- An intricate network of companies controlled by the family of longtime Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, the world’s sixth-longest-serving premier, has amassed a secret
fortune with a value of at least $200 million and possibly between “$500 million and $4 billion”. Hun Sen's financial links into 114 domestic, private companies controlled or owned outright by members of
Hun Sen’s family and their links to big international brands, such as Apple, Nokia, Visa, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, Durex and Honda, and many others. Wealth is a sensitive issue for Hun Sen, who has said he makes a wage of just $1,150 a month after 30 years in the job.
While Hun Sen’s wealth is vast, on a regional level his family effort pales when comparing with Malaysia’s Taib Mahmud, who is by far the richest; Taib ruled the East Malaysian state of Sarawak for 33 years and retired with a
family fortune valued at more than $20 billion and held through a network of 400 companies. In 2015, Malaysia's Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak, was accused of
channelling over RM 2.67 billion (USD $681 million) from 1MDB,
a government-run strategic development company, to his personal bank accounts; he declared that the "money was a personal donation from Saudi Arabia’s royal family".
More than $1 billion entered Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's personal bank accounts, much of it from state investment fund 1MDB.
- Effective October 8, 2017 the U.S. has suspended all non-immigrant visa services at all U.S. diplomatic facilities in Turkey following the arrest of a consulate employee, and
Turkish markets slammed after the U.S. suspended visa.
- In July 2017 China quickly cremated its only Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo, the country's most famous political prisoner.
Liu was a Chinese literary critic, writer, poet, anti-communist, human rights activist
and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who called for political reforms and was involved in campaigns to end Communist
single-party rule. He championed non-violent resistance as a way of overcoming “forceful tyranny”, and had been serving an 11-year jail sentence for demanding an end to one-party rule when he was
diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer in May 2017. On 8 December 2008, Liu was detained due to his participation with the
Charter 08 manifesto, and was formally arrested on 23 June 2009 on suspicion of "inciting subversion of state power".
Like Liu Xiaobo, many Chinese
political activists have been detained, jailed or exiled for their pro-democracy or
rights defending activities in China.
- Little is publicly known of identity of the man who stood in front of a column of tanks on June 5, 1989, the morning after the Chinese military had suppressed the
Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 by force. The British tabloid Sunday Express named him as Wang Weilin (王维林), a 19-year-old student,
who was later charged with "political hooliganism" and "attempting to subvert members of the People's Liberation Army. However, this claim has been rejected by an internal Communist Party of China,
which reported that they could not find the man based on statements made by a reliable party member, "We can’t find him, we got his name from journalists, we have checked through computers but can’t find him among the dead or among those in prison,". There were at least 300, and perhaps thousands,
of the protesters had been killed and as many as 10,000 were arrested after Chinese troops and security police stormed through Tiananmen Square, firing indiscriminately into the crowds of protesters. There are several conflicting stories about what happened to this young man after the demonstration; among these sources he was arrested and executed
by a firing squad. However, in a 1990 interview with Barbara Walters, then-CPC General Secretary Jiang Zemin
was asked what became of the man, Jiang stated "I can't confirm whether this young man you mentioned was arrested or not.".
- One of Richard McGregor's books, "The Party", describes a relationship between the Communist Party and the Chinese government. The Chinese Communist Party,
the country's sole political party governing China, let Chinese people know that they are using the "model of the US government" that "appoints the entire U.S. cabinet and the heads of federal regulatory commissions, the justices of the Supreme Court, state governors and their deputies, the mayors of major cities, the chief executives of GE, Exxon-Mobil,
Wal-Mart and about fifty of the remaining largest U.S. companies, the editors of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, the bosses of the TV networks (e.g.; ABC, CBS, and NBC) and cable stations (HBO, ShowTime, and CNN), the presidents of MIT, Yale and Harvard and other big universities, and the heads of think-tanks (eg.; Brookings Institute,
Rand, and the Heritage Foundation)", and the vetting process is secret, and the appointments are announced without any accompanying explanations why they had been made; most Chinese people know these are not true, but no one dares to speak up.
Interestingly, in March 2008 the Chinese Communist Party ordered to "establish a store Communist Party committee" within one Wal-Mart store located in the north-east of China.
- China is made up of 23 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities directly under the Central Government, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao. The 23 provinces are Anhui, Fujian, Gansu,
Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang; the five autonomous regions are Guangxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Xinjiang, and Tibet; the four municipalities are Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai and Tianjin.
The interesting and fun fact is that Taiwan is not belonging to China, which has consistently claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and asserted Taiwan is no longer in legitimate existence.
- China is a socialist republic ruled by a single party, the Communist Party of China. Power in China is divided between the National People's Congress (NPC), the President, and the State Council. The NPC is the single legislative body, whose members are selected by the Communist Party. The State Council, headed by the Premier, is the administrative branch.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA), which includes the Army, Navy, Air Force, and the Second Artillery Force, also wields considerable political power, the President is chairman of the Central Military Commission of China, the country's top military organ and commander of its armed forces.
