International Women's Day was once a staple holiday of Eastern European communism, a day when bosses would give red flowers to their female employees. Ostensibly, it was a day to celebrate the achievements of women workers. But in practice, it was a propaganda exercise to highlight socialism's alleged commitment to equality between the sexes.
The photo of the two monks above looks innocent enough. One of the men presents the other with a birthday present. It's difficult to make out, but it looks to be some sort of gold figurine on a red velvet base. In fact, the photo would be totally uninteresting if it weren't for the fact that these men are two of the world's most important leaders of a dangerously radical brand of Buddhism.
The new head of Japan's public broadcasting company, NHK, has some unusual ideas. Since assuming his position in January, Katsuto Momii has defended Japan's wartime practice of sexual slavery by arguing that all nations have done it during times of conflict. He's argued that media coverage of Japan's territorial disputes should conform to the government line. And he believes that NHK, in spite of being one of the most trusted and influential news sources in the country, should not "say ‘left,' when the government says ‘right.'"
North Korea is holding parliamentary elections. Well, sort of.
Three days ahead of Sunday's vote, the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland looks set to complete yet another clean sweep of the 687-seat Supreme People's Assembly. But maintaining their unanimous hold on parliament shouldn't be challenging: There are no opposition parties on the ballot. The Democratic Front, the governing coalition led by Kim Jong Un's ruling Workers' Party, has handpicked one -- and only one -- candidate for each district.
The Marshall Islands are a leading advocate of international action on climate change. If you ever needed an illustration for why, this is it.
This week an unusually high tide, sometimes called a king tide, swept through the island nation's capital city, Majuro. Even something as modest as a swelling tide can have an outsize effect in the Marshalls, which is comprised of low-lying islands in the Pacific Ocean -- the highest elevation in the entire island chain is just 10 meters.