robert wright

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US, Japan and Australia sign infrastructure agreement to counter China's belt and road

Australia and Japan have joined with the United States to create a scheme for investing in countries across Asia and the Pacific in an apparent attempt to counter the growing influence of China, whose massive Belt and Road Initiative could involve as much as £760 billion of spending over the next …

China

'No Cambodia left': how Chinese money is changing Sihanoukville

The once-sleepy beach town of Sihanoukville has been transformed by Chinese investment – and the sheer speed of development has divided locals<p>Inside a lavishly decorated casino where chandeliers hang from the ceiling, cigarette smoke lingers in the air and platters of mango are served to gamblers, …

China

China's Xi offers fresh $295 million grant to Sri Lanka

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping has offered Sri Lanka a fresh grant of 2 billion yuan ($295 million), as Beijing looks to expand its influence in the tiny island country off India's southern tip.<p>President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka, a partner in Beijing's multi-country Belt …

China

13 Sci-Fi Movies On Netflix That'll Actually Blow Your Mind

We live in an age where it's taken for granted you can plop down on the couch and have instant access to hundreds, if not thousands of streaming …

China Spends Big to Win Friends and Influence Across East Asia

China spent more than $48 billion across East Asia and the Pacific between 2000 and 2016 to reward countries that consume its products and support …

In Southeast Asia, Belt and Road Attracts Takers, But Skepticism is Rising

More on:<p>Southeast Asia<p>China<p>Belt and Road Initiative<p>Malaysia<p>Thailand<p>Since China’s Belt and Road Initiative was formally launched in 2013, Southeast …

Singapore’s Tuas mega-port: plain sailing ahead? | This Week In Asia | South China Morning Post

Work is slowly winding down at the container terminals in Singapore’s bustling commercial centre.<p>Giant cranes at the iconic Tanjong Pagar Terminal – …

Container Ships

San Luis Obispo, California: America's happy valley

A few years ago my husband and I rented a bungalow in the Californian mission town of San Luis Obispo. We lived next to a firefighter and an octogenarian cowboy named Webb. There were annual block parties, potluck suppers, a coveted tomato growing prize (the champion donning a flowing silk cape, …

Why Not Treat Northern Ireland Like Hong Kong, EU Suggests to U.K.

The search for an answer to Brexit’s most intractable problem -- what to do about the Irish border -- has thrown up a radical idea.<p>That the U.K. …

Northern Ireland

The 25 Best True Crime Books Every Person Should Read

Because nonfiction is often sometimes more terrifying and unsettling.<p>For every suspense novel that shocks and awes readers, there are real life stories that make fiction seem tame and predictable. True crime is a loaded genre: The best authors do not sensationalize violence and human suffering, but …

Space mining is going to seriously disrupt Earth's economy. And we're nowhere near ready for the shock

Zip into the future for a second. It’s 2035 and Earth’s population has grown dramatically. People are desperate to find alternatives to the dwindling …

How to fix modernity’s Godzilla problem

Have you ever wondered why trees grow to a few hundred feet but not a mile? Did you realize that most companies stop growing at half a trillion in assets? Have you wondered why the city in which you live is much older than the state that issued your passport?<p>Growth and stagnation are so pervasive, …

Here’s where you can find a vintage engagement ring like Meghan’s

From 1800s to 1970s, here's how to find your perfect antique sparkler...<p>Are you inspired by Meghan and Harry and now have your heart set on a vintage …

Is it better to buy or rent? This economist’s answer will come as a big relief

<b>Dear Emily,</b><p><b>I’m 30 years old, and my husband and I are thinking about buying a house. He’s all for it, but frankly, I’m terrified of the idea of taking on a mortgage. I know a number of people who lost their homes during the financial crisis. The housing market seems like it isn’t the sure thing</b> …

Housing

Sumptuous Sets: The Royal Shows and Movies to Binge-Watch After The Crown and Victoria

So, you’ve finished <i>The Crown</i>. You’ve tried Masterpiece’s <i>Victoria</i>. And <i>Downton Abbey</i> is a thing of your past. Are there any more royal movies and TV shows left to binge-watch? Of course there are. But the more apt question may be whether they live up to <i>The Crown</i>’s sumptuous interiors. We admit, it’s …

The best apps for your new iPhone

You got a new iPhone, huh? Good luck with the headphone situation. It's really not so bad once you get used to it. Thankfully, no matter how Apple changes the hardware, the iPhone still has beautiful, useful apps, many of which are available on no other platform. I picked a few of my favorites. …

How to get Apple’s beautiful Apple TV screensavers on your Mac

• Download the Aerial project from GitHub. (It should automatically download from that link, but if it doesn’t, try reading this.)<br>• Open the .zip file and double-click the file “Aerial.saver” to install it.<br>• If your system’s setup doesn’t automatically allow downloads from untrusted developers, open …

Smart TV

First US offshore wind farm opens off Rhode Island's coast with GE turbines twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty

The United States' first offshore wind farm has opened off the coast of Rhode Island, ushering in a new era in the country for the industry.<p>GE and Deepwater Wind have partnered to build five massive turbines three miles off Block Island to power about 17,000 homes, a project costing about $300 …

How to Transform Your Stress Into Insane Productivity, According to Harvard Psychologists

Stress is sometimes unavoidable — here’s how to turn it into your best friend.<p>We know that stress is bad for us, and that it causes everything from …

Japan and China’s maritime tensions in the South China Sea are resurfacing World War II-era wounds

Last month, Japan’s defense ministry requested a record budget of about $51 billion for fiscal 2017. At the top of its security worries: China’s maritime aggression.<p>Japan has reason to worry. In both the East China Sea and South China Sea, Tokyo faces an increasingly assertive China that looks …

China

As Distrust Mounts, U.S. and China Battle Over New Rules of Global Order

BEIJING -- In many international fields, China and the United States are adhering to the same or similar rules. This is the foundation of bilateral cooperation. However, in the "new normal" of China-U.S. relations, a struggle over principles and rules has increasingly become the focus of their …

33 perfect ways to spend your week in London

See 300-strong choir Some Voices perform festival bangers, there's a new festival dedicated to female performers and a great selection of film events …

Deep Sea Mining: An Invisible Land Grab

Changing Planet<p>Thousands of meters beneath the azure ocean waters in places like the South Pacific, down through a water column saturated with life and to the ocean floor carpeted in undiscovered ecosystems, machines the size of small buildings are poised to begin a campaign of wholesale …

28 things I learned about Europe after visiting all 28 EU countries

<b>Jonathan Thompson has spent the last four weeks driving around every single EU country. Here are the nuggets of wisdom he picked up along the way</b><p><b>1. Zagreb is home to Europe’s strangest museum.</b> Dedicated to the study of heartbreak, the Museum of Broken Relationships will make you laugh and cry in …

Ofgem approves a 354-mile power cable from UK to Norway

The UK energy regulator has granted a licence to a Norwegian consortium that plans to build a 345-mile power cable to bring renewable hydro power into Britain.<p>The NorthConnect project cleared its first hurdle on Tuesday after Ofgem granted an electricity interconnector licence to the developers, …

Everything you need to know about Corning Gorilla Glass

Headquartered in Corning, New York and founded in 1851 – yes, the company is over 160 years old – Corning Incorporated is one of the world's leading …

30 recipes you should master by the age of 30

If your student days are over but you still haven't progressed from beans on toast or ready meals, improve your repertoire with one of these simple recipes - 30 dishes worth mastering, from bung-it-in-the-oven baked fish to a crowd-pleasing shepherd's pie, before you hit 30.<p>30 recipes every cook …

These Apps Will Make You Enjoy Traveling Even More

For the last 20 months, I have been traveling and working as a digital nomad. I’m extremely grateful for the technology and apps that make my everyday life so much easier and my journey more enjoyable.<p>Today I’d like to share with you 10 great apps that will make you enjoy traveling even more. …

Master your Mac with these tricks and shortcuts you didn't know you needed

Sometimes a mouse or touchpad just isn't fast enough when you're approaching deadline. Sometimes you want to be able to quickly switch between …

A Harvard psychologist says there's a personality trait that's just as important as charisma and is easier to develop

Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and Martin Luther King Jr. had the ability to captivate and inspire their audiences the way few other leaders could.<p>Yet Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy says there's a personality trait that's just as important as charisma — and it's considerably easier to develop.<p>That …

Self-improvement