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Covering The Multicultural Asian American Community in Georgia

www.gasiantimes.com July 1-15, 2012 Vol 9. No 12

Happy July 4th


Georgia Asian Times July 1-15, 2012

Publisher: Li Wong Account Manager: Adrian West Contributors: Andrian Putra, May Lee, Mark Ho Photographer: Ben Hioe, Rendy Tendean Tel: 770.335.4593 Advertising: gat@gasiantimes.com Editorial: info@gasiantimes.com URL: www.gasiantimes.com Mailing Address: P.O. Box 922348 Norcross, GA 30010-2348

Copyright Georgia Asian Times 2004-2012

All Rights Reserved: including those to reproduce this printing or parts thereof in any form without permission in writing from Georgia Asian Times. Established in 2004, the Georgia Asian Times is published by Asiamax Inc. All facts, opinions, and statements appearing within this publication are those of writers and editors themseleves, and are in no way to be construed as statements, positions, endorsements by Georgia Asian Times or its officers. Georgia Asian Times assumes no responsibility for damages from the use of information contained in this publication or the reply to any advertisement. The Publisher will not be liable for any error in advertising to greater extent than the cost of space occupied by the error and will only be made for a single publication date. The Publisher reserves the right to reject any ad or articles submitted for publication that may not be in good taste for a free publication.

GAT Calendar of Events (For latest & updated events, visit www.gasiantimes.com)

GAT welcome submission of announcement pertaining to community related events. Please email event, date, venue, and time to gat@gasiantimes.com. GAT does not guarantee insertion of event announcement and has the right to deny any posting. GAT 25 Most Influential Asian Americans in Georgia Awards Presentation Date: Thursday, July 12 Time: 6:30 pm Venue: Happy Valley Restaurant For more info: Adrian West 678-971-9388 19th Asian Cultural Experience (ACE) Date: Sat-Sun; July 28-29, 2012 Time: 10:00 am-8:00 pm, 11:00 am-7:00 pm Venue: Gwinnett Center Admission: $10 (adult) $6 (students) Free (child under 5 years) For more info: www.asianculturalexpericneinga.com Hong Kong Dragon Boat - Atlanta Date: Saturday Sept 8, 2012 Time: 7:00 am Venue: Clarks Bridge Olympic Rowing Facility Lake Lanier For more info: dragonboatatlanta.com JapanFest Date: Sept 15-16, 2012 Time: 10 am -6 pm; 10 am - 5 pm Venue: Gwinnett Center For more info: www.japanfest.org

Vietnamese American Community of Georgia - Mid Autumn Festival Date: Saturday Sept 29, 2012 Time: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm Venue: Hong Kong Supermarket For more info: Trish Nguyen, 678.820.8822 8th Atlanta Asian Film Festival Date: Oct 5-20, 2012 Venues: Emory University, GPC-Dunwoody, GSU-Cinefest For more info: www.atlaff.org

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July 1-15, 2012 Georgia Asian Times

METRO ASIAN NEWS Asian American Companies Amongst 2012-13 Class of Georgia’s Mentor Protege Connection Atlanta, June 27, 2012 — The Georgia Minority Small Business Development Center (GMSDC) in partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development introduced the 2012-2013 class of the Mentor Protege Connection at the Coca-Cola Company headquarters. The 2012-13 Mentor Protégé class consists of 21 emerging small businesses that were paired with mentoring companies including Georgia Power, Delta Airlines, The Home Depot, UPS and Accenture among other leading businesses. Mentor-protégé pairs form a yearlong relationship, creating opportunities for protégés to benefit from the experiences of well-established, leading Georgia companies. Throughout the 12-month program, protégé companies participate in oneon-one mentoring that not only focuses on business operations but also includes training, reporting sessions, and pitch and presentation guidance among other activities. VDART, Inc and Global Resource Management, Inc, both Asian American owned businesses were amongst the 21 companies selected for this year’s program. “These group of companies are chosen after going through a tough selection process. They will be paired with mentoring companies that will help nurture their growth,” said Stacey Key, President and CEO of Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council (GMSDC). Graduating protégé companies leave the program with a vast amount of competitive intellectual capital from their mentors allowing them to chart goals for successful growth. Mentors, in turn, not only gain new and quality suppliers but receive

gratification of giving back to the business community and helping smaller companies take advantage of their potential. Georgia’s Mentor Protégé Connection is the first program of its kind in the nation. The program’s success is far reaching, and other states are now implementing Georgia’s best practices to create similar programs. 2012-2013 Mentor-Protégé Pairings Accenture / IT Logica AT&T / Sciberus, Inc. Citizens Trust Bank / Infinity Technology Consultants, Inc. Delta Air LInes, Inc / VDART, Inc. Ernst & Young / ONYX ms Group Georgia Power, A Southern Company / RA Smith Asphalt Paving Contractors, Inc, Metro Atlanta Utility Contractors, Inc Hardin Construction Company, LLC / SoCo Contracting Company Heery International / Hygun Group, Inc. JE Dunn / Eagle Universal Services, Inc. Johnson Control, Inc. / Remediation Group Lockheed Martin Aeronautics / ADG Enterprises, Inc. PNC Bank / Arke Systems, LLC Skanska USA Building, Inc. / Willmer Engineering, Inc. SunTrust Bank / Global Resource Management, Inc. The Coca-Cola Company / TI Asset Management, Inc. The Home Depot /SAWTST, LLC The North Highland Company / CyQuest Business Solutions, Inc. Turner Construction / Technical Services Audio Visual (TSAV) United Parcel Service / Display America Wells Fargo / Clinical Resources, LLC For more information on Georgia Mentor Protege Connection, visit www.gmsdc.org

Organizer of Dragon Boat Atlanta Honored with GAT Community Spirit Award Atlanta, June 21, 2012 — Georgia Asian Times officially announced the 2012 GAT Community Spirit Award to Mr. Gene Hanratty, festival director of the annual Atlanta Dragon Boat Festival. Hanratty is also Principal Consultant with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York in Atlanta. “We are recognizing Gene Hanratty’s contribution to the promotion of Asian heritage, community development, and his passion towards the Atlanta dragon boat festival,” said Li Wong, Publisher of Georgia Asian Times. This year will mark the 17th consecutive Atlanta Dragon Boat Festival at Lake Lanier. The annual fall event regularly attracts over 6,000 visitors and created positive economic impact at the venue in Lake Lanier.

Hanratty will be awarded the GAT Community Spirit Award at the annual GAT 25 Awards Gala honoring 25 Most Influential Asian Americans in Georgia on July 12, 2012 at Happy Valley Restaurant. For more information on HK Dragon Boat Atlanta, visit http://dragonboatatlanta.com


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METRO ASIAN NEWS Grade on Georgia CRCT Improved From Previous Year Atlanta, june 15, 2012 -- The number of elementary and middle school pupils across the state exceeding standards on the Criterion Referenced Competency Tests increased this year, according to results released by the Georgia Department of Education. Pupils showed improvement in 24 out of 30 content tested areas. The percentage of students exceeding standards dropped only in three categories. The percentage dropped by two points in fifth-grade reading, five points in fifth-grade math and three points in eighth-grade English/language arts. Scores remained the same as last year in fourth-grade math, sixth-grade English/language arts and eighth-grade math. “The best news in the 2012 CRCT report is that more of our students are exceeding the standards,” State School Superintendent John Barge said in a news release. “Teachers are doing a great job teaching the more rigorous Georgia Performance Standards, and they are to be applauded for raising expectations for all students.” The results released Thursday do not include final scores for individual districts or schools. Those results will be released by mid-July. The CRCT is administered in reading, English/language arts, math, science and social studies to students in grades three through eight. Because of budget constraints, the CRCT was not administered to first and secondgrade pupils in 2012. The standardized test is used as an accountability measure for schools and to determine student mastery in content areas. However the importance placed on the CRCT is changing as Georgia moves to a new statewide accountability system.

