Russia and Ukraine: Insatiable

Picture and story from Economist, for detailed attribution visit @Graffiti

The West has seen Russia brush off its threats and warnings. It looks feeble and divided. Yet, after the destabilisation of eastern Ukraine, even doves should grasp that the best chance of stability lies in standing up to Mr Putin, because firmness today is the way to avoid confrontation later. -Read more

Invented tradition and the religion of the ancients

Picture and story from BBC news April 20 2014

There’s much we know about the world’s biggest election, currently in full swing in India – some 800 million voters, voting in nine separate stages over five weeks, before results on 16 May. But in India, there are always surprises, as the BBC’s Owen Bennett Jones has been reminded on the campaign trail. -Read more

Pakistan Taliban announce end to ceasefire

From: BBC news, for detailed attribution visit @Graffiti

A Pakistani Taliban (TTP) spokesman said the move was due to the government ignoring their demands, but that they remained committed to peace talks.

There was no immediate response from the government.

Peace talks with the TTP were a key campaign pledge for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in last year’s elections.

The two sides had agreed to the ceasefire as part of peace efforts.

‘Sincere’ peace talks The TTP pledged a month-long ceasefire -Read more

Deadly Clash Between Vietnamese Border Guards and Chinese Migrants Reported

Map showing Guangxi, a major growing region for Ku Ding Cha. This herb is also grown in all the surrounding areas shown: Guizhou and Hunan to the north, Guangdong to the east, Yunnan and Vietnam to the West. It is also grown on Hainan Island, in the South China Sea.

Map showing Guangxi, a major growing region for Ku Ding Cha. This herb is also grown in all the surrounding areas shown: Guizhou and Hunan to the north, Guangdong to the east, Yunnan and Vietnam to the West. It is also grown on Hainan Island, in the South China Sea.

Story from: International New York Times for detailed attribution visit @Graffiti

The gunfight began after the guards had detained 16 Chinese around noon and were holding them inside a border post to return to the Chinese authorities, the reports said. The detainees then grabbed one or more AK-47 assault rifles from the guards and at some point began firing, the reports said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Friday night on its official microblog that a violent incident had taken place on the Vietnamese border but did not give details.

An online report from Vietnam citing the newspaper Tien Phong -Read more

South Korea spy agency ‘overhaul’ amid forgery row

South Korean President Park Geun-hye, in file image from 24 March 2014

Picture and story from BBC, for more detailed attribution visit @Graffiti

 

President Park Geun-hye said the case had exposed “wrong practices” within the National Intelligence Service.

NIS chief Nam Jae-joon promised a “bone-crushing overhaul” of the agency.

The NIS is accused of falsifying documents, including Chinese immigration records, to prosecute a North Korean defector.

On Monday one of the agency’s deputy heads, Suh Cheon-ho, resigned to take responsibility for the case. -Read more

A Point of View: Casting the vote in India and Afghanistan

 

It’s a surprisingly short flight from Delhi to Kabul. Within 90 minutes – far less than it takes to get to either Mumbai or Kolkata – you are a world away from the green tree-lined avenues of Lutyens’ Delhi, and you find yourself surrounded instead by the dusty concrete blast walls, the razor wire and the sandbagged checkpoints of the perennially tense and occasionally violent Afghan capital.

There might seem at first to be nothing to link these two disparate places. India, after all, is a poster-boy post-Colonial success story: the largest democracy in the world, widely perceived as a superpower-in-waiting, famous for its software genii, its Bollywood babes,-Read more

Ukraine says it launched ‘anti-terrorist operation’ in eastern city

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Gunmen seize police station in Ukraine

Picture and story from: CNN.com

Ukrainian security forces launched an operation on Sunday to clear pro-Russian separatists from a police headquarters in the eastern city of Slaviansk, an official said, with Kiev reporting one dead.

However a CNN crew in the city saw no sign of a large presence of Ukrainian security forces nor any confrontation with the occupiers.

Gunmen dressed in camouflage had stormed and seized the police building a day earlier in Slaviansk,-Read more