A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘north korea

[NEWS] Some Saturday links

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  • The BBC suggests bird-like dinosaurs survived the Cretaceous catastrophe because they could eat seeds.
  • Bloomberg wonders what lessons Poland has for China’s economy.
  • Bloomberg View examines immigration controversies in Malaysia.
  • CBC notes that Manulife is now providing life insurance for HIV-positive people.
  • Gizmodo reports from the Pyongyang subway.
  • The Guardian notes the sequencing of Ozzy Osbourne’s DNA.
  • The National Post reports that Québec NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau might well be considering a run for the NDP leadership.
  • Newsweek reports on the decision of the Wall Street Journal to run an ad denying the Armenian genocide.
  • Finally, there has been much written after the death of Prince. Some highlights: The Atlantic looks at how he was a gay icon, Vox shares 14 of his most important songs, the Toronto Star notes his connection to Toronto, Dangerous Minds shares videos of early performances, The Daily Beast explains Prince’s stringent control of his content on the Internet, and In Media Res mourns the man and some of his songs.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • Centauri Dreams considers, among other things, studies of Alpha Centauri.
  • D-Brief talks about the unexpected chill of Venus’ poles.
  • The Dragon’s Tales shares a photo of the San Francisco shoreline.
  • Far Outliers notes the rare achievements of Michael the Brave.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the recent finding by an American court that transgendered students are protected.
  • The LRB Blog reports on the nuitards.
  • Marginal Revolution notes some of the singular failure of the Brazilian economy over the past century.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wonders why some people apparently call Russia and North Korea the 51st states.
  • pollotenchegg maps election results onto declared language in Ukraine.
  • Savage Minds starts a series on decolonizing anthropology.
  • Torontoist celebrates the tenth anniversary of Type Books.
  • Transit Toronto notes upcoming repairs to Ossington.
  • Window on Eurasia reports on Russian fears that the Russian economy might be doomed to stagnate.

[NEWS] Some Friday links

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  • Bloomberg notes the defection of 13 North Korean workers at an overseas restaurant to the South, reports that Venezuela has declared Friday a holiday to try to save on power consumption, wonders if low oil prices will hurt the Philippines through diminished remittances from the Middle East, notes that Russian efforts at import substitution are failing, and argues against a $15 minimum wage in the United States.
  • The Inter Press Service reports on how forests can help solve urban water scarcity issues.
  • MacLean’s notes the general attack in Alberta on Mulcair, from the NDP and from the Wildrose Party.
  • The National Post notes the export of old homes from British Columbia to the United States, and looks at how Russia’s targeting of terrorists’ families works out.
  • The Dragon’s Tales linked to this PNAS article speculating as to why Mars is so small relative to Earth.
  • Wired notes how a study that was product of fraud ended up apparently being confirmed by research conducted by the same whistleblowers. How tragic for the first author.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • Crooked Timber takes issue with the idea of navies to keep sea lanes open.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper speculating how Planet Nine formed.
  • Geocurrents shares slides examining the Brazilian crisis.
  • Joe. My. God. reports on the Colombian constitutional court’s approval of same-sex marriage.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money wonders what will happen to the North Korean army’s soldiers in the case of state failure.
  • maximos62 notes the historical influences of Chinese and Indonesians in Australia, particularly in the north of the country.
  • pollotenchegg maps the shifting distribution of the Ukrainian population from 1939.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer talks about, among other things, the New York City accent.
  • Understanding Society looks at the ideologies and institutions which will help improve life in rural India.
  • Window on Eurasia notes Russia’s problems with dealing with its past and observes that the West did not want the Soviet Union to disintegrate.

[NEWS] Some Tuesday links

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  • The Inter Press Service suggests climate change is contributing to a severe drought in Nicaragua.
  • Reuters notes China’s plan to implement sanctions against North Korea.
  • Atlas Obscura explores the now-defunct medium of vinyl movies.
  • Science goes into detail about the findings that many pre-contact American populations did not survive conquest at all.
  • CBC notes evidence that salmon prefer dark-walled tanks.
  • Universe Today notes the discovery of a spinning neutron star in the Andromeda Galaxy.
  • Vice’s Motherboard notes how Angolan users of free limited-access internet sites are sharing files through Wikipedia.
  • MacLean’s notes how an ordinary British Columbia man’s boudoir photos for his wife have led to a modelling gig.

[LINK] “Missile Spat Cools Korean Consumer Stock Stars on China Threats”

Heejin Kim of Bloomberg notes that Chinese upset at the South Korean deployment of an anti-missile defense system might derail the two countries’ close relationship.

South Korean consumer shares, 2015’s stock-market darlings as tourists from China flocked to Seoul department stores, are now among the nation’s worst performers this year as a missile spat cools relations between the neighbors.

A measure of such companies on the MSCI Korea Index has tumbled 5.9 percent in 2016 through Wednesday after its best annual gain in a decade sent valuations to a four-year high relative to the broader gauge. Orion Corp., a confectioner that earns more than half its revenue in China, and cosmetics maker Amorepacific Corp. are among the biggest decliners as the U.S. and South Korea consider installing the Thaad missile-defense system on the peninsula.

Policy makers in Beijing have objected, saying the shield designed to protect against North Korea’s nuclear threat covers more Chinese territory than the Koreas combined. Kee Hosam, a money manager at Dongbu Asset Management Co., recalls how Japanese stocks were sold off in 2012 amid a spat with China over islands in the East China Sea. The suspension of government-level exchanges or trade sanctions have been used in similar disputes.

“We can’t help worrying about China’s response,” said Seoul-based Kee, who helps oversee $10.6 billion in assets and has offloaded consumer plays linked to China from his portfolio. “We are concerned an unexpected issue could break out due to the conflict over Thaad.”

Written by Randy McDonald

March 4, 2016 at 2:36 pm

[LINK] “How North Korea Funnels Cash Into the Country”

Blooomberg features an extended examination of how Chinese interests have been helping North Korea beat international sanctions.

A trail of money stretching from a Panamanian shipping agent to an octogenarian Singaporean to a Chinese bank provides a window on why U.S. efforts to tighten sanctions on North Korea may be harder to achieve than in the case of Iran.

For decades North Korea has built networks of front companies and foreign intermediaries to channel currency in and out, circumventing attempts to isolate it over its nuclear-weapons program. Court documents and interviews with investigators, banks and prosecutors show the cornerstone of those networks is China.

“Its geographic proximity, the huge trade volume, having the contacts, and having the historic relationship all contribute to making China the center point for any North Korean initiative to evade international financial sanctions,” said William Newcomb, a former member of a panel of experts assisting the United Nations’ North Korea sanctions committee. “China is a very important piece in making sure that blockages work.”

[. . .]

North Korea relies on China, its biggest trading partner, for food, arms and energy. The countries describe their ties as “friendship forged by blood” during the 1950-1953 Korean War where the U.S. was a common foe. China has criticized North Korea for provocative actions but historically opposed harsh sanctions that might precipitate a regime collapse and a flood of refugees across its 870-mile (1,400 kilometer) shared border.

To inject life into an economy made moribund by the fall of the Iron Curtain, failed centralized policies and sanctions, Kim Jong Un needs foreign currency to pay for equipment from abroad, such as the recent purchase of Russian jets to upgrade the national airline.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 25, 2016 at 5:46 pm

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