WordPress.com is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.
NGUYỄN VẠN PHÚ 21/12/2020 9:09 GMT+7
TTCT – Cách đây đúng 50 năm, vào ngày 13-9-1970, nhà kinh tế học nổi tiếng Milton Friedman tung ra bài viết với tựa đề như một tuyên ngôn cho giới kinh doanh: “Trách nhiệm xã hội của doanh nghiệp là tăng lợi nhuận”. Bài viết này đã đặt nền tảng cho những ý tưởng về một nền kinh tế thị trường tự do mà sau đó đã ảnh hưởng sâu đậm đến nhiều thế hệ doanh nhân, nhà quản lý và các chính khách. Tổng thống Mỹ Ronald Reagan và Thủ tướng Anh Margaret Thatcher được cho là đã xây dựng những chính sách kinh tế vĩ mô dựa trên ý tưởng này.
Tuy nhiên lối suy nghĩ này cũng gây ra những hệ lụy khốc liệt cho xã hội và đến nay người ta lại loay hoay tìm một nhãn quan khác.
Một tuyên ngôn của kinh tế thị trường
Năm 1970, tư tưởng “lợi nhuận là mục đích tối hậu” của Milton Friedman đã gây sốc cho nhiều người: nó trắng trợn quá, nó tham lam quá.
NN – Thứ Hai 28/12/2020 , 07:01 (GMT+7)
Sau nhiều năm, tôi mới gặp lại ngư dân Tu Thanh Sơn với bước chân tập tễnh vì từng bị dính đạn ở gần đảo Phú Lâm, quần đảo Hoàng Sa.
Anh Sơn trông gầy yếu hơn và cho biết, vẫn phải đi lặn, vẫn quay lại Hoàng Sa mưu sinh để lo cho gia đình. Anh cũng đặt câu hỏi về việc đi giữ đảo nhưng bị Trung Quốc bắn bị thương thì Nhà nước có chính sách hỗ trợ gì. Tiếp tục đọc “‘Thương binh’ Hoàng Sa tập tễnh mưu sinh”
- BY YUICHI HOSOYA
- SPECIAL TO THE JAPAN TIMES
- Jan 12, 2021
The year 2020 was filled with geopolitical and geoeconomic changes that represented a major shift in world history, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S. presidential election leading the way.
How effectively each nation can control the spread of infections within its own borders is likely to significantly affect the transformation of the global economy and power balance in the post-coronavirus era.Tiếp tục đọc “How Japan can lead a free and open Indo-Pacific”
Statement from National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien
Issued on: January 12, 2021
Today, the White House is publishing the recently declassified United States Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific. For the last 3 years, this document has provided overarching strategic guidance for implementing the 2017 National Security Strategy within the world’s most populous and economically dynamic region. Approved in February 2018 for implementation across Executive Branch departments and agencies, the document is being released to communicate to the American people and to our allies and partners, the enduring commitment of the United States to keeping the Indo-Pacific region free and open long into the future.
You can read the full statement here.
You can read United States Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific here.
12 Jan 2021 11:50AM(Updated: 12 Jan 2021 11:58AM) CNA
KUALA LUMPUR: Masks that helped save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic are proving a deadly hazard for wildlife, with birds and marine creatures ensnared in the staggering number of discarded facial coverings littering animal habitats.Tiếp tục đọc “From macaques to crabs, wildlife faces threat from face masks”
Monday, January 11, 2021, 14:36 GMT+7 tuoitre
Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the ground-breaking ceremony of the expansion project of Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant in northern Hoa Binh Province on Sunday morning.Tiếp tục đọc “Expansion of Hoa Binh hydropower plant begins in northern Vietnam”
Hai Van Tunnel 2 in central Vietnam has opened to traffic Monday after four years of construction.
Connecting Thua Thien-Hue Province with central hub Da Nang, the tunnel of 6.2 kilometers (3.85 miles) is the longest road tunnel in Southeast Asia and helps reduce traffic pressure on Hai Van Road Tunnel 1.Tiếp tục đọc “Southeast Asia’s longest road tunnel opens”
As Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. banished users and groups supporting the violent mobs at the U.S. Capitol last week — including President Donald Trump himself — downloads surged for a less restrictive social media app called Parler. But in an effort to prevent further riot organizing, Google Inc. and Apple Inc. booted Parler from their app stores, and Amazon.com Inc. shut off its web services.
“We will not cave to pressure from anti-competitive actors!” John Matze, Parler Inc.’s chief executive officer, said on his site Friday. “We WON’T cave to politically motivated companies and those authoritarians who hate free speech!”
In reality, Matze doesn’t have much choice. His free-speech-centric network, where some extremists turned to rally insurgents and organize future uprisings, was deemed an “ongoing and urgent public safety threat” by Google. Apple quickly rejected as insufficient a Parler plan to moderate its content. Amazon employees asked that the web giant “deny Parler services until it removes posts inciting violence, including at the Presidential inauguration.” Amazon plans to shut down the service at midnight Sunday, according to Matze.
