BEIJING/TAIPEI, Sept 18: China began combat drills near the Taiwan Strait on Friday, the same day a senior U.S. official began high-level meetings in Taipei, as tensions rose and Beijing denounced tightening ties between Chinese-claimed Taiwan and the United States.

WASHINGTON, Sept 9: The United States military on Wednesday announced that it would be reducing its presence in Iraq from 5,200 to 3,000 troops this month, formalizing a move that had been long expected.

NEW YORK, July 3: The United States reported more than 55,000 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the largest daily increase any country has ever reported, according to a Reuters tally.

WASHINGTON, May 19: U.S. President Donald Trump threatened on Monday to permanently halt funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) if it did not commit to improvements within 30 days, and to reconsider the membership of the United States in the body.

NEW YORK, March 26: The U.S. coronavirus death toll surged past 1,000 on Thursday and the number of Americans seeking jobless benefits smashed records, sombre evidence of the pandemic’s human and economic devastation.

WASHINGTON, March 15:  As the two remaining Democratic presidential candidates return to the debate stage, their party, the stakes, and the world look much different than in their last meeting less than three weeks ago.

LOS ANGELES, March: The coronavirus outbreak radiated across the United States on Thursday, surfacing in at least four new states and San Francisco as Congress quickly approved more than $8 billion to fight the outbreak.

How not to leave Afghanistan

March 5, 2020 08:45 am

NEW YORK – After nearly two decades, 2,400 soldiers killed, another 20,000 wounded, and as much as $2 trillion spent, the United States is understandably eager to withdraw from Afghanistan. President Donald Trump wants to be able to claim in advance of the November 2020 election that he fulfilled his campaign promise to end the country’s longest war, and his Democratic challengers share his desire to extricate the US from the conflict.

KIRKLAND, Wash. March 3: Six people in the Seattle area have died of illness caused by the new coronavirus, health officials said on Monday, as authorities across the United States scrambled to prepare for more infections with an emphasis on increasing testing capacity.

SEOUL/BEIJING, Feb 25: South Korea aims to test more than 200,000 members of a church at the center of a surge in coronavirus cases while the United States pledged $2.5 billion to fight the disease, as it spreads rapidly beyond China’s borders to Europe and the Middle East.

KATHMANDU, Feb 15: Nepal has hosted its first ever figure skating and ice hockey friendly match with well-renowned players from Canada, India, Russia, and the United States.

Mature batting hands Oman second win

February 7, 2020 10:31 am

KATHMANDU, Feb 7: An unbeaten partnership of 63 runs between Mohammad Nadeem and Suraj Kumar helped Oman register second win in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 as it beat the United States by six wickets at TU Cricket Ground in Kirtipur on Thursday.

KATHMANDU, Feb 5: Nepal national cricket team is set to host the United States and Oman in a historic home leg of One-day International (ODI) tri-series under ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 2019-22 from February 5 to 12, to begin its bid to reach the World Cup Qualifiers which will further propel Nepal in contention for an elusive spot in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in India.

Reason to worry

January 28, 2020 09:33 am

Tensions between the US and Iran continues even after several days of killing of top Iranian General Qassim Suleimani by the US at Baghdad airport in Iraq on January 3. Suleimani was the most powerful commander of the Revolutionary Guards in Iran. In retaliation, Iran launched a spate of missile attacks targeting US troops in Iraq. Initially, the US claimed that there was no casualty as such on its army base from the Iranian attacks, but now it is confirmed that 11 of US soldiers were injured.

America’s Middle-East Obsession

January 28, 2020 09:30 am

NEW DELHI – “Great nations do not fight endless wars,” US President Donald Trump declared in his 2019 State of the Union speech. He had a point: military entanglements in the Middle East have contributed to the relative decline of American power and facilitated China’s muscular rise. And yet, less than a year after that speech, Trump ordered the assassination of Iran’s most powerful military commander, General Qassem Suleimani, bringing the United States to the precipice of yet another war. Such is the power of America’s addiction to interfering in the chronically volatile Middle East.

The War on Talent

January 27, 2020 09:42 am

WASHINGTON, DC – In the 1950s, during a very tight postwar labor market, American business executives voted Human Resources (HR) the most glamorous area in business. As Wharton School professor Peter Cappelli recounts, “90% of positions (and virtually all those in the top ranks) were filled from within—and 96% of large companies dedicated an entire department to planning for workforce needs.” When companies need talent, he argues, the prestige of HR goes up; when labor markets go slack, HR returns to benefits administration.

