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  • CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACT ON ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN SECURITY

    According to the majority of experts, without doubt, climate change represents one of the most significant threats to environmental security and basic human rights. Researches show that the effects of the climate are already being observed across the globe. 

    Data reveal that the climate change has a strong impact on the human population with an estimated 325 million people adversely affected, and 300,000 deaths each year.

    Studies outline that the climate change is undermining environmental conditions, threatening the most basic human rights to life, food,shelter, health, and water.

    Additionally, the severe effects of the climate change will worsen existing poverty levels undermining social and economic development, reports say.

    The climate change is causing alarming effects in different areas of the world: developing countries and small island states are more vulnerable to its adverse impact due to high exposure to physical changes and low capacity to adapt.

    In this context, many experts have stressed the urgency to plan adequate adaptation strategies to address the climate change related issues. In that way, financial and logistical assistance to vulnerable countries could help them to face this situation.

    Environmental factors caused by climate change have significant consequences on migration. Data show that in oceans, the climate change is reducing the quantity and diversity of fish species and other marine life with negative consequences for the 520 million people relying on fisheries for food and income. Moreover, the studies explain that inAfrica, an estimated 10 million people have migrated over the last two decades due to environmental degradation and other environmental problems including desertification.

    Furthermore, recent reports have outlined the urgency of this situation suggesting that about 12 million people has fallen into poverty due to the impact of the climate change.

    In line with that, researchers show that already 26 million people have been displaced as a direct result of the climate change: additionally, by 2050, this number could increase to 200 million people.

    In this framework, it is immediately clear that the severity of the situation request urgent action: the international community must undertake strong measures to reduce consumption, saving energy and reducing global emissions, in order to stop the lasting threat of forced migration caused by environmental issues.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    EPSEI project

    Wednesday, 15 October 2014

    (Source: EJF)

  • CHINA: CONCERNS AND CHALLENGES OF GM FOOD

    Genetically modified food has been recently under the spotlight as one of the most challenging issue of the Chinese political agenda, raising strong debates about food security related issues.

    The possibility to grow genetically modified rice and corn has raised many doubts and questions. According to experts, this modified food thanks to their characteristics can lead to energy savings and more efficient land use. However, these projects had attracted particular attention for the potential risks they could entail.

    Establishing strategies to guarantee people enough food on the table is a political priority in most countries. This issue is particularly important in China, with one-fifth of the world’s population and only 8% of its arable land.

    Agricultural biotechnology has been played a central role as a significant government priority for many years. Additionally, in recent times China has recorded a significant increase in the production, sale and consumption of meat; in this context, some food represents a key innovation in order to increase the efficiency,  reducing the environmental costs of this expansion.

    On the other hand, the existent Chinese anti-GM movement reflects the emergence of a large public debate.

    In this framework, scientists have played an important role stressing the urgency for the government to undertake adequate measures: last year, a petition to the country’s leaders, highlighted the importance to improve the promotion of industrialized cultivation of GM rice, in order to safeguard and protect the national interest.

    Moreover, some experts have highlighted that an adequate and clever use of genetic modification will help protect the environmental safety.

    However, the public debate regarded to the GM food in China needs to take into account many deeper issues as public concerns around regulation and risks of food safety - problems that China has been facing  in recent years.

    As researchers have outlined, the complexity of the situation entails other concerns with implications not only for food safety, but leading also to other effects, such as the widespread overuse of chemical pesticides, soil erosion, fragmentation of rural communities, rising social inequality.

    In that way, experts say that focusing exclusively on one vision of high-tech innovation could undermine avenues for engagement on scientific and environmental decision-making, underestimating emergent innovations that could address Chinese agricultural and environmental challenges.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    EPSEI project

    Wednesday, 15 October 2014

    (Source: ChinaDialogue)

  • CHINA: CHILDREN’S EXPOSURE TO THE SEVERE DEGREE OF AIR POLLUTION

    Air pollution represents one of the most challenging and also urgent issue that China has to face with concrete strategies.

    The severe level of pollution that Chinese cities experience represents a great threat especially for children that are the most vulnerable to the effects of environmental related issues.

    In that context, there are many concerns and doubts about the strategies to undertake in order to address smog, particularly when it comes to young children.

    Moreover, many Chinese schools have been criticized for their handling of the problem. For example one elementary school came under the spotlight for taking children on an outing on a smoggy day.

    According to experts, children’s respiratory and immune systems are not fully developed, and they have less of the nose hair that helps filter pollution. Additionally, children breathe a proportionately greater level of air than adults that means more pollutants are inhaled per unit of body weight, and are more likely to be involved in vigorous activity, the Natural Resources Defence Council has explained. Consequently, this is believed to make children more vulnerable to the effects of pollution.

    Recent studies have stressed that long-term exposure to pollution makes children more likely to develop respiratory infections and asthma. Additionally, the severe degree of pollution can even represent a factor able to increase the risk of lung cancer.

    Data show that a third of China’s 30 million known asthmatics are children: two in every 10 youngsters now have the condition. As experts outline, asthma is caused by a mixture of genetic and environmental factors, among which pollution is one of the most important. 

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    EPSEI project

    Wednesday, 15 October 2014

    (Source: ChinaDialogue)

  • US EAST COAST CITIES: FLOODING CAUSED BY CLIMATE CHANGE

    A new report warns that dozens of America’s east coast cities will face routine tidal flooding caused by climate change.

    According to the study, Miami will undertake adequate measures deploying new pumps to hold back the waters of the King Tides, the highest annual high tides, which are projected to crest at 3.5 feet (1.07m). In addition to that, researchers have explained that other cities are going to have to establish similar strategies in order to avoid the same kind of problems in the future.

    The report also has alarmingly forecast that most of the towns on America’s east coast will see triple the number of flooding events by 2030.

    Furthermore, the research has shown that by 2045 tidal floods will seep further inland, and last even longer.

    Many coastal cities already face dozens of small tidal floods every year, lasting only a few hours. However, the frequency of such events will increase because of sea level rise, the report says.

    To highlight the urgency of this situation, the study has indicated that some east coast towns have recorded four times as many flood days as in 1970. To make an example, Washington DC, that already experiences flooding from the Potomac River during hurricanes, will have to deal with chronic flooding, with 388 occurrences a year by 2045.

    Moreover, researchers indicate that the frequency of these floods will worsen over time: by 2045, half of the towns can expect to see more than 100 tidal floods a year. Also, nine of those towns would face tidal floods 240 times a year by 2045. 

    In this framework, experts have stressed that without serious intervention, frequent flooding will undermine daily life, changing the way an area functions.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    EPSEI project

    Wednesday, 15 October 2014

    (Source: ChinaDialogue)

     

  • CLIMATE CHANGE INCREASING DISPLACEMENT, POVERTY AND CONFLICTS

    According to the IPCC, the climate change will force people into increasing poverty and displacement, exacerbating the factors leading to conflicts.

    Moreover, the risk of displacement increases when populations who lack the resources to migrate experience higher exposure to extreme weather events, particularly in low-income developing countries.

