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Exiled bookseller: 'If they can take Hong Kong back, the next place is Taiwan'

After fleeing Hong Kong for Taiwan, Lam Wing-kee speaks of the danger the island faces and the ordeal of his detention in China.  

Taipei, Nov29.– Lam Wing-kee leans forward in his chair, answering quickly and sharply to issue a warning to the people of his new home, Taiwan. “Be ready now,” he says.

“We should be more alert as citizens, we should get ready,” says the 64-year-old Hongkonger. “If they can take Hong Kong back, the next place, I feel, is Taiwan.”

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Ethiopian offensive on Tigray capital has begun: Regional leader

TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael says Makelle under ‘heavy bombardment’ as federal forces launch ‘final phase’ of the conflict.

The leader of rebellious forces in Tigray region says the Ethiopian government forces have begun an offensive to capturePhoto: Ethiopian soldier. License CC the regional capital, Makelle.

Debretsion Gebremichael, leader of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), told Reuters news agency in a text message on Saturday that the city was under “heavy bombardment”.

Billene Seyoum, a spokeswoman for the prime minister’s office, said the Ethiopian forces would not “bombard” civilian areas, adding “the safety of Ethiopians in Makelle and Tigray region continues as priority for the federal government.”

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China Cuts Pro-India Vietnam To Size As It Cements Ties With Cambodia, Laos Through BRI

Vietnam’s rise in the South East Asian region has been challenged by China’s growing influence as Beijing is strengthening ties with Cambodia and Laos through its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Hanoi can no longer count on Cambodia and Laos, especially in the matters of national security.

China has used its economic sway in these countries, leading to complications among neighbors to reach a consensus on territorial or maritime disputes.

For instance, Vietnam’s views on ASEAN’s Code of Conduct for negotiations in the South China Sea were not supported by both the neighbors. Laos and Cambodia’s closeness to China has even prompted some strong statements.

In October, Bilahari Kausikan, former permanent secretary of the Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, suggested that the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) might one day be forced to expel Cambodia and Laos, two small nations that have become firmly ensconced in China’s economic and strategic orbit.

The remarks were made due to the two nations’ lack of engagement in the South China Sea controversy – or in Cambodia’s case, it’s active undermining of the regional consensus on the disputes at an ASEAN meeting in 2012. Cambodia, which had historically shared good relations with Vietnam, has inched closer to China in the past two decades. Laos has also been drawn into its economic orbit.

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The US out of Syria and Afghanistan, not to mention Somalia?

How Trump can restore the chain of command: Fire the foreign-policy hacks who lied to him, and bring the troops home by Christmas.

James JeffreyNov. 23.– Looking for a coup that is succeeding? Don’t look to President Donald Trump, who is distancing himself from lawyers and apparently planning his exit. Look instead to Trump’s envoy for Syria engagement, James Jeffrey.

Jeffrey gave a valedictory exit interview to Defense One, as he was about to retire. He was astonishingly frank. And he was mostly upbeat about Trump’s foreign-policy record in the Middle East. But he was asked about Trump’s intention to withdraw all American troops from Syria, which he tweeted about and shouted down to his own national-security adviser. “What Syria withdrawal?” Jeffrey asked. “There was never a Syria withdrawal.”

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Deciphering the Truth: How to Tell Real News From ‘Fake News’

A conversation with investigative reporter Joshua Philipp.

Remember when you could turn on the evening news with little doubt that the journalists were, to the best of their knowledge, delivering the truth? Whether we were living in ignorant bliss or a more virtuous world, it sure made consuming news less stressful.

Today, of course, deciphering truth from fiction seems ever more important and challenging. World events hit closer to home than ever before, and it’s a challenge to make good decisions for the health and well-being of our families—not to mention the future of our country—if we can’t determine with confidence whether the information we’re being given is accurate.

So, how can we tell whether or not the news we’re consuming is reliable? I asked Joshua Philipp, an Epoch Times award-winning investigative reporter and the host of the show “Crossroads With Joshua Philipp,” for advice on navigating these muddy waters. Here’s what he said.

The Epoch Times: What has changed in the past few years that has so eroded our trust in the news?

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