Wednesday 17 July 2013
Photo, above: (See: Hour 2, Block C, Gordon Chang) From a YouTube video of a 12-year-old kid talking politics on the streets of Cairo. Young Ali Ahmed became a global Internet star this week, as footage went viral of him standing by a political demonstration and articulately denouncing Egypt's government. "I'm here today," he says in Arabic to a woman off-camera, "to help prevent Egypt from becoming a commodity owned by one person and to protest the confiscation of the constitution by one single party. We didn't get rid of a military regime to replace it with a fascist theocracy." Recorded at a rally last October and aired online with English subtitles, the precocious boy's indictment captures the mood of the millions of Egyptians who took to the streets this month and—helped by the military—threw President Mohammed Morsi out of office. "The social objectives of the  revolution are yet to be achieved. Economic empowerment, freedom, and social justice," says Ali with confidence. "There are still no jobs. The police still jail people randomly. As for social justice, how can a news anchor get 30 million Egyptian pounds, while some people still pick food from the garbage?" [more]
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Co:hosts: Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, and David Livingston The Space Show
Wednesday 17 July 2013/ Hour 1, Block A: Toshi Yoshihara, John A. van Beuren Chair of Asia-Pacific Studies at the Naval War College and co-author of Red Star over the Pacific: China's Rise and the Challenge to U.S. Maritime Strategy, in re: Chinese naval fleet passes through Soya Strait off northern Japan for first time A Chinese naval fleet composed of two missile destroyers, two frigates and a supply ship was spotted passing through the Soya Strait from the Sea of Japan to the Sea of Okhotsk on Sunday morning. Japan’s Defense Ministry said this was the first time that Chinese vessels passed through the an international strait between Japan and Russia. The five vessels apparently participated in joint naval exercises with Russia last July 5-12, their second in the past few months, but it is unclear why they were passing through that particular area, according to an official from the ministry. The channel, which is also known as La Perouse, separates the Sakhalin Islands in Russia from the Japanese island of Hokkaido. Last Saturday, around 16 Russian ships moved through the Soya Strait to the Sea of Okhotsk. Two other Chinese ships who also participated in the drill were moving into the East China Sea on Saturday. Tensions betweeJapan and China have been increasing, particularly due to a territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands, also known as Diaoyu in China. There have also been growing concerns about China flexing its military might and maritime power. Chinese surveillance ships have been spotted regularly in the disputed waters, prompting the Japanese Coast Guard to be on heightened alert in case of an intrusion into the Japan-controlled islands. Chinese army chief of staff General Fang Fenghui had said that the joint exercise with Russia did not target any particular third-party country.
Japan Vote Seen as Proxy for Stronger Military Sunday's parliamentary election is expected to provide mandate for Shinzo Abe's national-security strategy.
Wednesday 17 July 2013/ Hour 1, Block B: Kelley Currie, Senior Fellow with the Project 2049 Institute, in re: Why Burma could become another Rwanda Burma is ethnically cleansing the Rohingya people. When David Cameron meets the Burmese president tomorrow he must call for it to stop. After the genocide that tore apart a nation and killed 800,000 in Rwanda, the world said never again. But nearly 20 years later, we find ourselves on the brink of another campaign of destruction against an entire people. Yet once again it is being greeted with silence. In Burma, ethnic cleansing is happening. We have seen more human rights violations and attacks on Rohingya minorities in the past two years than in the last 20. Organised in monasteries and on Facebook, a wave of hate is being broadcast against the Muslim Rohingya community in Burma and a new apartheid system is being introduced. My family regularly get called "dogs" or worse when they walk down the street. The government continues to deny us citizenship, telling us this isn't our home. We can't marry the people we love and are told we're only allowed to have two children per family. We can't travel from one village to another without permission. No other minority in the world faces such extreme and vicious treatment. We are being treated as criminals simply because we exist.