The President, the Premier and all government officials are selected by the Communist Party.
- Roughly half (47%) of China’s current population were born under the country’s one-child policy (ages 0 to 34 today), and they lived through a very different China, the world’s most populous nation, than the half who were born before.
- A poll released earlier January 2017 indicated that 74 percent of Americans want President Trump to release his tax returns, including 49 percent of his own supporters. In addition, over 215,000
Americans had signed an online petition calling for the returns to be released; however,
as of 1/22/2017 a President's aide said that The White House won't release his tax returns, insisting that voters aren't concerned about the issue.
- President Trump defeated Clinton in the Electoral College in the 2016 presidential election,
collecting 304 votes to her 227; however, Clinton won the popular vote by 2,864,974 ballots cast. Trump tells Congressional leaders 3-5-million
"illegals" cost him popular vote.
- One of 11 members of Germany’s parliament (622 members) with Turkish roots; about 3 millions people of Turkish descent live in Germany; half of them retain Turkish citizenship,
making Germany in effect Turkey’s fourth-largest electoral district. Some 2,000 of the country’s 3,000 mosques are Turkish, and 900 of those are financed by DITIB, an arm of the Turkish government, which sends the imams from Turkey.
- Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's president, tightened his grip on Turkey in July 2016, by shutting down
16 television channels, 23 radio stations, 45 newspapers, 15 universities, 934 other schools, 109 student dormitories, 19 unions, 35 medical institutions as well as over 1,100 other charities and foundations, in his decree since imposing a state of emergency after the failed military coup.
He has suspended, detained or placed under investigation more than 60,000 soldiers, police, judges, teachers, civil servants, journalists and others for “complicity in the attempted coup”. The dismissed 2,400 military personnel included 1,200 commissioned officers from the navy, air and land forces.
- The European Union - often known as the EU - is an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries;
the EU has its own currency, the euro, which is used by 19 of the member countries; on June 23, 2016 the United Kingdom has voted to leave the EU.
- An international tribunal in The Hague ruled in favor of the Philippines in a maritime dispute July 12, 2016, concluding China has no legal basis to claim historic rights to the bulk of the South China Sea.
The Tribunal’s award is highly favorable to the Philippines, ruling that China’s nine-dash line claim and accompanying claims to historic rights have no validity under international law; that no feature in the Spratly Islands, including Taiwan-occupied Itu Aba (or Taiping Island),
is an island under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); and that the behavior of Chinese ships physically obstructing Philippine vessels is unlawful.
The ruling doesn't just affect China and the Philippines, but other countries, such as Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia, that have competing claims with the nation over large areas of the sea.
- China claims some 90 percent of the South China Sea, and the country is developing islands and reefs for military, as well as civilian purposes in a threat to stability.
On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague will rule on a case brought by the Philippines against China over its territorial claims and actions across the disputed waters and vital global trade route. U.S. warns China against provocations once court rules on sea claims.
- In "Hostile Takeover: The Corporate Empire of Cambodia’s Ruling Family" Prime Minister Hun Sen (who is already one of the world’s longest-serving leaders) and his family
have interests in at least 114 local companies with a combined share capital over $200 million.
“The Huns are renowned as one of the richest, if not the richest, and most powerful families in Cambodia, with a combined wealth estimated by experts to total between $500 million and $1 billion.”
The report was released just a week in July 2016 after the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee in Washington approved a spending bill that makes foreign aid to Cambodia (one of the world's poorest countries) worth $77.8 million contingent upon an end to government harassment of opposition politicians.
- Malaysia's then-Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail linked a donation of $681m (£478m) made to the account of Mr. Najib Razak, Malaysia's prime minister,
with companies and bodies which had ties to 1MDB. In 7/2015 Mr Najib fired Mr Patail and replaced him with Mr Naji, and also canned the deputy prime minister, Muhyiddin Yassin,
who had criticized his handling of the crisis. Mr Naji cleared Mr Najib of corruption in 1/2016. Mr. Razak said that a Saudi royal family member gave him $681 million!
- Malaysia's prime minister, Najib Razak, who founded and is the chair of 1MDB, was accused of siphoning money from the investment fund after $681 million was transferred into his personal accounts
while $4 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB.
- In April 2016 Thailand’s coup leaders gave military officers broad police-like powers to arrest and detain, further eroding the capabilities of civilian authorities in the junta-run state. The military is authorized to
seize assets, suspend financial transactions, ban suspects from traveling and arrest people involved with against public peace, defamation, gambling, extortion, and labour abuses.
- The best countries in the world
- The most corrupt Asian countries:
- In 2014 the top countries, which jailed journalists because of their "unflavored" reports, are:
Vietnam: 16, and
- For 2014, China was ranked 100th out of 175 countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, on par with
Suriname, and comparable to
Niger. It ranked less corrupt than neighbors
Nepal, but more corrupt than neighbors
Hong Kong and
- As of 2014, the countries known to have detonated nuclear weapons are the United States, Russia,
the United Kingdom, France, the
People's Republic of China, India,
Pakistan, North Korea and Israel.
