China’s Top Internet Provider Builds Headquarters That Look Like Starship Enterprise

Chinese Millionaire Builds Company Headquarters To Look Like The Starship Enterprise – Oddity Central

The headquarters of NetDragon Websoft – China’s most popular internet provider – looks quite conventional from the ground, but aerial footage shows that the building is actually a replica of the iconic Starship Enterprise!

NetDragon chairman Liu Dejian, a huge Star Trek fan and self-described ‘Uber Trekkie’, reportedly spent $150 million over a span of six years to construct the USS Enterprise-shaped office. When it was finally ready in 2014, he chose to remain rather low-key about it. But when a fan spotted a satellite image of the badass building – about the size of three football pitches – it eventually stirred up a social media frenzy. Drone footage was soon released online, making Star Trek fans all over the world drool with delight.

.

.
Mashable reports that the premises looks like a mashup of the Enterprise-E, Enterprise-D, and the starship design from the J.J. Abrams reboot movies, but die hard Star Trek fans disagree – they say it looks more like the Voyager. As smashing as its exteriors are, we’re not sure if the NetDragon office mimics the Enterprise’s cool interiors as well. Some reports suggest that it has a few awesome features inside, like automatic sliding gates, 30-foot slides connecting the third floor to the first, and a giant T-Rex replica.

.

.
Liu, whose $600 million fortune is larger than the Queen of England’s, is fondly called ‘big child’ by the Chinese media. The man is famous for indulging his employees and filling his offices with fun gadgets like pinball machines, batman toys, and segways. His obsession with Star Trek began when he was a student at the University of Kansas. So he reportedly obtained a special license from CBS, allowing him to build a replica of the spaceship.

Star Trek fans, if you aren’t able to make it to China, you can get a clear view of the office on Google Maps!

.

.

China Agrees To Help Iran Build Five Nuclear Power Plants

China To Build New Nuke Plants In Iran – Washington Free Beacon

.

.
Iran announced that China has agreed to assist in the building of five new nuclear plants across the country, according to Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI).

Iran plans to enlist the Chinese in the construction of five new nuclear plants similar in size and scope to the plant currently operating near Bushehr.

Iran’s insistence on building more nuclear power plants has become a key concern for critics of the Obama administration’s diplomacy with the Islamic Republic, as these nuclear structures could potentially be used to assist its nuclear weapons program.

The Obama administration has said in the past that the construction of light water reactors such as the one in Bushehr does not violate existing United Nations restrictions or the interim accord struck with the country in 2013.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the AEOI, announced on Tuesday that Iran is pursuing at least five new nuclear power plants to produce nuclear fuel at an “industrial scale.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran plans to produce at least 190,000 SWUs (Separative Work Units) of nuclear fuel at the industrial scale, while we also think about 1,000,000 SWUs, which will be needed to fuel 5 power plants like Bushehr,” Kamalvandi was quoted as saying during an address Tuesday in Tehran at an event described by the state-controlled Fars News Agency as an “Analysis of Lausanne Statement.”

Russia has already helped to start construction of at least two plants in southern Iran, while the Chinese will assist with the rest, Kamalvandi revealed.

“This is the reason why we have inked an agreement with the Russians to construct two nuclear power plants for the generation of electricity while the Chinese will also enter this arena soon,” he was quoted as saying.

Touching on the contents of a recently agreed to framework nuclear deal with the United States, Kamalvandi said Tehran will retain the Fordow nuclear enrichment facility – a former military site – and operate more than 1,000 centrifuges there.

Nuclear research and development work also will continue and return to full capacity after around 10 years, he said.

In addition to the light water reactors, Iran plans to build “small nuclear power plants” around the Persian Gulf area for the reported purpose of desalinating water, Fars reported.

“The AEOI plans to build small power plants in the Southern parts of the country for desalination purposes. Construction of such power plants are on the agenda and will be materialized in the next few years,” Fars quoted Kamalvandi as saying.

When asked about Iranian efforts to build new nuclear reactors, the State Department has said that this type of work is still permissible under existing agreements.

“In general, the construction of light water nuclear reactors is not prohibited by U.N. Security Council resolutions, nor does it violate the [interim agreement,” a State Department official told the Washington Free Beacon in January.

“We have been clear in saying that the purpose of the negotiations with Iran is to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remains exclusively for civilian, peaceful purposes,” the official said at the time. “The talks that we have been engaged in for months involve a specific set of issues relative to closing off all possible pathways to Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb. That remains our focus.”

Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser, said that years of diplomacy with Iran have nearly unraveled a sanctions regime that brought the Iranian economy to its knees.

“Obama’s partisans like to bash Republicans as anti-diplomacy and they vilify men like [former U.N. Ambassador] John Bolton,” Rubin said. “But it was John Bolton who crafted unanimous and near unanimous U.N. Security Council Resolutions to bring Iran to its knees, while it is the likes of Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry who have unraveled multilateral pressure and opened the floodgates both to Iranian enrichment and to adversaries like China and Russia to jump in with deals that make Iranian cheating even easier.”

“For all their rhetoric and fawning press, Obama and Kerry have confirmed themselves as the real JV team in the region,” Rubin said.

.

.

President Asshat Humiliated As Allies Rush To Join China’s New Bank

Diplomatic Disaster: Obama Humiliated By Allies’ Rush To Join China’s New Bank – Washington Times

.

.
The battle of wills between Beijing and Washington over a China-sponsored development bank for Asia is turning into a rout, and the Obama administration has found itself isolated and embarrassed as its top allies lined up this week to join the proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

In what one analyst dubbed a “diplomatic disaster” for the U.S., Britain became the first major European ally to sign on as a founding member of the Shanghai-based investment bank, joined quickly by France, Germany and Italy, which dismissed public and private warnings from the U.S. about the bank’s potential impact on global lending standards and the competition it could provide to existing institutions such as the U.S.-dominated World Bank.

Luxembourg, a major global financial center, revealed this week that it would sign up. China also is also wooing Australia and South Korea, two of America’s closest Asian allies, to join before the March 31 deadline. A South Korean wire service reported Wednesday that Seoul was “seriously considering” the offer.

The reason for the stampede is clear: China’s market and its huge hoard of cash to invest override any concerns voiced by the U.S. Treasury Department and State Department over Beijing’s half-ownership stake in the bank.

“Simply put, if you partake, you have a stake,” Thomas Koenig, a policy analyst with the European Union Chamber of Commerce, told the German broadcast service Deutsche Welle.

With 32 countries on board and more expected in the coming days, Chinese state media have begun to gloat about the failure of the Obama administration to rally even its closest allies and trading partners to shun the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. They noted that U.S. officials have long lectured China, now the world’s second-largest economy, to take a more active “stakeholder” role in global economic affairs, but then tried to undermine the investment bank almost from the time Chinese President Xi Jinping floated the idea of an Asian development fund during a trip to Indonesia in October 2013.

“Welcome Germany! Welcome France! Welcome Italy!” the official Chinese Xinhua News Agency wrote in a commentary published Wednesday.

“Despite a petulant and cynical Washington,” more and more major countries are joining, the commentary noted. “Holding sour grapes over the AIIB makes America look isolated and hypocritical.”

Chinese officials noted Wednesday that the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will be on the agenda for the summit of top Chinese, Japanese and South Korean diplomats Saturday in Seoul. Chinese Deputy Finance Minister Shi Yaobin told reporters in Beijing that the U.S. would still be welcomed as a founding partner.

Saying Asia’s booming infrastructure financing needs – estimated at a staggering $700 billion annually – aren’t being met by institutions such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, China is putting up half of the planned initial $50 billion financing to launch the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. India, another U.S. ally, is the second-biggest investor, and a group of developing countries from Asia and the Middle East quickly signed on.

