Author: William Stupp
Beijing. The third plenum of the 18th Central Committee of China’s Communist Party took place this week, a four-day policy meeting attended by 370 of the party’s most senior officials. The meeting was an important platform for President Xi Jinping, elected last year, to introduce the policies which will define his 10-year term as China’s foremost leader. Though the substance of the reforms mentioned in the plenum will not be clear for months or years to come, party statements indicate President Xi’s intent to be a more powerful and controlling leader than predecessors. In addition to the establishment of a “state-security committee” modeled after the United States National Security Council, the plenum has uplifted free markets to playing a “decisive” role in markets, rather than merely a “basic” one as was described in the past.
Denver. United States government agencies collaborated to destroy six tons of ivory products in protest of global poaching and smuggling trade. The destroyed stockpile consisted of items collected since 1989, the year of an important international embargo by tourists, traders and smugglers. Most of the ivory was in the form of jewelry, carvings and figurines. The move comes along with an announcement by Secretary of State John Kerry offering a reward of $1 million for information leading to the disestablishment of a known Laos-based smuggling cabal.
BBC World Service
Sydney. Bitcoin, the world’s most prominent decentralized, electronic currency has skyrocketed in value in the past week, reaching a value of $500 for each bitcoin Sunday morning. The most recent bubble collapsed in April of this year when a bitcoin was worth $266 before collapsing to $50 in a few weeks. Bitcoin’s most recent surge comes just two weeks after the relaunch of The Silk Road, an online marketplace for mostly illegal goods whose original operator was arrested last month. The volatility of bitcoin has attracted numerous investors though persistent theft of large sums of bitcoin by hackers scare off all but the most daring of profit-seekers.
Business Insider Australia
Candahug, Philippines. The menacing typhoon Haiyan, called Yolanda in the Philippines, wrecked a special devastation on the village of Candahug, where most of the surviving residents are widows and children. Not comprehending the intensity of the storm, the elder male residents of Candahug stayed to defend their homes from looters while their wives and children sought safety on higher ground. The full damage of the storm, which moved through Vietnam and Taiwan after devastating a mostly underdeveloped swatch of land in the middle of the Philippine archipelago, has not yet been calculated.
Philadelphia. A 20-year-old man has turned himself in to police after a video posted on the internet depicted someone driving a convertible up and down the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The stairs were made famous by the “Rocky” films, several of which featured the eponymous character train on the front steps of the museum. The suspect was charged with reckless endangerment and is due to appear in court next month.
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