Posted: July 30, 2017 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere, Politics, Reading Room | Tags: Australia, Glenn Reynolds, Hillbilly Elegy, In Defence of the Bad, Meanjin Quarterly, Michael Barone, Shannon Burns, White Working Class
Michael Barone writes: “The habits of progressive social and political discourse almost seem calculated to alienate and aggravate lower class whites.” That sounds like something an American might say, but actually it was written by an Australian.
Shannon Burns, who is now an academic but grew up in what he describes as a lumpen neighborhood, grew up with working class whites and Asian immigrants in Adelaide, the largest city in South Australia and, incidentally, the home town of media baron Rupert Murdoch. His work appeared in the literary magazine Meanjin Quarterly, headlined “In Defence of the Bad, White Working Class,” and came to my attention thanks to Glenn Reynolds‘s invaluable Instapundit.
“I confess,” Burns goes on, “that if a well-dressed, university-educated middle-class person of any gender or ethnicity so much as hinted at my ‘white privilege’ while I was a lumpen child, or my ‘male privilege’ while I was an unskilled labourer who couldn’t afford basic necessities, or my ‘hetero-privilege’ while I was a homeless solitary, I’d have taken special pleasure in voting for their nightmare. And I would have been right to do so.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 12, 2017 Filed under: History, Mediasphere, White House | Tags: Air Defense Identification Zone, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Atmosphere of Earth, Australia, Contiguous United States, List of North Korean missile tests, North Korea, Ronald Reagan, USS Carl Vinson, USS Ronald Reagan
“General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate.
Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Ronald Reagan said those words near Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate 30 years ago today. And they were written […]
Posted: December 8, 2016 Filed under: Asia, China, Economics, Food & Drink, Global | Tags: All-China Women's Federation, Archant, Atlantic Ocean, Australia, China, Hong Kong, McDonalds, People's Liberation Army, South China Morning Post
’We have seen a significant drop of U.S. companies going to China…On the contrary, they are coming back here,’ says market expert.
For a long time, a lot of American companies saw China as the world’s biggest business opportunity. But that time may be over.
“If you’re waiting for the booming Chinese consumer…it’s just not on the way. The upside is just not what some consumer firms were hoping for.”
— Derek Scissors, chief economist at China Beige Book International, which regularly surveys Chinese businesses
This week, McDonald’s was reportedly in talks to sell its China unit and license its name to a Chinese company instead, following Yum Brands ‘ decision to do something similar and spin off its China operations into a new firm called Yum China last month.
“The trend is that opening retail business on the ground in China as a foreigner is difficult and expensive.”
Coca-Cola announced plans to sell its China bottling business in November, and International Paper said in March that it’s spinning off its China and Southeast Asia corrugated packaging business.
“We have for years tried to push a lot of our clients not to do that, but instead do what McDonald’s and Yum Brands are doing, which is…monetise your name and your knowledge without actually being the one who does all the work to make it work in China. China is a tough, tough market.”
— Dan Harris, lawyer at Harris Bricken and author of the China Law Blog
“The trend is that opening retail business on the ground in China as a foreigner is difficult and expensive,” said Dan Harris, lawyer at Harris Bricken and author of the China Law Blog.
“We have for years tried to push a lot of our clients not to do that, but instead do what McDonald’s and Yum Brands are doing, which is … monetise your name and your knowledge without actually being the one who does all the work to make it work in China,” Harris said. “China is a tough, tough market.”
McDonald’s said in March it was looking for “strategic partners” for key Asia markets. Last year, Yum Brands said its decision to spin off its China unit followed a “rigorous review of strategic options.”
Fast food companies were early major entrants to China nearly three decades ago. As individual Chinese grew wealthier, the opportunities for tapping the Chinese consumer market appeared to grow exponentially. But roadblocks appeared: U.S. fast food chains struggled with food safety scandals in China, and other companies have had intellectual property such as trademarks stolen.
[Read the full story here, at South China Morning Post]
“We have seen a lot of U.S companies struggling [with] their China” operations, said Siva Yam, president of the Chicago-based U.S.-China Chamber of Commerce. “The market is much more mature. We have seen a significant drop of U.S. companies going to China. … On the contrary, they are coming back here.”
An annual report from the American Chamber of Commerce in China found last year that 32 per cent of member companies surveyed do not plan to expand investments in China, a percentage that’s higher than during the financial crisis in 2009. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 15, 2016 Filed under: Guns and Gadgets, Robotics, Science & Technology | Tags: Australia, Cattle
SwagBot can herd cattle, pull heavy loads and traverse rough terrain. Soon it could be monitoring cattle in remote farms in the Australian outback. Read more
Posted: June 2, 2016 Filed under: Censorship, Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Religion, Terrorism | Tags: Australia, Child abduction, Immigration, Islamism, Lesotho, Migrant, Migration, Muslim, Occupation, Rape, Sentebale, Sweden, Sweden Democrats
Where did peaceful, low-crime Sweden go? Why does Sweden now have the second-highest number of rapes in the world, after only Lesotho?
Posted: April 13, 2016 Filed under: Economics, Global | Tags: Australia, Australian dollar, Exchange rate, Finance, Glenn Stevens, International Monetary Fund, Johannesburg, Lilongwe, Malawi, United States
In its bluntest warning to date on the costs of policy inaction, the IMF said “financial and economic stagnation” could take hold unless governments prevented a “pernicious feedback loop of fragile confidence, weaker growth, low inflation and rising debt burdens” from forming.
