Rumours abound about temple corruption within the inner core of Sangha power. But they remain just that, rumours. Without proof, corrupt elders continue to enjoy their wealth and privileges. Their powerful peers look the other way to protect the image of the clergy — or themselves. This latest Sangha scandal, however, might turn out differently.
There is, at long last, a solution to the troubles that beset the Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) relationship: Patience.
Shared development of oil, gas and possibly other natural resources is the most promising option for reducing tensions in the South China Sea and should be the focus of efforts to improve diplomatic relations between China and its coastal neighbours.
Back in 2009, Israel was festooned with election campaign banners that read, "A Strong Leader for a Strong Nation." They were Benjamin Netanyahu's banners, which, even if he had them in stock today, he would not dare use.
Last year, roughly 12% of Americans weren't offered an equal choice of paper or plastic at the checkout counter, because of local ordinances that banned or imposed fees on single-use plastic bags. This week, legislators in California are trying to impose the nation's first statewide ban on such bags. (The bill fell short in the state Senate on Monday, but it's likely to be revived before the end of the week.) The issue has aroused intense passions and expensive lobbying efforts. But even if it passes, the California bill's impact would be more symbolic than real.
Footpaths in Thailand's big cities, particularly Bangkok, are unique. With 24/7 food stalls in service, tourists from around the world simply love the convenience.
The terrorism that has been used against innocent people in schools and markets in the deep South is substantively drawn from the same Islamist separatist ideology that motivates Hamas in its murderous attacks against innocent people in schools and markets in Israel and the West Bank.
The horror stories emerging from northern Iraq, as well as the continuing slaughter in Syria's civil war, point to a tectonic shift in the Middle East. Almost 100 years after World War I (WWI), the regional state system established after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire is unravelling.
When the United Nations' eight Millennium Development Goals (MDG) deadline expires next year, the world will be able to point to several important achievements since their launch in 2000. Extreme poverty has been halved during this period; an estimated 100 million slum-dwellers have gained access to safe drinking water, and millions to health care; and large numbers of girls are now receiving an education.
News that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has decided to free Veera Somkhwamkid, leader of the Thai Patriots Network, and seven other members of an energy policy reform group, without pressing any charges against them, is welcome.
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