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JAPAN: Leaving the Past in the Past?

LEXIE TUCKER WRITES – “Forgive and forget” is often easier said than done. When two countries have as rough a history as South Korea and Japan, it’s not surprising that tensions would be high between their leaders. For years, South Korea has requested that Japan offer compensation to the many women who were forced into […]

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MALAYSIA: The Mystery of Flight MH370

MARLENA NIP WRITES – Update after update and still the families and friends of flight MH370 passengers have been given no hope. Media outlets around the world have provided constant coverage since the commercial plane went missing March 8. Some even provide live, update feeds to keep readers and viewers posted on the latest. Sadly, […]

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PHILIPPINES: ‘Third Most Dangerous for Journalists’

TREVOR ISBELL WRITES – With the deaths of Filipino journalists on the rise, the country’s free press system is in jeopardy. Responding to the killings of 14 journalists last year, President Aquino claims the solution lies in strict law enforcement, gun control and an efficient judicial system. Sadly, none of these has been part of […]

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HONG KONG: One Country, One System?

LAUREN CHEN WRITES - Media censorship in Hong Kong is on the rise, but it’s not just press freedom that’s at stake. Instead, say Samson Yuen and Kitty Ho of The Diplomat, at risk are the core values that have until now let the “Pearl of the Orient” shine. And it begs the question: Is “One Country, […]

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NEW ZEALAND: Work Issues Should Not be Reported to Unions?

E.J. DE LARA WRITES – Unions and the media are not the place to report work related issues. At least that’s the message the Philippines ambassador to New Zealand recently delivered. The New Zealand Scoop reported that during a meeting with Filipino migrants, the Ambassador of the Philippines, Virginia Benavidez, made a controversial statement about the relationship of migrants […]

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JAPAN: Social Networking Criminals ‘Like’ Minors

LEXIE TUCKER WRITES – Through the wonders of social media, communicating with loved ones (and even not-so-loved ones) is now just a few clicks away. But with this power comes great responsibility. Through the ages, parents have warned children not to talk to strangers. But how effective is such advice to young digital natives raised […]

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THE PLATE COLUMN: Skating on Thin Ice

TOM PLATE WRITES IN HIS SYNDICATED COLUMN APPEARING IN THE JAPAN TIMES (Tokyo) – Like so many people around the world, I was totally blown away not only by Olympic skater Kim Yuna’s performance on the ice in Sochi, but even more so by her cool and classy performance off of it. While her fellow […]

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INDIA: Elections Could be the Costliest Ever

AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – The world’s largest democracy may finally be set to host the world’s most expensive elections. In the months leading to India’s April-May congressional election, the competing Congress and BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party, or the People’s Party) will spend upwards of $5 billion on TV, print, radio, and internet advertisements aimed at the […]

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Nation Says ‘No’ to ‘Noah’

AMBER VERNETTI WRITES – Just before its global premier, the Hollywood-produced film Noah was banned from the silver screen in three Arab countries, including Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates, due to its religious themes. The $125 million film, starring Russell Crowe and Anthony Hopkins, features the biblical story of Noah, who the Bible reports built […]

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AFGHANISTAN: Taliban Causes Trouble for Presidential Elections

VITTO BANEZ WRITES – With Afghan elections around the corner, it’s no surprise that the Taliban have something to say. On March 10, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Afghans should sit out the elections, because they’re “an American conspiracy”  cooked up by the U.S. for its own evil purposes. Evil or not, finding a successor […]

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THE PLATE COLUMN: Should Crimea Be Such a Priority?

SYNDICATED COLUMNIST TOM PLATE WRITES — Viewed from Los Angeles, tiny Ukraine seems much, much farther away and remote from our core national interests than, for example, gigantic Indonesia. So perhaps something is wrong with us on the West Coast of the United States, and we simply fail to understand history? This past weekend, the […]

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HONG KONG: Taking a Meat Cleaver to Press Freedom

LAUREN CHEN WRITES — This is difficult to believe, but here it is: Recently, in broad daylight, two men attacked former Ming Pao chief editor Kevin Lau Chun-to with a meat-cleaver and fled the scene. The attackers remain unidentified and, at this writing, Lau was recovering and in critical condition. Leading up to the incident, Lau […]

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WE BEG TO DIFFER: … With Professor Jay Rosen of NYU

ASIA MEDIA WRITES: NYU’S Jay Rosen has been analyzing the American media for decades.  He may be the best mind the U.S. has on this important beat.  A recent post by Professor Rosen, however, raised our eyebrows. It praised the New York Times for ‘flooding’ the Ukraine story, calling the soaking-by-staffing  “impressive.” Our only question […]

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BANGKOK: THE GRAVE DARKNESS DESCENDING OVER THAILAND

TOM PLATE WRITES:  The stakes in the outcome of the ongoing Thai Crisis are huge and go beyond the strict parameters of the country itself. Geopolitically, Thailand has been a solid U.S. ally, particularly during the Cold War and the Vietnam War. Economically, it has been a vital force amid the cluster of Association of […]

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THAILAND: Is the South a Tourist Destination? Sadly, Not Right Now

ELIZABETH NAAI WRITES – Religious violence taints Thailand’s picturesque south shores. Most Thais are Buddhist, but the south hosts a large Muslim Malay population near neighboring Malaysia. Both religions renounce violence, but attacks have claimed 5,700 lives since ethnic religious conflict began there in 2004. Recently, eight minutes of raining bullets transformed the quaint district […]

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HONG KONG: Reporters Without Borders — Media Watchdog of the World

LAUREN CHEN WRITES–Hong Kong’s media independence is in jeopardy, according to the annual 2014 World Press Freedom Index. Reporters Without Borders released its latest study, considered an objective reference tool measuring press freedom, and ranked 180 countries based on aspects such as levels of censorship, number of attacks on journalists, pluralism, media independence, and transparency. […]

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