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Asia Watch

A United Nations-backed ceasefire between the Saudi-allied forces loyal to President Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and Shia Houthi rebels took effect in Yemen on Sunday, raising hopes that the warring factions may purposefully work towards a negotiated solution.

 

After every fresh outrage claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS) — like the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels and the suicide bombing of a football stadium near Baghdad, which killed dozens and injured hundreds — a standard debate ensues: does Islam condone these atrocities against civilians? With its extreme violence and nihilistic mindset, the IS seems a death cult bent on senseless destruction.

 

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s recent controversial comments about the “occupation” of the Western Sahara generated a great deal of pushback from a broad spectrum of Moroccan circles – from the government’s decision to cut down the number of staffers and funding at the UN mission in the Sahara to global protests from France to New York.

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement on March 14 that “the main part” of the Russian military presence in Syria would be pulled out may have taken many by surprise.

 

The 'refugee crisis' in Europe appears to have acquired a new sense of urgency in the last few weeks, as thousands of Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans,continue to land on Greek islands from various points on the Turkish coastline.

 

Iran reportedly test-fired two ballistic missiles Wednesday with the phrase “Israel must be wiped out” written on them, a show of force by the Islamic Republic as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visited Israel.

 

Iran has just completed the tenth parliamentary elections of its revolutionary era, once again with a large turnout and some unexpected results.

 

The message must be resonating across the international community. The reformists have swept the elections in Iran - a profound moral victory for President Hasan Rouhani.

 

Iran’s moderates have dealt another blow to the country’s hard-liners, winning the majority of seats in last week’s vote for the Assembly of Experts, a clerical body empowered with choosing the nation’s supreme leader.

 

Western officials said Bashar al-Assad’s days were numbered and predicted he would soon be forced to the negotiating table. It did not turn out that way.

 


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Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assumed office again in Bangladesh in 2009, bilateral relations between New Delhi and Dhaka have been on a steady upward trajectory.
 
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Senior representatives from the US, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan met in Muscat, Oman, on Monday to revive stalled peace talks with the Taliban, but the insurgent group failed to participate in the meeting being held after a year.
 
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Ruskin Bond’s first novel ‘Room on the Roof’ describes in vivid detail how life in the hills around Dehradun used to be. Bond, who is based in Landour, Mussoorie, since 1963, captured the imagination of countless readers as he painted a picture of an era gone by.
 
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India’s foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attained a level of maturity which allows it to assert itself in an effective manner. This is aimed at protecting the country’s national interests in a sustained way.
 
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Braid-chopping incidents have added to the already piled up anxieties of Kashmiris. Once again they are out on the streets, to give vent to their anger. A few persons, believed to be braid-choppers were caught hold by irate mobs at various places. They were beaten to pulp.
 
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Communist parties everywhere gather the ranks every five years to review the past, set future direction, renew political leadership and rejig organisational structure.
 
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In a move lauded worldwide, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud recently issued a royal decree allowing women to obtain driving licences.
 
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The death toll from Saturday’s twin truck bombs in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu has crossed 300.
 
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On “Defining Our Relationship with India for the Next Century”
 
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Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699

 
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Could the North Korean nuclear issue which is giving the world an anxious time due to presence of hotheads on each side, the invasion of Iraq and its toxic fallout, and above all, the arms race in the teeming but impoverished South Asian subcon...

 
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Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
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As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
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Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
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