China’s dim prospects turn disastrous


Russia’s terrible war generates headlines, but China’s growing debt crisis is mostly ignored. And yet, it will have profound negative effects on the global economy. In just three generations, Beijing built a middle class bigger than America’s entire population. But now Chinese many face ruination. China’s domestic real estate bubble, due to deregulation, is so gargantuan that much of its middle class has been damaged.

“China’s debt bomb looks ready to explode and many warning signs suggest that a debt reckoning is imminent,” warns Nikkei Asia.

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Daily News Brief August 29, 2022

ImageDaily News BriefAugust 29, 2022
Top of the Agenda

Over One Thousand People Killed in Catastrophic Pakistan FloodsPakistani officials are appealing for international aid (CNN) as uncharacteristically strong monsoon rains cause nationwide flooding. The floods, which climate change minister Sherry Rehman called a “climate catastrophe,” have so far displaced more than three million people, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. While Pakistan usually sees four rainy periods per year, it is currently experiencing its eighth, Rehman said.
The flooding comes as Pakistan experiences an economic crisis (FT). Some preliminary estimates put the cost of the damages (Reuters) around $4 billion, though Pakistan’s foreign minister said it is likely higher.
Tiếp tục đọc “Daily News Brief August 29, 2022”

Tự do học thuật và an ninh quốc gia

HOA KIM 27/11/2021 18:10 GMT+7

TTCTĐào tạo sinh viên nước ngoài là hoạt động giao lưu nhân dân có ý nghĩa nhưng cũng là mối lo của nhiều cường quốc trước nguy cơ gián điệp kiểu mới.

 Ảnh: CNN

Nhật Bản là quốc gia mới nhất yêu cầu các trường đại học phải xin giấy phép trước khi chuyển giao công nghệ liên quan đến an ninh quốc phòng cho sinh viên quốc tế. Theo tạp chí Nikkei, quy định này áp dụng cho các sinh viên nước ngoài học tập tại Nhật từ 6 tháng trở lên và “chịu ảnh hưởng” từ nước khác, ví dụ như có hơn 25% thu nhập đến từ tài trợ của một chính phủ nước ngoài. Các trường hợp này phải được báo cáo về Bộ Kinh tế, thương mại và công nghiệp (METI) để được cấp phép.

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Putin falsely claims Ukraine invasion ‘in full conformity’ with UN Charter

FACT CHECK: Putin falsely claims Ukraine invasion ‘in full conformity’ with UN Charter

Voice of America – 26-8-2022

Addressing the 10th Moscow Conference on International Security on August 16, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that his war on Ukraine does not violate the U.N. Charter and was launched to protect the residents of Ukraine’s Donbas region from “genocide.”

“We have taken the decision to conduct a special military operation in Ukraine, a decision which is in full conformity with the Charter of the United Nations. It has been clearly spelled out that the aims of this operation are to ensure the security of Russia and its citizens and protect the residents of Donbas from genocide,” he said.

That statement is false.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine violated not only the U.N. Charter but also international law and even Russian law. Moreover, under international criminal law, the invasion is viewed as a crime of aggression.

40 Years of solitude

40 Years of solitude

Al Jazeera English – 5-2-2014

Filmmaker: Sana El Younoussi

What will become of families stranded in Vietnam since their Moroccan fathers defected from the French army in 1953?

In the 1940s, young Moroccans joined the French army to earn a living and support their families.

In 1953, many were serving in Indo-China when they learned of the exile of King Mohamed V and deserted to join the forces of Ho Chi Minh. Tiếp tục đọc “40 Years of solitude”

The lost tribe: The CIA’s secret army in Laos

The lost tribe: The CIA’s secret army in Laos | REWIND

Al Jazeera English – 24-8-2019

We trace a forgotten Hmong community in the jungles of northern Laos who helped the US during the Vietnam War.

Half a century ago, as war raged in Vietnam, an isolated community in the jungles of northern Laos was recruited by the CIA to help fight the Pathet Lao – the Laotian equivalent of Vietnam’s Viet Cong.

Over 50,000 of the Hmong tribe became part of the United States’s secret army, helping disrupt Communist supply lines along the Ho Chi Minh trail.

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Frankenswine? No, but research on “zombie pigs” raises life-or-death ethics questions

Pigs. Pigs. Credit: or titanium22. CC BY-SA 2.0

It used to be that nothing was certain but death and taxes. Now scientists have taken a step that casts some doubt on the former claim. In a study published Wednesday in Nature, Yale University researchers described a technology for restoring significant organ activity in pigs that had died of a cardiac arrest an hour before. The main goal for the work, they say, will be to improve the harvesting of organs for transplant, but the technique could also potentially be used to revive, for example, drowning victims.