José Viñals, the head of the IMF’s financial stability division, said a prolonged slowdown could knock around 4pc off global output relative to current expectations over the next five years amid repeated bouts of market turmoil.
Mr Viñals said a $1.3 trillion (£912bn) corporate debt timebomb in China also posed “potentially serious challenges” to financial stability if defaults pushed banks over the edge.
The IMF’s global financial stability report said a “loss of market confidence” would drag global bourses into a bear market.
Under this scenario, Stocks in the UK, US, eurozone and China would lose a fifth of their value over two years, it estimated.
The triple threat of slower growth, rising risks from China and diminished faith in policymakers’ ability to prevent a fresh downturn meant households and businesses were likely to save more and spend less in the uncertain global environment.
Economic powerhouses such as China and India would see output losses of more than 4pc by 2021 compared with current IMF forecasts, it said, while world output world be 3.9pc lower relative to the baseline.
“This would be roughly equivalent to foregoing one year of global growth, said Mr Viñals.
Low inflation and nominal growth would also push debt burdens in struggling countries such as Greece and Japan to fresh highs.
This would “entrench secular stagnation worldwide” the IMF warned.
Mr Viñals called for a “more balanced and potent policy mix for improving the growth and inflation outlook”.
He urged policymakers in the eurozone to help banks deal with an “elevated” number of so-called non-performing loans – where debtors are usually three months behind on payments.
In China, the IMF called for an end to implicit subsides that allowed zombie companies to remain in business. It also said Beijing should equip regulators with the tools needed to police China’s increasingly complex financial system.
“Much is at stake. Additional measures are needed to deliver a more balanced and potent policy mix. If not, market turmoil may recur and intensify, said Mr Viñals.
“Monetary policy was becoming “overburdened”, the IMF said. Growth-friendly fiscal policies and wider reform would be needed to support the recovery and boost investment and consumption. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 21, 2015 Filed under: Asia, China, Economics, Global | Tags: Alibaba Group, Andrew Constance, Augeas, Australia, Bank of Korea, British Empire, Carl Jung, Chief Justice, Donald Tsang, Government of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong dollar, Independent Commission Against Corruption (Hong Kong), MTR, Shenzhen
The average area per capita dropped 29.3% from 2013 to 47.8 square feet in 2015 – not much bigger than a king-size bed.
Isabella Steger reports: For some of Hong Kong’s poorest residents, the tiny subdivided apartments they call home are shrinking– and becoming less affordable.
With the city’s real estate among the most expensive in the world, many low-income Hong Kong residents — sometimes entire families — have been forced to live in so-called subdivided units. These apartments have been modified by landlords to fit multiple tenants and aren’t strictly illegal, but are subject to different structural and fire-safety requirements.
According to a study jointly conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Institute of Future Cities and a concern group for people living in subdivided units, tenants of subdivided units now pay on average around 41% of their income towards rent, compared to 29% two years ago. The average rent is about HK$3,924 (US$506) a month, the study said.
A general view of old residential flats, which contain subdivided units, at Sham Shui Po, one of the oldest districts in Hong Kong February 4, 2013. Reuters
Rents in more central areas of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon far exceed those of the New Territories, where many poor families are forced to live despite long and expensive commutes.
[Read the full story here, at China Real Time Report – WSJ]
According to the study, a 90-square-foot subdivided unit in the downtown Tsim Sha Tsui district could command HK$5,500 (US$710) a month, which works out to be about HK$61(US$7.87) a square foot a month. In a 2011 Wall Street Journal story, a family of four paid HK$4,000 (US$516) a month to live in a 150-square-foot subdivided unit in the low-income district of Sham Shui Po in Kowloon. The unit housed a stove, desk, fridge and bunk bed.
Michelle Wong, a single mother, plays with her two-year-old daughter in the bedroom of an 80 square-foot (8 square meter) sub-divided flat, which she rents for HK$3,000 ($387) per month at Sham Shui Po, February 4, 2013. Reuters
Spaces are also getting tinier in subdivided units, according to the study. The average area per capita dropped 29.3% from 2013 to 47.8 square feet in 2015 – not much bigger than a king-size bed. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 19, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption | Tags: Amazon tax, Australia, Central London, Edward Davenport, London, Prison, Vice, Wolf of the West End
Matt Shea writes: Google image search “Edward Davenport” and you’ll see a mosaic of celebrity selfies featuring everyone from the Prince of Monaco to 50 Cent. “Welcome to the website of Edward Davenport,” the website of Edward Davenport proclaims, “one of London’s most flamboyant and best-known entrepreneurs, as well as a true English gentleman from an established British family.”
But this public persona—that of the aristocratic socialite—is Eddie’s trick. It’s how, in the past, he gained people’s trust and got what he wanted. The man behind that selfie smile—the subject of the new VICE documentary Wolf of the West End—has bankrupted business partners and made an estimated £34.5 million [$51.5 million] through fraudulent activity, according to the Serious Fraud Office (Davenport says the figure wasn’t anywhere near that much).
