Archive | July, 2014

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China’s ex-security chief ‘unlikely to get light sentence’, say experts

Posted on 31 July 2014 by admin

Publication Date : 31-07-2014

 

Former security czar Zhou Yongkang, who is at the centre of China’s biggest corruption probe in history, is unlikely to get off lightly, experts say.

The sensational trial of fallen political star Bo Xilai last year where proceedings were aired live on a micro-blog could even be dwarfed if Beijing decides to go ahead with an open criminal trial for Zhou – a scenario that is likely, experts say.

In a terse statement on Tuesday, the official Xinhua news agency said that Zhou, who retired from the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) in 2012, is being investigated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for “serious disciplinary violation”.

The term is typically a euphemism for corruption, signalling that President Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign has now reached PSC members long regarded as untouchable.

Xi’s two immediate predecessors – Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin – had given their consent for the probe, allowing Xi to break the unwritten rule, Reuters reported, quoting sources.

While the heaviest punishment meted out in such internal investigations is expulsion from the party, the case is often passed to the courts.

The expelled official is then charged and put on trial.

Already, Zhou’s expulsion from the CCP seems imminent.

Notably missing from Tuesday’s Xinhua report was the honorific “comrade”, indicating that he will be – or has already been – booted out of the party, experts note.

With Xi repeatedly stressing the need to uphold the rule of law, the likelihood that Zhou’s case will be brought before the court in an open trial is also high.

“Legal procedures are symbolically important and necessary to convince the public that the probe is not just a political or power struggle, but a matter of justice,” Professor Huang Jing of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy told The Straits Times.

To cut deals or allow for leniency in such a politically significant case – even if Zhou were to cooperate with investigators – would make Xi lose political capital and legitimacy, he added.

Whether such a trial might include the same degree of openness and transparency as Bo’s remains to be seen.

The former Chongqing party chief’s political career imploded after the death of a British businessman, for which his wife was convicted of murder.

Bo himself was sentenced to life in prison for bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power in September last year.

In an unprecedented move, the court that tried Bo released transcripts and photos of the proceedings on a live micro-blog.

Shenzhen University analyst Ma Jingren said the courts would have learnt from their previous experience in conducting a public trial for a high-profile suspect but it is unclear if they might use the same methods.

An editorial in the state-run Global Times, however, pressed for “timely revelations” and more transparency yesterday.

“Chinese judicial organs showed a certain transparency to the public when they dealt with Bo Xilai’s case, and we hope they can improve this in regard to Zhou’s case,” the English-language daily said.

But Sydney-based China expert Kerry Brown said a public trial that would give Zhou a chance to speak out might not take place.

Rather, a “plea bargaining” process might occur instead as the case wraps up.

Still, experts are agreed that it is the end of the road for Zhou.

Depending on the “crimes exposed” during the investigation, the sentence could range from 20 years’ jail to the death penalty, Prof Huang said.

“Zhou Yongkang is as good as finished.”

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India job applicants protest against test in English

Posted on 31 July 2014 by admin

Publication Date : 31-07-2014

 

For two years, Pragya Tiwari did nothing but prepare for one of India’s toughest examinations to get into the top echelons of the Indian bureaucracy.

But a month before the exams, which start on Aug 24, the ǹ-year-old post graduate in science is taking time out to join dozens of students to protest against the aptitude test, comprising 80 multiple choice questions in both English and Hindi.

While Hindi translations are available for most questions, at least a dozen are only in English, to test language proficiency.

Tiwari, who comes from a village in rural India and has done her studies in Hindi, feels that she is at an immediate disadvantage to those who have studied in English language schools, and feels the test is tilted towards the English-speaking urban elite.

“I am not scared of English and will learn it once I am selected. Why should it be part of the selection process?” said Tiwari, speaking in Hindi and broken English. “The Hindi translations are also of poor quality.”

India’s powerful bureaucracy is a top career choice for millions of Indian job seekers.

Every year, hundreds of thousands go through the gruelling three-stage process that includes two rounds of exams on everything from general knowledge to language skill to aptitude, and an interview to get into the top tier of the police, national- and state-level administrations, and foreign service, among others.

Only those who pass the cut off marks in the preliminary exam that includes two papers – one on aptitude and another on general knowledge – get to the next stage, which includes test papers in almost a dozen subjects.

