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WorldWatch2

For posting on events, news, opinions and anything of interest from around the world.

34 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  January 4, 2019

  2. Gezza

     /  January 4, 2019

    Chinese probe Chang’e 4 lands on far side of moon: state media
    Chang’e-4 lunar rover successfully touches down on the far side of the moon, becoming the first probe to do so.

    A Chinese probe has made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon, according to state media, in a groundbreaking mission in space exploration. The unmanned Chang’e 4 spacecraft successfully touched down at 10:26am (02:26 GMT) on Thursday on a preselected landing area, state media said. It relayed a photo of the “dark side” of the moon to the Queqiao satellite, which will relay communications between controllers on Earth and the far side of the moon.

    The moon is tidally locked to Earth, rotating at the same rate that it orbits our planet, so the far side is never visible from Earth and relatively unexplored. Previous spacecraft have seen the far side of the moon but none has landed on it.

    The soft landing “lifted the mysterious veil” from the far side of the moon and “opened a new chapter in human lunar exploration,” state media said.

    The tasks of the Chang’e-4 include astronomical observation, surveying the moon’s terrain, landform and mineral composition, and measuring the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment on the far side of the moon, the China National Space Administration has said.

    The probe, which includes a lander and a rover and is also equipped with a panorama camera, will perform radio-astronomical studies that, because the far side always faces away from Earth, will be “free from interference from our planet’s ionosphere, human-made radio frequencies and auroral radiation noise”, according to space industry expert Leonard David.

    In 2015, NASA, the US space agency, released an animation that shows satellite images of the far side of the moon. NASA says the images show the moon illuminated by the sun, as it crosses between the DSCOVR spacecraft’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera and telescope, and the Earth – one million miles away.

    The moon’s far side has a different composition than sites on the near side, where previous missions have landed. The first Soviet probe, Luna 24, landed there in 1976. It wasn’t followed until 2013, when the first Chinese probe, the Chang’e 3, landed. China plans to send its Chang’e 5 probe there next year and have it return to Earth with samples – the first time that will have been done since 1976. A crewed lunar mission is also under consideration.

    China’s space programme has benefited from cooperation with Russia and European countries, although it was excluded from the 420-tonne International Space Station, mainly due to US concerns over transfer of technology that could be used for military purposes. Its programme also suffered a rare setback last year with the failed launch of its Long March 5 rocket.

    China conducted its first crewed space mission in 2003, making it only the third country after Russia and the US to do so. It has put a pair of space stations into orbit, one of which is still operating as a precursor to a more than 60-tonne station that is due to come online in 2022. The launch of a Mars rover is planned for the mid-2020s.

    Images:
    https://www.nbcnews.com/video/china-s-chang-e-4-lunar-probe-lands-on-dark-side-of-the-moon-1418715203536

  3. Patzcuaro

     /  January 4, 2019

    Walled in

  4. Corky

     /  January 4, 2019

    I was watching a You Tube clip that had a Chinese reporter asking foreigners what they thought of living in China. One foreigner said he was disappointed that President Xi Jinping was closing China up again, breaking the trend of China becoming a more open society. Similar to what Mao did. I was reminded of this when One News reported Xi Jinping as saying Taiwan must eventually be reunified with mainland China.

    Such a proclamation means China believes they have the measure of the US, and are prepared for war. Taiwan to China is like Cuba was to America… too close for comfort.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/02/chinas-xi-jinping-threatens-resort-force-unify-taiwan/

    • Corky

       /  January 4, 2019

      ps- the chap being interviewed predicted China would retake Taiwan within 3 years. He made that prediction in 2017.

      The question remains ‘HOW’ will China retake Taiwan?I doubt a full frontal attack would be feasible for many reasons. The best course of action would be an overwhelming surprise attack. But to do that China would need many of its aircraft carries at sea. Taiwan would no doubt have all bases covered regarding early detection of military threats.

      An interesting puzzle for Chinese military strategists to ponder.

      • NOEL

         /  January 4, 2019

        If Chinese see a weakness in Trumps “Fortress America” they may want to move this year in case the Democrats win in 2020.
        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/01/05/can-china-really-take-over-taiwan/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.83ecf348bb4f

        • Corky

           /  January 4, 2019

          That’s an interesting informative article, Noel. It shows the problems China will have to deal with in their quest to regain Taiwan.

          However, China isn’t stupid. If they attack, it will be unconventional warfare. That’s why I said their aircraft carriers will need to be at sea so the whole boundary of Taiwan is hit at once, and not just from troops crossing the straight.

          Therefore I disagree with this assertion from the article:

          ”As for an invasion, he is similarly pessimistic about China’s chances. By his calculation, China’s ability to put boots on Taiwan’s ground is limited to about 26,000 troops on the first day of battle and 15,000 a day after that, assuming China’s soldiers survive the eight-hour trip across the 100-mile wide Taiwan Strait.”

