Oil leak in Bo Sea: China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) marries ConocoPhillips

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment

After the first announcement of the oil leak event, both CNOOC and ConocoPhillips have formally confirmed the accident. The firms are strictly critised by the public not only because they were intended to fool the people in the first place, but also arrogantly and perfunctorily dealt with the accident afterwards.

Under the stress from the general public, the two firms now lowered down their heads and their attitude to cooperate with SOA to carry out solutions of the aftermath.

Although there is not any official report saying how much damage they have caused environmentally and economically, one fact can be assured – it is not the first time of oil leak of their drill platforms and there seems to be cover-ups therefore the public is not aware.

24th,Aug ConocoPhillips Press Confernece in Beijing ©2011 Xinhuanet

24th,Aug ConocoPhillips Press Confernece in Beijing ©2011 Xinhuanet

Timeline of the oil leak event

4th , April Oil slick appeared in Peng Lai, Bo Sea.

17th, June Drill broke down in Platform C.

30th, June State Oceanic Administration (SOA) initiated an investigation. CNOOC and ConocoPhillips didn’t have official response.

1st, July CNOOC officially confirmed the oil leak.

1st, July ConocoPhillips officially confirmed the oil leak, emergency protocols had been carried out, the situation was under control and the recycle work was almost complete.

3rd, July CNOOC said the area exposed in the oil leak is as small as 200 m2. This situation was contained.

5th, July SOA press conference announced the exposure was 840 km2. The exposure was contained.

The angry anchor

On 22nd, August, Li Wenjing who is the anchor of CCTV channel 13, was interrupted by the program editor and producer by inserting a nonsense advertisement in order not to let her carry on her arguments towards the event and CNOOC. She was so angry but did not have any alternatives.

 

Everyone can donate rice by Free Rice 2.0

September 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Free Rice 2.0 is a newly opened website which donates rice through the World Food Programme to the hunger. Everyone can take part in the programme by answering questions categrised as Language, Geographic and Mathematics questions. The website will donate certain amount of rice according to the number of questions that are correctly answered.

Everyone can help

The interface of Free Rice 2.0

The interface of Free Rice 2.0

The innovation of the website is to motivate everyone to do every little to help the hunger by setting up a series of questions. It writes on its homepage “For each answer you get right, we donate 10 grains of rice through the World Food Programme to help end hunger.”

The multiple-choice questions provided by the website are automatically generated by the computer programme by sourcing its question database. There are Language questions such as English Vocabulary and English Grammar, Geographic questions such as matching the national flag with the proper country, and Mathematics questions such as tables in the database.

By correctly answering each question, the website will donate 10 grains to the hunger. The whole session will be shown in the animation on the right side of the layout: grains will be dropped in.

Tool for self-education

The interface of Free Rice 2.0: lad

The interface of Free Rice 2.0: lad

The programme will raise the difficulty level based on users’ performance. For most people, it is also a good way to evaluate the knowledge and be self-educated.

To elaborate, when choosing the incorrect answer, the programme will maintain the difficuly level and show couple of different questions before reaching for the same one. In this way, the user is able to remember the correct match and widen the vocabulary. The same goes with other types of questions.

Editor’s words

Charity is no more new concept to the world. Nowadays more and more governmental organisations, NGOs, charity funds and individuals aim to help the vulnerable. The biggest challenge they are facing, undoubtedly, is how to achieve new channels to gain the wider commitment group, by triggering their own motivation.

In this perspective, Free Rice 2.0 is doing a pretty good job. The figures show that there are hundreds of thousands of people now logging on the site and doing their part to assist. They can even be named on the achievement list providing they are the top guns of the participants. It just the same as on some hero-lists of online games.

Combining fun, education with personal ambition and the final goal of helping the hunger, the website seems have been successful with those innovations.

Whereas the problem those charity funds always facing is the lack of public concerns. This problem is more obvious when putting into the frames of certain countries and regions. Take mainland China as an example. The state run charity firms, especially the Red Cross is now facing a critical situation because it is losing people’s faith. The major event is the Guo Meimei Scandal, which exposes a chain of interests behind the curtain. When digging deeper, the connections between private firms and governmental branches and representatives are not that simple as stated in the official papers. This problem rise more doubts for people: are the charity associations and organisations that we have been trusted for half of our lives still trustworthy?

The way around to solve the trust crisis may consider Free Rice 2.0 as an educational guide. Apart from the illness beyond cure, those problems which can still be solves must be dealt with now, for the sake of the society. Finding new ways to regain public’s trust and attention is the top priority.

Categories: Other News

Latest video shows police beating riot suspects

August 10, 2011 Leave a comment

The video filming police officers beating the riot looters was uploaded on YouTube yesterday. BBC had claimed that the beating was taking place on Jutland Street, near Manchester’s Piccadilly Station.

