Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netBarangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone doesn’t want to put too much on his team’s early success in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup.The Gin Kings are currently tied with the Meralco Bolts for the top spot with a 5-1 record, but Cone thinks the real challenge begins on Sunday against fierce rival Star.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Read Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games After US Open loss, Kyrgios says: ‘Keep letting people down’ LATEST STORIES Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC “Our test comes a little stronger right now to see if what we’re doing can carry over to the good teams, to the really powerful teams in the league starting with Star on Sunday,” said Cone.The Hotshots are currently third in the standings, just a half-game behind the Kings and Bolts. They have also welcomed back their heart and soul in Marc Pingris.“It’s going to be an emotional game on Sunday so we just have to be ready for Ping and Star,” said Ginebra forward Japeth Aguilar, who had 19 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks against the Fuel Masters.ADVERTISEMENT “Still too early. We look at our schedule coming up. We got Star, then we got Blackwater, which got beat tonight but has won three of its last four,” Cone said after his squad whipped Phoenix, 105-92, Wednesday night.Ginebra is among the favorites to win it all at this point of the conference having won five in a row, but its road to defend its title gets rougher from here with Grand-Slam seeking San Miguel and a couple more championship contenders in Rain or Shine and TNT in its line of sight to wrap up its elimination round schedule.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We’re playing all the top teams out there. So we beat the teams we’re supposed to beat,” he said.But first things first with the much-awaited Star coming up four days from now. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments MOST READ SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort “We have to accept the humility of the scenario, we have to get back to understanding what we do well, and sort of rediscover who we are,” said Baldwin, moments after emerging from the Ateneo dugout at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday night.“It’s there, there’s no question that it’s still there. But today I thought we played like a young team, and we shouldn’t. Yes, there’s youth there, but we’ve been together long enough and we shouldn’t play like a young team. We have to figure it out.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe Tamaraws seemed to have the Eagles all figured out as they started strong and finished even stronger to send their Final Four matchup to a do-or-die affair this Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.While Baldwin acknowledged FEU’s brilliance, the American coach said the defeat was also due to his players lacking confidence with their shots. LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Cash incentive, more allowance await world champ Tabora Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 MOST READ Two weeks ago, Ateneo was flirting with a perfect UAAP Season 80 elimination round and an outright finals berth.But two successive losses, including a 67-80 defeat to Far Eastern U in the Final Four, has put the Blue Eagles’ impressive campaign in peril, a scenario which coach Tab Baldwin said is humbling for his team.ADVERTISEMENT Baldwin said his team shot “abysmally” in contrast to the Tamaraws, whom he described as “sharper on both ends of the floor.”Ateneo shot just 36 percent from the field, including 31 percent from beyond the arc.For a team that hardly showed any weakness in the elimination round, the sputtering performance by the Eagles came as a surprise.“I think FEU played real well,” he said. “They had a good game plan, we shot the ball just abysmally. We had open shots particularly in the first half, and we didn’t hit them. I think our confidence kind of went down, and I hate to see that because with young kids, you don’t ever want to see their confidence sort of erode a little bit.”Baldwin feels this type of adversity will only strengthen his players, saying he can already feel the urgency within the team.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “We just have to play a lot better and play much closer to what we’re capable of,” he added. Read Next Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA View comments
