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  William Vocke    Special to The China Post
For the past 5 years, I've been meeting over Thursday lunch periods with a group of students on my campus for discussions on current affairs, almost always focused on Taiwan. We rely on media reports, opinion columns similar to this one, and life experiences to share observations and views on whatever pops up in the news.
Turkey's electorate has voted for democracy and the rule of law over incipient dictatorship, a most positive development. In June 7 parliamentary elections, the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) was abandoned by many voters. The ruling party won the largest bloc of seats in parliament, but lost the majority.
In May the World Economic Forum issued the Human Capital Report 2015 that facilitates a comparative assessment of the education systems of various countries.
Facing the onslaught of wanton destruction, cultural pillage and a growing back market for stolen antiquities, both Iraq and Syria are feeling the brunt not only of the ideological violence of the Islamic State (IS), but the barbaric "cultural cleansing" of antiques dating back millennia. As the Middle East confronts the expansion of the IS terrorist state we also face the unintended consequences of both historic destruction and equally the attacks on religious minorities such as the Christians and Yazidis.
The number of people in need of nursing care will increase by 45 percent in the next 10 years, and nursing care facilities for elderly people will fall short by 130,000 beds, in Tokyo and three of its neighboring prefectures -- Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa.
The democratic project confronts myriad challenges in South Asia. The concept itself is being revisited to learn more aggressive interventions and re-emphasis nuance and practice.
China's journey to great-power status reminds me of the Monkey King. This cultural hero, who has the body of a man and the face of a monkey, is a popular character in Chinese literature. Indeed, one translator of "Journey to the West" claims that children in the Chinese world want to be monkeys.
An extremely high target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions was unveiled at the latest Group of Seven summit meeting. Nations around the world will be tested over their ability to achieve goals to curb global warming.
The recent controversy over Maggi has exposed the high vulnerability of consumers to hazardous but tasty and convenient foods which very quickly become a habit for millions of people (including children).
Due to differences in views over issues related to historical perceptions and words or deeds of political leaders of both countries, a structure of mutual distrust between Japan and South Korea is taking hold.
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