Archive for May, 2011

DPRK says to no longer deal with S.Korea’s Lee Myung-Bak, measures announced [Xinhua]

Posted in DPR Korea, Lee Myung-bak, North wind campaign, south Korea, south Korean human rights hypocrisy on May 31, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

PYONGYANG, May 30 (Xinhua) — The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) said Monday it would “never deal with” South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and his government, accusing Seoul of trumping up false accusations against the DPRK and undermining its reconciliation efforts.

According to a statement issued by the DPRK’s National Defence Commission, two more steps would be taken in this regard.

“The DPRK will launch a nationwide offensive to put an end to the moves of the Lee group to escalate the confrontation with the DPRK,” the statement said.

The Korean People’s Army would “cut off the north-south military communication in the area along the east coast” and “close the communication liaison office in Mt. Kumgang area,” the statement announced.

“As already warned by the DPRK, it will take a physical action without any notice any time against any target to cope with the anti-DPRK psychological warfare,” it added.

The statement said Lee’s government is piling up false accusations against the DPRK’s “revolution” and “socialist system,” “undermining its national reconciliation and unity” and “laying a hurdle in the way of peace and prosperity.”

It said South Korea is trying to stop the DPRK’s legitimate measures for self-defense and driving the inter-Korean relations to “uncontrollable catastrophe.”

Lee Myung-bak’s government has been smearing the DPRK’s efforts to achieve cooperation, peace and reunification through dialogue as “delaying tactics,” the statement said…

Full article here: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/30/c_13901422.htm

China’s social insurance to cover foreigners [China Daily / Xinhua]

Posted in China, Expats in China, Labor, Social Security system on May 30, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

2011-5-30

BEIJING – China is drafting details of the Social Insurance Law that will allow it to apply to foreign employees, a senior official with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said Monday.

Xu Yanjun, deputy director of the ministry’s social security center, said at a news conference that foreign employees in China will be able to enjoy social insurance benefits as Chinese nationals under the law.

The law, adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, will go into effect on July 2011.

The law specifies that all workers will have the right to five forms of insurance: basic endowment ensurance, basic medical insurance, work injury insurance, unemployment insurance and maternity insurance.

The law will also ensure that workers from countries that have signed bilateral social insurance agreements with China will be able to avoid paying two premiums, Xu said.

Most foreign workers currently living and working in China’s larger cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, are limited to having work injury insurance and basic medical insurance, according to Xu.

In recent years, more foreigners from southeast Asian countries have found jobs in both labor-intensive areas and large cities in China, Xu said.

Unlike wealthy investors and senior marketing and technical executives who have relocated to China from overseas in the past, these foreign workers are largely unskilled and unable to get work visas, he said.

Article link: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011-05/30/content_12607548.htm

Shanghai, a duet of capital and revolution [Xinhua]

Posted in China, CPC, CPC Central Committee (CPCCC), Economy, Education, Employment, Labor, Labor strike, Mao Zedong, Shanghai, Tourism, Trade unions on May 29, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, May 15 (Xinhuanet) — Modern-day skyscrapers, streaming vehicles, busy Shanghai Stock Exchange, grand Nanpu and Yangpu highway bridges…compose a landscape of an international metropolis.

This is Shanghai, China’s largest economic center and one of world’s vital financial bases, a large and dynamic showcase of modern and prosperity.

Established as a town in the 13th century, Shanghai was once the largest economic center in the Far East. Since the founding of New China in 1949 and, in particular, the start of reform and opening-up in 1978, Shanghai’s economy and society have undergone great changes and the city has become one of the international economic, financial, trade and shipping centers of the world.

Thanks to rich history and open policy it enjoys, Shanghai is a melting pot with all-embracing tolerance of cultures and a fascinating metropolis blending dynamic fashion and graceful nostalgia. It is where old people can cherish their memory of the past and young people can find fashion to follow, foreigners feel very Chinese and Chinese feel very foreign, which is indeed the true essence of Shanghai culture.

People can experience the elegance of old Shanghai by roaming along the Bund or indulging in the old dancing saloon Paramount Hall, feel the dynamic fashion by shopping in the Nanjing Road, as well as enjoy the romantic mood in mixed style of Shanghai and the west by seating in the Xintiandi.

As a melting pot, it also has been performing another kind of duet. Ninety years ago, Chinese Communist Party (CPC) was born in a two-storey building in contemporary Frenchtown in the city, where the First National Congress of CPC was held.

In the following decades, the city has witnessed two styles of tremendous changes in Chinese history, liberation by CPC troops, foundation of PRC, and the Cultural Revolution on one side, while Reform and Opening-up, economic and financial development on the other hand.

