south and central asia

south and central asia

middle east May 20, 2017

Widespread dismay at Trump intelligence

Where to begin with Donald Trump? To every scandal he comes back with two scoops more. The latest is that in talks with the Russians, he’s potentially blown the cover of an Israeli agent somewhere in Daesh territory in Syria, and been exposed asking...

south and central asia May 13, 2017

Deradicalising Indonesian terrorists

Amir Abdillah turns his head away. He doesn’t want to look at the photograph of himself. “I was proud of what I had done back when that photo was taken,” says the 41-year-old. In the picture, Abdillah is a 35-year-old prisoner, liable to be put to...

asia pacific February 18, 2017

Flynn out as Russian connections linger

So it’s “out like Flynn” at Donald Trump’s White House, after the national security adviser, retired general Mike Flynn, was forced to resign on Monday over his contacts with the Russians. His tenure of 25 days was the...

asia pacific March 4, 2017

Trump says opponents behind hate crimes

Donald Trump announced a $US54 billion increase in defence spending, then gave the State Department 48 hours to come up with cuts of up to 30 per cent to its $US50 billion diplomacy and aid budget to help pay for it – payback...

europe October 22, 2016

China arrests threaten Packer’s Barangaroo

Many Sydneysiders would have met news that James Packer lost $600 million in paper wealth on Monday, from a 14 per cent plunge in the share price of his Crown casino group following the arrest of 18 staff in China, in the same...

europe September 24, 2016

Syrian truce over as aid convoy bombed

As it was about to move to the next phase of Russian–American co-operation against the extremist opposition, the truce in Syria fell apart early this week. United States Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign...

europe September 17, 2016

Australia to work with Russia in Syria

Next week, all going well with the ceasefire in Syria, the Royal Australian Air Force could be sitting down with Russian air commanders to discuss targeting of mutually agreed enemies in the battered country. This bizarre...

asia pacific September 10, 2016

China tightens grip on its citizens abroad

What is it about vacuum cleaners and intelligence agencies? In recent days we’ve seen frequent reference to the household appliance in the context of alleged Chinese spying in Australia. A while back it was used about the...

asia pacific September 3, 2016

Flexible communists to host world leaders

Asia-Pacific leaders including our own Malcolm Turnbull find themselves on Thursday in perhaps the most surreal capital of the region, Vientiane, for one of their main annual get-togethers. Unlike Paul Theroux in 1973, Turnbull...

middle east August 27, 2016

People’s tribunal finds Australia guilty over nuclear weapons

Malcolm Turnbull is getting accused of many things as he heads towards the first anniversary of his snafu-prone prime ministership. But aiding and abetting the planning of genocide, ecocide and even omnicide (that is, the...

south and central asia August 13, 2016

The military ponders the Thai royal succession

To switch on Thai television is to enter a dream world. Anchormen and women wear matching outfits in soft pastel colours and speak from pastel-shaded desks with backdrops in soft tones. News bulletins feature groups of...