13 April 2017   Leave a comment

The USA National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has released a stunning composite video of the earth at night.  It is visually mesmerizing, but it also reveals how humans have distributed themselves along waterways and oceans.  The site also has some fascinating photos comparing space shots of certain areas in 2012 and 2016, showing how the process of electrification has accelerated in certain areas of the world.

China has sent two messages to the world on the North Korean issue through its semi-official news outlet, China Times.  The first was on 12 April when the paper warned North Korea that there would be “a response of ‘unprecedented ferocity‘ if the government of Kim Jong Un goes ahead with a test of either an intercontinental ballistic missile or a nuclear device.”   The second was in an article that was entitled “China warns against use of force on NK nuclear issue”.   According to the article:

“Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a daily press briefing Thursday that it has always been the stance of the Chinese government that dialogue and consultations are the only ways to achieve denuclearization and safeguard peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

“‘We have taken note of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s remarks that Russia and the US agree that the only solution to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is political,'” Lu said.

“‘We hope that all related parties will forge consensus on this general direction and fundamental principle and make concrete efforts accordingly,'” Lu said.

The two articles are somewhat confusing and it is difficult to determine what the official Chinese response to a nuclear test may be.  We will likely find out on Saturday.

On 16 April, Turks will vote on a referendum that would give the office of the president expanded powers.  The current president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has campaigned on behalf of the referendum but current polls suggest that the “no” camp may have more votes.   Support for Erdogan was very strong in the face of an attempted coup in 2016, but there seems to be a growing sentiment that he is going to far in consolidating so much power.  If the referendum does fail to pass, then it will be interesting and revealing to see Erdogan’s next move.

Posted April 13, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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