10 Health Benefits Of Peanuts~~~


20161209-t-004-10-health-benefits-of-peanuts

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A Home Yoga Practice to Build a Strong Back


http://www.yogajournal.com/slideshow/home-practice-build-strong-back/#6

A Home Yoga Practice to Build a Strong Back

You depend on the strength and flexibility of 
your spine for nearly everything you do, from walking and sitting to coming into Balasana (Child’s Pose) and Handstand. In order to move through the wide range of motion you task your spine with on a regular basis, you need it to be both strong and flexible—and twists are one of the best ways to achieve both goals. That’s because twisting has the potential to help decompress the discs and elongate the spine, opening the spaces between the vertebrae, activating the muscles around the discs, and increasing blood flow to the spinal area to deliver pain-fighting, healing, anti-inflammatory oxygen.

Practicing this twisting sequence is beneficial for anyone who sits for a good portion of the day, suffers from chronic back pain, or loves activities that don’t incorporate a lot of spinal rotation, such as running, cycling, and hiking. Breathe deeply as you wring out your spine, and enjoy the added mobility, strength, and pain relief you experience in your back as a result.

Practice tips
1. Keep your breath long, smooth, and steady. The deeper you breathe, the more length you’ll gain in your spine.
2. To help you rotate when twisting, recruit your core muscles rather than your shoulders and neck. This will protect your spine and help you twist more safely.

  • Side Stretch

    Side Stretch

    Starting on your back, reach your arms overhead and behind you, and stretch your legs long on your mat. Flex your ankles and spread your toes and fingers. Grab your left wrist with your right hand and reach both hands toward the top right of your mat, while bringing your feet over to your mat’s bottom right. This position will stretch and lengthen your entire left side body. Take 
3 long inhales and exhales, and then repeat on the second side.

    See also 5 Modifications for Students with Low Back Pain

  • Windshield-Wiper Twists

    Windshield-Wiper Twists

    Still on your back, take your arms out to a T, palms turned up. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on your mat, slightly wider than hip-distance. Inhale, and on your exhale gently drop your knees to one side while rolling your head in the opposite direction. On an inhale, bring your head and knees back to center. Repeat 3 times on each side.

    See also Free Your Back Body Like Never Before: A Flow for Your Fascia

  • Seated Twist

    Seated Twist

    Sit tall with your legs extended, feet at mat width. If your hamstrings are 
tight, bend your knees so that you can sit directly on your sitting bones. On an inhale, sweep your arms forward and up; on the exhale, sweep one arm down and back and your other arm forward until your fingertips reach the floor between your legs, twisting to one side. On the next inhale, sweep both arms forward and up; on your exhale, change sides. Repeat 3 times on each side.

    See also Prenatal Yoga: 5 Psoas-Releasing Poses to Relieve Low Back Pain

  • Plank Pose

    Plank Pose

    Place your palms directly under your shoulders and extend your legs back. Press firmly through the mounds of your hands and index-finger knuckles, root your toes down into the mat, firm your legs, and lengthen from the crown of your head through the soles of your feet. Hold the pose for at least 3 slow breaths.

    See also Prenatal Yoga: 6 Feel-Good Backbends Safe for Pregnancy

  • Downward-Facing Dog Pose

    Downward-Facing Dog Pose

    Adho Mukha Svanasana

    From Plank, exhale your hips up and back to Downward Dog. Breathe deeply as you relax your head and neck and lengthen your spine. Sense as much length through both sides of your waist as possible, and use the strength of your legs to lengthen your heels down. Hold for at least 3 breaths.

    See also A Yoga Sequence to Target Sources of Back Pain

  • Downward Dog, 
with side stretch

    Downward Dog, 
with side stretch

    Stay in Down Dog, and as you exhale, drop your heels to one side, bringing your hips with you in order to lengthen your side waist. On an inhale, come back to center with your heels and hips; on your exhale, change sides. Repeat 3 times on each side.

    See also A Core-Awakening Sun Salutation for Lower Back Support

  • High Lunge, 
with simple twist

    High Lunge, 
with simple twist

    From Downward Dog, exhale your right foot forward between your hands. Keep your front shin vertical and stay balanced on your back toes as you lift your back thigh. Come high onto your fingertips and take full breaths as you lengthen your spine. On an inhale, use your stomach to twist, and reach your right arm skyward. On your exhale, bring that hand back down. Repeat on 
the same side 3 times, then hold the twist for 
3 breaths. Step back to Down Dog; switch sides.

    See also Ease Low Back Pain: 3 Subtle Ways To Stabilize the Sacrum

  • Plank Pose, with Twist

    Plank Pose, with Twist

    From Down Dog, move forward to Plank, bringing your feet and toes as close together as possible. Keep both hands on the floor and your chest square with the floor. Rotate your heels and hips to the left, working toward stacking your feet and ankles, if possible. Hold for at least 3 slow breaths; return to Plank and change sides.

    See also Camel Pose: Nix Neck + Shoulder Pain in this Backbend

  • Downward Dog

    Downward Dog

    This time in Down Dog, step your feet to mat width. Use your legs to lengthen your spine back and reach your heels down. Hold for at least 3 breaths. To come out, walk your hands back to your feet, bring your hands to your hips to stand up, and face the side of your mat.

    See also Ask the Expert: Which Yoga Poses Prevent Lower-Back Pain?

  • Temple Pose, with twist

    Temple Pose, with twist

    Turn your thighs, knees, and feet out 30 to 40 degrees. Slightly bend your knees as you hinge forward from the front of your hips, bringing your hands to your knees. Lengthen your entire spine, including your front, back, and side waist. Inhale, and as you exhale, twist your upper spine to the right, keeping your legs and pelvis completely still. Inhale back to center, and exhale to change sides. Repeat for a total of 3 twists to each side. To initiate the twist, use your abdominal muscles rather than your arms and shoulders.

    See also 2 Core Yoga Exercises to Build Better Support in Backbends

  • Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend

    Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend

    Prasarita Padottanasana

    With your feet still wide, turn your thighs and toes 
in slightly. Inhale and circle your arms out and up. 
As you exhale, hinge forward from your hips and bring your hands to the mat. If your hamstrings 
feel tight, bend your knees. Clasp your big toes 
with your first two fingers and thumb. Bend your elbows out to the sides and lengthen your spine. Draw navel to spine, press down through your feet, and breathe your shoulders up away from your ears. Stay for at least 3 breaths. On an inhale, bring hands to hips and press down through your feet to rise.

    See also Ease Lower Back + Shoulder Tension with Fascial Work

  • Intense Side Stretch, with backbend

    Intense Side Stretch, with backbend

    Parsvottanasana

    From Mountain Pose at the top of your mat, bring your palms to the back of your pelvis, fingers pointing down. Step your left foot back one leg’s length and turn your back toes to the front left corner of your mat. Press both feet down and straighten both knees. Breathe deeply and lift your chest skyward. Lift the front of your pelvis as well as your chin, and gaze. Hold for at least 3 slow breaths, then look forward; on an exhale, step your back foot forward and change sides. To finish, return to Mountain Pose.

    See also 16 Poses to Ease Back Pain

  • Revolved Triangle Pose

    Revolved Triangle Pose

    Parivrtta Trikonasana

    Step your left foot back and position it as in pose 12. Inhale both arms overhead; exhale and hinge forward, lengthening your spine. Using your stomach, twist to the right and bring your left hand to the floor, your shin, or a block, and your right arm to the sky. Reach back through both thighs as you lengthen forward through the crown of your head. Place your gaze where it feels best. Take at least 3 deep breaths. On your last exhale, gently fold forward. Bring your hands to your hips and inhale to rise. Repeat on the second side.

    See also 10-Minute Sequence to Ease Back Pain

  • Happy Baby Pose

    Happy Baby Pose

    Find your way onto your back. From here, bend your knees to about 90 degrees, with the soles of your feet facing the sky. Hold the back of your thighs, your ankles, or your feet. Breathe as you gently lengthen your spine, widen your collarbones, and draw your knees down toward the floor. Hold for at least 5 breaths.

    See also Resolving Back Pain: Sacroiliac Joint

  • Supine Twist, with hip shift 

    Supine Twist, with hip shift

    Place your feet flat on the mat with your knees bent. Press your feet down, and set your hips off to the right. Bring your knees to your chest, and then drop them to the left to twist. Keep both shoulder blades on the mat and relax your legs and feet. If the top thigh doesn’t relax, place a block between your thighs and squeeze. Either bring your arms to a T or use the pressure of your right hand on your top hip to lengthen your top side waist. Stay here for at least 5 deep breaths; change sides.

    See also Yoga at Work Reduces Stress, Back Pain

  • Corpse Pose

    Corpse Pose

    Savasana

    Rest on your back for at least 5 minutes, or longer if possible. Set up your body so that you’re as comfortable as possible—for example, by placing a bolster or rolled-up blanket under your knees. Completely relax your breath.

    See also Yoga for Low Back Pain

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About Our Pro
Teacher and model Jamie Elmer is a traveling teacher and teacher trainer whose 
practice and teaching have been influenced by Max Strom, Saul David Raye, Shiva Rea, Erich Schiffmann, Sherry Brourman, and Annie Carpenter. To learn more, visit jamieelmer.com.

 

THE CHINESE CLOCK DOES NOT MAKE MISTAKES – DISCOVER WHICH ORGAN IN YOUR BODY DOES NOT WORK WELL!


http://www.themagicoflife.info/other/the-chinese-clock-does-not-make-mistakes-discover-which-organ-in-your-body-does-not-work-well/

THE CHINESE CLOCK DOES NOT MAKE MISTAKES – DISCOVER WHICH ORGAN IN YOUR BODY DOES NOT WORK WELL!

