Apr 112017
 
Land Department and MPKj officers visiting the former forest reserve of Bukit Enggang in Bandar Sungai Long. The site is being used to illegally dump rubbish and carry out open burning activities. — SAMUEL ONG/The Star ILLEGAL rubbish dumping and open burning at the former forest reserve of Bukit Enggang in Bandar Sungai Long are posing serious health problems for residents. Over the past 10 years, there have been about 10 illegal rubbish dumps in Bukit Enggang. The residents claimed this had made them fall sick and their children were coughing badly after inhaling smoke from the open burning. The illegal dumping problem has not been resolved despite residents’ many complaints and actions by the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj). Sungai Long resident Yong Yew Hong, 53, who lived there for more than three years, said he jogged in Bukit Enggang every day. “At midnight every day a few rubbish and sand trucks filled with rubbish enter Bukit Enggang and come out empty,” said Yong when visiting the rubbish dump at Bukit Enggang. “There are about 10 rubbish dumps in the housing areas near Bukit Enggang where residents suffer from the foul smell and smoke from the burning of rubbish. “They start burning the rubbish in the evening every day. This causes the air in the housing area to be hazy. Another Sungai Long resident Lee Hui Leng, 34, said they were forced to close their windows and doors to keep the smoke out. “When my husband and I drove past the area one night, we noticed the people burning the rubbish with kerosene,” said Lee. Jogger Benny Ong, 74, said he had been exercising and jogging at Bukit Enggang for about 20 years. “Now Bukit Enggang is famous for illegal dumping. The foul smell and smoke from the rubbish dumps have kept joggers away. “There are food waste, broken furniture, development waste and many more at the rubbish dumps,” said Ong. Kajang Municipal councillor Lai Wai Chong said MPKj received 52 complaints from the residents in February and confiscated 12 vehicles. “Each offender was fined RM2,000 and their vehicles confiscated for a month. “We will return the vehicles to the offenders only after they pay up the fine,” he said, adding that the council would keep a 24-hour watch over the area to catch the culprits red-handed. Source: Open burning at illegal rubbish dumps a health risk for Bukit Enggang (more…)
Apr 082017
 
I don't like war. What good is it?   As we made our way around the world we encountered love, hate, rich and poor, black and white, and many different religious groups and ideologies. It became very clear that as a human race we need to transcend from the darkness to the light and music is our weapon of the future. This song around the world features musicians who have seen and overcome conflict and hatred with love and perseverance. We dont need more trouble, what we need is love. The spirit of Bob Marley always lives on. Download this video here: http://bit.ly/2kLC6Yb         Share this:FacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogleTumblrPinterestReddit (more…)
Apr 032017
 
INDONESIA: The Methane Gas Canteen is an eatery like no other – it’s situated right in the middle of the Jatibarang Landfill in Semarang, Central Java, surrounded by mounds of putrefying waste, household rubbish, broken glass and plastic. Every day, while men, women and children dig through mountains of trash collecting plastic and glass bottles to sell, husband and wife team Sarimin and Suyatmi are busy cooking. Their customers? Cash-strapped scavengers who have the option to pay for their meals with plastic waste instead of money – part of the community’s novel solution to recycle the non-degradable plastic and reduce waste in the landfill. Mr Sarimin, 56, weighs the amount of plastic each customer brings to the diner and calculates how much it is worth. This value is then deducted from the cost of the meal, or any surplus value refunded to the customer. “I think we recycle 1 tonne of plastic waste a day, which is a lot. This way, the plastic waste doesn’t pile up, drift down the river and cause flooding. “This doesn’t only benefit the scavengers, it benefits everyone,” said Mr Sarimin. WATCH: How this works (2:08)   </p> </p></div> <p> The couple were profiled in a recent episode of Indonesia’s Game Changers, a series about inspiring individuals whose creativity and perseverance wrought changes around them. (Link: <a data-cke-saved-href="http://video.toggle.sg/en/series/indonesia-s-game-changers/ep3/483743" href="http://video.toggle.sg/en/series/indonesia-s-game-changers/ep3/483743">Watch the full episode here</a>) </p> <p> The diner, which seats about 30 people, serves dishes like mangut rice with catfish and rice with boiled egg for between US$0.40 and US$0.80 each. </p> <p> Opened in January 2016, the diner was the brainchild of Mr Agus Junaedi, the former head of Jatibarang Landfill. He was tasked in 2014 by Semarang’s mayor Hendrar Prihadi to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the landfill. Some 800 tonnes of waste end up in this landfill every day, and 40 per cent of it is plastic waste. </p> <p> Mr Agus said that price of plastic was drastically devalued at that time, at around US$0.04 per kg. “Naturally, no one wanted to collect plastic waste. So, we thought, why don’t we get the scavengers to pay for their meal with plastic waste” he said. </p> <p> <img alt="" data-cke-saved-src="http://www.channelnewsasia.com/blob/3645178/1491092442000/igc-landfill-4-data.jpg" src="http://www.channelnewsasia.com/blob/3645178/1491092442000/igc-landfill-4-data.jpg"/> </p> <p> <strong>FREE METHANE GAS FROM TRASH</strong> </p> <p> Mr Sarimin said he and his wife have doubled their daily income by opening the diner, compared to just scavenging alone. (more…)
Jul 222015
 