- As of 2013, Russia possessed an estimated 8,500 total nuclear warheads of which 1,800 were strategically operational, and the United States
had an estimated total 7,700 nuclear warheads of which 1,950 were strategically operational. At the peak of the arsenal in 1988, Russia possessed around 45,000 nuclear weapons in its stockpile, roughly 13,000 more than
the United States arsenal, the second largest in the world, which peaked in 1966.
- The International Day against Nuclear Tests is observed on August 29. It was established on December 2, 2009 at the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly
by the resolution 64/35, which was adopted unanimously.
- As of September 2013, the United States has officially recognized 32 Broken Arrow incidents, which refer to accidental events that involve nuclear weapons, warheads or components, but do not create the risk of nuclear war. Some of these events include:
- As of 1996, the U.S. spent approximately $8.75 trillion (in present day terms) on its nuclear weapons programs; of which, 57% was spent on building nuclear weapons delivery systems;
6.3 % ($549 billion) was spent on environmental remediation and nuclear waste management/cleaning up;
7% ($615 billion) was spent on making nuclear weapons. (Source: Brookings Institution)
- The Manhattan Project (1942-1946) led by the United States with the support of the United Kingdom and Canada,
was a research and development project that made the first atomic bombs during World War II. Physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer
was the scientific director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory that designed the actual bombs. As a result, the first nuclear device ever detonated was an implosion-type bomb at the Trinity test,
conducted at New Mexico's Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range on 16 July 1945, and the production of "Little Boy", a gun-type weapon, and "Fat Man",
an implosion-type weapon. On 6 August 1945, the "Little Boy" was detonated over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, on 9 August,
the "Fat Man" was exploded over the Japanese city of Nagasaki. These two bombings resulted in the deaths of approximately 200,000 people including acute injuries sustained from the explosions. On August 15, 1945
Emperor Hirohito announced the surrender of Japan to the Allies.
- The fissile materials for nuclear weapons development are uranium-235, plutonium-239, uranium-233,
Neptunium-237 and americium.
- A nuclear weapon is an powerfully explosive device that possess enormous destructive power derived from nuclear reactions, either fission
or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission ("atomic") bomb test released
the same amount of energy as approximately 20,000 tons of TNT. The first thermonuclear ("hydrogen") bomb test released the same amount of energy as approximately 10,000,000 tons of TNT.
- As of 2012 around 70,000 Christians were imprisoned in North Korea’s concentration camps
- The level of corruption in Cambodia exceeds most countries in the world. Despite adopting an 'Anti-Corruption Law' in 2010, corruption prevails throughout the country. The 2010 Anti-Corruption Law provided no protection to whistle-blowers, and whistle-blowers can be jailed for up to 6 months if they report corruption that cannot be proven.
- Around 200,000 Timorese were killed by Indonesia during the period the country occupied East Timor from December 1975 to October 1999.
- An investigation conducted by United Nations showed that in the first 10 months of 1982, Thai pirates attacked 289
Vietnamese refugee boats - with, on average, more than three attacks per boat; there were 484 known deaths or murders and 583 identified rape victims.
- Thai Pirates Rape, Kill Fleeing Boat People
- An estimated 70 million deaths in China through starvation, forced
labor, and executions when Mao Zedong governed as Chairman of the Communist Party of China from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976.
- Around 2 million people, an estimated 25 percent of the total population, were killed in Cambodia during the brutal regime of Pol Pot and the
Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979. The genocide was ended following the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia.
- 2/3 of 2,709,918 Americans military personnel served in uniform in Vietnam were volunteers, and the last American troops departed Vietnam on 29 March 1973.
The fall of South Vietnam happened 30 April 1975, two years after the American military left Vietnam.
- An estimated 2 million deaths in Vietnam through starvation during the Japanese occupation of Vietnam from October 1944 to May 1945.
- From 1941 to 1945, six million Jews were killed by the Nazi Germany and its collaborators.
Nazi Germany also killed over 5 million non-Jews, which include Gypsies, Poles, communists,
homosexuals, Soviet POWs, and the mentally and physically disabled people.
- In 1971, during the nine-month-long Bangladesh war for independence, the Pakistani military and its supporting militias killed around 3,000,000
people and raped between 200,000–400,000 Bangladeshi women in a systematic campaign of genocidal rape.
- In 1915, Turkey set in motion a plan to expel and massacre Armenians
living in the Ottoman Empire; by the early 1920s, when the massacres and deportations finally ended, around 1.5 million Armenians, an estimated 75 percent of the total population, were dead;
the Turkish government has denied that a genocide took place.
- Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the first ruler of an independent Haiti, ordered the killing of the white population of French creoles on Haiti which culminated in the 1804 Haiti Massacre