region:southeast asia

  • Suffering unseen: The dark truth behind wildlife tourism
    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2019/06/global-wildlife-tourism-social-media-causes-animal-suffering

    I’ve come back to check on a baby. Just after dusk I’m in a car lumbering down a muddy road in the rain, past rows of shackled elephants, their trunks swaying. I was here five hours before, when the sun was high and hot and tourists were on elephants’ backs.

    Walking now, I can barely see the path in the glow of my phone’s flashlight. When the wooden fence post of the stall stops me short, I point my light down and follow a current of rainwater across the concrete floor until it washes up against three large, gray feet. A fourth foot hovers above the surface, tethered tightly by a short chain and choked by a ring of metal spikes. When the elephant tires and puts her foot down, the spikes press deeper into her ankle.

    Meena is four years and two months old, still a toddler as elephants go. Khammon Kongkhaw, her mahout, or caretaker, told me earlier that Meena wears the spiked chain because she tends to kick. Kongkhaw has been responsible for Meena here at Maetaman Elephant Adventure, near Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand, since she was 11 months old. He said he keeps her on the spiked shackle only during the day and takes it off at night. But it’s night now.

    I ask Jin Laoshen, the Maetaman staffer accompanying me on this nighttime visit, why her chain is still on. He says he doesn’t know.

    Maetaman is one of many animal attractions in and around tourist-swarmed Chiang Mai. People spill out of tour buses and clamber onto the trunks of elephants that, at the prodding of their mahouts’ bullhooks (long poles with a sharp metal hook), hoist them in the air while cameras snap. Visitors thrust bananas toward elephants’ trunks. They watch as mahouts goad their elephants—some of the most intelligent animals on the planet—to throw darts or kick oversize soccer balls while music blares.

    Meena is one of Maetaman’s 10 show elephants. To be precise, she’s a painter. Twice a day, in front of throngs of chattering tourists, Kongkhaw puts a paintbrush in the tip of her trunk and presses a steel nail to her face to direct her brushstrokes as she drags primary colors across paper. Often he guides her to paint a wild elephant in the savanna. Her paintings are then sold to tourists.

    Meena’s life is set to follow the same trajectory as many of the roughly 3,800 captive elephants in Thailand and thousands more throughout Southeast Asia. She’ll perform in shows until she’s about 10. After that, she’ll become a riding elephant. Tourists will sit on a bench strapped to her back, and she’ll give several rides a day. When Meena is too old or sick to give rides—maybe at 55, maybe at 75—she’ll die. If she’s lucky, she’ll get a few years of retirement. She’ll spend most of her life on a chain in a stall.

    Wildlife attractions such as Maetaman lure people from around the world to be with animals like Meena, and they make up a lucrative segment of the booming global travel industry. Twice as many trips are being taken abroad as 15 years ago, a jump driven partly by Chinese tourists, who spend far more on international travel than any other nationality.

    Wildlife tourism isn’t new, but social media is setting the industry ablaze, turning encounters with exotic animals into photo-driven bucket-list toppers. Activities once publicized mostly in guidebooks now are shared instantly with multitudes of people by selfie-taking backpackers, tour-bus travelers, and social media “influencers” through a tap on their phone screens. Nearly all millennials (23- to 38-year-olds) use social media while traveling. Their selfies—of swims with dolphins, encounters with tigers, rides on elephants, and more—are viral advertising for attractions that tout up-close experiences with animals.

    For all the visibility social media provides, it doesn’t show what happens beyond the view of the camera lens. People who feel joy and exhilaration from getting close to wild animals usually are unaware that many of the animals at such attractions live a lot like Meena, or worse.

    Photographer Kirsten Luce and I set out to look behind the curtain of the thriving wildlife tourism industry, to see how animals at various attractions—including some that emphasize their humane care of animals—are treated once the selfie-taking crowds have gone.

    After leaving Maetaman, we take a five-minute car ride up a winding hill to a property announced by a wooden plaque as “Elephant EcoValley: where elephants are in good hands.” There are no elephant rides here. No paint shows or other performances. Visitors can stroll through an open-air museum and learn about Thailand’s national animal. They can make herbal treats for the elephants and paper from elephant dung. They can watch elephants in a grassy, tree-ringed field.

    EcoValley’s guest book is filled with praise from Australians, Danes, Americans—tourists who often shun elephant camps such as Maetaman because the rides and shows make them uneasy. Here, they can see unchained elephants and leave feeling good about supporting what they believe is an ethical establishment. What many don’t know is that EcoValley’s seemingly carefree elephants are brought here for the day from nearby Maetaman—and that the two attractions are actually a single business.

    Meena was brought here once, but she tried to run into the forest. Another young elephant, Mei, comes sometimes, but today she’s at Maetaman, playing the harmonica in the shows. When she’s not doing that, or spending the day at EcoValley, she’s chained near Meena in one of Maetaman’s elephant stalls.

    Meena Kalamapijit owns Maetaman as well as EcoValley, which she opened in November 2017 to cater to Westerners. She says her 56 elephants are well cared for and that giving rides and performing allow them to have necessary exercise. And, she says, Meena the elephant’s behavior has gotten better since her mahout started using the spiked chain.
    Read MoreWildlife Watch
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    We sit with Kalamapijit on a balcony outside her office, and she explains that when Westerners, especially Americans, stopped coming to Maetaman, she eliminated one of the daily shows to allot time for visitors to watch elephants bathe in the river that runs through the camp.

    “Westerners enjoy bathing because it looks happy and natural,” she says. “But a Chinese tour agency called me and said, ‘Why are you cutting the show? Our customers love to see it, and they don’t care about bathing at all.’ ” Providing separate options is good for business, Kalamapijit says.

    Around the world Kirsten and I watched tourists watching captive animals. In Thailand we also saw American men bear-hug tigers in Chiang Mai and Chinese brides in wedding gowns ride young elephants in the aqua surf on the island of Phuket. We watched polar bears in wire muzzles ballroom dancing across the ice under a big top in Russia and teenage boys on the Amazon River snapping selfies with baby sloths.

    Most tourists who enjoy these encounters don’t know that the adult tigers may be declawed, drugged, or both. Or that there are always cubs for tourists to snuggle with because the cats are speed bred and the cubs are taken from their mothers just days after birth. Or that the elephants give rides and perform tricks without harming people only because they’ve been “broken” as babies and taught to fear the bullhook. Or that the Amazonian sloths taken illegally from the jungle often die within weeks of being put in captivity.

    As we traveled to performance pits and holding pens on three continents and in the Hawaiian Islands, asking questions about how animals are treated and getting answers that didn’t always add up, it became clear how methodically and systematically animal suffering is concealed.

    The wildlife tourism industry caters to people’s love of animals but often seeks to maximize profits by exploiting animals from birth to death. The industry’s economy depends largely on people believing that the animals they’re paying to watch or ride or feed are having fun too.

    It succeeds partly because tourists—in unfamiliar settings and eager to have a positive experience—typically don’t consider the possibility that they’re helping to hurt animals. Social media adds to the confusion: Oblivious endorsements from friends and trendsetters legitimize attractions before a traveler ever gets near an animal.

    There has been some recognition of social media’s role in the problem. In December 2017, after a National Geographic investigative report on harmful wildlife tourism in Amazonian Brazil and Peru, Instagram introduced a feature: Users who click or search one of dozens of hashtags, such as #slothselfie and #tigercubselfie, now get a pop-up warning that the content they’re viewing may be harmful to animals.

    Everyone finds Olga Barantseva on Instagram. “Photographer from Russia. Photographing dreams,” her bio reads. She meets clients for woodland photo shoots with captive wild animals just outside Moscow.

    For her 18th birthday, Sasha Belova treated herself to a session with Barantseva—and a pack of wolves. “It was my dream,” she says as she fidgets with her hair, which had been styled that morning. “Wolves are wild and dangerous.” The wolves are kept in small cages at a petting zoo when not participating in photo shoots.

    The Kravtsov family hired Barantseva to take their first professional family photos—all five family members, shivering and smiling in the birch forest, joined by a bear named Stepan.

    Barantseva has been photographing people and wild animals together for six years. She “woke up as a star,” she says, in 2015, when a couple of international media outlets found her online. Her audience has exploded to more than 80,000 followers worldwide. “I want to show harmony between people and animals,” she says.

    On a raw fall day, under a crown of golden birch leaves on a hill that overlooks a frigid lake, two-and-a-half-year-old Alexander Levin, dressed in a hooded bumblebee sweater, timidly holds Stepan’s paw.

    The bear’s owners, Yury and Svetlana Panteleenko, ply their star with food—tuna fish mixed with oatmeal—to get him to approach the boy. Snap: It looks like a tender friendship. The owners toss grapes to Stepan to get him to open his mouth wide. Snap: The bear looks as if he’s smiling.

    The Panteleenkos constantly move Stepan, adjusting his paws, feeding him, and positioning Alexander as Barantseva, pink-haired, bundled in jeans and a parka, captures each moment. Snap: A photo goes to her Instagram feed. A boy and a bear in golden Russian woods—a picture straight out of a fairy tale. It’s a contemporary twist on a long-standing Russian tradition of exploiting bears for entertainment.

    Another day in the same forest, Kirsten and I join 12 young women who have nearly identical Instagram accounts replete with dreamy photos of models caressing owls and wolves and foxes. Armed with fancy cameras but as yet modest numbers of followers, they all want the audience Barantseva has. Each has paid the Panteleenkos $760 to take identical shots of models with the ultimate prize: a bear in the woods.

    Stepan is 26 years old, elderly for a brown bear, and can hardly walk. The Panteleenkos say they bought him from a small zoo when he was three months old. They say the bear’s work—a constant stream of photo shoots and movies—provides money to keep him fed.

    A video on Svetlana Panteleenko’s Instagram account proclaims: “Love along with some great food can make anyone a teddy :-)”

    And just like that, social media takes a single instance of local animal tourism and broadcasts it to the world.

