Monthly Archives: May 2013

Xi’s three-nation tour

Vaniceseasonal's Blog

Thanks;Editorial Desk
China Daily
Publication Date : 31-05-2013

President Xi Jinping is scheduled to pay state visits to Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico starting Friday. The visits will deepen China’s ties with the three nations and inject new vitality into China’s interaction with Latin America and the Caribbean.

That Latin America and the Caribbean have been chosen as the destinations for Xi’s second overseas trip since he took the helm of the country indicates China’s new leadership considers building friendly ties with the regions a priority for the country’s diplomacy.

Xi’s visit to Trinidad and Tobago, the first trip by a Chinese president to an English-speaking country in the Caribbean, is expected to bring bilateral relations, as well as relations with the English-speaking part of the Caribbean, to a new level. China is expanding its exchanges with Trinidad and Tobago in such areas as infrastructure and communications…

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Xi’s three-nation tour

Thanks;Editorial Desk
China Daily
Publication Date : 31-05-2013

President Xi Jinping is scheduled to pay state visits to Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico starting Friday. The visits will deepen China’s ties with the three nations and inject new vitality into China’s interaction with Latin America and the Caribbean.

That Latin America and the Caribbean have been chosen as the destinations for Xi’s second overseas trip since he took the helm of the country indicates China’s new leadership considers building friendly ties with the regions a priority for the country’s diplomacy.

Xi’s visit to Trinidad and Tobago, the first trip by a Chinese president to an English-speaking country in the Caribbean, is expected to bring bilateral relations, as well as relations with the English-speaking part of the Caribbean, to a new level. China is expanding its exchanges with Trinidad and Tobago in such areas as infrastructure and communications, and jointly tapping the potential in energy and tourist sectors.

As the only country having diplomatic relations with China in Central America, Costa Rica has maintained friendly relations with Beijing.

The signing of a free trade agreement between the two in 2011 has put bilateral trade on a fast track. Xi’s visit to Costa Rica will open new horizons for bilateral cooperation in such fields as infrastructure, tourism, energy and ecological preservation.

Xi’s visit to Mexico is expected to help consolidate the strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries and deepen multi-faceted cooperation between the two emerging economies. As members of the Group of 20, China and Mexico would be better able to defend their interests, and those of other emerging economies, if they coordinate more closely on international and regional issues.

During his trip, Xi will also meet other regional leaders and exchange views on issues of mutual concern.

Xi’s visit to the three countries sends a strong signal to the outside world that Beijing is committed to expanding reciprocal cooperation in an all-round way with Latin America and the Caribbean.

The two sides now have more interests in common and their cooperation in economic and trade is highly complimentary.

Xi’s trip to the region will build on this desirable momentum and usher in an even brighter future for practical cooperation between the two sides.

A Hudson River yacht club gets the boot

Love your beautiful place!!! I’d like to relax with best friends & family^^

Ephemeral New York

The clubhouse for the Columbia Yacht Club, on the Hudson River at 86th Street since the 1870s, looks like a breezy little summertime spot for boating and dining by the water in this penny postcard from about 1910.

Columbiayachtclub

I especially like the old-timey bridge that goes over the railroad tracks to the clubhouse.

The club’s days were numbered though. In 1934, park commissioner Robert Moses abruptly notified members that they were getting the boot because the premises were in the way of “West Side improvement.”

They left after a legal battle, relocating first to Riverdale and then to a site off Long Island Sound.

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Bangkok Ranks 1st among Asia/Pacific Cities in MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index

Vaniceseasonal's Blog

Credited ;Asia Pacific Region Notable Trend in MasterCard’s 2013 Global Destination Cities Index  PRESS RELEASE June 21, 2012 2:32 pm

Image

MasterCard Index Reveals 12.2 Million Visitors with Cross-Border Spending of US$19.3 Billion in Bangkok

According to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index released today, Asia/Pacific cities continued their ascendance as global destinations in 2012, with nearly half of the world’s top 20 cities by visitor arrivals and expenditure heralding from the region. Bangkok will welcome more than 12.2 million visitors in 2012, with visitor cross-border spending of US$19.3 billion, which represents a growth rate of 16.6%.

