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August, 27, 2016

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Commentary > China Post > Special
Queen Elizabeth I had a subtle way of bleeding her English nobility of their wealth. Periodically, she would invite herself with her ponderous court to stay at their homes, living at their expense until she moved to the castle of another victim. For her, it was cost-effective; for her hosts, ruinous.
 
The last few weeks have been tough on the environment of Hong Kong as the local beaches, coasts and harbors have been covered by waves of sea debris of dubious origins. Such trash has no doubt jeopardized the local marine biology, our coasts and, let's say it, people's leisure time.
 
We live in an age where, by means of a single social media post, the reputations of innocent people can easily -- and instantly -- be destroyed or damaged. All it takes is a name, a face, and a caption.
 
Today, one of Turkey's greatest modern poets wrote about his wife in verses composed in his prison cell in 1945, presumably anticipating a visit: "Nazim Hikmet's woman must be beautiful/ Like a rebel flag ..." Last Sunday, one could have been fooled into thinking that a vast meeting space in Istanbul was awash with rebel flags.
 
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."
 
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.
 
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