Saudi cleric on ISIL hit list shot in Philippines

Special to A prominent Saudi cleric who is on Islamic State of Iraq and Levant’s (ISIL’s) hit list was shot and wounded in the Philippines on March 1. Sheikh Aaidh al-Qarni and Saudi diplomat Sheikh Turki Assaegh were both wounded in an assassination attempt as they left a university auditorium in the southern port […]

Beijing’s new rules could ban online publishing by foreign media in China

Special to Beijing’s Ministry of Industry and Technology has written new rules that could in effect ban all foreign-invested companies from publishing online in China. The new rules, slated to go into effect on March 10, could shut down China as a market for foreign news outlets, publishers, gaming companies, information providers, and entertainment […]

U.S. F-22 stealth fighters fly low over S. Korea in show of force

Special to In a show of force aimed squarely at North Korea, four U.S. F-22 stealth fighters flew low over South Korea on Feb. 17. The F-22 Raptors flew alongside Korea’s F-15K Slam Eagle aircraft and U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets in a joint exercise out of Osan Air Base. “The F-22 Raptor […]

Burma and North Korea? No comparison

Special to By Donald Kirk, Comparisons between North Korea and Burma (also known as Myanmar) over the years have suggested that the two nations share some of the same problems. However, even in the worst periods of military dictatorship, Burma never bore any similarity to North Korea. The contrast extends from urban market […]

China deploys missile system to disputed S. China Sea island

Special to Satellite images show China has deployed the advanced HQ-9 surface-to-air missile system to a disputed island in the South China Sea. Taiwanese and U.S. officials confirmed that batteries of the HQ-9 surface-to-air missile launchers were set up on Woody Island in the Paracels chain, according to a report by Reuters. China, Taiwan […]

China launches major Saudi refinery project

Special to Chinese President Xi Jinping was on hand for the Feb. 16 launch ceremony for China’s largest investment project in Saudi Arabia, the Yasref oil refinery. Xi told reporters the refinery, which covers more than 5 million square meters in the city of Yanbu on Saudi’s west coast, conforms to the Saudi national […]

North Korea triggers a U.S. missile defense showdown among major powers

Special to By Donald Kirk, North Korean rocket launches and nuclear tests risk getting boring. The pattern is familiar: expressions of outrage, loud condemnation ― then nothing. Has the latest one-two punch of nuclear test and rocket launch changed a thing? The easy answer is not really ― but think again. The lines […]

Report: North Korea executes army chief of staff

Special to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un continued his series of purges as army chief of staff Ri Yong-Gil was executed, according to a report on Feb. 10. Ri, who was chief of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) General Staff, was executed earlier this month “for corruption and factional conspiracy,” Yonhap and other South […]

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