Anthony Bourdain always lit up when we spoke about the extraordinariness of normal folk - their struggles, cultures, joys and humble successes. I have known the late US celebrity chef and TV presenter for 17 years and met him both on and off the screen for his shows and mine. I can unreservedly tell you that he was a champion of all things authentic, the unheralded and the disadvantaged. Which was why when I first told him I wanted to link everyone up with the rich heritage street food culture through our inaugural World Street Food Congress in 2013, he jumped in to support us. He fielded the media at our press conference in New York, saying "the world so needs a World Street Food Congress", adding, "a street food cart can create a brand". The happiest I ever saw Bourdain was when he had beers and roasted duck necks at Redhill Food Centre with a group of retirees whiling the hours away with small talk and impromptu karaoke. "This is what I want to be when I grow up," he told me on … [Read more...] about Remembering Anthony Bourdain through his favourite local makan spots
Peace talks chapter 1
For the first time in the history of the divided peninsula, a North Korean leader stepped across the inter-Korean border, where he was greeted by a South Korean president. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was greeted by South Korean President Moon Jae-in as he crossed the MDL – the Military Demarcation Line, the actual border – that runs through the center of the truce village of Panmunjom, which itself stands in the center of the 4 kilometer-wide Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ. The dailyReport Must-reads from across Asia - directly to your inbox A loud gasp was heard in the huge press center where some 3,000 reporters have gathered to cover the event, the third inter-Korean summit, as Kim appeared amid an entourage of bodyguards and besuited and uniformed officials on the northern side. In his trademark black tunic and glasses, hair slicked back in his idiosyncratic style, Kim strode alone to the MDL – demarcated by a line of concrete in the gravel between the truce … [Read more...] about Kim crosses border, greeted by Moon as inter-Korean summit begins
The missed chances of history. Long before the First Fleet arrived from Great Britain to colonize Australia in 1788, Makassans already knew of the Great South Land. They regularly sailed to its northern shores, staying for about six months collecting and drying the edible trepan sea slug for export. Then they left for their homeland — sometimes taking Aboriginal wives. Had they explored further and settled, Terra Australis might now be part of Indonesia Raya (Great Indonesia). Instead we have two widely differing cultures and value systems squashed so closely they are interdependent yet wishing otherwise — not the basis for a good marriage. Melbourne University professor Tim Lindsey is co-editor with Dave McRae from the same campus of Strangers Next Door? Lindsey is a rarity — a scholar who keyboards with journalistic directness. His favorite tag is “The Odd Couple” of Southeast Asia. Though a bit dated for Netflixers (the Neil Simon play … [Read more...] about ‘Strangers next door?’: Can these neighbors ever hit it off?
By Alok Mukherjee with Tim Harper Excerpted from Excessive Force Sat., March 24, 2018 Take the elevator up to the 10th floor of Toronto police headquarters and there in front of you is Bill Blair’s baby. Blair oversaw the renovations and upgrades that turned the room into a state-of-the-art military-style command centre. On the day of the most challenging security operation in Toronto police history, the G20 summit of world leaders in June 2010, Deputy Chief Keith Forde took me up from the seventh-floor boardroom to see the command centre in action. Everyone had their designated posts. People watched the police feeds on giant wall-mounted monitors, while others communicated with the headquarters of the RCMP-led Integrated Security Unit (ISU) in Barrie, the inter-service group responsible for the overall security of the G20; they were all in their places that day as order on the streets of Toronto began to break down. Everyone except Bill Blair. I spotted him … [Read more...] about G20 policing fiasco ‘left a permanent emotional scar,’ former police chair writes in new book