Malaysia plane carrying 239 people missing, crashed off Vietnam? Malaysian minister denies crash report!


State media: Malaysian plane crashed off Vietnam

  A relative (woman in white) of a passenger onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries as she talks on her mobile phone at a Beijing airport. (Reuters)

Malaysia minister denies crash report

Malaysia Airline

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Wang Yi: China has initiated emergency response

Chinese Foreign Miniser Wang Yi said in today´s press conference that he is very worried about…

Reports from China’s Xinhua news agency say the plane was lost in airspace controlled by Vietnam.

Reports from China’s Xinhua news agency say the plane was lost in airspace controlled by Vietnam.

The aircraft did not enter airspace controlled by China and did not make contact with Chinese controllers, Xinhua said.

A report on a Chinese TV network, citing the microblogging website Weibo, said 160 Chinese nationals were on board the flight.

Distressed family members of those on board the flight have also been gathering at Beijing airport.Chang Ken Fei, a Malaysian waiting at the airport for friends to arrive, said: “I got here at 7:00am. At first I thought the plane was just delayed as normal, so I came a bit later, I’ve just been waiting and waiting.”

“I asked them what was going on but they just tell us, ‘we don’t know’.”

If the plane is found to have crashed, the loss would mark the second fatal accident involving a Boeing 777 in less than a year, after an unblemished safety record since the jet entered service in 1995.

Last year, an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 crash landed in San Francisco, killing three passengers.

Boeing said it was aware of reports that the Malaysia Airlines plane was missing and was monitoring the situation but had no further comment.

Among previous accidents involving Malaysia Airlines planes, one of the smaller Twin Otter aircraft crashed upon landing in Malaysia’s Sabah state on Borneo island last October, killing a co-pilot and a passenger.

And a jet crashed in 1977 in southern Malaysia, killing all 93 passengers and seven crew.

——————————————————————————————————-
Malaysia Airlines has still not been able to confirm what happened to the flight. The airline has confirmed that there were 4 Americans — 3 adults and one infant — aboard the flight, which also carried Canadians and Australians, and a majority of Chinese and Malay passengers.
 
Malaysia Airlines lost contact with a commercial aircraft bound from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China, the airline reported Saturday morning.Flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200ER that was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, was scheduled to land at 6:30 a.m., but lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 a.m. on March 8. Its whereabouts are unknown.At 7:24 a.m. local time, the airline posted a message to its Facebook page stating it was working with local search and rescue authorities to find the aircraft, and that it would continue to provide updates. It encouraged the public to contact a number provided for information.

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 5.34.03 PMA search for the flight on FlightAware.com showed its status as “result unknown” and included a map that depicted its partially completed route.

Malaysia Airlines VP of operations Fuad Sharuji told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that it had tried but “failed to establish any contact” with the plane before he detailed concerns about how much fuel it was carrying.

There were “about seven hours of fuel on board this aircraft and we suspect that by 8:30 this aircraft would have run out of fuel,” Faruji said. He added, “At the moment we have no idea where this aircraft is right now.”

Kuala Lumpur is the hub for Malaysia Airlines, which services over 60 destinations globally with a heavy presence in Asia, according to its website. The airline told the BBC that it would hold a press conference on the situation later in the day.

According to Reuters, Boeing’s 777 had a solid safety record after its 1995 introduction up until last summer’s Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco, Calif.

We will continue to update this post with more information as it arises.

mashable.com

Trapped Chinese research ship & icebreaker Xuelong makes successful escape from Antarctic ice


Snow Dragon
Chinese research vessel and icebreaker Xuelong sails in the open waters in Antarctica, Jan. 7, 2014. Trapped China icebreaker Xuelong made successful escape through heavy sea ice at 18:30 Beijing time on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Zhang Jiansong)

ABOARD XUELONG, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) — Trapped Chinese research vessel and icebreaker Xuelong made a successful escape through heavy sea ice at 18:30 Beijing time (1030 GMT) Tuesday.

Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, has been making consistent efforts to “veer around” the whole day while navigating through thick floes.

The vessel had a difficult time trying to make a turnaround rightward, which started at 5 a.m. Beijing time (2100 GMT Monday), because of the thick ice and the snow covering the floes.

No breakout was made until about 17:50 Beijing time (0950 GMT) when Xuelong pulled a 100 degree turn and strongly pushed away the ice. Under the huge blow, a big floe right ahead suddenly split up and a channel of open waters showed itself. Xuelong quickly voyaged through the channel and broke free of the ice.

The Chinese research vessel and icebreaker, which was on China’s 30th scientific expedition to Antarctica, on Dec. 25, 2013 received a distress signal from the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy which was trapped in Antarctic sea.

Xueying-12, a helicopter on-board Xuelong, last Thursday successfully evacuated all the 52 passengers aboard the Russian vessel to the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis.

