Saturday, August 29, 2020

Flow Of Illicit Chinese Guns To Myanmar Insurgents

(Staff article from The EFSAS on 24 July 2020.)

Chinese rifles in the hands of AA insurgents.
The easy flow of illicit Chinese weapons into Myanmar poses threats to regional security and stability, according to The European Foundation for South Asian Studies - EFSAS). Reports on the independent Myanmar-centric news website The Irrawaddy recently brought to light the seizure on 23 June of a large consignment of Chinese-made weapons in Mae Sot district on the Thai side of the Myanmar-Thailand border.

While preliminary investigations have suggested that the weapons may have been destined for insurgent groups in Myanmar, the development has nonetheless raised antennae within security circles in New Delhi. It has also reignited the serious questions that had existed for long about the scope and depth of China’s support to terrorist groups in the region in pursuit of its policy of what a Thailand-based organization termed “diplo-terrorism”.

A joint task force of the Thai military and police carried out a raid on a house in Mae Tao in Mae Sot district, which in recent years has emerged as a hotbed of insurgents of all ideological persuasions and a preferred staging area for the transportation of arms and ammunition, and uncovered a large cache of Chinese-made weapons.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Stranded Burmese Crew of Bulk-carrier Unison Jasper

(Staff article from The ABC NEWS on 31 July 2020.)

Crew members of ship detained in Newcastle complain of mistreatment, underpayment: The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has detained a ship in the Port of Newcastle after seafarers complained about being mistreated, fatigued and underpaid.

Eleven crew from Myanmar have been taken off the ship and transferred to Sydney, after Australian Border Force and NSW Police were called to Kooragang Island where the Unison Jasper is docked. With their suitcases packed and masks on, the crew members waited several hours while police coordinated exemptions so they could be transferred to a hotel for quarantine and then eventually flown home.

According to the International Transport Workers' Federation, the crew members were desperate to return home. When the ship arrived in Newcastle this week, union representatives boarded and said they found documents showing the seafarers were in some cases only being paid a quarter of what they were due.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Australia Forcing Google To Pay Failing Newspapers

(Staff articles from The BLOOMBERG NEWS & FOX BUSINESS on 30 July 2020.)

Australia to force Facebook, Google to pay media companies for content: U.S. social media and search giants would be required to negotiate with Australian media companies to use their content. Australia will force Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google to pay Australian media outlets for news content, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Friday.

Frydenberg said the mandatory code of conduct, which will be legislated into law this year, is needed to ensure the viability of Australian media companies. "It's about a fair go for Australian news media businesses. It's about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection, and a sustainable media landscape," Frydenberg told reporters in Melbourne.

Under Australia's proposal, the U.S. social media and search giants would be required to negotiate with Australian media companies to use their content. Australia will become the first country to require Facebook and Google to pay for news content. Both companies have spent years fending off demands for payment from news publishers worldwide.

Monday, August 17, 2020

ASEAN East-West Economic Corridor Railway

(James Clark's article from The LIVING IN ASIA on 21 April 2020.)

The East–West Economic Corridor Railway from Myanmar to Vietnam: The East–West Economic Corridor is an economic development program spanning across mainland Southeast Asia, covering Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam, with Cambodia also included.

The corridor was envisaged as a land bridge connecting the Indian and Pacific Oceans, saving the sea route via the Malacca Strait. The road route connects the port cities of Mawlamyine in the west, to Da Nang in the east.

The EWEC also calls for the development of a railway that would connect the two ports. The railway would then serve cargo and passenger trains. Work on the EWEC has focused on improving highways, building new bridges, and streamlining cross-border transport agreements. Unfortunately, not a single kilometre of new railway has been added.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Kamala Harris Is Not A Natural-Born Citizen?

(Dr. John Eastman's article from The NEWSWEEK on 12 August 2020.)

The fact that Senator Kamala Harris has just been named the vice presidential running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has some questioning her eligibility for the position.

The 12th Amendment provides that "no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States." And Article II of the Constitution specifies that "[n]o person except a natural born citizen...shall be eligible to the office of President."

Her father was (and is) a Jamaican national, her mother was from India, and neither was a naturalized U.S. citizen at the time of Harris' birth in 1964. That, according to these commentators, makes her not a "natural born citizen"—and therefore ineligible for the office of the president and, hence, ineligible for the office of the vice president.

"Nonsense," runs the counter-commentary. Indeed, PolitiFact rated the claim of ineligibility as "Pants on Fire" false, Snopes rated it simply "False," and from the other side of the political spectrum, Conservative Daily News likewise rated it "False."

Friday, August 14, 2020

The Horror of Political Violence In Burma

The indescribable horror of political violence in Burma reached its ugliest peak in 1988. Newspaper frontpage pictures of disgusting rows of decapitated heads being displayed on a crude table on the streets of one of Rangoon’s poorest townships shocked the world.

But for an average Burmese the atrocities committed by all the parties involved weren’t that shocking at all. We were well accustomed or rather climatised to the extreme violence most people in highly civilised societies would cringe just by thinking of it.

One well-documented case happened not far from where our house was. It was a chaotic time and people just took over their neighbourhoods, as there was absolutely no law and order. The army was safely hidden in their barracks and the police just simply disappeared.

One early morning a group of young men caught a man allegedly from the Military Intelligence and they just simply decided to kill him on the spot right there. The spot was not far from the local wet market and a large crowd immediately formed around them to enjoy the imminent execution. To some peoples’ surprise, the vigilante group offered the killing task to any volunteer from the crowd.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Shi Zhengli: Evil Scientist Created The Corona Virus?

Shi Zhengli was born in May 1964 in Xixia County, Henan, China. She graduated from Wuhan University in 1987. She received her master's degree from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 1990 and her Ph.D. from Montpellier  University in France in 2000.

In 2005, a team led by Shi Zhengli found that the SARS virus originated in bats. The results were published in Science in 2005 and Journal of General Virology in 2006.

In 2015, Shi Zhengli was involved in an investigation of bat coronaviruses, specifically gain of function experiments involving both the SARS and bat coronaviruses, a joint research of University of North Carolina and Wuhan Institute of Virology, with Ralph S. Baric as principal investigator

The 2015 Gain-of-Function experiment by Shi and others was famously known to have created a so-called Chimeric or Hybrid Virus and a version of which was believed to have been leaked (either accidentally or deliberately) from Shi's main lab the Wuhan Institute of Virology in late 2019. That lethal and extremely contagious virus is now called COVID-19 a.k.a. Wuhan Corona Virus.