Washington has repeatedly offered to send a little-known envoy to North Korea to seek the release of three Americans, but Pyongyang appears to want a bigger name. One of the detained Americans interviewed Monday said George W. Bush would be suitable.
Once seen as untouchable, Zhou Yongkang, a former Politburo security czar, is under investigation. Chinese President Xi's far-reaching anticorruption drive is targeting political opponents and sending an uncompromising message to Communist Party the rank and file.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's trip to Latin America immediately follows the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Both are chasing investment and energy deals, although with different strategies.
Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa have founded a $100 billion 'New Development Bank' that will lend to members and other developing countries, a potential alternative to the Washington-based World Bank.