LATEST STORIES James scored 16 of his 18 points in the first quarter and the Cavaliers made 11 3-pointers in the first half on the way to a 116-88 rout of the Detroit Pistons on Monday night. Cleveland led 73-46 at halftime thanks to an overwhelming shooting performance, an indication that Detroit’s stay atop the Central Division might not last much longer.The Pistons still lead the Cavs by a game, but Cleveland has won five straight and scored at least 110 points in eight of its last nine.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“That was 48 minutes of game planning and execution right from the beginning,” James said. “They’ve been playing extremely good basketball. They were coming off a great win (Sunday) night in Minnesota, so we knew that they were going to come out here and try to give us their best shot, and had to be ready for that.”The Cavaliers led 27-22 when James went to the bench late in the first quarter. By the time he came back in, it was 50-30. Cleveland’s reserves ended up outscoring Detroit’s 26-8 in the first half. QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort The Cavs shot 62 percent from the field in the first two quarters and 11 of 17 from 3-point range. They finished the game 16 of 33 from beyond the arc.“I’m not upset at our guys. I didn’t see our guys quitting or anything like that,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. “We got a little bit shell shocked.”This had the feel of a big game before it started. Although there were still some empty seats at Little Caesars Arena, the Pistons’ new home seemed closer to full than on previous nights, and the attendance was announced as a sellout. The team played well on offense at the start. A 3-pointer by Avery Bradley put Detroit ahead 18-17.James, however, answered with two 3s and a turnaround jumper, and the Pistons weren’t able to keep up with Cleveland’s torrid shooting.“He definitely did set the tone,” Detroit’s Tobias Harris said. “Made some really tough, contested shots — 3s. Got himself going, got his team going, and then they were able to just pretty much fuel off that.”It was 36-23 after the first quarter, and the Cavs broke the game open at the start of the second. Channing Frye made back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 46-28.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) drives against Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)DETROIT — An emphatic win over a first-place opponent had LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers talking confidently again.“We haven’t had a win like that in a very long time,” James said. “That’s what happens when we don’t let up.”ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Harris led Detroit with 11 points. Kevin Love had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Cleveland.ANOTHER BLOWOUTThe previous matchup between these teams wasn’t much different. The Cavs beat Detroit 128-96 on March 14 in Cleveland. That was the largest margin of victory by the Cavs against the Pistons — although Clevelandnearly broke that mark Monday.A BREATHERCleveland led 101-62 after three, and the top players for both teams sat out the final period. James ended up playing only 27:17 after surpassing 40 minutes in three of his previous five games.“I played with Michael Jordan when he was 39; he played 37 minutes a night. Karl Malone was 37 and played 38 minutes a night,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “Everybody’s built different and if you’re one of the greats sometimes you’ve got to play and sometimes you get rest like tonight.”TIP-INSCavaliers: Cleveland still isn’t close to full strength. The Cavs were without Isaiah Thomas (right hip), Derrick Rose (left ankle sprain), Iman Shumpert (left knee effusion) and Tristan Thompson (left calf strain).Pistons: Jon Leuer (left ankle sprain) did not play. … Detroit’s six-game home winning streak was snapped. This was also the first time all season the Pistons lost the latter half of a back-to-back. They had been 3-0. … Andre Drummond moved into fifth place on the Pistons’ career list with 5,205 rebounds. Larry Foust had 5,200.UP NEXT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Irving’s 47 lead Celtics past Mavericks to extend streak to 16 straight View comments CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA MOST READ Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Cavaliers: Host the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.Pistons: At the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night. Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion
Read Next LATEST STORIES Chinese flyweight Ma Hao Bin (9-1) settled for a unanimous decision victory over Sotir Kichukov (13-7).The winner of ONE Changsha Bantamweight Tournament was the clear aggressor in the match but did not have enough power in his strikes to knock his Bulgarian foe out, allowing the fight to go the distance.Hayato Suzuki (18-1-2) also inched his way to a title shot as he submitted Yago Bryan (3-4).The Japanese contender squeezed the air out of his Brazilian foe as he locked in the rear naked choke to take the victory at the 4:03 mark of round one.Emilio Urrutia (11-4) displayed his impeccable striking as he knocked out Bruno Pucci (5-3).ADVERTISEMENT Things didn’t get better from there as Nunes caught Kelly’s right foot, sending him to the ground before locking in the D’arce choke at the 1:31 mark of the second round to gain the submission victory.Kelly dropped to 12-5 as he suffered his fourth straight defeat, while Nunes rose to 11-1.