Another scramble


…drawn to the example set by the fast-growing economies of Asia like China, Singapore and Malaysia — all of which achieved phenomenal growth under modernizing authoritarian governments — a group of African leaders has emerged that openly declares its admiration for this mode of government.

via Africa and the Chinese Way –





The raid comes at a time of escalating tension between the Chinese authorities and the region’s ethnic Uighurs, a Muslim, Turkic-speaking people who have long complained of restrictive policies they say are aimed at curtailing their language and religious practices. Since June, at least 100 people have been killed…

via Security Forces Said to Have Killed 12 in Raid in Western China –


Yin and yang


…the surge in imports suggested that domestic demand was holding up, a major goal for China’s policy makers, who are trying to reduce the economy’s dependence on trade and investment in favor of more self-sustaining domestic consumption.

via Commodity Imports Rise, Giving China Good News –

Indonesia and other countries in Southeast Asia have been hurt by their dependence on slower-growing China. They have also been hit by China’s gradual shift away from industries dependent on commodity imports from Asian neighbors, like steel production, and toward service industries.

via Muted Fears of Contagion as Asian Currencies Fall –


(Cough), (sneeze).


The center has halted the publication of English-language figures about the spread of the disease since last Thursday.  It didn’t give a reason.

via China H7N9 Bird Flu Cases Rise By Five; Four Provinces Report Illnesses In One Day – Forbes.


The Chinese just figured out Hollywood stinks.


“I know what they don’t seem to want,” said Rob Cain, who runs and is a consultant to producers and others doing business in China. “They don’t want the same old thing, over and over again, the action blockbusters with lots of explosions.”

via Hollywood’s Box Office Heroes Proving Mortal in China –


Something to think about the next time you sniffle.


…the facts delineated are all true, and have transpired over the last six weeks in China. The events could, indeed, be unrelated, and the new virus, a form of influenza denoted as H7N9, may have already run its course, infecting just three people and killing two.Or this could be how pandemics begin.

via Is This a Pandemic Being Born? – By Laurie Garrett | Foreign Policy.


Don’t you just hate it when you lose your rivers like that?


More than half of the rivers previously thought to exist in China appear to be missing, according to the 800,000 surveyors who compiled the first national water census, leaving Beijing fumbling to explain the cause.

via 28,000 rivers wiped off the map of China | The Australian.


What You Missed in Today’s Times

The police did not open them to check. No, thank you. They put the bricks, undisturbed, back in the box, and they left. Officers in New York City confront all manner of hazardous material and paraphernalia every day, but this was something else. Fruitcake.  Homemade fruitcake.

via Thief Steals 2 Packages – One Contained Glasses, the Other Didn’t –

Drones have become the subject of urgent policy debates… But they are also a part of the popular culture — toys sold by Amazon; central plot points in “Homeland” and a dozen other television shows and movies; the subject of endless macabre humor, notably by The Onion; and even the subject of poetry.

via Visions of Drones in U.S. Skies Touch Bipartisan Nerve –

Divorce filings shot up here and in other big cities across China this past week after rumors spread that one way to avoid the new 20 percent tax on profits from housing sales was to separate from a spouse, at least on paper.

via Some Chinese Seek a Divorce to Avoid Real Estate Tax –

Of the 16 men who went down with the Monitor on Dec. 31, 1862, researchers have narrowed the identities of the two sailors to six possibilities. While there are no conclusive DNA matches with their descendants, forensic researchers are convinced that they will eventually find these men’s stories in their bones.

via After Over a Century at Sea, 2 Sailors Are Laid to Rest –


Devotional No. 8

To encourage electric driving, the country is developing a rapidly expanding national grid of charging stations in cities and along highways; and Amsterdam offers owners of electric vehicles free street parking and charging. With hefty tax breaks, promotional leases and cheaper operating costs, the vehicles offer driving costs no more than those of conventional cars, some analysts say.

via Dutch Put Electric Cars to the Test –

I’m willing to believe that once all the costs and benefits are totted up they’re not much greener than conventional technology.

via The Straight Dope: Do “green” vehicles really save energy? Is a Prius worse for the environment than a Hummer?.

If a large amount of coal is burned there may be no carbon dioxide savings over conventional vehicles.

via Do electric cars really save carbon emissions? | The Energy Collective.

U.S. coal exports to Europe were up 26 percent in the first nine months of 2012 over the same period in 2011. Exports to China have increased, too. “It’s been very welcome that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have been going down because of the switch to gas,” said David Baldock, executive director of the Institute for European Environmental Policy in London. “But if we’re simply diverting the coal somewhere else, particularly to Europe, a lot of those benefits are draining away.”

via Europe consuming more coal – The Washington Post.