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  • Chinese have so much to learn from the Jews about soft power
    by Wang Xiangwei on 20. oktober 2018 at 04:02

    Ever since President Xi Jinping bent China’s retirement rules and allowed 70-year-old Wang Qishan, one of his most trusted allies, to become the country’s vice-president in March, Wang’s role and influence in Xi’s administration has remained a subject of constant speculation among China observers. Publicly, the traditional role of China’s vice-president is largely ceremonial, and the most public function is to receive visiting foreign dignitaries, as Wang has... […]

  • UN asks Sri Lanka to repatriate commander in Mali over human rights record
    by Associated Press on 20. oktober 2018 at 03:38

    The United Nations asked the government of Sri Lanka on Friday to immediately repatriate the commander of its 200-strong contingent assigned to the UN peacekeeping force in Mali following a review of his human rights background. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the request for Lieutenant Colonel Kalana Amunupure to leave the troubled West African nation was made “based on recently received information”. He gave no details. A report in The Guardian newspaper in July quoted a... […]

  • Behind Crazy Rich Singapore’s mask, a growing class divide
    by Kok Xing Hui on 20. oktober 2018 at 03:15

    In the background, a luxury goods shop, a stooped elderly cleaner sweeping its storefront; on one side of the bridge sits expensive condominiums, bars and restaurants, on the other, rental flats housing Singapore’s poorest. These scenes unfolded in a documentary titled Regardless of Class by Channel NewsAsia released on October 1, with a security guard revealing he felt as though he was not treated like a person. A cleaner said: “I know I’m invisible. I have to get used to... […]

  • Australia’s government braces for defeat in crucial by-election
    by Agence France-Presse on 20. oktober 2018 at 02:25

    Australia’s embattled conservative coalition was bracing for defeat as polls opened in a crucial by-election Saturday, with a loss set to snuff out its slim parliamentary majority. The by-election in the wealthy Sydney seat of Wentworth was triggered after former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull was ousted in a party-room coup in August – the sixth change of leader in the last decade. Turnbull’s successor, Scott Morrison, is facing public anger about the leadership merry-go-... […]

  • Khashoggi killing could drive Saudi Arabia into China’s arms
    by Tom Holland on 20. oktober 2018 at 01:45

    The disappearance of dissident Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and his alleged killing inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by a hit squad acting on orders from the highest levels of the royal family in Riyadh, could be a watershed moment for the country. Over the last year, Western media have largely been full of praise for Saudi Arabia’s young crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, hailing him as a bold reformer for permitting women to drive and allowing cinemas to reopen.... […]

  • EU emerges as champion of free trade with Singapore deal
    by Aaron Low on 19. oktober 2018 at 23:35

    Against the backdrop of rising protectionism and a raging trade war, two stout proponents of free trade have shown there is another way: a free flow of goods and services. The European Union and Singapore signed the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, which will boost services, improve market access, and see tariffs between both parties eliminated in five years. In signing the deal on Friday, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, President of the European Council Donald Tusk and... […]

  • US and South Korea call off another major military exercise, hoping to give diplomacy with Pyongyang a chance
    by Associated Press on 19. oktober 2018 at 20:50

    The United States and South Korea are scrapping another major military exercise this year, a Pentagon official said on Friday, citing a push for diplomatic progress with North Korea. The top Pentagon spokeswoman, Dana White, said Washington and Seoul were suspending an air exercise known as Vigilant Ace “to give the diplomatic process every opportunity to continue”. It was the latest move aimed at trying to nudge North Korea, which despises such US-South Korean exercises, into... […]

  • Horror in India as speeding train ploughs through festival crowd, kills 58, and doesn’t stop
    by Associated Press on 19. oktober 2018 at 16:31

    A speeding train ran over a crowd watching fireworks during a religious festival in northern India on Friday, killing at least 58 people and injuring dozens more, police said. The train failed to stop after the accident on the outskirts of Amritsar, a city in Punjab state, said the state governing Congress party politician, Pratap Singh Bajwa. Police Commissioner S. S. Srivastava said the police have found 58 bodies so far. The Press Trust of India news agency said two trains arrived from the... […]

  • Hindu groups again block women from entering Indian temple, defying a court ruling
    by Associated Press on 19. oktober 2018 at 14:17

    Dozens of Hindu priests on Friday joined conservative protesters to block women of menstruating age from one of the world’s largest Hindu pilgrimage sites, defying a ruling from India’s top court to let them enter. The priests threatened to stop rituals and prayers in the Sabarimala temple in southern Kerala state if women ages 10-50 tried to enter the shrine. “We have decided to lock the temple and hand over the keys and leave. I stand with the devotees. I do not have any... […]

  • Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim to emphasise bilateral ties and Uygur rights on China visit
    by Tashny Sukumaran on 19. oktober 2018 at 12:41

    As democracy icon Anwar Ibrahim makes his way to the prime ministership promised to him by 2020, Malaysia’s largest trade partner has begun testing the waters to see if the leader-in-waiting will continue premier Mahathir Mohamad’s occasionally adversarial approach. In a recent interview, Anwar told Nikkei that on his trip to China next week, he would be meeting officials to speak on Malaysian rule of law and the future of China-Malaysia ties. “They want to know from me what... […]