03/26/2015INDIA India’ Narendra Modi to speed up adoption of "anti-farmer" law The Hindu nationalist-led government wants to change existing legislation to make it easier to expropriate land for large companies. To do so, the prime minister plans to employ a legislative measure only used three times since independence. For the opposition, this will promote divisions and social disharmony. New Delhi (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government are in a hurry to change an existing law to facilitate the process of land acquisition by private interests.
In their view, this would speed up investment in India. However,...
03/26/2015PHILIPPINES - CHINA Manila accuses Beijing of wanting to control the entire South China Sea Philippine Foreign Minister speaks of " China’s expansionist agenda" dominated by "massive" reclamation projects. Beijing’s "growing" activities aimed to affect the work of the UN international tribunal, convoked by Manila to resolve the dispute. China continues to claim sovereignty of the area.
03/25/2015NEPAL Political uncertainty hampers Nepal’s economic growth by Christopher Sharma In its 2015 report, the Asian Development Bank ranks Nepal 132nd out of 147 countries in terms of competitiveness. Capital investments are limited and the government does not invest in growth. Political interference and frequent staff turnover are blamed.
03/25/2015CHINA Beijing's last coal plant will close in 2016 The Chinese capital has a pollution level twice the national average. Four mega coal based power plants have operated for decades. Coal still provides about 70% of the country’s energy needs, but the damage to the environment is incalculable.
03/25/2015IRAN – ASIA As the prospects for a nuclear deal improve, Asians line up for Iranian oil Some of Asia’s biggest refiners are betting on a positive outcome to negotiations. Once international sanctions are lifted, Tehran could boost crude oil production by one million barrels per day to pre-sanctions levels and more. China, South Korea, India and Japan are vying for a slice of the pie.
03/24/2015IRAN Time for a deal with Tehran, a reliable partner against the Islamic State group by Bernardo Cervellera
A framework agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue has to be inked by 31 March. US Republicans, Israel and Saudi Arabia are fiercely opposed to it for ulterior motives. Hassan Rouhani wants Iran to come back into the international fold. Tehran is playing a mediating role in the Middle East. For Vatican nuncio, “there is no evidence that Iran is preparing a nuclear bomb.”
03/23/2015YEMEN As Houthi militias move south, UN warns of possible civil war After seizing Taez, Houthis move south, towards Aden President Hadi's refuge. IS claims responsibility for the attacks against two mosques in Sana's, killing 142. With Saudi-Iranian confrontation playing itself out, UN calls for renewed political dialogue.
03/23/2015VATICAN Pope: Where there is no mercy, there is no justice, not even in the Church "When the people of God come voluntarily to ask forgiveness, to be judged" they often find vicious people "capable of trying to exploit them," they find "dealmakers" who "do not give oxygen to that soul, do not give hope" or they find "the rigid who punish in the penitent they themselves hide in their own soul".
03/23/2015SINGAPORE Singapore mourns Lee Kuan Yew, 91, the towering boss of the Asian tiger The government, under Lee's son Lee Hsien Loong, declared seven days of national mourning. A state funeral is scheduled for 29 March. The elderly statesman had been in hospital for weeks battling pneumonia. He led the small country with an iron fist for 30 years, creating a stable corruption-free economy. For critics, the price of his success was the denial of rights and freedoms.
03/21/2015SOUTH KOREA-CHINA-JAPAN After three year gap Seoul, Tokyo and Beijing restart talks The foreign ministers of the three countries met today in the South Korean capital to restore the annual trilateral summit. The summit has not taken place since 2012, after Japan’s missteps on unresolved issues dating back to the war and disputes in the East China Sea with China.
03/21/2015TAJIKISTAN President Rakhmon appoints his son to head state anti-corruption agency The 27 year-old Rustam Emomali is the new director of the official body that punishes crimes of corruption. The son of the incumbent president had a fast-tracked political career. The International community has accused the agency of pursuing the president’s opponents. The current appointment lays the foundation for the succession to the presidency of the country.
03/19/2015VATICAN After two years, the pope is appreciated even from a distance Francis began his pontificate on the feast day of Saint John in 2013. An inspiration for world leaders like Obama, he is also appreciated by the Church's critics who love more his ways than his words, treated as slogans more than ideas. He chose Francis so that the poor be the focus. As he enters the third year of his pontificate, he will face crucial moments, like the Synod on the family but especially the Jubilee of Mercy, whose impact will be felt both within and without the Church. The same is true for his reform of the Roman Curia.