Na to producenci żywności dostaną pieniądze. Misja gospodarcza do Kazachstanu        
Polska żywność jednak skorzysta na Wystawie Światowej EXPO w Kazachstanie. Producenci dostaną dofinansowanie do udziału w targach WorldFood Kazakhstan 2017 w Astanie.
          Comment on Banners Design for Mobile Unlock Base by MichaelImmed        
Our team is a unique producer of quality fake documents. We offer only original high-quality fake passports, driver's licenses, ID cards, stamps and other products for a number of countries like: USA, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom. This list is not full. 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          The Man With the Golden Gun (James Bond, #13)        
The Man With the Golden Gun (James Bond, #13)
author: Ian Fleming
name: Sara
average rating: 3.53
book published: 1965
rating: 4
read at:
date added: 2016/09/25
shelves: read-whilst-in-kazakhstan
review:


          Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)        
Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)
author: Suzanne Collins
name: Sara
average rating: 4.02
book published: 2010
rating: 3
read at:
date added: 2016/09/07
shelves: read-whilst-in-kazakhstan
review:


          The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #1)        
The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #1)
author: Trenton Lee Stewart
name: Sara
average rating: 4.14
book published: 2007
rating: 4
read at: 2016/05/21
date added: 2016/05/21
shelves: read-whilst-in-kazakhstan, children-s-humor
review:


          Why Dubai is the best (biggest, tallest, and coolest) candidate for Expo 2020        
In 1968 when then ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum (father of the current ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid) and the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, agreed to form a federation of what were then then The Trucial States, a British protectorate, hardly anyone could have envisioned what the United Arab Emirates would have become today, nearly 45 years after that historic meeting [eventually seven of the nine 'sheikhdoms' joined the union]. For all intents and purposes, at inception in 1971, the United Arab Emirates could be described as a desolate backwater, despite a strong history of local traditions, and legacy as a trading post. Today, Dubai and the UAE bring forth images of economic strength and progress in an increasingly volatile and definitively confused region. Dubai's development, specifically, is a once-in-a-generation global phenomenon, and the city is unique like no other. As the bid committee for Expo 2020 look to decide on the host city for the world event seven years from now, there really is no other choice but Dubai - and let me tell you why.

1. The other candidate cities are Izmir, Sao Paulo, Yekaterinburg, and Ayutthaya...

There is nothing wrong with Izmir, Sao Paulo, Yekaterinburg, and Ayutthaya but do they really measure up to Dubai? Now before anyone gets in a tizzy or their 'socks' in a twist, they are all great cities! Izmir is Turkey's third-largest city and home to a great literary tradition.  Sao Paulo is one of the five largest metropolitan areas on the planet. Yekaterinburg (in Russia), well it's Yekaterinburg and they have a monument to Michael Jackson. And Ayutthaya was the historical capital of the Kingdom of Siam. Let's just say the final three are likely Izmir, Sao Paulo and Dubai. Izmir is certainly a great city but does not have the global resonance of Dubai. And Sao Paulo...well Brazil has both the Olympics (2016) and the World Cup (2014); are you telling me that they really need the pesky Expo 2020 as well!?

2. The Expo needs a city of significance to make the event significant

Do you remember where the last Expo was held (or even that there is an Expo!)? You could be forgiven for not recalling that it was Yeosu, South Korea. Where was the one in 2010? That's right Shanghai. The Expo 2010 attracted a staggering 73 million visitors and was the most visited exhibition of its kind and brought together 189 different expositions from around the world. While in 2015 the Expo will be held in Milan and in 2017 in Astana (Kazakhstan) it is likely that it would take the Expo 2020 in Dubai to bring the event back to the international spotlight (the governing body regards the Expos held every 5 years to be 'World' Expos). In fact, it normally requires an emerging or new city of a transformative nature to inspire the type of attention that Shanghai in 2010 did (or Osaka in 1970 etc).

3. The entire ethos of Dubai is synonymous with what Expo 2020 would be about

Dubai is a global city by its very nature. It is home to over 2 million residents - and growing - from all over the world and from every socio-economic background, representing over 200 nationalities. The city is at once a home to and meeting-ground for people from the the Middle East, Subcontinent, Central Asia, Africa (especially East Africa) and Europe, North America, and Australia. There are even an estimated 180,000 Chinese residents in Dubai.  With the tourist profile of the city, Dubai has in fact become the 8th most visited city in the world (in 2012). It's cultural diversity is on constant display with a burgeoning arts scene (that is driven at the grassroots level), international film festivals, culinary celebrations, and so much more that you might as well just visit Timeout magazine.

4. Dubai inspires the imagination as the Expo event is meant to do

The landmark World Expo (or Great Exhibition) was organized under the auspices of Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, all the way back in 1851, in Hyde Park. It was an inspiring event that showcased the burgeoning city of London - the world's city at the time - and the promise of a future driven by technology and industrialization.  In a region too full of dark pessimism and cynicism, Dubai represents optimism and opportunity. And it will represent that even more so in 2020, as the city, albeit far along the way, is only at the beginning of its journey in my view of what it will become. Think about it. Who would have said twenty years ago that the world's tallest building would be built in the (Arabian) Gulf? Who would have said only several years ago after the 9/11 attacks that the world's leading airline would be from an Arab country? Who would have thought that the 3rd largest ports operator in the world, handling over 33 million containers annually, would be from Dubai? Today, when you look at the volatile, unstable, and stagnant Middle East, there is one destination for entrepreneurs and innovators to go to - and that is Dubai.

5. Expo 2020 would drive Dubai and the UAE to improve

Before I even write this sentence, I'm sure several of London's finest are in a huff-and-puff that I have not yet mentioned jailed Islamists or tourists having sex in a taxi Better yet, given the refusal-of-entry for a scholar from LSE this past week, shouldn't I be talking about the closure of the academic environment (I mean I masquerade as an intellectual from time to time as well)? Whether or not I believe in liberal democracy (I do - shock!), is it really a matter of discussion for Expo 2020? Well, in that case, we should reject Izmir's candidacy because of Turkey's campaign against Kurdish militants, Ayutthaya's candidacy because of Thailand's campaign in Malay Pattani, Yekaterinburg's candidacy because of Russia's crackdown on political opposition, and Sao Paulo's candidacy because of Brazil's anti-slum raids. Such nullification would leave no one left to host the event! Now beyond the two issues I mentioned above there are a number of continuing issues of concern in the UAE, allow me to list some of them: labor rights (even though this is improving); integration of stateless residents (i.e. bidoons); and increased confusion around cyber surveillance. Hosting the Expo 2020 would not exacerbate but more than likely shed more light on and ameliorate these challenges. In fact, the event would serve as a target-date for when Dubai and the UAE will be (even more so) on the world stage, and that attention would drive improvements on areas of concern.

There are more reasons than the five I've listed here on why Dubai should be the host for Expo 2020, but I like the number 5 (it's the former consultant in me - I almost went with three). Whether you live here or plan to visit, I look forward to seeing you in Dubai in 2020! Until then:

Oh shit! Ozzy Henning is PRO!

Not to be confused with the lead singer of Sabbath, Ozzy Henning is out for blood! With an appetite for heavy-consequence urban spots, technical rail riding and mind-blowing grabs; Ozzy‘s riding demands attention.

Ozzy first caught our attention when an edit of him ripping Park City on our OG Hammerhead deck started making its rounds online. Pretty quickly it was apparent that something was different about this lanky long haired kid from Utah. Style and control radiated from every press, every grab and every spin.

Fast forward to the 12 Months Project, Ozzy threw down standout parts in the opening November segment, January in Quebec, April in his Utah stomping grounds, July at Mt. Hood and wrapping it all up with a hammer segment for October in Austria.

The following year, it was a no-brainer that Ozzy would be making the trip to Kazakhstan for the first video of our Find Snowboarding series. What we didn’t know is how much of a boss he would prove himself to be. Riding with a broken wrist for the majority of the trip, he continued to stack clips, shovel spots, pull bungee and help the crew. That same season, Ozzy got the nod to film with Absinthe Films and fulfill a childhood dream. ‘HeavyMental’ saw him taking his riding to bigger and gnarlier spots while bringing along his signature style. His most recent part in Absinthe’s ‘Eversince’ picks up right where he left off and we continue to have our minds blown.

Very rarely is a rider’s style entertaining, technical and most importantly, inspiring. Every time we watch Ozzy ride we find ourselves wondering if it’s possible to replicate.

The Rome SDS is beyond stoked to see what the future holds for Ozzy. All we know for sure is we’re excited to see what he does next.

Welcome to the Pro Team Ozzy!

Cast: Rome Snowboards

Tags: Rome SDS, Ozzy Henning, Hell Yeah Ozzy, Snowboarding, Rome Snowboards, Snowboard and Welcome To The Pro Team


          Find Snowboarding: NORWAY        

When Find Snowboarding was first conceptualized, there was no idea of how exactly it would end. The only thing certain was that each trip would be centered on adventure, travel and unique elements of snowboarding.

The alien streets of Kazakhstan showed an unseen part of the world, ripe with snowboard possibility. The wind-tattered Aleutians taught the value of preparation and patience. The open, long-standing glaciers of Norway… well that's a different story.

To truly finish off this project, Will Lavigne and Thomas Delfino hit the open roads of Europe on a journey from Munich to Oslo. From there they met up with Stale Sandbech, Toni Kerkelä and Len Jorgensen to hit the Fonna glacier.

From Kazakhstan to Alaska to Norway, Find Snowboarding is a celebration of all things that are pure and good about snowboarding; traveling, the adventure, the sensation, having fun with your friends and exploring the possibilities of being strapped in.

Find Snowboarding: NORWAY is the story of snowboarders traveling to go snowboarding. Once you put your deck down, strap in and take that heel-side carve it doesn't matter where it is because at that point snowboarding has been found.

So enjoy the last full film from the Rome Snowboards Find Snowboarding project and get stoked because snowboarding is the shit.

Cast: Rome Snowboards

Tags: Stale Sandbech, Toni Kerkela, Thomas Delfino, Len Jorgensen, Will Lavigne, Norway, Find Snowboarding, Rome Snowboards, Rome SDS, TransWorld and Snowboards


          RUSSIA: Babushkas rule        

Russia will be reshaped not by revolution but by urbanization and a life expectancy gap between men and women, writes Ekaterina Schulmann

Historical parallels are a curse of our time because they prevent rational analysis of social and political processes. Once you hear that 2014 is 1914 all over again, or that a certain regime is heading towards a new Nazism, this is a clear signal to stop listening, as clear as when you are advised to read Dostoevsky to gain insight into the ‘Russian soul’.

It is time to stop taking Karl Marx’s joke at face value: history does not repeat itself, either as tragedy, or as farce. Since there is an infinite supply of historical facts, it is likely that striking similarities between past and present events are based either on the magic of numbers – 1914/2014 – or on highlighting some facts while ignoring others.

The main sin of parallelism is that it negates progress. It is stuck in the Middle Ages, when the wheel of fortune decreed that nothing changed.

The same type of thinking that denies the passage of time, however, makes a fetish of space and turns geography into destiny.

People who balk at a comparison between the Russian and Venezuelan political systems are happy to compare modern Russia with the Russia of Ivan the Terrible, Nicholas II or Stalin, periods that have nothing to do with our time economically, culturally or socially.

So what are we to make of this year’s centenary of the revolutions that ended the Russian Empire, and the fashionable search for clues to the future of today’s Russia? To unpick the parallels, it is worth exploring the basic composition of Russian society then and now through demographic trends − while understanding that demography influences, but does not determine, political processes.

Looking at the demographic data of Russia for 2016 and for the Russian regions of the Empire by 1917, we see two major trends that shaped the 20th century: ageing and urbanization.

The median age of a Russian citizen of today is 39 years. In 1917, the average age of a resident of Petrograd was 19. In 1885, there were 11.6 million city dwellers in Russia, a figure that doubled within 30 years to 23.2 million in 1914. In 1940 the urban population of the USSR was 60.6 million people and in 1956, 87 million. Within 40 years, 54 million people had moved from village to town. By the late 1950s, the urban population equalled the peasantry.

Urbanization was a feature of the era that transformed agrarian societies into modern industrial ones. The grimmer appendages of this process were global wars of the type unknown to previous ages, combining the genocidal intent of Genghis Khan with new weapons capable of wiping out millions of lives. The young people wanting to climb up the social ladder by moving from the countryside to the cities could play two roles: as the drivers of progress or the cogs in great totalitarian machines of repression, as happened in Russia and China.

There are gaps in the Russian demographic pyramid that we see repeated roughly every 20 to 25 years. These are the traces of the horror that was the Russian 20th century – mostly the human loss of the Second World War, but also of the civil war, collectivization, numerous waves of genocide and organized hunger. If you compare the modern demographic pyramids of the former Soviet republics, you will see a picture resembling the Russian pyramid, but with the edges somewhat smoothed.

Today 74.4 per cent of the citizens of Russia live in cities, according to Rosstat, the Russian statistics service. Agrarian Russia, the Russia of the peasantry, is now the stuff of folklore. Given the state of the transport and road infrastructure, it is reasonable to assert that Russia today consists of 15 cities and their agglomerations, with more or less empty space in between.

There are two exceptions: the agricultural regions of Southern Russia and the national republics of the North Caucasus. Remarkably, these are also the regions with distinct political cultures and electoral behaviour differing from that of central, northern or Siberian Russia.

Ethnically, if we compare the results of the censuses of 1991 in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, as the territory of the Russian Federation was defined in Soviet times, and the last census of 2010, we see a gradual consolidation of the ethnically Russian population. Non-Russian Judeo-Christian ethnic groups are declining or disappearing: Jews, Germans, even Ukrainians and Belarusians are markedly less numerous in 2010 than in 1991. The sole exception is the Armenians.

At the same time, there is quite significant growth of those ethnic groups that can be described as Muslim: the Azeris, the Tartars, and the Caucasian nations. Very roughly put, in the Russia of today we see two groups of unequal size, but also with unequal demographic dynamics: the generalized Russian and the generalized Muslim nations.

Having said this, it is important to remember that these are not actual ‘communities’ or even ‘ethnic groups’: there is not so much in common between the Kazan Tatars and the Chechens, while the ‘Russian’ Russians are extremely diverse.

These statistics, of course, can be readily used for all kinds of political catastrophism. They can be turned to support nationalistic propaganda of the ‘let’s declare a mono-national state before it’s too late’ type, or the ‘Russians are all dying out and being replaced by people from the Caucasus’.

In fact, Russia is not dying out in any perceivable way, the birth rates being moderately low, but on a par with the general level of countries of comparable economic status and social composition.

Looking at the demographic pyramid of 2016, we see not just an old, but an ageing population, with the predominance of women growing with each rise up the age scale. This is due to the difference in average life expectancy between the genders: men die sooner, and the more pronounced gender inequality starts after 55 years. Life expectancy has been slowly growing for the past 15 years yet according to data for 2016 it is still a shockingly low 66.5 years for males and an almost decent 77 years for females.

The real Russian demographic problem is not low birth rate, but early mortality, especially male mortality, which is almost totally due to preventable social causes: alcoholism, driving accidents, violent crime, high prison population and treatable diseases, most importantly cardiovascular.

There is a total absence of what demographers call a ‘youth bulge’ − a disproportionately high number of 15 to 25-year-olds in the population pyramid. Such a youth bulge was very visible in the population pyramid of Germany in 1933, the year Hitler was appointed Chancellor, and − in a milder form − in Russia in 1927.

Today we have instead what might be termed a youth gap − a visible failure below 25 to 29 years caused by the relatively small generation born during the first half of the 90s. The following 15 to 19 stratum is even smaller − a continuation of the low fertility of the second half of the 90s and early 2000s.

Since 2002, the birth rate has been gradually increasing, and at the base of our pyramid we see two decent-sized ‘bricks’ −Russians aged 10 years or less. Their participation in the political process is yet to come.

What does this demographic picture mean for a country’s political development? Always keeping in mind that demography affects but does not determine political processes, it is possible to discern some tendencies.

With women aged 45 and older becoming the predominant social group in Russia, this creates the impetus to shift the policy agenda towards social issues − healthcare, education, a comfortable living environment. This is in marked contrast to official budget priorities, focused on security, the military and costly foreign adventures.

The decision-makers of the ruling bureaucracy are largely males aged 60-plus, with military, secret service and law-enforcement backgrounds. Their values and interests may be not as aligned with those of the Russian majority as they would like to think.

Demography is an important factor that affects a country’s likelihood of edging towards authoritarianism. Poor demography isn’t a death sentence; however, the existence of a ‘youth bulge’ correlates with a society’s proneness to violence.

When the majority of the population in a country is over 40, protests are more likely to be peaceful and legal. At the same time, an older population has no effect on the probability of a military coup, the other bane of semi-autocracies that don’t have a politically valid mechanism for the transfer of power.

While young people go to demonstrations, older people go to elections. By casting their ballots, the old deliver the results required by the authorities and also agree to accept them as legitimate.

The latter is an important factor in a political system that relies heavily on falsifications and the use of the ‘administrative resource’ to boost turnout and achieve desirable voting outcomes. If younger Russians neither vote nor take an interest in election campaigns and their results, it erodes the election’s legitimacy, making protest activity a more attractive option.

The next generation gap, stemming from the relatively small generation born in the 1990s and early 2000s which is now entering its fertility age, will ensure a continuing need to replace the shortfall with migrant workers. This, inevitably, will form the basis of continuing political tensions for the next 15 to 20 years.

In a longer perspective, we have the continuing ultra-urbanization process that will draw Russia closer and closer to the picture of ‘15 great cities with empty spaces in between’. These are: Moscow, St Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Chelyabinsk, Omsk, Samara, Rostov-on-Don, Ufa, Krasnoyarsk, Perm, Voronezh and Volgograd. Close behind are Krasnodar, Saratov and Tyumen.

The cities of industrial Siberia − Tyumen, Krasnoyarsk, Tomsk, Novosibirsk − and Southern Russia and the North Caucasus − Makhachkala, Krasnodar, Rostov-on-Don − demonstrate the most stable population growth in recent years, both due to natural birth increase and migration.

These 15 to 18 cities and the surrounding territories serving them will inevitably strive to become both sources and centres of political power. This is in direct opposition to the current political system that has all-but abolished direct mayoral elections, crushed the freedoms and financial independence of municipalities and strives to uphold at least the appearance of a ‘vertical of power’ by heavy dependence on regional authorities − which, in their turn, are kept under control by a centralized budgeting system and the threat of criminal prosecution.

Both varying demographic dynamics and migration rates will widen the differences in ethnic composition between different regions and between the smaller towns and the megapolises. The core Russian territories are growing more and more uniformly Russian (and its towns are experiencing population decline), while the bigger cities present a globally familiar picture of ethnic and religious diversity.

Today even Moscow is, by international standards, almost a mono-ethnic and certainly a mono-racial city as compared with New York or London, but this will change in the coming decades. Already today the mayor of Moscow is from the Far North and the deputy mayor is from Tatarstan, a cause of some political discontent. In future we are likely to see people from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and other parts of Central Asia who want administrative and political careers in the capital.

Today’s social tensions are often created by the average Russian’s suspicious attitude towards both working migrants in the cities and non-Russians in the administration, the courts and the police.

In the foreseeable future the ethnic shifts described above will dangerously increase those tensions, if they are not absorbed and co-opted by working political institutions, competitive public politics and pluralistic media − not exacerbated or exploited by the state-run media’s short-sighted propaganda and a monopolistic ruling elite which makes little room for the generations below them who are keen for their turn at power.

 

AUTHOR:

Ekaterina Schulmann is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration


          What's Cooking?        
This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Chow Down: E-lectrified and Keep It Real: E-lectrified badges.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

Learn about your food - where it comes from, how it's made, and the history of how and why we started to eat what we eat - with some of these informative documentaries.

This film shows how human desires are an essential, intricate part of natural history by exploring the natural history of four plants -the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato - and the corresponding human desires - sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control. This two-hour documentary begins in Michael Pollan's garden, and roams the world, from the fields of Iowa to the apple forests of Kazakhstan, from a medical marijuana hot house to the tulip markets of Amsterdam.

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These simple words go to the heart of food journalist Pollan's thesis. Humans used to know how to eat well, he argues, but the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists. As a result, we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not "real." Indeed, plain old eating is being replaced by an obsession with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to mention our meals. Pollan's advice is: "Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food."

Discusses the enduring appeal of soul food, and presents an overview of its history, covering its roots in Western Africa, its incarnation in the American South, and the role it plays in the health crisis in the African American community.

In-depth investigation into unlabeled genetically-modified foods which have become increasingly prevalent in grocery stores. Unravels the complex web of market and political forces that are changing the nature of what we eat.

Also available in: e-video

The drive to obtain food has been a major catalyst across all of history, from prehistoric times to the present. Take an enthralling journey into the human relationship to food as you travel the world discovering fascinating food lore and culture of all regions and eras-as an eye-opening lesson in history as well as a unique window on what we eat today.

Also available in: e-video

Explores how large corporations and government agencies control agriculture and food processing, and how those practices affect human, environmental, and economic health.

Also available in: e-video

American food is in a state of crisis. Obesity and diabetes are on the rise, food costs are skyrocketing, family farms are in decline, and our agricultural environment is in jeopardy. Explore a thriving local food movement as our world becomes a more flavorless, disconnected, and dangerous place to eat.

Also available in: e-video

Every year in America we throw away 96 billion pounds of food - 263 million pounds a day. Inspired by a curiosity about society's careless habit of sending good, edible food straight to landfills, the multi award-winning documentary DIVE! follows filmmaker Jeremy Seifert and friends as they dumpster dive in the back alleys and gated garbage receptacles of Los Angeles' supermarkets. In the process, they salvage thousands of dollars worth of good, edible food - resulting in an eye-opening documentary that is equal parts entertainment, guerilla journalism and call to action.

Also available in: e-video

From rooftop farmers to backyard beekeepers, Americans are growing food like never before. Growing Cities goes coast to coast to tell the stories of these intrepid urban farmers, activists, and everyday city-dwellers who are challenging the way this country feeds itself. From those growing in backyards to make ends meet to educators teaching kids to eat healthier, viewers find that urban farming is about much more than simply good food.

Also available in: e-video

Examines the possibility of eliminating diseases like heart disease and diabetes through a plant-based diet.

This chronicles what director Lathe Poland learned after he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. He sought to find out why he got sick, because he didn't fit the classic picture of an adult onset diabetes sufferer. He quickly learned that much of what he knew about healthy eating was based on myths or fifty-year-old science. He searches out why Americas modern food culture is killing us. The upside? There is a lot that can be done!.

An A-to-Z encyclopedia of Raw Food, perfect for beginners and Raw Food enthusiasts.

How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet, and our freedom of choice? These and other questions take director Seifert on a journey from his family's table to Haiti, Paris, Norway, and the lobby of agra-giant Monsanto, from which he is unceremoniously ejected. Along the way we gain insight into a question that is of growing concern to citizens the world over: what's on your plate?

Looks at some of the scientific aspects of food, including the chemistry involved in cooking a turkey, the nutritional benefits of cooking, and how taste works.

When a marketing executive for a huge burger chain finds a nasty secret ingredient in their burger recipe, he goes to the ranches and slaughterhouses of Colorado to investigate and finds that the truth is sometimes difficult to swallow.

Also available in: e-video

Americans' right to access fresh, healthy foods of their choice is under attack. Farmageddon tells the story of small, family farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities and were forced to stop, sometimes through violent action, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies, and seeks to figure out why.

Narrated by Katie Couric, the film blows the lid off everything that was known about food and exercise, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the U.S. government, to mislead and confuse the American public. Exposing the hidden truths contributing to one of the largest health epidemics in history, it follows a group of families battling to lead healthier lives and reveals why the conventional wisdom of 'exercise and eat right' is not ringing true for millions of people.

Frontline investigates the dangerous pathogens in meat, particularly in chicken.


          Kristen Stewart : Gantikan Angelina Jolie?        

Pihak Universal Pictures diyakini sedang mencari artis muda berbakat untuk film sekuel terbaru mereka berjudul Wanted 2. Film yang kembali akan diarahkan oleh Timur Bekmambetov ini rencananya akan dirilis tahun 2011. Sang sutradara yang pernah membesut The Arena (2001) dan Escape from Afghanistan (2002) dilaporkan tertarik pada bakat Bintang Twilight dan New Moon, Kristen Stewart.

ketertarikan sutradara asal Kazakhstan ini karena bintang mereka di film pertama Angelina Jolie menolak untuk kembali bergabung di proyek ini. Menurut seorang sumber yang berbicara kepada E! Online Kristen bisa mengisi karakter Fox yang diperankan oleh Jolie, seorang pembunuh bayaran yang cantik dan berbahaya. Kabarnya sang sutradara sudah bertemu dengan Kristen untuk membicarakan hal ini.

Walau pihak Universal belum mengeluarkan pernyataan resmi mengenai pengganti Jolie di Wanted 2, namun E! Online berkenyakinan bahwa Kristen akan berduet dengan James McAvoy's yang di film pertama berperan sebagai Wesley Gibson, walaupun sangat kecil kemungkinannya keduanya bisa berkolaborasi. Sementara pihak Kristen belum memberi tanggapan semenjak berita ini ramai dibicarakan.

Wanted 2 akan kembali menceritakan kisah Wesley Gibson yang kembali akan diburu oleh pembunuh lainnya dari seluruh dunia dan Mark Millar selaku penulis cerita komiknya dikatakan akan memperkenalkan persaudaraan pembunuh lainnya dari seluruh dunia.

Setelah syuting The Twilight Saga Eclipse selesai dan akan dirilis pada tanggal 30 Juni tahun ini, Kristen Stewart diharapkan akan kembali disibukkan dengan perannya sebagai Bella Swan dalam proyek terakhir The Twilight Saga's Breaking Dawn. Selain itu Kristen juga akan tampil di film The Runaways bersama artis muda berbakat lainnya Dakota Fanning.


Sumber: http://21cineplex.com/slowmotion/kristen-stewart-gantikan-angelina-jolie,1326.htm
          Negara-negara Asal Sepakbola Deg-degan Menunggu Pengundian        

Pengundian babak kualifikasi Piala Dunia 2018 akan dilakukan Sabtu malam, sekitar pukul 23.00 WIB. Di bawah ini adalah daftar unggulan dan berbagai skenario buruk maupun baik yang bisa menimpa negara-negara asal sepakbola: Inggris, Wales, Skotlandia dan Irlandia Utara.

Berita Bola: Negara-negara Asal Sepakbola Deg-degan Menunggu Pengundian
Pot 1: Jerman, Belgia, Belanda, Portugal, Romania, Inggris, Wales, Spanyol, Kroasia
Pot 2: Slovakia, Austria, Italia, Swiss, Republik Ceko, Prancis, Islandia, Denmark, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Pot 3: Ukraina, Skotlandia, Polandia, Hungaria, Swedia, Albania, Irlandia Utara, Serbia, Yunani
Pot 4: Turki, Slovenia, Israel, Republik Irlandia, Norwegia, Bulgaria, Kepulauan Faroe, Montenegro, Estonia
Pot 5: Siprus, Latvia, Armenia, Finlandia, Belarusia, Makedonia, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Moldova
Pot 6: Kazakhstan, Luksemburg, Liechtenstein, Georgia, Malta, San Marino, Andorra
Inggris dan Wales tidak mungkin bertemu dalam satu grup karena mereka sama-sama tim unggulan yang masuk dalam Pot 1.
Namun, mereka masih bisa ketemu dengan negara tertentu dari Pot 2 seperti Italia (saat ini peringkat 17 di dunia) atau Perancis (peringkat 22), sementara tandang ke negara-negara tertentu seperti Swedia, Polandia atau Ukraina bisa menjadi laga yang sulit.
Wales, Irlandia Utara dan Skotlandia bisa saja masuk ke dalam grup yang berisikan lima tim, bukan enam – yang dapat membantu peluang mereka lolos ke putaran final di Rusia.
Tim-tim Eropa akan dibagi ke dalam sembilan kelompok – tujuh grup dengan enam tim dan dua grup hanya beranggotakan lima tim.
Berikut adalah skenario terbaik dan terburuk dari empat negara asal sepakbola itu.
Inggris
Tiket impian:
Inggris, Islandia, Albania, Kepulauan Faroe, Moldova, Andorra
Skenario terburuk:
Inggris, Italia, Swedia, Turki, Finlandia, Kazakhstan
Wales
Tiket impian:
Wales, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Albania, Kepulauan Faroe, Moldova
Skenario terburuk:
Wales, Prancis, Ukraina, Turki, Siprus, Georgia
Skotlandia
Tiket impian:
Skotlandia, Wales, Islandia, Estonia, Lithuania
Skenario terburuk:
Skotlandia, Jerman, Italia, Turki, Makedonia, Kazakhstan
Irlandia Utara
Tiket impian:
Irlandia Utara, Rumania, Islandia, Kepulauan Faroe, Moldova
Skenario terburuk:
Irlandia Utara, Spanyol, Prancis, Republik Irlandia, Belarusia, Malta

          Guernica/E. C. Osondu/Clifford Garstang/Short Story Review        
Nominating editor: Meakin Armstrong

Guernica is a magazine of art and ideas that author Howard Zinn called "an extraordinary bouquet of stories, poems, social commentary, and art." In its short time online, it has grown from one of the web's best-kept secrets to one of its most acclaimed new magazines. In 2009, Guernica was called a "great online literary magazine" by Esquire.