Georgia is one of several states that received a waiver from No Child Left Behind standards this year and will transition into the College and Career Ready Performance Index system. Under the new CCRPI, the success of schools will not be determined just on test scores, but also on indicators like reading levels and career awareness. However, the CRCT is still used this year in indicating student mastery. Among the gains made by Georgia students, the greatest improvement was in fifth grade social studies, up by six percentage points, and in eighth grade science, up by seven percentage points. A higher percentage of pupils in grades four through eight met or exceeded standards in social studies while more pupils in grades three, four, five, six and eight met or exceeded standards in English/language arts. “While I am pleased to see an increase in the majority of the exams, I am concerned about those where we saw decreases or no change at all,” Barge said. “As we begin teaching the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards next school year, we know the curriculum and the tests will be more difficult, so we must continue to focus on successfully implementing the new standards. We have been offering, and will continue to offer, teachers the necessary professional development to ensure they are equipped to deliver these new, more rigorous standards and to prepare our students for the next step.”

Cities breaks all time heat records statewide Atlanta, Jun3 30, 2012 — Scorching temperatures across Georgia are smashing all-time heat records in the state.

Still, those weren’t the hottest places to be in Georgia on Saturday. Macon hit a blistering 108 degrees, tying its hottest-day-on-record from 1980.

The National Weather Service says both Atlanta and Columbus recorded their hottest-ever temperatures Saturday at 106 degrees. That means Atlanta snapped its all-time record of 105 degrees from 1980. Columbus’ previous all-time-hottest record was just a day old.

Thermometers in Athens topped out at 107 degrees. That’s just a little cooler than Friday, when Athens broke its alltime heat record with 109 degrees. Things weren’t quite as sizzling on Georgia’s coast. Savannah fell 2-degrees short of its daily record high of 102 set in 1998.


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BUSINESS

Philippines ‘avoids money-laundering blacklist’

Google rolls in tablet market with Nexus 7 SAN FRANCISCO, June 27, 2012 (AFP) - Google unveiled its own branded Nexus 7 tablet computer Wednesday, challenging the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle Fire, and opening a window to its online shop for books, movies, TV shows and more.

powered Nexus Q device for wirelessly streaming films or music from Google Play to televisions or speakers.

The new tablet will be priced at less than half the cost of the market-leading iPad and broadens Google’s arsenal in its battle against Apple, Amazon.com, and Microsoft to keep Internet users in their own ecosystems.

“Google Play is your digital entertainment destination, with more than 600,000 apps and games plus music, movies and books,” a Google blog post said.

The seven-inch tablet powered by the latest generation of Android software is being made for Google by Taiwanbased Asus and weighs about as much as a paperback book, according to Android team head Hugo Barra. “We wanted to design a best-of Google experience optimized around the content available at Google Play,” Barra said during a presentation opening the Internet titan’s annual developers conference in San Francisco. Nexus tablets were available for order in Australia, Canada, Britain, and the United States at the Google Play store at a price of $199 and would begin shipping in mid-July, Barra said. That is the same price as Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The tablets come with a $25 coupon for Google Play content -- Google’s answer to Amazon and Apple’s iTunes stores for books, music, magazines and other content. “It has always been a goal of the Nexus program to provide you with the best-of Google experience the way Google envisions it,” Barra said. Google also introduced an Android-

Along with the new hardware, Google said it is beefing up its Google Play store to offer more entertainment.

“It’s entirely cloud-based, which means all of your content is always available across all of your devices.” In addition to movie rentals, Google will be offering films for sale. The California-based Internet powerhouse boasted partnerships with major studios such as Disney, Paramount, and Sony. “You can watch as much as you like. You can also purchase episodes of your favorite TV shows,” the California tech giant said. Google Play will also be adding digital magazines from Hearst, Conde Nast and other publishers. The company described Nexus 7 as “a powerful new tablet” which “makes everything, including games, extremely fast.” It weighs 340 grams (12 ounces) and has a front-facing camera. Android platform developer Chris Yerga said Nexus 7 is also “a serious gaming device.” Google at the same time said it was releasing a new version of its Android software for mobile devices, called

Manila, June 23, 2012 (AFP) – The Philippines said Saturday it had avoided an international blacklist on money laundering and terrorist financing after passing two new laws this month. The Financial Action Task Force, an inter-governmental body, has upgraded the Philippines to its “grey list” of countries making sufficient progress in their action plans, President Benigno Aquino’s spokeswoman Abigail Valte said. “These reforms (prevented) the Philippines from being classified and downgraded to the ‘black list’, which would have resulted in stricter inspections of financial transactions in the country,” she said in a statement. The Philippines was previously in the FATF’s “dark grey list” of jurisdictions deemed not to be making sufficient progress. The FATF levied a blacklist threat earlier this year, calling for greater state powers to make it easier to scruti-

“Jelly Bean,” which “builds on top of Ice Cream Sandwich,” the current iteration of Android. “It makes everything smoother, faster and more fluid,” the Google blog said. “The keyboard is smarter and more accurate, and can predict your next word. And voice typing is faster, working even when you don’t have a data connection.” While Android has leapt to the top of the mobile phone market, Apple remains dominant in tablets, holding around 62 percent of the market to 36 percent for Android, according to research firm IDC. The news from Google comes just a week after Microsoft took on Apple with a plan to release its own branded

nize bank accounts, as well as casinos, foreign exchange traders and other non-bank entities. Two bills were passed on June 6 expanding powers to investigate bank accounts, but parliament failed to agree on a third bill to allow greater inspection of non-bank entities. The FATF was not immediately reachable for verification Saturday and its website still listed the Philippines as among the countries not making sufficient progress. The Philippines’ Anti-Money Laundering Council said the FATF had urged Manila to include bribery, public funds misuse, human trafficking, tax evasion and environmental crimes as grounds for a financial investigation. The FATF is made up of 187 member countries with the aim of making the international financial system off-limits to criminals.

tablet called Surface later this year. “Learning a lesson from Amazon, Google can see that the only way to beat the premium-worthy iPad is to go for the millions of customers who are ready for smaller and cheaper tablets,” said Forrester analyst James McQuivey. After hooking fans with a low-price Android tablet, Google could then direct their loyalty to higher-end devices powered by the operating system and build the ranks of customers at Google Play, the analyst reasoned. “That range of services will be the secret to stitching together this rag-tag fleet of Android gadgets into a platform that can compete with Apple for minutes of users’ attention rather than premium device dollars,” McQuivey said.


