News from Japan, Cyprus and China

Tuesday's World Events   —   Posted on April 2, 2013

JAPAN – Tsunami ghost towns laid bare by Google Street View

image810Concrete rubble litters streets lined with shuttered shops and dark windows. A collapsed roof juts from the ground. A ship sits stranded on a stretch of dirt flattened when the tsunami roared across the coastline. There isn’t a person in sight.

Google Street View is giving the world a rare glimpse into one of Japan’s eerie ghost towns, created by the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and resulting nuclear disaster that has left the area uninhabitable.

The technology pieces together digital images captured by Google’s fleet of camera-equipped vehicles and allows viewers to take virtual tours of locations around the world, including faraway spots like the South Pole and fantastic landscapes like the Grand Canyon.

Now it is taking people inside Japan’s nuclear no-go zone, to the city of Namie, whose 21,000 residents have been unable to return to live since they fled the radiation spewing from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant two years ago.

Street View was started in 2007, and now provides images from more than 3,000 cities across 48 countries, as well as parts of the Arctic and Antarctica.

CYPRUS – Mega-Rich Withdrew Money From Banks Before Government Confiscates

image804“A company owned by in-laws of Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades withdrew dozens of millions from Laiki Bank on March 12 and 13, according to an article published in Cypriot newspaper Haravgi,” reports EnetEnglish.

“The newspaper, which is affiliated to the communist-rooted AKEL party, reports that three days before the Eurogroup meeting [the President’s in-law’s] company took five promissory notes worth €21m [$27 million] from Laiki Bank and transferred the money to London.”

In addition, as Reuters reports, “While ordinary Cypriots queued at ATM machines to withdraw a few hundred euros as credit card transactions stopped, other depositors used an array of techniques to access their money.”

Branches and subsidiaries of Cypriot banks in London and Russia remained open while banks in Cyprus were closed, allowing Russian oligarchs [an oligarch is a very rich businessman with a great deal of political influence] and other wealthy depositors to move their money.

When asked about the amount of money that had exited Cyprus before the bailout deal, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble refused to provide figures. …

As Business Insider reports, the fact that the mega-rich – the supposed targets of Cyprus “haircut” – have already removed most of their money from the system means that, “upper middle class/entrepreneur types will feel most of the pain if the Cyprus tax [government confiscation of people’s savings accounts] is enacted.” …

CHINA – New president calls for a ‘Chinese Dream’


China’s President Xi Jinping

In his March inaugural address as president…Xi Jinping grandly laid out his vision of the “Chinese Dream.”

Broadcast live on almost every major television channel, Mr. Xi called for a “great renaissance of the Chinese nation,” returning China to its former position at the center of the world.

After ten years of interminable and largely incomprehensible speeches from President Hu Jintao, the 59-year-old Mr. Xi struck a far more confident, relaxed and reflective tone. …

Again and again he invoked the “Chinese Dream,” a call to arms that he hopes will bring the country’s increasingly fragmented society together. 

Unlike the American Dream, however, which exalts the opportunity for each individual to achieve success through hard work, the Chinese Dream as told by Mr Xi owes much to collectivism.

“The Chinese spirit brings us together and builds our country together,” said Mr. Xi. “To create the Chinese Dream we must unite all Chinese power. “As long as we stay united, we will share the opportunity to make our dreams come true.”

The dream, according to commentators, is to return China to the position it held in the middle ages: the world’s most advanced and civilized nation. …

(The news briefs above are from wire reports and staff reports posted at London’s Daily Telegraph on March 17 and March 22 and Infowars on April 1.)   




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