Posts Tagged ‘ China ’

Autarky In Weaponry- Russia’s Not So New Option

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Russia’s resurgence is reminiscent of the Cold War in numerous ways, and already, some of the same mistakes are being made. In particular, Russia’s latest move towards self-sufficiency in weapons production is doing it no favours.

Over the last few months Russia has announced moves towards domestic procurement of weaponry to offset reliance on imports. Famously we have the French built-aircraft carrier now floating idly in port after France was pressured into halting the transaction.  Vladimir Putin announced moves to invest in domestic high-tech industries. This is the kind of rhetoric that politicians wheel out to appeal to patriotic sentiment, but in the reality is simply untenable and hinders a country militarily. Full-spectrum and autonomous weapons production was once a necessity to be a great power but in the globalised age is untenable. Continue reading

Comparing Global Beer Prices

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I drink beer to supplement my bones with vitamin D and prevent bone degeneration. Saying that makes me feel I’m making a healthy lifestyle choice every time I pop a bottle. I could be, at least according to the International Journal of Endocrinology that had published a study on the health promise of beer (you can also check our previous infographic that matched beer against wine for health benefits).

But here’s the better news—beer can be dirt cheap in some corners of the planet. If you’re traveling and you enjoy a couple bottles of beer (and some more) after a day’s tour, our infographic will help you find the country where you can get really cheap “vitamin D shots”.

It doesn’t matter if you’re going to Central/Eastern Europe or Southeast Asia; both regions can get you drunk really cheap. Vietnam and Ukraine are the hands-down winners with beer at fifty nine cents per bottle. Other beer-friendly countries include: Cambodia, Czech Republic, China, Serbia, and Panama. Continue reading

The Foreign Exchange Business

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The Forex market is a global and open market that is used to trade foreign exchange currencies.  Currency exchange operations in the Forex market take place on a 24 hour basis with the exception of the weekends.

In international business, currency conversion is required on a daily basis.   Global Financial Centres such as London, New York, Hong Kong act as hubs for buyers and sellers to trade in financial instruments.  Typically, the income for such FX trades comes from the largest players in the financial market like  BNY Mellon, Goldman Sachs and Citi.    Traders deal Dollars, Euros, Yen etc. on behalf of investors (the investor profile typically being large institutions). Continue reading

The Rise Of Special Olympics Ireland

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November 25th 1963, the eyes of the world are firmly fixed on Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. A heroic figure has been cut down in his prime. A 42 year old woman stands idly by as she watches her brother lowered into the ground. Amidst the backdrop of her sibling’s successes, it is now her time to create some history of her own.

One year prior to the death of her brother Eunice Kennedy Shriver had a vision. She invited young people with intellectual disabilities to a day camp in her own back garden, sowing the seeds for the foundation of the Special Olympics – an organisation that would grow into a global movement and change the lives of millions. Eunice, saw opportunity where others saw barriers, and despite the personal tragedies that encapsulated her family she battled valiantly and secured a brighter future for all those born with intellectual disabilities. Continue reading

NekNominate Trend Gets a Socially Responsible Relaunch

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Random Acts of Kindness are set to replace 12 shots of tequila in a charitable re-imagining of the recent viral drinking game NekNominate. Instead of downing dangerous quantities of alcohol, players are nominated via social media to perform a random act of kindness (RAK).

This positive twist on the original trend was inspired by Brent Lindeque, a South African with a social conscience. Thousands of others have now taken part in RAKNominate. Nominees have given out food and money in Hong Kong. One participant donated her hair to make wigs for unwell children. Schoolchildren have been sharing their sandwiches with those in need. Everyday Joes have been buying dinner for hardworking guys trying to earn just a few pennies a day. All of these kindnesses have been triggered by an irresponsible social media trend. Proof that social media can be a powerful tool for good. Continue reading

Sochi 2014: 10 Facts About The Most Expensive Winter Olympics Ever

sochi

The Winter Olympic Games are set to unfold in the Russian beach resort town of Sochi , which has been plagued by controversy right from the start.

When organizers struck down a request by NGO Pride House to set up shop in Sochi, Russia’s policies on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights came under close scrutiny. Then there were widespread allegations over corruption in the provisions of services and facilities. Critics accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of cronyism in awarding contracts and mismanagement of funds. Continue reading

The Globalisation Of The NBA

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Brooklyn Nets kicked off the first global game of 2014 with a resounding 127-110 win over the Atlanta Hawks at London’s 02 Arena last Thursday.

Over the past 35 years the NBA have played 147 games globally, visiting 20 different countries including China, Germany, Italy and Russia amongst others.

