On December 3, the Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS) reported in closed-door parliamentary sessions that Jang Sung-taek, uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has been removed from his positions and his closest two confidants had been executed last month. No official confirmation has come out from Pyongyang to validate the NIS claims.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced the creation of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Saturday, November 23.
Q1: Merrill Newman: Who is he?
This Sunday (November 24), Hondurans will head to the voting booths to elect 128 members of the National Congress, 298 mayors and vice-mayors, 20 representatives to the Central American Parliament—and, most importantly, the country’s next president.
Tens of millions of Indians will go to the polls over the next month to cast their votes in five state assembly elections. India is in the run-up to national elections (by May 2014) and is also experiencing a difficult economic environment of slower growth and high inflation, especially food price inflation.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on November 12 concluded the much anticipated Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee. Based on the vague official communique released at the plenum’s closing, most initial media commentary quickly pronounced the meeting disappointing—if not a total failure—causing markets to punish Chinese stocks. But the new leadership team proved these judgments to be premature with the release on November 15 of a comprehensive blueprint containing the most sweeping reform proposals in decades. The bold reform package is a powerful demonstration of President Xi Jinping’s personal authority within the system after only a year at the helm of the CCP.
This Sunday (November 17), Chileans will vote in the first round of the country’s presidential elections. And for the first time, their votes will be voluntary—until now, every registered voter was required to vote or risk facing hefty fines.
As a tropical country made up of more than 7,100 volcanic islands, the islands of the Philippines are vulnerable to a variety of natural disasters, ranging from earthquakes and tsunamis to flooding and landslides. In fact, that nation experiences an average of 19 typhoons each year. The latest—and possibly the most devastating to date—is Super Typhoon Haiyan.
Earlier this week, Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo reported that the Agência Brasileira de Inteligência (Abin), Brazil’s top intelligence agency, has conducted spying operations on diplomatic targets within Brazilian borders.
Indonesia has experienced a historic and unprecedented transformation to democracy in the 15 years since the fall of the Suharto regime in 1998. It will hold legislative elections in April 2014 and its third direct presidential elections in mid-July.