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Beautiful game edges closer to redemption
Russia’s World Cup displays a few positives

King of the Ghats: life and death on the banks of the Ganges
It is well past midnight as Bahadur Choudhary, a fourth-generation caretaker of Varanasi’s ancient cremation grounds, sprinkles ceremonial butter on huge funeral pyres burning on the banks of the Ganges.

The role of Asean’s ports in China’s Belt and Road
China’s investments in deep-sea ports in Myanmar and Cambodia will provide critical links in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), but there are also concerns that they could give China undue economic leverage in the region.

Malaysia likely headed for more turmoil
The Najib Razak affair will pit his friends against his foes, echoing Thailand’s political division

Property ‘windfall tax’ is long overdue
The government is poised to get some cash back from developers who build near public transport systems

Peace restored to troubled valley  
Taleban defeated by the quiet strength of Pakistan’s Buddha

In Bangkok, you can’t get there from here
Compared to the thrilling rapidity of the dramatic cave rescue in Chiang Rai, the travelling life of the average Bangkok commuter has continued to be remarkably slow. Motorists are used to that, of course, but riders of the BTS Skytrain have abruptly been deprived of their accustomed fast lane.

Pigs, paws and pistachios: US goods face tariffs in China
From pig heads to pistachios to whiskey, China’s proposed list of targeted US products for higher border taxes could take a bite out of bilateral trade between the world’s top two economies. After Washington imposed new tariffs on billions of Chinese imports just past the stroke of midnight last Friday, Beijing hit back immediately dollar for dollar.

Thai military mindset stuck in the past
Two major rescue operations demonstrate need for more sophisticated ‘weapons’ in emergency-response missions

Is Malaysian politics working on the toss of a coin?
Perhaps the biggest question prompted by the arrest of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak is a hypothesis. What if he had won the general election that took place a few weeks earlier?

Crushed for the ‘crime’ of loving China’s No 1 dissident 
Liu Xia: the apolitical poet who became a democracy activist’s wife

UAE, Arab coalition focused on humanitarian situation in Yemen
The Arab coalition launched a major military and humanitarian aid operation in Western Yemen in mid-June. The objective is to ensure the unimpeded supply of humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people by liberating the Red Sea port city of Hodeida from the Houthi rebels.

PM blind to his responsibility in Phuket
Government chiefs add to the blundering that led to a boating disaster

The Rohingya repatriation deal misses core issue – citizenship
Western countries and the UN they control have sacrificed safety of ethnic group to vast business opportunities in Myanmar

In Chiang Rai, many reasons for awe
The divers, the planners and the multitude of volunteers are seeing us all through this crisis 

Baulking cabbies? Just look at that traffic
A fresh effort has begun to make sure no prospective passenger is turned away. Here’s why it won’t work

South Korea women mass in angry backlash against ‘spycam porn’ 
Tens of thousands of South Korean women have angrily urged the government to crack down on secretly filmed spycam pornography in one of the biggest-ever solely female protests in the country. 

Spain’s winemakers take the plunge for undersea vineyards
With the aid of a small crane, Borja Saracho lowers five cages loaded with 2,500 bottles of white wine from a fishing boat into the Cantabrian Sea.

Chinese brands kick off at World Cup
Chinese firms have seized the opportunity to use the Fifa World Cup in Russia as a springboard for marketing their brands to hundreds of thousands of football fans attending the matches and millions of people watching the tournament on TV around the world.

Newspaper death knell heard in the cave
You didn’t hear about the kids being found from the Thai printed press, which is going to have to yield the field of ‘breaking news’

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