I’m a bit of a news junkie.

I’m also MicroWave on lemm.ee.

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Joined 1 year ago
Cake day: June 12th, 2023


  • I don’t think so. There are other important parts in the article:

    For the first time, the annual event will also involve troops from the Australian and French military. Fourteen other countries in Asia and Europe will attend as observers. The exercises will run until May 10.

    The 2024 exercises are also the first to take place outside of Philippine territorial waters.

    “Some of the exercises will take place in the South China Sea in an area outside of the Philippines’ territorial sea. It’s a direct challenge to China’s expansive claims” in the region, Philippine political analyst Richard Heydarian told DW.

    He added that some of the exercises this year will also be close to Taiwan.

    This year’s exercises have a “dual orientation pushing against China’s aggressive intentions both in the South China Sea but also in Taiwan,” he added.

  • Agreed. Here’s some more context:

    Korea has the second-lowest number of physicians among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, leading to some of the highest doctors’ wages among surveyed member nations.

    Doctors in Korea earn the most among 28 member countries that provided related data. Following Korea, the highest earners are in the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland and the UK. The US was among the countries for which data was not provided.

    Measured by PPP, which takes into account local living costs, salaried specialists earned an average of $192,749 annually in 2020, According to the 2023 OECD Health Statistics report. That was 60 percent more than the OECD average. Korean GP salaries ranked sixth.

    … The country also ranked low in the number of medical school graduates – 7.3 per 100,000 people, which is the third-lowest after Israel and Japan, and nearly half the OCED average of 14 graduates for every 100,000 people.


  • These doctors are not telling the whole story. More context from the article:

    Public surveys show that a majority of South Koreans support the government’s push to create more doctors, and critics say that doctors, one of the highest-paid professions in South Korea, worry about lower incomes due to a rise in the number of doctors.

    Officials say more doctors are required to address a long-standing shortage of physicians in rural areas and in essential but low-paying specialties. But doctors say newly recruited students would also try to work in the capital region and in high-paying fields like plastic surgery and dermatology. They say the government plan would also likely result in doctors performing unnecessary treatments due to increased competition.

  • Your comment seems to suggest that the boat was far away from Taiwan, which was not the case. For context, the boat was touring Taiwan’s Kinmen Islands, which are just a few kilometers/miles from the Chinese mainland (Wikipedia says 10 km/6.2 mi), and had to veer toward the Chinese side of the water to avoid shoals.

    According to the article, this seems like an escalation by the PRC:

    For years, sightseeing boat tours between Kinmen and Xiamen, the closest city on the Chinese mainland, have offered Taiwanese tourists a chance to gaze at China’s dazzling skyline without the hassle of border checks, with China operating similar tour boats for its citizens too.

    Ian Chong, a political scientist at the National University of Singapore, said the latest measures are part of China’s “gray zone” tactics, referring to coercive or aggressive state actions that stop short of open warfare – something Beijing has used increasingly in recent years in the East and South China Seas, as well as toward Taiwan.

    The inspection of a Taiwanese tour boat by China’s coast guard, which Chong said had not happened before, was meant to provoke Taiwan and see if it would either escalate or accept this sort of behavior as given.

  • The Philippines generally has a positive view of the US. But from 2016 to 2022, the relationship deteriorated because the Filipino president at the time (Rodrigo Duterte) tried courting China, but it didn’t pan out. A quote from the article:

    Manila-based political analyst Julio Amador III described the U.S. outreach as “unprecedented love-bombing” aimed at resetting the U.S.-Philippines relationship. Marcos’ predecessor, the populist firebrand Rodrigo Duterte, was openly hostile to the United States and attempted to bring his country closer to communist China during his six-year term.

  • From the article:

    Marcos’ father, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr, was a steadfast U.S. ally who was deposed in 1986 after Filipinos revolted against his regime. The elder Marcos was accused of orchestrating the detention and killing of thousands of political enemies and illegally siphoning billions of dollars from public coffers. He died in exile in Hawaii in 1989 without facing trial. After his death, family members returned to the Philippines, where they have remained a force in politics.

    Araneta, Marcos’ brother-in-law, told Reuters that the president and his family had long felt “betrayed” by Washington for the U.S. role in supporting the change of government that pushed the elder Marcos from power. Still, Araneta said, Marcos Jr is a pragmatist who spent a lot of time thinking before his election about “how to get the Americans back” for the sake of the Philippines’ economy and security.

    The Biden administration lost no time in trying to reset relations. After Biden’s congratulatory call, the U.S. president sent Marcos an invitation to the White House. In September 2022, the two met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

  • My comment is more to you talking about trains in general, as there are already regular trains in place. This is more about where high-speed rail fits in. AP News also has an article on it:

    “I’m so happy and very excited that finally we can ride a bullet train in Indonesia,” said Christianto Nusatya, a Jakarta resident who joined a public test ride last week. “But still, I would prefer to choose a regular train or car, because Jakarta-Bandung is too short and not worth it to be reached by high-speed train.”

    Deddy Herlambang, executive director of the Jakarta-based NGO Institute for Transportation Studies, said the public does not really need a high-speed train on the Jakarta-Bandung route because there were already many other ways of traveling between the two cities.

    He said the bullet train would have a significant economic impact if it connected Jakarta and Surabaya. However, he was pessimistic that the railway project would make a profit in less than 30 years of operation.

    “The high-speed train cannot replace the old transportation that previously existed,” Herlambang said, “People, of course, will prefer to use far cheaper modes of transportation for short distance trips.”


  • The article literally tells you why:

    While ticket prices for the train have not been finalised, the company behind the train estimates that a one-way ticket could cost between 250,000 Indonesian rupiah and 350,000 Indonesian rupiah ($16 to $22.60).

    In comparison, a shuttle bus fare can cost as low as $5, which is approximately 77,685 Indonesian rupiah. And that difference can mean a lot for the average citizen.

    Aninda Dewayanti, who lives in Bandung, is sceptical about how practical the train would be for ordinary Indonesians.

    It’s so expensive,” she told the BBC. “There are other transport options with comparable prices. I’d rather take a normal train or a bus.”