The art of the accusation

The cross accusations between North Korea and the US.

Ever since World War II, the United States and North Korea have been confronting and accusing each other. Presently, the situation has not improved, but it could be said that it has worsened significantly. The main actors of these accusations are Kim Jong-Un (North Korea) and Donald Trump (USA), who instead of trying to mediate in international politics, are once again a concern for the international community.
The usual accusations are not all of the same typology or thematic, but they have a clear objective, which in none other than to destabilize the image of the opponent, and at the same time they are adding even more “wood to the fire”. Earlier this week, a North Korean newspaper published a report accusing the US CIA of conspiring to attack North Korean’s leader in an attempt to murder him.

trump lol

Earlier this week, US newspapers published a report on China’s support for the US and the unpolite attention Kim Jong-Un allegedly had with the Chinese government, which is a bit ironic because North Korea is highly dependent on China and might even need its help… in case of a possible armed conflict. This is what is known as state marketing. Not everyone knows the existence of this department of government that the states have, whose purpose is none other than trying to make their people and even the rest of the world see what they want us to see through the media. There are clear, fully verified examples in which the US has used its state marketing services, like for example in the Vietnam war, the conflict with Fidel Castro (Cuba) and even more recently, the war in Afghanistan.

Recently Mr. Trump has made a series of very unfortunate statements, something very common since he began his electoral program last year (2016). These are statements where he shows his great ego and almost touching totalitarianism. In which he warns North Korea, that if they continue to ignore the international community, they will be punished with force, for example the US has already punished them with economic sanctions, but they haven’t stopped their nuclear activities and other military actions.

22 is too many

A large part of the world population is wondering: Why is President Donald Trump acting this way? Well, there is a study that explains the necessity of the US to enter a new war, not because of a mere economical, geographical or political issue, but because the American army cannot remain without activity in American territory, since this causes a great problem in society. The number of suicides among American military has increased exponentially recently, due to their lack of activity when they return from conflict. (20- 22 daily suicides according to Mission 22).      

To conclude, quoting Bertrand Russell: “Scientists strive to make the impossible possible. Politicians, for making impossible the possible.”

                                             

 

Mike Pence’s Asia-Pacific Tour

 

What at first glance seemed like a formal visit, to solve a small discontent over the breach of an agreement, really had a greater background. In many newspapers, they showed the meeting between the two representatives, where a simplistic approach was made to the visit of the US Vice President (Mike Pence) to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (Australia). 

This is about the visit of Mr. Pence, as a matter of implication and commitment on the part of the US, to resolve the Australian complaints, on the problems produced by the pact signed by former President Barack Obama two years ago. This is about the relocation in the USA, of about 1250 migrants who are in centers in the island of Papu Manus (Australia) and it was not until April 2017, when the US through its vice president (Mike Pence), took those complaints into account and decided to take appropriate action.

The moment chosen by Mr. Pence, it could be said, is the result of the great telephone clashes filtered in different media, in the last weeks between Trump and Turnbull (among other great leaders). Here is a glimpse of the need for the US to iron out alliances with its allied countries, as Trump is once again unable to conduct a foreign policy with education, respect and consistency over others. But this has been the main theme of the visit, and there is a phrase that sums it up very well: “A winning car must be backed by a great driver, team of mechanics, tires … but it will never be the best. M. Schumacher, “with this I want to show the great need that the US has to keep all its possible Asia-Pacific allies holding hands, in case it needs any of them in a possible conflict.”

Pence toured Asia-Pacific for 10 days in April, stopping in different countries (South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Australia). Where he had high level meetings with very clear purposes, which are no other than to strengthen security relations. Due to two very notable causes, such as North Korea’s continuity in the missile test and the increase in Chinese military pressure in certain areas with its neighbors. For example, this week the US, has sent a very specific defense vessel, with the excuse that they were to test with the Australian Army. Although his most transcendent and provocative visit has been to South Korea. Where he dealt with senior leaders on various issues, but the main one was North Korea. Both countries are in a moment of high tension where both are boasting about their possible power.

And to conclude, take a small reflection, on a reality visible to all the population that has read a little about the bad forms, even on some unpleasant occasions of Donald Trump. Do you think that a nation like the US should be acting with the North Korean conflict, in the way it is doing? Do you think it is necessary to act like a rooster in a pen?

