Friday, August 16, 2019

New QE2 OLIVIA COLMAN Muses on Taking Over for “THE CROWN” SEASON 3 Coming NOVEMBER


One might say Netflix has an original series for many different audiences, from 80s nostalgia hounds with “Stranger Things” to recent-history buffs in “The Crown.” Premiering back in 2016, the historical drama drew audiences with its look into the lives of the British Royal Family with Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II as the focal point starting from her marriage. The central role was ably played for two seasons by Claire Foy, with a cast change as the timeline skips several years for Season 3. This week Netflix reveals the premiere date for the continuing story of “The Crown,” just as the new QE2 actress expresses the difficulty of picking up from a prior performer.

BULACAN AIRPORT Project Awarded to SMHC; Environmental Group Lodges PROTESTS


The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has served as the main national and international air travel hub for the Philippines for decades, and any regular traveler through there can tell the public that air traffic has become frighteningly congested. A proposal by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has called for the construction of a “New Manila International Airport,” one to be sited on Bulacan. This week following a meeting of the project’s Bids and Awards Committee a contract valued at P734 billion was awarded to San Miguel Holdings Corporation to build the Bulacan airport. But not everybody is happy at this particular turn of events.

SEGA GENESIS MINI Retro Console to Release SEPTEMBER at $79.99


It is nearing three years now since Nintendo stunned the gaming world and sent gamers on a nostalgia trip when they introduced the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) Classic Edition, and somehow the community has not yet sated in their taste for retro game consoles in small emulation hardware packages with present-day audio-visual options. Other game companies followed suit with a Sony PlayStation Classic and SNK Neo Geo Mini, while Nintendo followed up with an SNES Classic Edition. Old-time game fans originally wondered why Sega had not joined in the bandwagon, only for word of the Sega Genesis Mini to be revealed in 2018. Now, its release date has been revealed.

CARLY RAE JEPSEN to Rock MANILA a THIRD TIME with “DEDICATED” Concert Tour this OCTOBER


She joined season 5 of “Canadian Idol” in 2007 where she finished in third place, and then went on to release an album and some singles in her native Canada. But it was not until 2012 and her single “Call Me Maybe” that the name of Carly Rae Jepsen became known in pop music circles around the world. And with that success she has built a strong idol name globally, even getting to go on international concert tours. That of course includes the Philippines where she performed in Manila years ago. So her Filipino fans better buck up because she is coming back this year.

EWAN MCGREGOR Might Be OBI-WAN KENOBI AGAIN…But Only on DISNEY+


“Star Wars Story,” an anthology of films in the “Star Wars” saga of Lucasfilm that does not directly focus on the Skywalker family, may have theoretically been sunk with audiences after the poor reception to 2018’s “Solo.” Still, fans of the franchise believe the concept is viable, with the first “Star Wars Story” being 2016’s “Rogue One” being the example. A high favorite for such as spinoff is Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, preferably a trilogy if fans could have their way. Actor Ewan McGregor, who played Obi-Wan in the Prequels, has long been clamored by fans to star in such a spinoff. While a pipe dream, recent developments speak otherwise.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

MANNY PACQUIAO Shares REHEARSAL VIDEO for THANKSGIVING CONCERT this September


People who know what the term “Renaissance Man” means might somewhat be able to argue that Manny Pacquiao is one of them. He certainly does go out of his way to do as many different things in his life as possible, not just the ones he is good at. Outside of his illustrious boxing career he has played basketball, acted, enlisted as an Army reservist, served as a government official on the local and national levels, even become a recording artist with several novelty albums and singles. It is in that vein that Manny is performing his next big act.

JAPANESE Researchers Create ARTIFICIAL WEARABALE TAIL for Improving BODY BALANCE


As the default posture of a human is standing on two legs, they actually have a more difficult time maintaining their balance than a four-legged animal might. About the only appendages that a man naturally has to keep their body’s equilibrium are their arms, and usually they are not enough. But some researchers in a university in Japan have hit upon a quirky conceptual tech solution for the balance problems of a human, potentially useful for the elderly or those who are “clumsy,” tripping or losing balance frequently. Their solution is a reminder that Japan can still think up cutting-edge tech: a fully-articulated robotic tail.