The New Development Bank, which opened today in Shanghai, has been overshadowed recently by the AIIB. The BRICS grouping opened its new bank, the New Development Bank (NDB), at a ceremony in Shanghai on Tuesday. The ceremony was attended by China’s finance minister, Lou Jiwei, NDB president K.V. Kamath, and Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong. The bank is expected to start operations in late 2015 or early 2016, according to Xinhua. The creation of the NDB was announced at the BRICS summit in Brazil in July 2014. The bank was – and is – envisioned as an answer to the current international financial system, which is dominated by the West. Xinhua’s article on the NDB explained that the BRICS countries “have been marginalized in the global financial landscape,” especially at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). The NDB is clearly intended as a solution to that problem. As the bank’s website puts it, the NDB is “operated by the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) as an alternative to the existing U.S.-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund.” Still, despite the NDB being depicted as an alternative to existing institutions, officials have been adamant that the bank is designed to “supplement” rather than supplant the current system. Finance Minister Lou told a seminar that “the NDB will supplement the existing international financial system in a healthy way and explore innovations in governance models,”according to Times of India. Bank president Kamath insisted that “our objective is not to challenge the existing system as it is but to improve and complement the system in our own way.” Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, was similarly upbeat about cooperation in a congratulatory statement on the bank’s opening. “We are committed to working closely with the New Development Bank and other multilateral institutions, offering to share our knowledge and to co-finance infrastructure projects,” Kim said in a statement. “These types of partnerships will be essential to reach our common goals to end extreme poverty by 2030, boost shared prosperity, and to reduce inequalities.” The BRICS bank, like much of the BRICS interactions, is devoted to the idea of equality. “In the New Development Bank each participant country will be assigned one vote, and none of the countries will have veto power,” the NDB website explains. The initial capital of $50 billion in the bank will also be “equally shared” among the five founding nations,Xinhua reported, meaning each country (more…)
May 062015
 
The Next Empire – :Part Two Warfare From Doug Casey’s Internationalman.com. http://www.internationalman.com/articles/the-next-empire Editor’s Note: Ah yes, the great economic savior, Warfare. This country has historically turned to our military industrial complex to solve our economic and political problems until now, none of our leader can see any other way. Wars are expensive. They cost money use up other national resources. Wars are destructive of capital and human resources. They are disruptive of trade, resource availability, and labor management. war generally impedes economic development and undermines prosperity. Large wars constitute severe shocks to the economies of participating countries but long wars decimated the economies. We have been at war too long. Our empire is collapsing. Warfare is often the death knell of a declining empire—both in its extreme financial cost and in its ability to alienate the peoples of other countries. In the new millennium, the US has invaded more countries than at any other time in its history and appears now to be in a state of perpetual warfare. This is being carried out both militarily and economically, as the US imposes economic sanctions on those it seeks to conquer. This effort has become so threatening to the world that other major powers, even if they do not have a history of being allies, are now coming together to counter the US. The US is encouraged in its effort by an unnatural alliance between the countries of Europe. Although Europe is made up of many small countries, often with dramatically differing cultures, who have bickered with each other for centuries, the European Union has cobbled them together into an ill-conceived “United States of Europe.” Although the relatively new EU is already clearly stumbling and is on the verge of fragmenting, their leaders are desperately attempting to hold the unlikely alliance together with the help of the US. Meanwhile, the other major powers of the world are going full steam ahead to ensure that, when the US and EU reach their Waterloo, the rest of the world will carry on independently of the dying empire. They are not merely waiting along the sidelines for the collapse to come, awaiting their turn at the top of the pecking-order. They are actively preparing their position to, as seamlessly as possible, take the baton at a run. Resources: The Mises Institute, founded in 1982, is an educational institution devoted to advancing Austrian economics, freedom, (more…)
May 052015
 