    When the documentary film Blackfish was released in 2013, it drew a swift and decisive reaction from the American public. Through the story of Tilikum, a distressed killer whale at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, the film detailed the miserable life orcas can face in captivity. Hundreds of thousands of outraged viewers signed petitions. Companies with partnership deals, such as Southwest Airlines, severed ties with SeaWorld. Attendance at SeaWorld’s water parks slipped; its stock nose-dived.

    James Regan says what he saw in Blackfish upset him. Regan, honeymooning in Hawaii with his wife, Katie, is from England, where the country’s last marine mammal park closed permanently in 1993. I meet him at Dolphin Quest Oahu, an upscale swim-with-dolphins business on the grounds of the beachfront Kahala Hotel & Resort, just east of Honolulu. The Regans paid $225 each to swim for 30 minutes in a small group with a bottlenose dolphin. One of two Dolphin Quest locations in Hawaii, the facility houses six dolphins.

    Bottlenose dolphins are the backbone of an industry that spans the globe. Swim-with-dolphins operations rely on captive-bred and wild-caught dolphins that live—and interact with tourists—in pools. The popularity of these photo-friendly attractions reflects the disconnect around dolphin experiences: People in the West increasingly shun shows that feature animals performing tricks, but many see swimming with captive dolphins as a vacation rite of passage.

    Katie Regan has wanted to swim with dolphins since she was a child. Her husband laughs and says of Dolphin Quest, “They paint a lovely picture. When you’re in America, everyone is smiling.” But he appreciates that the facility is at their hotel, so they can watch the dolphins being fed and cared for. He brings up Blackfish again.

    Katie protests: “Stop making my dream a horrible thing!”

    Rae Stone, president of Dolphin Quest and a marine mammal veterinarian, says the company donates money to conservation projects and educates visitors about perils that marine mammals face in the wild. By paying for this entertainment, she says, visitors are helping captive dolphins’ wild cousins.

    Stone notes that Dolphin Quest is certified “humane” by American Humane, an animal welfare nonprofit. (The Walt Disney Company, National Geographic’s majority owner, offers dolphin encounters on some vacation excursions and at an attraction in Epcot, one of its Orlando parks. Disney says it follows the animal welfare standards of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, a nonprofit that accredits more than 230 facilities worldwide.)

    It’s a vigorous debate: whether even places with high standards, veterinarians on staff, and features such as pools filled with filtered ocean water can be truly humane for marine mammals.

    Dolphin Quest’s Stone says yes.

    Critics, including the Humane Society of the United States, which does not endorse keeping dolphins in captivity, say no. They argue that these animals have evolved to swim great distances and live in complex social groups—conditions that can’t be replicated in the confines of a pool. This helps explain why the National Aquarium, in Baltimore, announced in 2016 that its dolphins will be retired to a seaside sanctuary by 2020.

    Some U.S. attractions breed their own dolphins because the nation has restricted dolphin catching in the wild since 1972. But elsewhere, dolphins are still being taken from the wild and turned into performers.

    In China, which has no national laws on captive-animal welfare, dolphinariums with wild-caught animals are a booming business: There are now 78 marine mammal parks, and 26 more are under construction.

    To have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to see rare Black Sea dolphins, people in the landlocked town of Kaluga, a hundred miles from Moscow, don’t have to leave their city. In the parking lot of the Torgoviy Kvartal shopping mall, next to a hardware store, is a white inflatable pop-up aquarium: the Moscow Traveling Dolphinarium. It looks like a children’s bouncy castle that’s been drained of its color.

    Inside the puffy dome, parents buy their kids dolphin-shaped trinkets: fuzzy dolls and Mylar balloons, paper dolphin hats, and drinks in plastic dolphin tumblers. Families take their seats around a small pool. The venue is so intimate that even the cheapest seats, at nine dollars apiece, are within splashing distance.

    “My kids are jumping for joy,” says a woman named Anya, motioning toward her two giddy boys, bouncing in their seats.

    In the middle of the jubilant atmosphere, in water that seems much too shallow and much too murky, two dolphins swim listlessly in circles.

    Russia is one of only a few countries (Indonesia is another) where traveling oceanariums exist. Dolphins and beluga whales, which need to be immersed in water to stay alive, are put in tubs on trucks and carted from city to city in a loop that usually ends when they die. These traveling shows are aboveboard: Russia has no laws that regulate how marine mammals should be treated in captivity.

    The shows are the domestic arm of a brisk Russian global trade in dolphins and small whales. Black Sea bottlenose dolphins can’t be caught legally without a permit, but Russian fishermen can catch belugas and orcas under legal quotas in the name of science and education. Some belugas are sold legally to aquariums around the country. Russia now allows only a dozen or so orcas to be caught each year for scientific and educational purposes, and since April 2018, the government has cracked down on exporting them. But government investigators believe that Russian orcas—which can sell for millions—are being caught illegally for export to China.

    Captive orcas, which can grow to 20 feet long and more than 10,000 pounds, are too big for the traveling shows that typically feature dolphins and belugas. When I contacted the owners of the Moscow Traveling Dolphinarium and another operation, the White Whale Show, in separate telephone calls to ask where their dolphins and belugas come from, both men, Sergey Kuznetsov and Oleg Belesikov, hung up on me.

    Russia’s dozen or so traveling oceanariums are touted as a way to bring native wild animals to people who might never see the ocean.

    “Who else if not us?” says Mikhail Olyoshin, a staffer at one traveling oceanarium. And on this day in Kaluga, as the dolphins perform tricks to American pop songs and lie on platforms for several minutes for photo ops, parents and children express the same sentiment: Imagine, dolphins, up close, in my hometown. The ocean on delivery.

    Owners and operators of wildlife tourism attractions, from high-end facilities such as Dolphin Quest in Hawaii to low-end monkey shows in Thailand, say their animals live longer in captivity than wild counterparts because they’re safe from predators and environmental hazards. Show operators proudly emphasize that the animals under their care are with them for life. They’re family.

    Alla Azovtseva, a longtime dolphin trainer in Russia, shakes her head.

    “I don’t see any sense in this work. My conscience bites me. I look at my animals and want to cry,” says Azovtseva, who drives a red van with dolphins airbrushed on the side. At the moment, she’s training pilot whales to perform tricks at Moscow’s Moskvarium, one of Europe’s largest aquariums (not connected to the traveling dolphin shows). On her day off, we meet at a café near Red Square.

    She says she fell in love with dolphins in the late 1980s when she read a book by John Lilly, the American neuroscientist who broke open our understanding of the animals’ intelligence. She has spent 30 years training marine mammals to do tricks. But along the way she’s grown heartsick from forcing highly intelligent, social creatures to live isolated, barren lives in small tanks.

    “I would compare the dolphin situation with making a physicist sweep the street,” she says. “When they’re not engaged in performance or training, they just hang in the water facing down. It’s the deepest depression.”

    What people don’t know about many aquarium shows in Russia, Azovtseva says, is that the animals often die soon after being put in captivity, especially those in traveling shows. And Azovtseva—making clear she’s referring to the industry at large in Russia and not the Moskvarium—says she knows many aquariums quietly and illegally replace their animals with new ones.

    It’s been illegal to catch Black Sea dolphins in the wild for entertainment purposes since 2003, but according to Azovtseva, aquarium owners who want to increase their dolphin numbers quickly and cheaply buy dolphins poached there. Because these dolphins are acquired illegally, they’re missing the microchips that captive cetaceans in Russia are usually tagged with as a form of required identification.

    Some aquariums get around that, she says, by cutting out dead dolphins’ microchips and implanting them into replacement dolphins.

    “People are people,” Azovtseva says. “Once they see an opportunity, they exploit.” She says she can’t go on doing her work in the industry and that she’s decided to speak out because she wants people to know the truth about the origins and treatment of many of the marine mammals they love watching. We exchange a look—we both know what her words likely mean for her livelihood.

    “I don’t care if I’m fired,” she says defiantly. “When a person has nothing to lose, she becomes really brave.”

    I’m sitting on the edge of an infinity pool on the hilly Thai side of Thailand’s border with Myanmar, at a resort where rooms average more than a thousand dollars a night.

    Out past the pool, elephants roam in a lush valley. Sitting next to me is 20-year-old Stephanie van Houten. She’s Dutch and French, Tokyo born and raised, and a student at the University of Michigan. Her cosmopolitan background and pretty face make for a perfect cocktail of aspiration—she’s exactly the kind of Instagrammer who makes it as an influencer. That is, someone who has a large enough following to attract sponsors to underwrite posts and, in turn, travel, wardrobes, and bank accounts. In 2018, brands—fashion, travel, tech, and more—spent an estimated $1.6 billion on social media advertising by influencers.

    Van Houten has been here, at the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, before. This time, in a fairly standard influencer-brand arrangement, she’ll have a picnic with elephants and post about it to her growing legion of more than 25,000 Instagram followers. In exchange, she gets hundreds of dollars off the nightly rate.

    At Anantara the fields are green, and during the day at least, many of the resort’s 22 elephants are tethered on ropes more than a hundred feet long so they can move around and socialize. Nevertheless, they’re expected to let guests touch them and do yoga beside them.

    After van Houten’s elephant picnic, I watch her edit the day’s hundreds of photos. She selects an image with her favorite elephant, Bo. She likes it, she says, because she felt a connection with Bo and thinks that will come across. She posts it at 9:30 p.m.—the time she estimates the largest number of her followers will be online. She includes a long caption, summing it up as “my love story with this incredible creature,” and the hashtag #stopelephantriding. Immediately, likes from followers stream in—more than a thousand, as well as comments with heart-eyed emoji.

    Anantara is out of reach for anyone but the wealthy—or prominent influencers. Anyone else seeking a similar experience might do a Google search for, say, “Thailand elephant sanctuary.”

