2021年6月29日 星期二

蘋果日報將關閉 - 最後一份香港支援民主活動的報紙

Recently Yahoo News on-line reported the following:

Apple Daily to close, last pro-democracy Hong Kong newspaper

Zen Soo And Matthew Cheng, the Associated Press

Wed., June 23, 2021, 5:03 a.m.

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s sole remaining pro-democracy newspaper will publish its last edition Thursday, forced to shut down after five editors and executives were arrested and millions of dollars in its assets were frozen as part of China's increasing crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous city.

The board of directors of Apple Daily parent company Next Media said in a statement Wednesday that the print and online editions will cease due to “the current circumstances prevailing in Hong Kong.”

The silencing of a prominent pro-democracy voice is the latest sign of China's determination to exert greater control over the city long known for its freedoms after huge antigovernment protests there in 2019 shook the government. Since then, Beijing has imposed a strict national security law — used in the arrests of the newspaper employees — and revamped Hong Kong's election laws to keep opposition voices out of the legislature.

Apple Daily was founded by tycoon Jimmy Lai in 1995 — just two years before Britain handed Hong Kong back to China — and initially was a tabloid known for its celebrity gossip. But Lai had also always portrayed the paper as an advocate of Western values and said it should “shine a light on snakes, insects, mice and ants in the dark," according to the paper.

It grew into an outspoken voice for defending Hong Kong’s freedoms not found on mainland China, and in recent years has often criticized the Chinese and Hong Kong governments for limiting those freedoms and reneging on a promise to protect them for 50 years after the city's handover to China. While pro-democracy media outlets still exist online, it is the only print newspaper left of its kind in the city.

In a post on Instagram, the paper thanked its readers.

Even if the ending is not what we want, even if it’s difficult to let go, we need to continue living and keep the determination we have shared with Hong Kong people that has remained unchanged over 26 years,” Apple Daily wrote.

The paper's announcement coincided with the start of the city's first trial under the year-old national security law that is being closely watched as a barometer of how strictly the courts will interpret the legislation.

The widely expected move to close Apple Daily followed last week’s arrests and crucially the freezing of $2.3 million of the paper’s assets. Its board of directors wrote a few days ago to ask Hong Kong’s security bureau to release some of its funds so the company could pay wages — but it’s not clear if it got a response. The paper also said it made the decision to close out of concern for its employees’ safety.

The editors and executives were detained on suspicion of colluding with foreigners to endanger national security. Police cited more than 30 articles published by the paper as evidence of an alleged conspiracy to encourage foreign nations to impose sanctions on Hong Kong and China. It was the first time the national security law had been used against journalists for something they had published.

On Wednesday, police also arrested a 55-year-old man on suspicion of foreign collusion to endanger national security, according to Apple Daily, which cited unidentified sources. The paper said the man writes editorials for it under the pseudonym Li Ping.

Apple Daily has in recent years come under increasing scrutiny over its pro-democracy stance. Lai, its founder, is facing charges under the national security law for foreign collusion and is currently serving a prison sentence for his involvement in the 2019 protests.

The move against Apple Daily drew criticism from the U.S., the EU and Britain.

The forced closure of (Apple Daily) by Hong Kong authorities is a chilling demonstration of their campaign to silence all opposition voices,” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a Twitter post. “It is clearer than ever that the (national security law) is being used to curtail freedom and punish dissent.”

The national security law imposed last year criminalizes subversion, secession, terrorism and foreign collusion. Chinese and Hong Kong officials have said the media must abide by the law, and that press freedom cannot be used as a “shield” for illegal activities.

The first person to stand trial under the law, Tong Ying-kit, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of terrorism and inciting secession by driving a motorcycle into police officers during a 2019 rally while carrying a flag with the slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times.” Several officers were knocked over and three were injured.

That slogan was often chanted during the 2019 demonstrations, which began as protests against a bill allowing Hong Kong residents to be extradited to China for trial but burgeoned into broader calls for greater democratic freedoms. China was shaken by the breadth of the protests and responded with tough measures including the national security law, which makes calls for Hong Kong's independence illegal.

Tong's trial will set the tone for how Hong Kong handles national security offenses. So far, more than 100 people have been arrested under the law, with many others fleeing abroad. The result is that it has virtually silenced opposition voices in the city.

A court ruled last month that Tong will stand trial without a jury, a departure from Hong Kong's common law traditions. Under the national security law, a panel of three judges can replace jurors, and the city’s leader has the power to designate judges to hear such cases.

The law carries a maximum penalty of life in prison for serious offenses. Tong is on trial at the High Court, where sentences are not capped.