    Changes in migration patterns can be responses to both extreme weather events and longer-term climate variability and change: in that way, migration can also be an effective adaptation strategy.

    The IPCC’s March 2014 report has also indicated that climate change can indirectly increase risks of violent conflicts in the form of civil war and inter-group violence, amplifying drivers of these conflicts such as poverty and economic shocks.

    Many studies link climate variability to these forms of conflict. However, experts recognize that it is difficult to single out climatic and environmental factors as the unique driver of the population movements. To make an example, the major flow of Somalis into Kenya in 2012 and 2013 was caused by the drought and famine affecting Somalia, but also by the disruption caused by armed groups.

    Additionally, individuals and communities displaced by disasters and climate change and those displaced by conflicts often have to face the same kind of problem and deprivation. Regarded to that, experts are stressing that this people needs the same strong protection to those whose flight is provoked by armed violence or human rights abuses.

    In this framework, providing support represents a humanitarian imperative.

    According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, establishing strategies to address this challenging situation represents also our common interest, because if we fail to find sustainable solutions for displaced populations, we will be creating the conditions in which further violation of international peace and security are certain to occur.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    EPSEI project

    Tuesday, 14 October 2014

    (Source: UNHCR)

  • CLIMATE CHANGE & DISPLACEMENT: AN ALARMING SITUATION

    In June 2008, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) has established a Task Force on Climate Change.

    UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other partners were instrumental, stressing the importance to find concrete solutions to cross-border displacement.

    The relation between human mobility, climate change and disasters and the willingness of specialized agencies to undertake effective responses represented the key issues of the debates.

    These international efforts led to the he adoption of Paragraph 14 (f) of Decision 1 CP/16 of the COP 16 held in Cancún in 2010. This new Paragraph has represented a step forward, inviting all States parties to cooperate in order to establish effective and concrete measures to enhance understanding and coordination with regard to climate change induced displacement at the national, regional and international levels. This decision represented an important basis to improve further actions in order to address human mobility caused by climate change. Additionally, this decision represents a significant incentive for adaptation funding to foster strategies on migration, displacement and planned relocation.

    Furthermore, states, UNHCR and other participants in the Bellagio Roundtable on Climate Change and Displacement highlighted the importance to establish a global guiding framework on displacement caused by climate change, in order to guarantee to people forced to move due to environmental factors the same protection of those covered by the 1951 Refugee Convention.

    In line with that, in June 2011, Norway’s Nansen Conference on Climate Change and Displacement established some important principles including recognition of the importance to achieve a more coherent approach at the international level, in order to meet the adequate level of protection. Additionally, this Conference was established with the aim of obtaining a better understanding of such cross border movements at relevant regional and sub-regional levels, developing consensus on how to assist in the best way and protect the affected people.

    Following this path, in March 2014 UNHCR, together with the Brookings Institution and Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of International Migration, organized a consultation on relocation and climate change, especially analysing the complex issue of planned relocations made necessary by disasters, severe environmental degradation, and the longer-term effects of climate change.

    To reinforce this result, UNHCR and other key actors such as the Brookings Institution and ISIM will continue to foster their cooperation to advance the discussion on the issue of planned relocation in the context of disasters and climate change.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Tuesday, 14 October 2014

    (Source: UNHCR)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • ITALY: THE LASTING FLOW OF IRREGULAR MIGRANTS

    Data reveal that 8,736 irregular Syrian migrants have arrived in Italy by sea in recent weeks, bringing the total number of Syrian arrivals this year through the end of September to 32,681. This figure represents the largest number from any country, overtaking 32,537 from Eritrea. According to the IOM Rome spokesperson, in September, there were more Syrians than Eritreans.

    Experts explain that both groups are fleeing from war and persecution: they represent almost half of the total number of migrants and asylum seekers arriving in Italy by sea.

    Moreover, some reports indicate that the number of Palestinian migrants has significantly increased in Italy over the past two months.

    Experts say that through the end of September, Italy received a total of some 4,223 people arriving by sea claiming Palestinian nationality.

    According to the IOM, these migrants include many Palestinians who were living in Syria and others who were living in Egypt.

    Additionally, the arrival of thousands of more migrants over the past month shows that few were discouraged by news of the tragic sinking of a vessel near Malta in early September.

    A report of the IOM from Egypt and Gaza has alarmingly indicated that whole families were traveling together on the vessel. To make an example of this serious situation, one family is believed to have had as many as 30 members on board. In this context, law enforcement agencies in three countries, Italy, Greece and Malta are investigating the incident, with assistance from Interpol.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Monday, 13 October 2014

    (Source: IOM)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • CLIMATE CHANGE: THE URGENCY TO ADDRESS THE EFFECTS OF GLOBAL WARMING ON HUMAN HEALTH

    A recent study has shown the effects of climate change on human health, stressing that tackling climate change with adequate instruments leads to many health and economic benefits.

    This study describes the health risks associated with climate change. According to the authors, increases in infectious diseases, decreased food security, and more mental stress are just some of the lesser reported effects that we are seeing and will continue to face.

    The study suggests that health care professionals may play a significant role in communicating the related potential health concerns and the co-benefits from measures as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    Moreover, the study highlights that both migration and adaptation represent important instrument to take on changes associated with human emissions of greenhouse gases. In that way, the study suggests adaptation strategies such as increased public green spaces and more robust infrastructures.

    In addition to that, the report has forecast that more than 2000 excessive heat-wave related deaths per year may occur in Chicago; adding that mega-heat waves may increase by 500-1000% in Europe over the next few decades. Experts also indicate that days with high temperatures will increase in major cities.

    In this context, the authors stress that water contamination represents one of the most challenging issues related to climate change. Some sources including surface waters, streams, lakes and rivers can be expected to contain bacteria, viruses and other pathogens which can cause diarrhoea and death, especially in small children: due to extreme precipitation events and floods, also clean water sources can become contaminated.

    In relation to that, improving water infrastructure and reducing greenhouse gas emissions would represent an adequate strategy to mitigate flood-related water contamination.

    Furthermore, reinforcing the use of renewable energy will be a positive and effective signal in order to fight climate change related issues.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    EPSEI project

    Monday, 13 October 2014

    (Source: The Guardian)

  • COMPANIES FAIL TO REVEAL BASIC INFORMATION ON SUSTAINABILITY INDICATORS

    A new report has shown that only 128 of the 4,609 largest companies listed on the world’s stock exchanges reveal the most basic information on how they satisfy their responsibilities to society.

    The study realized by Corporate Knights Capital suggests that 97% of these companies are failing to provide data on the full set of the so called first-generation sustainability indicators including employee turnover, energy, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), injury rate, pay equity, waste and water.

    Regarded to that, the study alarms that more than 60% of the world’s largest listed companies currently fail to disclose their GHGs. Additionally, three quarters are not transparent about their water consumption and even 88% do not divulge their employee turnover rate.

    According to the authors, there is a direct link between transparency and companies' substantive action to improve their performance.

