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Student Loan Default: The Guide (ReUploaded)

NOTE: I'm pasting this guide from where I originally found it, over on Studentloandefaulters. It was originally pasted there from someone who found it after the original was deleted.

Student Loan Default: The Guide (reuploaded)

📷
The original guide that was recently deleted here: https://www.reddit.com/studentloandefaulters/comments/cg1fd7/student_loan_default_a_guide/
I take no credit for this post, just happened to have it saved in a document and thought I'd be doing an injustice by not sharing this information once I saw the original post was missing! All credit goes to the original author, and without further ado...
Student Loan Default: A Guide
I’ve been wanting to write this for a long time, and seeing that person be in $500,000 of debt and no one really helping him on studentloans, I felt it was time to summarize everything I’ve learned. While there is great information on this sub, it is not centralized. It requires some digging. I hope now to bring all of it to the surface.
Definitions:
Strategic Default: When a borrower realizes that he or she can spend less money by not paying a loan. The borrower waits out the statute of limitations and then either settles or waits the debt out.
Shills: People who are paid to prevent the spread of student loan default information
Statute of Limitations: The number of years your state requires before a debt can no longer be collected.
Cosigner: The poor person who is just as legally required to pay your loans as you are
Foreign Earned Income Tax Exclusion: A tax rule that states any US citizen can earn up to about $100,000 a year in another country and report their US taxes as 0.
Fraudulent Transfer: When a party tries to move assets to someone else in order to avoid a lien on their property.
Lien: Essentially when the government slaps a bill onto your property forcing you to pay off a debt before you can sell the property.
Income Based Repayment (IBR): Federal loans can be paid with 15% of your discretionary income (money earned after taxes) instead of a higher, unpayable amount
Aggregate Student Loan Limit: The total amount a student can take out before the federal government or a private lender stops authorizing new loans
Wage Garnishment: When a court forces your employer to take out a certain percentage of your paycheck to pay back a debt
Bank Levy: When the government or a court takes all of the money directly out of your bank account to pay a debt
Private Loans: Loans that originate from anyone but the federal government. These loans have a statute of limitations and less power but higher interest rates.
Federal Loans: These loans have no statute of limitations, the government can collect anything you earn to get these back, and they come with IBR which is manageable
Sallie Mae: The worst private lender on the market. They only offer deferment for four short years.
Forbearance: A period where you do not have to pay your student loans, but interest accrues.
Deferment: A period where you do not have to pay your student loans, but interest does not accrue.
Credit Score: A number that tells people how responsible of a borrower you are.
Student Loan Tax Bomb: After you have paid for 10 - 25 years on your federal loans, you are forgiven the rest. That is considered income by the IRS. You then add this “income” to your regular income for the year and pay the tax. It can be over $10,000.
Insolvency: When you are unable to pay your debts. This works well for defusing the student loan tax bomb.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness: If you work for 10 years at a government job, you can get your entire federal student loan balance forgiven. In 2019, the feds are making it near impossible to collect. This could change.
A note on cosigners before we begin: Look, your cosigner is probably going to be very mad at you. Prepare for your relationship to be strained. You need to try and get them on the same page as you, and I do offer a tactic here to at least shift all of the financial burden off of your cosigner below. If you decide to do any of these tactics without getting your cosigner off the hook, there could be more risk involved if you or your cosigners have a lot of assets.
Strategy
Student loan default is a strategy. And to have a good strategy, one must plan as much as possible. You have to know all of your options. While strategy is your overall game plan, tactics are the individual options you have to get your strategy accomplished. Below are the tactics that you can employ to beat the student loan companies.
Tactics
Paying Your Loans: [low risk] In the rare chance you have anywhere between $1,000 to $20,000 in federal student loans and you have completed your bachelor’s degree, you should probably just pay the damn loans. All you have to do is set up an auto debit and forget about it. It will be about 15% of your income. You really want to try and avoid consolidating if you can, because it will count against some of your IBR payments. You would also lose your grace period if you did this. At the end of 10 to 25 years, you will be forgiven all of the loan amount you did not pay. That forgiven amount is considered income by the IRS, so you will be put into a higher tax bracket. I would get an accountant when this comes. In your case, your tax bomb will be low enough where you could probably just pay it. If you want to really shake things up though, you are welcome to try either the Asset Creation Tactic or the Madlad Method below. Here is more information on Income Based Repayment: https://www.studentdebtrelief.us/repayment-plans/income-based-repayment-plan/
Default Private IBR Federal (Staying Put): [low risk] The standard strategy here on studentloandefaulters. As mentioned above, for the federal loans, it’s best to just IBR and automatically debit your bank account each month and forget about it. For the private loans, this is where the game begins. Your overall plan here is to default, wait out the statute of limitations in your home state, and either settle the debt for less than 30% or just hope they leave you alone and you don’t pay at all. From this moment on, whatever you would have paid for your private monthly bill, sock that money away. Once you go past 120 days of no payments, you are in default. This is where the phone calls come in. They will start to harass you. They will call your work, your cell phone, your cosigner, etc relentlessly. Most likely, they’ll start doing this before you get to default. As they call you, you can either just give them the cold shoulder or start immediately acting like you do not own the debt. Never admit that you own the debt. Tell them you think they are crazy and have the wrong person. Inform your cosigner to do the same. Once your loans are sold to a collection agency, wait until they call you and ask for verification of the debt. If they do not provide it, you won. Chances are, they will be able to verify it, so just make sure you never admit to the debt on the phone or make a payment. If you make a payment, you’ll reset the statute of limitations. Do not give them five dollars, two dollars, a penny. If they do sue you, show up for court. Get a lawyer if you can afford it. You have to show up to court, or they win automatically. Even if you don’t have a lawyer in court, you need to make them verify the debt. You could still lose here. If you do lose in court, go to my tactic of “The Cat and Mouse Game.” They are playing a numbers game, and if you are harder to sue than John Smith down the street, they may prey on him or her instead of you. Now, there are four states in the United States that do not have wage garnishment: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. You could move there, and if you have barely any assets, you are considered judgement proof. This means you’re not worth the time to be sued, because you have nothing to take and cannot be garnished. Moving is hard, though, so that’s a personal decision. Also, from what I understand, if you do move to these states, you can switch your statute of limitations over to their states which may be less time until you cannot be sued anymore. If you do lose and just want to stop here, you could get your bank levied and you could be slapped with up to a 25% wage garnishment until paid in full Clarification: a lot of people do not ever get garnished, and bank levies are rare (they are non-existent on federal loans). Do not let this freak you out!. I repeat this is super rare and not likely to happen. Anyways, you have options at this point. If it does happen, try another tactic like leave the country or cat and mouse below.
Default Private Default Federal: [medium risk] Some of the wilder people have attempted to default on both federal and private loans in order to do a cash settlement. The same strategy above in Default Private IBR Federal applies, but realize that the US government could just step in and do an administrative garnish on you eventually. If you were living some sort of cash existence, you could potentially avoid them and then write them a money order and settle for 30% or something. This way, you avoid the tax bomb and would probably pay a lot less interest overall. If you do this and it works, I would love to hear about it.
Cat and Mouse: [medium risk] So, you want to avoid getting sued or you lost a judgement? You don’t have to sit back and take it. u/nowaysalliemae has successfully avoided being sued by essentially going on the run. You see, to be sued successfully, they need to know where you work. If you get sued, move to another state, and switch jobs, they have to do the entire process over again! This means find you, verify the debt, sue you, etc. You can essentially do this until your statute of limitations runs out. And then, you dispute the debt on your credit score. They take it off at that point, and you just saved a lot of money. I decided to put this as medium risk, because moving around a lot would require some luck. Especially since you would need to work wherever you go, there are a lot of moving parts here. I think it is totally doable, and if you are an adventurous personality type, it could be a lot of fun. This only works for the private student loan side, because the US government has a lot more power. You would still IBR your federal loans on this tactic. For more information, go through nowaysalliemae's post history.