Tiếp tục đọc “Bans on Parler and Trump Show Big Tech’s Power Over Web Conversation”
By Viet Anh January 5, 2021 | 11:54 am GMT+7 vnexpressPlastic waste at a private collecting site in Go Vap District, HCMC, August 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen.Vietnam should set up legal framework for recycling plastic waste, reduce plastic use and find new materials to replace non-recyclable plastics, according to experts.
“The best solution would be recycling as much plastic waste as you can,” George Huber, professor of chemical and biological engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, the U.S., said when asked about possible options for Vietnam.
In the U.S., there are hundreds of material recovery facilities (MRFs) where people can leave everything that can be recycled, he said.
Either workers or robots sort the materials, including plastic, and palletize them and they are later sold to secondary recycling people who do further sorting and turn them into pellets.
There is a whole market for these pellets for making new products.
For instance, there is a company called Placon that produces food and medical packaging and other types of plastic from MRFs.
They buy recycled PET bottles and thermoform them, thus keeping over one billion PET bottles out of landfills each year.
Huber said: “This is called closed-loop recycling. They produce the ecostar plastic which is a recycled plastic.”
Technologies used by companies like Placon are pretty similar, usually involving floating. They put plastics in water, and some float while others sink. They then purify the floating plastic and grind it to make pellets. There are many things that can be made from recycled plastic.
Highlighting another good recycling model, Professor Michael Braungart, founder of Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH, an environmental research institution based in Hamburg, Germany, said the U.S.’s Envision Plastics is the only company in the world that makes polypropylene approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for making food-grade packaging.
In Italy, a company called Aquafil has reprocessed around 15,000 tons of nylon from driftnets in oceans to make clothing, carpets and other products, he said.
Associate Professor Duong Hai Minh of the department of mechanical engineering, National University of Singapore, said Vietnam could consider the option of converting plastic waste into aerogels, which are used in billion-dollar engineering applications such as heat and sound insulation, oil spill cleaning, fruit preservation, air pollution filtering, personal care products, and wastewater treatment.
He said this is a cost-effective and eco-friendly method since no toxic solvent is used or discharged into the environment, and it requires 70 percent less energy.
Aerogels can be reused and recycled.
Moreover, the technology can also be used on a range of wastes like paper, old clothes, rubber tires, fly ash, metal, and agricultural and food wastes.
For the first time aerogels have been made from PET, the same plastic used to make water and soft drink bottles.
“The technology might be available in April 2021,” Minh said.
He said there are various options for Vietnam for dealing with plastic that are used in Singapore such as incinerating or converting it into low-value products (chair, bag, umbrella, etc).
In incineration plants, waste is burned and the smoke quality is controlled to ensure it does not damage the air quality. The ash is used in construction as a less toxic option.
Huber said some plastics like pure PET and pure PE could be recycled but most could not, and there are also losses in the plastic recycling process. So any plastic recycling needs to be combined with long-term plans to deal with plastic wastes like incineration and landfills (where minimal leakage occurs), he said.
When incinerating, heat and energy could be recovered, then plastic does not leak into the environment and could be controlled in one location, he said.
There are companies in the U.S. burning plastic waste to generate electricity and heat and generating small volumes of ash that eventually go into landfills, he said.
“I think landfilling should be the less preferred option.”
Professor Carl Redshaw of the University of Hull, the U.K., said a number of technologies are being trialed for converting plastic waste into high-value useful products.
For instance, radiation-induced degradation, microbes, metal-based nanoparticles, and activated carbon could all turn waste into liquid fuel, pyrolysis (thermal degradation) could turn plastics into energy while the use of photo-catalysis (use of light to drive a reaction) has shown that even non-degradable plastics such as polyethylene could be converted into other useful materials, he said.
A recent report in a scientific journal illustrated how discarded drinking cups could be converted into other useful chemicals though most of these technologies are at an embryonic stage and require more investment, he added.
How to apply in Vietnam
Huber said the first step for Vietnam to recycle plastic wastes is to be able to sort them depending on their original components. Some would have to go to landfills or be burned, while the infrastructure to collect waste plastics has to be developed, he said.
If the country wants to have a similar system as the U.S., it needs to have secondary recyclers who could turn plastic into pellets and make products from them, he pointed out.
But all these involve a very large initial cost, and it takes five to eight years to recoup it before the operation becomes profitable, he said.
The legal framework is crucial, he said.
In the U.S., many material recovery facilities are owned by municipalities and states make laws. It is illegal to send certain kinds of plastics to landfills.
As for the burning option, Huber said companies need to have air pollution control equipment to make sure the smoke does not have any dangerous chemicals.
It is important that these facilities are designed in a way to minimize air pollution, he said.
In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency sets regulations.
Rules to prevent air pollution are vital, especially in developing countries, Huber said.
Dr Alex Ibhadon, reader in catalysis and reactor engineering, University of Hull, the U.K., said society needs plastics to create products and jobs.
