The Neighbourhood/World
Enlightenments, old and new - I - Deepak Lal, Business Standard
The ongoing proxy war inflaming West Asia (including India's western frontiers), between the Sunnis led by the theocratic Wahhabi monarchy of Saudi Arabia and the Shias led by the theocracy of Iran, is reminiscent of the Thirty Years' War between the Catholic and Protestant powers of Europe in the 17th century that ended with the treaty of Westphalia in 1648. But just as this treaty merely stopped the merging of domestic and foreign policy...
Democracy appears to be in trouble in South Asia - Khaled Ahmed, Indian Express
Are democracies collapsing in Asia? Out of the four that wilted recently, three are Muslim majority. Thailand went under when the Thai army, inured to the job, took over. Bangladesh, after holding elections in January this year, is trying to digest a three-fourths parliamentary majority of the winning party in a famously polarised electorate. 
France joins U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, wipes out ISIS target - CBC News
France is back at America's side in conducting military strikes in Iraq. More than a decade after spurning President George W. Bush's war against Saddam Hussein, France on Friday became the first country to join U.S. forces pounding targets inside Iraq from the air in recent weeks — this time in pursuit of militants of the Islamic State group. Flying from the United Arab Emirates, two French Rafale jets fired four laser-guided bombs to destroy a weapons and fuel depot outside the northern city of Mosul, part of the territory the militants have overrun in Iraq and neighboring Syria, officials said.
Nepal agrees to crack down on radio channels used by China for propaganda - Vijaita Singh, Indian Express
At a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the SAARC Interior Ministers’ Conference in Kathmandu, India raised the issue of China using community radio channels for anti-India propaganda. A top government official said Nepal agreed to crack down on the radio channels being aired primarily in the Terai region. Union Home minister Rajnath Singh, who held meetings with Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and the country’s home minister Bamdev Gautam, is learnt to have raised the issue with them.
How Scots won & UK stayed one - Times of India
When 3.6 million Scots voted on Thursday on whether to leave or stay within the United Kingdom, they were answering one simple question: Should Scotland be an independent country? But for a time some politicians on both sides of the debate wanted to include a third choice on the ballot: maximum devolution of powers to Scotland within Britain, or so-called devo-max. Even Alex Salmond, Scotland's first minister and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), backed including such an alternative, arguing that he was "not for limiting the choices of the Scottish people."
The jihadi logic - Charles Krauthammer, Hindu
What was the Islamic State thinking? We know it is sophisticated in its use of modern media. But what was the logic of propagating to the world videos of its beheadings of two Americans (and subsequently a Briton) — sure to inflame public opinion? There are two possible explanations. One is that these terrorists are more depraved and less savvy than we think. They so glory in blood that they could not resist making an international spectacle of their savagery — after all, they proudly broadcast their massacre of Shiite prisoners — and did not quite fathom how such a brazen, contemptuous slaughter of Americans would radically alter public opinion and risk bringing down upon them the furies of the U.S. Air Force.
Economic diplomacy with China and Japan - Rathin Roy, Mint
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan, and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India have been portrayed as a challenge for India’s economic diplomacy. Strengthening relations with one is being seen as an alternative to the other. Some view this as an opportunity for India to pit two rivals against each other to its advantage. Others expect India to prioritize its relationships with one Asian partner over the other.
Liberal professor of Islam shot dead in Pakistan - Guardian
A professor of Islam known for his liberal religious views has been shot dead in the Pakistani port city of Karachi. Mohammad Shakil Auj, 54, dean of Islamic Studies at the University of Karachi, was on his way to an Iranian cultural centre to which he had been invited as a guest of honour. His car was being driven down a ramp from a flyover when "bullets were fired, one hit the professor in the head and he died", senior police officer Pir Mohammad Shah said. Another bullet struck Auj's junior colleague – whom police named only as Amna – in the arm, wounding her.
Scottish regions bursting with 'Yes' enthusiasm - Parvathi Menon, Hindu
The thick and unseasonal mist, called the Haar, that descended on Edinburgh on referendum day did not dampen voter enthusiasm, nor did it impact what seemed to be an overwhelming Yes presence and enthusiasm in a great many parts of the city. In Craigmillar, a locality five km from Edinburgh’s city centre, a steady stream of assorted residents from less privileged economic backgrounds, entered the polling station in the East Neighbourhood Centre.
Neither warmongers nor wimps - Britta Petersen, Hindu
It is a very German discussion that has been occupying the media of Europe’s largest economy for the last few months. It started with a cover story in the leading news magazine Der Spiegel that called on policymakers to “Stop Putin. Now.” The conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) followed suit with an op-ed demanding a new “double-track-decision” that would show Europe’s “economic, political and military readiness to retaliate” against Russia.
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