For China, the Problem of Moving Millions

When China launches ambitious projects to conquer nature and astound the world, people always get in the way.

Sometimes it’s a few dozen people; often it’s thousands or even millions.

In the country’s headlong drive toward development, moving large numbers of people quickly and often painfully goes hand in hand with building the world’s biggest dam, the longest stretch of high-speed rail, even re-shaping whole cities.

In the best-case situations, those who get moved end up with nicer homes, indoor plumbing, access to services and cleaner living conditions. The dark side is that frequently the relocated become internal migrants mired in debt, without farmland or income.

Initially, some resettled farmers could be found along the river happy
about getting newer, nicer homes mostly paid for by the government. The
system broke down quickly, however, and vast sums of the money meant to
re-home people whose farms and houses were flooded was embezzled by
government officials
. By the end of the resettlement project, complaints
and petitioners were everywhere.

For development, China moves millions | GlobalPost

Fitch warns it may downgrade China’s yuan debt rating

The warning comes after Fitch revised its outlook on China’s local currency debt from “stable” to “negative” in April this year.

There have been growing concerns of bad loans in China after the nation’s banks lent record sums of money in the last two years.

Andrew Colquhoun, head of Asia-Pacific Sovereigns at Fitch Ratings was quoted by news agency AFP as saying that there was a “better than even chance” of a downgrade.

“Bank asset quality… will deteriorate quite meaningfully in the medium term,” Mr Colquhoun added.

BBC News – Fitch warns it may downgrade China’s yuan debt rating

Crisis Convergence | Foreign Policy

Why the global economic crash, the rise of the Tea Party, the Arab Spring, and China’s coming fall are all connected.

The clamor of economic and political events this year — including the Arab Spring, the intensification of the Western economic crisis, the rise of the Tea Party, and the growing ascendancy of China — has been deafening. But though most reporting has described these events as disconnected, they are far from coincidental.

Crisis Convergence – By George Magnus | Foreign Policy

The Diary of ANNE FRANK – YouTube Video

She is perhaps Hitler´s best known victim, but what was Anne Frank really like?

The Diary of ANNE FRANK (Part One) – 01/17 – YouTube

Part 1/17

Part 2/17

Part 3/17

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Water is the new weapon in Beijing’s armoury – FT.com

The consequences of such frenetic construction are already clear. First, China is in water disputes with almost all its neighbours, from Russia and India to weak client-states such as North Korea and Burma. Second, its new focus on water mega-projects in the homelands of ethnic minorities has triggered tensions over displacement and submergence at a time when the Tibetan plateau, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia have all been wracked by protests against Chinese rule. Third, the projects threaten to replicate in international rivers the degradation haunting China’s internal rivers.

Water is the new weapon in Beijing’s armoury – FT.com

Iran’s 20 Percent Enrichment

In an interview
with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) published August 30, head
of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI), Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani,
announced that Iran would never halt its domestic production of 20
percent enriched uranium.  Agence France Presse reported
on its apparent translation of the interview and added that
Abbasi-Davani said Iran is no longer interested in a fuel swap deal and
would rather become a supplier of 20 percent enriched uranium.  IRNA
reports on Abbasi-Davani’s fuel swap comments in a separate story
This latter statement would seem as though Abbasi-Davani wants to close
the door on any prospect for a diplomatic deal that would remove 20
percent uranium from Iran for further fabrication into fuel elements for
the TRR in a third party country.  This effort could be important to
build international confidence in the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear
program.

Abbasi-Davani told IRNA that Iran has stockpiles of 20 percent material
that “already exceed[s] the required amount for the TRR [Tehran Research
Reactor].
” He also said that Iran requires a growing stockpile in case
“if in the process of production our system would be damaged, or would
be in need of repairs…” This comment is ambiguous but would seem to
imply either recognition of possible production problems or Iran’s
continued concern about its enrichment facilities being bombed. 
Abbasi-Davani noted that Iran made the decision to move 20 percent
enrichment to its fortified and once secret Fordow enrichment plant
“because the enrichment facilities at Natanz were not safe…” and
“security measures required that the sensitive part of the facilities
would be transferred to underground buildings.” ISIS continues to
assess that Iran has no logical need for large stockpiles of 20 percent
enriched uranium and that having such a large stockpile on hand and
located within a fortified structure is more suited toward planning for
the contingency of a breakout to nuclear weapons.

Abbasi-Davani iterated that Iran will continue its planned expansion at
Natanz and finish relocating all 20 percent enrichment at Fordow and
added that Iran has no intentions or plans to enrich uranium beyond 20
percent.  Abbasi-Davani told IRNA that during the recent visit
of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Deputy Director and Head
of Safeguards Herman Nackaerts, the IAEA was “informed of the research
done on production of the new generation of Iran’s centrifuges and the
inspectors were familiarized with the activities and amount of progress
in that respect.” The IAEA has yet to comment on the details of
Nackaert’s visit but may provide more information in its upcoming
safeguards report on Iran, which is currently planned for release on
September 2. 

Additionally, AFP quotes
Abbasi-Davani as saying that Iran has no plans to build new enrichment
sites during the next two years.  This quote is not in the English
version ISIS obtained and ISIS could not locate it in any other IRNA
story.  Iran does not provide the IAEA with advanced notice of
construction plans for enrichment plants, so verifying such a claim is
impossible. 

ISIS NuclearIran › Iran In Brief

European Missile Defense: By 2020 This Theatens a Nuclear Arms Race

Currently, Russia is threatening an arms race with NATO (US) over a European missile defense system. Russia claims it is a threat to their nuclear arsenal. Experts agree that it is not a threat to the Russian nuclear arsenal, but it could be at some future date.

What if Russia does not have the capacity to build enough nuclear weapons to counter NATO? Russia is falling apart, and it’s not clear if it will be able to enter an arms race with NATO by 2020.

Could this issue be enough to start a war between Russia and the US?

“I am not satisfied with the American side’s reaction to my proposals and with NATO’s reaction in general,” the Russian leader told reporters at the conclusion of the French summit. “Why? Because we are wasting time. Even though I spoke about the year 2020 yesterday as a deadline…which is the year when the construction of a four-stage system of the so-called adaptive approach ends.”

The Russian leader warned the situation had the potential to escalate into a full-blown arms race unless the sides reached an acceptable agreement.

“After 2020, if we do not come to terms, a real arms race will begin,”Medvedev warned.

Tough talking: Russia and US discuss European missile defense — RT

Chance of Recession Is as High as 80%: Study – CNBC

A plunge in recent economic data puts the probability of a double-dip recession [cnbc explains] above 80 percent, according to modeling by Bank of America Merrill Lynch released Wednesday, reflecting the toll the U.S. debt downgrade, Europe’s woes and stock market volatility has taken on economic activity.

Economy and Recession: Chance of Recession Is as High as 80%: Study – CNBC