“KILLER BRIDE” Tops Triumphant Premiere Week with Well-Received “JOSHNELLA” Pairing


High-concept shows stand a chance to be a real treat whenever they air on Philippine television. It can be a foreign production like the action drama series “24” starring Kiefer Sutherland (dubbed in Filipino by ABS-CBN back in the 2000s), or it can be a local masterpiece like “May Bukas Pa” with the then-young Zaijian Jaranilla, also on the same network. In short, the Kapamilya network is a master at this, if the international trending reaction to their new suspense-drama tele-serye “The Killer Bride” is any indication. The backstory of a vengeful spirit was awesomely terrifying enough, but the new love team that formed there was a big bonus too.

BEERMEN Win 2019 COMMISSIONER’S CUP GAME 5; But Victory Soured by Random Act of RACISM


While probably not completely impossible, it would be difficult to bounce back from a 3-1 win deficit in a “best of seven” game series. The San Miguel Beermen know this well enough that they powered through the Talk n Text KaTropa to secure Game 4 of the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals last Sunday. From there, all that remains for either team is to take Game 5 to make the series 3-2, and get the morale boost of being one victory away from the Cup. Last August 14, despite some questionable action in the first half, would see San Miguel triumph over TNT once more.

New Trailer Reveals “STAR WARS RESISTANCE” Season 2 is LAST


To be perfectly blunt, the “Sequel Trilogy” of the long-running “Star Wars” saga, and all spinoff media relating to it, have been rather hit or miss in terms of reception from the franchise fandom. While it did bring “Star Wars” back into prominence, the story development that killed off some original characters and the seemingly “politicized” characterization of the new-generation heroine have soured opinions of some audiences. The same goes for its side-story material such as the Disney Channel/XD animated series “Star Wars: Resistance,” which fans compared unfavorably to franchise predecessors “Clone Wars” and “Rebels.” That might explain why its second season has been announced to also be its last.

MISS UNIVERSE CATRIONA GRAY Lambasts Trans Woman Maltreatment in QC; Pushes for ANTI-DISCRIMINATORY SOGIE BILL


Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray is now winding down the latter half of her reign before the next pageant at the end of the year, but never let it be said that she is not utilizing her position to promote her advocacies, doubly so if they include issues close to her home in the Philippines. This week she was especially affected by the recent incident wherein a transgender woman was not only barred use of a Quezon City mall’s female comfort room, but also arrested and nearly arraigned for trying to record her experience. As Catriona has lobbied for the LGBTQ community before, she cannot take this event lying down.
And so it was, according to CNN Philippines, that Catriona Gray went on her official Instagram page to not only say her piece on what befell Gretchen Diez this week, but also to reiterate her support for a bill in Congress that would add safeguards against extreme maltreatment to LGBTQ members in society. On her post, dated Thursday, August 15, Gray called out all involved in the altercation that took place at Farmer’s Plaza mall in Cubao, QC Tuesday, August 13, that went against recent local ordinances against gender discrimination.
Catriona said the incident involving the transgender named Gretchen Diez stresses the necessity of legislating the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill, which will impose stronger penalties on acts of societal discrimination based on a person’s gender identity or expression, as well as professed their sexual orientation. The bill was authored by Senator Risa Hontiveros during the preceding Congress, and re-filed it anew just this June.

