KING OF CASINOS DIEST AT 98
When you think of gambling what certainly comes to your mind is Las Vegas. That’s not a mistake, but the world’s capital of gambling has a different name: Macau. It is a special administrative region of China which was a Portuguese colony until 1999, thanks to which until now it enjoys separate government and different economic system than China.
Macau is full of surprises: its gambling industry is 7 times bigger than that of Las Vegas, it is the most densely populated region in the world (667,400 people live on the area of 32.9 square km), it has one of the highest GDP per capita in the world and fourth-highest life expectancy. In terms of economy it takes so much money from gaming that 80% of its economy’s income comes from it.
Now, imagine nearly all this was created by one man, Stanley Ho. It was Mr Ho who built the gambling empire there and for 40 years had a monopoly on casinos in Macau. No wonder that helped him become one of the richest people in Asia. SJM Holdings which he was the boss of owned 19 casinos in Macau alone, among others the iconic Grand Lisboa.
The success of Macau’s casinos partly depended on another brilliant idea of Stanley Ho – he created a VIP system of middlemen who grant credit to gamblers and are responsible for collecting the debt. There is a good chance that’s why he was often accused of being linked to criminal gangs, which he always refused.
Since there is no game in which you can win your life, even the king of casinos had to surrender at the age of 98. Now his fortune and legacy will be passed to his 4 wives and 17 known children, some of who already run their own successful businesses. Guess what, connected with casinos.
UNEXPECTED FATE OF SURROGATE CHILDREN
Flavia Lavorino and Jose Perez from Buenos Aires have been a couple for 15 years. They really wanted to become parents, but despite many treatments they were not able to have their own child. The only chance they were left with was to find a surrogate, who would gave birth to their dreams. One of their relatives had advised them to look for such a service in Ukraine, which is one of a few places, where commercial surrogacy is… legal.
Getting a child born by a surrogate mother costs around 30-50 thousand dollars there, which makes it quite cheap when compared to prices in the USA. Also, after closing such clinics in Asia, Ukraine became an important place for the business. It led to about 4000 babies being born there by surrogates yearly. The market is diversified, there are big companies sticking with the USA standards, chains of agents looking for interested women and individual ladies searching for clients on the Web.
The couple picked the first option. They did not really have any contact with the woman carrying the child, but everything had been going smoothly. The complications started on the March 30th, when they were informed about the birth. At first that made them very happy, but they quickly realised that due to the lockdown the borders were closed and flights suspended, so they could not pick up their child, Manuel.
In the same clinic there were nearly 50 babies left in analogical situation. Sergij Antonow, the founder and director of the Medical and Reproduction Law Center, monitoring Ukrainian surrogacy situation, said that the biggest problem is a fact that the kids are not Ukrainian citizens and despite appeals the government was not interested in any intervention. The clinic decided to record and publish a video with all waiting babies crying loudly. This activity created some pressure on the authorities and was a good advertisement at the same time. A media storm began and it really worked. The government started negotiations with the embassies of countries where the parents come from. And after about two months since the first children were born the parents started appearing in Kiev.
HOW ABOUT A LITTLE MORE ISOLATION? – DESTINATION: MARS
If you don’t have any problems while isolating yourself during the virus pandemic, NASA has a proposition for you. The American space agency is looking for volunteers who would be able to spend eight months in social isolation in a small, international group of people.
The experiment will take place in Moscow, Russia. It aims to study the physical and mental impact of isolation on people. The results of the research are needed during the preparation of Artemis participants for the upcoming missions. First plans include returning to the Moon in 2024, but the mission may be delayed due to the current pandemic.
Another NASA’s goal is to send people to Mars by 2030. However, before anyone flies to the planet, the American agency has to check the critical behaviour of volunteers who would be able to do so. They are necessary to develop strategies for the conquest of both planets. Of course, those who decide to take part in the program can count on appropriate money reward.
However, participation in the project involves meeting some basic requirements. Only those who have American citizenship, are between 30 and 55 years old and speak English and Russian fluently may be invited to the program. In addition, it is necessary for the participant to have a higher education degree and of course — a completed military training.
GEORGE FLOYD’S DEATH RATTLES THE UNITED STATES
Here’s what happened to George Floyd, 46, last Monday, 25 May 2020. You have a police officer with a knee on the neck of this Afro-American who is handcuffed. The officer has the knee on his neck for over eight minutes. Two and a half of those minutes were after there was no response from George Floyd. And what you don’t see in the particular video I’m referring to, but in another one from across the street, was two of the other three officers kneeling on George Floyd’s leg. The third one is seen standing around talking to passers-by and keeping them at bay. Before passing out, George Floyd is heard crying, calling for his mother.
What exactly is so reprehensible and awful about this? Isn’t there enough evil going on elsewhere in the world to mourn a loss of one guy in one of the richest countries on Earth? I suppose what makes this case particularly tragic is that he was killed in broad daylight, for the whole world to see. Also important: Floyd was not being arrested for a violent crime – he allegedly passed a counterfeit $20 bill. Then there’s the fact that, like mass shootings and gun violence, these situations are recurrent in the US: In 2014 Eric Garner was choked to death in a similar fashion in Staten Island, NY, after uttering the same words: “I can’t breathe”. The police officer choking him was ultimately acquitted. Meanwhile, the officer choking George Floyd, Derek Chauvin [who, along with the other three officers, should have been arrested the day he was fired (Monday) and not on Friday!] has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Look, we are aware this isn’t a news item school children should be reading on international children’s day, nor on any other day for that matter. But this is precisely the problem: children, teenagers and young adults watch the video and take to the streets of Minneapolis because the level of injustice and hopelessness has gotten so high. As the world watches closely what happens next to Derek Chauvin, this classical Greek metaphor comes to mind: “God’s mill grinds slow but sure” – meaning that, in the end, God’s punishment and justice will be served. It would be good, however, if our earthly justice system served it before (and if) God does, for a change.
Source: cnn.com; theguardian.com
- Gambling should be forbidden.
- Surrogacy should be banned in all countries.
- Being part of the first mission to Mars is attractive.
- Donald Trump’s „where’s looting, there’s shooting” policy is justified.