Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Omicron | Nov. 30, 2021

 

Why the Omicron Variant Is Concerning Scientists | WSJ
Nov 29, 202


South African scientists explore vaccines’ effectiveness against Omicron

Crucial work will study how well current jabs work and whether they need to be updated to tackle new variant

Nov. 29 - ...South African scientists were the first to report the Omicron variant to the World Health Organization on 24 November. At the time, the first known infection was on 9 November, but earlier infections may come to light as countries conduct thorough searches for cases, chiefly among travellers who recently returned from the region.

​The work in South Africa is part of an urgent global effort to understand the threat posed by Omicron. Ravi Gupta, professor of clinical microbiology at the University of Cambridge, hopes to join the effort soon, first with pseudoviruses and then with live Omicron. Further experiments, he said, will look at how well synthetic antibody treatments deal with the variant. The therapies are crucial for patients who are not able to mount their own immune response to the virus.

Several vaccine manufacturers have also launched studies into how well the jabs protect against Omicron. AstraZeneca is analysing infections and vaccination status in people in Botswana and Eswatini on the borders of South Africa. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Pfizer said the company hoped to have initial results from its own antibody studies “in the coming weeks”.

If the variant largely evades vaccines, both Moderna and Pfizer claim they can produce a new, tailor-made vaccine in about 100 days, subject to approval by regulators....     quoted from

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变异毒株“奥密克戎”危害性有多大?|
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Nov 29, 2021

Why is the euro plunging?
The decline should be seen in a broader context

​Nov. 30 - The euro has weakened against the US dollar since the beginning of 2021, from around US$1.23 to its current exchange rate of US$1.13. That’s a fall of about 9 per cent, which is significant, especially since these are the two major currencies of the world. The drop has also intensified in November, falling 3 per cent since the turn of a month, which has seen violence in European capitals over COVID restrictions, migrant problems at the Belarus-Poland border and Russian troops amassing on the border of Ukraine.

The decline should be seen in a broader context, though. The euro is still stronger than a couple of years ago, when it was about US$1.10. It also went through some heavy weekly volatility from February to April 2020 in the early part of the COVID pandemic, bouncing between about US$1.07 and US$1.13 at a time when lots of investors were fleeing to the US dollar for safety and there was much uncertainty about what lockdowns would mean.

Explaining currency movements on a weekly or even monthly basis is well known to be extremely difficult, especially when it comes to major economies like the US and the countries in the eurozone. But certainly we need to look at what is happening in both regions and not just one or the other. Using this simple idea, there are several explanations for the recent euro depreciation.

Inflation differences
The first explanation relates to the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank (ECB) stimulating their economies using quantitative easing (QE), which is essentially creating money to buy financial assets such as government bonds from banks and other major investors. Both central banks have been doing this extensively since the start of the pandemic.

​However, with annual inflation in the US now reaching a serious level of 6.2%, compared with a less troublesome 4.1% in the eurozone,..     more


​北约将决定对俄行动?俄警告将保持核战备状态 20211129 |
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Nov 30, 2021

The chief of the NATO military alliance on Monday warned Russia not to make any military moves against Ukraine, saying the cost would be dear.
NATO Chief: Russian Aggression Against Ukraine Would Carry High Price

Nov. 30 - "Any future Russian aggression against Ukraine would come at a high price. And have serious political and economic consequences for Russia," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters ahead of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Latvia's capital Riga starting on Tuesday, Anadolu news agency reported.

The two-day meeting is set to discuss a range of issues, including the Russian military buildup near the Ukrainian border.

"We are also monitoring the situation at the border of Ukraine with concern. This is the second time this year that Russia has amassed large and unusual concentration of forces in this region,” Stoltenberg told a press conference alongside Egils Levits, president of the Baltic state of Latvia.


“We see heavy weapons, artillery, armored units, drones and electronic warfare systems and tens of thousands of combat-ready troops,” he added.

​He stressed that Russia has to show transparency in order to reduce tensions and de-escalate the situation.
"NATO’s approach to Russia remains consistent. We keep our defense and deterrence strong, while remaining open for dialogue with Russia," he said...     more

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

James Blunt - Bones

 Bones/骨頭



"Bones" by James Blunt

Translated by yy


I have never been a beautiful boy

Never liked the sound of my own voice

I wasn't cool when I was in my teens

I never slept but I did have dreams

As I step out in this big old world

Seven billion just trying to cope and

Everyone of us someday will die

But today I never felt more alive

Can you feel it coming?

Can you feel it coming?

Can you feel it, feel it, feel it?

