Life-Saving Golden Rice Finally Gets to Poor Farmers Despite Environmentalist Opposition

By Ronald Bailey – Re-Blogged From Reason

Bangladesh announces that it will allow its farmers to plant this genetically improved crop

Golden Rice which has been genetically engineered to have higher levels of the vitamin A precursor beta-carotene is finally about be to approved for planting by poor farmers in Bangladesh. This a big step toward improving the health of some of the poorest people on the planet. Vitamin A deficiency causes blindness in between 250,000 and 500,000 children each year, half of whom die within 12 months, according to the World Health Organization. A study by German researchers in 2014 estimated that activist opposition to the deployment of Golden Rice has resulted in the loss of 1.4 million life-years in just India alone.

Environmentalist ideologues have fought fiercely for two decades to prevent this crop from being offered to poor farmers in developing countries. Among other things, they hired thugs to rip up test fields of the grain at the International Rice Research Institute in the Phillippines.

GoldenRiceIRRI

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Chinese Bombers Make Debut Landing on Disputed South China Sea Runway

By AFP – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

China has for the first time landed several bombers on an island in the disputed South China Sea, a move that could provoke renewed tensions between countries bordering the strategically vital maritime region.

Several bombers of various types — including the long-range, nuclear strike capable H-6K — carried out landing and take off drills at an unidentified island airfield after carrying out simulated strike training on targets at sea, the Chinese airforce said in a statement Friday.

What Beijing is Building in the South China Sea

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Since China began its extensive land reclamation program in the South China Sea in 2013, Beijing has focused on improving its presence and infrastructure at seven locations in the Spratly Island chain: Cuarteron Reef, Fiery Cross, Gaven, Hughes, Johnson, Mischief and Subi reefs.

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South China Sea Feud

Re-Blogged From Newsmax

President Donald Trump on Sunday offered to mediate in the South China Sea disputes, while his Chinese counterpart played down concerns over Beijing’s military buildup and the prospects of war in the contested waters.

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke separately about the territorial rifts ahead of an annual summit of Southeast Asian nations that also includes the U.S., China and other global players. The disputes are expected to get the spotlight at the summit, along with the North Korean nuclear threat and terrorism.

The long-simmering disputes are one issue where the two major powers’ influence, focus and military might have been gauged, with the U.S. and China both calling for a peaceful resolution but taking contrasting positions in most other aspects of the conflict.

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Asia’s Dilemma: China’s Butter, or America’s Guns?

By Rodger Baker – Re-Blogged From Strafor 

Flying into Singapore’s Changi Airport, one is struck by the fleet of ships lined up off shore, the tendrils of a global trade network squeezing through the narrow Malacca Strait. Singapore is the hub, the connector between the Indian Ocean, South China Sea and Pacific. Since the late 1970s, with little exception, trade has amounted to some 300 percent of Singapore’s total gross domestic product, with exports making up between 150 and 230 percent of GDP. Singapore is the product of global trade, and the thriving multiethnic city-state can trace its trade role back centuries.