Saturday, 29 September 2012


Cuba has achieved
much in spite of US sanctions
BBC Latin America and Caribbean
Cuba has survived more than 40 years of US sanctions intended to topple the government of Fidel Castro. It also defied predictions that it would not survive the collapse of its one-time supporter, the Soviet Union.
Since the fall of the US-backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1959 Cuba has been a one-party state led by Mr Castro and - since February 2008 - by his anointed successor, younger brother Raul.
Fidel exercised control over virtually all aspects of Cuban life through the Communist Party and its affiliated mass organizations, the government bureaucracy and the state security apparatus.
Exploiting the US-Soviet Cold War, Fidel Castro was for decades able to rely on strong Soviet backing, including annual subsidies worth $4-5 billion, and succeed in building reputable health and education systems. But, at least partly because of the US trade sanctions, he failed to diversify the economy.

Decades of punishing sanctions by the US has meant that Cuba is a living museum of ancient cars
The disappearance of Soviet aid following the collapse of the USSR forced the government to introduce tight rationing of energy, food and consumer goods. The economy soldiered on with the help of Canadian, European and Latin American investments, especially in tourism.
Controls were relaxed in the 1990s, with companies allowed to import and export without seeking permission and a number of free trade zones opening up.
Some of these economic reforms were later rolled back, with Fidel Castro denouncing what he called the "new rich".
However, after Fidel Castro was succeeded as president by his brother Raul, the pace of economic reform picked up once more.
Cuba has forged closer ties with China and with oil-producing Venezuela. The latter supplies cheap fuel, while the former is helping Cuba to develop its own oil industry.
But the money sent home by Cubans living abroad - many of them in the US city of Miami - is still crucial to the economy. Hardships have led to an increase in prostitution, corruption, black marketeering and desperate efforts to escape in search of a better life.
Cuba has fallen foul of international bodies, including the UN's top human rights forum, over rights abuses. The UN's envoy has urged Havana to release imprisoned dissidents and to allow freedom of expression.
The US leases the Guantanamo Naval Base on the eastern tip of the island under a 1903 treaty, and continues to send Cuba payment for it. Cuba under the Castros disputes the lease, saying that it was concluded under duress, and has refused to cash any of the cheques since the early days of the revolution.
Relations with the US showed signs of a thaw following the election of President Barack Obama, who in April 2009 said he wanted a new beginning with Cuba.
Russia has also taken steps to revitalize ties with its Soviet-era ally, and in July 2009 signed an agreement to explore Cuba's offshore oil deposits, which are believed to be substantial.

Cuba according to Wikipedia
Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, (Description: Listeni/ˈkjuːbə/; Spanish: República de Cuba, pronounced: [reˈpuβlika ðe ˈkuβa] (Description: listen)) is anisland country in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and severalarchipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city.[10][11] To the north of Cuba lies the United States (140 km or 90 mi away) and the Bahamas, Mexico is to the west, the Cayman Islands andJamaica are to the south, and Haiti and the Dominican Republic are to the southeast.
In 1492, Christopher Columbus landed on and claimed the island now occupied by Cuba, for the Kingdom of Spain. Cuba remained a territory of Spain until the Spanish–American War ended in 1898, and gained formal independence from the U.S. in 1902. A fragile democracy, increasingly dominated by radical politics eventually evolved, solidified by the Cuban Constitution of 1940, but was definitely quashed in 1952 by former president Fulgencio Batista, and an authoritarian regime was set up, intensifying and catalyzing already rampant corruption, political repression and crippling economic regulations.[12][13][14] Batista was ousted in January 1959 by the July 26 movement, and a new administration under Fidel Castro established, which had by 1965 evolved into a single-party stateunder the revived Communist Party of Cuba, which holds power to date.
Cuba is home to over 11 million people and is the most populous island nation in the Caribbean, as well as the largest by area. However, the population density is lower than in most Caribbean countries. Its people, culture, and customs draw from diverse sources, such as the aboriginal Taíno and Ciboney peoples, the period of Spanish colonialism, the introduction of African slaves and its proximity to the United States.
Cuba has a 99.8% literacy rate,[3][15] an infant death rate lower than some developed countries,[16] and an average life expectancy of 77.64.[3] In 2006, Cuba was the only nation in the world which met the WWF's definition of sustainable development; having anecological footprint of less than 1.8 hectares per capita and a Human Development Index of over 0.8 for 2007
More on Cuba: Wikipedia

Peter’s Piece

It’s time the extreme, and opposite, political ideologies and relations of the USA and Cuba got much closer together. In this regard the USA is in the best position to start the process of healing the rift.

