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Guide Sunsets In Singapore: A Foreign Service Memoir

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One can only hope that the new era will be an improvement. There is still war and unrest in the Middle East. Another American -- a civilian U.

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Syria is a bloodbath. Political and religious hatreds are alive and well in Israel , Palestine , Egypt. In this country we reel from tragedy to tragedy. From various news reports:. Along comes a businessman who offers to build them a brand new home. No ulterior motive. Within 24 hours the businessman and his contractors show up and go to work. The Troys will spend Christmas Day in their new home. Meanwhile, food, toys and money keep pouring into Connecticut after the school massacre.

Here in the Oklahoma City Metro, soup kitchens and food banks give hope and sustenance to hundreds of local folks who need it. At the checkout counter this week I had a small purchase from the pharmacy department. I was dumbfounded. Small acts of kindness, paying it forward, piling up some good karma.

Like a candle in the window, the spirit of Christmas still shines, even in the worst of times. Sunday, December 23, Offbeat, fast-moving and a world class thriller. Author Chester D. Campbell knows the intelligence community first hand. He also had a long career as a reporter and editor. They talked about putting his adventures into a non-fiction book but the agent had second thoughts.

The statute of limitations was still running on some of the things he had done. I learned he died several years ago. It makes for quite a story. Peter, which stood above the blue waters of the Mediterranean, commanding a magnificent view of Israel's largest city. Modern hotels rose above a sprawling hodgepodge of architecture as diverse as the origins of its people, all accented by the curving Mediterranean coastline. He had only a quick glimpse of a face on the passenger side, but it gave him a hard jolt.

Hooked nose and heavy brows, short black beard. The man from the flea market. The realization that he was being followed hit him like a slap in the face. As a favor to Cameron Quinn, an old CIA friend, he lets himself be drawn into a Byzantine scheme that will shock the world. It has begun in October in Vienna when two Russian and American intelligence agents plot a power grab by assassination. Disgruntled by liberal-leaning leaders in their respective countries, the agents look ahead to an American-Russian summit in June, scheduled to take place in Washington , D.

They sketch out Operation Jabberwock, named after a Lewis Carroll story. The plot is bizarre but apparently possible. The team they assemble will pose as employees of a Texas TV network providing live coverage of the American-Soviet visit to Toronto. They will purport to provide live feeds by satellite transmission, the uplink to be generated from a transmitter truck parked near the Toronto City Hall.

Establishing a base on an island off the coast of Florida , the two plotters pull in spies from several countries and begin to procure, modify and test equipment they will need. When Cameron Quinn gets an inkling that something suspicious is underway, he enlists Burke Hill to ferret out the details. Quote I got hooked on mysteries back in after I went to work as a reporter for The Knoxville Journal I was also a journalism student at the University of Tennessee at the time.

The latter involved a newspaper reporter researching corruption that involved murder. I found it so fascinating that I soon parked behind my portable typewriter and hammered out a murder mystery about a reporter solving a murder. It didn't get published, but I knew some day I would make it as a novelist. About fifty years later, I did. End Quote. Chester is the author of two mystery series featuring private investigators. Chester Campbell lives in Nashville. Monday, November 26, Bright and breezy holiday reading.

The speaker is Jessie, the protagonist. No sooner has Jessie paid for the royal blue bra and matching panties and hauled them home than her doorbell rings. Enter Capt. Since the victim died on her couch, Rye figures Jessie for the killer and becomes an unwelcome fixture in her life. Jessie writes steamy romance novels under the name of Adele Nightingale. Like everyone else on the planet she has a work in progress. These days her pool sharking is a distant memory.

The attractive Capt. Rye keeps dogging Jessie with yet another set of incriminating questions. Talk about a perfect pair of suspects. Jessie decides to clear her own name and keep Candy out of jail by ferreting out the killer. The denouement, while fraught with peril, is just plain funny. FTC Disclosure Notice. No other compensation is accepted beyond review copies of books.

Australian policy towards Rhodesia/Zimbabwe

If you have questions, please feel free to contact me. Come summer she'll be on the porch of her lakeside shack in Vermont. Saturday, November 17, A priceless treasure comes within reach. San Francisco , s: A knock on the door. The unexpected visitor is a young Chinese man named Jimmy. Those ancient bones have been missing since At the prospect of such priceless treasure within reach, Ellen throws caution to the winds.