The exact time and the location of the event cannot be verified. But it can been seen clearly in the footage that running police officers knocking down teenager looters.

Some people are for the police and one  netizen Essaiel say that the police “should hit them more.”

Another netizen named blueray1969 says that: “Hooray – about bloody time. More of this please – it’s what we pay our taxes for – law and order – not scumbags cycling round on stolen bikes.”

However, other people are confused with the video. One of them, named GrimPixels says that: “I do think myself that they should be more aggressive and use live rounds depending on how hardcore the riot is but I don’t know the story behind these teenagers riding bikes?

“It just looks like there are some teens riding their bikes and the cops had a bad day so they destroyed them? lol. Could the poster or someone tell me why these teens were attacked in specific?”

In brief, most of the comments are for the police. It is obvious that people are angry about the riots that disturb their normal lives and make the country full of anxiety.

Early on the BBC News, David Cameron says the looters are making the society sick. The police will have every source if they need. He mentions that: “Every effort will be made to bring the looters to justice.”

Categories: UK News Tags: , , ,

London riots

August 9, 2011 Leave a comment

The chaos in London city and around greater London has caused trouble to the capital frightened citizens, thousands of foreign tourists and on-edge policemen. The police force is doing whatever they can to ensure the streets back to order. However, the situation is not yet that optimistic.

(by the Guardian)

Facts and timeline

On 4th, August, last Thursday, Mark Duggan was shot dead at Ferry Lane in the Tottenham area.  This is believed to be the primacord of the city-scale riot.

McDonald's on Lewisham High Street was smashed

McDonald's on Lewisham High Street was smashed

At Saturday night, various areas in Tottenham, Tottenham Hale and Wood Green had suffered from mass disorder including protesters smashing shop windows, setting houses and vehicles on fire.

At Sunday night, the riots spread to inner city Chingford Mount, Enfield, Islington and Oxford Circus. Many places including China Town had power-cut during the night time.

On Monday, southern London such as Lewisham and Bromley responded to the riots and the police said there were people using Blackberry messenger to assemble unrest.

Today, the forth day of the Chaos, sister cities including Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol had confirmed the spreading riots.

Where does the anger come from?

The 29-year-old  Mark Duggan was killed in an operation carried out by London Metropolitan Police. The official report says after ignoring officer’s warning, the anxious man shot at least twice (with illegal firearm) and the force have to return fire (with Heckler and Koch MP5). Followed investigation shows there is one bullet which is shot by Mark Duggan, has stuck in the police’s radio.

Horseback Police's patrolling on Lewisham High Street, 9th August

Horseback Police's patrolling on Lewisham High Street, 9th August

Mark’s resist to arrest and attack to the police have in the end cause his life. But the question is: why have 300 people gathered outside Tottenham Police Station and required “justice”?

For one reason, obviously, the diseased is a coloured race (Angola Caribbean) and only because of this, the crowd has the wrath towards the  ‘discrimination’ in centuries. The Angola Caribbean people have long been in Britain and settled as the natives for ages. But from a historical point of view, they have been treated as slaves and lower-class. The discontented feeling has been rooted since then.

However, the grand cause as the whole background is that the Britain’s  economy has been declining, causing mass unemployment and civil disappointment. Early this year, massive cuts have been claimed towards teachers, social workers, policemen, armed force and governmental employees. Not to mention thousands of companies discharge their workers to reduce expenses.

The British Angola Caribbeans, living in a comparatively poorer situation, have suffered more trouble than the others. All these factors make those people increasingly lose faith in the government and become more unsatisfied with the society.

Boris’s coming

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, has to fly back to the city from his holiday. He has gone to Clapham Junction today (9th, August) to ease the public anger.

He thanks the crowd for coming to the meet and says “this is the real spirit of London”.

“I want to say to all of those who own a shop or runs a business here that I am very sorry. I am… for the loss or damage you have suffered.

I also want to say to those who have been suffered the stealing that they will be apprehended. ”

The mayor says those responsible for the violence will “face punishment they will bitterly, bitterly regret”.

However, after rejecting “economic or social justifications” for the violence, he turned around and walked away.

100 days to the Olympics

The riot raises a big question mark as the city has just welcomed the 100-day-counting-down of the 2012 Olympics Games.

Fire Brigade extinguished a fire on New Cross Road, 8th August.

Fire Brigade extinguished a fire on New Cross Road, 8th August.

By now more than 16,000 police officers have been deployed on London’s streets as Boris guaranteed that “a huge number of police” will protect the citizens.

The local police force have been enforced from 30 forces including Horseback Police and Motorcycle Police. It is reported that some 111 Met police have suffered serious head and eye wounds, cuts and fractured bones in the riots. Five police dogs have also been hurt.

