South Korean political crisis escalates as Samsung chief awaits notice of arrest

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Seoul:  South Korean prosecutors will decide on Monday whether the head of Samsung Group, the country’s biggest conglomerate, should be arrested as an influence-peddling scandal engulfing impeached President Park Geun-hye’s government gained… Canberra Times Reuters Samsung Group chief Jay Y Lee was held overnight on… South Korean political… Read More »

Pro-reform group criticises arrests in Amman

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Lawyers say activists held in “political witch-hunt” but government justifies the arrests on grounds of… Ali Younes Al Jazeera The lawyer for one of several anti-corruption activists detained recently by Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate has demanded the immediate release of his client, saying that he… Pro-reform group… Read More »

Beijing’s smog: A tale of two cities

Beijin - CNN

Beijing (CNN)The first thing Jiang Wang does when she wakes up in the morning is check on her daughter to make sure she’s breathing clean air. Joshua Berlinger, Steve George and Serenitie Wang CNN Next, it’s time to start making breakfast. She’s already made sure all the groceries come from an organic farm. She’ll wash her produce with… Beijing’s smog: A tale of… Read More »

Hong Kong’s Lam and Tsang get nod to run in chief executive race

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Hong Kong’s Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Financial Secretary John Tsang stepped down to run for the chief executive… BENNY KUNG Asia Times China approved the resignations of two leading government officials in Hong Kong, allowing the duo to run for the top job of the… Hong Kong’s Lam… Read More »

Implementing the Iran Nuclear Deal: A Status Report

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The one-year-old Iran nuclear deal has succeeded in its goal of blocking nuclear proliferation and opening the door to Iranian economic… ICG But it remains in jeopardy unless both Washington and Tehran defend and extend the spirit as well as the letter of the… Implementing the Iran… Read More »

Why Trump, and Asia, need Randy Forbes as US Navy secretary

US - Asia Times

One man sticks out as having the knowledge, experience and expertise to confront the naval challenges America faces in Asia, writes Harry J. Kazianis Harry J. Kazianis Asia Times As the world takes stock of the upcoming transfer of power in Washington, DC, the US military faces tremendous challenges to what seemed, for a time, its limitless ability to project power around the globe and protect its… Why Trump, and Asia, need… Read More »

Indonesia’s police deny they are afraid to tackle hardline Islamic leader

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Jakarta: About 5000 members of the Islam Defenders’ Front (FPI) turned up outside Indonesian police headquarters on Monday morning, to demand the removal of West Java’s police… Jewel Topsfield Karuni Rompies Brisbane Times But if the group, once considered fringe radicals, have become increasingly vocal, it is… Indonesia’s police deny… Read More »

Iraqi minister trying to improve relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia

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Iraq’s foreign minister said he had carried messages between Iran and Saudi Arabia in a continuing attempt to curb a feud involving its two neighbors, Iran’s state broadcaster IRIB reported on… Hurriyet DUBAI – Reuters Relations between the two regional rivals worsened after hundreds of people, many of… Iraqi minister trying… Read More »

Will Cyprus be reunified?

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THE formal split of Cyprus dates to Turkey’s invasion of the island in 1974, which followed a Greece-inspired coup aimed at enosis (union with Greece). The Economist Since then Cyprus has been divided between the Greek-Cypriot republic in the south, a full member of the UN and the… Will Cyprus be… Read More »

Can Iran and India Turn the Page?

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From security to energy, the two rising powers have many interests in… Bharath Gopalaswamy, Amir Handjani The National Interest Iran and India have long had historical, cultural, and commercial… Tracing back a millennium, both countries have framed their shared roots as a… Can Iran and… Read More »

Turkey’s Relentless Attack on the Press

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It should come as no surprise that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey would praise Donald Trump for refusing to talk to a CNN reporter at a news… THE EDITORIAL BOARD The New York Times For years, Mr. Erdogan has been crushing independent voices as part of a broader effort to assert authoritarian control. Earlier this month, the… Turkey’s Relentless Attack… Read More »

Athens claims high ground as Erdogan warns troops will stay on Cyprus ‘forever’

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Turkey’s dismissal of the demand for a full withdrawal of its forces from divided Cyprus in the event of a settlement, and its overall attitude at the international summit in Geneva on Thursday, confirmed, Athens claimed on… ekathimerini“We told them clearly. When it comes to… Athens claims high… Read More »

For Israel, energy boom could make friends out of enemies

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ABOARD THE ATWOOD ADVANTAGE — In the ship’s control room, facing four video screens, a driller from Mississippi in dark shades and a black baseball cap with a skull on it held what could be the future of Israel in his… Peter Baker, New York Times The Boston Globe The massive drill he controlled extended down 11,345 feet, more than 2 miles below the… For Israel, energy … Read More »

South China Sea: China media warn US over ‘confrontation’

Island - BBC

Blocking China from islands it has built in contested waters would lead to “devastating confrontation”, Chinese state media have warned. BBC News The angry response came after secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson said the US should deny Beijing access to new islands in the South China Sea. Two state-run papers carry… South China Sea: China… Read More »

China Says It Will Ban Abuse of Children at Internet Detox Camps

China - NYT

HONG KONG — China’s internet detox boot camps have drawn wide condemnation for abusive treatment of children that includes beatings and electroshock therapy, prompting the government to draft a law that would crack down on the camps’ worst excesses. Mike Ives The New York Times Experts welcomed the law, announced this week in China’s state-controlled news media, as an initial step toward curbing scandals in the industry. “It’s a very important move for… China Says It Will Ban… Read More »

‘China will be biggest loser under protectionist Trump’

Trump - Asia Times

Customs agency official says export growth by world’s largest trading nation will be limited if US president-elect imposes greater trade measures Reuters Asia Times US president-elect Donald Trump may limit the growth of China’s exports by imposing greater trade protectionist measures, the mainland customs agency said on Friday. China is the biggest loser in… ‘China will be biggest loser… Read More »