32

In the body there are total of 12 meridians and they belong to every big organ. The 12 meridians are:

-heart area

-heart

-lungs

-stomach

-large intestine

-small intestine

-bladder

-kidney

-gallbladder

-liver

-duodenum

-spleen

But yin-yang is separating them in two groups, yin meridians and yang meridians.

The first group or the yin meridians are the organs that collect, storage and process substances and energy (lungs, heart area, heart, kidney, liver, spleen).

The second group or the yang meridians are the organs that exchange and excrete substances and energy (stomach, small intestine, large intestine, gallbladder, bladder and duodenum).

Meridians work throughout the span of 24 hours, divided in 12 two hour intervals, according to the Chinese medicine and law of rhythm rules. When a meridian hits its low, there is opposite meridian that has its peak.

A good doctor in China when a patient says the symptoms that he/she has is asking the patient what time of the day the symptoms actually appeared. And with only that information, the doctor will know where the problem is coming from, or to be more specific, where there is too much energy or where the energy circulates with issues.

That is why it is recommended if you notice some symptoms to write down the exact time when they first appeared. Also you should check which time of the day you feel most energetic and when you wake up at night because that can be also be helpful to found out if there is issue in certain part of your body.

Time of maximum function

1 – 3 AM – liver (detoxification, muscles and eyes)

3 AM – 5 AM – lungs (skin)

5 AM – 7 AM – colon (assimilation, elimination, skin)

7 AM – 9 AM- stomach (lymph, food digestion)

9 AM – 11 AM – spleen, pancreas (lymph, food digestion)

11 AM – 1 PM – heart (artery blood circulation)

1 PM – 3 PM – small intestine (digestion, assimilation, arteries)

3 PM – 5 PM – bladder (bones, teeth, elimination, cleaning)

5 PM – 7 PM – kidneys (bones, teeth, ears, filtration, elimination)

7 PM – 9 PM – cardiac layer (constriction of blood vessels)

9 PM – 11 PM – duodenum (thermoregulation)

11 PM – 1 AM – gallbladder (digestion, muscles, eyes)

Time of minimal functions or rest

1 AM – 3 AM – small intestine (digestion, assimilation of the arteries)

3 AM -5 AM – bladder (bones, teeth, cleaning elimination)

5 AM – 7 AM – kidney disease (bones, teeth, ears, filtration, elimination)

7 AM – 9 AM – the heart layer (constriction of blood vessels)

9 AM – 11 AM – duodenum (thermoregulation)

11 AM – 1 PM – gallbladder (digestion, muscles, eyes)

1 PM – 3 PM – liver (detoxification, muscles and eyes)

3 PM – 5 PM – lungs (skin)

5 PM – 7 PM – colon (assimilation, elimination, skin)

7 PM – 9 PM – stomach (lymph, food and digestion)

9 PM – 11 PM – spleen, pancreas (lymph, food digestion)

11 PM – 1 AM – heart (artery blood circulation)
And as it was mentioned earlier, one meridian (organ) has highest level of energy when an opposite one has its lowest. For example liver has its highest energy levels between 1 and 3 AM and then the small intestine has the lowest level of energy.
And when the level of energy is at its lowest you must avoid certain activities.

If you deal with the problem of lacking energy, beside this clock you can try other remedies that natural medicine is providing such as acupuncture and homeopathy.

Source: http://healthadviceteam.com/

 

 

How to protect yourself and others from the flu


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Small wood house on the coast of Norway, just next to the water


http://www.caandesign.com/small-wood-house-coast-norway-just-next-water/

Small wood house on the coast of Norway, just next to the water

Architects: Asante Architecture & Design
Location: Stokkøya, Åfjord, Norway
Year: 2015
Area: 646 ft²/ 60 m²
Photo courtesy: Marius Rua
Description:

“A small house on the coast of Norway, just next to the water, overlooking the neighboring islands and the Norwegian Sea. The house is part of the project Bygda 2.0, a rural development project on the island of Stokkøya, focusing on developing modern Norwegian houses into a dynamic village. Businesses and research activities are combined with places to live, work, enjoy and relax. Architecture, sustainability, and exceptional cuisine are in focus.

Our client, a chef on the same island, decided to settle down and to be surrounded by this beautiful landscape and concept. His dream was a small house where he could overlook the sea from all of his rooms. It turned into a house that co-exists in perfect harmony with nature. At night he can watch the full moon lighting up the sea, reflecting its bright light into his living room. He can enjoy the northern lights while taking a bath in his bathtub that is submerged into the rocks. He can even fish from his balcony.

The house is separated into two units. The lower unit consists of the entrance and bathroom, and the higher unit consists of the kitchen, living room and a loft situated over the kitchen. These two units are slightly offset to each other. This shift causes the front of the house to naturally have an inviting open space for the entrance towards the road, while creating at the back of the house, intimacy and privacy for the bathroom’s facade that is facing the water. The kitchen window, by the entrance, is framed with firewood storage possibility. There are smaller windows towards the road and large panoramic windows towards the water.

The house is constructed of wood and has a wooden siding that is incorporated not only on the outer walls but internally as well. The façade has to endure harsh weather and thus it is constructed with maintenance free burned wood, a traditional Japanese technique incorporated into the Norwegian context. Part of the house is standing on wooden pillars, overhanging the steep rocks that lead down to the water, and the other half is a concrete slab on solid ground. The roof is made of sedum grass, adding some greenery to the rocky landscape. The heating system is a modern wood stove with water jacket that works alongside a solar water heater.

Wooden panels with different treatments offer a variety of color for the interior of the house. Floor tiles enhance the entrance and the bathroom flooring. The bathtub is clad with the same tiles as the ones used for the bathroom floor. It is submerged into the floor to give an undisturbed and uninterrupted view of the nature outside giving a feeling of stepping right into the landscape. The trapezoidal metal sheets of the interior roof are left exposed giving a playful contrast to the warm wood while reflecting the light from the sky and the water into the building.”

Thank you for reading this article!

 

Health tip of the day~~~


20161209-t-001-healthy-tips-of-the-day

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Yoga for Plantar Fasciitis


http://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/yoga-and-plantar-fasciitis/

Yoga for Plantar Fasciitis

Malasana (Garland Pose) can help ease the stiffness and pain caused by plantar fasciitis by gently stretching the ankles and the connective tissue of the foot.

Seems that every year at this time I hear from students complaining about a new pain that has developed on the sole of the foot near the heel.  When I question them further, there is almost always a history of a recent increase in high-impact activity, like starting to train for a running race, or starting new dance classes.  On rare occasions, they may have just started a yoga boot camp where they are doing a lot of jump backs from Uttanasana to Chaturanga, or from Down Dog to Forward Fold.  I often suggest they get it checked out by their doctor, and invariably they come back with the diagnosis of plantar fasciitis, more commonly called “heel spurs.”  An –itisimplies inflammation, and in this case, the plantar fascia, the sheet of connective tissue that stretches from the heel to the base of the toes, is inflamed.

The plantar fascia assists the ligaments and the muscles in maintaining  the arches at the sole of the foot. As connective tissue, it has strength, but does not stretch much before running the risk of tearing or becoming inflamed. And, unlike muscles, it does not contract and create active movement in the foot.

You are more likely to get plantar fasciitis if you have problems with your arches, such as flat feet or unusually high arches or a tight Achilles tendon. Sudden weight gain or obesity can also be contributing factors. And, as stated above, long-distance running, especially running downhill or on uneven surfaces, or any new and continued activity that puts unusually strain on this sheet of tissue, can cause inflammation. Even wearing shoes with poor arch support or soft soles can be problematic.

People with plantar fasciitis feel stiffness and pain on the sole of the foot near the heel. It can be dull or sharp, worse on the first few steps out of bed in the morning, better with continued movement if is not super flared, and recurs if you have been sitting for a while and get up and walk again. It can also occur if you are standing for long periods or climbing stairs, or after intense activity. One of my students whose plantar fasciitis is improving notices some lingering pain when the affected foot is back in Warrior I Pose. We are modifying it for now by using a wedge under that heel.

Unfortunately there’s no quick fix for plantar fasciitis. In fact, it can take from two months to two years for this condition to resolve.  A typical orthopedic treatment plan could include, ice, resting by not doing aggravating activities, anti-inflammatory medication, wearing an immobilizing splint at night, and physical therapy stretches for the Achilles tendon and feet. The use of orthotics, steroid shots, and surgery are used in more resistant cases.

What’s a yogi to do?  Well, resting poses, such as Legs up the Wall  (Viparita Karani) and all the inversions that involve having your feet in the air will take pressure off the plantar fascia. And poses that stretch the Achilles tendon and the feet, if done with mindfulness, so as to avoid aggravating your foot symptoms, can help. Almost all of the standing poses could have possible benefits in this regard, and Garland Pose (Malasana), could do double duty.

The opposite case could be made if the style of yoga or particular pose are aggravating to the foot (such as jump backs). In those cases, you may need to do some creative propping to continue to practice without worsening your symptoms. Doubling up your sticky mat for more cushioning can help, as can using a wedge under the ball of the front foot or heel of the back foot to minimize stretch on the plantar fascia. An example of a pose that puts a lot of pressure onto the front foot heel is Parsvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch or Pyramid Pose).  Here I would use the wedge under the ball of the front foot. As always, if you want yoga to be in the mix of a healing plan for your feet, work with a teacher with experience around plantar fasciitis for the greatest chance of success.