It’s time the USA accepted that it is now 110 years since Cuba was a US colony (except for the US puppet dictatorship of President Batista) and that Cuba has survived for over half a century in spite of US sanctions.

Cuba poses no threat to the USA and could be a great ally and trading partner. It’s time for President Obama to do something positive about the new beginning that he promised.


Las Vegas casinos trumped
by Chinese 'Sin City'
By Justin RowlattBBC News
The Fontainebleau casino complex
remains a construction site

In the 1970s and 80s, Las Vegas grew at an astonishing speed, but the state of the global economy has seen the famous Strip temper its ambition and look enviously towards its Chinese counterpart.
Las Vegas illustrates just how varied casino design can be - pyramids, medieval castles, circuses - pretty much "anything goes", says Paul Steelman.
But there is one iron rule, he tells me - no mirrors.
Mr Steelman should know. He is a world expert on how to part punters from their cash. His architectural practice specializes in the art of casino construction.
Paul is an impish, irrepressible man. Across a table in his cavernous Las Vegas studios, he tells me how he designed his first casino fresh out of architecture school.
Since then Paul has designed casinos across America and the world.
So why no mirrors? I want to know.
"Because," Paul explains, with a mischievous grin, "casinos are all about illusion".
"You go to a casino to feel like James Bond. The last thing a casino owner wants is for you to catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror. Then you will see your sagging gut or the pimples on your face and, in an instant, the illusion explodes and you stop playing."
Down on Las Vegas's famous Strip, I discover that the casino industry is - just like that gambler catching himself in the mirror - being forced to face up to its shortcomings.
It still heaves with people. The volcano at the Mirage still erupts on the hour, the gondolas still drift down the Venetian's counterfeit canals and the Wynn - thanks to Prince Harry - can presumably now put "By Royal Appointment" on its letterhead.
Nevertheless, all is not well in Sin City.
Look up from the parade of party hats and take-away margaritas and you see the garish glamour of the Strip reflected back in the blue glass of the tallest casino complex of them all, the Fontainebleau - or Fountain Blue, as they call it here.
This behemoth was supposed to boast 3,889 hotel rooms, 24 restaurants and - inevitably - a vast casino. But the Fountain Blue never opened.
Its backers went bankrupt having blown $3bn (£2.3bn) on the place. Now the Fountain Blue stands empty, its steel skeleton rusting in the desert wind.
Its construction - and Las Vegas's winning streak - came to an abrupt end with the financial crisis when, after decades of unbroken growth, Sin City became the foreclosure capital of America.
Yet, Paul Steelman has been working hard. That is because, like so many American originals, Las Vegas's top spot in the world market has been taken by a Chinese competitor.
Paul has been busy designing casinos in Macau, the tiny territory in the South China Sea.
Macau eclipsed Vegas in terms of gambling revenues back in 2006. Now the island rakes in an incredible five times the city's total pot, over $30bn (£23bn) a year, compared to the $6bn (£4.5bn) earned in Vegas.
But this year, Macau's growth dipped for the first time since gambling was deregulated a decade ago. A visit to virtually any of China's provincial cities will go some way to explaining why . . . .
. . . .  One Vegas property entrepreneur commented to me that, before the crash, it had seemed that the city's key industry had become growth itself.
He said that by 2006, more than a third of the working population was in construction. Vegas was, he joked, "gambling on growth".
Of course, the bet did not pay out.
We all know what happened next - the magic circle of growth broke and the city's wealth evaporated as property prices collapsed.
As the process played out across America, the world's banks were left with debts that still threaten to bring the entire financial system to its knees.
China has been one of the few bright spots in the world, as its economy has continued to expand.
I walked down the Strip at sunset on my last day in Vegas and looked up once again at the silent shell of the Fountain Blue and I remembered those tens of thousands of empty apartments I had seen in China.
I could not help thinking of Paul Steelman's warning about mirrors in casinos.
Full story at BBC News
Peter’s Piece

It would certainly be bad for business if the punters could see themselves in mirrors.
Casinos go to a lot of trouble to remove all dimensions of reality from the casino environment. 

