International rules should be widely recognized: head of Chinese delegation to Shangri-La Dialogue

International rules ought to be recognized by all countries, as they represent all nations’interests, said He Lei, head of the Chinese delegation to the Shangri-La Dialogue, whichwas held in Singapore on June 3. He added that China is a follower and guardian ofinternational and regional rules.

He, also the vice president of the PLA Academy of Military Science, made the remarks at apress conference after four defense ministers from the U.S., Japan, Australia and Francedelivered their respective speeches, all touching on international rules.

“China and the Chinese government protect and follow international and regional rulesbecause the charter of the United Nations is the largest one among all international rules-based orders,” he explained.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said at the first plenary session on June 3 that theU.S. “cannot accept Chinese actions that impinge on the interests of the internationalcommunity, undermining the rules-based order that has benefited all countriesrepresented here today, including and especially China.” Japanese Defense MinisterTomomi Inada said in her speech that China and North Korea should abide byinternational rules so as to protect regional peace and stability.

Australia’s Minister for Defense, Marise Payne, along with the country’s prime minister,Malcolm Turnbull, both mentioned rules in their speeches as well. Payne cited China asthe greatest example of a country that has benefited from an international rules-basedorder, and recommended that China continue abiding by the rules with regards to thecurrent situation in the South China Sea.

Turnbull praised the U.S.-anchored rules-based order as a remarkable system whereinnations big and small play by the rules and respect each other’s sovereignty.

He noted that the United Nations charter is a “mother law,” and China was the firstcountry to initiate and sign the charter.

China has so far signed more than 23,000 bilateral and 400 multilateral agreements, andparticipated in all UN commissions, He noted, adding that China abides by, supports andprotects the international and regional rules-based order.

In addition, the head of the Chinese delegation discussed the free navigation component ofthe rules-based order, saying that close reconnaissance, such as military operations byfleets and aircraft in waters and airspace adjacent to Chinese islands, does not constitutefree navigation. The Chinese government and people resolutely oppose such actions, headded.

(The story is also published on People’s Daily Online)

Survey: 14.5% of Chinese children suffer from hypertension

About 14.5 percent of Chinese children suffer from hypertension, according to a nationalsurvey on Chinese students’ physical health in 2010. Hypertension afflicted 16.9 percent ofthe boys surveyed and 12.9 percent of the girls.

Another survey on national health and nutrition suggested that the prevalence ofhypertension among children ages 6 to 17 in seven Chinese provinces increased to 13.8percent in 2009, from 7.1 percent in 1991.

After a four-year investigation on the salt intake of Chinese children and adolescents,which started in 2012, researchers found out that the daily salt intake of Chinese youthbetween 6 and 17 is 2.4 times the amount recommended by the World HealthOrganization (WHO), which is 5 grams per day. Salt intake is a crucial factor leading tohypertension.

Statistics showed that a predisposition for hypertension can be inherited. If both parentshave hypertension, children may face a 46 percent chance of suffering from the disorderthemselves. The figure drops to 28 percent if only one parent suffers from hypertension.The occurrence is only 3 percent for those with no family history.

Obesity is another cause of the disorder. The automation prevalent in modern society hasreduced people’s physical activity, leading to widespread obesity. Obesity and excessweight can result in metabolic disorders and angiosclerosis, contributing to an increase inblood pressure. In addition, habits such as smoking, drinking, poor sleep patterns andstress also increase the occurrence of hypertension among young people.

Huang Hui, director of the cardiology department of Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital,suggested that hypertension patients control their calories, fat and protein intake, alongwith increasing their consumption of foods containing potassium and calcium. Potatoes,eggplant, milk, sesame and green vegetables all fall into the latter category.

In addition, Huang said that reducing salt intake also helps to lower blood pressure, andone’s daily intake of salt should be below 5 grams.

(The story is also published on People’s Daily Online)

Swiped Away: Rise in Online Harassment of Women via Dating Apps

The number of women being harassed online globally via dating apps has increased. The Angus Reid Institute, a national, not-for-profit organization commissioning research and opinion polls, found that nearly half of Canadians aged 18 to 34 say they’ve been harassed on social media.

The Angus Reid Institute, a national, not-for-profit organization commissioning research and opinion polls, found that nearly half of Canadians aged 18 to 34 say they’ve been harassed on social media.

This number is higher for visible minorities. According to Angus Reid, four-in-ten visible minorities say they’ve been harassed on social media. 8 percent of women noted that they have been stalked online-in comparison to only four percent of men.

One such app that has had numerous reports of attacks is called Bumble, it is known as the so-called “feminist Tinder” where only women can send the first message. However, men are able to send an onslaught of messages to women and harass them online via the app.

People have also been known to set up fake accounts and impersonate women; as a result the women received countless messages and calls.

One such victim was a lady named Sarah. Sarah was at university an started to receive texts about a profile on Tinder. At first it only lasted a day, Sarah received three messages. A month later it started again, this time it was a lot worse, the profile had her number and in the information section — her address.