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Last night's incident involving a transgender woman being prohibited from using the womans washroom and resulting in being escorted off premises in handcuffs by local police only highlights further, the Philippines need for implementation of the #SOGIEEqualityBill. LGBTQ+ rights are HUMAN rights - mga karapatang pangkaligtasan at kalayaan mula sa diskriminasyon, karahasan at pagmamalupit batay sa pagkakakilanlan. The incident happened in a city that has an existing anti-discrimination bill. Ibig sabihin, walang saysay ang isang bill na hindi maipatupad sa isang komunidad. Kasabay ng hinihinging pagpasa ng #SOGIEEQUALITYBILL, dapat din tayong humiling ng mga sumusunod bilang isang komunidad: 1. "Accessible forms of information for the public such as educational drives, programs and awareness campaigns": para mas maintindihan natin ang mga pangangailangan ng LGBTQ+ community at para malaman natin ang mga bagay na maaari pa nating magawa bilang mga kaalyado o mga taong may awa sa kapwa ❤. 2. "A SOGIE workplace policy": para sa lahat ng mga pampublikong tagapaglingkod at mga taong may impluwensiya sa komunidad. Gusto ko ring pagtuunan natin ng pansin ang katotohanang wala dapat makaranas ng anumang uri ng pagpapahiya at pang-aabuso (emotional, physical o sexual), LGBTQ+ man o hindi. The whole arguement of shifting the blame to the victim for reasons of being trans to justify abuse - is still victim blaming and IS NOT RIGHT. The blame should be on the perpetrators who should be held accountable and corrective actions should be taken (in last nights case - points one and two above could greatly help prevent future similar incidents from happening). Ang LGBTQ + ay nakikipaglaban para sa kanilang mga karapatan - ang karapatan sa kaligtasan, proteksyon at pagkakapantay-pantay - ay laban din natin. 🏳‍🌈 #SOGIEEqualityNow
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Diez was prevented earlier this week from using the Farmer’s Market mall female comfort room by a janitress that argued with her. When Diez attempted to record their conversation on her smartphone, the janitress called for mall security to handcuff her and escort her to QC Police Station 7 where an attempt to charge her with “unjust vexation” was ultimately dropped. That particular detail in Diez’s story was what upset Catriona Gray the most, saying on her Instagram, “The whole argument of shifting the blame to the victim for reasons of being trans to justify abuse - is still victim blaming and IS NOT RIGHT.”
Prior LGBTQ-related activities that Catriona engaged with in her capacity as the Miss Universe include her promotion of the 2019 Pride Month, an international event celebrating the community as well as a platform for advancing their rights in countries worldwide. Diez has announced her intent of counter-filing a suit against Farmer’s Plaza for violating Quezon City’s anti-discriminatory Gender Fair Ordinance.
Image courtesy of PEP Ph

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

VIACOM and CBS Announce MERGER Becoming VIACOMCBS by Year’s End


The history of media conglomerate Viacom, under which umbrella includes a movie studio (Paramount Pictures) and pay TV networks (MTV, Nickelodeon and so on), is a somewhat complex tale in itself. The Viacom of today is not even actually the original, which was formed in 1952 as the syndication arm of CBS and was spun off as an independent company in 1971. It would then acquire CBS in 1999 via its then-parent company, only to become defunct as it split into the present-day Viacom and CBS Corporation by 2006. The two firms have been doing well on their own until this decade, when the rise of gigantic rivals have pushed them to come together again.

BORACAY Beachfront Portion Closed Following VIRAL VIDEO of BURIED DIAPERS


The forced closing by President Rodrigo Duterte of the resort island Boracay for an extensive cleanup drive and environmental rehabilitation for six months was heavily covered by the news last year. It was not as if the President’s description of the island as a “cesspool” could be easily denied, with images of severe algal growth on its coastal waters readily found. For an extended closure of Boracay’s resort establishments and travel restrictions to all but registered residents, the result was a visibly cleaner island when it gradually reopened since October 2018, especially as tourist numbers were more controlled. But close to a year later, visitors have started getting careless again.

Premature Forecast: HARRY STYLES TURNS DOWN “LITTLE MERMAID” Remake Role


For fans of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” Disney’s live-action remakes of their animated classics, and Harry Styles of the defunct boy band One Direction, we at Morgan Magazine advise that you sit down for this. Last month, it was reported that Styles was in talks to be cast in the “Little Mermaid” remake as Prince Eric. For many, that probably might be enough to offset the initial wobbly reception for this production when it chose R&B singer Halle Bailey as Ariel, a far cry from the Caucasian-looking red-headed mermaid of the animation. It had seemed like a done deal then.