Running through your bones

Running through your bones

Yeah you set my heart on fire

And it's all hot wired to my bones

I can count all the things I fear

I close my eyes but they don't disappear

If there's a god then there's a guarantee

But if there's not it's just you and me


Can you feel it coming?

Can you feel it coming?

Can you feel it, feel it, feel it?

Running through your bones

Running through your bones

Yeah you set my heart on fire

And it's all hot wired to my bones

So kiss me before the sun falls down

Run before your legs give way

Swallow it until you drown

Can you feel it coming?

Can you feel it coming?

Can you feel it, feel it, feel it?

Running through your bones

Running through your bones

Yeah you set my heart on fire and

And it's all hot wired to my bones

Running through my bones

Yeah you set my heart on fire

And it's all hot wired to my bones

Running through my bones

Running through my bones



"Bones" by James Blunt

Translated by yy

《骨頭》

還是小男生的我長得不好看

我也不喜歡自己的嗓門

在我十多歲時還不算是位很酷的小伙子

從未睡飽過可是我確實有些很明確的理想

就在我踏入這個改不掉的老世界的同時

全世界有七十億名的人口他們只想與生命妥協

某天我們當中的每一位都會死亡

但我的感覺從未像今天如此地活生生

它來了,妳感覺到沒?

它來了,妳感覺到沒?

妳感覺,感覺,感覺到沒?

傳入我的每根骨頭

傳入我的每根骨頭

是的妳將我的心臟放火燃燒

像很熱的鐵線傳導入骨

我真的害怕的幾件都算得出來

閉起眼那些事情瀝瀝如在眼前

果真有位神的話就有因果關係

否則就只有妳我關係


它來了,妳感覺到沒?

它來了,妳感覺到沒?

妳感覺,感覺,感覺到沒?

傳入我的每根骨頭

傳入我的每根骨頭

是的妳將我的心臟放火燃燒

像很熱的鐵線傳導入骨

所以趁日頭未入歧途之前請妳親我一下

趁未跑斷雙腿之前繼續跑吧

繼續喝吧直到了沉入杯中

它來了,妳感覺到沒?

它來了,妳感覺到沒?

妳感覺,感覺,感覺到沒?

傳入我的每根骨頭

傳入我的每根骨頭

是的妳將我的心臟放火燃燒

像很熱的鐵線傳導入骨

傳入我的每根骨頭

是的妳將我的心臟放火燃燒

像很熱的鐵線傳導入骨

傳入我的每根骨頭

傳入我的每根骨頭

Friday, November 12, 2021

USICA | Nov. 13, 2021

 2 - White House News in Chinese (weebly.com)

US is seeking coexistence with China, not Cold War, says Jake Sullivan

‘The goal here is not containment, it’s not a new Cold War’

Nov. 10 - America is not seeking a new Cold War with China, but looking for a system of peaceful coexistence, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.

​“The goal here is not containment, it’s not a new Cold War,” Mr Sullivan said in an interview to CNN on Sunday.

“It is rather a favourable disposition in which the US and its allies can shape the international rules of the road on the sorts of issues that are fundamentally going to matter to the people of our country and to the people everywhere,” he added.

The objective of the Biden administration was not to seek any political transformation in China, but to shape the international order to favour its interests and other likeminded democracies, he pointed out.

Mr Sullivan’s remarks come a week after president Joe Biden said US was not seeking “physical conflict” with China, despite rising tensions...     more

EXCLUSIVE Chinese embassy lobbies U.S. business to oppose China bills -sources

​WASHINGTON, Nov 12 (Reuters) - China has been pushing U.S. executives, companies and business groups in recent weeks to fight against China-related bills in the U.S. Congress, four sources familiar with the initiative told Reuters, in letters to and meetings with a wide range of actors in the business community.

Letters from China's embassy in Washington have pressed executives to urge members of Congress to alter or drop specific bills that seek to enhance U.S. competitiveness, according to the sources and the text of a letter sent by the embassy's economic and commercial office seen by Reuters.

Chinese officials warned companies they would risk losing market share or revenue in China if the legislation becomes law, according to the text of the letter.

​The Chinese embassy and the head of its economic and commercial office did not return separate requests for comment.

The sources said China's request also left some individuals who received a letter concerned that they could be seen as violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) if they lobbied lawmakers on similar issues in the future.

As a result, none of the sources wanted to be identified as having received or seen the letter.

​Sweeping legislation to boost U.S. competition with China and fund much-needed semiconductor production, known as the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), passed the Senate with bipartisan support in June. A related bill in the House of Representatives called the Eagle Act, which is more strictly policy focused, has stalled as Congress has been preoccupied with other domestic initiatives.