“Cheap labor has always been the advantage of Asian garments”

Italian clothing brand Alcott’s owner Mr. Salvatore Colella talks about their business, reasons behind doing business with Asian garments and how it affects the bringing a betterment in the relation between countries.

Alcott was born in 1988 from a great idea: to offer a product of trend and quality, at an economic price, so that the fashion was accessible to all. The ambitious business project collected in the years a great success, placing Alcott among the first Italian brand in the fast fashion retail sector. With the Alcott and Alcott Los Angeles brands, the company is present today with more than 150 outlets worldwide.

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What are the main reasons for choosing Asia for manufacturing garments? The current global apparel market is valued over $3000 billion, which is about 2% of world’s GDP. There are over 25 million people involved directly or indirectly with apparel manufacturing and over 60% are from Asia. The garment manufacturing in a collective way started in Asia in about 1950 in South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong. American companies were producing in there in selling in USA. Since then the industry spread in all over Asia for good number of workplace, cheap and qualified work force, quality products, mass production capacity and national focus.

Is that why you started doing business with Asian manufacturers? “Of course. To fulfill our production capacity with the best possible price and quality we chose Asia as our no.1 manufacturing continent.”

What is the current production and economic status of Alcott? Alcott currently produce their 70% of the garments in Bangladesh and the rest 30% is spread amongst China, Myanmar, Pakistan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Korea and Turkey including some Italy also. And for the record in 2015-16 the company’s turnover was $250 million.

What kind of problems are you facing nowadays? Our company sometimes face the transit time and shipping problems. As our main production country is Bangladesh, it takes about 30-35 days to reach the garments to reach Italy. We face port conjestion 3-4 times every year in Bangladesh. And sometimes we face problems for strikes when the production factory work but outside movement is not possible for the shipping.

Do you think it is strengthening the relation between countries? “You see, Alcott is now importing about $100 million from Bangladesh and other Asian countries. As we are a growing company and our focus on importing garments from Bangladesh is very promising. So, yes. I think the relation between the countries is strengthening through economic growth.

How do you feel about the workers in Bangladesh and what type of relation do you have with them? And what differences do you spot between the employees of Italy and Bangladesh? There is a significant difference between the employees in Italy and Bangladesh. In our company, all employees are under Italian and EU regulations. On the hand in Bangladesh the employees are working Bangladeshi and ILO regulations. We can not actually compare this two stages of people. Italy is a developed country and Bangladesh is one the fastest growing countries.

So do you like doing business with Bangladesh? “Absolutely. We are very happy doing business in Bangladesh. Actually the production percentage of our company shows it all whether we like doing business with Bangladesh or not.”

Has there been any change in your market? Since the starting of our company, we were importing mainly from China. But over the past few years Chinese garments industry and fashion moved too high and became too expensive. So we had to go to Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, Pakistan etc. In coming future there will be no changing unless we face a serious problem in Bangladesh.

Is the company’s purpose connected to you own? “Yes. 100% percent. But if you see broadly, our business ultimately helps our country’s economic growth.” Our company creates work opportunity not only in Italy but also in Bangladesh. Actually more Bangladeshi workers are earning their livelihood than our company’s employees. “Look, while focusing at our own profit, we kind of help balancing economic status is both countries.”

 

INTERVIEW HAS BEEN CONDENSED AND EDITED.

The consumerism of our lives is chasing us

 

“We have created abundant crap in order to live under abundant crap”

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from NYT

The Indian government has declared dangerous levels of toxic air pollution where an “emergency situation” must be taken in control. Pollution measurement in India is currently too focused on a few cities. India can come up with effective measures to fight air pollution only if the CPCB improves coverage and encourages research on the data it generates.

  • Dirty old town: India has 13 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities says the World Health Organization.
  • Collision course: Calls for tighter environmental rules are coming up against the government’s growth plans.
  • A love supreme: Petitioners have taken to the Supreme Court in an effort to reduce emissions and boost air quality.

This is the India now a days as the environmentalists see;

In 2013, Indian schools were shut down for a couple of days and traffic was rationed due to high levels of contamination that could not even be measured by most air quality instruments. The situation has reached levels of PM2.5 pollutants, which are the most harmful because they can reach deep into the lungs and reach the blood-brain barriers, causing mortal atrocities. More than half of the 5.5 million deaths related to air pollution in 2013 happened in India and China, according to a new study and the Indian and Chinese fatalities accounted for 55% of such deaths worldwide, said the study.

