How to Fall in Love With Math: Contemplate the elegance of infinity. Don’t ask “When will I use this?”

September 15, 2013

How to Fall in Love With Math

By MANIL SURI

BALTIMORE — EACH time I hear someone say, “Do the math,” I grit my teeth. Invariably a reference to something mundane like addition or multiplication, the phrase reinforces how little awareness there is about the breadth and scope of the subject, how so many people identify mathematics with just one element: arithmetic. Imagine, if you will, using, “Do the lit” as an exhortation to spell correctly. As a mathematician, I can attest that my field is really about ideas above anything else. Ideas that inform our existence, that permeate our universe and beyond, that can surprise and enthrall. Perhaps the most intriguing of these is the way infinity is harnessed to deal with the finite, in everything from fractals to calculus. Just reflect on the infinite range of decimal numbers — a wonder product offered by mathematics to satisfy any measurement need, down to an arbitrary number of digits. Despite what most people suppose, many profound mathematical ideas don’t require advanced skills to appreciate. One can develop a fairly good understanding of the power and elegance of calculus, say, without actually being able to use it to solve scientific or engineering problems. Think of it this way: you can appreciate art without acquiring the ability to paint, or enjoy a symphony without being able to read music. Math also deserves to be enjoyed for its own sake, without being constantly subjected to the question, “When will I use this?” Read more of this post

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Cautious About Investing in China; Lack of Clear Information in China Is a Hurdle to Investments, Fund Says

September 16, 2013, 6:31 a.m. ET

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Cautious About Investing in China

Lack of Clear Information in China Is a Hurdle to Investments, Fund Says

ISABELLA STEGER

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, one of the world’s biggest pension funds, opened its Hong Kong office with a note of caution about investing in China, saying lack of clear information could make it difficult to invest there. “I think we have to proceed with caution” in China, said chief executive Jim Leech, who is due to retire at the end of the year after six years in the top job. The fund, which has about 129.5 billion Canadian dollars ($125.9 billion) in assets under management on behalf of about 300,000 teachers in Canada’s most populous province, officially opened its Hong Kong office on Monday, its second major international office after London. The fund currently has about C$1.5 billion invested in the Asian-Pacific region, but faces rising competition from other investors including private-equity funds and sovereign-wealth funds that are flush with cash and rival pension funds, all of which have had footholds in the region for years. Read more of this post

Bernanke’s Maradona swerve hits bonds; how the Federal Reserve chairman has managed to tighten US financial conditions by more than 100 basis points without touching the Fed funds rate

September 16, 2013 8:43 am

Bernanke’s Maradona swerve hits bonds

By Steven Major

Clues to Fed chairman’s plan were in ‘term premium’ talk

Has Ben Bernanke delivered a modern version of the Maradona effect? It may help to explain how the Federal Reserve chairman has managed to tighten US financial conditions by more than 100 basis points without touching the Fed funds rate. The analogy, first applied to monetary policy by Sir Mervyn King, former Bank of England governor, refers to the ability of famed Argentine footballer Diego Maradona to clear a path to goal by wrongfooting opposing players as they tried to anticipate his next move. The bond market may not have been wrongfooted by Mr Bernanke’s swerve if it had paid better attention to what he said in March this year. We are used to thinking of his May 22 comments on the phasing out of US quantitative easing as this year’s key event for financial markets. It marked the start of the sell-off in US Treasuries, which contributed to big ructions in many emerging markets. But it was the earlier speech that provided some clues. Speaking about long-term interest rates on March 1, Mr Bernanke mentioned the phrase “term premium” no less than 28 times. Read more of this post

New Zealand Winemakers Seek Protection for Local Labels

Updated September 16, 2013, 5:40 a.m. ET

New Zealand Winemakers Seek Protection for Local Labels

LUCY CRAYMER

AI-CD561_NZWINE_G_20130916033907

MARLBOROUGH, New Zealand—When the first winemakers harvested grapes here in the 1970s, they joined an army of New World vintners taking on established producers such as France and Spain. Now, New Zealand’s winemakers are resorting to an Old World tactic to fend off a challenge from newer rivals—regional trademarks. As wine consumption booms in countries such as China and Russia, entrepreneurs are setting up vineyards there, raising fears among New Zealand growers about knockoff wines posing as premium labels exported from regions like Marlborough and Central Otago. New Zealand winemakers are lobbying for the same legal protection for their brands that French producers won for Champagne two decades ago. Read more of this post

