Tag Archives: China

Me trying not to be a sorrowful pain in the arse

“Just breathe deeply,” said James, ironically lighting his third cigarette in a row. “Just breathe … deeply … ” he muttered, placing his hand on his solar plexus and breathing in, “because all you have got IS now”. Or words to that effect. I noticed how James’s heartfelt, life teachings were a simple as a…

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These Chinese football imports are not fong-kong

The rate at which world top football stars are migrating to China, I am starting to believe Sepp Blatter that maybe, just maybe football began in the communist state. The latest this week was former Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba who decided to part ways with the Yorkshire pudding for the Shenghai sushi….

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Ancestry & tailors

In South Africa I My ancestor sits on a wall, smiling at me, skirt billowed out, shoes muddied in tussocks. She leans forward, waiting to step to me through the centuries. She’s been there since childhood, in words whispered by a sister or brother, in the songs shimmering on a mother’s Irish lips, when I was first…

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Chinese and Russian co-operation now crucial in ending the violence in Syria

When the UN Security Council voted last month to authorise a monitoring mission in Syria, it was a rare moment of unity and solidarity for the 15-member council. The outcome of the vote led to the deployment of approximately 300 UN monitors across five Syrian cities, their sole mandate being to apply all possible efforts…

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Realising the potential of electricity

As the latest climate change conference in Bonn draws to a close today, the full implications of commitments made at COP17 are beginning to sink in. The nations of the world find themselves united by a challenge that is both eye-watering and conceptually simple: hold the global average temperature increase below 2°C versus the long-term…

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The economic week in review: More troubling signs

Europe’s woes continued to weigh heavily on global markets this week. A summit of European leaders on Wednesday failed to reassure economists and investors that politicians can contain the growing risks of Greek exit from the euro and continental banking crisis. Here at home, data showed that the rate of price rises facing consumers rose…

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The economic week in review: Timeo Danaos

Fear of the Greeks was the dominant economic theme of the week. Greece’s failure to form a new government after inconclusive parliamentary elections last week drove markets broadly lower as concerns mounted that Europe’s debt crisis may soon get a lot worse. Elsewhere, America’s central bank hinted that the world’s largest economy may require further…

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Africa gets a new angle on the Chinese take-away

South Africa’s gold and platinum might be doing well, but it is the rhino index that is going stratospheric. With 11 rhinos a week biting the dust and the horn going at $55 000 a kilogram, a lot of pockets are being lined. Last week local activists publicly ruffled some feathers with an advert that asks…

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Living with mess

Here in China you are drawn to places crumbling under the fingertips, muddy spots where people have shat or died or both. Your hands and shoes flake off plaster or bark where hundreds of hands have scraped off bits of history and caressed plaster and brick into homes. Those Chinese hands have all too often…

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A sausage machine called education

The red ball bounces across the classroom while about fifty pairs of kiddies’ eyes stare enthralled, counting the number of bounces, seven, eight, nine… The ball starts to roll and team three in the class roars out, “ELEVEN!” They had guessed eleven bounces and therefore their team gets points. I am teaching them numbers, and…

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