UN Official Found Dead Was Set To Testify Against Hillary Clinton Same Day. “BARBELL FELL ON HIS NECK”

bbhh1

It sure is amazing how lucky the Clinton’s have got when people are going to testify against them and then they die.


Ashe was due in court Monday with his Chinese businessman co-defendant Ng Lap Seng, who is charged with smuggling $4.5 million into the US since 2013 and lying that it was to buy art and casino chips.  Continue reading

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China’s Latest Answer To Pollution: Buying Fresh Air From Australia

China Air

You know your air quality has hit an all-time low when canned fresh air has become a better alternative. That is what it has come to in some Chinese cities, with people clamoring to purchase cans of “fresh” air imported from Australia.  Continue reading

Mysterious 150,000 Year-Old Pipes Found Under Chinese Pyramid Might Rewrite History

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The Baigong pipes are one of the greatest mysteries of the ancient world. They can be found inside a badly-eroded pyramid standing on top of Mount Baigong in the Qinghai Province of northwestern China. The collapsing pyramid once had triangular entrances on all three sides but over time, two of them caved in and are currently out of reach. The one that remains goes deep inside the mountain.  Continue reading

10 Toxic Foods Made In China That Are Filled With Plastic, Pesticides And Cancer Causing Chemicals

Recently I was reading an article on AltHealthWorks.com about a fake rice being produced in China. The rice is being made out of plastic believe it or not and no one is doing anything about it. Naturally, as a health advocate and researcher of food and how food is processed I thought to myself, this is going WAY too far. Continue reading

Fourth ‘Explosion’ In Lishui, Zhejiang Province, CHINA

If you’re planning on traveling to China, we have two pieces of advice:

  1. Do not look like a short seller
  2. Do not go near any chemical factories

Failing to heed the first tip there could get you thrown in jail (or, as Man Group’s China chief Li Yifei calls it, sent on a “short vacation”).

The consequences of failing to follow the second piece of advice above could be, how should we put this… explosive.
Continue reading

McDonald’s Begins Closing Restaurants Across U.S. As Clean Food Movement Sweeps America

mcdonalds-signs-commercial-2-585x329

Finally our efforts to avoid processed foods and Frankenfoods are paying off. For the first time in decades McDonald’s is struggling and has to close more restaurants than it opens after worldwide drops in sales. According to anAssociated Press review of McDonald’s regulatory filings, this hasn’t happened since 1970.

Earlier this year the fast food giant announced the closing of 350 underperforming locations, but recently admitted it had to close an additional 350 restaurants in the U.S., Japan, and China. The closings include both franchises and company-owned locations.

Continue reading

US to Blame China on NSA Scandal. Chinese Warships Enter American Waters. Japanese Troops Drill with Marines in CA

Photo: Top Information PostChina has been quietly taking steps to encircle the United States by arming western hemisphere states, seeking closer military, economic, and diplomatic ties to U.S. neighbors, and sailing warships into U.S. maritime zones.

The strategy is a Chinese version of what Beijing has charged is a U.S. strategy designed to encircle and “contain” China. It is also directed at countering the Obama administration’s new strategy called the pivot to Asia. The pivot calls for closer economic, diplomatic, and military ties to Asian states that are increasingly concerned about Chinese encroachment throughout that region.

Read more:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/7/china-encircles-us-arming-western-hemisphere-state/#ixzz2Vo5RjOqX

Obama urged to ‘punch’ China

A leading U.S. manufacturing group on Monday called on President Obama to take a tough line on China when he holds his first summit with new Chinese President Xi Jinping at the end of the week in California.

Even as Chinese companies are stepping up their acquisitions in the American market, Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), suggested the Obama administration should “punch back hard” against the Chinese for recent national security and economic intrusions of U.S. military and business targets.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/3/obama-urged-to-punch-china/#ixzz2VobPW0yR

 

Japanese troops will converge on California’s southern coast in the next two weeks as part of a military exercise with U.S. troops aimed at improving that country’s amphibious attack abilities.

 

U.S. and Japanese military officials said the unprecedented training, led by U.S. Marines and sailors, will help Japan’s Self-Defense Force operate in stronger coordination with the United States, its main ally, and better respond to crises such as natural disasters.

 

China may see it differently, however, given the tensions between Tokyo and Beijing over a long-running dispute concerning islands claimed by both in the East China Sea.

“It’s another dot that the Chinese will connect to show this significant expanding military cooperation,” said Tai Ming Cheung, an analyst of Chinese and East Asian security affairs and director of the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation at the University of California, San Diego.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/06/09/japanese-troops-head-to-california-for-military-exercise-with-us-marines/?test=latestnews#ixzz2VlA0bkX1

China has, for the first time, attempted to spell out its strategy — and plans — to secure its interests in the Indian Ocean in its first “blue book” on the region, released here on Saturday.

The blue book makes a case for China to deepen its economic engagements with the Indian Ocean Region’s (IOR) littoral states, but stresses that Beijing’s interests will be driven by commercial — rather than military — objectives.

However, it warns that the Indian Ocean could end up “as an ocean of conflict and trouble” if countries like India, the U.S. and China failed to engage with each other more constructively as their interests begin to overlap.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/china-details-indian-ocean-strategy-and-interests/article4795550.ece?homepage=true

Nicaragua canal: Will China build rival to Panama Canal?

