China Planning Hydropower on Key Tibet River: Global Times

Green News

China plans to exploit the hydropower resources of a Tibetan section of a river that is a key source of water to Bangladesh and India, the Global Times reported.

China’s next five-year plan calls for developing hydropower on the Yarlung Tsangpo River, Yan Zhiyong, chairman of Power Construction Corp. of China, the state giant known as PowerChina, said at a conference on Thursday, the Global Times reported, citing a WeChat account of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China. The river eventually becomes the Brahmaputra and then the Meghna, which are important for irrigation and have religious significance in India and Bangladesh.

A hydropower station even larger than the Three Gorges Dam has long been mooted for the Yarlung Tsangpo, although analysts have been skeptical because of the cost of getting materials and workers to the site. Chinese officials were still researching the site’s feasibility, Bloomberg reported in July.

Exploiting the river’s hydropower resources could provide 300 billion kilowatt-hours of carbon-free electricity a year to China, Yan said, according to the report. That would be about 4% of the country’s total demand last year.

The Green Link

This Tomato Soup Is Here to Provide Relief During Stressful Times

Delicious & Healthy

Tomato Soup With Grilled Cheese Croutons

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, cut into thin slices
1 fennel bulb, cut into thin slices
Kosher salt
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 fresh basil sprig
1 fresh oregano sprig
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
Pinch of sugar, plus more as needed
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 oz. blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola or Danish blue (about 1 cup), crumbled
2 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
Unsalted butter, at room temperature, for spreading
4 slices country white or sourdough bread

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel, and a big pinch of salt, and then cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and begin to brown, about 12 minutes. Stir in the garlic, basil, and oregano, and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine, scraping up the browned bits from the pot, and cook until the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the stock, the tomatoes and their juices, a big pinch of sugar, and a further big pinch of salt. Bring just to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, then purée in batches in a blender. (Alternatively, purée using an immersion blender.) Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt. If needed, add sugar until the soup loses its acidic tang.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mash the blue cheese into the cream cheese until spreadable. Butter each bread slice on one side. Spread the blue cheese mixture evenly on the unbuttered sides, then combine to make two cheese-filled sandwiches.

Heat a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sandwiches, cover with a lid, and cook until browned on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip, and cook, covered, for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until browned and the cheese has melted. Transfer to a cutting board, let cool slightly, then cut into bite-size pieces. Immediately serve them atop bowls of soup.

The Green Link

Why Maradona Was Better Than Messi and Ronaldo

Sports & Opinion

It is one thing to be a brilliant player surrounded by other brilliant players. But Maradona made magic out of mediocre materials.

Soccer fans are fortunate to live in a time when two superstars are simultaneously making the claim to be the best player in the history of the sport — and more fortunate still that we can watch the contest between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo play out, week in and week out, live before a global audience of billions. Thanks to YouTube, I can watch high-quality videos of their most compelling performances, and of every goal they’ve ever scored.

When Diego Maradona was staking his claim to the title of best ever, most of the world could only get a quadrennial glimpse of his genius, when he turned out for Argentina in the ’82, ’86, ’90 and ‘94 World Cups. Growing up in India during that period, I never saw highlights of his performances for FC Barcelona or Napoli (a city where he’s still regarded as part deity, part royalty).

There are now some video highlights online that preserve a grainy record of him in his pomp — including THAT goal against England in the Azteca Stadium on June 22, 1986. But these only hint at what he was capable of. They don’t constitute sufficient supporting evidence to the argument that he was the best ever.

What makes it harder still is the even scarcer evidence for claimants of previous generations: Hungary’s Ferenc Puskas, Spain and Argentina’s Alfredo di Stefano, Brazil’s Pele, the Dutchman Johan Cruyff, Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer, et al. That they played under different conditions and rules, and in different positions, makes the argument moot, anyway.