The 2000s were good to Eddie. After buying Sierra Leone’s London embassy—the Central London mansion, 33 Portland Place—for just £50,000 [$75,000] in 1999, he turned it into an arena for decadent sex parties, spending the next ten years entertaining celebrities and aristocracy. However, in 2011, “Fast Eddie” was convicted of engineering a multi-million pound fraud and sentenced to nearly eight years in prison, before being released in 2014 as an “act of mercy” because of ill health due to one of his kidneys failing.
So what was it like to go from a life of luxury to a South London cell? How would a serial partier cope with life between the sexless walls of Wandsworth Prison? What’s life in jail like for a wealthy white-collar criminal? I spent a fair amount of time with Eddie during the filming of Wolf of the West End, so I got back in touch to find out.
VICE: What’s your worst memory from prison?
Edward Davenport: There were occasions where there was a staff shortage or things would get canceled. So when you normally play badminton on, you know, a Saturday afternoon or something, and then suddenly it gets canceled due to staff shortages, it’s not like you’ve got a lot of other things you can arrange at short notice.
So your worst memory from being in prison was having to reschedule badminton?
[Laughs] I’ve been raided in the middle of the night before.
Why did they raid you?
I think they were looking for illegal contraband items.
What about, like, the solitary nature of it—the boredom and the lack of intimate company. Did that not get to you?
Well, it was a bit like being a virgin again when I got out. I think I had plenty of women before I went in. I mean, maybe if you’ve been into prison and you haven’t done anything before with your life, but I had a bloody busy 45 years where I had had, you know, I suppose you could say, more than anyone could ever dream of and ever want. I had been out most nights—I’d done everything, you know.
[Read the full story here, at VICE]
The staff are almost up to the standards of politeness and friendliness and professional-ness as hotels. They call you by your name, you know.
OK, but there must have been some bad bits about prison.
Well, having a kidney transplant wasn’t exactly ideal. This is supposed to be a very civilized country, a very sophisticated country, yet here I am for a white-collar crime being taken to do dialysis and, during the whole of the dialysis, left in handcuffs
The kidney story does sound quite bad, but what about the rest of it? I mean, prison can really get to some people. Are you telling me you experienced none of that?
I’ve seen none of that. I think you might have been doing articles on prisons in different countries.
OK. In that case, what was good about prison?
Well, I became quite good at badminton. There wasn’t much else there except playing badminton that was quite good.
Is the rumor true that you used to somehow get the prison guards to give you lobster for dinner?
Well, of course I’d have my own food, yeah. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 9, 2015 Filed under: Entertainment, Mediasphere | Tags: Australia, Bass Guitar, Bass Player, Jackson Browne, Jazz, Live Performance, Music, Rock & Roll, Tal Wilkenfeld
Posted: December 9, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Science & Technology | Tags: Australia, Australian Federal Police, Australian Labor Party, Australian Taxation Office, Citizenship in the United States, Financial accountancy, International taxation, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Revenue service, Tax evasion
Police have raided the home of an Australian tech entrepreneur identified by two US publications as one of the early developers of the digital currency bitcoin.
On Wednesday afternoon, police gained entry to a home belonging to Craig Wright, who had hours earlier been identified in investigations by Gizmodo and Wired, based on leaked transcripts of legal interviews and files. Both publications have indicated that they believe Wright to have been involved in the creation of the cryptocurrency.
Other people who say they knew Wright have expressed strong doubts about his alleged role, with some saying privately they believe the publications have been the victims of an elaborate hoax.
More than 10 police personnel arrived at the house in the Sydney suburb of Gordon at about 1.30pm. Two police staff wearing white gloves could be seen from the street searching the cupboards and surfaces of the garage. At least three more were seen from the front door.
The Australian Federal police said in a statement that the raids were not related to the bitcoin claims. “The AFP can confirm it has conducted search warrants to assist the Australian Taxation Office at a residence in Gordon and a business premises in Ryde, Sydney. This matter is unrelated to recent media reporting regarding the digital currency bitcoin.”
One officer told Reuters they were “clearing the house”. Reuters reporter Jane Wardell said Wright’s offices were also being raided.
The house was the only one on the street with a rubbish bin still outside, six days after the weekly Thursday collection, and the letterbox was full, indicating that the house may have been empty recently.
Garry Hayres, the owner of the property, now based in Maroochydore, Queensland, told Guardian Australia that Wright and his wife Ramona Watts had leased the property in November 2012.
He only met Watts, “a lovely lady”, but said the couple were “typical tenants. They didn’t look after the place fantastically, but it wasn’t their home. They didn’t seem bad.”
He said they switched to from a full lease to month-by-month about six months ago, before informing him in the first week of December of their intention to leave.
Wright told him they were moving to London; he would go first, then Watts would follow. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 14, 2015 Filed under: Diplomacy, History, Think Tank, War Room | Tags: Adolf Hitler, Age of Empires, Albus Dumbledore, Australia, Barack Obama, British Empire, ISIS, Islamism, Jihadism, Munich Agreement, Muslim, Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill, World War II
Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat’: Winston Churchill, May 13, 1940
First Speech as Prime Minister to House of Commons
On May 10, 1940, Winston Churchill became Prime Minister. When he met his Cabinet on May 13 he told them that “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” He repeated that phrase later in the day when he asked the House of Commons for a vote of confidence in his new all-party government. The response of Labour was heart-warming; the Conservative reaction was luke-warm. They still really wanted Neville Chamberlain. For the first time, the people had hope but Churchill commented to General Ismay: “Poor people, poor people. They trust me, and I can give them nothing but disaster for quite a long time.”
