Indonesian environment ministry ends WWF partnership amid public spat

Forecasting the world in 2020

Brexit was not stopped, populists made smaller gains than expected in May’s European parliament elections, and the S&P 500 beat our — and most other people’s — expectations. Along with Brazilian growth falling below the year before, the FT’s forecasting team got those predictions wrong for 2019, though Philip Stephens last year admitted he offered his forecast that Brexit would be reversed “as much in hope as expectation”.

Though the world may seem ever more unpredictable, four wrong answers was an improvement on our dismal eight the year before. And aside from Brexit, readers in our annual competition generally made the same mistakes we did — more than 70 per cent of you got the same three questions wrong. For a third straight year, though, the top-scoring readers beat the FT. Three tied on 19 correct answers out of 20. Tiếp tục đọc “Forecasting the world in 2020”

Southeast Asia in 2020: Issues to Watch, Part 1

January 14, 2020

In this two-part series, Dr. Amy Searight, senior adviser and director of the CSIS Southeast Asia Program, previews five key issues to watch in Southeast Asia in 2020. This installment addresses U.S.-ASEAN relations, climate change and the imperiled Mekong, and domestic politics. The next installment will cover economic trends and developments in the digital space.

Can Trump Reset U.S.-ASEAN Relations?

Disappointingly, 2019 was a pretty bad year for U.S.-ASEAN relations. Trump had a promising start in his first year in office, hosting four Southeast Asian leaders in the White House, traveling to Vietnam and the Philippines to unveil his “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” vision, and holding a U.S.-ASEAN summit. But Trump’s interest in Southeast Asia has since appeared to wane considerably. Although Trump traveled to Vietnam in February for a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, he later called Vietnam the “single worst abuser” in trade relations with the United States. In November, President Trump skipped the East Asian Summit (EAS) for the third straight year, sending National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien instead. Trump’s absence in Bangkok and the historically low level of diplomatic representation at the summit ruffled a lot of feathers within ASEAN and led most of the Southeast Asian leaders to snub the U.S.-ASEAN summit held on the sidelines of the EAS (only Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos attended at the leader level). ASEAN’s disenchantment with the level of U.S. engagement came just as China was gaining new traction in the region, with a revamped Belt and Road Initiative that appeared to address regional concerns and progress toward launching the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a trade agreement between ASEAN, China, and four other regional trade partners.
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Children to bear the burden of negative health effects from climate change 

Date: January 27, 2020

Source: University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Summary: The grim effects that climate change will have on pediatric health outcomes was the focus of a recent article.Share:

The grim effects that climate change will have on pediatric health outcomes was the focus of a “Viewpoint” article published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation by Susan E. Pacheco, MD, an expert at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Pacheco, an associate professor of pediatrics at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, along with professors from Johns Hopkins Medicine and the George Washington University, authored a series of articles that detail how increased temperatures due to climate change will negatively affect the health of humanity. In the article authored by Pacheco, she shines a light on the startling effects the crisis has on children’s health before they are even born. Tiếp tục đọc “Children to bear the burden of negative health effects from climate change”

Commentary: The Wuhan virus and the problem with the wildlife trade

The Wuhan virus outbreak suggests we still haven’t learnt the lessons from SARS, says an expert.

A worker in a protective suit is seen at the closed seafood market in Wuhan
A worker in a protective suit is seen at the closed seafood market in Wuhan, Hubei province, China January 10, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer

NORWICH: The SARS outbreak in 2002 to 2003 was the first global pandemic of the 21st century.

There were over 8,400 reported cases and 11 per cent of those infected with the virus died. Its cause was a newly identified coronavirus (a type of virus that causes respiratory infections): SARS Co-V.

Early cases were linked to wildlife markets and restaurants in Guangdong, China, where researchers found SARS-like coronaviruses in animals including masked palm civets and a racoon dog.
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Revealed: the 20 firms behind a third of all carbon emissions 

New data shows how fossil fuel companies have driven climate crisis despite industry knowing dangers

by  and 

The Guardian today reveals the 20 fossil fuel companies whose relentless exploitation of the world’s oil, gas and coal reserves can be directly linked to more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the modern era.

New data from world-renowned researchers reveals how this cohort of state-owned and multinational firms are driving the climate emergency that threatens the future of humanity, and details how they have continued to expand their operations despite being aware of the industry’s devastating impact on the planet.

The analysis, by Richard Heede at the Climate Accountability Institute in the US, the world’s leading authority on big oil’s role in the escalating climate emergency, evaluates what the global corporations have extracted from the ground, and the subsequent emissions these fossil fuels are responsible for since 1965 – the point at which experts say the environmental impact of fossil fuels was known by both industry leaders and politicians. Tiếp tục đọc “Revealed: the 20 firms behind a third of all carbon emissions”

13 Facts About the Controversial Massive Chinese Dam That Slowed the Earth’s Rotation

The Three Gorges Dam is one of the most ambitious and equally controversial projects on the planet.

How much do you know about the Three Gorges Dam? You have probably come across dams through your travels, or there may even be a dam near your home town.


Dams can be awe-inspiring, human-made feats of engineering, powering the lives of the surrounding communities.

Yet, in the same breath dams are the subject of notable and significant national, regional or international controversy. And, no dam has garnered as much notoriety as the 3 Gorges Dam; a dam that is so massive in scale that it has actually slowed down the earth’s rotation.

For the uninitiated, a dam is a large barrier built across rivers and streams to confine and utilize the flow of water for human purposes such as irrigation and the generation of hydroelectricity.

So, if you have always wanted to hear the story behind the Three Gorges Dam and what makes it so controversial, it is your lucky day. An efficient man-made monument to innovation, or a destructive monstrosity? Today you will decide. Here are thirteen facts about Three Gorges Dam.

