1H2017 Review: Korea

1H2017 Review: KoreaSouth Korea’s long-running political upheaval ensured that 2017 kicked off amid controversy. The very first day of the year saw president Park Geun-hye denouncing her impeachment by the National Assembly. However, on March 10, the Constitutional Court upheld the ruling, ending a presidency mired in controversy since Park’s election in 2012. Park was then arrested…

1H2017 Review: Singapore

1H2017 Review: SingaporeSingaporean politics was rocked in June by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s siblings, who accused him of abusing his power. Their main grievance concerned what they considered the prime minister’s efforts to acquire and preserve the family home. His actions, they argued, ran contrary to the dying wishes of their father, Lee Kuan Yew, who…

1H2017 Review: Taiwan

Taiwan’s gross domestic product is headed for its fastest clip since 2014, according to an economic think tank. GDP will probably exceed 2%, according to a forecast released in April by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER). Darson Chiu, deputy director of macroeconomic forecasting at TIER, said the figure is not necessarily “a very…

The Magus & the Educator

The Magus & the EducatorNow that we are well into the second decade of the new millennium we get a clearer idea of what is important; what we will be bringing into the new century as essential building blocks as the old recedes into history. Where now are those twin pillars of the 20th Century thought, Marxism and Freudianism…

Jaipur Lit Fest gets massive crowds for books and fun

North India’s two annual cultural jamborees have this year again pulled in tens of thousands of expanding crowds from home and abroad as they reach their ten-year anniversaries – the Jaipur Literature Festival last month and the India Art Fair next year. Both provide a mixture of culture, education and entertainment, having begun in a relatively…

Economic Outlook 2017: Hong Kong

Economic Outlook 2017: Hong KongSlow economic growth, rising wages and prices, political instability, lower property values, confrontation between the United States and China over trade or security, and Mainland interference in the rule of law are just some of Hong Kong’s concerns going into 2017. “Headwinds remain from weak global growth, local property tightening measures, a more aggressive Fed…

How Carrie Lam Beggars Belief

How Carrie Lam Beggars BeliefShe may be Beijing’s openly preferred candidate for Chief Executive of Hong Kong, but lifetime bureaucrat Carrie Lam has a lot to learn about politics. Indeed she seems to have a lot to learn about how 99% of people in the territory live. Since declaring her candidacy for the top job earlier this month, Lam…

Economic Outlook 2017: Korea

Economic Outlook 2017: KoreaSouth Korea kicked off the new year under a political cloud with President Park Geung-hye suspended from office after her December 2016 impeachment over alleged corruption and influence peddling. The scandal has extended into the economy after accusations that Park colluded with a long-time confidante, Choi Soon-sil, to pressure Samsung and other Korean conglomerates, or…

Economic Outlook 2017: Japan

Economic Outlook 2017: JapanFueled by fiscal stimulus measures and a depreciating yen following the U.S. presidential election, the Japanese economy is expected to grow moderately in 2017, albeit with downside pressure persisting in public debt and wage growth. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned in November 2016 that faster economic growth was essential to help Japan…

Extra Virgin or Greasy Harlot?

Extra Virgin or Greasy Harlot?The olive has been with us for some 8,000 years. Its oil has been a treasured culinary companion around the Mediterranean basin for most of that time. In the past 40 years olive oil’s appeal has gone global. So much so that there is now a shortage and prices have risen dramatically. So has the…
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