The Neighbourhood/World
Iraq and the U.S. are losing ground to the Islamic State - David Ignatius, Washington Post
Jalal al-Gaood, one of the tribal leaders the United States has been cultivating in hopes of rolling back extremists in Iraq, grimly describes how his home town in Anbar province was forced this week to surrender to fighters from the Islamic State. The extremists were moving Wednesday toward Gaood’s town of Al-Zwaiha, the stronghold of his Albu Nimr clan just east of the Euphrates River. The attacking force had roughly 200 fighters and about 30 armed trucks.
ISIL: Fighting new enemy in West Asia - Economic Times
It is clear that the group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has declared a ‘Caliphate’ in regions of Syria and Iraq it controls, must be stopped. Here is a group so murderous that even al Qaeda called it a bunch of renegade extremists. And while fighting against Kurds is on in the town of Kobane, major cities in Iraq are also threatened.
End of the American century - Prem Shankar Jha, Indian Express
A hundred years after it began, the American century is drawing to a close. It began in the closing stages of World War I, when the exhausted Allies turned to the Americans for the final, decisive push to defeat Germany. It is ending with the Obama administration’s increasingly obvious inability to stop the growth of the IS, the Islamic State. What is coming to an end is not America’s military pre-eminence in the world: no country can even think of waging war against it. What is ending is American hegemony.
Modi and Jokowi - C Raja Mohan, Indian Express
India is probably too preoccupied with itself to notice that a new leader, Joko Widodo, has taken charge of Indonesia this week. It is a pity that there was no Indian political figure present when Widodo was sworn in on Monday.
No endgame in Hong Kong - Minxin Pei, Indian Express
The pro-democracy demonstrations organised by students in Hong Kong seem to have peaked. But the crisis of governability in Asia’s vital commercial hub is far from over. When tens of thousands of protesters were blockading Hong Kong’s government offices and main shopping districts in the beginning of October, the question on most people’s minds was whether the Chinese government would sanction the use of force, Tiananmen-style, to disperse the protesters.
India, Vietnam to identify newer areas of cooperation - Elizabeth Roche, Mint
India and Vietnam will aim to upgrade bilateral economic and strategic ties, identifying newer areas of cooperation for businesses and discussing the sale of military hardware including the India-Russia co-developed cruise missile Brahmos during a visit by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to India next week. Dung’s visit starting 27 October will be the third high-level interaction between India and Vietnam in three months. Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj visited Hanoi in August to pave the way for a visit to Vietnam by President Pranab Mukherjee in September.
With an eye on China, India to step up military ties with Lanka, Maldives - Rajat Pandit, Times of India
India will further step-up defence cooperation with Sri Lanka and Maldives, including assistance in "capacity-building" of their armed forces through both training and supply of equipment, in tune with the overall policy to steadily boost military ties with countries in Indian Ocean to counter China's strategic inroads in the region. Defence minister Arun Jaitley on Monday held a meeting with visiting Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakshe, the brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, to discuss ways to expand the bilateral military relationship.
After US, Modi to address Indian diaspora in Australia - Times of India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to do an encore of his Madison Square Garden performance - in Australia. When Modi travels to Australia for the G20 summit and a bilateral visit afterwards, he is likely to address the huge Indian diaspora both in Sydney and in Melbourne. In Sydney, Indian-Australian community organisations are targeting using the famous Olympic Grounds, while in Melbourne, Modi's speech is likely to be broadcast from the history Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Japanese PM Abe suffers setback as two ministers quit - Linda Sieg, Reuters
Two Japanese cabinet ministers resigned on Monday over the dubious use of political funds, dealing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe his biggest setback since he took office in December 2012. The resignations of the two women, including the high-profile trade and industry minister, could complicate tough decisions on key policies, including whether to go ahead with an unpopular plan to raise the sales tax and planned restarts of nuclear reactors shut down after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.
Xi Jinping gambles on ‘Chinese Dream’ - Atul Aneja, Hindu
Chinese President Xi Jinping is on a trail that could see him become an icon — scripting a message that blends Confucius and Mao, without abandoning the centrality of Deng Xiaoping’s code of reforms.
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