Leave the Country: [medium risk] What if you want to avoid all of this altogether? Do you want a reset button on your life? You can just leave the country and start over. Seriously. Your credit score does not follow you across countries. The federal government cannot garnish your paycheck if you work internationally. You are not a criminal doing this. Furthermore, there is something called the Foreign Earned Income Tax Exclusion. Since you will still IBR your federal loans on this plan, as long as you make less than $100,000 in another country, your US income is zero. This means you just got a free education while you make money in another country. Once you pay zero for 25 years, you will have to defuse your student tax bomb. Tactic Below. Private companies do not stand a chance here. There are countries in the commonwealth such as Australia and Canada that are more willing to take you in if you meet certain requirements. You could teach English at a bunch of places. You could apply for residency at these places or be a perpetual tourist. A perpetual tourist is someone who essentially moves to a new country, goes to a neighboring country for a weekend, and then goes back to that new country they are trying to start a new life in*. This in no means you have to go back to the U.S. Ever. For example, you want to live in Panama forever, every 90 days, you take a weekend trip to Nicaragua. You come back to Panama after the weekend is over and get another 90 day pass. Rinse and repeat. This gives you another 90 days in your country of choice. If you make money on the internet, this strategy would work pretty well. You can just be a perpetual tourist or marry someone in another country and start a new life. This will not be a good fit for everyone, but there’s something exciting about this. If you are young, single, and restless, this could be the adventure of a lifetime. Here's more info on being a perpetual traveler and the FEIE: https://www.escapeartist.com/blog/perpetual-traveler-us-tax-code/
Suspend Payment Without More Debt: [low risk] So recently, it has been brought to my attention that there is a community college, Luna Community College (in Las Vegas, NM), that has tuition so low you could go half time all year for about 684 dollars. They have a small amount of associate's degrees. If you just want to stop paying without taking any more loans, this would be the way to do it. You could do this for many years. Luna Community College's tuition matrix: https://luna.edu/tuition_matrix
Convert Private Loans to Federal: [low risk] From this point on, these are my special tactics I’ve been thinking about. They might work really well for some people. So, you have a bunch of federal loans and a good amount of private loans. You don’t want to fight debt collectors or move around. Try this. This plan only works if you have a bachelor’s degree though. Anyways, there is a special loan offered by the US Federal Government called the Graduate Plus Loan. This loan is incredible, because there is no aggregate student loan limit. In other words, you can borrow as much money as you want here. Even a million dollars no questions asked. All you need is no delinquency or default on your credit report. If you do have these things, you can get a cosigner in on the plan. They won’t ever be responsible anyways because you will defuse the tax bomb at the end. This works to your advantage, because you could go back to school at the graduate level, get a diploma mill master’s degree online, use your room and board payment to start paying off your private loans ASAP. Just make sure you are doing whatever your school considers half time enrollment in order to avoid student loan payments while doing this. Once you’ve gone to school long enough and converted all of your private loans to grad plus loans, you could just go on an IBR plan. This will at least make your life manageable. You would have to defuse your student tax bomb once this is over. Tactic below.
Convert Federal Loans to Private: [medium risk] So, what if you wanted to go the opposite way? Maybe you want to convert all of your federal loans to private ones, default, and then leave the country? Hey, maybe there are reasons you want to hurry up the settlement process. You could essentially do the same strategy as above, but instead just borrow from Sallie Mae, Wells Fargo, etc until all of your federal loans are paid off. Then, either cat and mouse or leave the country. I don’t think a lot of people would find a use for this, but hey who knows?
Asset Creation Method: [high risk] What if you wanted to not just pay off your loans but get ahead in life? Maybe you feel like using your student loan debt to your advantage. Thanks to the work done by u/BinaryAlgorithm, you could really come out on top here. Remember those Grad Plus loans we were talking about? Well, there’s nothing stopping you from continually borrowing all year on these loans, investing the room and board, and acting as if you do not have the debt in the first place. While I had originally said that rental property does not count as income, I cannot find any documentation proving this. You can still invest this money however you want, and you just defuse the tax bomb at the end (if anyone can find that documentation, please let me know). I did find that rental properties offer a lot of ways to reduce your adjusted gross income (management fees, advertising, etc), and these could reduce your income closer to zero. We’re not done here. Moreover, you could get a job that qualifies for Public Student Loan Forgiveness, enjoy your investments, and then pay for the 10 years. Be sure to convert all loans to federal before starting this tactic. I only put this as high risk, because the whole plan falls apart if Grad Plus loans get capped. Will they? Probably not, because those are the loans doctors and lawyers take out to go to their professional schools. It would take an act of congress to change the way the law stands now, but still, you should know that. This plan spans decades, so a lot can change. Also, having this many installment loans may lower your credit score over a multitude of years, but based on what everyone has found out here, it's not by much. For more information, go to this subreddit's search bar and type in "aggregate" and go look at BinaryAlgorithm's two posts on the subject.
Defusing the Student Tax Bomb: [low risk] So lucky for you, I talked to an actual lawyer and an actual IRS agent about this. This is completely legal and doable. Okay, so you were a good person and paid your IBR for 25-30 years. What now? Well, you’re about to be hit hard with a tax bomb. All of that money that is now forgiven counts as income on your taxes. This could mean a bill in the tens of thousands if you combined this with any of the other methods here—or just borrowed a lot to begin with. Luckily for us, there is something called insolvency. This means you are unable to pay your debts, and there is a really simple formula for whether or not you are insolvent. As long as you have more liabilities than assets at the time of student loan forgiveness, you are considered insolvent. In other words, right before you are about to be forgiven, like year 24 out of 25, you would take out a loan on something. All you would need to do is buy a house, buy a car, or buy something with a huge price tag. As long as your liabilities are way higher than your assets (like aim for 100K or something more), you are considered insolvent and you don’t have to pay any of the tax bomb. Boom. The IRS agent said this is fine. The lawyer said this is fine. I cannot believe this is fine. Where could you get the money to borrow for a house? Check Asset Creation method above. You could always sell the asset after the tax bomb is dealt with. For more information on defusing the student loan tax bomb: https://lawyerist.com/defusing-student-loan-interest-tax-bomb/
Getting Your Cosigner Off the Hook: So 90% of us have cosigners based on some statistic I read. These people are going to pissed at you, because they get harassed. If you have a lot of time to plan your strategy out, you can simply convert all of your private loans to federal ones. They are no longer responsible. The plan is above. Check out “Convert Private Loans to Federal.” Furthermore, if you are attempting to go the default route with private loans, you could potentially get your cosigner off the hook by refinancing your student loans without the cosigner. After you refinance, you could just default then. You would need good credit and meet certain requirements for this. Also, if you plan on defaulting, you might want to get your cosigner to transfer their assets to their spouse or someone trustworthy. Even though liens are rare, this could give you some peace of mind. As long as about 3-5 years go by, this is no longer considered a fraudulent transfer. Your state will have certain rules about this. If you are from Florida, apparently houses are untouchable there. You will need a lawyer to plan the asset transfer. At the same time, you may not be able to get your cosigner off the hook. Make peace with that. Student loans are brutal, so all you can really do is educate yourself and your cosigner and hope you come out on top.
Madlad Method: [high risk] Now, here comes my personal plan. This is what I’m doing, because I want to live a life on my terms and not really work for anyone my entire life. I’m also not a normal person, so this will probably appear crazy to some or most of you. So at this point, if you understand all of the methods before you, you are a powerful player in the student loan circus. You can do anything from fight the man to maliciously comply and bankrupt the system while becoming upper-middle class. I don’t really care for any of that. I want to go to a tropical paradise and make music for 20 years, so here is my interpretation of everything. I have some federal loans and private loans. I net about 25K a year through the Grad Plus loans, and I work about 4 hours a week in the online classroom. I take that federal loan money, and I sock away a few hundred every month to save up for my private loan settlement in about five years. Since I save 300 every month, I’ll have about 18K in 5 years when I go into default. I will settle ASAP. At the same time, I will continue to go to diploma mill universities, get master's degree after master’s degree, and move to a Latin American country where the cost of living is even lower. This way, my 25K a year puts me in the upper class of that country. I can live where I want and really do whatever I damn well please for as long as the Grad Plus loans are around. As an added bonus, I will already be starting a new life in another country where I can make connections and maybe even get married. I studied linguistics, so I know how to teach English. I can do that if I want a source of income anywhere. So there is my plan, and honestly, one day we might get someone in office who just wipes out all of this debt anyways. If that’s the case, I can just play the waiting game until all of this is over. Here are the rules on adverse credit history and Grad Plus loans: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/plus-adverse-credit.pdf
Final Thoughts: Defaulting on student loans is not immoral or a sin. It is a business decision. Everyone else gets bailouts, why should student borrowers be any different? You’re going to have to ignore the people who tell you why they think you should be a good little slave and pay your loans. Those people are not your friends. Those people are not on your side. Some of the best advice I ever received in life was you have to do what’s best for you. Also, if you have anything you would like to add to this or would like to challenge, please let me know. I want this to be as accurate as possible. I will be looking at this perpetually to make sure there are no errors. Take care. Good luck. You can do this.
submitted by I_Ride_A_Nimbus to StudentLoanEscape [link] [comments]