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Latest-News-Wires/2013/0609/Nicaragua-canal-Will-China-build-rival-to-Panama-Canal

With NSA Leaker in Hong Kong, US Looks to Blame China

http://news.antiwar.com/2013/06/09/with-nsa-leaker-in-hong-kong-us-looks-to-blame-china/

RT @tomphillipsin: Staff @ Hong Kong’s Mira hotel just told me #snowden was def there, checked out today, won’t say what time

https://twitter.com/TomLasseter

Could Hong Kong shelter Edward Snowden?

Mr Snowden said he chose to hide in Hong Kong because of it’s “strong tradition of free speech”

Edward Snowden, who has identified himself as the source of leaks about US surveillance programmes, is believed to be holed up in a hotel in Hong Kong.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-22837599#TWEET784322

 

http://investmentwatchblog.com/breaking-us-to-blame-china-on-nsa-scandal-chinese-warships-enter-american-waters-japanese-troops-drill-with-marines-in-ca/

China deploys navy ships to patrol islands disputed with Japan

 

Source: TOI

BEIJING: A day after asking Japan to stop encroaching its territory, Chinese military on Wednesday for the first time deployed its naval ships to patrol the islands disputed with Tokyo in the East China Sea.

This is the first time in recent months China deployed its naval vessels for patrols in the islands waters replacing the marine surveillance vessels, even though some naval ships were seen in the waters earlier.

A two-vessel fleet of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy patrolled the territorial waters surrounding the Diaoyu islands this morning, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

China calls the islands Diaoyu while Japan refers to them Senkakus, which were administered by Tokyo till last September after which China started challenging the Japanese hold on the islets.

Significantly they also conducted open-sea offencive and defencive training as well as exercises of intercepting and searching illegal vessels in the western Pacific Ocean on Sunday and Monday, it said.

Missile destroyer Lanzhou and missile frigate Hengshui, both from the Navy’s Nanhai Fleet, entered the sea area via the Miyako Strait on Tuesday night, the report said.

Today’s patrol by the Nanhai fleet ships came after vessels from the PLA Navy’s Beihai Fleet and Donghai Fleet had previously patrolled the Diaoyu Islands waters.

Yesterday Chinese Defence Ministry spokesperson Yang Yujun asked Japan to stop encroaching the country’s territory asserting it has the capability and determination to safeguard them.

“What is important now is for Japan to stop activities that undermine China’s territorial sovereignty and take actions to ensure the issue resolved,” he said while release a white paper on the Chinese military.

The paper named Japan as “trouble maker” while accusing US of making situation “tenser” by forging alliances in Asia.

Yuan reaches record high against the US dollar

speculation_sin30_35169557.jpg

 

The yuan reached a record high yesterday as the central bank fixed its midpoint against the US dollar at the strongest level ever.

That sparked anticipation of further appreciation this year and stoked inflationary pressure on the mainland and Hong Kong.

The People’s Bank of China set the midpoint at 6.2506 yuan per US dollar – up from the fixing of 6.2578 on Thursday – ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry to Asia. The yuan jumped to 79.775 Hong Kong dollars per 100 yuan, just near the record of 79.729 on Wednesday.

China often allows the yuan to appreciate faster before visits by officials from Western countries, who usually push for exchange rate liberalisation.

However, the yuan is set to strengthen this year. Inflows of capital are expected to generate higher demand for the yuan than last year as the mainland economy recovers, economists said.

“In 2013 we’ll see greater risks of capital inflows to China, rather than two-way movements in the yuan exchange rate or capital outflows as last year,” said Chang Jian, an economist at Barclays Capital. Barclays expects the yuan to strengthen 2 per cent against the greenback this year, after considering China’s intention to protect exporters in the still shaky economic recovery.

The yuan rate in the spot market touched 6.1903 per dollar yesterday, the highest since 1994. The yuan spot rate has risen 0.6 per cent so far this year, after hitting highs in the past couple of weeks.

Economists at Standard Chartered forecast the spot rate for yuan would reach 6.18 by the end of June and 6.10 by the end of this year. They said China was unlikely to follow Japan in depreciating its currency, as Japanese exporters are not its major competitors.

Nathan Chow, a DBS Bank economist, expects the strengthening of the yuan to continue to put pressure on inflation in Hong Kong because the city’s currency is pegged to the US dollar.

“The inflationary pressure caused by the yuan appreciation is inevitable, as Hong Kong imports a variety of goods, such as food and medical supplies, from the mainland,” Chow said.

A 1 per cent rise in the yuan would result in a 0.05 percentage point increase in Hong Kong’s consumer inflation, the Monetary Authority says.

 

 

http://www.scmp.com/news/article/1213468/yuan-reaches-record-high-against-us-dollar

North Korea Warns Foreigners To Leave South ‘On Verge of Nuclear War’… Will Fire Missiles Over Japan Wednesday! Japan Deploys Patriots To 3 Sites In Tokyo… Putin and McCain Warn of Thermonuclear War…

 

North Korea warns foreigners to leave South

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/09/us-korea-north-idUSBRE93408020130409


‘On verge of nuclear war’

PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea on Tuesday urged all foreign companies and tourists in South Korea to evacuate, saying the two countries are on the verge of nuclear war. The new threat appeared to be an attempt to keep the region on tenterhooks over its intentions.