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2 storey family home with glazed atrium that brings light deep into the house


http://www.caandesign.com/2-storey-family-home-glazed-atrium-brings-light-deep-house/

2 storey family home with glazed atrium that brings light deep into the house

Architects: OB Architecture
Location: London, United Kingdom
Year: 2015
Area: 2.153 ft²/ 200 m²
Photo courtesy: Martin Gardner
Description:

“Set on an unassuming narrow plot within the Metropolitan Green Belt south of London, The Wrap House is a modern, 2 storey family home overlooking the open fields of Biggin Hill Airport.

2 storey family home with glazed atrium that brings light deep into the house

The house comprises of 2 long ‘wrapping’ elements that stretch down the narrow site; the white rendered ‘wraps’ contain all the living and sleeping accommodation and are infilled with cedar panels and large expanses of glazing at each end. Set between these ‘wrapping’ elements is a double height glazed circulation atrium that runs through the entire length of the house linking all the spaces together and creating a visual connection between the front and the back of the house.

2-storey-family-home-glazed-atrium-brings-light-deep-house-02

The glazed atrium brings light deep into the house and mitigates against the east-west orientation of the plot, ensuring the living spaces are filled with natural light all throughout the day.

2-storey-family-home-glazed-atrium-brings-light-deep-house-03

A study and kitchen is located at the front of the house with the dining area and a large double height living room at the rear overlooking the garden. At first floor 2 bedrooms are located at the front with the master bedroom and ensuite to the rear.

2-storey-family-home-glazed-atrium-brings-light-deep-house-04

The house replaces a small, tired 1950s bungalow which sat amongst a row of equally undistinguished single storey properties. This posed the first of many problems in that the local planning authority would only allow for a 10% increase in size over the existing house. After much negotiation we eventually received permission for a circa 40% increase by using a hypothetical permitted development exercise showing how the existing house could be extended without planning permission.

2-storey-family-home-glazed-atrium-brings-light-deep-house-05

The replacement house also had to respect the heights of the surrounding bungalows; by manipulating the levels and stepping the building down, in spite of being a storey higher than the neighbouring properties, the flat roof parapet levels sit below the ridge lines of the adjoining houses.”

2-storey-family-home-glazed-atrium-brings-light-deep-house-062-storey-family-home-glazed-atrium-brings-light-deep-house-072-storey-family-home-glazed-atrium-brings-light-deep-house-082-storey-family-home-glazed-atrium-brings-light-deep-house-092-storey-family-home-glazed-atrium-brings-light-deep-house-102-storey-family-home-glazed-atrium-brings-light-deep-house-112-storey-family-home-glazed-atrium-brings-light-deep-house-122-storey-family-home-glazed-atrium-brings-light-deep-house-132-storey-family-home-glazed-atrium-brings-light-deep-house-142-storey-family-home-glazed-atrium-brings-light-deep-house-152-storey-family-home-glazed-atrium-brings-light-deep-house-162-storey-family-home-glazed-atrium-brings-light-deep-house-172-storey-family-home-glazed-atrium-brings-light-deep-house-182-storey-family-home-glazed-atrium-brings-light-deep-house-192-storey-family-home-glazed-atrium-brings-light-deep-house-20

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Healthy Life


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MZ House by CHK arquitectura


http://www.caandesign.com/mz-house-by-chk-arquitectura/

MZ House by CHK arquitectura

Location: Valle de Bravo Lake, Mexico
Photo courtesy: Yoshihiro Koitani

MZ-House-01MZ-House-02MZ-House-03MZ-House-04MZ-House-05MZ-House-06MZ-House-07MZ-House-08MZ-House-09MZ-House-10MZ-House-11MZ-House-12MZ-House-13MZ-House-14MZ-House-15MZ-House-16MZ-House-17MZ-House-18MZ-House-19MZ-House-20MZ-House-21MZ-House-22MZ-House-23MZ-House-24MZ-House-25MZ-House-26MZ-House-27

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【印度想想】盲目揮舞的禁鈔巨鞭,打擊了誰?苦了誰?|想想論壇


另一方面,印度嚴重的偽鈔問題,亦說不定會出現收回的鈔票比登記有案的鈔票還要多的世界奇觀,悄悄地,穆迪政府開始把重點從「打擊黑錢」轉移至「懲處貪汙」上,稅務當局祭出了對未申報所得處以最高200%稅率的懲罰。
政府尚未公布過去三週以來稅局總共收回了多少所得稅,但稅務當局是一直如狼似虎地放話要對「有異常行為」的帳戶優先審查,警告人們千萬不要妄圖挑戰執法的權威。
【印度想想】盲目揮舞的禁鈔巨鞭,打擊了誰?苦了誰?|想想論壇
http://www.thinkingtaiwan.com/content/5893

【印度想想】盲目揮舞的禁鈔巨鞭,打擊了誰?苦了誰?

人氣指數: 665
友善列印版本

12月3日印度央行(Reserve Bank of India, RBI)公布的資料證明,在施行之初頗受稱許(至少對總理穆迪的支持者而言)的廢鈔政策對打擊黑錢的效果非常有限。在廢鈔後的25天內,印度人民透過長長人龍,在各地銀行內存入約9.6兆的舊現金,已遠超過在11月8日時被宣布廢止使用的15.4兆舊現金的一半。

來源:https://flic.kr/p/q3EYP

印度央行規定所有的商業銀行需要提交存款準備金,而這個數字在11月8日時是約4兆,再加計原本銀行就會留存在手上預備給客戶提領使用的現金,目前仍停泊在民間的剩餘舊盧比其實已剩不到2兆,約不到13%的舊鈔總額──而到政府訂定的舊鈔可存款日期12月30日前,還有25天的時間可以將舊鈔存入金融系統。根據現在銀行櫃檯前仍可見到的隊伍,不禁令人懷疑究竟有多少「黑錢」真的能被廢鈔政策「打回原形」。

中央政府最初假設,廢鈔之後,至少會有3兆現金「消失」,相當於政府從「錯誤的手」上奪回這些現金代表的價值,「消失」的現金將可以從中央銀行的財務報表上劃掉,進而成為中央銀行對股東(也就是中央政府自己)的股利,但這個美妙的假設目前看來岌岌可危。

「黑錢」的持有者似乎找到了方法把舊鈔送回金融系統裡。穆迪在這週的演說裡指名了眾多Jan Dhan帳戶(無最低餘額限制,且在保險、投資多有優惠,專為相對弱勢的民眾開設的帳戶)「有不尋常的存款存入」──在廢鈔之後,許多Jan Dhan帳戶餘額變成盧比49000元,正好低於需要提供稅號(PAN)的50000元上限;這個巧合令監管單位懷疑背後有高度組織化的洗錢組織在收購Jan Dhan帳戶人頭,並出租給有需要的人使用。

另一方面,印度嚴重的偽鈔問題,亦說不定會出現收回的鈔票比登記有案的鈔票還要多的世界奇觀。綜合以上令人尷尬的數字,悄悄地,穆迪政府開始把重點從「打擊黑錢」轉移至「懲處貪汙」上,稅務當局祭出了對未申報所得處以最高200%稅率的懲罰。以存入1000萬盧比的未申報所得試算,需要繳納給稅局的稅金加上罰鍰總額為847萬5000元,約當將近85%的稅率。政府尚未公布過去三週以來稅局總共收回了多少所得稅,但稅務當局是一直如狼似虎地放話要對「有異常行為」的帳戶優先審查,警告人們千萬不要妄圖挑戰執法的權威。

目前仍無法確切衡量廢鈔政策對印度經濟宏觀上的影響;華爾街日報訪問12位經濟學者做出的印度GDP 2017年成長率預測表示,經濟學家們的預測最低下降至3.5%,最高仍為7.6%(約與去年相當)。12月1號公布的採購經理人指數(Nikkei Purchasing Manager Index),是三週以來第一個更新的重要總體經濟數據,顯示印度工業活動雖仍在擴張,但有稍微趨緩──從10月的54.4下降至11月的52.3(台灣11月為54.7)。

流通貨幣的劇減,會依據產業的天性產生不同的效果。同樣以汽車產業而言,最大的汽車廠牌Maruti Suzuki公布了11月的銷售成果,比去年同期成長了14%,而另一個汽車廠牌Mahindra & Mahindra則宣布,乘用車11月銷售額比去年同期下降了33%。這是因為消費者習慣以貸款購買Maruiti Suzuki銷售主力的配備800至1200立方公分引擎小車,而以越野和運動取向車款為主的Mahindra則碰上偏好越野性能的鄉村地區缺乏金融機構支持的困境。

最明顯的贏家是電子支付廠商和整個金融體系,人們被給予了一個很好的誘因去嘗試各種電子支付服務,連續三週印度當地各大報紙頭版皆被電子支付廠商買下,對著廢鈔議題大作文章。大量的流動性回到了銀行裡,搭配人們開始(被迫)適應無紙幣生活,雖然短暫的櫃台服務部門因人潮湧進而疲憊不已,但中長期而言給了銀行家們更多的發揮空間。

穆迪政府是這場震盪最終的勝利者:任何沒有成功回到金融體系的舊鈔將作廢,進而成為中央銀行可以發給政府的股利,穆迪的政敵們正因為要為眾多來路不明的資金找到解釋焦頭爛額;而稅收部門正趁著這個機會大開殺戒:過去印度所得稅總額約當國家GDP 5.6%,遠低於美國的12%、日本的9.8%或巴西的7%,一次性的廢鈔政策究竟能匡正印度所得稅系統的紊亂到什麼程度,相當值得觀察。

