Aug. 31 – Thousands of refugees have crossed the border to China’s Yunnan Province to escape the violent clashes between Myanmar’s military forces and an ethnic rebel army in the Kokang region in northeastern Myanmar.
The Irrawaddy reports that the wave of refugees have lessened today as government forces appeared to have won over the rebels. The violence has led to the death of 26 government soldiers and an estimated eight rebels.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, there are reports that as many as 30,000 refugees have crossed into China since August 8. Chinese authorities said in a statement last week that it hoped Myanmar would properly solve its domestic issue to safeguard the regional stability of its bordering area with China.
Aug. 31 – Force India’s Giancarlo Fisichella made history during the Belgian Grand Prix yesterday when he finished at second place; garnering India its first Formula One championship points and podium place, reports The Times of India.
Italian driver Fisichella’s Mercedes-Benz engine came in at second place at only nine-tenths of a second behind Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari. Fisichella was then followed by Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull.
Aug. 28 – The Indian government is planning to establish more diamond bourses in key areas to promote the country as a global trading hub for the US$80 billion diamond industry.
India is the largest diamond cutting center in world and usually buys its unpolished stones from Antwerp but currently has only one diamond bourse located in Mumbai.
The move is part of the country’s new Foreign Trade Policy.“This will enable them to get gold from open market, fabricate jewellery, export and then claim back import duty levied on gold brought from the open market,” Chandrakant Sanghavi of Sanghavi Exports told The Times of India.
Aug. 27 – As we noted here and here, the global banking and investment services company UBS recently issued their Prices and Earnings Report 2009.
2point6billion.com extrapolated the data UBS has produced for China and India, and taken the same useful global benchmark of New York as a standard. However, in understanding what these figures mean, we have added comments from the Dezan Shira & Associates offices throughout China and India to try and obtain a greater insight into UBS statistics and what they really mean.
Aug. 27 – China and India, on track to becoming the world’s largest guzzlers of energy, were given a boost yesterday when Australia approved a massive energy project that will supply natural gas worth tens of billions of dollars to them both,.
According to the Agence France-Presse, the project is a joint venture by Chevron, Shell and ExxonMobil, which has signed a record US$41 billion contract with Chinese giant PetroChina and another worth US$21 billion with India’s Petronet.
The project involves the construction of a liquefied natural gas plant in the Gorgon field, off Western Australia. The field is thought to hold more than 40 trillion cubic feet of gas and its development is expected to create thousands of jobs and pump billions of dollars into Australia’s economy.
Aug. 27 – Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou approved a visit by the Dalai Lama to the country despite risks that it could upset Beijing.
Ma told the Associated Press that he was allowing the visit so that the Dalai Lama could comfort survivors of Typhoon Morakot; the worst typhoon to strike the island in five decades. The typhoon killed 670 people, injured 46 and left 192 people still missing. Agricultural losses caused by the typhoon were estimated at NT$14.59 billion.
Since his appointment last year, Ma has made striking changes to improve economic relations with Beijing starting with direct charter flights between the mainland for the first time in 60 years as well as easing investment and tourism restrictions between the two.
Aug. 26 – Delhi is set to host next year’s XIX Commonwealth Games and plans are now underway including the catering preparations for the massive event.
The main dining hall in the Games Village will be serving a whopping 36,000 meals a day to feed 10,000 people, reports The Times of India.
Catering for the event will be divided into food clusters depending on the nutritional requirements of athletes. Water vending machines will be place strategically in the area with juices, energy drinks and cold drinks to be made available in the main dining hall, casual dining halls and carts.