Sunday 25 September 2011

Stories from Asia, the USA and Russia

Protests mark rising environment awareness in China

HAINING, China — A major anti-pollution protest has forced the Chinese government to take swift action for the second time in as many months, spurred by a rising environment movement that is spreading online.

More than 500 residents living near a plant making solar panels protested for three days last week in the eastern city of Haining, forcing authorities to temporarily shut the factory, which belongs to the US-listed Jinko Solar.

The incident came just over a month after authorities in the northeastern city of Dalian agreed to relocate a chemical plant following similar protests, underscoring official concern over mounting public anger about pollution.

For article GO HERE

India Faces Standoff With China on Sea Oil

This is scary stuff!

23 September, 2011

India is being pulled into a complex and increasingly tense territorial dispute in the South China Sea, with China repeatedly warning ONGC, the Indian state oil company, that its joint exploration plans with Vietnam amount to a violation of Chinese sovereignty.

The Indian government responded to the latest Chinese warnings Thursday by repeating its pledge to continue exploring for energy in the South China Sea, where China is embroiled in territorial disputes with Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei.

For article GO HERE

India may face 200 mn tonnes coal shortage

25 September, 2011

Shortage in supply of coal from domestic sources is likely to exceed 200 million tonnes during the next (12th) Five Year Plan (2012-17) if proactive measures were not taken to bridge the demand-supply gap, Coal Minister Sripraksh Jaiswal said Wednesday.

"Unless we facilitate the new production through proactive measures, the gap in demand and supply from domestic sources would exceed 200 million tonnes in the 12th plan period, with the power sector being the most adversely affected,” he said at a conference organised by India Energy Forum here.
He said the gap in demand and supply of coal had been widening over the year and the situation was likely to worsen during the next plan period. 

Coal demand grew by 7.3 percent while coal production increased by just 5.4 percent in the first four years of the 11th Plan period (2007-12).

For article GO HERE

What Happens If FEMA Runs Out Of Money?

23 September, 2011

Congress is at odds over a measure needed to keep the government operating past the end of the month.

While lawmakers have a week to work out their differences before the government faces another partial shutdown, one agency faces a much earlier deadline.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will run out of money early next week, putting a halt to projects in communities around the country still struggling to recover from this year's spate of hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires.

The temporary spending bill totals more than $1 trillion, but it is a dispute over several billion that has once again exposed the deep divisions between Republicans and Democrats.

The Senate has approved some $6.9 billion in FEMA funding; the House around $3.7 billion. But House Republicans insist that the FEMA spending be offset with cuts elsewhere in the budget, and Senate Democrats refuse to go along.

Unless lawmakers find a way to solve the dispute, the consequences for people depending on FEMA funding will be severe.

For article GO HERE

Typhoon revives deep anxiety - March 11 survivors on edge after narrow escapes in mudslides

KAMAISHI, Iwate--Survivors of the March 11 quake and tsunami living in temporary housing in coastal areas of Iwate Prefecture were again threatened by natural calamity this week, when mudslides caused by Typhoon No. 15 nearly hit the facilities.

Some terrified residents saw the soil and stone foundations of their housing units collapse during the heavy rain, and others were advised by local authorities to evacuate due to the risk of mudslides on nearby mountains.

"The temporary housing facilities were supposed to have been built in safe places. But this has given us a big fright, and now we're living with new anxiety. It's too much," one resident said.

For article GO HERE

Russian Gas Dispute With Ukraine Threatens New Supply Disruption to Europe

23 September, 2001

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych visits Moscow tomorrow to spar over natural gas contracts as the two former Soviet states risk their third gas war in six years and another disruption to Europe’s supplies.

Yanukovych, who will meet his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, is angering Russia with ambitions to move his country of 46 million into the European Union, while cutting dependence on imports of Russian gas, 80 percent of which is shipped via Ukraine to the EU.

A pricing dispute between Russia and Ukraine disrupted deliveries to at least 20 countries for two weeks amid freezing temperatures in January 2009. It also drove up next-month gas prices in the U.K., Europe’s biggest market, as much as 15 percent and prompted Slovakia’s government to consider a restart of Soviet-era nuclear reactors which it shut after joining the EU in 2004. A new dispute would come as economies in the region slow because of the effects of a sovereign-debt crisis.

For article GO HERE

It's Official - Pakistan Is Behind The Recent Afghan Attacks Against U.S. Troops

I remember Robert Fisk warning about Pakistan  years ago, when nobody listened.  Now realtions between Pakistan and the USA are deteriorating rapidly
22 September, 2011

Pakistan's intelligence service was behind the September 10 attack against U.S. servicemembers in Afghanistan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen said Thursday.

There was a the sharp ring of truth to Mullen's final appearance before Congress, as he prepares to end 43-year his military career and retire next week.

Mullen testified the U.S. has solid evidence that Pakistan supported the huge truck bomb that attacked Combat Outpost Sayed Abad and injured 80 troops earlier this month, as well as last week's assault on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

U.S. officials have publicy speculated about ties between Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Agency and Afghan terrorist operations, but this is the first definitive assertion that Pakistan is actively attacking U.S. forces.

From Stars and Stripes: "Mullen blasted Pakistan’s government for “choosing to use violent extremism as an instrument of policy” and jeopardizing its strategic partnership with the U.S.

“They may believe that by using these proxies they are hedging their bets, or redressing what they feel is an imbalance of regional power,” he said. “But in reality, they have already lost that bet.”

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