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutPhoto from ONE ChampionshipIn the night’s other matches, Sam-A Gaiyanghadao (364-46-9) will also go down in history as the victor in the first ever Muay Thai bout in ONE Championship, stopping Joseph Lasiri (31-5) in the second round.The 25-year veteran athlete out of Evolve MMA punished his Italian foe with his thunderous high kicks which reverberated throughout the 20,000-seater arena, before closing out the match with a killer right straight which floored Lasiri with 2:30 to spare in the second round. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding MOST READ Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises View comments Photo from ONE ChampionshipEric Kelly failed to hoist the country’s flag as he fell to Rafael Nunes in the undercard of ONE: Global Superheroes Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.Desperate to snap his skid, the Baguio-native tried to bring the fight to the ground but almost found himself in trouble late in the opening round against his Brazilian foe.ADVERTISEMENT The American featherweight connected with his barrage of punches, bloodying his Brazilian foe in the process before flooring him with a right hook at the 3:33 mark of the opening round. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Manila police chief: Cops tolerating illegal street vendors to get ax PLAY LIST 01:22Manila police chief: Cops tolerating illegal street vendors to get ax02:18Alvarez ready to take risk vs Folayang, looks to end clash by ‘knockout or submission’03:491.8M visitors expected at Manila North Cemetery for ‘Undas’ 201901:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Barcelona to face Valencia in Copa del Rey semifinals Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa
Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Huelgas, who along with Chicano has been training around the region for the last two months, clocked one hour, 59 minutes and 30 seconds to win his second straight SEA Games gold medal.READ: Favorites to win, PH triathletes reminded not to be complacentFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingChicaco checked in four minutes later to make it a 1-2 finish for the Filipinos. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony Ravena lauds Standhardinger’s efforts in Gilas cadets’ opener win NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH bags 2nd Gold as triathletes Nikko Huelgas (right) and John Chicano (left finish at 1-2 at the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. – marianne bermudezKUALA LUMPUR — Nikko Huelgas and John Chicano dominated the men’s triathlon here in the Southeast Asian Games Monday as the Philippines picked up its second gold of at Putrajaya Water Sports Complex here.READ: PH bets also snatch gold, silver in women’s triathlonADVERTISEMENT MOST READ
The Scorpio has set a scorching pace at a time when the auto industry has been sluggish with few companies clocking good sales.Mahindra & Mahindra’s SUV (sports utility vehicle) – they prefer calling it a car – has got a good start selling 1,475 cars since its July launch.The Scorpio,,The Scorpio has set a scorching pace at a time when the auto industry has been sluggish with few companies clocking good sales.Mahindra & Mahindra’s SUV (sports utility vehicle) – they prefer calling it a car – has got a good start selling 1,475 cars since its July launch.The Scorpio, if successful, could do what the Indica has done for Telco – facilitate a truck manufacturer’s entry into the passenger – car segment after repeated failures.SUVs are inching ahead in India’s car market in which it has only 12 per cent share, in contrast to 40 per cent in the rest of Asia and 50 per cent in the US.But then the Scorpio’s price tag of Rs 5.4-6.35 lakh – at least Rs 65,000 cheaper than a similar model of Toyota Qualis – might have a lot to do with its popularity.
A teacher with students during a relaxation drill ahead of exams, in ChongqingBeijing’s colourful Art Zone 798 is a world away from the grey communist-style buildings that surround the iconic Tiananmen Square in the heart of China’s capital. Located in the suburban district of Dashanzi, 15 km north-east of Tiananmen,,A teacher with students during a relaxation drill ahead of exams, in ChongqingBeijing’s colourful Art Zone 798 is a world away from the grey communist-style buildings that surround the iconic Tiananmen Square in the heart of China’s capital. Located in the suburban district of Dashanzi, 15 km north-east of Tiananmen, Art Zone 798 isn’t even marked on the official tourist map. The government isn’t keen on giving this thriving hub of art, culture and dissent any official publicity. It has toyed with the idea of closing it, but has desisted. Closure could risk offending the New China.It’s a Saturday afternoon and the narrow streets and alleyways of