That is why casinos don’t have wall clocks, or windows that allow a view beyond the casino walls.

Casinos are the only form of imprisonment with a vision of high expectations.


Who What Why:
How durable is a fingerprint?

28 September 2012 BBC News
The three main fingerprint types - the loop,
the whorl and the arch

American Hans Galassi lost several fingers in a wakeboarding accident several months ago. Now one of them has been found in a trout - and identified as Galassi's from its fingerprints. So how long do fingerprints last?
The vast majority of people are born with a unique set of fingerprints which remain the same for life.
These patterns, known as friction ridges by experts, are found not only on our finger-tips but also on the flanges of our fingers, on our palms, our toes and on the soles of our feet.
The patterns are permanent, but can wear down. Builders who lay bricks and people who frequently wash dishes by hand lose some of the detail. Once they stop these activities, the ridges will grow back.
As fans of crime movies will know, from time to time people have tried to change their fingerprints patterns artificially.
A deep cut through the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, and down to the dermis leaves a scar that will change a fingerprint, but not make it any less unique.
People have also sought to erase their fingerprints by burning the finger-tips with fire and acid, as the notorious 1930s American gangster John Dillinger did. It works for a while but the skin grows back.
Another criminal, Robert Phillips, famously grafted skin from his chest on to his fingers to erase his fingerprints - but he was identified from the prints of his palms. Others have tried smoothing their finger-tips with glue and nail varnish. Again they were caught from palm prints.
Friction ridges are remarkably long lasting even after death, says fingerprint expert Allen Bayle, author of the UK's standard police manual on dead hands.
"If a hand is found in water you will see that the epidermis starts to come away from the dermis like a glove. This sounds gruesome but if a hand has been badly damaged, I cut the epidermis off and put my own hand inside that glove and try to fingerprint it like that," says Bayle.
"Some boys we get out of the water, the fish have been at them already and the fish will have pecked at the epidermis. But you can still get ridge detail from the underside of the epidermis. And if that has gone, then you can do the dermis. For every ridge you have on the epidermis, you have two on the dermis - we call it a tramline effect."
The speed at which a hand disintegrates in water depends on many things, not least the temperature of the water itself.
"If the water is very cold, it could stay for a long time," says Bayle. And the body of a trout, the fish that swallowed Galassi's finger, is just as cold as the water it swims in.
Galassi's finger was found in the trout's digestive tract - why hadn't it been digested? We shall never know how long after the accident the fish ate the finger, but Bayle thinks even if the thick layer of epidermis had been digested, Galassi's finger could still have been identified from its dermis.
"We can cast [the finger], for example in latex, and then we can ink the cast. Or we can ink the dermis and roll it on a fingerprint form. When we have got some ridge detail then we can put it on the computer."
In the case of Galassi, Idaho police took a day searching case files and reports to narrow down where the finger could have come from. They then fingerprinted the stray digit and sent it to the state police forensic lab where technicians were able to identify its owner.
"One of the last things to disappear when you die are your fingerprints," says Bayle. "They're very durable."
More: BBC News
Peter’s Piece

The best way to avoid arrest is to stay out of crime, and even that is no guarantee. So the best, best, best way is to stay home with a good book. But be really careful because books can contain ideas for the perfect crime.


Eating Fruit - this opened my eyes
Another circulating email:

True or false?

Nothing beats a balanced diet that includes lots
of fruit and vegetables for healthy living.
But is Dr Stephen Mak really genuine?
Dr Stephen Mak treats terminal ill cancer patients by un-orthodox way and many patients recovered. Before he used solar energy to clear the illnesses of his patients. He believes on natural healing in the body against illnesses. See his article below.
Thanks for the email on fruits and juices. It is one of the strategies to heal cancer. As of late, my success rate in curing cancer is about 80%. Cancer patients shouldn't die. The cure for cancer is already found. It is whether you believe it or not. I am sorry for the hundreds of cancer patients who die under the conventional treatments.
Thanks and God bless.
- Dr Stephen Mak

We all think eating fruits means just buying fruits, cutting it and just popping it into our mouths. It's not as easy as you think. It's important to know how and when to eat.
What is the correct way of eating fruits?
If you eat fruit like that, it will play a major role to detoxify your system, supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and other life activities.
FRUIT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FOOD. Let's say you eat two slices of bread and then a slice of fruit. The slice of fruit is ready to go straight through the stomach into the intestines, but it is prevented from doing so.
Continued below . . . . .

