A Good Day

NEED TO KNOW A Good Day CHINA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/198e41ed-dcee-4398-8f9e-af928160f105.png"] While Russian President Vladimir Putin suffers international condemnation and internal dissent, US President Joe Biden faces a test in the upcoming midterm elections, and major European leaders are either new or lack significant power globally, Chinese President Xi Jinping, 69,...

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Treading Water

NEED TO KNOW Treading Water PAKISTAN [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/eaf17bc7-6468-493e-bfe1-86954ffb120a.png"] Record floods have turned lowland farms in Pakistan into lakes, highlighting the fragility of an unstable developing nation in the era of climate change. “We are living on an island now,” farmer Muhammad Jaffar said in an interview with the New...

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Choosing Forgiveness

NEED TO KNOW Choosing Forgiveness INDONESIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/ec0c6f24-24ad-434b-bf1d-56e472da6e67.png"] Indonesian officials are considering granting early release to Hisyam bin Alizein, also known as Umar Patek, the leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, an al-Qaida-linked terrorist group that killed 202 people in a bombing at a tourist spot in Bali in 2002. The officials...

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Door Fees

NEED TO KNOW Door Fees SINGAPORE [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/7975032b-ee5e-4c38-bc1f-27c01a1778c5.png"] In the 2013 novel (and 2018 hit film) “Crazy Rich Asians,” the ingénue travels to Singapore and realizes that her boyfriend is so fabulously wealthy that their backgrounds might be too different for them to share a life together. Spoiler alert –...

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Two Diamonds

[featurecontent] NEED TO KNOW Two Diamonds INDIA/ PAKISTAN [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/70dcc710-39f9-4d07-a37e-84a4eff885c5.png"] India and Pakistan had the rare experience of separating from one another at the same time they achieved independence from Britain, 75 years ago this month, on Aug. 15, 1947. Both countries appear to still be in search of themselves...

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Terror, Redux

NEED TO KNOW Terror, Redux AFGHANISTAN [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/2beac6fe-a680-4765-a2ff-d329629a897c.png"] On Monday, the Taliban marked the first anniversary of their takeover of Afghanistan with a national holiday, small victory parades and televised speeches boasting of their “great achievements” over the past year, the Associated Press reported. “We fulfilled the obligation of jihad...

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The Girls Next Door

NEED TO KNOW The Girls Next Door BANGLADESH [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/46a3120a-34a1-40f2-8221-240a899a0fd0.png"] Indian investigators recently busted an alleged human trafficking ring that was smuggling ethnic Rohingya girls into India from refugee camps in Bangladesh. It’s just the latest misfortune to befall members of this ethnic group who have been forced from their...

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The Bidding War

NEED TO KNOW The Bidding War CHINA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/198e41ed-dcee-4398-8f9e-af928160f105.png"] American and Chinese ships and planes are more frequently encountering each other in the western Pacific Ocean, according to General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff during a recent visit to Indonesia. “The message is the...

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Huffing and Puffing

NEED TO KNOW Huffing and Puffing THAILAND [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/9aed0fb0-f5eb-4eda-ae64-69e423143eb5.png"] Thailand recently decriminalized marijuana, becoming the first country in Asia to embrace a new attitude toward the plant that the locals refer to as ganja. The Southeast Asian country will likely not become a pot-focused tourist haven anytime soon, however, the...

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The Trains To Nowhere

[featurecontent] NEED TO KNOW The Trains To Nowhere LAOS [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/2c88ac81-3523-4a3b-b94d-88479d0a30a0.png"] When Sri Lanka defaulted on its debt in May, as the BBC reported, the resulting loss in confidence in the government led a mob to occupy the presidential palace and mansion. Photos in National Public Radio captured Sri Lankans...

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The Widening Sinkhole

NEED TO KNOW The Widening Sinkhole SRI LANKA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/d469a690-58fa-4bcb-9cd4-16e56a24386f.png"] Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was once a war hero, known for crushing the Tamil Tigers and putting an end to a brutal 26-year civil war and setting a course to make the country another Asian Tiger. But last week,...

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Crimes, Public and Domestic

[featurecontent] NEED TO KNOW Crimes, Public and Domestic PAPUA NEW GUINEA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/dbe527fc-305d-4a67-99b3-558321dd4d0f.png"] Police in Papua New Guinea recently detained the son of the country’s prime minister and some construction company executives as they were traveling to a province where parliamentary elections were about to start. The executives were carrying...

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The To-Do List

NEED TO KNOW The To-Do List JAPAN [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/ab764327-df98-4918-badd-17c2c79d5685.png"] On Friday, a gunman murdered former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, a towering figure in Japan. The seismic impact of that killing will linger for years to come, a Bloomberg opinion piece noted. This is a country where violence is so rare...

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The New Opium

NEED TO KNOW The New Opium INDIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/1ac703d1-8192-40be-95ea-427a8f7ed9ee.png"] Does India have a problem with Muslims? Many say yes, after a recent political firestorm caused by high-ranking Hindu nationalists. Earlier this month, Nupur Sharma, a spokeswoman for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and other party officials...

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Crackdown, Meet Backlash

NEED TO KNOW Crackdown, Meet Backlash MYANMAR [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/9ef34308-9cd1-4a8e-a2b3-e7a7ab6846ed.png"] The military junta that controls Myanmar recently put deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi into solitary confinement. She has been imprisoned since February 2021 when the junta overthrew her elected government, the BBC reported. Suu Kyi, 77, is a Nobel...

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Drawing in Pencil

NEED TO KNOW Drawing in Pencil KASHMIR [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/90dd5b26-68ab-4da8-9ee5-e4e856464e0d.png"] Three years ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unilaterally abolished the limited autonomy that India’s portion of the disputed region of Kashmir enjoyed. At the time, Modi claimed the move would reduce violence in the region. Kashmir is the only Muslim-majority...

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Going, Going, Gone

NEED TO KNOW Going, Going, Gone KAZAKHSTAN [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/d52e63cf-06bb-47d0-b573-377bff5ae37c.png"] Kazakhs overwhelmingly voted in favor of decentralizing government, reducing the power of the president, rescinding former president Nursultan Nazarbayev's status as "Leader of the Nation," and banning his family from official positions. "We have shown that we are united in building...

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The War on Grain

NEED TO KNOW The War on Grain INDIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/1ac703d1-8192-40be-95ea-427a8f7ed9ee.png"] India and other nations are banning exports of wheat as the price of the vital commodity skyrockets due to supply chain shocks from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “As the war continues, there is a growing likelihood that food shortages, particularly...

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The Jig is Up

NEED TO KNOW The Jig is Up NORTH KOREA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/081c0373-fb17-4e7d-af63-346faaef42b7.png"] For more than two years, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un insisted that the coronavirus had not pierced his country's population, even as health experts and media worldwide found evidence that the illness had spread throughout the globe. Recently,...

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The New Guard

[featurecontent] NEED TO KNOW The New Guard AUSTRALIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/81d62805-bef8-41fd-9c0c-ed93ea461226.png"] Australia is experiencing its most raucous federal elections in years as outsiders seemed poised to disrupt the placid pace of leaders in Canberra after polls close on May 21. Voters in North Sydney, a wealthy, multicultural district of the continent-country’s largest...

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