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Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban again, and backed by Pakistan. That's the assessment of a secret United States military report for top NATO commanders.
The grim prediction comes with Pakistan itself in the midst of a dangerous new period of turmoil.
Embattled president Asif Ali Zardari is facing enemies on all sides and his government is just clinging to power.
The military are staying in their barracks for now, but the judiciary is demanding the president answer corruption charges
And all the while, Pakistan remains wracked by a deadly struggle with insurgents.
India correspondent Richard Lindell reports.
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China is not just racing towards economic superpower status, it's also now a real force in world sport.
At the Beijing Olympics, Chinese athletes won more gold medals than any other nation.
Come July in London, China wants to do it all again.
And along the way, it's hoping to sweep the medals in a sport being contested by women at the Olympics for the first time.
China Correspondent Huey Fern Tay reports.
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2012 promises to be yet another massive year in global politics, with Europe in deep financial trouble, a US election campaign in full swing, rumblings and ructions throughout the Middle East, foreign forces closer to withdrawal from Afghanistan after a decade of mixed results in the struggle against the Taliban, Papua New Guinea in crisis, and that's just for starters.
In Australia, it's set to be a make-or-break year for the minority Labor government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
The Opposition has headed the government in the polls for more than a year.
Now Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is promising that if he wins the next election he would have a foreign policy focussing on "Jakarta rather than Geneva".
Julie Bishop is Australia's shadow foreign minister.
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David Kilcullen is best known as a counter-insurgency expert - especially for his work with US Commander General David Petraeus - in developing strategy for the war in Afghanistan.
But he also advised General Petraeus in Iraq, and his organisation, Caerus Associates, is currently analysying the role of social media in the current upsurge of popular discontent with regimes in the Middle East from Tunisia to Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Yemen.
He is the author of two books - 'Counter Insurgency' and 'The Accidental Guerrilla'.
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Sting has spent three decades making music - first as singer, songwriter and bass player for The Police.
Now, he's reinvented himself performing alongside the world's leading orchestras. On his new album, 'Symphonicity', Sting gives his old hits a classical re-tuning.
Kesha West caught up with him as he wrapped up his latest world tour.
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Raja Petra Kamaruddin is the founder and editor of the Malaysian news blog Malaysia Today and an outspoken critic of the Malaysian Government. He has been accused by the Malaysian Government of being a security threat.
He spoke to the Australia Network's Newsline program from Canberra about the possibility of an early election in Malaysia, the Government's plans to clampdown on dissent on the Internet and the fortunes of the country's opposition parties.
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Malaysia's relationship with Australia has at times been strained, most notably during the leadership of Mahathir Mohamad and Paul Keating.
But now bilateral relations have improved to such an extent that Malaysia's current Prime Minister can joke about 'recalcitrance' - the epithet from Mr Keating that Dr Mahathir took as an insult.
Najib Razak has been in Canberra for talks with Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
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India and Australia may share a tradition of democracy and a passion for cricket, but over the years relations have been marked by neglect and tension.
Racially motivated bashings of Indian students, unscrupulous Indian migration agents and a perceived snub over uranium exports have been among the pressure points in recent years.
Through it all, Sujatha Singh was India's top diplomat in Australia, and at times, as High Commissioner in Canberra, she was an outspoken critic of Australian authorities.
Now her term is up and she's heading to berlin to take up a new posting as India's Ambassador to Germany.
Sujatha Singh is speaking with Jim Middleton.
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In the lingo of casinos, they're known as "whales" - high rollers who wager hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single bet.
Many are Chinese billionaires, who've helped transform Macau and Singapore into some of the world's biggest gambling destinations. Other countries, such as Australia, want a slice of this over-stuffed pie.
Peter Gotting reports.
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Within weeks, South Korea and the United States will hold their first joint military exercises since the death of North Korea's Kim Jong-il late last year.
As usual, the announcement was greeted with condemnation from Pyongyang - one sign, at least, that some things remain the same after the transition to Kim Jong-un.
But just what the full implications are remain a mystery, even across the border in China - the north's lone ally.
China Correspondent Huey Fern Tay reports from Beijing.
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They're India's version of the Kennedys - for decades the Nehru family has dominated Indian political life.
Now, the next anointed member of the dynasty, Rahul Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru's great grandson, is emerging as a force of his own.
Over the past few weeks, the man known as the "reluctant prince" has been on the campaign trail, talking up his congress party in elections in India's most populous state Uttar Pradesh.
India Correspondent Richard Lindell reports.
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For the past four years, Tomas Ojea Quintana has been the UN's Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma.
He's just completed another visit to Burma to check on progress. Tomas Ojea Quintana is speaking with Jim Middleton.
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Burma has seen some astonishing change in the last year since Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest.
Now she's running for parliament, hundreds of political prisoners have been freed, cease-fire deals are being negotiated with ethnic rebels, and media freedom is on the rise.
But the conduct of elections in six weeks time will be a key test of the regime's credibility.
Kate Arnott reports.
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The Asia-Pacific is in strategic ferment.
Nations throughout the region are looking on anxiously as the United States responds to China's military rise by reiterating its determination to remain a Pacific power.
As a down payment, the United States will base troops in northern Australia.
China has responded by trying to bolster defence ties in South East Asia.
Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa has come up with what he calls 'dynamic equilibrium' - a doctrine under which Washington and Beijing would agree to co-exist rather than compete for supremacy.
He's speaking with Jim Middleton.
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Singapore has long had a reputation as a technology hub.
Now its aiming to become a regional leader in the development of new medicines.
At the same time, Singapore's leading researchers say it's about time pharmaceutical companies paid more attention to Asian patients, who suffer different rates of disease and react differently to drugs than patients elsewhere.
Bernadette Nunn reports.
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It's two years since Pakistan suffered the worst floods in its history.
Just 12 months later, almost to the day, floodwaters ravaged the country yet again.
The destruction was swift and devastating.
The government was criticised for being under-prepared and failing to respond quickly enough.
Now with this year's monsoon season just months away, aid agencies are asking whether the authorities in pakistan have finally learnt the lesson.
Kesha West reports.
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Each year, thousands of children around the world are victims of parental child abduction.
There is an international legal treaty in place to try to deter the practice.
But many nations in the Asia Pacific are not signatories and now the Australian Government is being asked to try to change that.
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Once upon a time, it was the leaders of the developing nations who made the long trek around the globe to talk to their counterparts in the industrialised world.
Now the boot is increasingly on the other foot.
In recent days, for example, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Jakarta to talk to Indonesian President Yudhoyono.
It's a reminder just how much the balance of economic power has shifted.
Indonesia correspondent Helen Brown reports from Jakarta.
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The Australia Network speaks with Helga Schmid who is a deputy secretary general of the european union.
Europe's external relations are her brief.
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The poor have been hardest hit in recent floods which have lashed the Philippines.
In some cases they have been left to fend for themselves, as Liam Cochrane reports.