the art zone are packed with people. It is difficult to spot a tourist. The crowds are local. It is equally difficult to spot anyone above the age of 40. Beijing’s youth throng the galleries, shops and European-style street cafes. The residential apartments are plush-Bentleys and BMWs hog parking slots. The art is interesting, subtly irreverent. You could call it Maoist chic. There is a lot of the party’s red colour but there seem few red lines of conformity. No one is beyond satire, be it Mao, Obama, Marx or Hitler.China’s current leaders Hu Jintao (centre) and Wen Jiabao (second from left) with gen-next leaders (circled) XI Jinping (left) and Li Keqiang in Beijing.For the Communist Party of China (CPC), Art Zone 798 is a lethal cocktail of the wealthy, the youth, the creative and the liberal intellectuals. In less than a decade since it was founded in 2002-when a group of artists moved to occupy a factory (Number 798) that had fallen into disrepair in the 1970s-the district has already produced China’s most famous dissident in recent times, the artist Ai Weiwei. Authorities were quick to recognise Ai’s potential as an artist and dissident, co-opting him as a design consultant to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. That did not quell his dissident streak. After years of criticising the government for lack of democracy and abuse of human rights, Ai was arrested in 2011 for “economic crimes”.Corruption hits Communist citadelBo Xilai,Ling Jihua signal rot at the top advertisementGu Kulai,wife of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai, during her trialThe district is harbouring hundreds of potential Ai Weiweis who could pose a problem to China’s next leadership duo of Xi Jinping, 59, and Li Keqiang, 57, expected to take power from President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao over a lengthy transition process that begins in October and ends in March 2013.This has not been the best of years for CPC. That it is a sensitive year which witnesses a once-in-a-decade transition of the country’s leadership only exacerbates the problems. In February 2012, a scandal hit the CPC’s top tier leadership for the first time. The scandal unravelled when a renegade police chief in the southern metropolis of Chongqing sought shelter in the US consulate in nearby Chengdu claiming a threat to his life from local party boss, Bo Xilai. At the time, Bo, a rising star of CPC, was tipped to be appointed to the powerful nine-member standing committee of the politburo that effectively rules China, during the transition in October 2012. In revelations that followed, it was found that Bo’s wife Gu Kulai had ordered the murder of a British businessman, Neil Haywood, in November 2011 after a business deal had turned sour. Bo was sacked in March for attempting to cover up the murder by pressurising his police chief. His wife Gu was sentenced to death on August 20. His former police chief Wang Lijun was sentenced to 15 years in prison on September 24. The fate of Bo is still awaited, but punishment is likely to be severe to send out a message to the people of China-that CPC doesn’t tolerate abuse of power.The car crash in which the son of Ling Jihua, who was chief of staff to president Hu Jintao, died.Another embarrassing scandal broke out in the first week of September when bloggers in China and mainstream media in Hong Kong broke the story of a fatal car crash in Beijing, involving a Ferrari, two semi-naked women and a senior official’s son. It turned out that the driver of the Ferrari, who died in the crash, was the son of Ling Jihua, then chief of staff to President Hu Jintao. Questions about how the son of a government official sported such an expansive lifestyle went viral on the Internet. The government moved fast to censor the Internet but by the time the clampdown began, in the public eye, the damage had been done.”Corruption is the most acute problem in the party. That is why people have lost confidence. I would say they generally approve of the CPC policy line but they disapprove of corruption. Corruption in the name of serving the people is bad,” says Ge Jianxiong, 67, a professor of history at Shanghai’s Fudan University. “In my opinion, the situation is worse than ever before,” he adds.advertisementPeople relax at China’s only artificial beach near bund,in ShanghaiEconomist and China expert Arvind Subramanian, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute of International Economics in the US, has visited China frequently over several years. He agrees with Ge’s perception on corruption. “This is the first time I have seen corruption become such a public issue in China,” he says. He sounds an ominous warning: “The party is too complacent about corruption. Serious questions about CPC’s legitimacy have arisen in the last six months.”For many years, while corruption was rampant, the party had contained its taint to minor local level leaders. It was easy for the central leadership to sack the wrongdoers, in