[Complete Article]

The Green Link

Call for greater use of renewable energy in Caricom

Science & Technology

Havana, Nov 27 (Prensa Latina) Cuba has registered four vaccine candidates against Covid-19 that are currently on clinical trials, after Mambisa and Abdala, developed by the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center (CIGB), were authorized for this phase of the study.

According to information released on social networks, the regulatory entity of Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices authorized the start of clinical trials on those two vaccine candidates.

The former, called Mambisa (CIGB 669), will be administered nasally; while the latter, named Abdala (CIGB 66), will be injected.

CIGB 669 explores the nasal route and constitutes a subunit vaccine that uses the AgnHB protein as an antigen, with the ability to stimulate the immune response at the mucosal level, the first barrier against a pathogen and in systemic behaviors.

It was named Mambisa, as a tribute to the women who fought in the wars for independence in the second half of the 19th century.

The second of those vaccine candidates and the fourth from Cuba uses yeast as a receptor binding domain protein and alumina as an adjuvant, scientists explained.

Named Abdala, in honor of the first dramatic poem written by the Cuban intellectual Jose Marti (1869), the study will aim to assess the vaccine’s safety in a first stage.

On administering Abdala, experts aim to examine its safety, and the immune response capacity using a larger group of volunteers.

Cuba was the first country in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the 30th worldwide, to receive authorization to begin clinical trials on a vaccine candidate against Covid-19, called Soberana 01, in August.

in early November, the World Health Organization (WHO) included a second Cuban vaccine candidate (Soberana 02) on the official site of projects on clinical trials against the disease.

Both candidates, developed by the Finlay Vaccine Institute, are on the list of 47 registered vaccine candidates worldwide and are moving positively in human clinical trials.

In parallel, the CIGB was working on these other two projects against the new coronavirus.

The Green Link

Today Would Be a Good Time to Start That Diet

Green News

The Green Link believes the starting point for fighting obesity is seeking help from a physical therapist, a chiropractor, and a highly qualified dietist. It is a reality losing weight can only be achieved by combining working out with a green diet. It is difficult to start exercising without the proper specialist’s supervision. Furthermore, insurance must support prevention medicine aggressively; as we know, many of the services we are suggesting are no cover by them.

For our youngsters, teaching them to exercise daily and eating green is the solution.

Did you step on the scale the morning after Thanksgiving and grimace? Yeah. In this season of indoor living and holidays, people pack on pounds that they never manage to unpack in the spring and summer. It’s worse this year because of Covid-19, which can trigger worry-eating.

The rate of adult obesity in the U.S. was 42.4% in 2017-18, the most recent period for which figures are available, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That’s an enormous increase from 30.5% in 1999-2000. Severe obesity reached 9.2% in 2017-18. Obesity is a body mass index of 30 or more; severe obesity is a BMI of 40 or more.

The U.S. is one of the world’s fattest nations, exceeded in obesity prevalence only by 10 tiny Pacific island nations and Kuwait, according to World Health Organization data from 2016. There are eight times as many obese people per capita in the U.S. as in Japan.

This is both a health and an economic issue. According to The State of Obesity 2020: Better Policies for a Healthier America, a new report by the Trust for America’s Health, obesity puts people at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and many types of cancers. As for economics, the report says, “Obesity is estimated to increase healthcare spending by $149 billion annually (about half of which is paid for by Medicare and Medicaid) and being overweight or having obesity is the most common reason young adults are ineligible for military service.”

And now, the pandemic. Obesity may triple the likelihood of hospitalization as a result of a Covid-19 infection, according to the CDC.

Freelance writer Matthew Rees, who was a speechwriter for President George W. Bush, has been all over this issue since launching a website called Food and Health Facts. His logo is a caduceus, used in the U.S. as a symbol of medicine, in which the two snakes coiled around the staff are replaced with a carrot and a stalk of asparagus. Since October he’s published bite-sized nuggets on obesity and Covid-19, restaurant portion inflation, the risk in eating processed meat, obesity in the military, advertising spending on sugary beverages, and more.

