Zixin Xiang, meanwhile, commented, “I am sad at the confrontational situation in Hong Kong, but I am glad to see the buzz of civil discourse and participation. People are starting to care more, to think more and to be more willing to make sacrifices for what they believe in.”Oxford-Hong Kong students have also been discussing what implications the current demonstrations will have on Hong Kong’s identity. In a blog for the Oxford-based Blavatnik School of Government, Public Policy graduate Alexander Chan wrote, “much of Hong Kong’s identity in the past has always been defined by ‘what we are not’, rather than ‘what we are.’”He continued, “The irony is that as the current protests continue, there has yet to be a common voice and song that we can all sing to. And this reflects another deeper paradox -that as much as we do not want to be told what to do, perhaps we also do not know what we really want.”A number of the students participated in the solidarity protest which took place in Trafalgar Square on the 1st October, but there are no plans for future protests as of yet.Chan has been writing analysis of the situation for Chinese newspapers based in Hong Kong, and is currently organising an Oxford-based discussion event comparing the student movements to take place within the next two weeks. A group of Oxford students from Hong Kong have released a video in which they sing the protest song ‘Who Has Yet to Speak’ in different locations around Oxford and in Hong Kong.The video has been made as an act of solidarity with the current pro-democracy protesters in their home city. The song, sung to the tune of ‘Do You Hear the People Sing’ from the musical Les Miserables, has been one of the most frequently used pro-democratic anthems of the recent demonstrations.The video shows the students solemnly aligned, and in some frames dressed all in black. DPhil student Bolton Chau, one of the students who took part, said, “The key messages of the Chinese lyrics is to encourage Hong Kong people – who have long been thought to have little interest in politics – to show more concern about the electoral reform and to voice out their desire of democracy. For the same reason, we have a group of Oxford students and graduates recording the song both in Oxford and Hong Kong.“We want to show our support to the ongoing peaceful and civilized protest on in Hong Kong.”The recent demonstrations began with student protests, but have expanded to include a cross-section of Hong Kong society. They come in the wake of the Chinese government’s announcement that a special electoral committee will have to approve all candidates running for the region’s 2017 election, which critics say will only allow for a pro-Beijing slate.The current political situation has been much discussed amongst the Oxford-Hong Kong students’ community, with varying opinions on different sides. Despite the image recent Hong Kong graduates and current students at Oxford, as opposed to what the Western media describe, are quite diverse.“While some polarised views are manifested in the support of civil disobedience, most of us share the common hope for practical democracy, the balance of idealism and pragmatism, and our leaders’ emphasis on social well-being amid political deadlock. I deeply appreciate the dedication and fervour of my Oxford friends who wholeheartedly step up to advocate for the core values.”
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Im set for life then everything would fall apart" the author is saying over the phone "Id be like Well Im going to write a book about my left toe and how its such a shapely left toe" He gets distracted by an unfamiliar spotand quickly looks up toe cancer online He resolves to have a doctor check it out Later hell explain "Im an anxious everything" Shteyngart one of Americas keenest satirists is an expert examiner of haunting imperfections His new novel Lake Successhis first in eight years since the best seller Super Sad True Love Storyexposes and tickles the brittle egos of ber-wealthy Americans in 2016 which he calls "possibly the worst year in American history since the Civil War" Dismayed by an insult about his lack of imagination the books central character Barry Cohena Marco Rubiosupporting Republican hedge-fund manager in Manhattanabandons his phone his millions his wife and his toddler to travel across America hoping that it will free and inspire him He takes a series of long-distance Greyhound bus trips to refashion his life incited by fantasies from his past Barry refuses to believe the present particularly his only sons nonverbal autism diagnosis which threatens his vision of the ultimate status marker: three mirthful kids each with his or her own bathroom sink In Shteyngarts 2014 memoir Little Failure titled after his mothers nickname for him he calls his family a "tribe of wounded narcissists" The description also applies to many of the people in Lake Success While Barry absconds his wife Seema a Hillary Clinton supporter finds comfort in watching news about Donald Trump in the final months of the campaign "No matter what happens personally" she says "theres this much greater disaster taking place" For research Shteyngart interviewed and partied till 4 am with Wall Street types and in the summer of 2016 embarked on his own Greyhound road trip He discovered that the educated American middle class was stuck in "a sh-t sandwich" In the upper echelons he heard talk of eugenicsboth sincerely and as an affectation On the buses he says "as happens in the book thered be white supremacists talking about crucifying Muslims and Jews" While the author also witnessed striking moments of communion on his bus tour he grew eager to end the work of emulating his characters "These arent fun lives" he says As someone who fled hardship and a history of persecution with his Jewish family from Leningrad to Queens in 1979 after many relatives had been killed Shteyngart fears a creeping totalitarianism in America today He brings up his 4-year-old son "I want him to love this country But my wife isnt Caucasian so he may be growing up in a country where hes told that hes less-than" he says "What happens then Well I