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/04/09/north-korea-urges-foreigners-to-vacate-skorea-following-hostile-actions-of-us-warmongers/

 

Japan Deploys Patriot Missiles to Defend Tokyo

Japan has deployed Patriot missiles in and around central Tokyo as a defensive measure should North Korea decide to launch an attack amid rising tensions in the Korean Peninsula.

Tokyo has moved three Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) surface-to-air missile launchers, according to the defence ministry. Two more batteries are likely to be stationed at other places.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/454992/20130409/north-korea-missile-japan-interceptor-tokyo-pyongyang.htm

 

Pyongyang warns foreigners to evacuate S. Korea, Japan deploys Patriot missiles

Yonhap: Kim Jong-un orders mass artillery production for “rapid pre-emptive attack”

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently ordered the country’s arms industry workers to increase their production of artillery, a television report out of Pyongyang showed Saturday.

“Once the war breaks out, we have to destroy the enemies’ key military locations and government institutions with a quick and sudden strike,” Kim was quoted as saying. “We must absolutely guarantee the quality of our artillery and shells to ensure a rapid pre-emptive attack on our enemies.”

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/northkorea/2013/04/06/34/0401000000AEN20130406001800315F.HTML

 

North Korea urges foreigners in South to evacuate

 

https://twitter.com/timesofindia

John McCain warns of ‘accidental war’ with North Korea

North Korea, Russia Putin’ Warn’s About Grave Danger of Nuclear War

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22065348

 

 

BEIJING – China called Tuesday for the protection of citizens from all countries and warned against “chaos” on the Korean peninsula after North Korea urged foreigners in South Korea to evacuate.

Beijing, a key backer of its defiant neighbor, has repeatedly urged calm and restraint despite spiraling tensions since Pyongyang tested a third nuclear bomb in February and reacted angrily to resulting UN sanctions.

The isolated regime said Tuesday the peninsula was headed for “thermo-nuclear” war and advised foreigners in South Korea to consider evacuation.

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/global-filipino/world/04/09/13/china-urges-citizens-safety-amid-nkorea-threats?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

“North Korea says it will fire missiles into the Pacific Ocean on April 10 & that these missiles will pass over Japan.”- Sankei Shimbun

https://twitter.com/PrinceofSydney

Japan vows to shoot down North Korean missiles “even if it is just a test”

http://investmentwatchblog.com/this-is-official-instructions-from-the-pm-of-japan-on-north-korea-to-shoot-down-missile-even-if-it-is-just-a-test/

 

South Korea Believes North Could Launch Missile Test As Soon As Tomorrow

Read more:

http://www.businessinsider.com/south-korea-believes-north-could-launch-missile-test-as-soon-as-tomorrow-2013-4#ixzz2PxZPTE29

Japan deploys Patriot antimissile system in downtown Tokyo

http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/11746
Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com

Governor Jerry Brown goes to China in seeking investment in California

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has designs on building some of the most expensive public works projects in the nation and wants to keep the state moving forward in its slow recovery from the recession.

Where better to go searching for the money to further those interests than the world’s second largest economy and a country that has piles of cash to invest around the globe?

Brown heads to China next week to begin a week-long trade mission that he hopes will produce investments on both sides of the Pacific. Brown will lead a delegation of business leaders in search of what he calls “plenty of billions.”

“They’ve got $400 billion or $500 billion they’re going to invest abroad, so California’s got to get a piece of that,” Brown said in an interview last week ahead of his seven-day trip to China.

The governor and the business leaders accompanying him are trying to rebuild the state’s official relationship with China after the state closed its two trade offices and others around the world a decade ago in a cost-cutting move. California finds itself playing catch-up to other states that have had a vigorous presence in China for years.

California, which would be the world’s ninth largest economy if it were a separate country, will open a trade office in Shanghai during Brown’s visit. The Bay Area Council, a coalition of business interests from Silicon Valley and the rest of the Bay Area, is raising about $1 million a year in private money to operate it.

“California shouldn’t be the only state in the union not to have a presence with key foreign trading partners like China,” said Jim Wunderman, the group’s president and CEO.

The council opened its own office in Shanghai in 2010 to fill the void after the closure of the trade offices. Bruce Pickering, executive director of the Northern California branch of the Asia Society, called the 2003 decision “penny wise but pound foolish.”

“We’ve basically said, ‘We’re California, show up and stand in line with everybody else,’” Pickering said. “You have to do a little more than just say you’re welcoming a business. … You have to really send a message that you are ready for it.”

The Asia Society, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that promotes collaboration between the U.S. and Asia, reported in 2011 that businesses from China have established operations and created jobs in at least 35 of the 50 U.S. states, including California.

Pickering said California is behind other states in recruiting Chinese investment, while states as varied as Pennsylvania, Missouri, Florida and Arkansas have had an official presence there. The Republican governors of Iowa, Virginia, Wisconsin and Guam also are visiting China this month and meeting with provincial leaders to discuss trade and the environment.

“I would think it would be very difficult to try to attract investment without having someone on the ground there on your behalf,” said Joe Holmes, communications director for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe led a mission to China last year, and a number of deals are being discussed as a result, Holmes said.