Snow Dragon rescrued RussiansA helicopter from the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long rescues members of an expedition who had been stranded after their Russian ship was trapped in Antarctic ice. (AFP PHOTO/Jessica Fitzpatrick/Australian Antarctic Division)

However, after the rescue, Xuelong’s own movement was blocked by a one-km-long iceberg which was continuously drifting northwest. Xuelong attempted to maneuver through the ice after the giant iceberg drifted away, but its breakout early Saturday morning was unsuccessful.

For these days, Xuelong’s being stranded in heavy sea ice in Antarctic Ocean has drawn great attention from the Chinese leadership and the Chinese people. Under the directions of an emergency relief working group aboard, the Xuelong crew have been working in joint efforts to find a way out.

Currently, Xuelong is on voyage in open waters in the Southern Ocean where only a few floes drift on the sea surface, at approximately 66.45 degrees south and 144.50 degrees east. The ship, now sailing at a speed of 9 knots, continues its scientific expedition to Antarctica. – Xinhua

Xuelong epitome of humanitarian outreach

A series of events involved in the rescue of passengers from an icebound Russian research vessel in Antarctica have attracted attention from much of the world in recent days.

Now, China’s research vessel Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, has successfully transferred all the passengers to safety, but eventually got stuck itself. The US is sending its most advanced heavy icebreaker to site of the incident for rescue, and Xuelong is trying to break out of the ice.

Xuelong has been in the spotlight during the whole process of the rescue. Originally sent to found China’s fourth research station in the Antarctic, this research vessel turned its course immediately when it received the Russian ship’s distress signal, regardless of any risks ahead.

Xuelong, not a professional icebreaker, failed to rescue the ship from the ice. But its performance, especially the success in rescuing all the passengers, has been given the thumbs up by global public opinion. China should be proud of it.

The Chinese public also expressed their full support to Xuelong‘s rescue operation. Although Chinese taxpayers would finally pay all the expense for the rescue, they believe that Xuelong has assumed its international responsibility, not giving a thought as to whether the mission was “worthwhile” or not.

Xuelong‘s mission is an epitome of China’s attitude toward its international obligations. China is willing to integrate itself within the international community as a responsible member.

Along with the establishment of China’s fourth research station, the country’s scientific research level in Antarctica has already been ranked as one of the best. It is China’s growing industrial capacity that empowers Xuelong to perform such a rescue operation. Once again, China’s national progress was accidentally confirmed in Antarctica.

This whole rescue operation, at the very beginning, was just a “ship-to-ship” business. But public opinion gradually sensed the existence of the nations behind the scenes. It will come to an end as a humanitarian rescue event. Xuelong has already offered its best performance in this humanitarian test, which shows that Chinese society is growing to be highly mature.

Chinese people care about the image of its nation, but such an image never confuses them when it comes to making the right choice. Throughout the whole event, the safety of the rescuers and the people who were trapped was always their biggest concern.

Well done, Xuelong. We hope it can pull through from the trouble and resume its mission.

We also hope that such effective international cooperation will not only be seen when catastrophes occur. Such a spirit of cooperation will become the most powerful strength to reshape international relations in the 21st century.    – Global Times

The new Beijing beckons


New Beijing
Customers with bags containing first day purchases from a H&M fashion collection designed by French fashion designer Isabel Marant at a window display at a H&M store branch in Beijing, China. — EPA

Here, you are surrounded by optimistic and enthusiastic young people with the zeal to do well not only in China, but in the globalised world.

I JUST took a short trip to Beijing to attend a conference on women. It has been seven years since my last trip and 28 years since my first. In 1985, China was gingerly opening up to the world. People still wore blue Mao jackets and rode around mostly on bicycles. There were few hotels of the standard we were used to in Malaysia.

Today, so little of that Beijing remains. Tall glittery skyscrapers abound. Shopping malls carry every type of international luxury brand and people dressed as if they had just walked out of the pages of Vogue China that just celebrated its 100th edition by commissioning the photographer Mario Testino to shoot the entire issue.

Sitting at the French bakery chain Comptoirs du France, I saw a fashionable young couple walk by with their miniature dog. The dog wore a Chanel sweater….

When I arrived at the vast modern Beijing Capital airport, a young volunteer from the conference received me. She was a graduate student at Beijing University, spoke perfect English and was extremely efficient in getting me to my hotel and comfortably settled.

In fact, throughout the conference, a whole bevy of eager young volunteers shepherded us through the programme with remarkable efficiency, politeness and charm. Whenever a special request was made, they followed through until it was fulfilled.

I also met some impressive young female entrepreneurs and corporate leaders. There is now a generation of young Chinese who had been educated abroad and who are returning to start their own businesses or head companies.