    As tourist demand for ethical experiences with animals has grown, affordable establishments, often calling themselves “sanctuaries,” have cropped up purporting to offer humane, up-close elephant encounters. Bathing with elephants—tourists give them a mud bath, splash them in a river, or both—has become very popular. Many facilities portray baths as a benign alternative to elephant riding and performances. But elephants getting baths, like those that give rides and do tricks, will have been broken to some extent to make them obedient. And as long as bathing remains popular, places that offer it will need obedient elephants to keep their businesses going. 


    In Ban Ta Klang, a tiny town in eastern Thailand, modest homes dot the crimson earth. In front of each is a wide, bamboo platform for sitting, sleeping, and watching television.

    But the first thing I notice is the elephants. Some homes have one, others as many as five. Elephants stand under tarps or sheet metal roofs or trees. Some are together, mothers and babies, but most are alone. Nearly all the elephants wear ankle chains or hobbles—cuffs binding their front legs together. Dogs and chickens weave among the elephants’ legs, sending up puffs of red dust.

    Ban Ta Klang—known as Elephant Village—is ground zero in Thailand for training and trading captive elephants.

    “House elephants,” Sri Somboon says, gesturing as he turns down his TV. Next to his outdoor platform, a two-month-old baby elephant runs around his mother. Somboon points across the road to the third elephant in his charge, a three-year-old male tethered to a tree. He’s wrenching his head back and forth and thrashing his trunk around. It looks as if he’s going out of his mind.

    He’s in the middle of his training, Somboon says, and is getting good at painting. He’s already been sold, and when his training is finished, he’ll start working at a tourist camp down south.

    Ban Ta Klang and the surrounding area, part of Surin Province, claim to be the source of more than half of Thailand’s 3,800 captive elephants. Long before the flood of tourists, it was the center of the elephant trade; the animals were caught in the wild and tamed for use transporting logs. Now, every November, hundreds of elephants from here are displayed, bought, and sold in the province’s main town, Surin.

    One evening I sit with Jakkrawan Homhual and Wanchai Sala-ngam. Both 33, they’ve been best friends since childhood. About half the people in Ban Ta Klang who care for elephants, including Homhual, don’t own them. They’re paid a modest salary by a rich owner to breed and train baby elephants for entertainment. As night falls, thousands of termites swarm us, attracted to the single bulb hanging above the bamboo platform. Our conversation turns to elephant training.

    Phajaan is the traditional—and brutal—days- or weeks-long process of breaking a young elephant’s spirit. It has long been used in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia to tame wild elephants, which still account for many of the country’s captives. Under phajaan, elephants are bound with ropes, confined in tight wooden structures, starved, and beaten repeatedly with bullhooks, nails, and hammers until their will is crushed. The extent to which phajaan persists in its harshest form is unclear. Since 2012, the government has been cracking down on the illegal import of elephants taken from the forests of neighboring Myanmar, Thailand’s main source of wild-caught animals.

    I ask the men how baby elephants born in captivity are broken and trained.

    When a baby is about two years old, they say, mahouts tie its mother to a tree and slowly drag the baby away. Once separated, the baby is confined. Using a bullhook on its ear, they teach the baby to move: left, right, turn, stop. To teach an elephant to sit, Sala-ngam says, “we tie up the front legs. One mahout will use a bullhook at the back. The other will pull a rope on the front legs.” He adds: “To train the elephant, you need to use the bullhook so the elephant will know.”

    Humans identify suffering in other humans by universal signs: People sob, wince, cry out, put voice to their hurt. Animals have no universal language for pain. Many animals don’t have tear ducts. More creatures still—prey animals, for example—instinctively mask symptoms of pain, lest they appear weak to predators. Recognizing that a nonhuman animal is in pain is difficult, often impossible.

    But we know that animals feel pain. All mammals have a similar neuroanatomy. Birds, reptiles, and amphibians all have pain receptors. As recently as a decade ago, scientists had collected more evidence that fish feel pain than they had for neonatal infants. A four-year-old human child with spikes pressing into his flesh would express pain by screaming. A four-year-old elephant just stands there in the rain, her leg jerking in the air.

    Of all the silently suffering animals I saw in pools and pens around the world, two in particular haunt me: an elephant and a tiger.

    They lived in the same facility, Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo, about 15 miles south of Bangkok. The elephant, Gluay Hom, four years old, was kept under a stadium. The aging tiger, Khai Khem, 22, spent his days on a short chain in a photo studio. Both had irrefutable signs of suffering: The emaciated elephant had a bent, swollen leg hanging in the air and a large, bleeding sore at his temple. His eyes were rolled back in his head. The tiger had a dental abscess so severe that the infection was eating through the bottom of his jaw.

    When I contacted the owner of the facility, Uthen Youngprapakorn, to ask about these animals, he said the fact that they hadn’t died proved that the facility was caring for them properly. He then threatened a lawsuit.

    Six months after Kirsten and I returned from Thailand, we asked Ryn Jirenuwat, our Bangkok-based Thai interpreter, to check on Gluay Hom and Khai Khem. She went to Samut Prakan and watched them for hours, sending photos and video. Gluay Hom was still alive, still standing in the same stall, leg still bent at an unnatural angle. The elephants next to him were skin and bones. Khai Khem was still chained by his neck to a hook in the floor. He just stays in his dark corner, Jirenuwat texted, and when he hears people coming, he twists on his chain and turns his back to them.

    “Like he just wants to be swallowed by the wall.”

    #tourisme #nos_ennemis_les_bêtes


  • Nos déchets plastiques ne pourront plus inonder l’Asie du Sud-Est, selon la convention de Bâle (si elle est respectée) - Asialyst
    https://asialyst.com/fr/2019/05/16/nos-dechets-plastiques-inonder-asie-du-sud-est-convention-bale

    Lors de la conférence, la Norvège, suivant les recommandations d’ONG du Sud-Est asiatique, a proposé l’intégration des déchets plastiques à la convention de Bâle sur les déchets dangereux. C’est bien le cas de tous ces plastiques dont l’incinération libère des composants toxiques. Presque un million de signatures ont été recueillies par la pétition « Stop dumping plastic in paradise ! » Parmi les militants présents à Genève pour défendre cette position, Prigi Arisandi, de l’association indonésienne Ecoton, et Mageswari Sangaralingam, de la branche malaisienne de Friends of the Earth (Sahabat Alam Malaysia) et qui représente également Gaia (Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Alliance mondiale pour une alternative aux incinérateurs).

    (...)
    Il n’est désormais plus possible pour les pays occidentaux d’envoyer leurs déchets non-recyclables dans des pays signataires de la convention de Bâle et non-membres de l’OCDE. Et cela vaut aussi pour les États-Unis. Mais quelles stratégies adoptera l’industrie ? Avec un pétrole bon marché, le recyclage des plastiques reste peu avantageux. Va-t-elle orienter ses efforts vers l’innovation pour recycler également les plastiques dont on ne sait jusqu’à présent que faire ?

    • Asia Will No Longer Tolerate Being a Plastic Waste Dump | The Diplomat
      https://thediplomat.com/2019/05/asia-will-no-longer-tolerate-being-a-plastic-waste-dump

      Tribune de deux militant·es de Friends of the Earth.

      Over the last three decades, the top plastic waste exporters, including the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom, sent abroad plastic waste weighting about 168 million tonnes, most of it to China. In 2018, China said “enough is enough,” and announced a ban on imports of plastic waste, setting off a crisis in the global waste system. The majority of this plastic was then redirected into Southeast Asia, with Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia being flooded with waste, at great environmental and human cost.

      Numerous countries in the Global North have since been unable to cope, resulting in dramatic price increases for exporting, and more plastic being incinerated, sent to landfills, or stockpiled. It is time for measures that focus on reducing the overall global production and consumption of plastics, and redesigning plastics for reuse and quality, such as toxic-free recycling.

      The murky reality is that much of the plastic that we throw into recycling bins is low-grade, dirty, and mixed type plastics, which are then dumped in countries in Asia. There, they are usually recycled unsafely and to low standards, and often simply incinerated, landfilled, or leaked into the environment. This is driven by brutal, short-term economics: exporting is often cheaper than reducing, sorting, cleaning, recycling, or reusing plastics locally.


  • From Sri Lanka to Indonesia, more mothers are becoming suicide bombers – and killing their children too | South China Morning Post
    https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/society/article/3008808/sri-lanka-indonesia-more-mothers-are-becoming-suicide-bombers-and

    5 May, 2019 Amy Chew - The deadly new phenomenon sees women radicalised by IS ideology taking their children’s lives and their own in pursuit of martyrdom
    Experts say the rise in the radicalisation of married couples is endangering entire families

    IAs night fell on blood-soaked Sri Lanka following the carnage of Easter Sunday last month, police knocked on a door in an upscale neighbourhood – the home of two of the suicide bombers.
    They were greeted by Fatima Ibrahim, the pregnant wife of bomber Ilham Ibrahim
    . On seeing the police, she ran inside and detonated an explosive device, killing herself, her unborn child and her three sons aged five, four and nine months. Three police officers also died in the blast.
    In a similar case in March, anti-terror police arrested a suspected pro-Islamic State (IS)
    bomb-maker, Abu Hamzah, in Indonesia
    . When they went to his home to arrest his wife, Solimah, who had helped him make the bombs, she blew herself up, killing her two-year-old child.

    From Sri Lanka to Indonesia, a deadly new phenomenon is emerging – women, radicalised by IS ideology, are killing themselves and their children in their pursuit of martyrdom.

    Female suicide bombers have always featured in the annals of jihadism, going back to the Chechen Islamists in Russia known as Black Widows, but filicide by female radicals brings a dangerous new dimension to terrorism.

    “We did not have this in al-Qaeda,” said Sofyan Tsauri, former member of al-Qaeda Southeast Asia. “In Islam, jihad for a woman is to take care of the household, nurturing and educating the children, not taking up arms.”

    For these women, the maternal instinct to protect their children is supplanted by the quest for a “swift passage” into heaven, according to Nasir Abbas, a Malaysian former leader of the al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah (JI) and once the most-wanted jihadist in Southeast Asia.

    He later switched sides and is now involved in deradicalisation efforts and other initiatives to counter violent extremism in Indonesia.

