Archive for January, 2012

“Science cop” defends himself in face of Han Han’s libel lawsuit [Xinhua]

Posted in China on January 31, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Wang Hongyi

BEIJING, Jan. 30 (Xinhuanet) — Fang Zhouzi, who is known as the “science cop” for exposing pseudoscience and academic fraud, said the suit against him by the young Chinese writer Han Han will not stop him continuing his analysis of Han’s work.

“Suing me is his right, but it will also attract more attention,” Fang told China Daily on Sunday. “It’s not bad to make more people know the truth.”

Earlier on Sunday, Lu Jinbo, Han Han’s publisher, said Han is making a formal accusation against Fang and asking for 100,000 yuan ($15,800) in compensation.

Han later confirmed on his blog that he will launch a lawsuit against Fang.

The move is the latest development in a heated dispute that started in early January when a well-known Chinese blogger claimed Han’s works were actually ghostwritten and his intellectual image was carefully sculpted by his father Han Renjun and publisher Lu Jinbo.

On Jan 16, Han Han responded to the blogger’s accusation by offering 20 million yuan to anyone who could prove his works were ghostwritten.

Fang then entered the fray, claiming Han has deleted all his articles from December 2006 to September 2007 from his blog.

“Offering money to look for evidence, while at the same time destroying the proof, shows his claims of innocence lack sincerity,” Fang said in his micro blog.

Han responded by saying that the articles were deleted in 2008 at the request of his publishing house.

He also said he and his father grew up in two different times and it was impossible for them to have the same writing style.

Han’s publisher, Lu, said the writer has the more than 1,000 manuscript pages as evidence.

“I don’t think the resulting court decision, even if it goes in my favor, will affect the conclusion of my analysis of Han’s works,” Fang said in a statement published on his blog.

“My analysis, queries and criticism of Han Han’s articles accord with the freedom of speech and academic criticism, and are irrelevant to the infringement of his reputation.”

Fang said his lawyer will act for him in court and he will not attend.

Han, who failed his college entrance exam, rose to fame in a high-school writing competition in Shanghai in 1999. His rebellious streak and satirical writing proved popular with the younger generation.

Han was unavailable for comment on Sunday.

(Source: China Daily)

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2012-01/30/c_131382901.htm

Han Han challenged by anti-fraud campaigner [Sina.com]

Posted in China on January 31, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Jan. 29, 2011
[Global Times]

Celebrity writer Han Han, widely seen as a hero by the younger generation, has become more deeply embroiled in ghostwriting allegations following claims by a well-known anti-fraud campaigner.

Millions of netizens have watched online as Han’s credibility crisis appears to be escalating, after Fang Zhouzi, who once forced former Microsoft CEO Kaifu Lee to admit exaggerating his academic achievements in his previously published books, continued to target Han.

Fang said he has gathered more evidence to prove that Han Han’s earlier works were not his own and welcomes any legal response to the allegations.

“I’m sure the early works of Han Han such as Triple Door and Seeing a Doctor were written by a ghostwriter, judging by the style and depth of the content. Whoever wrote for Han Han is another matter. I can only say there is more suspicion that his father is the ghostwriter,” Fang told the Global Times yesterday.

The saga began when IT expert Mai Tian claimed early this month that Han’s blog articles were not his own.

Han offered a cash reward of 20 million yuan ($3.2 million) to anyone who could prove that he had received help writing articles.

While Mai later apologized, saying his allegations were wrong, Fang launched a new round of questioning.

Fang’s suspicions have drawn some people to his cause, but others, especially Han’s millions of fans, have attacked Fang for “blind barking.”

Calls and text messages to Han Han and Lu Jinbo, the publisher of Han’s books, went unanswered yesterday.

In an earlier response, Han posted an article on Friday by his father, Han Renjun, on his blog. Han said his father intended to clarify the matter by writing the article, but he felt “very depressed” about the whole incident.

Zhang Hongbo, deputy director general of the China Written Works Copyright Society, told the Global Times that the saga is not necessarily a bad thing.

“The dispute allows us to question the credibility of any celebrity who used to be our hero since we always encourage original work,” he said.

Article link: http://english.sina.com/life/2012/0128/435264.html

U.S. turns to drones to counter China [Japan Times]

Posted in Africa, Australia, China, Encirclement of China, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Pakistan, Pentagon, Russia, south Korea, US drone strikes, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on January 31, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By MICHAEL RICHARDSON

Jan. 5, 2012

SINGAPORE —

…Increasing reliance on drones indicates that the future of airpower is likely to be largely unmanned, as governments seek to reduce combat casualties and remove as many of their expensive manned warships and aircraft as possible from hostile range.

