The worst famine in 60 years has struck East Africa (Somalia and Kenya region), an area already engulfed by militant violence. They need your help, urgently.
Today, nearly half a million of Somalis are seeking food and shelter in Kenya. This video unveiled the dire situation at Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp in Kenya and now the refugees and aid workers are trying to keep up in extremely difficult conditions.
Please donate money and help the refugees in Kenya. This weekend, many in Singapore will be spending time family and friends over delicious pots of curries, let’s be thankful for the plenty we enjoy and share it with others and save lives.
You can now make a donation to UNHCR Somalia Crisis microsite.
Related link: A Place in the Sand (ABC Foreign Correspondent)
As a casual observer of Australian politics I can’t help feeling tired and fed up with the current performance of the ALP at the federal and state levels. This video by Clarke and Dawe had accurately described what’s happening in the Labor government. This is a government that lost its agenda setting ability and is either in denial or lacked ideas to reverse its current position.
I had so much hopes for Australia when the ALP (Australian Labor Party) went through a disciplined and focused campaign to defeat the second longest serving Prime Minister – John Howard and took office. At the start, Rudd looked like a capable PM, financial conservative guy with foreign affairs expertise with Gillard looking liked a capable, strong deputy PM and taking on industrial relations and education portfolio amongst other things. Things looked pretty good and I thought Australia was entering into a golden age of economic and social policy progress. My admiration went to their latest level when a centre-left ALP managed to keep the Australian economy in shape through the darkest times of the 2008 GFC (global financial crisis) by riding on the China boom.
But since then everything seem to fall apart and I had my dose of reality check. This government was unable to defend their policies has gradually lost its support for its programmes and overall support despite a negative and uninspiring opposition. Australians were increasingly more worried for their future despite a blooming economy. The ALP’s internal discipline faltered, the great opportunity to push through difficult reforms despite a federal-state ALP government never came, education review led to more questions about Australia’s research future, national infrastructure investment did not fly, home insulation programme was canned, the mining super profit tax was watered down, climate change agenda captured by the Coalition, refugee issue remained a question mark.
As a Sinophile, I was most disappointed by the dearth of leadership and ideas to engage China in a meaningful and with the forward looking vision to prepare the country for the rise of a new global power and the new opportunities beyond natural resources. Instead I saw policies and behaviours that reflected tints of yellow peril. United States is without a doubt still a global superpower and an important ally, but Australia has to prepare for the new reality.
If the federal ALP government wants to retain the confidence of the Australian public, they better get their act together and stopped repeating that these are difficult times for any government. Stop the denial and take it on the chin! Guess what? That’s why the Australian public voted them into government in the first place.
I’m a geek at heart when my first instinct was grab a screen capture of a Google 404… <grin />
Today I was mildly offended by Dawn Ng’s Walter after visiting the Singapore Art Museum (SAM), the former St Joseph Institution.
I was fond of the rabbit installation when it was installed at 8Q SAM. But I was a bit offended when I saw the familiar inflatable rabbit lying in the centre spot on a platform which was the former site of an altar.
Does the artistic licence extend beyond sacrilegious realms? Where is the line drawn on such matters?
The US-China Business Council has a useful resource to make sense of the current (2011) structure of the Chinese central government and the (direct and indirect) reporting chain for the major agencies, their work plans and bio to key leaders.
People’s Republic of China Central Government Structure
Recently, I have been doing research on the nature of China’s outward foreign direct investment and its impact on Australia. I found the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment, Columbia University to be an invaluable source.
Between Karl Sauvant (former UNCTAD Director) and Ken Davies (former Global Relations Head, OECD), there have been numerous useful articles including:
This month, Fr Edward Wood from the Blessed Sacrament Community, Melbourne wrote a succulent piece about having a quiet moment with God in the Eucharist entitled “Stillness and the Eucharist: Heart speaks to heart in the Eucharistic Presence“.
He described a straight forward approach on how to enter into the proper state of mind to engage God and mediate on his divine presence. We might need to feel the urge to speak and “to be thinking grand thoughts” but actually we do not. For God’s presence is for you and in you … for in the stillness you will recognise him.