Costs of conflict

January 23, 2020 08:19 am

The United States told the United Nations that the killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani was in self-defence and vowed to take additional action “as necessary” in the Middle East to protect US personnel and interests. On other side, Iran retaliated by firing 20 ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq where United States troops were stationed. It is believed that driving out the presence of United States from the region was the major objective of Iran and Soleimani’s personal mission. So the bigger picture is Iran lost its best military strategist and the assassination ensured the elimination of a man who America saw as potential challenger of its primacy in region.

Post-Suleimani View from Iran

January 8, 2020 08:09 am

STANFORD – The assassination by the United States of Qassem Suleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, was certainly a major escalation in the two countries’ long-running conflict. But it need not beget World War III (as some pundits are already predicting). Moreover, while the US may have achieved a short-term tactical advantage by killing Suleimani, the Iranian regime could yet benefit from recent developments.

SYDNEY, Jan 6: Tensions in the Middle East after the killing of a top Iranian general by the United States pushed an index of Asian shares off an 18-month high on Monday as investors pushed safe-haven gold near a seven-year high, and oil jumped to four-month peaks.

HONG KONG – In recent years, fears of a new cold war between the United States and China have been proliferating. But the tensions between the two powers would be better described as a “cool war,” characterized not by old-fashioned spheres of interest, proxy wars, and the threat of “mutually assured destruction,” but by an unprecedented combination of wide-ranging competition and deep interconnection.

Post-American Middle East

January 2, 2020 08:44 am

NEW YORK – It was August 5, 1990, just days after Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had invaded and conquered all of Kuwait, and US President George H.W. Bush could not have been clearer as he spoke from the South Lawn at the White House: “This will not stand, this aggression against Kuwait.” Over the next six months, Bush proved to be a man of his word, as the United States sent a half-million soldiers to the Middle East and led an international coalition that liberated Kuwait.

SEOUL, DEC 30: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called at a ruling party meeting for “positive and offensive measures” to ensure security ahead of a year-end deadline he has set for denuclearization talks with the United States, state media KCNA said on Monday.

US hands over two Skytrucks to Nepal Army

December 19, 2019 07:30 am

KATHMANDU, Dec 19: The United States on Wednesday handed over two M28 Skytrucks to the Nepal Army (NA), representing the first part of one of the largest security grants to Nepal in history.

Russia and Middle East

December 4, 2019 11:29 am

TEL AVIV – The collapse of the Soviet Union three decades ago meant that its once-formidable presence in the Middle East collapsed as well. Today, however, as the United States has withdrawn from the region, Russia has rushed to recapture the Soviet Union’s position there, through a combination of military force, arms deals, strategic partnerships, and the deployment of soft power. But its success is being significantly overestimated.

All is not well with global economy

December 3, 2019 10:39 am

​NEW YORK – This past May and August, escalations in the trade and technology conflict between the United States and China rattled stock markets and pushed bond yields to historic lows. But that was then: since then, financial markets have once again become giddy. US and other equities are trending toward new highs, and there is even talk of a potential “melt-up” in equity values.

WASHINGTON, Nov 25: U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper fired the Navy’s top civilian on Sunday over his handling of the case of a Navy SEAL who was convicted of battlefield misconduct in Iraq and later won the support of President Donald Trump.

SHANGHAI, Nov 21: The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation to back protesters in Hong Kong and send a warning to China about human rights, sending two bills to the White House where President Donald Trump is expected to sign them into law.

KATHMANDU, Nov 20: Although the number of Nepali students visiting the US has decreased marginally as compared to the previous years, the US has remained one of the most preferred destinations for further education, according to figures released by the Institute of International Education and US Department of State Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs.

KATHMANDU, Oct 23: The mandatory provision of the Diversity Visa of the United States to include the applicants' passport number from this year has resulted in a dramatic surge in the number of persons seeking passport.

HELSINKI, Oct 6: North Korea’s chief negotiator said that nuclear talks with the U.S. had broken down, but Washington maintained the two sides had “good discussions” in Sweden that it intends to build on in two weeks.

Decline of democracy

September 30, 2019 02:40 am

While declaring the September 15 as the international day of democracy, the United Nations stated that “the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of the people.” As democracy is about consulting, caring and comforting people, the job of any government is to protect people, improve their quality of life in larger freedom giving a sense of ownership in governance.

