Asia

Comment of the Day

Seriously! comments in General Debate:

Great news!

New genetic research shows the original ancestors of Maori were Southeast Asians who were the first to populate the Pacific Islands.

This solves two issues.

The over-representation in bad stats must be a statistical blip. Maori are in fact good at math, looking after their kids, business, and value education highly.

It also means that Chinese investment is actually by their tupuna – we needn’t have worried about it after all.

Then again, maybe it all has nothing to do with genetics….

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Face of the day

Before and after elevator girl

Before and after elevator girl

Today’s face of the day is the face captured by a technology called BriefCam which helped catch the Boston Marathon bombers.Thanks to this video search engine technology hours of footage can be condensed into minutes, enabling the good guys to catch the bad guys faster. People like Nicky Hager after a hard day pawing through other people’s hacked correspondence, will no doubt decry this technology as being controversial and ‘ shocking ‘ because it is taking away people’s privacy. I say, if you are in a public place expect to be under surveillance for both your protection and the protection of others. The crime solving capacity of this technology is exciting.

Films like “Minority Report” are no longer considered futuristic: video surveillance methods portrayed in this 2003 film are already in use. In fact, such methods have already helped in catching criminals and terrorists, albeit being controversial.

One of the most innovative technologies in this field was developed by Israeli company BriefCam, which helped in catching the Boston Marathon bombers. Using tracking algorithms, BriefCam enables users to track events caught on tape much more quickly, thus maximizing the potential of video surveillance.

A search engine for videos.

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Faces of the day

We need systematic change in the Muslim world

-Nazie Eftekhari

 

Nazie Eftekhari was born in Iran, and is a board member of the Iranian-American Political Action Committee as well as founder and CEO of The Araz Group. Hear her unique perspective on growing up in Iran, how the 1978 revolution impacted women and what she’s doing to continue to fight for equal rights for any and all oppressed communities.

She is one of a number of human rights activists who joined together to make the Honor Diaries:

  1. Sixteen year old Education activist, Malala Yousafzai who was shot in the head by the Taliban.
  2. Muslim-American human rights activist Raquel Saraswati
  3. Nazanin Afshin-Jam, President of Stop Child Executions
  4. Raheel Raza,  the author of “Their Jihad…Not My Jihad,” professional speaker, President of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, and founder of Forum 4 Learning, which promotes learning in the fields of cultural and religious diversity and interfaith harmony.
  5. Manda Zand Ervin, Founder and President of the Alliance of Iranian Women, is an Iranian political refugee working to bring attention to the plight of Iranian women under Islamic Sharia laws.

You can listen to them all but if you only have time for one speaker, make it Malala Yousafzai the 16 year old who was shot in the head by the Taliban.

Faces of the day

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Indolent Maori hating on hard working Asian Kiwis

The media and opposition parties have much to answer for and now they can see the fruits of their labour in a new survey that shows the constant negative media and political attacks against Asians is driving prejudice.

That prejudice is more pronounced amongst lazy maori bludgers who think the world owes them a living and sit by idly watching as hard working asian migrants snaffle up the jobs.

Maori dislike Asian immigrants more than any other group of New Zealanders, a new poll shows.

Asians are blamed for taking jobs from Maori, driving Maori to Australia, lacking understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi and competing for cultural funding.

“The diversity of New Zealand is beginning to undermine the investment we have in biculturalism. [Maori] don’t believe new migrants are sympathetic to biculturalism and the Treaty,” said Massey University pro vice-chancellor, Professor Paul Spoonley.

Surveys show Maori have an increasingly negative perception of Asians. It is caused by “competition in the labour market . . . and competition for cultural resources,” Spoonley said.

Maori have a unique position in New Zealand and advancing their cultural and social needs must be put ahead of the needs of immigrants, said Maori Party leader, Te Ururoa Flavell.

“[Are Maori] more important than anyone else? Possibly. I think that the most important thing is that the people of the country recognise our unique part in the fabric of this nation,” said Flavell.

He is concerned immigrants are taking much needed jobs from Maori, contributing to disproportionate emigration to Australia. As the indigenous people of New Zealand, the government should put the needs of Maori ahead of new migrants he said.

