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Eye for an eye: Why clerics are dying again in the South

Both sides in the unrest are aware of an unwritten rule – leave the holy men alone or pay a high price

China’s dangerous hostage diplomacy

Palpable is the mounting pressure that China now exerts. Call it “hostage diplomacy” or the decidedly colloquial “China’s tit for Canada’s tat”, the death sentence awarded last Monday to Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg on drug charges after Ottawa’s detention of a Chinese executive, Meng Wanzhou, is a direly worrisome trans-Atlantic joust.

Stuck in a moo-moment? 

One of the limitations of any ideology that whips up fervour based on an emotional response is how it translates into policy decisions. 

China built a beautiful and big wall, too, but it failed

From the moment he launched his campaign for president, Donald Trump compared the barrier he wanted to build along the US southern border to China’s Great Wall. With the US government now shuttered by the standoff over funding Trump’s wall, both he and his Democratic opponents might want to take a closer look at the Chinese fortification – and why exactly it failed.

From reading to listening

As an academic and as a columnist, I associate thinking mostly with the written word. I read books and articles, and I write for readers. I listen to music, not to the spoken word. And the columns I write – unlike the editorials I used to write for television – are meant to be read, not heard.

Time for Pheu Thai to jettison Shinawatras

With or without an election win, the party must see the risks its founding family poses

Retracing Hemingway’s love affair with Ronda

Recently, I revisited the famous Spanish town of Ronda to follow the trail of the late American writer Ernest Hemingway, who celebrated his last birthday there. Ronda is famous because the old town was built on high, stiff cliffs that make for truly dazzling scenery. It also has the enchanting Mina Secreta Y Jardines del Rey Moro, where former US first lady Michelle Obama visited some time ago.

Malaysian king abdicated amid brewing disquiet

Many have been concerned about the damage to Malaysia’s royal institution.  While there has been public debate over Sultan Muhammad V’s conduct as head of state since Pakatan Harapan won the landmark May 9 elections, the idea of the Kelantan ruler ending his reign prematurely was unthinkable, as no previous king had ever abdicated.

Thailand needs more investment in health

Thailand needs to invest more in public health in ways that bring handsome returns to the economy, health experts say. 

China shines light on the dark side of the moon

Chang’e 4’s mission across the dark side of the moon has begun in earnest. The Chinese spacecraft made history with the first soft landing on the moon’s lesser-known far side earlier this month.

People deserve more than just good PM

Over-reliance on the premier ignores the need to have a great team in government

Online media are reshaping civilisation

Behold the ‘pro-sumers’, both producing and consuming news and entertainment – whose influence is steadily spreading

Russia shouldn’t distort historical facts on isles

The foreign ministerial talks between Japan and Russia were held in Moscow. It has marked the first meeting since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe named Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Russian President Vladimir Putin named his Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to be in charge of peace treaty negotiations.

Philippines must push for clarity in US defence treaty

Is it still relevant to our security? Maybe not,” Philippines Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said at a press conference last month, revealing his plans to review the 1951 Philippine-US Mutual Defence Treaty (MDT).

HK predicament will make Taiwan wary of China

It is a measure of the renewed tension over the status of Taiwan that President Tsai Ing-wen, has sought “international support” in response to the blunt message of President Xi Jinping – either to unite with China or “face the force” of Beijing to prevent Taiwan from seeking formal independence.

Flippant Duterte nearly justifies sexual offences

It comes with the territory: That was how President Rodrigo Duterte described the heinous crime of rape against overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in a speech last week. It’s a given for those “working as slaves [overseas],” he said. “Rape comes with the territory.”

Trump’s blunder on North Korea becoming clearer

There was doubt from the start that the Singapore summit achieved anything, and Kim indeed still has his nuclear capabilities

Fighting fine dust is a tough task

The past weekend saw another wave of fine dust blanket South Korea. Over the past 10 years, the frequency of waves of fine dust has increased steadily, causing people to worry about their negative effects on public health.

Japan and Britain must build strategic relations

During a visit to London, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May in which they agreed the two nations would closely cooperate in working to maintain the free trade system.

Lackadaisical approach in tackling pollution unacceptable 

More intensive measures and greater seriousness required to deal with a problem that has become a threat to public health