6 January 2020


  • Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei prays in Tehran near the coffins of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis who were killed in an air strike in Baghdad last Friday. Handout photo via Reuters

    Huge crowds throng Tehran streets for Soleimani’s funeral

    Jan 6, 2020 5:00pm
    Tens of thousands of Iranians thronged the streets of Tehran on Monday for the funeral of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani who was killed in a US air strike last week, and his daughter said his...
  • Carlos Ghosn slipped out of Japan aboard a private jet hidden in a large black case typically used to carry audio gear, according to the Wall Street Journal. Photo: AFP

    Japan orders tighter immigration procedures after Ghosn’s escape

    Jan 6, 2020 9:36am
    Japan is?tightening immigration measures after former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn fled the country while on bail, its first official response to an astonishing escape that has transformed the executive into an international fugitive, Reuters reports. Authorities...
  • An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria. File photo: Reuters

    Iran says will abandon limitations on uranium enrichment

    Jan 6, 2020 9:32am
    Iran announced on Sunday that it will abandon limitations on enriching uranium, taking a further step back from commitments to a 2015 nuclear deal with six major powers, Reuters reports. Citing state television, the report said...
  • People in Ahvaz, Iran attend a funeral procession on Sunday for Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis who were killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport last Friday. Credit: Fars news agency/WANA via Reu

    Pompeo defends US killing of Iranian military commander

    Jan 6, 2020 9:21am
    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday defended President Donald Trump’s decision to kill Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, as Democratic lawmakers questioned whether the action was justified, Reuters reports. During multiple television interviews, Pompeo...
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi attends a parliament session in Baghdad on Sunday. Credit: Govt handout picture via Reuters

    Iraq parliament seeks foreign troop expulsion after airstrike

    Jan 6, 2020 9:05am
    Iraq’s parliament has called for US and other foreign troops to leave the country amid growing anger over the US killing of a top Iranian military commander who had been on a visit to Baghdad. Iranian...
  • Popular Mobilization Forces Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (left) and Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani. Photo: Reuters

    US kills top Iranian commander Soleimani in air strike

    Jan 3, 2020 12:25pm
    The United States killed Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force and spearhead of Iran’s spreading military influence in the Middle East, on Friday in an air strike at Baghdad airport, the Pentagon...
  • Sweden launched its negative rate plan almost six years ago and has now reversed it due to the financial risks that arose from such policy. Photo: Bloomberg

    Sweden ends its experiment of negative rates

    - Jan 3, 2020 10:18am
    Negative rates are the destruction of money, an economic aberration based on the mistakes of many central banks and some of their economists who start from a wrong diagnosis: the idea that economic agents do not...
  • The unfolding Sino-American cool war is far less cut and dried than the Cold War was, the authors observe. Photo: Bloomberg

    Why a ‘cool war’ may be worse than a cold one

    - Jan 3, 2020 9:51am
    In recent years, fears of a new cold war between the United States and China have been proliferating. But the tensions between the two powers would be better described as a “cool war,” characterized not by...
  • The ongoing trade and technology war could represent an opportunity for China to extend its production networks in Asia, and to reduce its exposure in Europe and other parts of the West, the author says. Photo: Bloomberg

    The decline of global value chains

    - Jan 3, 2020 9:39am
    For more than a decade, China has been haunted by the prospect of getting stuck at an income level below that of the developed world (the “middle-income trap”). But the country’s economy is well on its...
  • Smoke billows during bushfires in Bairnsdale, Victoria, in Australia on Dec 30 in this picture obtained from social media. Photo: Glen More via Reuters

    Australian navy helps rescue thousands as new fire threat looms

    Jan 3, 2020 9:26am
    The Australian navy on Friday began the evacuations of some of the thousands of people stranded on the east coast of the fire-ravaged country as a searing weather front was set to whip up more blazes...
  • US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Washington may have to take preemptive action to protect American lives. Photo: AFP