Using a “device similar to a heart-lung machine” and a fluid containing the animals’ blood and a variety of drugs, including anticoagulants, the Yale team was able to observe several signs of restored function in the dead pigs, including heart contraction and some liver and kidney activity. Their hearts were contracting (though not fully beating), their organs were showing signs of metabolism, and genes responsible for cellular repair were active. “These cells are functioning after they should not be,” Nenad Sestan, a Yale University professor and one of the authors of the new study told The Wall Street Journal.

Tiếp tục đọc Frankenswine? No, but research on “zombie pigs” raises life-or-death ethics questions

Seeking Dronations: The Crowdfunded Drone War in Ukraine

August 25, 2022  Topic: Russia-Ukraine War  Region: Europe  Tags: Russia-Ukraine WarArmed DronesTurkish DronesCommercial DronesTB2 Drones

The increased accessibility and affordability of drone technology, coupled with innovations in banking and financial technologies like NFTs and cryptocurrency, have allowed the spirit of volunteerism to directly fund efforts to acquire weapons and arms.

by Andro Mathewson Lauren Kahn, The National Interest

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has triggered a strange new phenomenon: People from all over the world are crowdfunding purchases of materiel, such as commercial off-the-shelf drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and gifting them to foreign militaries.

For example, within seventy-two hours of launching “The People’s Bayraktar Project,” Ukrainian television presenter Serhiy Prytula surpassed his $15 million crowdfunding goal, instead receiving $20 million, enough to purchase three Turkish Bayraktar TB2 UAVs. The charity accepts donations from anyone anywhere in the world and takes bank transfers through cryptocurrency. 

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Thai court suspends Prime Minister Prayuth; Prawit made acting PM

5-4 decision gives judges time to consider opposition’s term limit petition

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha: A surprising Constitutional Court ruling on Aug. 24 temporarily removes Prayuth from office.   © Reuters

APORNRATH PHOONPHONGPHIPHAT, Nikkei staff writerAugust 24, 2022 16:12 JSTUpdated on August 24, 2022 20:08 JST

BANGKOK — Thailand’s Constitutional Court on Wednesday suspended Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha from duty until it rules on a petition filed by opposition parties that the one-time army chief has served beyond the constitutionally mandated eight years.

Prayuth first awarded himself the prime minister post in 2014, after staging a military coup.

“The court has determined by a 5-4 vote to suspend Gen. Prayuth from the duties of Prime Minister from Aug. 24 onward until the court reaches a [final] verdict,” the court said in a statement.

While Prayuth remains suspended from duty, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan will serve as a caretaker prime minister, said Wissanu Krea-Ngam, another deputy prime minister and the government’s legal expert. Prawit is the most senior deputy.

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Latvia removes Soviet-era monument in Riga

In view of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Latvia issued a decree that all objects glorifying totalitarian regimes must be destroyed by November 15. This included the Soviet victory monument erected in 1985.

A controversial Soviet-era monument in the Latvian capital was brought down, despite protests from the Baltic state’s ethnic Russian minority to keep it.

Police officers and the press watch as the 80-meter high obelisk is torn down in Latvia’s capital Riga

A concrete obelisk topped with Soviet stars, which was the centerpiece of a monument commemorating the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany, was demolished in Latvia’s capital, Riga, on Thursday.

Two diggers with pneumatic hammers brought the 79-meter (261-foot) obelisk down to the applause of numerous onlookers. A number of large-scale bronze statues had already been removed from the monument in the preceding days.

In view of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Latvia issued a decree that all objects glorifying totalitarian regimes must be destroyed by November 15. This included the Soviet victory monument erected in 1985.

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Dự án IEVJ: Khi người Nhật “đứng lên” bảo vệ NLĐ Việt

NNCS – 21/01/2021 2:47:19

Với mong muốn bảo vệ quyền lợi, xây dựng môi trường trong sạch cho NLĐ Việt, dự án “Vết xe hy vọng Việt Nhật” (IEVJ) ra đời củng cố mối quan hệ tốt đẹp giữa hai nước. Đồng thời, trở thành cầu nối việc làm giữa DN Nhật và NLĐ Việt Nam.

Việt Nam có khoảng 500 doanh nghiệp xuất khẩu lao động được cấp phép hoạt động, bình quân mỗi năm các doanh nghiệp này đưa hơn 102.000 NLĐ Việt đi làm việc nước ngoài.

Với sứ mệnh xây dựng môi trường trong sạch, đảm bảo quyền lợi cho NLĐ Việt đã, đang và sẽ sang Nhật học tập, làm việc cũng như đóng vai trò là cầu nối việc làm giữa doanh nghiệp Nhật và NLĐ Việt, dự án IEVJ hoạt động theo nguyên tắc phi lợi nhuận được thành lập bởi chính những người Nhật đang sinh sống và làm việc tại Việt Nam. Kinh phí cho dự án được đóng góp từ chính các thành viên sáng lập.

