John Hayward

John Hayward

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The new rail project linking Hong Kong to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou is one of a number of cross-border infrastructure projects, including a bridge to the mainland and the neighbouring casino enclave Macau

One Country, One System: Beijing Imposes Communist Law on Hong Kong Railroad

The Hong Kong Bar Association declared itself “appalled” on Friday by the Chinese parliament’s order to enforce mainland Chinese law inside a Hong Kong rail station, warning that the move would “severely undermine” the rule of law and rattle public confidence in Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems” state of pseudo-independence.

‘Death to the Dictator! Death to Rouhani!’: Thousands Protest the Government in Iran

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Iran over the past few days, speaking out against both the “hardline” government of the ayatollahs and the supposedly “moderate” secular government of President Hassan Rouhani. “Death to the dictator!” and “Death to Rouhani” are chants heard in at least eight Iranian cities, and the movement appears to be spreading.

Iraqi fighters stand next to a wall bearing the Islamic State group flag in western Anbar province on November 3, 2017

International Community Reluctant to Pay for Post-Islamic State Reconstruction of Iraq

The damage inflicted on Iraq by the rise and fall of the Islamic State (ISIS) is horrendous, with cities like the former ISIS stronghold of Mosul virtually leveled. Baghdad puts the damage at roughly $100 billion, which is an impressive level of vandalism from a group President Barack Obama famously dismissed as the “junior varsity team” of terrorism. Unfortunately for Iraq, donor nations are not lining up to finance the reconstruction.

An employee puts Chinese one-hundred yuan banknotes in a money counting machine for a photograph at the Korea Exchange Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. Chinas central bank is forecast to double the yuans trading band in the coming quarter as policy makers loosen exchange-rate controls to promote greater usage of the currency in global trade and finance. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

For China, Debt Disaster Lurks in the Shadows

Analysts with the proper degree of skepticism about China’s boasts of soaring economic power note that official reports from the Communist regime cannot be trusted. Another, less widely understood problem is that China’s rulers might not know how unstable their economy really is because a sizable portion of Chinese debt lurks off the books in the “shadow banking” industry.

FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 11, 2010 file photo, Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, shakes hands with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, at al-Shaab presidential palace in Damascus, Syria. Within minutes of news breaking of a coup against Recep Tayyeb Erdogan, government-held areas in Syria broke out in celebratory gunfire that lasted throughout the night. In bars across the capital Damascus, revelers celebrated the news, drinking to the removal of Turkey's strongman they blame for fueling their country's five-year civil war. But Erdogan survived, and judging by the surprise reversal of rebel fortunes in Aleppo this week, so has his support for the rebels. (AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi, File)

Syria and Turkey Accuse Each Other of Supporting Terrorism

There hasn’t been much love lost between Syria and Turkey since long before Syria’s civil war heated up in 2011, but the war of words escalated this week when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Syrian President Bashar Assad a “terrorist.” The Syrian regime responded by accusing Turkey of supporting terrorism and spilling Syrian blood.

Disgraced US film producer Harvey Weinstein is facing a $10 million lawsuit from an actress who alleges he sexually harassed her during the making of the Netflix series Marco Polo

Hayward: The Sexual Harassment Meltdown of 2017

No doubt one of the things 2017 will be remembered for was the cascade of sexual harassment allegations and resignations rolling through the worlds of entertainment and politics, beginning with the spectacular fall of once-untouchable Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Partisan opportunists should not be allowed to distract us from the devastating indictment of centralized power and the hypocrisy of the political class delivered by the “#MeToo” story.

An investigator speaks on the phone inside a supermarket after an explosion in St.Petersburg on Wednesday. (Dmitri Lovetsky/AP)

Ten Hospitalized by Supermarket Bombing in Russia

An explosive device described by Russian media as containing about seven ounces of TNT detonated at a supermarket in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, injuring at least ten people. One of the victims is said to be in critical condition.

U.S. President Donald Trump waves next to Chinese President Xi Jinping after attending a joint press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. China's main official news agency is warning U.S.-Chinese relations will face "more pressure and challenges" following President Donald Trump's decision to label Beijing a rival. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

China’s ‘Sharp Power’ Cuts into Western Societies from Australia to America

China’s efforts to exert political and cultural influence in Australia produced a major scandal with the fall of Senator Sam Dastyari, who took money from a billionaire linked to the Chinese government and ended up parroting Beijing’s propaganda line on the South China Sea. The United States Senate recent convened a bipartisan commission to study Chinese influence efforts, which include meddling in Western higher education as well as politics. Now The Economist warns that China’s “sharp power” is cutting into Europe as well.

