Added2015-09-16 16:29:00
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Added2015-08-07 09:32:00
SOURCE: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/29/travel/safest-cities-2015/index.html
(CNN)—Cram 38 million people in the same city, it's going to be a lawless mess, right?
Not even. According to newly published stats, the gigantic swirl of humanity that is the Japanese megacity of Tokyo is now the safest major urban destination on the planet.
The Safe Cities Index 2015, compiled by the Economist, ranks Tokyo at the top in terms of digital security, health security, infrastructure and personal safety.
That's despite it being, so says the United Nations, the most populous city on Earth.
Behind Tokyo, there are few surprises in the top four, with Southeast Asia's capital of calm Singapore following close on its heels, ahead of Osaka and Stockholm.
Laid back Amsterdam's liberal attitudes toward drugs and prostitution prove no obstacle to the Dutch capital's claim to fifth place.
In sixth is Australia's biggest city, Sydney. Zurich is in seventh, Toronto eighth, while Melbourne, Australia -- last year named the world's friendliest city -- takes ninth.
New York is the only U.S. city to make the top 10. Not all big cities have a handle on safety though, with plenty sliding down to the other end of the scale.
In last place of the 50 cities ranked is the Indonesian capital Jakarta -- home to more than 10 million.
When it comes to the best city to live in, residents didn't appear to put quite such a premium on safety, with the Economist scoring Toronto highest, followed closely by Montreal.
Tokyo came 16th, perhaps suggesting that even if you can trust your 38 million neighbors, full happiness can only be achieved with a regular supply of French fries covered in cheese curds and gravy.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION:
1. What are the reasons why Tokyo is said to be the safest city in the world despite that it's the most populous city on the planet based on UN survey?
2. Which city is the best to live in according to the Economist survey report?
3. What is your take on the survey results shown in the article? Tell me your thoughts.
4. In relation to this article regarding safest city to visit as a foreigner, please tell me which city you have ever been you think is safe or even safest? Elaborate.
Added2015-07-27 07:43:00
What's important?
Fri, Jun 5, 2015
Student volunteer puts pursuit of good grades on pause and gets a different perspective on life.
Travelling 600km by plane, bus and van to a remote village in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, was less than appealing to Shaun Teo.
Just done with major exams in school and about to be called up for military service, he would rather have stayed in comfortable Singapore and taken it easy.
But armed with the "intention to bless others", the 19-year-old joined two dozen volunteers to help build a primary school and several homes in the Living Waters Village last year.
Started with little more than a few tents a decade ago, Living Waters provides food, shelter, education and a familial community to about 450 children and teens, many of whom are orphaned or abandoned, or whose families are simply unable to care for them.
Together with the local community, Shaun and the other volunteers helped to dig foundations, shovel sand and paint walls.
Shaun also played and spent time with many of the village children and teenagers, building friendships that he found deeply meaningful.
So meaningful that he feels they’ve taught him "what's important in life".
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION:
1. According to the article, what did Shaun Teo choose to do over a military service?
2. What was his real motivation why he joined the volunteer group instead?
3. Have you already tried joining a volunteer group? Share your experience.
4. What do you think the meaning of "what's important in life" to Shaun Teo in this short article?
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