The head of McKinsey in China is a Beijing-born woman as is the head of SK China, South Korea’s third largest company. Additionally, young women are using their cosmopolitan education to start businesses. The organiser of the conference was a 27-year-old former chess champion born in Chengdu.

Another 27-year-old has combined the experience of her education at both a Swiss finishing school and Harvard Business School to start a business giving etiquette lessons to Chinese wanting to venture out into the world beyond their own country. They have an acute sense that to succeed in this globalised world, they need to discard provincial habits and tastes.

The most impressive person I met, however, was Zhang, a taxi driver. I hopped into his taxi at my hotel and asked him to take me to Panjiayuan, the flea market. Taxis in Beijing are very clean and neat except that they tend to smell of cigarettes. But they are safe and as long as you get someone to explain to the taxi driver where you want to go in Mandarin, you will get there in one piece.

So I was not expecting Zhang to turn round and wish me a good afternoon. It turned out Zhang spoke pretty decent English. When I asked him why, he said he decided to learn it because he wanted to communicate with his international passengers and he loved to practise with them.

Indeed, Zhang proved to be a gem, not only did he take me to the flea market and wait until I was done but he also took me to find some other items I was looking for, drove me around Tiananmen Square so I could take photos and then took me back to my hotel, all the while chatting merrily in English.

(Some were however a bit cynical about Zhang, that he should by coincidence have picked me up that day. Apparently, there are no such coincidences in China.)

China does still have many problems, Beijing’s terrible pollution being just one. And no doubt there are huge gaps between the cities and the countryside. But there are enough eager young educated and entrepreneurial Chinese today ready to take the lead in almost everything, both domestically and perhaps even internationally. The socialist slogans are now found only on posters you can buy at the flea market.

For a few days, I had a break from home news because there is no Facebook or Twitter in China. It was nice to be with optimistic and enthusiastic young people wanting to do so much, instead of the angst-filled navel-gazing we indulge in back home and the thousands of ways we find to bring people down.

We seem to think that our country is special when we should be worrying about how this giant country only a few hours away is poised to leave us in the dust, despite our headstart.

I did meet one young Malaysian currently working in Shanghai who wants to come home to start a new IT enterprise. It was so refreshing to meet someone who is still eager to invest in his own country. I just hope that our daily nonsense does not crush his eagerness.

Contributed by Marina Mahathir

> The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.

2nd Penang Bridge ramp collapses, four in car feared dead!


Second PG Brige Ramp Collapse
A picture of rescue personnel at the scene of the collapse. Photo by Sim Tze Tzin.

GEORGE TOWN: An uncompleted flyover connecting to the still-under-construction second Penang bridge at Batu Maung collapsed at around 7pm Thursday, burying at least one car and a motorcycle under the debris.

Police fear that four people are dead after one car, a white-coloured Perodua Kelisa was found buried under the rubble.

State Fire and Rescue Department confirmed that one motorcyclist, who was earlier trapped under the debris, has been pulled out. He suffered injuries to his head.

Hundreds of firemen, volunteers and medical personnel from throughout the state have been mobilised to the scene.

Firemen are removing debris to reach the cars and motorcycles under the rub

ble, comprising mostly metal scaffolding and steel beams.

Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin, who was on the scene, said about a 30m-long span of the ramp was believed to have collapsed around 7pm, as work to install concrete boulders to strengthen the structure was ongoing.

He said he was informed a few people may be trapped under the rubble.

State executive councillor Lim Hock Seng said the cause of the collapse had yet to be determined.

“We cannot confirm the cause of the accident,” he said, adding that a full investigation would be carried out.

Police have began deploying traffic policemen as the incident has caused a severe jam to ensue near the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway.

Many motorists have also stopped to look at the debris.

As of 9:30pm Thusrday night, fire department authorities have briefed Sim and Lim.

R. Thilasheni, 24, whose car windscreen was shattered by a falling beam during the incident, was still in a state of shock.

“We were lucky to come out alive. We were only about three seconds away from when the ramp collapsed,” she said.

She was travelling with her friend G. Gajashaantini, also 24.

She believed a motorcyclist was trapped under the rubble and said a beam fell onto a car in the incident.
The 24km-long bridge was set for completion next month.

The longest bridge in South-East Asia and 20th in the world was supposed to go through road commissioning and testing in August before being officially opened in September.

By CAVINA LIM, IAN MCINTYRE, ANTHONY TAN, ALEX TENG, JOSEPHINE JALLEH, OH CHIN ENG and TASHNY SUKUMARAN, The Star

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Three injuries reported so far in Second Penang Bridge ramp collapse
Second Penang bridge not affected by ramp collapse, says JKSB spokeman

Right move for the planned car prices reduction 20% ~ 30% in Malaysia


Car

The Government’s plan to reduce car prices gradually by between 20% and 30% within the next five years is the best mechanism for consumers and the automotive industry without disrupting the ecosystem, said an industry expert.