New LAW Signs into Existence Official National SPACE AGENCY: “PHILSA”


The Philippines has long prided itself in showing that what any foreign nation can do it can do likewise, and with likely smaller resources and funds to boot. That includes even taking steps into the “final frontier” of space. During the 1990s a private Filipino company became the country’s first aerospace corporation that operated communication satellites for telecom and media network use (using satellites bought overseas). In this decade the Philippine government’s science agencies co-developed the first Filipino-designed micro-satellites with Japanese university aid. But the country has never had a dedicated space agency of its own, until one was signed into being just last week.

“SALMON CANNON” Device from 2014 Gains New Attention on TWITTER


The salmon, in all their known species, is a famous fish for the thing it must do to keep their circle of life going. Hatching from eggs in freshwater streams and rivers, they go downstream into the sea as adults, and then swim back upriver in time for spawning season. This is a tedious and treacherous journey, with salmon trying to survive not only fishermen and predators but also obstacles like rapids and waterfalls. Hydroelectric dams in rivers tend to defeat salmon runs, but a tech company developed a system to “shoot” salmon through pressurized flexible tubes over dams to surmount them. This was back in 2014, but the “Salmon Cannon” gadget has found new notoriety in social media recently.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

First TRAILER Out for EIGHTH Movie Adaptation of “LITTLE WOMEN”


There are many novels and short stories that can be considered classics of American literature, but for an example of storytelling in a “slice-of-life” urban setting one can probably not go wrong with “Little Women,” a delightful 1868 novel by author Louisa May Alcott. Detailing the lives and loves of four sisters in a Concord neighborhood during and after the Civil War, the book introduced some of the most beloved fictional siblings: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. It is no wonder that “Little Women” has seen no less than seven film adaptations from the silent era to 2018 (150 years after the first publication). Now a new version is coming.

ECLECTIC Selection of CELEBRITY Candidates for MISS WORLD PHILIPPINES 2019


Though the representative to the “Big Four” international beauty pageant Miss World was once decided by winners in the Binibining Pilipinas competition, the franchise has struck out on its own since 2011 with “Miss World Philippines,” of which eight editions have already been held. As the new system gradually found its footing in sending Philippine representatives to Miss World, its total number of contestants swelled from an initial 25 to a maximum of 40 as of the 2018 pageant. The same figure is applied to this year’s Miss World Philippines, with the latest pool of contestants being notable for coming from such varied personal backgrounds.

TARANTINO Defends BRUCE LEE Characterization in ONCE UPON IN HOLLYWOOD


Close to three weeks now in cinemas worldwide, the supposedly penultimate film directed by Quentin Tarantino for Sony and Columbia Pictures has continued to make bank and impress most critics that have viewed it. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, was hailed as a love letter to the 1960s, particularly Los Angeles and the Hollywood film industry of the time, while also messing with historical events in a surreal manner. But even this movie is not devoid of critics, and one element in particular has got some viewers upset, though Tarantino himself has defended said story element.

CHEAPER Electricity Bills Possible Soon with New “MURANG KURYENTE” ACT


It is a rather embarrassing fact that rates for electricity consumption in the Philippines are actually much pricier than they have to be. That is because consumers are forced to shoulder the payment of debts incurred by the National Power Corporation through “universal charges” tacked onto their monthly electric bills across the nation. This situation would theoretically force Filipinos using electricity to pay for more than their actual consumption for years or decades. Legislators have long looked for some means to alleviate that burden, and a recently-signed new law might just be the possible solution.

MARVEL TV Reveals Upcoming HULU Shows Part of MCU HORROR Sub-Franchise


One factor that many fans liked about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the fact that each film, and eventually each connecting series, can be classified into different storytelling genres. From the tech action of “Iron Man,” to the historical war drama of “Captain America: The First Avenger,” to the supernatural setting of “Doctor Strange,” there seems to be an MCU movie/show that will draw followers of specific genres. One genre that the MCU is moving to enter now is horror, as teased by the “Doctor Strange” sequel for Phase 4. Marvel Television plans to pull its own weight in this effort, with its Hulu shows.

