China Makes Some Interesting News


December 24, 2015

By Neil Rubenstein

Observer Columnist

Chinese President Xi Jin Ping said on September 26 Beijing would forgive debts owed to China by the world’s least developed nations and will give billions of dollars to poor nations to hasten their development.

Addressing a United Nations summit on development goals, China also plans to assist in no fewer than 600 overseas projects in the next five years.

Analysts say the moves help China to deflect criticism regarding its heavy and often exploitative trade with developing nations in Africa and elsewhere. It will also help China to bolster its influence in resource-rich regions. The strategy is also designed to portray the emerging Chinese superpower as a more generous alternative to the United States.

Iran fired its first precision-guided ballistic missile on October 11, just hours before its parliament approved the nuclear deal struck in July with our country. The Emad missile is an advanced form of Iran’s Shahab 3 and can strike the periphery of Israel and Europe.

I can hardly wait to drive the new 2016 BMW7 series which has a remote parking feature intended to help squeeze the car into tight spaces that would otherwise have Uncle Neil climbing out the sunroof. Standing outside the car, the driver presses the forward arrow on the key fob and the vehicle steers itself into a space. Use the reverse arrow to back it out. The trouble is that the U.S has a shift interlock rule that requires the brake pedal to be depressed before you can put the car in gear. BMW is talking to Washington to change that regulation since the driverless system is ready to go as soon as the rules allow.

It seems like just yesterday, nine years a by an Iraqi special tribunal go, that Saddam Hussein, having been found guilty of crimes against humanity by an Iraqi crimes tribunal, was hung. The date: December 30, 2006.

From the Culver City Jewish War Veterans Post 617 Newsletter: “If ever anyone needed a break from his job, it might be the doctor who claimed he worked a 200-hour day. Noble Ezukanma is charged by federal prosecutors with stealing millions from Medicare. He once billed taxpayers 205 hours in a single day, according to an indictment. His retirement also took a hit when cops seized $345,000 from his house.”

If you are an old movie fan you just might have the 1934 classic, “Here Comes the Navy,” starring James Cagney. It was filmed in San Pedro by Warner Bros. on the U.S.S. Arizona.

I just finished reading in the December 2015 issue of Sunset Magazine about the Tender Greens Restaurant in downtown Culver City: “It takes a village…. Or maybe just a restaurant. Back in 2009, Tender Greens, a fine casual chain based in Culver City, began hiring teens who were too old for foster care, but far from independence. In 2012 the company launched what it calls the Sustainable Life Project: an internship program for such kids that goes way beyond teaching them to cook. In a six-month stint, interns work in a Tender Greens kitchen, go on field trips to farms, learn how to manage their paycheck and develop those skills that so many of us take for granted. Most important, they gain a support network of coworker mentors as well as, often, a full-time job.” See

A farmed fish company, Two X Sea, will be the first to feed trout on a vegetarian diet.

Whatever happened to the six Baltimore police officers who were arrested for the death of Freddie Gray?

The three biggest library systems in the U.S are in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. The fourth belongs to Library Systems and Services, a company in Rockville, MD that operates 82 libraries in six states. Backed by Argosy Capital Group, the company known as LSSI has more than doubled its number of libraries in the past decade as local governments have increasingly outsourced public services from charter schools to parking meters to contractors. However, LSSI is running into opposition in Kern County, California where it’s looking to add 24 libraries in what would be its biggest deal so far. See Bloomberg Business Week.

Joel Groves sent a letter that was published in the December 2015 issue of Car and Driver: “I found it quite interesting to learn from (Aaron) Robinson’s column where states are funneling extra fees on traffic tickets. At the end, though, he praises Governor Brown for vetoing a $1 surcharge for spinal column research, saying that he wants more people 'back on the road legally… paying their taxes fair and square.'” What a crock! We Californians are the highest taxed state in the country, but that’s not enough. Governor Brown recently presented a plan to raise taxes once again, this time so the roads can be improved, among other things. I guess that $.50 a gallon state tax on gas isn’t enough to pay for our pothole-filled roads.

For those who missed an article, all my commentaries can be found at by placing Rubenstein in the website’s search box.


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