The DailyBrief

Monday November 7, 2016

A day after the “Occupy 2.0 Lite” protests at the Liaison Office of the People’s Central Government in Hong Kong in Sai Ying Pun on Sunday, Beijing issued an interpretation of the Basic Law. It is the fifth time Beijing has made such a ruling since the city’s handover to China in 1997. The city’s leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, said on Monday that his government would “fully implement” a ruling from Beijing that effectively bars two elected pro-independence lawmakers – Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus “Baggio” Leung – from the city’s legislature. He also spelt out the specifics of the interpretation.

The “golden era” of UK-China ties being enjoyed now began not with President Xi Jinping supping a pint of warm beer with then-premier David Cameron in a traditional (southern) English pub on a 2014 state visit. The real catalyst was his trip to the less glamorous reaches of England’s former industrial heartland: Manchester. The “Northern Powerhouse” initiative was then born, bringing Chinese investments totaling US$30 billion to the north of England.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs is spreading beyond the archipelago to an Asian neighbor. As the number of drug users rises rapidly in Indonesia, public opinion is hardening with growing support for a shoot-to-kill policy similar in the Philippines. Indonesia – one of 25 countries in the world that still carries out capital punishment – has seen an increasing use of the death penalty since president Joko Widodo took power in 2014, most of them for drug-related offences.

The selling of rape videos for as little as 30 US cents in northern India are driving victims to suicide. More than 10 rapes are committed a day in the mostly lawless northern state of Uttar Pradesh, where society is steeped in casteism and patriarchy. The rise in the use of smartphones makes it easier for perpetrators to instil fear into victims, so they do not seek justice. In addition, they are violated once more when the videos of their rape are circulated through porn stores in their village for 30 US cents to US$3.

China has banned private schools from making money from the nine-year compulsory education system. The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress passed the new law on Monday at the behest of the Education Ministry. The ministry believes the new law is necessary to restrict private schooling in this area since the compulsory education programme, which is a nationwide free system funded by the central government, must embody the state’s policies, and reflect fairness and public good. But it could do the opposite in terms of fairness because migrant workers’ children may be deprived because they cannot easily access public education because they are hindered by restrictive criteria, and the new law will deter new investors.