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Hong Kong

The View From Instagram: Hong Kong's Democracy Protests

Tear gas and pepper spray fired at demonstrators during a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong
Tear gas and pepper spray fired at demonstrators during a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong

HONG KONG — Pro-democracy protesters took to the streets over the weekend in Hong Kong, flooding downtown around Admiralty, the government complex.

Occupy Central activits rallied against the government's plan to limit electoral changes. The city's authorities had promised Hong Kong residents they would be allowed to choose their own leader by 2017, but the government is now planning to restrict those changes. Contrary to what the government previously announced, only two or three candidates will be allowed on the ballot, and they will have to be chosen by a Beijing-friendly committee.

Having declared the protests illegal, authorities have allowed the Hong Kong police to fire tear gas and pepper spray at protesters, which has been covered on many social networks such as Instragram. The mainland China government even blocked the photo-sharing service. But that didn't stop demonstrators from uploading hundreds of pictures once the service returned.

Photo: Instagram/sini_666

Photo: Instagram/Rachel Wongny

Photo: Instagram/Asukaqzj105

Photo: Instagram/Galase

Photo: Instagram/Wingyee_hkg

Photo: Instagram/Swanquah

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For Seniors, Friendship May Be More Important Than Family

Even if the aging and elderly tend to wind up confined to family circles, Argentine academics Laura Belli and Danila Suárez explore the often untapped benefits of friendship in our later years.

Photograph of two elderly women and an elderly man walking arm in arm. Behind the, there are adverts for famous football players.

Two elderly women and a man walk arm in arm

Philippe Leone/Unsplash
Laura F. Belli and Danila Suárez Tomé

Updated Dec. 10, 2023 at 10:10 p.m.

BUENOS AIRES — What kind of friendship do people most talk about? Most often it is childhood or teenage friendships, while friendships between men and women are repeatedly analyzed. What about friendships among the elderly? How are they affected when friends disappear, at a stage when grieving is already more frequent?

Argentines Laura Belli and Danila Suárez Tomé, two friends with PhDs in philosophy, explore the challenges and benefits of friendship in their book Filosofía de la amistad (Friendship Philosophy).

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They consider how friendships can emerge later in life, in profoundly altered circumstances from those of our youth, with people living through events like retirement, widowhood, reduced autonomy or to a greater or lesser degree, personal deterioration. All these can affect older people's ability to form and keep friendships, even if changes happen at any stage in life.

Filosofía de la amistadexplores the place of friendships amid daunting changes. These are not just the result of ageing itself but also of how one is perceived, nor will they affect everyone exactly the same way. Aging has firstly become a far more diverse experience, with increasing lifespans and better healthcare everywhere, and despite an inevitable restriction in life opportunities, a good many seniors enjoy far greater freedom and life choices than before.

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