2021 6 23 日,星期三,上​​午 5:03

香港(美聯社)—— 香港僅存的民主報紙將於週四出版最後一期,在五名編輯和高管被捕及凍結數百萬美元的資後被迫關閉,這是中國對這半自治城市不同政見者加強鎮壓的一部分。

蘋果日報母公司 Next Media 董事會周三在一份聲明中表示,由於“香港當前的情況”,印刷版和網絡版將停止發行。

2019 年大規模的反政府抗議動震動政府之後,中國決心對這座長期以自由而聞名的城市施加更大的控制權,使支援民主聲音噤聲是最新的徵兆, 表明中國決心加強控制。從那時起,北京實施了一項嚴格的國家安全法 - 用於逮捕報社員工 - 並修改了香港的選舉法,以阻止反對派的聲音進入立法機關。

蘋果日報由大亨黎智英 1995 年創立 - 距離英國將香港交還給中國僅兩年時間 - 最初是一家以名人八卦而聞名的小報。但黎智英也一直將這份報紙描繪成西方價觀的倡導者,據稱該報表示它應該“照亮黑暗中的蛇、昆蟲、老鼠和螞蟻”。

它發展成為捍衛香港自由而不諱言地發聲的一把聲音, 這自由在中國大陸是沒有的。它近年來經常批評中國和香港政府限制這些自由, 並違背承諾在香港移交給中國後保護這些自由50 年。雖然支持民主媒體仍然存在於網上,但它是該市僅存的這類印刷報紙。

Instagram 上的一篇帖子中,該報感謝了它的讀者。



在上週該報受到進行逮捕和凍結 230 萬美元資的舉動之後,人們接着普遍預期蘋果日報關閉。其董事會幾天前寫信要求香港保安局釋放部分資金,以便公司支付工資 — 但不清楚是否得到回應。該報還表示,出於對員工安全的擔憂,它決定關閉。

編輯和高管因涉嫌勾結外國人危害國家安全被拘留。警方援引該報發表的 30 多篇文章作為涉嫌串謀鼓勵外國對香港和中國大陸實施制裁的證據。這是國家安全法第一次因記者發表的容而被用來對付他們。

據《蘋果日報》援引身份不明的消息來源稱,週三,警方還逮捕了一名 55 的男子,他涉嫌與外國勾結危害國家安全。該報稱,該男子化名李平為其日報撰寫社論。

近年來,《蘋果日報》因其支持民主的立場而受到越來越多的查核。其創始人黎智英因國家安全法而面臨外與國勾結的指控。目前他因參與 2019 年的抗議活動正在服刑。


英國外交大臣Dominic Raab在推特上:“香港當局強行關閉(蘋果日報)是他們壓制所有反對聲音的運動使人不寒而慄的示範。”現在比以往任何時候都更清楚的是,(國家安全法)被用來限制自由和懲罰異見人士。”


第一個依法受審的唐英傑週三對恐怖主義和煽動分裂國家的指控表示不認罪。他在 2019 年的一次集會上駕駛摩托車衝撞警察,同時舉著帶有標語的旗幟, 寫了“解放香港,時代革命” 。幾名警察被撞倒,三人受傷。

這一口號在 2019 年的示威活動中經常被高呼,示威活動最初是抗議一項允許香港居民被引渡到中國受審的法案,但後來迅速發展為更廣泛的呼籲更大的民主自由。中國對抗議活動的廣度感到震驚,並採取了強硬措施作為回應,包括國家安全法,該法將要求香港獨立的呼籲列為非法。

唐英傑的審判將為香港如何處理國家安全罪行定下基調。 到目前為止,已有100多人依法被捕,還有許多人逃往國外。 結果是它實際上壓制了該市反對派的聲音。

法院上個月裁定,唐英傑將在沒有陪審團的情況下接受審判,這與香港的普通法傳統背道而馳。 根據國家安全法,由三名法官組成的小組可以替代陪審員,香港領導有權指定法官審理此類案件。

法律對嚴重犯罪最高可判處無期徒刑。 唐英傑在高等法院受審,刑期沒有上限。

              So, Hong Kong’s most vocal pro-democracy newspaper is forced to shut down after five editors and executives were arrested and millions of dollars in assets were frozen. This is part of China's increasing crackdown on dissent in the former British colony. It is clear that the National Security Law is a tool used to curtail press freedom and punish the dissents. Hong Kong will soon have the first batch of  political prisoners arrested under the newly passed National Security Law.

2021年6月28日 星期一


Recently Yahoo News on-line reported the following:

BIS official casts doubt on El Salvador bitcoin 'experiment'

Fri., June 11, 2021, 2:36 a.m.

By David Milliken and Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) -El Salvador's decision to make bitcoin legal tender is an "interesting experiment" with a speculative asset that does not pass the test for being a reliable means of payment, a senior global central banking official said on Friday.

The central American country on Wednesday became the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as its national currency, saying it would help Salvadorans living abroad send remittances home.

"El Salvador, that is an interesting experiment indeed," said Benoit Coeure, head of the innovation hub at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

"We have been clear at the BIS that we don't see bitcoin as having passed the test of being a means of payments. Bitcoin is a speculative asset and should be regulated at such," Coeure said at the launch of a regulatory research hub at the Bank of England (BoE).

The comments echo remarks from the International Monetary Fund, which said on Thursday it had economic and legal concerns regarding El Salvador's move.

El Salvador replaced its national currency with the U.S. dollar in 2001.

Rapid advances in private sector electronic payments and the reduced use of cash, accelerated by COVID-19, have forced central banks to consider developing digital versions of their own legal tender known as central bank digital currencies.

"We need to be at the cutting of technology," Coeure said. "We have to work with the private sector."

