The Japanese government is moving ahead with plans to improve relations with the Ainu people, the country's indigenous inhabitants. Mostly living in the northern island of Hokkaido, Ainu are believed to descend from people who lived in Japan as early as 13,000 years ago. Harry Fawcett of Al Jazeera English has more, and bloggers offer their perspectives.
We take a look beyond the headlines at increasing concerns over cyber-security, a problem that was recently highlighted by an online assault on Google from China. This event added to fears about a digital attack that could cripple the information superhighway. For more, Martin Savidge interviews James Lewis.
In Portugal, rescue teams continue to look for people still missing after severe flooding and landslides that killed at least 42 people over the weekend on the island of Madeira, where the government announced three days of mourning. Torrential rains destroyed buildings and took out bridges. Our German partner Deutsche Welle reports on the devastation.
Every Friday since 2005, Palestinian protesters have rallied in the town of Bil’in against the barrier erected by the Israeli government that effectively cuts off Palestinians there from their agricultural land. Last Friday, the fifth anniversary of the Bil'in demonstrations, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad joined 1,000 marchers. Read different perspectives on the protests.
General David Petraeus, the commander who oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said yesterday that the Marjah battle was the opening salvo in a broader campaign to turn back the Taliban, which could last 12 to 18 months. On NBC's "Meet the Press," he described the Taliban as both "formidable" and "a bit disjointed at this point."
There was a major blow to the Taliban with the arrests of three senior leaders in Pakistan, including the number-two Afghan Taliban official. While this was a victory for U.S. and Pakistani intelligence, it was also a reminder of how the Taliban have used Pakistan as a base. Joining Daljit Dhaliwal to talk about the Marjah offensive and more are Gideon Rose and Susan Chira.
In Niger, known for its uranium and poverty, the military is in charge after a coup that removed the civilian leader. The president was taken into custody after soldiers attacked the presidential palace in Niamey. His whereabouts are unknown. The deposed leader had rolled back democratic gains and tried to extend his own power. Deutsche Welle reports.
Citing intelligence from the U.S., Israel and other countries, the IAEA said new information "raises concerns." France and Germany have threatened new sanctions against Iran. In recent months, Iran has been strongly criticized for a growing dissent crackdown. For more on where Iran is headed, Daljit Dhaliwal interviews Karim Sadjadpour.
China continues to criticize the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader's visit to Washington. China's state-controlled media claims the Obama administration used the meeting to divert attention from economic and political challenges at home. As the English-language channel of China's state television reports, the meeting was damaging to U.S.-China relations.
During a recent upswing in drug violence in Mexican border towns, many critics of the drug war called for a change in U.S. policy toward marijuana use. Meanwhile, New Jersey just became the 14th U.S. state to allow marijuana for medical use. View our maps to compare current U.S. marijuana policy to laws in Europe and the rest of the world.