The Asia Society reported this year that China’s direct foreign investment is poised to skyrocket to between $1 trillion and $2 trillion by 2020. California is ideally situated to capture some of that money if it goes after it: China already is California’s third-largest export partner after Mexico and Canada.

Brown already has a relationship with President Xi Jinping. The two met to discuss trade issues last year when the then-vice president visited California.

Technology, life sciences, real estate, banking, health care and agriculture are among the industries state business leaders and officials hope to target. The concentration of skilled technical engineers and the clean-energy sector in Silicon Valley also are draws for emerging companies, along with Chinese tourism to California.

State and local tourism officials are among those joining Brown on the trip, along with winemakers, cheese producers and almond growers. In all, about 75 business and policy leaders from a cross section of California industries are joining the mission, which will include stops in the capital city, Beijing, as well as Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Those cities are among the most developed and important in China. Shanghai, a port city, is an important center of industry and finance, while Guangzhou is in the heartland of the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone, which is home to the myriad processing and assembling factories that have made China the world’s factory floor.

The nearly $4 billion a year in computer and electronic products California sends to China account for the state’s largest export, followed by waste and scrap, non-electrical machinery and transportation equipment. Agricultural products such as strawberries, almonds and lettuce are fifth.

According to the governor’s office, the vast majority of Chinese exports headed to the United States go through California ports.

The trip also signals a pivot for Brown as he seeks to rebuild California’s nearly $2 trillion economy after the state’s tumultuous ride during the Great Recession. It was the epicenter of the housing crisis and weathered double-digit unemployment for nearly four years.

Brown said the state budget has stabilized, in large part because of voter-approved tax increases, and that he is now moving on to broader policy issues.

“California is a place where it’s a cauldron of creative activity, and I see that China has some of that, maybe a lot of that,” Brown said in the interview. “You have always got to find a way to renew things, and that’s what I see as my job here.”

The governor’s boldest and most expensive projects are a $68 billion high-speed rail system that is expected to start construction this summer and a $24 billion project to build massive water-delivery tunnels and restore parts of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast.

Brown is especially interested in studying China’s extensive high-speed rail system and using it as a way to promote his own plan, which has come under intense criticism and has been losing public support as its projected cost has soared. The governor is scheduled to ride part of China’s rail system from Beijing to Shanghai, accompanied by the chairman of California’s high-speed rail board, Dan Richard.

China has the world’s longest high-speed rail system, covering 5,800 miles, and has tried to turn it into a showcase. But the system also has faced problems: Part of a line collapsed in central China after heavy rains and a crash in 2011 killed 40 people. The former railway minister, who spearheaded the bullet train’s construction, and the ministry’s chief engineer, were detained in a corruption investigation.

Brown said he likes “the exuberance” with which Chinese officials approached building high-speed rail and would welcome investment in the California system or any other infrastructure projects in the state.

Despite the governor’s enthusiasm, it’s not clear how applicable the Chinese system is to a major infrastructure project in the U.S. The Chinese high-speed rail network benefits from heavy government financing and faces few of the environmental and legal hurdles found in California. The land needed to build the Chinese system is often forcibly procured at below market prices.

 

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_22975110/governor-jerry-brown-goes-china-seeking-investment-california

5 of 10 Top Economies in the World Drop the Dollar

Activist Post

The U.S Dollar is quickly losing its status as the world reserve currency. Five of the top ten economies in the world, plus a few others, no longer use the dollar as an intermediary currency for trade. This trend poses a huge risk to the dollar and the United States along with it.

ZeroHedge points out today that Australia, the world’s 12th-ranked economy, has now joined a growing list of nations that have agreed to bypass the dollar in bilateral trade with China. China, ranked 2nd behind the U.S., also has similar agreements with Japan (3rd), Brazil (6th), India (9th), and Russia (10th).

Although unilateral agreements have been in place for some time between China and the countries listed above, last week the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India & China) agreed to set up a development bank to compete with the IMF, indicating it’s gearing up to compete in a post-dollar world.

Additionally, Brazil, who agreed in principle to drop the dollar with bilateral trade with China some time ago, just made it official with $30 billion in annual currency swaps which will facilitate around 50% of all trade between them.

Besides those agreements with China, some of these nations have made other similar agreements with each other. India and Japan began swapping $15 billion in each other’s currency in 2011 to handle their bilateral trade. And the sanctions against Iran haven’t stopped them from trading oil with China, Russia, and India in anything but the dollar.

Here’s how the current reign of the US dollar compares to previous world reserve currency:

Source

It appears that the dollar is certainly nearing the end of its reign, which could lead to severe economic hardship for the United States.

Dave Hodges writes:

The United States’ good economic fortune is due solely to the fact that world must use the dollar, the Petrodollar if you will, in order to make their nation’s individual oil purchases; this provides the only source of backing for the U.S. dollar that the Federal Reserve requires in order to somewhat sustain our back-breaking debt that the banker-occupied United States government has passed along to the American taxpayer in the form of bailouts.

And Marin Katusa of Casey Research writes:

If the US dollar loses its position as the global reserve currency, the consequences for America are dire. A major portion of the dollar’s valuation stems from its lock on the oil industry – if that monopoly fades, so too will the value of the dollar. Such a major transition in global fiat currency relationships will bode well for some currencies and not so well for others, and the outcomes will be challenging to predict. But there is one outcome that we foresee with certainty: Gold will rise. Uncertainty around paper money always bodes well for gold, and these are uncertain days indeed.