Xingyelu, the site of the First National Congress of CPC, now is surrounded by international galleries, bars and cafes, boutiques or theme restaurants. However, Shikumen, or stone gate, the architecture style of the site, is retained here for decades . The buildings nearby, with antique walls, tiles and exterior of Shikumen, are endowed fashion and new commercial value interiorly.

Pudong, used to be a rural area of Shanghai where soldiers fought battles, is regarded as a vanguard of China’s economic and financial development nowadays.

China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong, one of the three high-profile CPC cadre training institutes, locates here. The Pudong-based institute runs courses on international affairs, and helps trainees keep pace with the times and be more open.

After [the] CPC had been founded on July 23, 1921, it led an organized strike immediately in Shanghai. Chinese workers of British and American Tobacco’s factories in Shanghai struck in July and August, asking for firing a foreign supervisor who deducted their wages. It was the first strike that CPC led since its birth, followed by three…armed Shanghai worker’s [sic] uprisings.

BAT’s Chinese workers [were] deeply involved [in] the revolution led by CPC against the capitalist[s] and their regime. In spite of the reluctant retreat from China’s market since the founding of PRC in 1949, BAT returned to the country for the alluring market and profit after China announced the reform and opening-up to the foreign investors and traders once again.

Nowadays BAT has a branch office which operates business in Shanghai, and its former branch office site with nearly 100-year history in Zibo City, east China’s Shandong Province, has been reserved as a memory [sic].

[The] Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), a frenetic and chaotic mass campaign, remained as a deep memory for Shanghai seniors. Many Shanghai youngsters in that era became enthusiastic Red Guards, Chairman Mao’s loyal soldiers.

Dai Fumin, born in 1949, was one of them. With the grand adoration to Mao, he went to Beijing by train with classmates in 1966 and was excited as [he was] met by Mao. Near half a century passed, Dai became an old man. Nowadays he leads a totally different life from that time.

His daughter named Dai Yiyun, who was born in 1980, quited [sic] her former job as a designer working in a company from 9:00 to 17:00 every day and now serves as a tourism consultor [sic] in a private travel agency.

“I hate to be restrained and prefer the current job which provides me more freedom. I’m the master of my own life.” She said.

As for Dai Fumin, he goes to a stock exchange office near his house everyday after retired [sic]. As a senior trader, this is his “job” at present.

“These are two different eras in Shanghai. Both of them have impressed my life deeply.” Dai said.

Despite enjoying their modern life in Shanghai, which is believed as [sic] the most western-style city in China, some people also get on well with the “red life”.

There are more than ten thousand CPC members who work in foreign-invested companies all over Shanghai laying their CPC member files in Expo Group-Shanghai Foreign Service Co,.Ltd. With high salary [sic] and dealing with foreigners every day, they are enthusiastic about taking part in different promoting activities held by their CPC branches in their spare time, such as forums and visits to monuments of CPC revolutionary martyrs.

This is Shanghai, a dynamically fashionable economic center with the “Red” character flowing in its blood, drawn into the whirlpool of capital and revolution for nearly one century. It also looks like a diamond with many sides in which you can see different colors…

Edited by Zuo Shou

Full photo article here: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-05/15/c_13875699.htm

US Supreme Court gives green light to warrant-less searches of homes [World Socialist Web Site]

Posted in "War on Drugs" pretext, Corrupt judge, Historical myths of the US, Police, Police State, USA on May 28, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

A stunning federal legal development, what’s more stunning is how it’s happened in virtual silence. The Constitution in it’s practical application hardly protects citizens from the government at all anymore, barely a fig leaf over a police state. Soon the only rights “we” US citizens will have is to accuse other nations of…lacking human rights. – Zuo Shou

By Tom Carter
19 May 2011

A decision Monday by the US Supreme Court represents a further major step in abolishing the basic civil liberties protections in the Bill of Rights and enhancing the arbitrary powers of the police. The decision permits police to conduct searches of private homes without a warrant under a mundane pretext.

The issue in the case, Kentucky v. King, decided 8-1, was whether the police should have obtained a search warrant before they kicked in the door of Hollis Deshaun King’s apartment, conducted a search, and found marijuana. King was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, enacted in 1791 in the aftermath of the American Revolution, guarantees to the people “[t]he right … to be secure in their houses… against unreasonable searches and seizures.” The Fourth Amendment also requires that police seek the authorization of a neutral judge, in the form of a warrant, before undertaking a search or seizure. To obtain the warrant, the police are required to demonstrate “probable cause.”

