Thursday, February 22, 2018

Chinese dig deep for Aussie gene mine

Chinese dig deep for Aussie gene mine

Grant Morahan at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Perth. Picture: Colin Murty
Grant Morahan at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Perth. Picture: Colin Murty
  • The Australian
A world-leading genetic resource created in Western Australia has been sold to Chinese buyers because of a lack of investment interest in Australia.
The “gene mine” that helps researchers rapidly map and identify genes linked to human diseases has been snapped up by China’s leading animal sciences institute and medical school in a $US2 million ($2.56m) sale.
Lead researcher Grant Morahan, of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Perth, said the “mine” was developed over a decade and has captured more than 90 per cent of common genetic variations in mouse species.
“It allows researchers to find models for disease and identify genes that cause that trait,” he said. This had resulted in more natural mouse models of human diseases “than have been produced in the rest of the world”.
“It’s a natural model, not gen­etically modified, so it’s more likely to mimic the exact symptoms of disease ... in humans.”
The tool has been used globally in research into heart disease, dementia and diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in adults.
The clinical director of the Illa­warra Medical Research Institute, professor Leonard Arnolda, said the WA mouse models had been invaluable in investigating a rare disease of the heart muscle that can cause otherwise healthy young adults to die suddenly. “As far as the cardiovascular system is concerned, the gene mine has been a goldmine,” he said.
Professor Morahan said the genetic tool was created with backing from WA’s Centre for Diabetes Research and Perth-based medical research company Geniad, “but we’ve run out of funds to keep it in Australia”.
The “mine”will be transferred to China after being bought by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences’ Institute in Beijing.
Professor Morahan said although no investor had been found, he would continue to work on extending his gene technology with the Chinese ­institution.

STRIPPERS AND POLE DANCING AT FUNERALS FACES NEW CRACKDOWN IN CHINA

STRIPPERS AND POLE DANCING AT FUNERALS FACES NEW CRACKDOWN IN CHINA

Image result for STRIPPERS AND POLE DANCING AT FUNERALS FACES NEW CRACKDOWN IN CHINA
China has launched a crackdown on the tradition of hiring strippers for funerals in order to attract mourners.
Last month, China’s Ministry of Culture announced the new campaign. It will target strippers at funerals, weddings and traditional Spring Festival gatherings in 19 cities across the Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu and Hebei provinces, reported China’s official Communist Party newspaper Global Times.
The crackdown will involve residents being offered a financial reward for tip offs made to a hotline that divulge “funeral misdeeds.”
China has launched another crackdown on funeral strippers in 19 cities across the Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu and Hebei provinces.Image result for China has launched another crackdown on funeral strippers in 19 cities across the Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu and Hebei provinces.Image result for China has launched another crackdown on funeral strippers in 19 cities across the Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu and Hebei provinces.The new strategy is the latest in a series of crackdowns on funeral strippers. In 2006, Chinese authorities first ordered a halt to “obscene performances” in a bid to stamp out the rural tradition. A second campaign was launched in 2015 to end the “uncivilized” custom after explicit photos of a stripper performing at a funeral went viral on Chinese social media.
It is a long-standing traditional for some rural residents to hire funeral entertainers to attract more mourners. Citizens believe that high turnout numbers reflects a high level of respect shown for the dead, which will in turn bring the living good fortune.
However, some experts claim stripper performances at funerals honors sex, reproduction and fertility.
"According to the interpretation of cultural anthropology, the fete is originated from the worship of sex," Kuang Haiyan, a media professor, told Global Times. "Therefore the erotic performance at the funeral is just a cultural atavism."
Kuang added: "From the perspective of folklore, festivals and rituals such as the Chinese New Year are the critical time for people to lay down their life and embrace the death. That's the moment for them to release their sexual passion at the funeral."
Despite their popularity, Chinese state media has often condemned the erotic shows as “low culture”, "base" and a “toxin for public morality.”
"I don't take the performances as 'trash of traditional rural culture.' It has an inheritance of local civilization. Rather than simply decrying them, it is more important for the authorities to provide the rural people with finer cultural products," Huang Jianxing, a professor at Fujian Normal University, told Global Times.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

No quick fix: B.C.’s Attorney General says money laundering problem will take years to solve

No quick fix: B.C.’s Attorney General says money laundering problem will take years to solve

    Image result for chinese drug criminals vancouver

Attorney General David Eby says the province will need to build the infrastructure from the ground up to truly get a handle on money laundering.
Attorney General David Eby says the province will need to build the infrastructure from the ground up to truly get a handle on money laundering.