The BIS is setting up a network of innovation hubs across the world to allow central banks to share information on new payments technology and keep up with private sector initiatives, such as Facebook's Diem stablecoin.

Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies designed to have a stable value relative to traditional currencies or a commodity such as gold, to avoid the volatility that makes bitcoin and other digital tokens impractical for most commerce.

BoE Governor Andrew Bailey said regulators were cooperating closely over stablecoins' potential impact on financial stability, and also on developing their own digital currencies.

"If this comes to pass, it will be one of the most fundamental innovations in the history of central banking. It will move us into a new era," Bailey said.

Earlier this week, financial regulators for major economies proposed tough capital rules for banks holding cryptocurrencies, and Bailey said any stablecoin-based payment system would need to meet the same standards as banks.

(Reporting by David Milliken and Huw JonesEditing by Mark Potter)


倫敦(路透社)—— 一位全球央行高級官員周五表示,薩爾瓦多決定將比特幣設為法定貨幣是一項“有趣的實驗”,作為有投機性的資, 並未通過可靠支付手段測試。


國際清算銀行 (BIS) 創新中心負責人 Benoit Coeure :“薩爾瓦多,這確實是一個有趣的實驗,”

Coeure在英格蘭銀行(BoE)的監管研究中心動儀式上: “在國際清算銀行我們已經明確表示,我們認為比特幣沒有通過作為支付手段的測試。比特幣是一種投機資,應該受到相應的監管”

這些評論與國際貨幣基金組織 (International Monetary Fund) 的言論相呼應,該組織週四表示,對薩爾瓦多的舉動有經濟和法律上擔憂。

薩爾瓦多於 2001 年用美元取代了本國貨幣。

私營部門電子支付的快速發展, COVID-19 加速了減少現金的使用,迫使中央銀行考慮開發自己的法定貨幣的數字版本,即中央銀行數字貨幣。

Coeure: “我們需要在技術前端”; “我們必須與私營部門合作。”

國際清算銀行正在全球範圍建立一個創新中心網絡,以允許中央銀行共享有關新支付技術的信息, 並跟上私營部門的舉措,例如 Facebook Diem 穩定幣。

穩定幣是旨在相對於傳統貨幣或黃金等商品更具有穩定價的加密貨幣,以避免像比特幣和其他數字代幣波的動, 波動對大多數商業而言是不可行的

英國央行行長Andrew Bailey表示,監管機構正在就穩定幣對金融穩定的潛在影響進行密切合作, 以及開發自己的數字貨幣。

Andrew Bailey: “如果這成為現實,這將是央行歷史上最根本的創新之一它將把我們帶入一個新時代”


              So, El Salvador becomes the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as its national currency. Stablecoins are digital currencies pegged to a fiat currency. California-based Silvergate Bank will issue the Diem USD stablecoin and manage the Diem USD reserve.

Note: for some background on Facebook's Diem stablecoin etc. please see the web-site of Reuter at  https://www.reuters.com/technology/facebook-backed-crypto-project-diem-launch-us-stablecoin-major-shift-2021-05-12/

2021年6月26日 星期六

美國高級官員: G7以基礎設施項目對抗中國的 “一帶一路”

Recently Yahoo News on-line reported the following:

G7 to counter China's belt and road with infrastructure project - senior US official

Fri., June 11, 2021, 11:00 p.m.

By Steve Holland

CARBIS BAY, England, June 12 (Reuters) - The Group of Seven rich nations will announce on Saturday a new global infrastructure plan as a response to China's belt and road initiative, a senior official in U.S. President Joe Biden's administration said.

The official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, said the United States would also push the other G7 leaders for "concrete action on forced labour" in China, and to include criticism of Beijing in their final communique

"This is not just about confronting or taking on China," the official said. "But until now we haven't offered a positive alternative that reflects our values, our standards and our way of doing business."

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure scheme launched in 2013 by President Xi Jinping involving development and investment initiatives that would stretch from Asia to Europe and beyond.

More than 100 countries have signed agreements with China to cooperate in BRI projects like railways, ports, highways and other infrastructure.

According to a Refinitiv database, as of mid-last year, more than 2,600 projects at a cost of $3.7 trillion were linked to the initiative, although the Chinese foreign ministry said last June that about 20% of projects had been seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March, Biden said he had suggested to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is hosting the three-day G7 leaders' summit in southwest England, that democratic countries should develop their own rival scheme.

The U.S. official said until now, the West had failed to offer a positive alternative to the "lack of transparency, poor environmental and labour standards, and coercive approach" of the Chinese government that had left many countries worse off.

"So tomorrow we’ll be announcing ‘build back better for the world,’ an ambitious new global infrastructure initiative with our G7 partners that won’t just be an alternative to the B and I (Belt and Road)," the official said.

In talks, Biden will also press the other leaders to make clear that they believe forced labour practices were an affront to human dignity and "an egregious example of China’s unfair economic competition" to show that they were serious about defending human rights.

"We’re pushing on being specific on areas like Xinjiang where forced labour is taking place and where we have to express our values as a G7," the official said of the final communique to be issued at the end of the summit on Sunday,

There were no specifics on how the global infrastructure scheme would be funded. The plan would involve raising hundreds of billions in public and private money to help close a $40 trillion infrastructure gap in needy countries by 2035, the official said

The aim was to work with Congress to supplement existing development financing "with the hope that together with G7 partners, the private sector and other stakeholders we soon be collectively catalyzing hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure investment for low- and middle-income countries that need it".


