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August, 29, 2016

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Commentary
Regional disparities are stark. One of the world's great achievements of the past decades has been the significant fall in global poverty. Between 1990 and 2012, the proportion of humanity living under US$1.90 a day fell from 37 percent to only 13 percent, driven in large part by the efforts of China. South Asia also witnessed a major decline in poverty, from 51 percent to 19 percent, with unequal progress across countries.
 
There's a whole constellation of issues surrounding the Summer Olympics unfolding in Rio de Janeiro.
 
Established in 2003 as the sole interpreter of the Constitution and an arbiter of election disputes, the Constitutional Court has played a crucial role in stabilizing Indonesia's democracy after the downfall of Soeharto's authoritarian regime. The court has issued landmark rulings that have defined the nation's stance on important but divisive issues, ranging from religious freedom and the death penalty to economic equality.
 
Established in 2003 as the sole interpreter of the Constitution and an arbiter of election disputes, the Constitutional Court has played a crucial role in stabilizing Indonesia's democracy after the downfall of Soeharto's authoritarian regime. The court has issued landmark rulings that have defined the nation's stance on important but divisive issues, ranging from religious freedom and the death penalty to economic equality.
 
The current condition of global economic inequality should be of concern to all. An Oxfam report published this year titled, "An Economy for the 1 Percent," revealed that "the richest 1 percent now have more wealth than the rest of the world combined."
 
Last Monday, President Tsai Ing-wen issued a formal apology on behalf of the government to Taiwan's indigenous peoples for the discrimination and neglect they suffered over the past 400 years. She fulfilled her campaign promise to proclaim Taiwan's Indigenous Peoples Day and offer the apology.
 
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha recently announced that soldiers from Army Regions 1, 2, and 3 currently dispatched to the far south will return to their respective regions by October, saying the situation has improved over the past few years in this conflict-ridden area.
 
"You're Chinese?" the Uber driver asked me at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 after I got into his car and spoke to him in English.
 
Brexit has triggered two arguments about democracy: (1) Voters are ignorant, and (2) representatives are selfish. In either case the implications for governance are grave. It is significant that the questions are being asked in the West. They have always been on the table in countries like Pakistan but dismissed as reflecting the limitations of people rather than of democracy.
 
Two weeks ago, back in the United States, the chair of the Democratic National Committee was forced to resign in disgrace in the opening hours of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
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