This account was fake, however it lead to Sarah receiving a number of provocative messages.

“Now that we’ve matched maybe we should meet soonish and see if there’s a real connection, since I’m not looking for pen pals on here and (hopefully) neither are you lol so if your [sic] free soon, let’s meet up!” one of the messages to Sarah’s account read.

“Want to Netflix and chill?” Sarah’s fake account replied.

Sarah attempted to get the account taken down and emailed Tinder, however a few hours later a representative from the company replied and said there was nothing that they could do.

Many of the men who create these fake accounts have also been rejected by their victim.

Recent survey by Consumer Research, an independent educational organization, found that Tinder, closely followed by OkCupid, were the worst dating apps when it came to harassment.

Thirty-nine percent of the people surveyed said they’d felt harassed on Tinder, followed by 38 percent on OkCupid. In comparison, 17 percent said they’d experienced harassment on eHarmony, and 21 percent on Match.

The New York Times found that men are three-times as likely to swipe right for a woman than women are to swipe right for a man on Tinder. Again, they also found that women on online dating sites such as OKCupid or Plenty of Fish can get anywhere between 50 to 100 messages in less than an hour.

The European Union (EU) believes the solution lies in the Code of Conduct, however according to digital news site, ComputerWorld, the code is weak and not legally binding. The EU have recently updated this, stating that social media sites will be fined if they do not address hate speech and defamatory comments made online.

Celebrities have also got involved, with signer Lady Gaga launching a #HackHarrassment campaign that seeks to apply public pressure on tech companies to do a better job at fighting harassment.

However experts believe the only real solution to fighting online abuse and harassment is for the platforms themselves to make sure they check that accounts are authentic and not fake.

Source: sputniknews


‘Passionate’ UK Zookeeper Killed by Tiger in ‘Freak Accident’


Described by her colleagues as a “shining light,” Rosa King, a zookeeper at Hamerton Zoo Park in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire in the UK, died after a tiger entered an enclosure she was working in on Monday and attacked her.

According to Cambridgeshire Police, the incident, deemed a “freak accident” by park officials, is “not believed to be suspicious.” The zoo nevertheless has begun its own investigation into what happened.

“At no point during the incident did any animals escape their enclosures and at no point was public safety affected in any way,” a zoo spokesperson said in a statement after the accident. “All our thoughts and sympathies are with our colleagues, friends and families at this dreadful time.”

Park-goers were quickly evacuated before keepers realized the tiger had not escaped, but many visitors recalled hearing a disturbance near the enclosure where the attack took place.

“There’s no doubting it was a girl’s scream and something terrible had happened,” Pete Davis, on a visit with his family at the zoo, told the Telegraph. “It sounds like a tiger turned on her.”

Recalling that she ducked into a nearby office amid the ruckus, Victoria Holmes told CNN she could see fellow handlers making their way to the accident.

“We could see staff members on the other side of the fence with pieces of meat trying to get [the tiger’s] attention. It was heartbreaking seeing them trying to help.”

One visitor made it a point to note how staff members were “a real credit” to the zoo as they managed the evacuation.

“Staff were calm and professional. All visitors around us were leaving in a very calm manner — no running, shouting or anything similar,” Cambridgeshire visitor Jeff Knott told Press Association.

Responding to the growing fear on Twitter surrounding what would happen to the tiger, the Cambridgeshire Constabulary announced that the cat in question was believed to fine.

The park, closed until further notice, houses Malaysian tigers, Bengal tigers, cheetahs, wolves, corsac foxes and kangaroos, as well as a variety of birds, reptiles and domestic animals.

The last time Hamerton Zoo made headlines was when one of its three-year-old cheetahs escaped its enclosure, and was later found by a then-nine-year-old boy in his backyard. Officials blamed a faulty electrical fence for that incident.

It is not known how the tiger ended up in the enclosure with King.

Source: sputniknews

What Russia’s Military Will Look Like by 2035 (PHOTO)

An S-400 Triumf air defense missile system, seen here during the military parade in Moscow marking the 72nd anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.

Last week, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington held a discussion on the armament program of the Russian military and the shape of the Russian Armed Forces by 2035.

Experts suggested that the future capability of the Russian military would largely depend on how successfully Moscow can replace its Soviet-era weapons with modern ones. Meanwhile, they agreed that Russia is making progress in the modernization of its military force and relies not only on nuclear deterrence.

The discussion involved Michael Kofman, a Russian military affairs specialist at the Center for Naval Analyses, Tomas Malmlöf, a political scientist with the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI) and Olga Oliker, CSIS’s director for its Russia and Eurasia program.

Next-Gen Weapons

Western analysts underscore that currently Russia continues to use weapon systems originating in the Soviet era, including the Kalibr cruise missile and the Iskander missile defense system.