    In this way, corporate reporting reform should encourage behaviour that improves longer-term value creation in order to achieve financial stability and sustainability, the International Integrated Reporting Council suggests.

    Experts stress the importance to achieve a global mandate and a globally co-ordinated approach to corporate sustainability reporting, clearly understood and consistently applied. This strategy will reduce difficulties in interpretation and implementation for companies operating in different countries and markets.

    Moreover, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has determined global standards focusing in recent years on financial transparency. Additionally, over the coming months it will start looking at the responsibilities of companies around non-financial reporting.

    In that context, the recent EU Parliament’s directive on non-financial and diversity information will drive to an increase in reporting on the seven first-generation indicators.

    Furthermore, institutions, businesses and investors must undertake new direction thinking about value creation in a holistic sense, especially as they try to establish long-term value.

    In this framework, experts highlight that businesses and companies leading the way are those that are responding to the changing needs of their stakeholder community, society and the external environment. In relation to that, the decrease of corporate reporting on the first-generation indicators stands in contrast to investors’ growing interest in establishing sustainable investment strategies.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    POREEN project

    Monday, 13 October 2014

    (Source: The Guardian) 

  • UAE: DOMESTIC MIGRANT WORKERS FACE SEVERE HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

    According to Human Rights Watch, migrant domestic workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are exploited and trapped in forced labour situations. The report shows that the UAE government has failed to protect adequately female domestic workers from severe abuse by employers and recruiters.

    This report describes how the UAE’s visa sponsorship system, known as kafala, and the lack of labour law protection leaves domestic migrant workers exposed to severe abuses. Related to that, workers, most from Asia and Africa, cannot move to find a new job without the employer’s consent, staying trapped in abusive conditions.

    Moreover, experts stress that labour-sending countries have failed to undertake adequate instruments to protect workers against deceptive recruitment practices. In that way, these countries have failed to provide assistance to abused nationals abroad, the report says.

    Rothna Begum, Middle East women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch, has highlighted that without an adequate legal framework and concrete labour law protection for domestic workers, employers can overwork and underpay migrants, leaving workers at risk of abuse.

    In order to understand this complex situation; Human Rights Watch has interviewed female domestic workers in the UAE, recruitment agencies and lawyers. Additionally, Human Rights Watch has sent letters to UAE ministries and bodies to seek information, request meetings, and present its findings. However, the UAE government has not addressed any domestic worker issues.

    According to the interviews, domestic workers have revealed their conditions: they were not paid, without rest periods or time off, confined in the employer’s homes, with working days of up to 21 hours. Furthermore, workers have described that they were compelled to live without food, reporting also psychological, physical, and sexual abuse.

    Data show that 146,000 female domestic migrant workers, many from countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Ethiopia work in the UAE.

    In this framework, reports reveal that embassies or consulates in the UAE do not have shelters or adequate measures to face this alarming situation

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Friday, 24 October 2014

    (Source: HumanRightsWatch)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • NEW OPERATIONS AGAINST ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES IN HONG KONG

    Hong Kong Customs conducted special operations against illicit cigarette activities.

    As a result, 920,000 sticks of illicit cigarettes were seized. The total market value was about HK$2.4 million (US$310,000) with a duty potential of around HK$1.8 million (US$232,000). The way used by illicit cigarette offenders was telephone ordering and distributing leaflets to targeted customers.

    The special operations are ongoing.

    The telephone ordering is the predominant means of transaction in this illicit market. Offenders attempt to employ a special operation mode to evade Customs' detection, but Customs adopts strategies with the aim to smash illegal selling and distribution of this good by telephone ordering, thereby intercepting the supply chain from source to the retail level.

    Until now, Customs detected a total of 146 suspected illicit cigarette cases involving telephone ordering with seizure of 1.9 million sticks of cigarettes: a significant number if compared with last year.

    Now, Customs will continue to closely monitor the situation and conduct enforcement action to prevent these illegal activities.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Monday, 1 September 2014

    (Source: Asia IP Law)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • MORE THAN 12 BILLION PEOPLE, THE GROWTH OF POPULATION IS THE NEW ALARM FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

    New analysis says the population of the planet will not stabilize at nine billion. There is an 80% probability that global population will keep rising this century, reaching 12.3 billion.

    According to the US journal Science, this has alarming implications for political stability, food security and climate change, since greater numbers of people mean greater demands on agricultural land, water and fuel.

    In fact, women in Africa are still having larger families (contraceptives are not available and mortality linked to HIV infection has been reduced).So, by the end of the century, Africa will have to feed between 3.5 billion and 5.1 billion.

    In Asia, population will peak at 5 billion in 2050, while growth in North America, Europe and Latin America are expected to stay below 1 billion in each region.
    The study makes no reference to the climate change, but population, economic growth and global warming are inexorably linked.

    Most greenhouse-gas emissions and climate-change predictions have been based on the long-standing assumption that the planet’s burden of humans will peak around 2050, and then begin a slow decline.

    But recent research suggests that while climate change will open more land in higher latitudes for potential crop growth, the gains will not be great, because the conditions for multiple harvests in the tropics will be reduced. Moreover, land available for crops is disappearing under cement as the world’s cities grow.

    But these are all projections, rather than predictions. Armed with such information, governments could take steps to ensure a more secure future.

    One way to stop the fertility decline could be helped by better access to contraception, and by the education of women, especially in country like Africa where the increasing of people could lead to resource shortages, which in turn could affect population size through unexpected mortality, migration or fertility effects.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    EPSEI project

    Friday, 19 September  2014

    (Source: China Dialogue)

  • CHINESE TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES PREPARE TO PATENT WARS

    In the past years, Chinese high-tech companies have been purchasing vast amounts of patents showing their maturity to go global. Many argue it’s not a commercial predation strategy, but rather a mere adoption of commercial rules to play in global technology markets.

    Analysts have pointed out that for Chinese companies aiming to conquer foreign markets leadership; they have to be backed with patent “stocks” in case of infringement allegations.

    Although one of the main reasons to purchase intellectual property rights (IPRs) is exactly to confront with patent wars, there’s another way through which Chinese technology companies are coming into possession of strategic patents: mergers and acquisitions.

    This mean allows absorbing and taking advantage of the other party’s portfolio producing the same effects of a patent purchase.

    It’s necessary to highlight that this phenomenon is not circumscribed to a Chinese trend, but the raise of these companies in international markets make patent disputes potentially more mischievous. Luckily this trend is not exclusively bound to patent trolling; indeed, it also multiplies the chances ofcooperation and cross-licensing - technology pooling arrangements in which participating firms grant licenses to one another.

    Nevertheless it’s undeniable that the most controversial aspect of large-scale patent purchases remains the extent to which patent law provides competitive gains in the courtroom instead of merely protect IPRs violated by unfair competition. Indeed it’s no surprise that many tech giants strategically exploit legal battles to stop or simply slow down competitors, turning bulk patent purchase into effective weapons.