Addressing Canada’s Employment Insurance Gap For Self-Employed Workers

Source: TD
Ksenia Bushmeneva, Economist
Dated July 15th, 2020

Highlights


Chart 1 - Workers in More Precarious Employment See Steep Job Losses

Chart 2 - COVID-19 Self-employed to Cut Hours Worked Drastically

EI Leaves Many Non-Standard Workers Behind


Chart 3 - Self-employed Workers Much More Likely to Apply for CERB

Chart 4 - Prevalence of Self-employment Varies by Province

What Complicates Offering EI Coverage For Non-Standard Workers


Chart 5 - Maternity and Family Benefits Available to Self-employment

Chart 6 - Sickness, Disability, and Work Injury Coverage Available to Self-Employed

Some Solutions Based on The International Experience


Chart 7 - Unemployment Benefits Coverage Options to Self-employed

Chart 8 - Old-age Pensions Coverage Options Available to Self-employed

Concluding Remarks


References

  1. “Employment Insurance Coverage Survey, 2018”. Statistics Canada. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/191114/dq191114a-eng.htm
  2. Sunil Johal & Erich Hartmann. “Facilitating the Future of Work Through Modernizing EI System”. The Mowat Center. https://ppforum.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/PPF-Modernizing-EI-for-Future-of-Work-April-2019-EN.pdf
  3. Antonia Asenjo and Clemente Pignatti. “Unemployment insurance schemes around the world: Evidence and policy options.” International Labour Office. https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---inst/documents/publication/wcms_723778.pdf
  4. Sung-Hee Jeon and Yuri Ostrovsky. “The impact of COVID-19 on the gig economy: Short- and long-term concerns”. Statistics Canada. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/en/pub/45-28-0001/2020001/article/00021-eng.pdf?st=x8kZDLV7
  5. Sunil Johal & Erich Hartmann. “Facilitating the Future of Work Through Modernizing EI System”. The Mowat Center. https://ppforum.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/PPF-Modernizing-EI-for-Future-of-Work-April-2019-EN.pdf Ibid.
  6. “Evaluation of the Employment Insurance Special Benefits for Self-employed Workers”. Employment and Social Development Canada. https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/reports/evaluations/2016-ei-special-benefits.html
  7. “The Future of Social Protection: what works for non-standard workers?” OECD. https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/9789264306943-en/1/2/1/index.html?itemId=/content/publication/9789264306943-en&_csp_=60072f6c81e5afb306d1ad580d284396&itemIGO=oecd&itemContentType=book#chapter-d1e549 Ibid.
  8. “Key Small Business Statistics - January 2019”. Statistics Canada. https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/061.nsf/eng/h_03090.html#point1-3 Ibid.
  9. “Government Response To The Fifth Report Of The Standing Committee on The Status of Women. Interim Report on the Maternity and Parental Benefits Under Employment Insurance: the Exclusion of Self-Employed Workers.” https://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentVieween/39-1/FEWO/report-5/response-8512-391-19
  10. “Evaluation of the Employment Insurance Special Benefits for Self-employed Workers”. Employment and Social Development Canada. https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social development/corporate/reports/evaluations/2016-ei-special-benefits.html

End Notes

  1. Since 2010 self-employed workers can voluntarily participate in EI Special Benefit for Self-Employed Workers (SBSE) to gain access to many life event-type benefits accessible to regular employees, such as maternity and paternity leave programs, leave due to sickness or to care for an sick family member. In addition to this, current EI system allows certain exceptions for some non-standard workers. For example some individuals who work independently as barbers, hairdressers, taxi drivers, drivers of other passenger vehicles are eligible to receive benefits through the regular EI program. Fishermen are also included as insured persons under the EI Fishing Regulations. In the case of the self- employed fishermen, EI qualification is tied to income. In order to qualify for up to 26 weeks of benefit, they need to have earned between $2,500 to $4,200 in the last 31 weeks.
  2. The two main reasons for not contributing to the EI program were not having worked in the previous 12 months, and non-insurable employment (which includes self-employment).
submitted by AwesomeMathUse to econmonitor [link] [comments]

Student Loan Default: The Guide (reuploaded)

The original guide that was recently deleted here: https://www.reddit.com/studentloandefaulters/comments/cg1fd7/student_loan_default_a_guide/
I take no credit for this post, just happened to have it saved in a document and thought I'd be doing an injustice by not sharing this information once I saw the original post was missing! All credit goes to the original author, and without further ado...

