China’s plan to build hydro dams over Salween river – in pictures
Guardian: Photo Essay
Asia’s last free flowing river originates in Tibet, runs through Yunnan and flows into Burma and Thailand. The folds and bends it creates sustain millions of people and a rich biodiversity of plants and animals. A mega plan to build multiple dams threaten both local people and wildlife
A sidebar discusses “Grand Canyon of the East”
No room for retired generals, judges in interim govt: PPP
Dawn.com: Khaleeq Kiani
As part of its broad election strategy, the ruling Pakistan People’s Party has decided in principle to have non-political personalities inducted as caretaker prime minister and provincial chief ministers, to dissolve all assemblies by mid-February and hold elections for national and provincial assemblies on the same date in the middle of May.
A senior PPP leader who attended the meeting of the PPP core committee on Monday told Dawn that the party would not approve of any retired military officer or retired judge for the slots of interim prime minister or chief ministers. He spoke at length about the key decisions taken by the PPP for elections, but declined to talk on record.
He said the PPP leadership decided that the five key positions – the interim prime minister and four chief ministers – would be filled with non-controversial personalities like reputed former bureaucrats or persons of integrity, citing the name of former ambassador to the United Nations Hussain Haroon as example.
According to the PPP leader, the exact date for dissolution of assemblies was discussed, but it was agreed that assemblies be dissolved by middle of February and elections held within 90 days by mid-May. He agreed that delaying elections beyond mid-May was not in the interest of the PPP because of hot weather and the loadshedding.
Hopefully, Pakistan should settle down a bit with this news.
Sinn Fein says sorry for IRA killing of Irish cops
AP: SHAWN POGATCHNIK
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams apologized Tuesday for the Irish Republican Army’s killing of seven police officers and soldiers in the Republic of Ireland, the latest such statement of regret over past bloodshed to come from the IRA-linked party.
Adams expressed remorse during a parliamentary debate about the security and political response to Friday’s fatal shooting of a police officer in the border town of Dundalk. Detective Adrian Donohoe, 41, was shot in the head as he tried to stop a gang robbing a cash collection van outside a bank. An IRA faction based in the neighboring South Armagh region of Northern Ireland is suspected of involvement.
Donohoe was the first policeman to be fatally shot in the Republic of Ireland since 1996, when members of the dominant Provisional IRA faction ambushed another cash-carrying van in Limerick and killed police guard Jerry McCabe. The Provisionals killed a total of six policemen and one soldier during their failed 1970-1997 campaign to force Northern Ireland out of the United Kingdom. The Irish security-force members all were shot as they tried to stop IRA bank robberies or free IRA hostages.
This seems late, and I wonder if Sinn Fein will apologize for anything else . .
Thick smog closes airports and highways across China (updated)
South China Morning Post: Stephen Chen
As of 11:00am on Wednesday, the Web site of Beijing’s Capital International Airport shows that about a dozen domestic flights between Beijing and major northern Chinese cities have been cancelled or delayed. Up to 15 international flights have been cancelled. Affected destinations include Tokyo, Istanbul, Moscow, Kuala Lumpur, Chicago, Franfurt and Helsinki.
Thick smog covered almost one seventh of China yesterday, causing traffic chaos on highways and disruptions at airports.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection said satellite images showed smog covering an area of 1.3 million square kilometres by 10am, a third more than on Monday and spanning more than 10 municipalities and provinces.
Serious air pollution was recorded in northern cities such as Beijing and Shijiazhuang and southern cities such as Wuhan and Chengdu .
It was the first time the ministry had released satellite data on the extent of smog, which had also plagued China on three other occasions this month, but it did not release the actual images.
It’s not just Beijing.
NUM provided members with weapons at Marikana
Mail & Guardian: Maryke Vermaak
National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) member and Lonmin employee Saziso Gegeleza testified on the events of August 11, when striking workers tried to attack the union’s office at the Lonmin platinum mine in the North West.
Karl Tip, representing NUM, asked him if there were usually weapons kept at the NUM offices, to which he replied: “No”.
Gegeleza said NUM shop stewards had confiscated the weapons from striking miners.
He said NUM western platinum branch secretary Daluvuyo Bongo handed out weapons as they heard a group of strikers were heading towards the office to burn it down.
“I was given a knobkerrie and a spear.”
Mining, labor rights, violence, economics.