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Barbados declared a republic, ditching Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and colonial bonds

Barbados ditched Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as head of state, forging a new republic on Tuesday with its first-ever president and severing its last remaining colonial bonds nearly 400 years after the first English ships arrived at the Caribbean island.At the strike of midnight, the new republic was born to the cheers of hundreds of people lining Chamberlain Bridge in the capital, Bridgetown. A 21 gun salute fired as the national anthem of Barbados was played over a crowded Heroes Square.Prince…

As Singapore sees more Covid-19 deaths than last year, what happens to the bodies of patients without families?

When it comes to death, veteran embalmer Dennis Pedrozo has seen it all in his 24 years of preserving bodies. But nothing prepared him for the Covid-19 pandemic, which has changed long-standing funeral practices.While Singapore’s Covid-19 death toll remains one of the lowest in the world, there was a sudden spike in infections and deaths in October, following clusters linked to karaoke lounges and fishery ports.Singapore recorded 30 Covid-19 deaths in the 14 months following the country’s first…

China’s top security official touts common prosperity campaign, points to ‘hidden peril’ of wealth gap

China’s top security official has touted President Xi Jinping’s “common prosperity” campaign and vowed to crack down on illegal income, saying it could help Beijing to avoid political risk.Guo Shengkun, secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, the top Communist Party agency in charge of law enforcement, said the strategy was aimed at solving “deep-rooted risk and hidden peril caused by [uneven] income distribution”.He made the remarks in a contribution to a book of…

Omicron impact on China manufacturing ‘ambiguous’ as November activity expands

China’s factory activity unexpectedly returned to expansion in November after seven months of decline due to an improved power supply situation and lower raw material prices, but the potential impact of the “big caveat” of the Omicron coronavirus variant remains “ambiguous”.The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 50.1 in November, up from 49.2 in October, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Tuesday, halting a run of two months of contraction…

Philippine leader Duterte’s preferred successor Christopher Go quits presidential race

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s chosen successor on Tuesday announced his withdrawal from the 2022 presidential race, saying it was “not yet my time”.Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, a close aide to the president, entered the contest for the country’s highest office two days before the November 15 deadline, after previously registering for the vice presidential race.His sudden exit narrows the field of candidates vying to replace Duterte, who is constitutionally barred from seeking a…

From tents to tallest building: UAE’s ‘remarkable’ 50-year rise

Ehab Fouad was a teenager when he marched in the parade marking the birth of the United Arab Emirates, that has gone from desert outpost to regional powerhouse in 50 years.The retired civil engineer, now 64, vividly recalls December 2, 1971, when he proudly held aloft the photo of the oil-rich Gulf state’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, and saw its new flag for the first time.Fouad, who strode directly behind the flag-bearer, tears up when he remembers the Abu Dhabi parade…

Hong Kong schools must infuse civic, moral values into all subjects under new framework to be revealed soon

Hong Kong schools will need to infuse civic values including law-abidingness and national identity into all subjects under a new teaching framework to address a “passive and self-indulgent mindset” in some young people, the Post has learned.A source on Monday revealed details of the new requirements after Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung wrote in his blog the previous day that a committee would soon announce a trial version of the “Values Education Curriculum Framework” after…