    Apparently, this is not the case: rather than challenging global tech giants, Chinese companies are only adopting a prudential approach to realize their objectives of global expansion by playing with already set international commercial rules.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Friday, 10 October 2014

    (Source: CKGSB Knowledge)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

     

     

  • STOP THE HEAVY METAL IN CHINESE FOOD

    In China, an ordinary day’s menu shows that Chinese people are eating too much of the toxic heavy metal, such as aluminium and potassium, with serious impacts on health and children development.

    On June 16, the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA) published China’s first major report on the problem, which found that almost a third of the population is ingesting more aluminium than is considered safe. The CFSA found aluminium levels exceeding the legal limit of 100 milligrammes (mg) per kilogrammes (kg) in 40% of cases (youtiao, the deep-fried dough sticks eaten at breakfast, breached the limit by 72%, steamed buns by 28%. Jellyfish contains unacceptable levels of the heavy metal; in fact excess aluminium was present in every single sample of jellyfish tested).

    These additives are used to increase the speed at which steamed and baked bread products rise, as anti-caking agents in powdered or granulated products and as colourings in sugar-coatings.

    The new regulations should greatly reduce the use of such additives in foodstuffs. But Ji Heli, secretary of the Shanghai Food Additives Trade Association, says this may not be a solution because it is very hard to control the hidden sources of aluminium that are everywhere.

    Children are most at risk to aluminium exposure. Excess aluminium can harm the central nervous system; its impacts include developmental problems, such as the learning difficulties.

    The good news is that you can bring aluminium intake under control, decreasing the consumption of some foods.

    The new rules include, not a total ban on aluminium in some products like youtiao, cakes and batter, but just an upper limit of 100mg per kg.

    At China’s annual parliamentary session, people’s representative Yao Juan, who is also head of research and development at yeast-manufacturer Angel Yeast, proposed that the government place a total ban on potassium alum and ammonium alum in food. It is important if the state could supervise all the small-scale producers, so avoiding a total ban. But if this is not possible, it is probably that standards will still bebreached.

    One of the key points is if one does not use additives, the costs will increase significantly. The aluminium-free raising agent developed by Yao Juan’s company costs 6 yuan (US$1) per kilogramme, compared to just 1 yuan (US$0.16) for potassium alum.

    Huang Xiantang, honorary president of the Zhejiang Food Additives Association, is worried because these cost differences could lead to an increase in use, as happened when bleaching agents were outlawed in flour production.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Wednesday, 23 July 2014

    (Source: China Dialogue)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • CHINESE OS WILL LAUNCH IN OCTOBER

    There is some good news for China's homegrown operating system (OS): a desktop version may be ready in October.

    According to Ni Guangnan of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, this system  will be first applied on desktop devices and later expanded to smart phones and other mobile devices.

    Despite that, there are still many problems in the program, including a lack of research funds and too many developers pulling in different directions, Ni believes in the future development of OS.

    The reason of its succeed has been the end of Windows XP and the government ban on the procurement of Windows 8, they have opened the door to domestic OS developers, creating an environment that can compete with Google, Apple and Microsoft.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Monday, 25 August 2014

    (Source: Intellectual Property Protection In China)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • INDIA: PROTESTS AGAINST THE COUNTRY’S LARGEST DAM

    A new dam will be built in the ecologically fragile region of Arunachal Pradesh, north-east India, close to the border with China. It will be India’s largest and one of the world’s tallest dams.

    The committee has refused environmental clearances for the project twice because it would destroy forests and impact the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park downstream in Assam state.

    The company charged with the dam, the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), proposed several changes to the starting project to protect the forest. But on August 28, the Forest Advisory Committee rejected the latest proposal.

    In fact, the ecological and social costs of destroying the forest, which is a major source of livelihood for the tribal population, would be far from the benefits of the project.

    In its pre-election campaign, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party promised not to go ahead with the project and people supported the party enthusiastically.

    The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samittee (KMSS), a farmers’ organization, is now accusing the prime minister of being a traitor;  and other organisations against the dam also protest against the 16,000 crores (US$2.6 million) Dibang project. Most of the power produced will be exported to help ease power shortages elsewhere in India.

    The decision of the central government to build the dam has been taken without any public consultation or study of the potential impacts in downstream Assam state, ignoring all expert and advisory committees in an attempt to harness “green” hydropower.

    The Dibang is located in a strategic and important region, which borders Myanmar in the east, Bhutan in the west and China in the north and it is described by politicians as India's “future powerhouse”, the key focus point of the country's dam building programme. China is involved in a major dam building programme, using the waters of the Brahmaputra, which is one of the world's major rivers, winding across the Tibetan Plateau through China, India and Bangladesh.

    The dam building programme has been controversial: opponents say it not only ignores geological and ecological factors, but it also fails to take into account the impact of climate change in the region. Moreover, no plan has been put in place: though India and China have signed a limited agreement to data on river flow, there is no specific deal on managing the Brahmaputra's waters.

    In the meantime, protests about the dams have been growing, while Narendra Modi keeps repeating about the importance of hydropower can also be harnessed using smaller projects, while protecting the environment.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    EPSEI project

    Monday, 29 September 2014

    (Source: China Dialogue)

  • THE UN CLIMATE SUMMIT: CHINA IS NOT READY TO BE WORLD-LEADER ON CLIMATE GOVERNANCE

    During the UN Climate Summit 2014, held in New York, came to light that China is not ready to lead climate deal and, as expected, no sign of firm commitments have been decided to reduce climate emissions.

    If a deal is to be reached in Paris next year, expectations for progress are pinned on prospects of an initial agreement between the world’s two largest emitters: China and the US.

    A pre-condition of the US action is a commitment from China to cutting emissions.

    In the past, at the UN climate held in Copenhagen, China and India protested against what they saw as a failure to reduce emissions by developed countries, and an attempt to restrict their own economic growth and development.

    Now, China is far more willing to accept its important role, but differentiated responsibility, said Professor Huan Qingzhi of Peking University's Centre for Environmental Politics Research. Speaking to ChinaDialogue, Huan said China was “not ready to be a world-leader on climate governance and still sees developed countries like the US having a bigger responsibility to lead”; but it “is becoming a more active player in global climate politics and it is ready to take on more responsibility”.

    According to his opinion, China looks to the United States such as the key mover for cutting emissions from coal-burning power plants and for this reason the decision of including emission targets in its next Five Year Plan (2016-20).

    Speaking after the UN summit in New York, Greenpeace climate campaigner Li Shuo said environmental concerns were higher up the agenda in China today. This year saw the lowest coal consumption growth because domestic air pollution is forcing the country to embark on a new path away from coal.

    However, more time is necessary in order that things start to change in a country the size of China.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    EPSEI project

    Monday, 29 September 2014

    (Source: China Dialogue)

  • UN ESCAP SHOWS NEXT STEPS TO BRIDGE DIGITAL DIVIDE

    The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has organized an expert consultation dedicated to bridging digital divide across Asia and the Pacific. In fact, despite broadband internet is incredibly impacting the poorest areas of this region, enlightening local people as to brand new opportunities of economic growth and literacy, more than 96% of people is reported not to be connected with high-speed, reliable and affordable internet connection.