Student Loan Default: A Guide
I’ve been wanting to write this for a long time, and seeing that person be in $500,000 of debt and no one really helping him on studentloans, I felt it was time to summarize everything I’ve learned. While there is great information on this sub, it is not centralized. It requires some digging. I hope now to bring all of it to the surface.

Definitions:

Strategic Default: When a borrower realizes that he or she can spend less money by not paying a loan. The borrower waits out the statute of limitations and then either settles or waits the debt out.

Shills: People who are paid to prevent the spread of student loan default information

Statute of Limitations: The number of years your state requires before a debt can no longer be collected.

Cosigner: The poor person who is just as legally required to pay your loans as you are

Foreign Earned Income Tax Exclusion: A tax rule that states any US citizen can earn up to about $100,000 a year in another country and report their US taxes as 0.

Fraudulent Transfer: When a party tries to move assets to someone else in order to avoid a lien on their property.

Lien: Essentially when the government slaps a bill onto your property forcing you to pay off a debt before you can sell the property.

Income Based Repayment (IBR): Federal loans can be paid with 15% of your discretionary income (money earned after taxes) instead of a higher, unpayable amount

Aggregate Student Loan Limit: The total amount a student can take out before the federal government or a private lender stops authorizing new loans

Wage Garnishment: When a court forces your employer to take out a certain percentage of your paycheck to pay back a debt

Bank Levy: When the government or a court takes all of the money directly out of your bank account to pay a debt

Private Loans: Loans that originate from anyone but the federal government. These loans have a statute of limitations and less power but higher interest rates.

Federal Loans: These loans have no statute of limitations, the government can collect anything you earn to get these back, and they come with IBR which is manageable

Sallie Mae: The worst private lender on the market. They only offer deferment for four short years.

Forbearance: A period where you do not have to pay your student loans, but interest accrues.

Deferment: A period where you do not have to pay your student loans, but interest does not accrue.

Credit Score: A number that tells people how responsible of a borrower you are.

Student Loan Tax Bomb: After you have paid for 10 - 25 years on your federal loans, you are forgiven the rest. That is considered income by the IRS. You then add this “income” to your regular income for the year and pay the tax. It can be over $10,000.

Insolvency: When you are unable to pay your debts. This works well for defusing the student loan tax bomb.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness: If you work for 10 years at a government job, you can get your entire federal student loan balance forgiven. In 2019, the feds are making it near impossible to collect. This could change.

A note on cosigners before we begin: Look, your cosigner is probably going to be very mad at you. Prepare for your relationship to be strained. You need to try and get them on the same page as you, and I do offer a tactic here to at least shift all of the financial burden off of your cosigner below. If you decide to do any of these tactics without getting your cosigner off the hook, there could be more risk involved if you or your cosigners have a lot of assets.

Strategy

Student loan default is a strategy. And to have a good strategy, one must plan as much as possible. You have to know all of your options. While strategy is your overall game plan, tactics are the individual options you have to get your strategy accomplished. Below are the tactics that you can employ to beat the student loan companies.

Tactics

Paying Your Loans: [low risk] In the rare chance you have anywhere between $1,000 to $20,000 in federal student loans and you have completed your bachelor’s degree, you should probably just pay the damn loans. All you have to do is set up an auto debit and forget about it. It will be about 15% of your income. You really want to try and avoid consolidating if you can, because it will count against some of your IBR payments. You would also lose your grace period if you did this. At the end of 10 to 25 years, you will be forgiven all of the loan amount you did not pay. That forgiven amount is considered income by the IRS, so you will be put into a higher tax bracket. I would get an accountant when this comes. In your case, your tax bomb will be low enough where you could probably just pay it. If you want to really shake things up though, you are welcome to try either the Asset Creation Tactic or the Madlad Method below. Here is more information on Income Based Repayment: https://www.studentdebtrelief.us/repayment-plans/income-based-repayment-plan/

Default Private IBR Federal (Staying Put): [low risk] The standard strategy here on studentloandefaulters. As mentioned above, for the federal loans, it’s best to just IBR and automatically debit your bank account each month and forget about it. For the private loans, this is where the game begins. Your overall plan here is to default, wait out the statute of limitations in your home state, and either settle the debt for less than 30% or just hope they leave you alone and you don’t pay at all. From this moment on, whatever you would have paid for your private monthly bill, sock that money away. Once you go past 120 days of no payments, you are in default. This is where the phone calls come in. They will start to harass you. They will call your work, your cell phone, your cosigner, etc relentlessly. Most likely, they’ll start doing this before you get to default. As they call you, you can either just give them the cold shoulder or start immediately acting like you do not own the debt. Never admit that you own the debt. Tell them you think they are crazy and have the wrong person. Inform your cosigner to do the same. Once your loans are sold to a collection agency, wait until they call you and ask for verification of the debt. If they do not provide it, you won. Chances are, they will be able to verify it, so just make sure you never admit to the debt on the phone or make a payment. If you make a payment, you’ll reset the statute of limitations. Do not give them five dollars, two dollars, a penny. If they do sue you, show up for court. Get a lawyer if you can afford it. You have to show up to court, or they win automatically. Even if you don’t have a lawyer in court, you need to make them verify the debt. You could still lose here. If you do lose in court, go to my tactic of “The Cat and Mouse Game.” They are playing a numbers game, and if you are harder to sue than John Smith down the street, they may prey on him or her instead of you. Now, there are four states in the United States that do not have wage garnishment: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. You could move there, and if you have barely any assets, you are considered judgement proof. This means you’re not worth the time to be sued, because you have nothing to take and cannot be garnished. Moving is hard, though, so that’s a personal decision. Also, from what I understand, if you do move to these states, you can switch your statute of limitations over to their states which may be less time until you cannot be sued anymore. If you do lose and just want to stop here, you could get your bank levied and you could be slapped with up to a 25% wage garnishment until paid in full Clarification: a lot of people do not ever get garnished, and bank levies are rare (they are non-existent on federal loans). Do not let this freak you out!. I repeat this is super rare and not likely to happen. Anyways, you have options at this point. If it does happen, try another tactic like leave the country or cat and mouse below.