Last October we ran "Waiting" by E.C. Osondu, and even after all of these months, it's still a favorite of mine. The story of Africans in a refugee camp, I find it compelling from its first few lines:

"My name is Orlando Zaki. Orlando is taken from Orlando, Florida, which is what is written on the t-shirt given to me by the Red Cross. Zaki is the name of the town where I was found and from which I was brought to this refugee camp."

I love fiction such as "Waiting," because it isn't pretentious nor rife with literary trickery. It's simply a well-told story about a kind of life most of us couldn't even begin to imagine.

Nominated Short Story:
"Waiting" - E.C. Osondu



Reviewed: by Clifford Garstang

“Waiting” is the story of Orlando Zaki, an African boy in a Red Cross camp for Displaced Persons. (The author, E.C. Osondu, is Nigerian, but the war-torn land of the story is not identified.) Camp life is a constant battle for food and water, and the children are waiting to be chosen for adoption by families abroad. Waiting is all there is to do. It’s a sad portrait of misery and unrequited hope that is, unfortunately, a little too familiar.

There are some wonderful passages here. We learn that Orlando’s name is derived partly from his t-shirt and partly from the village where he was found. The other children—Acapulco, Sexy, Paris, Lousy—all get their names in the same way. We also learn the history of the dogs in the camp. Once common and friendly, a period of food scarcity created a grisly conflict between humans and dogs, and now there are none. And the children are, today, waiting for a photographer to come. Having their pictures taken is an important step in the adoption process, and so the photographer’s arrival is eagerly awaited.

Orlando’s most important relationships are with his friend Acapulco, whose prospects are even bleaker than his own, and with Sister Nora. It is the Sister who has encouraged Orlando to write down his story, and also has provided him with books to read, including Waiting for Godot. She explains that the people in the book are waiting for God, but Orlando is waiting for water, for food, and for hope. There’s nothing else.

It is, perhaps, fitting that little happens in the story, as in the book Orlando reads. There is no specific conflict except for the daily struggle to survive. There is no real tension or plot. As the story comes to an end, Orlando and Acapulco do have to fight for a meager meal, but their small success offers no relief and no resolution. In the end, not a thing has changed, and Orlando is still waiting.



Reviewer's Bio:

Clifford Garstang’s story collection, In an Uncharted Country, will be published by Press 53 in September 2009.

He grew up in the Midwest and received a BA from Northwestern University. After serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Korea, he earned an MA in English and a JD, both from Indiana University, and practiced international law in Singapore, Chicago and Los Angeles with one of the largest U.S. law firms. Subsequently, he earned an MPA in International Development from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and worked for Harvard Law School as a legal reform consultant in Almaty, Kazakhstan. From 1996 to 2001, he was Senior Counsel for East Asia at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., where his work concentrated on China, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Garstang received an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte in 2003 and has attended the Sewanee and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences. He is a Fellow of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and formerly served as the Fiction Assistant for Shenandoah: The Washington & Lee University Review.

Garstang’s work has appeared in Shenandoah, Whitefish Review, Cream City Review, and elsewhere.



Thanks for visiting Five Star Literary Stories and reading about this short story.
          Kasachstan Hochzeit Geschenkbox 1        
Kasachstan - Jurte zur Hochzeit – Kazakhstan wedding Yourt
Ein Geschenk in Form einer Jurte aus Filz, 30 cm Durchmesser. Dekoriert mit einem anderen typischen Symbol für das Land – einem Kamelkopf. Durch das schangarak ( Dach der Jurte) werden Briefumschläge oder Geldscheine ins Innere geschoben. Hochzeitsgeschenke, eben.
          Kazakhstan Hochzeit Geschenkbox 2        
none
          â„– 5399086: Зимний пейзаж        
Зимний пейзаж, фото № 5399086, снято 6 февраля 2009 г. (c) ElenArt / Фотобанк Лори
№ 5399086: Зимний пейзаж
© ElenArt / Фотобанк Лори
winter, snow, landscape, nature, trees, scenery, alley, park, city, weather, forest, woodland, season, sky, white, horizon, heavens, hoarfrost, frost, frosty, snowy, chagan, kazakhstan, river, uralsk
          Killing us softly         

A recent public outcry in China, sparked by a damning documentary about air pollution, was based on well-founded fear:

Of the 100 million people who viewed the film on the first day of its online release, 172,000 are likely to die each year from air pollution-related diseases, according to regional trends.* 

Worldwide, pollution kills twice as many people each year as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined,** but aid policy has consistently neglected it as a health risk, donors and experts say. 

Air pollution alone killed seven million people in 2012, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures released last year, most of them in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the Asia Pacific region.*** 

In a self-critical report released late last month the World Bank acknowledged that it had treated air pollution as an afterthought, resulting in a dearth of analysis of the problem and spending on solutions. 

“We now need to step up our game and adopt a more comprehensive approach to fixing air quality,” the authors wrote in Clean Air and Healthy Lungs. “If left unaddressed, these problems are expected to grow worse over time, as the world continues to urbanise at an unprecedented and challenging speed.”

A second report released last month by several organisations – including the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution, an international consortium of UN organisations, governments, development banks, NGOs and academics – also called for more funding towards reducing pollution. 

“Rich countries, multilateral agencies and organisations have forgotten the crippling impacts of pollution and fail to make it a priority in their foreign assistance,” the authors wrote. 

Housebound in China 

A dense haze obstructs visibility more often than not across China’s northern Hua Bei plain and two of its major river deltas. Less than one percent of the 500 largest cities in China meet WHO’s air quality guidelines. Anger over air pollution is a hot topic among China’s increasingly outspoken citizenry.  

“Half of the days in 2014, I had to confine my daughter to my home like a prisoner because the air quality in Beijing was so poor,” China’s well-known journalist Chai Jing said in Under the Dome, the independent documentary she released last month, which investigated the causes of China’s air pollution.

The film was shared on the Chinese social media portal Weibo more than 580,000 times before officials ordered websites to delete it. 

Beyond the silo

Traditionally left to environmental experts to tackle, the fight against pollution is increasingly recognised as requiring attention from health and development specialists too. 

“Air pollution is the top environmental health risk and among the top modifiable health risks in the world,” said Professor Michael Brauer, a public health expert at the University of British Columbia in Canada and a member of the scientific advisory panel for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, a consortium of governments and the UN Environment Programme. “Air pollution has been under-funded and its health impacts under-appreciated.”

Pollution – especially outdoor or “ambient” air pollution – is also a major drag on economic performance and limits the opportunities of the poor, according to Ilmi Granoff, an environmental policy expert at the Overseas Development Institute, a London-based think tank. It causes premature death, illness, lost earnings and medical costs – all of which take their toll on both individual and national productivity.

“Donors need to get out of the siloed thinking of pollution as an environmental problem distinct from economic development and poverty reduction,” Granoff said. 

Pollution cleanup is indeed underfunded, he added, but pollution prevention is even more poorly prioritised: “It’s underfunded in much of the developed world, in aid, and in developing country priorities, so this isn’t just an aid problem.”

Mounting evidence 

Pollution kills in a variety of ways, according to relatively recent studies; air pollution is by far the most lethal form compared to soil and water pollution. 
 

Microscopic particulate matter (PM) suspended in polluted air is the chief culprit in these deaths: the smaller the particles’ size, the deeper they are able to penetrate into the lungs.  Particles of less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter (PM2.5) are small enough to reach the alveoli, the deepest part of the lungs, and to enter the blood stream.  

From there, PM2.5 causes inflammation and changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and blood clotting processes - the precursors to fatal stroke and heart disease.  PM2.5 irritates and corrodes the alveoli, which impairs lung function - a major precursor to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It also acts as a carcinogen.

Most research looks at long-term exposure to PM2.5 but even studies looking at the hours immediately following bursts of especially high ambient PM2.5 (in developed countries) show a corresponding spike in life-threatening heart attacks, heart arrhythmias and stroke.

Asia worst affected

The overwhelming majority - 70 percent - of global air pollution deaths occur in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia regions.  South Asia has eight of the top 10 and 33 of the top 50 cities with the worst PM concentrations in the world.  

 

WHO says a city’s average annual PM levels should be 20 micrograms per cubic meter.  But cities such as Karachi, Gaborone, and Delhi have yearly PM averages above 200 micrograms per cubic meter. 

The main source of PM2.5 in indoor air, or household air, is burning solid fuels for cooking and heating, using wood, coal, dung or crop leftovers - a common practice in rural areas of low and middle-income countries that lack electricity.  

Almost three billion people live this way, the majority in the densely populated Asia Pacific region: India and China each hold about one quarter of all people who rely on solid fuels. For these people, the daily average dose of PM2.5 is often in the hundreds of micrograms per cubic meter. 

Filling the gaps

Unlike many other health risks air pollution is very cost-effective to address, Brauer said. Analysis of air quality interventions in the US suggests a return on investment of up to $30 for every dollar spent. 

“We already know how to reduce these risks, as we have done exactly that in high income countries, so this is not a matter of searching for a cure - we know what works,” he said.

But the World Bank report said that unless it starts gathering better data on local air quality in LMICs, the amounts and sources of air pollution and the full gamut of its health impacts, “it is not possible to appropriately target interventions in a cost-effective manner.”

Granoff said there are also gaps in government capacity to monitor, regulate and enforce pollution policy. 

Beijing hopes to bring PM2.5 concentrations down to safe levels by 2030, and has said it will fine big polluters. 

The World Bank report said China is also charging all enterprises fees for the pollutants they discharge; establishing a nationwide PM2.5 monitoring network; instituting pollution control measures on motor vehicles; and controlling urban dust pollution.

But enforcing environmental protections has been a longstanding problem in China.

“Pollution policy will only succeed if citizens are aware of the harm, able to organise their concern [through advocacy campaigns], and have a responsive government that prioritises public welfare over the narrower interests of polluting sectors,” Granoff said. 

While more people die from household air pollution than from ambient air pollution, the latter – through vehicles, smokestacks and open burning – still accounted for 3.7 million deaths in 2012, according to the WHO. 

A change in the air

Kaye Patdu, an air quality expert at Clean Air Asia, a Manila-based think tank - and the secretariat for the UN-backed Clean Air Asia Partnership, comprising more than 250 government, civil, academic, business and development organisations - said the aid community is finally starting to recognise the importance of tackling air pollution.  

• Last year’s inaugural UN Environment Assembly adopted a resolution calling for strengthened action on air pollution.  
• WHO Member States are planning to adopt a resolution on health and air quality at the upcoming World Health Assembly in May. 
• The proposed Sustainable Development Goals, which will set the post-2015 international development agenda, address city air quality and air, soil and water pollution. 

None of the experts IRIN contacted could provide a breakdown of total aid spending on all forms of toxic pollution (air, water and soil pollution that is harmful to human health).  So IRIN asked each of the major global donors for their figures.  

Three responded.  

A back-of-envelope calculation of all reported spending on toxic pollution by USAID, the European Commission and the World Bank suggests that between them they committed about US$10 billion over 10 years. This does not include aid spending on the diseases that pollution causes. The World Bank’s spending figures eclipsed those of other the other donors. 

By very rough comparison, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, with half the death toll of air pollution, received $28 billion via public sector commitments to the Global Fund – the world’s largest financier of programs that tackle these diseases – over the same period, a fraction of total spending on these diseases. 

gh/ha/bp

*Based on WHO statistics for per capita mortality rates in the Western Pacific region in 2012. 

**The mortality figures for air pollution come from 2012 statistics and were released by WHO in 2014, while the figures for the infectious diseases come from 2013 statistics and were released by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in 2014 (the Global Burden of Disease study).

***Includes deaths from both household air pollution (4.3 million) and ambient air pollution (3.7 million): the combined death toll is less than the sum of the parts because many people are exposed to both. 

For more: 

The relationship between household air pollution and disease

Ambient air pollution and the risk of acute ischemic stroke 

Cardiovascular effects of exposure to ambient air pollution 

Particulate air pollution and lung function  

Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and incidence of cerebrovascular events: Results from 11 European cohorts within the ESCAPE Project  

OECD's The Cost of Air Pollution report
 

101285 200901271.jpg Analysis Health Killing us softly Gabrielle Babbington IRIN HONG KONG Congo, Republic of Djibouti DRC Eritrea Ethiopia Kenya Rwanda Somalia Sudan Tanzania Uganda Angola Botswana Lesotho Madagascar Malawi Mauritius Mozambique Namibia Seychelles South Africa Swaziland Zambia Zimbabwe Benin Burkina Faso Cameroon Cape Verde Chad Côte d’Ivoire Equatorial Guinea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Liberia Mali Mauritania Niger Nigeria Sao Tome and Principe Senegal Sierra Leone Togo Colombia Haiti United States Bangladesh Cambodia Indonesia Iran Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Lao Peoples Democratic Republic Myanmar Pakistan Papua New Guinea Philippines Samoa Sri Lanka Tajikistan Thailand Timor-Leste Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vietnam
          Scale of Vanuatu cyclone disaster complicates aid response        

The scale of Vanuatu’s cyclone disaster is matched only by the complexity of the required humanitarian response, according to both the government and aid workers arriving on the battered Pacific islands.

“The problem is absolutely massive,” Alice Clements, spokesperson for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Vanuatu, told IRIN. “We have simultaneous emergencies in 65 islands, with no telecoms, accessible only by boat or helicopter, in an archipelago stretching 1,300 km.”

Vanuatu President Baldwin Lonsdale was reported by the BBC as saying the 13 March storm had "wiped out" all recent development and the country would have to rebuild "everything".

Half the population - 132,000 people - are estimated to have been affected by cyclone Pam, including 60,000 children, according to UNICEF. Initial assessments indicate 90 percent of houses have been damaged in the capital, Port Vila, with destruction on the southern island of Tanna “significantly worse”, Care Australia reported.

Twitter accounts to follow
Hanna Butler - Red Cross @hannarosebutler
OCHA - Asia Pacific             @OCHAAsiaPac
Tom Perry - CARE Australia     @thomasmperry
UNICEF - Australia       @unicefaustralia
Liam Fox - ABC News       @liamfoxabc
Radio Australia Pacific Beat     @RAPacificBeat
Tess Newton Cain             @CainTess

More than 3,300 people are sheltering in 37 evacuation centres on the islands of Torba and Penama, and the main island of Efate. But the National Disaster Management Office will need help if people remain displaced for a prolonged period. 

The humanitarian response “is almost going to be like applying a medical triage, to work out which is the most urgent”, said Clements. Aerial assessments have been carried out so far by military aircraft from Australia, New Zealand and France, with more flights scheduled for Tuesday. Commercial flights have resumed to Port Vila despite damage to the airport.

“There is need for logistics experts and light reconnaissance planes/helicopters, pilots, and fuel to deliver supplies and conduct assessments. There is also a need for sea shipping to transport food, water and rebuilding materials,” the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported. The main hospital in Port Vila is badly damaged, patients have been transferred to a newer part of the building, “but there is an urgent need for medical supplies” and “the morgue is unserviceable”.

Twenty-four people are confirmed dead so far, but the toll is expected to rise as assessment teams reach the more remote islands.

Providing clean water for survivors is a priority. There is a risk of waterborne diseases, especially dangerous for pregnant mothers and young children, and food is also likely to be a problem in the coming days with fruit trees uprooted, root crops inundated, and animal pens destroyed by the 270 km/h winds and flooding.

“Eighty percent of Vanuatu’s population engage in subsistence agriculture as a primary economic activity. It is anticipated that emergency food relief could be needed for up to a month, plus longer term recovery support,” OCHA noted.

Vanuatu has “3,000 years of experience dealing with an incredible mind-boggling range of disasters, from earthquakes to volcanos. People have great coping mechanisms, but this was a category 5 storm," Clements said.

oa/rh

101239 Vanuatu aftermath of Cyclone Pam, 13 March 2015 News Migration Environment and Disasters Scale of cyclone Pam disaster staggering IRIN NAIROBI Bangladesh Indonesia Iran Kyrgyzstan Cambodia Kazakhstan Lao Peoples Democratic Republic Sri Lanka Myanmar Papua New Guinea Philippines Pakistan Thailand Tajikistan Timor-Leste Uzbekistan Vietnam Vanuatu
          Vanuatu reeling from impact of cyclone Pam        

The closure of the main airport in Vanuatu is hampering the humanitarian response to cyclone Pam, which tore through the Pacific island archipelago yesterday, causing colossal damage.

The airport in the capital, Port Vila, is still flooded and trees are blocking the runway, Vincent Omuga, deputy head of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Regional Office for the Pacific, said on Saturday.

“There are lots of plans to provide regional humanitarian support, but the challenge is that the airport is not open at the moment. There are indications the government will open the airport to military flights: Australia and New Zealand have plans to move in, and UNDAC [UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination] have a nine-member team on standby, but all flights are currently suspended,” Omuga told IRIN.

Reports describe the tropical cyclone packing winds of up to 270 km/h as “devastating” and potentially one of the worst weather disasters in the region. There are unconfirmed reports of casualties, but aid agencies are warning it will take several days before there is a full picture of the storm’s impact.

Omuga said the government’s priorities are to open the airport, repair damage to hospitals, and clear the roads closed by the category 5 cyclone. It is expected to declare a state of emergency to facilitate the humanitarian response.

“Power lines are still down, there is lots of damage to infrastructure and lots of houses have been destroyed. Many provinces are flooded and inaccessible, and the islands on the eastern side [of the archipelago] were especially affected,” Omuga said.

Even a temporary damage assessment in Port Vila is constrained by the extent of the flooding and the trees and debris blocking the roads. Aid workers on the ground “have not gone out of the capital, and not even all of the capital [has been surveyed]. What they are reporting is what they can see from leaving their vehicles and walking around,” said Omuga.

oa/rh

101235 Port Vila, Vanuatu, aftermath of cyclone Pam, 14 March 2015 News Environment and Disasters Aid and Policy Vanuatu reeling from cyclone Pam IRIN NAIROBI Bangladesh Indonesia Iran Kyrgyzstan Cambodia Kazakhstan Lao Peoples Democratic Republic Sri Lanka Myanmar Papua New Guinea Philippines Pakistan Thailand Tajikistan Timor-Leste Uzbekistan Vietnam Vanuatu
          Travelling in Southern Urals. Part V. Paris and Steps        
In the South of Chelyabinsk Oblast (Region) travelers may get confused when looking at the map: going to the border with Kazakhstan the road goes along Paris, Berlin, Fère-Champenoise, then it turns to Leipzig, passing Kassel etc. The villages in that area got their names in honor of the Russian victories in major battles of […]
          dah duduk negara orang, kalau kau tegur negara kau, jangan balik.         
kalau nak tengok contoh wartawan bodoh,
kalau nak tengok contoh fikiran anti-anaknegeri-hidup-negara-orang;
tengok video wartawan emosi menghentam mallika sherawat sebab bercakap bagi pihak wanita tertindas.

i have to say--
society can be so amazing.
amazingly obtuse.

ada masanya-lah.
dan tak semua.
(kena cakap. nanti orang ADA SAHAJA yang salah baca)

ambil situasi mallika sherawat.
dia kini sudah antarabangsa.
job di LA-- siap jadi heroin video clip bruno mars.

kemudian dia bercakap tentang sesuatu dari perspektif dia.
spesifiknya: dia merasakan india is a regressive state for india.

sesuatu yang aku rasa tak ada dosa mana.
sedangkan dalam karangan SPM pun kita perlu beri pendapat dari our point of view.

tapi just for the sake of it:
masyarakat terus--
"pergilah balik LA. buat apa balik india"

*tepuk dahi*

kadang2 aku rasa masyarakat kita pun sama lebih kurang juga.
ada masanya-lah.
dan tak semua.
(kena cakap. nanti orang ADA SAHAJA yang salah baca)

aku menetap di negara orang.
terpuji.
cukup.
duduk.
diam2.

aku tak boleh bercakap, bercerita, berfikir tentang negara aku sendiri di khalayak.
sebab kalau aku banyak bunyik--
masyarakat akan terus--
"pergilah duduk kazakhstan. buat apa balik malaysia"

pendapat aku bagus CUMA bila aku setuju dengan semua orang.
di bila tidak--
aku meroyan.
aku merapu.
aku meraban.

tidakkah masyarakat tahu berapa TINGGI peratusan rakyat malaysia yang sudah berambus dan tak hingin balik tanahair sebab merasakan negara kita tak semegah negara orang?

aku--
suami aku--
anak aku--

nak balik.

sebab ini tanah tumpah darah kami.
dan selagi ada bebel--
bersyukurlah.

aku masih tak nampak untungnya negara orang.

          Economic and Geo-Political Prognosis for 2015        

Paper No. 5856                                 Dated 12-Jan-2015

Guest Column by Dr. Rajesh Tembarai Krishnamachari and Srividya Kannan Ramachandran

Abstract:

The re-moderation of the world economy set in place over the past few years continues apace. Notwithstanding some lasting damage on the supply side through the 2008 recessionary trough, our outlook for 2015 is bullish weighing more on optimistic data trends than on continued negative sentiment proffered from some analyst quarters.

Around the world in 80 (or more) words:

Treating the ten-year US Treasury bond yield as a proxy indicator for that nation's nominal GDP growth, we anticipate United States to grow around 3% next year.[1] While this does not mark a return to the buoyant 90s, it is better than the secular stagnation hypothesized earlier in 2014.[2] With US acting as an engine to spur growth, the world economy should also expand by more than 3%.[3] Stability across the world will be maintained – as sparks without a concomitant fury will characterize both overt (e.g. Russia-West over Ukraine) and covert (e.g. China-Japan over Senkaku) animosities.[4] European stagnation from debt and unemployment will be counterbalanced through quantitative easing by the European Central Bank.[5] Similar action in Japan will display the limits of Abe-nomics.[6] China will prepare for a structural slowdown emphasizing domestic consumption and de-leveraging an over-heated financial sector; all the while growing at a 7% rate that will amaze rivals around the world.[7] Indian reform, even if inadequate, will boost the middle classes and reinforce confidence in the Modi government.[8] African countries will find their commodity boom dissipate and ease of borrowing decline as commodity prices fall and yields rise in the developed world.[9]

Continental tectonics:

a. North America:

Economic benefits arising from the exploitation of shale gas have not only silenced the anti-fracking environmentalists, they have altered the strategic world-view of Washington politicians.[10] As US aims to overtake even Saudi Arabia in oil/NGL production in 2015 (and the Saudis pull out all stops in preventing it by driving crude prices down), it has markedly reduced its role as a global policeman.[11] Its own economy is on the mend even as a lame-duck president will be boggled down with partisan grid-lock. Markets will fret about the mid-year (or earlier?) hike in interest rates; though Main Street - aided by a strong dollar - will likely shrug it off with a continued upward movement across different sectors.[12]

Mexico and Canada will benefit from their tight coupling with the United States.[13] Enrique Pena Nieto will claim credit for reforming the Mexican economy – across sectors as diverse as energy and telecom.[14] Pemex, dear to the Mexicans, will face some competition, though nothing remotely similar to the American acquisition of Tim Hortons – dear to the Canadians – will happen.[15] Up north, the Canadian elections in 2015 will reveal whether the country has reverted to its liberal propensities or sticks with Harper's conservative agenda.[16]

b. Latin and South America:

The outlook is disappointing across much of the region. Run-away inflation hammers Argentina and Venezuela; milder ill-effects bedevil Brazil, Bolivia and Uruguay.[17] The Maduro regime in Venezuela and the Kirchner government in Argentina continue to flirt with disaster as their GDP growths slip and mass discontent builds up.[18] Dilma Rousseff has stabilized her position electorally, though her policies continue to disappoint investors and have the potential to reignite sudden protests like the 2013 bus-fare protests.[19] Dependence on commodity exports in a time of declining prices does not portend well for any of the South American states, including Brazil.[20] On a positive note, Cuba – already expected by analysts to grow by close to 4% next year – will see a boost to its fortunes accruing from a thaw in relations with US under Obama.[21]

c. Africa:

African nations had a great run in the past few years. This arose not only from the boom in commodity prices but also from the need for yield amongst DM (developed market) investors resulting in investment in both corporate and public African bonds.[22] In 2015, these factors could dissipate which will place pressure on countries like Angola where household spending has risen more than 4000% since the start of the millennium.[23] Ethiopia and Kenya are expected to continue on a robust growth path.[24] Contradictions abound within Africa, and nowhere are they more visible than in Nigeria. While the northern part struggles under the oppression of Boko Haram, the southern part booms under Goodluck Jonathan's president-ship.[25] In neighboring South Sudan, one is reminded of the risk-reward payoff as the nation widely tipped to experience spectacular growth in 2014, got mired in conflict, with the consequent dissipation of growth potential.[26]

American intervention in Libya undermined the Gaddafi-imposed order and has led to a civil war between the Islamist and secularist factions which will hold back that nation in the coming year.[27] A more benign intervention was that of the French in Mali in 2013; we expect more calls for Hollande's assistance in 2015.[28] El Sisi has stabilized Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood interlude in the post-Mubarak era. Though more brutal than Mubarak, the El Sisi regime is being propped by both the Americans and Saudis, leading us to expect the recent bull run in Egyptian markets to continue.[29] ANC rule in South Africa continues unimpeded. Though atrophied by many scandals, the rule should produce close to 3% growth in the coming year.[30]

d. Middle East:

The region continues to be a cesspool of ethno-sectarian rivalries as the century-old Sykes-Pikot agreement unravels.[31] Recep Erdogan has stabilized Turkey and should reap a growth on par with other emerging economies.[32] Erdogan's external actions driven by AKP's crypto-desire to establish a caliphate will see him prop the Islamic State (IS) just so that it can damage Shia and Kurdish interests; but not enough to threaten his own Sunni hegemonic plans.[33] The Saudi establishment has focused on the removal of the Muslim brotherhood threat; now they will focus on limiting Shia Iranian influence by keeping crude prices low.[34] Western companies made a beeline to Iran in 2014 in hope of an impending thaw; much will depend on the negotiation ability of the Rouhani establishment on the sanction front.[35] Dubai and Israel remain insulated from the turmoil around and could reap the benefit of the uptick in the world economy.[36] The risk of sudden flare-ups like the 2014 Gaza war continue to remain on the Israeli radar.

e. Asia and Australia:

The Asian political scene is remarkably stable with China, Japan and India looking inward to stabilize their economies under the leadership of Xi Jinping, Shinzo Abe and Narendra Modi, respectively. Some events have gone unnoticed by world media – for example, China starts the year of the goat as the world's largest economy when measured in PPP terms and for the first time ever, Chinese outbound investments could exceed those inbound.[37] The establishment of China on the world stage has made Xi stronger than any Chinese leader in recent memory bar Chairman Mao himself. The Abe regime will continue on its reformist route of bringing Japan out of the deflationary zone, while winking at nationalist sentiment calling for a re-interpretation of the country's post-war pacifist role.[38] Down south in India, Modi has surprised both supporters and detractors alike by his middle-path approach to reforming the economy and his zealous interest in foreign policy. While reforming cautiously, he has not removed the populist schemes of the previous government. 2015 will see him act unimpeded by local elections (other than in Bihar) and will prove to be a litmus test of his claims of good governance.[39]

Afghanistan under Ashraf Ghani will face more trouble from Taliban as US adopts the Pakistani classification into good versus bad Taliban.[40] In nearby Pakistan, the wildly popular Imran Khan - with some help, perhaps, from the deep state – will challenge the established parties in their home turfs.[41] In Indonesia, Jake Widodo has come to power with Imran Khan-type support amongst the youth, and he will be hard-pressed to implement his reformist agenda – including reducing fuel subsidies – amidst persistent opposition from entrenched interests.[42] ASEAN will continue to slip on its stated intentions for closer cooperation.[43] Australia will try to balance its strategic partnership with the United States with economic dalliances with the Chinese.[44]

f. Europe and Russia:

Vladimir Putin will be emboldened by the short-term rise in domestic popularity; and hence ignore the longer-term implications of his intervention in Ukraine.[45] Tighter coupling with Kazakhstan and Belarus will not prevent what is likely to be a low-growth and high-inflation year for the Russians.[46] Europe as a whole continues to underperform, and it will be most visible in France and Italy both of whom might record less than 1% growth in GDP. With the Trierweller-Gayet saga behind his back, Francois Hollande will attempt to rein in a deficit running at close to 4% of GDP. Even with help from ECB's quantitative easing program, there is little expectation that Hollande can avoid being the most unpopular leader amongst all western democracies.[47] In Italy, high debt and unemployment – exemplified by the statistic of four-fifths of Italians between the ages of 20-31 living with parents – will hamper any efforts Matteo Renzi might take to pull the economy out of its doldrums.[48]