B.C.’s Attorney General is promising a widespread crackdown in the wake of shocking revelations of money laundering in B.C. real estate linked to the Chinese fentanyl trade.
The allegations detailed in a report by the Globe and Mail laid out a scheme by which drug dealers would loan dirty money to Chinese immigrants, who put up Vancouver properties as collateral.
The dealers would then be repaid either in China, or through the sale of their Vancouver properties. The Globe investigation alleges the money repaid in China was often used to buy more fentanyl.
Speaking with Mike Smyth on CKNW’s The Simi Sara Show, Attorney General David Eby called the revelations “disturbing,” and said they tie into the investigation already underway regarding money laundering in B.C. casinos.
“[There are] really obvious connections in the allegations [the Globe is] bringing forward and the allegations we’ve been examining at the casinos. Similar names, similar kinds of techniques,” Eby said.
“I feel like we pull on a string here and it’s connected in so many other places you end up following it out to a whole sweater. This Chinese ball of yarn seems endless."
Eby said the government money laundering review, headed by former high-ranking Mountie Peter German, has been asked to explore links with the real estate industry.
WATCH: NDP government announces new rules to combat money laundering

He said in the short term, the probe will be investigating the specific names, addresses and transactions named in the Globe report, but that the financial crime problem goes far deeper and will take longer to solve.
That’s because, he argued, the previous government turned a blind eye to the problem, allowing enforcement agencies to wither away to the point of being powerless.
“One of the big concerns I’ve had on taking office is the real lack of infrastructure to detect, prevent and prosecute financial crimes, money laundering, fraud — especially in relation to Chinese money laundering and real estate,” Eby said.
“[Our goal is] building up that infrastructure so that it’s somebody’s job to ask, ‘Where did this money come from,’ whether it’s at the casino or whether it’s at the land title registry.”
Eby said some pieces of the government’s anti-money laundering strategy revealed in Tuesday’s budget, but that a lasting solution will take years to fully develop and implement.
That solution will include empowering investigators who can flag and trace suspicious transactions, along with legislation that will prevent people from owning property anonymously through numbered companies or trusts, Eby said.
What it won’t include is a foreign buyer ban.
Such a ban would penalize law-abiding immigrants, Eby argued, while ignoring real criminals with Canadian passports.
“I suspect a number of these folks in [the Globe] story are Canadians. So it doesn’t really help us to focus on that, necessarily,” Eby said.
“We’re a community here that relies on recruiting highly-skilled immigrants from around the world who come usually on temporary working visas and then transition into citizenship here. It’s a well established pathway, and one that we’ve benefited from greatly.”
Eby acknowledged that if the crackdown is effective, it could actually undermine B.C.’s bottom line when it comes to gaming revenues and property transfer taxes. But he said it’s a price the province has to be willing to pay if it wants to shed its reputation as a haven for dirty money.
“If we don’t do better financially, at least we’ll know our economy is not built on a foundation of total garbage, and I think that’s critically important,” Eby said.
“We have an international reputation that is in tatters that we have to rebuild.”