Southeast Asia in general is producing more and more plastics while Europe is producing less and less, and it is not easy for Vietnam to close thousands of companies in the plastic industry, he pointed out.
Vietnamese people should reuse over and over again the plastics they already have, he said.
In the U.K., supermarkets need to produce reusable carrier bags and some charge customers for carrier bags as an encouragement to re-use, something Vietnam as a country could learn from, he said.
Experts said another way to reduce the plastics is by using new materials.
Braungart said Vietnam could learn from Novamont, an Italian company that makes plastics from starch for single use that easily degrades and is good for the environment.
It makes bioplastics from starches, cellulose, vegetable oils, and their combinations, and ideally Vietnam should decide that all the plastics ending up in the environment needs to be biodegradable, he said.
Redshaw said he and his colleagues produce polymers from renewable resources such as corn starch.
He said there are now a number of biodegradable polymers on the market like Sigma Aldrich’s poly (lactide), poly (glycolide) and their copolymers, and a number of biodegradable natural polymers.
A number of U.K. small enterprises have ongoing projects that they hope to bring to the market soon, he said.
“No doubt companies in countries such as Vietnam are thinking along these lines too.”
Vietnam needs to offer large incentives to entice the industrial sector, specifically the producers of petroleum-derived plastics, to invest in infrastructure that would allow them to make the switch to some of the greener alternatives, he said.
There is also a need to change people’s mindset on how to use plastic, and this could be achieved by good communication and having efficient protocols in place, he said.
Emphasizing the significance of the legal framework, Dr Ibhadon said the Vietnamese government should have a policy that makes plastic recycling a legally enforceable requirement and set up recycling centers throughout the country for various types of plastics.
It must take the lead in reducing plastic use and enforce recycling as a partnership between itself, plastic producers and consumers, he added.
Academics are increasingly expected to share their research widely beyond academia. However, our recent study of academics in Australia and Japan suggests Australian universities are still very much focused on supporting the production of scholarly outputs. They offer relatively limited support for researchers’ efforts to engage with the many non-academics who can benefit from our research.
One reason engagement is expected is that government, industry and philanthropic sources fund research. And when academics share their research with the public, industry and policymakers, this engagement is good for the university’s reputation. It can also lead to other benefits such as research funding.
Gray Zone – Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff
Understanding Gray Zone
Gray Zone Tools: Information Warfare
Gray Zone Tools: Use of Ambiguous Forces
Gray Zone Tools: Economic Coercion
Gray Zone: Responding to the Threats
By Adrien Chorn and Monica Michiko Sato – October 1, 2019, CSIS
On August 31, 1951, representatives of the United States and the Republic of the Philippines signed the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) in Washington. In recognition that “an armed attack in the Pacific Area on either of the Parties would be dangerous to [the] peace and safety” of both countries, the treaty declared that each state would “act to meet the common dangers in accordance with its constitutional processes.”i However, like most conventional defense treaties and standards, the MDT is not clear about the increasingly common unconventional gray zone threats that skirt the definition of war to avoid prompting a kinetic response. Since its inception, the United States’ commitment to the MDT regarding attacks on Philippine assets in contested waters in the South China Sea has been unclear. Along with the controversial policies of the administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, the uncertainty of the MDT has strained U.S.-Philippine relations and caused Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to call for a review of the relevance of the MDT in October 2018 with the main goal of determining whether the government should “maintain it, strengthen it, or scrap it.”iiTiếp tục đọc “East Sea: What is gray zone? (Maritime Gray Zone Tactics: The Argument for Reviewing the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty)”
- Between the pandemic, rising food insecurity and poverty, and catastrophic disasters like wildfires, storms and droughts, 2020 was a year of challenges that prompted widespread calls for systemic change in how we interact with one another, with other species, and with the environment. Bringing about such changes will require transforming how we produce food and energy, how we move from one place to another, and how we define economic growth.
- But it’s a lot easier to talk about transforming systems than to actually do it. Because real change is hard, we’re more likely to slip back into old habits and return to business as usual than embrace paradigm shifts.
- Recognizing this limitation, World Resources Institute (WRI), a Washington, D.C.-based organization that operates in 60 countries, works across sectors by creating tools that increase transparency, create a common understanding, and provide data and analysis that enable action.
- WRI’s development of these platforms and tools has grown by leaps and bounds since the early 2010s when Andrew Steer joined the organization as president and CEO from the World Bank. Steer spoke with Mongabay during a December 2020 interview.
Between the pandemic, rising food insecurity and poverty, and catastrophic disasters like wildfires, storms and droughts, 2020 was a year of challenges that prompted widespread calls for systemic change in how we interact with one another, with other species, and with the environment. Bringing about such changes will require transforming how we produce food and energy, how we move from one place to another, and how we define economic growth. But it’s a lot easier to talk about transforming systems than to actually do it. Because real change is hard, we’re more likely to slip back into old habits and return to business as usual than embrace paradigm shifts. Tiếp tục đọc “How to transform systems: The World Resources Institute Q&A with Andrew Steer”