The Greeks might look forward to a better year, especially when juxtaposed against their recent past. On the back of painful reforms, the Greek economy is widely anticipated to commence its long journey back to health, though there might be recurrent political scares and recalcitrant rumors of a Greek exit.[49] The German government will be buffeted by opposing demands – external calls for a more interventionist role in stabilizing the world economy and internal ones for tempering the same. Cautious progress on the fiscal front will lead to modest GDP growth.[50] Ironically, the European nations with best GDP growth projections are also the ones with the highest exposure to Putin's misadventures, viz. Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.[51]

Sectors and segments:

Having dropped significantly in the past few months, the level of oil prices affects the prospects for many industry sectors in 2015.  Oil is typically expected to revert to the mean because a lower oil price has discernible impact on both supply (by discouraging investment in its production and distribution) and demand (by boosting economic activity) sides.[52] The speed of such mean-reversion remains unclear. Russia, Iran and US shale producers (esp. those who are not based at strategic locations) suffer disproportionally more than the Saudi establishment at current price levels.[53] Lower oil prices will provide a fillip to consumer discretionary industries and airlines; and have an adverse impact on railroad (benefiting from oil transportation) and petrochemical companies. The shale gas boom - apart from increasing housing activity - is also the prime driver behind growth in the US steel and construction material sectors; consequently both the steel and construction sectors will remain susceptible to crude movements.[54]

Low interest rates and low macro-growth prospects will induce companies with excess cash to acquire other companies to report earnings growth. That trend will be apparent in companies transacting in sectors as diverse as healthcare, industrials, semiconductors, software and materials.[55] On another side of investment banks, trading desks will see higher market volatility as major powers pursue divergent paths to monetary policy (e.g. US against EU/Japan).[56] In US, regulatory obligations increasing cost of capital for holding certain securities might lead to decreased broker liquidity.[57] 2015 shall see the big banks grapple with the regulations in Basel III and Volcker; one expects regulatory push towards vanilla deposit-taking and lending to continue.[58] Analysts will hope that stronger balance sheets coupled with a return to profitability lead to increased dividend payout for investors in financial stocks. China will seek to tame its overheated financial sector amidst a structural slowdown[59], and India will see RBI governor Raghuram Rajan continue his battle against political interference in corporate lending.[60] Wealth management services will perform remarkably well not only in China, but also to a lesser extent in US as a rising market creates wealth and a retiring baby-boomer crowd seeks to couple low risk with acceptable return.[61] In the arena of mobile payment, Apple Pay will try to avoid the lackluster performance of earlier attempts like Google Wallet.[62]

Lower gasoline prices and an accompanying increase in disposable income (through wealth creation at the markets, increased home values, reduced unemployment and improved economic activity) creates a positive outlook for the consumer discretionary sector. Companies dealing with organic farming benefit from increased health consciousness; the market for yoga will continue to rise as 2014 saw the UN declare a world yoga day on Modi's initiative.[63] Even as DVDs and Blue-rays fall, digital film subscriptions and on-demand internet steaming will rise to please Hollywood.[64] Bollywood will get over its obsession with INR 100 crore revenues as movies will cross that level more frequently.[65]  With supply level of hotels remaining the same as few years back, revenue per room will rise across the sector.[66] Tighter access to credit continues to hamper the rise in existing house sales, which nevertheless should improve over the past year.[67] Asian apparel manufacturers continue to improve their market share in the fast fashion market.[68]  October 2015 will see Europeans benefit from the eCall service in all their new cars, which allows a car to immediately report details to the base-stations on any accident. New carbon-emission standards also come into force in Europe; even elsewhere the move towards higher efficiency in cars will continue.[69] Widodo will be pleased at the growth in automobile sales in Indonesia, which should exceed those of other major markets.[70] Internet advertising is rising faster than television commercials, though 2015 will still see the latter dominate the former in overall revenue generated.[71] Privacy concerns continue to erode on the social media front.[72] The newspaper industry will see increased number of advertorials re-packaged as "native advertising" by which companies will pay for advertisements to be written as paid newspaper article.[73]

In India, the BJP government is yet to clarify its position on foreign direct investment in retail.[74] Irrespective of its final decision, retail sales should surge sharply upward there as the consummation of pent-up demand of past few years couples with the thriving of 'mall culture' in middle-tier cities. China will also see an increase in retail sales inspite of its investigation in to WalMart.[75] The anti-corruption campaign though will negatively impact luxury good sales as well as those of higher-end automobiles there[76]. A strong dollar will affect US companies with significant operations abroad. Wheat production might match 2014 record volumes in Europe[77]; though more newsprint will probably be devoted to higher prices of cocoa from Ivory Coast.[78] Idiosyncrasies of local markets will shine as Dubai invests in large-scale brick and mortal malls, while Manhattan gets more of its groceries delivered at home steps.[79]

Demand for energy should rise at the same pace as the world GDP next year. Analysts will point at attractive valuations of oil companies.[80] If shale price remains attractive, Sabine Pass in Louisiana will emerge as the first plant in US to export LNG.[81] Four years after the Fukushima incident, Japan will see nuclear reactors back in operation at Sendai.[82]

2014 saw the denizens of the developed world fret about Ebola, breast cancer (through a campaign by actor Angelina Jolie) and ALS (through the ice bucket challenge).[83] Overall, health spending will comfortably outpace the rate of growth of the overall economy. Long-term secular trends driving this are the aging population in the western world (with the population pyramid replaced by a population dome) and an emerging middle class elsewhere with increasing demand for improved access to healthcare.[84] Universal healthcare has been promised for all in India, which should drive up healthcare expenditure by a significant amount there.[85] In 2015, large US companies are mandated under Obama-care to provide insurance to more than 70% of their eligible workforce.[86] Uncertainty on US healthcare reform and debate thereon may cause short-term price volatility. Millennial Development Goals will reviewed by the UN later in the year with a new set of goalposts announced for countries to be met by 2030; different NGOs will campaign vigorously through media to get their pet agendas included in the final list.[87]

Transportation companies will report higher earnings from increased economic activity.[88] Apart from some airlines which have suffered reputation damage through recurring accidents, airline companies will benefit from the reduced oil prices. Defense industry will see robust growth in China, as "Chi-America" remains no more a chimera.[89] Alarmed by this increase, Vietnam with Philippines will move within the US ambit and Australia will seek to join the tripartite naval exercises in the Indian Ocean between US, Japan and India.[90] Tensions in Eastern Europe and the middle-east will favor increases in expenditure across the region. The nationalist government in India will increase defense expenditure sharply even as it moves beyond lip-service on the long-standing issue of indigenization of defense manufacturing.[91]

The mantra of social-local-mobile (SoLoMo in tech jargon) continues to drive the consumer markets division of information technology companies.[92] Expenditure on IT hardware is significantly retarded by the increasing move to cloud computing.[93] The move to cloud computing - along with increasing use of mobile commerce - bodes well for the computer security business.[94] India should see a sharp increase in smart phone adoption; elsewhere tablet computers will rise against laptop and desktops.[95] Embedded systems coupled with rudimentary networking will be marketed as an all-encompassing internet of things as the era of big data continues.[96]  Today, a single family in US places more demands on data flow than the entire planet did a decade back; and even this data rate is expected to increase by a whopping 70% over the next year. Consolidation in the cable sector (e.g Comcast with Time Warner Cable) and the convergence of content with distribution (e.g. AT&T with DirectTV) are two trends that should continue on from 2014.[97] Even as Indians will talk about 3G coverage spanning the nation; Americans will tweet about 4G price warfare and the Chinese will see ZTE unveil a 5G prototype.[98] Facebook will have more users than China has human beings.[99] Analysts will harp about impact of interest-rate hikes on high dividend paying telecom stocks.[100] Apart from the financial industry, telecom will emerge as an industry most impacted by federal regulation across the globe.

The anthropologist Edward Weyer once compared the future to being akin to a "corridor into which we can see only through the light coming from behind".  It is in that sense that we have analyzed the data of the bygone year and tried to extrapolate into the days and months ahead. And when some are falsified - and falsified, some will be - then we shall lay credit for the same at the feet of those responsible - viz. us, the people.

[The authors are based in New York City, and can be contacted through email at tkrajesh@gmail.com and srivi019@gmail.com. The views represented above are personal and do not in any manner reflect those of the institutions affiliated with the authors.]

References


[1] See the graph titled "10 year bond yield: annual change and real GDP: annual % change" at http://www.swcollege.com/bef/econ_data/bond_yield/bond_yield_data.html.

[2] "Secular stagnation: facts, causes and cures", a VoxEU eBook at  http://www.voxeu.org/sites/default/files/Vox_secular_stagnation.pdf.

[4] A brief historical perspective on the Russia-Ukraine conflict is at http://www.summer.harvard.edu/blog-news-events/conflict-ukraine-historical-perspective.

The Economist magazine summarizes the debate over Senkaku islands at http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/12/economist-explains-1.

[5] “The ECB, demigods and eurozone quantitative easing” at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c90dd466-7bb4-11e4-a695-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3NIKpG2Fx.

[6] “Bank of Japan announces more quantitative easing: the next chapter in Abenomics” at http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonhartley/2014/11/02/bank-of-japan-announces-more-quantitative-easing-the-next-chapter-in-abenomics/.

[7] “World Bank urges China to cut economic growth target to seven percent in 2015, focus on reforms” at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/29/us-china-worldbank-idUSKBN0II05P20141029.

[8] “Reforms by PM Narendra Modi will help India to grow 5.5% this year, 6.3% next year: ADB” at http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-12-17/news/57154602_1_cent-the-adb-growth-forecast.

[10] “The experts: how the US oil boom will change the markets and geopolitics”, http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324105204578382690249436084

[13] “Economic growth patterns in USA, Canada, Mexico and China” at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dominik-knoll/economic-growth-patterns-_b_5832182.html.

[14] “Mexican president Pena Nieto's ratings slip with economic reform” at http://www.pewglobal.org/2014/08/26/mexican-president-pena-nietos-ratings-slip-with-economic-reform/.

[17] “Andres Oppenheimer: Latin America's forecast for 2015: not good” at http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/andres-oppenheimer/article2503660.html.

[18] “Maduro blames plunging oil prices on US war vs Russia, Venezuela” at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/30/us-venezuela-oil-idUSKBN0K802020141230 and “What's in store for post-Kirchner Argentina” at http://globalriskinsights.com/2014/12/whats-store-post-kirchner-argentina/

[19] “Brazil economists cut 2015 growth forecast to slowest on record” at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-11/brazil-economists-cut-2015-growth-forecast-to-slowest-on-record.html

[20] “Economic snapshot for Latin America” at http://www.focus-economics.com/regions/latin-america.

[21] “Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico business forecast report Q1 2015” at http://www.marketresearch.com/Business-Monitor-International-v304/Cuba-Dominican-Republic-Puerto-Rico-8538079/ and “Obama's Cuba move is Florida's top story for 2014” at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/29/obamas-cuba-move-is-floridas-top-story-of-2014/.

[24] “Ethiopia overview” at  http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/ethiopia/overview and “Kenya overview” at http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/kenya/overview.

[26] “Internal violence in South Sudan” at http://www.cfr.org/global/global-conflict-tracker/p32137#!/?marker=33.

[27] “Political instability in Libya” at http://www.cfr.org/global/global-conflict-tracker/p32137#!/?marker=14.

[28] “The regional impact of the armed conflict and French intervention in Mali” at http://www.peacebuilding.no/var/ezflow_site/storage/original/application/f18726c3338e39049bd4d554d4a22c36.pdf.

[29] “EGX head optimistic on equities as Egyptian economy recovers” at http://www.thenational.ae/business/markets/egx-head-optimistic-on-equities-as-egyptian-economy-recovers.

[30] “Economy - outlook for 2015 dismal, despite boost” at http://mg.co.za/article/2014-11-25-economy-outlook-for-2015-not-encouraging-despite-boost.

[31] “Pre-state Israel: The Sykes-Picot agreement” at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/sykes_pico.html.

[32] “Turkey - economic forecast summary (Nov 2014)” at http://www.oecd.org/economy/turkey-economic-forecast-summary.htm.

[34] “Saudi-Iranian relations since the fall of Saddam” at http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG840.html.

[36] “Dubai 2015 cross sector business outlook extremely bullish” at http://ameinfo.com/blog/mentors/c/capital-club/dubai-2015-cross-sector-business-outlook-extremely-bullish/ and “Israel - economic forecast summary (Nov 2014)” at http://www.oecd.org/economy/israel-economic-forecast-summary.htm.

[37] “China's leap forward: overtaking the US as world's biggest economy” at http://blogs.ft.com/ftdata/2014/10/08/chinas-leap-forward-overtaking-the-us-as-worlds-biggest-economy/.

[38] “Understanding Shinzo Abe and Japanese nationalism” at http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2014/05/26/understanding-shinzo-abe-and-japanese-nationalism/.

[39] Book: “Getting India back on track: an action agenda for reform” edited by B. Debroy, A. J. Tellis and R. Trevor.

[40] “US may not target Mullah Omar after this year" at http://www.dawn.com/news/1152382.

[41] “The rise and rise of Kaptaan” at http://tribune.com.pk/story/800722/the-rise-and-rise-of-kaptaan/.

[42] “Widodo launches reform agenda with fuel price hike” at http://www.focus-economics.com/news/indonesia/fiscal/widodo-launches-reform-agenda-fuel-price-hike.

[43] “ASEAN's elusive integration” at http://opinion.inquirer.net/74164/aseans-elusive-integration.

[46] “Russia's economics ministry downgrades 2015 oil price forecast to $80 per barrel” at http://itar-tass.com/en/economy/764662.

[47] “Hollande popularity plumbs new low in mid-term French poll” at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/06/us-france-hollande-idUSKBN0IQ14R20141106.

          Yorktown pianist wins two prizes        

Kyle Hu, a resident of Yorktown, has won first prize in the Tchaikovsky Young Pianists Competition in Kazakhstan and first prize among pianists aged 16 or younger in the Aarhus International Piano Competition in Denmark.

Hu, who studies with the University of Richmond’s Joanne Kong, was a semi-finalist in the 2016 Cooper International Piano Competition at Oberlin College in Ohio. He also has won prizes in state and regional competitions.
          Fandom Flair: Yuri on Ice Cosplay        

Welcome back to another exciting edition of "Fandom Flair."  I couldn't wait to have an opportunity to show off the Yuri on Ice cosplay outfit I put together for the Phoenix Comicon in May!

For those who aren't aware, Yuri on Ice is an anime that features Katsuki Yuuri, a Japanese figure skater.  After coming in last place in the Grand Prix Finals, he contemplates retirement.  But then his idol, and five-time World Champion, Victor Nikiforov, shows up and offers to be Yuuri's coach.  It's a delightful anime, full of humor, romance, and beautiful skating routines.  The show has been discussed in great deal because the romance between Yuuri and Victor is incredibly well done.  Yuuri also suffers from anxiety, and much of the show focuses on how he--and his family and friends--deal with it.  Also, there's a great amount of diversity in the characters.  Victor--and his young protege, Yuri Plisetsky--are Russian.  There are also skaters from Canada, Thailand, Switzerland, and Kazakhstan.  There are so many aspects of this show to love.

But I should move on, or I will simply gush forever.

In the season finale, one of the skaters, Phichit Chulanont from Thailand, thinks about his dream of having an ice show, to show the people of Thailand how fun skating can be.  He imagines all his skating friends in costume with him.  It's a lovey scene, and it shows how optimistic and bright a character Phichit is.

 

The costume Phichit wears is elaborate, and I've seen cosplays of it already.  I was more drawn to the other skaters' costumes, and the adorable hamster hats they wear.

The first thing I did was make the hat.  I did this the day after the season finale because I couldn't get over how cute the hamsters were.  And since it was December, I had plenty of opportunities to wear it outdoors to keep my ears warm.
I started with this tutorial on how to make a fleece hat.  I've used this pattern countless times and could do it in my sleep.

I cut it out of brown fleece, then trimmed about three inches off the bottom. 

I cut out a white fleece, about five inches,  and sewed it to the bottom.

Next, I worked on the ears.  I made them rounded, and cut them from the same brown fleece.  I also added a smaller white circle to the center for contrast.  I sewed them together with a blanket stitch.

I folded both ears and placed them face down on the bottom piece of the hat.  

I sewed the matching top piece over (right side to right side).  So when flipped, the ears stuck out at an angle.

I stitched up the V at the top, then folded the white bottom up two times to give me a puffy brim.

I cut out a small strip of white fleece and sewed a line through the center for teeth.  I also cut out a nose, eyes, and eye glimmers.  I hot glued all these accents on, since my fabric was too thick to sew through.  I also added just a bit of hot glue around the brim so it would stay up.


 
Now, for the rest of the costume.  The skaters wore two different outfits, and while I'd loved to make the one with the ruffles, I don't think my sewing skills are at that level.  So I went with the striped happi instead.
I looked online and found a simple happi pattern.  What made it not easy is that I could not find any fabrics with wide blue and yellow stripes.  My dedication to authenticity reached a new height, so I decided to buy plain cotton fabrics in both colors, cut them on a diagonal, and sew them together.  

This was very, very time consuming.  But I loved the end results.  Totally worth it.

After that, I simply cut out the front two pieces, and the back piece.  

I sewed them together and hemmed the bottom.

Next, I added on the pink collar.  I also used a bit of the pink to finish the hem on the sleeves.  With the little I had left over, I made a thin belt. (It was crunch time by this point so I didn't get pictures of the last few steps.)
I paired the happi with a long-sleeved white shirt and white leggings.


 
I loved this cosplay.  It's pretty obscure, because it's only shown during a ten second scene, but I enjoy the moment it represents.  Phichit is one of my favorite characters on the show and I was happy to include something from his dream into my cosplay repertoire.

 

Thanks for reading!


          CHP-181-The Early Years of Sino-Russian Relations        

After more than 40 days wandering in the desert Laszlo is back with a topic that languished on the list for more than six years. At last the early years of Russia-China relations can see the light of day (here at Teacup Media, that is). As you can see, this is another one of those hour plus episodes that was not long enough for two episodes and a bit overly long for one. Basically this covers the beginnings back in the late Ming when they first met and mostly in the Qing where all the history happened. This isn't a particularly deep dive on the subject. I first give you a 走马看花 view of the history of Russia's expansion east and how they ended up on the doorstep of Manchuria. Hope you don't mind.

 

TERMS FROM THIS EPISODE:

Míng Dynasty 明朝 Second to last dynasty in Chinese Imperial history 1368-1644

Lóngqìng 隆庆 Ming Dynasty Emperor (1567-1572)

Wànlì 万里 Son of Longqing Emperor, reigned a long time 1572-1620

Qing Dynasty 清朝 Last imperial dynasty in China 1644-1912

Xīnjiāng 新疆   Autonomous Region in the northwest of China, formerly referred to as Chinese Turkestan

Hēilóng Jiāng 黑龙江 The Black Dragon River (The Amur, and name of Heilongjiang Province)

Shùn Zhì 顺治   First emperor of the Qing Dynasty, 1643-1661

Pǔyí 溥仪   The Last Emperor, a.k.a. The Xuantong Emperor, reigned 1908-1912

Northern Sòng  北宋 The first half of the Song Dynasty, lasted from 960-1126

Kāngxī   康熙   Long reigning Qing Emperor, 1661-1722

Jiāyùguān   嘉峪关   The western terminus of the Great Wall of China

Songgotu (Suǒ'étú) 索额图 Manchu diplomat during the reign of Kangxi

Qiánlóng  乾隆  Another long reigning Qing emperor, 1735-1796

Treaty of Nanjing  南京条约 The marquee "Unequal Treaty" signed in 1842

Hóng Xiùquán 洪秀全 Rebel leader responsible for the Taiping Rebellion

Jīntián, Guangxi 广西金田   Place where the Taiping Rebellion was launched

Tàipíng Rebellion  太平天国运动   A bloody Rebellion and Civil War all in one, 1850-1864

Hēihé 黑河    City in northeast Manchuria (Heilongjiang) formerly known as Aigun

Aìhún   瑷珲 Now called Heihe, formerly called Aigun, site of the signing of the Treaty of Aigun.

Yìshān 奕山 Manchu diplomat who was forced into signing the Treaty of Aigun

Qíshàn 琦善   Manchu diplomat also forced to sign unequal treaties

Lín Zéxú 林则徐   Chinese hero who stood up to the foreign traders and torched their opium

Hǔmén  虎门   Located on "The Bogue" in Guangdong, site where Lin Zexu burned the opium

Guǎngdōng 广东  Southern province in China

Convention of Chuenbi   穿鼻草约  (Chuānbí Cǎoyuē) signed 1841, never ratified.

Ili  伊犁   (Yīlí) Town, valley and river name at the northwest border of Xinjiang - Kazakhstan

Zuǒ Zōngtáng   左宗棠  (1812-1885) Military leader and statesman from Hunan

Li-Lobanov Treaty 中俄密约   (known as the Zhōng É Mìyuē ), signed 1896

Lǐ Hóngzhāng 里鸿章   Co-signer of the Li-Lobanov Treaty), Chinese diplomat and statesman

Liaotung Peninsula  辽东半岛 (Liáodōng Bàndǎo) The tip of peninsular Liaoning Province

Lǚ Dà Zūdì Tiáoyuē 旅大租地条约   Convention for the Lease of the Liaotung Peninsula at Dalian (大连)

Port Arthur Also known as Lüshunkou (旅顺口), Port located at the tip of the Liaodong Peninsula

Qīngdǎo 青岛   Scenic city in Shandong, once a German concession

Wēihǎiwèi  威海卫   Another scenic city in Shandong, once a British concession, today known simply as Weihai 威海

If you'd like to brush up on your Russian History, may I recommend an old stalwart of mine:

MARK SCHAUSS, PRESENTER OF THE RUSSIAN RULERS PODCAST

I call it "The CHP of Russian History"

 


          CHP-169-The Mongol Yuan Dynasty Part 1        

In this long overdue episode with a deceiving title we don't actually get around to the Yuan Dynasty.  However a nice handy and confusing overview tracing the rise of the Mongol nation is presented which includes a bio on Genghis Khan.  We'll get to rise of Kublai Khan this time and look at the Yuan Dynasty next episode.  

 

Terms from this Episode

numero ciento sesenta y nueve Number 169

Qin Shihuang 秦始皇 Qin Dynasty founder

Da Yuanchao 大元朝 The Great Mongol Dynasty

Parthians 帕提亚  Iranian nomadic people

Scythians   斯基泰人 Iranian nomadic people

Yuezhi 月氏 Originally from Xinjiang and Gansu, defeated by the Xiongnu

Goths 哥特 West central Asian power, the scourge of the Roman Empire

Magyars   马扎儿人 West central Asian power. Today they are known as Hungarians.

Huns 匈奴 More from the western part of the steppe, often confused with Xiongnu

Xiongnu 匈奴 Often called Huns, they were an early northern tribe who kept invading China

Slavs   斯拉夫人 People from central Europe and the West Asian steppe

Xianbei 鲜卑   So-called "proto-Mongols" who lived around the Qin and Han dynasties and founded the Northern Wei.

Shatuo Turks  沙陀突厥  Power in north China late 9th and 10th century. Founded several short-lived dynasties in the north of China.

Khitans 契丹 The people who founded the Liao Dynasty 907-1125

Tatars 鞑靼人 Mongol tribe defeated by Genghis Khan who later moved westward towards Russia and Europe

Kazakhs   哈萨克人 North-Central Asian people, Turkic, found mostly in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

Kyrgyz  吉尔吉斯  Central Asian people, Turkic, found mostly in Kyrgyzstan

Uighurs   维吾尔人   Turkic people who today mostly live in Xinjiang

The Hakkas 客家人 The Hakka People

Fujian 福建   Province on the east coast of China

Huizong   徽宗 Last emperor of the Northern Song

Aguda 阿骨打 Also known as Emperor Taizu of Jin, founder of the Jin Dynasty

Wuqimai 吴乞买 Aguda's brother, second emperor of the Jin

Kaifeng 开封 Capital of the Northern Song Dynasty

Jin Dynasty  金朝 Jürchen Dynasty 1115-1234, founded by Aguda

Zhao Gou   赵构 Escaped Zhao royal family member, launched Southern Song

Gaozong 高宗 First emperor of the Southern Song Dynasty

Lin'an 临安 Southern Song capital, present day Hangzhou

Merkits  蔑儿乞人 One of many tribes of the Mongols

Keraits  怯烈亦 One of many tribes of the Mongols

Ongüts  汪古部 One of many tribes of the Mongols

Ongirats  One of many tribes of the Mongols

Naimans 乃蛮 One of many tribes of the Mongols

Temüjin 铁木真 Genghis Khan's name

Dobun Known as Dobun the Clever, married to Alan the Fair, early ancestors of Temujin

Ah-Lan the Fair married to Dobun, early ancestors of Temujin

Khaidu 海都 c. 1040-1100 Great-grandfather of Khabul Khan

Khabul Khan  合不勒  Early great khan and great -grandfather of Genghis Khan

Yesugei the Brave 孛儿只斤Ÿ也速该 Father of Genghis Khan

Yuanchao Mi Shi 元朝秘史 The Secret History of the Mongols

Börte 孛儿帖 Wife of Temüjin and later Grand Empress of the Mongol Empire

Ulaan Bator 乌兰巴托 Capital of Mongolia

Jochi 术赤 Oldest son of Börte and maybe Genghis Khan

Golden Horde 金帐汗国  Originally the northwest portion of the Mongol Empire. Also known as the Kipchak Khanate. Lasted till 1502.

Xinjiang   新疆 Northwest autonomous region in China

Mongol Yasa (Jasagh)   A Mongol Codified law introduced by Genghis Khan

Khuriltai 忽里勒台   A Mongol congress of all elders and leaders

Kara Khitai 喀喇契丹 Also known as the Western Liao 1124-1218

Xixia  西夏 The Western Xia, an empire established by the Tanguts

Khwarizmian Empire 花剌子模王国 Lasted 1077-1231. Khwarazmia covered All of Iran and parts of Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan.

Batu 拔都 Founder of Golden Horde, son of Jochi, grandson of Genghis Khan

Chaghadai 蔡合台 Second son of Genghis Khan, founder of Khanate of Chaghadai

Khanate of Chaghadai 蔡合台汗国 Covered most of Central Asia

Ogedai Khan 窝阔台 or 斡歌歹 Third son of Genghis Khan, second Khan of the Mongol Empire

Tolui 拖雷 Fourth Son of Genghis Khan, father of Kublai Khan

Möngke 蒙哥 Eldest son of Tolui, elder brother to Kublai Khan

Kublai 忽必烈 1215-1294, Great Khan and founder of the Yuan Dynasty. Reigned 1271-1294.

Hulagu 旭烈兀 grandson of Genghis Khan, son of Tolui

Arigh Boke 阿里不哥 Youngest son of Tolui, fought civil war with Kublai

Subotei 速不台 Genghis Khan's number one guy (and Ogedai's too!). Great Mongol general.

Dzungaria 准噶尔 Northern half of Xinjiang with Tianshan Mountains south and the Altai north.

Karakorum 喀喇昆仑 Mongol capital 1235-1260

Guyuk 贵由 Eldest son of Ogedai Khan, reigned only two years as the 3rd Great Khan

Mamluks 马木留克 Originally slave soldiers, they were a powerful "caste" of warriors who operated from the 9th to 19th centuries. Not to be messed with.

Il-khanate 伊儿汗国  The southwestern portion of the Mongol Empire. Ruled by Hülagü's branch of the family - centered around Iran

Dali Kingdom 大理国 Kingdom that lasted 937-1253. Mostly located in Yunnan.

Owen Lattimore 欧文Ÿ拉铁摩尔 American scholar and Central Asian specialist

 

Isaac Meyer:  “History of Japan Podcast”

https://historyofjapan.wordpress.com/

 

Nina Xiang: "China Money Network"

http://www.chinamoneynetwork.com/

 


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South Korea’s Emissions Trading System

On January 1, 2015, South Korea launched an emissions trading system that covers roughly two-thirds of the country’s emissions. Emissions trading is a key policy toward meeting South Korea’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent below business as usual levels by 2020.

The South Korean carbon market is the world’s second largest, behind the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). It is also the second nationwide emissions trading program in Asia, following the launch of Kazakhstan’s ETS in 2013.

Background and Details

The original legislation creating the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) was adopted almost unanimously on May 2, 2012. The program was originally scheduled to enter force on January 1, 2013, but the government delayed the start to give companies more time to prepare. Trading officially commenced on the Korea Exchange (KRX) on January 12, 2015.

The program is split into three phases: 2015-2017, 2018-2021, and 2022-2026. More than 500 companies are included in the program, from the power, steel, petrochemical, electronic, cement, automobile, buildings, and waste sectors. In addition, five airlines will participate to cover their domestic aviation emissions.

In the first phase, from 2015 to 2017, a total of 1.64 billion allowances will be allocated. The number of allowances individual companies will be allocated is based on their emissions between 2011 and 2013. There will also be additional allowances available for new or expanded facilities. At the beginning of the program, 100 percent of allowances are allocated to companies, but this will be reduced to 90 percent by 2021. The other allowances will be auctioned by the government. International offsets are currently not available to companies to meet their obligations.