The language in the letters, which Reuters determined were sent separately to a wide number of people, explicitly asks companies to oppose USICA and the Eagle Act.

Beijing sees the measures, which take a hard line toward China on human rights and trade issues, as part of a U.S. effort to counter the country's growing economic and geopolitical might.

"We sincerely hope you ... will play a positive role in urging members of Congress to abandon the zero-sum mindset and ideological prejudice, stop touting negative China-related bills, delete negative provisions, so as to create favorable conditions for bilateral economic and trade cooperation before it is too late," the Chinese embassy said in one letter sent in early November.

Reuters confirmed the shared language of the letter with the four sources.

"The result of those China-related bills with negative impacts will not be that the interests of U.S. companies will be protected while those of Chinese companies will suffer. It is only going to hurt everyone," it said.

"Promoting a China-free supply chain will inevitably result in a decline in China's demand for U.S. products and American companies loss of market share and revenue in China," it said.

Two of the sources said similar messages were conveyed in meetings with staff of China's embassy.

"It's an outright ask by a foreign government," one of the sources said, highlighting the implications for FARA, which requires persons acting on behalf of a foreign power or political party to disclose those relations to the Department of Justice.

Related Article from Wikipedia
United States Innovation and Competition Act - Wikipedia

美议员再窜访台湾 中方三部门正告:玩火终将烧身!20211110 |
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Nov 11, 2021
Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby Holds an Off-Camera Press Briefing

NOV. 9, 2021

Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby
...
Q:  So -- so -- so China condemns this visit, and also took some readiness patrol, I don’t know what that means -- so how do you see this action on the part of China?
MR. KIRBY:  Look, congressional delegation visits to Taiwan are fairly routine.  This is the second one this year.  It's not unusual, so I -- I -- I would put it in the context of -- of the normal practice here, and in keeping with our obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act, which has been supported by multiple administrations, both Democratic and Republican, that reinforces our requirement to help Taiwan with its self-defense needs...     quoted from

Saturday, November 6, 2021

China's People's Liberation Army-Navy | Nov. 6, 2021

 2 - White House News in Chinese (weebly.com)

Reporter's Notebook: Defense- November 1, 2021
00:00
/
06:05
The Pentagon's ominous report on China's military power

Nov. 6 - The Pentagon this week released its annual assessment on Chinese military and security developments. The report aims to "provide background on China’s national security, foreign policy goals, economic plans and military development."
What it really illuminates, however, are the expansionist objectives of the Chinese Communist Party.

​For a start, the Pentagon now projects that China is likely to have at least 1,000 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2030. The Pentagon estimates that Beijing may have "up to 700 nuclear deliverable warheads by 2027." The analysis also indicates that China may have already established a "nascent nuclear triad," which includes the ability to launch nuclear missiles from the air, sea, and ground.

Unsurprisingly, China’s People’s Liberation Army-Navy is predicted to continue growing. China, the report notes, already has "numerically the largest navy in the world with an overall battle force of approximately 355 ships and submarines." In 2019, Beijing commissioned its first domestically produced aircraft carrier. Sea power has long been the primary means by which countries project influence. And it isn’t unusual for a nation to expand its naval power as its economy, and thus its interests, grow. What is striking, however, is the PLAN's rapid ability to build its navy and to get its vessels sea-ready — particularly when contrasted with the United States. The PLAN is expected to have a battle force of 420 ships by 2025 and 460 ships by 2030.

This is far beyond the U.S. Navy's projected strength. The Hudson Institute's Seth Cropsey has recently charged that the Navy is "hobbled by questionable training, a shortage of personnel, and a general unpreparedness to fight and prevail in a war." Should a war with China occur over Taiwan, Cropsey has warned that the U.S. Navy "will face a serious erosion of its combat power after only a handful of Chinese missile barrages."

China also looks set to increase its ballistic missile capabilities. The PLA’s intermediate-range ballistic missiles are predicted to increase in stock by as much as 33%.

Nor does the Pentagon’s new assessment leave little doubt about the direction of Chinese air power. In 2019, Chinese military planners sought to transition from territorial air defense to "offensive and defensive operations." They seem to be making progress. The People’s Liberation Army Air Force is "rapidly catching up to Western air forces." The Pentagon warns that "this trend is gradually eroding longstanding and significant U.S. military technical advantages … in the air domain."

Chinese space, counterspace, and cyberwarfare capabilities are also predicted to increase dramatically. Overall, the Defense Department warns, China is looking to "project and sustain military power at greater distances … not just within the immediate environments … but throughout the Indo-Pacific region and indeed, around the world."