The Obama administration has been skeptical of the idea from the start, arguing that the proposed bank could prove redundant and could undercut lending standards on such issues as worker protections and the environment. China’s large stake also raised red flags, U.S. officials said, about whether the bank would favor Beijing’s economic and strategic priorities.

Clash over clout

Underlying the public debate was a clear clash between Washington and Beijing over clout in the globe’s leading financial infrastructure, set up largely by the United States in the wake of World War II and still largely dominated in the senior ranks by U.S., European and Japanese officials.

“We are wary about a trend toward constant accommodation of China, which is not the best way to engage a rising power,” an unidentified U.S. official told the Financial Times newspaper after news broke that Britain would join the bank.

Rising powers such as China, Brazil and India also have expressed mounting frustration that a proposed overhaul of the International Monetary Fund to reset voting rights to reflect the new global pecking order has been blocked because the Obama administration and the Republican-dominated Congress have been unable to pass it.

Analysts say Chinese officials have skillfully tried to meet concerns that Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank members will be drawn into a power clash. During a visit to Australia last month, Zhou Qiangwu, a point man for Beijing’s selling efforts, noted that the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank would be run by a multinational secretariat and use the same management structure as the Asian Development Bank and World Bank.

The proposed bank would “follow the international practice and give highest attention to environmental impact and resettlement” issues, he said, with strong safeguards against corruption.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew tried to moderate the U.S. line against the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in testimony on Capitol Hill this week, insisting that the administration’s primary goal was to ensure that the bank did not undermine lending standards.

“I hope before the final commitments are made anyone who lends their name to this organization will make sure that the governance is appropriate,” Mr. Lew said.

But the White House and the State Department said this week that it was the “sovereign decision” of each country on whether to participate in the bank.

Mr. Lew did acknowledge that the longtime U.S. and Western primacy in the global financial sphere was being challenged by China and other rising powers, which may not share Washington’s priorities.

“New players are challenging U.S. leadership in the multilateral system,” Mr. Lew said, pleading for passage of the IMF reform package. “Our international credibility and influence are being threatened.”

But private analysts say that credibility and influence have taken major hits from the rush to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

C. Fred Bergsten, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics, wrote this week that the Obama administration made a huge mistake by trying to undermine the bank, not only failing to persuade allies to stay out but also strengthening the voices in Beijing who argue that the U.S. is trying to keep China down.

“The U.S. hostility reinforces the Chinese view that U.S. strategy is to contain and suppress it,” he wrote, “so increasing rather than decreasing the prospect of uncooperative Chinese behavior.”

Financial Times columnist Gideon Rachman said this week that the saga “is turning into a diplomatic debacle for the U.S.”

“By setting up and then losing a power struggle with China,” he said, “Washington has sent an unintended signal about the drift of power and influence in the 21st century.”

.

.

A Dozen Facts Debunking Global Warming Obama Can’t Answer (Despite The Phony China Deal) – By Yid With Lid

A Dozen Facts Debunking Global Warming Obama Can’t Answer (Despite The Phony China Deal) – Yid With Lid

.
…………

.
The news was announced early Wednesday November 12, a pseudo climate agreement between the U.S. and China.

Under the deal, the United States would cut its carbon emissions between 26-28% – from levels established in 2005 – by 2025. China would peak its carbon emissions no later than 2030 and would also increase the use of non-fossil fuels to 20% by 2030.

“As the world’s two largest economies, energy consumers and emitters of greenhouse gases, we have a special responsibility to lead the global effort against climate change,” Obama said Wednesday.

Notice in the deal China doesn’t have to start cutting back till 2030 and no cut is outlined just a 20% increase. How could they not agree to that. Their biggest economic competitor has to cut back 25-28% by 2025 and they don’t have to even start cutting for another five years. This isn’t a deal it’s a scam the President can use to sell his executive fiats about climate change. According to Poltico, the President is about to embark on two years of climate-related executive orders, guaranteed to trash the economy.

Does the President really understand what is going on with the climate or is he just promoting the hypothesis because it will result in a worldwide redistribution of income between rich and poor nations? Either way this President is denying the climate facts.

For those of you who want to think for themselves rather than simply listen to the scary speeches of the global warming proponents, I have created a list of a dozen facts about global warming, that those those folks making the scary speeches cannot respond.

Everything below is a fact and I invite the POTUS and /or his climate friends to respond. But they wont. Instead they will call me names like denier or member of the Flat Earth Society (actually there really is a Flat Earth Society and its president believes in the global warming hypothesis so who is the real “flat-earther?)

.

.
1) Through Halloween of 2014- The Global Warming Pause has lasted 18 years and one month. Heartland Institute analyst, Peter Ferrara, notes “If you look at the record of global temperature data, you will find that the late 20th Century period of global warming actually lasted about 20 years, from the late 1970s to the late 1990s. Before that, the globe was dominated by about 30 years of global cooling, giving rise in the 1970s to media discussions of the return of the Little Ice Age (circa 1450 to 1850), or worse.” So there was thirty years of cooling followed by 20 years of warming and almost 18 years of cooling… and that’s what the global warming scare is all about.

2) Antarctic Sea Ice is at record levels and the Arctic ice cap has seen record growth. Global sea ice area has been averaging above normal for the past two years. But to get around those facts, the global warming enthusiasts are claiming that global warming causes global cooling (really).

3) Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant it’s what you exhale and it is what “feeds” plants. Without CO2 there would not be a single blade of grass or a redwood tree, nor would there be the animal life that depends on vegetation; wheat and rice, for example, as food. Without CO2 mankind would get pretty hungry. Even worse the global warming proponants keep talking about population control because they don’t want more people around to exhale, and let’s not talk about what they say about stopping methane (no spicy foods, no cows, no fart jokes).

4) There is not ONE climate computer model that has accurately connected CO2 to climate change. In fact CO2 is at its highest levels in 13,000 years and the earth hasn’t warmed in almost 18 years. Approximately 12,750 years ago before big cars and coal plants CO2 levels were higher than today. And during some past ice ages levels were up to 20x today’s levels.

5) Even with the relatively high levels there is very little CO2 in the atmosphere. At 78% nitrogen is the most abundant gas in the Earth’s atmosphere. Oxygen is the second most abundant gas-of-life in the atmosphere at 21%. Water vapor is the third most abundant gas-of-life in the atmosphere; it varies up to 5%. Exhale freely because carbon dioxide is the least abundant gas in the atmosphere at 0.04%.

.

.
6) The climate models pushed by the global warming enthusiasts haven’t been right. Think about that one for a second. If you believe what people like Al Gore the polar ice caps should have melted by now (actually by last year), most coastal cities should be underwater and it should be a lot warmer by now. As my Mom always said, Man plans and God laughs. The Earth’s climate is a very complicated system and the scientists haven’t been able to account for all the components to create an accurate model.

7) You are more likely to see the tooth fairy or a unicorn than a 97% consensus of scientists believing that there is man-made global warming. The number is a convenient fraud. Investigative journalists at Popular Technology reported the 97% Study falsely classifies scientists’ papers, according to the scientists that published them. A more extensive examination of the Cook study reported that out of the nearly 12,000 scientific papers Cook’s team evaluated, only 65 endorsed Cook’s alarmist position. That is less than 0.97%. How did they come up with 97%? Well out of all the scientists who had a definite opinion, 97% agreed there was global warming and it was the fault of mankind. And how did the Cook folks determine which scientists believed what? They didn’t ask, they read papers written by these scientists and came up with their own opinion.

8) I changed my mind… this past February, Patrick Moore, a Canadian ecologist, and the co-founder of Greenpeace, the militant environmental group told members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee “There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years.” There are more like Moore.