對大部份的市井小民、販夫走卒而言,廢鈔政策全然是場災難。在許多現行的經濟模式裡,紙鈔仍作為交易、運送、儲藏價值的載體。去除了86%的流通貨幣形成的通貨緊縮,令這些以紙鈔為主的經濟受到重大影響,許多人的畢生儲蓄也在一夕之間化為烏有,被迫加入銀行前長長的人龍,被動地等候政府究竟願意施捨回來多少價值。

德里汽機車零配件市場凱若巴格(Karol Bagh)超過一半的商家沒有營業,一位輪胎行老闆挺著肚子坐在店門口,揮舞著手上一大疊500元和1000元舊鈔,「Cash no problem, cash no problem!」他特立獨行地喊著;另一側的輪圈改裝行半羈拉著鐵門,幾位包著頭巾的錫克教年輕人喝著奶茶,在店裡談著天;離改裝店一步之遙直至延續到街底的店面則是大門深鎖,路面蕭瑟;印度南部,滿載椰子的卡車出發了,才剛上路,卡車司機才發現他手上準備用於支付食宿、罰鍰和賄賂的35000元盧比現鈔變成廢紙;他在路上試著用一些折扣賣掉了他的500元鈔票,還因沒有鈔票支付過路費或找錢的高速公路收費站成為的新的停車場而耽誤,他比預計的還要晚一天抵達德里,但他不知道何時,也不知道將以什麼形式獲得報酬。

僅在第一週,非正式統計全印度因為被嚇死、累死、擠死的民眾超過30人;無數領日薪的勞工被迫告假,花費數天時間在銀行前排隊兌換新鈔;許多人夜宿銀行或ATM前,等待早晨第一批現金的送達;不只銀行除了換鈔之外的所有業務都停擺,警務系統也全面投入於維護銀行前人潮的秩序,原本的工作受到不少影響。

這場社會震盪也震出了地域發展的不平等,舉例而言,根據印度央行2016年統計,全印度約有20萬台ATM,平均每台ATM要服務6000名使用者;然而,生活在旅遊勝地果阿(Goa)的人只須和其他2000名使用者分享一台ATM,但在比哈(Bihar)的ATM卻得肩負起14000位需求殷切人民的生活大計,換句話說,比哈的居民需要花費七倍的時間在ATM前的隊伍裡,無論怎麼解讀,這種分配都極為不公平。

此外,這次行動又再次顯露出因印度管理、物流、規劃的不良。政府的換鈔政策一週數變:最早公布每日可以兌換4000元盧比的鈔票,這個限額曾短暫上升到4500元,接著因為在現金運送上遇到困難而驟降至2000元,最後甚至在第三週時無預警取消兌換現金的服務,僅能將舊鈔存入銀行帳戶後提領。不要忘了,印度有一半的人沒有銀行帳戶,這些人別無選擇只能在黑市上以30%左右的「手續費」兌入新鈔。

紊亂的政策方向,像一條巨鞭盲目揮舞,對於高社經人士並無多大影響,例如我,我擁有一個銀行帳戶並有金融卡,可以去擁有刷卡設備的店家消費,維繫我的生活;但對沒那麼幸運,坐落在鞭梢的底層民眾,以及路上未擁有或未及購入刷卡機的商家而言,這條巨鞭每改變一次揮舞的方向,就是一次天崩地裂。穆迪在演說上一再呼籲他的兄弟姐妹們,為了這個國家更好的未來,再多「承受一點不便(hardship)」,但現實是,某些人承受的「不便」要遠比其他人來得多;更重要的是,這些「不便」匯集起來的利益,最後又有多少會回到為了其犧牲最大的人身上呢?

 

【首爾想想】「親信干政」火燒財閥 三星接班人最卑微的一天 | 想想論壇


上一次財閥經營者排排坐,接受國會議員詢問,是在南韓民主化後的1988年,前總統全斗煥被揭發,設立「日海基金會」,要求各家財閥捐款,成為私人斂財工具,當時也成為調查與問責的重大議題。經過近30年,如今坐在位子上的,都是這些經營者的兒子,他們都被指責涉入崔順實的不法網絡。

【首爾想想】「親信干政」火燒財閥 三星接班人最卑微的一天 | 想想論壇
http://www.thinkingtaiwan.com/content/5894

【首爾想想】「親信干政」火燒財閥 三星接班人最卑微的一天

人氣指數: 3503
友善列印版本

南韓「親信干政」風暴發展至今,已邁入第7週。原本新世界黨「非朴派」就要和在野陣營一起在國會發起彈劾案並予以表決,卻因朴槿惠總統閃電宣布「將把去留問題交給國會解決」,讓非朴派心生動搖,導致原本最快在2日啟動的彈劾案「不歡而散」。

12月3日,170萬南韓民眾,聚集在首爾光化門廣場示威,要求朴槿惠總統下台,創下大韓民國建國以來最大的集會規模 (攝影:楊虔豪)

憤怒的民心已忍無可忍,多數人要求朴總統立刻下台,否則就該彈劾,沒有任何「鋪紅地毯下台」的選項;12月3日,首爾市中心的「倒朴」示威,再創南韓建國以來最大集會規模,達到170萬人,最終讓非朴派不得不再導向民意。

宣告將重返「彈劾列車」,同時表示,就算朴總統宣布要4月下台,彈劾也將在本週五(12月9日)啟動;本週將是南韓「命運的一週」,彈劾朴總統只剩不到100小時。

1988年的「5共聽證會」,財閥大老首次齊聚接受質詢,釐清全斗煥前總統是否有強逼募款設立基金會,圖左為當時質詢砲火最為猛烈的議員,後來當上總統的盧武鉉,圖右則是現代集團前會長鄭周永 (截圖自MBC電視台)

彈劾前最受關注的劇碼,莫過於為調查各家財閥與朴總統心腹崔順實間的關係。先前曾提過,崔順實所操控的K-SPORTS(K體育)與MIR兩家基金會,不僅獲得文化體育觀光部火速批准,還從各家財閥手中得到共800億韓元捐款。

先前各界懷疑,若沒有青瓦台及南韓財閥聯會「全國經濟人連合會」(全經連)背後出手,基金會要順利成立,要從各財閥獲得如此巨額資金,是不可能的事。

全經連副會長李承哲當時出面回應道:「基金會的設立,是匯集各家企業的意見,然後依照我提出的點子後所構成。」當時他強調,財閥的募款皆屬「自發」,否認青瓦台有任何施壓。

直到崔順實使用的電腦被JTBC電視台發現,「干政案」遭揭發後,引發各界譁然,經檢調初步調查,朴槿惠的機要秘書─經濟學者安鐘範,承認向各家財閥施壓出錢;朴總統更被爆出私下與各家財閥經營人見面,疑似要求他們「捐錢」給K體育及MIR基金會。

三星集團被確認,向崔順實的馬術選手女兒鄭佑蘿,提供186億韓元的支援;其他爭議還包括:樂天集團透過捐錢給基金會,獲得免稅店據點的擴充特權、現代集團疑遭強逼將廣告發包給崔順實與朴總統信任的親友─導演車恩澤持掌的廣告公司,還有SK及韓華集團,透過捐款來換取身陷牢獄的會長獲得赦免。

還有一件案外案是,MBN電視台上月初公開了一位當時青瓦台秘書官趙源東的通話錄音,向CJ集團施壓,要求當時掌握經營權的副會長李美敬下台。

CJ集團是近來韓流產業的重要推手,旗下不僅擁有電影院、電影製作公司,還持掌MNET與tvN電視台。特別是tvN最近播送了《花樣爺爺》、戲劇《請回答》(共97、94、88系列)、《訊號》等膾炙人口的綜藝與戲劇節目,影響力日益擴大。

外界認為,青瓦台會施壓要求李副會長下台的原因,在於tvN的綜藝節目《週六夜現場》,多次惡搞與諷刺朴槿惠,因而使總統心生恨意,要拿經營者開刀。

朴槿惠總統被揭發多次私下會晤財閥經營者,要求捐款,但遭財閥大老們否認 (截圖自SBS電視台)

12月6日,南韓國會舉行聽證會,並要求各大財閥經營者出席說明,到底對崔順實有無親自施壓財閥,或是干預財閥人事任命問題,還有當中有無存在對價關係,各家財閥大老都一一出席。

上一次財閥經營者排排坐,接受國會議員詢問,是在南韓民主化後的1988年,前總統全斗煥被揭發,打著照顧出訪緬甸時遭北韓恐攻而身亡的官員家眷為名,設立「日海基金會」,要求各家財閥捐款,成為私人斂財工具,當時也成為調查與問責的重大議題。

經過近30年,如今坐在位子上的,都是這些經營者的兒子,他們都被指責涉入崔順實的不法網絡。

但這些財閥二代們,面對議員轟炸逼問,給出的答覆幾乎如出一轍:「沒見過崔順實」、「與朴總統私下見過面」、「捐了錢,但無對價關係」,他們否認所有關於自己主動向青瓦台或崔順實要求獲得任何好處,並主張與朴總統的會晤,全無提及捐款事宜。

身兼全經連會長的GS集團會長許昌秀表示:「我們企業人的立場是,來自青瓦台的要求,我們難以拒絕,這是南韓的現實。」樂天集團會長申東斌也反映稱:「說我們是期待什麼代價而捐錢,這並非事實。」

