The Myanmar military is not renowned for its self-deprecating wit. But the news this week that a young woman has been incarcerated over an online joke involving the army’s new uniform and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s skirt suggests a degree of self-aggrandisement that would be funny were it not for the fact that someone is currently behind bars.
For years now, China’s elaborate efforts to censor and control the internet – collectively known as the Great Firewall – have restricted what the world’s biggest population of netizens can see and how fast they can download.
There they were. The powerful men in the saffron robes. Time, they said, to celebrate. And celebrate people did: celebrate the possibility of enforced birth control, celebrate state interference in sexual relations between consenting adults, celebrate attempts to restrict interfaith marriage.
It's pretty much a given that most folks find economic news rather boring and a bit stodgy. Not this week, though – when the subject is the signing on October 5 of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade pact encompassing 12 Pacific Rim nations that together handle 40 percent of the world’s economy
Many people regularly question how free and fair the November 8 election will be. This is not surprising given the bitter experience in the 2010 election with advance votes. Concerns about the credibility of the election are usually based on the voter lists, advance votes, the potential for violence and other security issues. Finally, there is the question of whether the Union Election Commission (UEC) is really independent in its actions. However, very few people have political finance, which plays a vital role in determining how free and fair an election could be.
Tobacco kills 150 people every hour and 1.3 million annually in the World Health Organization’s 11-country Southeast Asia region. The use of tobacco in the region is unacceptably high, and is increasing alarmingly.