The precursor to the ETS in Korea was the Target Management Scheme (TMS), a greenhouse gas management program with 470 participating companies. As with the ETS, individual companies were required to reduce their emissions to target levels. However, the TMS did not allow trading between companies, and the penalties for not complying are not as severe as under the ETS. Features of the TMS have been incorporated into the new system, such as the governance structure and the collection of greenhouse gas inventories.

Additional Resources

Republic of Korea Ministry of Environment – Emissions Trading Scheme

Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Research Center of Korea (GIR) – Target Management Scheme 

Information about the emissions trading system in South Korea (Repulic of Korea).


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1.  Kejadian pesawat terhempas dan hilang merupakan tragedi yang sangat tragis kepada ahli keluarga yang terlibat. Malah peristiwa dan tragedi yang sebegini pastinya akan mendapat perhatian dunia, apatah lagi ianya membabitkan jumlah penumpang yang besar dan juga penumpang yang terlibat daripada warganegara dari kuasa besar dunia.

2.  Kehilangan sebuah pesawat Boeing 777-200 milik MAS pada Sabtu lalu (8 Mac 2014) yang masih belum ditemui hingga kini (sewaktu artikel ini ditulis-16 Mac) pastinya menimbulkan seribu persoalan. Ini kerana pesawat ini didapati tiba-tba terputus hubungan dan hilang daripada radar ketika menuju ke Beijing. Dalam pada itu, banyak sekali spekulasi yang muncul tentang kehilangan MH 370. Banyak pihak yang bimbang kapal terbang ini sudah terhempas ataupun dirampas. Alhamdulillah, rakyat Malaysia yang prihatin masih tak jemu-jemu mengadakan solat hajat dan bacaan yaasin di masjid-masjid untuk memohon petunjuk dan juga pertolongan Allah agar memberi harapan supaya MH 370 ini masih selamat dan dapat ditemui.

3.  Setelah 8 hari berlalunya tragedi ni maka baru semalam ( 15 Mac 2014), YAB Perdana Menteri dapat mengumumkan secara hampir pasti bahawa pesawat ini masih dalam keadaan selamat dan disyaki dirampas ataupun ada unsur-unsur sabotaj dari seorang juruterbang yang berpengalaman secara solo. Antara intipati pengumuman YAB Perdana Menteri semalam ialah: 

" Usaha mecari MH 370 kini memasuki fasa baharu. Sepanjang tujuh hari lepas, kami mengikuti pelbagai kemungkinan. Kepada keluarga dan rakan-rakan mereka yang terlibat, kami berharap maklumat baharu ini akan membawa kami lebih dekat kepada menemui pesawat berkenaan."

"Tumpuan mencari kini difokuskan di dua koridor- utara dari sempadan Kazakhstan dan Turkmenistan sehngga utara Thailand dan Selatan menganjur dari Indonesia ke Utara Lautan Hindi. Operasi di Laut China Selatan dihentikan."

" Setakat ini belum dapat disahkan pesawat dirampas dan fokus baharu siasatan ialah kepada anak kapal dan penumpang."

4.  Di samping itu terdapat beberapa petunjuk baharu di mana seseorang dalam pesawat telah mematikan sistem komunikasi termasuk transponder MH 370 sebelum memasuki Vietnam. Laluan pesawat melencong ke Semenanjung Malaysia dan menghala barat laut dengan pergerakan konsisten. Dan data komunikasi terakhir antara pesawat dan satelit pada 8.11 pagi 8 Mac.

5.  Dalam pengumumannya kepada media semalam, YAB Perdana Menteri juga mengatakan walaupun terdapat laporan media bahawa pesawat ini telah dirampas, saya ingin tegaskan dengan sejelas-jelasnya bahawa kami sedang menyiasat semua kemungkinan yang boleh menyebabkan MH 370 melencong dari laluan asal penerbangannya.

6.  Menyentuh tentang misteri kehilangan pesawat ini, tentu ramai yang biasa mendengar  Segi Tiga Bermuda yang dikaitkan sebagai kawasan misteri berikutan ratusan kapal laut dan  kapal terbang dilaporkan hilang di kawasan yang menjangkau keluasan sehingga 1.2 juta kilometer persegi yang popular diberi nama "Segi Tiga Syaitan" iaitu satu kawasan yang dibentuk tiga lokasi iaitu Bermuda, Puerto Rico dan unjuran paling Selatan Florida. 

7.  Antara kes-kes kehilangan kapal dan pesawat yang dilaporkan ialah kapal USS Cyclops (1918), kapal Carroll A. Deering (1921), skuadron pesawat pengebom Flight 19 (1945), pesawat British South American Airways (BSAA) Star Tiger (1948) dan pesawat BSAA Star Ariel (1949). Hakikatnya terdapat banyak lagi misteri nahas pesawat yang berlaku di kawasan-kawasan lain di seluruh dunia.Antaranya:

Pada 1937 Juruterbang wanita pertama iaitu Amelia Earhart telah hilang setelah membuat penerbangan solo merentasi Lautan Pacific di Papua New Guinea. Pesawatnya telah gagal ditemui. Akhirnya diisytiharkan mati pada tahun 1939 setelah pesawatnya gagal ditemui.

Pada 8 Nov 1957, Pesawat Pan Am 7 telah terhempas ke dalam lautan Pasifik dan mengorbankan 44 orang penumpang. Pihak berkuasa tidak dapat menentukan punca kemalangan kerana tiada isyarat kecemasan yang diterima oleh radar menara kawalan. Mayat hanya ditemui hanya selepas tujuh hari dan badan pesawat ditemui terapung di timur laut Honolulu.

Pada 31 Oktober 1999 Egypt Air Flight 990  penerbangan  dari Lapangan Terbang JFK New York ke Kaherah, Mesir telah terhempas di Atlantik yang mengorbankan 217 penumpang pesawat berkenaan.. Akhirnya mendapati pembantu juruterbang yang dikatakan sengaja melakukan sabotaj penerbangan tersebut kerana marah selepas ditegur atas kesalahan seksual oleh pihak penerbangan sebelumnya. Pihak penyiasat Mesir kemudiaannya mengeluarkan kenyataan bahawa pesawat tersebut terhempas kerana masalah teknikal.

8. ADAKAH MH 370 DI SABOTAJ OLEH JURUTERBANG UTAMA ATAU PEMBANTUNYA SEPERTI YANG BERLAKU KE ATAS  EGYPT AIR PADA TAHUN 1999. SAMA-SAMA KITA DOAKAN AGAR SEGALA KEMUNGKINAN INI TAK BERLAKU. JIKA BERLAKU SEKALIPUN MAKA KITA MOHON KEPADA ALLAH AGAR PARA PENUMPANGNYA MASIH BERADA DALAM KEADAAN SELAMAT.

          The Evils of Communism Part 2: The USSR        
"We stand for organized terror - this should be frankly admitted. Terror is an absolute necessity during times of revolution. Our aim is to fight against the enemies of the Soviet Government and of the new order of life. We judge quickly. In most cases only a day passes between the apprehension of the criminal and his sentence. When confronted with evidence criminals in almost every case confess; and what argument can have greater weight than a criminal's own confession."
-Felix Dzerzhinsky 1918

I would like to start with one single case of cruelty and evil. As I said before in the first part of this essay, many who are ignorant of the history and consequences of communism find it easier to brush off the statistics rather than contend with the horrors those numbers represent. The story of Nadezhda Suetonovka is one filled with personal tragedy and betrayal by the Revolution that is so common among the victims of the Soviet Union. She was married to Filipp Kuzmich Mironov a once-proud Colonel in the Red Army who found himself on the wrong side of Trotzky and the Cheka (the Soviet Secret police at the time). They were arrested together on the usual false charges. Pregnant and separated from her husband she was not told of his prison-yard execution soon after. She gave birth to her child in a special prison designed especially for pregnant women. She named him Vadim. When she was eventually released she was not allowed to take a job to care for her and her son. Vadim died at the age of five years old and soon after his mother vanished from records.

The Soviet Union felt nothing for the individual, but contempt. Citizens of Russia that fell out of favor were often compared to insects by Lenin, however, the treatment of even the most loyal Soviets as mindless drones was certainly the norm. The USSR ruthlessly exploited the very people it purported to have fought a revolution for and did so in the name of communism. Some were shot, some were hung, some were starved and some were worked to death

I won't attempt to describe how those people felt, I do not possess the ability to accurately transfer the horrors of communist rule in the USSR from the eyes and ears of those who experienced it. I encourage you to read The Gulag Archipelago by the great Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn if you want to lie awake at night thinking of the pain and suffering endured by real human beings. Or watch this film by Mikhail Mikheev to hear the testimonies of those that witnessed the cruelty and evil first-hand.

For the same reasons that it is important that society knows and remembers the histories of the Holocaust or of slavery it is also important to know the history of communism. While this is far from exhaustive I think it is a good starting point for someone just learning about the subject. Death tolls vary from estimates of over 6,000,000 to approximately 60,000,000 in the USSR. The only thing we can know for sure is that either number is simply too much. What's more the USSR wasn't merely guilty of murder, evil as that was, they were also guilty of systematic torture, rape and slavery. It is much harder to get an idea of how many cases of the State condoning rape and torture there may have been as the victims often remained silent (for good reason).

Stalin tends to get most of the blame for deaths in the USSR, but to excuse Lenin for his role in the Red Terror or the Famine of 1921 is a bit too generous. Below is one estimate for the death toll from George Mason University's Byron Caplan:

The exact number murdered is usually estimated at between 100,000 and 500,000, but the chaotic wartime conditions make the accounting especially difficult. But execution was not the Cheka's only tool; it also pioneered the development of the modern slave labor (or "concentration") camp. Inmates were generally frankly treated as government-owned slaves, and used for the most demanding sorts of work - such as digging arctic canals - while receiving pitifully small rations.

Surely even the low estimates are horrible enough to dispel the notion of Lenin as some sort of Savior of the Russian people. Imagine if a modern American President had overseen even a quarter of that many State executions in four or eight years. Nor is Lenin guilty only of murder:

Five million Russians died. Half a world away, Americans responded with a massive two-year relief campaign, championed by Herbert Hoover, director of the American Relief Administration known as the ARA....
The first American relief ships arrived in Petrograd in September 1921, as the embers of the 1917 Russian revolution still smoldered. American relief workers were among the first outsiders to break through Russia's isolation and to witness and record the impact of the Bolshevik Revolution. They would be tested by a railroad system in disarray, a forbidding climate, a ruthless government suspicious of their motives, and the enormous scale of death and starvation.
The initial plan called for feeding one million children by delivering bread, rice, grits, sugar, corn and milk to the most hard hit regions. Almost immediately, Hoover encountered formidable obstacles. Vladimir Lenin's new communist government was skeptical of American aid and sabotaged the relief effort by planting spies in local American Relief Administration offices. When trains stuck on the tracks prevented food from being transported, Russian officials were uncooperative, resulting in delays that contributed to an estimated 50,000 deaths. New estimates in the fall of 1921 revealed that at least 16 million Russians would be impacted by the famine. Hoover's initial plan to feed just the children would not be sufficient.
That winter, cannibalism became widespread across Russia as the people continued to starve. In the U.S., Hoover managed to double the project's funding, arguing that by providing food famine relief, Americans could demonstrate the strength, kindness and efficiency of American society to a Communist culture.

 If this were the end of the mass-death and mass-suffering a case could still be made against Communism as a whole, unfortunately this is merely the beginning. More famines and more mass executions would follow Lenin's death as the brutal Stalin came to power:

The very scale of the Great Terror — estimates of the number who perished range from 12 million to 20 million, and between 12 million and 14 million more had been inmates in the Gulag — ensured that most Soviet people had been victims themselves or knew one. Moreover, the partial revelations of Stalin’s crimes in Khrushchev’s not-so-secret “secret speech” to the 20th Communist Party Congress in 1956 ignited a public reckoning of sorts for several years, including the official publication of works like Solzhenitsyn’s “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.” 

The rapid "modernization" of Russia also took a bloody toll:

Higher up, beyond the statue of Kirov, stands the Svirskoi hydroelectric plant, built during Stalin’s reign by gulag prisoners, at least half of whom were imprisoned for political crimes. Estimates indicate that no fewer than 480,000 people in the northwestern region of the Soviet Union suffered during those horrendous years of repression, and tens of thousands of those — including a part of the workers who built the hydroelectric plant — were shot and killed. But the Leningrad region has only a few memorial cemeteries and monuments to those victims, while there are hundreds of monuments and streets dedicated to Lenin, Kirov, Bolshevik leader Moisei Uritsky and other Communist leaders.The Svirskoi hydroelectric plant — and the entire town built around it — was built on bones and blood of political prisoners of the Soviet regime. And although at the nearby Alexander-Svirsky Monastery, founded in the late 15th century, visitors are occasionally told that during the Soviet period the monastery was closed and handed over to the local forced labor camps and was almost certainly the site of mass shootings, any mention or memory of the victims of state terror is barely discernible through the countless references to Soviet geographical names and pictures of the Soviet past. Anatoly Razumov is a bibliographer and historian of the Leningrad region who pursues his task with almost religious devotion. Day after day, he has worked since 1991 to recover the names of the people shot and killed in the camps and prisons of northwest Russia. He and his colleagues have already assembled nine of the 15 volumes that will contain a list of the people shot in the Leningrad region. The Levashenskoye Cemetery near St. Petersburg alone holds the bodies of about 50,000 people who were shot by the NKVD between 1937 and 1954 and secretly buried there.

It is shameful that Russia to this day remembers monsters like Lenin, Trotzky and Stalin with anything less than the utter disdain that the world looks at Hitler with. Their crimes were cruel and many and an entire Russian generation has been allowed to forget the crimes of their ancestors:

The central government now demanded impossibly high quotas of grain, forcing the population to give up even the seed-grain supplies needed for next season's planting. There is no doubt that the regime's leaders knew that this would create a food shortage. Indeed, borders were closed and supplies cut off to ensure it; granaries and other food stores were hunted out and locked up under guard by soldiers and secret police units. A man-made famine was thus created deliberately to starve political resisters to death. Up to 7 million people in ethnic Ukrainian regions died of hunger. Some of the too-slow-to-die were shot in large numbers to hasten the genocide.
The quota demands were lifted in 1933, but until 1935 further millions of kulaks and their families were deported to labour camps in Siberia and Kazakhstan. Many died in the appallingly harsh conditions there.

Remember this history when people try to tell you that Capitalism is the root of all evil.

          World's top uranium producer Kazakhstan to cut output by 10%         

Uranium prices have now unwound their oversold condition relative to the trend mean. It is as yet unclear whether this decision by Kazakhstan was the catalyst for the rally to date and will continue to act as a bullish factor. However what we can conclude is that prices are uneconomic for even the most efficient producers at these levels so marginal supply is under pressure. That is a recipe for higher prices over the medium-term.


          A Visit to West Harlem        
We recently visited Diana Yun to learn a little about her story of coming to live in New York City from Almaty, Kazakhstan.  We will feature videos of her windows as part of… Continue reading
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          Geo-politics        
The US And That 'Other' Axis

by Jephraim P Gundzik [asia Times: June 9, 2005]

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/GF09Ad08.html



Beijing's increasingly close ties with Moscow and Tehran will thwart Washington's foreign policy goal of expanding US security footholds in the Middle East, Central Asia and Asia. However, the primacy of economic stability will most likely prevent a proxy-style military confrontation, in Iran or North Korea, between China and the US.


Threat to 'axis of evil' unwinds in Baghdad

In January 2002 during his State of the Union address to the US congress, President George W Bush outlined his administration's primary foreign policy goal as preventing "regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction". Bush went on to specifically name Iraq, Iran and North Korea as state sponsors of terrorism, infamously dubbing this group the "axis of evil". After failing to gather multilateral support in the United Nation, Bush declared war on Iraq.

Since the beginning of the war in Iraq, Beijing has worked feverishly to strengthen its ties with Moscow and Teheran in an apparent effort to prevent US military action against the remaining "axis of evil" members, Iran and North Korea. In addition to recent massive energy deals with Teheran, which place Iran in China's security web, both Beijing and Moscow have accelerated the transfer of missile technology to Teheran, while selling the Islamic republic increasingly sophisticated military equipment.

Armed with a vast array of anti-ship and long-range missiles, Iran can target US troop positions throughout the Middle East and strike US Navy ships. Iran can also use its weapons to blockade the Straits of Hormuz through which one-third of the world's traded oil is shipped. With the help of Beijing and Moscow, Teheran is becoming an increasingly unappealing military target for the US.

As in the Middle East, the China-Iran-Russia axis is challenging US interests in Central Asia. Washington is working feverishly to gain security footholds in Tajikistan and Kazakhstan to complement existing US military bases in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. China and Russia are working equally hard to assert their influence in Central Asia. A good portion of this work is being done under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO.)

Composed of China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, the SCO was created in 1996 and reborn in 2001 when it was bolstered to counter the initial eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The SCO is becoming an increasingly powerful regional mutual security organization. Joint military maneuvers between SCO member states began in 2003. In 2004, the SCO created a rapid reaction anti-terror strike force. According to Igor Rogachev, Russia's ambassador to China, the new force is designed to combat and respond to terrorist attacks in any SCO member nation.

In 2004, Iran made it clear that it was interested in joining the SCO. Iran's mammoth energy deals with China imply that Tehran is now integral to China's national security. A good way to formalize security relations between China and Iran is through the SCO.

The autocratic governments of Central Asia have much more in common with China, Iran and Russia than with the US. At the same time, China and Russia can invest exponentially larger sums of money in Central Asian countries than the US. Almost all of China's and Russia's foreign investment is conducted by state-owned enterprises. Investment by these enterprises is primarily driven by geopolitical expediency.

Foreign investment in the US is controlled by profit-driven private enterprises. While the US government can dole out aid to Central Asian countries, the size of this aid pales in comparison to the money that can be lavished on Central Asian countries by China's and Russia's state-owned enterprises. In 2004, commercial and security ties between Kazakhstan and China were strengthened when Beijing signed a deal with Astana to build a pipeline from the Caspian Sea to western China.

The pipeline deal with Kazakhstan prompted Beijing to pledge increased military and technical assistance to Kyrgyzstan, through which this pipeline passes. Despite its small size and lack of natural resources, the geostrategic importance of Kyrgyzstan, which hosts military bases for both Russia and the US, is enormous. Recent political instability in Kyrgyzstan especially alarmed Washington.

In early April, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visited Bishkek to ensure that Kyrgyzstan's new government would continue to host US military forces. In addition, Rumsfeld tried to persuade interim President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to allow the US to station AWACS surveillance planes in Kyrgyzstan. At the beginning of 2005, the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry denied this request by Washington, saying that such equipment was beyond the original humanitarian and peace-keeping mission of US. forces in Kyrgyzstan. Bakiyev made it clear that Washington would not be allowed to deploy the AWACS or to establish any more bases or expand existing facilities in Kyrgyzstan.

Bakiyev also stressed that US forces would not be in the country permanently. Deepening economic and security ties between Central Asian countries and China and Russia could eventually reduce Washington's influence in the region to Afghanistan. However, in addition to three operational military bases already in Afghanistan, Washington plans on building another six military bases, further amplifying the US military threat to China, Russia and Iran.

East Asia is another region where the China-Iran-Russia alliance has common interests diametrically opposed to Washington's. The most obvious country where these interests conflict is North Korea. As with Iran, the Bush administration is determined to force North Korea's government to acquiesce to US security demands. Again, like Iran, North Korea poses a strategic threat to Washington's global hegemonic aspirations. The mutual antagonism by Iran and North Korea of the US has naturally brought these two countries together. North Korea has been an integral supplier to Iran's ballistic missile program over the past 15 years.

The US State Department has sanctioned the Changgwang Sinyong Corporation, North Korea's main missile exporter, four times since 2000 for engaging in proliferation activities with Iran. In 2004, US intelligence reported that North Korea was helping Iran build long-range missiles. While Iran's ties to North Korea are strategic, Russia's and China's ties to the country are security driven. Both Russia and China share common borders with North Korea.

The Soviet Union had strong ties with North Korea between 1950 and 1990 punctuated by a mutual security agreement. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia's relations with North Korea weakened sharply. President Boris Yeltsin chose not to renew the mutual security agreement with North Korea in favor of strengthening relations with South Korea.

President Vladimir Putin reestablished the historically close ties between Russia and North Korea. In 2000, Putin traveled to Pyongyang. North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-il, paid return visits to Russia in 2001 and 2002. In addition to official state visits, Moscow and Pyongyang have exchanged several ministry-level visits in the past two years. Pyongyang also enjoys very close relations with Beijing, with which high-level visits have been exchanged regularly in the past several years.

More importantly, Pyongyang and Beijing are tied together by a mutual security agreement. North Korea is an important security buffer for both China and Russia against US military projection in Asia. With Beijing and Moscow clearly in accord about countering Washington's global hegemonic aspirations, neither country is likely to sell out their relations with North Korea and this security buffer. More likely, Beijing and Moscow would like to bolster the security buffer in the light of expanding US militarism. It is extremely unlikely that the US will convince North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and uranium enrichment program because both Beijing and Moscow need North Korea and the security buffer it provides.


Playing in Washington's backyard

In 2004, Russia and China launched a counter-offensive to the expansion of US militarism in Asia. Beijing and Moscow began to court Latin America's new leftist governments in an unprecedented slap to the US. Both Russia and China have strengthened relations with Washington's arch foe in Latin America - Venezuela. In November 2004, Moscow agreed to sell Caracas as many as 30 combat helicopters and 100,000 automatic rifles. In addition, Venezuela is considering the purchase of up to 50 MiG-29 fighter jets from Russia to replace aging F-16s.

The Russia-Venezuela arms deal was widely criticized in Washington. Both Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have voiced strong opposition to the deal. In late 2004, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez visited Beijing, where he signed several oil sector investment deals with the China National Petroleum Corporation. Chavez has also stated that he would like to give oil export preference to China rather than the US. China also signed significant energy-related investment deals with Brazil, Ecuador and Argentina in 2004. The willingness of Beijing and Moscow to challenge US security so close to home clearly indicates that a geostrategic battle has begun.


Security threat or strategic competitor?

Beijing's expanding foreign relations both within and outside the China-Iran-Russia alliance and China's growing militarism have begun to repaint Washington's perceptions of US-China relations. These perceptions have been echoed by Washington's closest allies in Asia - Taipei and Tokyo. In mid-2004, reports by both the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) and the Pentagon depicted China as a major threat to US national security.

The USCC was created by Congress in 2000 "to monitor, investigate and submit to Congress an annual report on the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the United States and the People's Republic of China, and to provide recommendations, where appropriate, to Congress for legislative and administrative action". In June 2004, the USCC released its annual report on China.

This report noted that China was deliberately using economic warfare against Washington by creating a "competitive advantage over US manufacturers". The report specifically referred to the undervaluation of the yuan against the dollar and Beijing's (alleged) disregard for World Trade Organization rules as weapons in China's economic war with the US. The report described China's expanding relations with Iran as countering multilateral efforts to stabilize international oil supplies and prices.

The USCC report also noted that Russia was supplying increasingly sophisticated weapons to China and that these weapons were part of Beijing's strategy for defeating US forces in the event of war with Taiwan. A congressionally mandated report on China by the Pentagon described China's Russia-assisted military buildup as giving China the ability "to cause significant damage to all of Taiwan's airfields and quickly degrade Taiwan's ground based air-defenses and associated command and control". Most alarming, the Pentagon report warned that Chinese military strategists were considering the use of nuclear weapons against US and Taiwanese forces.

The Bush administration's concern over China's growing military power is also depicted in Washington's reaction to the European Union's proposed lifting of its China arms embargo. Washington's greatest concern about renewed arms trade between the EU and China was that this trade would permanently tip the balance of power away from Taiwan and toward China. Even worse, European arms could be used to kill US troops in Asia. Of course, the possibility of Beijing using European weapons to kill US troops presupposes that a war between China and the US will erupt.

Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) share Washington's concerns about China's military threat. The Chen government's concern stems from its drive for Taiwan's independence from China and Beijing's forceful reminders that Taiwan is part of China. In the lead up to Taiwan's legislative elections in late 2004, Chen campaigned on a platform of Taiwanese independence. Though Chen's DPP suffered significant losses in these elections, Beijing's response was largely entrained in the form of China's anti-secession law.

The law was meant to firmly warn Chen against seeking Taiwan's independence from China in the event that the DPP won a legislative majority. The DPP's losses to the unification-minded opposition takes much of the bite out of the law. In addition, Chen's opposition, the Nationalist Party, has permanently stalled legislation seeking about $18 billion to bolster Taiwan's missile defense system. The opposition has realized that Taiwan has no hope of defending against a military attack from the mainland, prompting renewed ties between Taiwan's Nationalist Party and Beijing.

Along with Washington and Taipei, Tokyo also demonstrated its growing concern over China's increasing military might. In December 2004, the Japanese Defense Agency issued a defense policy guideline that defined China as a potential security threat. The report noted, "China, which has significant influence on the region's security, has been modernizing its nuclear and missile capabilities as well as naval and air forces, and expanding its area of operation at sea."

In a joint US-Japan security statement issued in February, Tokyo went further, agreeing that Japan would "encourage the peaceful resolution of issues concerning the Taiwan Strait through dialogue". Both the defense policy guideline and Tokyo's concern over tension between China and Taiwan are a dramatic departure from Japan's post-war foreign policy. The change in foreign policy focus from military pacifism to military assertion is being driven by Washington's own security concerns.

These same concerns drove Tokyo to encourage oil exploration in an area of the East China Sea that is claimed by China. Japan's military assertion has accelerated China's defense buildup while contributing to the creation of the China-Iran-Russia alliance. The shift in Tokyo's foreign policy has led to a sharp deterioration in China's relations with Japan. Foreign policies in Beijing, Washington and Tokyo are all characterized by two separate components - geopolitical relations and economic relations.


Cold War redux

Beijing's geopolitical relations with Washington and Tokyo are arguably at their lowest ebb since China established formal relations with the US and Japan in the 1970s. The deterioration in China's relations with the US and Japan and the resultant improvement in relations with Iran and Russia are being driven by Washington's outsized global security concerns. These security concerns are becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy for Washington.

In sharp contrast to geopolitical relations, economic relations between Beijing, Washington and Tokyo remain quite strong. The mutual interdependence of these economies argues strongly against the preeminence of security issues in overall relations. China is the largest trading partner of Japan and third largest trading partner of the US. In addition to substantial trade links, American and Japanese companies have invested tens of billions of dollars in China over the past 15 years. Nonetheless, Beijing, Washington and Tokyo have all elevated the importance of security to overall economic well-being.

While a conflict between the US and China over Iran or North Korea cannot be ruled out, economic interdependence suggests Beijing and Washington have entered a period of geopolitical detente. Beijing's increasingly close relations with Moscow and Tehran will contain Washington's further military projection in the Middle East, Central Asia and Asia and foil the Bush administration's plans for subduing uncooperative governments in Iran and North Korea. Finally, Washington's unilateralist foreign policy will increasingly isolate the US to the benefit of China's foreign economic relations, making Beijing all the stronger.

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Jephraim P Gundzik is president of Condor Advisers, Inc. Condor Advisers provides emerging markets investment risk analysis to individuals and institutions globally. Please visit for further information.

(Copyright 2005 Asia Times Online Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us for information on sales, syndication and republishing.)
          Paolo Nespoli starts 3rd mission on ISS        
ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik and Roscosmos commander Sergei Ryazansky were launched into space yesterday from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 15:41 GMT (17:41 CEST). Their Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft circled Earth four times to catch up with the International Space Station six hours later and the crew are now settling into their new home and place of work for five months. Paolo's mission name is 'Vita', which stands for Vitality, Innovation, Technology and Abi...
          BIG Architects Unveil Massive Mobius Strip Library for Kazakhstan        
BIG Architects have unveiled an incredible new library that will serve as a multifunctional cultural center for Astana, Kazakhstan. Named Nursultan Nazarbayev after the first President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the new library will encompass not just books, but space and time as well. The design comprises 4 archetypes – the circle, the rotunda, […]
          Civil/oil & gas Vacancies, Qatar/ Saudi Arabia/Kazakhstan-Overseas Recruitment        


          Sejarah Gemilang Malaysia        

SEJARAH NEGARA: Kapal angkasa Soyuz TMA-11 berlepas dari pangkalan Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, malam tadi.


Impian jadi realiti apabila Soyuz 15-S bawa angkasawan pertama negara dilancar malam tadiIMPIAN Malaysia untuk meneroka angkasa lepas yang dicetuskan sejak 2003, menjadi realiti apabila kapal angkasa Soyuz 15-S yang membawa angkasawan pertama negara, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha, selamat dilancarkan dari Baikonur Cosmodrome di sini, malam tadi. Pelancaran roket Soyuz TMA-11 yang membawa kapal angkasa itu ke Stesen Angkasa Antarabangsa (ISS) tepat jam 7.21 malam (9.21 malam waktu Malaysia), mencatat satu lagi kegemilangan dalam lipatan sejarah negara di peringkat antarabangsa.