I beg to move,
That this House welcomes the formation of a Government representing the united and inflexible resolve of the nation to prosecute the war with Germany to a victorious conclusion.
On Friday evening last I received His Majesty’s commission to form a new Administration. It as the evident wish and will of Parliament and the nation that this should be conceived on the broadest possible basis and that it should include all parties, both those who supported the late Government and also the parties of the Opposition. I have completed the most important part of this task. A War Cabinet has been formed of five Members, representing, with the Opposition Liberals, the unity of the nation. The three party Leaders have agreed to serve, either in the War Cabinet or in high executive office. The three Fighting Services have been filled. It was necessary that this should be done in one single day, on account of the extreme urgency and rigour of events. A number of other positions, key positions, were filled yesterday, and I am submitting a further list to His Majesty to-night. I hope to complete the appointment of the principal Ministers during to-morrow. The appointment of the other Ministers usually takes a little longer, but I trust that, when Parliament meets again, this part of my task will be completed, and that the administration will be complete in all respects.
I considered it in the public interest to suggest that the House should be summoned to meet today. Mr. Speaker agreed, and took the necessary steps, in accordance with the powers conferred upon him by the Resolution of the House. At the end of the proceedings today, the Adjournment of the House will be proposed until Tuesday, 21st May, with, of course, provision for earlier meeting, if need be. The business to be considered during that week will be notified to Members at the earliest opportunity. I now invite the House, by the Motion which stands in my name, to record its approval of the steps taken and to declare its confidence in the new Government.
To form an Administration of this scale and complexity is a serious undertaking in itself, but it must be remembered that we are in the preliminary stage of one of the greatest battles in history, that we are in action at many other points in Norway and in Holland, that we have to be prepared in the Mediterranean, that the air battle is continuous and that many preparations, such as have been indicated by my hon. Friend below the Gangway, have to be made here at home. In this crisis I hope I may be pardoned if I do not address the House at any length today. I hope that any of my friends and colleagues, or former colleagues, who are affected by the political reconstruction, will make allowance, all allowance, for any lack of ceremony with which it has been necessary to act. I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this government: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 19, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Entertainment, Mediasphere | Tags: Archie McPhee, Australia, fashion, Fingernails, Get Buffed Nails, Halloween, Sarah Elmaz, Spooky
The Department of Magnificent Manicures is feverishly making plans for their Halloween fingers thanks to this awesomely inspiring Spooky Halloween nail set created by Australian nail artist Sarah Elmaz of Get Buffed Nails. The nails on her left hand are alternately delightfully creepy and impressively gory. Even though we know it’s not real, it’s still hard to look at that bloody screw for more than a moment. Meanwhile the nails on Elmaz’a right hand have been done to look like sections of a Ouija board, complete with a tiny planchette on her middle finger. Perfect for Halloween part séances.
Follow Get Buffed Nails on Instagram to check out more of Elmaz’s outstanding nail art.
[via Fashionably Geek]
Source: Archie McPhee’s
Posted: October 6, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Global, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Angela Merkel, Antisemitism, Australia, Australian Defence Force, Barack Obama, BBC, Charlie Hebdo, Investigative journalism, Islam, Islamophobia, Jews, Journalist, Muslim, Newsnight, United States
Justin Huggler reports: ARD television was inundated with complaints after it broadcast a mocked-up picture of Mrs Merkel wearing the garment, known as a chador, against a backdrop of the Reichstag surrounded by minarets.
“This is not constructive journalism. Ugh! The mood turns because of such defamation and propaganda. So yes it’s true: integration cannot succeed.”
— A Facebook post
The image was shown during a debate on the refugee crisis on Report from Berlin, a Newsnight-style programme, and was intended to be satirical, the broadcaster claimed.
“Of course it was also the of this artwork to provoke and polarise opinion. We consider this satirical form of representation to be in keeping with our journalistic values. We reject any insinuation that we would operate Islamophobic propaganda.”
— ARD television, defending its use of the controversial image
But many viewers accused the programme-makers of Islamophobia, and said they were deliberately provoking anti-Muslim sentiments.
A Pegida supporter wears a burqa during a rally in Dresden. Photo: AFP
“This is not constructive journalism. Ugh!” read one comment on the programme’s Facebook page. “The mood turns because of such defamation and propaganda. So yes it’s true: integration cannot succeed.”
The broadcaster defended the use of the image. “Of course it was also the of this artwork to provoke and polarise opinion,” it said in a statement.
“We consider this satirical form of representation to be in keeping with our journalistic values. We reject any insinuation that we would operate Islamophobic propaganda.”
Supporters of Legida, a local copycat of Dresden’s Pegida, during a rally in Leipzig Photo: Jens Schlueter/AFP
But many viewers complained that the image was similar to posters produced by the anti-Islam and anti-immigrant movement Pegida, or Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 10, 2015 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Australia, Australia national rugby union team, Bledisloe Cup, CNBC, Flag, John Key, Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, New Zealand, New Zealand national rugby union team, Union Jack
These Are the Finalists?
There really isn’t much by which to distinguish the flags of New Zealand and Australia. The former comes with a Union Jack flag in the top left against a deep blue background with red stars. The latter includes a Union Jack flag in the top left against a deep blue background with — wait for it! — white stars.