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BUSINESS

California winemakers tap into growing Chinese market NAPA, California, June 26, 2012 (AFP) – The global downturn hit Doug Hill’s family-run Napa Valley winery hard. But the third-generation California farmer’s hopes for recovery are strong — fueled by heady growth in China. It’s a long way from his sun-dappled vineyards north of San Francisco to pollution-shrouded Beijing and Shanghai, but that’s where his Hill Family Estate bottles have been heading since last year. “We’re cautiously optimistic about it,” said Hill, who visited China last September and was struck first by the smog — “My first impression was, where’s the sky?” — but then by the phenomenal signs of growth and wealth. “There’s an upwardly mobile class of people we believe could afford to drink our wines. It wouldn’t take a very large percent of the 1.3-1.6 billion people there to create a good market,” he added, showing around his hillside vines. China was the fifth largest export destination for US wine last year, raking in some $62 million — a fraction compared for example to the $400 million worth of French Bordeaux sold annually to the Asian giant. But that US export figure was nearly 30 percent up on 2010, and that trend is expected to continue, according to the Wine Institute, which advocates on behalf of over 1,000 wineries in the western US state. China was granted Permanent Normal Trade Relations with the US a decade ago, and “the wine was just a trickle back then,” said Wine Institute communications manager Gladys Horiuchi. “Now it’s the fifth largest market and… obviously, it will continue to grow just because of the huge potential there, the growing middle class,” she added. That potential was highlighted last year when retired National Basketball Association (NBA) star Yao Ming launched his own Napa Valley winery, Yao Family Wines.

Asleep at the wheel The company named after Shanghaiborn Yao, who at 7 feet 6 inches (2.28 meters) was the tallest player in the NBA, launched its inaugural Yao Ming 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon in mainland China, before selling in the US this year. While there is clearly a Californian wine push into China, some say Napa Valley will never rival the French or even Australian success in the Chinese market, unless its winemakers get serious about marketing. “The opportunity is tremendous, but Napa Valley is not working seriously enough to capture consumers in China,” said Mario Sculatti, a wine consultant and trader based in Saint Helena, in the heart of the Napa Valley. He added: “The Bordelais and the Burgundians and basically all the regions in France, especially Bordeaux, are pouring government dollars into marketing wines in Asia. “Napa Valley is asleep at the wheel. Countries like Australia and France are dominating the trade over there.”

Best of all, the middle-man could deal with Chinese customs bureaucracy in a way that small Californian winemakers would find impossible. A key issue in counterfeit-plagued China was proving the wine is authentic. “If you look at the cultural values in China, there are some real challenges doing business there,” he said.

Tremendous growth

Back in the vineyards, Doug Hill — whose son Ryan is taking on the fourth generation of Hill Family Estate business — recounted how he first stumbled on the idea that China might help them recover from the 2008 financial crash.

The middle-man has been determined to build “a very credible business, that says, ‘Look these are real farm families or small winemaking families, that are doing this, and this is the real thing, its not counterfeit’,” said Hill.

“It was challenging to sell wine, especially during the initial stages of the recession. Mostly restaurants were having a really challenging time in America,” he said.

His September visit convinced him, even if the sun-tanned Californian admitted to being shocked by the pollution in Beijing, and elsewhere.

“Certain distributors, their market just came to a standstill unless the price points were really low. And that was lower than what was… commercially viable for us in a lot of areas.”

“We took a high-speed train 1,500 kilometers down to Shanghai, and I never saw blue sky once. Five hours, at 300 kilometers per hour. And it was ‘Oh my God, this entire country has a level of pollution I’ve almost never seen before,” he said.

Then last year, Hill heard about a Chinese-born businessman based in Oregon, just up the US West Coast, offering to buy wines from California, Oregon and Washington state, and sell directly in China.

But the evidence of economic growth was eye-popping. “The other thing that I saw, during the five hours I spent on the train, I saw more construction cranes than the previous 59 years of my life,” he said.

Hill’s son Ryan, who visited China himself in March, said exports to the country were already 10 percent of the company’s business. “We’re looking for tremendous growth… I think we can only go up, because we’re just now exposing a product in a market that is totally unsaturated. It’s like being an actor, going to LA and only having five people there.” But consultant Sculatti still thinks Napa is missing a huge opportunity, and needs to make a coordinated marketing and branding push to compete with the history of French winemakers who have been in China for generations. “All the efforts that are being made are by a very few wineries who are spending their own capital to develop the market in Asia. There’s no cohesive effort that I see as working,” he said. “The quality is definitely there, but what Napa Valley hasn’t done yet is really show the prestige, the quality and the story to the Asians. That’s the biggest mis-step that’s happening.” He stressed: “Napa Valley has an opportunity because of its rarity, as far as acres (of vineyards). If it just figured out how to brand itself… (it) could really catch the attention of the Chinese better.”


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FOCUS Umbrella Insurance: Needed Protection for Every Policyholder

Have you ever been confused on what coverage limits to choose for your insurance? Have you ever faced the situation or hear of an incident in which the actual losses exceed the coverage limits? Would you hesitate to go to court and speak for yourself considering the tremendous excess legal expense of hiring an attorney? This is when umbrella insurance comes into play. Umbrella insurance provides up to 10 million dollars of extra liability coverage so that you do not have to choose extremely high limits for all of your coverage. The umbrella covers a wide range of losses that arise from negligence, slander, libel or false arrest. This is a comprehensive way that gives you, the insured much more protection with only one policy. The umbrella policy covers any legal expenses such as attorney fees and miscellaneous defensive costs until the policy limit is reached. In short, the umbrella coverage becomes important as coverage limits on you auto policy or home policy are exceeded. Umbrella is not only for high net worth individuals, but instead can be coverage that protects everyone, as anyone can be exposed to the risk of exorbitant attorney fees from a liability lawsuit. Nobody

1 Annual premium for umbrella coverage is subject to individual coverage limits, credit score, and multitude of attributing factors.

wants to be in this situation, but these mishaps, isolated occurrences, and once in a blue moon incidents are not that far away from us. Imaging that one of your friends falls on your icy driveway and becomes permanently disabled. Then, he or she might go to court and sue for negligence. This happens rarely, but once it takes place, your financial future might be ruined forever. Therefore, the umbrella is a good fence to keep you away from the risks that are lurking on the other side. Moreover, umbrella insurance is more affordable that people normally image, or are lead to believe. On average, an annual installment of $1251 will provide protection of 1 million dollars in excess of your auto and home coverage limits. Also, insurance companies offer significant discounts for purchasing umbrella policies.

Sometimes the multi-policy discounts that come with umbrella policy will offset the cost of umbrella insurance so insurers get additional protection for free. Usually, it is suggested that umbrella coverage is purchased to equal to net worth. In closing, much of what has been presented here is in relation to umbrella coverage in a personal and individual context. In other words, the umbrella protection provides a shield for accidents that might happen at your primary home or in the car that you are driving. However, it is important to note for business owners out there, commercial umbrellas that cover liability claims arising from the course of business are also available. Whether for personal or commercial use, the umbrella coverage is added protection that everyone should consider.

