Sunday, October 12, 2014
Responding in part to space I recently offered to two common English words (“We must distinguish between studying and learning English” 9-28-14) a friend wants me to say more here on language related issues. Her wish reached me after last week's attention to the term “decency” appeared, albeit in a social, not to say political context (“On decency and the HK protests” 10-5-14).
'Small but meaningful step,' is how a senior official of South Korea's Unification Ministry described the surprise visit Oct. 4 of top North Korean officials. Hwang Pyong So, close adviser to North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, headed the delegation, which crossed the demilitarized zone (DMZ) which divides the two Koreas.
Gay rights groups are cautiously cheering a shift in tone from the Catholic Church toward homosexuals, encouraged that Pope Francis' famous “Who am I to judge?” position has filtered down to bishops debating family issues at a Vatican meeting this week.
The wars between Israel and Hamas tend to be futile and frustrating for all. Each side ends up more or less where it began, having learned little, entrenched in its position, preparing for the next pointless, deadly round.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Hong Kong has always been a city of contrasts. Wealth, a free economy, a feisty media and rule of law have always contrasted with poverty, crowding and claustrophobia.
The lightning rise of the Islamic State group is turning it into a magnet for Muslim extremists, as U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria help galvanize support for their cause.
U.S. President Barack Obama is increasingly touting the economic recovery in a bid to help his party retain narrow control over the Senate in November elections, a campaign strategy fraught with risk at a time when his popularity is down and many Americans are frustrated that their lives have not improved despite the emergence from recession.
The Occupy Central movement may not win everything it has demanded, but it has forever redefined Hong Kong politics. Seen from a broad historical view, it has won plenty.
Friday, October 10, 2014
The Glasgow bar is half empty, the televisions showing sport while inoffensive pop music plays. But the students huddled around the table are oblivious — the talk is all about Scotland's future.
Bhutan, the only country in the world to make “Gross National Happiness (GNH)” a national policy, has also drawn up a social media policy with an interesting twist: social networks can be an important tool for GNH and good governance.