Posts tagged ‘Asia’

May 28, 2011

Cruise on the Yangtze river and see China’s spectacular beauty

[Joyce Rosenberg, Travel Contributor]

Telegraph: Teresa Levonian Cole writes that China‘s Yangtze cruise is a journey towards a vision of the future.. read more of her commentary on her cruise to see more of China’s beauty….

May 25, 2011

Georgia’s legacy of arsenic poisoning is killing hundreds of its children

BBC News: Recent scientific research have shown that hundreds of Georgian children are being made seriously ill and some are being killed from the country’s legacy of arsenic poisoning.  The research discovered that the arsenic production sites which had been discontinued after the Soviet Union fell, are now leaking highly toxic substances into the environment.

The area most affected is Uravi in north-west Georgia. However, Georgian authorities have failed to warn the residents of the serious harm the substances are doing to do to their children.

According to Giorgi Khachidze, environment minister, the government knows about the problem, but with its economy severely depressed, the country does not have any resources to put things right. He said: “All over the country we have the legacy of pesticides, landmines, abandoned factories, sources of radiation. Every day we get information about something and we just don’t have the money to sort out all these in a day.”

Arsenic is a deadly poison and can cause death, cancer, skin thickening. liver and digestive disease. It is difficult to treat as it is odourless and flavourless.

[BBC video – click to play]

May 24, 2011

Shocking BBC Report, Indian authorities turn a blind eye to the killing of millions of female babies

[Ciara O’Neill, Human Rights News Contributor]

[Tinaki Roy, Asia News Contributor]

BBC News:  The latest data from the Indian National Census have shown gender discrimination in India to have gone horrifically off the rails as it seems that in the past ten years, more that eight million female babies have been killed by their parents under the noses and apparent consent of the Indian authorities.

The recent Indian census figures show a sharp decline in the number of girls under seven which cannot be explained in any other way than by mass abortions of female fetuses and/or manslaughter of female babies.  Compared to 1961, the proportion of 975 girls on 1000 boys has dropped to around a small 913 on 1000.

However, for those who might think that a difference by less than a hundred  might be caused by certain non-violent factors, here are some facts.

As stated in the recent National Census report data, ‘out of 133,738 births, in families where the first child was a girl, the ratio of girls to boys among second children was 759 girls per 1,000 boys’. Furthermore, according to a UNICEF case study in 1984 in Bombay, ‘7,999 out of 8,000 of the aborted fetuses were females.’  Understandably therefore, the female abortion business seems to have long roots in modern India, and for a reason.

According to professor Shirish Sheth of Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai: “Daughters are regarded as a liability…Because she will eventually belong to the family of her future husband, expenditure on her will benefit others. In some communities where the custom of dowry prevails, the cost of her dowry could be phenomenal.”

Kulwant, a middle-aged Indian housewife, is one of the many who can testify that due to the development of ultrasound technology which enables the early identification of the sex of fetuses, female babies’ abortions have become quite a normal event in any Indian woman’s life.  The costs of the abortion varies from a couple of hundred US dollars in the best Delhi clinics, up to four dollars in increasingly shabby legal and illegal institutions that enable the majority to afford it at decreasing prices, but steadily growing health risks. Effectively, she had to abort three daughters in order to avoid divorce.

Before her fourth child – a son- was born, she had to suffer regular beatings from her husband and once, she says, even his family tried to burn her alive for ‘bringing financial girl-related trouble upon the house’.

May 10, 2011

Twins with two heads born in China

[Jonas Pelling, Health and Medicine Contributor]

MailOnline reports that conjoined twins with two heads were delivered this week by a woman in the Chinese province of Sichuan.

The twins share a single body which also has two arms and two legs and are said to have a condition known as dicephalic parapagus whereby twins are born, but only one body develops. The condition mainly occurs in southwest Asia and Africa although it is known to happen elsewhere.

In the USA, for example, the dicephalic parapagus twins Abigail and Brittany Hensel, now 21, are media celebrities and have even been on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The sisters share a perfectly normal single body, although some of their internal organs have been replicated. They are able to eat and write separately, but activities such as walking and driving need to be done as a team.

To read more on the story, click here, or on the pictures above.

April 4, 2011

Fiji and Indonesia in April 4th 2011 major earthquakes

[Tom Hobbes, Natural Disaster Contributor]

Huffington Post: The earth continues to shake as a huge earthquake measuring 6.7 stuck Indonesia at around 3 a.m. today Indonesian time. No casualties, or damage have been reported. A few hours earlier, Fiji also suffered a major earthquake measuring 6.4.  A damage/ casualty report is yet to come in.

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April 2, 2011

Afganistan’s Roaring Democracy – where has all the money gone?

Democracy and the Missing Millions in Afganistan

New York Times reports today: Fraud and mismanagement at Afghanistan’s largest bank have resulted in potential losses of as much as $900 million — three times previous estimates — heightening concerns that the bank could collapse and trigger a broad financial panic in Afghanistan, according to American, European and Afghan officials.

[Middle East & Africa Contributor]

March 17, 2011

Real Estate boom in Australia – opportunities for international investors

G’day, yes its official, Australia’s city of Sydney is now the fourth most popular city in the world for international investment according to News.com.au.

2011 has seen money is coming in thick and thin from Asia and Europe and the inward cash surge is stoking up demand for properties in the stylish CBD, North Shor and Eastern Suburb of the city.  Real estate agents are reported to be doing well and are feverishly advertising Australian real estate in Asia and Europe promising investors great deals with built-in security.

News.com.au says that according to CBRE senior managing director of international investments Rick Butler: “…the foreigners are there because they see Australia as safe, secure and actually having growth, which puts us in a much better position than old Europe and the US.”.

[International Real Estate Contributor]

March 12, 2011

The horror – Japan’s quake and aftershock kills thousands

[Asia Contributor]

MailOnline reports that Japan is now a disaster zone after experiencing the biggest earthquake in the country’s history. Tsunami waves have washed through its cities killing thousands, wiping out villages and causing untold damage to the country’s infrastructure.

The country’s death toll now at more than 1000 is set to rise as the aftershock  continues its destruction. A nuclear reactor in the country, damaged by the earthquake, is emitting radiation at more than 1,000 times the safe level and concern is mounting for safety of nearby residents as a six-mile safety zone has been imposed and residents ordered to leave the vicinity of the Fukushima No.1 power plant for fear that it might disintegrate.

The country’s biggest ever quake’s aftershock has now reached Hawaii and Chile and is expected to cause tsunami damage to these countries.