The Fourth Amendment, together with the Third Amendment, which prohibits the government from quartering soldiers in private homes, arose out of a profound hatred and resentment towards arbitrary government intrusions into the home, as well as an understanding that protection of the privacy of the home is necessary to political freedom.

The US Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson wrote in 1948 that the Fourth Amendment requirement that the government obtain a warrant to conduct a search is among the “fundamental distinctions between our form of government, where officers are under the law, and the police-state where they are the law.”

In King’s case, no warrant was ever issued. The police, including an undercover officer, followed a person they believed was carrying drugs to King’s apartment complex, where one officer said he “smelled marijuana” outside King’s home. The officers, who had no warrant to search King’s apartment, decided not to seek a warrant and instead pounded loudly on the door, shouting “This is the police! Police! Police! Police!”

After not receiving an answer and hearing vaguely described “noises” coming from inside, the officers broke the door down, searched the apartment, and arrested King, his girlfriend, and a guest. As it turned out, the person the police had been following never entered King’s home.

Over the past several decades, the US Supreme Court has made Swiss cheese out of the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement, inventing myriad exceptions that together nearly swallow the rule. These exceptions cover a wide range of scenarios. Warrant-less searches of automobiles and warrant-less “frisks” of suspects, for example, have been tolerated for decades.

A number of “exigent circumstances” have already been found to justify a warrant-less search of a home. For example, police in “hot pursuit” may follow a suspect into his home, and police may also enter if they believe they can prevent “imminent injury.” Even so, the home remained one of the last places where the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement had any practical force. As recently as 2006, the Supreme Court wrote that “searches and seizures inside a home without a warrant are presumptively unreasonable.”

At his trial, King argued that the evidence discovered during the search of his apartment should be suppressed because the entry by police into his home was warrant-less and illegal. The trial court and the Kentucky Court of Appeals found that the search was legal despite the absence of a warrant, citing the “need to prevent destruction of evidence” as an “exigent circumstance” justifying the absence of a warrant.

The Kentucky Supreme Court reversed, suggesting that the officers “deliberately created the exigent circumstances with bad faith intent to avoid the warrant requirement.” The Kentucky Supreme Court further declared that the police could not rely on an exigency if “it was reasonably foreseeable that [police] investigative tactics … would create exigent circumstances.”

The “police-created exigency” doctrine, developed by the Kentucky Supreme Court as well as a number of other courts around the country, prevented police from deliberately manufacturing circumstances that would justify a warrant-less search, where the police could just have easily have obtained a warrant.

All but one justice on the US Supreme Court, including the erstwhile “liberal” Obama appointees Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, joined in the decision to eviscerate the “police-created exigency” doctrine.

The majority decision, authored by Samuel Alito, drips with dishonesty. For example, according to Alito, the police officers were not necessarily demanding entry into King’s apartment, in violation of the Fourth Amendment, when they pounded on the door without a warrant. “There is no evidence of a ‘demand’ of any sort,” Alito wrote. Perhaps, Alito suggests, the police merely wished “to speak with the occupants … before deciding whether it [was] worthwhile to seek authorization for a search.” Or perhaps, wrote Alito, the police wanted to ask King whether he would consent to a search.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in her brief dissent, makes clear that this decision will have devastating immediate consequences. “The Court today arms the police with a way routinely to dishonor the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement in drug cases,” she wrote. ”In lieu of presenting their evidence to a neutral magistrate, police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down, never mind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant.”

In other words, for all practical purposes, all a police officer has to do in order to search a person’s house without a warrant is approach the front door, knock, listen, and then announce, “I think evidence is being destroyed!” Then the police may break down the door and search the house.

To anyone who has a brain and who is not one of the eight Supreme Court justices who joined the majority opinion, Alito’s reasoning will not pass the laugh test. Everyone knows that that a police officer is “demanding” entry when he, as the police officer did in this case, starts pounding “as loud as [he] could” on the front door and yelling, “This is the police! Police! Police! Police!”…

…But there is more to the Kentucky v. King decision than the patently ludicrous arguments of Alito and company. A central role of the US judiciary historically has been to act as a check on the executive branch, ensuring that from the president down to the sheriff, the executive operates within the bounds of the law. The Fourth Amendment warrant requirement is a central feature of that framework.

In a host of recent decisions, all of which in one way or another purport to show “deference” to the executive, whether for reasons of “national security,” “state secrets,” or the “exigencies” of police work, the Supreme Court is abandoning any effort to restrain the exercise of executive power. These decisions, taken together, effectively relegate a US judge to the same role as a judge in a police state, who functions merely as an after-the-fact rubber stamp for executive decisions.