However, by 2035, the Russian military expects to receive truly next-generation weapons, including the S-500 missile defense systems, the Tsirkon hypersonic missile, the PAK-DA stealth bomber and new engines for the T-50 (PAK FA) 5th generation jet fighter.

Yan Novikov, CEO of Russia’s Almaz-Antey defense manufacturer, recently said that in the near future the company will complete tests of new target-seeking warheads for the S-350 Vityaz missile system and naval air defense systems. Moreover, the company is conducting tests of a guided interceptor missile for the S-500 missile defense system.

In April, it was reported that newest Tsirkon 3M22 hypersonic anti-ship missile reached speeds of Mach 8 (eight times faster than the speed of sound) during tests. The production of the missile is expected to be launched in 2017. The Admiral Nakhimov and the Pyotr Veliky nuclear-powered missile cruisers will be the first to receive the new weapons.

On May 20, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said that Russia has begun the development of the PAK DA long-range bomber, with the first test flight scheduled for 2025-2026.

As for the new engine of the T-50 jet, Alexander Artyukhov, deputy CEO of United Engine-Manufacturing Corporation, said that its tests were expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2017. Its flight tests are scheduled for 2020.

“The analysis that I have seen on the PAK-FA indicates a pretty sophisticated design that is at least equal to, and some have said even superior to US fifth-generation aircraft,” former US Air Force intelligence chief Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula told National Interest in 2014.

Long-Range Strikes

In the future, Russia will focus on developing long-range striking weapons, including missile and precision guided weapons. The idea is to be able to strike a potential aggressor at long ranges.

“They’re working on deterrence by punishment, which is what all this long-range strike potential is about. The ability to retaliate and to strike with conventional weapons, not nuclear weapons,” Kofman was quoted as saying by National Interest.

Last year, Boris Obnosov, CEO of Tactical Missile Weapons Corporation, said that the company was developing missiles with a striking range longer than that of Kalibr cruise missiles, used against terrorists in Syria.

A Russian Navy ship launches a Kalibr cruise missile at the Jabhat Al-Nusra terrorist groupfrom the Mediterranean Sea. File photo

A Russian Navy ship launches a Kalibr cruise missile at the Jabhat Al-Nusra terrorist groupfrom the Mediterranean Sea. (File photo)  

Moreover, the Kh-101 long-range cruise missile is currently undergoing modernization. The missile is expected to have a longer striking range and increased precision.

Obnosov also said that the decision had been made to resume production of a modernized bomber, which was reported by media under the name “Tu-160M2.” The aircraft will receive new electronic systems, modernized launchers and upgraded engines.

Drones and Robots

According to Kofman, Russia is currently behind the West in terms of unmanned technology, but Moscow is investing heavily into the industry.

Compared to the Western military, Russia is much less focused on large combat drones. Instead, Russia is focused on cheap and disposable drones that can be used for reconnaissance to provide targeting capabitilies for heavy artillery.

The Russians “are trying to enable our surface-to-surface long-range fires,” Kofman said. “There, they very quickly started adapting drones to the way the Russian Army would like to fight. And the Russian Army would like to fight with face-melting firepower.”

Malmlöf estimated that during the period between 2026-2035 Russia may turn the T-14 Armata tank fully robotic. Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry already announced a plan to start developing an unmanned version of the tank.

Demonstration of T-14 Armata tankDemonstration of T-14 Armata tank. (Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation)

Electronic Warfare

The Swedish expert also noted that Russia is investing heavily in electronic warfare (EW).

The US military has long been concerned about Russia’s EW capability, seeing it as a major potential threat. Last year, the Pentagon established the Army Rapid Capabilities Office. Then-commander Gen. Walter Piatt said that the new office would focus on countering Russia in EW and cyber operations.

Krasukha 4 electronic warfare system

Krasukha 4 electronic warfare system. (© Photo: ROSTEC)

According to Kofman, Russia is very likely either a peer or near-peer competitor to the US in the field. Meanwhile, Oliker pointed to the fact that cyber capabilities are very difficult to measure.

“It’s a different challenge to study that particular set of tools. Even with all the talk, it’s still very poorly defined,” Oliker said.

Not Only Nuclear Deterrence

Summing up, according to Western experts, Russia is abandoning the concept of using a massive military force and by 2035 will rely on long-range high-precisions strikes, while retaining its capability to cause area effects.

They noted that Russia is actively developing high-precisions weapons and will integrate them in its military doctrine.

However, an economic downturn and Western sanctions, including a ban on importing equipment and microelectronics, could negatively affect the pace of Russia’s military modernization.

“Ultimately, Russia is not the threat that the Soviet Union once was. But nor is Moscow quite as weak as it was in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union where the Kremlin had to rely solely on its nuclear arsenal for deterrence. Modern Russia has the means to strike back conventionally against potential threats,” according to National Interest.

Kofman noted: “Russia now has a really decent conventional standing force. They no longer dependant on nuclear weapons as their only deterrent.”

Source: sputniknews