A renewed attack on social media by the Chinese leadership isn’t just an offensive against bloggers and activists. It’s also an assault by the Communist Party on its own shortcomings

September 16, 2013, 12:44 PM

The Other Side of China’s Social Media Crackdown

By Russell Leigh Moses

A recently renewed attack on social media by the Chinese leadership isn’t just an offensive against bloggers and activists who dominate the daily online discourse in China. It’s also an assault by the Communist Party on its own shortcomings. The sweeping political strategy towards social media that’s been taking shape here began before President and Party chief Xi Jinping left for this year’s G20 summit in Russia, and it picked up speed and suspects while he was away.  That’s a clear sign that there’s consensus in the Party leadership about how to handle dissent. The first part of the attack strategy involved the coordinated clampdown on leading microbloggers and social celebrities whose followings often sideline messages from state authorities. Read more of this post

Japanese tofu prices are going up 20% because of Abenomics

Japanese tofu prices are going up 20% because of Abenomics

By Adam Pasick @adampasick 4 hours ago

Japan’s tofu manufacturers are planning to jack up prices by 20% this autumn—the first markup in 15 years—as a response to the rising price of American soybean imports, caused in part by a stronger Japanese yen. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pushed a series of reforms designed to rid the economy of deflation, but the policies have had harsh consequences for industries that must import dollar-denominated commodities like oil, natural gas, and soybeans. Japan is the biggest per capita consumer of soy foods—not just in tofu but in soy sauce, miso, edamame, and the smelly fermented delicacy known as natto—with the average adult consuming 24.3 kilograms per year. The country is reliant on imports for about three-quarters of its supply, according to the US Department of Agriculture; that percentage rose even higher after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, which rendered 22% of domestic supply unusable (pdf, pg 2) because of radiation fears. Yasuo Hachijin, head of an industry group in the Kinki region and president of Kyoto-based Global Protein Foods Inc., said the price of raw materials has climbed 20% over the last five years. He told the English-language Japan Times, that “the hike will not be enough to fill the gap and that the industry will have consider another one.” The Japanese tofu industry’s woes have been exacerbated by drought conditions in the American Midwest, which resulted in six weeks of rising soy prices through Sept. 16—the longest run of rising prices since 2009. Prices eased slightly this week due to reports of much-needed rain—a relief to US farmers, if not necessarily to their clients in Japan’s tofu factories. Read more of this post

Contrary to what we usually believe, the best moments in our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times. The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile

The Secret To Happiness

by SHANE PARRISH on SEPTEMBER 8, 2013

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi once wrote: While happiness itself is sought for its own sake, every other goal – health, beauty, money or power – is valued only because we expect that it will make us happy.

If money cannot make us happy, what does?

In this excellent TED talk, Csikszentmihalyi looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of “flow.” In Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Csikszentmihalyi writes: Contrary to what we usually believe, moments like these, the best moments in our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times—although such experiences can also be enjoyable, if we have worked hard to attain them. The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is thus something that we make happen. For a child, it could be placing with trembling fingers the last blockon a tower she has built, higher than any she has built so far; for a swimmer, it could be trying to beat his own record; for a violinist, mastering an intricate musical passage. For each person there are thousands of opportunities, challenges to expand ourselves.

Attention is energy.

Attention is like energy in that without it no work can be done, and in doing work is dissipated. We create ourselves by how we use this energy. Memories, thoughts and feelings are all shaped by how use it. And it is an energy under control, to do with as we please; hence attention is our most important tool in the task of improving the quality of experience.

“You have to finish things – that’s what you learn from, you learn by finishing things.” Neil Gaiman’s Advice to Aspiring Writers, Applicable to All Creative Fields

Neil Gaiman’s Advice to Aspiring Writers, Applicable to All Creative Fields

“You have to finish things – that’s what you learn from, you learn by finishing things.”

