2014's fast food atrocities
Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.
HONG KONG — There are many reasons why NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s decision to come to Hong Kong could be foolish.
Hong Kong has an extradition treaty with the US; its government is weak; its foreign policy is dictated by Beijing — no friend of free speech or internet freedom.
But there is at least one reason it could be incredibly shrewd: Hong Kong’s asylum system is currently stuck in a state of limbo that could allow Snowden to exploit a loophole and buy some valuable time.
Simon Young, director of the Centre for Comparative and Public Law at the University of Hong Kong, told GlobalPost that a decision delivered by Hong Kong’s High Court in March of this year required the government to create a new procedure for reviewing asylum applications.
Until the government does this, he said, asylum seekers are allowed to stay in Hong Kong indefinitely.
“We’re still waiting to hear from government how they are going to implement this decision,” said Young. “Until that’s the case, you can’t return anyone until the law’s in place.”
In other words, should Snowden apply for asylum, then even if the US made a valid extradition request and Hong Kong was willing to comply he could not be deported until the government figured out a new way to review asylum cases — a potentially lengthy process.
Nicholas Bequelin of Human Rights Watch says that any Snowden extradition must be “a long way off” because of this gap in the law.
“If it comes to the point where the US does issue a warrant on Snowden, and then passes it over to the Hong Kong authorities, and he decides to fight it, at this point it would be a court case,” he told GlobalPost. ”And it can be a long court case, going up to the court of final appeals.”
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Hong Kong said that it could not disclose whether or not Snowden had begun the process of seeking asylum. In hisconversations with the media, Snowden has indicated that he ultimately hopes to find sanctuary in Iceland.
Apart from this temporary asylum loophole, however, Snowden’s case faces many hurdles.
David Zweig, professor of Chinese politics at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, points out that if Snowden was hoping to throw himself on the sympathy of mainland China — which has sovereignty over Hong Kong — then his timing is poor.
“For a foreign policy perspective, it’s a bad choice,” says Zweig, noting that Xi Jinping and Barack Obama just finished a two-day summit in California.
“If relations were [bad], China might have said, ‘Let’s make the Americans a little anxious.’ But we just had this effort to build goodwill, and this would undermine this goodwill so fast. That’s why I think they’ll let him go.”
On discussion boards, some Hong Kong residents debated whether Snowden might have cut a deal with mainland authorities. The website Bad Canto translated one writer who speculated in Cantonese that Snowden had “become a spy for China when he was in the US, or he may have fallen to a honey trap. What was reported was probably less than 20 percent of what had happened.”
Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.
KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.
Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.
Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.
Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.
Salon is proud to feature content from GlobalPost, an awarding-winning international news site that focuses on original reporting from journalists stationed around the world. GlobalPost combines traditional journalistic values with the power of new media to offer a fresh perspective on global developments.