9 June, 2005

crisis mode in manila

Manuel L. Quezon III  (my blog) is focusing on the developing story on allegations of illegal gambling profits being linked to the family of the President of the Philippines, as well as another cause celebre involving supposed recordings of administration officials plotting election fraud last year. The Philippine Center for Investigate Journalism blog is making history by defying a brewing government effort to crack down on those providing either audio files or transcripts of the alleged conversations. They’re also several steps ahead of the papers in keeping track of the story and its origins.

by @ 11:48 pm. Filed under Blogs, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Manuel Quezon III, Philippines, Media, Web/Tech, Weblogs

’sweat shop santas’

CSR Asia has directed my attention to a gripping series of photos of Chinese factories. Aside from the work-related amputations, most are more reminiscent of marching scenes from Triumph of the Will than what most people would envision ’sweat shops’ to be. I regret to report that I found the table full of Santas more disturbing than the amputees:

Thanks to Andrea Oschetti - who head’s up PwC’s Sustainable Business
Solutions section in Hong Kong and is a very hot photographer himself -
for the links to Michael Wolf’s photos from Chinese factories (one of
which I’ve posted here). Michael has just “clinched first prize
in the contemporary issues section of the World Press Photo annual
awards, the most prestigious in press photography.” You can see more of
his prize-winning photos here.

by @ 7:00 pm. Filed under China, Economy, Northeast Asia

renminbi revaluation when? how much?

A spate of revisions on forecasts of the timing of the revaluation of China’s currency has sparked some cat-fighting among investment banks, Tom Legg points to a HK Standard report:

Some of the most aggressive investment bank forecasts of a yuan revaluation are being pushed back in the wake of a growing spat over textiles between China and its key trade partners. …
Some skeptical analysts, however, say the banks are simply using the trade row as an excuse to cover up past misreadings of policy intentions of the central government.
They insist Beijing never intended to revalue last month, does not plan to do so for several months to come and that the entire situation was misjudged.

Macroblog also has a good post, offering yet another forecast on the scale of the probable revaluation.

by @ 6:32 pm. Filed under China, Money, Economy, Northeast Asia, Media

virginity verification

An odd item via China Digital Times:

An odd regulation in Beichan village, Dazu county, Chongqing province, China, now requires emigrant women laborers to have a medical exam for “virginity verification” if they desire to receive compensation for land requisition. Five unmarried women are at their wits-end with this regulation now in place.

I have a feeling there are a few conservative Republicans in Congress who would imagine that denying state benefits to non-virgins would be a good way to promote abstinence - thankfully the idea of stealing "requisitioning" land would be a hard sell to the rest of the party.

by @ 3:39 pm. Filed under China, Economy, Northeast Asia

’sedition’ via sms?

Richard at the Peking Duck has pointed to a post noting that a white-collar worker in Shanghai has been sentenced to five-years for sending out material via cellphone (short message service, SMS) ahead of the anti-Japanese demonstration:

A 25 year old white collar worker, Tang Ye (汤晔), made a summary of information already available on the internet about the anti-Japanese demonstrations, including route, time, other relevant facts, and broadcasted this summary through his cellphone, resulting in his arrest under "disruption of social order" charges.
According to information from Chinese media sources in early May, this text message "resulted in serious consequences". Tong ye was sentenced to jail for five years. For a young white collar worker, five years time does not mean five years. It could throw Tong off course for the rest of his life. And all because of a cellphone text message. China’s "Big Brothers" came down hard on Tong as a show of authority, to bring text messages under their sphere of influence.

I posted on this a few weeks back. The main difference between the account noted by Richard and the one I had earlier noted was that in the account I had read he was arrested for an e-mail message. I don’t have any further details but that still seems more likely than being arrested for an SMS. E-mails are more easy to trace and would contain more detailed information on which to base charges (if that actually mattered).

ESWN has some more details here.

by @ 3:28 pm. Filed under China, Northeast Asia, Media, Censorship

blog the tsunami


A request from Rebecca McKinnion at Global Voices Online:

It has come to Global Voices’
attention that a number of mainstream media outlets are going to be
doing some special reporting looking at the Tsunami and its legacy 6
months on.
Given what a big role the blogosphere played in
the tsunami coverage, it would be great to see the perspective of
bloggers living in tsunami-affected regions.
How did the
tsunami change your life, and that of the people around you? Do you
know about efforts to improve evacuation and early warning systems in
your area? Are people getting the aid they were promised? Are they
getting the help they need? Why or why not??
Please let the world know in your blogs, podcasts, photo feeds, and videoblogs!!
 Please DON’T FORGET to tag your work with “” so that we will know about it!!


by @ 3:05 pm. Filed under Blogs, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Asean, Myanmar/Burma, Southeast Asia, Media, South Asia, Thailand

love kim like you love musharraf

Inspired by the manner in which the United States treated another military dictatorship that tested nuclear weapons and is neck deep in proliferation activities, North Korea has expressed a desire to be treated similarly (via ).

Analysts said North Korea might ask the United States to reduce its military presence in South Korea and remove North Korea as a potential target for a pre-emptive nuclear strike in exchange for Pyongyang’s abandonment of its nuclear weapons program.

Other sources in the U.S. government said North Korea may be seeking to be treated like Pakistan.

Pakistan has strengthened its ties with the United States even though it went ahead with nuclear weapons tests and has been implicated in the proliferation of nuclear weapons. [Asahi]

The Acorn’s advice: The Dear Leader needs to ask his propaganda machine to ‘find’ Osama bin Laden somewhere on the Korean peninsula, north of 38th  parallel.

by @ 1:44 pm. Filed under Pakistan, Asia, East Asia, Current Affairs, South Asia, Terrorism, North Korea, Nitin Pai

tech babes

Mutant Frog looks at this year’s models from Taiwan tech show Computex.:

While for most attendees, the booth-babes may only be a pleasant distraction from the more serious business of checking out the new hardware, there is a serious contingent of people who are there just to check out, and photograph the dancing, scantily clad, attractive girls.

by @ 7:28 am. Filed under Taiwan, Northeast Asia

n korea vs s africa

North Korea has been sanctioned by world football (soccer) association FIFA, leading Daniel W Drezner to ponder:

… which country in the world has been the most popular target of sanctions approved by an international organization?
As someone who’s written a bit about economic sanctions, I confess to not having a definitive answer — to my knowledge, no one has ever researched this question. Certainly North Korea has been moving up in the ranks — the UN (back during the Korean War), the IAEA in 1994, and now FIFA.
However, I’d still be willing to bet that the answer to this question is apartheid-era South Africa. At one point or another, the United Nations, Organization for African Unity, European Economic Community, South African Development Community, and the Commonwealth imposed sanctions — not to mention the International Olympic Committee and FIFA.

by @ 7:21 am. Filed under Economy, Northeast Asia, North Korea

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