Dr Sheikh Muszaphar, 35, juga mencatat sejarah sebagai angkasawan Islam pertama yang berpuasa dan menyambut Aidilfitri di angkasa lepas. Selain Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, misi kapal angkasa seberat 7,170 kilogram itu juga disertai Komander Peggy Whitson dari Amerika Syarikat dan jurutera penerbangan, Yuri Malenchenko dari Russia. Di Malaysia, seluruh rakyat menyaksikan detik bersejarah itu menerusi siaran langsung di semua saluran televisyen utama serta beberapa skrin yang ditempatkan di lokasi strategik di ibu negara dan beberapa bandar besar.


Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi turut menyaksikan kejayaan yang dicapai anak muda dari Seremban itu pada majlis khas di Pusat Konvensyen Kuala Lumpur (KLCC) bersama Timbalannya, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, menteri Kabinet dan 280 pelajar. Hadir sama ialah bekas angkasawan Amerika Syarikat, Kapten Robert Gibson, yang turut menjelaskan kepada Perdana Menteri mengenai pelbagai aspek teknikal pelancaran kapal angkasa itu. Sebelum itu, majlis berbuka puasa, solat tarawih serta solat hajat diadakan bagi mendoakan keselamatan dan kejayaan misi berkenaan. Pelancaran bermula dengan pelepasan empat pelonjak utama roket yang dipadankan dengan bendera Malaysia dan 29 saat kemudian SoyuzTMA-11 membelah langit cerah Baikonur dan mempesonakan mereka yang menyaksikannya.


Sembilan minit selepas pelancaran, roket berkenaan mencapai ketinggian 200 kilometer dari bumi dan pegawai di pusat kawalan utama berhampiran Moscow berkata: Kapal angkasa TMA-11 berada di orbit. Kakitangan di pusat kawalan itu berjabat tangan, manakala visual Dr Sheikh Muszaphar dengan Jalur Gemilang di lengannya mula dipancarkan dari kapal angkasa yang bergerak pada kelajuan lapan kilometer sesaat. Ketiga-tiga angkasawan itu duduk dengan tenang sambil meneliti manual penerbangan. Visual dari kapsul kapal angkasa itu juga ditonton seluruh rakyat Malaysia dengan penuh bangga. Kapal angkasa itu akan berlegar di orbit selama dua hari sebelum bercantum dengan ISS pada ketinggian 360 kilometer.


Tiga angkasawan itu akan berada di ISS selama 10 hari dengan Dr Sheikh Muszaphar mengadakan tiga uji kaji membabitkan tiga komponen penting iaitu sel di angkasa, mikrob di angkasa serta pengkristalan protein sebelum pulang ke bumi pada 21 Oktober ini. Pelepasan angkasawan negara itu di tapak pelancaran di sini disaksikan Menteri Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi, Datuk Seri Jamaluddin Jarjis dan ibu bapa Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, Datuk Sheikh Mustapha Sheikh Shukor dan Datin Zuraida Sheikh Ahmad. Terdahulu, persediaan akhir untuk pelancaran kapal angkasa itu bermula sejak tujuh jam lebih awal di Baikonur Cosmodrome dengan Dr Sheikh Muszaphar bersama Whitson dan Malenchenko dibawa dari Kosmonaut Hotel menaiki bas ke Tapak Pelancaran 1 pada jam 2 petang. Selepas melalui proses persediaan terakhir, empat jam sebelum pelancaran, Agensi Angkasa Lepas Russia (Roscosmos) mula memasang baju angkasa lepas 'Sukol' kepada angkasawan atau Kosmonaut dalam istilah Russia, diikuti upacara tabik hormat sebagai tanda penghargaan terhadap keberanian angkasawan menempuh cabaran dalam misi itu.


Program angkasawan negara bermula pada 2003 apabila Russia bersetuju menghantar seorang rakyat Malaysia ke ISS sebagai sebahagian perjanjian pembelian 18 jet pejuang Sukhoi 30-MKM bernilai RM3.42 bilion. Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor dipilih untuk misi ini walaupun Roscosmos juga mengiktiraf seorang lagi angkasawan negara, Kapten Dr Faiz Khaleed, 26, yang menjadi angkasawan sokongan bagi misi ini.

          Cats Hd Wallpapers         
Source(google.com.pk)
Cats Hd Wallpapers Biography
The HD Cat has two estrus periods, one in December–February and another in May–July.[59] Estrus lasts 5–9 days, with a gestation period lasting 60–68 days.[60] Ovulation is induced through copulation. Spermatogenesis occurs throughout the year. During the mating season, males fight viciously,[59] and may congregate around a single female. There are records of male and female wildcats becoming temporarily monogamous. Kittens usually appear in April–May, though some may be born from March–August. Litter size ranges from 1-7 kittens.[60]
Kittens are born blind and helpless, and are covered in a fuzzy coat.[59] At birth, the kittens weigh 65-163 grams, though kittens under 90 grams usually do not survive. They are born with pink paw pads, which blacken at the age of three months, and blue eyes, which turn amber after five months.[60] Their eyes open after 9–12 days, and their incisors erupt after 14–30 days. The kittens' milk teeth are replaced by their permanent dentition at the age of 160–240 days. The kittens start hunting with their mother at the age of 60 days, and will start moving independently after 140–150 days. Lactation lasts 3–4 months, though the kittens will eat meat as early as 1.5 months of age. Sexual maturity is attained at the age of 300 days.[59] Similarly to the housecat, the physical development of African wildcat kittens over the first two weeks of their lives is much faster than that of European wildcats.[47] The kittens are largely fully grown by 10 months, though skeletal growth continues for over 18–19 months. The family dissolves after roughly five months, and the kittens disperse to establish their own territories.[60] The species' maximum life span is 21 years, though it usually only lives up to 13–14 years.[59]
The Hdcat's distribution is very broad, encompassing most of Africa, Europe, and southwest and central Asia into India, China, and Mongolia.[2]
The northern African subspecies, F. s. lybica, occurs across northern Africa, extending around the Arabian Peninsula's periphery to the Caspian Sea, encompassing a wide range of habitats, with the exception of closed tropical forests. It occurs in small numbers in true deserts such as the Sahara, particularly in hilly and mountainous areas, such as the Hoggar. In North Africa, the subspecies occurs discontinuously from Morocco through Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and into Egypt. It occurs throughout the savannahs of West Africa, ranging from Mauritania on the Atlantic seaboard, eastwards to the Horn of Africa, Sudan and Ethiopia. In the south, F. s. lybica is replaced in all East and southern African countries the southern F. s. cafra. The border range between the two subspecies encompasses Tanzania and Mozambique. The Asiatic wildcat, F. s. ornata, ranges from the eastern Caspian into western India, and north to Kazakhstan and into western China and southern Mongolia. The Chinese F. s. bieti is indigenous to western China, and is particularly abundant in the Quinghai and possibly Sichuan provinces. The European subspecies, F. s. silvestris, was once very widely distributed in Europe, being absent only in Fennoscandia and Estonia. However, between the late 1700s and mid 1900s, the species underwent declines and local extirpations, resulting in a fragmentation of its range. It is now extinct in Holland, and possibly extinct in the Czech Republic. It is considered regionally extinct in Austria, though vagrants from Italy are spreading into Austrian territory. In the Pyrenees, the wildcat occurs from sea level to 2,250 m. It is possible that in some areas, including Scotland and Stromberg, Germany, pure wildcats have crossbred extensively with domestic cats. The only island in the Mediterranean to house wildcats is Sicily, with other populations in Sardinia, Corsica and possibly Crete possibly being descended from feral populations introduced there from Neolithic times.[2]The Hdcat is considered an icon of the Scottish wilderness, and has been used in clan heraldry since the 13th century.[82] The Picts venerated wildcats, having probably named Caithness (Land of the Cats) after them. According to the foundation myth of the Catti tribe, their ancestors were attacked by wildcats upon landing in Scotland. Their ferocity impressed the Catti so much, that the wildcat became their symbol.[84] A thousand years later, the progenitors of Clan Sutherland, equally impressed, adopted the wildcat on their family crest.[12][84] The Chief of Clan Sutherland bears the title Morair Chat (Great Man of the Cats). The Clan Chattan Association (also known as the Clan of Cats) is made up of 12 different clans, the majority of which display the wildcat on their badges.
Cats Hd Wallpapers 
Cats Hd Wallpapers 
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Cats Hd Wallpapers 
Cats Hd Wallpapers 
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Cats Hd Wallpapers 
Cats Hd Wallpapers

          Tbilisi Dialogue Highlights Regional HIV Challenges        
30 Oct 2014

​Cooperation between government and civil society is crucial in securing rights for people living with HIV, a UNDP- and IDLO-sponsored meeting was told. Held in Tbilisi, Georgia with support from the European Union, the International Dialogue brought together government and civil society representatives from eleven former Soviet states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

Eastern Europe and Central Asia have continued to see a rise in HIV infections. An estimated 1.6 million people live with the virus. Between 2005 and 2012, the AIDS mortality rate climbed by more than a fifth. Levels of treatment are low: no more than a third of those in need of antiretroviral therapy are estimated to be receiving it. The rights of people with HIV are frequently breached in the region: violations range from denial of confidentiality to outright criminalization of the behavior of the populations most at risk.

“HIV is a matter of human rights,” Evgeniy Spevak of the Eurasian and Belarussian Union of People Living with HIV told the meeting. […] states have the obligation to undertake legal, financial and administrative measures to bring these rights as close as possible to the highest standards of health.”

Country: 

          India- China Bilateral Economic Ties: Issues and Prospects        
| by D. S. Rajan

( January 19, 2015, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian)
It may not be wrong to assume that the prevailing growth asymmetry between India and China can have implications for their economic partnership; the ties definitely look as one between two unequals- India occupying a weaker position as against a stronger China.

To elaborate, China adheres to a system of socialist market economy, in which the public ownership system plays a leading role. India, on the other hand, follows a mixed economy model involving both private and public sectors.

President Xi Jinping’s New Silk Road Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road proposals are meant to facilitate energy supplies connectivity to China from abroad. China has especially been able to conclude several international deals, to get shale gas from North America, build pipelines across Myanmar and secure stakes in Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects and Caspian Sea oil and gas. To ensure an uninterrupted supply of oil and gas, China has been able to strengthen energy infrastructure by building a network of pipelines from Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Myanmar.
China’s economy is now the second largest in the world (GNP in 2013 at the level of US$ 9.24 trillion), after that of the U.S. India ranks No.10 in the global list. China’s “comprehensive national power” now exceeds that of India by a wide margin. The former’s economy was more than four times the size of India’s in 2012, and over eight times the size when adjusting for purchasing-power parity (PPP). China’s official military budget of $119 billion in 2013 was over three times larger than India’s $38 billion defense budget. In 2013, China’s real GDP growth rate was 7.7 % as against India’s 3.2%. In terms of alleviation of poverty, China seems to be doing better than India (China’s 0.061% and India’s 29.8%. in 2010); China’s literacy rate was 95% in 2010 as against India’s 62% (2006).

China is also the biggest exporting nation globally (US$ 2.2. trillion in 2013). Its main strength now lies in manufacturing for e.g. cell phones and personal computers, making it a workshop of the world. China’s foreign trade is burgeoning day by day –its total exports and imports surpassed US$ 4 trillion for the first time to reach US$ 4.16 trillion in 2013. It now has the largest foreign exchange reserve in the world- about US$ 3.4 trillion. Its investment abroad is gaining strength; it is now the third largest investor after the US and Japan. On the reverse side, in terms of inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), China has become second largest in the world- it attracted a record US$117.6 billion in FDI in 2013. 450 out of the FORTUNE 500 American companies have established production lines and business presence in China. Also, the PRC’s requirement of raw material from abroad to speed up its development at home has grown significantly. China has surpassed the US to become the world's biggest energy consumer. Only with regard to demography, India stands to gain vis-à-vis China; In 2012 India’s working-age population grew by twelve million while that of China shrank by over three million.

The importance of the outcome of the PRC President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Delhi in September 2014 to India-China economic ties needs no emphasis. The widespread perception in India is that the visit was a success in economic terms, but not so promising in political sense. The Chinese intrusion in Ladakh’s Chumar area has been seen in India as one which provided a negative backdrop to the visit; in broader terms, opinions in India view the intrusion as symbolic of the existing trust deficit affecting bilateral ties.

It is true that two sides agreed during the visit to conduct their relations from a strategic and overall perspective and consolidate their ties on the basis of Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and mutual respect and sensitivities for each other's concerns and aspirations, but there was no sign of an early solution to strategic issues dividing them , particularly to the key boundary problem; India and China merely reiterated their commitment to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to it.

In purely economic terms, significant has been the readiness of India and China, exhibited during the visit, on taking the bilateral cooperation into new areas including industrial investment, infrastructure development, energy conservation and environment protection. Notable have been the steps agreed upon by the two sides on rebalancing bilateral trade and addressing the existing structural imbalance in trade through adopting measures like advancing cooperation on pharmaceutical supervision, conducting speedier negotiations on agro-products for two-way trade, establishing stronger links between Indian IT companies and Chinese enterprises, and increasing services trade in tourism, films, healthcare, IT and logistics. As a particular measure, they could approve a ‘Five Year Trade and Economic Development Plan’, aimed at laying down a roadmap to promote sustainability and lessen the bilateral trade imbalance as well as to strengthen investment cooperation in order to realize the US$ 20 billion Chinese investment in India, in next five years, assured by Xi Jinping; this investment is to be made in various industrial and infrastructure development projects in India, particularly in the establishment of two industrial parks in India, one in Gujarat and one in Maharashtra.

What has been achieved during Xi Jinping’s visit to India makes one to think that an unprecedented rise may be in the offing in the prospects of India-China economic relations; the driving forces are not difficult to identify. The new Modi regime in India like its predecessor and the Xi Jinping administration in China, are increasingly realizing the importance of domestic development to the nation building in the respective countries and to fulfill this objective,, are displaying keenness to work out mutual benefit-based external economic strategies. What we see today is the specific application of these strategies to India-China economic ties.

It would be appropriate to focus on the present status and future of India-China trade and investment ties. In early 90s, the level of bilateral trade was insignificant as the trade basket was restricted to a limited number of products. In 2008, China became India’s biggest trading partner replacing the U.S and that position continues today. Bilateral trade increased by nearly ten and a half times during 2003-11; it reached the level of US$ 74 billion in 2011, US$ 66.7 billion in 2012 and US$ 65.47 billion in 2013. The decline seen in 2012 and 2013 is being attributed to a variety of reasons including depreciation of Indian rupee, global slowdown and fall in Indian exports due to India’s curbs on the export of iron ore, the single biggest export item (53% of India’s total exports to China). The two countries aim at achieving the trade target of US$100 billion by 2015.

On the most prominent issue of trade imbalance in India-China economic ties, hopes for an early solution to it appear to have risen of late. China’s proposed US$ 20 billion investment in India, its readiness to open its pharmaceutical, agro-products, IT and service sectors to India’s participation and on the reverse, India’s nod to the Chinese entry into India’s infrastructure projects, may pave the way for closing the deficit, which stood at US$ 31.4 billion in 2013.

For India, progress on trade deficit issue, would depend on its ability to introduce new products to China having global competitiveness (Major Indian exports so far to the PRC are: iron ores, slag and ash, iron and steel, plastics, organic chemicals, and cotton. India’s imports from China so far mostly relate to the manufacturing sector, more precisely in the sectors of chemicals, machinery and mechanical appliances and base metals). Expert studies (for e.g S.K.Mohanty, Research and Information System for developing Countries (RIS), New Delhi, http://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/PublicationsView.aspx?id=15010) indicate that India could emerge as a competitive supplier to the Chinese market, as it has a large domestic market in value chain in a number of sectors, including the parts and component sector; its exports to China in this sector could be more competitive than that of several South East Asian economies on which China is seriously dependent for intermediate input supplies.

On imports from China, India should respond to the changing pattern of import demands of the latter which is rebalancing its economy taking the focus away from the traditional export and investment-led growth. Examples of pattern changes include the fall in China’s demand for coal imports, continuous rise in its energy demand from abroad and appetite for foreign hi tech products. Also, India would stand to gain in bringing medium and high-technology intensive products from China. The resultant change in the composition of India’s imports from China can have a positive impact on the bilateral trade imbalance. Growth in trade has prompted a spurt in investments between the countries as well. China’s accumulated investment in India reached US$57.6 million while India’s investment in China reached US$44.2 million by December 2011.

Next to trade imbalance, the other issue which may affect the prospects of India-China economic relations is the exchange rate regime in China. Authorities in China artificially keep the Chinese Yuan undervalued against world currencies and this step benefits its world exports, particularly exports to the neighboring countries in Asia. India may have to carefully study the implications of Yuan rate for its export to nations in South East and East Asia, a region where it is competing with China for markets.

India-China differences on the leadership in the regional integration process may be another issue relevant to their economic relationship. India supports the East Asia Summit (EAS)/ Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) process; it favors a leading role in the EAS by ASEAN plus 6 nations (10 ASEAN nations plus Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand). China on the other hand wants ASEAN plus 3 (10 ASEAN nations, China, South Korea and Japan) to play a leading role in the EAS; it considers India, Australia and New Zealand as ‘secondary’ group in the EAS. The future of regional cooperation would very much depend on the progress in the ongoing negotiations among 16 countries on the RCEP proposal launched in November 2012. India and China are among those taking part in the negotiations. Five rounds of talks have been held so far. Meanwhile, China has made its own proposal to establish a working group to study the feasibility of a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific.

Concerning India-China bilateral economic ties, is also the question as to how each perceives its role in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)? China, an observer SAARC nation now, is keen to join that organization as a full member with an eye on expanding its presence in South Asia; its aim seems to be the signing of a China-SAARC Free Trade Area. With regard to India, China feels that both the nations can work together as ‘dual engines’ for regional stability and development. It is seeking India’s support to China becoming a full SAARC member.

President Xi Jinping has said that “China welcomes and supports India’s full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization with the expectation that India will support China in building relations with SAARC”. Motivating China to play an active SAARC role, is its thinking that this will benefit the concerned South Asian economies as well as of itself, particularly its South Western part and the protection of the country’s sea lane security in the Indian Ocean. For this purpose, China says that it will follow a policy of “upholding justice and seeking interests”, which can accommodate interests of all neighboring nations, including the SAARC countries. According to it, initiatives under such policy comprise China’s four proposals – New Silk Road Economic Belt, 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the Bangladesh-China- India- Myanmar (BCIM) Corridor.

In an overall sense, China appears to assess that the SAARC is divided into two camps- one led by India and another by Pakistan and that India is adopting a ‘big brother’ attitude in South Asia (“China’s Economic Relations with SAARC: Prospects and Hurdles”, Liu Zongyi, China Institute of International Studies, 1 December 2014). On its part, India has so far been hesitant to endorse China’s proposals; the Joint India-China Statement, issued after President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Delhi, did not mention the first two. The apparent India’s reservations on the third proposal, i.e China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, can be understood in the context of the issue of Kashmir, a likely Chinese corridor area. On the BCIM, India’s position appears to be a developing one; it may have to respond to some domestic concerns arising from the likely implications for its Northeast part of the unresolved border dispute with China and the security challenges to the country in the event of opening that sensitive part for foreign participation.

Affecting India-China economic ties is also the ongoing competition between them for resources worldwide. As the two face continuing gap domestically between the resource supply and demand, it is natural that they compete to reach out to resource-rich nations in the world. The PRC became a net oil importer in 1993 and the largest global energy consumer in 2010. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projected that China would surpass the United States as the largest net oil importer by 2014 due to its rising oil consumption. Oil imports in China grew by nearly 10 percent in 2014, to nearly 2.3 billion barrels (308 million tons). Taking the case of India, it is currently the fourth largest oil consumer in the world, behind the US, China and Japan. It is expected to become third largest by 2025. In the estimates of the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), India’s oil consumption will rise from 3.68 million barrels per day (bpd), or 173.5 million tonnes, in 2012 to 5.19 million bpd in 2025, overtaking Japan’s 4.38 million bpd consumption.

India-China competition for resources – oil and natural gas, industrial and construction materials, foreign capital and technology, is expected to intensify in future in the regions where the latter remains active at this juncture - Middle East (Iran and Saudi Arabia), Central Asia (Kazakhstan), Russia, Africa (Sudan and Angola), Latin America (Venezuela and Brazil) and the Asia-Pacific region (Myanmar and South and East China seas).

China is encouraging its state-owned companies to reach exploration and supply agreements with resource-producing nations in these regions. Simultaneously, Beijing is acting at state levels to influence such nations, which are getting manifested in four ways – conducting high-level diplomatic exchanges, promoting bilateral trade, extending economic aid especially for infrastructure building, and even providing military assistance. China is diversifying energy supply sources in response to perceived vulnerability to any over dependence in this regard on the politically volatile Middle East and Africa. Russia and Latin America have become China’s new markets.

President Xi Jinping’s New Silk Road Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road proposals are meant to facilitate energy supplies connectivity to China from abroad. China has especially been able to conclude several international deals, to get shale gas from North America, build pipelines across Myanmar and secure stakes in Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects and Caspian Sea oil and gas. To ensure an uninterrupted supply of oil and gas, China has been able to strengthen energy infrastructure by building a network of pipelines from Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Myanmar.

On the other hand, Indian initiatives to respond to those taken by China seem to be inadequate. Indian entities like Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) continue to face challenges from Chinese companies such as China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) in winning prospective oil and gas opportunities in the third countries. Admittedly, the new Modi government in India is seized of the urgency to accord priority to the nation’s energy security matters.

(The writer, D.S.Rajan, is Distinguished Fellow, Chennai Centre for China Studies, Chennai, India. This formed the basis of his presentation on the subject at an interaction with the visiting Chinese scholars, organized by the Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi on 13 January 2015. Email: dsrajan@gmail.com)



          International Women's Day (8 March)/Dia Internaçional da Mulher (8 de março)        

International Women's Day, 8 March 2010:

Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all

From: http://www.internationalwomensday.com

International Women's Day has been observed since in the early 1900's, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. 

1908
Great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women's oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.

1909
In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman's Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913.

1910
In 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named a Clara Zetkin (Leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women's Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day - a Women's Day - to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women's clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin's suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women's Day was the result.

1911
Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women's Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women's rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic 'Triangle Fire' in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women's Day events. 1911 also saw women's 'Bread and Roses' campaign.

 
1913-1914
On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1913 following discussions, International Women's Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Wommen's Day ever since. In 1914 further women across Europe held rallies to campaign against the war and to express women's solidarity.

1917
On the last Sunday of February, Russian women began a strike for "bread and peace" in response to the death over 2 million Russian soldiers in war. Opposed by political leaders the women continued to strike until four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. The date the women's strike commenced was Sunday 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia. This day on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere was 8 March.

1918 - 1999
Since its birth in the socialist movement, International Women's Day has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike. For decades, IWD has grown from strength to strength annually. For many years the United Nations has held an annual IWD conference to coordinate international efforts for women's rights and participation in social, political and economic processes. 1975 was designated as 'International Women's Year' by the United Nations. Women's organisations and governments around the world have also observed IWD annually on 8 March by holding large-scale events that honour women's advancement and while diligently reminding of the continued vigilance and action required to ensure that women's equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life.

2000 and beyond
IWD is now an official holiday in China, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother's Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.
The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women's and society's thoughts about women's equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that 'all the battles have been won for women' while many feminists from the 1970's know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women's visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.
However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.

GoogleAnnually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women's craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more.
Many global corporations have also started to more actively support IWD by running their own internal events and through supporting external ones. For example, on 8 March search engine and media giant Google some years even changes its logo on its global search pages. Year on year IWD is certainly increasing in status. The United States even designates the whole month of March as 'Women's History Month'.
So make a difference, think globally and act locally !! Make everyday International Women's Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.

---

More about International Women's Day from the UN's Women Watch site: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/feature/iwd/:
In 1975, during International Women's Year, the United Nations began celebrating 8 March as International Women's Day. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions. For the United Nations, International Women's Day has been observed on 8 March since 1975. The Day is traditionally marked with a message from the Secretary-General.



          KazMunaiGas Trading Latest to Adopt SaaS in the Cloud CTRM from Aspect        

The trading arm of Kazakhstan’s national oil and gas company, KazMunaiGas Trading AG (KMGT), is the latest organization to adopt the AspectCTRM trade and risk management solution from Aspect.

(PRWeb April 11, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/04/prweb13320164.htm


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          Joo Casino Exclusive Sign up Bonus        

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          CLOSED: Grand Eagle Exclusive Father’s Day No Deposit Bonus        

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          Event: Asia-Pacific Ministerial Summit on the Environment 2017        
The first Asia-Pacific Ministerial Summit on the Environment will take place in Bangkok, Thailand, from 5-8 September 2017, and is jointly organized by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and UN Environment. At the request of member States, the Ministerial Summit will bring together, for the first time, two UN ministerial-level meetings on the environment: the seventh Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific and the second session of UN Environment’s Forum of Ministers and Environment Authorities of Asia Pacific. The Ministerial Summit will focus on addressing the linkages between resource efficiency and pollution reduction in Asia and the Pacific, under the theme ‘Towards a resource efficient and pollution free Asia-Pacific’. The Summit will review implementation of the outcomes of the sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific, which took place in Astana, Kazakhstan, in 2010. Ministers are expected to adopt a Ministerial Declaration to provide guidance for regional cooperation on environment and development issues. The meeting will also provide guidance regarding ESCAP's work programme on environment and development. Additionally, the meeting will review implementation of the 2016 UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) resolutions in Asia and the Pacific and provide guidance on regional priorities and actions for the December 2017 UNEA, which will convened under the them, ‘Towards a Pollution-Free Planet’. The Summit is being jointly organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and UN Environment. On 4 September, a one-day meeting of civil society organizations (CSOs) will convene.
          Climate Mitigation Finance Update: Investments Scale Solar Capacity, Improve Energy Efficiency and Accelerate REDD+        
An innovative mapping tool from the World Bank will enable Pacific Islands to chart potential sites for renewable energy. Investments in solar energy capacity have been approved for off-grid solar energy in Kenya and the world's largest solar complex in Egypt. Kazakhstan has seen the launch of three energy efficient kindergartens and a modernized district heating facility. A six-year World Bank-supported afforestation project in Shandong, China planted trees in over 66,915 hectares of barren land.
          Be a priest and see the world        
Priests usually go where they are called, but in the case of Father Dariusz Buras that is a bit further than most. The Polish priest of the Diocese of Tarnów was appointed as Apostolic Administrator of Atyrau in Kazakhstan on Friday, but this is just another new home away from home for him. Most recently working … Continue reading "Be a priest and see the world"
          Paalam wins PH’s lone gold        
Carlo Paalam, 19, the youngest and meekest of the Philippine boxing team that competed in the highly-prestigious President's Cup in Astana, Kazakhstan, foiled the host nation’s bid to sweep the tournament by winning the gold medal in the 49 kilogram light flyweight class Saturday evening
          PH boxers to Kazakhstan or Mongolia        
The three Filipino punchers who booked berths to the 2017 world championships in Germany will step up to the plate next month when they perform either in Kazakhstan or Mongolia.
          Kim, Jaja, Daquis banner Manila VI        
Kim Fajardo, Jaja Santiago, and Rachel Anne Daquis will spearhead the all-Filipino Rebisco-PSL Manila team that will see action in the 2017 Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship in Kazakhstan late this month.
                  
Вниманию казахстанцев, желающих поступить в Аль-Азхар
http://islamisemya.com/aktualno/aktualno/novosti/8601-kazakhstantsy-ne-smogut-postupit-v-al-azkhar-bez-napravleniya
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          Comment on Alstom sets a new high-speed record in Kazakhstan with its KZ4AT locomotive by transportrail        
Hello Virgile and thank you for your comment we really appreciate it. I actually didn't realise that the 200km/h was first hit in 2014. Must have been an exciting moment being able to work on this project.
          Comment on Alstom sets a new high-speed record in Kazakhstan with its KZ4AT locomotive by VIRGILE        
http://www.alstom.com/press-centre/2014/7/maximum-speed-for-the-new-kz4at-passenger-locomotive/ First time was on July 2014... I have and I still work on this project at Astana ! I was train technician manager on the first runs at 200 km/h on July 2014.
          Những bức ảnh đẹp nhất chụp từ không gian        
TTO - Tạp chí Time vừa công bố những bức ảnh đẹp nhất chụp từ không gian năm 2013, trong đó có ảnh bắc cá»±c quang rá»±c rỡ ở Alaska, áº£nh phóng tàu vÅ© trụ Soyuz TMA-10M, tinh vân Orion... 

