Hong Kong: Parched Colony

Buddhist monks and nuns in Hong Kong last week chanted prayers to the pulsating tick-tock of sticks beating on fish-shaped wooden blocks. Throngs of Chinese paraded through downtown streets carrying huge paper dragons representing the rain god, and the blare of drums, gongs and cymbals exhorted the heavens to send rain. When a brief shower dampened Hong Kong one afternoon, marking the first rainfall in six months, men and women clapped their hands and shouted for joy.

Hong Kong is suffering critically from the longest drought in years. The vital textile dyeing industry lost an estimated $1,700,000 in the first four...

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