Asia-Pacific

Obama Seeks to Reassure Anxious Asians on “Rebalance”

As he embarks Tuesday on a major trip through East Asia, U.S. President Barack Obama will be focused on reassuring anxious – albeit sometimes annoying – allies that Washington remains determined to deepen its commitment to the region.

Azerbaijan Backing Turkey’s Crackdown on Gülen Movement

Azerbaijan appears to be joining in Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s campaign against a religious movement led by U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen.

India’s Women Lose the Election

“Men just do not want to give up their seats, it’s as simple as that,” says 67-year-old candidate in the Indian election Subhhasini Ali, voicing a gloomy view across women’s groups in India.

When Not To Go To School

In large parts of rural India, the absence of separate toilets for growing girls is taking a toll on their education. Many are unable to attend school during their menstrual cycle.

U.N. Denies Dragging Its Feet on U.S.-Iran Visa Dispute

After two long weeks of raging controversy over Washington's refusal to grant a U.S. visa to the Iranian envoy to the United Nations, the U.N.'s office of legal affairs is being accused of moving at the pace of a paralytic snail - only to seek more time while remaining non-committal on the dispute.

Afghanistan Turns a Political Corner

The Afghanistan presidential election is turning out to be a tale of two narratives. The more positive and democratic one could be winning the day.

U.N. Visa Denials Appendage of U.S. Foreign Policy

The United States has rarely, if ever, denied a visa to a head of state seeking to visit the United Nations to address the 193-member General Assembly, the highest policy making body in the organisation.

Uzbekistan’s Dying Aral Sea Resurrected as Tourist Attraction

"I’m going for a swim," says Pelle Bendz, a 52-year-old Swede, as he rummages in the jeep for his bathing trunks. The other tourists look at him, bewildered. What’s left of the Aral Sea is reputed to be a toxic stew, contaminated by pesticides and other chemicals.

Conflict Fuels Child Labour in India

Early in the morning, 14-year-old Sumari Varda puts on her blue school uniform but heads for the village pond to fetch water. “I miss school. I wish I could go back,” she whispers, scared of being heard by her employer.

Russians Blend Loyalty to Nazarbayev with Pro-Kremlin Sentiments

On a hillside in northeastern Kazakhstan, south of the Russian border, a simple and stark slogan looms over the city of Oskemen: “Kazakhstan,” reads the message in giant white letters arrayed across the green slope.

World Cuts Back Military Spending, But Not Asia

For the second year in a row, the world is spending a little less on the military. Asia, however, has failed to get the memo. The region is spending more at a time when many others are spending less.

Taliban Screens a New Silence

Mushfiq Wali, a 22-year-old shoemaker in northern Pakistan, loves watching films in the local Pashto language. But he says the Taliban are a killjoy: their bomb attacks have led to the closure of movie theatres, again. “They don’t spare anything that brings happiness.”

The Iranian Nuclear Weapons Programme That Wasn’t

When U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Carmen M. Ortiz unsealed the indictment of a Chinese citizen in the UK for violating the embargo against Iran, she made what appeared to be a new U.S. accusation of an Iran nuclear weapons programme.

Tajikistan’s Government Distances Itself from Labour Migrants

Labour migrants make up Tajikistan’s economic lifeline, but that’s a fact the Central Asian country’s leadership doesn’t seem eager to acknowledge.

U.N. Non-Committal over U.S. Visa Refusal to Iranian Envoy

When New York City was picked as the location for the United Nations many moons ago, the politically-important decision was followed by the 1947 U.S.-U.N. Headquarters Agreement which obligated Washington to facilitate - not hinder - the smooth functioning of the world body.

Next Page »