    UN ESCAP is leading an initiative, also known as the Asia Pacific Information Superhighway (AP-IS), with the objective of beefing-up internet regional infrastructure in order to improve access to the net for better prices. Indeed, as far as broadband connectivity is concerned, rural areas suffer of undeniable discrepancies comparing to urban markets, where telecom carriers ordinarily focus their business.

    To support countries in their struggle to develop a consistent and cohesive network, UN ESCAP is collaborating with Bhutan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Azerbaijan, Philippines, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the World Bank Group; these partnerships encompass sub-regional policy analysis and regional internet mapping aiming at fostering AP-IS initiative.

    Participants to UN-led consultation concluded that AP-IS success depends on further investments and policy reforms. Furthermore the outcome of the consultation backed the call for an amendment to the Asian Highway and Trans-Asian Railway agreements as to realize ICT infrastructure along transport networks; following this path it will be possible to economize on construction time and costs, resulting in a win-win situation for governments and the private sector.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Thursday, 9 October 2014

    (Source: UN ESCAP)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • COCA-COLA VENDING MACHINES OFFER FREE INTERNET CONNECTION

    Coca-Cola and British Telecom are collaborating in order to implement vending machines with free wi-fi access. This project will firstly take place in South Africa, connecting the poorest areas of the country and consequently give a helping hand to empower education, healthcare and innovation perspectives of local people.

    No conditions apply to benefit from this initiative; the first vending machines to be implemented have been strategically chosen to be situated close to schools, shopping centres and taxi ranks and it’s not required any drink purchase.

    This initiative will begin in Qunu, Umtata and Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga and it will grant access to information and knowledge to students, local entrepreneurs and local communities, enabling them to experience the benefits of internet connection.

    If proven to be a success, the two companies intend to roll this scheme out further.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Wednesday, 8 October 2014

    (Source: Digital Trends)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

  • INDIA’S DIGITISATION RELIES ON BIG TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES

    Indian Andhra Pradesh (AP) government aims at standing out becoming a model digital state and to realise this arduous project AP chief minister has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Google.

    Top priorities are shrinking digital divide among women and illustrate to small and medium enterprises how they can take advantage from online opportunities to boost local economy.

    This partnership will firstly work on AP government websites to make them mobile friendly and available in local language.

    Secondly, workshops will be held in various locations to raise awareness about online safety among children and state officials. Lastly, the parties agreed on developing and increasing online local language content.

    Google India has declared to be honoured of this collaboration as it will allow the company to deliver an honourable service delivering a huge cultural and economic impact to the state. They will put all their effort in improving accessibility and awareness about internet benefits; moreover, scaling local language content will open unbelievable chances to non-English speakers.

    Among the many initiatives supported to realise its vision, AP government has also inaugurated a start-ups incubator in Visakhapatnam and signed other memoranda of understanding with Indian leading companies such as Wipro, Tech Mahindra, SAMEER and Tessolve to become a driving force in the fields of IT, electronics and e-governance.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Tuesday, 7 October 2014

    (Source: The Indian Express)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • INDIAN GOVERNMENT TO EXTEND BROADBAND NETWORKS

    Telecommunication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is committed to connect and promote  IT in rural areas; to achieve this goal is crucial cooperation among Central and State governments.

    Among many obstacles, this initiative will have to deal and overcome with lack of devices, high costs and, above all, regional language barriers. The country speaks 22 different official languages and the percentage of people able to speak English only reaches 10%. This issue leads to technical complications like character encoding, lack of availability for all characters and standardisation.

    The first interventions will involve Naxal-affected areas; the government has planned to connect these zones within 15 months with the support of the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). This first phase of the project will install mobile towers at 1836 locations in states affected by left-wing extremism.

    The Central government is working in coordination with State security agencies to assure the connectivity and strengthen safety in these critical locations; furthermore Minister Ravi Shankar has declared they’re considering solar power as a way to supply mobile towers.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Monday, 6 October 2014

    (Source: The Indian Express)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

  • MYANMAR’S INTERNET REVOLUTION

    After suffering military regime’s restraints, foreign telecoms are finally able to offer cheap mobile tariffs that are causing a real digital revolution. The opening of this market has encouraged local entrepreneurs and attracted popular brands such as Google, Facebook, Instagram and Viber.

    In 2011, when democratic transition started, only 1% of the population was estimated to have internet access; nowadays the affordable prices that are now spreading around have allowed to reach one quarter of Myanmar population and the Myanmar Computer Federation has estimated that by 2017 about half of the population will be connected.

    In order to view paid content, Myanmar market is exploring mobile payment forms, where the transition is charged on the Mobile SIM credit. This mechanism has the potential to promote economic growth in the internet sector as well as in others; for instance it could extend at allowing access to loan services in a country composed mainly by unbanked, rural population.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Friday, 3 October 2014

    (Source: The Malay Mail Online)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • SAARC NATIONS TO DEVELOP A SHARED INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE DATABASE

    During the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Cultural Festival on Traditional Dances of South Asia, held in New Delhi, speakers at the workshop on “Intangible Cultural Heritage in the context of SAARC” have all agreed with the idea of developing a shared-database in order to better coordinate ICH interventions and promote their passing down from generation to generation.

    Many support the importance of these initiatives, but they also highlight how it is crucial to create an atmosphere where youngsters are spurred to take over south Asian traditional knowledge; therefore it would be useful to establish arts and crafts hubs in addition to those situated in tourism spots.

    This occasion was also taken to announce publicly that a SAARC Heritage Committee will be soon established and that Colombo and New Delhi has finally signed an agreement to cooperate in the preservation of Orissa Buddhist sites.

    To emphasize South Asia’s cultural wealth, the Festival offered various performances from all over SAARC nations: Afghanistan presented its Mili Attan and Karsak recitals; Bangladesh its bottle dance and Jhoom; Nepal provided exhibitions of Manjushree and Bhairav Kali dance; Sri Lanka contributed with Kandyan dance; and India took part with Chhau dances, Dhol Cholam and Kathakali.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Thursday, 2 October 2014

    (Source: ANI news)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • GOOGLE PROJECT LOON WILL BRING INTERNET ACCESS TO REMOTE AREAS OF THE GLOBE

    Google X Lab has been working on an ambitious project that will bring internet access, therefore access to knowledge, to billions of people living in rural and remote areas of the globe. After over a year of testing, next step of Project Loon aims at creating a semi-permanent ring of balloons in the South of the world; this ring will provide fast internet connection sending its signal to ground stations and mobile phones.

    The pilot test has been conducted in New Zealand, where thirty high-altitude balloons were launched creating a network able to support 50 user simultaneous connection.

    Google balloons have been studied to fly twice higher than airplane routes, they float in the stratosphere and take advantage of the layers of wind to better arrange a large communication network.