From there, students are further weeded out for the final interview process.

Only around 1,000 get through each year. But in the last week, protests, some violent, have broken out against the aptitude test that includes a compulsory English comprehension test.

While the aptitude test has been around since 2011, protesters see an opportunity to get the test removed by the new government.

Prime minister Narendra Modi has pushed Hindi over English as the government language. Both are official but English is still preferred in the corridors of power.

Agitators from other parts of the country like the south, where Hindi is not spoken, have also joined the protests, asking that the test also be made available in the southern Indian languages.

“It is language discrimination The calibre of a student should be judged on how much they know in the subjects they are being tested and not on the knowledge of a language,” said Shyam Rudra Pathak, a former professor who has protested against the use of English in court documents in the high courts and supreme court.

Home minister Rajnath Singh has launched a review of the exams, but students vow to continue the protests.

“You don’t need high IQ people for the bureaucracy,” said Suhas Gowda, 28. “You need people with high EQ, which is emotional quotient, and a desire for public service.”

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Pollution? Taxi driver woes? Thai junta hears it all

Posted on 31 July 2014 by admin

Publication Date : 31ᆛ-2014

 

It’s a Monday morning at the Government House, the office for generations of Thai prime ministers. While much of the compound slowly wakes from its weekend stupor, Gate No. 4 bustles with human traffic.

A group of motorcycle taxi drivers, recognisable in their bright orange vests, stream out of the compound. They had turned up to complain about being edged out of their operating spot by a rival group of drivers.

A neatly suited lawyer stands patiently by the iron gate, waiting to be joined by people advocating for the closure of a polluting rubbish dump.

Minutes later, some lottery ticket sellers bearing roses sidle up, wanting help to make a living.

Gate No. 4 has hardly seen a quiet day since Thailand’s military junta declared it one of the channels for the public to send their complaints, requests and tip-offs.

The junta, which goes by the name of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), launched the feedback channels last month, asking people to contact it via a dedicated website, post-office box, telephone hotline or to simply walk into the Government House.

The NCPO, in its two-month progress report since seizing power on May 22, says it has received more than 26,000 complaints and opinions, out of which it claims 86 per cent of issues were resolved.

Most of the opinions were on how to reform the country and bureaucracy, as well as achieve political reconciliation.

Most of the complaints were about “society and welfare”, the report said. They included consumer complaints related to cars, tourist businesses, damaged buildings, as well as other goods and services, it said.

“It’s just about anything under the sun,” said Dr Jesda Tivayanond, a member of the NCPO’s communications team.

“Some people call about the price of agricultural products. Some people call about taxi drivers not behaving well.”

The junta hears them out and passes the cases to the relevant departments to follow up, he said.

Petitioners interviewed were hopeful that the junta, wielding absolute powers under martial law, would address their grievances swiftly.

Under the recently introduced provisional Constitution, which will be in place until elections in about a year, the junta will exist alongside an interim Cabinet, and hold special powers to intervene should national security be threatened.

Motorcycle taxi driver Amornsak Kandnin, 36, says the NCPO’s “special authority” prompted his group to lodge a petition.

“I’m not 100 per cent sure they can help,” he told The Straits Times, “but since they announced we can lodge any petition, we will use our rights.”

Civil society activists say it is still too early to judge if the NCPO’s open call for petitions would lead to actual solutions on the ground.

Penchom Saetang, director of environmental group Ecological Alert and Recovery, says:  “Some problems can be solved by absolute power. But for other matters… it’s more complicated as they involve many stakeholders.”

The NCPO, she says, could do better by consulting more with civil society members instead of relying heavily on the advice of bureaucrats and businessmen.

 

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Drug-resistant tuberculosis cases surge in Hanoi

Posted on 31 July 2014 by admin

» Other News

 MANILA: Philippines ranks with strife-torn Syria, Iraq in human development

 KATHMANDU: Patients hurting from doctors’ strike in Nepal

 YANGON: Myanmar’s IPR laws near completion

 DHAKA: Acquittal of Greek farmers who shot Bangladeshi workers sparks outrage

â—� BANGKOK: Thailand to impose heavy new penalties on visa overstays

 KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia to review plan for steep rise in Johor Baru tolls

