Asia

China going cashless thanks to fintech boom

The surge of fintech services is a growing headache for traditional banks which have been left far behind Asia Times Johan Nylander Standing in line at a Starbucks in downtown Shenzhen, I suddenly realize that no one in front of me is paying with cash. They aren’t paying… China going cashless… Read More »

End violence in Myanmar, Nobel laureates urge U.N. Security Council

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – More than a dozen Nobel laureates including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Malala Yousafzai urged the U.N. Security Council on Thursday to end “ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity” in Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine State. By Sebastien Malo At least 86 people have been killed in a… End violence in… Read More »

Israel calls off vote on settler homes ‘after PM request’

An Israeli committee delayed a vote set for Dec. 28 on permits for settler homes after a request from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to avoid further conflict with the United States, an official said. Hurriyet Hanan Rubin, a Jerusalem city councilor and a member of the… Israel calls off… Read More »

How the U.S. came to abstain on a U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlements

On Dec. 21, amid his morning workout, an afternoon round of golf and a family dinner with friends, President Obama interrupted his Hawaii vacation to consult by phone with his top national security team in Washington. By Karen DeYoung The Washington Post Egypt had introduced a resolution at the U.N. Security Council condemning Israeli settlements as illegal, and… How the U.S… Read More »

Iraqi women join battle against Islamic State

BAGHDAD — Miad Jubouri, an Iraqi mother of five who joined the ranks of the Iraqi forces battling the Islamic State (IS), has been participating in the battle as part of the Lions of the Tigris faction for the past two years. Al Monitor Adnan Abu Zeed In a patriotic and conservative Iraqi society, Jubouri’s fight alongside the male-dominated Iraqi security forces has caught the attention of both the community and the media. While Jubouri’s participation on… Iraqi women join… Read More »

Bike-sharing revolution aims to put China back on two wheels

From Shanghai to Sichuan, schemes are being rolled out to slash congestion, cut air pollution – and spin a profit The Guardian Tom Phillips Even through Beijing’s nicotine-tinged smog you can make out the multi-coloured frames, gliding through the pea soup towards a greener future. In recent months an unmissable… Bike-sharing revolution aims to… Read More »

Israel Pressing Ahead With Settlements Despite UN Resolution

The Israeli government is outraged that the U.S. chose to abstain from vetoing the resolution. The Huffington Post JERUSALEM, Dec 27 (Reuters) – The Jerusalem municipality, undeterred by a U.N. anti-settlement resolution, is due to consider on Wednesday requests for… Israel Pressing Ahead… Read More »

The lingering shadows of Pearl Harbor

On a peaceful Sunday morning seventy-five years ago, Captain Mervyn Bennion stood on the flag bridge of his ship, the USS West Virginia, amidst the afterglow of a Hawaiian sunrise. Asia Times Kent E. Calder Within minutes he had bled to death on the deck, commanding his battleship to the last, his stomach pierced by shrapnel from a bomb fragment as one of the first casualties of the United States in World War II. The Congressional Medal of… The lingering ... Read More »

The Lennox-Boyd statement of 19 December 1956 and the origins of the proposed ‘bi-communal, bi-zonal federation’ in Cyprus

Introduction In Politics, Aristotle suggests that to obtain the clearest insight into anything, it is necessary to explore its origins. Klearchos A. Kyriakides * Agora Dialogue Published in Agora Dialogue on 27 December 2016 With Aristotle in mind, one is obliged to ask a key question at a critical time when the Republic of Cyprus may be on the verge of being transformed into – or succeeded by – a ‘bi-communal, bi-zonal federation’. What are the origins of the proposed ‘federation’ together with ... Read More »

Why Iran sees Aleppo as chance to get in rather than out

On Dec. 22, the same day the Syrian government announced that Aleppo was under its control, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari was in Damascus to meet President Bashar al-Assad. Al Monitor Ali Hashem Ansari was in fact in the Syrian capital to congratulate his country’s prime regional ally for retaking Syria’s largest city and one of the main strongholds of the armed opposition. But Aleppo isn’t only a… Why Iran sees Aleppo as… Read More »

Saudi jailed for call to end male control over women

A Saudi man has been jailed for one year for calling for an end to the Muslim kingdom’s guardianship system that gives men wide controls over women, local media said Tuesday. RIYADH – Agence France–Presse Hurriyet The man, who was also fined 30,000 riyals ($8,000) by a court in the… Saudi jailed for… Read More »

What should Palestinians expect from 2017?

While Palestine will be busy with various internal changes, very little is expected to end the occupation. Al Jazeera News Daoud Kuttab The Palestinian issue is likely to get widespread coverage in 2017, but internal issues will mostly dominate the news agenda rather than the external developments. And by the end of… What should Palestinians expect… Read More »