China-Ireland match-fixing scandal: A small Irish town sits caught in a sprawling web of match-fixing allegations, irregular player trades and unusual club buyouts across Asia, Africa and Europe. Richard Cook and Liu Hsiu Wen report how a leading sports integrity expert says at the heart of this corrupt web is Fifa agent Mao Xiaodong, whose tracks can be found across the globe and even traced to Dalian Shide, the team of jailed tycoon Xu Ming.
CPC’s golden rules: In the Name of the People, that charts a prosecutor’s efforts to unearth corruption in the fictional province of Handong, is currently the hottest drama on Chinese television. Lin Wanxia explains how the show’s success is down to an intriguing narrative explanation of the five written rules that guide success and failure at the highest tiers of the Communist Party.
Thailand’s restive regions: The bombing of a superstore majority owned by one of Thailand’s largest conglomerates, signals an escalation of a conflict the ruling junta has failed to resolve. Jason Johnson writes that the bombing in the southern Thai town of Pattani shows, despite years of counter-insurgency operations and ramped up security measures, the grinding conflict will not be solved through military means alone.
Australia’s punitive budget: Foreign buyers of property in Australia will be punished with a so-called ghost tax if they fail to occupy or lease their homes for at least six months. Daniel Hurst writes that the measures were announced in a budget that also includes a levy on the country’s biggest banks and are seen as part of a populist pitch to restore the fortunes of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s center-right government.