Default Private Default Federal: [medium risk] Some of the wilder people have attempted to default on both federal and private loans in order to do a cash settlement. The same strategy above in Default Private IBR Federal applies, but realize that the US government could just step in and do an administrative garnish on you eventually. If you were living some sort of cash existence, you could potentially avoid them and then write them a money order and settle for 30% or something. This way, you avoid the tax bomb and would probably pay a lot less interest overall. If you do this and it works, I would love to hear about it.

Cat and Mouse: [medium risk] So, you want to avoid getting sued or you lost a judgement? You don’t have to sit back and take it. u/nowaysalliemae has successfully avoided being sued by essentially going on the run. You see, to be sued successfully, they need to know where you work. If you get sued, move to another state, and switch jobs, they have to do the entire process over again! This means find you, verify the debt, sue you, etc. You can essentially do this until your statute of limitations runs out. And then, you dispute the debt on your credit score. They take it off at that point, and you just saved a lot of money. I decided to put this as medium risk, because moving around a lot would require some luck. Especially since you would need to work wherever you go, there are a lot of moving parts here. I think it is totally doable, and if you are an adventurous personality type, it could be a lot of fun. This only works for the private student loan side, because the US government has a lot more power. You would still IBR your federal loans on this tactic. For more information, go through nowaysalliemae's post history.

Leave the Country: [medium risk] What if you want to avoid all of this altogether? Do you want a reset button on your life? You can just leave the country and start over. Seriously. Your credit score does not follow you across countries. The federal government cannot garnish your paycheck if you work internationally. You are not a criminal doing this. Furthermore, there is something called the Foreign Earned Income Tax Exclusion. Since you will still IBR your federal loans on this plan, as long as you make less than $100,000 in another country, your US income is zero. This means you just got a free education while you make money in another country. Once you pay zero for 25 years, you will have to defuse your student tax bomb. Tactic Below. Private companies do not stand a chance here. There are countries in the commonwealth such as Australia and Canada that are more willing to take you in if you meet certain requirements. You could teach English at a bunch of places. You could apply for residency at these places or be a perpetual tourist. A perpetual tourist is someone who essentially moves to a new country, goes to a neighboring country for a weekend, and then goes back to that new country they are trying to start a new life in*. This in no means you have to go back to the U.S. Ever. For example, you want to live in Panama forever, every 90 days, you take a weekend trip to Nicaragua. You come back to Panama after the weekend is over and get another 90 day pass. Rinse and repeat. This gives you another 90 days in your country of choice. If you make money on the internet, this strategy would work pretty well. You can just be a perpetual tourist or marry someone in another country and start a new life. This will not be a good fit for everyone, but there’s something exciting about this. If you are young, single, and restless, this could be the adventure of a lifetime. Here's more info on being a perpetual traveler and the FEIE: https://www.escapeartist.com/blog/perpetual-traveler-us-tax-code/

Suspend Payment Without More Debt: [low risk] So recently, it has been brought to my attention that there is a community college, Luna Community College (in Las Vegas, NM), that has tuition so low you could go half time all year for about 684 dollars. They have a small amount of associate's degrees. If you just want to stop paying without taking any more loans, this would be the way to do it. You could do this for many years. Luna Community College's tuition matrix: https://luna.edu/tuition_matrix

Convert Private Loans to Federal: [low risk] From this point on, these are my special tactics I’ve been thinking about. They might work really well for some people. So, you have a bunch of federal loans and a good amount of private loans. You don’t want to fight debt collectors or move around. Try this. This plan only works if you have a bachelor’s degree though. Anyways, there is a special loan offered by the US Federal Government called the Graduate Plus Loan. This loan is incredible, because there is no aggregate student loan limit. In other words, you can borrow as much money as you want here. Even a million dollars no questions asked. All you need is no delinquency or default on your credit report. If you do have these things, you can get a cosigner in on the plan. They won’t ever be responsible anyways because you will defuse the tax bomb at the end. This works to your advantage, because you could go back to school at the graduate level, get a diploma mill master’s degree online, use your room and board payment to start paying off your private loans ASAP. Just make sure you are doing whatever your school considers half time enrollment in order to avoid student loan payments while doing this. Once you’ve gone to school long enough and converted all of your private loans to grad plus loans, you could just go on an IBR plan. This will at least make your life manageable. You would have to defuse your student tax bomb once this is over. Tactic below.

Convert Federal Loans to Private: [medium risk] So, what if you wanted to go the opposite way? Maybe you want to convert all of your federal loans to private ones, default, and then leave the country? Hey, maybe there are reasons you want to hurry up the settlement process. You could essentially do the same strategy as above, but instead just borrow from Sallie Mae, Wells Fargo, etc until all of your federal loans are paid off. Then, either cat and mouse or leave the country. I don’t think a lot of people would find a use for this, but hey who knows?

Asset Creation Method: [high risk] What if you wanted to not just pay off your loans but get ahead in life? Maybe you feel like using your student loan debt to your advantage. Thanks to the work done by u/BinaryAlgorithm, you could really come out on top here. Remember those Grad Plus loans we were talking about? Well, there’s nothing stopping you from continually borrowing all year on these loans, investing the room and board, and acting as if you do not have the debt in the first place. While I had originally said that rental property does not count as income, I cannot find any documentation proving this. You can still invest this money however you want, and you just defuse the tax bomb at the end (if anyone can find that documentation, please let me know). I did find that rental properties offer a lot of ways to reduce your adjusted gross income (management fees, advertising, etc), and these could reduce your income closer to zero. We’re not done here. Moreover, you could get a job that qualifies for Public Student Loan Forgiveness, enjoy your investments, and then pay for the 10 years. Be sure to convert all loans to federal before starting this tactic. I only put this as high risk, because the whole plan falls apart if Grad Plus loans get capped. Will they? Probably not, because those are the loans doctors and lawyers take out to go to their professional schools. It would take an act of congress to change the way the law stands now, but still, you should know that. This plan spans decades, so a lot can change. Also, having this many installment loans may lower your credit score over a multitude of years, but based on what everyone has found out here, it's not by much. For more information, go to this subreddit's search bar and type in "aggregate" and go look at BinaryAlgorithm's two posts on the subject.