“Five years is the right timing to reduce car prices because a sudden reduction would impact the second-hand car industry,” Malaysia Automotive Institute chief executive officer Madani Sahari said.
He said although the car price cut plan had recently received wide publicity, the exercise itself started last year with some popular car brands reducing their car prices by 2% to 5%.

“The Government has had the car price reduction plan in the yet-to-be-announced National Automotive Policy since 2011 and had started to implement it since last year in a silent way,” he said on the sidelines of a forum on “Business Time Insight The National Automotive Policy” here yesterday.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak reiterated the Government’s commitment to gradually reduce car prices by 20% to 30% within the next five years.

Madani said the car price reduction did not involve a cut in the excise duties, as Malaysian companies in reality were only paying about 40% of excise duties, even though it hovered at around 65%-105%, depending on the segment, due to value-added activities undertaken in the country.

“Completely-knocked-down (CKD) cars which are assembled in Malaysia basically have value-added activities, and are therefore receiving the privilege of lower excise duties. “Based on our calculations, most of our CKD cars enjoy excise duties in the range of 40%,” he said. Meanwhile, Volkswagen Group Malaysia managing director Dr Zeno Kerschbaumer said the car price reduction policy showed the Government’s effort to put consumers into the focus of their attention.

“This perfectly matches our (Volkswagen‘s) policy to continuously bring the latest technology to customers at the best price possible. I think it’s a big message to consumers and gives them the confidence that the Government was giving the consumers interest in the focus of their policy,” he said.

He said the move was also in line with the principle that the customers had to drive the policy. “We need to leave all our options to the customers, and the customers in the end need to decide what better fits their requirements,” he said. – Bernama

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Car prices in Malaysia will be reduced gradually 

China has ways to tap shale gas riches


Shale-gas Global Holders
Shale-gas_China

CHINA’S aspiration for a US-style gas bonanza that will reduce its dependence on imported energy must confront three key scarcities — water, shale gas expertise and pipelines — before it can become a reality. 
 
As well, Chinese authorities must manage the social and environmental frictions likely to arise when drilling companies seek access to farm land and use hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — the technique that is an integral part of shale gas exploitation.

Fracking involves injecting a mix of sand, water and chemicals into rocks deep beneath the surface to crack them open and get access to the shale.

In the US, large-scale shale gas extraction in the past five years has revolutionised its energy, transport and manufacturing landscape to the point where the US is likely to become an exporter of liquefied national gas by 2015.

Last year, for example, the US produced 220 billion cubic metres of shale gas, or more than a third of total natural gas output. Over the next two decades, shale’s share is likely to rise to 50 per cent. The US Energy Information Administration estimates the country’s recoverable shale gas reserves at about 14 trillion cubic metres.

Now China, with potential shale gas reserves of 25 trillion cubic metres in areas such as Sichuan province and the Tarim Basin in Xinjiang, wants to emulate the US experience, setting a goal in its latest State Council energy white paper of extracting 6.5 billion cubic metres of gas a year by 2015, and as much as 100 billion cubic metres a year by 2020.

But the US shale bonanza has been more than three decades in the making, and draws on the experience and infrastructure of a well-established oil and gas industry.

North America has thousands of kilometres of gas pipelines and receiving points, its geological survey records are extensive, its exploration companies have pioneered the key techniques of horizontal drilling and fracking, its rig crews are the best in the business and have good access to water for fracking, and there is a strong service sector covering finance, distribution, processing and marketing to support the industry. Even so, the industry has had to contend with vigorous opposition from environmental and farming groups concerned over water and land usage.

For China to achieve anything like the US success over the next decade, it will have to address these key issues. Much of its northern half is water-stressed already, while in the south, shale exploration will have to compete for water now used to grow food.

Certainly, China has the scale to be a big shale player, and state-controlled entities such as CNPC (whose listed arm is PetroChina), CNOOC, China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) and Sinochem are keen to deploy domestically the shale skills that they hope to pick up from recent investments in North American shale plays and in joint ventures with oil majors ExxonMobil, Shell, ConocoPhillips, BP and Total within China.

While these technological skills are crucial, each shale gas field is unique, meaning there is no “one size fits all”. That is why many of the North American fields were developed initially by smaller, independent oil and gas companies such as Devon Energy, Anadarko Petroleum and Chesapeake Energy.

When China held its first round of bidding for shale gas blocks in 2010, only six state-owned energy companies were invited to take part, and the blocks were limited to southern China, where water is more easily available than in the arid north and northwest of the country.

The second round of bidding on October 25 last year drew a much bigger field and was open to non-state players. A total of 152 bids from 83 companies were received for the 20 blocks, covering about 20,000sq km in Chongqing municipality and the provinces of Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Ahui and Henan.