That’s resulted in quite a bit of confusion — usually to the disadvantage of smaller New Zealand. That country’s prime minister, John Key, has spoken of being seated in front of Australia’s flag at multilateral fora, a wonderful bit of small-country anxiety that HBO’s John Oliver recently satirized to great effect…(read more)
Posted: July 26, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Entertainment, Mediasphere | Tags: Academy Award, Andrew Scott (actor), Australia, BBC, Ben Whishaw, Daniel Craig, James Bond, James Bond in film, Spectre, Spectre (comics), Star Wars, video
007 Spectre Trailer 2 (2015) Daniel Craig James Bond Movie HD [Official Trailer]
Posted: July 12, 2015 Filed under: Economics, Entertainment, Global, Mediasphere | Tags: 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Amazon.com, Apple Inc, Asia, Australia, Berlin, Cupertino, iPhone, MacBook, New York Stock Exchange, Samsung, Smartphone, The Wall Street Journal, WSJ
Apple’s share of profits is remarkable given that it sells fewer than 20% of smartphones
“Roughly 1,000 companies make smartphones. Just one reaps nearly all the profits.”
Posted: July 7, 2015 Filed under: China, Economics | Tags: 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Australia, Barack Obama, Beau Biden, Brain tumor, Economy of the People's Republic of China, Government of the People's Republic of China, Greece, People's Bank of China, Securities Association of China, Shanghai, SSE Composite Index, Xinhua News Agency
While the world worries about Greece, there’s an even bigger problem closer to home: China
A stock market crash there has seen $3.2 trillion wiped from the value of Chinese shares in just three weeks, triggering an emergency response from the government and warnings of “monstrous” public disorder.
“If China does not find support today, the disorder could be monstrous.”
And the effects for Australia could be serious, affecting our key commodity exports and sparking the beginning of a period of recession-like conditions.
“State-owned newspapers have used their strongest language yet, telling people ‘not to lose their minds’ and ‘not to bury themselves in horror and anxiety’. [Our] positive measures will take time to produce results,” writes IG Markets.
“All short-selling — the practice of betting that stocks will fall — has been banned, and Chinese media has rushed to reassure citizens.”
“If China does not find support today, the disorder could be monstrous.”
In an extraordinary move, the People’s Bank of China has begun lending money to investors to buy shares in the flailing market. The Wall Street Journal reports this “liquidity assistance” will be provided to the regulator-owned China Securities Finance Corp, which will lend the money to brokerages, which will in turn lend to investors.
The dramatic intervention marks the first time funds from the central bank have been directed anywhere other than the banks, signalling serious concern from authorities about the crisis.
At the same time, Chinese authorities are putting a halt to any new stock listings. The market regulator announced on Friday it would limit initial public offerings — which disrupt the rest of the market — in an attempt to curb plunging share prices.
“The market crash there is generating headlines, but it’s not going to have the same impact as a comparable crash would in a developed market.”
While the exact amount of assistance hasn’t been revealed, the WSJ reports no upper limit has been set.
All short-selling — the practice of betting that stocks will fall — has been banned, and Chinese media has rushed to reassure citizens.
Yesterday, shares in big state companies soared in response to the but many others sank as jittery small investors tried to cut their losses, Associated Press reports. The market benchmark Shanghai Composite closed up 2.4 percent but still was down 27 percent from its June 12 peak.
Experts fear it could turn into a full-blown crash introducing even more uncertainty into global markets as Europe teeters on the edge of a potential eurozone exit by Greece, after Sunday’s controversial referendum.
For Australia, the market crash in China is likely to impact earnings on key exports iron ore and coal, further slashing government revenue, while also putting downward pressure on the Australian dollar.
Jordan Eliseo, chief economist with ABC Bullion, said it was important to remember that the amount of wealth Chinese citizens have tied up in the stock market is relatively minor compared with western investors.
Stocks only make up about 8 per cent of household wealth in China, compared with around 20 per cent in developed nations. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 12, 2015 Filed under: Asia, China, Entertainment, Global | Tags: Adelaide, Airport lounge, Australia, Brisbane, Canberra, Koala, Melbourne, Qantas
The native animals were the stars of the photo shoot a week before they were gifted to the Singapore Zoo on Monday, to mark the country’s 50th anniversary of independence.
Although it looks glorious for the furry guys, they were actually transported to Singapore in the plane’s cargo hold, like all animals.
The photos posted to Facebook show the koalas, from Lone Pine Sanctuary in Brisbane, being offered treats such as fresh gum leaves, a can of lemonade and a hot towel. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 31, 2015 Filed under: Food & Drink, Japan, Mediasphere | Tags: Alcohol intoxication, Australia, DUI, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, New York, Saint Patrick's Day, Sobriety
Japan is one of the hardest working countries in the world. So, at the end of the week, Japanese salary men and women let their hair down with very surprising consequences: Drunk Sleeping.
For RocketNews24, Philip Kendall writes:
It happens to pretty much everyone at least once in their lifetime. You’re out drinking with friends and feeling pleasantly buzzed when you get roped into doing a couple of Sambuca shots. Then it suddenly hits you: you’ve drunk too much….
For Japanese people, however, the effects of alcohol are often so much worse. Many Asian people simply cannot tolerate alcohol well, so when they drink more than they should – even if that’s just a few beers – their bodies simply shut down and they fall asleep, dead to the world around them.