This monthly editorial is contributed by Peter See, CPCU FCII, Principal of International Insurance of Georgia. IIG is a full service independent insurance agency, offering automotive, homeowners, as well as renter, condo and business-commercial coverage.


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EVENTS

July 1-15, 2012 Georgia Asian Times

Asian Real Estate Association of America-Atlanta (AREAA) Confetence June 14, 2012

Photos courtesy: Boon Vong

L-R: Tim Hur, Kathy Tsao, Dao Malaythong, Becky Nguyen, YS koo

Dao Malythong presenting a memento to Kathy Tsao, President of AREAA National


Georgia Asian Times July 1-15, 2012

EVENTS

Georgia Mentor Protege Connection | June 27, 2012 / Coca -Cola HQ

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FOCUS Can women ‘have it all?’ US writer stirs debate

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2012 (AFP) - An Ivy League scholar and mother-of-two is touching a raw nerve by questioning whether high-flying career women with families, at least American ones, can truly “have it all.”

resolve the issue once and for all, but her essay has touched off a firestorm since it appeared Thursday both online and in the print version of The Atlantic with a cover photo of a baby in a briefcase.

Writing in The Atlantic magazine, Anne-Marie Slaughter cited her own downshift from powerful State Department official to mere Princeton University professor as evidence that they cannot, at least not as US society now stands.

According to The Atlantic (www. theatlantic.com), “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” is among its most popular articles ever, on a par with the recent “How Your Cat is Making You Crazy” (about feline parasites and human brains).

“I still strongly believe that women can ‘have it all’ (and that men can too),” wrote Slaughter, 53, referring to the ability to juggle a successful career with raising a family.

It has garnered more “likes” on Facebook than any other Atlantic piece (more than 157,000 as of Wednesday) -- although it has failed to make an apparent impact on the November presidential election campaigns.

“But not today, not with the way America’s economy and society are currently structured.” She floated a grab bag of potential solutions, from a female US president to more family-friendly working hours and encouraging young men “to act more like the women -- to speak less and listen more.” She also hailed Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg for acknowledging knocking off work at 5:30 pm to have dinner with her family rather than enslave herself to the “time macho” culture of many US workplaces. No one expected Slaughter to

“Absolutely wonderful ... As a 21-year-old woman, it is the most encouraging thing I have read all year,” wrote New York blogger Tala Azar Strauss on Slaughter’s Twitter account (@SlaughterAM). But some of the reaction on a variety of blogs, social media and the Atlantic’s own website has been critical, if not downright catty. “Slaughter ... wants to be in a highpowered job and also at home making pancakes and doing school pick-up in another city,” said author Lori Gottlieb in a blog on The Atlantic’s website. “And merely because she wants this so badly ... she believes she deserves it.”

“Seriously, you live the life you choose,” added an online commentwriter who identified herself -- or maybe himself -- as “pjs1965” beneath a Washington Post article about Slaughter’s article. “Those who choose to have children (and it is a choice) and have the need to work full-time have to wake up to reality. And having this thing called a ‘career’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either.” As director of policy planning from 2009 to 2011, Slaughter oversaw the State Department’s internal think tank and reported to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom she holds up as a personal role model. Slaughter -- photographed inside the print version of The Atlantic smiling on a sofa with her two boys lying in her arms, one twirling drum sticks -- candidly admits her lifestyle as a tenured professor at a world-famous university and author of a forthcoming book is out of the norm. “I am writing for my demographic,” she said, rather than the majority of American mothers with far less glamorous jobs, or none at all. She has almost nothing to say about women in other countries.


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FEATURE

Vietnam entrepreneurs find fertile ground online Hanoi, June 20, 2012 (AFP) - Vietnam’s young, tech-savvy population is turning to the Internet to break out of an economic system stifled by decades of communist rule, leading to a boom in e-commerce. Internet entrepreneur Thao Phuong earns twice as much money each month selling tropical fruit online to Hanoi housewives as she does from her day job working at a local post office. The 28-year-old buys fruit such as pomelo, oranges and durian direct from farmers, markets it in Vietnamese-language online forums, and delivers orders herself on her motorbike when she has clocked off a shift sorting mail. “It’s fun and has become a major source of income for me,” she said, adding that she earns up to seven million dong ($330) a month online -- twice as much as her monthly salary from her day job. In communist Vietnam, setting up a business is a cumbersome process involving much bureaucratic red tape. As a result, the country has a huge informal economy, which by some estimates accounts for more than half of all economic activity. Over the past few years, hundreds of small online businesses, often run by civil servants or office workers in their spare time, have sprung up -- which are not officially registered or licensed, avoiding red tape and fees. “Vietnam is fertile land for online trading to develop,” said Nguyen Tam Khoi, CEO of small Hanoi-based Da Phuc company, which produces antifire doors.

“A young population and a worldleading Internet development rate are shining signals for the development of e-trade in the country,” Khoi said, adding that social media growth was particularly striking in Vietnam. After a string of food scandals -including the discovery of formaldehyde in the national dish, pho noodle soup -- Vietnamese consumers are wary and prefer to buy products from trusted sources. Cashing in on this, many small businesses like Phuong’s fruit company are using Vietnamese-language social networks and online forums to market their wares and reach out to customers, usually starting with friends and family. “E-trade in Vietnam now mainly counts on the personal trust between sellers and buyers,” said Phuong. “There has been no guarantee for clients on the products they buy. Everything depends on the conscience of the seller,” she said. Despite hitches such as a lack of capacity for online payments, with most businesses only taking cash on delivery, the sector is growing. Vietnam’s top four Groupon-style coupon websites recorded hundreds of thousands of transactions and a total turnover of up to 670 billion dong ($31 million). There are no official statistics on how much e-trade more generally contributes to the economy but consultancy group McKinsey said in January the “nascent” industry accounted for a modest 0.9 percent of GDP.

The average Vietnamese online shopper spends just $13 a month -- a combined total of three billion dollars per year -- below regional neighbors such as Malaysia ($16) and Taiwan ($26).

As more people like Huong get online -- internet penetration is only 34 percent but rising fast, especially in urban areas -- online consumption could really take off in Vietnam, officials say.

“E-commerce in Vietnam is an untapped market with high potential to grow,” the report said.

The trend “may bring about stunning results”, said an official from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

For many Hanoi residents like Nguyen Thu Huong, 34, an office worker and mother of two, the rise of online businesses “made life easier for everyone”.

However, in order for e-trade to really benefit the official GDP figures, it needs to move from the informal to the mainstream economy, she warned.

“With just an Internet-connected laptop, I can now have everything for my family dinner without having to go to the market. I buy rice, seafood, meat, fruit and even fish sauce online,” she said.

“There are so many things to improve though, as e-trade in Vietnam is still developing at a very unprofessional manner,” she said on condition of anonymity as she is not authorized to talk to the press.


