Congratulations! After a grueling campaign, you have been elected president of Discursia, a small nation somewhere in the Global South.Discursia is peaceful and prosperous compared to its neighbors. But in 2028, how long can that last? Your economy is booming, but a small cadre of elites hoards its spoils. A restive minority group clamors for rights it’s been denied — rights it might take up arms to obtain. And thousands of refugees mass at your borders, driven by the scarcity of a scorched planet.Your mandate is to preserve democracy and stability, with minimal immiseration.Outside your office, two trade delegations are waiting. They’re from the two most powerful nations on Earth: the United States and the People’s Republic of China.The Americans go first. They propose a sweeping trade package, a plank of which is a 10-year commitment to American social networks: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. On these networks, Discursians can assume any identity they want, and … [Read more...] about The American Internet Sucks. The Alternative Is China.
Mercedes-Benz has again apologized to China for publishing its Instagram post with a quote from the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, in what became the second such apology in two days. In a letter to the Chinese ambassador to Germany, Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche and its China chief Hubertus Troika said, in particular, that their company had "no intention of questioning or challenging in any manner China's sovereignty or territorial integrity." READ MORE: China Puts the Economic Squeeze on Countries that Invite Dalai Lama to Speak Earlier this week, Mercedes used China's Weibo social media platform to offer an apology to Beijing and say that the company regrets its hurting "the feelings of people of this country." "Admitting and correcting mistakes is a basic principle of doing business," China's foreign ministry said Wednesday in response to Mercedes-Benz's apology … [Read more...] about Mercedes-Benz Offers Second Apology to China Over Dalai Lama Quote
Act fast if you want to put a new Fiat 500 in your garage. All variants of the pocket-sized city car will retire after the 2019 model year, according to a recent report, and the company’s successor isn’t guaranteed to be sold in America. Being cute as a button isn’t enough to lure buyers into showrooms. While 500 production will continue in Europe, Autoblog learned the model is getting ready to leave the Fiat catalog in the United States. The decision applies to every version of the model, ranging from the entry-level hatchback to the upmarket 500C quasi-convertible. The electric 500E and the performance-oriented Abarth model — a seriously quick hot hatch Digital Trends loved — are leaving, too. Americans didn’t like the 500 as much as Europeans, but the cheeky, retro-inspired hatchback surprisingly outsold the other models in Fiat’s portfolio. 1,692 units found a home during the first six months of 2019, a figure which represents a 25% drop … [Read more...] about The cheeky Fiat 500 says ‘arrivederci!’ as it sails into retirement
Cops in Manhattan will need to find new patrol vehicles, because the endless rumors that pointed to the Smart brand’s demise weren’t 100% false. While parent company Daimler saved its spunky city car division at the last minute by selling half of it to a Chinese partner, it confirmed that it will stop selling the ForTwo in the United States and in Canada after the 2019 model year. “A number of factors, including a declining micro-car market in the U.S. and Canada, combined with high homologation costs for a low-volume model are central to this decision,” a Daimler spokesperson told TechCrunch in a statement. Current Smart owners will still be able to rely on the Mercedes-Benz dealer network for parts and service, the spokesperson added, so the decision to end sales won’t create orphan cars with no factory support. The news hardly comes as a surprise. The Smart ForTwo was never a high-volume seller in America due largely to its pocket-sized dimensions, but … [Read more...] about It’s over: Smart confirms it’s leaving America after disastrous shift to EVs
Iran on Tuesday confirmed it had conducted a missile test earlier in December, following criticism from Western powers, including Security Council members the US, France and Britain. "We confirm the recent test of our ballistic missiles," air force commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Amir Ali Hajizadeh said, according to the Fars news agency. Hajizadeh said that Iran carries out around 40 to 50 missile tests each year. Read more: Iran's military power: What you need to know The UN Security Council met last week over the test that the US, Britain and France said defied UN restrictions on Tehran's military program. In May, US President President Donald Trump decided to withdraw from an international agreement on Iran's nuclear program and reimposed sanctions on Tehran. Trump said the deal was flawed because it did not include curbs on Iran's development of ballistic missiles or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq. US sanctions … [Read more...] about Iran confirms test of ballistic missiles