The U.S. State Department released its annual Trafficking in Persons Report today, which classified countries based on their efforts to combat the practice. There aren’t automatic penalties for countries found to be in violation, but the law does at least suggest that that the U.S. refrain from providing non-humanitarian aid to the worst offenders. 

Early on Wednesday morning, Malaysian officials were on hand to welcome two important new arrivals to Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The pair, Ms. Feng Yi and Mr. Fu Wa, are on a diplomatic mission from China, hoping to cement the relationship between the two states and help them get past the considerable trauma caused to that relationship by the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370.

Relations between Indonesia and Malaysia have been marred by issues relating to the treatment of migrant workers, border disputes, the environment and cultural claims. Despite ups and downs during 57 years of relations, the two nations have committed to forging better understanding. Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia Herman Prayitno talks to The Jakarta Post’s Yohanna Ririhena on the issue on the sidelines of a seminar on Indonesia-Malaysia relations at the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), Kedah, Malaysia, recently.

Malaysian government intends to encourage local companies to increase investments in Russia, Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry Mustapa Mohamed said after a bilateral meeting with Russian Minister of Economic Development Aleksey Ulyukayev in this Chinese city on Sunday. “We had a good meeting. We have made major progress and intend to sign a memorandum on setting up a joint committee to develop Russian-Malaysian co-operation,” Mohamed said.

From April 22 to April 29, U.S. President Barack Obama visited Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines in what many observers called an attempt to solidify his administration’s “rebalance to Asia.” The Diplomat spoke with Dr. Jonathan Pollack, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, about Obama’s goals for the trip, and the major events at each of his stops.

President Barack Obama has said the US and Malaysia are at the start of a "new era of partnership", on the second day of his official visit. Obama was speaking at a state banquet with Malaysian King Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah. He is due to meet Prime Minister Najib Razak later. It is the first such visit by a serving US president for nearly 50 years.

Malaysia Airlines flight 370 (MH370) is presumed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean, “about as close to nowhere as it’s possible to be, but . . . closer to Australia than anywhere else,” according to Australian prime minister Tony Abbott. In response, Australia’s formidable humanitarian assistance and disaster relief/search and rescue (HADR/SAR) machine has sprung into action.

 The Philippine navy will soon return to a South China Sea island it lost to Vietnam 40 years ago to drink beer and play volleyball with Vietnamese sailors, symbolising how once-suspicious neighbours are cooperating in the face of China's assertiveness in disputed waters.