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Monday, May 4, 2015
China has been known as a state of comity (禮儀之邦) for millennia. Comity means friendly, social atmosphere. China used to be a country of social harmony. It isn't a state of comity any more.
Social media is once again playing a hero's role, this time in immediately drawing to the world's attention the human and other consequences of the recent massive earthquake in Nepal, and playing a vital part in bringing about crucially needed global aid to the devastated mountain nation.
The debate over Ikea's link with outspoken Singaporean pastor Lawrence Khong represents in some respects a storm in a teacup. The content of the magic show is not in question; Ikea has said it respected diversity in the community (indeed, it has every commercial reason to do so); and entertainers are entitled to their own opinions.
A quarter of a century ago then-British Prime Minister John Major spoke of forging a "classless" society, yet Britons appear peculiarly wedded to their tribal identities.
The birth of a princess on Saturday demonstrated the enduring strength of Britain's rulers, consolidating four generations of a family now more popular than ever, but cannot hide the weaknesses of an aging institution.
Sunday, May 3, 2015
It is old news now that Mayor Ko Wen-je touched a sore spot on the local scene last week by announcing a plan to substitute police surveillance with camera surveillance for a very specific parking zone in Taipei.
Up close and personal -- that describes targeting individuals in wartime, even when impersonal drone aircraft and electronics are employed.
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Jordan's authorization of a breakaway wing of the Muslim Brotherhood has sent tensions soaring between the decades-old organization and the government, accused of exploiting the rift to weaken the kingdom's main opposition force.
The Myanmar soldier, wearing his crisp green uniform, rifles through a box of T-shirts for a souvenir of his time in the country's fledgling legislature -- a deeply controversial position in the former junta-run nation on the cusp of key elections.
Saturday, May 2, 2015
The targeted killings of journalists, the suffocating censorship in many countries and the widening governmental controls on media activities characterize the contemporary media landscape in large parts of the world. And add the ghastly shock effect of beheadings of journalists in the Middle East by Islamic State or the barbaric attacks in the heart of Paris against the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, or the pervasive intimidation against the investigative press in Mexico by drug lords, and the picture becomes more alarming.
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