Ảnh chụp một ngọn núi đỉnh bằng nằm ở khu vực trung tâm Hebes Chasma trên sao Hỏa
Vùng xoáy của một cơn bão trên sao Thổ do tàu vũ trụ Cassini chụp được
Bắc cực quang rực rỡ ở North Slope, Alaska hôm 28-8-2013
Tinh vân Witch Head do tàu thăm dò WISE của NASA chụp

Một thiên hà vệ tinh trong Dải Ngân hà nằm cách Trái đất gần 200.000 năm ánh sáng
Sa mạc muối Dasht-e Lut ở đông nam Iran, nơi được mệnh danh là "nơi nóng nhất Trái đất" với nhiệt độ lên tới 70,7 độ C
Các vệt sao từ trận mưa sao băng Perseid được nhìn thấy gần Aberdeen, Scotland vào ngày 12-8-2013
Cột mây khói và bụi khổng lồ trên "siêu ngôi sao" Eta Carinae do kính viễn vọng Hubble của NASA chụp được
Núi lửa Pavlof nhìn từ Trạm không gian quốc tế (ISS) hôm 18-5-2013 - lúc nó phun cột tro cao hơn 6.000m
Vùng trung tâm tinh vân Orion
Tàu vÅ© trụ Soyuz TMA-10M Ä‘ược phóng từ Trung tâm vệ tinh Baikonur ở Kazakhstan hôm 26-9-2013, đưa các phi hành gia Mike Hopkins (Mỹ), Sergey Ryazanskiy và Oleg Kotov (Nga) lên Trạm không gian quốc tế (ISS)

          Comment on Farnsworth Sends Novel Gift to Kazakhstan University by Deanna Geraghty        
I happened to stumble upon this article, and had no idea about this! I love that this happened and wish I had been a part of it because I was actually born in Kazakhstan!
          Emas Dan Sinyal Perubahan Ekonomi Dunia        
Ada dua hal yang mendorong harga emas naik hampir 8.5 % dalam satu bulan terakhir dan bisa saja ini berlanjut. Pertama perubahan yang dipicu oleh ketidak stabilan baru ekonomi dunia karena merosotnya harga minyak, dan yang kedua disebabkan oleh apa yang disebut SNB (Swiss National Bank) Black Swan – yaitu kejadian sangat langka/tidak terduga yang dilakukan oleh otoritas moneter Swiss. Keduanya menjadi pelajaran sangat penting bagi negeri ini – bila tidak ingin  menjadi korban dari adanya perubahan-perubahan paradigma ini. Pertama yang terkait dengan harga minyak, sebagai negeri pengimpor netto minyak (net importer) untuk sementara waktu tentu kita diuntungkan dengan harga minyak dunia yang telah mengalami penurunan sekitar 58 % selama enam bulan terakhir. Harga BBM kita yang sempat melonjak tanpa alasan yang jelas akhir tahun lalu pun – kini diturunkan kembali mendekati harga sebelum lonjakan tersebut terjadi. Masalahnya adalah semua faktor yang menyebabkan harga minyak dunia turun tersebut sesungguhnya belum tentu menguntungkan kita juga dalam jangka panjang bila kita tidak antisipasi dari sekarang. Penyebab langsung dari turun drastisnya harga minyak dunia adalah over supply minyak dunia di tengah menurunnya demand karena lesunya ekonomi. Over supply yang nyata disebab oleh produksi yang terus digenjot oleh negara-negara produsen tanpa mengantisipasi menurunnya demand, juga oleh terbukanya kembali kran ekspor minyak dari negeri-negeri yang tadinya bergejolak seperti Iraq dan Libya. Over supply yang sebagiannya masih persepsi adalah teknologi  yang menghasilkan sumber-sumber minyak baru seperti shale oil dan oil sands. Shale oil adalah hasil ekstraksi dari minyak yang ‘terjebak’ dalam bebatuan antara lain melalui proses pirolisa, hidrogenasi atau disolusi panas. Konon cadangan minyak jenis ini di seluruh dunia mencapai 3.3 trilyun barrel dan sekitar separuhnya ada di Amerika. Sedangkan oil sands adalah campuran tanah pasir, lempung/tanah liat dan air yang mengandung minyak dengan viscositas tinggi yang disebut bitumen. Dengan teknologi terkini di bidang perminyakan – tergantung pada harga minyak dunia – oil sands ini bisa ditambang dan diproses menjadi minyak secara ekonomis. Konon di seluruh dunia cadangannya mencapai 2 trilyun barrel dan yang terbesar ada di Kanada, Kazakhstan dan Russia. Dengan (potensi) sumber-sumber minyak baru dan negeri-negeri yang menguasainya tersebut sekarang kita bisa lihat dampaknya pada kekuatan ekonomi dunia kedepan. Negeri-negeri yang memiliki sumber minyak baru ini akan semakin perkasa – dan bisa semakin mediktekan kemauannya pada dunia. Sedangkan negeri-negeri penghasil minyak konvensional, negeri-negeri petro dollar yang dahulu kekuatan minyaknya bisa menjadi kekuatan tersendiri dan percaturan geopolitic global – mereka kini  bisa kehilangan kekuatannya. Di mana posisi kita di Indonesia ? produksi minyak kita secara konvensional tinggal kurang dari separuh kebutuhan kita sendiri, sedangkan shale oil ataupun oil sands kita belum terdeteksi potensinya. Artinya besar kemungkinannya di masa yang akan datang kita akan semakin tergantung pada impor bahan bakar dari negeri-negeri yang lain – bila tidak ada terobosan yang luar biasa dari negeri ini. Impor bahan bakar juga sebenarnya tidak terlalu menjadi masalah bila kita memiliki keunggulan lainnya yang significant – yang bisa dijadikan kekuatan baru bagi negeri ini – di luar minyak yang memang sudah bukan lagi menjadi kekuatan malah kelemahan bagi kita . Inilah sebenarnya waktu  yang paling baik bagi Indonesia untuk fokus pada kekuatan yang kita (masih) miliki atau mungkin digali, sumber daya alam terbarukan berupa berbagai keanekaragaman hayati di negeri tropis – yang tumbuhannya bisa terus tumbuh dan hidup sepanjang tahun adalah salah satunya. Artinya dari tiga kebutuhan  pokok manusia Food, Energy and Water (FEW) – kalau kita harus kehilangan kekuatan di Energy-nya, setidaknya kita harus unggul di bidang Food-nya. Sedangkan mengenai Water – kita harus bisa mengembalikan sumber daya alam yang satu ini kembali menjadi hak semua orang. Di bidang Food-pun kita kalau tidak bisa ungggul di semua dari kelima unsurnya – Karbohidrat, Lemak, Protein, Vitamin dan Mineral –  setidaknya kita harus bisa unggul dari beberapa di antaranya. Di lemak kita bisa unggul dari sawit kita, di protein kita bisa unggul di 60-an kacang-kacangan yang tumbuh baik di negeri ini, di vitamin dan mineral kita bisa unggul dari kekayaan buah-buahan tropis dan berbagai sayur-sayuran yang sangat kaya. Secara khusus kacang-kacangan seperti kacang tanah dan kedelai harusnya bisa berkontribusi significant dalam mengunggulkan negeri ini dari sisi biji-bijian – yang juga secara khusus  jenisnya (biji-bijian) disebutkan di Al-Qur’an untuk kita perhatikan dan kita gunakan dalam menghidupkan bumi yang mati. Dalam hal yang terakhir ini komunitas  pembaca situs ini sudah mulai berperan yaitu melalui www.igrow.asia kita secara bersama-sama Alhamdulillah sudah menanam 45 hektar kacang tanah dan kedelai dan insyaAllah masih akan terus bertambah. Bahkan setelah eksperimen yang 45 hektar ini nantinya insyaAllah berhail dengan baik, beberapa bulan lagi insyaAllah team kami akan meluncurkan program yang kami sebut Evergreen Project – ODOH (One Day One Hectare !) – yaitu project menanam kedelai satu hektar sehari terus menerus selama 90 hari. Bila ini bisa dilakukan maka pada hari ke 91 dan seterusnya, modal penanamannya sudah akan menggunakan hasil dari panenan tanaman yang ditanam 90 hari sebelumnya – dst. Tentu kita harus bekerja sama dengan sejumlah pihak untuk ini, utamanya para pemilik lahan luas dan para sponsor seperti Anda-Anda yang sudah menjadi sponsor di iGrow Project. Bergerak terjun langsung di sektor riil mengatasi masalah yang juga riil seperti ini menjadi sangat-sangat dibutuhkan ditengah gejolak ekonomi dunia sekarang ini. Sebab bukan hanya harga minyak saja yang bisa mengguncang ekonomi dunia yang kemudian juga berdampak pada kehidupan kita, keputusan otoritas moneter sebuah negeri kecil yang berpenduduk kurang dari separuh Jakarta – hanya kebetulan negeri itu bernama Swiss – itupun sudah cukup untuk membuat gonjang-ganjing pasar keuangan dan modal. Pekan lalu kejadian yang sangat langka dan tidak terduga di dunia moneter yang disebut black swan  – disebut angsa hitam karena umumnya angsa berwarna putih – itupun terjadi. Yaitu ketika otoritas moneter Swiss memutuskan untuk tidak lagi mem-peg mata uangnya  Swiss Franc terhadap EURO pada minimum 1.2 EUR/CHF. Kejadian pekan lalu tersebut hanya sekedar contoh betapa labilnya system keuangan dunia saat ini. Maka dibutuhkan  sektor riil yang kuat, yang tidak mudah terganggu oleh gonjang-ganjing ekonomi dunia. Bila kebutuhan makan saja terpenuh dari dalam negeri bagi negeri dengan penduduk 250 juta ini, kisruh ekonomi dunia tidak akan terlalu banyak menimbulkan masalah – karena orang yang bisa makan kenyang tidak akan mudah terhasut untuk bergejolak Lantas apa hubungannya ini semua dengan harga emas ? seperti ungkapan Imam Ghazali, emas itu cermin – yang mencerminkan harga-harga yang adil bagi benda-benda lainnya. Di jaman ini, emas lebih dari sekedar cermin harga – tetapi juga cermin atas kondisi ekonomi dunia. Dia seperti kapal yang terus berlayar di atas ombak, naik turunnya kapal itulah yang  mencerminkan kekuatan ombak dibawahnya. Maka di dunia financial market emas dikenal sebagai safe haven – tempat berlabuh yang aman, yang sangat dibutuhkan ketika para pelaku pasar lagi merasa tidak aman. Maka inilah saat-nya pula Anda pegang kuat-kuat atau bahkan membangun safe haven Anda sendiri, sambil mempersiapkan cara terbaik untuk berperan secara nyata di sektor riil. InsyaAllah.
           "Đảo của dân ngụ cÆ°" giành giải Đặc biệt tại LHP Á - Âu lần thứ 13         
Mới đây, tại LHP Quốc tế Á - Âu  (EURASIA 2017) lần thứ 13 được tổ chức ở Astana - Kazakhstan, bộ phim "Đảo của dân ngụ cư" của nữ đạo diễn Hồng Ánh đã xuất sắc giành Giải Đặc biệt của Ban Giám khảo.
          Redbull - The Kazakhstan Triangle (Full Length)        

Kazakhstan is one of the 10 largest countries in the world, and within that list Kazakhstan will probably be the state you know least about – for a few reasons. Firstly, Central Asia is a very distant region from most of us, and is situated far from the current news agenda. Also, it is a young country which only became independent in 1991 after the collapse of the USSR. Underdeveloped tourism is another factor: Kazakhstan has started to open up recently, but it is still more difficult to travel around than many countries.

Gabriel Summers, Rob Wootton, Nestor Judkins and Vladik Scholz recently undertook the biggest skate trip the country has ever hosted, and the whole story was captured by none other than road warrior Patrik Wallner.

Directed, Filmed and Edited by Patrik Wallner
Photography by Dan Zvereff
Featuring Rob Wootton, Gabriel Summers, Vladik Scholz and Nestor Judkins
Translator & Fixing by Kirill Korobkov
Producer Red Bull Media House

Visualtraveling.com

Cast: Patrik Wallner

Tags: Visualtraveling, Red Bull, Skateboarding, Kazakhstan, Patrik Wallner, Kirill Korobkov, Rob Wootton, Dan Zvereff, Vladik Scholz, Gabriel Summers, Nestor Judkins and Kazakhstan Triangle


          Low grades, high power costs key snags to SA chromite sector’s competitiveness         
Despite South Africa’s rich chromite endowment, the low chromium oxide (Cr2O3) grades found in its orebodies and the high cost of electricity are significant barriers to the country becoming the dominant player in the global industry. Mintek metallurgical project development consultant Dr Nic Barcza highlighted that the estimated chromite production for last year is about 30-million tons, with South Africa leading the charge at 14-million tons followed by Kazakhstan at 5.5-million tons.
          Asbestos industry sabotages UN Rotterdam Convention        
Kathleen Ruff, RightOnCanada.ca At the 8th Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention, taking place in Geneva this week, a tiny number of countries – Russia, Kazakhstan, Zimbabwe, India, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Syria – thumbed their noses at the scientific evidence and the wishes of the rest of the world and refused to allow […]
          Asbestos lobby launches attack to undermine upcoming UN Conference on trade in hazardous substances        
Kathleen Ruff, RightOnCanada.ca The International Chrysotile Association (ICA)  promotes the asbestos trade. Its Board of Directors is comprised of representatives of asbestos mines in Russia, Kazakhstan, Brazil, a closed asbestos mine in Zimbabwe, and asbestos industrialists in India, and Mexico. Chrysotile asbestos represents 100% of the global asbestos trade. The ICA is registered in and […]
          Wah, gadis cantik ini kini bergabung dengan tim bola voli profesional di Jepang!        

Siapa yang tidak kenal dengan Sabina Altynbekova, gadis 18 tahun kelahiran Kazakhstan ini sempat ramai dibicarakan di dunia maya. Ditemukan oleh sebuah media internasional saat mewakili negara Asia tengah di Asian Junior Women’s Volleyball Championship  tahun lalu di Taiwan, dengan cepat banyak netizen yang mengatakan bahwa Sabina adalah pemain voli paling cantik di dunia dan mendapat […]

The post Wah, gadis cantik ini kini bergabung dengan tim bola voli profesional di Jepang! appeared first on Japanese Station.


          Pokok Ganja Di Tanam Sebagai Pokok Hiasan Perbandaran        



ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN – Pihak berkuasa majlis perbandaran di ibu negara Kazakhstan pada Rabu melancarkan satu siasatan terperinci susulan penemuan ribuan pokok ganja hidup subur menghiasi kawasan hijau di pusat bandar raya itu.

Terdahulu, penduduk tempatan di Astana, menyedari bau-bauan aroma luar biasa ketika mereka berjalan di Auezova Street sehingga menyebabkan ramai mengadu pening kepala selain berkhayal macam penagih dadah.

Keadaan itu mengakibatkan ramai memaklumkan kepada pihak berkuasa majlis tempatan dan akhirnya setelah disiasat pegawai bahagian landskap, baharulah diketahui tanaman hiasan terbabit sebenarnya ialah marijuana!



Majlis bandar raya Astana segera mengarahkan penyiasatan dilakukan ekoran penemuan amat mengejutkan itu yang menyaksikan sepanjang jalan utama tersebut ditanam ribuan spesies kanabis diharamkan pemerintah.

Siasatan awal merumuskan pokok ganja berkenaan mungkin ditanam secara tidak sengaja oleh pekerja landskap majlis tempatan yang tidak tahu ia adalah tumbuhan narkotik atau memang ditanam sindiket dadah tertentu.

Seorang jurucakap firma kontraktor perkhidmatan tanaman bandar, Zelenstroy yang mendapat tender landskap oleh majlis tempatan berkata, mereka turut menjalankan siasatan dalaman terhadap semua pekerja terlibat.



“Jika benar itu memang sah ganja, kami tidak teragak-agak membuang tumbuhan marijuana tersebut dengan segera dan digantikan kepada pokok hiasan lain,” tegas jurucakap berkenaan dalam satu kenyataan media.

Seorang penduduk awam, Mihail Malorod yang merupakan individu pertama menyedari pokok narkotik itu mendakwa, tanaman spesies kanabis itu juga ditanam subur di sepanjang bahu laluan Dzhangeldina Street.

Astana yang menggantikan Almaty sebagai ibu negara baharu Kazakhstan sejak 1997, merupakan bandar raya terancang dengan banyak landskap tanaman menghiasi seluruh kawasan pentadbiran.

 â€“ Agensi







.

          The Lancet Infectious Diseases: July 09, 2013        

Mikhail Edelstein discusses antibiotic resistance in Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia.


          How to Save Snow Leopards        
The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is one of the rarest and most elusive big cat species with a population of 4,500 to 7,500 spread across a range of 1.2 to 1.6 million kilometers in some of the world's harshest and most desolate landscapes. Found in arid environments and at elevations sometimes reaching 18,000 feet (5,500 meters), the species faces great threats despite its extreme habitat. These threats vary across its range, but in all countries where it is found — Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and possibly Myanmar — the species is at risk. In some countries snow leopard are directly hunted for their pelt, in others they are imperiled by depletion of prey, loss of habitat, and killing as a predator of livestock. These threats, combined with the cat's large habitat requirements, means conservation through the establishment of protected areas alone may not be enough save it from extinction in the wild in many of the countries in which it lives. Working to stave off this fate in half a dozen of its range countries is the Snow Leopard Conservancy. Founded by Dr. Rodney Jackson, a biologist who has been studying snow leopard in the wild for 30 years, the Conservancy seeks to conserve the species by "promoting innovative grassroots measures that lead local people to become better stewards of endangered snow leopards, their prey, and habitat."
          Astana Memorandum Not Enough For Peace in Syria        

While the Syrian American Council supports all good-faith efforts to achieve peace in Syria, the memorandum of understanding on Syrian “de-escalation areas” signed in Astana, Kazakhstan today is unlikely to achieve peace. More likely, it will increase risks of partition, legitimize the role of Iran’s sectarian militias, and allow the regime side to continue killing civilians. 


          12 Must-Know Facts about Asia        
Asia is the world's largest continent in world covering 60 percent of Earth's total land area.

1.Asia is the most populous continent in the world with world's populous countries,China and India.It is the land of diversity.


2.Asia can be divided into 6 subcontinents :



  1. Central Asia – Kazakhstan Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
  2. East Asia – China, Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan, North and South Korea.
  3. North Asia – Russia.
  4. India Subcontinent – India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.
  5. Southeast Asia – Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar [Burma], Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
  6. Southwest Asia – The Middle East including Turkey, Iran, Cyprus, Israel, and Lebanon.

3.Top Ten Tallest Mountains in Asia :

Mount Everest is the highest point on Earth and it is located in Asia.

Mount Everest with group of people
Mount Everest



  1. Everest -Nepal,Tibet
  2. K2 - Pakistan,China
  3. Kangchenjunga - Nepal,Sikkim, India
  4. Lhotse - Nepal,Tibet, China
  5. Makalu - Nepal,Tibet, China
  6. Cho Oyu - Nepal,Tibet, China
  7. Dhaulagiri - Nepal
  8. Manaslu- Nepal
  9. Nanga Parbat-Pakistan
  10. Annapurna- Nepal
4.Top Ten longest rivers in Asia :

  1. Yangtze 
  2. Yellow River 
  3. Lena River 
  4. Mekong River 
  5. Irtysh River 
  6. Yenisei River 
  7. Ob River 
  8. Nizhnyaya Tunguska River 
  9. Indus River
  10. Brahmaputra River
5.Asia is located to the east of the Suez Canal, the Ural river, and the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains (or the Kuma-Manych Depression) and the Caspian and Black Seas.It is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean and on the north by the Arctic Ocean.

6.Asia’s most dominant financial centers are Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore.

7.Asia is only continent joined by two other continents,Africa and Europe.


9.China is the world's biggest nation and it is located in Asia.

10.Asia is the only continent where tigers are found in the wild.

11.Caspian Sea is the Largest Salt Lake in Asia.

12.The Dead Sea or The Salt Sea is the lowest place on earth is situated in Asia.


          Codes for making International Calls        

What is a Country Code?

      Country codes are used to make International Phone calls.Every country has a unique country code. Country codes are the prefixes you need to dial before calling to the country.This short alphabetic or numeric geographical codes (geocodes) are developed to represent countries and dependent areas.The International Dialing codes of a country is called "Country Code" or  International Area Code(IAC) or International Calling Codes.

International Calling codes of all countries



Country Codes List




CountryCountry Code
Abkhazia+995 44 +7 840, 940
Afghanistan+93
Albania+355
Algeria+213
American Samoa+1 684
Andorra+376
Angola+244
Anguilla+1 264
Antigua and Barbuda+1 268
Argentina+54
Armenia+374
Aruba+297
Ascension Island+247
Australia+61
Australian Antarctic Territory+672 1x
Austria+43
Azerbaijan+994
Bahamas+1 242
Bahrain+973
Bangladesh+880
Barbados+1 246
Belarus+375
Belgium+32
Belize+501
Benin+229
Bermuda+1 441
Bhutan+975
Bolivia+591
Bonaire+599 7
Bosnia and Herzegovina+387
Botswana+267
Brazil+55
British Indian Ocean Territory+246
British Virgin Islands+1 284
Brunei+673
Bulgaria+359
Burkina Faso+226
Burundi+257
Cambodia+855
Cameroon+237
Canada+1
Cape Verde+238
Cayman Islands+1 345
Central African Republic+236
Chad+235
Chile+56
Christmas Island+61 8 9164
Cocos Islands+61 8 9162
Colombia+57
Cook Islands+682
Costa Rica+506
Côte d'Ivoire+225
Croatia+385
Cuba+53
Curacao+599 9
Cyprus+357
Czech Republic+420
Democratic Republic of the Congo+243
Denmark+45
Djibouti+253
Dominica+1 767
Dominican Republic+1 809 / 829 / 849
East Timor+670
Ecuador+593
Egypt+20
El Salvador+503
Equatorial Guinea+240
Eritrea+291
Estonia+372
Ethiopia+251
Falkland Islands+500
Faroe Islands+298
Federated States of Micronesia+691
Fiji+679
Finland+358
France+33
French Guiana+594
French Polynesia+689
Gabon+241
Gambia+220
Georgia+995
Germany+49
Ghana+233
Gibraltar+350
Global Mobile Satellite System+881
Greece+30
Greenland+299
Grenada+1 473
Guadeloupe+590
Guam+1 671
Guatemala+502
Guernsey+44 1481
Guinea+224
Guinea-Bissau+245
Guyana+592
Haiti+509
Honduras+504
Hong Kong+852
Hungary+36
Iceland+354
India+91
Indonesia+62
International Freephone UIFN+800
International Premium Rate Service+979
Iran+98
Iraq+964
Ireland+353
Isle of Man+44 1624
Israel+972
Italy+39
Jamaica+1 876
Japan+81
Jersey+44 1534
Jordan+962
Kazakhstan+7 6xx, 7xx
Kenya+254
Kiribati+686
Kosovo+377 44 / 45 +386 43 / 49 +381 28 / 29 / 38 / 39
Kuwait+965
Kyrgyzstan+996
Laos+856
Latvia+371
Lebanon+961
Lesotho+266
Liberia+231
Libya+218
Liechtenstein+423
Lithuania+370
Luxembourg+352
Macau+853
Macedonia+389
Madagascar+261
Mainland China+86
Malawi+265
Malaysia+60
Maldives+960
Mali+223
Malta+356
Marshall Islands+692
Martinique+596
Mauritania+222
Mauritius+230
Mayotte+262 269 / 639
Mexico+52
Moldova+373
Monaco+377
Mongolia+976
Montenegro+382
Montserrat+1 664
Morocco+212
Mozambique+258
Myanmar+95
Nagorno-Karabakh+374 47 / 97
Namibia+264
Nauru+674
Nepal+977
Netherlands+31
New Caledonia+687
New Zealand+64
Nicaragua+505
Niger+227
Nigeria+234
Niue+683
Norfolk Island+672 3
North Korea+850
Northern Mariana Islands+1 670
Norway+47
Oman+968
Pakistan+92
Palau+680
Palestinian territories+970
Panama+507
Papua New Guinea+675
Paraguay+595
Peru+51
Philippines+63
Poland+48
Portugal+351
Puerto Rico+1 787 / 939
Qatar+974
Republic of China (Taiwan)+886
Republic of the Congo+242
Réunion+262
Romania+40
Russia+7
Rwanda+250
Saba+599 4
Saint Helena+290
Saint Kitts and Nevis+1 869
Saint Lucia+1 758
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines+1 784
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon+508
Samoa+685
San Marino+378
São Tomé and Príncipe+239
Saudi Arabia+966
Senegal+221
Serbia+381
Seychelles+248
Sierra Leone+232
Singapore+65
Sint Eustatius+599 3
Sint Maarten+599 5
Slovakia+421
Slovenia+386
Solomon Islands+677
Somalia+252
South Africa+27
South Korea+82
South Sudan+211
Spain+34
Sri Lanka+94
Sudan+249
Suriname+597
Swaziland+268
Sweden+46
Switzerland+41
Syria+963
Tajikistan+992
Tanzania+255
Telecommunications for Disaster Relief by OCHA+888
Thailand+66
Togo+228
TokelauList of Currencies of the World and their Currency Symbols

There are 179 currencies in the world.
List of Currencies of the World
Currencies of the World

Currency Symbols

CurrencySymbol
Afghan afghani؋
Albanian lekL
Alderney pound£
Algerian dinarد.ج
Angolan kwanzaKz
Argentine peso$
Armenian dramդր.
Aruban florinƒ
Ascension pound£
Australian dollar$
Bahamian dollar$
Bahraini dinar.د.ب
Bangladeshi taka৳
Barbadian dollar$
Belarusian rubleBr
Belize dollar$
Bermudian dollar$
Bhutanese ngultrumNu.
Bolivian bolivianoBs.
Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible markKM or КМ
Botswana pulaP
Brazilian realR$
British pound£
British Virgin Islands dollar$
Brunei dollar$
Bulgarian levлв
Burundian francFr
Cambodian riel៛
Canadian dollar$
Cape Verdean escudoEsc or $
Cayman Islands dollar$
Central African CFA francFr
CFP francFr
Chilean peso$
Chinese yuan¥ or 元
Cocos (Keeling) Islands dollar$
Colombian peso$
Comorian francFr
Congolese francFr
Cook Islands dollar$
Costa Rican colón₡
Croatian kunakn
Cuban convertible peso$
Cuban peso$
Czech korunaKč
Danish kronekr
Djiboutian francFr
Dominican peso$
East Caribbean dollar$
Egyptian pound£ or ج.م
Eritrean nakfaNfk
Ethiopian birrBr
Euro€
Falkland Islands pound£
Faroese krónakr
Fijian dollar$
Gambian dalasiD
Georgian lariლ
Ghanaian cedi₵
Gibraltar pound£
Guatemalan quetzalQ
Guernsey pound£
Guinean francFr
Guyanese dollar$
Haitian gourdeG
Honduran lempiraL
Hong Kong dollar$
Hungarian forintFt
Icelandic krónakr
Indian rupee₹
Indonesian rupiahRp
Iranian rialï·¼
Iraqi dinarع.د
Israeli new shekel₪
Jamaican dollar$
Japanese yen¥
Jersey pound£
Jordanian dinarد.ا
Kazakhstani tenge₸
Kenyan shillingSh
Kiribati dollar$
Kuwaiti dinarد.ك
Kyrgyzstani somлв
Lao kip₭
Latvian latsLs
Lebanese poundل.ل
Lesotho lotiL
Liberian dollar$
Libyan dinarل.د
Lithuanian litasLt
Macanese patacaP
Macedonian denarден
Malagasy ariaryAr
Malawian kwachaMK
Malaysian ringgitRM
Maldivian rufiyaaރ.
Manx pound£
Mauritanian ouguiyaUM
Mauritian rupee₨
Mexican peso$
Micronesian dollar$
Moldovan leuL
Mongolian tögrög₮
Moroccan dirhamد.م.
Mozambican meticalMTn
Myanma kyatK
Nagorno-Karabakh dramդր.
Namibian dollar$
Nauruan dollar$
Nepalese rupee₨
Netherlands Antillean guilderƒ
New Taiwan dollar$
New Zealand dollar$
Nicaraguan córdoba
          US-Russian crew blasts off for space station        
";Mar 28, 5:13 PM EDT

By DMITRY LOVETSKY
Associated Press AP Photo
AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky Science Video Interactives50 years of missions to Mars New Hubble Captures New Images In retrospect: Race to the moon Hubble Telescope: A spy on the universe Preparing for launch after standing down last fall Lunar Testing in Washington Landing on MarsTake a Tour of the International Space Station Lunar Eclipse Seen Around the WorldDocumentsNASA Economic Impact Report (March 2008) Latest NewsRussian spaceship docks with orbiting station Budget cuts could slow commercial space progress Mars rover back in action after computer problems Scientists find universe is 80 million years older NASA moon craft spots Ebb and Flow crash sites Buy AP Photo Reprints BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP) -- A Russian spacecraft carrying a three-man crew blasted off Friday from a launch pad in the steppes of Kazakhstan, for the first time taking a shorter path to the International Space Station.

Instead of the two-day approach maneuver used by Soyuz spacecraft in the past, this journey to the station would take NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russians Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin just under six hours.