In the Pacific, China is honing a strategy involving high-speed missiles, stealthy submarines, and anti-satellite…attacks to prevent opposing aircraft carriers and their naval escorts from operating in a crisis anywhere near the Chinese mainland or offshore islands claimed by Beijing.

The U.S. military has become so concerned at China’s rapidly growing arsenal of anti-access and area-denial weapons that just over two years ago it authorized the navy and air force to collaborate on ways to off-set the Chinese challenge to America’s capacity to project power and sustain its alliances and military partnerships in Asia…

…To move out of harm’s way, the United States aims to deploy sea-based drones on its aircraft carriers in the Pacific by 2018. “They will play an integral part in our future operations in this region,” according to Vice Admiral Scott Van Buskirk, commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet in the Pacific and Indian oceans. “Carrier-based unmanned aircraft systems have tremendous potential, especially in increasing the range and persistence of our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations, as well as our ability to strike targets quickly.”

At present, jet fighters and bombers on U.S. carriers must take off within 800 km of their target, leaving the carriers within range of land-based missiles and combat aircraft. However, the new generation of sea-based drones bring developed by the U.S. could operate as far as 2,500 km from the carrier, putting the ships out of range…

…Israel and China are actively developing and marketing drones, while Russia, Iran, India and Pakistan have similar plans…

Michael Richardson is a visiting senior research fellow at the Institute of South East Asian Studies in Singapore.

[Excerpted by Zuo Shou]

Full article link: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/eo20120105mr.html

The Japan Times Online

New campaign to ensure workers’ wages [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Labor, Labor strike, Law enforcement on January 31, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Zhu Shanshan (Global Times)
08:32, December 30, 2011

A campaign launched by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS) has helped 1.292 million migrant workers recover 2.94 billion yuan ($470 million) in unpaid wages this year as a part of efforts by authorities to build up a social security network.

The number of salary-related disputes and protests has been on the rise recently as the end of the year approaches. A strike to demand fair year-end bonuses was held by workers at the LG Display factory in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, on Monday.

Eight government departments including the MHRSS issued an order demanding employers nationwide pay migrant workers in full and on time earlier this month.

However, a construction worker surnamed Zhang from Mianyang, Sichuan Province, who is currently working in Beijing, told the Global Times that it is unlikely his defaulted salaries will be paid in full before Spring Festival.

“The contractor I worked with is also in default now and he is asking for his wage to be paid on time. I can’t stay here to fight for my salary during Spring Festival, the only time in the year that I can spend with my family,” he said.

Lin Xinqi, a professor at the School of Labor and Human Resources at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times that it is a good sign that authorities are taking note of such disputes, especially by singling it out around the new year, when the problem occurs most frequently. However, he added that the current efforts are still not enough to catch up with such incidents, as workers become more aware of protecting their rights.

“It will be hard to wipe out all these disputes overnight despite the increasing importance attached to the issue, since the country is going through a development stage in which labor disputes break out intensively,” Lin said, adding that more time should be given to government agencies.

Article link: http://english.people.com.cn/90882/7692126.html

DPRK declares no contact with S. Korea’s Lee Myung-bak gov’t [Xinhua]

Posted in Cheonan sinking, DPR Korea, Juche Idea, Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un, Korean Central News Agency of DPRK, Korean Reunification, Lee Myung-bak, S. Korea government cover-up of Cheonan incident, south Korea on January 31, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

PYONGYANG, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) — The National Defense Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) said the country would never contact with South Korea’s Lee Myung-bak government any more, the official KCNA news agency reported Friday.

The commission said in a statement that “the DPRK will have no dealings with the Lee Myung Bak group forever,” as it prevented the South Korean people from paying condolence visits to late leader Kim Jong Il by claiming that “sympathy to citizens separated from the north regime.”

It was the DPRK army’s self-defensive shell-firing on Yeonpyeong Island for coping with South Korea’s preemptive provocation in the wake of the warship Cheonan sinking case, which was not related to the DPRK, said the statement.

However, the South Korean government’s attempt to link the “final responsibility” for the warship Cheonan sinking and shelling on Yeonpyeong Island with the DPRK “hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK,” it added.

“We will unswervingly keep to the path of Juche indicated by Kim Jong Il true to the intention of President Kim Il Sung,” the statement said, citing joint authorization of the party, state, army and people of the DPRK.

It also noted that the army and people of the DPRK will keep to the path of improving north-south relations and achieving peace and prosperity through the nationwide drive, to implement the historic “June 15 Joint Declaration” and the “October 4 Joint Declaration” under the banner of independence, peace and reunification.