Neil Gaiman knows a thing or two about the secret of the creative life. In this mashup of Gaiman’s Nerdist podcast interview and scenes from films about writers, video-monger Brandon Farley captures the essence of Gaiman’s philosophy on writing and his advice to aspiring writers – a fine addition to celebrated authors’ collected wisdom on the craft. Transcript highlights below. Echoing E. B. White, who famously scoffed that “a writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper,” and like Chuck Close, who declared that “inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work,” and like Tchaikovsky, who admonished that “a self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood,” Gaiman argues that the true muse of writing lies not in divine inspiration but in unrelenting persistence of effort and force of will:

If you’re only going to write when you’re inspired, you may be a fairly decent poet, but you will never be a novelist – because you’re going to have to make your word count today, and those words aren’t going to wait for you, whether you’re inspired or not. So you have to write when you’re not “inspired.” … And the weird thing is that six months later, or a year later, you’re going to look back and you’re not going to remember which scenes you wrote when you were inspired and which scenes you wrote because they had to be written. Read more of this post

Stress: the new workplace epidemic

Stress: the new workplace epidemic

PUBLISHED: 0 HOUR 1 MINUTE AGO | UPDATE: 0 HOUR 0 MINUTE AGO

FIONA SMITH

Five years of rolling redundancy and change programs have taken their toll on many employees and increasing numbers are struggling with anxiety and depression. There are few families untouched by the hardship of job loss and those workers who have kept their jobs often find themselves mired in “farewell fatigue”, barely able to rouse themselves to think of something original to add to the card for yet another departing colleague. Mental health speaker and author Graeme Cowan, a former management consultant, says business leaders are neglecting to consider the impact of their corporate restructures on their workforces. “Uncertainty has a huge impact,” he says, noting that one of the major banks he works with announced a restructure and it took six months for people to discover whether they still had a job. “I have never seen stress levels higher amongst Australian ­employees.” Read more of this post

China eyes private funds to tackle bad-debt buildup, avoid bailout

China eyes private funds to tackle bad-debt buildup, avoid bailout

5:23pm EDT

By Gabriel Wildau

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) – Faced with a chorus of warnings that China risks choking on bad debts, Beijing is pushing banks to raise private capital in an effort to head off the need for a second government bailout in as many decades. The hangover from a credit binge that powered China’s swift recovery from the global financial crisis, combined with the economy’s slowdown, has prompted expectations of a repeat of the early 2000s, when Beijing shored up its major banks with hundreds of billions of dollars. Right now, however, authorities appear focused on pushing banks to bolster their balance sheets by aggressively enforcing new international bank capital requirements, known as Basel III. Read more of this post

China banks urged to note risks when making new products, adding that it would tighten controls on banks’ leverage level

China banks urged to note risks when making new products

1:32am EDT

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s banking watchdog has told banks to be cautious in financial product innovation to head off possible risks in the sector, adding that it would tighten controls on banks’ leverage level. “A lesson from the global financial crisis tells us the overlapping of different businesses may intensify hidden risks,” Shang Fulin, the chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said in a statement on the commission’s website.

 

Teachers and parents are using Minecraft, a popular video game, to help teach science, history, languages and ethics

SEPTEMBER 15, 2013, 1:28 PM

Disruptions: Minecraft, an Obsession and an Educational Tool

By NICK BILTON

If you were to walk into my sister’s house in Los Angeles, you’d hear a bit of yelling from time to time. “Luca! Get off Minecraft! Luca, are you on Minecraft again? Luca! Enough with the Minecraft!” Luca is my 8-year-old nephew. Like millions of other children his age, Luca is obsessed with the video game Minecraft. Actually, obsessed might be an understated way to explain a child’s idée fixe with the game. And my sister, whom you’ve probably guessed is the person doing all that yelling, is a typical parent of a typical Minecraft-playing child: she’s worried it might be rotting his brain. For those who have never played Minecraft, it’s relatively simple. The game looks a bit crude because it doesn’t have realistic graphics. Instead, it’s built in 16-bit, a computer term that means the graphics look blocky, like giant, digital Lego pieces. Read more of this post

17 Quotes On Writing That Every Wannabe Author Should Read

17 Quotes On Writing That Every Wannabe Author Should Read

MEGAN WILLETT SEP. 14, 2013, 11:30 AM 4,079 1

In a 2002 op-ed in The New York Times, best-selling author Joseph Epstein noted that “81 percent of Americans feel they have a book in them — and that they should write it.” Thanks to the rise of the self-publishing industry, that number’s probably even higher a decade later. So, wannabe authors, before you start writing the next great American novel, here’s some helpful advice from the world’s most famous and successful writers on how to perfect your craft. Learn them. Memorize them. Internalize them.

