Posts Tagged ‘Asia’

Trump-Kim Summit, a Triumph for Something-or-Other.

June 12, 2018

Trump-Kim Summit, a Triumph for Something-or-Other.

Singapore: They came, they gripped-and-grinned, they ate lunch, they went home. Supreme Leaders Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un held a photo-op and everybody came. The two dictators had a jolly time talking science fiction, hotels, and real estate. They watched videos, and Mr. Kim taught Mr. Trump to call joint military exercisesprovocative war games” so they were easier for him to unilaterally cancel. The White House called Dennis Rodman to thank him.

President Trump went home early so he could talk to Fox News and play golf.

More:

“The North Korea summit was a triumph of Trumpian stagecraft, and the media fell for it,” Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post

“Trump just struck a shockingly weak deal with North Korea,” Vox

“Trump really has achieved a historic breakthrough – for the Kim dynasty,” Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian

“Trump Was Outfoxed in Singapore,” Nicholas Kristof, New York Times

“North Koreans ‘Love’ Kim Jong Un, President Tells ABC,” Daily Beast

“Trump’s summit military concession to Kim surprises everyone,” Alexander Smith, NBC News

“Trump-Kim summit: South Koreans wary of losing US defense assurance,” Fabian Kretschmer, Deutsche Welle

“‘What the hell?’ Trump-Kim lovefest ignores human rights nightmare,” Nahal Toosi, Politico

“Bush Center highlights North Korean human rights abuses after summit,” Jacqueline Thomsen, The Hill

“Kim Has Accepted Trump’s Invite To Visit Washington,” Kate Riga, TPM Livewire

Yes. Repeat, No:

“Pence: ‘regular readiness training’ to continue in South Korea,” Alayna Treene, Axios

Updates:

“North Korea’s Media Tout Trump Concessions You Won’t Find In The Joint Statement,” Anthony Kuhn, NPR News

“All The Times North Korea Promised To Denuclearize,”Brian Barrett, Wired

“Trump and Kim Stir Confusion About What They Actually Agreed To,” Margaret Hartmann, New York Magazine

“Reporters thought this video was North Korea propaganda. It came from the White House.”  Avi Selk, Washington Post

“The Sensational Idiocy of Donald Trump’s Propaganda Video for Kim Jong,” Troy Patterson, The New Yorker

“Trump’s North Korean Propaganda Reveals His Contempt for Democracy,” Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

Related:

“James Clapper tells CNN’s Chris Cuomo that Dennis Rodman is ‘our best resource’ for understanding Trump, Kim Jong Un,” Catherine Garcia, The Week

“When Hitler met Hoover and eight other instances dictators scored presidential face time,”  Erick Trickey, WaPo via National Post

“Trump’s ‘Great Chemistry’ With Murderous Strongmen,” Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

“Trump has officially been nominated for the Nobel Prize for his summit with Kim Jong Un,” Jeva Lange, The Week

“Can the US, China and North and South Korea find peace on the peninsula? War veterans hope so,” Minnie Chan, Robert Delaney, Lee Jeong-ho, China Morning Post

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Hong Kong Strong

October 16, 2016

“Hong Kong Strong,” directed by Brandon Li, with music by Steven Richard Davis. Peek behind the scenes here.

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Tajik Bread

May 14, 2016

Bread baking at Shamsullo Dustov’s house in Kumsangir, Tajikistan, near the Afghan border. A film by John Wendle, selected for the National Geographic Short Film Showcase.

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Year of the Monkey

February 8, 2016

Year of the Monkey

Much of East Asia, 1/5 of the world’s people, started celebrating the Lunar New Year on Monday, February 8th, while it was still Superbowl Sunday in America — International Date Line and all that — so Yanks had better party hearty to catch up. Don’t forget to put crisp new bills or gift cards into red envelopes to give as, um, gifts to officials and other decision makers, and mind the taboos. The holiday period continues for another two weeks, until the Lantern Festival on February 22nd.

Dumplings, anyone?

