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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Home Alone

NEED TO KNOW Home Alone CHINA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/198e41ed-dcee-4398-8f9e-af928160f105.png"] A 13-year-old Chinese boy was home alone for 66 days in Kunshan in eastern China while his parents got caught up in a coronavirus lockdown in Shanghai. As the South China Morning Post reported, the boy took care of himself as...

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It Runs in the Family

NEED TO KNOW It Runs in the Family PHILIPPINES [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/76f74898-7b3b-4fc1-b7d7-88cadfea2fdf.png"] Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, a senator in the Philippines who is now running for the president, recently called on authorities to release Filipino Senator Leila de Lima from jail. As the Philippine Daily Inquirer explained, de Lima is one...

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Law & Order

[featurecontent] NEED TO KNOW Law & Order HONG KONG [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/ed89ce6f-df7c-493b-809a-681d51fa4904.png"] Gangsters beat up and robbed John Lee Ka-chiu when he was a boy growing up 50 years ago in Hong Kong public housing. Now the man whom Chinese leaders in Beijing have tapped to lead the free-market-oriented metropolis recalled...

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A Troubled Land

NEED TO KNOW A Troubled Land AFGHANISTAN [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/2beac6fe-a680-4765-a2ff-d329629a897c.png"] At least nine people died and 13 were injured in Afghanistan recently when bomb blasts blew up their mini-buses in Mazar-e-Sharif. "The targets appear to be Shiite passengers," a police spokesman told Agence France-Presse. "The enemies of Afghanistan are creating...

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The Comeback Kid

NEED TO KNOW The Comeback Kid PAKISTAN [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/eaf17bc7-6468-493e-bfe1-86954ffb120a.png"] Tens of thousands of Pakistanis attended a recent rally in support of former Prime Minister Imran Khan in Lahore. A former jet-setting cricket star who allied with religious conservatives, Khan told his supporters that he was the victim of a...

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Desperate, and Cursed

NEED TO KNOW Desperate, and Cursed SRI LANKA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/d469a690-58fa-4bcb-9cd4-16e56a24386f.png"] Schoolteacher Agnes Felician has been protesting lately against the policies of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. But she also took to the streets recently to demand justice for the estimated 270 people who died when bombers attacked three churches and numerous...

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Green Fields, Orange Apes

NEED TO KNOW Green Fields, Orange Apes INDONESIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/ec0c6f24-24ad-434b-bf1d-56e472da6e67.png"] Indonesians are talking about their government’s plan to move their capital from the metropolis of Jakarta on the island of Java to a new city under construction, Nusantara, on the island of Borneo. Expected to be completed in 2045, the...

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Push, Pull

NEED TO KNOW Push, Pull CENTRAL ASIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/2e2ef13c-a42d-db72-25cb-edaa084a6043.png"] A radio talk show host in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan recently posted a troubling note on Facebook. Noting how Kazakhs have strong feelings about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Lyubov Panova warned that criticism of the war could be...

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Packing Proxies

NEED TO KNOW Packing Proxies MALDIVES [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/e808e12a-9c97-7e3a-2d92-f3b344e1fae9.png"] Some in the Maldives want to reduce the influence of India. The same people in the archipelago nation in the Indian Ocean might want to increase the influence of China in their backyard, too. Lawmakers with the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)...

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A Wobbly Fence

NEED TO KNOW A Wobbly Fence INDIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/77bfa5a5-e30b-cebc-e08e-ada1a8fb7f63.png"] Most United Nations members rallied to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine last month. India, the world’s largest democracy, however, chose to sit on the fence, abstaining from the two votes. The reason was longstanding ties with Russia that some...

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Awkward Alliances

[featurecontent] NEED TO KNOW Awkward Alliances CHINA/ RUSSIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/21f9e324-4daf-4230-9a72-9b7adfd30562.png"] Chinese President Xi Jinping once described Russian President Vladimir Putin as “my closest foreign colleague and my best confidant.” Their affinity makes sense. The two men are the world’s most powerful autocrats, the New Yorker magazine noted. Now, however, Putin’s invasion...

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Dictatorship 2.0

NEED TO KNOW Dictatorship 2.0 TURKMENISTAN [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/b168b666-d25a-47b3-9e9e-747b1b8c92c8.png"] The 40-year old son of Turkmenistan's president, Serdar Berdymukhamedov, recently hit the campaign trail. Some wonder why he bothered. He's the shoo-in for March 12 elections – a dauphin with a long list of titles including deputy prime minister. The eight other...

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Of Handicapped Wins

NEED TO KNOW Of Handicapped Wins SOUTH KOREA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/96aac4ab-2540-4b79-8f3f-2a21e22e27fe.png"] More than 70 percent of South Koreans favor their country deploying nuclear weapons. They believe that the weapons of mass destruction might be their best defense against Chinese or North Korean aggression, according to a Chicago Council on Global...

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All in the Family

NEED TO KNOW All in the Family PHILIPPINES [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/76f74898-7b3b-4fc1-b7d7-88cadfea2fdf.png"] America produced the Adams, Bush, Clinton and other political dynasties. Now leaders in Asia are seeking to do the same. “The prevalence of dynasties reflects the great power that individual families wield in a fast-growing region of the world that...

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Battlegrounds

NEED TO KNOW Battlegrounds INDIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/1ac703d1-8192-40be-95ea-427a8f7ed9ee.png"] With live political rallies banned due to the coronavirus, LED screens are going up throughout India in anticipation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding virtual campaign speeches in the run-up to local elections in five states that start on Feb. 10. As...

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