Singapore

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One of four koalas on loan to Singapore Zoo, where they were unveiled to the public on Wednesday May 20. Qantas Airways

Koalas, platypuses and pandas and the power of soft diplomacy

Four female koalas have just made their debut in front of an adoring public at Singapore Zoo – the latest in a long line of animals used for diplomatic purposes, going back to Winston the platypus.
Even in retirement, the late Lee Kuan Yew cast a long shadow from which Singapore has yet to fully emerge. EPA/Stephen Morrison

Lee Kuan Yew leaves behind an ambiguous legacy in Singapore

Lee Kuan Yew literally helped put Singapore on the map. Its subsequent influence far outstrips the tiny island’s geopolitical significance.
Chee Soon Juan, pictured campaigning for Singapore’s 2011 general elections, hopes to build on that success in the next election, which is widely expected to be held early, possibly even this year. Wikimedia Commons/Dexterleezh

Talking a bird down from a tree: a conversation with Chee Soon Juan

The Lee dynasty and their People's Action Party have ruled Singapore since 1959, but their grip on power has weakened. Opposition leader Chee Soon Juan talks about about his long fight for change.
Australia’s health system is good, but it’s not perfect. Dan Peled/AAP

What can we learn from other countries’ health systems?

Health systems in all wealthier countries face similar problems, but their solutions are widely different. That should mean we can learn from other countries. To explore these differences, this week The…
Australia is just ahead on life expectancy; Singapore is ahead on infant mortality. stockphoto mania/Shutterstock

Creating a better health system: lessons from Singapore

Australia has a relatively strong health system by international standards, but it needs a makeover. To generate fresh ideas, The Conversation is profiling five international health systems that have important…
This Vietnamese school girl is growing up in a new era: by the time she is middle-aged, 60% of the world’s children will be living in a tropical region. UN Photo/Mark Garten

How the world is turning tropical before our eyes

Our Tropical Future: A new report on the State of the Tropics has revealed rapid changes in human and environmental health in the Earth’s tropical regions. This is the first in a four-part series about…
Could you do without? Calculator via Shutterstock

In the classrooms of Singapore, calculators are not crutches

The upcoming ban on the use of calculators in most maths exams for 11-year-olds in UK schools reminds me of a persistent concern in education: when do the tools we use to learn become crutches we can’t…
Mastered numbers? Let’s make it harder. Arenamontanus

Explainer: what is the mastery model of teaching maths?

Ever-envious of Singapore’s much-heralded success in teaching maths, politicians are keen to see its methodology arriving in UK classrooms. Education minister Elizabeth Truss explained some of the background…
Silvio Berlusconi’s grip on power in Italy - albeit a hold that is slipping - has relied heavily on using his own media empire to exploit the political system. EPA/Angela Carconi

Media, power and decadence: some disquieting trends

While Australians face the possibility of the first-ever Senate by-election, as well as stormy sittings of a new parliament wrangling over the pro and cons of scrapping a carbon tax, 16,000 kilometres…
Australia enjoys a privileged relationship with most economies in the Asian region because of the integrated global value chain. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Increasing Australia’s edge through Asian value chains

Australia is facing increasingly stiff competition from developed economies all vying for a share of the growth pie in the East and South Asian region, where Australia has integrated its value chain activities…
Smoke from deliberately lit forest fires is destroying the health of Southeast Asians, and looks set to be a yearly event. EPA/Amriyadi Bahar

Southeast Asian smoke warns of never-ending fires

Look at satellite images from Southeast Asia this week and you will see large areas of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore blanketed by dense plumes of smoke. These smoke plumes have severely degraded ground-level…

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