SOCHI, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER 13 : (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - KREMLIN PRESS CENTRE / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) President of Russia, Vladimir Putin (not seen) meets with Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri in Sochi, Russia on September 13, 2017. (Photo by Kremlin Press Centre/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Sources: Saudi Crown Prince Forced Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Resign

Citing a dozen “Western, Lebanese, and regional officials and associates” of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri, on Christmas Eve the New York Times published an account of Hariri’s resignation (and later un-resignation) that asserts he was forced out of office by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as part of Saudi Arabia’s cold war against Iran.

china

China’s Corrupt Ruling Class Turns to ‘Love Hospitals’ and ‘Mistress Dispellers’ to Control Adultery Epidemic

China’s President Xi Jinping and his elite inner circle love to posture as gallant corruption fighters, but the truth is that the extent of corruption in Chinese politics is kept secret from the masses, and from foreign observers, so Xi’s claims of success at cleaning up the system are mostly political spin. A bit of the truth leaks out in the BBC’s report on the hot new “mistress dispelling” industry in China – a service that helps rich and powerful Chinese men get rid of inconvenient mistresses.

North Korea looms large over the Japanese budget

North Korea: New U.N. Sanctions ‘An Act of War’

North Korea’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Sunday declaring the latest round of U.N. sanctions an “act of war” equivalent to a “complete economic blockade,” and threatening the safety of the United States unless it accepts North Korea as a nuclear nation.

A woman uses her smartphone in Beijing on November 11, 2017. China's smartphone masses splurged billions of dollars in an e-commerce bonanza on November 11 as consumers rushed to snap up bargains on 'Double 11', billed as the world's biggest one-day online shopping festival. / AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR (Photo credit should read FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Chinese Court Convicts 85 for Phone Scams, over Half of Them Taiwanese

A court in Beijing handed down 85 lengthy prison sentences for telephone fraud on Thursday. 44 of the defendants hail from Taiwan, including the two who received the harshest 15-year sentences. The cases are part of a massive wave of telephone scams sweeping China, with tens of millions of dollars stolen.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa received a statue of a crocodile -- his nickname -- after planting a tree at the party conference

Mnangagwa Makes First Foreign Trip as President of Zimbabwe

Emmerson Mnangagwa, who became the new and theoretically temporary president of Zimbabwe after the military cordially invited his nonagenarian mentor Robert Mugabe to consider retirement, made his first foreign trip in office on Thursday. He visited South Africa to convince investors that Zimbabwe is once again a safe place to put their money.

gary cohn

Gary Cohn Calls China ‘Ally,’ Dismisses Economic Aggression

White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn described China as an “important ally” of the United States in an interview with Mike Allen of Axios on Wednesday — just days after President Donald Trump’s National Security Strategy described China as an adversarial “revisionist power” that steals hundreds of billions of dollars in U.S. intellectual property each year and is working to “shape a world antithetical to U.S. values and interests.”

This undated photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on August 26, 2017 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) presiding over a target strike exercise conducted by the special operation forces of the Korean People's Army (KPA) at an undisclosed location. North Korea fired three short-range ballistic missiles on August 26, the US military said, following weeks of heightened tensions between Washington and Pyongyang. / AFP PHOTO / KCNA via KNS / STR / South Korea OUT / REPUBLIC OF KOREA OUT ---EDITORS NOTE--- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT 'AFP PHOTO/KCNA VIA KNS' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS THIS PICTURE WAS MADE AVAILABLE BY A THIRD PARTY. AFP CAN NOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, LOCATION, DATE AND CONTENT OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PHOTO IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY AFP. / (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

‘Severe’ Economic Difficulty Predicted for North Korea Next Year

If the South Korean analysts quoted by Yonhap News are correct, North Korea will not be having a Happy New Year. According to the Institute for National Security Strategy in Seoul, tough international sanctions imposed against North Korea over its nuclear missile programs haven’t affected the economy much yet, but that is about to change.