9) Back to Ice Age – predictions. When I took Earth Science in college 38 years ago, the professor explained that the scientific consensus was we are heading toward an ice age. That was just before text books were changed to discuss global warming. That was followed by calling it climate change. Now many scientists claim there is new evidence that the Earth may be heading toward an ice age (please stop crying Mr. Gore).

10) Droughts have not increased. It is misleading and just plain incorrect to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate timescales either in the United States or globally,” Professor Roger Pielke Jr. said in his testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

In May of 2014 Professor Pielke published a graph that shows the intensity of the planet’s droughts from 1982 to 2012. The graph shows that neither droughts nor their intensity have seen a growth trend during that 30-year period.

11) Polar Bears are alive and well and not dying out. In the Fall 2014 issue of RANGE Magazine Dr. Susan Crockford wrote, “In a recent TV ad campaign, the Center for Biological Diversity said, “global warming is pushing polar bears to the absolute brink.” Results of recent research show this to be a lie – fat, healthy bears like this one from near Barrow, Alaska, are still common and many of the assumptions used by computer models to predict future disasters have turned out to be wrong.” In case you were wondering, walruses are doing fine also.

12) No Increase In Hurricanes: A study published in the July 2012 Journal of the American Meteorological Society concluded unequivocally there is no trend of stronger or more frequent storms, asserting:

We have identified considerable inter-annual variability in the frequency of global hurricane landfalls, but within the resolution of the available data, our evidence does not support the presence of significant long-period global or individual basin linear trends for minor, major, or total hurricanes within the period(s) covered by the available quality data.

Actually to be honest global warming is man-made. While the Earth isn’t warming an the theory and the scare about global warming is entirely man-made.

.

.

Mental Deficiency Update: Joe Biden Says China Is Part Of North America

Joe Biden Tells Harvard Students China A Part Of North America – Big Government

Vice President Joe Biden made another gaffe on Thursday, telling Harvard students that China is a part of North America.

.

.
Speaking at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Biden made yet another blunder after saying that “North America is literally – not figuratively – the epicenter of energy in the world today.”

“North America will account–meaning Mexico, China and Canada–for two-thirds of the growth of global energy supply over the next 20 years,” Biden said. “By 2018, the United States will be a net exporter of natural gas, and most projections show North America will be totally energy independent by 2020, and the United States shortly thereafter.”

Biden continued by saying “there are more rigs, gas and oil rigs in the United States pumping today than every other nation in the world combined.”

.

.

Thanks Barack… China, Russia, And Iran Want A Crack At Controlling The Internet

China, Russia, And Iran Want A Crack At Controlling The Internet – Breitbart

Each passing day sees more resistance to the Obama Administration’s announced handover of Internet domain supervision to an as-yet undetermined global agency. There’s still plenty of support for the move as well, but the pendulum seems to be swinging against it this week.

.

.
This morning we heard from a few Republican critics of the Internet handover. National Journal adds Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) to the list:


“If the Obama Administration gives away its oversight of the Internet, it will be gone forever,” wrote Daniel Castro, a senior analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

Castro argued that the world “could be faced with a splintered Internet that would stifle innovation, commerce, and the free flow and diversity of ideas that are bedrock tenets of world’s biggest economic engine.”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, called the announcement a “hostile step” against free speech.

“Giving up control of ICANN will allow countries like China and Russia that don’t place the same value in freedom of speech to better define how the internet looks and operates,” she said in a statement.

It’s hard to argue with Mr. Castro’s point; there will be no way for the United States to regain oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers once it’s been handed off to some global body. And there are good reasons for Rep. Blackburn to worry about what the composition of that global body might be, as National Journal notes “China, Russia, Iran, and dozens of other countries are already pushing for more control over the Internet through the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations agency.”

The Administration has promised that it won’t accept foreign governments controlling ICANN, and has specifically promised the International Telecommunications Union won’t be involved. And we all know how calmly and logically these decisions tend to be made, once they’re handed off to the “international community.” Just look at how swimmingly the United Nations’ effort to halt Russian annexation of Crimea is going!

It’s somewhat annoying to hear American supporters of the ICANN handover doing their level best to validate the narrative that their own country can no longer be trusted with oversight of the Internet, while actual users point out that U.S. supervision has been working out quite well, as in these quotes from a Politico story:

If the agency hadn’t relinquished its oversight, the ITU could continue to argue that ICANN functioned as a pawn for the U.S. government, said former Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), who oversaw the Energy and Commerce subcommittee with jurisdiction over ICANN. “This will reduce the level of global controversy.”

The uncertain path forward still has some in the business community concerned.

“I don’t see how the future ends up being better than the last decade of responsible stewardship by the U.S.,” said Steve DelBianco, executive director of the trade association NetChoice, which counts Yahoo and Facebook as members. “Once the contract leverage is gone, what’s to prevent ICANN from being more significantly influenced by [specific] governments… The devil is in the details.”

So let’s hear those iron-clad, foolproof plans to keep authoritarian regimes from getting their hands on ICANN once America casts it adrift into the uncertain waters of the international community.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

Big shocker of the day EPA head is a Communist

Of course she is, show me one member of Team Obama that isn’t.

Via CNS News:

Ahead of her upcoming trip to China, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy told a liberal advocacy group in Washington on Monday that she has dedicated her life to protecting the environment: “And I really see no greater issue and no more urgent threat to public health than climate change.”

McCarthy said the goal of her trip is to support the Chinese “in meeting their air pollution challenges,” and she said China has much to learn from the United States.

“Climate change is not just a public health and safety issue,” McCarthy told the Center for American Progress. “I consider it to be one of the greatest economic challenges of our time as well, which is why I’m really looking forward to the trip and why I was very excited back this summer when President Obama spoke so eloquently and so comprehensively about the urgency to act on climate change when he spoke at Georgetown University.”

BS! It is all about redistribution folks. Green is the new RED!

 

If I were president………….

I would be very clear, not “clear” like Mr. Let Me Be Clear While I Lie Through My Teeth To You, but truly clear, especially to other nations.

To North Korea I would say, this. The next threat you issue towards us, or our allies will be taken seriously, and will result in your country losing a major military installation of our choosing. A second threat will result in, well, you might not want to even think about that.

To Hamid Karzai I would say. We are leaving, you are on your own, you will not place our military at a disadvantage with moronic rules of engagement that favor terrorists. 

To Mexico I would say simply that we are going to seal our border and control who enters. Any group caught smuggling drugs into America will be found and eradicated by any means within our power to bring to bear. Also those drug cartels, which pose, in my view, a threat to Americans living in border states, will be dealt with by YOU, or I will confer with my military leaders and discern the most effective way to eradicate that vermin. And we will do so, and you will stay the Hell out-of-the-way.

To Iran a simple note would suffice. If you continue pursuing nuclear weapons, and thus posing a grave threat to us and our allies, I will not only support Israel in taking your capability out, but the United States military will be taking full part.

To China just this. Dear Chicoms, we will fly our fucking planes where we want WHEN we want, end of discussion! Oh, and about Taiwan, and Japan, do not even think about it.

Finally to the UN just a few words. Get you building the Hell out of America, YESTERDAY!

 

B-52’s “violate” Chinese air space, China whines

I cannot believe Team Obama actually let this happen

In an escalating standoff reminiscent of the Cold War, China on Tuesday responded angrily to news that two U.S. B-52 bombers had flown over a contested chain of islands in the East China Sea without first alerting Beijing — just days after China unilaterally announced an expanded air-defense zone around the islands.

The Pentagon’s sudden dispatch of the bombers was meant as a show of support for close ally Japan, which is in a protracted sovereignty dispute with China over the islands. But the move risks escalating an already heated situation, according to an editorial posted on the website of China Daily, a state-supported newspaper known to closely track Beijing’s official positions on such matters.

