Turkey and China: Beijing’s grand “One Belt, One Road” plan promises enhanced connectivity between countries of the Eurasian landmass and Turkey is eager to be part of it, writes Altay Atli. The Turkish government has already signed a number of agreements with China, mainly on cooperation in railway infrastructure development and integration of Ankara’s own road projects, and a multi-ministry working group has now been formed to deal specifically with Turkey’s future engagement.
Duterte’s political crackdown: One of the Philippine President’s fiercest critics is now behind bars on drug charges, marking a political escalation of Duterte’s anti-crime crackdown and opening a new chapter in his heavy-handed rule. George Amurao reports how Duterte first accused Senator Leila de Lima of drug dealing in August 2016, after which de Lima responded by having a Senate committee investigate Duterte’s involvement with a death squad allegedly responsible for 1,424 recorded extrajudicial killings.
ISIS in India: A drone strike in Afghanistan that killed a young Islamic State recruit from India and the first ISIS-related arrests in the western state of Gujarat at the weekend have revived fears over the spread of the terror group in the subcontinent, writes the Asia Times. The two incidents come at a time when India is increasingly concerned with the domestic growth of ISIS and the growing numbers of Indian youths who are reportedly heading to the Middle East to fight for Islamic State.
Oscar winner boycott: Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won the Oscar for best foreign language film for his film The Salesman but boycotted the awards ceremony, reports Kevin Hagopian. “My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of the other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the US,” said the director in reference to Donald Trump’s immigration executive order.