But now the situation is getting really desperate. Mobs have attacked our villages, driving us from our homes, children have been hacked to death, and hundreds of my people have been killed by members of the majority. Thugs are distributing leaflets threatening to "wipe us out" and children in schools are being taught that the Rohingya are different. Everyone from our community is affected. I was lucky enough to flee 10 years ago when it was simply discrimination, but last year the rising violence forced my brother to flee to Bangladesh. Many people I know have faced appalling abuse and torture in a country they used to call home. If this sounds all too familiar, that is because it is. This is the same type of racist incitement used to such devastating effect in Rwanda against the Tutsis in 1994. All signs are pointing to a coming horror. Yet the government has not just failed to stop these brutal attacks but is participating in it by inciting violence and fuelling hate. The Burmese government knows this is happening. The same old generals are still in charge. They may have changed their clothes but their hearts and minds are still the same. We had higher hopes for Aung San Suu Kyi, who may have condemned the violence but still hasn't spoken out in favour of the Rohingya. With the elections just two years away, . . . [more]
Wednesday 17 July 2013/ Hour 1, Block C: Hotel Mars, episode n. Dr. David M. Livingston, The Space Show, in re:
Wednesday 17 July 2013/ Hour 1, Block D: Bruce Bechtol, author of The Last Days of Kim Jong-il: The North Korean Threat in a Changing Era, in re: Cuba Acknowledges N. Korean Ship Carried Its 'Obsolete' Weapons A statement from Cuba's foreign ministry says weapons that Panama seized in a North Korean ship were mid-20th Century models that Cuba was sending to North Korea for repair, according to reports from the BBC and Reuters. The statement termed the cache as "obsolete defensive weaponry." Reuters said the weapons included "two anti-aircraft batteries, nine disassembled rockets, and two MiG-21 aircraft, all Soviet-era military weaponry built in the middle of the last century." In its statement, the Cuban government said: "The agreements subscribed by Cuba in this field are supported by the need to maintain our defensive capacity in order to preserve national sovereignty," the BBC reported. [more]
Wednesday 17 July 2013/ Hour 2, Block A: Nitin Gokhale, anchor and Security & Strategic Affairs Editor at New Delhi Television, in re: Two Chinese choppers violated Indian airspace on July 11 LEH: Two Chinese army helicopters violated Indian airspace on July 11 in the Chumar sector in Ladakh, days after their soldiers intruded and took away an Indian surveillance camera. The PLA choppers violated Indian airspace in the Chumar sector on July 11 around 0800 hours and returned after flying for some time there, sources said.
Wednesday 17 July 2013/ Hour 2, Block B: Alan Tonelson, Research Fellow at the U.S. Business and Industry Council Educational Foundation, in re: GSK used travel agencies for China bribes: police Chinese police on Monday accused British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline of channeling bribes to Chinese officials and doctors through travel agencies to boost sales illegally and raise the price of its medicines in the country. The charges make the GSK case the highest profile corporate investigation in China since four executives from mining giant Rio Tinto were jailed in March 2010 for taking bribes and stealing commercial secrets. Gao Feng, head of the economic crimes investigation unit at China's Ministry of Public Security, said since 2007, GSK had transferred as much as 3 billion yuan ($489 million) to more than 700 travel agencies and consultancies over six years. Four senior Chinese executives from GSK had been detained, Gao said at a news conference. The Ministry of Public Security had said last week that GSK executives in China had confessed to bribery and tax violations. GSK said it was deeply concerned by the developments and had stopped using the travel agencies identified by the investigation. It said it was reviewing all third party agencies and all historic transactions related to the travel agencies. "GSK shares the desire of the Chinese authorities to root out corruption," it said in a brief statement. "These allegations are shameful and we regret this has occurred." GSK supplies key products such as vaccines in China, as well as drugs for lung disease and cancer. Sources familiar with the situation said GSK's general manager for China, Mark Reilly, had left the country for London 10 days ago to attend routine meetings and was now working in Britain, where he is in regular contact with the team in China. The probe into Britain's biggest drugmaker is one of a string of investigations into foreign firms and their pricing practices in the world's second-biggest economy.
The official People's Daily newspaper said GSK collaborated with travel agencies to funnel bribes to doctors and officials by creating fake "conference services" as expenditure for GSK to misappropriate funds, some of which would be spent on bribes. "We have sufficient reason to suspect that these transfers were conducted illegally," Gao said. "You could say the travel agencies and GSK were criminal partners. Among the partners, GSK was mainly responsible. In a criminal organization there is always a leader." Gao gave no examples of how the bribery involving the GSK executives worked. He said there were also instances of "sexual bribery", although he did not elaborate. He said police had uncovered information that pointed to similar money transfers made by other multinational pharmaceutical companies in China. "Whether they were engaged in illegal behavior, you can go interview them ... You just need to ask them one question: Are you sleeping well at night?" Gao said. He did not name any other foreign companies. China has targeted foreign firms on multiple fronts in the past few months, including over alleged price-fixing, quality controls and consumer rights, forcing companies to defend their reputations in a country where international brands often have a valuable edge over local competitors in terms of public trust.