    The crucial technical problem Project Loon faces is maximising the number of connections a single balloon can handle. For the time being, it has been estimated that a single balloon can support up to a hundred of simultaneous connections; a number that considerably drops in case of downloads and video-calls.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Wednesday, 1 October 2014

    (Source: Tech Times)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • WECHAT CENSORS HONG KONG PROTEST POSTS

    During Hong Kong demonstration, photos and posts related to combined keywords like “Hong Kong”, “protest” and “democracy” were deleted and made publicly inaccessible by the mobile micro-messaging service WeChat. This censorship only affected Chinese mainland users that weren’t able to view content published by accounts registered with Hong Kong phone numbers.

    Multiple demands for explanation have been addressed to Tencent Holdings Ltd, WeChat owner and operator, but no respond has been released. These restrictions to freedom of expression have also impacted other popular internet companies such as Chinese micro-blogging platform Weibo and photo-sharing social network Instagram, both accused of deleting posts and suffering of suspicious service interruptions.

    After dominating its domestic market, Tencent has invested in realizing its strategy to expand beyond Asian borders last years; in spite of its prosperous starting, mainly due to Chinese expats all over the world, experts argue that these censorship policies will lead to an actual restraint for global markets success.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Tuesday, 30 September 2014

    (Source: The Wall Street Journal)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • LINKEDIN’S COMPROMISE TO OPERATE IN CHINA: CENSORSHIP

    To do business in China, LinkedIn is complying with local laws, including those restricting freedom of expression. Several US tech companies, such as Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook and Google, had already tried to enter into this Asian market, but their attempts come to a bad end; instead LinkedIn’s experience might open a new positive chapter.

    LinkedIn wants to revolutionize Chinese job market as it did in other countries; to pursue this scope, the company has launched a Chinese version of the website and joined two local partners -  China Broadband Capital and a Chinese affiliate of Sequoia Capital, an American venture capital firm - relinquishing 7% of its local operations. This crucial channel promises to play a strategic role in the US company interaction with Chinese government, and it appears to have already earned LinkedIn a tacit government approval.

    The downside of this operation is that the Californian giant had to make the difficult decision to work with heavy restrictions. Contents considered sensitive by local authorities are censored by means of algorithms and human reviewers. In addition to that, the Chinese version lacks of certain popular features as the possibility to create and join groups or to publish long posts to stimulate public discussions and build communities.

    Expert analysts say there are other aspects that could jeopardize LinkedIn’s reputation and growth expectations: although the company sides with freedom of expression supporters, non-Chinese users may abandon their accounts to show disapproval; furthermore, if it succeeds in this new market, the Chinese government could be more prone to make demands about what type of content is permissible globally.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Monday, 29 September 2014

    (Source: The New York Times)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • MALI HOSTED A WORKSHOP TO TRAIN SPECIALISED ICH OFFICERS

    The Malian Ministry of Culture sponsored a workshop to train technical officers with the purpose of protecting and preserving national intangible cultural heritage (ICH).

    The Minister Ndiaye Ramatoulaye Diallo took the chance to remark the wealth and diversification of natural and intangible cultural heritage in Mali. The melting-pot of ethnic groups living in the country has created a unique identity full of cultural expressions, social rituals and peculiar religious ceremonies.

    The Minister also stressed how the occupation by armed groups of the territories in the north of the country has violently and precisely afflicted Malian ICH; for this reason the government intervention in this area will be a top priority of the ICH project.

    Officers training will be held in partnership with UNESCO and its experts; the first step will involve methods of inventory and documentation in order to develop skills and organise further regional-level workshops.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Friday, 26 September 2014

    (Source: Maliactu)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • YOUTUBE CONTINUES TO BE BANNED IN PAKISTAN

    In 2012 YouTube has been banned in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan because of a controversial anti-Islamic video entitled “Innocence of Muslims’”. While the first two countries accepted to lift the ban provided the application of interstitials, Pakistan refused the offer and the video-platform continues to be banned.

    After one year of censorship, the NGO Bytes for All decided to take legal action against the ban, questioning the reason why the ban is involving YouTube as a whole, since the executive order exclusively targets that specific video. The government itself has repeatedly declared that the ban will be removed as soon as the Supreme Court orders it, but many citizens are unsatisfied with these statements and they accuse the executive power of being inactive and disinterested in resolving the problem.

    Activists have promoted a call to action by writing to the Prime Minister and lobbying both the IT committees in the National Assembly and the Senate in order for them to face the issue; but the situation is unlikely to change any time soon.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Thursday, 25 September 2014

    (Source: The Express Tribune)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • CHINESE TELCO SUED FOR BLOCKING GOOGLE

    A Chinese citizen is suing China Unicom to arise the problem of who is responsible for blocking western internet platforms. The fact that several overseas internet services - such as Google and Facebook - aren’t accessible by people situated in China is something of common knowledge; what’s unclear though, it’s who is the competent authority and what specific law this censorship is legitimated by. These are the reasons why Wang Long, an ordinary Chinese citizen, has decided to stimulate a reaction by taking legal action against his Internet Service Provider claiming his right to demand answer for discrepancies in the services.

    Aware his victory in court is unlikely, Wang’s intention was simply to point out a bug in the legal framework surrounding internet freedom. The legitimacy of Chinese government’s power to prevent access to certain websites is built on three main purposes, commonly shared with many other foreign legislations: fight pornography, financial crimes and protect national security. Even if this last one can be extensively interpreted, it hardly explains how services such as GMail, Translate or Scholar can fall under the provision.

    Identifying the competent authority to address queries and requests would mean finally remove uncertainties from legal and technical issues related to censorship in China.

    In spite of this, an official party spokesman has recently reported that these kind of services are unavailable not because of Chinese censorship policy, but due to overseas companies refusal to comply with Chinese laws. If they wish to operate in the country they are more than welcomed, provided they adapt to sensible content restriction rules.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Wednesday, 24 September 2014

    (Source: Global Voices)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • WORLD ECONOMY TRENDS BEHIND ALIBABA’S IPO

    The legendary debut at Wall Street of Alibaba represents important trends that are about to change our global economy and many are the lessons that businessmen are learning from the Chinese e-commerce giant.

    First of all, more and more leading companies will come from emerging economies. Alibaba is not an isolated, lucky case; Chinese tech and internet firms are conquering markets around the globe and they are putting US and European companies through the mill. Besides Jack Ma’s company, China can also count on Lenovo, Huawei and Shenzhen based Tencent just to mention a few; and India as well is challenging the once-untouchable IT firms such as Facebook, eBay, Amazon and Apple.

    Secondly, the dualism between developed and developing markets is collapsing. Investors are starting to tread equally in firms from the developing world, which are gradually losing the stereotype of being less trustworthy and more volatile.

    Another thing that Alibaba’s IPO can tell us is that the global economy will growth relying on consumers from developing countries. The recent crisis has indeed impacted western nations by violently limiting their disposable income. On the other hand, consumers from emerging economies can now be the new engine of world-wide economy thanks to their buying power.