    “These [female suicide bombers] believe protecting their children means protecting them from turning into infidels when they are gone,” he told This Week in Asia .

    “In their twisted belief, they are convinced their children will also enter into heaven if they die with them [or] carry out the same act [of suicide bombing].”

    A significant development pointing to this new phenomenon took place when a family of six bombed three churches in Surabaya in May 2018. The perpetrators were a father, mother and four children aged between nine and 18, according to Nasir and the Indonesian police.

    The father, a wealthy businessman named Dita Oepriarto, strapped bombs on his wife and two daughters, who detonated them at a church. He made his two sons ride a motorbike laden with bombs into another church, where they blew themselves up.

    Dita then drove his car, filled with explosives, into a third church. In the space of 10 minutes, the entire family was dead. Dita’s younger son, 16-year-old Firman Halim, was seen crying inconsolably during dawn prayers at a mosque some two hours before the attack.

    “It is believed that the night before the bombings, the father told the children to prepare to die,” said Rizka Nurul, a researcher with the Institute for International Peace Building (IIPB), Indonesia’s first private deradicalisation organisation.

    The rise in the radicalisation of married couples is proving to be a danger to the lives of their children.

    “Children are in grave danger if both their parents are convinced that they must wage jihad … to atone for their sins in this lifetime by carrying out terror attacks,” said Nasir, the former JI leader. “The parents believe in bringing their children with them to heaven.”

    Women are capable of being more radical and militant than men, according to researchers in the field of countering violent extremism.

    “[This is] because women use their hearts. They can be more dangerous as they are more willing to sacrifice, compared with men who tend to be more rational as they consider costs and benefits,” said the IIPB’s Rizka.

    Such was the case with Solimah, who blew herself up in her home following the arrest of her husband, Abu Hamzah. During interrogation, he told investigators his wife was much more radical than him.

    The couple are believed to have been radicalised online by reading the teachings of Indonesia’s foremost IS ideologue, Aman Abdurrahman, who is currently on death row for inciting others to commit terror attacks in Indonesia.

    Many of these women are believed to be radicalised by their husbands and accede to their teachings as a mark of obedience to their spouse.

    “I am not surprised by [the suicide of the woman in the Sri Lanka blast] as she lives in a terrorist group’s environment,” said Ani Rufaida, lecturer in social psychology at Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama Islamic University.

    “In my prior research of wives of terrorists, most express obedience to their husbands. Only a small number of wives could reject the extreme ideology of their husbands, but they face consequences, for example, being separated from their husband,” she said. “Extremist groups require total obedience from the wife.”

    In a chilling development, some radicalised Indonesian women are requesting a suicide vest as dowry from their husbands-to-be, according to former JI leader Nasir. “These women plan to carry out suicide bombings after they are married. Several of them have been arrested,” he said.

    A counterterrorism official told This Week in Asia that a woman who requested such a vest was arrested in Klaten, Central Java, last March.

    Countering this phenomenon requires both a soft and hard approach, according to Nasir. “The deviant teaching of terror networks needs to be [made] public. We need to have continuous deradicalisation and counter violent extremism programmes,” he said, adding that this would help dismantle terror networks
    and detain their members before attacks were carried out.

    Indonesia through its National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT) has established a deradicalisation programme for inmates, which works to rehabilitate their ideas about Islam through counter-narratives by religious leaders and psychologists, and equips them with skills they can use when they are eventually reintegrated into society. BNPT also focus on countering violent extremism on university campuses.

    Analysts say getting former militant leaders to work with universities and the police in deradicalisation makes these programmes more effective, as they have unparalleled insight into the minds of attackers.

    Another ex-JI member, Ali Fauzi, the younger brother of two executed Bali bombers, started his own NGO called the Circle of Peace, which is deeply involved in countering violent extremism and deradicalisation.

    Women must now be a specific focus of these programmes and other community efforts to prevent radicalisation, analysts say.

    A recent Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) report called for more women to be recruited by Indonesia’s counterterrorism police squad, Detachment 88, given the increasing number of female militants.

    “The percentage of women in the police generally remains woefully low, just over 8 per cent,” it said.

    Better programmes are also needed for pro-IS female detainees. There are currently 15 such women in detention, some of whom were involved in violence. According to IPAC, understanding the backgrounds and motivations of these women is essential for a more targeted rehabilitation programme.

    “IS may have reluctantly accepted women as combatants, but they are now encouraged to take part in operations,” the report said. “It is easy to dismiss the competence of Indonesian terrorists, but as long as they continue to subscribe to IS ideology, they remain a serious threat.”

    #Sri_Lanka #Indonésie #terrorisme #religion #islam #asie #daech


  • The Recycling Myth - Greenpeace Southeast Asia
    https://www.greenpeace.org/southeastasia/publication/549/the-recycling-myth

    In January 2018, high-income countries lost their major importer when China banned most imports of plastic wastes. Southeast Asian nations eagerly jumped in to fill the gap, with Malaysia taking the lead by importing nearly half a million tonnes between January and July 2018 [1]. An international trade system, based on multilateral agreements, is supposed to regulate the selling, buying, importing and exporting of recyclable plastic wastes. A recent Greenpeace* investigation shows that this international trade system is broken.

    #déchets #Malaisie



  • The World’s Recycling Is in #Chaos. Here’s What Has to Happen | WIRED
    https://www.wired.com/story/the-worlds-recycling-is-in-chaos-heres-what-has-to-happen

    Even before China’s ban, only 9 percent of discarded plastic was being recycled, while 12 percent was burned. The rest was buried in landfills or simply dumped and left to wash into rivers and oceans. Without China to process plastic bottles, packaging, and food containers—not to mention industrial and other plastic waste—the already massive waste problem posed by our throwaway culture will be exacerbated, experts say. The planet’s load of nearly indestructible plastics—more than 8 billion tons have been produced worldwide over the past six decades—continues to grow.

    [...]

    Over the coming decade, as many as 111 million tons of plastics will have to find a new place to be processed or otherwise disposed of as a result of China’s ban, according to Brooks and University of Georgia engineering professor Jenna Jambeck. However, the places trying to take up some of the slack in 2018 tended to be lower-income countries, primarily in Southeast Asia, many of which lack the infrastructure to properly handle recyclables. Many of those countries were quickly overwhelmed by the volume and have also now cut back on imports

    #déchets #plastique #recyclage #Chine


  • China Military Threat: Seeking New Islands to Conquer - James Stavridis - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-02-21/china-military-threat-seeking-new-islands-to-conquer

    The constant refrain was simple: The West is becoming a less reliable partner. These allies are dismayed by a U.S. administration that has repeatedly criticized its closest partners and accused them of freeloading on defense. They are also worried about weakness and distraction of a Europe facing Brexit. This is compounded as they watch China increase pressure on Taiwan to accept a “one nation, two systems” deal a la Hong Kong and militarize the #South_China_Sea by constructing artificial islands.
    […]
    There is also a less-noticed but extremely worrisome aspect to China’s increasing boldness: It seems to be building its naval capability to dominate farther into the Pacific — as far as what Western analysts call the “second island chain.

    When thinking in a geo-strategic sense about China, the island-chain formulation is helpful. Since the 1950s, U.S. planners have delineated a first island chain, running from the Japanese islands through the Philippines, and down to the tip of Southeast Asia. Dominating inside that line has been the goal of China’s recent buildup in naval and missile capabilities. But U.S. officials warn that Chinese strategists are becoming more ambitious, set on gaining influence running to the second island chain — running from Japan through the Micronesian islands to the tip of Indonesia. As with its initial forays into the South China Sea, Beijing is using “scientific” missions and hydrographic surveying ships as the tip of the spear.

    Japan and Singapore are essentially anchors at the north and south ends the island chains. They have been integrating their defense capabilities with the U.S. through training, exercises and arms purchases. They are exploring better relations with India as the Pacific and Indian Oceans are increasingly viewed as a single strategic entity. This is a crucial element in the U.S. strategy for the region. But there are changes coming.

    First, there are expectations that China will eye the third island chain, encompassing Hawaii and the Alaskan coast before dropping south down to New Zealand. This has long been regarded as the final line of strategic demarcation between the U.S. and China. Second, some analysts are beginning to talk about a fourth and even fifth island chain, both in the Indian Ocean, an increasingly crucial zone of competition between the U.S. and China.

    Two obvious Indian Ocean chains exist. The first would run from southern Pakistan (where China has created a deep-water port at Gwador) down past Diego Garcia, the lonely atoll controlled by the U.K. from which the U.S. runs enormous logistical movements into Central Asia. As a junior officer on a Navy cruiser in the 1980s, I visited Diego Garcia when it was essentially a fuel stop with a quaint palm-thatched bar. The base has expanded enormously, becoming critical to supporting U.S. and British combat efforts in the Horn of Africa and Middle East.

    The fifth and final island chain could be considered to run from the Horn of Africa – where the U.S. and China now maintain significant military bases – down to the coast of South Africa. Little wonder the U.S. military has renamed its former Pacific Command as the Indo-Pacific Command.

    #Mer_de_Chine_méridionale


  • Cold rolled steel coil in stock Production Line In 2017, the company invested heavily in the introduction of the most advanced high-tech reversible rolling mill in China. It has the advantages of stable quality, high work efficiency and low production cost.

    Products are favored by customers in Southeast Asia. Through cold rolling, it can obtain the required thickness of the overseas market, the product has a high flatness, and has the characteristics of high punching performance and low yield point, so high quality cold rolled steel coil china has a wide range of applications, mainly for automobiles, Printing iron drums, building materials and other industries, but also the best substrates for galvanizing, organic coatings.