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SPORTS Phelps holds off Lochte in 200m medley OMAHA, Nebraska, June 30, 2012 (AFP) - Two-time defending Olympic champion Michael Phelps held off Ryan Lochte to win the 200m medley at the US swimming trials Saturday, setting up another duel in the London Games pool. It was another thriller between 14-time Olympic gold medallist Phelps and the man who has emerged as his greatest rival. Phelps, celebrating his 27th birthday, led by a narrow margin at every turn, but the two swam stroke-for-stroke on the final freestyle lap with Phelps gaining the victory in 1min 54.84sec. “The bigger races are down the road,” Phelps said, already thinking ahead to the Olympics. “I’m sure that’s not going to be the end of us going back and forth.” “I’m just happy to be able to have a good race like that,” added Phelps, who lost the 400m medley to Lochte here but edged him in the 200m freestyle final. Lochte, who holds the world record in the 200m medley, was second in 1:54.93, showing no sign of fatigue about half an hour after he secured a berth to defend the 200m backstroke gold he won in Beijing.

Teenager Missy Franklin continued to build her Olympic schedule, finishing second in 54.15 to add the event to the 200m free and 100m backstroke already on her London slate. Franklin could yet add more events to her Olympic card -- up to seven including relays -- after topping the times in the semi-finals of the 200m backstroke. “The goal coming in was to make the team,” Franklin said. “I could have never dreamed of doing seven events and the fact it’s a possibility is unbelievable.” Natalie Coughlin’s hopes of closing out an illustrious Olympic career with an individual race ended with a sixth-placed finish in the 100m free. Coughlin, winner of the 100m backstroke at the past two Games, failed to qualify in that event or the 100m butterfly, but she likely will go to London as a potential relay swimmer with a chance to add to her total of 11 Olympic medals. Beijing gold medallist Rebecca Soni won the 200m breaststroke in 2:21.13, improving on her own world-leading time of the season.

In the backstroke, Lochte shrugged off a sluggish start, powering off the last turn and overtaking Tyler Clary to win in 1:54.54. Clary was second in 1:54.88.

Displaying her patented late surge, Soni pulled away on the final lap to defeat Micah Lawrence, who seized the second London berth in 2:23.03.

Only Japan’s Ryosuke Irie has gone faster than the two Americans this year.

“I’m always a little nervous to push it too soon,” Soni said. “I felt great the first 100, nice and long.

Lochte returned one last time, notching the equal sixth-fastest time in the 100m butterfly semi-finals that Phelps led with a time of 51.35. Phelps is the world record-holder and two-time Olympic gold medallist in the 100m fly, but it’s unfamiliar territory for Lochte. Both Phelps and Lochte have qualified for four individual events -- the 200m and 400m medleys and 200m free for both and the 200m butterfly and 200m backstroke for Lochte. Jessica Hardy, denied a Games berth in the 100m breaststroke in which she holds the world record, responded with a victory in the 100m freestyle in 53.96sec.

“I know I’ve trained the hardest I can, so if I can hopefully bring home a gold, that would be amazing.”

Merritt sends Liu a message with US trials win EUGENE, Oregon, June 30, 2012 (AFP) - Aries Merritt surpassed China’s Liu Xiang for the fastest time in the world this year to win the 110-meter hurdles in 12.93 seconds on Saturday at the US Olympic Track and Field Trials. Merritt, the reigning indoor world 60m hurdles champion, cut his personal best by .10 of a second and came in under the prior season best of 12.97 set by Liu on May 19 at Shanghai to secure his spot in London. “To break 13 in the final like I did was just phenomenal,” Merritt said. “I had a pretty decent start and I started building from there.” Only seven men have ever run faster in the event than Merritt did to take the US crown and only two of them, Liu and Cuban world record-holder Dayron Robles, will be in London.

Amanda Beard was denied a trip to a fifth Olympics, finishing fifth in 2:26.42.

Reigning outdoor world champion Jason Richardson was second in 12.98 with Jeffrey Porter third in 13.08 to take the final London spot on offer.

In semi-final action, Anthony Ervin, mounting a comeback at the age of 31 -- 12 years after sharing Olympic gold in Sydney with team-mate Gary Hall jnr -- led the way into the men’s 50m free final with an impressive time of 21.71sec.

“I learned I’m capable of doing whatever it takes whenever it counts,” said Richardson.

Nathan Adrian and Josh Schneider finished in a dead-heat for first place in the other semi-final in 21.81.

“I had a little problem in the middle of the race. It was at that moment that the measure of a man was made. I wasn’t going to let this dream slip through my hands.” David Oliver, third at the 2008 Olympics, failed to reach London, finishing fifth in 13.17.

Richardson, who has not cut his dreadlocks in seven years, became the 13th man to break 13 seconds in the event when he ran 12.98 in a semi-final heat. “I felt the effort (in the final that) I put in in the semi-final,” Richardson said. Merritt became the 14th to crack the barrier in the final, an effort he credited in part to his work on his steps and timing in the indoor season. “Indoors gave me a tremendous confidence boost,” he said. “I was able to go from indoors and build from there.” Porter dedicated the effort to his late father, John Porter, whom he last saw alive at the 2008 Olympic trials. “It was his dream, my race and our victory,” Porter said. “I’m proud to be racing for Team USA and for him.” Reigning Olympic champion Robles, who was disqualified from last year’s world final, set the world record of 12.87 seconds in 2008 but pulled out of two US meets earlier this month, with Cuban officials saying he was injured. Liu, the 2004 Olympic champion who was forced to drop out of the opening heat at the Beijing Games due to tendinitis, has a career-best 12.88 from 2006 and a windaided 12.87 in Eugene on June 2 to beat Merritt and Richardson.


Georgia Asian Times July 1-15, 2012

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HEALTH US blood supply dips to ‘emergency’ level: Red Cross WASHINGTON, June 26, 2012 (AFP) - The blood supply maintained by the US Red Cross has fallen to “emergency levels” as donations have ebbed due in part to an early warm weather spell, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday. “The current blood supply is at extremely low levels,” Red Cross spokeswoman Stephanie Millian told AFP. “The weeks ahead are most concerning.” For the month of June, the Red Cross has collected 50,000 fewer donations than expected, meaning the blood supply has reached a precarious level that is slightly worse than last year, she said. The group on Monday sent out a call for donations to ward off the shortage, saying the supply has reached “emergency levels.” “There is always a chance that a physician could have to postpone an elective surgery, or worst-case scenario, a physician might have to forego a more serious procedure because of shortage of blood,” Millian said. The Red Cross welcomes all blood types but is in particular need of types O negative, O positive, B negative and A negative. Each day the Red Cross has to collect about 17,000 pints of blood to meet the current US needs. Reasons for the current shortage may include an unseasonable warm start to the summer, which prompted some Americans to depart on vacation earlier than usual, Millian said. Also, fewer donations are anticipated next month due to the Independence Day holiday on July 4, which will mean an extended holiday for some workers since it comes this year on a Wednesday. Donations typically drop off in the summer. About 20 percent of donations are collected during the school year at high school and college blood drives, Millian said. Earlier this month, the World Health Organization appealed for more people to donate blood regularly because the need for blood and blood products was on the rise worldwide.