On Getting Started:

“I always advise children who ask me for tips on being a writer to read as much as they possibly can. Jane Austen gave a young friend the same advice, so I’m in good company there.” – J.K. Rowling, “Harry Potter series.

“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.” – Harper Lee, “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London, “White Fang.” Read more of this post

Looking for lessons in cancer’s ‘miracle’ responders

Looking for lessons in cancer’s ‘miracle’ responders

8:03am EDT

By Ransdell Pierson

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Nearly every oncologist can tell the story of cancer patients who beat the odds, responding so well to treatment that they continued to live many years disease-free, while most of their peers worsened and eventually died. Dr. David Solit decided to find out why. Solit, an oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, delved into the case of a woman with advanced bladder cancer who volunteered for a 45-patient study of the Novartis drug Afinitor. He discovered that a combination of two gene mutations made her particularly receptive to the treatment. “Every other patient died, but she’s without evidence of disease for more than three years now,” said Solit. Over the past century, such patients – sometimes called “outliers” or “super responders” – have stood out by staging remarkable recoveries, or long-term benefit, from cancer drugs that provide little or no help to others. Little heed has been paid to them because there was no way to know why they fared so well. In most cases, the drugs that helped them were abandoned because they helped too few patients. Read more of this post

Germans Export Grandma to Poland as Costs, Care Converge

Germans Export Grandma to Poland as Costs, Care Converge

Sonja Miskulin has forgotten her beloved cat, Pooki. She can’t remember whether she has grandchildren and has no memory of her nine-hour journey one recent Sunday to forever leave behind her home in Germany. Suffering from dementia, the wheelchair-bound former translator celebrated her 94th birthday in a Polish nursing home last month. Her daughter sent her there in a bid for a better life and more affordable care. Read more of this post

Tong Yang Group’s liquidity crisis is posing a new threat to mutual finance companies which hold a massive amount of bonds sold by the struggling business conglomerate

Tong Yang’s liquidity crisis puts mutual finance at risk

By Lee Jin-myung

2013.09.16 14:39:50

Tong Yang Group’s liquidity crisis is posing a new threat to mutual finance companies which hold a massive amount of bonds sold by the struggling business conglomerate. South Korea’s financial authorities have already begun work to understand how much they are exposed to the risk, according to sources on Sunday. The Financial Supervisory Service estimates that 796.9 billion won ($736.3 million) corporate bonds issued by Tong Yang Group companies will mature after September and 30 to 40% of them are held by mutual cooperatives such as National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, or Nonghyup, and National Credit Union Federation of Korea, or Shinhyup. If Tong Yang Group fails to manage its situation and applies for court receivership, the mutual finance companies will not be allowed to continue claiming their credits, which will be an inevitable blow to their finance.
An official of the financial watchdog agency said 30 to 40% of troubled STX Group bonds are known to be owed by mutual finance companies and it would be the same level for the case of Tong Yang Group. Losses will have to be recognized at those mutual finance companies if Tong Yang Group ends in failure, the official said.

Seoul court sentenced LIG Group Chairman Koo to three years in jail for fraudulently issuing $200 million commercial papers under the name of the group’s construction arm, despite knowing that the builder was on the verge of falling undder

2013-09-15 16:52

Penalizing tycoons

A Seoul court has meted out severe prison sentences to the chairman of a conglomerate and his son in what appears to be the court’s strengthening of its sentencing guidelines for serious economic crimes. This must be a positive development, given that the court often faced harsh criticism for handing out light sentences to chaebol tycoons, not commensurate with the severity of their crimes, under the deep-seated practice of ”one law for the rich and another for the poor.’’ Such practices of light sentences have been cited as one of the reasons behind incessant economic crimes. Read more of this post

Celltrion denies stock price manipulation reports; The company said it is true that the chief attended the Financial Supervisory Service’s deliberation committee late last week

Celltrion denies stock price manipulation reports

2013.09.16 14:17:11

Celltrion on Monday denied news reports that its CEO Seo Jung-jin has been involved in stock price manipulation where non-public information was used and unfair profits were taken. The company said it is true that the chief attended the Financial Supervisory Service’s deliberation committee late last week but it was a meeting to correct the misunderstanding of his company. It said that there was no notice on the meeting’s result, emphasizing those charges against the company are baseless. At 2:05 pm, shares of Celltrion fell 3.46% to trade at 48,850 won.

