"Winning hearts and minds." 

brain-food

Yao Ming recently launched a public awareness campaign in china targeting the nation’s consumption of ivory and rhino horn, after having spent twelve days last august in kenya and south africa.

poaching kills more than 25,000 african elephants annually, while 668 rhinos were killed last year in south africa alone, meaning that if current trends are not abated, both species will be extinct within our lifetime.

according to shark fin traders and hong kong import statistics, yao’s previous campaign against the shark fin trade is credited with a 50-70% reduction in chinese consumption last year.

"no one who sees the results firsthand, as i did, would buy ivory or rhino horn," yao stated. “i believe when people in china know what’s happening they will do the right thing and say no to these products."

he continued, “we would be outraged if people were killing our pandas. we should be just as upset with what’s happening to rhinos and elephants in africa.”

photos (including a baby elephant orphaned by poachers) by kristian schmidt in kenya for WildAid. from yao ming’s blog.

newsflick
I took Alu and nothing happened. I had another blood test to recheck and still had the same parasites. The drugs were fake.

China Said to Detain Returning Tibetan Pilgrims

Many of the pilgrims are elderly and have been detained for more than two months in central Tibet, or what China calls the Tibet Autonomous Region. The detainees are being interrogated and undergoing patriotic re-education classes, and have been ordered to denounce the Dalai Lama, who presided over the ceremony, known as the Kalachakra, say people who have researched the detentions. The detainees are being held at hotels, schools and military training centers or bases; some are being forced to pay for their lodging and meals.

The detentions are expected to stoke resentment among Tibetans toward the Chinese government at a time when tensions across the Tibetan plateau are at the highest in years.

The pilgrims were detained at checkpoints while returning overland via Nepal or while flying into Lhasa, the Tibetan capital. Some have been released, and many who were held in central Tibet but are officially registered as residents in other regions have been sent to those areas, according to the researchers, who interviewed released detainees and their friends and relatives.

The Kalachakra ceremony, an important teaching ritual in Tibetan Buddhism, takes place some winters in Bodh Gaya, the site in the Indian state of Bihar where the Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment. The Dalai Lama travels there from his home here in the Himalayan hill town of Dharamsala to give teachings, and Tibetans and other Buddhists from around the world attend.

Though the Chinese government vilifies the Dalai Lama and calls him a “splittist,” some officials have been willing to quietly allow Tibetans to attend the ceremony, given its religious significance. This year, Chinese officials did not grant passports to many monks who wanted to attend, but they did loosen restrictions in other areas — Tibetans from Yunnan Province reportedly were allowed to attend for the first time. Many Tibetans going to the ceremony often travel with Chinese passports to India through Nepal or fly directly to India, and they avoid explicitly telling Chinese officials that they are planning to attend the Kalachakra. The Tibetan government-in-exile estimated that 8,000 Tibetans from Tibetan areas of China attended this year.

It is unclear why Chinese officials allowed large numbers of Tibetan pilgrims to go abroad around the time of the Kalachakra, only to detain them upon their return. The crackdown appears to be part of the growing conflict in Tibetan areas, which in the last year have been the site of the most intense and sustained protests since the 2008 uprising. Most startling are the self-immolations: At least 32 people have set fire to themselves to protest Chinese rule; about two dozen of those have died. Chinese officials have said some of those who attempted self-immolation were mentally unstable or were acting under the Dalai Lama’s direction. The Dalai Lama has denied any involvement.

The world in six cups 
"It plays a central role in both religious rituals and secular ceremonies. It has proven health benefits. It can promote either community and camaraderie or solitude and introspection. It can be calming or invigorating. Tea is arguably the most versatile beverage on Earth."
I once had a post about the world according to coffee. Well tea is a pretty good follow-up for those of us who enjoy global trekking and warm drinks.

The world in six cups

"It plays a central role in both religious rituals and secular ceremonies. It has proven health benefits. It can promote either community and camaraderie or solitude and introspection. It can be calming or invigorating. Tea is arguably the most versatile beverage on Earth."

I once had a post about the world according to coffee. Well tea is a pretty good follow-up for those of us who enjoy global trekking and warm drinks.