Swine flu likely claimed quarter of a million lives: study PARIS, June 26, 2012 (AFP) - The A(H1N1) “swine flu” 2009 pandemic probably claimed over a quarter of a million lives -- 15 times more than the 18,500 reported, a paper in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal said Tuesday. The elevated toll underlined the need for better planning and vaccine distribution, said a team of epidemiologists and physicians who made a statistical model based on population and infection estimates to present what they believe is a more accurate picture of the pandemic’s reach. “This study is one of the first to provide a global estimate of deaths caused by the 2009 H1N1 virus,” lead author Fatimah Dawood of the US government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in an email exchange. “Unlike most other mortality estimates

for the 2009 pandemic, this study includes estimated mortality for countries in southeast Asia and Africa where surveillance data on influenza-associated mortality are limited.” Some 18,500 deaths had been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from confirmed laboratory test results, but the international researchers believe this number to be a gross underestimation. They wrote that “... diagnostic specimens are not always obtained from people who die with influenza and the viruses might no longer be detectable by the time of death in some people.” The team estimated there were 284,500 deaths from swine flu in the 12 months from April 2009. But the figure may be as high as 575,400, they said.

Between 250,000 and 500,000 people die of seasonal influenza every year, according to the WHO. In the flu 2009 season, H1N1 was the “predominant virus”, said Dawood. But comparing the numbers alone did not yield an accurate picture, she stressed, as 80 percent of swine flu victims were younger than 65, while the yearly seasonal flu mainly tends to claim older victims. The researchers said 51 percent of swine flu deaths was estimated to have occurred in southeast Asia and Africa, which account for 38 percent of the world’s population. The team hoped the work would help improve planning and surveillance, as well as boost vaccine production and delivery, especially to Africa and southeast Asia, ahead of future pandemics.

Popeye is right: spinach makes you stronger, study STOCKHOLM, June 25, 2012 (AFP) - Famous cartoon character Popeye is right to down a can of spinach when he wants his biceps to bulge, according to a Swedish study presented Monday showing why the leafy vegetable makes us stronger. Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm said Monday they had conducted a study showing how nitrate, found naturally in spinach and several other vegetables, tones up muscles. For the study, which will be published in the Journal of Physiology, the research team had placed nitrate directly in the drinking water of a group of mice for one week and then dissected them and compared their muscle functions to that of a control group. “The mice that had been on consistent nitrate had much stronger muscles,” they said in a statement. The nitrate used “was equivalent to a human’s consumption of about 200 to 250 grammes of spinach a day, so it’s a very easily obtained amount,” said one of the researchers at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Andres Hernandez, . “Well, it is if you eat spinach. For people who don’t eat their vegetables it will be more tricky,” he added.

While no effect could be seen in the so-called slow-twitch muscles used for moderate exercise and endurance, the scientists saw a clear change could be seen in the fast-twitch muscles used for strength and more high-intensity exercises, Hernandez said. The tricky question, he said, was determining why this happened. The researchers discovered that the nitrates had prompted an increase in two proteins, found naturally in the muscles, that are used for storing and releasing calcium, which is vital to making muscles contract. The protein increase in turn led to higher quantities of calcium released in the muscles, Hernandez said, pointing out that “if you have more calcium released, you have a stronger contraction.” Translated into human terms, consuming nitrates from for instance spinach increases the muscle strength available for things like lifting weights or sprinting up a steep hill.

It could also increase endurance, Hernandez said, pointing out that when stronger, the fast-twitch muscles, which fatigue faster than other muscles, do not need to contract as frequently. This is not only good news for exercise buffs looking to improve their performance. “The really exciting part is to go ahead and look at people with muscle weakness, with muscle diseases, and even aging, and see if this can actually improve their muscle function,” Hernandez said. He said the research team aimed to conduct a few more studies on mice but hoped to also carry out studies on humans soon.


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July 1-15, 2012 Georgia Asian Times

Misc Asia Japan’s Kyoto Prize winners share $1.8 million TOKYO, June 22, 2012 (AFP) – A US computer scientist, a Japanese biologist and an Indian literary critic were Friday named winners of Japan’s Kyoto Prize, sharing more than $1.8 million. The prize has been annually awarded by the Inamori Foundation, established by Kyocera Corp. founder Kazuo Inamori, since 1985 in recognition of outstanding works in philosophy, arts, science and technology. The 2012 winners will each be presented with a diploma, a 20-karatgold medal and prize money of 50 million yen ($626,000) in a ceremony in Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto on November 10, the Inamori Foundation said. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, 70, a professor at New York’s Columbia University, was recognized by the founda-

tion as a “critical theorist and educator speaking for the humanities against intellectual colonialism in relation to the globalized world.” Ivan Edward Sutherland, 74, a visiting scientist at Portland State University, in the US state of Oregon, was cited for his “pioneering achievements in the development of computer graphics and interactive interfaces,” the foundation said in a statement. Yoshinori Osumi, 67, a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, was honored for his “outstanding contribution” to work in the field of autophagy, the process by which a cell digests itself. The Kyoto Prize has been awarded to 87 individuals and one organization since its inception, the foundation said.

Runaway penguin ‘No 337’ to be named in Japan TOKYO, June 25, 2012 (AFP) - A penguin whose break-out from an aquarium in Japan gave him a following around the world is to be formally named after months of being known just by his number, an official said Monday.

“This is a special treatment to express our gratitude to the public for providing information on the bird, and also for cooperating with us by listening to our call not to try to capture him,” he said.

Humboldt penguin No. 337 spent 82 days at large in and around Tokyo Bay after bolting his enclosure, evading aquarium staff, an army of public onlookers and even Japan’s well-equipped coastguard.

Visitors are being asked to watch the creature -- now safely back in his enclosure -- before putting their suggestion in a box, Sugino said, admitting the aquarium was expecting a spike in numbers.

But until his recapture last month and subsequent thorough medical check-up, keepers did not even know what gender the plucky escapee was, and had insisted he did not have a name.

Nominations opened on June 15 and will end on July 1, said Sugino, adding “a naming committee comprising the aquarium director, the vice director and keepers will pick the most appropriate name.”

Now officials at Tokyo Sea Life Park have launched a competition asking visitors to think of what the bird should be called. “We decided to give him a pet name by soliciting ideas and their reasons from visitors,” said aquarium official Takashi Sugino.

India readies upgrade of ‘world’s cheapest’ tablet MUMBAI, June 26, 2012 (AFP) – India is set to release an upgrade of its ultralow-cost computer tablet, the 40-dollar “Aakash-2″, after the first edition was criticised for its quality and distribution. The device was unveiled last year as the “computer for the masses” in India, where millions struggle to fund their education, but as yet the tablet has failed to live up to the hype and reached only a tiny number of colleges. The Aakash-2 comes with improved features including a longer battery life, a faster processor at 800 Mhz and a better quality touch screen, according to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay which is testing the device. Distribution of 100,000 new tablets to engineering colleges will begin next month, IIT Bombay spokeswoman Jaya Joshi said on Tuesday. The device, which has a price tag of 2,263 rupees (40 dollars), is designed to allow students to interact in video lectures, submit assignments, complete online quizzes and write and run programs. “In coming years, Aakash is likely to become a ubiquitous tool in the hands of students, at all levels of their education,” said Professor Deepak Phatak, heading up

the project, in a release from IIT Bombay. The original Aakash, dubbed the world’s cheapest tablet, was launched in October 2011, but a Right to Information request filed by digital media blog MediaNama showed that only 572 tablets were distributed to just 19 colleges. The magazine Forbes India also slammed the project this week. “To put it mildly, the prototype was a disaster. Some phones in the market worked faster than this contraption,” it said. “Similar computing devices with superior capabilities are being brought out of Chinese factories by the thousands. India seems to have lost the plot.”