This ruling enhances the arbitrary powers of the police and makes the security and privacy of the home even more dependent on the subjective whims of individual police officers…

Edited by Zuo Shou

Full article here: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/may2011/spct-m19.shtml

Expert: Ecological problems not all due to Three Gorges Dam [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Environmental protection, Media smear campaign, Natural disaster, Three Gorges Dam 三峡大坝 on May 27, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

May 23, 2011

In response to some media claims that the Three Gorges Dam is behind the drought conditions that have plagued the population living along the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, Lu Yaoru, an expert with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said that the Three Gorges Dam is not entirely to blame.

Recently, severe lingering drought has hit the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, and the problem has mainly been centered on the provinces of Hubei and Jiangxi.

More than 500,000 people in Hubei Province have limited access to drinking water while Jiangxi’s Poyang Lake, the country’s largest freshwater lake, has shrunk to 1,326 square kilometers — the smallest it has been since satellite records were first kept. It is normally 4,000 square kilometers during the rainy season.

Unavoidably, such problems are being blamed on the Three Gorges Dam once again just like all the previous natural disasters, including mudslides, earthquakes and floods, that happened close to the region. There has been a rising chorus in China that blames the Three Gorges Dam for the drought.

However, scholars like Lu say all the blame cannot be placed on Three Gorges Dam.

Lu, who is a professor at Tongji University as well as the associate leader of geology and earthquake evaluation for the Three Gorges Project group, said it is impossible and not scientific to put all the blame for extreme environmental problems on the Three Gorges Dam project.

The Three Gorges Dam does separate the natural system of the Yangtze River into two parts. That would certainly change the original ecological balance and cause related changes both in geology and in the hydrological cycle, Lu said.

But such effects cannot match those influences brought by global climate change [sic], such as the floods that happened in Fujian and Hainan provinces last year. They could not have been caused by the Three Gorges Dam project…

…Therefore, Lu said, China needs to evaluate the Three Gorges Dam project comprehensively and cannot simply attribute all the severe problems that have arisen in the lower reaches of Yangtze River to the project. These problems also have something to do with pumping water from underground and building more high buildings.

He also added that the Yangtze River is a complete natural disaster chain, so landslides and mudslides caused by floods would also hit the region even if the Three Gorges Dam did not exist.

In addition, Lu also said the water storage of the dam will definitely increase pressure to the land surface, but such pressure can only trigger small earthquakes and is still not heavy enough to cause an earthquake like the massive Wenchuan Earthquake that hit China’s Sichuan Province in 2008.

By Wang Hanlu, People’s Daily Online

Edited by Zuo Shou

Full article here: http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/90882/7388647.html

Three Gorges Dam problems revealed [People’s Daily]

Posted in Alternative Energy, China, Economy, Energy, Environmental protection, Natural disaster, Three Gorges Dam 三峡大坝 on May 27, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

May 20, 2011

The central government has for the first time acknowledged downsides to the Three Gorges Project, but vowed to correct the mishaps and improve disaster prevention mechanisms, as a severe drought in central and southern China threatens millions of people.

In a statement issued after a meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao, the State Council said the project had played a key role in flood prevention and power generation, but admitted it had caused severe problems to the environment, shipping, agricultural irrigation and water supplies in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, an area of 633,000 square kilometers shared by eight provinces.

It added that the government would properly handle all negative effects caused by the Three Gorges Project, the largest hydropower project in the world, and improve long-term mechanisms for geological disaster prevention, ecological preservation and the promotion of biological diversity.

Efforts should be made to increase oversight and control of water pollution to ensure drinking water safety, it added.

The statement also pledged to raise the standard of living for the 1.24 million relocated residents through economic restructuring and infrastructure improvements, as well as ensuring the social security system covers all urban and rural residents by 2020.

The statement came as a lingering drought has left residents and livestock without drinking water and dried up rivers across the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. The problem has mainly been centered in Hubei, Hunan and Jiangxi provinces…

…According to media reports, China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGPC), the dam’s managing body, has been ordered to increase flows to lower reaches to help curb the drought.

The corporation resorted to the same measure in early 2010, which resulted in drought for the river’s upper reaches, affecting people in Chongqing, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

“Extreme conditions have increased since the Three Gorges Dam started to store water, but more scientific research is needed to prove a link between them,” Fan Xiao, head of Regional Geological Survey Group of Sichuan Bureau of Geological Exploration of Mineral Resources, told the Global Times.

Concerns about the dam’s knock-on effects have existed since the project’s inception. In the past, authorities generally denied any such questions, casting an aura of perfection on the project.