The police has arrested 563 rioters and among them 105 have been charged.

However, it can be clearly seen that London Metropolitan Police, Fire Brigade and Medical Service are acting very fast towards the occuring events, which at least gives people some comfort and confidence in authority’s ability to deal with thunderbolts.

Editor’s words

The long repressed crowds erupts when the black powder is  ignited. After all, the society has the right to show the emotion and discomfort to the government. However, a more reasonable and responsible approach is needed. It is still in doubts that once this fire is extinguished, is it going to be a matter of time for another fire to be lit?

The BBC and Sky TV have offered live coverage of the riots both from the ground camera crews and the helicopter crews. This gives the people the real understanding of the situation and makes the event transparent. Apart from the riot itself, the media acts responsibly and the real meaning of ‘news’ is achieved.

Categories: UK News Tags: , , ,

True farce: President of CSSA-Cambridge reappoints herself next President

July 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Early last week, various news media reported the story of the turn-out of the 28th election of Chinese Students and Scholars Associations (CSSA) Cambridge. However a number of senior crews claimed that they were unaware of the election and it was Feifan Chang’s (27th President) own idea to reappointed herself the next President.

CSSA-Cambridge Words from Feifan Chang, the 27th President

CSSA-Cambridge Words from Feifan Chang, the 27th President

Reappointment Scandle

The report of the ’28th election’ turn-out appears on various media, saying that CSSA-Cambridge committee crews and a number of honoured scholars and guests, including Hong Li from the Education Section of the Chinese UK Embassy, attend the meeting.

The next few days, a claiming letter appears on the Internet and soon becomes a hot-topic among the Chinese Community in and around Cambridge.

The letters says that senior team of the CSSA-Cambridge, including Vice-Presidents and Chiefs of Divisions did not know the ’28th election’, not to mention Chang’s reappointment of herself as ’28th President’.

They claim that Chang has staged the ‘election’ and fooled all the members of CSSA and the Chinese UK Embassy and the media.

After the meeting, the common e-mail access of CSSA-Cambridge is controlled and the c0-account names are deliberately deleted.

In the letter they also urge people who attend the meeting stand out and say the truth bravely.

Shocked Committee

Tongyun Li, the Vice President of CSSA-Cambridge writes on the Internet that he is so disappointed in Chang’s dishonest behave and cheating. He says Chang’s deceive has caused damage to the CSSA-Cambridge and all the students who have trusted the association.

Feng Mao, also the Vice President of CSSA-Cambridge, says he is totally shocked when he is informed about the ‘election’ and the signature of CSSA-Cambridge Committee.

The Chief of Sports Divison, Tianxin Lv, says Chang’s ‘election’ is against the Constitution of CSSA-Cambridge, especially the clause regarding the election time (section 16, clause 2), and election process (section 16, clause 1), and the nominate (section 16, clause 4). He also asks people to stand out for justice.

‘Official’ reaction

An official letter from the association says the 28th committee is ready to help all the students. It also says that it is a pity that if any members of the 27th committee can not stay for the 28th term.

In the list of committee members, a larger number of 27th committee has disappeared.

It is said they among those who have been appointed in the 28th committee list, some are even unaware of  the nomination.

Editor’s words

This generation is different. Born in the wave of Open-up and  the invasion of technology and global communication, they have very unique characteristics compared to the overseas years ago.

They share the prosperity of the mother-land and are nourished by the western culture. With the giant flood of Mammonist and the affections in the power and politics, it is easy to follow the crowd and to repeat what others say.

However, the pursuit towards power and wealth has nor been changed. On the other hand, it becomes the most obvious and vital factor.

In this case, it is not hard to assume that being the President of the CSSA-Cambridge will undoubtedly bring certain advantages to the person. Namely get acquainted with Chinese UK Embassy, which will help the person gain numerous political leverage, and the chance to be endorsed by celebrities and A-Level businessmen. Maybe just like Wendi Deng to Rupert Murdoch.

It is just like shifting to the Micro-landscape function in a Canon EOS 60D camera. The ‘election’ and the intention, the story behind is just a micro-picture of the dark side of how the Chinese works. But, under this circumstance and at this stage?

It is Cambridge, a new place for everything. It can be seen that those vulgar and secular behaviour, which shall vanish in this new country as a start, have conversely rooted firmly and steadily, with no doubts.

It can be seen as a very convincing case of the success in the field of economy development and the aggressive purchasing power of the mother-land. Nevertheless, considering the whole picture and having a deep thought, is it really a success? 

notes: Feifan Chang is the MPhil in Politics, University of Cambridge.

Categories: UK News Tags: , , ,

Is pork still affordable?

July 14, 2011 Leave a comment

The Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao hosted the Executive Meeting of the State Council on Tuesday, 12th July, during which a ‘sustainable’ control of pork price was decided.