America’s imperialism, combined with its ultra-fiat status of unending debt creation, appears to have created a final downward spiral that has caused many of the top economies to abandon a sinking ship. It might not be too much longer before the rest follow suit. Now might be a great time to consider diversifying into other currencies, and even digital currencies, to mitigate growing losses in the U.S. dollar.

Japan Warns It May Fire On Chinese Aircraft Over Disputed Islands; China Retorts: “There Will Be No Second Shot”

(BlackListedNews, ZeroHedge) -A week ago we reported that following what China said was a response to counter “Japanese military aircraft disrupting the routine patrols of Chinese administrative aircraft” over the East China Sea, the world’s most populous country (and one which has the largest, 2.25 million strong, standing army) scrambled several jets and put its military on high alert. Now, it is the turn of Japan, and its brand new militant and nationalistic government, to “retaliate” and escalate tensions by one more notch, in the process crashing any hope that Chinese imports of Japanese goods may resume, and obviating the ongoing temporary plunge in the yen (which while doing nothing to boost exports to this 20% trading partner, has made imports so expensive, inflation in the past two months has already soared well above the 2% target for various key goods as previously reported).

Moments ago, Japan says it may fire warning shots and take other measures to keep foreign aircraft from violating its airspace in the latest verbal blast between Tokyo and Beijing that raises concerns that a dispute over hotly contested islands could spin out of control.

AP reports:

Japanese officials made the comments after Chinese fighters tailed its warplanes near the islands recently. The incident is believed to be the first scrambling of Chinese fighters since the tensions began to rise last spring.

According to Chinese media, a pair of J-10 fighters was scrambled after Japanese F-15s began tailing a Chinese surveillance plane near the disputed islands in the East China Sea. China has complained the surveillance flight did not violate Japanese airspace and the F-15s were harassing it.

It was the first time the Chinese media has reported fighters being mobilized to respond to Japanese air force activity in the area and comes amid what Japan says is a rapid intensification of Chinese air force activity around the islands, where Japanese and Chinese coast guard ships have squared off for months.

Though there have been no outright clashes, the increased sea and air operations have fueled worries that the situation could spin out of control.

“Every country has procedures for how to deal with a violation of its territory that continues after multiple cautionary measures,” Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said on Jan. 16 when asked if tracer shots would be fired against intruding aircraft that refuse to change course. “We have response measures ready that are consistent with global standards.”

Onodera said the use of warning shots has long been provided for under Japan’s defense policies and is widely accepted under international rules of engagement. Japan’s air force has not actually resorted to them since 1987–against a Soviet aircraft–and none were fired last week.

But Chinese and Japanese media have suggested Tokyo is publicly floating the possibility to test China’s reaction.

Perhaps it may surprise Japan, but “China’s reaction” will hardly be one of a dog retreating with its tail between its legs. In fact, it will likely be quite the opposite.

And the fact that the US has once again stepped in, and is once again on the side of the party that started this whole escalation fiasco (that would be Japan for those who have forgotten), will not help:

The escalation of tensions has worried the United States, with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton saying on Jan. 18 that while the U.S. doesn’t take a position on who has sovereignty over the islands, it opposes “any unilateral actions that would seek to undermine Japanese administration.”

That brought a sharp retort from the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Jan. 20. The comments “ignore the facts” that the islands are China’s inherent territory, spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement that urged the U.S. to adopt “a responsible attitude.”

In Beijing last week, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said China is on “high alert” and suggested Japan is escalating the tensions over the islands, called the Diaoyu in China and the Senkaku in Japan. Taiwan also claims the small isles, which are uninhabited but may be surrounded by valuable underwater natural resources.

“Chinese planes and ships are exercising normal jurisdiction in the waters and airspace surrounding the Diaoyu Islands,” spokesman Hong Lei said. “We are opposed to the operations of Japan’s planes and ships, which violate our rights around Diaoyu. We are on high alert against this escalation.”

As is often the case, Chinese media quoted military academics with a much more fiery response.

“Japan’s desire to fire tracer warning shots as a way of frightening the Chinese is nothing but a joke that shows the stupidity, cruelty and failure to understand their own limitations,” Maj. Gen. Peng Guangqian of the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences was quoted as saying by the China News Service and other state media.

“Firing tracer bullets is a type of provocation; it’s firing the first shot,” he said. “Were Japan to dare to fire tracers, which is to say fire the first shot, then China wouldn’t stint on responding and not allow them to fire the second shot.

Sounds like a catalyst to double down and buy every ES contract in sight: just think of the GDP boost and appropriate fiscal multiplier once Japan is levelled

U.S. Spends $120M USD to Set up Rare Earth Research Center to Counter China

 

 

(DailyTech) -Chinese price manipulation has taken its toll on the U.S. economy

Rare earth metals are an increasingly integral part of everything from automobiles to television sets. But the precious metals are tightly controlled by China, with an excess of 95 percent of current suplly coming from Chinese-owned mines and refineries. The degree of control has allowed China to manipulate prices, cutting back on demand to sell less material for the same amount of profit, any businessperson’s dream.