Sinopec, one of the first-round invitees, began drilling China’s first shale gas production wells in Sichuan province near Chongqing in June last year. Sichuan is one of China’s biggest grain growing areas, and some farmers there are wary of the impact shale exploration will have on their land and water.

China is already the world’s biggest energy consumer and uses a prodigious amount of domestic and imported coal and oil to run many of its power stations. It also has massive capabilities in wind, solar, hydro and nuclear power.

But it is natural gas that offers the potential to really change China’s energy equation, particularly in the form of its domestic shale resources, coal-seam gas and coal-to-gas conversion. For now, much of China’s gas is imported via pipeline from Central Asia or as LNG from the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Australia.

In its latest World Energy Outlook released last month, the International Energy Agency says it expects unconventional gas — which covers shale and CSG — to account for nearly half of the increase in global gas production out to 2035, with most of the increase coming from China, the US and Australia.

But the IEA also warns that the unconventional gas business is “still in its formative years” and that there is uncertainty in many countries about the extent and quality of the resource base, and about the environmental impact of producing this gas.

The IEA’s outlook supports the view of British industry analyst Wood Mackenzie that China’s shale gas development, while potentially substantial, will be a long-term story. At the World Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Wood Mackenzie’s head of Asia-Pacific gas research, Gavin Thompson, said the focus should be on China’s gas import options to meet rapidly increasing demand. This, he said, presented opportunities for pipe suppliers in Central Asia and Russia, along with LNG suppliers.

“We remain positive that China’s domestic shale gas will be a major boost to supply growth, producing approximately 150 billion cubic metres (bcm) per annum by 2030, largely accounted for by the Sichuan and Tarim basin production.

“However, shale gas growth will only accelerate after 2020, staying under 30bcm before then. Meanwhile, China’s gas demand will increase from just over 150bcm to more than 600bcm from now to 2030.”

Wood Mackenzie believed that both coal-to-gas projects and coal-bed methane (CBM) would each deliver more output to the Chinese gas market than shale right up to 2024.

“By 2020, we see CTG and CBM producing 27bcm and 17bcm respectively against only approximately 11bcm of shale production. These sectors are therefore far more significant through the medium-term, but are not receiving the appropriate level of attention outside of China.”

Thompson said there was a need for a much deeper geological understanding of China’s shale potential and the know-how to exploit it. As well, land access issues, environmental challenges, a lack of supply chain services and infrastructure, and decisions on the best allocation of capital all cloud China shale gas outlook.

China’s energy white paper says the government will “actively promote” the development and use of unconventional oil and gas resources by speeding up the exploration of coal-bed gas and selecting favourable exploration target areas for shale.

By Geoff Hiscock is the author of Earth Wars: The Battle for Global Resources, published by John Wiley & Sons

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U.S. to Overtake Saudi Arabia, Russia as World’s Top Engergy producer

The cause of unethical activities


Negative energy

HUMAN beings are born the same way, yet we live and die differently.

From the cradle, we pick up habits from our parents. On growing up, we learn from our teachers and society.

Some of us attend moral classes, celebrate various days and practise rituals regularly. Yet we may still be unethical.

The four main goals that everyone competes for in life are money, energy, time and food.

Deprivation of any of these may lead to unethical behaviour.

People accumulate wealth more than they need. As the ‘haves’ constantly multiply their wants, the ‘have-nots’ are deprived from having sufficient food, clothing, shelter, energy and time.

These in turn create social problems such as conflicts (i.e. civil wars, nations against nations, terrorism, religious conflicts and personal conflicts), environmental crisis (i.e. global warming, water pollution, air pollution, food inadequacy, waste production and earthquakes/tornadoes) and social crisis (i.e. rampant corruption, AIDS/HIV, divorce rate/single parents, child abuse/violence, suicide, living together and teenage pregnancy).

Human beings become unethical due to six enemies (i.e. lust, anger, greed, fear, jealousy and hatred) embedded in our subconscious mind.

When the negative energy is activated, it emotionally influences one to be unethical.

In other word, human beings become unethical due to the influence of the negative energy unknowingly.

Although every human being has the six enemies rooted in them, the dominant energy prevails.

Some might be controlled or driven by anger, while others by jealousy.

This dominant force will influence our perception which we form from the five perceptions hearing, sensing, sight, taste and smell.

Negative perception will lead us to be unethical.

The fundamental causes originate from childhood conditioning, life experiences and the current living environment.

Childhood conditions play a vital role in the formation of a person.

Human beings are formed by the age of five years and the experience is strongly rooted in the subconscious mind.

The positive energy embedded will help them to be good citizens.

However, the negative energy (i.e. childhood wounds) will lead them to being challenging human beings due to low self-esteem caused by the feeling of being powerless, abandonment and worthlessness.

Life experiences may induce negative energy into us. Based on Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the third need being the social need plays a vital part.