cases even execute them. With Bo and Ling, corruption has touched CPC’s uppermost echelons.The country that bought FerrarisThe rich-poor divide assumes critical proportions The public perception of corruption is not CPC’s only serious problem. The wide disparities in wealth, often between those connected to the powerful and those who are ordinary citizens, are creating social tension. At the Ferrari showroom on Beijing’s Jinbao Street, eager young sales girls are waiting for their next customer. A brand-new Ferrari costs 4 million yuan, around $600,000 or Rs 3 crore. The one sales girl who speaks halting English says that they sold 170 cars (about 15 a month) in 2011. This year, because of a slowdown in growth, business is slower. “We have sold only 40 (four-five a month) so far,” she says. The showroom’s clientele is exclusively Chinese. “No foreign buyers,” says the girl. China is now the third largest market for luxury Ferraris after the US and Germany.A pole dancer performs at a night club in ChongqingFifty metres down the road from Ferrari, there is a multibrand showroom called FFF selling supercars like Bugatti and high-end Ferraris. This correspondent was denied entry. “You must come with reference or appointment,” said the stern looking guard to my interpreter. Young Chinese couples surveyed the cars inside. There was no foreigner in sight.Right behind the row of luxury car showrooms-there is Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce and Mercedes Benz all within 100 metres-is the Ganmian Hutong. Hutongs are traditional lower middle class neighbourhoods in Beijing. A large number have been destroyed to make way for skyscrapers. Some have been preserved as World Heritage Sites for tourists to visit. Ganmian isn’t a tourist destination. It has a series of ramshackle courtyard residences with people cramped into tiny living quarters. There are an unusually large number of rag-pickers. Nobody wants to be photographed. They are not ready to show off their poverty.A few kilometres away, at the Hong Qiao Pearl Market, a downmarket indoor mall where makeshift stalls sell cheap goods from electronics to clothes, at least some Chinese youth openly complained about their relative poverty. Yang Yang, 25, from the province of Liaoning, north-east of Beijing, works as sales girl at a tiny stall selling women’s handbags. She dropped out of middle school at 15 and learnt English interacting with customers. She earns 3,000 yuan (Rs 24,000) per month working from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. six days a week. Yang explains that she has to send 1,000 yuan (Rs 8,000) a month to her parents in a small town in Liaoning. They work as janitors and earn around 900 yuan (Rs 7,200) a month. Yang spends another 500 yuan (Rs 4,000) a month renting a room in a tiny two-bedroom house she shares with cousins. That leaves her with just 1,500 yuan (Rs 12,000) to spend on food, travel and entertainment. “The only entertainment I can afford is to watch television at home,” says Yang, managing a smile. Yang has ambitions. She wants to start her own business, selling clothes. But she doubts her prospects. Why? “The global economy’s slowdown has hurt Chinese business,” she says. She refuses to blame the government.advertisementDissident artist Ai Weiwei,who was arrested in 2011 in a tax-related caseA few stalls down, A. Bao, 30, originally from Anhui province in interior China, owns his own stall selling Chinese silk and clothes. Bao is married with two young children. His wife works as a sales girl in another stall. Bao says that he and his wife don’t earn enough to keep their children with them in Beijing-they live with his parents in rural Anhui. Bao makes a profit of 5,000 yuan (Rs 40,000) a month, half of which he has to send home to his parents. “Things were better at the time of the 2008 Olympics,” says Bao. “I made a profit of up to 20,000 yuan (Rs 1.6 lakh) every month back then,” he says. Bao is almost tempted to criticise the government until a neighbour intervenes to say, “We are not interested in politics or government.”Xiao Ching, 27, a sales girl from Anhui, is the most outspoken. “China has either very poor people or very rich people, there is no middle,” she says. In India, she would be easily qualified to be middle class, but she thinks she is poor. However, she admits that there are people worse off than her. “In villages far from here, people don’t have food to eat. They wear very bad clothes, not like us,” says Xiao. She giggles when asked about the government. She only wants to say one more thing, “I want to marry a rich man.” Who does she define as rich? “Someone who can buy me what I want from a shop. Someone who has a car. And someone who has the potential to buy a house,” she says.Xiao and the other sales girls and boys in the market are still proud of their country. They believe China is a strong nation whose rise is being resisted by the US and Japan. Says Xiao expressing a mild note of dissent, “Every country has strengths and weaknesses. China’s weakness is that there isn’t enough money for people like us,” she concludes in a statement that underlines the serious challenges facing China’s new leaders.Learning to be freeSocial media fuels popular dissidence What will make the job of China’s future leaders more difficult than that of their predecessors is the democratising force of the Internet. China has banned Western social media sites like Facebook and Twitter but permits local versions of the same. Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, is a rage among the youth. Micro-bloggers on Weibo, in fact, played a lead role in exposing the Ferrari scandal, pictures of the crash going viral in a matter of hours. It wasn’t just the images that did the damage. Micro-bloggers also reported that Ling Jihua had smiled at television cameras in the aftermath of the scandal, interpreted by them as an indication that he believed he was above the law. They also reported how Ling was sporting a very expensive watch.Speaking at a meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Tianjin in September second week, eminent Chinese economist Li Daikou said that social media was allowing people to express their anger against the regime for the first time. “People have begun to complain loudly about corruption and excessive government interference,” he said. The party is worried. Says Fudan University’s Ge, “They fear what happened in the Arab Spring and North Africa.”Kai Fu Lee, a China-based American entrepreneur who heads Innovation Works, a venture capital firm that funds Internet ventures, believes China’s leaders are entirely aware of the Internet’s power. “They are following an underwater approach. They watch and hear but don’t say anything,” he said at WEF in Tianjin. Lee says complete censorship is impossible. “Someone says it. It gets removed. And then someone else says it,” he explains.It may not actually be the government’s intention to shut down all dissent. “The Internet can provide a safety valve. Some place where people can express their frustration with the system,” says a senior executive of a multinational corporation based in China. “The red line for the leadership is if there is any mass mobilisation. Individual dissent is okay,” he adds. Lee believes that smart officials and leaders are beginning to look at social media as an important feedback mechanism on which they can act to correct flaws. “Social media could be a safety valve but it could easily lead to an Arab Spring-type scenario too,” says Arvind Subramanian.End of the China modelTime to empower the private sector and consumer Click here to EnlargeIf there is one thing that has defined CPC’s legitimacy in China over the last three decades, it is the party’s contract with the Chinese people to deliver rapid, double-digit growth, year after year. Unfortunately, for China’s new leadership duo of Xi and Li, China’s growth model-based on aggressive exports and state directed investment in infrastructure-is running out of steam. In the first six months of 2012, growth fell to 7.6 per cent, below CPC’s comfort level of at least 8 per cent. There is only a limited prospect for exports to rev up in the near future as China’s major markets in the US and Europe continue to struggle to escape recession. China’s impressive infrastructure is already first world in quality, but China’s per capita income is just $5,400 (Rs 2.2 lakh). In such a scenario, any further build-up of infrastructure would just create unused over-capacity. It is well recognised, in China and abroad, that the country needs to shift its growth model to a domestic consumption-oriented one, a model that encourages the private sector and private consumer rather than government and exports. “We will work to maintain the balance between keeping steady and robust growth, adjusting the economic structure and managing inflation expectations. We will boost domestic demand and maintain steady and robust growth as well as basic price stability,” President Hu Jintao said at an apec meeting in Vladivostok, Russia, on September 9. At wef in Tianjin, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao acknowledged that the country faced several challenges including rising inequality, and the need to boost domestic consumption. A.Bao, 30 Owns a stall in Beijing that sells Chinese silk and clothes”Things were better for business atthe time of the 2008 Olympics.I made a profit of up to 20,000 yuan (Rs 1.6 lakh) every month back then.”According to some experts, the process of rebalancing the Chinese economy has already begun. “Rebalancing began four-five years ago with higher minimum wages and social security spending. That is already working to boost consumption,” says the CEO of a multinational corporation based in China. Others are less sanguine. Subramanian agrees some structural adjustment has taken place: “At least the Current Account Surplus (excess of exports over imports) has fallen from 10 per cent of GDP to 3 per cent