Speaking via video link at a “symbolic launch” of the upgraded device on Monday, India’s IT Minister Kapil Sibal said there had been “a sea change in the confidence” of the project since IIT Bombay took over three months ago. “Unfortunately, there was some delay in taking this project forward for reasons that I don’t want to go into now,” he said.

Shanghai subway tells women to have ‘self-respect’

Shanghai, June 26, 2012 (AFP) - A subway operator in the Chinese metropolis of Shanghai has caused uproar by warning women not to wear revealing clothes to avoid being groped by the city’s “perverts”. On its micro-blogging site, the Shanghai No.2 Subway Co posted a picture of a women in a see-through dress and warned: “If you dress like this on the subway, you will undoubtedly be harassed. “The subway is full of perverts -- women, have some self-respect!” The warning, posted on June 20, has been forwarded more than 15,000 times and elicited nearly 7,000 responses, many expressing outrage and criticizing the subway operator for “sexist” remarks. “According to this logic, all men can harass women in swimming pools,” wrote one netizen.

“What I wear is my basic right, it does not deny the rights of others,” wrote a micro-blogger calling themselves SOYBEAN-E.

But others voiced support for the warning and urged women to dress more conservatively. A spokesman for the subway company denied the post was a justification of sexual harassment and said it was meant to be a “kind reminder” to women, the Global Times reported. “As the city’s subway operator, we have the responsibility to warn women of the potential danger of sexual harassment on the subway,” the paper quoted the spokesman as saying.


Georgia Asian Times July 1-15, 2012

Misc Asia No laughing matter as India yoga gigglers banned MUMBAI, June 19, 2012 (AFP) They are designed to reduce stress and improve well-being, but one laughing yoga club in Mumbai has been ordered to stop its early morning giggling sessions after complaints from grumpy neighbors. The Bombay High Court told police to clamp down on the laughing yoga group after a 78-year-old resident complained it caused “mental agony, pain and public nuisance”, the DNA newspaper reported on Tuesday. “It is not proper to gather outside somebody’s house and laugh,” judges said while hearing the public interest lawsuit filed by Vinayak Shirsat from the Kurla suburb of Mumbai. According to Shirsat’s petition, 10 to 15 members of the group gather at 7:00 am to sing, clap and indulge in “loud and vigorous spells of laughter”.

“They laugh at the top of their voices; every member encourages the others to laugh to their heart’s content,” the complainant said. Laughing yoga was made popular as an exercise routine by Indian physician Madan Kataria in Mumbai in 1995, based on the principle that laughter has physiological benefits. Laughter clubs, at which members burst into infectious giggles, have since caught on in many cities in India and abroad. The court on Monday gave police a week to inform judges how they planned to restrain the club from causing problems.

Philippines rice terraces off endangered list: UN Manila, June 27, 2012 (AFP) - The Philippines’ ancient rice terraces, carved into mountains like giant green stairs, have been removed from a UN list of endangered world heritage sites, the UN office in Manila said Wednesday. The 2,000-year-old living cultural monuments were put on the World Heritage Committee’s danger list in 2000 at the Philippine government’s request to rally local and international aid, and for better management of their preservation.

“Both actions were successfully undertaken, leading to the conservation of the remote high rice fields,” the UN information office said in a statement. The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) said it had extended $153,200 to aid Philippine efforts to conserve paddies it said were threatened by deforestation, disuse, climate change and earthquakes. The terraces, located in five towns

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Words of Wisdom It’s dress in a man, bindings in baskets’ edge. Burmese Proverb

A physician’s neighbor is never a doctor. Korean Proverb

Regrets always come later. Burmese Proverb

Though a tree grows so high, the falling leaves return to the root. Malay Proverb

Have a mouth as sharp as a dagger but a heart as soft as tofu. Chinese Proverb Once a word leaves your mouth, you cannot chase it back even with the swiftest horse. Chinese Proverb A person who does not remember where he/she came from will never reach his/her destination. Filipino Proverb While there is life, there is hope. Filipino Proverb

Like the peanut, who forgets its shell. Malay Proverb Who cleans up the dirt washes away happiness. Mongolian Proverb You can’t put two saddles on the same horse. Mongolian Proverb A stone will not become soft, nor an enemy a friend. Pakistan Proverb

You can know ten things by learning one. Japanese Proverb

Speak good words to an enemy very softly ; gradually destroy him root and branch. Pakistan Proverb

If you make a mistake, don’t hesitate to correct it. Japanese Proverb

Men will always lose the battle against cholera and bureaucracy. Tibetan Proverb

A newborn baby has no fear of tigers. Korean Proverb

Men made money; money never made men. Vietnamese Proverb

in the northern Cordilleras, were named as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995, citing the need to preserve the traditions of terrace-building peoples in Ifugao province.

to repair amphitheatre-shaped rice terraces in the village of Batad, one of the most famous sites, that had been disfigured last year by a huge landslide.

Jerry Dalipog, mayor of Banaue town, where two of the five terraced fields are located, said UN-assisted conservation efforts should drive tourist traffic to the sites by up to 30 percent.

The repair works, estimated to cost 50 million pesos ($1.18 million), are being funded by the government and private donors, Dalipog added.

“Once the tourists are convinced that there are still terraces left to see, more of them will come and visit us,” he told AFP in a telephone interview. He said Banaue is set to complete by year’s end a four-month project

UNESCO describes the terraces as an “expression of sacred traditions and a delicate social balance,” which have helped create “a landscape of great beauty that expresses the harmony between humankind and the environment.”


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July 1-15, 2012 Georgia Asian Times

LIFESTYLE China creates model for sustainable urban living Tianjin Eco City, China, June 17, 2012 (AFP) – At first glance, Tianjin Eco-City looks much like any other upscale Chinese urban development, with its rows of identical apartment blocks, wide roads and manicured verges.

project in China. In 2005, China and Britain agreed to collaborate on building the world’s first so-called “eco-city” on an island off Shanghai. Dongtan Eco-City was dubbed a “city of the future” and aimed to provide virtually carbon-neutral living for up to 10,000 people from 2010, when it was to have been showcased at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.