    Last but not the least, as companies from emerging countries are expanding their presence investing into developed markets, they are destined to become global employers; this means that labour market will soon be focussed on oriental territories.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Tuesday, 23 September 2014

    (Source: Time)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

  • VOLUNTEERS IN WEST-AFRICA FIGHT EBOLA EPIDEMIC OVER THE INTERNET

    Online volunteers are helping humanitarian institutions to deliver aid and fight Ebola crisis. Instead of donating money, people from all over the world are providing critical information updating a crowd sourced cartography of infected countries such as Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

    Thanks to the collaborative Ebola Project, Doctors without Borders, the American Red Cross and other humanitarian groups are able to track the likely vectors of transmission of this deadly virus, buildings that can be converted into temporary clinics and fields suitable for helicopter landings. In this way it’s possible to better plan relief interventions.

    Ebola project was created by the Humanitarian Open Street Map Team and it’s based on voluntary GPS surveying, satellite and aerial imagery and other open sources of geographical data; the idea is to integrate poor countries’ official maps with accurate and updated information for disaster and crisis management. By adding details, online volunteers support humanitarian organizations on the ground that can guarantee a fast-paced action.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Monday, 22 September 2014

    (Source: All Africa)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

  • A SHOWER OF CRITICS AND NEW CHALLENGES MARKED THE UN INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM

    Last edition of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) hosted in Istanbul has been the target of harsh critics and it ended with demanding challenges to be faced. For the first time the United Nations conference has been followed by an alternative convention, the Internet Ungovernance Forum, aimed at casting light on more vital problems not taken into enough consideration in the official UN initiative.

    Ungovernance organisers wanted to get the right attention on topics neglected at IGF: censorship and freedom of speech; surveillance and privacy; excessive commercialization and super-monopolies as well as protective, prohibitionist and conservative governance approaches and the list goes on. Engaged by these issues, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange participated with impactful statements: highlighting Turkish situation they advocate how the dangers of censorship outbalance the supposed benefits that governments believe to achieve with these measures.

    Despite the harshest critics came from this parallel event, many participants at the IGF decided to raise their voice to stimulate an inner change: the European Union commissioner Neelie Kroes, supported by United Kingdom Foreign Minister Ed Vaizey, made a call to action; while Macedonian Minister for Information Society and Administration Ivo Ivanovski stressed the absence of fundamental ministers such as those related to education, science and culture.

    It’s important to consider that the mandate of the IGF organization is close to the end and it’s time to take stock of this initiative born under conditions totally different compared to the current situation. On the one hand the trend is directing towards new approaches to the issues, like the NetMundial initiative; on the other hand IGF supporters emphasize the tangible outcomes achieved during this edition, such as the best practice papers concerning multi-stakeholders mechanisms, spam, computer emergency response and online child protection.

    In conclusion, while the ungovernance activists are satisfied with the impact of their conference, many thinks that the same initiative is necessary at the NetMundial as well.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Friday, 19 September 2014

    (Source: IP Watch)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • UNITED NATIONS GIVE GUIDANCE TO IMPROVE CHILDREN ONLINE PROTECTION

    UN agencies cooperated with the Child Online Protection Initiative in order to develop new guidelines enhancing children online safety. According to Hamadoun I. Touré - Secretary-General of the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) - on the one hand online communication have revolutionized the world offering terrific opportunities, while on the other hand they made room for risks once unknown.                                                                        

    The document published, entitled “Guidelines for Industry on Child Online Protection”, illustrates how information and communication technologies (ICT) can play a fundamental role in children online protection and how to empower responsible digital rights. Furthermore, it specifically targets internet tech companies - some of which, like Facebook, have also contributed to draft this common framework - to play their part.

    These Guidelines aim to stimulate an widespread response to these new forms of children threat - engaging stakeholders, public and private sector, civil society up to parents and educators - and it intends to expand the reach of the digital revolution to children that couldn’t join it.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Thursday, 18 September 2014

    (Source: MediaForFreedom.com)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • BEIJING, SHANGHAI AND GUANGDONG FIRST IP SPECIALIST COURTS IN CHINA

    People’s Republic of China will soon establish IP specialist courts in the municipalities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong province. Standing on the first step of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) podium in terms of Intellectual Property (IP) filing, in recent years China has begun to deal with an outstanding quantity of IP litigations.

    The current judicial hierarchy is composed by Basic People's Courts, Intermediate People's Courts, High People's Courts, and the Supreme People's Court. Regarding IP-related disputes, Chinese justice system offers two different procedures that can be independently actioned: administrative and civil procedures.

    The new IP specialist courts will be introduced at the same level of Intermediate People’s Courts and they will be in charge of hearing either civil either administrative cases.

    With their establishment, the Chinese government is attempting to improve transparency and fight the perception of unpredictable decisions; nevertheless it’s unquestionably too soon to tell whether these provisions will meet the expectations.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Wednesday, 17 September 2014

    (Source: Lexology)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • TIBET ADOPTS A MULTILATERAL APPROACH TO SAFEGUARD ITS INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE

    In the Tibet autonomous region the government has implemented a wide range of measures in order to protect its intangible cultural heritage (ICH). After an in-depth survey aiming at collecting information to record and list local culture, Tibetan authorities have amended the ICH legal framework that now requires prefectures and counties to enliven local arts by providing allowances to skilful people in order to educate younger generations.

    Besides increasing financial support and extending the list of traditional forms eligible for subsidies and protection, many tailored programs are proliferating. For instance, an accredited craftsman specialised in Thangka art - a painting on cotton, or silk appliqué, usually depicting Buddha - has been invited to lecture more than 200 students in a Qamdo’s school. Students willing to qualify have followed him in his workshop as apprentices.

    Another positive project has been the integration of modern technologies to bronze statue forging in Litu village. New methods and machines to quench, polish and weld have helped households to reach a higher productivity and expand their market.

    Finally, Tibetan authorities have also set up cooperative workshops to improve the efficiency, lower the costs and increase the incomes of once separate household workshops.

    Consequently to these measures, Tibetan ICH is expected to be better integrated in new tourist attractions and bring extra economic benefits to the region.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Tuesday, 16 September 2014

    (Source: Ecns.cn)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • SHANGHAI UNIVERSITIES ABOUT TO LAUNCH MAJORS IN INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE

    Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) is receiving more and more recognition and protection; especially in Shanghai where local universities are about to launch undergraduate and postgraduate majors in the city’s ICH.

    According to Yang Qinghong - an official with the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture, Radio, Film and TV - this long-term project also includes publications of specific textbooks, special funds and a constant exchange between experts and students in order to share expertise and experience.

    A lot of items concerning Chinese arts, traditions, practices and skills are already officially listed and safeguarded by UNESCO; this number is even higher if we consider national-level and city-level protections, where a law passed in 2011 positively impacted people engagement in ICH preservation.

    The peculiarity of Shanghai’s ICH consists in a unique mix of eastern and western culture due to the opening of the city’s harbour to international commerce in 1843. Examples of this “China-meets-west” flavour are shikumen style buildings and Tushanwan, also known as “the cradle of western paintings”.