 BANGKOK: Pollution? Taxi driver woes? Thai junta hears it all

 NEW DELHI: India job applicants protest against test in English

 NEW DELHI: John Kerry arrives in India for three-day visit

 BEIJING: China’s ex-security chief ‘unlikely to get light sentence’, say experts

 MANILA: Philippine govt confirms nurse abducted, raped in Libya

 AMSTERDAM: MH17 CRASH: 70 caskets examined so far

 AMSTERDAM: MH17 CRASH: Malaysia PM in Amsterdam to ensure separatists fulfil third condition

�� BEIJING: HIV cases rising among the elderly in Beijing

 

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Malaysia to review plan for steep rise in Johor Baru tolls

Posted on 31 July 2014 by admin

Publication Date : 31-07-2014

 

Following an uproar over what commuters say is a steep toll hike at Johor’s main border checkpoint, the Malaysian government said that it will review the move.

Last Friday, commuters who travel between Singapore and Johor Baru often were caught off guard by news that they would have to pay an increase of more than 500 per cent in toll charges at the Johor Baru Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex (CIQ) from tomorrow.

Passenger cars, whether Malaysia- or foreign-registered, will have to pay 16.50 ringgit (US$5.17) for a two-way trip – that is, 9.70 ringgit (US$3.04) when they enter and 6.80 ringgit (US$2.13) when they leave Johor Baru.

At present, there is a one-way charge of 2.90 ringgit (US$0.91) for cars entering Johor Baru. Only motorcyclists are exempt from paying the new toll hike.

The hike was announced in a statement from the works ministry, which is under the federal government.

The sharp increase had Johoreans working in Singapore, who travel both ways every day, fuming.

Deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the government is studying other possibilities for commuters who enter Johor Baru and Singapore daily, to avoid burdening local motorists.

He also assured motorists using the Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL) – an 8.1km expressway that connects the CIQ to the North-South Expressway heading to Malacca and Kuala Lumpur – that it will remain without a toll. The EDL offers quicker access to Johor Baru city centre from places in the state’s outskirts, such as Kota Tinggi and Skudai.

“That’s why we are thinking of different toll lanes and booths for users of EDL and those who use other routes,” Muhyiddin was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times yesterday.

Analysts said the steep toll hike appears to be a response to Singapore’s decision to raise the vehicle entry permit on foreign vehicles from S$20 (US$16.06) to S$35 (US$28.10), from tomorrow.

On top of the higher tolls, the Malaysian government will also impose a fee, reportedly 50 ringgit (US$15.68), on Singapore-registered vehicles entering Malaysia via Johor Baru by the year end, although the details of its implementation are still under discussion.

Dr Yeah Kim Leng, an economics lecturer at the Malaysia University of Science and Technology, said that any increase in the toll should be more gradual.

“The overly steep toll hike will create an immediate hardship to citizens and a jump in inflation,” he said.

Muhyiddin had justified the toll hike by saying it would be used to maintain the EDL and other JB CIQ-related facilities.

“For Singapore, they may increase their toll as they have the right to do so as well,” he said.

Analysts like Pong Teng Siew, research head of Jupiter Securities, said the government appears to be charging motorists at the CIQ in an effort to pay off the private toll operator that built the EDL.

Over the years, the government has awarded contracts to build expressways in the country. These projects come with concessions to enable the companies to collect tolls as revenue.

Early this year, the government made a U-turn on a decision to raise the tolls on several major expressways in the Klang Valley after a backlash.

 

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Acquittal of Greek farmers who shot Bangladeshi workers sparks outrage

Posted on 31 July 2014 by admin

Publication Date : 31-07-2ዎ

 

A Greek court’s decision to acquit local farmers who admitted shooting 28 Bangladeshi strawberry pickers when they dared to ask for months of back pay has sparked outrage in the country, The Guardian reports.

Politicians, unionists and anti-racist groups roundly condemned the verdict describing it as a black mark for justice in a case that had shone a light on the appalling conditions in which migrant workers are often kept in Greece.

“I feel shame as a Greek,” said the victim’s lawyer, Moisis Karabeyidis, after the tribunal in the western port city of Patras, delivered the shock ruling.

“This decision is an outrage and a disgrace �€¦ the court showed an appalling attitude toward the victims.”

Scores of migrants, many sobbing in disbelief, protested outside the court house after magistrates allowed two of the men, including the owner of the farm who had been accused of human trafficking, to walk free.

