The self-help gurus trading advice and inspiration for cash (Southeast Asia Globe)

The region’s swelling middle class is fuelling a rise in Southeast Asian self-help gurus dispensing motivation and advice Like many Filipinos her age in Manila, 24-year-old Maureen Usacdin wrestles with the daily struggles of city life. First, there is the notorious traffic, which pollutes her lungs and only promises to worsen as people pile into Metro Manilafaster than …

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Inside the the secret world of accent training (BBC Capital)

Manila, Philippines -- If you’re having trouble understanding your colleagues in other countries, try taking a leaf out of the Filipinos’ book.

Call centres in the Southeast Asian nation are training twenty-somethings to master a diverse — and often difficult — range of English accents, so that customers may never know they are talking to someone up to 12 time zones away.

Bangkok shouldn’t be good for expats — but it is (BBC Capital)

Bangkok, Thailand -- At face value, Bangkok shouldn’t be a great place for an expat assignment.

The threat of political instability is the highest in the region, next to Indonesia. The Thai economy continues to be outshined by neighbours: growth projections for this year have been revised downward due to anticipation of falling exports sales. And last August, a bomb at the Erawan shrine in central Bangkok killed 20 and injured more than 120.

FARC rebel rehab hopes to create lasting peace in Colombia (Newsweek)

Bogotá, Colombia — It was 3 a.m. one night in November when Boris Forero decided to leave the remote jungle camp at El Naranjal, convinced that the pattering of tropical rain and cover of darkness would conceal his escape. His heart was racing, and he felt torn between missing his friends—the guerrillas he fought beside for …

Continue reading FARC rebel rehab hopes to create lasting peace in Colombia (Newsweek)

Colombia’s Pro-Lifers Are Objectively Pro-Zika (Foreign Policy)

Bogotá, Colombia — On a brisk, rainy day in late March, eight determined protesters held a seemingly endless vigil outside Santa Ana Parish on Calle 33A. With all the solemnity of a requiem, they directed their prayers at an off-white building across the street. I approached them curiously, and one woman shuffled over to me. “They perform abortions over there,” she whispered out of the corner of her mouth.