Taiwan Chip Industry Powers the Tech World, but Struggles for Status

September 15, 2013

Taiwan Chip Industry Powers the Tech World, but Struggles for Status

By ERIC PFANNER

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Tien Wu, chief operating officer of Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, has a problem: the brightest young people in Taiwan do not want to work in the island’s signature business, chip making. “All the college freshmen are asking, ‘Why should I join the industry? I’d rather work for Facebook, Apple or Google,’ ” Mr. Wu said in an interview. Taiwan, an island of 23 million people, is the world’s biggest chip maker. The industry generated about $63 billion in sales here last year — more than one-fifth of the global total, according to the Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Association. Made-in-Taiwan chips are major components in many of the world’s PCs, smartphones, cameras and other gadgets. Read more of this post

Security tech firms hit jackpot in Asia casino boom

Security tech firms hit jackpot in Asia casino boom

6:52pm EDT

By Stephen Coates and Farah Master

SYDNEY/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Asia’s new mega-casinos are driving sales and innovation in advanced surveillance technology, from chips with built-in radio transmitters to high-definition, multi-lens, digital cameras that can scan huge gaming floors and catch the deftest sleight of hand. Security solution providers such as German-Australian joint venture Dallmeier International, California-based Pelco, a unit of Schneider Electric PA, and Samsung Techwin Co Ltd, about 25 percent-owned by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, are among those reaping the benefits of Asia’s casino building boom. Read more of this post

Videoconferencing Options Expand; Falling prices and newer technologies make this tool more accessible—and useful

Updated September 15, 2013, 5:18 p.m. ET

Videoconferencing Options Expand

Falling prices and newer technologies make this tool more accessible—and useful

RACHEL NIELSEN

One would expect scientists with the institution that gave birth to the World Wide Web to be able to speak face-to-face over the Internet. But what scientists do at CERN, an international organization for physics research, defies most people’s expectations. Consider that a single video session can include hundreds of people. Some 300 sessions a day can take place among the 20,000 scientists affiliated with CERN, though they work in institutes scattered around the globe. Read more of this post

Privately-owned software firm MYOB has reported a surge in the number of new customers buying subscriptions to its online services, as the rise of cloud computing shakes up the sector

MYOB transition to all-digital world

September 16, 2013 – 4:00PM

Clancy Yeates

Privately-owned software firm MYOB has reported a surge in the number of new customers buying subscriptions to its online services, as the rise of cloud computing shakes up the sector. MYOB, now owned by Bain Capital, made its name in the 1990s selling accounting software packages for small businesses to install on desktop computers. But in recent years it has faced growing competition from new rivals such as ASX-listed Xero providing similar services over the web. Read more of this post

Hedge funds turn to psychology software to revolutionise trading

Last updated: September 15, 2013 8:23 pm

Hedge funds turn to psychology software to revolutionise trading

By David Oakley in London

Were you alone in a small office after a breakfast of muesli or in an open-plan space nursing a hangover when you made that brilliant trade? Some of the world’s leading hedge funds are asking these questions as they turn to psychology to delve into the minds of top fund managers to boost performance and profits. Man Group, the world’s biggest publicly traded hedge fund, is among early adopters of a software program that aims to create the perfect environment to help individual fund managers produce their best trades. Read more of this post

Apple Seen Seeding Future Wearable Products in IPhone

Apple Seen Seeding Future Wearable Products in IPhone

Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s new high-end iPhone gives a glimpse of future products that may be in store from the world’s most-valuable company. A new motion-sensor chip inside the iPhone 5s lays the groundwork for wearable-computing products, while a fingerprint sensor opens more opportunities to make the smartphone a tool for making purchases at stores, according to technology analysts who study Apple. Another new processor chip in the device may give the company the chance to switch its Mac computers away from Intel Corp. (INTC) chips. Read more of this post

