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Worldwide Locations

Asia Blog

Video: Philippines President Open-Minded on Gay Marriage, Unsure About Gay Adoption

Policy

Philippines President Benigno Aquino III expressed tolerance toward the prospect of legalized gay marriage in his country, saying that normally "adults should be able to do whatever you want so long as it doesn't hurt anybody else." Aquino's comments came in a question and answer session following his speech at the Asia Society in New York on Tuesday.

Video: In New York, Asian Leaders Link Economic and Social Development to Democracy

Policy

In the past, when talking about development issues, political leaders have generally referred to socio-economic development and democracy as separate issues. This week at Asia Society, however, leaders from Asian countries with very different historical backgrounds and political, social and economic systems spoke of freedom, justice, accountability and respect for human rights as being essentially linked to democracy.

Podcast: Rashid Rana's Pakistan: 'A Mini-Version of the Globe'

Artist Rashid Rana in his Lahore studio, summer 2011.
Arts

This is the latest installment of a series of podcasts entitled Another Pakistan, a co-production of the Asia Society and the Watson Institute at Brown University, with support on the ground from Aman ki Asha. Click here to learn more. Scroll to the end of this post to listen to the podcast.

Freshwater as a Dwindling Resource

Zipingpu Dam, upriver from the town of Dujiangyan, Sichuan, China.
Sustainability

Laos recently announced that it would like to begin construction on the $3.8 billion Thai-financed Xayaburi hydropower plant on the Mekong River by the end of this year. This is following a change in the design made to quell protests from neighboring countries. How can countries in Asia work together to ensure that major projects like this one do not do irreparable damage to river systems in the region? What is the best forum for cooperation?

US Wants Pakistani Elites to Pay More Taxes — Hypocritical?

Policy

In his remarks at Asia Society in New York on Monday, September 19, United States Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter mentioned that a key American priority is to get Pakistani elites to pay their fair share of the tax burden. Of course, one could say that getting American elites to do the same could also count as a key American priority at the moment (for some, at least).

Release of 'Iran Hikers' Reveals Domestic Fissure in Iran?

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran on September 17, 2011. (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)
Policy

Today's release of Americans Shane M. Bauer and Joshua F. Fattal, two American hikers detained in Iran in 2009 for suspected espionage, represents a diplomatic victory for the United States, which had lobbied strenuously on the hikers' behalf.

Expert: Nations Must Adopt the UN Watercourses Convention

Mekong River, Laos.
Sustainability

Laos recently announced that it would like to begin construction on the $3.8 billion Thai-financed Xayaburi hydropower plant on the Mekong River by the end of this year. This is following a change in the design made to quell protests from neighboring countries. How can countries in Asia work together to ensure that major projects like this one do not do irreparable damage to river systems in the region? What is the best forum for cooperation?

Podcast: Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan: Local, Global, Classical, Pop

Singer Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan.
Arts

This is the latest installment of a series of podcasts entitled Another Pakistan, a co-production of the Asia Society and the Watson Institute at Brown University, with support on the ground from Aman ki Asha. Click here to learn more. Scroll to the end of this post to listen to the podcast.

Philippine Democracy, the Aquinos and Asia Society

Philippine President Benigno Aquino speaks during a press conference after a mass to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of late president Corazon Aquino, at the La Salle Gymnasium in Mandaluyong, in the eastern Manila suburbs on August 1, 2010. (Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images)
Policy

On September 20, 2011 — just one day before the 39th anniversary of the start of the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines — President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, popularly known as “PNoy” (a play of the term “Pinoy” which describes any Filipino), will speak before the Asia Society in New York.

Video: Asia Society Leaders Discuss Arrival of Philippines President Benigno S. Aquino III

Philippines President Benigno Aquino III
Policy

Asia Society President Vishakha Desai and Executive Vice President Jamie Metzl spoke recently to the Philippines Presidential Broadcast Staff about the imminent arrival of current Philippines president Benigno S. Aquino III, a charismatic new leader who says he is committed to rooting out government corruption in his country. Metzl also referenced Manila's key role as a U.S.