If a person is always being eliminated in the development of society and country, he/she will end up being frustrated or angry, and in turn will take revenge without realising.

This is one of the reasons for the origin of criminals, gangsters and terrorists.

The current living environment, sometimes known as peer pressure, also is vital in inducing the negative energy.

In the process of meeting the needs of others or competing for equal status, human beings carry out unethical activities such as breach of trust, corruption, bribery and even discrimination.

In a nutshell, no human being would like to harm a fellow human being.

The six enemies embedded in our subconscious mind may lead to the unethical activities.

Unethical activities will not be eradicated until we understand the actual meaning, fundamental cause and origin of the fundamental cause of being unethical.

Unethical activities can be eradicated when the vision/mission of an individual’s life is noble and the nation’s administration has good governance, transparency, control and measures.

Everyone, especially the “haves” accept that the inherent quality of human being is to have self-integrity which leads to having full control over their life and work towards the betterment of human beings.

Unethical behaviour can only be eradicated when “every pulse of us is filled with love towards fellow human beings”.

By DR RAJENDRAN MUTHUVELOO
Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang

U.S. to Overtake Saudi Arabia, Russia as World’s Top Energy Producer


Oil derricks like this one outside of Williston, North Dakota, are part of a shale oil boom that has helped put the United States on track to overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading oil producer.
Photograph by Gregory Bull, AP
In an indication how “fracking” is reshaping the global energy picture, the International Energy Agency today projected that the United States will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer by 2017.

And within just three years, the United States will unseat Russia as the largest producer of natural gas.

Both results would have been unthinkable even few short years ago, but the future geography of supply has shifted dramatically due to what IEA calls America’s “energy renaissance.” To credit are the sometimes controversial technologies like hydraulic fracturing of shale and deepwater production that have enabled the industry to tap into abundant, unconventional sources of oil and gas. New energy frontiers have opened in North Dakota and Pennsylvania. (Related: “ Natural Gas Stirs Hope and Fear in Pennsylvania”)

The bottom line for the United States is fulfillment of a goal that eluded seven presidents over nearly four decades: energy independence. The U.S., which imports 20 percent of its total energy now, will be come largely self-sufficient by 2035, concluded the IEA’s annual World Energy Outlook, often viewed as the Bible of the industry. Add in Canada, which has its own unconventional production boom in Alberta’s oil sands, and the continent is set to be a net oil exporter by 2030.

“North America is at the forefront of a sweeping transformation in oil and gas production that will affect all regions of the world,” said Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the IEA, a Paris-based organization charged with maintaining global energy security.  (Related Interactive: Breaking Fuel From Rock)

Catching Saudi Arabia

U.S. imports of oil are on track to fall from 10 million to 4 million barrels per day, Fatih Birol, IEA’s chief economist and the main author of the report, told a London news conference. However, he added, increased domestic production, including biofuel, only accounts for 55 percent of huge reduction in imported oil. The other 45 percent is due to the ramping up of improving federal fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks.

According to IEA, by 2020, America’s oil production will reach 11.1 million barrels per day, up from 8.1 million in 2011. Saudi Arabia’s production, meanwhile, will decline from 11.1 million to 10.6 million barrels per day. The renewed U.S. reign at the top of world oil producers may be short-lived. By 2025, IEA projects, U.S. production will slip back to 10.9 million barrels per day, but Saudi Arabia’s will have increased only to 10.8 million barrels per day.

The picture on natural gas is even more dramatic. By 2015, the U.S. should be producing 679 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas, up from 604 bcm in 2010. That will be enough to edge out Russia, where production will be increasing too, but projected only to reach 675 bcm in three years. By 2020, the spread between the two nations will widen, with U.S. production of 747 bcm, well ahead of Russia’s forecast 704 bcm. The U.S. should become a net gas exporter by 2020, the report adds.

No Country an Island

“The global energy landscape is changing rapidly, recasting the roles of countries and fuels,” van der Hoeven said. What is happening in North America will certainly affect other countries worldwide, she added. “No country is an energy island.” For example, as America’s need for imported oil declines, Asia is rapidly taking up the slack. The report estimates that by 2035, fully 90 percent of Middle East oil exports will head for Asia. That’s a shift that will require Asian countries to put more resources toward keeping strategic shipping routes of oil secure. “There is a major new trade axis building between the Middle East and Asia,” Birol said.

Indeed, Iraq alone will see its exports to Asia jump from 50 percent of output to 80 percent. (Related: “Iraq Poised to Lead World Oil Supply Growth, but Obstacles Loom”) The IEA reiterated its forecast last month that Iraq’s production of oil would jump from 3 million to 8 million barrels per day by 2035, helping the war-torn country leapfrog over Russia to become the world’s second largest exporter of oil, after Saudi Arabia.