India’s air pollution is so bad that it’s reducing life expectancy by 3.2 years.

“You can almost think of this as the perfect storm for India,” said Michael Brauer, a professor of environment and health relationships.

The World Health Organization recently published data on pollution around the world, focusing on airborne particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers (known as PM2.5). These particles come from coal plants and vehicles, and, at high levels, have been linked to serious respiratory problems.

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“One of the unique things about air pollution is you cannot run, you cannot hide from it”.

Pollution levels are getting worse in India, in Asia and in the world, as countries are trying to industrialize more and more and one thing is clear, there is no way of stopping such will, we will indeed want more machines, new cars and of course, little effort when things are not needed anymore.

Over the years we have taken into consideration the utopia of recycling, of taking care of our world, our beloved planet.

Now a days our vision should be even more critical about the repercussion our acts have but reality nullifies any hope, therefore, some questions run into my mind, is all these effort even worth it? Are we not already dying of hunger? Do we not have other enemies such us terrorism, rapists, even cancer? Maybe we have to accept all of them. Maybe pollution should be part of such category.

A simple enemy which if it catches you, that’s it, you just were not lucky enough. The change in the environment due to human labor has always been a concern even though we got conscience of it back in the 2000.

It is a matter of unavailability, it is not possible to get back in time, we have come to a point where an airplane is needed to travel no matter what is being left behind it, we need machines to survive and we are just not ready and not willing to leave all of it behind. We have shown ourselves, even the world that we are not capable of leaving our personal interest apart in order to save this world of ours, therefore why even make the effort when deeply we know there is no point.

It is time to realize we are part of destruction and we should keep it this way. We should not worry about pollution, at least we should not lie to ourselves because we can make it part of us as it has always been. We like to live in a constant state of hope, and for me, it´s just a waste of time as we are probably here to exploit the planet after all.

Huge fire rages through shanty town leaving 15,000 people homeless

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From NYT

Last Week, 7th of February there was a huge fire in Shanty town, near the docks of Manila, burning the whole slum area which left more than 15000 people homeless, said Philippine capital said last Wednesday.

The blaze started 9:38 p.m. on Tuesday night in Area B, Gate 7 of the Shanty town, according to Senior Superintendent Wilberto Tiu, chief of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), National Capital Region. Fire authorities said the flames spread quickly as houses in the area are made of light materials, making them incredibly flammable. Superintendent Tiu said that 90 firetrucks were deployed to put out the fire.

Seven people were injured, more than 1000 makeshift houses were burnt and fortunately no casualties were reported. Three evacuation centres were opened, and food and water were provided to the 3,000 families who lost their homes, said Philippine social welfare officer Regina Jane Mata.

The BFP says that the cause of the fire is still unknown. However, the investigation team suggests that the cause might be a faulty electricity wiring or an unattended gas stove, as reported in The Telegraph. Recently a Inquirer published that the fire appeared to have been caused by a candle left unattended inside a house of a Parola Compound resident known only as Andang.
A victim named Edna Purios explained the fire spread so quickly her family fled without their belongings. Purios, who lived with six of her children and three grandchildren, said the local government should help the community rebuild. “Our only wish is to get some help with repairing our house because we have nowhere to sleep,” she told Reuters Television.

To watch the video, click here.

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From NYT

 

A Philippine NGO named ‘Project Pearls’ is working there helping the victims and building up new homes.

Statistics show that fires are very common in factories of Shanty town and Manila and just only a week ago a worker was killed and hundreds were injured in a huge industrial fire at a factory south of Manila.

Who is going to help the Roingyans? For the last couple of years more than 92.000 Rohingyans are fighting for survival against Myanmar’s military and police forces and fleeing to neighboring countries. The UN accuses Myanmar of ethnic cleaning and the local people are demanding justice to condemn the genocide of the Rohingyans.

Who is going to help the Roingyans?

For the last couple of years more than 92.000 Rohingyans are fighting for survival against Myanmar’s military and police forces and fleeing to neighboring countries. The UN accuses Myanmar of ethnic cleaning and the local people are demanding justice to condemn the genocide of the Rohingyans.