think my parents did one thing really rightthey left" Talk of tribalism is briefly interrupted when Shteyngarts room service arrives His room is sprawling; "the bathtub is as big as my apartment in the city" he says The lampooner of the ways of the wealthy is experiencing their privilegesand is wearing a rare watch once owned by an adviser to Richard Nixon on the nations space program He has a slight allergy to refinement though "When my life vaguely intersects with those of the hedge-fund subjects that Ive been covering Im like How the hell did this happen you know" he says It only adds to the unsettling peculiarity of the times "We live in a 24/7 satire now" he says And with him in this hotel and this President in the White House he can only laugh so much "Theres no funny way out of this" Contact us at [email protected] IDEAS TIME Ideas hosts the world’s leading voices providing commentary on events in news society and culture We welcome outside contributions Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of TIME editorsTraditional rulers in Ekiti State have appealed to the State Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi to revisit their welfare packages which have been bastardized in the last four years At a meeting with the Governor in his office on Tuesday the traditional rulers narrated their ordeals during the last administration where their salaries were not paid regular and their allowances slashed to 40 per cent leading to situations where some Obas got sitting allowances as low as two thousand or four hundred naira The Obas led by their chairman Oba Oluwole Ademolaju the Oloye of Oye- Ekiti said it was unfortunate that custodians of the culture and tradition of the people could be treated in such a shabby and despicable manner where peanuts approved for them could not be paid while some people were living grandiose life style They called on the Governor to be compassionate and return their rights and privileges that had been denied them in the last four years urging that their plight be looked into within the available resources The Obas also used the opportunity to appreciate the governor for the cars he bought for them five years ago They however lamented that about 13 Obas who were crowned after the exercise were denied official vehicles by the Fayose government They gave kudos to governor Fayemi for giving over 120 cars to all Ekiti Obas during his first tenure adding that it was commendable and unprecedented in the history of the state and Nigeria at large Earlier Governor Fayemi had solicited their support for his administration adding that government cannot move forward without the support of the traditional institution While assuring them that his administration would complete all abandoned projects before his tenure ends the governor promised to partner with them in his drive to develop the state as all projects would be based on the needs of the people He assured them of adequate security in all communities of the state by restoring the vigilante and further strengthening the security forces and ensure better welfare for them Fayemi said “I know that there are various projects also that my government started which relate to your various communities in the course of my visits during the campaign I noticed that many of those projects had remained at a standstill and your expectation is that having returned from my sabbatical leave that those projects should come to fruition and completed in the various communities where they are located “We would do our best to try and do an assessment of those projects in the shortest possible time and see how we can quickly effect its completion within available resources We would try not to leave any project abandoned “I have only been here for ten days and in the course of that we have had some skirmishes here and there I am glad that Owa of Ilogbo is here with us and in one peace I don’t know whether you have returned to your community but if you have not we would have to ensure that you get back there” Owa of Ilogbo Ekiti was recently barred from entering his domain as a result of a disagreement that happened in the town On road network the governor assured the people that very soon roads leading from Ado-Ekiti to Akure and Ikare Akoko both in Ondo state would be fixed by the Federal Government Fayemi also hinted the Obas of plans by his administration to invest massively in agriculture urging the traditional rulers to key into the programme He also promised to effect the release of their entitlements within the available resources The Governor promised to build a council hall with chambers and offices where all the traditional rulers in the state could meet at the same time Femi Adesina spokesman to President Muhammadu Buhari has said N30000 as minimum wage for civil servants is not feasible The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has been at loggerheads with the federal government over a demand for an increase in the minimum wage Labour has rejected the proposal of the federal government to raise the minimum wage from N18000 to N24000 Speaking on Channels TV programme on Thursday Adesina admitted that some Governors were unable to pay the N18000 not to talk of N30000 “So if they can’t pay N18000 and labour is asking for N30000 and they refuse to come lower there may be a stalemate which will not be good for the country “I think in the spirit of negotiation labour should not insist on N30000” he said Asked if the political class “especially members of the All Progressives Congress (APC)” agreeing to reduce their salaries will not make the new minimum wage demand possible the presidential spokesman replied: “I doubt “Even if they decide not to collect anything it still doesn’t take care of N30000 minimum wage; it doesn’t “Maybe if the members of the national assembly concede part of their salaries and allowances it can make a dent on minimum wage But other office holders dont earn anything outrageous” completely out of place in a game of the brain that chess is.King Write to Alex Altman at [email protected] They can get to areas where a vehicle can’t get.
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