I asked Rees if he was writing a Thanksgiving-themed item. He said his friends told him to go easy on the doom and gloom on the holiday. (Didn’t stop me.) When prodded, he said, “There is an unhealthy and excessive amount of animal protein consumption in this country and Thanksgiving is one emblem of that.” He hastened to add, “I’m not advocating that Thanksgiving should end.”

What to do? The report by the Trust for America’s Health—whose funders include Michael Bloomberg, the majority owner of Bloomberg LP—recommends fighting obesity with, among other measures, free school meals and expanded access to food stamps so low-income Americans can eat healthier foods. Courting controversy, it also recommends changing incentives by “eliminating business-cost deductions related to the advertising of unhealthy food and beverages to children and by enacting sugary drink taxes where tax revenue is allocated to local efforts to reduce health and socioeconomic disparities.” When Bloomberg was mayor of New York, the city limited the size of soda cups, but state courts knocked the measure down.

If you don’t think those measures are good, come up with better ones, because it’s clear that something needs to be done.

The Green Link

Biden May Have 16 Days to Stave Off a Nuclear Arms Race

Global News

The New START Treaty is the last bilateral nuclear arms control treaty between the U.S. and Russia. It’s scheduled to expire on Feb. 5. Assuming the Trump administration doesn’t agree with Russia on an extension—and it hasn’t done so in nearly four years–President Joe Biden will have just 16 days from Inauguration Day to rescue the pact.

If New START is allowed to expire, a nuclear arms race could break out. Retired Navy Admiral James Stavridis, the former supreme allied commander of NATO, wrote in a Bloomberg Opinion column on Oct. 30, that a stop to New START would allow both sides to deploy more nukes of current designs as well as make more advanced systems, “all of which would be very destabilizing.”

Some pressure, right? For insight into what Biden and his team will do, I interviewed Jon Wolfsthal, who served from 2014 to 2017 as a special assistant to President Barack Obama and as senior director for arms control and nonproliferation at the National Security Council. He was also a senior adviser to Vice President Biden on nuclear security and nonproliferation from 2009 to 2012.

Wolfsthal says he’s optimistic about Biden’s chances of staving off a fresh nuclear arms race. “Next year will be my 40th year working on nuclear issues,” he says. “I started as a teenager in the freeze movement.” He’s spent the Trump years working for Global Zero, a nongovernmental organization devoted to nuke reduction, as head of its nuclear crisis group.

“I’ve come to the realization that there’s never an end point,” Wolfsthal says. “It’s a process. There are times when you’re more effective and there are times when things are negative. Because the consequence of failure is so great, the use of these weapons would be so traumatic, people continue to work on it.”

Wolfsthal characterizes Trump’s approach to nuclear arms control as “both extreme and extremely ineffective,” involving “gut instinct.” Biden, he says, is more experienced in arms control and more process-oriented. “A workable process is a prerequisite. The Biden administration will make mistakes, but they will have looked at the alternatives,” he says.

When I spoke with Wolfsthal on Nov. 18 he predicted that Biden would fill key roles with trusted advisers such as Anthony Blinken. A few days later his prediction came true when Biden named Blinken as his choice for secretary of State and Jake Sullivan for national security adviser.

Biden and his team will have a long list of nuclear weapons problems to deal with, including the rapid growth of China’s arsenal. But what to do about New START will have to be at the top of the list. The treaty limits the U.S. and Russia to deployment of 1,550 long-range nuclear warheads and 700 long-range delivery vehicles each. Russia is willing to renew the pact for five years without preconditions, but the Trump administration has balked. It wants to strengthen verification provisions and broaden the treaty to cover other Russian nukes, including short-range missiles and new delivery vehicles such as hypersonic glide vehicles. It also wants New START to cover China, which is a stretch—and something Russia has little to no influence over.