    Cold rolled steel coil factory in stock
    Shandong HENGZE New Material Co., Ltd.
    Address: High Technology Industrial Development Zone, Taian, China
    Contact: Elijah Wen
    Contact number: +86 0538-6624686
    Mobile: +86 18905380622
    Fax: +86 0538-6624686
    E-mail:export04@sdhengzesteel.com

    https://www.chinahengzesteel.com/cold-rolled-steel-coil
    #cold-rolled-steel-coil-factory-in-stock
    #high-quality-cold-rolled-steel-coil-china


  • Analysis of thriving #blockchain and Cryptocurrency Market in #singapore | Data-driven Insights
    https://hackernoon.com/analysis-of-thriving-blockchain-and-cryptocurrency-market-in-singapore-d

    What makes Singapore the Blockchain and Crypto haven?Singapore is now known popularly as the blockchain and crypto hub of Southeast Asia.Disclaimer: This is not financial advice. For more details visit terms and conditions.The small island nation of Singapore consistently ranked as the world’s best place to do business, witnessed massive growth in the number of businesses using Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. A free-market economy, investor-friendly laws combined with high levels of education and internet penetration, are some reasons for Singapore’s conducive reputation.According to InWara, Singapore is second only to the USA in terms of ICOs announced in 2018. We try and figure out why.Source: InWara’s ICO databaseConducive regulatory environment: Regulators are well-informed, (...)

    #singapore-market #bitcoin #blockchain-singapore


  • The secret deal to destroy paradise
    https://news.mongabay.com/2018/11/the-secret-deal-to-destroy-paradise

    In December 2012, at a press conference on the sidelines of an Islamic business forum in Malaysia, a man named Chairul Anhar made a bold claim. His company, he said, held the rights to 4,000 square kilometers of land for oil palm plantations in Indonesia.

    If true, it would make Chairul one of the biggest landowners in the country. That land was not just anywhere, but in New Guinea, a giant island that glittered in the eyes of investors. Shared by Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, the island had the world’s biggest gold mine, untapped oil and gas, and the largest remaining tract of pristine rainforest in Asia. For the companies that had steadily logged their way through the rest of Southeast Asia, New Guinea was the last frontier. For the investor who could tame it, a fortune awaited.

    #déforestation #Indonésie #Papouasie #colonisation


  • Uber Releases Ugly 3Q 2018 Results: Losses Widen to $1.1 Billion, Growth Slows | naked capitalism
    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/11/uber-releases-ugly-3q-2018-results-losses-widen-to-1-1-billion-grow

    Uber has no plan to make money – it would have to raise fares 2 to 3 times to become profitable – how long will investors continue to subsidize a Company that promises to make it up in volume.

    Alles klar?

    Posted on November 15, 2018 by Yves Smith
    From Hubert Horan:

    3q P&Ls released tonight. Losses and margins got worse. Gross revenue growth continues to slow down, showing their inability to fix the fundamental weakness in the core car service business.

    Expenditures on the marginal business (food delivery, scooters) that are key to the longer term growth narrative drag results down further.

    Mainstream media coverage hasn’t reached “The Emperor has no clothes” point yet, but stories are raising explicit doubts about the viability of next year’s IPO.

    Actually, as we’ll discuss, there are Uber skeptics, just not necessarily among reporters.

    First, from Eric Newcomer at Bloomberg, who shows doubts about Uber’s proposed IPO valuation of $100 billion and its oft-made claims that it’s another Amazon:

    Uber’s sales are dramatically slowing even as the ride-hailing company is spending more to fuel global growth, particularly in its food delivery business. Revenue growth of 38 percent in the third quarter was almost half of what the growth rate was six months earlier, when the company was negotiating a $9.3 billion investment led by SoftBank Group Corp.

    That’s a troubling sign for a serially unprofitable business that hopes to get valued like a technology company in a planned initial public offering next year. Uber Technologies Inc. lost $1.07 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 30, an improvement over a year ago, but the loss widened 20 percent from the second quarter.

    Highly valued companies typically grow quickly or generate big profits — and great ones do both. In the fourth quarter of 2005, Amazon.com Inc. had about the same revenue as Uber’s today — just under $3 billion, not adjusted for inflation. Yet, Amazon earned $199 million in profit and was worth about a fourth of Uber’s $76 billion valuation.

    TechCrunch was more credulous, and also touted a more flattering profit metric:

    Uber, which is expected to go public sometime next year, just released its Q3 2018 financial results. Uber’s net losses increased 32 percent quarter over quarter to $939 million on a pro forma basis, though Uber expected these losses as it continues to invest in future growth areas.

    On an earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization basis (EBIDTA), Uber’s losses were $527 million, up about 21 percent quarter over quarter. And as Uber prepares to go public, the company has started presenting the income statements with stock-based compensation.

    Ten years from now, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi envisions its core ride-hailing business accounting for less than 50 percent of Uber’s overall business, Khosrowshahi told me at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018. That means Uber expects businesses like Eats, scooters, bikes and freight to contribute to be more of Uber’s business, which requires Uber to invest heavily in those businesses.

    And why should we expect UberEats and scooters to become profitable? Just because Uber wants it to be so?

    The New York Tines’ story came off like a string of Uber talking points, with the only apparent real cause for pause that Lyft is also planning its IPO for 2019. For instance:

    Uber’s I.P.O. is likely to create an enormous financial bonanza for its many investors and shareholders, including the company’s co-founder, Travis Kalanick, as well as venture capital firm Benchmark and the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank.

    To get ready for a public offering, Mr. Khosrowshahi has been trimming Uber’s money-losing businesses. Uber has withdrawn from markets including Southeast Asia and Russia, where it faced stiff competition and was spending a lot of money. It has focused on other areas, like food delivery, as well as other geographies that show more potential for growth. On Wednesday, Uber began a loyalty program that will give riders access to extra perks the more frequently they use Uber services.

    Uber said Uber Eats, its food delivery business that started in 2015, was growing rapidly, with bookings through its separate app up 150 percent from last year.

    Yet Uber’s spending also continues to rise. The company said its total costs and expenses were $3.7 billion in the third quarter, up from $3.5 billion in the prior quarter.

    It would be more accurate to say that Uber is cutting some loss-generating operations while expanding others.

    Finally, to the Wall Street Journal:

    The results for the three months ending in September show that Uber is still growing quickly but is likely to be unprofitable for some time. In documents for a bond offering last month, Uber said it expected it wouldn’t reach a profit for at least three years.

    Uber has turned its attention to providing customers with a host of transportation options in addition to its core ride-hailing service. Mr. Khosrowshahi said he is particularly hopeful about electric-scooters and bicycle rentals, which he has said can be a low-cost replacement for short car trips in urban centers.

    “What we’re going after is essentially to debundle car ownership,” Mr. Khosrowshahi said in an interview at The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Tech D.Live conference Tuesday. “A world in which the people who cannot afford to buy a car have access to consistent mobility wherever they are, that’s a better world.”

    Of the 22 comments on the story so far, only one read as positive, and other readers dismissed it as bad sarcasm. And remember that WSJ readers viciously attacked the initial stories on the Theranos fraud, accusing the journalists of being jealous of a talented entrepreneur. A sampling:

    charles cotton

    I’ve been tracking Uber and its copy cat, Lyft since 2013. The underlying root of their both their problems is that there business platform is toxic and can not ever make a profit. The burn rate is over 90% of investors money which has resulted in a meltdown. Outside investors have dried up and quite frankly dismayed. Such investors were all reckless, naive, and greedy being lured by hyped, false financials and advertising.

    The promise of “get in quick, we’re going public’” being the worm on the hook. There were no accurate disclosures or prospectus given to the investor…. No one really knows what is going on at Uber.”

    Joseph Swartz

    Uber may be the biggest con game the Street has seen in decades…..an IPO of a Company that loses billions of dollars, subsidizes every ride we take, and has gone off the path with Uber Eats, a ridiculous venture. I recently read it’s drivers last about 6 months, on average, before quitting.

    Uber has no plan to make money – it would have to raise fares 2 to 3 times to become profitable – how long will investors continue to subsidize a Company that promises to make it up in volume.

    Gary Ayer

    Uber is raising money via a public offering because otherwise they would go out of business due to continuous losses.

    Jef Kurfess

    Doing a thriving business selling dollar bills for $.85?

    So Uber’s PR machine is having less and less success in keeping its story going. But will polite press amplification be enough to save Uber’s bacon.

    #Uber


  • https://www.auroraabrasive.com/7-inches-stainless-steel-cutting-disc
    The global consumption of abrasives will increase by 5.9 percent per year and will reach 38 billion by 2013. The first regions to achieve growth are Asia, the Middle East/Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America. The demand for abrasives in the four regions will exceed that of the United States, Japan and Western Europe.
    The consumption of abrasive tools is mainly due to the steady growth of the economy and the steady development of the industry, which leads to the continuous expansion of the production of durable consumer goods and the increase in investment in fixed assets. China, India and Russia account for a large share of the sales of abrasives. In particular, China will replace the United States as the world’s largest abrasives consumer market. It is estimated that by 2013, China’s consumption of abrasive tools will account for two-thirds of the global demand for new products. Sales in Thailand and Indonesia in Southeast Asia will also show good growth.

    The development of the global abrasives market is not optimistic compared with developing countries, its economic growth is weak, and the growth of durable consumer goods production is slow. It is expected that the demand for abrasives in the United States, Italy and France will grow by less than one percent by 2013, and the annual demand for abrasives in Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom will decline. Luo Baihui believes that the final result is that the per capita consumption of purchased abrasives will increase as the production costs of various products increase. Sales of abrasives in Canada, South Korea and Spain are expected to grow steadily with the economy and demand will increase. In the industrialized regions, the industrial output of these three countries has been in a leading position.

    The consumer demand for global abrasive tools is mainly non-metallic abrasive products, including: fixed abrasives, coated abrasives and abrasives, polishing powders, etc. It is estimated that by 2013, the sales of non-metallic abrasives will occupy most of the market, which will exceed the sales of metal abrasives, such as shot peening, steel grit, wire brush and grinding wheel. The consumer durables market is undoubtedly the largest sales target for abrasives, accounting for two-thirds of all abrasive products.