Dark side of the mooncakes: China’s war of graft hits high-end pastries

Dark side of the mooncakes: China’s war of graft hits high-end pastries

6:07pm EDT

By Megha Rajagopalan

BEIJING (Reuters) – Gold-encrusted mooncakes stuffed with shark’s fin are out of favour ahead of this week’s mid-autumn festival in China after a crackdown on corruption killed off demand for such lavish pastries – long used as a way to bribe officials. With more calories than a Big Mac, mooncakes are given as gifts to family, friends and employees during China’s Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on September 19 this year. In recent years lavish varieties have popped up with jewellery-box style packaging, allowing cash, liquor or other goodies to be hidden in with the pastries. Read more of this post

Corruption and the world’s biggest building: 50-year-old billionaire behind the biggest building in China and the world has vanished; “There are more investigations, and more arrests, to come”

Corruption and the world’s biggest building

The New Century Global Centre is the biggest building in the world; 16 Wembley stadiums could fit underneath its vast roof.

By Malcolm Moore, Chengdu

5:35PM BST 13 Sep 2013

But the behemoth in the central city of Chengdu which formally opened at the end of last month, has become for many China’slargest and most embarrassing monument to the allegations of corruption that have wormed through the Communist Party. The 50-year-old billionaire behind the project, Deng Hong, once one of China’s richest men, has vanished and is thought to be in police custody. “We don’t know where he is,” a spokesman for his company, Entertainment and Travel Group (ETG) said. In his wake, more than 50 government officials have been detained by a series of overlapping investigations that reach to the highest level of the party, according to a former editor of a state newspaper. “There are more investigations, and more arrests, to come,” the editor added. Read more of this post

China replaces US as the people of ‘more, more, more’; more than 60% of citizens admitted to worshipping money, with more than 95% of citizens believing that Chinese people worship money too much

China replaces US as the people of ‘more, more, more’

Staff Reporter

2013-09-16

As China continues to develop into one of the world’s biggest and most important economies, the dreams of its people have also evolved. According to Chinese investment web portal Eastmoney.com, modern Chinese citizens have nine big wishes, and almost all of them are all about money. The most common wish among Chinese citizens nowadays is to make big money and become super wealthy. A joint poll conducted by Reuters and Ipsos in February revealed that China ranked no. 1 out of 23 countries surveyed when it comes to agreeing with the statement that “money is the best sign of a person’s success.” Around 69% of Chinese people polled agreed with the statement compared to just 33% of American participants. A survey conducted by China’s nationalistic Global Times tabloid also found that more than 60% of citizens admitted to worshipping money, with more than 95% of citizens believing that Chinese people worship money too much. Read more of this post

China Reins in Popular Online Voices With New Microblog Controls

China Reins in Popular Online Voices With New Microblog Controls

Chinese microblogger Dong Rubin mused to his 45,000 followers last month that he might face arrest amid a government crackdown on Internet rumors. On Sept. 10, he was detained for misreporting the worth of his business. Dong joined a group of people who had gone online to criticize government-sanctioned projects or voice political opinions and wound up in detention on unrelated allegations. This year, Dong opposed plans for an oil refinery in the southern city of Kunming where he lives, a project that spurred street protests. Read more of this post

Flurry of Chinese plans to build aviation hubs raises concern

Flurry of Chinese plans to build aviation hubs raises concern

5:32pm EDT

BEIJING (Reuters) – More than 50 cities in China have answered Beijing’s call for cleaner economic growth with plans for aviation hubs, airports clustered with industrial zones. The problem is that they may not all be needed. The cities hope the projects will attract investment in areas like logistics, high-technology and finance – the sort of businesses Beijing is encouraging to move the economy away from the smoke-stack industry that has driven rapid growth for years. But critics argue the projects will exacerbate a problem China is trying to stamp out – debt-fuelled construction that local authorities have used for years to boost their local economies. Read more of this post

Floating Casinos From Hong Kong Stealing Macau Gamblers

Floating Casinos From Hong Kong Stealing Macau Gamblers

When Li Yu wanted to take a gambling trip, she looked into Macau but found the hotels too expensive. So she booked a room on an overnight casino boat that sailed about an hour from Hong Kong into international waters before opening up its baccarat tables. “I don’t care about the food or other amenities, my sole purpose is to gamble,” said Li, a housewife from nearby Guangzhou who played into the early hours of the morning with about 70 others in the ship’s cramped casino. “It’s way cheaper than going to Macau.” Read more of this post

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