I. New Private-Public Partnership Sets Aim on Chinese Mineral Hegemony

The problem is that it takes several years or more to bring rare earth metal mines and refineries online; and the capital costs of such facilities are very high. It took China decades of clever planning to set itself in its current peachy position of rare earth hegemony. Now the U.S. is racing to try to recover, before Chinese price manipulation deals too much of a blow to the U.S. economy.

The U.S. Department of Energy has committed a relatively large investment of $120M USD to establish an Energy Innovation Hub under the supervision of Ames Labs to research ways to expand domestic rare earth production and otherwise cut reliance on Chinese rare earth supplies.

Rare earth metals
The U.S. is investing deeply to try to cut its reliance on Chinese rare earth metal supplies.
[Image Source: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg]

The new lab, dubbed the Critical Materials Institute (CMI), will be a joint effort between a number of large domestic firms in the private sector, universities, and top government research labs.

In addition to Ames Lab, other national labs involved include Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). On the university side, major contributors will include Brown Univ., the Colorado School of Mines (CSM), Purdue Univ., Rutgers Univ., Univ. of California-Davis (UC Davis), Iowa State Univ. (IA State), and the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute.

Corporate partners include General Electric Comp. (GE), OLI Systems Inc., Spintek Filtration, Advanced Recovery, Inc., Cytec Industries, Inc. (CYT), Molycorp Inc. (MCP), and Simbol, Inc. (Simbol Minerals).

II. Attacking the Problem From All Angles

Among the research projects will be:

  • Improve rare earth recycling/reuse
  • Improve extraction processes
  • Develop rapid deployment mining techniques
  • Develop rare earth material substitutes
  • Study and optimize supply chains to minimize waste

Top targets for domestic rare earth production include neodymium — used in neodymium iron boron (NeFeB) hard drive magnets and cell phone components — and samarium — used in samarium cobalt (SmCo) drive magnets. Currently the U.S. has no domestic neodymium producers and only one domestic samarium producer.

Neodymium
The U.S. has no domestic producers of neodymium magnets. [Source: ThinkGeek]

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a 2011 research report [PDF] suggests that the U.S. rare earth supply chain, phased out in the 1980s at a time when the 17-element family looked non-critical, will take approximately 15 years to rebuild. The new lab aims to assist in that slow and arduous recovery.

The U.S. also will continue to purse action against China before the World Trade Organization (WTO) where it has filed complaints about the Chinese price manipulation.

They Are Getting Ready: “No Obvious Reason” For Why China Is Massively Boosting Stockpiles of Rice, Iron Ore, Precious Metals, Dry Milk

 

(Mac Salvo) -United Nations agricultural experts are reporting confusion, after figures show that China imported 2.6 million tons of rice in 2012, substantially more than a four-fold increase over the 575,000 tons imported in 2011.

The confusion stems from the fact that there is no obvious reason for vastly increased imports, since there has been no rice shortage in China. The speculation is that Chinese importers are taking advantage of low international prices, but all that means is that China’s own vast supplies of domestically grown rice are being stockpiled.

Why would China suddenly be stockpiling millions of tons of rice for no apparent reason?

Perhaps it’s related to China’s aggressive military buildup and war preparations in the Pacific and in central Asia.

If a 400% year-over-year increase in rice stockpiles isn’t enough to convince you the Chinese are preparing for a significant near-term event, consider that in Australia the country’s two major baby formula distributors have reported they are unable to keep up with demand for their dry milk formula products.

Grocery stores throughout the countryhave been left empty of the essential infant staple as a result of bulk exports by the Chinese.

A surge in sales of one of Australia’s most popular brands of infant formula has led to an unusual sight for this wealthy nation: barren shelves in the baby aisle and even rationing of baby food in some leading retail outlets.

We’d be more apt to believe the Chinese were panic-buying baby formula had the Chinese milk scandal occurred recently. The problem is that it happened four years ago. Are we to believe the Chinese are just now realizing their baby food may be tainted?

In addition to the apparent build-up in food stocks, the Chinese are further diversifying their cash assets (denominated in US Dollars) into physical goods.

In fact, in just a single month in 2012, the Chinese imported and stockpiled more gold than the entirety of the gold stored in the vaults of the European Central Bank (and did we mention they did this in one month?).

Their precious metals stockpiles have grown so quickly in recent years that Chinese official holdings remain a complete mystery to Western governments and it’s rumored that the People’s Republic may now be the second largest gold hoarding nation in the world, behind the United States.

We won’t know for sure until the official disclosure which will come when China is ready and not a moment earlier, but at the current run-rate of accumulation which is just shy of 1,000 tons per year, it is certainly within the realm of possibilities that China is now the second largest holder of gold in the world, surpassing Germany’s 3,395 tons and second only to the US.

But the Chinese aren’t just buying precious metals. They’re rapidly acquiring industrial metalsas well.

Spot iron prices are up to an almost 15-month high at $153.90 per tonne. The rally in prices, which started in December 2012, is mainly due to China’s rebuilding of its stockpiles as the Asian giant gears to boost its economy, which in turn, could improve steel demand.

The official explanation, that China is preparing stockpiles in anticipation of an economic recovery, is quite amusing considering that just 8 months ago Reuters reported that China had an oversupply, so much so that their storage facilities had run out of room to store all the inventory!

