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Auguste Chapdelaine, French martyr of China

Auguste Chapdelaine was the French Christian missionary whose violent death at the hands of Chinese authorities on February 29th,1856 became the casus belli for...

Why I stay away from the hyped Din Tai Fung restaurant chain

Despite being in every guide book about Taipei in any available language, for me Din Tai Fung is probably the most overrated eating place in...

Olof Palme, Sweden’s tragic political figure

Sweden’s best-known politician, Social Democratic Prime Minister Olof Palme was assassinated under mysterious circumstances on February 28th, 1986 in his home town of Stockholm. It’s...

Does Valentine’s Day match Chinese culture?

Mostly due to American influence, young Taiwanese have adopted some Western customs like Valentine’s Day on February 14th, which originally honored three early Christian...

Juan Domingo Perón, Argentinian president and populist demagogue

Controversial, but undisputedly popular former Argentinian president and founder of the Peronist movement, Juan Domingo Perón, was born in the province of Buenos Aires...

Richard Sorge, German master spy in Japan

Richard Sorge, German press correspondent in Tokyo and head of a very successful Soviet espionage group during World War II, was born on October...

Bashar al-Assad, a well-educated autocrat

Bashar al-Assad, the second son of former Syrian ruler Hafez al-Assad (1930-2000) and his wife Anisa Makhlouf (1930-2016), who took over the presidency of...

The murder of a descendant of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba

Lij Tafari Mäkonnen, better known as Haile Selassie I, Ethiopia's 225th and last Emperor, was murdered in his palace while under house arrest by...

Cozy cafés in Taipei

The English term coffee, caffe in Italian, Kaffee in German or café in Spanish and French made it into Western languages from Turkish kahve,...

Not a republic, just a zone

My father, although a pragmatist, never accepted the division of post-war Germany nor a clear distinction between citizens of both German states.

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