路透英國卡比斯灣 6 12 - 美國總統喬·拜登 (Joe Biden) 政府的一名高級官員表示,七國集團 (G7) 將於週六宣布一項新的全球基礎設施計劃,以回應中國的“一帶一路”倡議。


這位官員:“這不僅只是對抗或抗衡中國”;但直到現在,我們還沒有提出積極替代方案, 以供反映我們的價觀、標準和做事的方式。”

中國的“一帶一路倡議” (BRI) 是習近平主席於 2013 年發起的一項耗資數万億美元的基礎設施計劃,涉及從亞洲延伸到歐洲及其他地區的發展和投資計劃。


根據 Refinitiv 數據庫,截至去年年中,仍有耗資 3.7 萬億美元的2,600 多個項目與該計劃相關, 儘管中國外交部去年 6 月表示約有 20% 的項目受到 COVID-19 大流行 的嚴重影響。

今年 3 月,拜登表示,他曾向在英格蘭西南部舉辦為期三天的七國集團領導人峰會的英國首相約翰遜 (Boris Johnson) 建議, 民主國家應該制定自己計劃與對手競爭。


這位官員:“因此,明天我們將宣布 為世界重建得更好,這是一項與我們的 G7 合作夥伴一起, 雄心勃勃的新全球基礎設施倡議,這將不僅僅是 B R I(一帶一路)的替代方案”。


這位官員在談到將在周日峰會結束時發佈的最終公報時:“我們正在持續捍衛在新疆等具體發生強迫勞動的地區,我們必須對哪些地區表達我們作為 G7 的價觀”

有關於如何為全球基礎設施計劃提供資金的具體細節並未見到。這位官員,該計劃將涉及籌集數千億公共和私人資金,到2035 年幫助縮小貧困國家達40 萬億美元的基礎設施缺口。

其目的是與國會合作補充現有的發展融資,“希望在與 G7 合作夥伴、私營部門和其他利益相關者一起下,我們很快將共同為需要它的中低收入國家催化數千億美元的基礎設施投資”。

So, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure project that help other countries to build infrastructure. The action proposed by the US reminds me about the “Marshall Plan” initiated by the American for the economic benefit of European countries immediately after WWII.

Note: The Marshall Plan, formally known as the European Recovery Program, (April 1948–December 1951), was a U.S.-sponsored program designed to rehabilitate the economies of 17 western and southern European countries in order to create stable conditions in which democratic institutions could survive due to the hardship caused by WWII. (https://www.britannica.com/event/Marshall-Plan)

2021年6月24日 星期四


Recently Yahoo News on-line reported the following:

Hong Kong to censor films under national security law

Fri., June 11, 2021, 3:23 a.m.

By Jessie Pang

HONG KONG (Reuters) - The Hong Kong government on Friday enacted new guidelines that allow authorities to censor films on the basis of safeguarding national security, escalating concerns over freedoms in the former British colony.

The government said the changes that give the film censor authority to ban films perceived as promoting or glorifying acts or activities that could endanger national security take effect from Friday.

The Film Censorship Authority should stay "vigilant to the portrayal, depiction or treatment of any act or activity which may amount to an offence endangering national security", the government said in a statement.

Any content of a film which is objectively and reasonably capable of being perceived as endorsing, supporting, promoting, such act or activity" will be censored, according to the guideline.

Beijing imposed a national security law on Hong Kong in June that punishes what authorities broadly define as secession, sedition and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in jail, following a year of sometimes violent pro-democracy demonstrations.

Western governments and international human rights groups have expressed concern the security law will crush freedoms in Hong Kong.

A filmmaker surnamed Tang said the amendment would legitimize a crackdown on protest-related films and create a chilling effect on the movie industry.

"Movies on social issues will be banned. It will silence the filmmakers,” Tang said.






北京在 6 月對香港實施了一項國家安全法,懲罰當局廣義上定義為分裂國家、煽動叛亂和與外國勢力勾結的行為,最高可判處終身監禁。在此前一年, 香港時有會發生帶暴力的民主示威遊行。




So, Hong Kong authorities will censor films on the basis of safeguarding national security. The freedom of expression in Hong Kong is shrinking when compared with the days before 1997.

2021年6月22日 星期二

US FDA approved new drug for Alzheimer's disease - Advisory Committee said "insufficient evidence"

Recently CNN.co.jp reported the following:

アルツハイマー病の新薬、米FDAが承認 諮問委は「証拠不十分」

2021.06.08 Tue posted at 15:09 JST

(CNN) 米食品医薬品局(FDA)は7日、初期段階のアルツハイマー病に使われる実験的新薬「アデュカヌマブ(別名アデュヘルム)」の使用を承認した。同薬についてはFDAの諮問委員会が昨年、治療効果を裏付ける証拠が不十分だと結論付けていた。









(CNN) On the 7th, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of a new experimental drug, aducanumab (also known as Aduhelm), used for early-stage Alzheimer's disease. Last year, the FDA's advisory board concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support the therapeutic effect of the drug.

