(CNN) – How much money do you make in an hour? If you’re not rich, you probably think it’s too little. And thousands of people around the world likely feel the same as you. Here in Asia yesterday - International Labor Day - financially-frustrated protesters hit the streets of Hong Kong, Seoul, Manila, Jakarta and many other capital cities. Their demands: higher pay and stronger worker protection. Their criticisms: soaring food, fuel and property prices and an ever-widening income gap between the rich and poor. And pressure from the people is starting to squeeze gains out of governments.
On May 1 for example, Hong Kong finally premiered a minimum wage for the masses: HK$28 (US$3.60) per hour. The battle for this relative financial security was hard fought. Since the idea was first floated in 1999, the territory’s business leaders have lobbied against the idea. They claim the forced minimum would cause job losses because companies might scale back their employee numbers. Unions say the new minimum is a step in the right direction but that US$3.60 is still not high enough for low-income families. Union leaders had been asking for HK$33, or about US$4.20.
(CNN) – Diversification. For investors, it helps to hedge against risk in your portfolio. And apparently it’s not that much different for al Qaeda and its funding.
In fact, it’s been key to the organization’s financial health and its ability to grow around the world - despite political, economic and military pressure from the U.S. and its allies since 9/11.
“They [al Qaeda] established a range of sources to support the organization and that is the current state of al Qaeda, so they don’t have to depend on bin Laden,” says Professor Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism in Singapore.
So even with Osama bin Laden is gone, the terror network he founded will still live on.
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