of gdp over the last decade.” But he believes more fundamental reforms are needed. “There are still too many well-connected people getting rich,” he says. That is the direct result of a tightly controlled banking system which gives out loans at interest rates as low as 1-2 per cent per annum to businessmen chosen by the government. “Liberalisation, which will help give out loans to the private sector and individuals, means taking on these interests. Can the leadership take on these vested interests?” wonders Subramanian.He Zhenhong, editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur magazine, agrees with Subramanian: “It is very difficult to start a business here. The public sector is very dominant.” But she is not optimistic about things changing dramatically with a leadership change. Subramanian highlights another problem. “The Chinese need to move from manufacturing to services. But services are over-regulated and there is no competition. Political will is necessary to change that,” he says.Then there is the perennial pressure from the US for China to revalue its exchange rate. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has promised to declare China a currency manipulator on his first day in office. China fears that a serious revaluation of its exchange rate could destroy its exports completely and cause an unmanageable slowdown. In the circumstances, it would not be surprising if the Xi-Li duo is secretly hoping that President Barack Obama is re-elected on November 6-they could do with one headache less as they get ready to wield power in uncertain times.The rise ofthe fifth generationXi Jinping and Li Keqiang have their task cut out Yang Yang, 25 Works as a sales girl at a small stall selling women’s handbags in Beijing.”The only entertainment i can afford is to watch TV at home. Once a year, on birthdays, friends gather and celebrate.”There is little doubt that China is a country on the cusp of far-reaching economic and social change. It is change that CPC’s GenNext needs to respond to effectively if the party expects to retain its iron grip on power. There are mixed views on how much the new leadership can achieve.Economist Li Daikou is optimistic about the new leadership’s ability to implement reforms. “They (Xi-Li generation) were educated in the honeymoon years of opening up in the late 1970s. They believe in reform. The British model of gradualist incremental reform may work in China. Nothing radical is necessary,” he says. Li Daikou says the new leadership needs to focus on institutional reform, the most urgent of which is to democratise the judicial system and separate it from party control. He believes China’s new leadership should use the social media to their advantage. “They can use it to mobilise support for big-ticket reform,” he says.Ge Jianxiong argues that the Chinese people are yearning for change. “A majority of China hopes for change, like Obama and his promise of change in the US,” he says. “They won’t get it though,” he adds with a smile. Xiao Ching, 27 Works as a sales girl at a stall selling miscellaneous goods in Beijing”Every country in the World has strengths and weaknesses. China’s weakness is that there isn’t enough money for people like us.””Remember, Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang are controlled by the system, by CPC’s traditions. They have risen with party support.” Ge is concerned with the party’s overemphasis on stability. “You can solve any problem using this word stability. But stability must not mean stagnation. It means reasonable change. Not revolution, but progressive change,” he says. Like Li Daikou, Ge also believes that reform of the judiciary must top the agenda of the new leadership. “The rule of law must prevail,” he says.One young Chinese journalist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang will form a formidable partnership. “Xi is not good-looking,” she jokes, before adding, “but he is a reformer. He will work to democratise systems.” According to her, Li Keqiang will be a good foil because unlike Xi, he does not come from a privileged background. “He rose from an ordinary background. He will have the people’s concerns at heart,” she says.Many others don’t even know what to expect from China’s new leaders because they know so little about them. Says a local business executive in Tianjin, “I wish I knew more about what they were going to do.” Says a young journalist, “You are asking me what they will do, I want to ask you the same because I don’t know.” Communication isn’t CPC’s forte. Leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping didn’t distinguish himself from earlier generations when he disappeared from official engagements and public view without an explanation in the first two weeks of September. At the very least, he will need to develop a better communication strategy if he is going to rule the New China effectively over the next 10 years. Xi would not want to be remembered by history as China’s last communist.
