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When the U.S. football field–size, cigar-shaped object ‘Oumuamua entered our solar system last year, it didn’t just give us our first glimpse of an interstellar piece of rock. It also bolstered the plausibility of space rocks spreading life among the stars by ferrying microbes between distant star systems, according to a new study. “Life could potentially be exchanged over thousands of light-years,” says author Idan Ginsburg, a postdoc at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The idea, known as panspermia, has been around for centuries. Some astronomers have even speculated that life on Earth was seeded by microbes that hitched a ride on debris ejected from another life-harboring world in the solar system, perhaps on meteorites from Mars. But it seemed improbable that life could have come from interstellar space.
[...]
In the new study, Ginsburg, along with astrophysicists Manasvi Lingam and Abraham Loeb, also of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, calculated the chances of such objects delivering life to an alien world. A binary star such as Alpha Centauri would ensnare a few thousand rocks of ‘Oumuamua’s size every year, and our solar system might snag one a century, the team estimates in a preprint posted last week on arXiv and in a forthcoming paper in The Astrophysical Journal.

Lingam and Loeb (2018) Implications of Captured Interstellar Objects for Panspermia and Extraterrestrial Life: https://arxiv.org/abs/1801.10254

Ginsburg et al. (2018) Galactic Panspermia: https://arxiv.org/abs/1810.04307

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'This is the first case where #Japan has cooperated with #China to develop a high-speed railway network,' declared #Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak this May during talks with then Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JIBC) Deputy Gov. Tadashi Maeda. The deputy prime minister was expressing his expectations about a venture to connect 3 of Thailand's airports, jointly planned by Japan and China, by high-speed rail. The possibility that the Japanese and Chinese governments are reversing their stance and working together on a project quickly garnered interest across the countries of #SoutheastAsia.

Joining hands with Japan, which has previously led the way building infrastructure networks in developing Asian nations, is now envisaged as the beginning of a new trajectory for the strained #OneBeltOneRoad initiative. For Japan as well, teaming up with China comes with considerable merit. For years, China and Japan have competed to win such projects, and in many cases, the two countries ended up in a price reduction battle. But with Japan and China joining forces and dividing roles, it will mean that projects will be easier to acquire and the risk of price reduction can be avoided.


#GlobalEconomy #Economy #Geopolitics #ForeignPolicy #Diplomacy #Politics #InternationalRelations #ForeignRelations #EconomicRelations #EconomicCooperation
One Belt One Road' could be key to new, improved Japan-China ties
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20181016/p2a/00m/0na/004000c

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The speech by US Vice-President #MikePence last week has now answered the 'China choice' question. The #US does not intend to cede any more strategic space to #China and if anything intends to push back on China, as is already happening with the tariff war. Pence's speech sets out the #Trump Administration's doctrine of open competition, not co-operation, with China. The implications for #Australia are significant. #EastAsia, the region of immediate strategic importance to Australia, has just become a more dangerous place.

Pence's speech intentionally ramps up tensions in the relationship, showing Beijing that far from searching for positions of compromise ahead of the upcoming Trump-Xi meeting at the G20 summit the administration has no intention of backing down. In classic, zero-sum, mercantilist thinking, the speech claimed that China's economy had grown at the expense of the US, reiterating the administration's familiar list of grievances: tariffs, intellectual property theft, industrial subsidies, currency manipulation and coerced technology transfer.


#GlobalEconomy #Protectionism #America #Globalisation #GlobalTrade #TradeWars #EconomicRisk #Economy #TradePolicy #InternationalTrade #TradeTariffs #Politics #Geopolitics #InternationalRelations #USA #GlobalTradeWar #EconomicColdWar #ChineseEconomy #USEconomy
Michael Pence calls for confrontation with China over co-operation
https://www.afr.com/opinion/michael-pence-calls-for-confrontation-with-china-over-cooperation-20181013-h16lyp

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Empowering rural women means ensuring food security, ending poverty and much more. Get the details from +International Fund for Agricultural Development on Monday's International Day of #RuralWomen: https://bit.ly/2ISFbTi
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President #Trump's inner circle is 'very confusing' for foreign diplomatic officials in Washington to navigate, according to #China's U.S. ambassador #CuiTiankai. He added that #US warships are 'on the offensive' near China, days after a U.S. destroyer nearly collided with a Chinese #military vessel in the #SouthChinaSea. The Pentagon said the Chinese ship came within 45 yards of the U.S. destroyer, in an intentionally 'unsafe' maneuver.

Concerns have been raised that China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasurys, might start dumping its holdings as a way to pressure the #UnitedStates in the trade dispute. But Mnuchin said this possibility didn't concern him because it would be contrary to Beijing's economic interests to start dumping its Treasury holdings, and would be 'very costly' to China.


#GlobalEconomy #Protectionism #America #Globalisation #GlobalTrade #TradeWars #EconomicRisk #Economy #TradePolicy #InternationalTrade #TradeTariffs #Politics #Geopolitics #InternationalRelations #USA #GlobalTradeWar #EconomicColdWar #ChineseEconomy #USEconomy
Chinese official finds Trump 'very confusing,' says US warships at China's doorstep building tension
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/chinese-official-finds-trump-very-confusing-says-us-warships-at-chinas-doorstep-building-tension

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21 months after President Donald #Trump took office, China still does not know which of his top advisers has the most influence over the president’s handling of increasingly fraught trade tensions with Beijing, according to Cui Tiankai, #China’s ambassador to the #UnitedStates. Before U.S. Trade Representative #RobertLighthizer was confirmed, Treasury Secretary #StevenMnuchin and Commerce Secretary #WilburRoss were put in charge of a new Comprehensive Economic Dialogue with Beijing, which was swiftly abandoned after it failed to produce big results.

Both #LarryKudlow and Mnuchin are seen as more moderate on China, while Lighthizer, Ross and White House trade adviser #PeterNavarro generally take a more hawkish line. Administration officials have previously played down reports of major internal disagreements, while acknowledging Trump encourages his aides to express different points of view.


#GlobalEconomy #Protectionism #America #Globalisation #GlobalTrade #TradeWars #EconomicRisk #Economy #TradePolicy #InternationalTrade #TradeTariffs #Politics #Geopolitics #InternationalRelations #USA #GlobalTradeWar #EconomicColdWar #ChineseEconomy #USEconomy
Ambassador says China confused over who speaks for Trump on trade
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/14/china-confused-trump-trade-898741

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A first look at China's Mars simulation base out in the Gobi Desert
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