When she holds the skull in her hands Ellen is mesmerized, but before she can question Jimmy, his older brother Dan bursts in. Within minutes they are assaulted by two thugs who had followed Dan. Ellen, Jimmy and Dan escape through a secret tunnel and Jimmy disappears. What follows is a journey through another time, another place, as Ellen and Dan search Chinatown block by block, looking for Jimmy. The author paints a harrowing picture of a Chinatown that tourists never see, a warren of immigrants living in squalor and despair.

Also emerging are a portrait of Jimmy, who devotes his life to helping others, and a revealing look at the resilience of the immigrants he works with. Ellen and Dan must question people without revealing anything that would start a storm of rumors about the reappearance of long-lost fossils. Ellen is constantly torn between her concern for the safety of the ancient bones and her concern for the living people she comes to admire and respect. She must also deal with her growing attraction to Dan, a handsome, no-nonsense lawyer, and her out-of-the-blue brush with death.

This busy Oklahoma author writes several mystery series and has about 3 million books in print. Her first love was journalism and she saw herself as the next Marguerite Higgins. Archaeological excavations at Zhoukoudian near Beijing formerly known as Peking began in the s and uncovered fossils half a million years old. We have been experiencing some problems with subscriber log-ins and apologise for the inconvenience caused.

Until we resolve the issues, subscribers need not log in to access ST Digital articles. But a log-in is still required for our PDFs. Skip to main content. Rachel Chang, Assistant Political Editor. Branded Content. Without much upside, I imagine. I can think of three friends who have recently completed book manuscripts. One has had his second or is it third? We have a unique knowledge of our own life. Mostly I read nonfiction: books on politics, cities, travel, surfing, biographies, autobiographies and memoirs.

Perhaps I had overstated the risks of memoir. A bonus was I could catch the light rail to Lilyfield and walk to the Centre. There was much to like about the day. A packed and interesting presentation by Kate Holden, backed up by informative contributions from the predominantly female audience. Write the story for yourself, in the first instance. This relieves the burden of deciding what to put in and, more importantly, what to leave out to capture and sustain a future reader. Write to satisfy yourself that you have done justice to the story. It can be edited later if needed.

Be prepared for the possible downside. It might be larger than expected. Alienating family, friends and colleagues is bad enough. But a tightening of the defamation laws means anything published in books, online, or anywhere someone other than the author can read it is considered to be published and therefore has a chance of being shown to be defamatory. Just saying. Kate Holden was firm about this. In the Preface to Clive James highly regarded Unreliable Memoirs he confesses to making extensive changes.

If Clive James can do it, and it is acclaimed, then others can too. Memoir, though, is different to autobiography. I also expect it to be subjective and dependent on the skill and diligence of the writer. Can an autobiography contain sections of memoir? I have a better roadmap of how to proceed and the risks involved. Now I need an extra blast of creative energy to drive the writing of 35, words of memoir and autobiography.

How did I miss this essay on Malcolm Turnbull when it came out in ? At his best when directed by forceful people like Kerry Packer, not quite as brilliant when leading as with the Australian republican push. Crabb likens Turnbull to Kevin Rudd. Turnbull advises Rudd on correct pronunciation. It is not too hard to reconcile Turnbull the PM with Turnbull in the essay. He is still struggling, post election, of course.

It is unusual for a Liberal PM to be quite so openly attacked by the conservative press and his backbenchers this early in the life of the new government. Nevertheless, there is to Turnbull a gritty resilience. Preamble: Tickets booked. Time to start exploring what to do, in addition to seeing the family and meeting a new grandchild.

Always had a yearning to explore BA. Aware of the risks of walking in some parts of the city. Tit for tat. Commonwealth Bank has given up trading in the Argentinian peso. It fluctuates too much. Will use cards for the rest, though I believe Australian bank credit cards are not well known. Friday : Mid-morning on Uber to the airport. Good price, and pleasant discussion with the driver. Saves lugging heavy suitcases from apartment to light rail to train to airport check-in. The Boeing taxis down the runway. Approaching takeoff the pilot revs the engines and hears a strange noise.

