Asia

‘We are real’: Saudi feminists launch online radio

Operating out of a small room in an unknown country, a new internet radio station broadcasts a programme aimed at campaigning for greater women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. Alma Hassoun BBC With melancholy music playing in the background, the presenter of Nsawya FM (Feminism FM) addresses the issue of domestic violence in the Gulf kingdom. The presenter’s voice shakes with emotion as she discusses the fate of Sara, a woman she says was killed by a male relative. She was ... Read More »

Can Manila get a good joint exploration deal with China in the West PHL Sea?

NOW that the ball has started rolling for the possible joint exploration by the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea, analysts are wary of the risks it will bring. Bernadette D. Nicholas Business Mirror At the same time, however, they see that this can be averted if the technical working group (TWG) entrusted with the hard task of crafting the nitty-gritty of such an initiative will do its job well. Experts also believe that the TWG must ensure ... Read More »

China can’t selectively choose its interests from Law of the Sea – del Rosario

China cannot selectively choose what is convenient for their interests when it comes to interpreting the rule of law in the South China Sea, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del… Frances G. Mangosing Inquirer In his speech in a forum on rules-based international system organized by the Stratbase ADR Institute in Taguig City, the former top diplomat said that China has continuously rejected the rule of law by snubbing the… He said the Asian superpower’s militarization of the disputed waters ... Read More »

US ‘picking and choosing’ from the Law of the Sea

A recent article argues that China is ‘selectively choosing the parts of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that it likes and is ignoring or reinterpreting the parts that it does not like or… Mark J Valencia EastAsiaForum The argument is made on the basis that China sent a ‘spy ship’ to observe the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, the world’s largest joint naval exercise, held in June and July 2018. But this account ignores that ... Read More »

This new Defense Department map shows how China says one thing and does another with its military operations at sea

China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea and its broad interpretations of international law often lead it to protest what many other countries consider to be normal naval maneuvers in the area. Christopher Woody Business Insider But farther afield, Beijing’s activity indicates that it doesn’t abide by the standard it applies to others. China frequently protests military operations by US and other countries in its Exclusive Economic Zone, which can extend up to 230 miles from a country’s coast. ... Read More »

Macronomics hits speed bump

Slowdown in French growth risks causing political trouble for president. Zachary Young Politico PARIS — After the surge, the sputter. Last year, as Emmanuel Macron swept to power pledging business-friendly policies, France’s economy zoomed ahead to post growth of 2.2 percent. This year, even with signature Macron reforms such as a rewrite of the labor code and the partial elimination of France’s wealth tax taking effect, things aren’t looking so good. Budget Minister Gérald Darmanin has backed away from the government’s earlier projection of 2 percent growth ... Read More »

Vital Signs: Turkey shows the economic pain of global democratic backsliding

As American baseball legend Yogi Berra once supposedly quipped, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” Three years ago the crisis was in Greece, now it’s Turkey. Richard Holden The Conversation Another European summer and another European economic crisis. It’s tempting to say that being in Europe is all the two situations have in common. Greece’s population is a little over 10 million; Turkey’s is nearly 80 million. Greece’s troubles were triggered by out-of-control government debt; Turkey’s government debt-to-GDP ratio is ... Read More »

Erdoğan, Trump, and the Strongman Politics Devastating Turkey’s Economy

The usually bustling open market in the Kadıköy district of Istanbul was half full on Sunday. Shop owners had increased their prices twenty per cent over the past two weeks. Fariba Nawa The New Yorker The cost of a package of eggs had risen by fifty per cent in a week; the price of bananas imported from Latin America had doubled. Aynur Keskin, a homemaker with two school-aged children, bought a few items and shook her head, dismayed at the ... Read More »

America is Addicted to Sanctions

Ukraine is a good case study in the ineffectiveness of sanctions. The best way to think about the role of sanctions in American foreign policy is to regard it as an addiction. Nicolai N. Petro The National Interest Think about it. The inability to change the behavior of even the most rinky-dink nations must be enormously frustrating to those at the helm of the world’s lone superpower. This leads, not surprisingly, to the search for ways to assuage this sense ... Read More »

Gunmen besiege Kabul compound as Afghans mourn Shite dead

Gunmen besieged a compound belonging to the Afghan intelligence service in Kabul on Thursday, police said, as the city’s Shiite residents held funeral services for the victims of a horrific suicide bombing the… KABUL – Associated Press Hurriyet Police officer Abdul Rahman told The Associated Press from the location of the morning siege in a northwestern neighborhood of Kabul that the gunmen were holed up in a partially constructed building near the… The shooting – which underscored the near-daily, persistent ... Read More »

Why Jewish giving to Israel is losing ground

American Jews donate at high levels to charity. One way they support causes in the U.S., Israel and other places is collective, often through large grant-making organizations. Hanna Shaul Bar Nissim The Conversation In researching this organized philanthropy, I’ve observed that the proportion of Jewish institutional giving to Israeli causes has fallen since 2009. I believe that several factors, including demographic and social changes, a diminishing perception of Israel as being in need and concerns over the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have ... Read More »

Rising Tensions Between U.S. and Turkey

Readers criticize Turkey’s president (who wrote an Op-Ed article for The Times) for his increasingly autocratic and theocratic rule. The New York Times To the Editor: Re “Tensions Mount Between Ankara and Washington” (front page, Aug. 11): Let me get this straight. Last year President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looked on while his thuggish bodyguards assaulted American citizens peacefully protesting in Washington, and President Trump did nothing. This year, Mr. Erdogan ordered the Turkish military into northern Syria to attack and… ... Read More »

Botched CIA Communications System Helped Blow Cover of Chinese Agents

The number of informants executed in the debacle is higher than initially thought. Zach Dorfman FP It was considered one of the CIA’s worst failures in decades: Over a two-year period starting in late 2010, Chinese authorities systematically dismantled the agency’s network of agents across the country, executing dozens of suspected U.S. spies. But since then, a question has loomed over the entire debacle. How were the Chinese able to roll up the network? Now, nearly eight years later, it ... Read More »

New Zealand bans foreigners from buying property in effort to clamp down on house price growth

New Zealand’s Parliament has passed a law to ban many non-resident foreigners from buying existing homes, completing the Labour-led Government’s election campaign pledge. ABC Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern campaigned before September’s election on a promise to clamp down on house price growth and reduce high rates of homelessness, in part by banning foreign buyers. “This is a significant milestone and demonstrates this government’s commitment to making the dream of home ownership a reality for more New Zealanders,” Associate Finance Minister ... Read More »

The fallout from Turkey’s crisis will cause damage far beyond its borders

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s hubris has destablised a nation of pivotal regional importance Simon Tisdall The Guardian Hubris begets nemesis, as the ancient Greeks opined. It’s a life lesson Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s arrogant leader, appears unable to absorb as his country teeters over an abyss of his making. Erdoğan argued in June’s elections that an all-powerful executive presidency was the best way to govern – and he was the best man for the job. His wish was granted. Now Turkey ... Read More »

Economic war on Iran is war on Eurasia integration

US sanctions on Iran should be interpreted as a piece in a much larger chessboard Hysteria reigned supreme after the first round of US sanctions were reinstated against Iran over the past week. Pepe Escobar Asia Times War scenarios abound, and yet the key aspect of the economic war unleashed by the Trump administration has been overlooked: Iran is a major piece in a much larger chessboard. The US sanctions offensive, launched after Washington’s unilateral pullout from the Iran nuclear ... Read More »