Archive for August, 2012
Early 1989. The Soviet Union is about to collapse. And a new superpower is about to emerge. China. But it is a country of secrets – which only one woman can unlock. If she can stay alive…
Dr Sally Parsons’ lifelong ambition has been to excavate the tomb of the ruthless first Emperor of China. But her hopes are dashed when the project is threatened with closure. She turns for advice to her old tutor Dr Jefferson Binsky, who offers her an amazing deal. If Sally agrees to deliver a computer disc to a contact in China, she will learn the secrets of the tomb of emperor Qin Shi Huang – and how to gain access to it. But the disc contains the diaries of a man intimately involved with the death and internment of Chairman Mao – and the explosive secret they contain could re-write the past – and re-shape the future. In this explosive geo-political thriller Humphrey Hawksley draws on years of experience as one of the BBC’s most respected expert on Asian politics and international affairs to create a taut and compelling story that captures a moment when China was about to re-emerge as a global power.
Joint US-South Korean military execrcises running until August 31st prompt a warning from North Korea to tear up the 1953 armistice truce and launch an all-out war. It’s part routine and part unusual. North Korea has a new leader — Kim Jung-un — who is testing reforms. He faces an entrenched military; the US has been implementing its new Asia-Pacific strategic initiative; and China and Russia are keen that power remains balanced. Some of the nuances laid out here – http://bit.ly/OhJC7z and the spectre of violence clearly not yet gone away.
The Chinese government has warned Japan to stop an “illegal” trip by politicians to a group of disputed islands under Japanese control. A flotilla of some 20 Japanese boats has set sail for the Senkaku (Chinese: Diaoyu) islands and is expected to anchor off them early on Sunday.
Why suddenly the scarmble for barren rocks in East Asia.
This story from India was barely a headline until the government had to put on extra trains for people running away. But look it:- 78 murdered, 14,000 homes destroyed, 300,000 fled in ethnic killings in the north-east. India prides itself as being the world’s biggest democracy and we do little to examine exactly what it’s like to live at the grass roots within it. http://nyti.ms/PrYG3V
Why do Indians not feel safe in their communities?
Report from The Enough Project whom I worked with in Congo to produce The Curse of Gold http://bbc.in/x1bf23
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo and WASHINGTON, DC – Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation and more stringent tech industry sourcing policies have led to an estimated 65 percent decrease in profit over the past two years for armed groups in eastern Congo from their trade in the conflict minerals of tin, tantalum, and tungsten, according to a new Enough Project investigative report. However, the renewed violence by the Rwanda-backed M23 rebellion threatens to greatly increase conflict minerals smuggling.
“The Dodd-Frank law is making a serious dent on the militias in eastern Congo, cutting their profits from the conflict minerals of tin, tantalum, and tungsten by more than 60 percent,” said Fidel Bafilemba, co-author of the report and Enough Project policy consultant. “Miners, despite their lower incomes in the short term, support the reforms that will free them from the slave-like conditions they have lived through in the mines. Companies that have profited from the trade—electronics, jewelers, tin smelters—should establish a miners empowerment fund to increase employment in the region, including micro-finance for mining communities.”
BBC World News Channel
fri 3 aug – 03:30h, 13:30h & 23:30h gmt
sat 4 Aug – 11:30hgmt
sun 5 Aug – 17:30h & 23:30h gmt
BBC News Channel
sat 4 Aug – 05:30h, 14:30h & 21:30h bst
sun 5 Aug – 03:30h, 10:30h, 14:30h & 23:30h bst
Humphrey Hawksley goes to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda to investigate the link between minerals, war and business. These are the raw materials used in our every day lives for computers, phones and household appliances. Humphrey asks if a little-known American law might force a change to how multi-national companies do business in the developing world and if that could speed up an end to poverty and conflict.
The IHT reports a nasty row between a Chinese general and the civilian leaders signalling the stakes of the power struggle in the October leadership change. Indications are that the military’s encroachment on civilian affairs is increasing. Coupled with continuing tension in the South China Sea Asia is getting worried.