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

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

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

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

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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