Wednesday, January 31, 2018

China's Economy. Slowing?

[Three Two stories on China. Which seems to suggests a slowing. But maybe not.

The first story is not new. Predictions that China's economic growth is due for a "crash" (if you wanna be dramatic), or a "correction" (if you prefer to be less alarmist) has been circulating. As early as 2009, according to the first article.

And here we are, 10 years down the road. And China is still humming along. 

Sure, maybe the tune is a little less jaunty, and the beat is a little slower, but China is not crashing. 

The point is pointing out the structural weakness and faults cracking China's economy is all well and good. But if you want to make money, you need your prediction to be more precise. Or it is still just luck.]

Friday, January 19, 2018

Ageing population to drag down S’pore’s annual GDP per capita growth for decades: IPS study

By Kelly Ng

18 January, 2018


SINGAPORE — If fertility rates in Singapore remain at current levels, the ageing population will cause a drag of 1.5 percentage points on per capita gross domestic product (GDP) growth every year until 2060.

Delivering the finding in a study on Thursday (Jan 18), researchers from the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) estimated there will be 91 elderly citizens for every 100 working-age Singaporeans by 2080 — up 10-fold from 1980.

This was based on the assumption that total fertility rate stagnates at 1.3, with 20,000 immigrants adding to the population each year, said IPS senior research fellow Christopher Gee in a 20-page paper titled Harnessing Singapore’s longevity dividends: The Generational Economy, Society and Polity.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Who is attacking Russia’s bases in Syria? A new mystery emerges in the war.

Washington Post

By Liz Sly

January 9 2018

BEIRUT — A series of mysterious attacks against the main Russian military base in Syria, including one conducted by a swarm of armed miniature drones, has exposed Russia’s continued vulnerability in the country despite recent claims of victory by President Vladimir Putin.

The attacks have also spurred a flurry of questions over who may be responsible for what amounts to the biggest military challenge yet to Russia’s role in Syria, just when Moscow is seeking to wind its presence down.

In the most recent and unusual of the attacks, more than a dozen armed drones descended from an unknown location onto Russia’s vast Khmeimim air base in northwestern Latakia province, the headquarters of Russia’s military operations in Syria, and on the nearby Russian naval base at Tartus.

Russia said that it shot down seven of the 13 drones and used electronic countermeasures to safely bring down the other six. It said no serious damage was caused.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Oprah for POTUS - lessons or caveats for Democracy

[Here's the set up:]

Oprah for president in 2020? Here’s everything you need to know.

By Elahe Izadi

January 8 2018

It all got brought back up again, at first, because of a joke.

Golden Globes host Seth Meyers stood before Oprah Winfrey, who was set to receive the Cecil B. DeMille award Sunday night and was sitting in the very front of the room. As Meyers opened the awards show, he mentioned his 2011 White House correspondents’ dinner gig, the one where he joked about Donald Trump not being qualified for president.

“Some have said that night convinced him to run. So, if that’s true, I just want to say: Oprah, you will never be president! You do not have what it takes. And Hanks! Where’s Hanks? You will never be vice president. You are too mean and unrelatable. Now we just wait and see.”

Friday, January 5, 2018

Two dying memoirists wrote bestsellers about their final days. Then their spouses fell in love.

Washington Post
By Nora Krug 

January 3 2018

SAN MATEO, Calif. — The literary pairing was inevitable.

“When Breath Becomes Air,” Paul Kalanithi’s memoir of his final years as he faced lung cancer at age 37, was published posthumously, in 2016, to critical acclaim and commercial success. “The Bright Hour,” Nina Riggs’s memoir of her final years as she faced breast cancer at age 39, was published posthumously, in 2017, to critical acclaim and commercial success. The two books were mentioned together in numerous reviews, lists and conversations.

Perhaps less inevitable was that the late authors’ spouses would end up together, too.

“I’m still surprised,” said Lucy Kalanithi of her relationship with Nina Riggs’s widower, John Duberstein. “I’m surprised by how ridiculous it is and how natural it is at the same time.”

Sitting across the kitchen table from Lucy last week at her home, John agreed. “Everything seemed almost bizarrely to fit,” he said. “It was kind of stunning.”

The story of Lucy Kalanithi and John Duberstein is both unlikely and destined, the stuff of a rom-com. It begins, tragically, on a death bed.