Eleven countries have jointly called on the Chinese government to investigate “credible claims of torture” against human rights lawyers, the Globe and Mail reported yesterday. In a letter dated Feb. 27 – which the Canadian newspaper said has not been made public – the signatories also condemned China’s practice of detaining suspects in secret locations for long periods of time.
A recent surge of bird flu infections in humans this season has alarmed scientists and public health officials. Although the risk of sustained transmission between humans remains low, the changing nature of influenza viruses requires close monitoring, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.
In his first speech to Congress last night, President Donald Trump reiterated his promise to roll back environmental regulations that, in his words, “threaten the future and livelihood of our great coal miners.” But across the Pacific, Trump’s great economic rival and largest coal producer in the world, China, announced a move in the opposite direction.
Income inequality in China is worse than previously estimated, according to a new paper published last week by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Still, it’s not as bad as the U.S. Estimates by the new World Wealth and Income Database (WID.world) – an ongoing project of the authors, economists Facundo Alvaredo, Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman – reveal that China’s richest 1 percent actually holds at least double the share of national income originally reported.
India’s ministers may not be able to deny the health impact of air pollution much longer. According to the first annual State of Global Air report published Tuesday, the number of premature deaths attributable to India’s air pollution now rivals China’s. Together, they account for more than half of the world’s pollution deaths.
The first batch of foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) registered with China’s police and security agency this week under a controversial new law that went into effect on Jan. 1. The law – described by many as draconian – has caused considerable uncertainty for more than 7,000 organizations about their ability to operate and receive funding.
The next four years of U.S. action – or inaction – against climate change hangs in perilous balance as Donald Trump takes the office of the presidency today. While Trump and his cabinet appointees continue to question the impact of human activity on the climate, carbon giants on the other side of the globe are taking the opportunity to reiterate their dedication – and leadership – in the fight against climate change.
China will invest a record $29.2 billion (200 billion yuan) into new highways in the troubled western region of Xinjiang, state media announced Tuesday. The massive investment is part of the government’s strategy to expand trade routes westward as well as quell ethnic unrest among the indigenous Uighur population using economic development.
After a particularly eventful 2016, it’s no surprise that many people are eager to usher in a new year. Unfortunately – and fortunately – world developments do not respect the Gregorian calendar, and many of last year’s stories will follow us into 2017. To discuss some unresolved stories in Asia we’ll continue to see unfold this year, Humanosphere talked to Scott Valentine.
China’s dreaming of a clear Christmas, as the year’s worst smog has smothered 460 million people in its northern provinces since Friday and choked any talk of achieving pollution targets. Although winds are expected to clear the air by the end of the week, the government faces a fierce public fallout from the “airpocalypse.”