This is the second installment of the MasterCard research, which is used as a barometer for understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world. The MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities ranks cities in terms of the number of their total international visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by…

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Bangkok Ranks 1st among Asia/Pacific Cities in MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index

Credited ;Asia Pacific Region Notable Trend in MasterCard’s 2013 Global Destination Cities Index  PRESS RELEASE June 21, 2012 2:32 pm

Image

MasterCard Index Reveals 12.2 Million Visitors with Cross-Border Spending of US$19.3 Billion in Bangkok

According to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index released today, Asia/Pacific cities continued their ascendance as global destinations in 2012, with nearly half of the world’s top 20 cities by visitor arrivals and expenditure heralding from the region. Bangkok will welcome more than 12.2 million visitors in 2012, with visitor cross-border spending of US$19.3 billion, which represents a growth rate of 16.6%.

This is the second installment of the MasterCard research, which is used as a barometer for understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world. The MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities ranks cities in terms of the number of their total international visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities, and gives visitor and passenger growth forecasts for 2012. This Index and the accompanying reports are not based on MasterCard volumes or transactional data.

The Index projects sustained growth among emerging market cities with the top ten Asia/Pacific destinations expecting a 9.5% growth in visitor arrivals for 2012 and a 15.3percent surge in cross-border spending. In the Index’s top ten global cities, Bangkok ranks 3rd place, with a 6.5% growth in visitor arrivals for 2012 and a 16.6% growth in cross border spending, followed by Singapore (4th), Hong Kong (6th) and Kuala Lumpur (10th). Bangkok is the number one destination city in Asia/Pacific, both in terms of number of visitor arrivals and cross-border spending, reflecting its strong and abiding appeal to tourists from the rest of the world. To view the Index as an interactive map, please click here.

Cities in Asia/Pacific once again led the charge globally with eight of the top 20 cities by international arrivals, with Bangkok ranked third globally with projected visitors to top 12.2 million visitors this year. Singapore was in fourth rank with 11.8 million visitors, with Hong Kong sixth with 11.1 million visitors, and Kuala Lumpur ranked 10th with 8.1 million visitors expected.

The region also ranked highly on visitor spending with Bangkok ranked third globally with US$19.3 billion expected to be spent by inbound passengers in 2012, a 16.6% jump from last year. Singapore leapt two places to fifth overall with US$12.7 billion, up 12.7% on last year. Seoul moved into the top ten with US$10.6 billion in cross-border spend, an increase of 16.2%, while Tokyo, still recovering from the triple disasters of 2011 moved up four places to 14th, is officially the world’s third-fastest growing market (24.2%) in terms of cross-border spending.

In terms of growth in visitor numbers six out of the top 20 fastest growing cities in the Index were from Asia/Pacific with Tokyo second globally behind Rio de Janeiro (28.6%) with a 21.5% growth in visitor arrivals. Taipei and Beijing also featured in both the top ten growth cities by visitor arrivals and cross-border spending.

“Asia’s destination cities continue their rise, expecting a significant upward trend in visitor arrivals and cross-border spend—most of them on the back of large double digit growth,” observed Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, global economic advisor, MasterCard Worldwide.

London once again topped the world’s cities by visitor numbers with 16.9 million inbound passengers expected in 2012, ahead of Paris in second place with 16 million inbound passengers expected.

London also ranked first on cross-border expenditure, ahead of New York in second place, with estimated expenditures in these cities for 2012 amounting to US$21.1 billion and US$19.4 billion respectively.

While cities in Europe and the US still ranked highly in the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, Dr. Hedrick-Wong said that the number of emerging market cities featuring in the Index showed Asia’s growing role in the global economy.

“The leading Asian cities are some of the most sought after destinations for visitors from all over the world, and the Index indicates that they will continue to thrive into 2012,” he said.

“Another interesting trend that we observe is a rise in cashless payments with many international travelers opting to do electronic transactions rather than using cash. The trend is a response to an increasing demand for safe, simple and smart payments, and highlights the rising importance of cashless commerce for both business and leisure travel,” Dr. Hedrick-Wong concluded.