US rejects ‘Communist Chinese’ takeover of Chicago Stock Exchange

US rejects ‘Communist Chinese’ takeover of Chicago Stock Exchange

The top US regulator of the financial markets has blocked the sale of the Chicago Stock Exchange (CHX) to a Chinese-led investor group due to concerns over the would-be buyers’ ability to supervise the bourse after the deal.
“The review process has also raised questions about whether the proposed ownership structure will allow the commission to exercise sufficient oversight of the exchange,” the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Thursday.
The decision by the SEC has put an end to a two-year battle for an approval of the sale and emphasizes once again zero tolerance by Donald Trump’ s administration toward Chinese buyers. During the election campaign the 45th US president pointed to the CHX deal as an example of how American jobs and wealth were leaving the country.
Under the proposal, the Chinese-led North America Casin Holdings group aimed to purchase a minority share of the CHX. The deal could reportedly bring the exchange, which accounts for just 0.5 percent of US equities trades, some “vital capital.”
The funding would be used “to boost numerous initiatives designed to benefit the city of Chicago, the US economy and market structure as a whole,” the exchange said.
In August, the regulator approved the sale of the privately owned exchange, but the decision was put on hold for further review within minutes after the announcement. The SEC commissioners are currently led by Chairman Jay Clayton, a Trump appointee.
The US congressmen from both political camps had been slamming the deal, arguing that it could give China’s government access to American financial markets
“We must continue to be vigilant, with thorough oversight, to prevent the highly-coordinated and strategic efforts of the Communist Chinese government to threaten our national security through malicious business investments,” Republican Congressman Robert Pittenger said in a statement on the issue.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

CHINA preparing to JOIN forces with North Korea in WORLD WAR 3 warns military expert

CHINA preparing to JOIN forces with North Korea in WORLD WAR 3 warns military expert

CHINA has started preparing its military to support North Korea if World War 3 breaks out with the US, a military expert revealed.


The People’s Liberation Army of China has been conducting military exercises on the Korean border in preparation for war breaking out between the US and North Korea.
The fear of war between the two countries has risen over the past several months after China’s neighbour carried out a number of illegal missile tests and threatened to target the US territory of Guam with a nuclear missile.
Following the announcement regarding China’s new military drills, military expert Li Jie has given her verdict as to who the country would side within any future conflict.
China war north koreaGETTY
China are preparing to stand with North Korea in any potential future war
She said: “The timing of this high-profile announcement by the PLA is a warning to Washington and Seoul not to provoke Pyongyang any further.”
China’s Air Force sent its surveillance aircraft to the Yellow Sea and East China Sea in the last few days claiming it was there to ”improve combat-readiness and safeguard the country's strategic interests”.
The aircraft took a flight path not previously flown to regions they had never previously operated in, and coordinated with fighter jets, alert aircraft and guided missile forces, spokesman Shen Jinke said, according to a post on the Air Force's official microblog.
The move comes as the US prepares to conduct its own military drills in the region with South Korea.
The allies currently have up to 260 aircraft training in an exercise which simulates how an air war with Kim Jong-un’s rogue state would play out.
The two countries have been carrying out the war-game scenarios for decades.
Russia and China had urged the cancellation of the US’s five day programme, in exchange for North Korea halting its weapons programmes.
Beijing formally calls the idea the "dual suspension" proposal.
President Trump’s military refused to do so and may be partially responsible for why China chose to conduct its own training drills.
China has become increasingly frustrated with US President Donald Trump’s handling of Kim Jong-un’s rogue nation.

US report reveals extent of China's secret nuclear arsenal

The US had tabled a resolution in September to the UN Security Council which increased sanctions on the country.
However, Trump has since gone further and demanded that China cease all trade with their neighbouring country.
China has reacted angrily to the demands.
“The nation’s state-run Global Times said: “We can neither persuade Pyongyang nor sway the opinion of Washington.
“When tensions on the Korean Peninsula reach a new height, a large portion of the pressure is transferred to China.
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North Korea's threats have caused friction between China and the US
China and TrumpGETTY
China and the US have very different views on how to handle the North Korea situation
“But the US and North Korea must shoulder their own responsibility without making China the scapegoat.”
They went on to say: “The only thing China can do next is to firmly uphold its principles, strive to alleviate tensions while at the same time preparing for the worst.”
It concluded: “Beijing is fully prepared to use its prowess to defend its national interest. China owes no one anything, and other countries must know this.”
It has long been believed that China has been loyal to North Korea because they fear the destruction of the state would leave them responsible for dealing with any refugee crisis that may emerge.