Triads suspected in brutal attack on Hong Kong journalist

Today’s brutal attack on Kevin Lau Chun-to, a prominent journalist in Hong Kong, raises the specter of Chinese criminal gangs — triads — being called in to suppress campaigners for democratic reforms. An excerpt of international affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe’s  new column:

Dark North Korea

The dramatic photograph below, taken January 30 from the International Space Station, illustrates the stark difference between North and South Korea. NASA’s Earth Observatory site explains the dark zone on the image: Flying over East Asia, astronauts on the International Space Station

Monday

Launch a new week with a roundup of F&O‘s fresh work, and a visual snack for your break: Jim McNiven’s new column on the old economy: it’s gone, and there’s No Going Back. (Subscription) Research shows Wild Bees Catch Infections from domestic bees,

F&O Weekend

This F&O weekend ranges widely: bringing wolves back from the dead to the role of 3D printers in killing industries;  greenwashing to Europe’s role in Ukraine’s mayhem; a eulogy for a Canadian swan to a macabre American hospital mystery. No Going Back.

Chris Wood: roads paved with good intentions

Voluntary business sustainability standards are tricky things, as Chris Wood found when he examined report cards on their applications to agriculture and Walmart. Another tricky thing? The vigilance of shoppers. AKA us. An excerpt of his new Natural Security column: Ronald Reagan,

The Power — or Not — of Good Intentions

CHRIS WOOD: NATURAL SECURITYPublished February 22, 2014 Ronald Reagan, in a lucid moment, famously characterized his approach to nuclear negotiations with the Soviet Union as: “Trust — and verify.” Much the same, it turns out, might be said for the green boasts

European Union’s role in Ukraine mayhem: analysis

Europe is culpable for the violence in Ukraine, writes international affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe in his new column. Excerpt: European leaders should not congratulate themselves too heartily for mediating the compromise agreement that, with luck, will end the demonstrations and appalling violence

Europe carries blame for the Ukrainian violence

JONATHAN MANTHORPEFebruary 21, 2014 European leaders should not congratulate themselves too heartily for mediating the compromise agreement that, with luck, will end the demonstrations and appalling violence on the streets of Ukraine’s capital Kiev and other major cities. It is, after all,

Findings: Storm Petra, in video

Coastal France and Britain have been thrashed by gales, drenched by rain and flooded this month. French professional photographer Philip Plisson, who specializes in ocean photography, captured storm Petra as it hit the French coast:

Research shows infections spread from domestic to wild bees

Agricultural crops from almonds to zucchini are necessarily pollinated by bees, both managed and wild — but colonies of all bees have been collapsing, for reasons that are likely complex and but dimly understood. That’s why it matters, and not least to

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