The Soyuz TMA-08M lifted off on time from the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome at 2:43 a.m. Friday (2043 GMT; 4:43 p.m. EDT Thursday). It's set to dock at the space outpost at 10:32 p.m. EDT Thursday (0232 GMT Friday).

The trio are "on a fast track to the International Space Station," NASA spokesman Josh Byerly said, adding minutes after the launch that all was going well and the spacecraft went into orbit without any problems.

The new maneuver has been tested successfully by three Russian Progress cargo ships, an unmanned version of the Soyuz used to ferry supplies to the space station.

Vinogradov joked at a pre-launch news conference at Baikonur that the journey to the station would be so quick that it could allow the crew to even carry ice cream as a present to the three men currently manning the orbiting outpost.

"It wouldn't melt in such a short time," he said.

On a more serious note, Vinogradov added that the shorter flight path would reduce the crew's fatigue and allow astronauts to be in top shape for the docking. He said that it takes about five hours for the human body to start feeling the impact of zero gravity, so the quicker flight would allow the crew to more easily adapt to weightlessness in much roomier space station interiors.

The downside of the accelerated rendezvous is that the crew will have to stay in their spacesuits, which they don hours before the launch, through the entire approach maneuver.

Other Russian cosmonauts in the past have described the two-day approach maneuver in the cramped Soyuz as one of the most grueling parts of missions to the orbiting station. The spheroid orbiting capsule allows the crew to take off their bulky spacesuits, change into more comfortable clothes and use a toilet, but its interior is extremely confined.

The ship's spartan layout lacks adequate heating and fails to provide an opportunity for the crew to get hot food. It contrasts sharply with the spacious U.S. space shuttle, whose retirement has left Soyuz as the only means to deliver crews to the space outpost.

Russian space officials said the longer approach was necessary at a time when the station was in a lower orbit required for the shuttle flights. After they ended, it was raised from 350 kilometers (217 miles) to 400 kilometers (249 miles), making a quicker rendezvous possible.

NASA is working on the development of its new generation Orion spacecraft. Orion's first trip is an unmanned mission in 2017, and the first manned mission is set for 2021.

---

Associated Press writer Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.

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          Countries in Asia        
 Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent in the world with 50 Countries.Here is the list of 50 countries in  Asia and their capitals. 
Asia





S.no
Countries
Capitals
1.
Afghanistan
Kabul
2.
Armenia
Yerevan
3.
Azerbaijan
Baku
4.
Bahrain
Manama
5.
Bangladesh
Dhaka
6.
Bhutan
Thimphu
7.
Brunei
Bandar Seri Begawan
8.
Cambodia
Phnom Penh
9.
Cyprus
Nicosia
10.
East Timor
Dili
11.
Egypt
Cairo
12.
Georgia
Tbilisi
13.
India
New Delhi
14.
Indonesia
Jakarta
16.
Iran
Tehran
17.
Iraq
Baghdad
18.
Israel
Jerusalem
19.
Japan
Tokyo
20.
Jordan
Amman
21.

Kazakhstan
Astana
22.
Kuwait
Kuwait City
23.
Kyrgyzstan
Bishkek
24.
Laos
Vientiane
25.
Lebanon
Beirut
26.
Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur
27.
Maldives
Malé
28.
Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar
29.
Myanmar
Naypyidaw
30.
Nepal
Kathmandu
31.
North Korea
Pyongyang (P'yŏngyang)
32.
Oman
Muscat
33.
Pakistan
Islamabad
34.
The People's Republic of China
Beijing
35.
The Philippines
Manila
36.
Qatar
Doha
37.
The Republic of China
Taipei
38.
Russia
Moscow
39.
Saudi Arabia
Riyadh
40.
Singapore
Singapore
41.
South Korea
Seoul
42.
Syria
Damascus
43.
Tajikistan
Dushanbe
44.
Thailand
Bangkok
45.
Turkey
Ankara
46.
Turkmenistan
Ashgabat
47.
The United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi
48.
Uzbekistan
Tashkent
49.
Vietnam
Hanoi
50.
Yemen
Sanaá

          Dynaflex appointed authorized representative for TGI ILMADUR gauge & sight glasses in Middle East & Africa        
TGI's factory in Ilmenau

Ilmenau — 22 June 2012 — Dynaflex Corporation, the authorized importer, stockist & representative in India for ILMADUR gauge & sight glasses manufactured by Technische Glaswerke Ilmenau GmbH, has been allotted by TGI the additional territories of the Middle East & Africa to cater to requirements of their ILMADUR branded gauge & sight glasses in the region. With this appointment, Dynaflex Corporation will now export Ilmadur Gauge & Sight Glasses to Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kurdistan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Northern Cyprus, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Comoros, Djibouti, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan & Sahrawi.

ILMADUR branded gauge & sight glasses are manufactured by Technische Glaswerke Ilmenau GmbH at it's Ilmenau plant. ILMADUR gauge and sight glasses are manufactured from borosilicate “I-420” material developed and patented by TGI particularly to produce high-quality sight glasses.

About TGI
Technische Glaswerke Ilmenau GmbH is a leading manufacturer of laboratory and household glassware, sight and gauge glasses, pressed technical glasses, glass tubes, capillaries & rods in Ilmenau, a town located in the district of Ilm-Kreis, Thuringia, Germany.

About Dynaflex Corporation
Dynaflex Corporation is a leading importer and one of the largest stockists in the world of technical & safety glasses from the leading manufacturers in Europe & the USA. Most of the products are again re-exported to South East Asia, Middle East, Africa, North & South Americas & Europe.

Contact
To learn more about this topic, please contact
Dynaflex Corporation, Media Relations
Tek Towers (DOXA)
No.11, Rajiv Gandhi Salai (OMR)
Thoraipakkam
Chennai 600097, INDIA
pr@dynaflex.asia


          Ten humanitarian stories to look out for in 2017        

While 2016 taught us to expect the unexpected, IRIN’s eyes and ears on the ground have given us an idea of what to look out for in the new year. We can’t promise everyone else will be covering these stories, but here are ten we’ll be watching:

The impact of Trump

Since Donald Trump’s election, speculation has been rife about what his presidency will mean for the wider world. His many statements and tweets on the campaign trail suggest that he intends to prioritise domestic and security interests over foreign aid spending and will roll back efforts made during the Obama administration to combat climate change.

But many in the humanitarian sector have been adopting a glass half full attitude, publicly at least, by pointing out that foreign aid has bipartisan support and Republicans in Congress will oppose any major cuts to foreign assistance. Others are predicting that even if the Trump administration doesn’t significantly cut overall aid spending, it will favour channelling aid through partnerships with the private sector and results-oriented initiatives like the Millennium Challenge Corporation, rather than through traditional recipients like the UN and international NGOs.

A Trump administration seems likely to allocate less aid to reproductive health and family planning programmes, and funding for initiatives relating to climate change will almost certainly be on the chopping block too. Trump has appointed a number of climate change sceptics to his cabinet, including Rick Perry, who will head the Department of Energy and Scott Pruitt, who will lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

Venezuela undone

The oil-rich nation has been unravelling in almost every conceivable way in 2016 – from runaway inflation and empty supermarket shelves to the virtual collapse of the public health sector with the resurgence of previously eradicated diseases like malaria and diphtheria. The government closely guards data on what appear to be steep rises in maternal and infant mortality rates, poverty and malnutrition, but doctors and civil society groups have been monitoring the worrying trajectory.

With the government of President Nicolas Maduro still in complete denial about the growing humanitarian crisis (let alone accepting some responsibility for it), the downward spiral will only continue in 2017. Vatican-mediated talks between the government and the opposition that started in October have so far failed to yield an agreement to lift the country’s ban on international aid, a change that could alleviate critical medicine shortages.

Maduro successfully stalled a recall vote that would likely have unseated him in October 2016. Under Venezuela’s constitutional rules, should Maduro lose a referendum in 2017, he will still be able to hand over power to his vice president and keep the United Socialist Party in power. With a political solution virtually off the table, more social unrest seems inevitable in 2017. Increasingly, Venezuelans will be forced to cross borders in search of livelihoods, healthcare and affordable food. Look to Brazil and Colombia, who will likely bear the brunt of this growing forced migration.

Yemen’s downward spiral

A small sliver of the world is finally paying attention to Yemen. That’s in part due to activist campaigns pushing the United States and Britain to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia, not to mention the Saudis’ grudging admission they had used British cluster bombs in the war (followed by Britain’s statement of the same).

But the war and humanitarian catastrophe marches on. Despite assurances by the Saudi-led coalition that they take great care to avoid collateral damage – to IRIN no less – there have been attacks on markets and funerals, and now more than 4,300 civilian deaths since the war began last March. And that’s only what the decimated health system can count.

family and tent
Mohammed Yaseen Ahmed Ibrahim/IRIN
3.3 million people are displaced in Yemen

Peace talks don’t offer much hope. The UN-backed peace process – already a set of negotiations between elites that didn’t take into account the reality on the ground – is going nowhere, and Houthi rebels have set up their own government.

And now, Yemen is at serious risk of sliding into famine. Before the war, the country relied on imports for 90 percent of its food. With the economy in tatters, importers are finding it hard to bring in what the country needs, and families simply don’t have the cash to buy food.

The post-Aleppo future of Syria

The final fall of the last pocket of resistance in east Aleppo, with fighters and civilians evacuated outside the city, was major victory for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. But it does not signal the end of the war or the suffering. Rebels still control the province of Idlib and much of Deraa, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) have Afrin in the north, while Turkey appears to have territorial ambitions. Plus there’s so-called Islamic State, resurgent in Palmyra and still in control of Raqqa.

Aleppo also marks yet another failure for diplomacy. The last round of Geneva talks seems a distant memory, and while a new ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey appears to be holding in some parts of the country, the truce doesn’t include all rebel groups. If this deal doesn’t pave the way for planned peace talks in Kazakhstan and full-scale violence begins again, it’s not clear where al-Assad will take the fight next. But it seems likely that the siege tactics that have typified the war will lead to more local truces and evacuations.

Once again, this year looks bleak for Syria’s civilians – those bussed from Aleppo are headed into warzones in the middle of winter, joining the 6.3 million civilians already displaced into their own country.

Myanmar’s Rohingya – a long-running crisis and a new insurgency

There are few groups as persecuted as the Rohingya. During decades of military rule, Myanmar’s generals gradually stripped away most of their rights, including citizenship, and imposed the apartheid system they live under today.

About half a million Rohingya have fled across the border during attacks on their communities over the past decades, but Bangladesh doesn’t want them either and refuses to even register them as refugees. The last few months of 2016 saw a new wave of migration over the border as Myanmar’s military allegedly carried out widespread abuses of civilians in the wake of attacks by a new insurgent group.

Myanmar’s heavy-handed approach is unlikely to crush the group, known as Harakah al-Yakin [“Faith Movement” in Arabic]. In fact, there is a good chance that by targeting the civilian population, the military will drive more youth to join the insurgency. So far, the insurgents have targeted only Myanmar security forces and their motivation seems purely local – to push the government to grant the Rohingya citizenship. But there is a danger that international Islamist groups, including IS, could capitalise on the movement, which could threaten regional stability.

Genocide and famine warnings in South Sudan

South Sudan’s descent continues, and it’s likely to only get worse in 2017. The civil war drove 400,000 people across the border into Uganda since a peace deal broke down in July, and there are now more than 1.8 million people internally displaced.

Ongoing fighting has disrupted farming and made it impossible to provide humanitarian relief in many areas. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization warns: “All available indicators point to an unprecedented deterioration of the food security situation across South Sudan in 2017. The risk of famine is real for thousands of people.”

The war and competition for scarce resources have also led to the “extreme polarization of some ethnic groups,” warned Adama Dieng, the UN’s special advisor on the prevention of genocide, in November. If that process continues, he said, “there is a strong risk of violence escalating along ethnic lines, with the potential for genocide.”

Unfortunately, efforts to pressure the government and rebels to return to peace talks have failed. South Sudan enters 2017 under the shadow of looming famine and possible genocide, and the international community seems unable or unwilling to force leaders to stop fighting before they drive their country into an even deeper crisis.

Iraq’s displacement crisis

All eyes are on Mosul – the battle that could finally finish off IS in Iraq. Aid groups warn that as many as one million civilians are trapped inside, and more than 110,000 people have already fled the surrounding areas. But there’s another, related problem, brewing in Iraq. Overall 3 million people are displaced across the country, many from areas controlled or already liberated from IS.

For Sunnis from Anbar province – from cities like Fallujah and Ramadi – going home is far from a sure thing. Those thought to have ties to IS can’t go home, and are stuck in camps, makeshift shelters, or elsewhere. Ignoring this problem risks radicalisation of a population that already feels scapegoated and has in the past been controlled by both al-Qaeda and IS.

It’s not just Sunnis at risk here. Some Christians say they are too afraid to go home to liberated villages near Mosul. The Iraqi government can hardly keep the lights on and has focused its limited resources on the fighting. But this shortsightedness comes at the country’s future peril.

In Afghanistan, more than a million people “on the move”

It’s been a while since Afghanistan had a good year, but the last one has been especially tough – and it’s set the scene for a disastrous 2017.

After a decade and a half of “boots on the ground” style warfare, the United States withdrew almost all of its troops. This triggered a surprisingly unexpected economic collapse that the country is still struggling to bounce back from. The past year also saw the emergence a migration crisis that will further complicate any economic recovery.

Two of Afghanistan’s neighbours, Pakistan and Iran, have been pushing Afghan refugees back over the border in massive numbers, while the European Union signed a deal that made aid contingent upon the Afghan government’s agreement to accept rejected asylum seekers. The first plane carrying Afghans deported from Germany arrived in mid-December. In addition, record numbers of people were internally displaced by conflict in 2016.                  

Going into the new year, Afghanistan is struggling to support 583,174 people displaced by conflict over the past year, as well as 616,620 people who returned from other countries.

Andrew Quilty/IRIN
Outside the UN’s intake centre between the Pakistan border and the city of Jalalabad, in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province

There’s no sign that the Taliban insurgency will ease up, and efforts at convincing them to talk peace with the government have so far been spectacularly unsuccessful. Afghanistan’s military is also battling other insurgent groups, notably IS, which has emerged as a brutal force to be reckoned with in the eastern province of Nangarhar. Meanwhile, Iran continues to push Afghans back home, Europe is likely to return more, and Pakistan says it will begin forced deportations of all Afghans who have not left the country by March.

Kabila stays on in Congo

The political false dawn of 2016, Hillary Clinton apart, was the electoral concession that wasn’t by the autocrat running Gambia. The announcement turned out to be just a ploy by President Yahya Jammeh to buy himself more time to work out how he might extend his 22-and-a-half years in power. But we're also shifting our attention from Africa’s smallest mainland country to its second largest – the Democratic Republic of Congo, where President Joseph Kabila appears to be engaged in similar manoeuvring that has already cost dozens of lives and led to hundreds of arrests.

Although violent unrest in the Gambia shouldn’t be discounted, the consequences of Kabila clinging to power could be even more disastrous. At the moment, an uneasy truce of sorts seems to be holding. Opposition parties have agreed, in principle at least, to allow Kabila to remain as president until the end of next year, but discussions ahead on a transitional government and delayed elections could quickly unravel. Kabila might also try to amend the constitution again to delay elections into 2018 and beyond. With neighbouring Burundi already in extended turmoil over term limits and memories still fresh of the 1998-2003 Second Congo War that dragged in nine African nations and led to an estimated six million deaths, events in Kinshasa are worth keeping a close eye on in 2017.

The opposition is weak and, in Kinshasa at least, unarmed, so with little international pressure being brought to bear and the media spotlight elsewhere, the received wisdom is that Kabila will quietly cement his hold on power. But if 2016 taught us anything, it’s to be ready for the unexpected.

Famine in the Lake Chad Basin region

In terms of sheer numbers and need, one humanitarian crisis that could overshadow all of the above next year lies in the vast Lake Chad Basin. It has had little coverage by journalists; perhaps more under-reported than any other humanitarian emergency of a similar scale. Despite military progress against Boko Haram extremists, 2016 saw conditions deteriorate fast in this troubled region, where Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria meet.

Mausi Segun, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch, told IRIN that such appalling scenes, including the faces of thousands of starving children, haven’t been seen here since the 1967-70 war with secessionist Biafra. Early warning network FEWS NET says 4.7 million people need emergency food assistance in northeastern Nigeria alone and warned on 13 December that a famine is already likely to have occurred and to be ongoing in remote pockets of the region. Across the border in Chad, conditions are little better – more than 130,000 people displaced by the Boko Haram conflict are scattered around camps, competing for slender resources with vulnerable host communities.

And it’s not just Boko Haram that is the problem: a combination of human water use and climate change has shrunk the lake itself to a 20th of its original size since the 1960s. The crisis is already enormous and only likely to deepen in 2017.

People at a food distribution site on Lake Chad
Ashley Hamer/IRIN
The majority of people at this food distribution site on Lake Chad hail from the Buduma ethnic group

(TOP PHOTO: Approaching the militarised “red zone” towards the border with Niger, displaced families in the Lake Chad Basin gather for another distribution of cash handouts. Ashley Hamer/IRIN)

ks/jf/as/ag-as

img_4665.jpg Analysis Aid and Policy Migration Environment and Disasters Climate change Conflict Human Rights Politics and Economics Ten humanitarian stories to look out for in 2017 IRIN Africa Burundi Congo, Republic of South Sudan Cameroon Chad Gambia Niger Nigeria Americas Venezuela Asia Afghanistan Myanmar Global Middle East and North Africa Iraq Saudi Arabia Syria Yemen
          Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan – the fastest growing tourism markets in the CIS        

International tourism have been booming in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan that have enjoyed remarkable economic growth over the past 5 years. Benefiting from the oil developments, in 2009-2013 the economies of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan grew by…

The post Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan – the fastest growing tourism markets in the CIS appeared first on Russia.hr.


          USAID – From the Field        
submitted by Abby Sugrue In Kazakhstan: An event to raise awareness about the risks of drug abuse, HIV/AIDS and TB among at-risk youth – the event will include an awards ceremony for a drawing competition, a football match, and educational sessions on prevention of drug-use, HIV/AIDS and TB.  Local NGOs, youth groups and local media […]
          Jolyon & Katya Ralph - Mon, 05 Aug 2013        
Visit to Altyn Tyube, Kazakhstan
          ÐšÐ¾Ð¼Ð¼ÐµÐ½Ñ‚арий к записи Блог Ректора (Талгат Нарикбаев)        
Сәлеметсізбе, Мөлдір! КАЗГЮУ Университетінің «Тәуелсіз Қазақстан» эссе байқауына танытқан қызығушылығыңыз үшін ризашылығымызды білдіреміз. Байқаудың 1-ші кезеңіне қашықтықтан қатыса аласыз. Эссе жазып, сауалнаманы толтырып келесі электронды поштаға жіберсеңіз болады: esse@kazguu.kz. Эссе байқауының толық ережесімен университет сайтынан таныса аласыз: http://kazguu.kz/ru/2016/12/22/essay-competition-independent-kazakhstan/ Жаңа форматтағы Ұлттық бірыңғай тестілеудің (ҰБТ) ережесін ҚР Білім және ғылым министрлігі бекітуі тиіс. ҰБТ-ға байланысты ақпарат ҚР Білім және ғылым министрлігінің сайтында жарияланады: http://edu.gov.kz/ Құқықтану мамандығына грантқа оқуға түсі үшін ҰБТ-ні сәтті тапсырып, КАЗГЮУ Университетінің қабылдау комиссиясына өтініш қалдыру керек. ҚР білім және ғылым Министрлігінің Республикалық комиссиясы білім беру грантын беру жөнінде шешім қабылдайды және ол баспасөз ақпарат құралдарында жарияланады. КАЗГЮУ Университетінің ішкі білім беру гранттары мен жеңілдіктері бойынша ақпаратпен университет сайтынан таныса аласыз: http://kazguu.kz/ru/studentu/skidki-za-obuchenie/ Егер сұрақтарыңыз болса, төменде көрсетілген нөмірлерге хабарласып, кеңес алуыңызға болады. Сұрақтарыңызға жауап беруге әрдайым дайынбыз. Оқуыңызда сәттілік тілейміз! Байланыс телефондар: 8 (7172) 70 30 30; 8 (775) 000 61 30
          South Korea – Kazakhstan maçını canlı izle        

Bu maç bitmiş ve yayından kaldırılmıştır. Güncel futbol yayınları için Futbol kategorimizi, güncel basketbol yayınları için Basketbol kategorimizi ziyaret edebilirsiniz.

South Korea – Kazakhstan maçını canlı izle yazısı ilk önce Canlı Maç Ä°zle, Online Maç Ä°zle, Maç Yayınları üzerinde ortaya çıktı.


          Kazakhstan – New Zealand Breakers maçını canlı izle        

Bu maç bitmiş ve yayından kaldırılmıştır. Güncel futbol yayınları için Futbol kategorimizi, güncel basketbol yayınları için Basketbol kategorimizi ziyaret edebilirsiniz.

Kazakhstan – New Zealand Breakers maçını canlı izle yazısı ilk önce Canlı Maç Ä°zle, Online Maç Ä°zle, Maç Yayınları üzerinde ortaya çıktı.


          GSI mixed-flow dryer, Kazakhstan        
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          ÐœÐÐ—: старт казахстанской сборки        

30 июня в Алматы запустили производство автотехники МАЗ   Сейчас автосборочное предприятие собирает две модели самосвалов: МАЗ 5516Ð¥5 и МАЗ 6501Н9 грузоподъемностью 20 тонн, по полному циклу сварки, сборки и окраски. А уровень локализации производства на сегодняшний день — свыше 50%. Мы с радостью объявляем о старте серийного производства автотехники МАЗ в Казахстане. Сейчас наше предприятие ведёт … Читать далее МАЗ: старт казахстанской сборки

Запись МАЗ: старт казахстанской сборки впервые появилась Автомир - ваш личный автоэксперт.


          Ð¡Ñ‚епные Сфинксы Казахстана        
happy
Давным-давно в 2005 году мы только начали совместное путешествие и после России поехали в Казахстан.
С собой у нас было только то, что поместилось в кофры на мотоцикле.
Нас только двое и мы ждем новых приключений.

Рассказ о Казахстане

Фото Казахстан 2005


          Why Putin Invaded Ukraine - Energy & Empires        
There are three reasons why Putin has invaded the Ukraine.
1) Hubris. He cannot stand the kick in the balls that the Ukranian Nationalists gave to him by toppling the pro-Russian corrupt political puppet regime that used to rule the Ukraine for Putins benefit.
2) Energy - The Ukraine is the energy aorta of Europe, with vast amounts of Russian gas flowing through the Ukraine and then into the EU. This control of Europe's energy supplies allows him to control Europe via energy blackmail. If Putin turns the pipelines off, then almost a third of Europes gas stops flowing. In the great game of empires throughout modern history since the post 1918 period, whoever controls the energy ( usually in the form of the oil ) controls the world. At the moment America and its Arab puppet regimes control the oil, but as Peak Oil hits in the 21st century then supplies of natural gas will replace oil. Hence those that have the gas will control the world when the oil starts to run dry.
The saying is true - There can be no National Security, without Energy Security.
3) The Eurasian Union.
Putins 21st century Geo-political plan is to create a vast supra-national bloc to challenge the EU, a sort of post-Soviet Empire run by Putin as his personal fiefdom.
This is what the Eurasian Union will look like ;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_Union
If realized, the Eurasian Economic Union would comprise a number of states which were part of the former Soviet Union: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan.[9][10] Vladimir Putin stated in November 2011 that the Eurasian Union would build upon the "best values of the Soviet Union"; however, critics claimed that the drive towards integration aims to restore the "Soviet Empire"
The problem for Putin is that the Ukraine is the key to the Eurasian Union ;
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/eurasian-economic-union-with-russia-at-centre-of-putins-endgame/story-e6frgd0x-1226844074752
In addition to the geostrategic importance of Ukraine, getting Kiev on side is critical to the success of Putin’s proposal for a Eurasian Economic Union. Such a union will exist as a counter to the EU and allow Moscow to institutionalise Russia’s influence.
If realised, the Russian-dominated union would also potentially control one-third of the world’s proven natural gas reserves. It is also clear that losing Ukraine would dangerously undermine Putin’s standing and authority within his own United Russia political party, and provide an example of what dissatisfied populations can achieve through popular protests.
This is why Russian willingness to use coercive diplomacy to maintain an exclusive sphere of influence in the former Soviet Space should come as no surprise. After all, it was Putin who in 2006 described the demise of the Soviet Union as the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century. To protect its declining influence, Russia has not hesitated to use its control of energy resources. At the height of winter in 2006 and 2009, Moscow cut off gas supplies to the Ukraine - and Europe - in disputes with Kiev over gas prices and gas debts.
Russia also uses its position on a network of Soviet-era pipelines as the last exit point to European markets to bully clients and extract low gas and oil prices from Central Asian suppliers.
For example, in 2009, in a dispute over gas pricing Russia suspended gas imports from Turkmenistan for nine months, which cost the latter an estimated one-quarter of its total annual GDP.
Griffin, Golden Dawn, FN, Jobbik, NPD have all rushed to lay down and be petted by Putin.
They have done so solely for their own short term political interests, and at the same time have betrayed both Nationalism and Europe.
What Europe needs is a heroic resistance movement led by a revolutionary nationalist vanguard of young nationalists like the Ukranian Right Sector to lead the overthrow of the rotten old EU regime.
Instead we have a clique of tired, weak, corrupt cowards who have sold out their nations and nationalism for the patronage of Putin, a man who would do Nationalists in his Eurasian Union and in a Putin controlled Europe exactly what he has already done to Nationalists in Russia.
The primary reason why these puffed up political clowns of the pseudo-political right in Europe have opposed the Ukranian Nationalists is because the Ukranian Nationalists have done in a few months what these parasites have never achieved in decades of political activism.
The Ukranian Nationalists have overthrown their governments and built a National Revolution from the ground up.
Look at the European political nationalists, in their plush EU funded offices in designer suits supping fine wines and playing pathetic reactionary bourgeoisie games as they surrender ever more of our nationalist principles to appease the howler monkey liberals that hoot and yell perpetually demanding the dilution of nationalist principles in order for nationalists to sit beneath their tables and beg for the scraps they down to us like good, well trained pets of the traitorous elite.
The European nationalists are too stupid to realise they will never win the rigged game of electoral politics, or they are just too corrupt to care.
Therefore these sad pathetic parade of losers now go bowing and scraping to Putin for some pocket money to put in their already bulging pockets filled with EU funds, state cash and the subscriptions of their gullible members.
Anyone with any intelligence knows you cannot win the rigged game of politics in the EU. All nationalist political parties are is controlled fake oppositions to perpetuate the illusion of democracy in the EU tyranny. Even when Nationalists do win elections then their parties are banned ( NPD), arrested ( The Golden Dawn ), infiltrated by state agents ( BNP, NPD) the law forces them to change their constitutions to remove nationalist principles ( BNP ) or their leaders are murdered like Jorg Haider.
We will never overthrow the EU through playiung the rigged game of electoral politics.
That is why the European nationalists hate the Ukranian Nationalists and have now aligned with Putin, whose anti-nationalist venom inside Russia and whose IMPERIALIST plans for a supra-national state entity match only the Imperialism and anti-nationalism of the EU itself.
The Right Sector are the future of European Nationalism.
I stand with them and their heroes against all who will stand against the European Reconquista that we so deserve and need.
Let the old, the weak, the cowards, the traitors, the corrupted and the stupid all stand together against us.
That way when the time comes, we already know who all our real enemies are.

          My take on China’s "Marshall Plan"        
An abridged and combined translation of the two-part series by He Qinglian published in VoA on Nov 15 and 18 respectively. -- translator note.

Overcapacity: “nuclear threat’ of the Chinese economy

The majority of industries in China faces severe overcapacity that seriously threatens the smooth function of the Chinese economy.
Despite China’s high hope for it, “the Road Map for the Asian Investment Bank” remained only a plan in the APEC summit in 2014. In addition, the Mexican government decided to cancel a Chinese company’s $3.7 billion bid for a hi-speed railway project. China’s "Marshall Plan", which aims chiefly to “export the country’s overcapacity”, is off to a bad start; Beijing would still need to find ways to deal with the “nuclear threat” of the Chinese economy.

Why would China want to implement a Marshall Plan?

Most of the comments made inside China regarding the country’s "Marshall Plan" focus on the investment to be made overseas. While some might point out “export of capacity” is an intent, they deliberately omit the key modifier for the word capacity: over.

China seeks to establish an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and, with that bank as the core, materialize its planning of “one belt and one road”—“the Silk Road Economic Belt” and “the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st century”. Through this “one belt and one road”, China can export capacity it doesn’t need. Commentators dubbed this as China’s Marshall Plan.

What I want to discuss here is the reason why China needs to implement its "Marshall Plan": The majority of industries in China faces severe overcapacity that seriously threatens the smooth function of the Chinese economy.

Why is overcapacity deemed as “nuclear threat” to the Chinese economy?

