Society

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Indonesia’s growing drug problem

Two years ago, Indonesian authorities tied a 32-year-old Thai woman named Namsong Sirilak and a 62-year-old Indian named Saelow Prasert to palm trees at dawn in northern Sumatra and shot them for traffickin...
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Taxis – China’s Deep Throats

It is a miserable winter evening in Beijing, wet and freezing, and the taxi matches the mood – a rickety Charade, the floor covered in dust and the seatcover reeking of a hundred bottoms. We are ...
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Hong Kong Heart Break

My five geriatric heart-attack ward buddies in Hong Kong's ageing, somewhat dingy United Christian Hospital are stoic. Though we can only communicate through smiles, grimaces and occasional farts and belches, I...
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A Stately Pleasure Dome

  The royal family parks the royal Hummer at the Empire Hotel The Empire Hotel and Country Club, sprawled over 180 hectares on a shoulder of the South China Sea i...
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Bali: Trouble in Paradise

Kuta, Bali – The Bali bombs of 2002 and 2005 confirmed local conventional wisdom: bad things on the island come from Java. The 2005 bombings not only revived the slump in tourism, which accounts for a...
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The Gong Show

The average reviewer pours scorn on remakes of old movies or television shows, crying creative bankruptcy. Not me. It’s hard to deny that recycling of characters and plot is wanting in inspiration. But that’s n...
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His Brother’s Keeper

My brother, Gene Berthelsen, was born at 5:13 pm on October 4, 1937. I was born 20 minutes later at 5:33, although it could have been the other way round. We can’t be sure. That is because when our mother br...
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Mimi’s Dream Race

When Filipina-American Melody “Mimi Miyagi” Damayo used the fame she gained as a porn star to launch a bid for the Republican nomination for governor of the US state of Nevada, she could hardly ...
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Total Impact

Let the games begin -- again. Sitting in a Hong Kong newsroom reading Bangkok-based wire stories screaming that a man in Bangkok has confessed to one of America's most famous murders-- the 1996 slayi...
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Dwindling Tribes

The girl at the cash register in McDonalds in Hualien struggles to understand the Mandarin-speaking customer. She is slightly darker (and more beautiful) than the other Taiwanese teens flipping burgers and ...