Burmese government forces committed rape and other sexual violence against ethnic Rohingya women and girls as young as 13 during security operations in northern Rakhine State in late 2016” said Human Rights Watch.

The Rohingya are a Muslim minority with a population of some two million people. Most of them live in Myanmar (approximately 800.000 remain in Myanmar) specifically in the Rakhine region in the north of the country. The rest are spread over other countries of Southeast Asia. About 200,000 in Bangladesh and 50,000 in Malaysia.

Although the situation is now critical, the Rohingyas have been persecuted by the government and the Myanmar authorities during the last decade. Between 1991 and 1992 they suffered a massive exodus to the neighboring country of Bangladesh. This is one of the burning examples of religion discriminations in the world. Myanmar is killing the Muslim minorities just because Myanmar is a Buddhist country. According to BBC, Myanmar claims that the Rohingyans are not from Myanmar, they are illegal migrants from Bangladesh. For survival they were forced to leave their country and go to neighboring Muslim countries like Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia etc.

According to the CFR Backgrounders, After attacks by Rohingya militants on border police posts on October 9, 2016, the Burmese military undertook a series of “clearance operations” in northern Rakhine State. Security forces summarily executed men, women, and children; looted property; and burned down at least 1,500 homes and other buildings. More than 69,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh, while another 23,000 have become internally displaced in Maungdaw district. There have always been differences between the Muslim minority and the rest of the population, mostly Buddhist. The government asserts that they are not Burmese citizens, because they speak another language, the color of their skin is different and their religion is different. But hatred was revived on May 28, 2012 when the corpse of a Burmese woman of Buddhist religion was found raped  and three Muslims were charged of it. Six days later, a crowd of Buddhists stopped a bus in which, they said, the culprits were traveling and killed ten Muslims. Groups of Muslims and Buddhists clashed in various locations in Rakhine to this day in which the figures of displaced people exceed 200,000 people in the last months alone. Moreover, now Bangladesh says that the Rohingyans are unwelcome, because already there are over 160 million people there and they can’t afford to serve more refugees.

The UN has already accused Myanmar of ethnic cleansing as it violates the international law ‘Jus cogens’.

The United Nations Organization and the governments of neighboring countries denounce and pressure Myanmar to solve the problem as soon as possible and end the murders and displacement. A difficult task if we have statements such as the following which came out of the mouth of a senior Burmese diplomat based in Hong Kong : “Actually, the Rohingya are not people from Burma, they are not from the same ethnic group. His complexion is dark brown and our complexion is soft, we are handsome too. They are ugly as orcs”

 

Interview

Xiaomei Huáng is a Chinese origin journalist graduated in journalism and holder of a master’s degree in communication of organizations to which I decided to interview for this work because it cost me a lot to find someone appropriate.

+ Why did you decide to study in Spain?

  • At first I tried to access to a very good Chinese university but could not because of the vast amount of competition there. The problem there is that in a thousand requests are accepted twenty or less.
  • That’s the reason why I came here.

+ What helped with the paperwork in Spain?

  • I came with the help of anagency dedicated to helping Chinese students to come to Spain to study.
  • They solve problems as requesting an university and when you get to Spain they locates you a language center, a student’s residence and arrange your papers.

+ Why do you think there are so many Chinese people studying a master’s degree in Spain?

  • Because it is very easy to apply for the master here, they do not have manyneeds and if you come from a bad Chinese university you can do it likewise.

It is easier to access than in China.

+ Do you know other ways to come from to Spain from China to study?

  • For example bystudent exchange or for a doctorate.

+ Why did you choose to study journalism?

  • I chose it overcoat to improve the Spanish.
  • I did the communication of organizations master’s degree because when I was in the career I realized that this was the area that I liked the most.
  • I also think that today it is easier to get a job with a master’s degree than only with an university’s degree.

+ What do you do when you finish studying here?

  • I want to go back to China and work in a multinational company.

+ Does Studying in Spain increases your chances of finding work?

  • Honestly I’m not sure but I think at least I can work in a company with different

+ What would you advise a Chinese student coming to Spain?

  • Is a very a good experience and the only bad thing is that youhave to come back to China.

 

In conclusion I like to say this cost me a lot becouse I couldn’t find any appropiate person for the interview and the person I have found couldn’t answer me more questions. I would have liked to make a more interesting and a bigger interview but this is the best I could find.

 

Interview realized by Carlos Diez Fortes