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.
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.
Haiti's government says it will take over some privately held land to build camps for quake survivors. The aim is to relieve overcrowding in makeshift camps where many of the one million-plus homeless have been living. But five weeks after the quake, a few stories of hope are emerging as well. Steve Chao of Al Jazeera English reports from Haiti.
This week, NATO launched a large operation to take the Taliban-controlled town of Marjah, as part of its new counter-insurgency strategy. NATO hopes to wipe out the Taliban presence in this part of Helmand province, clearing the way for the Afghan government to take control. Daljit Dhaliwal interviews Marvin Weinbaum, and James Bays of Al Jazeera English has more.
Disputes surrounding U.S. military support for Taiwan, internet freedoms and currency appreciation have created tension between the two countries in recent months. Washington's Tibetan community is reportedly proud that their spiritual leader was invited to the White House, but many have played down the visit. Here's more from our German partner Deutsche Welle.