The Dam Was Originally Sun Yat-Sen’s Idea

Often considered the father of modern China, Sun Yat-sen originally proposed the idea of the Three Gorges Dam all the way back in early 1919. Overthrowing China’s Manchu dynasty in 1922,  Sun Yat-sen sparked the revolution that would plant the seeds of what would eventually become the Republic of China.

In an article titled, “A Plan to Development Industry”, Sun Yat-Sen proposed the idea of constructing a dam that not only would help control the flooding of the Yangtze River, but also embody China’s “new might.”  However, it would be a while before the project would come into fruition.

Three Gorges Is Massive

Though some claim the Three Gorges Dam is viewable from space, this is not true. Nevertheless, the dam is massive.  Made of steel and concrete, the steel dam is 7,661 feet long, almost 600 feet high.

Engineers needed 510,000 tons of steel to construct the massive dam. To put that in perspective, with the same resources you could build sixty different Eiffel Towers.

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The Wuhan Virus: How to Stay Safe

As China’s epidemic continues to spread, things may seem scary. Here are ten simple precautions that can protect you from contracting the coronavirus.

Medical staff members wear protective clothing as they arrive with a patient at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in China on Jan. 25.

Medical staff members wear protective clothing as they arrive with a patient at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in China on Jan. 25. HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

As the new Wuhan coronavirus has spread not only all over mainland China, but also worldwide, panic is rising. Inside China there is a growing sense of helplessness, as the government is compelled to take drastic measures to stop the virus, including introducing some travel restrictions in Beijing. I have received panicked queries from journalists and public health workers in China, asking, “How can we protect ourselves and our families?” Tiếp tục đọc “The Wuhan Virus: How to Stay Safe”

Vietnam needs to choose the path less traveled

By Nguyen Dang Anh Thi   January 26, 2020 | 07:27 am GMT+7

In copying other countries’ development mistakes, Vietnam has paid a heavy price for not deploying due foresight. Now, we cannot ignore hindsight wisdom.

Nguyen Dang Anh Thi

Nguyen Dang Anh Thi

When he was 18, my eldest brother faced a tough decision – should he go to university or take up vocational training?

Although he wanted to persist with his academic pursuit, he deferred to the family’s economic needs and decided to join the workforce to support the family.

So, instead of going to university, he decided to go to Tay Loc District in my home province, Thua Thien Hue, and learn tailoring.

One year, with a sudden surge in the need for making windcheaters in HCMC, my brother left home and headed for the southern metropolis in search of better work opportunities. He boarded the crammed bus, not daring to look behind at his sobbing family.

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UN’s top court orders Myanmar to protect Rohingya from genocide

Momentous pronouncement at Hague rejects Aung San Suu Kyi’s defence of her country’s military

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh take part in prayers to mark the second anniversary of their exodus from Myanmar
 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh take part in prayers to mark the second anniversary of their exodus from Myanmar. Photograph: Rafiquar Rahman/Reuters

Myanmar has been ordered by the United Nations’ highest court to prevent genocidal violence against its Rohingya Muslim minority and preserve any evidence of past crimes.

In a momentous and unanimous decision, the international court of justice (ICJ) in The Hague imposed emergency “provisional measures” on the country – intervening in its domestic affairs by instructing the government of Aung San Suu Kyi to respect the requirements of the 1948 genocide convention.

Declaring that there was prima facie evidence of breaches of the convention, the court warned that the estimated 600,000 Rohingya remaining in Myanmar were “extremely vulnerable” to attacks by the military. Tiếp tục đọc “UN’s top court orders Myanmar to protect Rohingya from genocide”

Coronavirus Exposes Core Flaws, and Few Strengths, in China’s Governance


While China can mobilize a huge national response to the outbreak, its response to the crisis is also a lesson in how the country’s political weak points can carry grave consequences for world health.

Health care workers at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital on Saturday.Credit…Hector Retamal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Image

  • Published Jan. 25, 2020Updated Jan. 26, 2020, 12:45 a.m. ET

It was the initial news reports that first suggested China’s political system might be getting in the way of its ability to confront the coronavirus outbreak.

The outbreak seemed to already be a full-blown crisis, infecting dozens in China and even some abroad, by the time it became widely reported. Tiếp tục đọc “Coronavirus Exposes Core Flaws, and Few Strengths, in China’s Governance”

China holds firm on strategy to build self-sufficient domestic polysilicon industry
The Chinese government will extend duties on U.S. and South Korean polysilicon for another five years from today despite committing to buy $200 billion more American goods and services in the trade deal signed on Wednesday. Poly manufacturer REC Silicon says it expects polysilicon to form part of that trade agreement.


China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has announced the anti-dumping duties applied to U.S. and South Korean-made polysilicon will remain in place for another five years from today.

Norwegian poly producer REC Silicon, which manufactures almost all of its current output of the solar module raw material in the U.S., said this morning the extension of duties announced yesterday was expected as part of a pre-planned tariff review independent of the trade deal thrashed out by President Trump and China on Wednesday. Tiếp tục đọc “China holds firm on strategy to build self-sufficient domestic polysilicon industry”

World Consumes 100 Billion Tons of Materials Every Year

An open pit mine in Russia.

An open pit mine in Russia. RINAT GAREEV/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The amount of material consumed by humanity has passed 100 billion tons every year, report has revealed, but the proportion being recycled is falling.

The climate and wildlife emergencies are driven by the unsustainable extraction of fossil fuels, metals, building materials, and trees. The report’s authors warn that treating the world’s resources as limitless is leading towards global disaster.
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