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2011-12/30/c_131335899.htm

Donnie Yen, Vincent Zhao Collaborate on Action Movie [CRIEnglish.com / Sweet & Sour Cinema]

Posted in Beijing, Donnie Yen 甄子丹, Sweet & Sour Cinema on January 30, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

2012-01-20

CRIENGLISH.com

Web Editor: Xie Tingting

Donnie Yen says he feels excited about his first collaboration with fellow action star Vincent Zhao in the new film “Special Identity” (“Te Shu Shen Fen”).

“We never worked together before, although I really appreciate his talent,” Yen told reporters who gathered at a Beijing hotel on Thursday to mark the commencement of filming.

“Vincent and I will do some great action scenes,” added Yen, who is also the movie’s action director.

Vincent Zhao also believes the action scenes are highlights, adding, “Also expect lots of breathtaking car-racing scenes.”

The actors didn’t mention the movie’s storyline.

Donnie Yen’s notable films include “Ip Man”, “14 Blades” and “Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen”, while Vincent Zhao’s most famous character is the kung fu hero Wong Fei-hung, whom he portrayed for both film and TV.

“Special Identity” is being directed by Clarence Fok. The cast also includes Zhang Hanyu and Jing Tian.

Article with photos: http://english.cri.cn/6666/2012/01/20/1261s677274.htm

The movie is scheduled for release this November.

The World War on Democracy [Globalresearch.ca]

Posted in Afghanistan, Anti-communism, Anti-Islam hysteria, Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, Cameron, China, CIA, Genocide, Guantanamo Bay concentration camp, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Islamophobia, Israel, Obama, Pakistan, Russia, Somalia, Syria, Tony Blair, U.K., U.K. War Crimes, US drone strikes, US imperialism, USA, Yemen on January 30, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by John Pilger

Jan. 19, 2011

[Excerpted]

…Today, Diego Garcia is crucial to America’s and Britain’s war on democracy. The heaviest bombing of Iraq and Afghanistan was launched from its vast airstrips, beyond which the islanders’ abandoned cemetery and church stand like archaeological ruins. …[It] is now a fortress housing the “bunker-busting” bombs carried by bat-shaped B-2 aircraft to targets in two continents; an attack on Iran will start here. As if to complete the emblem of rampant, criminal power, the CIA added a Guantanamo-style prison for its “rendition” victims and called it Camp Justice.

[The British genocide of Diego Garcia]…has an urgent and universal meaning, for it represents the violent, ruthless nature of a whole system behind its democratic façade, and the scale of our own indoctrination to its messianic assumptions, described by Harold Pinter as a “brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.” Longer and bloodier than any war since 1945, waged with demonic weapons and a gangsterism dressed as economic policy and sometimes known as globalisation, the war on democracy is unmentionable in western elite circles. As Pinter wrote, “it never happened even while it was happening”. Last July, American historian William Blum published his “updated summary of the record of US foreign policy”. Since the Second World War, the US has:

1. Attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, most of them democratically-elected.

2. Attempted to suppress a populist or national movement in 20 countries.

3. Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.

4. Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.

5. Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.

In total, the United States has carried out one or more of these actions in 69 countries. In almost all cases, Britain has been a collaborator. The “enemy” changes in name – from communism to Islamism — but mostly it is the rise of democracy independent of western power or a society occupying strategically useful territory, deemed expendable, like the Chagos Islands.

The sheer scale of suffering, let alone criminality, is little known in the west, despite the presence of the world’s most advanced communications, nominally freest journalism and most admired academy. That the most numerous victims of terrorism – western terrorism – are Muslims is unsayable, if it is known. That half a million Iraqi infants died in the 1990s as a result of the embargo imposed by Britain and America is of no interest…extreme jihadism…was nurtured as a weapon of western policy (“Operation Cyclone”) is known to specialists but otherwise suppressed.

While popular culture in Britain and America immerses the Second World War in an ethical bath for the victors, the holocausts arising from Anglo-American dominance of resource-rich regions are consigned to oblivion. Under the Indonesian tyrant Suharto, anointed “our man” by Thatcher, more than a million people were slaughtered. Described by the CIA as “the worst mass murder of the second half of the 20th century”, the estimate does not include a third of the population of East Timor who were starved or murdered with western connivance, British fighter-bombers and machine guns.

These true stories are told in declassified files in the Public Record Office, yet represent an entire dimension of politics and the exercise of power excluded from public consideration. This has been achieved by a regime of un-coercive information control, from the evangelical mantra of consumer advertising to sound-bites on BBC news and now the ephemera of social media.