In the meantime the whole meal rots and ferments and turns to acid. The minute the fruit comes into contact with the food in the stomach and digestive juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil....
So please eat your fruits on an empty stomach or before your meals! You have heard people complaining - every time I eat watermelon I burp, when I eat durian my stomach bloats up, when I eat a banana I feel like running to the toilet, etc - actually all this will not arise if you eat the fruit on an empty stomach. The fruit mixes with the putrefying other food and produces gas and hence you will bloat!
Greying hair, balding, nervous outburst and dark circles under the eyesall these will NOT happen if you take fruits on an empty stomach.
There is no such thing as some fruits, like orange and lemon are acidic, because all fruits become alkaline in our body, according to Dr. Herbert Shelton who did research on this matter. If you have mastered the correct way of eating fruits, you have the Secret of beauty, longevity, health, energy, happiness and normal weight.
When you need to drink fruit juice - drink onlyfresh fruit juice, NOT from the cans. Don't even drink juice that has been heated up. Don't eat cooked fruits because you don't get the nutrients at all. You only get to taste. Cooking destroys all the vitamins.
But eating a whole fruit is better than drinking the juice. If you should drink the juice, drink it mouthful by mouthful slowly, because you must let it mix with your saliva before swallowing it. You can go on a 3-day fruit fast to cleanse your body. Just eat fruits and drink fruit juice throughout the 3 days and you will be surprised when your friends tell you how radiant you look!
KIWI: Tiny but mighty. This is a good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin E & fiber. Its vitamin C content is twice that of an orange.
APPLE: An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Although an apple has a low vitamin C content, it has antioxidants & flavonoids which enhances the activity of vitamin C thereby helping to lower the risks of colon cancer, heart attack & stroke.
STRAWBERRY: Protective Fruit. Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits & protect the body from cancer-causing, blood vessel-clogging free radicals.
ORANGE : Sweetest medicine. Taking 2-4 oranges a day may help keep colds away, lower cholesterol, prevent & dissolve kidney stones as well as lessens the risk of colon cancer.
WATERMELON: Coolest thirst quencher. Composed of 92% water, it is also packed with a giant dose of glutathione, which helps boost our immune system. They are also a key source of lycopene - the cancer fighting oxidant. Other nutrients found in watermelon are vitamin C & Potassium.
GUAVA & PAPAYA: Top awards for vitamin C. They are the clear winners for their high vitamin C content.. Guava is also rich in fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Papaya is rich in carotene; this is good for your eyes.

Skeptimedia has this to say:
6 September 2010. One of the most common medical scams is the "natural" cures scam and it is particularly pernicious for cancer patients. Combine fear of death with fear of radiation treatments and chemotherapy, add hope for an effective therapy that is cheap, easy, and avoids the painful and boring treatments of science-based medicine, and you have a prescription for a powerful opiate for the vulnerable. Throw in a healthy dose of ignorance about human physiology and some mistrust of the "medical establishment" and the quackaloon's job of luring you into his fantasy world of fabricated bodily processes and natural cures is as easy as setting up an authoritative-looking website.
Currently making the rounds in a chain e-mail among the natural cures crowd is an alleged letter from an alleged "Dr. Stephen Mak." (There's even a Facebook page for this e-mail.) I can find nothing about this Mak fellow except the same alleged e-mail and article from him that appears on hundreds, maybe thousands, of websites. The e-mail is usually prefaced with a paragraph about Mak being a friend known through a BSF course [Bible Study Fellowship course?]. The preface is usually posted with an "article" that contains a number of absurd, false, and deceptive claims about the human body and cancer. (A Google search of the first line of the preface to the e-mail gives about 35,200 results. The BSF course must be held in a very large room.)
First, the preface and the e-mail:
Dr. Stephen Mak treats terminal [sic] ill cancer patients by "un-orthodox" way [sic] and many patients recovered. He explained to me before he is using solar energy to clear the illnesses of his patients. He believes on [sic] natural healing in the body against illnesses.*
[The carelessness of the people passing on this garbage is evident by the fact that none of them even bothers to clean up the grammar of this alleged friend of Dr. Mak.]
Thanks for the email on fruits and juices. It is one of the strategies to heal cancer. As of late, my success rate in curing cancer is about 80%. Cancer patients shouldn't die. The cure for cancer is already found. It is whether you believe it or not? [sic] I am sorry for the hundreds of cancer patients who die under the conventional treatments. Very few can live for 5 years under the conventional treatments and most live for only about 2 to 3 years. The conventional treatments do not make any difference because most cancer patients also live for about 2 to 3 years without undergoing any treatment. It is difficult to cure those cancer patients who have undergone chemo and radiotherapy as their cells are toxic and weak. When there is a relapse, the cancer will spread very fast as the resistance is poor.