“We know that they will come back strong, we know how they work,” said Delos Santos, whose squad scored a 25-23, 25-11, 25-17 win on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena to move just a win away from a perfect conference.But even in the cusp of a historic repeat, the Petron mentor said they could still do better.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chief“We don’t think of the sweep. Right now, we rest and try to recover and then give it our all on Game 2 [on Tuesday],” added Delos Santos. “But for tonight (Game 1), I’m very proud of the way my players performed.”Sisi Rondina scored 12 points for Petron’s 13th victory in as many games this conference. The high-leaping Rondina was a big factor off the bench to halt Rhea Dimaculangan’s combination plays. Bernadeth Pons added 10, while middle hitter Remy Palma had nine. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting View comments Game 2 is slated Tuesday at 7 p.m., also at MOA Arena.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’ LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. In contrast, F2 Logistics didn’t have anyone scoring in double figures, stymied by Petron’s well-placed floor defense that yielded 79 excellent digs compare to 54 by the Cargo Movers.Delos Santos may have learned his lessons during last year’s Grand Prix final when F2 coach Ramil de Jesus tweaked his lineup which threw off the Blaze Spikers’ game plan.“We go back and study Game 1 and see how much we can still improve,” added Delos Santos, the national team mentor.The Cargo Movers leaned heavily on Ara Galang who banged in nine points but could not get the usual numbers from Kim Kianna Dy and Majoy Baron, who were limited to a combined seven points.F2 team leaders Aby Maraño and Cha Cruz were also silent, scoring a total of six points, aside from making 27 errors against Petron’s 16.ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue San Beda trounces Cebu five; CKSC stuns mapua MOST READ SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? There is no way Petron is taking any chances.After whipping F2 Logistics in the opener of their Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference best-of-three finals, Petron coach Shaq delos Santos said they are going back to the drawing board and think of ways to answer their opponent’s expected counterattacks.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening
Investigators have also questioned players in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Slovakia, and Bulgaria and are looking to question others, including both players and managers, in the United States, Chile and Egypt.In all, more than 100 players are suspected of having worked with the syndicate, fixing matches, sets or games in exchange for payments of 500 to 3,000 euros ($570 to $3,400).“The impression we’re getting is that it is very commonplace,” one official told The Associated Press. Another said several hundred matches are thought to have been fixed.Investigators fear that players used by the syndicate could suck others into the scheme and could go on to infect bigger tournaments if they climb higher in the rankings.“In time, they could be managers of other new players or trainers so we have to get them out of the system, or they could corrupt others in a few years,” one official told The Associated Press.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Sargsyan was swept up in a wave of arrests in Belgium last June and faces organized crime, match fixing, money laundering and forgery charges. A suspected banker for the syndicate also faces money laundering and organized crime charges, while four others are being investigated for illegal gambling and finding mules, who are thought to have been paid for placing modest bets for the syndicate on matches that it fixed.Because the bets were small, the risk of detection was “almost zero,” but the profits could still be considerable if many bets were placed, one official said.Still unclear is whether the Belgium-based syndicate was linked to another match-fixing and gambling operation, also involving Armenians, unraveled in Spain . Spanish police last week announced that 28 professional tennis players, including one who participated in last year’s U.S. Open, were linked to that ring, taking bribes to fix results that the group bet on using fake identities.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion MOST READ Former Penang football captain dies after slipping into coma The picture emerging from months of digging by police working across Europe is of a massive match-fixing scheme, organized via encrypted messaging, involving dozens of low-ranked players in small tournaments with little prize money. Police say Sargsyan employed mules, people hired for a few euros (dollars) to place bets for the syndicate that were small enough to slip under the radar of gambling watchdogs.Sources close to the investigation, all speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss details publicly, said four French players were in police custody on Wednesday and at least one of them told investigators that he fixed around two dozen matches for Sargsyan.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThey named the players as Jules Okala, 21; Mick Lescure, 25; Yannick Thivant, 31; and Jerome Inzerillo, 28. None operated in the highest spheres of tennis. The career-best singles ranking of any of them was 354, reached by Inzerillo in 2012. The arrests of Okala and Lescure were first reported Wednesday by French sports newspaper L’Equipe.A dozen or more other French players are expected to be questioned in coming weeks. An investigator said France was one of the countries “hardest hit” by the syndicate, which targeted lower-level pro tournaments. Okala and Lescure were detained before they were to play in a modest tournament in Bressuire, western France, this week that offers a total of $15,000 in prize money. View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion FILE – In this Tuesday, May 30, 2017 file photo a tennis player casts a shadow on the clay as they serve during a tennis match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris. Four people are in French custody on suspicion of fixing matches for an Armenian based in Belgium believed behind an illegal gambling syndicate suspected of fixing hundreds of matches. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek, File)PARIS — The crooked tennis players knew him as “Maestro.” To European investigators, the Armenian based in Belgium is emerging as the suspected ringleader of an organized gambling syndicate suspected of fixing hundreds of matches and paying off more than 100 players from around Europe.As Roger Federer and other stars at the top of tennis compete in the Australian Open, players far lower down the sport’s food chain are being questioned this week by police in France on suspicion of fixing matches for Grigor Sargsyan, 28-year-old known as the Maestro, investigators said. Sargsyan is being held in a Belgian jail.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño LATEST STORIES Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola?