Category Archives: Asia

February 10, 2018

Why is India so filthy? | The Ugly Indian | TEDxBangalore (Video)

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. The Ugly Indian is an anonymous collective that does not talk to media, wants no publicity and works with the motto – Only Work No Talk. However, they made an exception for TEDxBangalore so that they could open up the question of why we as Indians are okay with filthy public spaces? The tragedy of the commons – can we change it to the victory of the commons?

January 29, 2018

North Korea proudly displays captured USS Pueblo as war trophy

Many of the men were crippled, malnourished and almost blind from the treatment they received during their capture.

This week marks the 50th anniversary of when the USS Pueblo was captured by North Korea — and the Hermit Kingdom is seizing on the opportunity to aggrandize the U.S. Navy ship’s capture as a trophy against Washington amid escalating tensions.

The ship has become a spectacle in the frozen Pothong River on the outskirts of the “Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum” complex in central Pyongyang, where thousands of North Koreans learn their country’s version of how, despite the odds, it was able to defeat the Americans in the Korean War.

The USS Pueblo is the only U.S. ship held captive by a foreign government, and is still officially in commission in the U.S. Naval Vessel Register.

Playing up the capture

North Korea’s state-run media is playing up the capture as it claims the U.S. is trying to disrupt North-South relations heading into next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea.

On Jan. 23, 1968, the USS Pueblo tried to evade a North Korean submarine chaser, but was eventually captured as another submarine chaser, four torpedo boats and two MiG-21 fighter jets joined the scene.

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December 2, 2017

Japan Confirms its Policy of Minimal Immigration to Defend Culture, Jobs

Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, told his parliament last week that he has “no intention” of accepting more migrants despite pressure from the UN Refugee Agency.

During a debate in Japan’s parliament, Mr. Abe argued that accepting foreign workers should is justifiable only where they are truly needed to “keep Japan’s economy and infrastructure sustainable.”

The 63-year-old prime minister is a confirmed nationalist and an admirer of U.S. President Donald Trump, and has pursued a “Japan-first” economic policy that has been compared to that of Mr. Trump.

The admiration seems to be mutual, and the two leaders spent a fair amount of time together during Trump’s Asia trip earlier this month. “Our relationship is really extraordinary,” Mr. Trump said. “We like each other and our countries like each other. And I don’t think we’ve ever been closer to Japan than we are right now.”

Japan is an ethnically homogeneous nation, with less than 2 percent of the population foreign born, and its immigration policies are designed to defend Japan’s cultural identity as well as to insure national security. It also aims to protect the local job market to keep unemployment to a minimum.

Tokyo has claimed that many people seek asylum in Japan in order to find work, since people applying for refugee status have access to renewable work permits.

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November 20, 2017

Steve Bannon: If America Doesn’t Thwart These Five Things, China Will Be a Hegemonic Power

Breitbart News Executive Chairman and former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon warned Monday that America’s attention needs to be focused on China, or it will be left behind in the communist country’s wake.

“Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, since our great victory over communist ideology…we’ve been on a strategic holiday, y’know ‘the end of history’ – we acted as if we are a hyperpower with nothing else to worry about,” Bannon told attendees at a Gatestone Institute event in New York City.

He pointed to recent developments in Beijing, specifically a recent three and a half hour speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 19th Party Congress. He noted that, at the same time, a Brown University study found that since 2001 the cost of the global war on terror is $5.6 trillion.

“This is how you see great powers collapse,” he warned.

He explained how President Xi’s speech claimed victory for the Chinese way over that of Western liberal democracy, with Bannon describing Xi’s remarks as “chilling.”

“It said that the mercantilist, Confucianist, authoritative system of China is the victor over the Judeo-Christian, liberal democratic free-market West; that their system is better, and they go over how it is better and how they’ve beaten us,” he argued.

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Complete text linked here.

November 13, 2017

New Delhi’s ‘gas chamber’ smog is so bad that United Airlines has stopped flying there

More than 6,000 schools in India close after air quality reaches levels 10 times worse than reigning pollution champion Beijing.

Citing toxic smog that one official said has turned India’s capital city into a “gas chamber,” United Airlines has cancelled flights to New Delhi until the air gets better.

At least in United’s eyes, the Indian capital’s smog concerns are on par with environmental disasters such as hurricanes and volcanoes — a risk to be avoided. The company said it was letting passengers switch flights without charge or helping them find seats on other carriers.