“The Japanese and U.S. hysteria is unnecessary, and potentially dangerous, because it is based on a serious misreading, if not intentional distortion, of Chinese strategic purposes,” states the editorial, which claimed Washington has no legitimate basis for challenging the new air-defense zone, known in Chinese military parlance as an Air Defense Identification Zone, or “ADIZ.”

“Dozens of countries, including Japan and the United States, have their own ADIZs. And the US, as the inventor of such zones, should be well aware of their defensive nature,” the editorial states. “If the world’s sole superpower, with an unrivaled military, needs multiple ADIZs to fend off perceived threats, why should China not need any?”

Publication of the editorial came as The Wall Street Journal first reported that the Washington had dispatched the two B-52 bombers from Guam Monday evening specifically to challenge the Chinese claim to exclusive control of the airspace.

China is testing us, I pray we have the resolve not to blink

 

Typhoon Haiyan Feared To Have Killed 10,000 Filipinos; Vietnam And China Prepare For The Worst (Pictures/Video)

Typhoon Haiyan Feared To Have Killed Ten Thousand Filipinos As Vietnam And China Now Prepare For The Worst – Daily Mail

The death toll from one of the most powerful storms on record could reach 10,000 according to officials.

So far Typhoon Haiyan is said to have killed 1,200 people in the Philippines and left many more injured, but the figure could rise dramatically after the full devastation of the ferocious storm was realised.

According to the Red Cross, 1,000 have been left dead in the devastated city of Tacloban on the island of Leyte with a further 200 casualties in Samar Province.

Regional police chief Elmer Soria said he was briefed by Leyte provincial Govenor Dominic Petilla late last night and told there were about 10,000 deaths on the island, mostly by drowning and from collapsed buildings.

About four million people are believed to have been affected by the category five storm, according to the country’s national disaster agency. This figure includes 800,000 who had to be evacuated before the storm struck.

.

.

Winds of up to 235mph and gusts of 170mph left a trail of destruction – triggering major landslides, knocking out power and communications and causing catastrophic widespread damage. Hundreds of homes have been flattened and scores of streets flooded.

The storm is now moving towards mainland Asian and is expected to reach Vietnam coastal areas on Sunday morning while humanitarian experts estimate the number of casualties will rise considerably.

Weather forecasts have also predicted more bad weather could be on the way to the Philippines at the beginning of next week, with high winds expected to arrive on Monday.

The Foreign Office in the Philippines’ capital Manila has had no reports of British casualties but it is feared thousands have been left stranded as a result.

About 15,000 British nationals are said to live on the islands and every year 65,000 visit tourist hotspots like northern Cebu Province and Boracay Island, both of which have been savaged by the storm.

Vietnamese authorities have begun evacuating 100,000 people as they prepare to face the full force of the ferocious weather. ‘The evacuation is being conducted with urgency,’ disaster official Nguyen Thi Yen Linh said from central Danang City, where some 76,000 were being moved to safety.

Around 300,000 others have been taken to shelters in the provinces of Quang Ngai, Quang Nam and Thua Thien Hue. Schools were closed and two deputy prime ministers were sent to the region to direct preparations.

The army has been brought in to provide emergency relief with some 170,000 soldiers assisting people after the typhoon hits.

Haiyan is likely to be a category two or three storm when it hits the Vietnamese coast, but the Red Cross has warned some 6.5 million people in in the country could be affected.

It is expected to reach Da Nang province tomorrow morning before moving up the country’s west coast and eventually making its way to the capital, Hanoi.

.

.

.

Weather experts predict the country will experience sea surges, strong winds and up to two feet of rain, triggering massive floods.

Chinese authorities have also issued a level three emergency response throughout the country, ordering fisherman to shelter their boats to prevent any damage.

It will be the 30th typhoon to hit China this year with the central and southern parts of Hainan and Sansha city expected to be hit by downpours in the next 24 hours.

Officials in neighbouring Laos and Cambodia are also taking precautions in an attempt to soften the impact of the ferocious storm.

Humanitarian experts say they expect the number of casualties to be ‘massive’. A Red Cross spokesman said: ‘We now fear that thousands will have lost their lives.’

The UK has sent a team of three experts to the country today to assess the extent of the damage, after which the Government will decide upon its response, a spokesman for the Department for International Development (Dfid) said.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening has also pledged £6 million worth of emergency aid.

She said: ‘My thoughts are with the people of the Philippines, in particular those who have lost loved ones. UK support is now under way.

‘Many thousands of people in remote, hard-to-reach communities have lost their homes and everything they own. They are living in the open and completely exposed to the elements.

‘The absolute priority must be to reach them with shelter and protection as soon as possible.

‘UK support will provide urgently needed access to clean water, shelter, household items and blankets,

‘We are also sending additional humanitarian experts from the UK to work with the DfID team and international agencies, including ensuring partners are prioritising the protection of vulnerable girls and women.’

The category-5 super typhoon Haiyan – Chinese for ‘sea bird’ – smashed into the eastern islands of the Philippines with winds nearly 150mph stronger than the St Jude storm which struck the UK in late October.

Roofs were ripped from houses, ferocious 20ft waves washed away coastal villages, power lines came down and trees were uprooted.

.

.

Capt. John Andrews, deputy director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, said he had received ‘reliable information’ by radio that more than 100 bodies were lying in the streets of Tacloban on hardest-hit Leyte Island.

Regional military commander Lt. Gen. Roy Deveraturda said that the casualty figure ‘probably will increase’ after viewing aerial photographs of the widespread devastation caused by the typhoon.

Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras, a senior aide to President Benigno Aquino III, said that the number of casualties could not be immediately determined, but that the figure was ‘probably in that range’ given by Andrews. Government troops were helping recover bodies, he said.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said it was too early to know how many people had died in the storm.

In the aftermath, Filipinos have taken to social media in an attempt to find missing loved ones by posting photos on Twitter.

.

.

In Tacloban, a city of more than 200,000 believed to be one of the worst hit cities, corrugated iron sheets were ripped from roofs before crashing into buildings, according to video footage taken by a resident.

Flash floods also turned Tacloban’s streets into rivers, while a pictures from an ABS-CBN television reporter showed six bamboo houses washed away along a beach more than 200 kilometres to the south.

Civil aviation authorities in Tacloban, about 360 miles southeast of Manila, reported the seaside airport terminal was ‘ruined’ by storm surges.

U.S. Marine Col. Mike Wylie, who surveyed the damage in Tacloban prior to possible American assistance, said that the damage to the runway was significant. However, military planes were still able to land with relief aid.

.

.

Vice mayor Jim Pe of Coron town on Busuanga, the last island battered by the typhoon before it blew away to the South China Sea, said most of the houses and buildings there had been destroyed or damaged.

Five people drowned in the storm surge and three others are missing. He said: ‘It was like a 747 flying just above my roof.’ adding that his family and some of his neighbours whose houses were destroyed took shelter in his basement.

ABS-CBN also showed fierce winds whipping buildings and vehicles as storm surges swamped Tacloban with debris-laden floodwaters.

In the aftermath, people were seen weeping while retrieving bodies of loved ones inside buildings and on a street that was littered with fallen trees, roofing material and other building parts torn off in the typhoon’s fury.

All that was left of one large building whose walls were smashed in were the skeletal remains of its rafters.

ABS-CBN television anchor Ted Failon, who was able to report only briefly Friday from Tacloban, said the storm surge was ‘like the tsunami in Japan’.

‘The sea engulfed Tacloban,’ he said, explaining that a major part of the city is surrounded on three sides by the waters between Leyte and Samar islands.

.

.

Before he left Tacloban today, Failon said he saw people like a ‘pack of rats’ looting a department store taking whatever they could lay their hands on including refrigerators and TV sets. TV footage showed a group of men smiling as they walked away with a large ice cream freezer and other goods.

