U.S. and Philippines Have a Complex Military Alliance: What to Know

The United States and the Philippines announced a deal on Thursday that will give U.S. forces access to four more military sites in the Southeast Asian country, creating the largest American military presence there in decades. The deal, an apparent sign of warming ties between the countries after a six-year rough patch, would have strategic … Read more

China and the U.S. Are Wooing Indonesia, and Beijing Has the Edge

When the U.S. defense secretary, Lloyd J. Austin III, visited Indonesia in November, he pressed his counterpart there about a deal to buy 36 American fighter jets. He left without an agreement. Just days before, the same Indonesian official, Prabowo Subianto, met with China’s defense minister, and the two countries pledged to resume joint military … Read more

U.S. to Boost Military Role in the Philippines as Fears Over Taiwan Grow

The United States is increasing its military presence in the Philippines, both countries announced on Thursday, adding American access to four more bases and asserting the Southeast Asian nation’s role as a key strategic partner for Washington in the event of a conflict with China over Taiwan. The agreement was announced as U.S. Defense Secretary … Read more

Radioactive Capsule Is Found in Australia After 6-Day Search

After a tiny, dangerously radioactive capsule was lost in the Western Australian desert in mid-January, the authorities feared that it could take weeks or even months to find it. The device was smaller than a penny, while the search zone was an 870-mile stretch of highway cutting across vast tracts of desert. But the search … Read more

Asia Is Loosening Rules on Masks. Here’s Why People Still Wear Them.

South Korea dropped indoor masking on Monday. Japan has ditched them outdoors and is getting ready to unmask indoors soon, too. Taiwan is set to jettison its mandate later this month. Mask mandates, once a ubiquitous feature of the coronavirus pandemic, are finally being let go of in several countries in East Asia, where pandemic … Read more

Pakistan Grapples with Terrorist Attack That Left 101 Dead

A suicide bomber’s blast ended more than 100 lives in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, devastating a mosque in a supposedly secure sector of the city, and sending smoke plumes into the sky and panic through the streets. But more than that: The attack on Monday knocked a terrorism-scarred city back in time, to … Read more

China’s Covid Tsunami Recedes, Bringing Relief, Grief and Anxiety

When China abruptly abandoned “zero Covid,” accelerating an onslaught of infections and deaths, many feared a prolonged tide rippling from cities into villages. Now, two months later, the worst seems to have passed, and the government is eager to shift attention to economic recovery. Doctors who were mobilized across China to treat a rush of … Read more