Sightings: Time Marches On

Daily sightings, news bits and commentary from social and mass media around the world.

The rights organization LICADHO (@licadho) is on day four of its 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, the group’s campaign to highlight “women land campaigners and human rights defenders who face state violence in Cambodia.” Among the campaigners celebrated is Phav Nherng. The land activist has been at the forefront of a decade-long struggle to secure land for hundreds of farmers in Koh Kong province, braving harassment, threats, and detention because of her activism.

Time Magazine interviews Clare Rewcastle Brown, who “Exposed the World’s Biggest Corruption Scandal”.

“I very rapidly realized that I had gone from a grassroots cause [environmental degradation in Sarawak] to possibly the most pressing and dangerous global issue of our times, which is capitalism gone absolutely rampant. This is not about politics, or about right and left — it’s about right and wrong.”

Political observer Virak Ou (@ouvirak) finds the Christmas tree tradition — cutting down, then using the dying tree for decoration before throwing it away — “barbaric”.

The Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco, California, is collecting signatures to petition California Gov. Brown to stop deporting Cambodia refugees.

Sam Rainsy, writing in French for Liberation, makes a plea in favor of EU sanctions. In the essay, the opposition party leader argues that the credible threat of sanctions will encourage the “bad, corrupt and unpopular regime” to correct its course during the 12-month waiting period. He also throws some shade on the Kingdom’s donor community, arguing that “well-intentioned international aid’s perverse effects can do more harm than good to the recipient country by helping to freeze anachronistic structures.”

The idea that well-intentioned aid is often self-defeating underpins the book “Aid Dependence in Cambodia: How Foreign Assistance Undermines Democracy,” written in 2013 by political scientist Sophal Ear (@sophal_ear).

US President George Herbert Walker Bush has died. The New York Times quotes James A. Baker III, the former U.S. secretary of state and one of Mr. Bush’s closest advisors: “George H. W. Bush was the best one-term president the country has ever had, and one of the most underrated presidents of all time.”

By today’s standards, he would perhaps be considered a center-left politician. After all, he “negotiated and signed the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act, … the most significant piece of civil rights legislation in two decades.”

Kai-Fu Lee, China’s AI guru, estimates that automation will have less impact on employment than widely believed. The cooks who used to work in this kitchen could not care less.

Kung fu legend and comedic actor Jackie Chan admits to a bad past filled with sex workers, alcohol, gambling, cheating and more.

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