    Over the past few years, Shanghai has considerably increased its commitment on ICH protection: indeed, beyond universities courses, many local primary and middle schools have integrated their curricula with traditional skills such as shadow play, paper cutting, bamboo carving and dough modelling; in addition to this, the local government is providing folk artists with allowances so that they can hand their arts down to new generations.

    Despite the Ministry of Culture has shown its support to foster these initiatives, many advocate the urgency of further actions since apprentices are few and youngsters are hardly appealed by these ancient arts with slow and difficult returns.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Monday, 15 September 2014

    (Source: Ecns.cn)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • WIPO ASKS FOR THE ADOPTION OF COPYRIGHT TREATIES

    The director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Francis Gurry, has urged countries to ratify two new copyright treaties quickly: the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances and the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.

    He asked for quick ratifications of them to convert their promises into reality.

    Moreover, Gurry urged member states to push forward and complete the “ongoing negotiation tracks”: a proposed design law treaty, broadcasting, and traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions and IP in relation to genetic resources.

    The problem was the slower development of these projects in the past 12 months, therefore all member states have to use the session of the assemblies to try to set concrete schedules of work that will guide the organization towards successful results of all projects.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Friday, 26 September 2014

    (Source: Intellectual Property Protection In China)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • THE 2ND UK-CHINA IP SYMPOSIUM: ON THE ROAD TO ESTABLISH A NEW COLLABORATION

    At the beginning of September, the UK’s Intellectual Property Minister, Baroness Neville-Rolfe visited China. The visit aimed to push forward the collaboration between UK and China on intellectual property issues, especially with a focus on the 2nd UK-China IP Symposium.

    The Symposium held in Beijing brought together more than 150 representatives from UK and Chinese firms and government to address key IP issues of concern to both countries.

    The idea is to provide a platform for concrete exchange between the IP agencies of each country on intellectual property policy, as well as offering businesses an opportunity to build stronger relationships with their international counterparts. Furthermore, they discussed different topics on key aspects of Intellectual Property, such as enforcement, trademarks, patents and designs.

    At the end of this event, the UK Minister said that it will be an excellent way “on which to build the recent progress between the UK and China on improving IP relations; it is also an important part of UK-China cooperation to construct a global IP system that promotes trade, investment and innovation”.

    Moreover, the week-long visit aimed to further sign agreements in the areas of copyright licensing and reducing counterfeit trade on the e-commerce sites.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Tuesday, 9 September 2014

    (Source: Intellectual Property Protection In China)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • CHINA AND US: NEW OUTLOOKS OF COLLABORATION

    The 2014 China's IPR Overseas Exchange event was held in Georgetown on 19th September. The Chinese delegates talked about the country's efforts in combating IPR infringement and piracy, enforcement of the legal system, and more specifically, copyright protection, the implementation of the trademark law and the introduction of Geographical Indications (GI),something relatively new in China (like the case of Napa Valley, California: in 2012, it became the first foreign wine region to be granted a GI recognition in China).

    Chen Fuli, the IPR attaché at the Chinese embassy in Washington, said “the Chinese government has always put a high emphasis on IPR protection”. According to his opinion the government had continued to push forward the legislation of a series of IPR laws and pursue relevant reforms in the judicial sector: citing the revision of the trademark law and copyright law, the establishment of new IPR courts in different cities (Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou).

    Chen noted that IPR has been a key issue in China-US economic and trade relations and China has placed a high priority on strengthening exchange with the US side on the issue. Mark Cohen, attorney-advisor of the US Patent and Trade Office, expressed that the US side will continue to work with China and strengthen exchange through the existing bilateral mechanism.

    Finally, also the US assistant secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, Charles Rivkin highlighted the economic opportunities existing for the US and Chinese companies while stressing the importance of IPR protection.

    Furthermore, during this meeting, the Chinese officials talked about fact how recent campaigns have hit on websites and people committing IPR violations, such as the Sword Net Action first launched in 2010 by the National Copyright Administration of China and several other government agencies crackdowns on online piracy.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Monday, 15 Semptember 2014

    (Source: China Daily)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • A NEW ANSWER TO THE FOOD SAFETY: THE “SMART CHOPSTICKS”

    The special device allows understanding whether the food in front of the people is safe to eat.

    The company provides a video of its application; a user placing the electronic chopsticks in three different cups of cooking oil.

    It is necessary to soak the chopstick into a substance, such as oil or water, and using an app on your smart phone you can get the information you need. Furthermore, the chopsticks flash a red light when cooking oil has a level of TPMs higher than 25 percent, or total polar materials - an indicator of freshness.

    After all, China is known for its several food scandals. Before the battered meat, which led to large multinationals such as Mac Donald's, KFC and Pizza Hut have had to suspend the sale of hamburgers, containing illegally added melamine and other industrial chemicals to dairy products in 2008, killing six children and making 300,000 others ill.

    It is not clear whether the “smart chopsticks” would go into commercial production, because the company has only made a limited collection of prototypes and any decision has not been set about the date or price.

    One question runs on China’s social media: “Is it really a good thing that they invented these? Can we still enjoy our food?”

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Friday, 5 September 2014

    (Source: Shanghai Daily)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.

     

  • E-COMMERCE IN CHINA: ALIBABA DEBUTS ON WALL STREET

    The Chinese E-Commerce market is dominated by local players, most of them have no presence in the western world.

    The e-commerce market in China represents a huge business development opportunities both for European companies that already operate in the Chinese market, both for those who are about to enter it.

    This extraordinary growth is due to a number of concomitant factors. First, the rise of the middle class in China (from 200 million to 800 million people in the next 20 years). Secondly, government policies will be important to encourage the extension of high-speed internet and mobile internet devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, etc., which already make the cost of internet connecting much cheaper than in other emerging economy countries.

    Finally, the growth of e-commerce is goint to be supported by continuous improvement of shipping services and the low incidence of their cost on the final price.

    To understand the exact dimensions of the phenomenon, on Friday, 19th  September, the Chinese giant of e-commerce Alibaba made its debut on Wall Street. Priced at US$68 a share, Alibaba would raise US$21.7 billion with the offering of 320 million shares, the highest in American history.

    Speaking to CNBC television, Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, said: "We have a dream; we hope in the next 15 years, the world will change. We want to be bigger than Wal-Mart."

    Regarding Alibaba, some analysts were also optimistic, in fact they said: "Alibaba has become the biggest e-commerce firm in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume. It will continue to retain the mammoth share of online shoppers, even if it is not able to increase it much."

    Furthermore, they recommend buying Alibaba with a target price of US$90, because it comes the opportunity to invest in China's largest e-commerce platform, which has the potential to dominate global online commerce over time.

    All of that, it will allow to investors to get a piece of the huge Chinese market, but it also will fuel Alibaba's international ambitions. Alibaba decided to list in New York because it wanted an alternative class share structure to give selected minority shareholders extra control over the board given that Hong Kong bourse declined to change its rules.

     

    The gLAWcal Team

    LIBEAC project

    Friday, 19 September 2014

    (Source: Channel News Asia)

    This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.