Democracy, with all its enormous benefits and unsettling drawbacks, was born in Greece. The least worst of government systems, as Winston Churchill categorised it, democracy has been the foundation of stable, peaceful, independent and economically-thriving nations.
A few hours before bullets ripped through his body and stilled forever a brave voice, the Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was, yet again, tempting fate. Like few others in Russia, Nemtsov was willing to publicly excoriate the policies of Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, to call into question Putin’s designs and more importantly, his veracity. …read more
With the jailing of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim last week, Malaysia appears to have again resorted to dubious law to eliminate political challenges. This unfortunate practice has been seen in many Asian nations: Thailand, Myanmar and Singapore are in the unsavoury line-up. All too often, the courts are used to shape the course of politics. Opponents …read more
From most vantage points, this one-time shoe factory in southern China looks like a one-time shoe factory. Squeezed between other factories in this bleakly industrial zone of Shenzhen, just across the border from Hong Kong, it has a flavour of the ordinary.
In the aftermath of the Sydney siege and the Paris shootings, and in light of the growing might and reach of Islamic State, Boko Haram, and other terror movements, US President Barack Obama is talking tough. In his State of the Union speech last week, President Obama said the US stands united with all those …read more
On the hunt, ready to kill, she emerges from behind the rock pile at dusk; eyes gleaming green, tail twitching. As heavy as ten kilos and remarkably agile for her size, she has spent the day hiding from the sun in a den under some boulders, or maybe in a sandy hollow under some scrub. …read more
While nations with sophisticated health networks debate the merits of mandatory quarantine and whether to place a temporary ban on passengers flying in from West Africa, Asian nations are bracing for the worst, with some experts saying an outbreak of Ebola in the region is almost inevitable.
Once a formidable statement of colonial justice, the faded red former High Court building in downtown Yangon has seen better days. Greenery sprouts from the domed clock tower and weeds have taken root along the cream-coloured lintels. A guard waves interested tourists away. Ripe for preservation and conservation, the huge edifice is sadly dilapidated, like …read more
Hot, tired and emotional, Kit Wong couldn’t control his tears. Awake all night, watching television footage of Hong Kong’s riot police launching tear gas and pepper spray against young democracy protesters sheltering behind flimsy umbrellas, the 26-year-old travel agent was appalled.
Weary protesters tried to force a showdown with the Hong Kong government last night, warning they would occupy various government buildings if their demands were not met. Yet the government refused to negotiate and police refrained from forcing thousands of protesters to vacate the three key protest sites they have occupied since Sunday.