WWF's statement surprised many long-time palm oil watchers, but the organization deserves enormous credit for sticking to its principles and making clear that companies cannot claim sustainability just by sticking an RSPO label on their product while continuing to destroy the Earth's forests.
Over the past decade the Philippines' sovereign credit rating oscillated between "negative" and "stable," reflecting concern about the ability of the government to collect sufficient tax revenue, manage its budget, and sustain a high rate of GDP growth.
Malaysians cast their ballots in the most important election in the nation's history on Sunday. On Election Day, as had been predicted by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, reports of electoral fraud were widespread.
If history is any guide, Malaysians have every reason to doubt that the Bumiputra system will be dismantled under BN rule. But the BN is swimming against the long-term tide. Our hope is that it does not view this win as a fresh mandate for more of the same, but rather, as a wake-up call.
In the four decades since I took a driver's ed class, I have become such a proficient motorist that I could teach a class myself except that I have two speeding tickets on my record and my name isn't Ed.
Malaysia has in reality been a one party state for over 55 years with the ruling UMNO party winning a string of elections without much opposition. However, with the stellar rise of Anwar Ibrahim, the ruling party is facing its most tightly contested election in its history.
Thailand is not the only country in southeast Asia with stunning beaches. Malaysia has dozens of tiny islands on both the east and west coasts that rival the beauty of southern Thailand, and the beaches are relatively unknown (read: cheaper, less crowded, more unspoilt).
During a blizzard in Kiev, Ukraine last month, director Ben Moses attended a screening of his film A Whisper To A Roar. As he made his way to the theater, he wondered if this wasn't a little crazy and if anyone would fight through the cold and snow to come see the film.
A 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat with Noble Silence, 4 a.m. starts and 10 hours of meditation daily was never going to be easy, but combining it with communal living and random explosions probably made it even harder.
A Vipassana course is travel of a very personal kind, as it is above all a journey with the self, which may or may not involve conventional travel. If you love travel of all types, you can, as I did, combine both.
If the British East India Company existed today, it would be a billion-dollar mega-corporation. In 1786 the company wanted a suitable port of "refreshment and repair" along the valuable trade route to China, and the tropical island of Penang.
Budget travelers fear not. In a country where a brand new 2012 Toyota Camry costs $146,000, and million-dollar Ferraris and Lamborghinis are driven on the roads daily, there are plenty of alternatives that won't send your checking account into cardiac arrest.
The main culprit in the catastrophe facing orangutans is palm oil, a widely used cheap additive found in everything from food products to biofuels. Indeed, estimates say palm oil is now in more than 50 percent of all consumer goods.
I salute the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. for his visionary contribution to American society, and all the visionaries around the world. We all have a dream: to make the world a better place. We don't have to do it alone.