Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pan-Pacific good news...

Today’s stories come from all over the Pacific - Hong Kong, North Korea, and Australia. Yep, that’s right, North Korea...

As with most things related to the pariah state, this news needs to be read between the lines and carefully parsed, but luckily, The Washington Post is all over that. The Post reported that according to sources inside the country and to watchdog groups, North Korea appears to have abandoned, in practice, Communism. Dictator Kim Jong-Il appears to have admitted his government is unable to solve the food shortage and has told his citizens to start relying on private markets for goods.

Australia has undergone a change in leadership more so than policy, but that may be in the offing as well. After a vote of no-confidence, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has been ousted by former deputy PM Julia Gillard. She is the first woman Prime Minister in Australia’s history (and apparently the second redhead). Newsweek has a laudatory article on Gillard and how her personality and leadership skills could bring a breath of fresh air to Australia’s politics. Let’s hope she has better luck than the Socceroos.

Hong Kong does not have a team in the World Cup; if it did, it would be nearly as much of an long-shot as its neighbor North Korea’s team. But Hong Kong does have an inspirational underdog off the pitch, according to CNN. Gordon Wong abandoned a career in health diagnostic equipment to make wheelchairs for fellow Hongkongers when he noticed foreigners had far better equipment than his countrymen.

(Photo courtesy of Newsweek)

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