Wolfsthal says New START, which went into effect in 2011, is flawed but shouldn’t be left to expire, because “it has allowed us to maintain security at lower level of nukes. It least allows us to know how many weapons Russia has.” Without the verification that New START permits, he says, “there would be claims of a missile gap,” as there were under Presidents Eisenhower and Reagan. “We’ve seen that movie play out before,” namely in a costly and dangerous arms race, Wolfsthal says.

Nuclear arms control doesn’t get as much attention as other priorities for Biden’s first 100 days, but nothing is more important for the safety of the human race.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

The Green Link

Fidel Castro’s Legacy (Draft)

The Green Factor, Getting Real & Bold

Today Cubans recall Fidel Castro, on the 4th anniversary of their leader’s death. This process changed history in this country and marked him as a man who dedicated his life to the fight for workers, the poor, blacks, Indians, and women’s rights. This is not a review of his approaches, but an assertion that indeed he became a fighter for those groups.

Castro with his son Fidelito

Fidel Castro, hated by many and loved by others, is one of the most important political figures of the twenty centuries. His legacy is mainly damaged by the embargo imposed by John F. Kennedy. Kennedy, a catholic, came to power when Fidel was fighting the corruption, prostitution, and poverty in the farm-side suffocating Cuba at the time; social and economic problems exist in all Catholic countries of the world. It is not a secret that Italians owned Cuban casinos and a colossal prostitution rink.
His legacy is suffering, by the lack of the current government to control prostitution organized again by Italians, but now widely supported by former Soviet Union mafias and tycoons.

Fidel Castro came to power with the help of the so-called Protestants on the Left, who kept behind the scenes supporting his government. An example the Pastors for Peace. Protestants on the left, many of whom oversaw the army at the time, stopped Kennedy from sending marines to destroy Fidel. The Green Link supports Protestants’ on the Left values.

Fidel’s plan before 1959 was perfect. He wanted to remain as the Revolution Icon and the honorary Commander in Chief, while having free elections every four years. Nevertheless, Russia took over the Island. Therefore, The Green Link considers that understanding how Russia took over the Cuban Revolution is trivial for current politicians’ career; like Marco Antonio Rubio, whom we will support for president in 2024.

Castro’s 1960 Forced Smile

We want to emphasize the importance of protecting people’s sovereign liberty and the security of our leaders, no matter their size. One mistake can result in altering a nation’s history. In Cuba, we see the plight of Fidel Castro, a graduate of the Catholic Jesuit Academy, “Colegio de Belen,” located in Havana. Fidel was also a member of the Cuban Orthodox Party in his political beginnings. He then became associated with the Marxist-Leninist doctrines and promoted them widely, something resulted as well from Che Guevara already working for Russia, when they met in Mexico.

Fidel’s face meeting Che Guevara

Our Odeslink team was fortunate to speak with one of Fidel’s earliest bodyguards and others who asked that they would be quoted anonymously (One repeated this four different times). These individuals recalled Castro’s and his followers fighting corruption. Many of them were present during Fulgencio Batista’s reign. They fought against the dire poverty that was endured by the Cuban peasants. Castro initially desired to establish a modern democracy based on Jose Marti’s Principles and place values set forth by his Jesuit teachings. Early in his campaign, one event occurred, a bomb with the lettering “Made in the USA” was found near Fidel’s war camp. It never exploded but shaped Fidel’s anti-American sentiment deepening going forward. The people that placed the bomb never were identified. Later, in 1960, Fidel visited the United Nations in New York City. While there, he stayed in the Teresa Hotel about the city called Harlem. The Cuban security made a great mistake by allowing the Soviet Union Prime Minister, Nikita Khrushchev, to meet Fidel in a private room with only a single translator. Fidel’s bodyguard told us that the Cuban leader looked profoundly serious with almost tears in his eyes after the meeting. He said to them,” neither Kennedy nor Khrushchev wants to give us options.” “The world is run by two assholes, then in 1961, Fidel declared the Cuban Revolution took the course of the Leninist-Marxist. Kennedy was considered a failure. Khrushchev was removed from office as the Prime Minister of the Soviet Union while still alive.