We’ve all seen photos of the guy passed out on the floor of a Tokyo subway train, and many have no doubt wondered why, particularly in as conservative a society as Japan’s, this behaviour could ever be considered acceptable. But the truth is, while Japan values hard work over pretty much anything else, its people are also extremely willing to forgive drunken mishaps precisely for that reason. If a salaryman overdoes it and passes out on the train, he was probably just kicking back after a tough week at the office, fellow passengers think as they step over his legs or gently nudge him off their shoulder on the train. Those college kids who can barely stand? They probably just passed some big exam or were offered a job after they graduate.
Getting drunk is something that people do to let off steam, and goodness knows the Japanese have a lot of that pent up inside them.
But besides the trauma they put their body through when drinking to excess (there’s a reason they call it alcohol poisoning, after all), sleeping drunks also risk physical injury, being robbed, and become a hazard to others, so it does seem strange that people should tolerate the behaviour when they can’t the stuff that causes it.
In order to address the situation, Japan’s Yaocho Bar Group decided to turn a few of Tokyo’s snoozing boozers into living billboards. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 26, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, China, Science & Technology | Tags: Arachnids, Australia, Insects, Photography, Singapore, Spiders
This isn’t a stained-glass sculpture or piece of delicate jewelry – it’s a real live spider. These spiders, called mirror or sequined spiders, are all members of several different species of the thwaitesia genus, which features spiders with reflective silvery patches on their abdomen.
The scales look like solid pieces of mirror glued to the spider’s back, but they can actually change size depending on how threatened the spider feels. The reflective scales are composed of reflective guanine, which these and other spiders use to give themselves color.
Not much information is available about these wonderful spiders, but the dazzling specimens in these photos were photographed primarily in Australia and Singapore…(read more)
Posted: February 2, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Entertainment | Tags: Academy Award for Best Picture, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, Associated Press, Audience award, Australia, Connie Britton, Film Festival, Getty Images, Laredo, Molly Shannon, Nick Offerman, Park City, Russian Woodpecker, Sundance Film Festival, Texas, Thomas Mann, Tig Notaro, Utah
After 10 days of premieres and deals in Park City, the Sundance Film Festival jury handed out honors across a range of categories on Saturday evening.
Comedian Tig Notaro presided over the ceremony, which saw Me and Earl and The Dying Girl nab both the U.S. dramatic grand jury prize and the U.S. dramatic audience award.
“This movie was about processing loss and, but really to celebrate a beautiful life and a beautiful man, which is my amazing father. So this is to his memory and to celebrate him through humor, so thanks again for this opportunity.”
— Me and Earl Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
“This movie was about processing loss and, but really to celebrate a beautiful life and a beautiful man, which is my amazing father. So this is to his memory and to celebrate him through humor, so thanks again for this opportunity,” said Earl director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon upon accepting the grand jury prize.
Meanwhile, The Wolfpack, a look at a family of six siblings living in Manhattan, claimed the U.S. grand jury prize for a documentary. Robert Eggers, whose film The Witch was acquired by A24 films shortly after the festival opened, claimed the directing award for U.S. dramatic title.
Rick Famuyiwa‘s Dope, which was acquired by Open Road and given a June 12 theatrical release, claimed the special jury honor for excellence in editing while Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s The Stanford Prison Experiment took home the U.S. dramatic screenwriting award. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 12, 2015 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere, Religion, War Room | Tags: Australia, Charlie Hebdo, Islamists, media, news, Paris Massacre, The Australian, Twitter
‘Truth without Fear” – via Twitter – @RSS_Org
Posted: January 9, 2015 Filed under: Censorship, Global, Mediasphere, War Room | Tags: Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera English, Appellate court, Australia, BBC, Bias, Cairo, Egypt, Egyptian Canadian, Islamism, Jihadism, Journalist, London, Muslim Brotherhood, New trial, Peter Greste, Terrorism, Terrorist Sympathizers
Brendan Bordelon reports: As journalists worldwide reacted with universal revulsion at the massacre of some of their owxn by Islamic jihadists in Paris, Al Jazeera English editor and executive producer Salah-Aldeen Khadr sent out a staff-wide email.
“Please accept this note in the spirit it is intended — to make our coverage the best it can be,” the London-based Khadr wrote Thursday, in the first of a series of internal emails leaked to National Review Online. “We are Al Jazeera!”
“I guess if you insult 1.5 billion people chances are one or two of them will kill you.”
— Mohamed Vall Salem
Below was a list of “suggestions” for how anchors and correspondents at the Qatar-based news outlet should cover Wednesday’s slaughter at the Charlie Hebdo office (the full emails can be found at here at NRO).
“Defending freedom of expression in the face of oppression is one thing; insisting on the right to be obnoxious and offensive just because you can is infantile,” Khadr wrote. “Baiting extremists isn’t bravely defiant when your manner of doing so is more significant in offending millions of moderate people as well.”
— Salah-Aldeen Khadr
Khadr urged his employees to ask if this was “really an attack on ‘free speech,’” discuss whether “I am Charlie” is an “alienating slogan,” caution viewers against “making this a free speech aka ‘European Values’ under attack binary [sic],” and portray the attack as “a clash of extremist fringes.”