On the day that the Pentagon’s report was published, the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, told the Aspen Security Forum that China wants to challenge the U.S. globally. This much seems clear. What is less certain, however, is whether Americans and their elected representatives are as alarmed as our defense planners. They should be.     source from

The People's Liberation Army Navy (Chinese中国人民解放军海军pinyinZhōngguó Rénmín Jiěfàngjūn Hǎijūn), also known as the Chinese NavyPLA Navy or PLAN, is the naval warfare branch of the People's Liberation Army, the armed wing of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and, by default, the national armed forces of China. The PLAN traces its lineage to naval units fighting during the Chinese Civil War and was established on 23 April 1949.[5] Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, the Soviet Union provided assistance to the PLAN in the form of naval advisers and export of equipment and technology.     quoted from Wikipedia



Strait issues need global airing: expert

​GROWING THREAT: A recent US paper suggests that China’s military capabilities could peak in 2027, giving Taiwan more reason to reach out to allies, a professor said

Nov. 6 - In view of Beijing’s growing military, Taiwan should internationalize Taiwan Strait issues to build support from countries that are concerned with cross-strait peace, a Taiwanese academic said on Thursday.


Tamkang University professor of international affairs and strategic studies Wong Ming-hsien (翁明賢) made the suggestion after a report published by the US Department of State on Wednesday said that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aims to modernize its warfare capabilities by 2027 to counter the US presence in the Indo-Pacific region, with the aim of forcing Taiwan into unification negotiations.

The report, titled Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China, said that the PLA’s goals are to defeat “a strong enemy,” coerce Taiwan and other rivals into territorial disputes, counter a third-party intervention in China’s periphery and project power throughout the world.

said that the report’s projections correspond with comments made by retired US Navy admiral Philip Davidson in March that China could attempt an invasion of Taiwan within the next six years...     more

秘训台军 秀双航母 美军加速渲染台海紧张?20211105 |
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Nov 6, 2021


Tuesday, November 2, 2021

COP26 | Nov. 2, 2021

 2 - White House News in Chinese (weebly.com)

1 - White House News in Chinese (weebly.com)


What is COP26?
In 1992, countries agreed to an international treaty called the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which set ground rules and expectations for global cooperation on combating climate change. It was the first time the majority of nations formally recognized the need to control greenhouse gas emissions, which cause global warming that drives climate change.

That treaty has since been updated, including in 2015 when nations signed the Paris climate agreement. That agreement set the goal of limiting global warming to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F), and preferably to 1.5 C (2.7 F), to avoid catastrophic climate change.


COP26 stands for the 26th Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC. The "parties" are the 196 countries that ratified the treaty plus the European Union. The United Kingdom, partnering with Italy, is hosting COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, from Oct. 31 through Nov. 12, 2021, after a one-year postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic...     more

see also in Wikipedia
The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference. It is being held in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, between 31 October and 12 November 2021, under the presidency of Alok Sharma.[1][2] The conference is the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the third meeting of the parties to the Paris Agreement.
This conference is the first time that parties are expected to commit to enhanced ambition since COP21. Parties are required to carry out every five years, as outlined in the Paris Agreement, a process colloquially known as the 'ratchet mechanism'.[3]
The venue for the conference is the SEC Centre in Glasgow. Originally due to be held in November 2020 at the same venue, the event was postponed for twelve months because of the COVID-19 pandemic...     more

中方批美错误对华政策 正告美勿制造台海危机 20211101 |
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Nov 2, 2021

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken
U.S. will make sure Taiwan has ability to defend itself: Blinken

Nov. 1 - ​U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday that the United States will remain committed to the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and make sure Taiwan has the ability to defend itself.

In an interview on CNN's State of Union, Blinken reiterated there has been no change for his country when it came to Taiwan. He was asked to comment on President Joe Biden's recent remarks in which Biden said the U.S. would defend Taiwan in the event of an attack from China.

​"There is no change in our policy," Blinken said. "We've had a longstanding commitment that, by the way, then-Senator Biden strongly supported when he was in the United States Senate, a longstanding commitment pursuant to the Taiwan Relations Act to make sure that Taiwan has the means to defend itself, and we stand by that."

"The President stood by that strongly, and we want to make sure that no one takes any unilateral action that would disrupt the status quo with regard to Taiwan. That hasn't changed," Blinken added...     more

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Omicron | Nov. 30, 2021

  Why the Omicron Variant Is Concerning Scientists | WSJ Nov 29, 202 South African scientists explore vaccines’ effectiveness against Omicro...