CJ會長孫京植在聽證會上證實,青瓦台確實對集團人事施壓 (截圖自OhmyTV)

最引人注意的發言,莫過於CJ會長孫京植。在被國會議員問及副會長李美敬遭青瓦台首席秘書官趙源東施壓的問題時,他回應道:「起初趙祕書官說要見面,我見了他,他告訴我:『希望李美敬副會長能從位子走掉』,還說『這是總統傳達的話』。」

孫會長口中證實,施壓確有其事,但連他自己都不知道究竟為何原因。年近八旬、身為財界大老中最年長的孫會長還暗諷道:「我還有記憶,過去在軍事政權時期,也有這樣的情況。」

面對議員的交相猛攻詢問與崔順實案的關聯,三星副會長李在鎔完全無法招架 (截圖自JTBC電視台)

聽證會全場關注的焦點,莫過於涉入崔順實案最深的三星集團,親自出席聽證會的第三代接班人李在鎔,成為朝野國會議員輪番砲火猛攻的對象;聽證會有9成的時間,都在質詢李在鎔,但他面露緊張,完全支吾其詞,東問西答。

當議員們詢問李在鎔,從何時起得知崔順實這號人物的存在,他回應:「我真的記不起來了,不曉得是什麼時候知道的。」面對三星支付鄭佑蘿馬術支援金,李在鎔表示:「我們毫無所求,從未因為要得到相同報償才捐款或給予支援。」

讓人不解的是,三星捐給K體育與MIR基金會近300億韓元,但李在鎔對此卻表示「記不得」,共同民主黨國會議員安民錫直接怒嗆:「300億是唾手可得的錢嗎?錢再怎麼多,300億元您會不記得嗎?」

財閥會長紛紛被要求出席國會聽證會,釐清與崔順實案的關聯 (截圖自JTBC電視台)

安議員拿出民眾倒朴示威舉起的標語,他說道:「國民們不僅要求朴總統下台了,也主張財閥是共犯。我先向李在鎔證人提問,財閥是共犯嗎?」

李在鎔閉起眼睛,沉默了幾秒,回覆道:「我們還有許多不周全之處,很抱歉…」

「您承認(財閥)是共犯嗎?」安議員繼續問道。

「之後三星會以更好的…」李在鎔話未說完,安議員插嘴道:「請別東問西答。國民喊出財閥也是共犯,您同意嗎?」

李在鎔回應:「我們嚴正看待國民輿論,正在反省中。」

「您是已經承認,接受自己是共犯的說法嗎?」安議員繼續問道。李在鎔則回答:「我會努力讓三星展現出新的一面的。」

之後,安議員又追問:「您能向國民約定,終結政商勾結的小圈圈嗎?」

李在鎔尷尬地停頓數秒後,回應道:「這次醜事,出自於我…真的是…」

安議員再度打斷李在鎔,他繼續猛攻:「我的提問很簡單,您能向國民約定,戒除政商勾結關係嗎?您有終結官商勾結的意思嗎?」

李在鎔在經過一陣跳針後,再度說道:「我將盡力不會讓國民感到失望。」但仍拒絕承諾是否終結政商勾結。

將近半天的聽證會,「我想不起來」、「我不清楚」、「不足之處還很多,對不起」、「我會好好呈現三星新面貌」等說詞,幾乎是李在鎔回覆每位國會議員的台詞。

面對追問各項細節,李在鎔幾乎無法回答,共同民主黨議員金漢正,當場向李在鎔嘲諷道:「您這樣在三星面試的話,似乎不會得到好的分數,看來應該會落榜。」

李在鎔難堪地回應道:「對不起。」

這一夜,南韓首屈一指大企業的實質經營者,顯得卑微而不堪。

 

【時事想想】川普會讓中國默默壯大自己嗎?|想想論壇


習近平的「新型大國關係」,宛如和尚念經,見到美國人一次,就講一次。新型大國關係講得非常美好,但骨子裡,卻延續著毛澤東「七二一方針」理念:默默擴張,不打硬仗。有朝一日壯大後,一舉力壓敵手。
【時事想想】川普會讓中國默默壯大自己嗎?|想想論壇
http://www.thinkingtaiwan.com/content/5895

【時事想想】川普會讓中國默默壯大自己嗎?

人氣指數: 1389
友善列印版本

一通電話,讓原本就不平靜的世界再度炸了鍋。蔡英文總統和美國當選人川普的通話,讓台灣議題提上了美中關係的檯面桌上。從中國的反應來看,似乎還在觀望此事的效應,但可以預料到,川普就任後和中國可能沒有所謂的蜜月期。這通電話對中國的殺傷力不僅於此,另一個衝擊在於,中國希望「惦惦壯大,擠壓美國」的戰略棋局恐怕被打亂。

川普就任後和中國可能沒有所謂的蜜月期。來源:BriYYZ / Lyndie

從1921年創黨至今,中共之所以能拿下中國,無非就是靠著「在亂世中壯大」的作為。早在1937年7月,對日抗戰爆發之際,毛澤東曾在洛川會議對中共高層幹部作了有關抗日策略的講話,但該次講話卻沒有公開發表,稱為被刪除了的毛澤東語錄。

會議上,時任中共總書記的張聞天就引用列寧在一次世界大戰中,曾採取讓沙皇政府失敗的政策為根據,指出中共在對日抗戰中的基本策略應該讓日本和國府在戰爭中,一次瓦解。

聽到張聞天的策略後,毛澤東也附和稱:「日本的軍事勢力遠勝中國,抗戰絕無僥倖之理…」;他警告:「不要為愛國主義所迷惑,不要到前線去充當抗日英雄,要知道日本的飛機大炮所能給予我們的傷害,將遠過於蔣介石以前所給予我們的危害。」

接著,毛澤東提出了知名的「七二一方針」:「我們黨必須嚴格遵循的總方針是『一分抗日,二分應付,七分發展』,任何人,任何組織都不得違背這個總體方針。」

在《中國命運關鍵十年》一書中描述,洛川會議後,毛澤東命令林彪,潛入晉察冀山區;賀龍的120師潛入晉西北山區;劉伯承的129師向擄冀平原發展,其目的都在繞到敵後,以謀擴張。

毛澤東一再指示:「八路軍應該避開和日軍的正面衝突,避實就虛,繞道日軍後方去打遊擊,主要任務就是擴充八路軍的實力,並在敵人後方建立中共領導的抗日根據地」。

當年9月,毛澤東通告彭德懷、林彪和朱德,不斷強調共軍「應該把工作重心放在放手發動群眾…深入敵後,建立根據地,獨立自主發展和壯大革命力量」。

對日抗戰八年後,「七二一方針」的結果大家都了然於胸:戰後,國民黨元氣大傷;內戰又被壯大的共軍擊敗,敗走台灣。

中共在中國崛起的策略,也開始放諸在全球戰略格局下。

美國哈佛大學政治學家格雷漢.艾利森(Graham T. Allison)曾提出「修昔底德陷阱」這個名詞。他從古希臘著名歷史學家修昔底德的《伯羅奔尼撒戰記》一書中瞭解到,當時的雅典實力成長茁壯,威脅到斯巴達的霸權,引起雅典和斯巴達的流血戰爭。

修昔底德在書中的名言稱:「使戰爭不可避免的真正原因是,雅典勢力的增長和因而引起斯巴達的恐懼」。這意指,一個新崛起的大國必然要挑戰現存大國;而現存大國也必然來回應這種威脅,這樣戰爭變得不可避免。

「修昔底德陷阱」曾導致德國和英國的衝突,進而爆發悲慘的一次世界大戰。如今,崛起中的中國和寄存的霸權美國,也開始展現出戰略競爭的態勢。

熟撚歷史的中共當然知道過去數千年來的戰爭史。因此,習近平上任後,就不斷對美國拋出「新型大國關係」,倡導「不衝突、不對抗,相互尊重,合作共贏」的大國關係。

該概念是建立在冷戰之後的世界外交格局轉變上,也是崛起大國和既存大國之間處理衝突和矛盾的新方式,避免人類歷史上舊有強權受到新強權挑戰時最終以意識形態對抗或以戰爭解決的模式。

習近平的「新型大國關係」,宛如和尚念經,見到美國人一次,就講一次。新型大國關係講得非常美好,但骨子裡,卻延續著毛澤東「七二一方針」理念:默默擴張,不打硬仗。有朝一日壯大後,一舉力壓敵手。

這一點從12月6日《人民日報》海外版的評論即可看出。評論稱,「中國要保持戰略定力。中國不鬥氣,不與美國爭一日之短長、圖一時之痛快…美國不論如何調整對外戰略,都難以排除同中國的合作,難以撼動中國前進的步伐。中國應按照既定目標,發展好自己,廣結朋友圈,以合作共贏打造有利的國際環境,限制美國的敵意選擇、任性選擇」。

此一論述不難得知,當前中國絕不想在真正壯大前,和老大鬧翻。想用時間換取空間,以拖待變。

但從川普和其國安團隊近期的發言,令人隱約嗅到一股不尋常的氣氛:不讓中國的壯大,威脅到美國在全球的霸權地位。

恐怕和原先許多專家預期的不同,川普不會是孤立主義者。他上臺後,美國的「亞太再平衡」戰略恐怕只會強化,而不會被削弱;在此之下,美國的東亞盟友會繼續靠向美國,擔任其堅實盟邦;甚至看似胎死腹中的TPP,可能也以不同面貌重出江湖,瓶子不一樣,但裡面的酒卻可能大同小異。