Google’s Excellent Plan To Bring Wireless Internet To Developing Countries

Vaniceseasonal's Blog

Thanks;Tim Worstall, Contributor
,wrote about business and technology

The WSJ is reporting that Google is working on various technologies to bring wireless internet access to a number of developing countries. This is an absolutely excellent plan and one that we should be applauding. But not necessarily for what it will do to Google itself: rather, for what it will do to those developing countries:
Google Inc. is deep into a multipronged effort to build and help run wireless networks in emerging markets as part of a plan to connect a billion or more new people to the Internet.
These wireless networks would serve areas such as sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia to dwellers outside of major cities where wired Internet connections aren’t available, said people familiar with the strategy.
The networks also could be used to improve Internet speeds in urban centers, these people said.
They’re looking at all sorts…

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Google’s Excellent Plan To Bring Wireless Internet To Developing Countries

Thanks;Tim Worstall, Contributor
,wrote about business and technology

The WSJ is reporting that Google is working on various technologies to bring wireless internet access to a number of developing countries. This is an absolutely excellent plan and one that we should be applauding. But not necessarily for what it will do to Google itself: rather, for what it will do to those developing countries:
Google Inc. is deep into a multipronged effort to build and help run wireless networks in emerging markets as part of a plan to connect a billion or more new people to the Internet.
These wireless networks would serve areas such as sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia to dwellers outside of major cities where wired Internet connections aren’t available, said people familiar with the strategy.
The networks also could be used to improve Internet speeds in urban centers, these people said.
They’re looking at all sorts of different technologies to achieve this: satellites through blimps to microcells that broadcast a 3G signal perhaps half a mile. There will be a certain amount of mix and match depending upon the precise circumstances of the area to be covered.The thing I want to concentrate on though is the economic effect upon the countries where such networks are installed. We know from our economic history that the roll out of the telephone network aided in the development of the currently advanced countries. We’ve also had more recent studies looking at the effect of mobile phone networks on countries that don’t have a landline network. The effects are remarkably large. An extra 10% of the population with a mobile leads to an extra 0.5% growth in GDP year by year. That’s a seriously large effect from the addition of just one technology: presumably because being able to communicate is what makes nearly all other technological adaptations adoptable.
We’ve also been seeing the beginnings of reports from various of the telecoms consultancies telling us how the expansion of broadband, then mobile broadband (or smartphones, to taste) has been leading to further growth in the societies that have adopted them. Given that we can see that communications networks have had this effect before we shouldn’t be surprised that the latest one is again having such an effect. Although it would be fair to say that the studies about broadband are still pretty sketchy: we’ve not got a great deal of accurate evidence as yet.
So, we would expect that the addition of mobile broadband in a society that doesn’t have landline broadband to be a useful thing. Leaping over one technology in order to get that comms network up and running. Usually when I mention this I get comments that I just don’t understand how limited mobile bandwidth is compared to fibre: but that doesn’t really apply in this case.
Think it through for a moment: to roll out Google Fiber to the entire US is said to cost well north of $100 billion. OK, now let us think about rolling the same technology out to a developing economy of 30 million people (10% of US population). It’s not out of line to suggest that such would cost perhaps 10% of the US cost: $14 billion or so. But no developing country could possibly afford to pay that much. Albania, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, that sort of cost is more than their entire production each year, more than everyone in the place put together produces. They simply cannot afford to make that leap to fibre broadband for all: whatever effect it might have on the future growth of the economy.
Thus the very much cheaper (even if with less capacity) roll out of mobile broadband makes great economic sense. Thus, as I say at the top, this plan is something we should cheer.
There’s also a little sidepoint that rather amuses me. It’s often said that Henry Ford paid his workers $5 a day so they could be rich enough to buy his cars. This story is, I’m afraid, complete nonsense. But it could end up being true that by developing low cost mobile broadband access, then deploying it, Google could make hundreds of millions of those currently destitute peasants rich enough to contribute to Google’s sales and profits. I know we’re not supposed to celebrate greed as being good these days but my own personal view is that Google can make absolutely as much money as it wants if the byproduct is those hundreds of millions moving up out of absolute poverty.

Roger Ailes Rallies the Troops: ‘To Be a Fox Journalist Is a High Honor, Not a High Crime’

Thanks;Tim Graham /News Busters/ May 24, 2013 | 21:54

Fox News boss Roger Ailes wrote a pep-rally memo to his employees in the wake of the James Rosen investigation news. Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple called it a “masterpiece.”

“For all those who wonder what it is about Ailes that endears his people to him — and that makes him such a good interviewee for any media reporter lucky enough to get an audience with him — just read this,” he wrote:

Dear colleagues,

The recent news about the FBI’s seizure of the phone and email records of Fox News employees, including James Rosen, calls into question whether the federal government is meeting its constitutional obligation to preserve and protect a free press in the United States.