Arranges for the fire brigade to have a look. Eventually we taxi back to the gate where engineers decide major repairs needed. We head back to the Qantas Lounge. Take off on replacement plane in the early evening. Pleased with the Qantas upgrade to Premium Economy. Arrive in Santiago several hours late. Impressed by the views of vast snow covered mountains. Quick transfer to a re-booked Latam plane and reach Buenos Aires around Realise the luggage still in Santiago.

Forms filled in and off to the city by taxi. Panic when I think I have lost my phone, but find it on the taxi floor. Just as well: the driver was not turning back. Saturday : Last night noisy in this part of Recoleta, with people out and about, and speaking loudly. A small 24 hour shop opposite the apartment is a magnet for late night people, who stand out front and shout at each other. Meet my delightful two month old grand-daughter Marina. Many well dressed elderly people in the restaurant. Oddly enough, it reminds me of being in Vienna.

A light dinner in the evening for us all, with plenty of conversation about life in Argentina, Singapore, Australia and Brazil; it became a mainstay of our time in BA. Sunday : O tells us about his Portuguese origins, the settlement of his family in northern Brazil and their later move to Rio de Janeiro. First opened in , it was declared a Place of Cultural Interest in It even has its own Wikipedia page! It was warm and cosy with an old fashioned feel to it. Then wandered through the craft markets at Plaza Intendente Alvear. The cold, showery weather meant many stalls were empty.

Food was average, but the atmosphere in the restaurant was good and genteel. Walked around Cementario de la Recoleta. M photographed the angels. Police arrested a young boy. We wondered whether he was one of the thieves we were warned are active in the Cementario. Bought groceries at Disco Supermarcardo. M compared it to Aldi. Tuesday : Brunch at Confiteria La Rambla, a favourite of locals. Afterwards walked to the Floralis Generica, a very large silver sculpture of a flower that opens and closes as day turns to night. Then into the impressive Musio Nacional de Bellas Artes.

Several school groups and many visitors were there to see its significant permanent collection. The 19th Century artworks reminded me of the parallels between Argentina and Australia in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The 'Rhodesian problem'

The building was worn and weary, but the art works vibrant. Wednesday : An on-and-off bus tour of central BA.

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Started in Recoleta and then south to MicroCentro. We got off at Avenue De Mayo and walked around the busy office and shopping area. Large steel barricades surround the building, and several groups of demonstrators had gathered in front. Multiple protests are a daily event. Next was grungy La Boca followed by the revived docklands area of Puerto Madero. We needed this journey to give us a sense of the character and diversity of these inner city and largely bourgeois parts of BA. We did not venture into the favelas or other poor areas.

Our only full sunny day in BA. The quality of living in Recoleta is high for both the significant aging population and the booming numbers of children in the area. Lunched around 2. Friday : Sleeping better as we became more accustomed to the street noise at night. Had a special Argentinian lunch at home with T, O and Marina. Walked north west along Avenue Las Heras, soaking up the urban vibe. Tall apartment blocks dominate the landscape. Had thoughts of visiting the Evita Museum but after reaching Parque Las Heras decided to wind our way back home.

Saturday : Awoke early and checked the Australian election results on the iPad; outcome close with no resolution. Cold and drizzly morning. We all went to Pani Restaurant for lunch. Sat outside under the heaters and tried some different Argentine dishes. Walked through the upmarket shopping mall Patio Bullrich, a haven for locals on a wet and cold day.

M bought a beautiful leather bag as a gift for T. While there is a huge amount of leather goods available in BA, prices are higher than we expected, and the range of products not as broad as we hoped. Sunday : Intermittent rain. Marina was a little sniffly, so M and I had lunch in Schiaffino Bistro. The food and the quality Illy coffee were a perfect mix for a relaxing Sunday.

Back to Patio Bullrich to buy a bag for M and a gift for Marina. Dinner discussion of developing economic links between Chile, Brazil and Argentina, among others, and aims to strengthen economic ties with Europe. Monday : Thunder storm during the night. Walked through the drizzle to Theater Colon and the tower at Plaza de la Republica. Beginning to appreciate just how extensive the shopping areas are throughout these parts of BA.

More photos of the ubiquitous French style four-storey blocks of apartments and offices that give great character to BA. Another visit to Patio Bullrich for a leather bag for M and a first book for Marina. Tuesday : Saddened as it was our last day in BA. Were up for a long walk. At lunch in Tucuman we had to decide whether to have potatoes or salad with the meat.

