A few years ago, toward the end of his life, my father battled severe depression. As a physician and professor, he did not lack access to mental-health care. But he had grown up in a society that stigmatised mental illness, and he was unwilling to seek professional help. As a son, it was devastating to watch my father suffer.
Since the massive mobilisation effort that preceded the 2009 Conference of the Parties (COP15) in Copenhagen, the world has begun translating words and intentions into real action on climate change. European leadership – from government, civil society, and business – has played a pivotal role in driving progress.
Indonesia, home to 264 million people, is the world’s fourth-most populous country. Its capital, Jakarta, is the second-most populous urban area on Earth. For the sake of its long-term economic and social health, ending population growth should be a priority.
On a trip to Ethiopia in the 1990s, I met with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to try to persuade him to stop jailing journalists. Since Meles’s guerrillas had ousted a repressive Soviet-backed dictatorship a few years before, there had been an explosion of exuberant and sometimes wildly inaccurate little newspapers, many of them attacking Meles.
Japan’s Emperor Akihito will abdicate on 30 April, having sat on the Chrysanthemum Throne since 1989. At the age of 85, Akihito seemingly wishes to live in quiet retirement with Empress Michiko, his wife of 60 years. His elder son, Crown Prince Naruhito, will succeed him as emperor.
The Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka rank among the deadliest terrorist attacks in modern history, and underscore the metastasising scourge of Islamist violence in Asia.
On 4 April, a group of international buyers’ associations from the garment, footwear, sporting, and travel goods industries sent a letter to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to express concerns over abusive labour practices and human-rights violations.
Dante’s Divine Comedy describes one level of hell (the City of Dis) as “Satan’s wretched city…full of distress and torment terrible.” He could well have been describing many modern-day metropolises.
The drumbeat of warnings about a looming worldwide recession is growing ever louder. According to the latest Brookings-Financial Times TIGER indexes, which track the global economic recovery, growth momentum is declining in virtually all of the world’s major economies.
For more than two years, China has waged a campaign of unparalleled repression against its Islamic minorities, incarcerating an estimated one-sixth of the adult Muslim population of the Xinjiang region at one point or another.
For the West, the year 2008 marked the beginning of a difficult period of crisis, recession, and uneven recovery. For China, 2008 was also an important turning point, but one followed by a decade of rapid progress that few could have foreseen.