Two others, accused of aggravated assault and illegal firearms possession, were handed prison sentences of 14 years and seven months and eight years and seven months but were also freed pending appeal.

The Bangladeshis were shot at in April last year when they demanded to be remunerated for six months of unpaid work at a farm in Manolada in the southern Peloponnese. Four of the strawberry pickers were badly injured in the attack.

At a time of unrivalled crisis in Greece, where living standards have deteriorated dramatically after six straight years of recession, the case had triggered widespread indignation.

Media investigations showed the migrants to be working in sub-human conditions without access to proper hygiene or basic sanitation.

Politicians who took up the cause also weighed in on Wednesday saying the verdict sent set an unwelcome example for other employers to follow.

“It sends the message that a foreign worker can die like a dog in the orchard,” said Vassiliki Katrivanou, an MP with the main opposition radical-left Syriza party.

She added that in a nation where fruit-farm labourers are frequently from overseas, the attack in Manolada was far from being an isolated incident.

“It leaves room for new victims by closing eyes to the brutal, inhuman and racist character of the exploitation suffered by workers on the land,” she said, pointing out that the ruling had been made on World Day against Trafficking in Persons.

The Greek farmers had instructed top criminal lawyers to defend them in a court drama that lasted for over a month. More than 40 prosecution witnesses testified in a case in which the prosecutor had asked that exemplary punishment be made.

Denouncing the judgment as scandalous, anti-racism organisations said it raised questions about the impartiality of the Greek justice system and vowed to step up protest action against the decision.

“We call upon unions and human rights movements to react against this unprecedented racist scandal,” said Petros Constantinou, coordinator of the Movement Against Racism and the Fascist Threat in a statement.

“The hundreds of millions of profit made in the strawberry industry cannot come about by shooting labourers in strawberry fields.”

 

 

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Thailand to impose heavy new penalties on visa overstays

Posted on 31 July 2014 by admin

» Other News

 MANILA: Philippines ranks with strife-torn Syria, Iraq in human development

 KATHMANDU: Patients hurting from doctors’ strike in Nepal

 YANGON: Myanmar’s IPR laws near completion

 DHAKA: Acquittal of Greek farmers who shot Bangladeshi workers sparks outrage

â—� KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia to review plan for steep rise in Johor Baru tolls

 HANOI: Drug-resistant tuberculosis cases surge in Hanoi

 BANGKOK: Pollution? Taxi driver woes? Thai junta hears it all

 NEW DELHI: India job applicants protest against test in English

 NEW DELHI: John Kerry arrives in India for three-day visit

 BEIJING: China’s ex-security chief ‘unlikely to get light sentence’, say experts

 MANILA: Philippine govt confirms nurse abducted, raped in Libya

AMSTERDAM: MH17 CRASH: 70 caskets examined so far

 AMSTERDAM: MH17 CRASH: Malaysia PM in Amsterdam to ensure separatists fulfil third condition

 BEIJING: HIV cases rising among the elderly in Beijing

 

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 BANGKOK: Foreign investors ‘unsure’ of Thailand’s long-term stability

 PETALING JAYA: Phobia for air travel soars after MH370 and MH17 disasters

 BEIJING: Chinese antitrust agency looking into Microsoft

�Â JAKARTA: In Jokowi, the triumph of the common Indonesian

HONG KONG: Malaysia Airlines faces fight for survival

 PETALING JAYA: Tourist arrivals to Malaysia to grow despite mishaps

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� SINGAPORE: Singapore and US forces begin 11-day joint exercise

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● HANOI: Vietnam’s minimum wage not enough

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Patients hurting from doctors’ strike in Nepal

Posted on 31 July 2014 by admin

Publication Date :ಟ-07-2014

 

Seven-year-old Ashish Ghimire of Ramechap had a Tuesday’s appointment for the operation of his fractured right arm at the state-run Bir Hospital. For that, he was supposed to check into the hospital a day earlier, on Monday.

When the boy reached the hospital with his parents, the hospital staff told them to come back on Wednesday, for the resident doctors were on the second day of their strike demanding that the government provide better facilities and equipment for the hospital.

But Wednesday was no different. When Ashish and his parents reached the hospital, the strike was still on.

With around 300 resident doctors in protest, the hospital service is virtually down since Sunday. 

