Mozambique’s Democratic Journey: Joaquim Chissano’s Legacy

Former British MP and minister Chris Mullin discusses the enduring trend of despotic African leaders clinging to power, while also recognizing Mozambique’s Joaquim Chissano as a remarkable exception. Some years ago, at an African Union conference in Addis Ababa, I heard the then UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, say to an audience stuffed with life […]

Boboli Gardens: Florence’s Renaissance Retreat

Rowan Moore, a writer for The Guardian, curating a list of the most remarkable urban parks, highlights the Boboli Gardens in Florence, transporting visitors to the Renaissance era, beginning in the 16th century. These gardens are distinguished by their meticulous layout, exquisite sculptures, and the majestic presence of the Palazzo Pitti overseeing them. Once the […]

Protecting Wildlife in Tasmania’s Paradise

Tasmania, Australia’s island state, emerges as a top recommendation from Nora Walsh of The New York Times for 2024. Discover its wild beauty and unique wildlife while joining conservation efforts in pristine wilderness areas. Experience the local food scene and foraging culture, and embark on a three-day trek across rugged Bruny Island with the Tasmanian […]

Controversy Erupts Over Remarks by Singapore Fashion Designer Priscilla Shunmugam

At an event held at the Asian Civilisations Museum, Priscilla Shunmugam, the founder of the fashion label Ong Shunmugam, sparked controversy with remarks that some deemed racist. She was discussing why the cheongsam is a recurring theme in her designs, a video clip of which went viral. “Chinese women have progressed significantly faster and further […]

Montevideo, Uruguay’s Tricentennial

Montevideo, Uruguay, is recommended by Laurence Blair of The New York Times as one of the top travel destinations for 2024. Despite being South America’s most laid-back capital, Montevideo offers colonial architecture, bustling markets, and beautiful beaches, making it an ideal time to discover its subtle, easygoing charms during its 300th anniversary celebrations. Among the […]

Ingvar Kamprad: The Teenage Entrepreneur Who Built IKEA

Bob Chaundy’s BBC profile (c.2000) details how, in his teens, Ingvar Kamprad launched IKEA, capitalizing on post-war demand for affordable household goods, showcasing his remarkable foresight and resourcefulness, laying the foundation for future success: By the age of 17 he had formed a small company to enable him to bid for a contract to supply […]

Baltimore: Museums, Waterways, and Native Art

Baltimore, Maryland, emerges as a top destination for 2024, as suggested by Daniel Scheffler of The New York Times. Explore the city’s new museums, urban waterways, and Native artwork in Charm City, where cultural landmarks, delicious seafood, and lively neighborhoods await visitors. Opening the new Justice Thurgood Marshall Amenity Center marks the 60th anniversary of […]

The Legacy of Public Funding for “Seg Academies”

Segregation academies, also known as “seg academies” or “white academies,” were private schools established in the South, in response to the desegregation of public schools following the Brown v. Board of Education decision. The Guardian’s Gary Younge notes, After the US supreme court ordered the end of segregation 50 years ago, many white southerners simply […]

Manchester’s Melodic Makeover

Explore Manchester, UK’s vibrant cultural scene, boasting historic industrial heritage, top museums, and lively music venues. Nora Walsh of The New York Times recommends it for 2024. Music is at the city’s core, with the upcoming opening of Co-op Live, Britain’s largest new music arena, and other venues enhancing its charm. Stars like Liam Gallagher, […]

Tranquil Haven: Beijing’s Summer Palace Beauty

Rowan Moore from The Guardian, in his list of top urban green spaces, recognizes the Summer Palace in Beijing as an 800-year-old retreat for Qing Dynasty emperors. Its appeal lies in classical Chinese gardens, pavilions, and Kunming Lake, providing tranquility amidst the city, while nurturing biodiversity. The 7th Earl of Elgin’s contribution to world culture […]