In fact, it is being touted as a model for sustainable living in this rapidly urbanizing and heavily polluted country, whose congested, smog-choked cities are becoming increasingly unliveable. Many of its features — including well-insulated housing, waste recycling systems and solar-powered water heaters — are common in other countries, but remain rare in China, where sustainability has lost out in the rush to develop. Around 60 percent of household waste will be recycled and much of the city’s electricity will come from renewable energy sources including wind, solar and geothermal power, while the transport system will rely on hybrid vehicles. Construction work on Tianjin EcoCity, about 150 kilometres (95 miles) east of Beijing, began in 2008 and although it will not be completed until 2020, about 60 families have moved in this year. They are the first guinea pigs in what the Beijing- and Singapore-backed project’s deputy director Wang Meng calls an experiment to try to find ways for the country’s cities to be run in a more sustainable way. “In China, we have a very large population but we lack natural resources. The over-exploitation of those resources means that our cities cannot

But the deadline slid amid claims of corruption after the ouster of Chen Liangyu, the former Shanghai Communist party chief who was convicted for graft in 2008, and the city has still not been completed. develop in a sustainable way,” said Wang. “The eco-cities are an experiment that is being conducted in that context. We are researching a sustainable approach to the industrialization and urbanization of the country through the eco-cities.” The new city, which will include schools, medical facilities and business districts, covers 30 square kilometres (11.6 square miles) of salt pans and former fishing villages near the busy industrial port of Binhai. Wang said Tianjin Eco-City was deliberately sited on a heavily polluted patch of land with no access to fresh water, to prove that such projects could work anywhere. Unlike other eco-cities, which are adapted from existing settlements, it is being built from scratch and will need to attract residents from nearby cities such as Beijing and Tianjin, about 40 kilometres away.

Xie Kai, a 30-year-old entrepreneur who supplied the flooring for some of the new apartment complexes, moved to the city in March with his parents and young family after buying a flat at a preferential rate.

Plans for dozens of other low-carbon “eco-cities” and towns are springing up around the country, as developers rush to cash in on the green movement and government authorities seek to attract foreign investors to their regions.

He says he was attracted by the city’s eco-friendly credentials, but these were not the prime consideration — business opportunities, transport and education facilities for his young son were also important.

But as China’s economy slows, it will take more than green credentials to attract buyers for eco-friendly housing — as Wang is all too aware.

“Education and transport are two big strong points here. You are near Beijing, which is only 100 kilometres away, and Tianjin is a big city that has very good educational facilities,” he said. “You are also living somewhere where they look after the environment, there are lots of green spaces… (But) I didn’t move here just because it is an eco-city.” Tianjin Eco-City is not the first such

“At the moment, the media is following the project closely and so local people are coming ’round more and more to the green concept. The apartments are selling well,” he said. “The Binhai area of Tianjin is becoming the third most important centre of growth in China. The eco-city will attract more and more people who want to settle and work here.”


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July 1-15, 2012 Georgia Asian Times

July Horoscope Dragon (2012 2000 1988 1976 1964 1952 1940 1928 1916 1904) You believe you can do anything you put your mind to and often prove it. However, the amazing events triggered during the period could be so exciting and overwhelming that you are acknowledging you may have taken on too much. Certainly you will have to set some priorities. Instead of regarding this as a failure of confidence, consider it as strategic planning. No matter what is ahead, do not underestimate the scenario, which could be deceptive.

Dog (2006 1994 1982 1970 1958 1946 1934 1922 1910) You can deal with almost anything as long as you understand why and how. So you are not thrilled by other’s Machiavellian attitude and the distinct lack of facts. You could stand your ground, but you would be undermining the potential of certain plans or schemes or perhaps put others in jeopardy. Unappealing as giving in seems; it may be the best option, as you will discover once you take the first step.

Snake (2001 1989 1977 1965 1953 1941 1929 1917 1905) While certain changes in the circumstances of others - family and those closest in your personal life, may profoundly influence you; do not battle them. Going with the flow may run counter to your instincts, but elements of the actual changes have yet to be revealed, leaving you short of facts. What is more, these half-truths could trigger panic in others, if so, maintaining a calm and cool demeanor could be your biggest challenge. Avoid jumping to conclusion based on mere sights or tales.

Pig (2007 1995 1983 1971 1959 1947 1935 1923 1911) The rather peculiar behavior of certain usually sensible individuals has you mystified. Equally, bizarre events are disrupting what should be simple plans. Each can, in some way, be regarded as the work of third parties - outside your regular clients, contacts or suppliers. However perplexing, other events will turn out to be equally exciting, you can in fact, expect new and thrilling, if unexpected, alliances and activities.

Horse (2002 1990 1978 1966 1954 1942 1930 1918 1906) When there is too much talk and not enough action, you may get impatient. Get to the point in a diplomatic fashion, and you should discover why things need to be discussed in depth, where several misunderstandings remain to be untangled. This may seem tedious now, but is not nearly as annoying as being short of facts. Once the webs have been untangled, stunning opportunities should appear on the horizon in the near future.

Goat (2003 1991 1979 1967 1955 1943 1931 1919 1907) The current rather unpredictable mood swing could easily lead to blow-ups or if you focus on discovering the source of the problems. This particularly applies to tensions with loved ones, family members or intimate friends. Stress has built up gradually, but could easily overshadow what could otherwise be happy moments. Discussions need not be lengthy or overly psychological. However, you will need to own up to your responsibilities.

Monkey (2004 1992 1980 1968 1956 1944 1932 1920 1908) Being so familiar to relationships of all varieties, you will be somewhat shocked to discover that you have not noticed various crises among those closest to you. But they have not either for some strange reasons. Hoping they will sort themselves out or putting them off will only complicate matters. Hence lend your ears and heart to their problems and focus to lighten their burdens jointly.

Rooster (2005 1993 1981 1969 1957 1945 1933 1921 1909) Often changes begin with practical decisions. However during this month, you could mix personal insight compounded with unexpected events involving those closest, at home or in the world. Some are clearly needed, but others seem worrying, at least initially. Despite this, your inquisitive side swiftly takes over and you will soon recognize that what seems so unsettling are proper and timely breakthroughs. However tread such scenario as the beginning of new challenge.

Rat (2008 1996 1984 1972 1960 1948 1936 1924 1912) For you, loyalty is about commitment to a person you adored or loved. So equally, altering such a commitment is not a mere change, it can constitute a failure of trust. Perhaps events leave you without alternate choice. Ordinarily you would struggle to keep arrangements as they are. Instead, discuss practicalities and your feelings frankly. You might be surprised to discover that he/she should actually welcome certain changes - for the benefit of the relationship.

Ox (2009 1997 1985 1973 1961 1949 1937 1925 1913) Sometimes others’ opinions or decisions could reshape your life in association with your financial matters. In some cases, you trust the individuals in questions. Do not suffer in silence if you have any doubts. Ask them what they will be doing with your investment or life savings. By asking, the resulting shift in your understanding is as important as the actual changes taking place. You should try to take control of your life rather than being misled by others.

Tiger (2010 1998 1986 1974 1962 1950 1938 1926 1914) It is not plans going awry that are the problem; you have dealt with matters far more complex than these. In this period, circumstances or unexpected situations could arouse rouse feelings of vulnerability, which you usually manage to ignore. While discussing these may be the last thing you wanted to do, what you learn about the circumstances, the intentions of others and yourself, more than justifies the effort talking about them requires. Hence do not avoid, but confront them head on.

Rabbit (2011 1999 1987 1975 1963 1951 1939 1927 1915 1903) The current unexpected and often perplexing changes have not arisen because of your missed-calculations. They are the result of insufficient reliable information. Realize that you will stop worrying and perhaps start investigating; which you should, as many events are golden opportunities in disguise. They will eventually make sense but not immediately. For now explore and leave the decision-making to a later stage.


Georgia Asian Times July 1-15, 2012 

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Georgia Asian Times Vol 9 No 12