The Next Empire – :Part One Welcome The Next Empire From Doug Casey’s Internationalman.com. http://www.internationalman.com/articles/the-next-empire Editor’s Note: It’s the old “Forest and Trees” paradigm, we who are living in the US have a very difficult time seeing what is really happening. Americans live with an unending “HOPE” that we’ll always recover and we’ll always expand our role as Number One in the world. We now know we are not number one. People, stop listening to cable news, at least half of what they say is false. Our debt is 28 times greater than our income. Don’t they call that “upside down”. Once an Empire gets top-heavy like our government is now, almost anything will tip it into collapse. Throughout history, political, financial, and military leaders have sought to create empires. Westerners often think of ancient Rome as the first empire. Later, other empires formed for a time. Spain became an empire, courtesy of its Armada, its conquest of the New World, and the gold and silver extracted from the West. Great Britain owned the 19th century but lost its empire due largely to costly wars. The US took over in the 20th century and, like Rome, rose as a republic, with minimal central control, but is now crumbling under its own governmental weight. Invariably, the last people to understand the collapse of an empire are those who live within it. As a British subject, I remember my younger years, when, even though the British Empire was well and truly over, many of my fellow Brits were still behaving in a pompous manner as though British “superiority” still existed. Not so, today. (You can only pretend for so long.) But this does suggest that those who live within the present empire—the US—will be the last to truly understand that the game is all but over. Americans seem to be hopeful that the dramatic decline is a temporary setback from which they will rebound. Not likely. Historically, once an empire has been shot from its perch, it’s replaced by a rising power—one that’s more productive and more forward thinking in every way. Yet the US is hanging on tenaciously, and like any dying empire, its leaders are becoming increasingly ruthless, both at home and abroad, hoping to keep up appearances. Share this:FacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogleTumblrPinterestReddit (more…)
Mar 302015
 
This brilliant homeless musician is called Doug Seegers. He has lived and played music on the streets of Tennessee for 17 years. Then, in 2012, two Swedish musicians heard him play his song ”Going Down To The River” and decided to breathe new life into it. Please share this video and help Doug become famous!   Share this:FacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogleTumblrPinterestReddit (more…)
Mar 302015
 
  March 29, 2015 12:00 am JST MASAHIRO OKOSHI and SHOGO AKAGAWA, Nikkei staff writers for Asian Review Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the Boao Forum, in Boao, Hainan Province, on Saturday. © Kyodo BOAO, China/BERLIN — More than 40 countries are likely to become founding members of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.      Russia is the latest to announce that it will participate in the AIIB. It did so Saturday when Igor Shuvalov, first deputy prime minister, expressed the intention during the Boao Forum in China’s southern Hainan Province.      The announcement came a day after Brazil’s decision to join the bank. The office of Brazil’s president issued a statement Friday that Brazil had accepted China’s invitation. This means four of the five BRICS will join; only South Africa has not committed.      Meanwhile, Australian finance minister Mathias Cormann said at the Boao Forum that Canberra will officially announce on Sunday morning.      China’s finance ministry has said the Netherlands and other countries will follow suit.      Denmark also announced Saturday that it will join. Northern European countries are getting ready to jump in. A Swedish finance ministry official told the Nikkei that Sweden is mulling founding-member status. The Finnish government is said to be deliberating the matter as well.        Speaking at the Boao Forum on Saturday, Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed confidence about Beijing’s steady progress toward establishing the AIIB. “We will welcome with open arms moves to finish the important job in partnership with our friends around the world,” he said.      While Xi is calling for international relations to be based on cooperation and mutual benefit, he is moving to strengthen China’s international ties via the country’s economic clout. He also wants China to play a central role in Asian diplomacy.      In October, 21 countries reached a basic agreement to establish the AIIB. More have since expressed their intention to be a part of the institution. The deadline to sign on is Tuesday.      Japan and the U.S. remain wary of China’s intentions with the bank.      Separately, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have agreed to establish a new BRICS development bank to support economic development in Africa as well as in Central and South America. Original article Here Share this:FacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogleTumblrPinterestReddit (more…)
Mar 302015
 