Defusing the Student Tax Bomb: [low risk] So lucky for you, I talked to an actual lawyer and an actual IRS agent about this. This is completely legal and doable. Okay, so you were a good person and paid your IBR for 25-30 years. What now? Well, you’re about to be hit hard with a tax bomb. All of that money that is now forgiven counts as income on your taxes. This could mean a bill in the tens of thousands if you combined this with any of the other methods here—or just borrowed a lot to begin with. Luckily for us, there is something called insolvency. This means you are unable to pay your debts, and there is a really simple formula for whether or not you are insolvent. As long as you have more liabilities than assets at the time of student loan forgiveness, you are considered insolvent. In other words, right before you are about to be forgiven, like year 24 out of 25, you would take out a loan on something. All you would need to do is buy a house, buy a car, or buy something with a huge price tag. As long as your liabilities are way higher than your assets (like aim for 100K or something more), you are considered insolvent and you don’t have to pay any of the tax bomb. Boom. The IRS agent said this is fine. The lawyer said this is fine. I cannot believe this is fine. Where could you get the money to borrow for a house? Check Asset Creation method above. You could always sell the asset after the tax bomb is dealt with. For more information on defusing the student loan tax bomb: https://lawyerist.com/defusing-student-loan-interest-tax-bomb/

Getting Your Cosigner Off the Hook: So 90% of us have cosigners based on some statistic I read. These people are going to pissed at you, because they get harassed. If you have a lot of time to plan your strategy out, you can simply convert all of your private loans to federal ones. They are no longer responsible. The plan is above. Check out “Convert Private Loans to Federal.” Furthermore, if you are attempting to go the default route with private loans, you could potentially get your cosigner off the hook by refinancing your student loans without the cosigner. After you refinance, you could just default then. You would need good credit and meet certain requirements for this. Also, if you plan on defaulting, you might want to get your cosigner to transfer their assets to their spouse or someone trustworthy. Even though liens are rare, this could give you some peace of mind. As long as about 3-5 years go by, this is no longer considered a fraudulent transfer. Your state will have certain rules about this. If you are from Florida, apparently houses are untouchable there. You will need a lawyer to plan the asset transfer. At the same time, you may not be able to get your cosigner off the hook. Make peace with that. Student loans are brutal, so all you can really do is educate yourself and your cosigner and hope you come out on top.

Madlad Method: [high risk] Now, here comes my personal plan. This is what I’m doing, because I want to live a life on my terms and not really work for anyone my entire life. I’m also not a normal person, so this will probably appear crazy to some or most of you. So at this point, if you understand all of the methods before you, you are a powerful player in the student loan circus. You can do anything from fight the man to maliciously comply and bankrupt the system while becoming upper-middle class. I don’t really care for any of that. I want to go to a tropical paradise and make music for 20 years, so here is my interpretation of everything. I have some federal loans and private loans. I net about 25K a year through the Grad Plus loans, and I work about 4 hours a week in the online classroom. I take that federal loan money, and I sock away a few hundred every month to save up for my private loan settlement in about five years. Since I save 300 every month, I’ll have about 18K in 5 years when I go into default. I will settle ASAP. At the same time, I will continue to go to diploma mill universities, get master's degree after master’s degree, and move to a Latin American country where the cost of living is even lower. This way, my 25K a year puts me in the upper class of that country. I can live where I want and really do whatever I damn well please for as long as the Grad Plus loans are around. As an added bonus, I will already be starting a new life in another country where I can make connections and maybe even get married. I studied linguistics, so I know how to teach English. I can do that if I want a source of income anywhere. So there is my plan, and honestly, one day we might get someone in office who just wipes out all of this debt anyways. If that’s the case, I can just play the waiting game until all of this is over. Here are the rules on adverse credit history and Grad Plus loans: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/plus-adverse-credit.pdf

Final Thoughts: Defaulting on student loans is not immoral or a sin. It is a business decision. Everyone else gets bailouts, why should student borrowers be any different? You’re going to have to ignore the people who tell you why they think you should be a good little slave and pay your loans. Those people are not your friends. Those people are not on your side. Some of the best advice I ever received in life was you have to do what’s best for you. Also, if you have anything you would like to add to this or would like to challenge, please let me know. I want this to be as accurate as possible. I will be looking at this perpetually to make sure there are no errors. Take care. Good luck. You can do this.
submitted by PlsvoteforBernie to studentloandefaulters [link] [comments]

As a man, I am upset to hear that the “Man Tax” Café is closing. The “Man Tax” is a good idea, especially if you look more closely into the details

I’m sure most everyone here is aware of the closing of Handsome Her, the vegan café in Melbourne, Australia that made headlines for instituting an 18% “man tax.” Much of the coverage, from several subreddits here to various news platforms all over the world, appears to be quite supportive of the closing, citing that the “tax” should be illegal and is a form of discrimination.
I looked more closely into the café’s “man tax,” and it looks like the “tax” was voluntary and would have gone to organizations supporting poor, Aboriginal Australian women (not the female employees of the café). That seems like less of an enforced rule and more of a simple encouragement for men to support a cause that the café cares about and to increase their awareness of pay discrimination.
I can see the argument that it’s “sexist” for them to encourage only men to “pay the tax” (i.e. - donate), but I would presume the organization the café was supporting accepts donations from people, regardless of gender, which means women/non-binary could donate directly themselves. So I really didn’t see a problem, and I hope all the best for all the employees of that café in their search for new work.
EDIT: I think it would also be fair to point out that there could have been transgendegender non-conforming individuals who might pass for men, so if they were to enforce the rule, they might have risked actually taxing women/non-binary folks who might look more masculine.
submitted by black_yoshi_boi to unpopularopinion [link] [comments]