In these remote parts, facts are hard to come by — and the killers have proved elusive, apparently continuing their poaching even after the Cameroonian government sent in the military on March 1.
What is clear is that the poachers have been sweeping in on horseback from Chad or Sudan. They are heavily armed and highly organized. Confrontations with the military have left at least one soldier dead so far.
What is also clear is that the slaughter — which is unprecedented even in the context of a recent increase in wildlife poaching — has as its ultimate destination China and, to a lesser degree, Thailand and Egypt (where Chinese are the main customers of pilfered ivory from elephant tusks.)
Demand for ivory from China “is the leading driver behind the illegal trade in ivory today,” said Tom Milliken, an elephant and rhino expert for Traffic, an organization that monitors the global wildlife trade, in a telephone conference organized by the WWF this week.
…
For elephants, 2011 was the worst year on record. Now add the hundreds killed in one national park in Cameroon alone, within just the last two months, and you get a sense of the urgency of the problem.

More on: 
China’s Hunger for Ivory is Killing Cameroon’s Elephants

In these remote parts, facts are hard to come by — and the killers have proved elusive, apparently continuing their poaching even after the Cameroonian government sent in the military on March 1.

What is clear is that the poachers have been sweeping in on horseback from Chad or Sudan. They are heavily armed and highly organized. Confrontations with the military have left at least one soldier dead so far.

What is also clear is that the slaughter — which is unprecedented even in the context of a recent increase in wildlife poaching — has as its ultimate destination China and, to a lesser degree, Thailand and Egypt (where Chinese are the main customers of pilfered ivory from elephant tusks.)

Demand for ivory from China “is the leading driver behind the illegal trade in ivory today,” said Tom Milliken, an elephant and rhino expert for Traffic, an organization that monitors the global wildlife trade, in a telephone conference organized by the WWF this week.

For elephants, 2011 was the worst year on record. Now add the hundreds killed in one national park in Cameroon alone, within just the last two months, and you get a sense of the urgency of the problem.

More on: 

China’s Hunger for Ivory is Killing Cameroon’s Elephants


China ‘Cancels’ an Entire City

The city of Chaohu has officially been eliminated, as NPR reports. It’s a city of about 4 million people, a Phoenix metro area-sized population that’s been suddenly stripped of its cityhood. Located about 200 miles west of Shanghai, the city is still trying to figure out exactly what that means, and why.

The land of the former Chaohu has been divided and distributed to three neighboring cities. It’s a municipal shakeup that surprised many residents, who hadn’t been advised or consulted about the plans. NPR reports that rumors had been circling, but most found out about the city’s dissolution on the news the day it happened in August. The move, it seems, is driven by a desire for growth:

Economics professor Jiang Sanliang from Anhui University explains the thinking behind the decision:
"Chaohu’s development hasn’t been good, but Hefei is industrializing and urbanizing. It needs land, so absorbing Chaohu will benefit Hefei. The government hopes that redistributing the land will improve the entire province’s GDP," he says.

China ‘Cancels’ an Entire City

The city of Chaohu has officially been eliminated, as NPR reports. It’s a city of about 4 million people, a Phoenix metro area-sized population that’s been suddenly stripped of its cityhood. Located about 200 miles west of Shanghai, the city is still trying to figure out exactly what that means, and why.

The land of the former Chaohu has been divided and distributed to three neighboring cities. It’s a municipal shakeup that surprised many residents, who hadn’t been advised or consulted about the plans. NPR reports that rumors had been circling, but most found out about the city’s dissolution on the news the day it happened in August. The move, it seems, is driven by a desire for growth:

Economics professor Jiang Sanliang from Anhui University explains the thinking behind the decision:

"Chaohu’s development hasn’t been good, but Hefei is industrializing and urbanizing. It needs land, so absorbing Chaohu will benefit Hefei. The government hopes that redistributing the land will improve the entire province’s GDP," he says.

good
good:

A lot of fearmongering in the media has Americans concerned that all our goods are imported from China. But is that really true? GOOD’s new business editor, Tim Fernholz, calls bullshit:

While Chinese goods seem ubiquitous, especially given America’s economic woes, the reality is that imports from the country are a relatively small part of the economy: A total of 88.5 percent of consumer spending in the United States is on items made here, with only 2.7 percent spent on “Made in China” goods, according to new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco:

Read more on GOOD →

good:

A lot of fearmongering in the media has Americans concerned that all our goods are imported from China. But is that really true? GOOD’s new business editor, Tim Fernholz, calls bullshit:

While Chinese goods seem ubiquitous, especially given America’s economic woes, the reality is that imports from the country are a relatively small part of the economy: A total of 88.5 percent of consumer spending in the United States is on items made here, with only 2.7 percent spent on “Made in China” goodsaccording to new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco:

Read more on GOOD →