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Tibetans skirt tight Chinese surveillance to mark the Dalai Lama’s 87th birthday

Tibetans bucked tight Chinese security and online surveillance to honor the 87th birthday Wednesday of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama with incense and picnics, sources in the region said. Previous years have seen arrests in the weeks around the July 6 birthday and Lhasa and other population centers across Tibet and Tibetan regions of Chinese…

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Five Cambodian opposition parties demand political reform, greater freedoms

Representatives from five Cambodian opposition parties, including the main opposition Candlelight Party, met on Wednesday to demand electoral reforms and greater political freedom, but were unable to reach a deal on forming a political alliance, one of the party leaders told RFA. The Candlelight Party took about 19 percent of the country’s 11,622 local council…

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Arrests of Vietnam environmentalists clash with carbon cutting goals

The arrest and sentencing of prominent environmentalist Nguy Thi Khanh and other rights defenders in Vietnam are in conflict with the country’s commitment to reducing its considerable carbon emissions to combat climate change, human rights and environmental groups said. Nguy Thi Khanh, an ardent opponent of Vietnam’s reliance on coal power and winner of the…

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Cambodian court warns Kem Sokha, on trial for ‘treason,’ not to get political

A court in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh warned opposition leader Kem Sokha not to engage in any further political activities after the prosecution played a recorded conversation he held with supporters ahead of recent local elections, the latest wrinkle in his trial that started more than two years ago on unsubstantiated charges of treason. The…

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RIMPAC gets underway amid rising U.S.-China tensions

Ships from various nations taking part in this year’s RIMPAC exercises. CREDIT: U.S. Navy The world’s largest naval exercise, the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) started Wednesday, promoting maritime cooperation in a region being clouded by U.S.-China rivalry. The U.S.-led war games, joined by all members of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or the Quad, sends…

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UK investigates Vietnamese billionaire’s funding of Oxford University college

The British government is investigating a £155 million (U.S.$191 million) grant to Oxford University’s Linacre college by a Vietnamese billionaire. Education Minister Michelle Donelan told the House of Commons that the ministry would give an update in the next few days after looking into the grant from VietJet founder Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao. Donelan’s comments…

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China balancing close ties with Russia and distance from Ukraine war: analysts

Chinese leader Xi Jinping is struggling to balance his country’s geopolitical interests with his support for Russia in the wake of president Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, analysts said following a call between the two leaders. China’s foreign ministry said Xi had told Putin that Beijing would work with Moscow on bilateral cooperation, but struck…

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Russia, Ukraine turn Indonesia into diplomatic battlefield

The Russian and Ukrainian ambassadors have turned Indonesia – this year’s G20 chair – into a diplomatic battlefield by holding tit-for-tat press briefings, becoming regulars at local newsrooms and giving interviews to present their versions of what’s happening in the actual warzone.  Take the case of an in-person press conference last week by Lyudmila Vorebieva,…

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‘We must stop Russia,’ Ukraine’s leader urges Singapore security forum

The future rules of the international order are playing out in Ukraine’s war zones, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the Shangri-La Dialogue security forum in Singapore as he rallied support for his country Saturday in its fight against Russia’s invading forces.   The Ukrainian leader appeared on a giant screen as he addressed delegates from 40 countries,…

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