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INSIGHTS

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Poor human trafficking records and implications for ASEAN
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In June, the US State Department released its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, which ranks countries based on their efforts to combat modern slavery. The report did not put any countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at Tier 1, the rank...

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The Iraq crisis and the impact on Asia
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Currently, clashes in Iraq between government forces and Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants is in the north of the country, away from the most productive oil fields in the south. Iraqi oil exports, and global oil prices, have thus remained relatively unaffected....

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Farewell, Thailand: The Return Home for Cambodian Migrant Workers
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The latest episode in Thailand’s military coup saga is the exodus of undocumented Cambodian migrant workers from the country. These workers have largely fled in fear of government persecution due to their legal status in the country. Reports accusing the Thai military junta of killing...

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Human rights and security in ASEAN: Fallen by the wayside?
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With its 2015 deadline approaching, just how much ground has been covered towards building an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Community? Blueprints for the three pillars of economic integration, political and security cooperation, and socio-cultural cohesion have already been drawn up for implementation by...

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PSI 400 Haze in Singapore: One year on
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Singapore was besieged by haze measuring PSI 400 about a year ago. The fact that we are enjoying clear skies right now is no guarantee that another severe haze episode will not happen anytime soon. The fact remains that hotspots are a common occurrence in Indonesia....

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UN climate talks: On track for Paris 2015?
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The recent climate talks in Bonn gave a renewed sense of hope for a global, legally binding agreement to be brokered by the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. This optimism is bolstered by recent indications by the United States and China of a willingness...

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Shock after the lull: Southeast Asian terrorists in the Middle East
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Ahmad Tarmini Maliki, a 26-year-old Malaysian factory worker from Selangor, allegedly blew up 25 elite Iraqi soldiers at Iraq’s SWAT headquarters in al-Anbard on 26 May. He is believed to be Malaysia’s first suicide bomber and is linked to militants of the group called the...

modi-reporters
India: Time to relook the East
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The first India-China meeting since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in New Delhi last month has hogged headlines for its significance of thawing bilateral relations between the two Asian giants. Mr Modi’s top foreign policy objectives of using economic diplomacy to fulfill India’s national...

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Indonesia-Australia: Who’s courting whom?
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Last week, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono held their first face-to-face conversation since the controversy over asylum boats and phone-tapping scandal. This highly anticipated reunion between Indonesia and Australia might have taken place earlier in May when Mr Yudhoyono...