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Protest Riot Police (c) Taylor Renforth

Photo © Taylor Renforth

INSTABILITY FACTORS
Israel-Iran strike | Sanctions on Iran | Senkakus-Diaoyu and historical findings | Dokdo-Takeshima | Spratly, Paracel, Scarborough | Kurils
Healthy Living (c) Robert Churchill

Photo © Robert Churchill

COMMODITY & SUSTAINABILITY
Biofuel | Global rice yield | Power blackout and Japan's nuclear phaseout | Preserving rhinos and elephants
China Town (c) Marco Prandina

Photo © Marco Prandina

TRADE & ECONOMY
Foreign funds and China's pension crush | Outward foreign direct investment saga | American movies entering China

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Syrian Parliment letters censored by the U.S. press
Click here to read the two censored letters from Mohammad Jihad al-Laham, Speaker of the Syrian Parliment, to John Boehner, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (in PDF format, 4.22MB) dated September 4, 2013. Source: British National Party



FREE.af: Project Free Africa
Original photo © Jason R Warren
FREE.af

Our latest project to call upon youngsters to realize the true beauty of the pure and proud Africans among the English-speaking world via understanding messages in words, numbers, and more.

 Read more about the upcoming project

Procurement Monitoring

A case study of the Nigerian procurement monitoring program and its portal and observatory

Chibuzo Chiemela Ekwekwuo

Public procurement has largely been a public sector activity in Africa. From a back room administrative function, it is however now being recognized as a major multi stakeholder public function, with huge ramifications on public service delivery and therefore on economic and social development. The concept of having statute based citizens oversight of the procurement process is very new in Africa. Perhaps Nigeria's public procurement law is the first, if not the only one of



Chibuzo Chiemela Ekwekwuo © Procurement Monitor
the many procurement laws passed by African countries in the last decade that took the bold step of requiring mandatory citizens observation of the public procurement process.

 Click here to read the full story on procurement monitoring
  Practical real-life act of sportsmanship: Iván Fernández Anaya

This Spanish runner proved to the world how winning is not the ultimate goal of being a true person when he decided to lose his race to Kenya athelete Abel Mutai. Read more from USA Today

 

Clean up mess please (c) Alice-the-Artist

"Clean up the mess in the playhouse please?"  © Alice-the-Artist
U.S. presidential election: elephant vs. jackass
Romney vs. Obama: Whom to vote for?

From a 'no-regret' perspective

Raymond Cheng

Deciding on whom to vote for can be a real headache but definitely not as disappointing as when you have to regret for choosing the wrong guy over the next four years. People are keep telling you (and the media ads are bombarding you too) as to whom you should vote for but no matter what and how compelling the reason(s) they may give, they seem to care less about what is really going to happen after the election. For me, I would like to know what people have really said several years *after* they casted their votes in previous elections. There is just always too much information *before* every election and too few when people eventually find themselves unhappy with their previous decisions. So do people often regret picking the wrong guy? If so, what kind of people regretted and for what and why would they regret? Let's find out.

 Click here to read the full story on how people regretted after U.S. presidential elections


February 25, 2012: Protest against Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, some wearing the Guy Fawkes masks holding banner with 'people' on it (c) pReTeNdEr


Photo caption (above): This is a snapshot of a street protest against Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in Belgrade, Serbia, dated February 25, 2012. Some protesters appeared as members of the Anonymous Group, wearing the Guy Fawkes masks holding a large banner with "people" written on it.   Photo © pReTeNdEr
When a linguist stumbled upon a Buttonwood

A REVIEW ON AN ECONOMIST ARTICLE ENTITLED –
"The demand for financial assets is not like the demand of iPods"


Raymond Cheng

I stumbled upon this old Buttonwood article the other day and, as a language and cultural briefing consultant, I just can't help not sharing in here what I got after reading it. But before I start, I need to make it very clear that I am not in anyway against anyone's freedom of speech, freedom of press, or anything similar. What I intend to do here is to share with you how the use of grammar in the Buttonwood text had possibly helped or hindered the realization and communication of meanings. So let's start from the tiny little building blocks – the words.

 Click here to read the full story on this Buttonwood article from the Economist



Anti-corruption in Nigeria

An evaluation of strategies, legislations and systems

Iliyasu Buba Gashinbaki

No one is sure when and where corruption first started in Nigeria. But Nigerian scholars like B. C. Osisioma, Ejiofor, Chinu Achebe, and Wole Soyinka amongst host of others had a consensus view that, the cradle of corruption in Nigeria was colonialism..... To buttress this view, they argued that, in 1914 the British colonial powers amalgamated vast territories of separate and distinct ethnic



Nigeria Political Map © Magellan Geographix
nationalities, kingdoms and caliphates, which have diverse cultural, religious and social values into one single corporate entity called Nigeria.

 Click here to read the full story about anti-corruption strategies in Nigeria


Anti-corruption news around the worldmore anti-graft news

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Photo © Peter Chen

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Totem (c) P.I.E. Image Compendium

Photo © Image Compendium
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SOMETHING STICKY
Children Expressions (c) Jean Schweitzer

Photo © Jean Schweitzer
A Hong Kong Review

HOW WE FOUGHT CORRUPTION – Sustained anti-corruption strategy in pre-1997 colonial
Hong Kong, an alternate perspective


Raymond Cheng

Over the years, Hong Kong has built up a clean culture and is recognized as one of the role models for fighting corruption. Syndicated and petty corruption in the public sector has become a thing of the past and irregularities in the private sector have been reduced substantially.

I shall review from a new strategic viewpoint the "passive commitments" of the Hong Kong colonial government in terms of (a) the local economic and social statistics for a 25-year period spanning 1967 thru 1992 and (b) the behavioral patterns and theories of people.

 Click here to read the full story on how Hong Kong fought its war against corruption

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