“What Charlie Hebdo did was not free speech it was an abuse of free speech in my opinion, go back to the cartoons and have a look at them!” Salem later wrote. “It’ snot [sic] about what the drawing said, it was about how they said it. I condemn those heinous killings, but I’M NOT CHARLIE.”
— Mohamed Vall Salem
“Defending freedom of expression in the face of oppression is one thing; insisting on the right to be obnoxious and offensive just because you can is infantile,” Khadr wrote. “Baiting extremists isn’t bravely defiant when your manner of doing so is more significant in offending millions of moderate people as well. And within a climate where violent response—however illegitimate [sic]—is a real risk, taking a goading stand on a principle virtually no one contests is worse than pointless: it’s pointlessly all about you.”
His denunciation of Charlie Hebdo’s publication of cartoons mocking the prophet Mohammed didn’t sit well with some Al Jazeera English employees.
Hours later, U.S.-based correspondent Tom Ackerman sent an email quoting a paragraph from a New York Times’ January 7 column by Ross Douthat. The op-ed argued that cartoons like the ones that drove the radical Islamists to murder must be published, “because the murderers cannot be allowed for a single moment to think that their strategy can succeed.”
That precipitated an angry backlash from the network’s Qatar-based correspondents, revealing in the process a deep cultural rift at a network once accused of overt anti-Western bias. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 15, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Global, Mediasphere, War Room | Tags: Australia, Iran, Islamism, Jihadism, media, news, Sydney Australia, Terror, Terrorism, Twitter
Nick Sutton – via Twitter
Posted: December 15, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Global, Politics, War Room | Tags: Australia, Bexley North, Iran, Julian Assange, Lindt & Sprüngli, Marriott International, New South Wales, New South Wales Police Force, Operation Slipper, Sexual assault, Sheikh Haron, Sydney
Sheikh Haron moved to Australia from Iran in 1996. During that time he was involved in murder, sexual assault and support for terrorism in the most blatant ways possible.
In two decades, he wasn’t expelled from the country despite a laundry list of crimes and horrible behavior like sending Jihadist letters to the families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
The core problem is that Haron and all the others like him should…
1. Never have been allowed into Australia
2. Should have been forcibly deported after their first crime, their first act of support for terrorism
The media’s official narrative is that Sheikh Haron is mentally ill. Just another lone wolf. Just more workplace violence. There’s no point in even wasting time debating that. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 15, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, War Room | Tags: Arabic alphabet, Associated Press, Australia, Australian Federal Police, Islam, Lindt & Sprüngli, Rush hour, Sydney
Armed police shut down central Sydney after a suspected gunman took people hostage in a cafe on Monday and placed an Islamic flag in the window, sparking concerns that a terrorist attack was under way. So far, five people have safely exited the cafe and police are preparing to negotiate through the night with the gunman…(more)
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Posted: December 14, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Global, Religion, War Room | Tags: Arabic alphabet, Australia, hostage, Lindt & Sprüngli, Martin Place, New South Wales Police Force, Police, Sydney, Television in Australia, Tony Abbott
At least one gunman has taken several people hostage at a cafe in the Australian city of Sydney.
Pictures on Australian television show at least three people with their hands up against a window, and a black flag with Arabic writing.
“All Australians should be reassured that our law enforcement and security agencies are well trained and equipped and are responding in a thorough and professional manner.”
— Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Hundreds of armed police have sealed off Martin Place in Sydney’s central business district.
Armed police patrol the vicinity at Lindt Cafe, Martin Place in Sydney, Australia. Don Arnold/Getty Images
[Also see – Police Operation Under Way in Sydney Financial District – ABCNews.com]
New South Wales police have asked people to avoid the area.
An Australian Broadcasting Corporation reporter said that gunfire had been heard at the scene, the Lindt chocolate cafe – but this has not been confirmed.
Police have also said that they are dealing with an “incident” at the Sydney Opera House which has been evacuated.
Local media are reporting that a suspicious package was found there on Monday.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has described the incident as “deeply concerning” in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 13, 2014 Filed under: Law & Justice, Science & Technology, War Room | Tags: American Civil Liberties Union, Anadolu Agency, Arrest, Arrest warrant, Associated Press, Australia, Civil liberties, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency, Same-sex relationship, Supreme Court of the United States
Fake Cellphone Towers on Planes Used to Target Criminals, but Also Sift Through Thousands of Other Phones
WASHINGTON—Devlin Barrett reports: The Justice Department is scooping up data from thousands of cellphones through fake communications towers deployed on airplanes, a high-tech hunt for criminal suspects that is snagging a large number of innocent Americans, according to people familiar with the operations.
“The program cuts out phone companies as an intermediary in searching for suspects. Rather than asking a company for cell-tower information to help locate a suspect, which law enforcement has criticized as slow and inaccurate, the government can now get that information itself.”
The U.S. Marshals Service program, which became fully functional around 2007, operates Cessna aircraft from at least five metropolitan-area airports, with a flying range covering most of the U.S. population, according to people familiar with the program.
“Similar devices are used by U.S. military and intelligence officials operating in other countries, including in war zones, where they are sometimes used to locate terrorist suspects, according to people familiar with the work. In the U.S., these people said, the technology has been effective in catching suspected drug dealers and killers. They wouldn’t say which suspects were caught through this method.”