Thanks and God bless.
Dr Stephen Mak
I'm not an expert on cancer treatment, but I do know that there are different kinds of cancers and that some cancers are much more amenable to treatment than others. Some have high success rates and some don't. A competent writer on this subject would not make a blanket statement about cancer patients' survival rates. Furthermore, even I know that treating cancer with toxic chemicals doesn't make the cells toxic, as this person claims. The claim about relapses and rapid spreading because "resistance is poor" is something I'd like to see the evidence for.
The top result of my Google search for "Dr Stephen Mak" was a site called Morning Liberty run by a fellow named Robert "RJ" A. Hender Jr. Google says it found about 2,450,000 results for "Dr Stephen Mak." I narrowed it down to under 100,000 by adding "cancer cure" to the search. Now the number one hit was a site called Panacea-BOCAF (BOCAF stands for building our children a future). RJ posts the phony cancer cure material without comment. Panacea-BOCAF lists many phony cancer cures. The type of person who might be attracted to this site is revealed by the first message one sees:
History and contiuned [sic] recent cases have shown that there have been many alternative cancer cure treatments in existence which have shown successful results. These results remain virtually un known [sic] by consensus reality and go un reported [sic] to the mainstream medical establishment. This is due to (as case files here illustrate) suppression!
Completely oblivious to the contradiction, the next paragraph asserts that the mainstream press continues to report on the success of these suppressed alternatives. I've written about a couple of these cures and their promoters, e.g., Royal Rife and radionics and Hulda Clark. Panacea-BOCAF lists Dr. Stephen Mak as a "research link" that takes you to Chris Walker's blog where, under the heading of "Eating Fruit", Walker posts the alleged article by the alleged Dr. Mak with the prefatory remark "I got this article by email and it sounds perfect from a Tibetan Medicine angle."
I looked at about a dozen of the pages that reproduced the Mak stuff. None offer any critical comments except those offered by readers, some of whom recognize nonsense when they read it. One blog (YellowStarEssentials) posts Mak's stuff with the heading "Eat Fruit to Cure Cancer, Get Healthy and Lose Weight." Mak does claim to cure cancer in his alleged e-mail, but his article doesn't claim that fruit cures cancer. Rather the article puts forth a false claim that has been circulating on the Internet since 1998, according to Barbara Mikkelson of A chef living in Singapore, Devagi Sanmugam, claimed that fruit should be eaten on an empty stomach because that will help you "detoxify," get energy, and lose weight. This claim was also made by Dr. Herbert Shelton (1895-1985), a naturopath who is cited in the Mak article and who was arrested and jailed many times for practicing medicine without a license.
Over the years, Sanmugam's advice about eating fruit on an empty stomach has made the rounds in various e-mails with additional claims. One added bit of misinformation is the notion that as soon as fruit comes into contact with food in the stomach and digestive juices "the entire mass of food begins to spoil." That bit of nonsense about food rotting in your gut if you eat fruit after other food may have originated with Harvey and Marilyn Diamond, according to Mikkelson. The Diamonds authored Fit for Life, a collection of false, misleading, and unproven claims about food and health.
Another anonymous e-mail added a list of several fruits with some accurate information about their vitamin and mineral contents joined with unsubstantiated claims about dissolving kidney stones by eating oranges, lowering your risk of colon cancer by eating apples, relieving constipation by eating guavas, "boosting your immune system," and preventing cancer with antioxidants. These e-mails seem to be a variation on the Chinese whispering game. Eventually, a version emerged that includes the claim that eating fruits prevents cancer. In any case, the Mak article making the rounds today seems to be a cut and paste job from several e-mails going back more than a decade. Along the way, a few juicy tidbits of misinformation have been added, besides the notions about fruits already mentioned:
You can prevent gray hair, balding, nervous outbursts, and dark circles under the eyes by eating fruit on an empty stomach.
Eating fruits on an empty stomach leads to a longer and happier life.
If you drink canned or bottled fruit juice, drink it mouthful by mouthful slowly because you must let it mix with your saliva before swallowing it.
This last bit of nonsense about cold water causing cancer is defended by the following piece of "reasoning":
.... the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this ‘sludge’ reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.
The idea that fruits cure cancer is being promoted by Raj and Suzanne who run a website called A Way of Life. They publish articles online by such characters as Jasmuheen and Deepak Chopra. They list Dr. Stephen Mak as one of their authors. His only article is the one we've been talking about. A Google search for "Eating Fruit - This Opened My Eyes" yields more than 20,000 potential sources for a set of unsubstantiated medical claims that have been exposed as fraudulent many times during the past decade. There's nothing wrong with eating fresh fruit and veggies, but almost every claim these fruitarians make has no scientific merit whatsoever. That would be evil enough, but the thousands who pass on this misinformation as if it were unquestionably true are guilty of a greater evil: they don't question either the source or the claims being made. They're paving the road to hell with their uncritical devotion to anyone claiming to have a natural cure that "they" have suppressed. No wonder Kevin Trudeau has so many groveling suppliants.
Sites to check for the truth: and
Peter’s Piece