According to an Asia NZ Foundation survey, Maori views on Asian immigration have deteriorated in the past year. While most New Zealanders increasingly saw the benefit of Asian immigrants, 44 per cent of Maori believed New Zealanders were more negative towards people from Asia compared with a year ago.

That is well above the 27 per cent of all New Zealanders who are less positive towards Asians than last year.

A majority of Maori also believed New Zealand was allowing too much investment from Asia.

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Map of the Day

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Asia from the best Authorities By Tho.Kitchin Geo. published in The Modern Gazetteer, about 1770

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Betting against China

George Soros has made a massive call…he is betting against China.

George Soros probably shouldn’t expect any warm invitations to Beijing – not with the much-reviled short seller warning of a giant Chinese crash.

The billionaire first shook a major government in September 1992, when he led an attack on the British pound. For his role in humiliating London and forcing John Major’s government to exit the European exchange-rate mechanism – essentially the euro – Soros reportedly netted $US2 billion.

Soros made a bundle off America’s subprime debt crisis as well. Here in Asia, his legend has loomed large since 1997, when then-Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad accused him, bizarrely, of heading a Jewish conspiracy to spark an Asian crisis.

Now Soros has his eye on China. In a January 2 op-ed for Project Syndicate, Soros didn’t say whether he’s shorting China. But he did connect the dots in a way that can’t make President Xi Jinping happy. To Soros, the main risk facing the world isn’t the euro, the US Congress or a Japanese asset bubble, but a Chinese debt disaster that’s unfolding in plain sight.

China amping pressure in South China Sea

China is continuing to flex its muscles in the South China Sea, a situation which could escalate if they carry on.

China imposes fishing curbs: New regulations imposed Jan. 1 limit all foreign vessels from fishing in a zone covering two-thirds of the South China Sea.

China imposes fishing curbs: New regulations imposed Jan. 1 limit all foreign vessels from fishing in a zone covering two-thirds of the South China Sea.

China has ordered foreign fishing vessels to obtain approval from regional authorities before fishing or surveying in two thirds of the South China Sea, setting up the potential for new confrontations between Beijing and its neighbors over maritime sovereignty claims to disputed islands.  Read more »

The “rock star” economy of 2014

People around the world are starting to understand what our opposition parties have failed to grasp…National has actually done a good job with the economy and now it is starting to hum.

New Zealand will be the “rock star” economy of 2014, with growth set to outpace most of its developed markets peers, according to HSBC, a stark contrast with neighboring Australia, which is struggling to maintain economic momentum.

“We think New Zealand will be the rock star economy of 2014. Growth is going to pick up pretty solidly this year,” Paul Bloxham, chief economist for Australia and New Zealand at HSBC, told CNBC Asia’s “Squawk Box” on Monday.

HSBC forecasts the economy will grow 3.4 percent in 2014—the fastest pace since 2007 and well above trend growth of 2.5 percent. For 2013, the economy is expected to post growth of 3.0 percent, according to the bank.

What will drive this “rock star” economy then, since Labour reckons we are in the dog box…surely the experts must be wrong because David Cunliffe is right?  Read more »

Chinese ratbags stirring up a donnybrook

The Chinese are getting all belligerent at the moment, stirring up a fair bit of trouble and as is usual blaming it all on other nations.

Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to London, launches a strong criticism of the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, accusing him of deliberately raising tensions in Asia and putting the world on a “perilous path”.

Japan risks a “serious threat to global peace” by “rekindling” the militaristic spirit that helped cause the Second World War, a senior Chinese official has warned.

Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to London, has launched a strong criticism of the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, accusing him of deliberately raising tensions in Asia and putting the world on a “perilous path”.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Liu warns that under Mr Abe, Japan is seeking to rewrite the history of its role in the war and restore its status as an aggressive military power. China “will not allow” such plans, he said.

In unusually vivid language, Mr Liu even compares modern Japan to Lord Voldemort, the villain of the Harry Potter stories who eventually “dies hard”. The ambassador appealed to Britain to side with China against Japan in the escalating row between Beijing and Tokyo, invoking Britain’s role fighting against Japan in the war.   Read more »