Asia in 2016: Hong Kong

Asia in 2016: Hong KongJust as the aftershocks of the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement demonstrations of 2014 had calmed down, the Year of the Monkey began in Hong Kong with a violent surprise. In February, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department cracked down on popular but unlicensed street food vendors in Kowloon’s gritty Mong Kok neighborhood, prompting an angry response…

Hong Kong Debaters Win on Points

Hong Kong Debaters Win on PointsWhen Team England—a variegated group of articulate high school students – won a stirring victory against 54 competitors at the World Schools Debating Championship in Stuttgart, Germany two weeks ago, defeating Canada in the final, Hong Kong played a surprising role in the win. Both of the past two Team Englands have had one or…

The Plight of Hong Kong’s Domestic Workers

The Plight of Hong Kong’s Domestic WorkersEarly in the morning on a street in Hong Kong’s Central district, workers rushing to offices, hands occupied with briefcases and Starbucks, pay little attention to a woman in dark colors holding a package. “I am waiting for my friend from the Philippines to give her something to carry to the Philippines to give my…

Racism Rears its Head in Hong Kong

Racism Rears its Head in Hong KongOfficially-sponsored racism in Hong Kong has taken another leap forward this month with the announcement that the government is considering abolishing visa-free access for visitors from India and Indonesia. Ethnic cleansing aims to reduce the attractions of the city to Asians not carrying the superior Han genes. The visa news coincided with a visit to…

Malaysian Rapper Namewee Pulls in Horns for HK Concert

Malaysian Rapper Namewee Pulls in Horns for HK ConcertControversial Malaysian rapper Wee Meng Chee has become the latest to join a growing number of artists and brands facing stern Chinese limitations on their performance in return for a bite of China’s US$150 billion entertainment and media industry. Wee, whose stage name is Namewee – a pun on his name in Putonghua – posted…

Art Becomes a Commodity

Art Becomes a CommodityWhile astronomical prices for art have been around for decades, today business opportunists have commodified art as never before -- dealers who see art only as a means to make profit. In this new world, art trading globally is in excess of US$66 billion and growing exponentially, as more institutions become involved. Art is no…

Antibiotics Overuse Means Superbugs are On the March

Antibiotics Overuse Means Superbugs are On the MarchAs has long been feared, antibiotic use is driving antibiotic resistance and creating what critics have said could be a plague of virtually uncontrollable superbugs for a wide range of diseases including syphilis, gonorrhea and tuberculosis as doctor overprescribe, and, to raise meat production, livestock producers fill their animals with antibiotics to make them mature…

A Minor Case Shows Depressing Change in Hong Kong

A Minor Case Shows Depressing Change in Hong KongHong Kong presents itself as Asia’s World City and constantly emphasizes how it is ruled by law and correct procedures. But as Hong Kong draws closer into China’s web, the reality appears to be increasingly diverging from the image. One small example illustrates how the territory’s long-standing defense of civil rights is growing more subject…

Beyond the Body Counts

Beyond the Body CountsAre homicide statistics just another number crunching exercise or a helpful indicator for humanitarian intervention?  The Homicide Monitor, a new, interactive online tool that collates country-by-country statistics on homicides from a range of sources, an initiative the Brazil-based Igarape Institute launched this week, is intended to stimulate debate around homicide statistics and draw attention to the…

Grim Annual Toll of Killed, Jailed Journalists

Grim Annual Toll of Killed, Jailed JournalistsAs 2013 did, and several years before that, 2014 appears about to end with a depressing number of journalists killed for attempting to tell the world about war, corruption, crime, human rights violations and politics, a reminder that for too many, pursuing the right to information is dangerous.   In addition, more than 200 journalists…
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