly known as ISIS) began on August 8. ... Read More »

Thailand: Muslim Separatists Torch Six Schools in One Night

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Insurgents in Thailand have torched six schools in one night, leaving thousands of children unable to attend classes. The arsonists tied the hands and feet of school security guards before pouring gasoline around the buildings in Pattani, southern Thailand, deputy governor of Pattani Somphoch Suwannarat was quoted by the Bangkok Post as saying. No one was injured during the attack, ... Read More »

Tony Abbott says ‘coal is good for humanity’ while opening mine

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‘Coal is vital for the future energy needs of the world, so let’s have no demonisation of coal’ says PM Tony Abbott has declared “coal is good for humanity” while opening a coalmine in Queensland. The prime minister, who describes himself as a conservationist, said coal was vital to the world and that fossil fuel should not be demonised. “Coal is ... Read More »

World Economies Warn of Global Risks, Call for Bold Action

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The International Monetary Fund’s member countries on Saturday said bold action was needed to bolster the global economic recovery and they urged governments not to squelch growth by tightening budgets too drastically, although Germany poured cold water on the idea of a new global “crisis.” With Japan’s economy floundering, the euro zone at risk of recession and even China’s expansion ... Read More »