Another effect of the altered energy landscape are large variances in natural gas prices. A few years ago, global prices of natural gas changed little from region to region. But natural gas prices in Europe are now five times higher than in the U.S., and Asia’s are eight times greater. However, van der Hoeven said, as more gas becomes available globally for exports, that should push prices down outside the United States, too.

Demand Still Growing

The overall demand for energy worldwide should grow by a third between now and 2035, the report said, from 12,380 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 2010 to 16,730 Mtoe in 2035, an increase driven by the rise in living standards in China, India and the Middle East. The share of demand for energy in the developing world will jump from 55 percent in 2010 to 65 percent in 2035, powered by China, which will see its demand for energy increase by 60percent over that period. (Related: “Pictures: A Rare Look Inside China’s Energy Machine”)

Demand for energy in the mostly wealthy developed countries that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will essentially be flat, IEA projects. Use of coal and oil to meet that demand should drop to just 42 percent from 57 percent today.

The IEA chided world governments for failing to do enough to improve energy efficiency, saying that two-third of the economic potential to improve efficiency is not being realized. If those efficiencies were tapped, it said, total energy demand between now and 2035 could be halved, without any decline in living standards.

Globally, demand for fossil fuels will continue to grow in absolute terms through 2035, but together their total share of the energy mix should drop from 81 percent to 75 percent. Worldwide demand for oil is forecast to grow to 99.7 million barrels per day in 2035, up from 87.4 million last year, with China alone accounting for half that amount.

By 2035, the IEA said, the price of oil is expected to be $125 per barrel in inflation-adjusted terms, though the nominal price is enough to induce sticker shock in 2012: $215.

Global natural gas demand should increase by 50 percent to 5 trillion cubic meters (tcm) in 2035. Within OECD countries, gas is overtaking coal as the fuel of choice for generating electricity. In the U.S., for instance, the amount of electricity generated by coal has fallen from 50 percent to 32 percent in just a few years. Although use of coal will continue to fall in the U.S., Europe and Japan, overall demand for coal should still grow by 21 percent through 2035, because of increasing use in China and India.

particularly Germany and Japan, are cutting back on nuclear power in the wake of the 2011 accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, nuclear power is still expected to account for 12 percent of global electricity generation by 2035, thanks to increased use of nuclear power in China, Korea and Russia.

Electric generation from renewables should grow from 20 percent in 2010 to 31 percent by 2035, IEA projects. Within OECD countries, most of that growth comes from increased wind energy production, while in non-OECD countries, hydro power is the main source of clean energy. Growth in demand for renewables, including biofuels, are still largely driven by government subsidies, the report said. Last year, those subsidies totaled $88 billion, a 24 percent increase from 2010.

Overall demand for electricity will skyrocket by more than 70 percent by 2035, reaching 32,000 Terrawatt hours (TWh), with almost all that increase coming from non-OECD countries, with China and India alone accounting for half of it. Prices for electricity overall should increase 15 percent by 2035, but some regions will pay much more than others. In the U.S., for instance, average household electricity prices in 2035 should be around 14 cents per kilowatt hours (kWh), while Europe’s will average closer to 25 cents per kWh. That big difference in the cost of electricity will likely give American industry a competitive advantage over European rivals, Birol said.

Amid its forecast for rising energy demand and production, the report, unsurprisingly, does not paint an optimistic picture of efforts to contain greenhouse gas emissions. IEA projects that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will rise from an estimated 31.2 gigatonnes (Gt) last year to 37 Gt in 2035, which could cause a long-term average temperature increase of 3.6 degrees Celsius. In a nonbinding accord signed in 2009 in Copenhagen, nations agreed that the scientific view was that the temperature rise should be limited to 2 degrees Celsius, but efforts to forge a global agreement to cut fossil fuel emissions have been unsuccessful. (Related: “IEA Outlook: Time Running Out on Climate Change

This story is part of a special series that explores energy issues. For more, visit The Great Energy Challenge.

Sources: Thomas K. Grose in London  For National Geographic News

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World’s Simplest Management Secret


Forget what you learned in those management books. There’s really only one way to ensure that everyone on your team excels.

Management books have it all wrong. They all try to tell you how to manage “people.”

It’s impossible to manage “people”; it’s only possible to manage individuals. And because individuals differ from one another, what works with one individual may not work with somebody else.

Some individuals thrive on public praise; others feel uncomfortable when singled out.

Some individuals are all about the money; others thrive on challenging assignments.

Some individuals need mentoring; others find advice to be grating.

The trick is to manage individuals the way that THEY want to be managed, rather than the way that YOU’d prefer to be managed.

The only way to do this is to ASK.

In your first (or next) meeting with each direct report ask:

  • How do you prefer to be managed?
  • What can I do to help you excel?
  • What types of management annoy you?

