Geopolitics

Thai Police Fire Water Cannon, Tear Gas At Rally

Thai democracy activists vowed Tuesday to return to the streets after police fired water cannon and tear gas on demonstrators in the most violent clashes seen since the protest movement erupted in July.41 people were injured as protesters forced through police barricades towards parliament in Bangkok, where lawmakers were debating possible changes to the military-scripted constitution. Student-led rallies have rocked Thailand for months, demanding a constitutional overhaul and the re

18 November 2020
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Moderna's Vaccine Nearly 95 Percent Effective

United States (US) biotech firm Moderna on Monday announced its experimental vaccine against COVID-19 was almost 95 percent effective, marking a second major breakthrough in the quest to end the pandemic.Moderna released early results from a clinical trial with more than 30,000 participants, after American pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech last week said their vaccine was 90 percent effective. Both frontrunners are based on new technology that uses synthet

17 November 2020
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Huge Asian Trade Pact Signed In Coup For China

15 Asia-Pacific countries on Sunday signed the world's biggest free trade deal, seen as a huge coup for China in extending its influence.The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) includes 10 Southeast Asian economies along with China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia, with members accounting for around 30 percent of global GDP.First proposed in 2012, the deal was finally sealed at the end of a Southeast Asian summit as leaders push to get their pandemic-hit econ

16 November 2020
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Students Climb Monument, Rappers Target Monarchy

Thai pro-democracy protesters scaled a Bangkok monument Saturday night to unfurl a giant banner scribbled with anti-government slogans, and a Thai hip hop group took aim at the monarchy with their new song.The kingdom has for months experienced massive student-led demonstrations demanding a new constitution, changes to how the royal family operates and for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha –who rose to power in a 2014 coup – to resign.Several thousand people turned out for a carnival-themed ra

15 November 2020
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Poorer Nations Wait, West Snaps Up Vaccine Supply

Hailed this week as a pandemic game-changer, the new COVID-19 vaccine offered countries that had pre-ordered doses a potential escape from a cycle of lockdowns and new waves of sickness and death. But while richer nations plan their vaccination programmes through the end of 2021, experts warn that poorer and developing countries face hurdles that could deny billions the first proven protection against the coronavirus.Vaccine developers Pfizer and BioNTech plan to roll out the first d

14 November 2020
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ASEAN Leaders To Sign China-Backed Trade Deal

Fifteen Asia-Pacific nations are set to sign an enormous free trade deal at an online summit that started Thursday, with the pact seen as a coup for China in extending its influence across the region.Once signed, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will be the world's largest trade pact in terms of GDP, according to analysts.The pact, which was first proposed in 2012 and viewed as a Chinese-led rival to a now-defunct United States (US) trade initiative, loops in 10 Sou

13 November 2020
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Myanmar Opposition Rejects 'Unfair' Election

Myanmar's military-aligned opposition party on Wednesday rejected the results of this week's election as "unfair" and called for a fresh vote - a demand immediately rebuffed by the election authorities.Official results are still trickling in, but Aung San Suu Kyi's ruling party has already declared a landslide victory based on its own tallies from across the country.The polls are only the second since the country emerged from outright junta rule in 2011.Observers said

12 November 2020
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Cambodia Razes Another US-Funded Military Facility

The United States (US) expressed disappointment Tuesday that Cambodia had demolished a second American-funded military facility without warning, as the kingdom turns to China to expand a naval base.Cambodian authorities this month finished dismantling a maintenance facility at Ream base - built in 2017 with US money after razing a tactical naval headquarters there in September.Cambodia's Defence Minister Tea Banh confirmed the demolition on Tuesday, drawing a rebuke from the US embassy.&

11 November 2020
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Myanmar Muslim MP-Elect Vows To Be Rights Champion

After five years without a single Muslim MP, Myanmar is in need of someone to help fight for the rights of oppressed minorities, says Sithu Maung as he celebrates his election to parliament.The 33-year-old was one of just two Muslims out of more than 1,100 candidates for Aung San Suu Kyi's ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party - up from zero in the last election in 2015.Muslims number about four percent of the national population and suffer particularly high levels of discrimi

11 November 2020
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A Vaccine For The Rich?

The world has been battling the coronavirus pandemic for more than 10 months now. People are slowly adapting to a new normal amid the crisis, such as physical distancing and mask wearing. However, they are still getting infected every day, with more than 50 million COVID-19 cases reported worldwide.

10 November 2020
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Vaccine 'Milestone' Hailed As COVID-19 Cases Soar

One of the teams racing to develop a coronavirus vaccine announced Monday its drug had shown 90 percent effectiveness, sending markets soaring and raising hopes of an end to the worst pandemic in a century.United States (US) pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said tests involving more than 40,000 people had provided results that were a "critical milestone" in the search for a vaccine, as global infections soared past 50 million - including an alarming 10 million now in the United States al

10 November 2020
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Suu Kyi's Party Confident Of Landslide Victory

Aung San Suu Kyi's ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) said Monday it was confident of winning a landslide victory in Myanmar as official results trickled in following the weekend's coronavirus-disrupted election.Millions lined up for hours to cast their ballots on Sunday - only the second national election since the country emerged from outright military rule in 2011.Nobel laureate Suu Kyi remains a heroine for many in the Bamar majority heartlands, in spite of a global repu

10 November 2020
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