The Green Link

The Russian Sword a Neo-Fascism Sentiment


How can Cuba’s government explain that Russia is the sixth wealthiest country globally, and Cuba is one of the poorest? The embargo’s imminent harm is that Cuba cannot take advantage of selling and buying in the United States on credit. Think Tankers has predicted that Cuba will be receiving around 10 million Tourists from the United States per year as soon as the diplomatic and economic relations are established.

Coming soon to The Green Link

Money Could Motivate Some People to Get a Covid-19 Vaccine, Survey Shows


Economists have suggested paying people to get a Covid-19 vaccine, but there’s never been a survey to find out whether payments would work. Now there is, and the results are–murky.

A Harris Poll conducted Nov. 19-21 asked about 2,000 Americans how much the government should pay if it were to pay people to get a vaccine against the coronavirus. Twenty-four percent mentioned sums of $100 or less. Sixteen percent mentioned higher amounts.

Most, though, indicated that money wasn’t a motivator. Thirty-nine percent said they would get a Covid-19 vaccine even if the government didn’t pay anything, while 23% said the opposite: They wouldn’t get a vaccine even if they were offered payment.

Economist Robert Litan, a Brookings Institution nonresident senior fellow, proposed in August that the federal government pay people $1,000 to get vaccinated. In the Harris Poll, only 7% of respondents mentioned that sum or more.

It’s hard to draw a straight line from the poll to policy. How people answer a hypothetical question is only loosely connected to how they would behave in a real-life situation—cash in the palm for a needle in the arm. Money might be more effective than the poll indicated, or less. Adding to the uncertainty, Harris didn’t directly ask people how much they personally would need to be offered, instead asking, “If the government were to pay people to get a Covid-19 vaccine, how much do you think they should pay each person?”

Clearly, though, paying people to get jabs rubs a lot of Americans the wrong way. Before asking people to name dollar amounts, Harris asked them if they believed the government should pay people for shots at all. Only 44% said yes, 56% no.

John Gerzema, co-chief executive of Harris Poll, says this survey and previous ones tell him that many Americans are torn between fear of a vaccine and a sense of civic duty to get inoculated.

Gerzema also points to wide gender and racial gaps on vaccines. When Harris asked if the government should mandate vaccinations, 56% of men but only 40% of women said yes. Earlier, a Nov. 13 Harris Poll found that 69% of men but only 52% of women said they were likely to get a vaccine as soon as it becomes available. Similarly, 62% of White Americans but only 46% of Black Americans said they were likely to get a vaccine as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Economist and Business Week

The Green Link

Cuba begins polio vaccination campaign


Havana, Nov 23 (Prensa Latina) The second stage of the National Bivalent Oral Polio Vaccination Campaign begins in Cuba this Monday, the Ministry of Public Health informed.

This campaign, which will take place amid the fight against Covid-19, will be conducted simultaneously across the Caribbean country.

Cuba was the first country in Latin America to be declared territory free of this disease.

Polio vaccination campaigns began in Cuba in 1962. The Caribbean nation has conducted it every year since then to protect the population.

According to scientific literature, poliomyelitis or polio is an infectious-contagious disease that affects the central nervous system.

This disease can cause inflammation of the brain and the motor neurons in the spinal cord, producing muscle atrophy, paralysis, deformity and even death. It mainly affects children.

With the implementation of the Child Vaccination Program, diseases such as diphtheria, measles, whooping cough, rubella, mumps, neonatal tetanus and tuberculous meningitis have been eliminated in Cuba.

The polio vaccine also reduces morbidity and mortality by more than 95% due to typhoid fever, meningococcal meningitis and hepatitis B.

The Green Link