Relief workers today said they are having difficulties delivering food and other supplies, with roads blocked by landslides and fallen trees.

The Philippines is made up of more than 7,000 islands, so delivering aid can take up to two or tree days.

Red Cross chief Gwendolyn Pang said they struggled to deliver aid in the adverse conditions.

She said: ‘We’ve had reports of uprooted trees, very strong winds and houses made of light materials being damaged

‘We have put rescue teams and equipment at different places, but at the moment we can’t really do much because of the heavy rain and strong winds. There is no power’.

Mrs Pang added the death toll, which is said to have exceeded 1,000, was just an ‘estimate’.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said the enormous rescue operation was still ongoing.

He added: ‘We expect a very high number of fatalities as well as injured. All systems, all vestiges of modern living – communications, power, water – all are down. Media is down, so there is no way to communicate with the people in a mass sort of way.’

Ben Webster, disaster response manager for the Red Cross, added: ‘Preparedness is strengthening over the years as agencies become more proficient at preparing for disasters, technology is improving so we can forecast a bit more reliably, so it is getting better in terms of preparation.

‘But there are still hundreds of thousands of families likely to have been impacted, and even if the loss of life isn’t as high as it usually is, these are still people who need homes and livelihoods which will have been impacted by this huge storm.

.

.

‘The British Red Cross launched an appeal yesterday which the public can support. We have already released £100,000 yesterday which will support relief items, 10,000 tarpaulins were sent from Kuala Lumpur, and 2,000 hygiene parcels as well.

‘The whole international Red Cross movement will be mobilising to support the Philippines Red Cross and the International Federation in country to be able to respond to the situation.’

Marie Madamba-Nunez of Oxfam, which has already dispatched aid to the Philippines, said: ‘Making sure people have clean water, safe sanitation and a roof over peoples heads will be an immediate priority.

‘These disasters compound the burden of Philippines’ poorest people. Small scale farmers and those relying on fishing to make a living will be hardest hit. Their fields and their boats and tackle will be badly damaged and they will need help not only today but in months to come.

‘Economic solutions to root out poverty and inequality must be paired with minimising the risk of poor communities to the vagaries of weather and climate change.’

.

.

Save the Children said up to 7,000 schools could have been damaged by Haiyan, as the aid agency battles to reach the hardest hit areas.

The charity’s country director Anna Lindenfors said: ‘We are very concerned for the poorest and most vulnerable children in some of the hardest hit places like Tacloban where there is likely to be catastrophic damage, especially to the homes of the poorest people who live in buildings made from flimsy materials.’

‘While the immediate focus must be on saving lives, we are also extremely worried that thousands of schools will have been knocked out of action or badly affected by the typhoon.

‘In the worst hit areas this will have a terrible impact on children’s education and it will be important that we help them back to school as quickly as possible.’

Speaking in the aftermath of the storm Paul Knightley, forecast manager at MeteoGroup, described Haiyan as ‘one of the strongest typhoons ever seen before on the planet in the modern age’.

.

.

‘It is an incredibly powerful storm, which has now moved through the Philippines. No doubt we will see all sorts of damage has been caused.

‘As far as tropical storms go, this is about the top of the ladder. To get winds approaching 200mph as an average wind speed within the storm – you’re talking the top few percent of all storms that have ever occurred.

‘It may be one of the – if not the – strongest land-falling storm we’ve seen for many years, possibly in recorded history.’

The storm brought further misery to thousands of residents of Bohol who had been camped in tents and other makeshift shelters after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the island last month.

At least 5,000 survivors were still living in tents on the island, and they were moved to schools that had been turned into evacuation centres.

.

.

Speaking yesterday, Roger Mercado, governor of Southern Leyte, an island off the coast off the popular tourist region of Cebu, told how dense clouds and heavy rains turned day into night.

‘When you’re faced with such a scenario, you can only pray and pray and pray,’ he said, as weather forecasters warned of ‘catastrophic’ damage.

The governor added: ‘My worst fear is that there will be many massive loss of lives and property.’

In preparation for the typhoon, officials in Cebu province shut down electric services to the northern part of the province to avoid electrocutions in case power pylons are toppled, said assistant regional civil defence chief Flor Gaviola.

.

.

President Benigno Aquino assured the public of war-like preparations, with three C-130 air force cargo planes and 32 military helicopters and planes on standby, along with 20 navy ships.

Authorities halted ferry services and fishing operations, while nearly 200 local flights had been suspended. Commuter bus services were also stopped as the storm dumped torrential rain and ripped iron roofs off buildings and houses.

Schools, offices and shops in the central Philippines were closed, with hospitals, soldiers and emergency workers on standby for rescue operations.

‘We can hear the winds howling but the rains are not too strong. We have encountered several distress calls regarding fallen trees and power lines cut. We don’t have power now,’ Samar Vice Governor Stephen James Tan said in a radio interview yesterday.

An average of 20 major storms or typhoons, many of them deadly, hit the Philippines each year.

.

.

The developing country is particularly vulnerable because it is often the first major landmass for the storms after they build over the Pacific Ocean.

The Philippine government and some scientists have said climate change may be increasing the ferocity and frequency of storms.

Others say Pacific waters were an important reason for the strength of Haiyan, but added it was premature to blame climate change based on the scanty historical data available.

The poverty-stricken country has already endured a year of earthquakes and floods, with no fewer than 24 disastrous weather events.

The Philippines suffered the world’s strongest storm of 2012, when Typhoon Bopha left about 2,000 people dead or missing on the southern island of Mindanao.

.

.

The Philippines has known disaster at the hands of mother nature as recently as 2011 when typhoon Washi killed 1,200 people, displaced 300,000 and destroyed more than 10,000 homes.

In September, category-five typhoon Usagi, with winds gusting of up to 149 mph, battered the northern island of Batanes before causing damage in southern China.

Bopha last year flattened three coastal towns on the southern island of Mindanao, killing 1,100 people and wreaking damage estimated at $1.04 billion.

Cambodian authorities said they were closely watching the development of the world’s biggest storm to materialise.

Storm trackers have predicted the storm could reach China on Tuesday, but the wind speeds will have dropped to between 25 and 35mph.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

Better check your mail boxes kids

The Lonely Conservative has great news about what just might be coming soon

I received my “Obamacare enrollment packet” from the White House.

 It contained:
· An aspirin and a band-aid.
· An ‘Obama Hope & Change’ bumper sticker
· A ‘Bush’s Fault’ yard sign
· A ‘Blame Republicans first, then anybody and everybody’ poster
· A ‘Tax the Rich’ banner
· An application for unemployment and a free cellphone
· An application for food stamps
· A prayer rug
· A letter assigning my debt to my grandchildren
· And lastly, a coupon for a machine that blows smoke up my ass. 
Everything was made in ” China ” and all directions were in Spanish…

 

Melissa Harris-Perry reaches a new level of stupidity

There are many stupid people wh often times just do not think. Then there the truly stupid people, who are not guilty of not thinking, they are just sincerely stupid. Then there is the Phil Donahue/Jimmy Carter Level of Stupidity. These two men, and others like them simply refuse to see thing that are glaringly obvious. 

So, like, um, well, ah, thinking makes my head hurts
So, like, um, well, ah, thinking makes my head hurt

Then there is Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBS. She is so deep in the Pit of Eternal Liberal Stupidity that she might soon hit China, as The Lonely Conservative notes

 

Good grief, Melissa Harris-Perry weighed in on Detroit’s bankruptcy filing, and if this isn’t the dumbest piece of analysis of the problem offered to date I’ll eat my fork. She blamed it on small government. I kid you not, she told all three of her viewers that the reason Detroit is bankrupt is that the government is too small, and this is what Republicans want to do to all of our cities.

MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry went on to note that Detroit’s tax base, e.g. the city’s population, has declined dramatically in the last decade. Harris-Perry presents this fact as though former Detroit residents left – estimated in 2011 at one resident every 22 minutes — on a whim without making a cost/benefit calculation as to whether to continue to reside in a city with one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation with a poverty rate of a staggering 40 percent.

Furthermore, since Detroit’s population has fallen below 750,000, it was not legally allowed to collect income taxes from its residents until Gov. Rick Snyder and the state’ legislature reduced that threshold to 600,000 two years ago. The city’s population hovers today around 700,000 residents.

“But this lack of tax base is also exactly the thing that many Republicans would impose on us even when our cities have sufficient populations,” Harris-Perry added. “Even when our communities have sufficient populations.”

“This is what it looks like when government is small enough to drown if your bathtub and it is not a pretty picture,” she said.

Detroit is bankrupt and fading fast for one reason, Decades of policies set by people who think like Perry does. But even looking directly at the results of Liberal rule, Perry still blames Detroit’s woes on those that have NOT had their policies in effect. Of course she ignores WHY so many people left in the first place. LIBERAL GOVERNMENT!

British National Health Service Going Broke, Doctors Say It’s Worse Than Communist China

UK’s National Health Service Going Broke, British Docs Say It’s Worse Than Communist China – CNS

As the U.S. government takes its first faltering steps to implement Obamacare, doctors in Britain are complaining that their country’s £5.6 billion publicly funded National Health Service (NHS) is “worse than Communist China.”

.

Physicians attending the British Medical Association’s annual conference in Edinburgh said they were fed-up with NHS bureaucrats overriding their medical decisions, “bullying” doctors, and putting money concerns before patient care, according to a June 25 story in the UK Telegraph.

“Not even in Communist China did they have managers overruling doctors in the operation of hospitals and health services,” Dr. Peter Holden, a member of the BMA, is quoted as saying.

But even though British physicians say that NHS bureaucrats are compromising patient care to save money, the government-run healthcare system is about to run out of funds, the Telegraph reported July 5th.

And by 2020, the largest single-payer healthcare system in the world will be running a deficit six times larger than its annual operating budget, forcing the closure of up to 20 percent of Britain’s hospitals, which are already inundated with patients seeking free care.

A recent Telegraph investigation found “ambulance patients waiting up to eight hours” to be transferred to emergency rooms, adding that “the numbers forced to wait at least two hours outside A&Es (Accident & Emergency Centers) “has risen by two thirds in just one year.”

Not all NHS employees are feeling the pinch. A recent contract gives senior hospital staff a 28 percent pay raise while allowing them to refuse to work evenings and weekends, the Telegraph reported.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

Boy, The members of the Gore Cult of Climate Change are getting a bit testy

Executing polluters? Hey, if it is good enough for Communist China, then it ought to be good enough for the Climate Nazis, as William Teach reports

Really excited. Here’s Grist’s John Upton

There are carrot and stick approaches to tackling pollution. China is reaching for the stick. The country announced Wednesday that it is willing to impose the harshest possible penalty on polluters. From Reuters:

Chinese authorities have given courts the powers to hand down the death penalty in serious pollution cases, state media said, as the government tries to assuage growing public anger at environmental desecration. …

A new judicial interpretation which took effect on Wednesday would impose “harsher punishments” and tighten “lax and superficial” enforcement of the country’s environmental protection laws, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

“In the most serious cases the death penalty could be handed down,” it said.

Teach points out that China is talking about actual pollution, not the Green is the new Red Climate Change baloney. But, still some Warmists are all for executing those that do not bow to their insidious demands

This isn’t the first time Warmists have had fantasies about criminal penalties and death for people who aren’t helping to reduce “carbon pollution,” and won’t be the last. This continues in the comments

  • About time! Looks like China is out front on this issue. Too bad we don’t have this in the U.S., there probably wouldn’t be a corporate scumbag left. (yeah, there would be no one to produce the computer your used to write your comment)
  • While I would strongly prefer a more enlightened society where people lived a lot more lightly on the Earth in much smaller numbers and treated each other a lot better, that’s a distant goal, not current reality. As you said, execution would be a great incentive to get these assholes to stop polluting our planet, as nothing else has worked to any substantial extent.
  • What would be even more effective is if the customers of these polluters were put to death. Make it a capital offense to buy gasoline. Use a plastic utensil and die. Turn the lights on and it’s the gallows for you. After all, these polluters wouldn’t pollute if they didn’t have willing customers.
  • If we did this in North America there would hardly be a CEO left – sounds about right to me.
  • See, I never understood how people could accept totalitarianism until climate change. I am at the point where I would accept horrible things if they actually did do something about climate change.

Wow, can you say UNHINGED? Here we have people wanting you killed for using electricity, or putting gas in your car. Which, of course begs the question, is using an electric car worthy of the death penalty in their twisted minds? Or maybe some electricity is more equal than other electricity? The last comment is my favorite. That commenter would embrace horrible deeds done by a totalitarian regime if they were done in the name of stopping climate change! I suppose they never considered that once you give that power to government, then no one is safe from that government. But then again, thinking is not the strong suit of these useful idiots!

Again, the United States negotiates from a weak position

Good Grief!

Secretary of State John Kerry flew to China on Saturday and sought to elicit China’s help in dealing with an increasingly recalcitrant nuclear armed North Korea by saying that American missile defenses could be cut back if the North abandoned its nuclear program.

Mr. Kerry’s trip to China, his first since taking office, is part of an intensive three-day push to try to calm tensions on the Korean Peninsula that have threatened to spiral out of control and rattled world leaders.

In a news conference, Mr. Kerry suggested that the United States could remove some newly enhanced missile defenses in the region, though he did not specify which ones. Any eventual cutback would address Chinese concerns about the buildup of American weapons systems in the region.

China has zero to fear from US missiles, unless they try something they should not, and China knows it. Here is how I handle this. I tell the Norks that ANY attack on us, or South Korea or Japan, will be met with an overwhelmingly violent response. Further, I let them know that continued threats will be taken seriously, and that we WILL strike them the very next time they issue a direct threat, PERIOD! I tell China that they know, and we know that our missiles will ONLY be used in defense, so we have absolutely no plans to cut anything back.

Call it the Hagin Doctrine. We walk softly, we will carry a big stick, and if we are ever forced to use that stick, we will use it with such devastating force that no one will ever even want to think about screwing with us or our allies again. Of course if I were president John Kerry would not only not be in any position of authority, he would not even be allowed to shovel Rino dung, but that is another post altogether.

Your reality check of the day- Communism never died

Bob Belvedere speaketh the truth!

Many on the Right [I’m ignoring the Left on this subject because they are all lost causes in matters like this] have been going around for over two decades saying something exactly or near the following statement: ‘When the Soviet Union fell, we defeated Communism’.

What brought this to mind was reading and hearing people use a variation of that phrase these past several days when they were discussing the legacy of Margaret Thatcher. It’s gone something like this: ‘Reagan, Thatcher, and John Paul II together defeated Communism’.

We never ‘defeated Communism’.

We defeated Soviet Communism when The Iron Curtain was lifted and the USSR fell.

Communism still lives and, in some places like Red China, thrives [as much as such an unnatural system can thrive].

The battle against it rages on.

Communism is still a menace.

In fact, it is more of a menace now that the Democratic Party in America has been taken over by Communists.

I have no compunction about using that word because

Since the Progressives began moving into the Party in the late 19th Century and up until the 1960′s, the Leftist Democrats were Fascists — they had no desire to nationalize every industry and no plan to eventually take ownership of all private property. They merely wanted to construct a large regulatory state, where government kept a firm and controlling hand on commerce and took a hands-off approach to what they considered private and personal matters [such as what went on in bedrooms].

