East Asia

Hokkaido: flashpoint for world war?

Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido seems, unfortunately, poised to jump into the headlines as East Asia's next flashpoint for Great Power confrontation. When North Korea fired a missile over the island last month, it was during unprecedented joint US-Japan military exercises on Hokkaido. Now Russia is conducting its own exercises in the Kuril Islands immediately to the north—including territory that Japan has claimed since the end of World War II.

Oceania

Korea nuclear crisis spurs Guam independence bid

Amid all the hype over North Korea's threats to fire a nuclear missile at Guam, just a few media accounts have made note of how Guamians themselves are reacting. Guam is usually seen in the US only as a strategic Pentagon outpost. But with a referendum on independence in the offing, growing sentiment on the island holds that the only thing Guamians are getting out of their current US territorial status is being made a nuclear target.

East Asia

South Korean anti-missile protesters score victory

As Trump and and Kim Jong-un exchange nuclear threats, anti-missile protesters in rural South Korea scored a win, prompting Seoul to delay plans to expand the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery that the Pentagon installed in April. The announcement came as villagers and activists were blocking the road to the THAAD base.

Europe

Ukraine says Russia behind global cyber-attack

The Security Service of Ukraine stated that the hackers behind the recent global cyber-attack are the same Kremlin-backed outfit that conducted an attack on Ukraine's power grid in December.

North America

Supreme Court to review Trump travel ban

The US Supreme Court agreed to review the Trump administration's travel ban, partially lifting the temporary injunction that had blocked the ban's enforcement.

East Asia

Korea: protests as US begins THAAD installation

Protesters blocked roads and clashed with police in South Korea's rural Seongju county as US forces began installing the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system.

North America

Trump-Putin breach: real or charade?

Is Trump's breach with Putin real, or is all the sudden sabre-rattling part of an elaborate charade to throw Congress off the scent of ongoing Trump-Putin collusion?

Planet Watch

Doomsday Clock: 2.5 minutes of midnight

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the minute hand of its symbolic Doomsday Clock from three minutes to two-and-a-half minutes to midnight.

East Asia

South Korea’s victory: can it happen in US?

Weeks of relentless street protests in South Korea finally succeeded in impeaching President Park Geun-Hye. Can a similar stateside mobilization stop Trump's inauguration?

Planet Watch

UN moves to outlaw nuclear weapons in 2017

The UN adopted a resolution—hailed by disarmament campaigners as an important landmark—to launch negotiations in 2017 on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons.