Smartphone maker BlackBerry has agreed to go private in a US$4.7 billion deal led by its biggest shareholder, allowing the on-the-go email pioneer to regroup away from public scrutiny after years of falling fortunes and slumping market share.


Celebrity suicides inevitably get a lot of publicity. The actor-singer Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing's suicide in 2003 caused anguish among his many fans. The recent suicide attempts by British actor and writer Stephen Fry and Michael Jackson's daughter, Paris, may have shocked close friends and family who may not have realised how serious their problems were.

Hong Kong is not alone in having a strong exam culture. The rise of "managerialism" - the application of the business model of accountability, efficiency and surveillance to education - has had a profound effect in many countries. Education policy has been affected by globalisation as governments prioritised economic growth.

Do suicides increase during the holidays? In spite of the popular belief in the holiday "blues", statistics show that suicide numbers actually fall during the Christmas period. Perhaps the celebrations and the rituals keep people from slipping deeper into depression. But suicide rates often go up after a holiday.

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