First UK-China Freight Train Arrives Back in Yiwu

The freight service, East Wind, that passed through seven countries before arriving in London, has now arrived back in China. To get to London, it...

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First UK-China Freight Train Arrives Back in Yiwu

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These days, smoking is widely acknowledged as a deadly addiction. European lawmakers are constantly cracking down on the cancerous torpedoes, but other pollution contaminating our air continues unimpeded. Why? Even if you don't smoke, the average European inhales the equivalent of 1.6 cigarettes a day, with Londoners inhaling an equivalent closer to 15.According to the European Environment Agency's 2016 report, air pollution in Europe’s major cities has so far caused nearly 550,000 premature deaths. A number which continues to rise.In the EU’s major cities, almost every man women and child are essentially being forced to smoke 1.6 cigarettes a day - according to a study by Berkeley health. No doubt fathers and mothers would protest more if, say, teachers forced their children to smoke every day in the classroom.The problem is, we simply take air pollution as a given. Many have lived their whole lives with it and the polluting technology has revolutionised the way we live. Clean, renewable energies have long been perceived as too expensive or unscalable. This is rapidly changing. Fortunately, you don't need a big budget to fight air pollution. It's all about legislation.Just look at diesel cars. Even if we forget about the massive exhaust scam by various manufacturers, it must seem like a punch in the face to citizens with respiratory diseases that cars, not even making the fairly high EU exhaust limit, are allowed within their cities. Especially because diesel is cheaper in many European countries.Sweeping regulatory legislation is surely the least that should be done.


The Republican Party, bar a few libertarians, was once united, voters and politicians alike, in condemning Julian Assange. How times change. Trump’s favourite talking head Sean Hannity once called for Assange’s arrest, and now advocates for his rehabilitation. Rep. Peter King, a national security hardliner who often described Wikileaks as terrorists, has been noticeably less vocal this year. “Thank God for Wikileaks,” proclaimed one Congressman.  The few remaining Republican critics focus on self-interested “it could happen to us” considerations rather than principled objections.It is, of course, easy to understand why: pragmatism. Many Republicans see Wikileaks as a national security threat no longer; instead, it is an ally, helping create an "October surprise" that hurts Clinton's campaign. Assange, too, is assisting Trump for coldly pragmatic reasons. Despite apparent ideological differences, Assange and Trump bear many similarities. Both have offhandedly dismissed sexual assault accusations. Both have a self-serving tolerance for certain despots. Both respond to media criticism with prejudice-laden yells of conspiracy. Both possess incredible egos and worryingly unerring self-assuredness.Julian Assange remains influential, and his legacy in the history of whistleblowing is central, but today he makes a more unconventional case for greater transparency. In a world of secrecy, if it is up to the whistleblower to decide what enters the public domain, they can acquire a perverse power. Assange is using his access to information to brazenly manipulate elections, a dereliction of the lofty idealism once associated with him.The whistleblowing world has largely burned its bridges with Assange and vice versa, understanding this. Throughout the world, whistleblowers make valuable contributions to the public debate, on local and international issues alike. Assange, however, is proof that, like in all careers of influence, power can corrupt. Those whistleblowers without such self-serving motives should be treated with more respect and clemency. 


Crytek is a German-based video game company that was established in 1999, since then it has ballooned to six studios across the globe and multiple hit games, including the Far Cry and Crisis series, and that doesn't even mention their work on the beautiful CryEngine's over the years.But, if a Reddit post is to be believed, there may be something rotting at the core of Crytek."Crytek hasn't paid me (or my coworkers) for almost 6 months now. HELP!" reads the title of the Reddit post, submitted into the Legal Advice sub-Reddit.Apparently, this isn't the first time the company has withheld pay. Back in 2014 the company nearly went under water and was saved by delaying payment for the employees of the company.The Reddit post states that the last time this happened, presumably the events of 2014, they were told that it would never happen again but now it's happening all over again.The post also suggests that the employees of the company are afraid to speak out because they are told  “Thank you for your continued efforts through this difficult time” as well as "you don’t understand because you don’t see the whole picture like we do— wages are coming soon.”Furthermore, there has apparently been a breakdown in communication throughout the company where managers are not able to get in contact with upper management, talks are being refused and apologies have never been issued.It sounds hard to believe, but with Crytek's sordid past in regards to similar events this very well may be what is happening over at the game development company. If it is true, I can only wish the best of luck to all of those within the company who have not been paid.


The old culture of book publishing has always been that you have to spend more in order to tell your story. For that reason, many tales were left untold and because poverty has always been prevalent. Only those with full pockets have a leg up.Someone once said that "the best stories are found in the graveyard," and this is true. Self-publishing is the new means of telling a story if the old ways were too expensive. With technological advancements in modern times, people can type out their manuscript, edit and design it in the comfort of their homes, at their own pace. Everything is done according to the author's liking.Besides working at one's own pace, the process is quicker. Unlike traditional publishing, where you could wait for months to get a publishing contract, people can now even sign their own contract. It is as easy as agreeing to the terms and conditions and then uploading your content. Soon after, you are already telling a story long in the making.However, even great things have demerits. With self-publishing, other writers have failed to deliver quality reads while fighting to deliver a higher quantity. There has been a high rate of unprofessionally edited work that has lost all meaning. As good as it is, self-publishing will also call for committed writers who are serious about their work.