On SILVER ANNIVERSARY, Iconic Sitcom “FRIENDS” Screening Choice Episodes CINEMATICALLY


From 1994 to 2004, ten years and ten seasons, the NBC sitcom “Friends” would cement itself in the public TV viewing audience as one of the greatest television shows ever made. With its catchy theme song, specifically written and composed for the sitcom and performed by the Rembrandts, viewers were drawn to watch while the powerhouse cast keep them invested throughout the series run. Thanks to Netflix, “Friends” got new fans via streaming since 2015. As the series makes to celebrate its 25th anniversary, the idea was to bring “Friends,” or at least its iconic episodes, to the big screen.

Monday, August 12, 2019

After BBC KZ TANDINGAN Meets AMERICAN IDOL Ex-Judge RANDY JACKSON


Recognition just seems to be coming one after another where KZ Tandingan is concerned. And amazingly, her recent accolades seem to be happening in a sequence. It can be recalled that last year the jazz/R&B inspired OPM recording artist was a contestant in the Chinese reality singing contest “Singer 2018,” where she befriended UK idol singer and fellow competitor Jessie J. It was this meeting that was referenced by BBC Radio’s “The Scene” when they invited KZ late last July. Now her guesting at that radio program has led Tandingan to meet a new big-name fan, none other than a founding judge of “American Idol.”

Former YAHOO! Subsidiary TUMBLR Sold to WORDPRESS Owner by VERIZON


In the countless varieties of possible platforms to use in social media, there is one of several services that have managed to keep interested regular users even in the shadow of Facebook, Twitter and the like. This is Tumblr, launched in 2007 as a platform to do micro-blogs of content such as multimedia inserts, with options to make user blogs private or public. It was not all success however, with Tumblr acquired in 2013 by Yahoo!, becoming part of Verizon-Oath when Yahoo! in turn was acquired, and Verizon prohibiting adult-themed content afterwards. And it looks like the platform will be changing hands again, to a company that specializes in blogging.

New MOTORIZED BOAT ACCIDENT in VISAYAS; 59 SAVED Off SAMAR


This rainy monsoon season has been proving to be rather hard on sea travel in the Visayas area. This goes double for the motorized boat passenger ferries that are the common and affordable means of transport between Visayan Islands. Two Saturdays ago, tragedy struck the waters between Iloilo City and the island province of Guimaras when some freak squalls wrought by the monsoon winds capsized three motorized passenger mini-ferries. A score of fatalities were suffered before rescue could arrive. Now, another mishap has occurred, this time in the eastern Visayas, and while nobody was hurt, it was another reminder that the monsoons are potentially dangerous.

BTS Fans SUPPORTIVE Following ANNOUNCEMENT of Juggernaut K-POP Group's HIATUS


It can be said that every few years or so, the K-Pop performer(s) that serve as the “face” of the genre outside South Korea, particularly to western audiences, would change. For example, the Wonder Girls got some attention in 2008 with “Nobody,” then come 2012-13 PSY dominated with “Gangnam Style.” These days however, K-Pop boy band BTS serves as the tip of the spear that is the current iteration of the “Korean Wave.” They regularly perform overseas and even got their own mobile game recently. But considering their grueling schedule to be so popularly visible, the fact that they announced an activity hiatus was actually received positively by their fandom.

BEERMEN Take GAME 4; COMMISSIONERS CUP 2019 FINALS Tied 2-2


Last week, the battle for the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship title began. Already the defending champions Barangay Ginebra San Miguel was knocked out of consideration during the Playoffs semifinals, after falling to a determined TNT KaTropa team three games to one to secure the first berth on the Finals. On the other side, the last Commissioner’s Cup runner-up the San Miguel Beermen also cruised to a 3-1 semis victory to crush Rain or Shine’s hopes anew. Thus starting from August 4 TNT and San Miguel have clashed four times for supremacy, and from the look of things the favor of ultimate victory seems to be swinging back and forth.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

TEASER and TRAILER Show Larger World of “JASON BOURNE” in “TREADSTONE,” Premiering in USA NETWORK