Why Singapore voted in favour of UN resolution on status of Jerusalem

Stopped at the Centro Cultural Kirchner in the impressive old Post Office, but it was closed to the public. We had been told it comes alive at night. Fabulous building and exceptionally strong collection of art for a privately owned gallery. Had a coffee at Starbucks we were desperate to take stock of what we had seen.

Had a good but sad evening meal with T, O and slightly out of sorts little Marina. Wednesday: Alarm sounded at 4. Uncertain about the terminal for the KLM flight to Santiago. Not in the booking details, nor could I find it on the web. Tried Terminal A, but sent to Terminal C. Spectacular entry into Santiago passing endless snow covered mountain ranges. Long day in the Lounge. Felt even longer when a handful of noisy foul-mouthed Australians arrived and turned it into their private boys club. Had trouble finding the Uber pickup spot at Sydney Airport. Back home we watched two episodes of Rake and collapsed.

She and her husband moved to Paris for a year; her purpose was to write. As it turns out he works in international education, so his university employer allowed him to continue working in Paris. Tough life. The book flows along, honest and revealing as she walks the streets, soaking up the history of the city and commenting on Paris life.

She eloquently reflects on the visits of family and friends, the street choir she joined and the book she was writing at the time about a deceased friend and her son. And woven through it all are her reflections and imagined conversations with her favourite French writers: Montaigne, Rousseau, Pagnol, de Beauvoir, Stendhal and others. Townske is really barrelling along. Some 5, guides, 25, places covered and , photographs posted. At its launch in June there were just 1, guides; during the last 12 months about 10 guides a day have been added to the site.

It is also getting noticed in the world of new businesses, as this recognition in Startup Daily illustrates. As Marcus Westbury firmly points out on p and again on p It is a story about a city, Newcastle, located on the coast about km north of Sydney. It is where Westbury was born and raised. It is a common story in Australia and many other countries. Despite plans and initiatives, and some dodgy practices in local government, Newcastle has remained in the doldrums ever since.

Westbury was drawn back again and again to his home town, eventually deciding the economic strategies were misdirected and he needed do something about it. Creating Cities is the story of how Westbury and his network of friends and fellow travellers set about attracting into the inner city a diverse array of business people in the arts, crafts and other sectors, to take up space in vacant buildings and grow their small businesses.

Over the course of six years some initiatives were launched, transforming inner Newcastle and bringing life back to the inner city. It is a good story and told with insight and style. He laments the tendency for cities to look for big solutions.


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In circumstances of decline, cities generally focus on attracting capital investments. As a regular visitor to Newcastle I am impressed by the lively bespoke economy now woven into the fabric of the inner city. The most recent version of a National Strategy for International Education has been released. There is no doubt that the support of government, both federal and some states, has helped sustain the activities of the education providers, especially the universities.

Enabling students to get adequate work visas after studying in Australia Goal 2.


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  8. Managing effective Quality Assurance systems for providers. This remains a work in progress. Maintaining a strong system of protection for students both in education eg ESOS , a strength of Australia, and in the community, where there are problems that need to be addressed Goal 3. Ensuring that visa arrangements are effective Goal 6. Systematically addressing the serious problems of the recognition of Australian qualifications particularly in Asia Goal 6.

    The new National Strategy. The universities are enjoying a significant recovery in international student numbers and will ensure they cherry pick from the report anything that helps in lobbying governments. It will have much less impact on the smaller higher education and English language institutions, for whom complying with government oversight is already a significant burden. It coincided with our visit to Melbourne to see children and grandchildren.

    It had the feel of a real community event, with a packed room, three exceptionally good speeches, and a very appreciative audience. The poems are polished, and sometimes moving. The accompanying art-work is well chosen and exceptionally good, complementing the poetry and adding warmth to the volume. It is used sparingly. The book is published by Collins Grove Publishers, Melbourne, It is somewhat uneven and I occasionally lost track as she mixes dreams, descriptive narrative, poems and her trademark black and white polaroid photographs.

    She is probably best known for her rock music, poetry and drawings. A truly exceptional talent. The book rambles along but, by and large, I rambled along with her, acutely aware that an earlier book of hers won the National Book Award and that she has released 12 rock albums. Short answer, yes, of course. Within the field of urban studies good social science demands the continuous connection of arguments to the chief theoretical propositions of the prevailing paradigm.