This all began to change in the late 1960′s when the, for lack of a better term, New Left [really a collection of Marxists, Maoists, Trotskyites, and all sorts of other -ites] decided to gain power from within the Democratic Party. People like the Socialist Michael Harrington fought with the more violent-minded of their comrades on the Radical Left in favor of adopting the strategy of pursuing this course of action — and they eventually won. The Radical Left took control of the Party in less than two decades. They were aided in this effort by those of their ilk who had invaded other influential institutions, such as think tanks, the Mainstream Media, and education. For years, they all worked behind the scenes, occasionally releasing trial balloons to gauge, via the reaction to them, how far they could now push their Revolutionary Agenda. It was a Creeping, Stealthy Socialism.

Go read it all. Bob nails it! The Left has never stopped believing in Marxism. They might have become more stealthy, using indoctrination, and that slow-moving Socialism Bob talks of. But, in the heart of the Left is still that darkness, that evil, and yes evil IS the proper description of Communism. It was, after all, under the veil of Communism that 110,000,000 people died last century. No, Communism is not dead, and sadly, I do not know if there are enough Americans left who know that.

Melissa Harris Perry is your Marxist Moron of the Day UPDATED! Video added

She believes, as most Leftists do, that that whole parental rights thing is sketchy at best

I think it’s getting even more amazing for the regressives in that they are slipping more and more.  And, in that slippage, they’re letting out more and more of their ideas, and they don’t even get that it’s the most totalitarian drivel.  I guess if you live in the unreality bubble, it’s a matter of time before you slip and think that tyranny is the normal state of man.

In the latest example of regressive truth slippage, we have Melissa Harris-Perry, who happens to think that all of your children are belong to us. MRC has the video…

The video is stunning to say the least. Harris-Perry whether she knows it or not, is simply regurgitating the talking points of Statists past as Matt points out.

Now, this whole concept of children belonging to the “community,” read, the state, is not new at all. Here are some historical references…

When an opponent declares, “I will not come over to your side,” I calmly say, “Your child belongs to us already… What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.”

Adolf HitlerSpeech November 1933, quoted in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer

Yes, the children belong to the community!

“Every child in America entering school at the age of five is mentally ill because he comes to school with certain allegiances to our Founding Fathers, toward our elected officials, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being, and toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity. It’s up to you as teachers to make all these sick children well – by creating the international child of the future.”

–Professor Chester M. Pierce, M.D., Professor of Education and Psychiatry at Harvard

Much more at Conservative Hideout

Is This A Pandemic Being Born?

Is This A Pandemic Being Born? – Foreign Policy

Here’s how it would happen. Children playing along an urban river bank would spot hundreds of grotesque, bloated pig carcasses bobbing downstream. Hundreds of miles away, angry citizens would protest the rising stench from piles of dead ducks and swans, their rotting bodies collecting by the thousands along river banks. And three unrelated individuals would stagger into three different hospitals, gasping for air. Two would quickly die of severe pneumonia and the third would lay in critical condition in an intensive care unit for many days. Government officials would announce that a previously unknown virus had sickened three people, at least, and killed two of them. And while the world was left to wonder how the pigs, ducks, swans, and people might be connected, the World Health Organization would release deliberately terse statements, offering little insight.

.

It reads like a movie plot – I should know, as I was a consultant for Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion. But the facts delineated are all true, and have transpired over the last six weeks in China. The events could, indeed, be unrelated, and the new virus, a form of influenza denoted as H7N9, may have already run its course, infecting just three people and killing two.

Or this could be how pandemics begin.

On March 10, residents of China’s powerhouse metropolis, Shanghai, noticed some dead pigs floating among garbage flotsam in the city’s Huangpu River. The vile carcasses appeared in Shanghai’s most important tributary of the mighty Yangtze, a 71-mile river that is edged by the Bund, the city’s main tourist area, and serves as the primary source of drinking water and ferry travel for the 23 million residents of the metropolis and its millions of visitors. The vision of a few dead pigs on the surface of the Huangpu was every bit as jarring for local Chinese as porcine carcasses would be for French strolling the Seine, Londoners along the Thames, or New Yorkers looking from the Brooklyn Bridge down on the East River.

And the nightmarish sight soon worsened, with more than 900 animal bodies found by sunset on that Sunday evening. The first few pig carcass numbers soon swelled into the thousands, turning Shanghai spring into a horror show that by March 20 would total more than 15,000 dead animals. The river zigzags its way from Zhejiang province, just to the south of Shanghai, a farming region inhabited by some 54 million people, and a major pork-raising district of China. Due to scandals over recent years in the pork industry, including substitution of rendered pig intestines for a toxic chemical, sold as heparin blood thinner that proved lethal to American cardiac patients, Chinese authorities had put identity tags on pigs’ ears. The pig carcasses were swiftly traced back to key farms in Zhejiang, and terrified farmers admitted that they had dumped the dead animals into the Huangpu.

Few Chinese asked, “What killed the pigs?,” because river pollution is so heinous across China that today people simply assume manufacturing chemicals or pesticides fill the nation’s waterways, and are responsible for all such mysterious animals demises. The Yangtze, which feeds Shanghai’s Huangpu, has copper pollution levels that are 100 times higher than U.S. safety standards, and leather tanning facilities along the river have notoriously been responsible for toxic waste, including chromium. And across China – especially in Beijing – air pollution was so bad in January and February that pollution particulate levels routinely peaked at higher than 10 times the U.S. safety standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. When I was in Beijing in late January, the air pollution was so thick that it visually looked like fog, obscuring all sunlight and even skyscrapers located less than three city blocks away. So, hideous as the pig carcasses might be, Shanghai residents tended to shrug them off as yet another example of the trade-offs China is making, pitting prosperity against pollution.

But 12 days after the first Shanghai porcine death flow was spotted, pig carcasses washed up along the shores of Changsha’s primary river, the Xiang – also a Yangtze tributary, this one located hundreds of miles west of Shanghai. Known as “the Sky City” for its 2,749-foot-tall central tower, Changsha is home to more than 7 million people and capital of Hunan province. Along with some 50 dead pigs, authorities collected a few thousand dead ducks from the Xiang on March 22 and 23.

Two days later, another mass duck and swan die-off was spotted, this time along the Sichuan River hundreds of miles to the north, near Lake Qinghai. The lake is the most important transit and nesting site for migratory aquatic birds that travel the vast Asia flyway, stretching from central Siberia to southern Indonesia. In 2005, a mass die-off of aquatic birds in and around Lake Qinghai resulted from a mutational change in the long-circulating bird flu virus, H5N1 – a genetic shift that gave that virus a far larger species range, allowing H5N1 to spread for the first time across Russia, Ukraine and into Europe, the Middle East and North Africa – it has remained in circulation across the vast expanse of Earth for the last seven years.

On March 25, Chinese authorities seized manufactured pork buns that were found to be made from Zhejiang pigs that had died of the mysterious ailment. The possibly contaminated pork was in the Chinese food supply. By the end of March, at least 20,000 pig carcasses and tens of thousands of ducks and swans had washed upon riverbanks that stretch from the Lake Qinghai area all the way to the East China Sea – a distance roughly equivalent to the span between Miami and Boston. Nobody knows how many more thousands of birds and pigs have died, but gone uncounted as farmers buried or burned the carcasses to avoid reprimands from authorities.

While environmental clean-up and agricultural authorities scrambled to remove the unsightly corpses and provide the anxious public with less-than-believable explanations for their demise, a seemingly separate human drama was unfolding. On Feb. 19, a man identified by Xinhua, China’s state news agency, only as Li, an 87-year old retiree, was hospitalized in Shanghai with severe respiratory distress and pneumonia. On March 4, Li went into severe cardio-respiratory failure and succumbed.

