An accident in Phnom Penh in October can also be read as a sculptural installation reflecting geopolitical dynamics. According to local media, the man behind the wheel was Chinese. While driving a Japanese Toyota Lexus with Cambodian military license plates, he crashed into a monument commemorating US-Cambodian friendship.
The Khmer-American Friendship stonewall in Chom Chao entrance into Phnom Penh is seen completely knocked down after being partially demaged by a Chinese driver last month. pic.twitter.com/5WkRcYvTdK
— Chhengpor Aun (@aunchhengpor) November 27, 2018
A neighborhood in Washington D.C. renamed the street in front of the Saudi embassy for the recently murdered regime critic Jamal Khashoggi.
— CNN International (@cnni) December 2, 2018
This is hardly the first time that local authorities have thumbed their collective noses at overseas rivals. In 1984, the U.S. Senate renamed Wisconsin Street — in front of the Soviet Embassy — after Russian dissident Andrei Sakharov. Malcom X Blvd is now the address of the American Embassy in Turkey. The Russian Embassy in the U.S. is located on Boris Nemtsov Plaza, a stretch of road named after the slain opposition politician. And the British Embassy in Tehran is located on a street named after Bobby Sands, an Irish dissident who died of starvation in an English prison while on a hunger strike.
The Philippine government has filed a barrage of tax evasion charges against Rappler, a prominent local news web site. The founder of the site, Maria Ressa, a former CNN bureau chief, returned Sunday to the Philippines despite facing arrest. “Like many, I fear that the pendulum of democracy is swinging the other way globally, enabled by social media,” @mariaressa said during a speech last weekend while accepting the National Democracy Institute’s W. Averell Harriman Democracy Award.
DOJ files 5th tax evasion case against Rappler Holdings and Maria Ressa before the Pasig RTC.
— ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) November 29, 2018
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said that “arresting Maria will send a clear signal that the country’s democracy is fast receding under a feckless administration that cannot abide criticism and free expression.”
Jeremy Vine, the British TV personality and BBC journalist, published a video with outtakes of British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s attempts to sound smart and concise.
It doesn't get any better than this. pic.twitter.com/GZPfjj8fnV
— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) November 27, 2018
Fashion is anything but apolitical, as former Cambridge Analytica executive Christopher Wylie made clear when his company leveraged the clothing choices of Facebook users to help build the alt-right movement.
“What makes clothing so potent is that people incorporate the fashion that they’re wearing into their identity,” Wylie said. “It becomes part of you and how you show yourself to the world.”
Weaponizing voters’ fashion tastes was a key strategy to get Trump elected, Wylie continued, explaining that “culture could be quantified as a ‘distribution of attributes that plays out in the wider world.'”
Sam Rainsy on Saturday landed in the United States, where he is attending the CNRP world conference in Atlanta. The opposition leader was criticized by many for encouraging and then skipping September protests outside the U.N. General Assembly in New York, where hundreds of CNRP supporters gathered to protest Prime Minister Hun Sen and his policies.
After Atlanta, Rainsy is scheduled to fly to Paris, where he will meet the party’s French chapter to discuss future strategy. Posters for the event show Kem Sokha and Sam Rainsy holding hands in unity, with the slogan “Sam Rainsy, Kem Sokha, same battle”.
— Rainsy Sam (@RainsySam) November 21, 2018
But back home, Kem Sokha is not necessarily on board.
Kem Sokha's lawyers released another statement to claim former CNRP leader Kem Sokha still keep his stance for not acknowledging any decisions made by #CNRP worldwide or support plans of the conference on 1-2 December, adding his expression not under any pressure. pic.twitter.com/Rp7i0ygRg8
— Noan Sereiboth (@noansereiboth) December 2, 2018
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