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Image (“Year of the Monkey, after Wiktor Górka“) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

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Umbrella Revolution: Folded

December 6, 2014

Umbrella Revolution: Folded

When Hong Kong’s protest for self-rule began in September, police responded with pepper spray and tear gas, and demonstrators sheltered behind umbrellas. The “Umbrella Revolution” ended this week as protest leaders surrendered to police and told their comrades to go home. Hong Kong police cleared protest barricades and tent sites, some protesters are in jail, and movement spokesman Joshua Wong is on a hunger strike. Everyone in HK is asking “What’s next?” and they don’t mean the winter monsoon cold snap.

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Where in the World in Kim Jong Un?

October 10, 2014

Where in the World is Kim Jong Un?

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, Marshal of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, First chairman of the National Defense Commission, First secretary of the Workers’ Party, Chairman of the party’s Central Military Commission, and Supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army, didn’t show up at the huge ceremony commemorating the 69th anniversary of North Korea’s only political party, which he heads, like his daddy and granddaddy before him. In fact, Mr. Kim hasn’t been seen in public since September 3rdWhat’s up with that?

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Taiwan Busts Racing Pigeon Kidnapping Ring

July 14, 2014

Taiwan Busts Racing Pigeon Kidnapping Ring

“Five people have been arrested in northern Taiwan for allegedly kidnapping dozens of racing pigeons for ransom, police said Tuesday. The suspects were accused of setting traps along racing routes to capture the pigeons before demanding up to Tw$10,000 ($333) per bird from their owners in ransom money, the Taipei City police department said.”

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Year of the Snake

February 10, 2013

Year of the Snake

Happy Lunar New Year! The Year of the Dragon had ended; according to the zodiac it’s now the Year of the Snake. The reptilian year is being celebrated across Asia and around the world

Many young people in China travel home to see in the new year with their families, and some receive the traditional greeting “Why aren’t you married?”  In the new free-market China this has spawned a seasonal industry, Rent-a-Holiday-Boyfriend or -Girlfriend, to help ease the pressure. The holiday is also celebrated with truckloads of fireworks, “gifts,” lots of food, TV specials, and lion dances.

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Starbucks Invades Vietnam

January 6, 2013

Starbucks Invades Vietnam

Starbucks is moving into Vietnam, and will open its first coffeehouse in Ho Chi Min City next month.  The chain already has 3,300 stores in 11 other countries in the China and Asia-Pacific region.

Talk about bringing coals to Newcastle. Vietnam has plenty of bad coffee already — they grow it. The country is the number one coffee exporter in the world. Last year Vietnam exported more coffee beans than Brazil, but they’re cheap robusta beans, not high-quality arabica beans like Starbucks uses.

The Vietnamese do drink lots of coffee, but they like it thicker than Starbucks’ dreadful Pike Place Roast. And then there’s the price issue. Per capita income in Vietnam is about US $1,270, and that won’t buy a lot of latte at “Fourbucks.”

More:

“Vietnam coffee shops not too worried by Starbucks’ arrival,” Mike Ives, AP via MSN News

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Image (“Starbucks World Domination”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Respected World Leader Dead

December 19, 2011

Respected World Leader Dead

The world lost a beloved statesman this weekend.

That’s right, Václav Havel.

In other news, oddly deranged dictator Kim Jong Il dropped dead on a train.

More:

“The Psychology of Dictatorship: Kim Jong-Il,” Jason G. Goldman, Scientific American

“Dear Leaders and a Volcano,” David Bressan, History of Geology

“Kim Jong Il: Top 10 weird facts about N Korea’s late leader,”Amanda Morrow, GlobalPost

“On the Spot with Kim Jong-il,” Boston Globe photo archive.

“The Way to Understand Kim Jong-il Was Through His Stomach,” Barbara Demick, Daily Beast

“Kim Jong-il’s regime is even weirder and more despicable than you thought,” Christopher Hitchens, Slate

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Image (“Kim Jong Il Has Left the Building”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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