DKR brings the whole thing to a close

After a long campaign, DKR returns to where it all began for a rally in the botanical gardens.
“Guys, gals, and non-binary pals, this has been a journey. Quite frankly, I’m overwhelmed. The response we’ve gotten from people all over Christchurch has been more than I ever expected. Everywhere I went I got to see people who were listening to the Green message for a better country and telling me they were willing to fight for it. My ideal society has always been one where we make art, make rent, and help others do the same. I’ve found more people agree with me than I’d have ever expected.
“I met with families who’d been hit hard by National’s GST increase. I met with students who thanked me for our commitment to better public transport so they could get to where they need to go. One particularly touching moment was when people spoke privately with me about our investment in mental health services, and we had a productive discussion about ways we can even further improve healthcare in our second term.
“When I first stood with you here on Monday, I encouraged a campaign run on record. Not to look just at promises, but what the parties have done with their time in office. Obviously, when you have spent your time in office implementing a program of positive reforms, which have made life better for countless ordinary people, that’s a lot easier than normal. Since I’ve now spoken extensively about our record, reversing GST, building the rail links, banning conversion therapy, and so on, I’d like to take this opportunity to talk more about our manifesto, lest anyone think that the best of the Green Party lies in the past.
“Energy policy is one of the best examples of how Green ideology isn’t just about benefiting the planet, but also all the people living on it. Because New Zealand has fallen behind the times on new energy generation, electricity bills are really starting to hit us where it hurts. It doesn’t have to be like this. We know that the cost of new renewable generation is actually less than coal fired plants, and the more renewables we have generating power, the lower bills will be. That’s why we are committed to 100% renewables by 2025, which won’t only lower prices but also create thousands of new jobs in construction, design and maintenance. As a way of encouraging this that won’t just put money into the pockets of generation companies, but also directly alleviate the burden on bill payers, we’ll be providing low-interest loans for the installation of solar panels on rooftops. When a Green government invests in not only new, large-scale generation, but also small-scale for households, you’ll find power bills going down rapidly. Not only that, but it will make New Zealand a global leader in the fight against climate change.
“Already islands in the Pacific find themselves uninhabitable due to rising sea levels, fierce tropical storms, and the threat of frequent tsunamis and cyclones. That’s why we introduced a humanitarian visa for those displaced by climate change, but we recognise it will never give them their homes back. Ultimately, the visa is a step we had to make due to the fact that enough wasn’t done to prevent the damage of climate change back in the 80s and 90s. Mistakes like this cannot be repeated. Time is rapidly running out, and we will do everything in our power to make sure that New Zealand stops contributing to the reckless destruction of our planet. We will make sure that affected workers are provided with transition options, and we will end fossil fuel exploration on New Zealand. If you look across the Tasman we can find two communities where dirty energy generation was shuttered for good, and use what happened afterwards as our blueprint. In both Port Augusta and the Latrobe Valley, the union movement worked with the community and government to find new jobs for displaced workers. Playford B and Northern power stations in South Australia and Hazelwood in Victoria were owned by private corporations who shut them down without a plan for those workers, forcing the community to rally. There has been much fear mongering about the effect our plan will have on coal jobs, but rather than listen to these hypotheticals we can simply look at our neighbours for real, actual examples of the threat to jobs. Fossil fuel is becoming unprofitable, and soon corporations will be pivoting to renewable energy and leaving the communities that made them rich behind. Under the Greens, there will be plans in place and programs to make sure that any transition is a Just Transition.
“Other environment policies include providing every assistance necessary to help farmers transition to more sustainable practices, promoting recycling in New Zealand, and protecting the Department of Conservation from National’s cuts.
“Let’s talk housing. 12,500 new state homes. 2,500 additional homes provided by community housing providers. Scrapping rent-to-own, and instead focusing on new homes. It is not acceptable that anybody should have to go without secure housing. The provision not just of homes, but of good quality homes, will be one of our priorities in the next term. For everybody who can’t purchase their own home, we’ll be protecting the rights of renters. No more of the 42 day notice period, it will be 90 days notice to all. Measures to make sure that any rent increases are totally transparent, and keeping them at a patently reasonable one per year.
“The Greens believe in a fairer country. Our current model of treating drug use as a crime does nothing but slap the vulnerable with fines and prison sentences. Portugal has seen a decrease in drug use and overdoses by sending people to rehabilitation rather than locking them in a cage. Decriminalisation is a policy long opposed not based on evidence, but on a knee jerk reaction to drug use that places all the blame on personal weakness, instead of myriad societal and environmental factors. No more! The Greens will introduce the Portugal model, because nobody deserves to be punished for drug use, they deserve to be helped.
“On the subject of fairness, it’s about time this country made education more accessible. Making tertiary education free is certainly ambitious and difficult, but it doesn’t make it any less necessary. An education should not be something you worry about being able to afford. But the problem is that’s not enough. Free uni doesn’t help kids who can’t make rent. It doesn’t help people who have to choose between paying for parking or paying for groceries. That’s why we’re also subsidising university accommodation and introducing a living allowance for tertiary students.
“Tragically, we don’t have the time to go over all of our positive policies, and this is just a short list of examples, that demonstrates our commitment to a country that is just, equal, and free. We see the exact opposite from National. Wasteful military spending, regressive tax increases, and the looting of state assets. They haven’t fought this campaign on record because they don’t have one worth talking about in any tone other than the same morbid resignation featured by the narrator on Air Crash Investigation.
“That’s why I encourage you all to come out and vote Green, and encourage your friends and family to get out too. If you want to see our agenda continue, if you want to see the record of positive policy continue on, if you want to stop National getting another chance to wreck everything they can get their hands on, there is only one choice. An electorate vote for me, and a party vote for the Greens. Together, we can build an Aotearoa to fight for!”
submitted by Drunk_King_Robert to MNZElection6 [link] [comments]

[CiV VI] I've compiled my Ideas, and many of those I found throughout the sub, to create the ultimate Civ VI wishlist!