  • Imran Khan leaves for Saudi conference saying #Pakistan ’desperate’ for loans | Reuters
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-saudi-khashoggi-pakistan/imran-khan-leaves-for-saudi-conference-saying-pakistan-desperate-for-loa

    Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan left for Saudi Arabia to attend an investment conference boycotted by other leaders over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

    • Despite PR duress, Saudi $6bn to Pakistan comes with strings | Asia Times
      http://www.atimes.com/article/despite-pr-duress-saudi-6bn-to-pakistan-comes-with-strings

      Fermer les yeux sur le financement saoudien de groupes armés du Balochistan pakistanais chargés de mener des opérations contre l’Iran en Iran, et amener le Pakistan à s’impliquer plus au Yémen.

      Balochistan is of strategic interest to both Iran and Saudi Arabia, bordering the Islamic Republic and located north of the Arabian Sea.

      Saudi Arabia has faced allegations of backing anti-Shiite jihadist groups in Balochistan, namely Jundullah and Jaish al-Adl, and a heightened influence could be dangerous for Pakistan’s security.

      “If you increase investment, it is not just money that pours in. With the money comes influence,” analyst Siddiqa said.

      “It’s hard to imagine a $6 billion gift with no strings attached,” said Michael Kugelman, a scholar on Southeast Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

      “There’s a very good chance Saudi Arabia placed some type of conditions on this support. Riyadh may have made it quite clear that Pakistan will need to rein in its recent efforts to position itself as a neutral actor in the Saudi-Iranian regional rivalry,” Kugelman said.

      “Pakistan has an Iran problem and a Saudi problem. [The Pakistani military] is allowing the Saudis to build up their capacity in Balochistan, which is in effect a certain kind of encirclement around Iran,” said Siddiqa.

      Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have maintained a defense partnership since 1983, though it is very difficult to pinpoint the exact number of Pakistani personnel in the kingdom. According to Kamal Alam of the  London-based think tank RUSI, there are at least 1,200 Pakistani trainers in various Saudi security and military sectors.

      A source close to the Pakistani military said the number is far higher, however. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he told Asia Times there are upwards of 7,000 Pakistani military personnel in the kingdom.

      “One of the big questions coming out of this new deal is whether Riyadh has now asked Islamabad to operationalize that military presence and be willing to join Saudi military efforts in Yemen,” Kugelman said.

      “Islamabad has long resisted this ask from Saudi Arabia, but with this financial assistance Islamabad is now getting, Riyadh has more leverage,” he added.

      According to a political source briefed on the matter but who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the subject, the Pakistani armed forces have been under mounting pressure from the Saudis to join the conflict in Yemen.


  • Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy? | The New Yorker
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/09/17/can-mark-zuckerberg-fix-facebook-before-it-breaks-democracy

    Since 2011, Zuckerberg has lived in a century-old white clapboard Craftsman in the Crescent Park neighborhood, an enclave of giant oaks and historic homes not far from Stanford University. The house, which cost seven million dollars, affords him a sense of sanctuary. It’s set back from the road, shielded by hedges, a wall, and mature trees. Guests enter through an arched wooden gate and follow a long gravel path to a front lawn with a saltwater pool in the center. The year after Zuckerberg bought the house, he and his longtime girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, held their wedding in the back yard, which encompasses gardens, a pond, and a shaded pavilion. Since then, they have had two children, and acquired a seven-hundred-acre estate in Hawaii, a ski retreat in Montana, and a four-story town house on Liberty Hill, in San Francisco. But the family’s full-time residence is here, a ten-minute drive from Facebook’s headquarters.

    Occasionally, Zuckerberg records a Facebook video from the back yard or the dinner table, as is expected of a man who built his fortune exhorting employees to keep “pushing the world in the direction of making it a more open and transparent place.” But his appetite for personal openness is limited. Although Zuckerberg is the most famous entrepreneur of his generation, he remains elusive to everyone but a small circle of family and friends, and his efforts to protect his privacy inevitably attract attention. The local press has chronicled his feud with a developer who announced plans to build a mansion that would look into Zuckerberg’s master bedroom. After a legal fight, the developer gave up, and Zuckerberg spent forty-four million dollars to buy the houses surrounding his. Over the years, he has come to believe that he will always be the subject of criticism. “We’re not—pick your noncontroversial business—selling dog food, although I think that people who do that probably say there is controversy in that, too, but this is an inherently cultural thing,” he told me, of his business. “It’s at the intersection of technology and psychology, and it’s very personal.”

    At the same time, former Facebook executives, echoing a growing body of research, began to voice misgivings about the company’s role in exacerbating isolation, outrage, and addictive behaviors. One of the largest studies, published last year in the American Journal of Epidemiology, followed the Facebook use of more than five thousand people over three years and found that higher use correlated with self-reported declines in physical health, mental health, and life satisfaction. At an event in November, 2017, Sean Parker, Facebook’s first president, called himself a “conscientious objector” to social media, saying, “God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.” A few days later, Chamath Palihapitiya, the former vice-president of user growth, told an audience at Stanford, “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works—no civil discourse, no coöperation, misinformation, mistruth.” Palihapitiya, a prominent Silicon Valley figure who worked at Facebook from 2007 to 2011, said, “I feel tremendous guilt. I think we all knew in the back of our minds.” Of his children, he added, “They’re not allowed to use this shit.” (Facebook replied to the remarks in a statement, noting that Palihapitiya had left six years earlier, and adding, “Facebook was a very different company back then.”)

    In March, Facebook was confronted with an even larger scandal: the Times and the British newspaper the Observer reported that a researcher had gained access to the personal information of Facebook users and sold it to Cambridge Analytica, a consultancy hired by Trump and other Republicans which advertised using “psychographic” techniques to manipulate voter behavior. In all, the personal data of eighty-seven million people had been harvested. Moreover, Facebook had known of the problem since December of 2015 but had said nothing to users or regulators. The company acknowledged the breach only after the press discovered it.

    We spoke at his home, at his office, and by phone. I also interviewed four dozen people inside and outside the company about its culture, his performance, and his decision-making. I found Zuckerberg straining, not always coherently, to grasp problems for which he was plainly unprepared. These are not technical puzzles to be cracked in the middle of the night but some of the subtlest aspects of human affairs, including the meaning of truth, the limits of free speech, and the origins of violence.

    Zuckerberg is now at the center of a full-fledged debate about the moral character of Silicon Valley and the conscience of its leaders. Leslie Berlin, a historian of technology at Stanford, told me, “For a long time, Silicon Valley enjoyed an unencumbered embrace in America. And now everyone says, Is this a trick? And the question Mark Zuckerberg is dealing with is: Should my company be the arbiter of truth and decency for two billion people? Nobody in the history of technology has dealt with that.”

    In 2002, Zuckerberg went to Harvard, where he embraced the hacker mystique, which celebrates brilliance in pursuit of disruption. “The ‘fuck you’ to those in power was very strong,” the longtime friend said. In 2004, as a sophomore, he embarked on the project whose origin story is now well known: the founding of Thefacebook.com with four fellow-students (“the” was dropped the following year); the legal battles over ownership, including a suit filed by twin brothers, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, accusing Zuckerberg of stealing their idea; the disclosure of embarrassing messages in which Zuckerberg mocked users for giving him so much data (“they ‘trust me.’ dumb fucks,” he wrote); his regrets about those remarks, and his efforts, in the years afterward, to convince the world that he has left that mind-set behind.

    New hires learned that a crucial measure of the company’s performance was how many people had logged in to Facebook on six of the previous seven days, a measurement known as L6/7. “You could say it’s how many people love this service so much they use it six out of seven days,” Parakilas, who left the company in 2012, said. “But, if your job is to get that number up, at some point you run out of good, purely positive ways. You start thinking about ‘Well, what are the dark patterns that I can use to get people to log back in?’ ”

    Facebook engineers became a new breed of behaviorists, tweaking levers of vanity and passion and susceptibility. The real-world effects were striking. In 2012, when Chan was in medical school, she and Zuckerberg discussed a critical shortage of organs for transplant, inspiring Zuckerberg to add a small, powerful nudge on Facebook: if people indicated that they were organ donors, it triggered a notification to friends, and, in turn, a cascade of social pressure. Researchers later found that, on the first day the feature appeared, it increased official organ-donor enrollment more than twentyfold nationwide.

    Sean Parker later described the company’s expertise as “exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.” The goal: “How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?” Facebook engineers discovered that people find it nearly impossible not to log in after receiving an e-mail saying that someone has uploaded a picture of them. Facebook also discovered its power to affect people’s political behavior. Researchers found that, during the 2010 midterm elections, Facebook was able to prod users to vote simply by feeding them pictures of friends who had already voted, and by giving them the option to click on an “I Voted” button. The technique boosted turnout by three hundred and forty thousand people—more than four times the number of votes separating Trump and Clinton in key states in the 2016 race. It became a running joke among employees that Facebook could tilt an election just by choosing where to deploy its “I Voted” button.

    These powers of social engineering could be put to dubious purposes. In 2012, Facebook data scientists used nearly seven hundred thousand people as guinea pigs, feeding them happy or sad posts to test whether emotion is contagious on social media. (They concluded that it is.) When the findings were published, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they caused an uproar among users, many of whom were horrified that their emotions may have been surreptitiously manipulated. In an apology, one of the scientists wrote, “In hindsight, the research benefits of the paper may not have justified all of this anxiety.”

    Facebook was, in the words of Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist at Google, becoming a pioneer in “ persuasive technology.

    Facebook had adopted a buccaneering motto, “Move fast and break things,” which celebrated the idea that it was better to be flawed and first than careful and perfect. Andrew Bosworth, a former Harvard teaching assistant who is now one of Zuckerberg’s longest-serving lieutenants and a member of his inner circle, explained, “A failure can be a form of success. It’s not the form you want, but it can be a useful thing to how you learn.” In Zuckerberg’s view, skeptics were often just fogies and scolds. “There’s always someone who wants to slow you down,” he said in a commencement address at Harvard last year. “In our society, we often don’t do big things because we’re so afraid of making mistakes that we ignore all the things wrong today if we do nothing. The reality is, anything we do will have issues in the future. But that can’t keep us from starting.”