We reject the government’s efforts to criminalize the pursuit of investigative journalism and falsely characterize a Fox News reporter to a Federal judge as a “co-conspirator” in a crime. I know how concerned you are because so many of you have asked me: why should the government make me afraid to use a work phone or email account to gather news or even call a friend or family member?

Well, they shouldn’t have done it. The administration’s attempt to intimidate Fox News and its employees will not succeed and their excuses will stand neither the test of law, the test of decency, nor the test of time. We will not allow a climate of press intimidation, unseen since the McCarthy era, to frighten any of us away from the truth.

I am proud of your tireless effort to report the news over the last 17 years. I stand with you, I support you and I thank you for your reporting with courageous optimism.

Too many Americans fought and died to protect our unique American right of press freedom. We can’t and we won’t forget that. To be an American journalist is not only a great responsibility, but also a great honor. To be a Fox journalist is a high honor, not a high crime. Even this memo of support will cause some to demonize us and try to find irrelevant things to cause us to waver. We will not waver.

As Fox News employees, we sometimes are forced to stand alone, but even then when we know we are reporting what is true and what is right, we stand proud and fearless. Thank you for your hard work and all your efforts.

Sincerely,

Roger Ailes

Arctic bacteria Found in Canada in Sub-Zero Temperatures, Offers Insight on Life on Mars

Vaniceseasonal's Blog

Thanks;Isabel Alface /May 24, 2013 12:51 AM EDT/Nature World News

20130524-171826.jpg
Ellesmere Island – Arctic bacteria found living in Mars-like environment
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)
Scientists say they’ve found bacteria growing in the Canadian arctic at below freezing temperatures, making it the coldest environment bacteria have ever been found to grow in.
A Canadian-led team of researchers made the discovery in Ellesmere Island, Canada. The bacteria, Planococcus halocryophilus OR, was found in permafrost and offers clues about the types of organisms that might exist in similar extreme environments elsewhere in our solar system, such as Mars. The organism thrives at 5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 15 degrees Celsius), says a study published Wednesday in the ISME Journal. The McGill University researchers collected and later cultured about 200 microbes, putting the organisms in a simulation of their native environment to find the one best-suited for living in extreme conditions. A strain of…

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Arctic bacteria Found in Canada in Sub-Zero Temperatures, Offers Insight on Life on Mars

Thanks;Isabel Alface /May 24, 2013 12:51 AM EDT/Nature World News

20130524-171826.jpg
Ellesmere Island – Arctic bacteria found living in Mars-like environment
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)
Scientists say they’ve found bacteria growing in the Canadian arctic at below freezing temperatures, making it the coldest environment bacteria have ever been found to grow in.
A Canadian-led team of researchers made the discovery in Ellesmere Island, Canada. The bacteria, Planococcus halocryophilus OR, was found in permafrost and offers clues about the types of organisms that might exist in similar extreme environments elsewhere in our solar system, such as Mars. The organism thrives at 5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 15 degrees Celsius), says a study published Wednesday in the ISME Journal. The McGill University researchers collected and later cultured about 200 microbes, putting the organisms in a simulation of their native environment to find the one best-suited for living in extreme conditions. A strain of Planococcus halocryophilus, made its home in tiny veins of salty water in the Arctic permafrost. The permafrost has been frozen for 5,000 to 6,000 years and the environment has an average temperature of about -16 C.
“You look at permafrost, you think of this frozen dead world, but it’s not,” said Lyle Whyte, a McGill University microbiologist who co-led the study with post-doctoral researcher Nadia Mykytczuk, according to CBC news.
“We believe that this bacterium lives in very thin veins of very salty water found within the frozen permafrost on Ellesmere Island,” Whyte said. “The salt in the permafrost brine veins keeps the water from freezing at the ambient permafrost temperature, creating a habitable but very harsh environment.
“It’s not the easiest place to survive but this organism is capable of remaining active (i.e. breathing) to at least -25 degree C (minus 13 degrees F) in permafrost.”
The bacterium adapts to the extremely cold, salty conditions in which it is found thanks to significant modifications in its cell structure and function, the researchers said.
“I’m kind of proud of this bug,” Whyte said. “It comes from the Canadian High Arctic and is our cold temperature champion, but what we can learn from this microbe may tell us a lot about how similar microbial life may exist elsewhere in the solar system.”