It was unclear if other airlines would follow suit. Virgin Atlantic, KLM and Etihad Airways all compete for business to New Delhi, according to CNN Money.

An advisory on United’s website said travel to New Delhi was suspended through at least Tuesday.

“United has temporarily suspended our Newark-Delhi flights due to poor air quality concerns in Delhi and currently has waiver policies in place for customers who are travelling to, from or through Delhi,” the company said in an email.

“We are monitoring advisories as the region remains under a public health emergency, and are co-ordinating with respective government agencies.”

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Complete text linked here.

September 9, 2017

Billionaire Guo Wengui Asks U.S. for Asylum After Accusing Top Chinese Officials of Corruption

Billionaire real estate mogul Guo Wengui is currently visiting the United States on a tourist visa, but he decided he would like to stay a little longer after top officials back in his homeland declared him an enemy of the Communist regime.

Guo applied for asylum in the United States this week, while the Chinese government has filed notices with Interpol seeking his arrest on charges of corruption and rape.

Guo earned the enmity of powerful officials back in his homeland by accusing them of extravagant corruption, including the top official on the Communist Party’s anti-corruption board, Wang Qishan.

50-year-old Guo has been working out of a $78 million penthouse in New York City for the past two years, flooding Twitter and YouTube with his allegations against Chinese officials. He often uses the name “Miles Kwok” on social media. Both his Facebook and Twitter accounts were mysteriously wiped out within a week of each other earlier this year, but eventually restored after he complained, and his followers began muttering about the willingness of social media giants to play ball with Chinese censors.

His videos and tweets include allegations of everything from “top leaders’ secret homes in California to their bank account information and hidden stakes in business empires,” according to the Associated Press. He has also accused the Chinese government of arresting his relatives to use as leverage against him.

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August 26, 2017

Beyond the pale: China’s cheerful racists (Video)

Ideas about racial hierarchies are not outdated ­anathema here but unquestioned belief.

Setting off to spend a year teaching English in Zhejiang province in south-eastern China, I expected plenty of surprises. But what struck me most was something they tend not to tell you about in the guidebooks: the racism.

It started when I went around the classroom, asking pupils which city they were from. When I got to a slightly darker-skinned boy, his classmates thought it was hilarious to shout ‘Africa!’ It’s a theme. A girl with a similar complexion was taunted with monkey sounds; her peers refused to sit next to her, saying she smelt bad. I apparently erred when, teaching the word for wife, I showed my students a picture of Michelle Obama. The image of the then First Lady was greeted with exaggerated sounds of repulsion: ‘So ugly!’ they said. ‘So black!’

Such comments would have been treated harshly in a British classroom a quarter-century ago, let alone today. But my own protestations were met with confused faces — crestfallen that they’d disappointed their teacher, but clueless as to the nature of their mistake. And this stretches far beyond the classroom. To many Chinese, ideas about racial hierarchies are not outdated anathema but unquestioned belief.

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Complete text linked here.

July 15, 2017

Kim Jong Un is shipping tens of thousands of North Koreans to Russia to work in ‘slave-like conditions’ and stealing their pay to fund his regime, human rights group claims

North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un exports tens of thousands of his subjects to Russia. According to a human rights group, they are put to work in slave-like conditions and have most of their wages garnished to fund the Pyongyang government. North Koreans are sent to Russia where they generate $120million ever year for the North Korean government. Despite the harsh conditions, many North Koreans bribe officials to be sent to Russia due to the even worse situation at home.

North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un exports tens of thousands of his subjects to Russia where they are put to work in slave-like conditions and have their wages garnished to fund his government, according to a Korean human rights group.

The Seoul-based Data Base Center for North Korean Human Rights issued a report which estimates that approximately 50,000 laborers are employed in Russia, according to Fox News.

The workers are victims of cruelty and violence at the hands of corrupt officials who eventually seize up to 90 percent of the pay that they earn.

The North Koreans who are put to work in Russia are paid approximately 50,000 rubles a month, which is equivalent to $841.

At least half of that sum is confiscated by a minder from the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea and a construction crew boss will take another 20 percent, according to the report.

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March 28, 2017

#AskYoko | Isn’t Political Correctness A Western Thing? Japan Has It Too? (Video)

Must watch video.

February 21, 2017

Japanese Perspective of Political Correctness (Video)

“I’m Japanese and this is my personal perspective. For the rest of the Japanese, what I can say is they’re fed up with it, too if they’re politically awakened.”