Aducanumab was developed for patients with mild cognitive impairment rather than severe dementia. It aimed not only to relieve symptoms but also to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

For the FDA to approve a new drug for Alzheimer's disease, this was the first time since 2003.

Aducanumab was approved under a "fast-track" system that expedited drug approval for serious and life-threatening illnesses, even it was at a stage where further research would be needed on its efficacy.

Patrizia Cabazoni, director of the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, while saying that there was considerable debate over whether aducanumab should be approved, also explained the reason for the rapid approval in that "we have determined that the effect of Aduhelm outweighs the risk for patients with Alzheimer's disease".

In the accelerated approval system pharmaceutical companies were required to conduct Phase 4 clinical trials known as "post-approval studies" to verify clinical efficacy. If no effect could be confirmed, the FDA might keep the drug out of the market.

The FDA's Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drug Advisory Board was asked last November to judge several questions about the effects of aducanumab. Centering around the therapeutic effect of aducanumab on early Alzheimer's disease and on the therapeutic effect of aducanumab, a vote was cast to inquire the reasonableness of considering one promising study as the main evidence to support the therapeutic effect, there were no votes that recognized reasonableness, 10 votes denied reasonableness, and one vote was for uncertainty.

Aducanumab was jointly developed by pharmaceutical giant Eisai and US Biogen.

So, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of a new experimental drug to cure early-stage Alzheimer's disease despite the fact that there is insufficient evidence to support the supposed therapeutic effect of this drug. I am interested in knowing how this drug will perform in its Phase 4 clinical trials known as "post-approval studies".

2021年6月20日 星期日

US United Airlines - plans to launch supersonic airliner by 2029 since Concorde

Recently CNN.co.jp reported the following:

米ユナイテッド、29年までに超音速旅客機を投入する計画 コンコルド以来

2021.06.04 Fri posted at 10:53 JST

 ニューヨーク(CNN Business) 米ユナイテッド航空は4日までに、新興メーカーのブーム・スーパーソニックから超音速機15機を購入する契約を発表した。2029年までに旅客を乗せた運航を行う計画。







2021.06.04 Fri posted at 10:53 JST

 New York (CNN Business) – The United Airlines (UA) announced on the 4th a contract to purchase 15 supersonic aircrafts from a emerging maker the Boom Supersonic, and planned to transport passengers by 2029.

If the UA could carry out this plan, it would be the first supersonic commercial flight since the supersonic airliner "Concorde" that was retired in 2003.

Concorde was forced to retire due to poor fuel efficiency and restrictions on air flight speed over land for producing a sonic boom (impact sound). Fares were significantly higher than the first class of traditional aircrafts, and airlines had to fill their cabins with passengers who were willing to pay higher fares.

Boom Supersonic was a privately held emerging aircraft manufacturer based in Denver, USA. The company's supersonic aircraft, named "Overture," was scheduled to be completed by 2025, with test flights expected by 2026 and passenger operations implemented by 2029.

The speed of the aircraft was expected to reach Mach 1.7, which was about twice that of the current commercial aircraft. It would be possible to connect from UA's hub airport in Newark, NJ to London of England in just three and a half hours. It would take 4 hours from Newark to Frankfurt of Germany, and 6 hours from San Francisco to Tokyo.

Boom Supersonic had also set a goal of operating Overture on sustainable fuel (SAF) only. If realized, it could be the first aircraft to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to virtually zero from the time of service.

              So, it is good news for those travelers who can afford to pay money to save traveling time.

2021年6月18日 星期五

在美國表示關注後, 中國捍衛與柬埔寨關係

Recently the Associated Press on-line reported the following:

China defends Cambodia relations after US expresses concern

Thu., June 3, 2021, 2:48 a.m. PDT

BEIJING (AP) — China said Thursday its relationship with Cambodia has made positive contributions to regional peace and stability, after the U.S. expressed concerns about the presence of the Chinese military in the Southeast Asian nation.

In a meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman focused on China's construction of new facilities at Ream Naval Base.

She sought clarification about the demolition of two U.S.-funded buildings at Ream without notification or explanation, and “observed that a (Chinese) military base in Cambodia would undermine its sovereignty, threaten regional security, and negatively impact U.S.-Cambodia relations,” according to the State Department.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said China and Cambodia enjoyed a “traditional friendship” and were “comprehensive strategic and cooperative partners.”

The two sides have carried out fruitful cooperation in various fields, which has brought tangible benefits to the two peoples and made positive contributions to regional peace and stability," Wang told reporters at a daily briefing.

The State Department said Sherman urged Cambodia’s leadership to maintain an independent and balanced foreign policy, “in the best interests of the Cambodian people.”

Sherman raised the issue again during a visit to Thailand on Wednesday, saying that she had candid conversations with Hun Sen “about the direction the country is headed,” including China's presence at Ream and Cambodia’s human rights and “anti-democratic record."

Ream faces the Gulf of Thailand that lies adjacent to the South China Sea, where China has aggressively asserted its claim to virtually the entire strategic waterway. The U.S. has refused to recognize China's sweeping claims, and the Navy's 7th Fleet routinely sails past Chinese-held islands in what it terms freedom of navigation operations.