In 2002, Universal Pictures released its hit spy thriller “The Bourne Identity,” based on a novel series by Robert Ludlum. The film, starring Matt Damon as amnesiac spy-assassin Jason Bourne, would be expanded into four movies showcasing Bourne’s struggle with finding his past and freeing himself from the specter of Treadstone, the black-ops CIA program that molded him into a programmable killer. An attempt to expand the franchise even without Damon as the titular character led to 2012 spinoff “The Bourne Legacy” with Jeremy Renner. Now, Universal is looking to television to develop a show spinoff, premiering on USA Network.
According to The Verge, Universal Cable Productions and Captivate Entertainment are soon to premiere “Treadstone,” an action drama series on USA Network that will tie into the larger setting of the “Bourne” film franchise. The show was initially given a pilot order back in 2018, but before production of the pilot could begin, USA Network instead ordered “Treadstone” direct to series. The overall plot of the show is to chronicle the origins of Operation Treadstone, the CIA black project that turns recruits into assassins via physical and psychological torment to produce operatives capable of living mundane lives until “programmed” by orders to carry out missions.

In preparation for the release of “Treadstone,” Universal has released a short teaser for viewers in order to help them get a feel for what the series will be about. A tagline reinforces the tangible connection with the original films, stating the series is set in “the world of Jason Bourne.” Snippets in the preview showcase political powder kegs like post-Soviet Moscow and Pyongyang. And then, with the tagline “The Sleepers Awaken,” the three main characters are shown, sleeper agents of the Treadstone program that abruptly awaken from their cover identities and cause some havoc.
More information on the series is elaborated on the first trailer. Apparently two Treadstone agents have their programmed combat and assassination training surface at times, but could not recall much about them. A CIA agent is then dispatched to find these sleepers to fully awaken them, something they either avoid or are weary of. The show stars Jeremy Irvine and Han Hyo-Joo as the sleepers, Michelle Forbes as a CIA agent, and Emilia Schule as a KGB operative, all operating under the sinister black-ops umbrella of the mysterious Treadstone program.

Developed by “Heroes” creator Tim Kring, “Treadstone” looks to be Universal’s answer to Amazon’s “Jack Ryan” series. The show itself premieres October on USA Network.
Image from Den of Geek

BEIJING Orders CATHAY PACIFIC to BAR Staffers with HK Protest Sympathies from Flying over CHINA


It is now the tenth week that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China has been gripped in severe disorder, as the protest crowds that initially gathered to rail against a heavily pro-Beijing extradition bill have remained to call for greater freedoms in the territory. The Hong Kong government, while having suspended legislation on the bill and promised to take residents’ sentiments into consideration, have also been obliged to respond with force to the protests, as they have turned violent and disruptive with invasion of government buildings and operational interference in transportation infrastructure. China itself has turned up its political pressure by hitting Hong Kong’s signature flag carrier airline.
ABS-CBN News reports that Beijing has recently leveled some stringent regulations on Cathay Pacific Airways that would single out any of the airline’s employees carrying sympathetic opinions to the Hong Kong protests. The Communist government has instructed CPA’s leadership to shut out any staffers that are proven to have either participated or voiced support for the protesters, from being on the crew of any flight of the airline that goes to mainland China. This demand, issued Friday, August 9, also instructed Cathay Pacific to submit information on all air crew staff plying the HK-China routes, for Beijing’s own approval screening.
Such an act of overreach by the Communist leadership of mainland China was expected following some bargaining from the Hong Kong government not to deploy the military into the SAR. This is a grave concern for the Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation union of HK-based airline workers. According to their spokesperson Carol Ng, this move enables Beijing to influence the economic fortunes of not just local businesses but multinational conglomerates depending on access to the Chinese market, as the potential blanket ban on protest sympathizers threaten to further destabilize the freefalling economy of Hong Kong.
This is not a wanted development for the former British colony that has already been laid low by the pro-democracy protests since late June. The HK stock market is dropping while tourists are scared away by the violent clashes between angry residents and authorities. And while Cathay Pacific is acquiescing to the Beijing demand for now, some of its employees are increasingly resentful of the iron hand leveled upon them.
Currently the protests in general are calling out Beijing on stifling the democratic safeguards that were supposed to ensure the “One Country, Two Systems” governmental and economic status of Hong Kong from 1997 to 2047. China on the other hand lays the fault of the “OCTS” on the protesters themselves, while blaming “foreign agitators” for encouraging HK residents to believe in the falsehood that the territory is independent from China.
Image courtesy of CNN International