Listen (really listen) to the response and then, as far as you are able, adapt your coaching, motivation, compensation, and so forth to match that individual’s needs.

BTW, a savvy employee won’t wait for you to ask; he or she will tell you outright what works. When this happens, you’re crazy not to take that employee’s advice!

Unfortunately, most individuals aren’t that bold, which is why it’s up to you to find out how to get the best out of them.

And you’ll never get that out of a management book.

There is no one-size-fits-all in a world where everyone is unique.

Why Failure is so important to Success?


Failure and more importantly studying others’ misfortunes is one of the most important educational tools we have. In fact there is an entire convention in the Bay Area for technology entrepreneurs, investors, developers and designers to study their own and others’ failures and prepare for success, thefailcon.com. We had the amazing opportunity to chat today with Caroline Cummings, VP of Marketing at Palo Alto Software. As the former co-founder and CEO of two technology companies, she’s experienced both start-up failures and successes, and has raised close to $1 million in investment capital.

Her first venture, OsoEco.com (healthy social shopping), dissolved in 2009. Her second venture, RealLead (mobile marketing for real estate) sold in early 2012. She has co-founded several successful entrepreneurial programs for the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, including Smart-ups Pub Talks and the Southern Willamette Angel Network. Not only has Caroline had an amazing career where she has had the opportunity to be both entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial, she strongly believes in paying it forward through mentorship. “I think the secret to the universe is mentoring,” said Cummings.

She has created what she calls “The 10 Reasons Why a Startup Fails” to help other entrepreneurs avoid some of the detrimental mistakes that she has made and witnessed over the years.

1. The Wrong Team – as Jim Collins noted in his book Good To Great, “start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.”

2. The Single Founder – finding the right co-founder is critical. To find the right partner you have to be able to recognize the skills that you do not posses and be willing to admit that you have shortcomings.

3. The Wrong Legal Team – Caroline found that having legal counsel that was not well-versed in business law was one of the biggest mistakes that her failed business encountered! Make sure you have sound, credible counsel and do your due diligence.Caroline suggests that you need to trust your gut when it comes to your legal counsel but also has laid out some questions that you should ask any legal representative you are considering:

  • Have they worked with your industry?
  • How much time do they have to spend with you?
  • Who else do you go to if they cannot be available to you (partners)?
  • Have they raised rounds of financing before?
  • If so, have they created/read a Capitalization Table?
  • Have they done compensation packages?
  • Do they have experience with IP protection?
  • Do they have experience with Global Expansion?
  • Do they have experience with exits, M&A’s, IPOs?

4. Boiling the Ocean – Is your concept completely new? Will you have to teach your potentials consumers about your product, will there be a learning curve? Can you borrow techniques that have already been created or partner with companies that already exist?

5. Not Talking to Customers – often entrepreneurs do all of their concepting and creation within a bubble either because they are afraid someone will steal their idea or because they want it to be perfect before releasing it to the world. Lean Start Up methodology has taught us to find our MVP (Most Viable Product) and roll with it. Test the product, concept or service to see if it is viable. It doesn’t have to be perfect right out of the gate, get feedback, make changes, pivot where necessary. Include your customers in your research and development.

6. Stealth Too Long – If you are too slow to draw, you may miss your opportune time to launch or worse yet, someone else might beat you to the finish line. Take advantage of all of the tools and information out there to help you get your business up and running (like http://www.chic-ceo.com and many easily accessible books like “The Art of the Start” for example.)

7. Stuck on Original Idea – although it is important to have a clear direction for your company, you must be nimble when it comes to having a successful startup. Opportunities arise, projects fail and situations change.

8. Taking Dumb Money – when you are raising capital and spending money other than what your company has generated, you get a say in the transaction. Don’t just take a deal because you need the money, be smart about what the money brings with it. Look for investors that are willing to mentor you, introduce you to contacts and take a significant interest in the success of your organization.

9. Founder-itis – “An organization faces founder’s syndrome or founder-itis as the scope of activities widen and number of stakeholders increase. Without an effective and inclusive decision making structure and process there is potential for conflict between newcomers who seek effective involvement with organizational development and the founder(s) who seek to dominate the decision making process. This can be very disruptive both to the organization and to the individuals concerned and should be carefully and clearly diagnosed and addressed quickly and decisively.

10. Spending Too Much Money – Often startups think that once they hit a certain threshold they can become less frugal. Frugality is a virtue that many startups have a hard time managing. It is important to be willing to spend where necassary but to manage the bottom line. Luxuries like fancy office spaces may not be necessary in the startup phase.

Jody Coughlin By Jody Coughlin, Forbes Contributor 
Jody Coughlin is the CMO and co-owner of Chic CEO – a free resource for female entrepreneurs. You can follow her and Chic CEO on twitter at @ChicCEO.

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