China was the chief backer of the murderous regime of Pol Pot in Cambodia and has long maintained strong relations with Hun Sen, who has ruled for more than 30 years and grown increasingly repressive. Cambodia has also reliably blocked criticism of China within the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.


北京(美聯社)—— 在美國對中國軍隊在這個東南亞國家出現表示擔憂之後,中國周四表示,其與柬埔寨的關係為地區和平與穩定做出了積極貢獻。

在周二與柬埔寨首相洪森的會晤中,美國副國務卿Wendy Sherman重點討論了中國在雲壤海軍基地建設新設施的問題。

根據美國國務院, 她要求澄清在沒有通知或解釋的情況下拆除雲壤兩座美國資助的建築物,並“觀察到(中國)在柬埔寨的軍事基地會破壞其主權,威脅地區安全,並對美柬關係生負面影響,”




在週三Sherman訪問泰國期間再次提出這個問題,聲稱她與洪森坦誠地“討論了該國的發展方向”,包括中國在雲壤的出現, 以及柬埔寨的人權和“反民主記錄”。


中國是柬埔寨波爾布特殘暴政權的主要支持者,它與長期以來統治了30多年的森保持著牢固的關係, 洪並且越來越鎮壓。柬埔寨還可靠地阻止了由 10 個成員國組成的東南亞國家聯盟部對中國的批評。

       So, Cambodia in ASEAN, just like Hungary in the EU, is a friend of China. And as  friends they  blocked criticism about China within the organization they belong.

2021年6月16日 星期三

China - to allow couples to have up to 3 children due to low birth rate

Recently CNN.co.jp reported the following:

中国、夫婦に子ども3人まで容認 出生率低下を受け

2021.06.01 Tue posted at 08:45 JST

香港(CNN) 中国共産党指導部は5月31日の会議で、夫婦が3人目の子どもを持つことを認める決定を下した。国営新華社通信が伝えた。中国は近年、人口動態上の危機を回避しようとして家族計画政策を緩和している。










Hong Kong (CNN) - The Chinese Communist Party leadership decided at a meeting on May 31 to allow the couple to have a third child. State-owned Xinhua News Agency reported. In recent years, China has eased family planning policies in an attempt to avert a demographic crisis.

The third childbirth permission aimed at putting an end to the aging of China's population. The state media did not report when the new policy would come into effect.

Three weeks ago, the Chinese government released the results of the 2020 census which showed that the pace of population growth had slowed the most in decades.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, population growth in the last decade had been only 5.38%, the slowest pace since the 1960s at least.

In China the one-child policy was introduced in 1979. Couples were limited to one child for over 35 years as the country attempted to combat overpopulation and alleviate poverty.

However, the Chinese economy had been booming in recent years and demographic needs were changing. Currently, the Chinese government was relying on a huge young workforce to support high level of economic growth.

To prevent a demographic crisis, the Chinese government announced in 2015 that it would ease childbirth restrictions, allowing up to two children per family.

However, such a policy change did not lead to an improvement in the birth rate, and the number of births in 2020 decreased by nearly 15% from the previous year. In China, where living costs were soaring, some couples said it would be too expensive to have a second person.

At the same time, China's population was aging rapidly, jeopardizing economic growth. According to data from the 2020 census, the proportion of the population aged 65 and over had increased rapidly in the last decade, rising from 8.87% in 2010 to 13.5%.

              So, China's population is aging rapidly and can jeopardize its economic growth. It is noted that a policy change in 2015 has not led to an improvement in the birth rate. Whether the coming policy change will improve the population situation remains to be seen.

2021年6月15日 星期二


Recently Yahoo News on-line reported the following:

Israel sees probable link between Pfizer vaccine and myocarditis cases

Tue., June 1, 2021, 3:34 p.m.

By Jeffrey Heller

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's Health Ministry said on Tuesday it had found the small number of heart inflammation cases observed mainly in young men who received Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in Israel were likely linked to their vaccination.

Pfizer said in a statement that it was aware of the Israeli observations of myocarditis and said no causal link to its vaccine had been established.

It said adverse events are thoroughly reviewed and Pfizer meets regularly with the Vaccine Safety Department of the Israeli Ministry of Health to review data.

In Israel, 275 cases of myocarditis were reported between December 2020 and May 2021 among more than 5 million vaccinated people, the ministry said in disclosing the findings of a study it commissioned to examine the matter.

Most patients who experienced heart inflammation spent no more than four days in the hospital and 95% of the cases were classified as mild, according to the study, which the ministry said was conducted by three teams of experts.

The study found "there is a probable link between receiving the second dose (of Pfizer) vaccine and the appearance of myocarditis among men aged 16 to 30," it said in a statement. According to the findings, such a link was observed more among men aged 16 to 19 than in other age groups.

A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory group last month recommended further study of the possibility of a link between myocarditis and mRNA vaccines, which include those from Pfizer and Moderna Inc.

In a May 24 meeting, the CDC advisory group said that the data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) - which relies on individuals to report results - showed a higher-than-expected number of observed myocarditis or pericarditis cases in 16– to 24-year-olds.

