IN PHOTOS: Hong Kong protests

IN PHOTOS: Hong Kong protestsOn August 31, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee in Beijing ratified a plan for Hong Kong’s 2017 chief executive election that failed to meet expectations of universal suffrage as promised under the Basic Law. It was a bitter disappointment that a great many Hong Kong people opposed. The decision led Hong Kong activists to…

Bottle-Feeding Asian Mothers Risk Infant Health

Bottle-Feeding Asian Mothers Risk Infant HealthLast May, a young mother got onto a Hong Kong bus with her baby and kicked off a viral frenzy on the Internet. At the rear of the vehicle, she covered the baby and her body with a nursing blanket and began to suckle the child, only to have a fellow passenger film the scene…

Thai Threat Kicks Off US Academic Debate

Thai Threat Kicks Off US Academic DebateLast week, a Harvard University onetime graduate named Illya Garger published an article in the Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper, questioning the fact that his alma mater was considering collaborating with Surin Pitsuwan and Surakiart Satrathai, two former Thai foreign ministers, to raise US$6 million to fund a program to “promote Thailand’s monarchy and national…

Asia Isn’t as Rich as it Thinks it is

Asia Isn’t as Rich as it Thinks it isAsia generally has made huge advances in the fight against poverty, illiteracy and ill-health. But the advances have not been as large as imagined, according to a just published report from the Asian Development Bank.  The bank concludes that the income definition of poverty needs significant upward adjustment, and must take into account factors other…

Is the UN’s peacekeeper selection process flawed?

Is the UN’s peacekeeper selection process flawed?In March 2011, a 16-year-old youth named Lemon Hossen was walking to retrieve his family’s cows in Bangladesh’s southern Jhalokathi District when motorcycles carrying officers of the country’s paramilitary Rapid Action Battalion pulled up beside him. One grabbed him and called him a terrorist. “I told them that I am not a terrorist, I am…

IN PHOTOS: Marching to Limit Hong Kong’s Electoral Franchise

On Sunday, pro-Beijing marchers swamped Hong Kong’s Victoria Park and walked the 4 kilometers to Central to protest plans by a radical group called Occupy Central to close down the city’s business district later this year if China refuses to grant universal suffrage for the 2017 elections, as promised under the 1997 Basic Law. Asia…

Stateless in Hong Kong and Happy to be

Stateless in Hong Kong and Happy to be“We are evangelists, you know what that means?” I nodded. “In Pakistan there are many problems, there are no problems like that in Hong Kong.”  Khuram is a well-built man with straight black hair down past his shoulders. What he means by saying he is an “evangelist” is that he is a Christian. He is…

A Badly Needed Green Lung for Hong Kong

A Badly Needed Green Lung for Hong KongEvery day, a river of trams, cars, trucks, double-decked buses and minibuses pours down Des Voeux Road, one of Hong Kong’s most important commercial arteries, a bustling thoroughfare in the heart of Central, the business district.  But the think tank Civic Exchange and the Hong Kong Institute of Planners would like to radically alter the…

An Arms Race Explodes in Asia-Pacific

An Arms Race Explodes in Asia-PacificThe Asia-Pacific region is now well and truly in an arms race like no other.  China alone is said to have quadrupled its military spending since 2000. Indeed, in 2013 Asian countries spent a combined US$322 billion on military budgets compared to US$262 billion in 2010. Despite global military spending falling in 2013 by 1.9…

The Dangerous Nexus Between Hepatitis C and HIV

The Dangerous Nexus Between Hepatitis C and HIVThe World Health Organization says a “silent epidemic” of viral hepatitis affects a large part of the world’s population, causing over 1.4 million deaths every year, yet it remains largely unknown or ignored. It is estimated by the WHO that 240 million people are chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus and more than 185…
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