Ashish’s father, Dharma Ghimire, who was among the crowd gathered at the hospital on Wednesday afternoon, said he was planning to admit his son to a private hospital.

Like Ghimire, several other people have been affected by the ongoing protest at the country’s oldest hospital. 

Bir Bahadur Pariyar, 40, from Dang was admitted to the urology ward of the hospital on Tuesday.

He suffers from atonic bladder, a condition causing inconsistency in urine. His operation was cancelled just when the nurses were preparing to wheel him into the operation theater, he said. “The doctors are now planning for an emergency operation on Thursday.”

The strike enforced by the resident doctors at the National Academy of Medical Sciences (Nams) of Bir Hospital have caused most of the patients, put up for surgery appointments from Sunday onwards, to either reschedule or return home. 

Dr Kedar Century, director of Bir Hospital, confirmed the postponement of the operations.

“Residents are an important part of the hospital. It is hard to conduct operations without them,” said Dr Century. 

Dr Gopal Raman Sharma, neurosurgeon at the hospital, said they have been operating only emergency cases. He also urged the government to address the doctors’ demands.

“Their demands are genuine. The government has to address it without delay to resume the hospital service,” said Dr Sharma. Â 

With the ongoing protest, fewer patients are being admitted to the hospital.

Only six persons were admitted on Wednesday, according to a hospital employee. He said the hospital’s daily figure of admittance averaged 35 on normal days.

Many departments are turning patients away because of staff shortage.

â��Residents were a vital part. They would look after patients around the clock,” he said. “Now, since we have few doctors in every departments, we do not want to risk the life of the patients.”

The doctors claim the government has ignored their demand for pbasic equipment such as MRI, CT-scan and X-ray machines at the hospital.

They said that their request to the hospital administration for fulfilling the vacancies at Nams and the hospital has also been rejected.

Meanwhile, the hospital patients and their relatives, have called on the protesting doctors to find an alternative to press their demands to the government without hampering the hospital service.

“Not everyone of us can afford to pay the fees charged by private hospitals.  Every citizen should have the right to health care. We urge the doctors to do the sensible thing,” said a patient’s relative.

 

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Myanmar’s IPR laws near completion

Posted on 31 July 2014 by admin

Publication Date : 31-07-2ዎ

 

Though Myanmar has reopened its door to the world for two years, many famous international brands, franchises, cars and product lines remain absent.

Fingers have been pointing to the absence of a modern framework for protecting intellectual property rights (IPR) as a deterent to foreign investment, but Myanmar is accelerating its drive to ensure the enactment of new laws that comply with international standards.

Ba Shwe, deputy minister for science and technology, said yesterday that the Ministry of Science and Technology is finalising a draft set of intellectual property (IP) laws in close consultation with foreign experts.

In his response to MP Saw Maw Tun’s query on the progress of the laws, he told Parliament yesterday that the ministry is working with IP organisations from Asean, Japan and South Korea on the draft laws. This is on top of a series of talks on the issue. He insisted that the ministry is giving priority to the enactment of the IP-related laws.

“The laws are aimed at ensuring economic development of the country and protection to local and foreign innovators and IP rights owners. We’re making progress in enacting the laws,” said Ba Shwe.

The ministry submitted IP rights law, and Industrial IP law and copyright law to the Union Attorney-General Office last month. Once the office finishes the screening, the ministry will amend the laws accordingly. Then, the drafts will be forwarded to Parliament.

“Now, we are applying the Indian laws. We need to enact our own IP laws as quickly as possible,” said MP Saw Maw Tun, referring to the legal framework used under British colonial rule when the same set of laws applied to India and Myanmar.

�My concern is how to ensure safety of medicine, food, goods and services for consumers, while protect local and foreign investors as well as programmers in accordance with the law,” he added.

There is little recognition of foreign companies’ trademarks, patents and copyrights in Myanmar at present. Without the laws, patents and industrial designs are still governed by the India Patents and Design Law of 싷. They are also subjected to a wide range of domestic laws, including:

- Myanmar Penal Code (1861)
- The Specific Relief Act (1877)
- The Sea Customs Act (1ᘮ)
- The Registration Act (1909)
- Foreign Investment Law
- Citizen Investment Law (1989)
-  Television and Video Law
- Computer Science Development Law
- Merchandise Marks Act
- Land Customs Act
- Computer Science Development Law

Myanmar is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and also a member of the World Trade Organisation and a signatory to the TRIPS Agreement (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights).
Only a few multinational companies have made their presence felt in the country, due to poor IPR protection. In a country of 60 million, there are only about 1,000 computer programmers, according to the Software Industry Development Committee.