    Pentagon sees signs Iran or proxies may be planning more attacks

    Jan 3, 2020 8:48am
    US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said there are indications Iran or forces it backs may be planning additional attacks, Reuters reports. He also warned that the “game has changed” and it is possible the United States...
  • A Reuters investigation revealed that US intelligence contractors clandestinely assisted a foreign spying operation in the United Arab Emirates, helping the monarchy to crack down on internal dissent. Photo: Reuters

    US passes legislation on overseas sales of cyber tools

    Jan 3, 2020 8:11am
    Newly passed legislation will push the US State Department to disclose how it polices the sale of cyber tools and services abroad. The move followed a Reuters investigation which revealed that American intelligence contractors clandestinely assisted...
  • Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn said he had fled to Lebanon to escape what he called a “rigged” justice system in Japan. Photo: Handout / Representatives for Carlos Ghosn / AFP

    Lebanon receives Interpol arrest warrant for Ghosn

    Jan 3, 2020 7:46am
    Lebanon received an Interpol arrest warrant on Thursday for former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn, while Turkey launched an investigation into his daring escape from Japan via Istanbul, Reuters reports. Ghosn has become an international fugitive after...
  • Indonesians ride on the back of a truck to travel across a flood-affected area after heavy rains in Jakarta on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

    Flood death toll rises in Jakarta, tens of thousands evacuated

    Jan 2, 2020 4:32pm
    Tens of thousands of people were evacuated in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta on Thursday after flash floods and landslides in the area killed up to 21 people, with more heavy rain forecast, Reuters reports. The flooding, among...
  • Cars drive in smog on the road to Cooma from Canberra in Bredbo, Australia on  Wednesday. Photo: Linsay Patterson via Reuters

    Mass evacuation in Australia as wildfires raze holiday towns

    Jan 2, 2020 3:26pm
    Tens of thousands of holiday makers raced to evacuate popular seaside towns on Australia’s east coast on Wednesday, fleeing ahead of advancing bushfires, as military ships and helicopters began rescuing thousands more trapped by the blazes....
  • There are 570 cities, some with populations in excess of 10 million, in areas at risk in the world from rising sea levels. Photo: Reuters

    Sponge Cities – Smart cities for the future

    - Jan 2, 2020 1:26pm
    Companies tackling climate-change solutions for urban areas can deliver environmental benefits and higher shareholder returns Until recently, Wuhan was one of many Chinese cities where a rapidly expanding concrete and asphalt landscape had created severe flooding...
  • Carrie Lam and her master in Beijing, Xi Jinping, have been unmoved by months of protests by Hong Kong people demanding greater democracy, among other things. Photo: Reuters

    The disease of the quasi-dictators

    - Jan 2, 2020 12:57pm
    The world is dancing to the tune of a handful of psychologically flawed men and women. As George Woodcock, biographer of George Orwell wrote, ‘love of power is a sickness that shapes and corrupts not only...
  • Protesters and militia fighters burn tires outside the US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, during a demonstration to condemn airstrikes on bases belonging to paramilitary forces. Photo: Reuters

    A decade of dissent: Why we could see more of the same

    - Jan 2, 2020 11:56am
    Like 2019, the new year and perhaps the new decade is likely to be pockmarked by popular protest, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. The question is what the protests that last year toppled...
  • A member of Iraqi security forces stands guard during a protest to condemn air strikes on bases belonging to Hashd al-Shaabi (paramilitary forces), in Baghdad on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

    Iran-backed Iraqi militias quit US embassy after protests

    Jan 2, 2020 11:12am
    Supporters of Iranian-backed Iraqi paramilitary groups who stormed the US Embassy’s perimeter in Baghdad and hurled rocks in two days of protests withdrew on Wednesday after Washington dispatched extra troops and threatened reprisals against Tehran, Reuters...
  • David Stern transformed the NBA, which at one time was largely an unknown commodity outside the United States, into a globally-televised powerhouse. Photo: Reuters

    Former NBA commissioner David Stern dies at 77

    Jan 2, 2020 9:02am
    Former National Basketball Association (NBA) commissioner David Stern, who oversaw the explosive growth in the popularity of the game during his tenure, has died at the age of 77, the league said on Wednesday. Stern, who...