Who, and where, is Dr Stephen Mak?

In my search for the elusive Dr Stephen Mak, the nearest I was able to get to him was a Dr Stephen Mark, a psychiatrist in Waco, Texas who has a clean record with his patients and the authorities. He probably wastes a good part of his day explaining to people that he is a Mark rather than a Mak.

Mak only Googles in connection with the above so-called cures and advice. It would be safe to conclude that if he exists at all (and he possibly does under another name) he is probably making a lot of money from gullible people before they die.

If anyone has any positive proof that Dr Stephen Mak is a real person, please post your evidence in the comment space below.

Friday, 28 September 2012


Murakami, Japanese Authors
Pulled from Chinese Bookstores
Read more by Dennis Abrams
September 25, 2012
By Publishing Perspectives
The Ashai Shimbun reports that as anti-Japanese sentiment in China over the disputed Senaku Islands has spread, books by Japanese authors have been removed from bookstore shelves.

Murakami is among the Japanese authors being pulled from Chinese bookstores
On September 17th, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Press and Publication, which oversees publishers in the Chinese capital, “summoned” editors from publishing houses that handle books by Japanese writers, according to sources in the industry.
According to The Ashai Shimbun, after explaining the intensifying struggle with Japan, a senior bureau official told the editors that they “should unify ideas and grasp a (political) direction.”
Participants took the summons and meeting as a suggestion to refrain from releasing and selling books related to Japan, one of the editors said.
A document reportedly from the bureau as later posted on the Internet, calling for a halt not only to the release of works by Japanese authors, but also of works by Chinese writers on themes regarding Japan as well as Japanese publications translated into Chinese. But the bureau, however, in an interview with The Ashai Shimbun, denied giving such instructions.
But the despite the denial, bookstores in Beijing had already begun taking books by Japanese authors off their shelves.
At the well known Wangfujjing bookstore in central Beijing, copies of Haruki Murakami’s best-selling IQ84 was removed from a shelf displaying best-sellers on September 21st. Another unnamed major bookstore followed suit, removing all publications by Japanese authors as well as any and all publications even related to Japan.
“It’s because of the deteriorating ties between Japan and China,” said a clerk at the bookstore.”
Should odds makers at Ladbrokes be correct and Murakami wins this year’s Nobel Price for Literature while tensions between the two nations continue, it appears that Murakami, his publishers, and legions of fans in China could be very disappointed at his unavailability in stores.
Peter’s Piece

I wonder how many Chinese and Japanese are aware that the islands, they seem so hell-bent on going to war over, are uninhabited.

Surely it is time for both sides to cool down, even lose face, if they want to avoid a war that could cost millions of lives for nothing.

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