European food groups Nestle and Danone said they would cut infant milk formula prices in China after Beijing launched an inquiry into the industry. China is increasingly important for big drug groups, which rely on growth in emerging markets to offset slower sales in Western markets where many former top-selling medicines have lost patent protection. IMS Health, which tracks pharmaceutical industry trends, expects China to overtake Japan as the world's second-biggest drugs market behind the United States by 2016. GSK sold 759 million pounds ($1.15 billion) of pharmaceuticals and vaccines in China in 2012, up 17 percent on 2011, representing around 3.5 percent of the group total. The detained GSK executives include Liang Hong, vice president and operations manager of GSK (China) Investment Co Ltd and Zhang Guowei, the company's vice president and human resources director, the official Xinhua news agency reported. It was not immediately clear if the executives had legal representation. Xinhua said it was given access to one detained travel agent who said . . . [more]
Wednesday 17 July 2013/ Hour 2, Block C: Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, in re: China is an increasingly confident power, right? That's the message we're supposed to take from Beijing's investments in military hardware, assertiveness against neighbors on the high seas, and swagger through the halls of international diplomacy. So why censor a YouTube video of a 12-year-old kid talking politics on the streets of Cairo? Young Ali Ahmed became a global Internet star this week, as footage went viral of him standing by a political demonstration and articulately denouncing Egypt's government. "I'm here today," he says in Arabic to a woman off-camera, "to help prevent Egypt from becoming a commodity owned by one person and to protest the confiscation of the constitution by one single party. We didn't get rid of a military regime to replace it with a fascist theocracy." Recorded at a rally last October and aired online with English subtitles, the precocious boy's indictment captures the mood of the millions of Egyptians who took to the streets this month and—helped by the military—threw President Mohammed Morsi out of office. "The social objectives of the  revolution are yet to be achieved. Economic empowerment, freedom, and social justice," says Ali with confidence. "There are still no jobs. The police still jail people randomly. As for social justice, how can a news anchor get 30 million Egyptian pounds, while some people still pick food from the garbage?" [more]
Wednesday 17 July 2013/ Hour 2, Block D: Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, in re:
Wednesday 17 July 2013/ Hour 3, Block A: Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, in re: Bangladesh Sentences Islamist, 91, to 90 Years for Crimes in ’71 War The former leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, which opposed Bangladeshi independence, was convicted of crimes committed during the country’s 1971 war.
Wednesday 17 July 2013/ Hour 3, Block B: Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, in re: summary of the evening's discussions.
Wednesday 17 July 2013/ Hour 3, Block C: . Scatter, Adapt and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction by Annalee Newitz (1 of 2)
Wednesday 17 July 2013/ Hour 3, Block D: Scatter, Adapt and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction by Annalee Newitz (2 of 2)
Wednesday 17 July 2013/ Hour 4, Block A: Fred Burton, Stratfor.com, in re: Mexico: Will Los Zetas Unravel Without Their Leader? The group has been uniquely capable of replacing even its senior-most leaders. Capture of Mexican Crime Boss Appears to End a Brutal Chapter
Wednesday 17 July 2013/ Hour 4, Block B: James Taranto, WSJ, in re: No Nukes Why the Senate holds on to the filibuster.
Wednesday 17 July 2013/ Hour 4, Block C: Steven Greenhouse, NYT, in re: Under Pressure, Bangladesh Adopts New Labor Law Lawmakers amended the law three weeks after the United States announced plans to suspend Bangladesh’s trade privileges over labor rights and safety violations in factories.
Wednesday 17 July 2013/ Hour 4, Block D: Avik Roy, Manhattan Institute, in re: Health Plan Cost for New Yorkers Set to Fall 50% Individuals buying health insurance on their own will see their premiums tumble next year in New York State, and supporters of the health care overhaul credit the online purchasing exchanges the law created.