Planes are equipped with devices—some known as “dirtboxes” to law-enforcement officials because of the initials of the Boeing Co. unit that produces them—which mimic cell towers of large telecommunications firms and trick cellphones into reporting their unique registration information. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 30, 2014 Filed under: History, Mediasphere, War Room | Tags: 60 Minutes, Australia, Frances Martel, ISIS, Jihadists, Kurdish, YPJ
Frances Martel reports: The women of the Kurdish People‘s Protection Units (YPJ) fighting the Islamic State on the front lines in Iraq and Syria have a message for the rest of the world: ISIS is not just a threat to them, but “a threat to humanity.” 60 Minutes Australia embedded with YPJ forces in Iraq and Syria and found a tough-as-nails force willing to die to save the world from radical Islam.
“All of us wanted to live a safe life, to go complete our studies and have boyfriends … but we live in an emergency situation.”
“My first responsibility as a female commander is to prove women anywhere can have a will and a reason to exist,” says one YPG commander to 60 Minutes reporter Tara Brown, explaining that their fight is not one just to save the Middle East and comparing the Islamic State to a “cancer.” She says the soldiers have no “personal fear” on the battlefield, though they do have “a fear for our society and culture.”
The YPJ have one significant advantage against their male counterparts, which has aided their success against jihadists: ISIS terrorists believe that they earn an eternity in Heaven and their own bevy of virgins upon dying in the name of Allah, but such privileges are revoked and they are condemned to shame, rather than awarded martyrdom, if they fall at the hands of a woman. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 19, 2014 Filed under: Politics, Think Tank, War Room | Tags: Australia, Islam, Islamic state, Jonah Goldberg, Sydney Morning Herald, Syria, Tony Abbott, YouTube
The fact that ISIS focuses on beheadings rather than elaborate plots makes them that much harder to foil
Jonah Goldberg writes: On Thursday, Australian authorities claimed they thwarted a plot by supporters of the Islamic State to grab random people off the street and then behead the captured citizens on videotape. Australia’s attorney general said that the massive raid, the largest counterterrorism operation in the nation’s history, involving more than 800 police officers and raids of at least twelve properties, was necessary because, “If the . . . police had not acted today, there is a likelihood that this would have happened.”
“Al-Qaeda always had an odd obsession with destroying aircraft and committing dramatic acts of murder. This fixation had an advantage: Such elaborate plots were easier to be foiled by law enforcement and intelligence agencies…“
Australian prime minister Tony Abbott confirmed that the raids were prompted by intercepted phone calls, from an Australian of Afghan descent believed to be Mohammad Ali Baryalei. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that he is suspected to be the “most senior Australian member of the terrorist group Islamic State, having traveled to Syria in April last year.” A proselytizer for the “Street Dawah Movement,” Barylei “was outspoken and wouldn’t shy from speaking the truth regardless,” a former fellow Dawah member told Fairfax Media. “He wasn’t pleased with living in Australian society and wanted to live in an Islamic society away from open alcoholism, homosexuality, fornication, drugs, and capitalism.”
“The Islamic State has discovered that beheadings — which are cheap and relatively easy to conduct — have a huge impact in the West…It takes homework to build an IED. Beheadings require very little instruction.”
Baryalei is credited with recruiting at least two fellow Australians to the cause. One, Khaled Sharrouf, infamously tweeted pictures of himself executing prisoners in Iraq and images of his seven-year-old son holding a severed head in Syria. Another fellow Australian, Mohamed Elomar, has also released images of himself holding the decapitated heads of his “enemies.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 19, 2014 Filed under: Politics, U.S. News, War Room | Tags: Afghan diaspora, Andrew McCarthy, Australia, Hassan Nasrallah, Islam, Michelle Malkin, Somali, Sydney, United States
Michelle Malkin writes: Fresh terror busts in Australia expose a common Achilles’ heel of the West: Indiscriminate refugee policies turn free countries into breeding grounds for jihad. It’s the same game in America. Soldiers of Islam have weaponized our blind generosity against us.
“Instead of slowing down refugee admissions from terror-sponsoring and terror-supporting states, the Obama administration has jacked them up.”
In Sydney this week, authorities detained a half-dozen Muslim plotters and arrested a top collaborator in an alleged conspiracy to kidnap and behead a random Australian citizen. The accused mastermind? Afghan refugee turned Aussie Islamic State recruiter Mohammad Ali Baryalei. He and his aristocratic family were welcomed Down Under decades ago. Baryalei returned the favor by taking to the streets of Sydney to recruit and radicalize dozens of fellow Muslim immigrants or their children.
“Sharrouf is now based in Syria, where he infamously tweeted a photo of his elementary school-age son brandishing a severed human head.”
Baryalei’s minions include Australian jihadist Khaled Sharrouf, the homicidal son of Lebanese immigrants. Sharrouf is now based in Syria, where he infamously tweeted a photo of his elementary school-age son brandishing a severed human head.
“In our heartland, Minneapolis has become ‘Little Mogadishu’— a haven for Somali refugees targeted by Islamic supremacists.”
The Sydney Beheading Bust comes on the heels of a separate outbreak of violence by Afghan refugees aligned with the terror group Hezbollah. In late August, Aussie police broke up a bloody riot involving members of the “420 gang” — Muslim teenage boys and young men who post sword-wielding, AK-47-toting selfies on social media. The self-described “Shia soldiers” quote Hezbollah militant imam Hassan Nasrallah online, while wreaking havoc in Sydney slums offline. Read the rest of this entry »