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Thai political party jigsaw attracts new faces, veteran names
Famous golfer Thongchai Jaidee, a former beauty queen and veteran politicians were among those who flocked to new parties in Thailand on Sunday as a jigsaw of alliances formed ahead of the country’s much-anticipated poll in February.

Region unprepared for emerging meth epidemic
Last week, Vientiane played host to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s High Level Conference on Transnational Organised Crime in Laos and the Mekong Region. The UNDOC brought together senior Lao officials, international partners, and select experts from neighbouring Mekong countries.

Rohingya are now victims of Asean members’ self-interest
Persecution of Myanmar ethnic group will continue until regional bloc forges united humanitarian policy

Welcome back to the global stage, Mahathir – Asean missed you 
At the end of his packed agenda of meetings at the 33rd Asean Summit in Singapore, Mahathir Mohamad was casually asked how he managed to cope with the punishing two-day schedule.

More democracy usually means less mob violence – but not in Indonesia
It was just after dawn prayers when the caretaker at a Jakarta mosque noticed a man stealing from the donation box, prompting a furious mob to beat him to death – for taking the equivalent of $130

Saudi Arabia’s growing influence in Southeast Asia 
Shock at the murder of a journalist in a Saudi consulate is unlikely to reverse a trend with deep roots

Clearing SE Asia’s skies will require changing consumer attitudes
While haze-filled images from India and China often dominate media coverage, pollution increasingly takes its toll across much of Asia, including Southeast Asia and even in Singapore – the site of this year’s Asean Summit.

Artificial news, but not fake
China’s Xinhua news agency made the headlines just over a week ago when it unveiled the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI) news anchor. 

Amid trade war, Beijing redefines and recalibrates ties with Asia 
When Yan Xuetong, a leading strategic thinker in China and dean of the Institute of International Relations at Tsinghua University, told the media last month that China is seeing its best strategic opportunity since the Cold War, many people may have chosen to disagree.

Thanathorn, give us a clearer path forward
The Future Forward Party leader must move beyond condemning the junta – and hedging on Thaksin

AI is changing the face of HR
In HR, machine learning is perhaps the most successful branch of AI.  It can help identify which candidates are most likely to be successful for a position; or similarly, ascertain which employees may not be suitable for a role in the next few years.  Through feeding information to the system, it can cast predictions and help shape HR performance.

AI offers a fresh shock – and a further threat
China’s robotic news presenter draws sneers, but the bugs will soon be worked out, and then the next mission begins 

Popularity contest: From village funds to people’s banks
Proposed ‘people’s financial institutions’ could be a boon to the rural and the poor, even if they are an election ploy

Whither Asean’s relevance in a changing geopolitical order? 
The Asean Summit in Singapore draws to a close amid the typical fanfare and self-congratulatory atmosphere. As the chairmanship baton passes on to Thailand in 2019, concerns remain over the relevance of Asean as the proverbial elephant in the room.

Japanese govt must detail measures to accept foreign workers
Deliberations on the bill to revise Japan’s Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law have started at a plenary session of the House of Representatives. The legislation would create new types of residence status to expand the scale of accepting foreign workers.

Who heeds a man of no integrity?
Suthep Thaugsuban’s glory days are behind him, yet he expects further success as a cheerleader for the junta 

Have no doubt, Imelda Marcos will be free soon
Dash your hopes. Imelda Marcos will never serve a jail sentence. Not because she is 89 years old, but because she is simply filthy rich.

Stan Lee’s legacy: the ubiquity of superheroes in current pop culture
The face of superhero culture may be gone with the passing of Marvel legend Stan Lee, but there is no risk of his work fading into the pop culture background.

Rohingya repatriation must be halted
Asean must intervene to ensure refugees return voluntarily and those who return will be safe

Trump is messing up foreign policy 
The headline is deliberately ambiguous. To clarify: US President Donald Trump “and his political opponents” are seriously complicating the foreign policies of nations all over the world, let alone those of America. How we engage with North Korea is one example.

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