When metals warehouses in top consumer China are so full that workers start stockpiling iron ore in granaries and copper in car parks, you know the global economy could be in trouble.

At Qingdao Port, home to one of China’s largest iron ore terminals, hundreds of mounds of iron ore, each as tall as a three-storey building, spill over into an area signposted “grains storage” and almost to the street.

Further south, some bonded warehouses in Shanghai are using carparks to store swollen copper stockpiles – another unusual phenomenon that bodes ill for global metal prices and raises questions about China’s ability to sustain its economic growth as the rest of the world falters.

Now, why would China be stockpiling even more iron (and setting 15 month price highs in the process) if they had massive amounts of excess inventory just last year?

Something tells us this has nothing to do with an economic recovery, or even economic theory in terms of popular mainstream analysis.

Why does China need four times as much rice year-over-year? Why purchase more iron when you already have a huge surplus?

Why buy gold when, as Federal Reserve Chairmen Ben Bernanke suggests, it is not real money? Why build massive cities capable of housing a million or more people, and then keep them empty?

 

It doesn’t add up. None of it makes any sense.

Unless the Chinese know something we haven’t been made privy to.

Is it possible, in a world where hundreds of trillions of dollars are owed, where the United States indirectly controls most of the globe’s oil reserves, and where super powers have built tens of thousands of nuclear weapons and spent hundreds of billions on weapons of war (real ones, not those pesky semi-automatic assault rifles), that the Chinese expect things to take a turn for the worse in the near future?

The Chinese are buying physical assets – and not just representations of those assets in the form of paper receipts – but the actual physical commodities. And they are storing them in-country. Perhaps they’ve determined that U.S. and European debt are a losing proposition and it’s only a matter of time before the financial, economic and monetary systems of the West undergo a complete collapse.

At best, what these signs indicate is that the People’s Republic of China is expecting the value of currencies ( they have trillions in Western currency reserves) will deteriorate with respect to physical commodities. They are stocking up ahead of the carnage and buying what they can before their savings are hyper-inflated away.

At worst, they may very well be getting ready for what geopolitical analyst Joel Skousen warned of in his documentary Strategic Relocation, where he argued that some time in the next decade the Chinese and Russians may team up against the United States in a thermo-nuclear showdown.

Hard to believe? Maybe.

But consider that China is taking measures now, in addition to their stockpiling, that suggest we are already in the opening salvos of World War III. They have already taken steps to map our entire national grid – that includes water, power, refining, commerce and transportation infrastructure.

They’re directly involved in hacking government and commercial networks and are responsible for what has been called the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of the world. Militarily, the PRC has been developing technology like EMP weapons systems, capable of disabling our military fleets and the electrical infrastructure of the country as a whole, and has been caught red-handed manufacturing fake computer chips used in U.S. Navy weapons systems.

If you still doubt China’s intentions and expectations, look to other governments, including our own, for signs that someone, somewhere is planning for horrific worst-case scenarios:

Perhaps there’s a reason why former Congressman Roscoe Bartlett has warned, “those who can, should move their families out of the city.”

As Kyle Bass noted in a recent speech, “it’s just a question of when will this unravel and how will it unravel.”

Given how similar events have played out in history, we think you know how this ends.

It ends through war.

Governments around the world are stockpiling food, supplies, precious metals and arms, suggesting that there is foreknowledge of an impending event.

Should we be doing the same?

Chinese Doctors Experiment With Controversial Brain Surgery for Drug Addicts

 
(DailyTech) -Procedure involves drilling into patient’s skull, destroying parts of their pleasure center
The Chinese medical community is testing a bleeding edge brain surgery procedure that is equal parts controversial and intriguing.  While the procedure — designed to treat drug addiction — draws some comparisons to archaic therapies, it leverages modern neuroscience to carefully target the neural circuits involved in addiction and destroy them.
I. Drilling Into the Human Brain — Treatment or Travesty?
The procedure itself sounds like something from a horror film.  The procedure begins with drilling a series of small holes into the patient’s skull.  The patient is awake during the entire surgery.  That is crucial, as it allows the patient to report any abnormal sensations, which would occur if the surgery team affected the wrong location.
Electrodes are then inserted into the nucleus accumbens, a region full of dopagenic neurons.  The region is often referred to as one of the brain’s “reward centers”.  And while rewards can be associated with healthy activities — sex, exercise, art, music, and more — they also are commonly activated by all manner of addictions.
So the controversial neurosurgery involves literally cooking this pleasure center, killing the neurons.  The result is that the addict no longer receives any “reward” in the form of dopamine from using their substance of choice.
Drilling The surgery involves drilling into the human skull and killing part of the brain. [Image Source: HomeZooka]

The surgery is primarily used on cocaine and heroine addicts, but could apply to serious addicts of other kinds, including internet addicts and overeaters.
The surgery is officially banned by the Chinese Ministry of Health, which outlawed it in 2004 on the grounds of insufficient evidence of its safety.  However, a report by TIME claims that the surgery has been performed 1,000 times since.  Even government hospitals appear to be involved; the military Tangdu Hospital in Xi’an published a study on the procedure’s effectiveness in the peer-reviewed Journal of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery.