    In contrast to a traditional foundation, an L.L.C. can lobby and give money to politicians, without as strict a legal requirement to disclose activities. In other words, rather than trying to win over politicians and citizens in places like Newark, Zuckerberg and Chan could help elect politicians who agree with them, and rally the public directly by running ads and supporting advocacy groups. (A spokesperson for C.Z.I. said that it has given no money to candidates; it has supported ballot initiatives through a 501(c)(4) social-welfare organization.) “The whole point of the L.L.C. structure is to allow a coördinated attack,” Rob Reich, a co-director of Stanford’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, told me. The structure has gained popularity in Silicon Valley but has been criticized for allowing wealthy individuals to orchestrate large-scale social agendas behind closed doors. Reich said, “There should be much greater transparency, so that it’s not dark. That’s not a criticism of Mark Zuckerberg. It’s a criticism of the law.”

    La question des langues est fondamentale quand il s’agit de réseaux sociaux

    Beginning in 2013, a series of experts on Myanmar met with Facebook officials to warn them that it was fuelling attacks on the Rohingya. David Madden, an entrepreneur based in Myanmar, delivered a presentation to officials at the Menlo Park headquarters, pointing out that the company was playing a role akin to that of the radio broadcasts that spread hatred during the Rwandan genocide. In 2016, C4ADS, a Washington-based nonprofit, published a detailed analysis of Facebook usage in Myanmar, and described a “campaign of hate speech that actively dehumanizes Muslims.” Facebook officials said that they were hiring more Burmese-language reviewers to take down dangerous content, but the company repeatedly declined to say how many had actually been hired. By last March, the situation had become dire: almost a million Rohingya had fled the country, and more than a hundred thousand were confined to internal camps. The United Nations investigator in charge of examining the crisis, which the U.N. has deemed a genocide, said, “I’m afraid that Facebook has now turned into a beast, and not what it was originally intended.” Afterward, when pressed, Zuckerberg repeated the claim that Facebook was “hiring dozens” of additional Burmese-language content reviewers.

    More than three months later, I asked Jes Kaliebe Petersen, the C.E.O. of Phandeeyar, a tech hub in Myanmar, if there had been any progress. “We haven’t seen any tangible change from Facebook,” he told me. “We don’t know how much content is being reported. We don’t know how many people at Facebook speak Burmese. The situation is getting worse and worse here.”

    I saw Zuckerberg the following morning, and asked him what was taking so long. He replied, “I think, fundamentally, we’ve been slow at the same thing in a number of areas, because it’s actually the same problem. But, yeah, I think the situation in Myanmar is terrible.” It was a frustrating and evasive reply. I asked him to specify the problem. He said, “Across the board, the solution to this is we need to move from what is fundamentally a reactive model to a model where we are using technical systems to flag things to a much larger number of people who speak all the native languages around the world and who can just capture much more of the content.”

    Lecture des journaux ou des aggrégateurs ?

    once asked Zuckerberg what he reads to get the news. “I probably mostly read aggregators,” he said. “I definitely follow Techmeme”—a roundup of headlines about his industry—“and the media and political equivalents of that, just for awareness.” He went on, “There’s really no newspaper that I pick up and read front to back. Well, that might be true of most people these days—most people don’t read the physical paper—but there aren’t many news Web sites where I go to browse.”

    A couple of days later, he called me and asked to revisit the subject. “I felt like my answers were kind of vague, because I didn’t necessarily feel like it was appropriate for me to get into which specific organizations or reporters I read and follow,” he said. “I guess what I tried to convey, although I’m not sure if this came across clearly, is that the job of uncovering new facts and doing it in a trusted way is just an absolutely critical function for society.”

    Zuckerberg and Sandberg have attributed their mistakes to excessive optimism, a blindness to the darker applications of their service. But that explanation ignores their fixation on growth, and their unwillingness to heed warnings. Zuckerberg resisted calls to reorganize the company around a new understanding of privacy, or to reconsider the depth of data it collects for advertisers.

    Antitrust

    In barely two years, the mood in Washington had shifted. Internet companies and entrepreneurs, formerly valorized as the vanguard of American ingenuity and the astronauts of our time, were being compared to Standard Oil and other monopolists of the Gilded Age. This spring, the Wall Street Journal published an article that began, “Imagine a not-too-distant future in which trustbusters force Facebook to sell off Instagram and WhatsApp.” It was accompanied by a sepia-toned illustration in which portraits of Zuckerberg, Tim Cook, and other tech C.E.O.s had been grafted onto overstuffed torsos meant to evoke the robber barons. In 1915, Louis Brandeis, the reformer and future Supreme Court Justice, testified before a congressional committee about the dangers of corporations large enough that they could achieve a level of near-sovereignty “so powerful that the ordinary social and industrial forces existing are insufficient to cope with it.” He called this the “curse of bigness.” Tim Wu, a Columbia law-school professor and the author of a forthcoming book inspired by Brandeis’s phrase, told me, “Today, no sector exemplifies more clearly the threat of bigness to democracy than Big Tech.” He added, “When a concentrated private power has such control over what we see and hear, it has a power that rivals or exceeds that of elected government.”

    When I asked Zuckerberg whether policymakers might try to break up Facebook, he replied, adamantly, that such a move would be a mistake. The field is “extremely competitive,” he told me. “I think sometimes people get into this mode of ‘Well, there’s not, like, an exact replacement for Facebook.’ Well, actually, that makes it more competitive, because what we really are is a system of different things: we compete with Twitter as a broadcast medium; we compete with Snapchat as a broadcast medium; we do messaging, and iMessage is default-installed on every iPhone.” He acknowledged the deeper concern. “There’s this other question, which is just, laws aside, how do we feel about these tech companies being big?” he said. But he argued that efforts to “curtail” the growth of Facebook or other Silicon Valley heavyweights would cede the field to China. “I think that anything that we’re doing to constrain them will, first, have an impact on how successful we can be in other places,” he said. “I wouldn’t worry in the near term about Chinese companies or anyone else winning in the U.S., for the most part. But there are all these places where there are day-to-day more competitive situations—in Southeast Asia, across Europe, Latin America, lots of different places.”

    The rough consensus in Washington is that regulators are unlikely to try to break up Facebook. The F.T.C. will almost certainly fine the company for violations, and may consider blocking it from buying big potential competitors, but, as a former F.T.C. commissioner told me, “in the United States you’re allowed to have a monopoly position, as long as you achieve it and maintain it without doing illegal things.”

    Facebook is encountering tougher treatment in Europe, where antitrust laws are stronger and the history of fascism makes people especially wary of intrusions on privacy. One of the most formidable critics of Silicon Valley is the European Union’s top antitrust regulator, Margrethe Vestager.

    In Vestager’s view, a healthy market should produce competitors to Facebook that position themselves as ethical alternatives, collecting less data and seeking a smaller share of user attention. “We need social media that will allow us to have a nonaddictive, advertising-free space,” she said. “You’re more than welcome to be successful and to dramatically outgrow your competitors if customers like your product. But, if you grow to be dominant, you have a special responsibility not to misuse your dominant position to make it very difficult for others to compete against you and to attract potential customers. Of course, we keep an eye on it. If we get worried, we will start looking.”

    Modération

    As hard as it is to curb election propaganda, Zuckerberg’s most intractable problem may lie elsewhere—in the struggle over which opinions can appear on Facebook, which cannot, and who gets to decide. As an engineer, Zuckerberg never wanted to wade into the realm of content. Initially, Facebook tried blocking certain kinds of material, such as posts featuring nudity, but it was forced to create long lists of exceptions, including images of breast-feeding, “acts of protest,” and works of art. Once Facebook became a venue for political debate, the problem exploded. In April, in a call with investment analysts, Zuckerberg said glumly that it was proving “easier to build an A.I. system to detect a nipple than what is hate speech.”

    The cult of growth leads to the curse of bigness: every day, a billion things were being posted to Facebook. At any given moment, a Facebook “content moderator” was deciding whether a post in, say, Sri Lanka met the standard of hate speech or whether a dispute over Korean politics had crossed the line into bullying. Zuckerberg sought to avoid banning users, preferring to be a “platform for all ideas.” But he needed to prevent Facebook from becoming a swamp of hoaxes and abuse. His solution was to ban “hate speech” and impose lesser punishments for “misinformation,” a broad category that ranged from crude deceptions to simple mistakes. Facebook tried to develop rules about how the punishments would be applied, but each idiosyncratic scenario prompted more rules, and over time they became byzantine. According to Facebook training slides published by the Guardian last year, moderators were told that it was permissible to say “You are such a Jew” but not permissible to say “Irish are the best, but really French sucks,” because the latter was defining another people as “inferiors.” Users could not write “Migrants are scum,” because it is dehumanizing, but they could write “Keep the horny migrant teen-agers away from our daughters.” The distinctions were explained to trainees in arcane formulas such as “Not Protected + Quasi protected = not protected.”

    It will hardly be the last quandary of this sort. Facebook’s free-speech dilemmas have no simple answers—you don’t have to be a fan of Alex Jones to be unnerved by the company’s extraordinary power to silence a voice when it chooses, or, for that matter, to amplify others, to pull the levers of what we see, hear, and experience. Zuckerberg is hoping to erect a scalable system, an orderly decision tree that accounts for every eventuality and exception, but the boundaries of speech are a bedevilling problem that defies mechanistic fixes. The Supreme Court, defining obscenity, landed on “I know it when I see it.” For now, Facebook is making do with a Rube Goldberg machine of policies and improvisations, and opportunists are relishing it. Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, seized on the ban of Jones as a fascist assault on conservatives. In a moment that was rich even by Cruz’s standards, he quoted Martin Niemöller’s famous lines about the Holocaust, saying, “As the poem goes, you know, ‘First they came for Alex Jones.’ ”

    #Facebook #Histoire_numérique


  • Here’s how much forest we’ll have to destroy to feed our growing junk food addiction
    https://news.mongabay.com/2016/09/heres-how-much-forest-well-have-to-destroy-to-feed-our-growing-junk-f

    A key ingredient in junk food is vegetable oil, and 60 percent of edible vegetable oil is produced from oil palm and soybeans — crops that are currently associated with massive deforestation in Southeast Asia and South America, respectively.
    A team of researchers from Princeton University, Adelaide University in Australia, and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore estimated the amount of land — and the potential amount of forests — required to produce the palm and soybean oil used in junk foods.
    We will need an estimated 17.1 million metric tons of vegetable oil for junk food production by 2050, which would require something like an additional 5 million to 9.3 million hectares (12.3 million to 23 million acres) of soybean land and about 0.5 to 1.3 million hectares (1.2 million to 3.2 million acres) of additional oil palm land, the team determined.