    Good social science invariably points to improvements through corrections, revisions and elaborations. Some ambitious scholars seek to discredit current theories with the intention of overturning the core paradigm, but this requires identification of a serious alternative. The major challenges over the last 50 years have been from Marxists or more accurately neo-Marxists and Postmodernists.

    Neither has been able to sustain momentum. It has been said the overthrow of the prevailing paradigm occurs at funerals.

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    In other words, most social scientists remain embedded in a single paradigm for the course of their professional lives. My focus will be on the expansion of the knowledge and creative economies of Southeast Asian cities and how this might alter the way we see and theorise about those cities. Progress in building knowledge and creative economies has been uneven across the region: Singapore has experienced a significant expansion of these activities and so has Kuala Lumpur.

    Developments in the knowledge economy of the major cities in other Southeast Asian countries has been spasmodic. The dominant urban theories and paradigm centre on the successes and pitfalls in the functioning of the city in a market economy. For example, city plans and policies to become more competitive through expanding the market economy or leveraging global markets.

    Or strategies for managing the welfare of the population and the protection of the physical environment. The drivers of change are a variable combination of government, economic agents and civil society. The neoliberal critique, which seems to be in the ascendancy, seeks to explore the failings of the market orientation, essentially arguing that the corporate drivers of the economy are far too powerful and counter-productive, vis-a-vis the government and especially civil society.

    The logic of the socialist paradigm that structured the analysis and policies for the cities of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos has been whittled away, although some elements of those cities retain vestiges of socialist practice, such as state ownership of land and strong centralised rule with little community input.

    The emerging knowledge and creative economies are part of the expanding services sectors in Southeast Asian cities. Rapid urbanisation since the s has transformed the colonial cities, expanding industry, and enabling increased numbers of rural migrants to join the informal sector. Services growth has centred on administration and a burgeoning retail sector.

    Attention to the knowledge and creative economies is intended to expand the pool of educated, creative, skilled people. These are expected to be able to drive the modern manufacturing, agricultural and services sectors of the economy, and, where possible, build new strengths such as through the export of talent and expertise. The questions I need to answer include what is being done, and how successful are these changes likely to be in improving the economies and societies of Southeast Asian cities, and how this might shape current understanding of urban theory. A walk in the park.

    Or not. My new page on Pyrmont has just gone live on Townske. A great place to live and work. She was a committed and spirited educator, and a stimulating colleague to work with for over 20 years. Faith had prodigious energy. She also had strong views on many matters, and was fearless in expressing them. She is a great loss to the Flinders University community. I travelled with Faith on a number of occasions and accumulated many stories…and drank a lot of red wine. I remember:. Taking on the Russian mafia in the form of a restaurant owner in Moscow who was determined to overcharge for dinner.

    Arriving in Stockholm, we pulled our suitcases along the street on the way to a hotel. Faith suddenly stopped and said: I left my handbag with my money and passport on the train. Unfazed, she turned up an hour later with her bag and all its contents, thanks to the honesty of the Swedes.

    She demonstrated her multi-tasking skills, particularly those involving mobile phones, many times. On one occasion we were in Oslo and were going to the maritime museum, which was on a hill on the other side of the harbour. Faith received a phone call from Australia as we were walking through Oslo. She started talking. We reached the harbour, found a ferry, bought tickets, boarded and crossed the harbour.

    Faith, still on the same phone call, was pointing to sites of interest. On the other side we disembarked and walked up the hill. When we reached the museum, 45 minutes later, the phone conversation ended. The caller was exhausted. So was I. Faith went one better in St Petersburg on a visit to the Hermitage Museum. Again there was a phone call while we were travelling to the Hermitage.


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    Faith was talking as we bought our tickets and entered this magnificent museum. The Survey drew respondents. Since their election in the LNP Government has made significant cutbacks to the aid program, with more to come this year. The announcement last year that Steve Ciobo would become the new Minister for International Development and the Pacific was seen as a positive, as was Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop championing of gender issues. On balance, though, the responses to the Survey reflect the quiet despair among those that believe it critical that Australia makes a real, steady and sustained effort to support the reduction of poverty particularly in the regions to our east, north and northwest.