On Feb. 27, a man identified only as Wu, a 27-year-old butcher or meat processor, fell ill with respiratory distress, was hospitalized, and died on March 10. The day Wu succumbed a third individual, a 35-year-old woman identified as Han, was hospitalized in the city of Nanjing, though she came from distant Chuzhou City, in Anhui province, about 300 miles northwest of Shanghai. Han is reportedly in critical condition, in intensive care. To date, no connection between the three individuals has been found.

The elderly Li may have been part of a family cluster of illness, as his 55-year old son died of pneumonia in March, and another 67-year-old son suffered respiratory distress, but has survived.

On March 31 – Easter in the United States – China’s newly created National Health and Family Planning Commission (which includes the former Ministry of Health) announced that 87-year-old Li, Wu, and Han all were infected with a form of influenza denoted as H7N9 – a type of flu never previously known to infect human beings. The commission insisted that Li’s two sons (one dead, the other a survivor) were not infected with the flu virus – their ailments were reportedly coincidental, though they occurred at the same time as the elder Li’s demise.

So much for the backstory: What is going on?

According to Chinese authorities, some of the dead pigs tested antibody-positive for circoviruses, or PCV-2, and samples of the virus were isolated from Huangpu River. The implication was that the Shanghai pigs died of PCV-2, a type of virus that is harmless to human beings, as well as birds. Photographs of the carcasses reveal that the animals were large adult hogs, but PCV-2 does not kill adult pigs – it is lethal to fetuses and newborn piglets.

The Chinese health authorities have to date offered no cause of death for the ducks and swans, failed to describe any unusual genetic features that might have turned the PCV-2 into an adult pig-killer virus, and insisted there is no connection between the pigs, people, and birds. Though the surviving woman, Han, had some contact with live chickens, according to Xinhua, neither Li nor Wu had any known contact with birds. Wu has been identified variously as a butcher, meat processor, and employee of a meat plant – all of which might imply he had contact with pigs.

Influenzas are named according to the specific nature of two proteins found on the virus — the H stands for hemaggluntinin and the N for neuraminidase. These proteins play various roles in the flu-infection process, including latching onto receptors on the outside of the cells of animals to transmit the virus into their bodies. Those receptors can vary widely from one species to another, which is why most types of influenza viruses spreading now around the world are harmless to human beings. As far as any scientists know, the H7N9 forms of flu have never previously managed to infect human beings, or any mammals — it is a class of the virus found exclusively in birds. It is therefore extremely worrying to find two people killed and one barely surviving due to H7N9 infection.

One very plausible explanation for this chain of Chinese events is that the H7N9 virus has undergone a mutation – perhaps among spring migrating birds around Lake Qinghai. The mutation rendered the virus lethal for domestic ducks and swans. Because many Chinese farmers raise both pigs and ducks, the animals can share water supplies and be in fighting proximity over food – the spread of flu from ducks to pigs, transforming avian flu into swine flu, has occurred many times. Once influenza adapts to pig cells, it is often possible for the virus to take human-transmissible form. That’s precisely what happened in 2009 with the H1N1 swine flu, which spread around the world in a massive, but thankfully not terribly virulent, pandemic.

If the pigs, people, and birds have died in China from H7N9, it is imperative and urgent that the biological connection be made, and extensive research be done to determine how widespread human infection may be. Shanghai health authorities have tested dozens of people known to have been in contact with Wu and Li, none of whom have come up positive for H7N9 infection. Assuming the tests are accurate, the mystery of Li and Wu’s infections only deepens. Moreover, if they are a “two of three,” meaning two dead, of three known cases, the H7N9 virus is very virulent.

“At this point, these three are isolated cases with no evidence of human-to-human transmission”, the WHO representative in China, Dr. Michael O’Leary, told reporters on Monday. But, O’Leary added, the possibility of a family cluster of illness could not be ruled out, and, “We don’t know yet the causes of illness in the two sons, but naturally, if three people in one family acquire severe pneumonia in a short period of time, it raises a lot of concern.”

But Hong Kong authorities, smarting from years of outbreaks spread from mainland China including H5N1 (1997) and SARS (2003), have put the territory on health alert. “We will heighten our vigilance and continue to maintain stringent port health measures in connection with this development,” the Centre for Health Protection in Hong Kong stated in a press release on Monday.

The Chinese National Influenza Center has posted the H7N9 genetic sequences of viruses from Li, Wu, and Han on the WHO flu site. A number of H7N9 sequences found in birds over the last few years are also posted: The human and bird strains do not match, though none of the birds strains were obtained from animals in 2013.

The mystery is deep, the clock is ticking, and the world wants answers.

If we were imagining how a terrible pandemic would unfold, this could certainly serve as an excellent script.

Timeline of Events

Feb. 19
First male patient, 87, became ill with H7N9 (Medical News Today).

Feb. 27
Second male patient, 27, became ill with H7N9 (Medical News Today).

March 4
First male patient dies (Medical News Today).

March 9
First female patient, 35, from Anhui province became ill with H7N9 (Telegraph).

March 10
Initial report of over 900 dead pigs in Shanghai’s Huangpu River as of Saturday, March 9 (China Daily)

Second male patient dies (Medical News Today).

March 11
Count of dead pigs in rivers near Shanghai reaches nearly 3,000 (Business Insider).

Laboratory tests find porcine circovirus (PCV) in one water sample from Huangpu River (Xinhua News)

March 13
Officials say the number of pig carcasses in Huangpu River has risen to 6,000 (BBC).

March 14
Workers continued to haul dead hogs from a river in the Shanghai suburbs Thursday, where the pig body count now exceeds 6,600, according to the municipal government (USA Today).

Farm in Zhejiang province confesses to dumping pig carcasses into river (Bloomberg)

March 20
The number of dead pigs discovered in Chinese rivers around Shanghai has risen to almost 14,000 (BBC).

March 22
50 pigs wash up onshore in Changsha, Hunan province; ~1,000 dead ducks are also discovered (NTDon China via YouTube)

Number of dead pigs found in Shanghai river rises to 16,000 (Independent)

March 25
China pulls 1,000 dead ducks from Sichuan river (BBC).

Government officials say that 1,000+ rotten duck carcasses pose no threat to human and livestock along river banks (Xinhua News).

Illegal Zhejiang pork found in food chain (South China Morning Post).

March 26
Dumping of thousands of dead pigs linked with Chinese crackdown on pork black market (Business Insider)

More than 1,000 dead ducks, in 60 woven plastic bags, are found in Sichuan province (China Daily, Time).

March 31
The government’s National Health and Family Planning Commission said over the weekend that two men, aged 87 and 27, died in Shanghai in early March after being infected with H7N9 avian influenza (AFP).

April 1
Widespread reporting about two human deaths and one severe casualty of a “lesser-known bird flu virus” (USA Today, AP).

Dr. Michael O’Leary, World Health Organization, says that there is no evidence to show that a type of bird flu which has killed two Chinese men can be transmitted between people (Reuters).

April 2
Shanghai Animal Disease Prevention and Control Center tested 34 samples of pig carcasses pulled from Huangpu River and found no flu viruses (Shanghai Daily).

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

This is certainly not encouraging

Not encouraging at all

(Boston Globe) — America’s top military officer in charge of monitoring hostile actions by North Korea, escalating tensions between China and Japan, and a spike in computer attacks traced to China provides an unexpected answer when asked what is the biggest long-term security threat in the Pacific region: climate change.

Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, in an interview at a Cambridge hotel Friday after he met with scholars at Harvard and Tufts universities, said significant upheaval related to the warming planet “is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen . . . that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.’’

“People are surprised sometimes,” he added, describing the reaction to his assessment. “You have the real potential here in the not-too-distant future of nations displaced by rising sea level. Certainly weather patterns are more severe than they have been in the past. We are on super typhoon 27 or 28 this year in the Western Pacific. The average is about 17.”

Good Grief!