There’s been talks, debates and protests across the world this week. From Taiwan and China’s historic talks to a question of parody in LA, Pandeia has it covered in The Bottom Line – International Edition.
The first government-to-government talks between China and Taiwan were held this week, 65 years after a brutal civil war which caused the death of between 2 and 3 million people. These talks were seen as a symbolic yet undoubtedly historically significant occurrence. Wang Yu-chi, who oversees Taiwan’s China policy declared:
“That we can sit here today, formally getting together, formally holding meetings, together exploring issues that people on both sides of the strait care about – this represents a new chapter for cross-strait relations, and is a day worth recording,”
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) February 11, 2014
Taiwan and China have been separated when — following the loss of the civil war to Mao Zedong — two millions supporters of the Nationalist party fled to the island of Taiwan. Over the preceding decades Taiwan has found itself become more and more politically isolated as following its ousting from the UN, fewer and fewer countries officially recognise it.
However all is not lost for the Taiwanese as its military is supplied by the United States and it has consequently enjoyed a long economic boom even in the face of the ‘Global Recession’.
— Nijaz Hlivnjak (@NijazHlivnjak) February 7, 2014
As many as 200 people were injured in protests that took place in about 20 towns and cities. Government buildings were set on fire in three of the largest centres – Sarajevo, Tuzla and Zenica.
The Balkan state has never truly recovered from the conflict that defined the region some 20 years previous. Its infant years as an independent state have been blighted by huge political infighting between the three main ethnic groups — the Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) Croats and the Serbs. Its these divisions which have lead many in the country to lose faith in the political classes, blaming them for the stagnation of the economy and the mass unemployment that taints the social structures.
— Marko Pavlović (@MarkoAJB) February 10, 2014
The government response to the protests has been lukewarm at best with prime minister, Nermin Niksic, arguing that there needs to be a differential made between workers who were legitimately protesting against economic conditions and “hooligans who used this situation to create chaos”. The state has already announced that any action that damages public property would be heavily prosecuted.
Just another coffee shop?
In lighter news, theres been a surprising new addition to the row of coffee shops in LA, its Starbucks but not as we know it.
The store who’s interior, exterior and coffee selection is an exact replica of Starbucks save for the ‘dumb’ prefix, was all the work of American Comedian Nathan Fielder who told the world in a press conference this week:
“Many of you probably know me as a comedian. But this is no joke. This is a real business I plan to get rich from. But I need your support.”
— Hunter Hunted (@HunterHunted123) February 8, 2014
Unfortunately Starbucks failed to see the funny side and they, with the help of the Los Angeles Health and Food Agency shut the shop down within 6 days of it opening. It remains to be seen if Fielder will go ahead with his plans to open another shop in downtown Brooklyn.