Overcapacity means the sum of productivity is greater than the sum of consumption demand. Unlike the US Marshall Plan that exported predominantly manufacturing apparatuses, the Chinese version seeks to export its infrastructure (such as railways and motorways) and the up- and downstream industries of the real property, where overcapacity is most noticeable.

China’s overcapacity came almost hand-in-hand with the country’s economic growth and its roots can be summarized as follows: investment made in the socialist manner and demand came following the capitalist fashion.

By “investment made in the socialist manner” I mean borrowers—state-owned-enterprises bosses (exempt from shouldering responsibility as unwritten rules dictate) and private companies owners (they would flee if they become bankrupt) alike—do not have to shoulder real risks as investment funds came mainly from the government or commercial banks and the investment risks are transferred to banks as bad debts.

By “demand came following the capitalist fashion” I mean that there has to be market demand for capacity. If effective demand is insufficient, excess, or in the case of the Chinese economy, over capacity would result.

Based on the aforementioned summary, we could see that China’s overcapacity has the following two characteristics:

First, overcapacity is the inevitable product of government interference with the economy.

Chinese economic growth is often linked to government stimulus policies. Whenever the central government launches stimulus policies, local authorities would without a doubt initiate as they please projects that are very similar in nature and result in severe overcapacity. Although the central government seeks to arrest excessive growth in some industries through macroeconomic regulation and control, their efforts have often been futile, with new overcapacity emerging while the existing ones have not yet been cleared.

In 2009, the NPC Financial and Economic Committee revealed in a survey and research report that starting from 2005, varying levels of overcapacity could be seen in 19 industries. At that time, the State Council Standing Committee set about a special plan to tackle the issue; however, with the local authorities seeing GDP growth as their achievement, overcapacity could not be controlled. By 2013, overcapacity became, as the respective industries acknowledged, a widely seen phenomenon that appeared in aluminum production, steel manufacturing, photovoltaics, wind power, ship building and the like.

Second, the macroeconomic regulation and control policy of the central government results, more often than not, in overcapacity becoming even more serious. Take for example the steel industry in China, despite going through several attempts to suppress its overcapacity in the last decade or so, the industry managed to circumvent those measures in one place or another somehow.

For instance, government policy stipulated that furnaces smaller than 200 cubic meters would be phased out. The intention of the policy was to eliminate smaller mills. However, many of those mills replaced their furnaces with ones sized 300, 500 cubic meters or even bigger. The phased out standard was raised to 300 cubic meters later on, and the mills made changes accordingly. This resulted in the actual capacity of China’s steel manufacture growing larger and larger.

Right now, the steel manufacturing industry has been in a state of overcapacity for several years and yet enterprises are still very eager to increase their capacity. In 2013, the overcapacity of the steel industry in China was 300 million tons, roughly two times the EU capacity. And in 2014, according to China United Steel Net (CUSteel), 24 new furnaces were put into operation; their combined annual capacity was 35 million tons. Although this was half of the 70 million tons increase in capacity in 2013, it’s still adding to the overcapacity issue when the demand is not strong.

According to a document from the National Development and Reform Commission, overcapacity could also be seen in a wide range of other industries and analysts were quoted as saying that there are but a handful of industries that do not have the overcapacity issue. Thus, overcapacity became the “nuclear threat” of the Chinese economy.

Why is it so difficult to bring overcapacity under control? The reasons, apart from the systemic issues of investment mentioned above, are that local authorities have two things to consider. First, phasing out excess capacity would result in huge layoffs, which would destabilize society and contradict the government objective of stability maintenance. And the second thing is debt risk. At present, the debt ratio of member companies of CUSteel is as high as 70%, with the total amount of loans reaching 1.3 trillion dollars. If the debt of non-CUSteel-member companies is also included, the sum of debt of the entire steel industry may exceed 2 trillion dollars. Phasing out companies would leave behind a massive credit black hole.

Obstacles abroad: oppositions to AIIB

Judging from China’s own situation, export of excess capacity might be a solution. So, during a 2013 visit to Indonesia, Xi Jinping offered to “finance infrastructure projects in developing countries in Asia, including ASEAN members” and proposed to set up an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
After representatives from 21 countries including China, India, Kazakhstan and Vietnam signed their signatures on the AIIB memorandum on October 24, the financial institution is expected to complete its charter signing procedures and works to make it become effective in 2015 and come into operation before the end of 2015.

The obstacles AIIB faces include a lack of interest from major economies in the Asia-Pacific region. Representative from four key economies in the region—Japan, Korea, Indonesia and Australia—did not attend the AIIB memorandum signing ceremony. In addition, both the US and Japan oppose it. There were reports that the US asked its allies to take careful considerations before they decide to join the AIIB. Nakao Takehiro, president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), stated simply that he does not welcome the creation of another regional bank spearheaded by China with objectives similar to the ADB.
Without the China-led AIIB to handle the lending business, it would not be easy for China to implement its plan to export the country’s excess capacity.

Obstacles abroad: investment risks outweigh opportunities

The idea of “one belt and one road” fascinated China, with plenty of articles on its bright prospects. These articles, I have to say, are written by starry-eyed persons who took into account only where to invest, i.e., where they could export excess capacity and did not think about the ways to have their return of investment guaranteed.

China’s so-called “market economy”, interfered with by the administration, concentrated only on how to get approvals from superiors, how to banks to lend the money and spend it; never once was ROI taken into consideration and unfinished projects and debts were deemed simply as “prices for mistakes”.

Take a look at the countries and regions covered by this “one belt and one road”, we could see that ASEAN, Southern Asia, West Asia, North Africa and Europe are all included.

Sure enough, countries like Korea, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium and Russia are not in the initial stage of industrialization and they have in place well-developed infrastructure and so they don’t need to take in massive excess capacity from China.

As for India, it’s a populous country that doesn’t lag far behind China in terms of manufacturing and I.T. industries and has plenty of workers if it really needs to build infrastructure.

Hence, countries that might actually need China’s help would only be Indonesia, Malaysia and Central Asian countries like Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

Obstacles abroad: troubles and losses

The difference between overseas investment in “one belt and one road” and that China made in the past is that: in the past, China's overseas investment was strategic investment made to resolve its energy and mineral needs; this time, it is to release China's massive overcapacity and it came up with the premise that other countries need infrastructure and yet they lack the fund.

But all investment, whatever the purposes maybe, needs returns. The gains and losses incurred in overseas investment made in the past can provide meaningful insights into how China has been doing.

The Heritage Foundation set up a database called China's Global Reach to keep trace of overseas investment projects of Chinese enterprises that worth 100 million dollars or more. The data showed that China invested in industries like energy, mining, transportation and banking.

Between 2005 and 2012, Chinese enterprises made investment in 492 projects that worth at least 100 million dollars and committed a total of 505.15 billion dollars, around 90% of this money came from State-owned enterprises. And according to the list of “troublesome projects” in the database, 88 projects of the same period were either rejected by supervision agencies in later stages or partly or completely failed, a total of 198.81 billion dollars were involved.
Things are much much worse if according to China's own calculation. Wang Wenli, vice-president of China Economic and Trade Promotion Association, said in August this year that there over 20,000 Chinese companies have investment overseas, more than 90% of those suffered losses because of [faulty] asset valuation, labor disputes, anti-monopoly and national security issues, tax, public relations and so on. What Wang did not include was embezzlement committed by overseas investment management of state-owned enterprises.

These factors of losses would not go away because the investment objective of “one belt and one road” changed to export of excess capacity.

Beneficiaries of China's overseas investment

The massive investment China made in the last decade or so is a phenomenon unlike anything the international community has ever seen. Such a phenomenon could not possibly emerge in capitalist countries, where all investment all from private money; no multinationals would keep making investment with a loss rate as high as 70-90% over a long period; it didn't emerge in any other socialist countries either: before the 1990s, socialist countries only traded among themselves; today, of the remaining socialist countries, China is the only one to have amassed a wealth so massive that it can make large-scale and ineffective overseas investment using its state power.

As a result, China as a socialist authoritarian country became economically intertwined with democratic countries around the world, and adversaries were turned into partners.

But for all the political gains, China's investment overseas has so far incurred only economic losses. And despite this, China is still making investment abroad. According to China's Ministry of Commerce, the country committed 81.9 billion dollars in direct investment overseas. It's hard to see this as normal investment behavior.

A news report in a Guangzhou newspaper on September 2 would perhaps hold the key to the question why China is so persistent in making investment overseas despite the staggering losses: many mid-level officials of the PetroChina and Sinopec cliques sought opportunity to emigrate to Canada, the US, the UAE and elsewhere before they are struck by the anti-corruption drive. It's estimated that 20 to 40 billion dollars would thus be moved out of China.

          10 Peristiwa Astronomi Yang Menghebohkan Indonesia di tahun 2011        
1. Supermoon


Spoiler for klik:



Supermoon adalah fenomena langit paling menghebohkan masyarakat tahun 2011. Supermoon adalah fenomena ketika bulan tampak lebih besar dari biasanya. Tepatnya, tujuh persen lebih besar. Supermoon terjadi pada Sabtu (19/3/2011) malam dan Minggu (20/3/2011) dini hari. Supermoon terjadi ketika bulan berada di jarak paling dekat dengan Bumi. Jarak antara Bulan dan Bumi saat itu hanya 356.377 kilometer, 30.000 kilometer lebih dekat daripada jarak rata-rata Bulan-Bumi. Bulan sedang bergerak pada posisi terdekat dengan bumi. Posisi terdekat akan dicapai pada tanggal 19 Maret 2011 nanti, membawa bulan hanya pada jarak 221.567 mil, terdekat selama 18 tahun terakhir. Fenomen jarak terdekat bulan dan bumi ini sering disebut “supermoon”. Dampak yang dikibatkan Supermoon adalah meningkatnya gelombang pasang air laut beserta meningkatnya aktivitas seismik di Bumi yang bisa berakibat pada meningkatnya potensi gempa bumi dan erupsi gunung berapi. Pada saat yang hampir bersamaan atau 8 hari sebelum puncak kedekatan Bumi dengan Bulan (perigee), Jepang diguncang oleh gempa berkekuatan 8,9 skala magnitude dan menyebabkan tsunami yang hingga kini menewaskan 1000 korban jiwa


2. Gerhana bulan total
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Saat malam minggu 10 Desember 2011 akan dapat dinikmati fenomena alam yang langka dan sangat indah yaitu gerhana bulan total. Gerhana total ini hanya dapat disaksikan lagi di Indonesia tujuh tahun ke depan. Gerhana bulan total kali ini terjadi saat prime time(waktu utama), yaitu dari magrib hingga menjelang tengah malam.Fenomena langka ini baru bisa disaksikan lagi pada enam tahun mendatang, yaitu pada 31 Januari 2018. Sebenarnya selama periode “kosong” itu terdapat tiga kali gerhana bulan, antara 2014 dan 2015. Tapi pemandangan bulan ditelan bayangan itu hanya bisa disaksikan di sebagian Indonesia, itu pun tak seluruh fase bisa terlihat.


3. Purnama Jupiter
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adalah peristiwa astronomi yang sangat luar biasa indah. Purnama Jupiter, keadaan saat Jupiter berada dalam posisi terdekatnya dengan Bumi atau juga disebut oposisi Jupiter. Purnama Jupiter terjadi Jumat (28/10/2011). Dalam kondisi purnama, Jupiter-Bumi-Matahari akan berada pada satu garis lurus. Jupiter akan tampak bulat penuh dan lebih terang, termasuk yang paling terang dalam 11 tahun terakhir. Oposisi Jupiter juga bisa menjadi objek astrofotografi. Bisa di-zoom di Jupiter-nya atau Jupiter dengan satelit-satelitnya. Oposisi Jupiter tahun ini tergolong salah satu yang paling istimewa. Oposisi bertepatan dengan fase bulan baru dan perihelion Jupiter atau jarak terdekat Jupiter Matahari. Dengan demikian, cahaya akan lebih terang. Purnama Jupiter ini bisa terlihat jelas dengan mata telanjang walaupun ada polusi cahaya. Jupiter telah tampak jelas sejak beberapa saat sebelumnya. Namun Jupiter belum mencapai jarak terdekatnya dengan Bumi. Baru pada tanggal 28 Oktober malam itulah jarak terdekat dicapai.





4. Bulan biru
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ternyata fakta fenomena keindahan alam yang benar ada bukan hanya sekedar dalam cerita fiksi. Gerhana Bulan Total (GBT) terjadi Sabtu (10/12/2011) malam dengan totalitas selama 50 menit, mulai dari pukul 21.07 hingga 21.57 WIB. Masyarakat Kecamatan Gombong, Kabupaten Kebumen, Jawa Tengah menyaksikan totalitas gerhana selama 20 menit yang sangat unik. Sempat bulan tersibak saat totalitas, nampak memerah kebiruan. Saat terjadi GBT, Bulan memang tidak akan lenyap begitu saja. Biasanya, Bulan tampak dalam warna merah karena saat itu cahaya merah paling banyak dihamburkan. Warna kebiruan itu teramati hanya saat totalitas gerhana terjadi. Pada saat itu, sebagian besar Bulan berwarna merah dan ada sebagian yang berwarna kebiruan.



5. Hujan meteor.

Spoiler for klik:




Dua hujan meteor pada bulan Ramadhan Ramadhan. Masing-masing adalah hujan meteor Perseids dan Delta Aquarids yang memuncak pada 13 Agustus 2011.


6. Hujan Meteor Quadrantid
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Saat malam pergantian tahun baru 2010 ke 2011, ternyata langit bumi tidak hanya dihiasi kembang api tetapi juga adanya meteor. Pada 1 Januari 2011 dini hari saat awal jatuhnya hujan meteor Quadrantid. Pada saat permulaan hanya beberapa meteor yang tampak dalam satu jam. Setelah beberapa jam kemudian pada puncaknya akan terlihatl 100 meteor dalam setiap jamnya. Meteor ini sangat langka dan jarang terlihat dan sulit diprediksi datangnya. Hujan meteor Quadrantid terlihat pada rentang 1 hingga 5 Januari sudah terjadi. Puncak dari fenomena ini adalah pada 3 Januari mendatang. Saat itu bisa disaksikan 100 meteor atau rata-rata 2 meteor per menit. Meteor Ini diduga asalnya dari debu komet baru bernomor 1490 Y1 atau 1385 U1



7. Purnama terkecil
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atau kebalikan dari supermoon yang terjadi 11 Oktober 2011. Bulan tercatat sebagai Bulan purnama terkecil sepanjang tahun 2011. Ketika melihat langit, Bulan memang mencapai fase penuhnya tetapi bentuknya lebih kecil dari biasanya. Namun masyarakat Indonesia tak bisa menikmatinya karena purnama terkecil ini akan jatuh pada pagi hari, saat Matahari sudah terbit. Untuk fenomena purnama terkecil ini, masyarakat Indonesia, mungkin bisa menunggu purnama-purnama terkecil yang mungkin terjadi di tahun berikutnya. Purnama terkecil ini terjadi 10 jam setelah puncak purnama yang terjadi pukul 12.00 GMT hari ini atau 07.00 WIB malam nanti. Pada saat terjadi purnama terkecil, Bulan akan tampak 12,3 persen lebih kecil dari Supermoon. Besar kecilnya ukuran Bulan dipengaruhi oleh pergerakan Bulan terhadap Bumi. Karena orbit bulan berbentuk elips, maka Bulan bisa berada di titik terdekat (perigee) ataupun titik terjauh (apogee).


8. Komet Lovejoy.
Spoiler for klik:

Komet Lovejoy yang menabrak Matahari, selamat dan akhirnya menampakkan diri menjelang Natal. Menurut laporan NASA, Lovejoy sebuah komet yang telah menabrak matahari ternyata selamat dari penerjunan bunuh diri melintasi atmosfer Matahari yang amat panas Jumat (16/12/2011). Sebelumnya para ahli astronomi memperkirakan komet tersebut binasa hancur lebur saat menembus panasnya matahari. Tabrakan komet dengan Matahari bukan sebuah peristiwa aneh, tetapi cukup jarang terjadi.


9. Peristiwa Langka Enam Gerhana dalam satu Tahun
Spoiler for klik:

Dalam tahun 2011 ini bumi disuguhi oleh empat gerhana matahari sebagian dan dua gerhana bulan total. Kombinasi empat dan dua gerhana dalam satu tahun adalah peristiwa yang jarang terjadi. Gerhana matahari sebagian pada 2011 akan terjadi pada 4 Januari, 1 Juni, 1 Juli, dan 25 November. Sedangkan gerhana bulan total akan terjadi pada 15 Juni dan 10 Desember. Kombinasi empat gerhana matahari dan dua gerhana bulan dalam setahun hanya akan terjadi enam kali sepanjang abad ke-21, yakni pada tahun 2011, 2029, 2047, 2065, 2076, dan 2094. Seluruh gerhana matahari tidak akan dapat dilihat dari Indonesia. Tapi dua gerhana bulan total akan dapat diamati di negeri ini. Seluruh fase gerhana bulan total Juni akan dapat diamati di Indonesia bagian barat, sementara wilayah Indonesia lainnya mengalami gerhana bulan sebagian. Pada awal tahun 2011, seluruh fase gerhana bulan total akan dapat diamati dari Sabang hingga Merauke. Gerhana matahari sebagian pada 4 Januari, akan dapat diamati di sebagian besar wilayah Eropa, Afrika utara, dan Asia Tengah. Di kota-kota Eropa seperti Madrid, Paris, London, dan Copenhagen, akan menjadi lokasi terbaik jepretan foto gerhana sebagian, saat matahari baru terbit. Puncak gerhana matahari sebagian ini akan terjadi pada 08:50:35 waktu universal (UT) dan lokasi terbaik adalah di wilayah utara Swedia. Warga di Kairo, Jerusalem, Istanbul, dan Teheran juga akan mendapati gerhana matahari sebagian dengan magnitud besar. Pemandangan indah gerhana matahari sebagian menjelang surya tenggelam akan dapat diamati di kawasan tengah Rusia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, dan kawasan barat laut China. Gerhana matahari sebagian resmi berakhir saat penumbra meninggalkan bumi pada 11:00:54 UT


10. Jatuhnya Satelit Ke Bumi.
Spoiler for klik:
          Keindahan Hutan dalam Air yg Menakjubkan di Berbagai Belahan Dunia        
1. Lake Kaindy, Kazakhstan


Quote:
Danau ini terletak di kedalaman hutan dengan ketinggian 2000m di atas permukaan laut. Terbentuk dari longsoran batu kapur dan pengendapan tanah. Danau ini membentuk bendungan alami dan sebuah ngarai yang indah.



Danau ini memiliki panjang panjang 400m dengan kedalaman 30m. Pemandangan yang sangat indah dihadirkan disini. Sisa-sisa pohon yang tidak terendam, menjulang bagaikan paku-paku kreasi dari alam. Sedangkan bagian yang terendam air, nampak menyimpan misteri seperti hutan yang berumur ratusan tahun.nah kalo ini yg gambar nya kaya garis2 kurus itu yg pohonnya,,,

2. Danau Bezid, Romania

Quote:
Terletak di wilayah Transylvania Rumania, keunikannya adalah tidak hanya pemandangan indah namun juga sisi mistis yang dihadirkan di sini. Terbentuk setelah seluruh desa Bezid kebanjiran, meninggalkan rumah-rumah di dasar danau dan hanya gereja lokal menara dan pohon-pohon masih terlihat menjulang di atas danau.



Dahan-dahan dan ranting pohon yang tua terlihat menjulang ke atas permukaan air seperti tangan-tangan yang membawa pesan mistis. Waduk ini juga menyembunyikan sesuatu di bawah airnya, yaitu puing-puing desa yang tenggelam sehingga semakin menambah suasana indah dan juga misteri yang dihadirkan disana.
menarik atau mengerikan???

3. Danau Periyar, India

Quote:
Danau Periyar sebenarnya waduk buatan, untuk sebuah daerah banjir yang diciptakan pada tahun 1895 oleh pembangunan Bendungan Mullaperiyar. Tunggul pohon itu adalah sisa-sisa hutan yang dulu.



Di sekitar danau kontur bukit-bukit yang berhutan menyediakan sumber air permanen untuk satwa liar lokal, dan ini dikatakan sebagai salah satu dari sedikit tempat di mana bendungan telah baik untuk di jadikan ekosistem.hehehe tetep dalam air kan,,,,

4. Waduk Udawalawe, Sri Lanka

Quote:
Waduk ini menyajikan pemandangan sisa-sisa ribuan pohon hutan yang mati akibat terendam air yang mengisi bendungan buatan ini. Banyak sekali binatang-binatang yang kehilangan habitatnya disini, Namun belakangan, waduk ini mulai kembali didatangi oleh berbagai kelompok dan jenis-jenis hewan yang ada di sekitar lingkungan waduk ini.



Sering terlihat sekumpulan gajah-gajah yang sengaja mampir kesini, selain untuk minum ada juga yang bermain-main dengan mandi di sini. Tak ketinggalan pula mulai banyak jenis-jenis ikan baru yang kedapatan meghuni waduk ini.sayangnya dijadikan waduk,,,

5. Danau Volta, Ghana

Quote:
Danau dibentuk oleh hidroelektrik Akosomba Dam, yang menyediakan pasokan listrik untuk banyak negara. Selesai dibangun pada tahun 1965, proyek ini memaksa sekitar 78.000 orang untuk melakukan relokasi permukiman baru, bersama dengan 200.000 hewan peliharaan mereka, sementara sekitar 120 bangunan dan tempat tinggal yang tak terhitung jumlahnya juga dihancurkan.



Danau Volta merupakan potensi sumber daya yang menjanjikan, pemerintah Ghana berusaha untuk memanen 14 juta meter kubik kayu yang terendam, meskipun tidak tanpa kontroversi. Kayu keras tropis yang mungkin berharga, diawetkan oleh minimnya oksigen di dalam air. Tetapi beberapa mengatakan penebangan di dalam air bisa menjadi ancaman bagi nelayan dan mengganggu keseimbangan ekologi danau.(orangnya item2) hohoho

6. Danau Caddo,Texas

Quote:
Danau Misterius ini tampak seperti Rawa-rawa dalam film horror. danau ini tidak sepenuhnya tenggelam sehingga tumbuhan di sini tidak begitu mati dan tidak begitu hidup. Namun di balik keseraman tersebut terdapat Keindahan yang luar biasa.



Asli tumbuhan runjung tenggara Amerika Serikat, pohon-pohon Cypress berkembang dalam habitat lembab, dan beberapa individu dapat hidup selama lebih dari 1.000 tahun.

Baldcypresses, yang berkembang dalam habitat berawa, memiliki pertumbuhan yang khas yang disebut cemara lutut, woody proyeksi di atas air yang merupakan bagian dari sistem akar dan memberikan dukungan struktural dan stabilisasi - di situs rawan banjir seperti ini.

7. Kampong Pluk, Kamboja

Quote:
Di Kamboja dapat ditemukan hutan lain yang mengambang, terdiri dari pohon-pohon yang tumbuh keluar dari sebuah danau, akar kust mereka yang tersembunyi di bawah air.



Pohon yang tumbuh di Kampung Pluk adalah bakau dan habitat hutan lainnya. Mereka adalah rumah bagi berbagai satwa liar, termasuk monyet pemakan kepiting, serta manusia yang panen udang dan tinggal di rumah pohon / rumah apung.

Quote:
ada lagi sebeneranya tapi blom ada gambar nya,,,
yg terakhir setau ku ada di sini,,,
di KALIMANTAN,,Tp blm ada gambarnya, ada yg punya gak?

8. Danau Sentarum, Kalimantan

Quote:
Originally Posted by nebuchadnezzar View Post
Ada gan, hutan dalam air di kalimantan. Namanya Danau Sentarum, lokasi di Kabupaten Kapuas Hulu, Provinsi Kalimantan Barat.








          CHANGEMENTS MAJEURS SUR TERRE !? | Fin SEPTEMBRE 2015 !        

Vous aurez compris que les 500 jours prédits par Fabius et que les 18 mois prévus par Attali, en mai 2014, donnaient le délai qu'il restait aux Illuminati/Reptiliens pour nous instaurer leur Nouvel Ordre Mondial avant le retour de leurs Dieux AN-NUNAKIS sur leur planète Nibiru  et Dieux auxquels ils avaient promis de leur livrer la Terre et toutes ses richesses après avoir éliminé les 2/3 de la population mondiale par le biais de leurs guerres d'invasion, de colonisation et génocidaires !

 

 

RECAPITULATIFS DES ÉVÈNEMENTS PRÉVUS POUR FIN SEPTEMBRE 2015

 

Je tiens à préciser que les effets liés à ces évènements (selon mes recherches et plusieurs sources diverses) commenceraient à partir de fin septembre 2015.

 

Je tiens à préciser également que cet article n'est pas destiné à faire peur, c'est juste une compilation d'évènements et  de prédictions qui arrivent  et coïncident tous pour la même fenêtre de temps, qui est fin septembre 2015.

 

1 ou 2 sources qui coïncident ça peux être un hasard, mais quand il y a un grand nombre de sources qui arrivent à une même période temporelle ou conclusions concernant les débuts d'un grand changement majeur pour la terre et tout ce qui y vit, ça n'est plus un hasard.

 

Je me suis fait avoir pour le 21 Décembre 2012 (comme beaucoup de gens), espérons que cette fois-ci il se passe vraiment quelque chose qui changera positivement notre vie sur cette planète et au-delà.

0

Le 13 Mai 2014, Laurent Fabius a fait une déclaration très surprenante à Washington lors d'une déclaration à la presse au sein du département d'état américain.

En présence de John Kerry, ministre des affaires étrangères américain, il a déclaré qu'il restait 500 jours avant un chaos climatique, sans donner plus d'explications.En ajoutant les 500 jours (dont Fabius parle) au 13 mai 2014 (date ou il fait la déclaration), on tombe sur fin septembre...Il fait le même genre de déclaration également à l'assemblée nationale en France

LIENS


http://www.express.be/joker/fr/platdujour/500-jours-pour-eviter-un-chaos-climatique/205096.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=66&v=V9JTbpPWVjI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QDJb6fF8pg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfeS5k1518o

 

Pour jacques attali le fn est le premier parti de france
 
DÉCLARATIONS ALARMANTES D'ATTALI :
 
Attali nous disait en mai 2014 : « Nous avons au mieux 18 mois devant nous »
Attali prédit la prochaine crise, en 2015 :
 

 

105421025 o

CATACLYSME FINANCIER

 
Martin Armstrong ancien conseiller financier prévoit un cataclysme financier pour fin septembre début octobre 2015.

(Il a déjà prédit d'autres événements financiers qui se sont réellement produits auparavant, et il à été arrêté et mis en prison pour ne pas avoir révélé son système de calcul qui prévoit les événements majeurs financiers.)

LIENS :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vD0Zcs1yFc

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2yd6w7_l-oracle-interview-zdf-vostfr_school?start=280

http://www.chaos-controle.com/archives/2015/07/21/32388498.html

 

Brics 2014
1 -La Russie tiendra cinq exercices militaires conjoints avec la Chine, l'Inde, la Mongolie, l'Arménie, la Biélorussie, le Kazakhstan, le Kirghizstan et le Tadjikistan.et non membres de l'Otan au deuxième semestre de 2015, a annoncé mercredi le Kremlin.
 
2 - Les BRICS (Brésil/Russie/Inde/Chine/Afrique du sud) ouvrent leur banque à Shanghai, et ce, 2 mois environ avant la fin septembre.
 
Evénement majeur en terme de changements financiers sur l4’échiquier mondial.
 
7777090689 le pape francois a naples le 21 mars 2015

 

 

Le PAPE : Le pape s’éloignera du Vatican lors de voyages qui l'amèneront en Amérique, c'est alors qu’'arrivera la chute de l’humanité.

Cette prophétie de mauvaise augure prend aujourd'hui tout son sens puisque le pape François (lui aussi argentin d'ailleurs) a annoncé sa première visite à la maison blanche pour le 23 Septembre 2015. Il se rendra également le 24 Septembre au congrès. François sera le premier pape de l'histoire à prononcer un tel discours, devant les deux chambres du Congrès réunies.

(Note : La "chute de l'humanité." peux vouloir dire beaucoup de choses, peu être la chute de la société humaine actuelle, pour un autre modèle de société, car celle actuelle actuellement en place, comme on peut le constater n'est pas un modèle en accord avec la nature, les animaux et les êtres humains...)

LIEN 

http://fawkes-news.blogspot.fr/2015/04/une-prophetie-de-parravicini-prevoit-un.html

- 23 septembre 2015: François Bergoglio, rencontrera le président Obama à la Maison Blanche.
- 24 septembre 2015: François Bergoglio parlera comme premier pape au Congrès des États-Unis.
- 25 septembre 2015: François Bergoglio S’adressera à l'Assemblée générale de l'ONU avant le sommet post 2015.

Apparemment c’est la première fois qu’'un tel événement se produira.

LIEN :
http://www.i24news.tv/fr/actu/international/ameriques/65648-150326-obama-recevra-le-pape-francois-le-23-septembre-a-maison-blanche