Yet the globalisation of the NBA has extended far beyond bringing the game cross continent.  Continue reading

Highly Anticipated Battlefield 4 Released

BATTLEFIELD4

One of the most highly anticipated and critically acclaimed games of 2013 went on sale yesterday as Battlefield 4 hit stores.

DICE, an Electronic Arts Inc. studio yesterday announced that Battlefield 4 is now available in retail stores for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC while a digital download is also available on Origin. Powered by the advanced technology of DICE’s proprietary Frostbite 3 engine, gamers will experience the all-out-war and epic moments possible only in Battlefield 4. The game lets players wage war across land, air and sea with unparalleled vehicular combat, dynamic environments and a new level of destruction. Console players can start the battle today on current-gen and upgrade to next-gen for as low as $9.99 (approximately €7.25) when those systems launch in November. Players will also be able to transfer their multiplayer stats at launch of the next-gen consoles so they can hit the ground running. Continue reading

Obama’s Dilemma And World Hesitation

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Over a year ago I contributed a piece to this website which mentioned the use of torture by Syrian government forces in an organised fashion. It should be no surprise to us that the Assad regime has gone ahead and used gas on its own people. The Assad regime is without a doubt an evil regime hell-bent on maintaining power in any way possible. It is disheartening and tragic that this can continue in the twenty first century. We are essentially sitting watching another Rwanda happen, albeit over a longer period of time.

Living in the large shadow of the Gulf War II it is to be expected that western powers are going to be hesitant to intervene in another Middle East conflict. Assad’s regime is reportedly preparing for a U.S. strike, with reports coming through of troops, ordinance and sensitive documents being moved to civilian buildings and discreet locations. Obama’s decision to delay any possible action seems to be allowing time for Assad to prepare for this possibility. However the decision is hugely complex and Obama will have a number of motivations for his decision.

Following on Britain’s example, Obama is seeking Congressional approval for his action. One can easily see the allure of having a strong consensus built behind military action, given the disaster that was Iraq. Domestic factors may be present in the president’s mind. Intervening without Congressional approval (as in Libya) would leave Obama and the Democrats open to criticism from Rand Paul et al, hailing the UK as an example of how a democracy should decide on entering into a war. This would be an easy card to play to an American public which may balk at the prospect of another drawn out war. They have seen enough American boys come home in body bags.

Syria is also stocked full of new Russian anti-aircraft technology, and the supply chain will not halt any time soon. The UN is also unlikely to reach a strong consensus due to Russia and China’s position on the Security Council. This is an issue which needs to be changed as the current setup of the security council prevents it functioning to its full and proper potential.

There are numerous other complications so boggling that nobody can say with any certainty what will happen. The Islamic fundamentalist elements among the Syrian rebels are a mysterious threat. During this week, Iran threatened retaliation against Israel if Syria were struck. The war has already spilled over into Lebanon. Egypt, once reliable as a bastion of stability, is now more chaotic than any other point in recent years. One cannot blame America for being apprehensive about beginning to bomb a region that could inflame the whole region.

The great tragedy of these complications is that the carnage continues. This was the second gas attack by Syrian government forces, twice crossing Obama’s ‘Red Line’. The UK’s rash decision to avoid war, and America’s hesitation will send out the wrong message worldwide. This message is clear when we hear reports of the Syrian government taunting America’s aversion to war and loss of superpower status. To prevent mass war crimes against whole peoples in the future, perpetrators must understand they will be brought to justice. John Kerry has a reputation as a dull operator, but he has been an ardent supporter of intervention. He is one of a few prominent politicians with the conviction to call the Syrian government for what it is.

The firm line taken by France is hardly surprising given their willingness to become involved in former colonies like Chad and Mali.

Obama had missed the opportunity to be decisive and take a firm line on Syria. The UK has essentially forfeited its chance to help. The memories of Iraq, and the continuing deadlock of the U.N. Security Council means we are facing into more misery and more dead civilians with no end in sight.

The Great Book Mound Of China

wallThey say you can see the Great Wall of China from the moon, it’s one of those myths that is continually perpetuated and which overshadows an actual fact-you can see all the travel books and articles detailing China from the moon! Seriously if ever there was an oversaturated market in need of de-cluttering then this is it. This, however, is not an article preening with historical goodies or political commentary and it is certainly not intended to add to the already stupendous pile of encyclopaedia like travel guides on China. Rather this is a short list of unusual, everyday things that you can expect to find when you visit China and yet somehow, regardless of the volume of guide books that you consume, they are things which you are never really told to expect! They are extraordinarily varied and not altogether pleasant but at least you will have more of an idea of what to expect, saving you valuable time which you would otherwise have spent picking your jaw off the pavement. Continue reading