However, the group also said data from another database -Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) - did not show that rates of myocarditis or pericarditis after COVID-19 vaccination differed from expectations. The VSD has data from nine healthcare organizations and can be used to compare vaccinated populations to unvaccinated ones.

Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said that parents should still vaccinate their kids because of the known risks of COVID-19, including multi-system inflammatory syndrome.

"This issue of a transient myocarditis associated with a vaccine is at the moment a theoretical and unproven risk," Offit said. "So I think that in the world of trying to weigh relative risks, the disease is a greater risk."

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said last week that heart inflammation after receiving the Pfizer vaccine had been no cause for concern as such incidents were similar rate to those in the general population. It added at the time that young men were particularly prone to the condition.

Israel had held off making its 12- to 15-year-old population eligible for the vaccines, pending the Health Ministry report. In parallel to publishing those findings, a ministry committee approved vaccinating the adolescents, a senior official said.

"The committee gave the green light for vaccinating 12- to 15-year-olds, and this will be possible as of next week," Nachman Ash, Israel's pandemic-response coordinator, told Radio 103 FM. "The efficacy of the vaccine outweighs the risk."

Israel has been a world leader in its vaccination rollout.

With COVID-19 infections down to just a handful a day and total active cases at just 340 across the country, the economy has fully opened, though restrictions remain on incoming tourism.

About 55% of Israel's population has already been vaccinated. As of Tuesday, restrictions on social distancing and the need for special green vaccination passes to enter certain restaurants and venues were scrapped.


耶路撒冷(路透社)——以色列衛生部周二表示,發現主要在以色列接受輝瑞 (Pfizer) COVID-19 疫苗的年輕男性中, 觀察到的少數心臟炎症病例可能與他們的疫苗接種有關。



色列衛生部在披露其委託調此事的一項研究結果時,在以色列在2020 12 月至 2021 5 月期間,超過 500 萬接種疫苗的人, 報告了 275 例心肌炎病例。

衛生部表示,這項研究是由三個專家小組進行的。根據這研究,大多數患有心臟炎症的患者在醫院住院時間不超過四天,95% 的病例被歸類為輕度。

該研究在一份聲明中,他們究發現“接受第二劑(輝瑞)疫苗與 16 30 男性出現心肌炎之間可能存在聯繫”。根據調結果,觀察到這樣的關聯 16 19 的男性比其他年齡組別多。

美國疾病控制和預防中心 (CDC) 諮詢小組上個月建議進一步研究心肌炎和 mRNA 疫苗之間存在聯繫的可能性,其中包括輝瑞和 莫德納 (Moderna Inc. ) 的疫苗。

5 24 日的一次會議上,CDC 諮詢小組表示,來自疫苗不良事件報告系統 (VAERS) 的數據- 該系統依賴於個人報告結果 - 顯示在 16 24 中觀察到的心肌炎或心包炎病例數目高於預期。

然而,該組織還表示,來自另一個數據庫 - 疫苗安全數據鏈 (VSD) 的數據, 並未顯示 COVID-19 疫苗接種後心肌炎或心包炎的發生率與預期不同。 VSD 擁有來自九個醫療保健組織的數據,可用於比較接種疫苗的人群與未接種疫苗的人群。

費城兒童醫院疫苗教育中心主任 Paul Offit 博士,父母仍應為孩子接種疫苗, 因為已知到 COVID-19 的風險,包括多系統炎症綜合徵,。

Paul Offit : “在與疫苗相關的短暫性的心肌炎的這個問題, 目前是一個理論和未經證實的風險” : 所以我認為,在試圖權衡相對風險的世界裡,病毒的風險更大。”

歐洲藥品管理局 (EMA) 上週表示,無需擔心接受輝瑞疫苗後的心臟炎症,因為此類事件發生率與一般人群相似。它當時補充年輕人特別容易遇上這種狀況。

以色列已推遲使其 12 15 資格接種疫苗, 以便等待衛生部報告。一位高級官員,在公佈這些調結果的同時,一個部門委員會批准為年青人接種疫苗。

以色列大流行應對協調員 Nachman Ash 告訴 Radio 103 FM:“委員會批准為 12 15 的兒童接種疫苗,這將在下周成為可能” 。又:疫苗的功效大於風險。”


隨著 COVID-19 感染減少到每天少數,全國活躍病例總數僅為 340宗,經濟已經全面開放,但對入境旅遊的限制仍然存在。

大約 55% 以色列人口已經接種了疫苗。在週二,以色列取消了對社交距離的限制, 以及取消進入某些餐館和場所需要特殊的綠色疫苗接種通行證。

              So, Israel's Health Ministry finds out that a small number of heart inflammation cases have happened in the young people who have received Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. They suspect that this could be linked to their vaccination. Even with this observation, most health professionals still insist that the benefit of the vaccine outweighs its risk. I appreciate the transparency of the Israel government in handling this case.

2021年6月14日 星期一

Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare - paramedics and clinical laboratory technicians are also allowed to do vaccination as a special case

Recently NHK News on-line reported the following:

ワクチン接種 救急救命士と臨床検査技師も特例で容認へ 厚労省

2021531 2311








Regarding the new coronavirus vaccine, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare had decided a policy that, when it was not possible to secure doctors necessary for mass inoculation, paramedics and clinical laboratory technicians could be allowed to do inoculation as a special case.

