Facts, and Opinions, that matter this week

REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

Taiwan set to complete the transition to democracy. By Jonathan Manthorpe, International Affairs Column

Taiwan has surged over the hump of its 35-year voyage from a military-ruled, one-party state to one of the most successful and vibrant democracies in Asia.

The Donald Trump meme: nostalgia for a fantasy. By Tom Regan, Summoning Orenda  Column

Remember when women and minorities knew their place? Illegal immigration was unheard of? Men all had good jobs? Everybody believed in the same God? (Or at least the same version.) Kids respected their parents? Terrorism was a word that kids learned about in college when studying European history? America was the most powerful nation in the world? No, you don’t remember? Then you’re likely not a Donald Trump supporter.
Presidential candidate Donald Trump during a town hall at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. © Alex Hanson 2015

Presidential candidate Donald Trump during a town hall at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. © Alex Hanson 2015

Yankee Dollars and Florida Development: Henry Flagler and Julia Tuttle. By Jim McNiven, Thoughtlines Column

There is a point in each Canadian winter, as the cold sets in following December’s holiday season,  that Canadians start to dream of warmer weather. Soon, the annual ‘snowbird’ migration begins to the American south. This is the story of how their destination came to exist.

Reports:

A driver gets off a loading vehicle at local businessman Sun Meng's small coal depot near a coal mine of the state-owned Longmay Group on the outskirts of Jixi, in Heilongjiang province, China, October 23, 2015. To match story CHINA-COAL/JIXI Picture taken on October 23, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Lee TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

REUTERS/Jason Lee

How coal left scars on a Chinese town. By Jason Lee, Photo-essay  Report

Giant mounds of unsold coal sprout weeds in the makeshift depots marking nearly every junction, and bitter Siberian winds blow sulphurous dust through streets peopled by laid-off miners.  The northeast mining city of Jixi bears the scars of China’s slowing economy and ailing heavy industry.

Momentum fading for global economic growth. By Rahul Karunakar. Report

Economic growth is losing momentum across emerging and developed economies as is inflation, with trouble in China now the biggest worry for 2016, according to the overwhelming majority of hundreds of economists polled by Reuters around the world.

Inside the Large Hadron Collider. Tighef/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 3.0

Inside the Large Hadron Collider. Tighef/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 3.0

Six science mysteries to be solved in 2016. By Gavin Hesketh, Louise Gentle, and Simon Cotton  Report

From the origin of life to the fate of the universe, scientists simply don’t know everything — but we are making progress.

ICYMI, earlier stories:

Heartbreak in starving Syrian town. By Lisa Barrington and Stephanie Nebehay

Aid workers who reached a besieged Syrian town spoke of “heartbreaking” conditions being endured by emaciated and starving residents, with hundreds in need of specialised medical help.

Cancer claims music legend Davie Bowie, 69. By Paul Sandle and Guy Faulconbridge

David Bowie, the visionary British rock star who framed hits such as “Space Oddity” with flamboyant pop personas like “Ziggy Stardust” and androgynous displays of sexuality, died January 10, aged 69 after a secret battle with cancer.

David Bowie, an extraordinary innovator, by Mike Jones

Globalization: elite British golfers rue sale to Chinese investors. By Estelle Shirbon

Wealthy Brits at an elite golf course are in high dudgeon at being pushed out by foreign buyers who are richer yet. As Reuters reports, the club controversy feeds into a wider debate in Britain over perceptions that prime assets are being sold off to foreigners who may not always have local interests at heart.

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