“The government’s acknowledgement of these problems is a step forward as in the past, we only talked about the project’s merits,” Kong Qingdong, a Peking University professor and a news commentator, told online video news channel Thursday. “It is a reminder that we should gather more dissenting opinions before approving any large-scale projects.”

The State Council statement acknowledged that some of the problems were known even before construction began 17 years ago. Furthermore, new problems arose along with the project’s development because of increased economic and social demands.

The project was approved by the National People’s Congress in 1992 with 67 percent of votes in favor, far more than the 50 percent needed for approval…

…The Three Gorges Project, built with a budget equivalent to $22.5 billion, is a multi-functional water control system, consisting of a dam, a five-tier ship dock and 26 hydropower turbo-generators.

Zhang Han contributed to this story

Source: Global Times

Edited by Zuo Shou

Full article here: http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/90882/7386687.html

Editorial: Fabricating pretexts – Disinformation campaigns against Cuba [Granma Internacional]

Posted in Afghanistan, Anti-communism, Black propaganda, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, CIA, Corporate Media Critique, Cuba, Guantanamo Bay concentration camp, Iraq, Media smear campaign, Obama, Spain, Torture, US drone strikes, USA, War crimes on May 27, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

May 16, 2011

THE Cuban Revolution has been the object of hundreds of disinformation campaigns, usually orchestrated by the U.S. government with the complicity of European allies in conjunction with the powerful forces and interests which control the corporate media. However, they have not been able to divert Cubans from their ideals of independence and socialism, nor confuse the peoples of the planet who, despite everything, are led by wisdom and instinct to the truth. They are campaigns without political or ethical constraints which come up against the moral force of Cuba and merely tarnish their authors.

The most recent, which came from their prizewinning informants, was deflated in 72 hours. Lying politicians, the media which slandered out of political interest and journalists who reported an incident which never took place without even attempting to confirm it, must not be given impunity. At the very least, they should admit their error and apologize to the family whose grief they failed to respect.

Curiously, all of them remain silent in the face of the millions of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan which they define as “collateral damage,” as well as in the face of extrajudicial executions with drone aircraft in sovereign countries.

They have maintained a prudent silence in relation to the use of torture, have covered up the existence of secret U.S. prisons in Europe, have prevented investigations into the crimes committed in Abu Ghraib and the Guantánamo Naval Base – this latter usurped from Cuba – and the CIA secret flights transporting persons kidnapped in other states.

They remain unmoved at the brutal way in which European governments are inflicting the consequences of the economic crisis on the poorest members of society and immigrants. They look the other way when the unemployed or students in those wealthy societies are repressed with exceptional violence.

However, they are constantly hunting out pretexts for denigrating Cuba, and when these are lacking, they fabricate them.

They shamelessly converted a case of acute pancreatitis into political murder; a justified detention by police of less than three hours for public order offenses without any use of force into a fatal beating; a person with a criminal record sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for a common crime into a political dissident and the victim of a lengthy prison term…

…American legislator David Rivera, famous for electoral corruption and his extremist campaigns to eliminate the right of émigré Cubans to travel to their country of origin, and who just a few weeks ago, accused former President Carter of being a Cuban agent, affirmed under oath in the U.S. Congress that the dead man was beaten to death in Villa Clara’s central Vidal Park last Sunday.

He didn’t even take the trouble to verify what even the most ill-intentioned acknowledge, that the deceased was in the park before and after his brief detention on Thursday, May 5, not on Sunday, when he was already in hospital. It is not surprising that Rivera should lie, but that he should do so with such stupidity.

Salafranca, a Euro deputy from Spain’s Partido Popular (PP), known for his anti-Cuban and pro-yankee attitudes, and who has said that reports on the CIA secret flights do not contribute any additional information and refrains from any condemnation of them, affirmed in the European Parliament that the individual “died after his detention and from a beating by the Cuban police.”

El País, from the Spain of the Prisa Group and PP conspiracies, published a cable titled “Cuba dissident dies after police beating.” The ABC, historically in the service of the worst causes, stated “Cuban opposition member dies after a beating from Castro’s police.” They are not interested in confirming the veracity of the alleged incidents and have not even bothered to disguise the conspiracy with different titles.

Even President Barack Obama himself, in response to a question from the highly tendentious Univisión network in Miami, referred to the events in Vidal Park which never took place, while stating that the details were not as yet clear…

…The arguments of the Cuban Revolution are not fabricated like the lies of our enemies, they are constructed with the dignity and integrity of our people, who have learnt that the truth is the cleanest weapon of humanity.

Translated by Granma International

Edited by Zuo Shou

Full article link here: http://www.granma.cu/ingles/cuba-i/16-mayo-editorials.html