Every young person should see the Fed’s startling numbers on student debt by Simon Black March 30, 2015Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile What I’m about to tell you is not my own opinion or even analysis. It’s original data that comes from the United States Federal Reserve and national credit bureaus. 40 million Americans are now in debt because of their university education, and on average borrowers have four loans with a total balance of $29,000. According to the Fed, “Student loans have the highest delinquency rate of any form of household credit, having surpassed credit cards in 2012.” Since 2010, student debt has been the second largest category of personal debt, just after a home mortgage. The delinquency rate for student loans is now hovering near an all-time high since they started collecting data 12 years ago. Only 37% of total students loan balances are currently in repayment and not delinquent. The rest—nearly 2 out of 3—are either behind on payments, in all-out default, or have entered some sort of deferral program to delay making payments, with a small percentage still in school. It’s pretty obvious that this is a giant, unsustainable bubble (more on this below). But even more important are the personal implications. University graduates now matriculate with tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt. Debt is another form of servitude. Like medieval serfs, debt keeps people tied to jobs they dislike in places they don’t want to be working for bosses they hate doing things that make them feel unfulfilled. Debt makes it very difficult to walk away and start fresh. In fact, ‘starting fresh’ is almost legally impossible when it comes to student debt. Even in US bankruptcy court, student debt cannot be discharged in almost all cases. It is an albatross that hangs over you for a decade or more if you do make the payments, and it follows you around for the rest of your life if you do not. (I’m not suggesting anyone default on what they owed—simply pointing out that nearly every other form of debt can be discharged EXCEPT for student debt.) This kind of debt has a huge impact on people’s lives. Again, according to the Federal Reserve, “[G]rowing student debt has contributed to the recent decline in the homeownership rate and to the sharp increase in parental co-residence among millennials.” So the Fed’s own analysis shows that student debt (more…)
Mar 232015
 
Global institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, have endorsed a China-led international bank, despite opposition from the U.S. “We are comfortable with the idea of a bank that puts together finance for infrastructure, because our view is that there is a huge need for infrastructure in emerging markets countries,” David Lipton, the first deputy managing director of the IMF, told CNBC early on Monday.The $50-billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is being established to meet the need for greater infrastructure investment in lower- and middle-income Asian countries. It comes amid complaints by China and other major emerging economies that they lack influence in institutions such as the IMF, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.Support for the AIIB has gathered speed in Europe this month, with the U.K. the first country to sign up, followed by Germany, France and Italy and then Luxembourg and Switzerland.However, Washington has expressed misgivings, officially because of concerns about standards of governance and environmental and societal safeguards. Unofficially, the country’s is thought to be worried about sacrificing its clout in Asia to China, as well as piqued by criticism of slow reforms in the IMF and World Bank.China ‘leader of the world’“China is now the leader of the world,” Sri Mulyani Indrawati, managing director of the World Bank, told CNBC on Sunday in Beijing.“They (Chinese leaders) try to show that they have sound principles in not only presenting a development solution, but also in establishing this new institution and that is why many of the countries now are becoming members of this institution.”Jim McCaughan, CEO of Principal Global Investors, said that China’s move was part of a bid to establish theyuan as a global currency—and that the U.S. might be more positive towards the AIIB then its official statements suggested.“I think Washington will collaborate; I do not think it will officially join, but I think they will collaborate, at least behind the scenes,” McCaughan told CNBC early on Monday, adding that the bank was part of a “bigger picture.”“Ultimately, Chinese economic policymakers, I believe, are pushing towards the idea of the renminbi as a reserve currency… this is one small step in that direction, having a multilateral institution that they can lead,” McCaughan said.http://www.cnbc.com/id/102526769 Share this:FacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogleTumblrPinterestReddit (more…)