Grind for August 25th, 2018
“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.”
– Henry Ford
Malaysia Cancels Chinese Infrastructure Projects
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad told Chinese leaders last week that his country cannot afford Beijing-backed infrastructure projects that had been planned under former Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The cancelled projects – a $20 billion railway line and two energy pipelines – had been a part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s controversial Belt and Road initiative.
Mahathir announced the cancellation Tuesday after returning from a five-day trip to China.
“It is all about borrowing too much money which we cannot afford, we cannot repay,” said Mahathir. “So we must find a way to exit these projects and at the lowest cost possible.”
Malaysia is not opposed to Chinese companies, added Mahathir, but needs to cut its debt burden before it can afford projects of this scale.
In the meantime, Mahathir’s government is investigating claims that funds for the Chinese projects were used to pay debt owned by state investment fund 1MDB.
Mahathir, who was elected in May, has long criticized China’s high-profile projects in Malaysia as well as its aggressive territorial claims in the South China Sea.
“We do not want a situation where there is a new version of colonialism happening because poor countries are unable to compete with rich countries in terms of just open, free trade,” said Mahathir.
When asked about the Prime Minister’s comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said it is “unavoidable for some problems and differences of opinion to emerge as two countries cooperate together.”
Chinese accounts of Mahathir’s visit did not mention the infrastructure deals.
NASA says there is definitely ice on the Moon
Researchers from NASA have finally confirmed the existence of water ice on the surface of the Moon – a discovery that significantly boosts our chances of establishing a colony there.
“While we’ve known for nearly a decade that there’s water on the Moon in some form, this new study is the first to confirm that some of that water is in the form of ice, and that it’s on the Moon’s surface,” reports Futurism.
The discovery was made possible using information collected by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper, an instrument that traveled to the Moon with India’s Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe in 2008.
Using this data, researchers were able to confirm the existence of ice at both of the Moon’s poles. Ice at the southern pole is contained mainly in craters, while ice at the northern pole is more spread out.
Ice located on the surface will be much easier to access than ice located beneath the surface, and the discovery could play a major role in NASA’s plans to return crewed missions to the Moon (and in Elon Musks’s plans to establish a base there).
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… Pet dogs and elephants are the only animals that seem to instinctively understand human gestures.