Nucleus Accumbens Ablation typically targets the nucleus accumbens, a reward center. [Image Source: CUNY]

The procedure is general referred to as “ablative surgery” — destroying part of the brain to try to cure it from some form of mental illness, such addiction.
According to the study, from a pure statistical perspective the surgery works better than any alternative.  Traditional treatment for opiate addicts only achieves a 30 to 40 percent “cure” rate at best — 60 to 70 percent of addicts relapse.  But with the surgery 47 percent of addicts (out of 60 patients who received the treatment) remained drug free five years later, while only 53 percent relapsed.
But the cure comes at a cost, the authors admit.  Of the patients receiving the treatment, 60 percent experienced some side effects.  Most common was a change in personality. Roughly 53 percent of the patients experienced such a change, with most becoming more “mildness oriented”.  Memory loss was also experienced by 21 percent of patients, and motivation loss by 18 percent.
II. U.S. Experts are Mortified
Experts are not convinced the cost is worth the slightly higher cure rates.  David Linden, professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University and author of “The Compass of Pleasure” called the procedure “horribly misguided”, commenting to TIME, “This treatment will almost certainly render the subjects unable to feel pleasure from a wide range of experiences, not just drugs alone.”
In China, where thousands of drug traffickers are executed a year, kicking the habit could be life-saving.  But the procedure is not free — it costs around $8,400 USD, or about the amount an average Chinese citizen makes in an entire year .
And more alarmingly, similar electroshock procedures are being applied to patients with other conditions like depression, with much lower success rates.  Dr. Wang Yifang No. 454 Hospital of the People’s Liberation Army in Nanjing admitted in a recent Wall Street Journal interview to performing ablative surgery 1,000 times.  Most of his patients suffered from schizophrenia, but also patients suffering from depression and epilepsy.

Surgeons Chinese surgeons are performing the procedure at a rate critics call “alarming”. [Image Source: Xinhua]

Dr. Wang defends his procedure saying that he is performing a service to society.  He states, “In many of the mental disease hospitals 30 to 50 percent of patients cannot be treated by medicine. And these patients have caused a great burden to their families and society.”
Dr. Michael Shulder, a top neurosurgeon at Newark University Hospital in New Jersey, indicates that very rarely such procedures are warranted, but he said that the sheer number of patients Dr. Wang performed the surgery on was astonishing.  He said that to do ablative surgery on over 1,000 patients was “completely off the charts” and that even 10 would be considered “highly controversial.”
III. Ablative Surgery Debate Echoes Lobotomy Debate of Decades Past
Decades ago the world grappled with the risk versus reward blunt dissection lobotomies — surgeries to remove part of the frontal cortex.  For showing the therapeutic effects of lobotomizing the mentally ill António Egas Moniz won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1949.  In decades following almost 20,000 lobotomies were performed. But by the 1970s, the U.S. banned the procedure after evidence of the severe side effects it caused emerged.

Nobel Prize In just three decades lobotomies went from being worthy of a Nobel Prize to being shunned by the U.S. medical community. [Image Source: IBN Live]

By contrast, ablative surgery is far more targeted — but it still is killing a part of the body’s most delicate piece of machinery.  The real problem is that in the U.S. and UK only about two dozen ablative surgeries are performed a year (typically on people with certain kinds of severe depression; never on drug addicts).  And there are differences between those surgeries and the new addiction therapy surgeries being performed in China. Thus the population size may be too small and specific to draw thorough conclusions about the procedure’s success rates and side effects.
About the only nation that appears to be in a position to, for better or worse, give a thorough analysis is China.  But some allege that such information may be impossible to attain, as they accuse the Chinese medical community of pervasive academic misconduct.
Shi-Min Fang — a biochemist-turned-freelance writer who formally held positions at the University of Rochester in New York and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif. — tells The New York Times, “The results of clinical research in China are very often fabricated. I suspect that the approvals by Ethics Committee mentioned in these papers were made up to meet the publication requirement. I also doubt if the patients were really informed in detail about the nature of the study.”
In other words, even if Chinese doctors say ablative surgery is working great, the truth could be a different animal altogether.

Google service blocked in China

Google logo
(Guardian)  Google has said that  several of its online services have been blocked in Chinajust
after the country’s once-in-a-decade meeting to transfer power to a new generation of leaders got underway.

Traffic to its services in China dropped sharply on Friday evening  according to an online “Transparency Report” website operated by Google, which measures traffic to its sites around the world.

Google’s search engine and its Gmail web email were among the services affected in China, where the internet company has had a fractious relationship with the authorities.

“We’ve checked and there’s nothing wrong on our end,” said a spokeswoman for Google.

Google’s YouTube video service has been inaccessible in China since 2009, while access to other services in China are blocked sporadically.

In 2010 Google relocated its Chinese search engine to Hong Kong after a spat with authorities over censorship and cyber-attacks that Google said originated in China.

Google said in May of this year that it was changing its search service in China so that it will warn users when they are using terms likely to trigger interference from the authorities and suggest ways around the censorship.

“Over the past couple years, we’ve had a lot of feedback that Google search from mainland China can be inconsistent and unreliable. It depends on the search query and browser, but users are regularly getting error messages like ‘this webpage is not available’ or ‘the connection was reset’. And when that happens, people typically cannot use Google again for a minute or more,” Google said in a blogpost.

More than 2,000 Communist Party delegates from across China have convened in Beijing to participate in the 18th party congress, which began on Thursday morning.