Realising the necessity of such laws, Myanmar started the process of drafting the laws addressing patent, copyright and trademark issues in 2004 to bring the country into compliance with the TRIPS Agreement.

From an article on its website, US law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman remained optimistic that the laws would be enacted soon.

In the absence of such laws, “implementation of a strategy for protective measures should be at the top of the list of actions for companies considering entry into this opening market”.

“There is a reason to hope that IP protections may be addressed by new legislation as the economy opens, although there are no specific plans at present,” the article said.

According to WIPO, Myanmar’s ranking in terms of patent, copyrights, and trademarks applications is low. In 2013, from total緍,300 applications, 57,239 were from companies based in the United States. Japan, China, Germany and South Korea followed.

There was no such information for Myanmar in 2013. During 1998-2012, there was only one application filed for industrial design registrations, according to WIPO. The registration in 2007 was completed outside Myanmar. During the period, only two patents were granted – both to overseas proprietors.

On trademark registrations, domestic proprietors accounted for 4,422 in 2012 against 4,068 overseas proprietors. Activities started to quicken in 2011.

According to a recent article in Inside Counsel, a publication for international legal professionals, Nay Pyi Taw has realised that without modern IPR laws it stands little chance of being granted trade priveleges under the United States’ generalised system of preferences.

 “Once enacted, though, implementing regulations should follow shortly, and the entire subject should be clarified for foreign copyright owners under the country’s 2012 Foreign Investment Law. Myanmar has come a long way to becoming again a full member of the international community. IPR protection is an essential element of that effort, and Myanmar will hopefully cross that threshold later this year,” wrote Eric Rose, the lead director of Herzfeld Rubin Meyer Rose, the first US law firm in Myanmar.

� 

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Philippines ranks with strife-torn Syria, Iraq in human development

Posted on 31 July 2014 by admin

Publication Date : 31-07-2014

 

The Philippines moved up one rank in the United Nation’s (UN) Human Development Index (HDI) 2014 report but still remains among the countries with “medium human development” which include strife-torn Syria and Iraq in the Middle East.

The Philippines is ranked 117th in the report with an HDI of 0.66 (0.900 is considered high while 0.300 is considered low), up one spot from 118 in the 2013 report.

The UN Development Program (UNDP) describes the HDI as “a composite index measuring average achievement in three basic dimensions of human development – a long and healthy life, knowledge, and a decent standard of living.”

Norway remains in the number one spot with an HDI of 0.944 followed by Australia with 0.933, Switzerland with 0.917, the Netherlands with 0.915, and the United States with 0.914.

Among the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), only Singapore made it into the top 10 at number 9 with an HDI of 0.901.

Brunei, ranked 30th, is the second Asean country among those with “very high� HDI. Brunei has an HDI of 0.852.

Malaysia, ranked 62nd, and Thailand, ranked 89th, are said to have “high” HDI with 0.773 and 0.722, respectively.

Medium human development
Indonesia, having an HDI of 0.684, is ranked 108th overall and is grouped among the countries with “Medium human development.”

The Philippines, with an HDI of 0.66 at 117th, ranks just behind Egypt (110th with an HDI of 0.682) which is still reeling from the 2013 political unrest and coup d�™etat against President Mohammed Morsi.

Syria (118th) and Iraq (120th) are countries presently struggling with violent internal conflict amid weak government control. They are just below the Philippines in rank with HDIs of 0.658 (Syria) and 0.642 (Iraq).

Below the Philippines’ rank are Vietnam at 121st with an HDI of 0.638, Cambodia at 136th with an HDI of 0.584, Laos at 139th with an HDI of 0.569, and Myanmar at 150th with an HDI of 0.524.

The average HDI of East Asia and the Pacific is 0.702 while in South Asia is 0.588. The global average HDI of all countries is 0.702.

The UNDP is set to release its full report on Aug 20, 2014.

 

Article source: http://asianewsnetwork.feedsportal.com/c/33359/f/566602/s/3d0af3c2/sc/24/l/0L0Sasianewsnet0Bnet0Cnews0E629310Bhtml/story01.htm

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