Regarding vaccination of the new coronavirus, in addition to doctors and nurses, dentists were permitted as a special case, but local governments said that it was difficult to secure a person-in-charge at the mass vaccination site.

For this reason, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare proposed at a study meeting held on the night of the 31st suggested to approve that paramedics and clinical laboratory technicians who normally do injection and blood collection at work could be allowed to do inoculation as a special case.

Special cases to allow were only when the necessary doctors and nurses could not be secured at the mass inoculation site, and with conditions that they had completed the intramuscular injection training, and had the consent of the person receiving the inoculation.

On the other hand, the committee members also commented that "they should be kept within the range that does not interfere with the original work such as emergency transportation" and “the country should clearly show how to avoid inadequate consent. "

In addition, it had approved that pharmacists, radiological technologists, and clinical engineers would be in charge of the follow-up after inoculation at the venue; and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare would inform the local government soon.

              So, in Japan, because it is not possible to secure doctors necessary for mass inoculation at some locations, paramedics and clinical laboratory technicians could be allowed to do inoculation as a special case. Japan is now trying to catch up with its Covid-19 vaccine mass inoculation that has been delayed for various reasons.

2021年6月13日 星期日

從亞洲到歐洲的貨櫃箱費用高達 10,000 美元

Recently Yahoo News on-line reported the following:

Shipping-Container Rates Top $10,000 From Asia to Europe

Brendan Murray

Thu., May 27, 2021, 8:15 a.m.

(Bloomberg) -- The cost to move goods in a shipping container to Europe from Asia shot above $10,000 for the first time on record, an index showed, underscoring the pain inflicted on exporters and importers struggling with stretched supply chains.

The Drewry World Container Index released Thursday showed the rate for a 40-foot container from Shanghai to Rotterdam rose to $10,174, up 3.1% from a week ago and a 485% jump from a year ago. The composite index of eight major routes rose 2% to $6,257 from a week earlier and was 293% higher than a year ago, Drewry said. Both were the highest in records going back to 2011.

In the U.S. and elsewhere, many shippers of cargo have had to pay in excess of $10,000 per container in this year’s tight spot market for seaborne freight, where deals with ocean carriers include hefty surcharges to ensure on-time delivery or guaranteed loading.

Container rates are surging because demand is outstripping the availability of the 20- and 40-foot steel boxes that carry the lion’s share of global trade. Amid strong consumer purchases and company restocking, disruptions ranging from the Suez Canal blockage in late March to port congestion are causing delays and higher costs for shippers while ocean carriers enjoy soaring profits.

Earlier on Thursday, Michael O’Sullivan, the CEO of New Jersey-based clothing retailer Burlington Stores Inc., said “expense headwinds in supply chain and freight have continued to deteriorate, and these are likely to weigh on our operating margin throughout the balance of the year.”

Meanwhile, shares of A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, the world’s No. 1 container liner, hit a record high earlier this week. ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd., an Israeli carrier that went public in late January, traded this month at more than triple its IPO price of $15 a share.

High ocean-freight rates have helped spur a surge in orders for new container ships during the first five months of this year, according to industry group BIMCO.


(彭博社)-- 一項指數顯示,用貨櫃箱將貨物從亞洲運往歐洲的成本, 有記錄以來首次突破 10,000 美元,突顯了出口商和進口商因供應鏈緊張而面對掙扎的痛苦。

週四發布的Drewry World貨櫃指數顯示,上海至鹿特丹40英尺貨櫃運價上漲至10,174美元,較一周前上漲3.1%,較上年同期上漲485%Drewry八大航線綜合指數比一周前上漲 2% 6,257 美元,比一年前高出 293%。兩者都是自 2011 年以來的最高記錄。

在美國和其他地方,在今年緊張的海運現貨市場緊張中,許多貨物托運人不得不為每個貨櫃箱支付超過 10,000 美元的費用。與遠洋承運人的交易包括高額附加費,以確保按時交貨或保證裝載。 .

貨櫃箱運價飆升,是因為承載全球貿易最大份額的 20 英尺和 40 英尺鋼箱的需求超過了供應。在強勁的消費者購買和公司補貨的情況下,從 3 月下旬蘇伊士運河的封鎖, 到港口擁堵, 導致托運延誤和更高的成本。而海運承運人則享受飆升的利潤。

週四早些時候,總部位於新澤西州的服裝零售商 Burlington Stores Inc. 的首席執行官Michael O’Sullivan表示,“供應鍊和貨運方面的費用逆風繼續惡化,這些可能會影響我們今年餘下日子的營業利潤。”

與此同時,全球第一大貨櫃輪公司AP Moller-Maersk A / S的股價本週早些時候創下歷史新高。在1月下旬上市的以色列航運公司ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd.本月交易價格更高比其每股 15 美元的 IPO 價格翻了三倍。

根據行業組織 BIMCO 的數據,高海運費率幫助刺激了今年前五個月新貨櫃船的訂單上升。

              So, in the U.S. and elsewhere,  shippers of cargo have to pay in excess of $10,000 per container in this year’s tight spot markets. It is an indication that global trade is catching up, despite the spreading of the Covid19 pandemic.