All posts by start

Chinese police place Britons in enforced isolation after ferry trip

Teacher was given 20 minutes to pack and must remain in hotel room for two weeks

Molly Blackall and Mattha Busby  (The Guardian)

Thu 5 Mar 2020 18.41 GMT

Joanna Davison and her partner were relaxing in their flat in Shenzhen, China, when the phone rang. She was told by the Chinese authorities that they had been exposed to the coronavirus at close proximity and that officials were on their way.

“It was terrifying. Five people in hazmats turned up at our apartment, they looked like ghostbusters,” she said. “They took swabs from our nose and throat and said they’d return in the morning so we should start packing.”… READ MORE...

Chinese Regime Threatens More Action Against Hong Kong Protesters on Upcoming Full Moon

Protesters standoff with police in a cloud of tear gas during a clash outside of Central Government Complex in Hong Kong on Aug. 31, 2019. (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)



September 1, 2019 Updated: September 1, 2019

One of the Chinese regime’s top agencies issued a veiled threat that a more severe crackdown against Hong Kong protesters could take place in two weeks.

The Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, China’s head legal agency, in an opinion article published on its social media WeChat account on Sept. 1, accused the protesters of engaging in “terrorist acts” during the protests on Aug.… READ MORE...

Job Stress Is Harmful Because You Make It That Way

Stressed at work? Take a closer look at your thinking. (FS Stock/Shutterstock)


We often think our job situation causes our stress, but it’s usually our thoughts about our job situation that are to blame


August 1, 2019 Updated: August 1, 2019

A recent study by Korn Ferry found that job stress is on the rise. This is partly the result of people being misinformed about stress and its prevention.

Google the term “job stress” and you’ll see that it’s defined as an emotional reaction to the misery caused by your difficult circumstances. But don’t be fooled by this misleading definition that is missing a crucial bit of reality.… READ MORE...

China Balance of Payments Deficit Risks Currency and Asset Crash

A worker of an Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC) branch counts money as she serves a customer in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade zone during a media trip on Sept. 24, 2014. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)


August 3, 2019 Updated: August 3, 2019

China’s falling savings rate coupled with increasing government directed investment rate threatens a balance of payments crisis that could crash currency and asset values.

China became the “factory to the world” and built incredible infrastructure over the last three decades based on the strength of individual savers who remembered the hard times of the Great Famine of 1958–1962 that starved to death 30 million people.… READ MORE...

Plastic: What You Didn’t Know You Were Eating Every Day

Drinking water was found to be the largest global source of microplastics. (Ivanko80/Shutterstock)


Researchers find plastic is common in the water we drink and the air we breath with unknown effects


July 18, 2019 Updated: July 18, 2019

You are likely unknowingly eating a credit card’s worth of tiny pieces of plastic every week. A new study for World Wildlife Fund (WWF) conducted by the University of Newcastle, Australia found that people consume about 2,000 pieces of microplastic every week (or five grams), which amounts to about 21 grams a month and just over 250 grams a year.… READ MORE...

The Curious Case of Future FinTech

The Nasdaq building in Times Square, New York City. (Daniel Barry/Getty Images )


Fruit juice maker turned blockchain tech firm is latest warning against investing in obscure Chinese companies


July 14, 2019 Updated: July 14, 2019

News Analysis

For most companies, a listing on the New York-based NASDAQ Stock Exchange is a badge of honor. It gives the company some legitimacy and signals to investors that it’s achieved a certain level of success.

But investors in Future FinTech Group Inc. may be surprised to find that the company could be delisted from NASDAQ for failing to file financial statements with the exchange.… READ MORE...

Classical Guitar Showstoppers With Sharon Isbin Headed to Lincoln Center

Classical guitarist Sharon Isbin. (J. Henry Fair)



July 4, 2019 Updated: July 4, 2019

Classical composer Luigi Boccherini was an Italian cellist, but he’s also known for a number of guitar quintets, including one that features the famous Spanish dance “Fandango” movement.

“Audiences go nuts, because there is a pacing to the movement that is so skillful and builds in such a way, with moments of relaxation and release … there’s an excitement about it, by the time it gets to the end people just leap to their feet because they’ve had this journey that is at once exotic, Spanish, and just really exciting,” said the eminent classical guitarist Sharon Isbin, who can’t imagine getting tired of this well-worn piece.… READ MORE...

China Demonstrates Its Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile, But Which One?

Chinese pilots onboard the guided-missile frigate Wuhu (539) stand in formation shortly after docking at the international port in Manila, Philippines on Jan. 17, 2019. (Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images)



Rick Fisher

July 5, 2019 Updated: July 5, 2019

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) demonstrated its anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) in exercises in the South China Sea on June 29 or 30, 2019, as recounted by unnamed U.S. government sources in a July 1 report by CNBC.

An alarming development, this exercise is likely the first open-ocean demonstration of the PLA’s ASBMs, which they have been developing since the early 1990s.… READ MORE...

Philippines to Monitor China Telecom For Spying, Cybersecurity Threats

A man walks past a China Telecom store in Wuhan, in central China’s Hubei province on Aug. 21, 2013. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)



June 20, 2019 Updated: June 20, 2019

The Philippines will be monitoring China Telecom’s upcoming operations in the country for spying and other cybersecuritythreats, Nikkei Asian Review reported on June 20.

The country will be using a government-operated cybersecurity platform to oversee Mislatel, a new telecommunications carrier that is partly owned by China’s state-owned China Telecom, amid growing security concerns over Chinese tech companies worldwide.

“We will be the one monitoring them,” Philippines’ acting Information and Communications Technology Secretary Elisio Rio told Nikkei.… READ MORE...

What Exactly Is the Holy Grail, and Why Has Its Meaning Eluded Us for Centuries?

“Sir Galahad, the Quest for the Holy Grail,” 1870, by Arthur Hughes. (Public Domain)


May 22, 2019 Updated: May 22, 2019

Type “Holy Grail” into Google and … well, you probably don’t need me to finish that sentence. The sheer multiplicity of what any search engine throws up demonstrates that there is no clear consensus as to what the Grail is or was. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of people out there claiming to know its history, true meaning, and even where to find it.

Modern authors, perhaps most (in)famously Dan Brown, offer new interpretations and, even when these are clearly and explicitly rooted in little more than imaginative fiction, they get picked up and bandied about as if a new scientific and irrefutable truth has been discovered.… READ MORE...