If you have a couple of hundred thousand US dollars to spare and room for a giant relic of the old East-West confrontation, Russia has just the thing for you: one of its submarines. \nOr maybe a less cumbersome World War II Soviet battle tank in your yard might settle one-upmanship scores with the neighbors? \nWith scores of decommissioned diesel-electric subs from the Soviet era cluttering bays in the Arctic, Baltic, Black Sea and Pacific regions, the military has shown itself open to offers to buy warships for reincarnation as museums, cargo ships and tourist attractions. \nWhile Russian Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo stresses there is "no disorderly sale of submarines," individual vessels can even be found for sale on the Internet. \nOn land, warehouses with vintage armored vehicles and artillery pieces may soon be cleared as the state arms export agency Rosoboronexport explores the possibility of deactivating the items, many of them left from World War II, and selling them to collectors. \n"It is an attractive market and we cannot stand aside," Rosoboronexport spokesman Alexander Uzhanov told The Moscow Time newspaper. \n"These arms bear the image of our victory, our heroic past. We plan to increase arms sales, so why not use up these reserves as well?" he said. \nA T-34 tank of the kind that was instrumental in smashing Adolph Hitler's armies could fetch up to US$20,000, militaria experts believe. But for now, regulations on the sale of weaponry are holding up the plans. \nRekindling memories of the Cold War and generating fresh interest after movies like K-19: The Widowmaker, Soviet submarines have won a new lease of life in Russia and abroad in recent years. \nSome still serviceable subs go to foreign navies, but other retired ones may win a reprieve from the scrap heap to thrill the public. \n"Look what's surfaced now that Communism's sunk!" reads the advertisement for U-475, a 92m, 1,950-tonnes example that was delivered to Britain in 1994 from Russia's Baltic fleet. \nBought through middlemen by a British businessman for around ?250,000 (US$470,000), the submarine hosts tours, school outings and private parties and was the setting for three films, said museum manager Gary Parkinson. \nMany of around 85 old military submarines on display around the world from Stockholm to Sydney came from Soviet shipyards. \nMost recently, the 90m Novosibirsky Komsomolets was towed from Arkhangelsk to Moscow to serve as a museum. The sub was retired in 1998 after 18 years of service and lay idle until it underwent a two-year conversion by a Russian ship-building company. \nOf course, the fate of old and relatively hazard-free diesel-electric models is of less concern than that of retired nuclear- powered submarines that Russia must safely dispose of at huge cost. \n"The submarines lay sunken in shallow water so they were not dismantled," a middleman replied to an e-mail inquiry. "They have practically all their equipment apart from weaponry. After purchase they will be raised, prepared and transported to the designated place." \nBut foreign powers needn't think they will glean new insights into Russia's submarine technology if they pick up these or other models. \n"All classified equipment is removed [from a vessel] before it is transported; no government will hand over its state secrets, will it?" said a navy spokesman.
South Korea has long been known for its manufacturing prowess, but the Netflix hit Squid Game is taking the country’s cultural clout to another level that augurs well for a new driver of economic growth. While Korean pop acts and TV dramas have been scoring hits overseas for years, only a handful — boy band BTS, for example — have managed to win many fans outside of Asia. Squid Game, set to become the most-watched show worldwide on Netflix, is changing all that. Building on the success of last year’s Oscar-winning film Parasite, the new Netflix show about indebted people fighting in
One of the things I learned early on in being a lifelong atheist is that, in the US, atheism requires a sustained, rocklike stubbornness in resisting the constant flow of pressure from public, performative Christianity. For people who hold nonconformist, evidence-driven, humanistic beliefs, being in the larger society often feels like being under that German soldier in that scene from Saving Private Ryan, stabbed to death inch by slow inch, while he whispers: “shhhh, shhhh.” That’s what it means to be pro-Taiwan. Those of us engaged in public speech about Taiwan, its international status, the threats it faces, and what kind of
Oct. 11 to Oct.17 After more than two decades of fighting the Japanese government for local autonomy, the “Taiwanese Lion” found himself running the show in 1950. The fiery political activist Yang Chao-chia (楊肇嘉) was a 58-year-old public servant by then, serving as the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) minister of civil affairs. His nemesis, the Japanese colonial government had left at the end of World War II, and the new government had tasked him with running Taiwan’s first direct mayoral and county magistrate elections. Yang started his career as an activist pushing for a Taiwanese representative assembly in the Japanese Diet.
Courtney Donovan Smith isn’t the kind of person you’d expect to have dirt under his fingernails. Yet between 2011 and 2018, Smith — who’s both a businessman and a political commentator — nurtured and enjoyed a rooftop garden that covered more than 200 square meters. Well known in Taichung circles as co-publisher of Compass, a bilingual city guide, and a frequent contributor to ICRT’s news programs, Smith started the garden soon after he moved in to a two-floor apartment in the city’s Situn District (西屯). “I got a few plants and put a table and some chairs on one of the two