作風強硬、更強調美國利益的川普,在處理中國議題上,恐怕也不會有太多顧忌中國的抗議;最終,川普可能會強化對中國的地緣政治防堵,避免中國的壯大,威脅美國的老大地位,此舉或將讓中國承受更多的外部風險;也難怪中國學者已經提出警告,未來一年,美中關係可能會迎來大顛簸的時期。

 

【書摘】《雙城對倒:新加坡模式與香港未來》|想想論壇


海外華人與其社區,亦扮演文化承傳與營造新文化的角色。台灣古蹟名家李乾朗說過,「最美的閩南建築不在福建,在檳城,那是龍山堂邱公司。最美的粵式建築也不在廣東,在檳城,那是慎之家塾。」2005年,曾有調查訪問過去數十年最受東南亞華人學生歡迎的中國暨南大學的馬來西亞華人留學生,受訪者都表示,他們對中國大陸同學的「中華特性」感到失望。
【書摘】《雙城對倒:新加坡模式與香港未來》|想想論壇
http://www.thinkingtaiwan.com/content/5897

【書摘】《雙城對倒:新加坡模式與香港未來》

人氣指數: 86
友善列印版本

書名:《雙城對倒:新加坡模式與香港未來》

作者:鄺健銘

出版日期:2016年11月1日

出版者 :天窗出版

http://www.books.com.tw/products/0010733601?loc=P_007_006(link is external)

《雙城對倒》封面

〈中國就是中心? ─「邊緣」海外華人的角色〉

從19世紀末清政府開始、至後來的國民政府與中共,為引入資金與技術到中國大陸而拉攏海外華人,便可見到海外華人在中國的現代化進程中,其實亦扮演中心角色。例如自澳洲經香港往中國大陸發展的現代百貨公司先施與永安,便幫助中國營造了「摩登時代」。永安隨後將業務多元化,既開拓華人人壽保險市場,又開展製造業業務,例如在1921年創辦上海永安紡織公司。永安創辦人之一郭泉在自傳這樣說:「是於我國實業的不振,利權的外溢,乃與二兄……籌設紗廠,以挽利權。」

海外華人與其社區,亦扮演文化承傳與營造新文化的角色。台灣古蹟名家李乾朗說過,「最美的閩南建築不在福建,在檳城,那是龍山堂邱公司。最美的粵式建築也不在廣東,在檳城,那是慎之家塾。」2005年,曾有調查訪問過去數十年最受東南亞華人學生歡迎的中國暨南大學的馬來西亞華人留學生,受訪者都表示,他們對中國大陸同學的「中華特性」感到失望。當時中國學生很少會過端午節、拒絕陪同馬來西亞留學生憑弔廣州歷史古蹟、對留學生敬拜祖先之情欠缺共鳴,都令馬來西亞留學生感到詫異。

承傳文化 營造共同體意識

文化營造與傳播的案例,不能不提生於緬甸仰光的胡文虎與他的報業集團。胡文虎在新加坡與香港等地創辦《星洲日報》與《星島日報》等報章,雖有建立自主平台營銷其藥廠產品的考慮,但也有使之成為「東南亞之現代中國文化燈塔」的願景。實踐這願景的方法之一,是在1930年代聘用旅居在新加坡的文人郁達夫為《星洲日報》副刊編輯。到香港以後,郁運用其人脈,邀得中國近代著名文人如沈從文、艾青、茅盾等人為《星島日報》供稿。胡文虎亦聘用中國漫畫家張光宇,他為《星島日報》編輯的抗日圖集,分發到東南亞之後,引起很大回響。可以說,胡文虎的傳媒王國,為連結中國大陸與海外華人、營造近代中國的共同體意識,扮演了很重要的角色。

英治下的香港相對自由與安全的環境、及其網絡,使之同樣扮演文化中心的角色。例如著名導演、武俠電影巨匠張徹曾言:「沒有香港電影,大陸的電影會要重走一遍30年來香港結合中國傳統和現代的路;沒有香港電影,台灣電影會萎縮成足不出台灣的『鄉土電影』」。又例如,香港的武術文化承傳,各派拳師移居香港,令此城得以匯聚南北武術;辛亥革命與抗日之時,這些拳師立足香港發揚中國武術。例如「東江三虎」之一的周家螳螂拳名家劉水,在1910年左右為避戰禍來港。1922年成立的香港精武會,亦有助北派武術在港落地生根,1920年代鷹爪門陳子正曾在香港精武會開班,期間更在香港大學、皇仁書院等地方授徒。南北武術聚於香港的背景,令香港的武術文化創作躍現,繼有受全球華人歡迎的武俠小說,著名的《黃飛鴻》電影亦問世,而這是星馬投資者、香港武林人士、以及與洪拳有淵源的創作者的合作成果。生於美國三藩市的李小龍在香港成長,於此武術氛圍下,曾拜師葉問學詠春,且習有洪拳、白鶴拳、譚腿等武術,及後他在美國留學再回香港拍電影,終於成為中國武術、甚至是華人的全球代言人,這得力於當時香港文化匯聚,與各種區域網絡。

回望香港人的身分認同

海外華人的身分認同形成,既涉個人選擇,亦與他們對西方殖民者的印象較中國民族主義者為佳有關。這些身分認同特質,都適用於香港。

閱讀日帝國統治下台灣人的身分認同,有助進一步理解香港意識。台灣人對日本帝國統治的複雜回應,就是台灣人願意學習日本所代表的進步與現代化、願意「同化於(日本)文明」,藉此奠下抵抗日本帝國統治的基礎,故此《同化之同床異夢─日治時期臺灣的語言政策、近代化與認同》作者陳培豐,以「同床異夢」形容台灣人以接受日語教育抵抗日本殖民的歷史。

以此角度看,英帝國的統治效果,較接近於殖民地子民,同時願意「同化於(英國)文明」與「同化於(英國)民族」,例子之一是:在英治下的新加坡,曾有視英國為祖國的海峽華人建議增援八國聯軍,清除義和團勢力。

當下中國之於香港,所面對的情況是,港人既不願意「同化於(中國)文明」 (亦即抗拒「大陸化」的心態,這可見於港人對中國大陸各種腐敗、造假、不道德行為的社會現象相當在意),也不願意「同化於(中華)民族」(這可見於「血濃於水」論受到愈來愈多的質疑)。與英日相比,中國更缺乏統治資源,因為中國政權無法以自身文明之「優越」、凸顯被統治者之「落後」來合理化其統治,最後只能訴諸於各種力量─例如資本與「人海」─來統治。這具體闡明香港的「一國兩制」有何「深層次矛盾」,但這點卻一直為香港論者所忽略。

永樂座《雙城對倒》座談會

 

同性戀婚姻違反了什麼?|想想論壇


或許有人會說,不管幾妻幾夫制,至少都是「陰陽結合」的模式呀,但同性婚姻卻違反了這個原則!持這種看法的人通常都著眼於婚姻的「生育功能」而發,馴至產生若允許同志婚姻,將造成人類滅絕的無稽妄想(難不成同志婚姻一旦合法,所有人都會變成同性戀?)。
同性戀婚姻違反了什麼?|想想論壇
http://www.thinkingtaiwan.com/content/5898

同性戀婚姻違反了什麼?

人氣指數: 431
友善列印版本

「反同」陣營近來對於同性婚姻議題的攻擊有愈演愈烈的趨勢,言論也益見扭曲,例如將同性婚姻與「性解放」、「性濫交」等劃上等號,並且言之鑿鑿地認為,這將嚴重影響下一代對「正確」婚姻觀、家庭觀,乃至性觀念的認識。筆者認為這些說法都只是「想當然耳」之詞,欠缺嚴謹的邏輯思辨與學理基礎。

來源:https://flic.kr/p/aPDPd2

常識以為,一陰一陽是萬物衍生不息的基礎,因此在一般人看來,一男一女的結合才是合乎「自然」的,二男或二女同性交合,就是違反自然的「變態」,「反同」論者所秉持的基本理據在此。這樣的想法並不符合生物界的事實,因為同性戀行為在人類以外的生物也時有所聞,加拿大生物學家布魯斯‧貝哲米(Bruce Bahemihl)即曾於1999年發表了一份調查超過300個物種的同性與雙性性行為報告。他並宣稱:「動物王國中同性、同性異性兼有及非交配性行為的普及性與多樣性都遠超過大部分科學學派和社會人士所願意接受的程度。」

即便有人認為上述情形衡諸生物界普遍的「陰陽結合」模式,仍屬「變例」,那麼,若要絕對順從陰陽相合的生物性,人類是否也該如同多數野生動物般,沒有固定的性伴侶,或甚至像獅群、黑猩猩般採行「一夫多妻」的社會模式,盡情地「濫交」?事實上,自古及今,這種由一男統御多女的情況,從來未曾自人類世界中消失,古代中國人三妻四妾固不待言,現今地球上許多國家,如孟加拉、伊朗、伊拉克等,依然奉行一夫多妻制。這種制度看在那些認定一男一女結婚、組成家庭才屬正常生物性者的眼中,恐怕不以為然(或說十分羨慕?),但在那些國家的文化習俗、宗教信仰,乃至法律制度中,卻「正常」至極。

準此看來,我們今天所熟知的一夫(男)一妻(女)制婚姻與家庭,顯然不能僅以生物性原則來解釋,而是具有複雜的人文意涵與社會意義。簡單來說,婚姻是一種文化建置,是一個社群中多數人所認同的結果,至於它是否完全符合人性的普遍需求,則屬見仁見智,否則也不必形諸法律條文明確地約束及處罰了。

既然如此,那麼婚姻絕對不是什麼放諸四海皆準且牢不可破的制度,只要一個社群中有極多數的人願意改變它,就具有調整的可能──一夫多妻、一妻多夫,或者如中國大陸境內的摩梭族般行「女尊男卑」的「走婚制」,孰云不可?至於同性婚姻,不正也能如此看待?

或許有人會說,不管幾妻幾夫制,至少都是「陰陽結合」的模式呀,但同性婚姻卻違反了這個原則!持這種看法的人通常都著眼於婚姻的「生育功能」而發,馴至產生若允許同志婚姻,將造成人類滅絕的無稽妄想(難不成同志婚姻一旦合法,所有人都會變成同性戀?)。事實上「生育」不過是婚姻的充分條件罷了,僅以是否生育來判斷婚姻的合理性,就跟面對同性戀時只看到性交的方式般狹隘,也完全輕視了婚姻的意義。試問台灣現今有多少一男一女的夫妻是沒有生育的?

相信多數人都同意,婚姻最重要的基礎在「愛情」,現代人之所以結婚,幾乎都是因為相愛,所以決定步入禮堂。也因此,我們通常聽到的離婚理由,不外是「我不愛他(她)了」之類的。然而,誰說「愛情」只能發生在一男一女之間?愛是人的本能,「同志」除了性別認同與異性戀者不同外,他們對愛情的真誠與執著,與一般人並無二致。筆者有一對男同志朋友,他們交往已超過20年,即使不見容於原生家庭,但對彼此的愛與忠誠,可能遠遠超過許多天天把「婚姻神聖」掛在嘴邊的異性戀者。難道只因他們是同性戀,所以純潔的愛情就不能得到祝福,甚至要招來惡毒的詛咒?相對的,不少視愛情如遊戲的異性戀者,因著一男一女文化建置上的認可,卻能自由自在地肆行於「結婚」、「離婚」的法律保障中?

來源:https://flic.kr/p/bWPU4p

同性戀是個人性別與身分的認同,具有不可任意侵犯的主體性意義,不論從哪個角度看,都找不出任何足以禁止同性相愛、既而合法結婚的理由──除了偏見吧!

 

5 Ways to Make Every Yoga Class More Restorative and Therapeutic


http://www.yogajournal.com/teach/5-ways-make-every-yoga-class-restorative-therapeutic/

5 Ways to Make Every Yoga Class More Restorative and Therapeutic

In part four of our series on teaching trauma-sensitive yoga, teacher Daniel Sernicola shares five practices to help your students get grounded and cultivate mindfulness.

One of yoga’s primary aims is to bring us squarely into the present moment, which is especially important and especially difficult for trauma survivors. Present-moment experiences offer trauma survivors a chance to live “without feeling or behaving according to irrelevant demands belonging to the past,” according to Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., author of The Body Keeps the Score. But it’s also more challenging for traumatized people than non-traumatized people to be present, says David Emerson, author of Overcoming Trauma Through Yoga. The good news? We can all get better at it with practice. “Over time through a mindfulness practice, we can build a map of the mind, notice our habitual thought patterns, and develop patience and compassion for our minds,’ says Christopher Willard, PSYD, author of Growing Up Mindful: Essential Practices to Help Children, Teens, and Families Find Balance, Calm, and Resilience. Here, a few key strategies for helping trauma survivors—and everyone else—in your yoga classes get grounded and present.

1. Anchor the mind.

“All practices that strengthen concentration or mindfulness use an anchor,” Willard says. He recommends inviting students to rest their attention on something—the body, the breath, movement, the senses, an image, numbers, a word or phrase—to anchor them to the present moment.

2. Cultivate mindfulness from the ground up.

“Start with simple things that can help students feel grounded and centered,” says yoga teacher Marcia Miller. She likes to start class by rolling the feet over massage balls to create heightened sensations in the feet that make it easier to feel grounded. “Then, I might ask questions like these throughout the class, ‘Can you feel how your feet are touching the floor? Can you feel the weight of your hips on the chair? Can you feel the texture of the fabric on your arms? What are the sensations you are feeling right now because of the pose we just did? Where exactly are they? Do you enjoy these sensations?’” See also What All Yoga Teachers Need to Know About Teaching Trauma Survivors

3. Be sure to include breath practice.

We are seldom taught how to breathe and yet, a number of studies “cite evidence that yogic breathwork may be efficacious for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder and for victims of mass disasters,” says Amy Weintraub, author of Yoga Skills for Therapists: Effective Practices for Mood Management. She suggests using three-part breath and breath retention among other techniques, adding that “control of the breath not only enables language but gives us a measure of control over our mood.” Ancient yogis knew that breath regulation could help manage and regulate feelings and moods. Studies have shown that breathwork may be helpful in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, and for victims of mass disasters. “Finding and experimenting with new ways of breathing may be a way for folks to feel better in their bodies,” Emerson says. Breath practice is an effective tool all students can take home and use to help with anxiety outside of class. Try the 7-11 Breath, as taught by Christopher Willard, PSYD. He suggests breathing in for a count of 7 and breathing out for a count of 11, suggesting that this practice can reset the breath to “regulate, shift, and stabilize energy and mood.”

4. Give a nurturing Savasana.

For some, Savasana is the most welcomed pose of a yoga class. For others, it can be a difficult and uncomfortable experience. Offer choices for resting by providing suggestions on how to set up for Savasana or encouraging students to do what feels comfortable for them: sit up, lie down, use a bolster under their legs, a folded blanket under their head, a folded blanket over their belly, or a blanket to cover up with. Encourage students to close their eyes or soften their gaze, knowing some may only feel comfortable keeping their eyes wide open. Remind students that Savasana will only last a few minutes and that they can come out whenever they like.

5. Take it to the next level with Yoga Nidra.

Yoga Nidra is “a sequence of meditation practices that help you feel connected to yourself, with others, and to the world around you,” according to Richard Miller, PhD. Miller has adapted this practice, calling it Integrated Restoration, or iRest. He describes it as a guided progressive scan of the body incorporating the tools of intention, body-sensing, breath-sensing, awareness, and more. Miller has had great success treating populations suffering from trauma and PTSD with his research-based method. He says these self-care tools help students “experience self-mastery, resilience, and well-being.” Don’t be surprised if your students fall asleep, as their mind is able to release and relax in this deeply grounding practice. See also 5 Ways to Create a Safe Yoga Space for Trauma Survivors

Daniel-Sernicola-by-Jared-PetersenAbout Our Expert
Daniel Sernicola, teaches yoga in Columbus, Ohio, with his partner, Jake Hays. They are committed to the empowerment of their students and specialize in creating compassionate, safe, and inclusive yoga environments. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram @danjayoga.


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自然建築資訊-161208-日本食通信&台灣版食通信


 

感謝成大黃偉茹老師以及楊璨如女士提供關於日本食通信以及台灣版食通信的訊息.

 

對於關心台灣農業與食安問題的朋友,這應該會是一個極具意義與啟發價值的模式.

建議有興趣的朋友依序點入以下網頁閱讀.

http://okapi.books.com.tw/article/9112

https://www.facebook.com/taiwantaberume/

讀完前兩項後覺得很想再進一步了解的朋友,這份雲端裡面的資料很值得參考,建議可花一些時間下載研讀.

https://1drv.ms/f/s!AlXNkUUX1N3Sjg33Negi_XQC62Y1

 

以下並貼附相關通信二封,幫助大家了解台灣版食通信的進展情形.

From: 楊璨如
Sent: Thursday, December 8, 2016 11:08 AM
To:
Cc:
Subject: Re: 食通信

 

各位先進

謝謝偉茹老師願意發起這個社群平台的討論
過年期間,嘉潁將回台,我們將在台中舉行一個小型討論會
交流一下高橋先生的訪台行程與舉辦方式
屆時我會通知時間給台灣夥伴們
如果有時間歡迎共襄盛舉

我們初步想法是邀請高橋二月訪台進行[圍坐座談會]
可能會以願意發起的縣市為主
日本食通信的目標是建構國際食通信
台灣必須建構各自鄉鎮市的特有模式
不一定是出版業喔(詳看簡報資料)
目標是"讓一級產業重現生氣與活力"
期許能在台灣遍地開花、營造城鄉生命與風貌

我們團隊將進行相關農業的田野調查與意願訪查
針對高橋先生的簡報來進行研討,進行初步自我診斷
再把作業成果彙整與高橋先生對話
台灣各地夥伴們一點也不孤單喔~

璨如

 

From: W.J. Huang (Astor)
Sent: Thursday, December 8, 2016 9:01 AM
To:
Cc:
Subject: 食通信

 

各位夥伴:

 

之前大家有談到農漁村產業的議題,不知道各位是否知道日本食通信? (參http://okapi.books.com.tw/article/9112 ,其他相關資料檔案過大,請至雲端下載https://1drv.ms/f/s!AlXNkUUX1N3Sjg33Negi_XQC62Y1)

 

朋友楊燦如將邀請創刊人高橋博之二月來台交流,燦如初步的構想是參與的團隊共同 share高橋的旅資,各自工作坊的錢由各自邀約的團隊自行支付。原則上高橋的每日支付費用參考行政院訂的標準,每日11000元起。有興趣的夥伴,歡迎洽詢加入。

 

此外,燦如本身也投入發起台灣版的食通信(https://www.facebook.com/taiwantaberume/),有興趣進一步了解的夥伴也歡迎follow這個專頁,因為還在籌備期,資訊還不很多,請大家包涵。

 

平安

 

 

Chinese Delivery Industry Leaves Trail of Tape and Cardboard


http://www.sixthtone.com/news/chinese-delivery-industry-leaves-trail-tape-and-cardboard#

Oct 24, 2016

The ever-growing appetite of the surging Chinese express industry for cardboard boxes and transparent adhesive tape has brought about mass waste of wrapping materials in China, according to a report issued Thursday by the country’s State Post Bureau.