Ông Fushihara Hirota, đại diện dự án “Vết xe hy vọng Việt Nhật”

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Trách nhiệm của nhà nước với thị trường xuất khẩu lao động

FUSHIHARA HIROTA 06/11/2019 00:11 GMT+7

TTCTXuất khẩu lao động (XKLĐ) đã được Nhà nước VN xúc tiến từ rất lâu. Từ những năm 1980, VN bắt đầu XKLĐ đi làm việc có thời hạn với hình thức chủ yếu là hợp tác sử dụng lao động thông qua các hiệp định chính phủ trực tiếp ký kết. Từ năm 1991, nghị định về đưa người đi lao động có thời hạn ở nước ngoài

Nhiều người lao động đăng ký kỳ thi tuyển tiếng Hàn để tìm cơ hội được làm việc ở Hàn Quốc. Ảnh: Đ.BÌNH

Không thể phủ nhận những kết quả mà XKLĐ mang lại cho VN đến nay. Thứ nhất là giải quyết vấn đề công ăn việc làm. Từ khi kinh tế VN còn rất nhiều khó khăn đến lúc đã có những bước phát triển rõ nét, luôn có khá nhiều lao động trẻ không có việc, không đủ việc để làm, hoặc những công việc thu nhập quá thấp, đặc biệt khi phần lớn dân số trẻ vẫn sinh ra và lớn lên ở vùng nông thôn. XKLĐ đã phần nào lấp vào khoảng trống, tạo ra công ăn việc làm cho nhiều người, góp phần đáng kể bảo đảm an sinh xã hội.

Thứ hai, đây là sự đóng góp quan trọng cho nguồn thu ngoại tệ của VN. Thu nhập của lao động VN ở nước ngoài gửi về nước bình quân mỗi năm trên 2 tỉ USD, theo thống kê của Ủy ban Các vấn đề xã hội của Quốc hội, cho khoảng thời gian 2010 – 2017, là một nguồn đóng góp đáng kể cho GDP đất nước, nhất là ở thời kỳ đầu còn khó khăn.

Tuy nhiên, vẫn còn nhiều tồn tại cũng như các vấn đề xã hội xung quanh câu chuyện XKLĐ.

Tiếp tục đọc “Trách nhiệm của nhà nước với thị trường xuất khẩu lao động”

Sri Lanka fuel shortage takes massive toll on efforts to save wildlife

  • Sri Lanka continues to face the brunt of the worst economic crisis in the country’s history, with depleted foreign reserves resulting in acute fuel shortages nationwide.
  • The shortages and limited rations are affecting conservation efforts, including the timely treatment of wild animals, regular patrolling to thwart poaching, and mitigation actions to limit human-elephant conflict.
  • Fuel allocations for the wildlife conservation department have been halved, and both wildlife and forest officials say this has made operations extremely difficult.
  • The threat of forest fires also looms as the dry season gets underway, which typically calls for more patrols to prevent burning by poachers and forest encroachers.

COLOMBO — Anyone who’d ever seen Maheshakya in the wildernesses of Kebithigollewa in Sri Lanka’s North Central province agreed that, as elephants went, he was an exemplary specimen with large tusks. Earlier this year, he got into a fight with another elephant, which left Maheshakya seriously wounded. As he lay in pain, still alive and conscious, a poacher cut off one of his tusks. Twenty days later, Maheshakya was dead.

In the time since Maheshakya had suffered his injuries during the fight, veterinarians from the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) were able to check on him just twice. Before this year, Maheshakya would have received many more visits, possibly preventing the loss of his tusk and subsequent death. But Sri Lanka’s ongoing economic crisis, the worst in the country’s history, meant that was not to be.

“If we had more opportunity to treat the elephant and visit frequently, there was a chance of saving his life. But we did not have fuel in our vehicles to make this journey regularly,” said Chandana Jayasinghe, a wildlife veterinary surgeon at the DWC.

Sri Lanka has declared bankruptcy and lacks foreign reserves to import essential goods for its people, such as medicine, fuel and gas. Kilometers-long lines at gas stations have become a permanent scene throughout the country, and although a rationing system is helping shorten the wait times, what little fuel is available isn’t enough for wildlife officials to do their regular work. This leaves response teams, like the one Jayasinghe works on, often unable to go out on rescue missions.

The Attidiya Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Colombo receives several calls a day regarding injured animals, but has been forced to reduce operations due to fuel being in short supply. Image courtesy of the Attidiya Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

Rescue operations affected

Tiếp tục đọc “Sri Lanka fuel shortage takes massive toll on efforts to save wildlife”

The United States Looks to Build “Enduring Strength” in Ukraine

Foreign Policy’s Sitrep Aug. 25, 2022

If the record-breaking $3 billion military aid package announced by the Biden administration on Wednesday to mark Ukraine’s Independence Day is any indication, U.S. support for Kyiv against Russia’s six-month-old full-scale invasion has entered a new phase: long-term planning.

In fact, the weapons deliveries—which will include six Norwegian-made air defense systems, nearly 250,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition, and novel so-called Vampire systems that can shoot down Russian drones—will have to be contracted and provided from U.S. and international defense companies, meaning that they won’t be ready for months.

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