The world’s second-biggest economy, which has vowed to cap its carbon emissions by 2030 and curb worsening air pollution, is the latest to join countries such as the U.K. and France seeking to phase out vehicles using gasoline and diesel. The looming ban on combustion-engine automobiles will goad both local and global automakers to focus on introducing more zero-emission electric cars to help clean up smog-choked major cities. Belgium recently calculated people who eat seafood ingest up to 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic every year. Last August, the results of a study...reported plastic was found in a third of UK-caught fish, including cod, haddock, mackerel and shellfish. Last year, the European Food Safety Authority called for urgent research, citing increasing concern for human health and food safety “given the potential for microplastic pollution in edible tissues of commercial fish”.

China does still have considerable economic power — as evidenced recently during a dispute with South Korea over the deployment of a U.S.-led missile defense system in the country. However, North Korea may be a harder sell: China shares a long border with the Hermit Kingdom and is believed to be fearful that its neighbor could potentially collapse, leaving open the possibility of war on its doorstep and huge numbers of refugees entering China.

maggots are especially efficient at converting protein into body mass, making them a good choice for processing waste food. About 2.5 pounds of maggots can munch through five pounds of food waste in about four hours ... In the United States, however, there are currently restrictions on commercial operations feeding animals insects, though many other nations including Canada allow the practice. The European Union will begin allowing insect protein in fish farms beginning in July.

The country’s expressway growth has been compared to that of the United States in the 1950s, when the Interstate System of highways got underway, but China is building at a remarkable clip. In 2016 alone, China added 26,100 bridges on roads, including 363 “extra large” ones with an average length of about a mile... fewer than a third of the 65 Chinese highway and rail projects...examined were “genuinely economically productive,”...the rest contributed more to debt than to transportation needs

In Senegal, an impoverished nation of 14 million, fishing stocks are plummeting... China’s distant-water fishing fleet has grown to nearly 2,600 vessels (the United States has fewer than one-tenth as many), with 400 boats coming into service between 2014 and 2016 alone. Most of the Chinese ships are so large that they scoop up as many fish in one week as Senegalese boats catch in a year, costing West African economies $2 billion a year

Imagine a society without fathers; without marriage (or divorce); one in which nuclear families don’t exist. Grandmother sits at the head of the table; her sons and daughters live with her, along with the children of those daughters, following the maternal bloodline. Men are little more than studs, sperm donors who inseminate women but have, more often than not, little involvement in their children’s upbringing.

America does not accept the one-China principle. Instead it has the one-China policy, which acknowledges that China has such a principle—not quite the same thing. America does not recognise Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan, nor does it recognise Taiwan as an independent state. It does plenty of trade with it, though. Small as it is, Taiwan is the ninth-largest buyer of American exports, outstripping Italy and India.

U.S. film executives are flocking east just as the noose is tightening on free expression there. President Xi Jinping has presided over the harshest crackdown on intellectual life in decades, with hundreds of dissenters jailed ... It’s not just politically sensitive subjects that are circumscribed...the national media regulator warned local news programs not to “express overt admiration for Western lifestyles” — generally the sort of lifestyles glorified by Hollywood aware of its creativity deficit. In 2016, Beijing accelerated its Silicon Valley shopping spree, buying tech and talent it couldn’t produce at home. Americans often observe that China is imitative, not innovative, and that its politicized universities and denial of personal freedom make it dependent on others for new ideas. That may have been important before China got rich, but does China’s inability to foster innovation still matter now that it can purchase it overseas?