      • Pink David

         /  January 4, 2019

        “But to do that China would need many of its aircraft carries at sea.”

        They have one, here is the most important component in it’s operation;

        • Corky

           /  January 4, 2019

          Er, they will now have more than 12. Once they sort out the problem of planes not
          being able to be launched at sea…it will be all go.

          Oh, by the way….press the translate button. It will be a big help with your trolling.

          • Pink David

             /  January 4, 2019

            In twenty years maybe, they won’t have them next week.

            And it’s towing, not trolling. That is the tug that tows the Admiral Kuznetsov every time it breaks down, which is all the fucking time.

            The only carrier China has operational is a Kuznetsov -class.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  January 4, 2019

              China knows aircraft carriers are yesterdays tech and wisely have decided not to commit. Their ‘carrier killer’ ballistic missiles re-enter the atmosphere in a vertical dive at mach 10 and there is no defense system remotely capable of intercepting one

    • Pink David

       /  January 4, 2019

      What on earth do they gain from invading Taiwan? That would likely put them at war with the US, Japan, Australia, and Korea as well as result in a complete shutdown in most trade.

      Even if they landed and managed to take the island, they would be blockaded and there is no way they could sustain a campaign there. The Is and it’s allies have sea control.

  5. Sharemarket volatility continues:

  6. The international tax problem continues:

    • Pink David

       /  January 4, 2019

      Alternated headline; Google complies with tax laws.

  7. Joe Bloggs

     /  January 4, 2019

    If lies were bricks trump would already have his wall.

    lie #6,0348:

    “The people of our country want it. I have never had so much support as I have in the last week over my stance for border security, for border control and for frankly the wall or the barrier. I have never had anything like it in terms of calls coming in, in terms of people writing in and tweeting and doing whatever they have to do. I have never had this much support and we’ve done some things as you know that have been very popular.”
    – from his fake-news press conference this morning

    Calls coming in during the last week? Bullshit. The White House switchboard has been closed down for two weeks as a result of trump’s government shutdown.

    • Pink David

       /  January 4, 2019

      So, the White House switchboard is the only way Trump could ever get a ‘call’? Seems somewhat surprising. Are you sure ‘calls’ refers only to phone calls made to the White House main line? Are you sure ‘calls’ doesn’t also mean people writing blogs in support of his policy?

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  January 4, 2019

        For poor old technologically challenged, Joe:
        https://www.whitehouse.gov/get-involved/write-or-call/

        Does she really think Trump doesn’t have a working phone during this shutdown? I guess she’ll believe anything bad she’s told by her Lefty mates.

      • Griff.

         /  January 4, 2019

        Sad

        The United States Treasury has taken in MANY billions of dollars from the Tariffs we are charging China and other countries that have not treated us fairly. In the meantime we are doing well in various Trade Negotiations currently going on. At some point this had to be done!

        Yay more tax on things you buy in the USA that’s making those Chinese pay..EH.
        Trump is an economic moron .
        His supporters are even more stupid because they suck up the gibbering loons pronouncements.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  January 4, 2019

        Pinky, if you want to redefine the English language knock yourself out.

        In the meantime, reread what trump said.

  8. Joe Bloggs

     /  January 4, 2019

    Here’s yet another empty election promise from King Moron:

    “We’ve got to get rid of the $19 trillion in debt. I think I could do it fairly quickly, because of the fact the numbers. Well, I would say over a period of eight years.”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/04/02/transcript-donald-trump-interview-with-bob-woodward-and-robert-costa/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.f0960dda7255

    Reality check:
    The US national debt now stands at US$21.974 trillion at the end of 2018, more than $2 trillion higher than when trump took office, according to numbers released by the Treasury Department.

    Conclusion:
    Another epic fail.

  9. Joe Bloggs

     /  January 4, 2019

    Day 1 of congressional oversight on King Moron – looks like we’re in for a fun year:

  10. Joe Bloggs

     /  January 5, 2019

    Al, Dotard, frothy righty, QAnon, whatever you call yourself… I don’t give a fuck what you think.

    The days of civility disappeared after trump repeatedly drew equivalences between far-right marchers and the people who had showed up to protest against them at Charlottesville.

    So, hate away all you like, snowflake. The time of reckoning is approaching whether you like it or not.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  January 5, 2019

      I don’t hate, Joe, and I pity you in yours and the misery it keeps you in.

      Walking the dogs yesterday and a male jogger passed saying, “Hi. Got the whole family?” and we both went on our way with a smile. Next one was female who proceded to moan about stepping on some dog poo the day before (when she had moaned about something else) and I explained that I would have cleared it up on my way back five minutes later if she could have avoided the only bit in 300m of track so we both went on our way feeling a bit grumpy. And me wondering why women are more often bitchy and sour than men.