Famous pork dish: Chairman Mao's braised pork in brown sauce

Famous pork dish: Chairman Mao's braised pork in brown sauce

During the last month, the pork price has been raised dramatically in both rural and urban China. The raise has become a major concern of citizens and caused a chain of price-rising of living goods.

Hunan Province, which has the largest number of swine standing stock, says that the number is on the raise. However compared to the same period of last year, the number has been declined by 4.93 per cent.

Piggy price 33.5 Yuan/KG

According to Lei Wang from zhue.com.cn, the average piggy price of 470 markets by the end of June is 33.5 Yuan per kilo, raised by 131.7 per cent from the same period last year.

Pork price 26.56 Yuan/KG

The pork price reached 26.56 Yuan per kilo till 14:00 13, July, which is raised by 1 per cent compared to 12, July.

The normal pork price from around Beijing has raised above 20 Yuan per kilo. Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture shows that the pork price in the second week of June has risen by 63.6 per cent compared to June 2010. From 4 to 10 July, the average pork price is 25.17 Yuan per kilo, reaching the highest of the year.

When the Prime Minister Wen visited a market last week, he said to the grocers that the pork price would be stable in the next two months. He also asked them not to worry too much.

Inflation issue

Yuhui Liu from Institute of Finance, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences concludes that the inflation that China is suffering from is caused by both easy-money policy and poor investment rate.

Pork in local market © Yangcheng Evening News

Pork in local market © Yangcheng Evening News

The easy-money policy has been interfering China’s economy since 2003. In the last eight years, the expedition speed of the finance factor has been far ahead of the growth of economic aggregate. In the bigger picture, China’s economy is at a turning point. The inflation has been long rooted in this situation. The housing policy reform in 1998 and the market-driven land-purchasing request a large amount of currency.

The inflation is following a pattern from over-amount of currency, assets bubbles to consumer price inflation. The consumer price inflation consists of urban service sector and food price. In the case of pork price, both pork processing and pork itself has requested more money which undoubtedly contributes to the highest pork price in the year.

On the other hand, the poor investment rate makes the case worse. In case of China, the government and state-owned-enterprises (SOEs) control the economic arteries by occupying the materials and sources and the power of changing related policies. This inevitably over-estimates the growth of the economy.

Liu also suggests that it is time to nourish middle-class and to promote social equity in the country. He says the government and the SOEs must give the fortune back to the families instead of taking it from them to spur economic growth.

Categories: Asia-Pacific News Tags: , ,

Rain floods Beijing

June 23, 2011 Leave a comment

The fourth turn of plum rain reaches major cities within China during the last few days.

Water floods the subway entrance of Tao Ranting Station, Line 4 © XINHUA NET

Water floods the subway entrance of Tao Ranting Station, Line 4 © XINHUA NET

The capital city, Beijing, was facing heavy rain since the Thursday, 23 June. The rain is estimated to last for two days, with its peak arriving this afternoon. Public transport, including the highway, bus, subway and air-traffic was heavily influenced, causing giant traffic jams underground, on the ground and in the air.

Inner-city motor way

According to Beijing Traffic Management Bureau, the inner-city motor ways are suffering from water-flooding and certain road sections have a water level of one meter. The traffic arteries, including western, northern and southern third and fourth ring roads have severe traffic jams. The Bureau also says the situation is not optimistic.

Subway

The situation of subway is not better. Subway line one and thirteen are having incoming water-flood in some sections, which forcing the close-down of several stations. Subway line thirteen is among the worst because of the short circuit caused by exposure of train cables to the water. The short circuit even make a district off-power from Xi Zhimen to Da Zhongsi area.

Parking aprons of Beijing Capital International Airport © jinfuda 502

Parking aprons of Beijing Capital International Airport © jinfuda 502

Airplane

Beijing Capital International Airport has its 40 per cent flights cancelled. The number of people whose flights are delayed and cancelled are hard to estimate. One Weibo user shows a picture he takes at the airport, indicating the water on the  parking apron has submerged the air jet’s wheels.

Flood caused by heavy rain on 18, June in Wuhan © CNHUBEI

Flood caused by heavy rain on 18, June in Wuhan © CNHUBEI

The statistics show that the rain gives an average amount of 100 mm to the vast western part of the city. The most flooded area is Mo Shikou, with the amount of 173.2 mm.

Beijing is not alone

The Southern part of China has also suffered from heavy rain. Some cities such as Wuhan  has faced even worse situation.

Wuhan, also know as the river-city, has built its anti-flood and drainage system on a once-a-year base. However even the 34.5mm/hr draining speed cannot meet the rain on Saturday, 18 June, which is the heaviest rain ever in the last 13 years.

Categories: Asia-Pacific News Tags: , ,