According to the bureau’s report, which plots trends in the environmental impact of China’s delivery industry, Chinese courier companies in 2015 used a total of almost 17 billion meters of adhesive tape. That’s enough to encircle the earth’s equator 425 times. Over the same period 9.9 billion cardboard boxes and 8.3 billion plastic sleeves were used.

“Although the recycling rate of wrappings in the express industry is higher than that in other industries, the sheer volume of the packages is too big to prevent plastic pollution,” Mao Da, a senior researcher with the Beijing-based activist group Rock Environment and Energy Institute, told Sixth Tone.

Adhesive tape not only adds to the country’s plastic waste woes, but also means that the cardboard boxes on which it is stuck are less easy to recycle or reuse, said Xing Kai, chairman of Beijing-based Yiside Logistics Technology Co. Ltd. Xing’s company produces almost entirely biodegradable boxes that don’t need adhesive plastic tape to seal and that can be opened with a single tearing motion. To seal an average box, about 1.1 to 1.5 meters of tape are used, Xing told Sixth Tone. Excessive use of tape, he said, meant that only about 20 percent of packages delivered in 2015 were reused.

Xing is one of a number of industry figures calling for a shift in the way resources are used and managed by delivery companies.

“Completely biodegradable wrappings do exist,” said Tong Wenhong, CEO of internet-based logistics and supply chain platform Cainiao Network Technology, at a conference organized by the China Post Express Daily in Beijing on Thursday. But delivery companies, he said, don’t use them because the costs are too high. According to Tong, for batches of over 10 million packages, the change to biodegradable wrappings would add about 0.5 yuan ($0.07) to the production cost of each package.

Xing’s company has been marketing its boxes without the use of adhesive tape in China for the past one and a half years. Cost remains an issue in the promotion of the company’s products, he said. “The cost of our box is about 10 to 50 percent higher than that of a conventional box needing adhesive tape,” Xing added.

In June, Cainiao announced that the company and its 32 business partners had pledged to do away with plastic materials and replace 50 percent of the wrappings with completely biodegradable materials by 2020.

For the short term, however, delivery companies’ use of cardboard and plastic tape looks to only go up. A May report predicted the industry would deliver 27.5 billion packages in 2016, a yearly increase of 34 percent.

(Header image: A deliveryman handles packages at a warehouse in Chengdu, Sichuan province, Nov. 11, 2013. Hao Fei/VCG)

 

中國網購風潮背後的垃圾巨獸


http://e-info.org.tw/node/201686?utm_source=%E7%92%B0%E5%A2%83%E8%B3%87%E8%A8%8A%E9%9B%BB%E5%AD%90%E5%A0%B1&utm_campaign=9f9e27122e-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2016_12_07&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f99f939cdc-9f9e27122e-84956681

中國網購風潮背後的垃圾巨獸

 建立於 2016/12/08

作者:閆傑(第六聲記者)

熱鬧的網絡購物節剛剛落幕,但消費者可能不知道:如果把2015年中國所有快遞包裹上的膠帶連起來,可以繞地球425圈。

隨著中國快遞行業的蓬勃發展,包裝材料的浪費現像也日益嚴重。
圖片來源: weibo

國家郵政局10月20日發布的一份報告顯示,隨著中國快遞行業的蓬勃發展,包裝箱和透明膠帶需求日益增長,包裝材料浪費現象十分嚴重。

這份報告引起了人們對中國快遞行業發展帶來的環境問題的關注。 根據該報告,2015年中國快遞業使用的膠帶總長度約為170億米,足以繞地球赤道425圈,同期消耗的包裝箱約99億個,塑料袋近83億個。

磐石環境與能源研究所(北京)高級研究員毛達在接受「第六聲」採訪時表示:「雖然快遞行業包裝材料的回收率高於其他行業,但面對如此大的體量,我們很難避免塑料污染問題。」

北京一撕得物流技術有限公司董事長邢凱表示,大量使用膠帶不僅會加劇中國的塑料污染問題,而且還會不利於包裝箱的回收再利用。 邢凱的公司所生產的包裝箱幾乎完全使用可降解材料,不需要塑料膠帶封箱,一撕即開。 邢凱向「第六聲」透露,密封一個包裝箱平均需要使用1.1-1.5米膠帶,而濫用膠帶導致2015年快遞包裝箱的重複使用率只有20%左右。

除邢凱之外,許多業內人士也呼籲快遞企業轉變資源的使用和管理方式。

10月20日,在《中國郵政快遞報》社主辦的北京「快遞最後1公里峰會」上,互聯網物流和供應鏈平台菜鳥網絡科技有限公司CEO童文紅說道:「真正完全可降解的袋子是有的,」但是,快遞公司不會採用這些材料,因為成本太高了。 童文紅表示,若使用可降解的環保包裝,一個公司即使一天幾千萬單量,平均每單成本大概也會提高0.5元左右。

在過去一年半裡,邢凱的公司一直在推銷自己生產的無膠帶包裝箱,然而價格一直是其推廣的一大障礙。 他說:「我們的箱子比常規需要膠帶的價格高出10-50%。」

今年6月,菜鳥網絡宣布將聯合32家商業合作夥伴,共同承諾棄用塑料包裝材料,到2020年將50%的包裝材料替換為完全可降解綠色包材。

然而從短期來看,快遞公司包裝箱和膠帶使用量只會有增無減。 今年5月發布的《2015年度中國快遞發展指數報告》預計,2016年中國快遞行業業務量將達275億件,同比增長34%。

※ 本文轉載自 中外對話,英文原文刊載於six tone 

※ 參考資料 「買買買」背後的「天量」快遞垃圾何去何從?

 

Four of world’s biggest cities to ban diesel cars from their centres


https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/02/four-of-worlds-biggest-cities-to-ban-diesel-cars-from-their-centres

Four of world’s biggest cities to ban diesel cars from their centres

Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City will ban the most polluting cars and vans by 2025 to tackle air pollution

Cars sit in traffic in Mexico City, Mexico
Cars sit in traffic in Mexico City, Mexico. Photograph: Brett Gundlock/Getty Images

Four of the world’s biggest cities are to ban diesel vehicles from their centres within the next decade, as a means of tackling air pollution, with campaigners urging other city leaders to follow suit.

The mayors of Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City announced plans on Friday to take diesel cars and vans off their roads by 2025.

Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, led the initiative at the C40 conference of mayorson climate change, taking place in Mexico this week. She said: “Mayors have already stood up to say that climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face. Today, we also stand up to say we no longer tolerate air pollution and the health problems and deaths it causes, particularly for our most vulnerable citizens.”

“Soot from diesel vehicles is among the big contributors to ill health and global warming,” added Helena Molin Valdés, head of the United Nations’ climate and clean air coalition, noting that more than nine out of 10 people around the globe live where air pollution exceeds World Health Organisation safety limits.

Miguel Ángel Mancera, mayor of Mexico City, said increasing investments in public transport would also help clean the city’s air, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Giorgos Kaminis, mayor of Athens, said his goal was to remove all cars from the city centre. The city authorities will also work with national governments and manufacturers, and promote electric vehicles and cleaner transport.

Recent research has uncovered the scale of the problem, with 3 million premature deaths a year attributed to dirty air, as well as millions of other illnesses, particularly in children.

Green campaigners welcomed the announcement, saying it showed that it was possible to clean up big cities.

Alan Andrews, lawyer at the NGO ClientEarth, whose legal victory has forced a UK government re-think of air pollution plans, said: “This shows political leaders across the world are waking up to the damage diesel is doing to our health. But 2025 is a long time away when you consider the 467,000 premature deaths caused by air pollution in Europe [alone] every year.”

He called on other leaders to “go further and faster [with] bold new measures”.

Jenny Bates, of Friends of the Earth, added: “This bold move to get rid of diesels, the most polluting vehicles, is exactly what is needed. We need cleaner vehicles and fewer of them. Getting rid of diesel is essential and we must also give people genuine alternatives to driving.”

She also called on London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, to phase out diesel vehicles from the city by 2025, and for new clean air zones in all of the UK’s cities and major towns, with funding taken away from roads to promote sustainable alternative transport.

Diesel fuel use is a key cause of air pollution in cities, as the engines produce nitrogen dioxide, a harmful gas, and tiny particulates that can lodge in the lungs. These forms of pollution can also interact with other substances to create, in some conditions, a toxic soup.

Yet diesel use has been rising in many countries, partly for economic reasons and partly as a consequence of measures to combat climate change – diesel vehicles burn fuel more efficiently than conventional petrol engines, reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

It is not clear whether diesel vehicles in the four cities will be subject to a total ban, or what areas of the cities will be covered. Some cities already have measures in place intended to reduce congestion and clean up the air, such as low-emission zones that involve traffic restrictions.

Last year, the Volkswagen Group was engulfed by scandal when it was discovered that some of its diesel cars contained technology to disguise the true level of their harmful emissions.

 

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