    #forêt #déforestation #malbouffe #agroindustrie


  • Southeast Asia’s Vengeful Man-Eating Spirit Is a Feminist Icon - Broadly
    https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/kz5evx/pontianak-spirit-ghost-malay-man-eating-southeast-asia

    In Southeast Asia, legend has it that a man out alone at night must never look directly at a beautiful woman, because she might be a ghost that rips his guts out. For anyone who’s ever been harassed whilst walking late at night, that sounds like one refreshing rule.

    A favorite of horror film directors, the pontianak (or kuntilanak, as she’s called in Indonesia, or churel in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan) is often portrayed as a social outcast who’s fallen in some way, often by failing in her duties as a mother. But the pontianak also embodies a subversive female energy that is increasingly being embraced by a new wave of writers and film-makers.

    “She can walk alone and not have to be accompanied by a man; she can be as beautiful and provocative as she wants; she can be extremely gentle or a massive flirt—but if you dare touch her without her consent, her claws will come out,” Kuala Lumpur-based filmmaker Amanda Nell Eu tells Broadly. (...)

    The pontianak’s fearsomeness is linked to her femininity—a concept that feminist theorist Barbara Creed calls the monstrous-feminine. The pontianak appears fragile, but is ferocious when provoked. “The pontianak mimics vulnerability and seeming gentility through her high-pitched baby cries and frangipani scent, but try and take advantage of her and she’ll suck your eyeballs out,” explains Singaporean author Sharlene Teo, whose debut novel Ponti was inspired by the myth.

    #horreur #Malaisie #Indonésie #Singapour #femmes #monstres #cinéma #mythes #Asie_du_Sud-Est #fantôme


  • Aux #Etats-Unis, lumière sur les disparitions et meurtres d’#Amérindiennes
    https://information.tv5monde.com/info/aux-etats-unis-lumiere-sur-les-disparitions-et-meurtres-d-amer

    Autre facteur : les polices tribales n’ont pas autorité pour poursuivre les non-#Amérindiens, même pour des agressions commises sur leurs terres. La police fédérale délaisse beaucoup de cas et quand elle prend en charge un dossier, des mois ont parfois été perdus.


  • U.S. Airlines Plan to Accept China Demands on Naming Taiwan - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-24/u-s-airlines-are-said-to-accept-chinese-demand-on-naming-taiwan

    In April, the Civil Aviation Administration of China sent a letter to more than 40 foreign airlines telling them that they shouldn’t place China, Hong Kong and Taiwan on an equal footing, and must refer to “China Taiwan” or the “China Taiwan region.” Maps must display the territories in the same color as mainland China and the websites can’t place Taiwan in other categories such as Southeast Asia, the order said.

    #cartographie #chine #taiwan


  • Vietnam: A Television History; Roots of a War; Interview with Archimedes L. A. Patti, 1981
    http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_3267C58E4C104A54A0AFDF230D618AE6

    04/01/1981- Archimedes Patti was an officer in the United States Army and, after World War Two, the Office of Strategic Services. Mr. Patti describes the U.S. position on Southeast Asia during World War Two, and the emerging Vietnamese Independence Movement. He describes his first meetings with Ho Chi Minh and details the assistance of the Viet Minh in the war effort. He recalls the scene in Hanoi after the war and the attempts by the French to recoup their colony. He details his talks with Ho, and notes that the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence was quite similar to that of the United States. He concludes with his views of the Vietnam War from the perspective of one who understood the roots of the conflict and knew how it could have been avoided.

    #USA #Vietnam #histoire #guerre


  • Changement climatiques en #Asie
    https://www.climate-diplomacy.org/publications/impact-climate-change-asean-international-affairs

    According to the Global Climate Risk Index, four of the world’s ten countries most affected by climate change are located in Southeast Asia: Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. This study examines the implications of climate change and climate policy for international affairs in Southeast Asia and for ASEAN as a multilateral organization.

    #climat


  • Malaysians make record bust of crystal meth, shipped from Myanmar | Top News | Reuters
    https://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN1IT0FH-OCATP


    Malaysian Customs display 1187kg of Methamphetamine worth 71 million ringgit ($17.8 million) seized during a news conference in Nilai, Malaysia May 28, 2018.
    REUTERS/Angie Teo

    Malaysia has made its largest ever seizure of crystal methamphetamine, officials said on Monday, finding nearly 1.2 tonnes of the drug disguised as tea in a shipment from Myanmar, and arrested six suspected traffickers.

    The bust comes as Southeast Asia reports a flood of the stimulant throughout the region. Indonesia and Thailand have also made record seizures of the drug this year.

    A total of 1,187 kg of the drug, worth 71 million ringgit ($18 million), was shipped in a container from Yangon, Myanmar, to Port Klang, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Customs Director-General Subromaniam Tholasy told reporters.


  • Global Forest Coalition The Big Four Drivers of Deforestation: Beef, Soy, Wood and Palm Oil
    http://globalforestcoalition.org/forest-cover-55-big-four-drivers-of-deforestation

    Forest Cover 55 looks at trade in just four key commodities—beef, soy, wood, and palm oil—which together are the main drivers of deforestation in the world. Demand for these commodities is leading to huge swathes of forest being replaced by vast monoculture plantations and pasture, especially in the global South. Beef is the worst deforesting culprit and clearing forests to make way for pasture was responsible for 71% of deforestation in seven Latin American countries. Palm oil is second only to beef and is leading to serious deforestation in Southeast Asia—300 football fields of forest are lost in Indonesia for palm oil every hour! This issue brings us stories from around the world where forests and communities face the impacts of the production and trade in these commodities. It also showcases campaigns as communities across the globe struggle to stop these drivers of forest loss.

    #forêt #déforestation #élevage #soja #palmier_à_huile #bois


  • 19th Century shipwrecks found during search for #MH370 | Western Australian Museum
    http://museum.wa.gov.au/about/latest-news/19th-century-shipwrecks-found-during-search-mh370

    Two shipwrecks discovered 2,300km off the coast of Western Australia during the initial search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have been identified as 19th Century merchant sailing vessels carrying cargoes of coal.

    The sites provide tangible archaeological evidence for use of the historic Roaring 40s trade route for ships between Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, India, Southeast Asia, China and Japan. 

    The Western Australian Museum was asked by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) to analyse sonar and video data taken in international waters by the search vessels Fugro Equator and Havilah Harmony in May and December 2015. The work was undertaken by Dr Ross Anderson, Curator of Maritime Archaeology at the WA Museum.

    Both wrecks were found at depths between 3,700 and 3,900 metres, roughly 36km apart. We used a combination of all of the data supplied by ATSB, historical research and maritime archaeological analyses to determine both wrecks were in fact 19th Century merchant sailing ships – one wooden and one iron – both carrying coal,” Dr Anderson said.
    […]
    Historical research into all 19th Century merchant ships that disappeared in international waters is incomplete so we cannot conclusively determine identity of the individual ships,” Dr Anderson said. “However, we can narrow the possibilities to some prime candidates based on available information from predominantly British shipping sources.

    For the wooden ship the brig W. Gordon and the barque Magdala_ are two possible candidates; for the iron ship the barques_ Kooringa (1894), Lake Ontario (1897) and West Ridge (1883) are possible, with the West Ridge best fitting the evidence.


  • The #blockchain is Set to Become the Talk of New Delhi
    https://hackernoon.com/the-blockchain-is-set-to-become-the-talk-of-new-delhi-1731a97213a9?sourc

    Hacker Noon + World Satoshi SummitHacker Noon will serve as a media partner for World Satoshi Summit, Southeast Asia’s Biggest Blockchain Conference. It will be held on May 12th and 13th in JW Marriott Hotel Aerocity, New Delhi. 3,500+ people are expected to attend. The conference’s three themes are: DREAM, DISCUSS, & DECENTRALIZE. It’s the same language of Hacker Noon.The conference aims “to promote a vision of the world where every community, economy, organization, and country works in a trustless manner, free of corruption and inefficiency caused by human greed and errors, we have initiated a movement that brings everyone under one roof to ideate, discuss and innovate around blockchain and cryptocurrency.”You can buy a ticket here with discount code “WSSHKN” for 25% off. The (...)

    #world-satoshi-summit #blockchain-india #blockchain-new-delhi #new-delhi


  • Carbon prices too low to protect SE Asian forests from rubber expansion - report | PLACE
    http://www.thisisplace.org/i/?id=d4263083-a216-4f22-a579-e4503f8e1982&cid=social_20180328_75909087&a

    The price of carbon credits must rise drastically if they are to help protect Southeast Asia’s tropical forests against rubber plantation expansion, according to researchers.

    Individuals, companies and countries purchase carbon credits to offset their greenhouse gas emissions.

    Putting a cost on carbon emissions provides an incentive to do business more sustainably, and a disincentive to engage in environmentally damaging activities - like clearing forests.

    But researchers found that credits bought and sold on international markets would need to rise from $5-$13 per tonne of carbon dioxide to $30-$51 per tonne if they are to safeguard Southeast Asian forests from rubber.

    #marché_carbone #mauvaise_farce #caoutchouc #déforestation #plantation