It is as if writers as watchdogs are extinct, or in thrall to a sociopathic zeitgeist, convinced they are too clever to be duped. Witness the stampede of sycophants eager to deify Christopher Hitchens, a war lover who longed to be allowed to justify the crimes of rapacious power. “For almost the first time in two centuries”, wrote Terry Eagleton, “there is no eminent British poet, playwright or novelist prepared to question the foundations of the western way of life”. No Orwell warns that we do not need to live in a totalitarian society to be corrupted by totalitarianism. No Shelley speaks for the poor, no Blake proffers a vision, no Wilde reminds us that “disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue”. And grievously no Pinter rages at the war machine, as in American Football:

Hallelujah.

Praise the Lord for all good things …

We blew their balls into shards of dust,

Into shards of fucking dust …

Into shards of fucking dust go all the lives blown there by Barack Obama, the Hopey Changey of western violence. Whenever one of Obama’s drones wipes out an entire family in a faraway tribal region of Pakistan, or Somalia, or Yemen, the American controllers in front of their computer-game screens type in “Bugsplat”. Obama likes drones and has joked about them with journalists. One of his first actions as president was to order a wave of Predator drone attacks on Pakistan that killed 74 people. He has since killed thousands, mostly civilians; drones fire Hellfire missiles that suck the air out of the lungs of children and leave body parts festooned across scrubland.

Remember the tear-stained headlines when Brand Obama was elected: “momentous, spine-tingling”: the Guardian. “The American future,” wrote Simon Schama, “is all vision, numinous, unformed, light-headed …” The San Francisco Chronicle’s columnist saw a spiritual “lightworker [who can] usher in a new way of being on the planet”. Beyond the drivel, as the great whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg had predicted, a military coup was taking place in Washington, and Obama was their man. Having seduced the anti-war movement into virtual silence, he has given America’s corrupt military officer class unprecedented powers of state and engagement. These include the prospect of wars in Africa and opportunities for provocations against China, America’s largest creditor and new “enemy” in Asia. Under Obama, the old source of official paranoia Russia, has been encircled with ballistic missiles and the Russian opposition infiltrated. Military and CIA assassination teams have been assigned to 120 countries; long planned attacks on Syria and Iran beckon a world war. Israel, the exemplar of US violence and lawlessness by proxy, has just received its annual pocket money of $3bn together with Obama’s permission to steal more Palestinian land.

Obama’s most “historic” achievement is to bring the war on democracy home to America. On New Year’s Eve, he signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a law that grants the Pentagon the legal right to kidnap both foreigners and US citizens and indefinitely detain, interrogate and torture, or even kill them. They need only “associate” with those “belligerent” to the United States. There will be no protection of law, no trial, no legal representation. This is the first explicit legislation to abolish habeus corpus (the right to due process of law) and effectively repeal the Bill of Rights of 1789.

On 5 January, in an extraordinary speech at the Pentagon, Obama said the military would not only be ready to “secure territory and populations” overseas but to fight in the “homeland” and provide “support to the civil authorities”. In other words, US troops will be deployed on the streets of American cities when the inevitable civil unrest takes hold.

America is now a land of epidemic poverty and barbaric prisons: the consequence of a “market” extremism which, under Obama, has prompted the transfer of $14 trillion in public money to criminal enterprises in Wall Street. The victims are mostly young jobless, homeless, incarcerated African-Americans, betrayed by the first black president. The historic corollary of a perpetual war state, this is not fascism, not yet, but neither is it democracy in any recognisable form, regardless of the placebo politics that will consume the news until November. The presidential campaign, says the Washington Post, will “feature a clash of philosophies rooted in distinctly different views of the economy”. This is patently false. The circumscribed task of journalism on both sides of the Atlantic is to create the pretence of political choice where there is none.

The same shadow is across Britain and much of Europe where social democracy, an article of faith two generations ago, has fallen to the central bank dictators. In David Cameron’s “big society”, the theft of 84bn pounds in jobs and services even exceeds the amount of tax “legally” avoid by piratical corporations. Blame rests not with the far right, but a cowardly liberal political culture that has allowed this to happen, which, wrote Hywel Williams in the wake of the attacks on 9/11, “can itself be a form of self righteous fanaticism”. Tony Blair is one such fanatic. In its managerial indifference to the freedoms that it claims to hold dear, bourgeois Blairite Britain has created a surveillance state with 3,000 new criminal offences and laws: more than for the whole of the previous century. The police clearly believe they have an impunity to kill. At the demand of the CIA, cases like that of Binyam Mohamed, an innocent British resident tortured and then held for five years in Guantanamo Bay, will be dealt with in secret courts in Britain “in order to protect the intelligence agencies” – the torturers…

Full article link: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28753