WASHINGTON, Sept 29: As Washington plunges into impeachment, Attorney General William Barr finds himself engulfed in the political firestorm, facing questions about his role in President Donald Trump’s outreach to Ukraine and the administration’s attempts to keep a whistleblower complaint from Congress.

DUBAI, Sept 25: Iran is willing to give reassurances on not seeking nuclear arms and accept changes to its 2015 nuclear accord with world power if the United States returns to the deal and lifts sanctions, a government spokesman said on Wednesday.

KABUL, Sept 23: A Taliban delegation met China’s special representative for Afghanistan in Beijing to discuss the group’s peace talks with the United States, a spokesman for the Islamist insurgency said.

U.S. health officials are investigating more than 450 cases of severe lung illnesses and at least six deaths linked to the use of electronic cigarettes, or vaping devices, in 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

KATHMANDU, Sept 12: Chairman of ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal has courted controversy yet again after his name surfaced in a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry of China on Tuesday in which Dahal was quoted as saying that Nepal disapproved the Indo-Pacific Strategy unveiled by the United States.

DUBAI, Aug 27: Iran will not talk to the United States until all sanctions imposed on Tehran are lifted, President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday, a day after President Donald Trump said he would meet his Iranian counterpart to try to end a nuclear standoff.

Anatomy of coming recession

August 27, 2019 00:25 am

NEW YORK – There are three negative supply shocks that could trigger a global recession by 2020. All of them reflect political factors affecting international relations, two involve China, and the United States is at the center of each. Moreover, none of them is amenable to the traditional tools of countercyclical macroeconomic policy.

Will democracy die last?

August 25, 2019 01:05 am

PARIS – In the late 1970s and early 1980s, prominent international relations experts such as the late French political philosopher Pierre Hassner argued that the world was witnessing a process of competitive decay between the United States and the Soviet Union. For the latter, the conflict in Afghanistan was about to become an even costlier failure than the Vietnam war had been for America. By 1989, the verdict was clear: The Soviet Union had atrophied much faster than the US, and its empire collapsed, the victim of its own errors and contradictions.

Trump’s one-way economy

August 18, 2019 01:05 am

LONDON – Nowadays, when people ask me how I am, I answer, jokingly, that I’m doing great, so long as I ignore Donald Trump’s presidency in the United States, Brexit, the crisis of the United Kingdom’s major political parties, and the performance of Manchester United.

LONDON/GIBRALTAR, August 15: The United States has applied to seize the Iranian Grace 1 tanker in Gibraltar commandeered by British Royal Marines in the Mediterranean last month, complicating a possible tanker swap between Britain and the Islamic Republic.

DUBAI, August 12: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the United States on Monday of turning the Gulf region into a “matchbox ready to ignite”, according to Al Jazeera television.

KABUL, Aug 11: Afghanistan’s president on Sunday rejected foreign interference as the United States and the Taliban appear to be closing in on a peace deal without the Afghan government at the table.

SHANGHAI, Aug 8: An order by U.S. President Donald Trump to freeze the Venezuelan government’s assets and cut off its funds is an act of “gross interference” and a violation of the norms of international relations, China’s foreign ministry said.

SEOUL, August 7: North Korea said Wednesday leader Kim Jong Un supervised a live-fire demonstration of newly developed, short-range ballistic missiles intended to send a warning to the United States and South Korea over their joint military exercises.

SYDNEY, August 4: The United States says China is destabilizing the Indo-Pacific, U.S. Defence Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday, charging Beijing with predatory economics, intellectual property theft and “weaponising the global commons”. s

SEOUL, August 2: North Korea fired missiles for the third time in eight days on Friday, a series of launches that analysts say are designed to improve military capabilities and pressure the United States and South Korea as they seek to restart denuclearization talks.

August 1: The United States believes that Hamza bin Laden, a son of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and himself a notable figure in the militant group, is dead, a U.S. official said on Wednesday.

MEXICO CITY, July 28: Mexico’s government said on Saturday it would help Honduras create 20,000 jobs this year and support its coffee farmers as the two countries seek to curb migration to the United States that has created tensions with U.S. President Donald Trump.

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey, July 27: Diego Costa scored four goals as Real Madrid were embarrassed 7-3 by rivals Atletico Madrid in the final match of their United States tour in New Jersey on Friday.