I appologize in advance as this post is offensively long. I mean, it's 5000 words with no TL:DR, so abandon all hope all ye who enter. I believe it covers all of the most common suggestions, and I've tried to make it all a little bit more out-there for the sake of flavour, but alas, please roast me merrily and have a lively discussion in the comments! Without further ado...
Musings; Ultimate edition
Tile Improvements
Transport
-4 Transport Improvements; Road, Railway, Highway and Maglev. These all have some difference in kind.
-Roads are the cheapest and the lowest tech, working much as they do in Civ V, but boosting yield on some adjacent improvements such as trading posts/towns.
-Railways have a limit on their distance from cities; about 5 tiles in the industrial era, increasing to 7 in the modern. This forces players to build cities closer together, and build the correct improvements, but railway benefits scale with population and aren't usable by enemy combatants.
-Highways work like a straight upgrade of roads, except they allow cities within 5 tiles along a highway to pool food and production yields, but produces 'pollution', which reduces "health".
-Maglev is a funky one for tech focused Civilizations. A maglev network connecting cities, irrespective of length, pools population(citizens available to work buildings), pools production and boosts science yield in both cities by ~30%, but otherwise functions like an expensive railway. Costs "energy" as well as about 4 gold per turn per tile.
-Rivers work like roads, but with no maintenance and provide gold. Great rivers allow ships to sail through. Workers can eventually dig canals which act as artificial great rivers, and tunnels can be bored through mountains through which Railways, Highways and Maglev can travel.
-Le Mountain Tunnels and pontoon bridges/undersea tunnels.
Yield Improvements
-Farms, Wells, Mines, Lumber mills, Plantations, Pastures, Camps and Quarries all work much the same as before, however Mines, Wells and Quarries produce 'pollution' as well as production.
-Windmills and Watermills(by rivers), which can be built on top of Farms and Plantations, provide a small yield of production at no 'pollution' cost. Upon research of "Electricity", they produce an "energy" yield.
-Once "Mechanization" technology is researched, the citizen assigned to a farm or plantation can be replaced with "energy" from appropriate buildings and improvements. The same is true for Mines, Wells and Quarries upon researching "Automation".
-Wells can be built to provide adjacent tiles with fresh water.
-Cottages double gold yield from surrounding tiles, provide 1 gold themselves. +1 gold with "Economics". Grow into Villages and then Towns which provide 3 gold base, 1 science, 1 production and 1 "energy", reduce crime and increase health.
Strategic/Military Improvements
-Forts can't be entered by enemy units without attacking. Area around forts are considered area of control, and give a land claim for a casus belli. Can upgrade to a military base, giving it an aircraft capacity and healing adjacent friendly units.
-Add sentry turrets, which are effectively stationary units which can attack enemy units. Available on Ballistics, can upgrade on Robotics to attack autonomously, Rocketry to be able to fire rockets to destroy tanks.
-Can build walls which provide a combat bonus to units inside, and drain movement points, as well as "outposts" which heal units in adjacent tiles.
-Some units can build trenches and lay mines(requires "Gunpowder") which provide a defensive bonus/act as traps.
Cities and Colonies
-Global happiness replaced with city level "health" and "stability", which affect growth, "bandit" spawn rates and likelihood of rebellions. A city with very low/negative health has a chance of spawning a plague, which behaves almost like a Civ V religion, spreading to other cities via pressure from proximity and trade routes, however plagues can also infect units adjacent to an infected city, which can then infect other cities and units and so on and so forth. Stability is reduced the greater the minimum travel time from the capital to that city.
-Workers can build districts adjacent to the original cities, which act as an extension of the city, reducing "crime", increasing "health", as well as allowing that city to build contextual buildings and units of the suburb's tile. If the population of a city grows too large without extra districts then 'health' and 'stability' decreases, spawning "slums" which in turn spawn bandits. The district can be specialized to be a stability boosting suburbs, health boosting parks, production boosting fabrics/shipyards, money boosting financial districts, culture boosting theatre districts, science boosting science parks and (upon researching hydroponics) food boosting vertical farms. If you play it smart, you can build 10 tile, 100+ pop megapoli by the end of the game.
-From the renaissance era, 'colonists' (super-fast, cheap settlers) can found "colonies" as well. Colonies increase cost of techs and policies by ~75% less than normal cities and grow twice as fast, but have much less defence. They can't (initially) build any buildings, nor build units with production, but can spawn militiamen and mercenaries. All of their production goes into "levelling-up" the colony, from 0 up to 20~25, having at around level 15 the option to turn it into a proper city. At each level you are presented with a "random" dynamic event and options on how to handle it; the options you choose affect the direction your colony takes and the characteristics it has. For example; "Catholic refugees fleeing the Malian inquisition are huddled outside the gates, what is our course of action? Do we; let them in (+1 population, -1 health, +2 diplomacy FP), turn them away (-1 diplomacy FP, +2 food), or offer them refuge in exchange for military service (+1 military FP, a maintenance free unit appears, -1 food). By level 25, 25 of these decisions could have been made, and the colony would have an array of special attributes. But high level colonies would carry a large risk of spawning rebel units, so it's worth converting them to cities (which start with an array of buildings) anyway.
Diplomacy
-Casus Belli system; common complaint, common answer. Appropriate and adapt from paradox games. Potential cases include land claim (using forts and spies), espionage offence, liberation (low approval), holy war, ideological conflicts, imperial conquest, resource acquisition, diplomatic offence et cetera. All of these will reduce warmonger penalties with certain Civs for certain actions but aren't a get away with murder card.
-Ultimata; Currently, there is no facility to threaten other civilizations. Ultimata remedy this and work thus; I demand something from another Civ in exchange for NOT declaring war. If they refuse the I automatically declare war on the next turn.
-A focus points system. Civ actions, such as War, Threats, Wonders, Technologies, Trades, Quests and Civics earn focus points in Science, Economy, Religion, Culture, Military or Diplomacy; These give diplomacy bonuses, allow access to special quests, and allow special actions.
-Taunt leaders back. This can give focus points.
-7 types of non Civ actors; City-States, Nations, Tribes, Corporations(get to that later), Rebels(Specific-Hostile) and "Barbarians/Bandits"(Hostile).
-City-States work much like they do in 5, except gold gifts are worth much less, and special quests and focus points are worth much more, and influence is instead 'spent' in order to gain things like world congress votes. Any allied city state can eventually be incorporated fully as a city. Eg. Florence, Milan, Singapore, Monaco, Malta, Honkers, Samarqand, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ife, Great Zimbabwe, Mombasa, Zanzibar etc. Limited to ~9 tiles.
-Nations are like stripped down Civilizations; a halfway house between city states and full blown Civs. Limited to 4 cities, which must be contiguous, they offer a medium for proxy wars, advanced diplomacy, breakaway states and buffer states. They also conveniently add filler to the map, and can represent small or "failed" nations. eg. Scotland, Texas, California, Belgium, Wallachia, Aragon, Manchuria, New Zealand etc.
-Tribes are an overhaul of Barbarians; Instead of automatically hostile units spawning from encampments, tribes act sort of like city states with no cities. They have territory, in which they have villages which occasionally spawn primitive military units and only primitive military units. There are no penalties for entering tribal territory as long as you aren't seen by any units, and you can even settle on top of their land. However, within these lies a moral choice; do you overpower tribes and take their land or try and bargain with and incorporate them peacefully?
-Rebels are units which spawn in cities with a low 'stability' stat, and are always hostile to the Civ in which they are spawned. The 'strife' can be increased by enemy spies, ideology, large numbers of unemployed citizens and lack of gold/science buildings. If rebels capture a city, then they make a new 'Nation' or city state which can be bargained with like any other.
-"Bandits" are the new Barbs, but as well as spawning in encampments they spawn in slums in civilized territory in response to overcrowding. They are more money focused in that any tile with a bandit unit on it yields negative gold per turn, and will set up their own improvements such as traps and dens. Can perhaps change name based on era and context (eg. Barbarian, Bandit, Pirate, Terrorist, Savage, Gangster, Mobster, Highwaymen etc).Their spawn rate inside Civs is reduced by presence of police buildings.
-InfoAddict style information screens. Graphs for days! Also displayed are opinion modifiers, and the factors determining whether a Civ will accept any particular deal. Less hidden mechanics.
-Ideology has more impact on diplomacy, with significantly different mechanics associated with each (get to that later), and being an extremely significant maker and breaker of relationships.
-Add Chemical, Biological and Radiological weapons which carry a very significant diplomacy penalty, along with nukes.
-One can choose to disobey resolutions or leave the world congress, incurring a large diplomatic penalty.
-Establish pacts with nations and city states.
-Can buy tiles from other actors.
Tech
-A less linear tech tree, starting off with a "core" set of techs arranged as they are but with cul-de-sac "branches" coming out of later eras, offering interesting technologies; broadly on spectrum from futuristic to retro-futuristic. The techs that all players need would all be in the core so they didn't have to specialize too much, but there would necessarily be a lot more techs. The ones further out on branches would only really useful for players either aiming for a Science victory or aiming for a specific bonus.
-Civs are able to divide research, researching multiple techs at the same time, utilizing special specialists (heh) called scientists. Much like trade routes in BNW, each era would allow a certain base number of scientists, and then things such as wonders, city states, research agreements, social policies and such would add on to that. Scientists would each be able to research one tech at a time, but multiple scientists (up to -3~4) could be set to research the same tech at an accelerated rate. The rate at which scientists could research stuff will depend on several factors. Each could utilize the entire Civ's global science output, in addition to their home cities' science output and more beakers proportional to extra allocated gold. Scientists would be based in a specific city, and would use up ~3 food, ~3 base gold, and require certain buildings to be able to research techs at certain levels; Libraries for anything beyond the Ancient Era, A University for anything beyond Medieval, A Laboratory for anything beyond Industrial and so on. It would be most efficient to put lots in your capital, but you wouldn't necessarily have the food to do this. Having lots of extra scientists would not be worth the effort if you don't want to have a science victory, and having lots impairs your Civ in other ways. This is an effective nerf to tech, which otherwise is inherently OP.
-New science buildings, such as Particle Accelerators, University Hospitals, Pharmacy-labs, Space-centres and the such in the late game. These would allow new lines of the tech tree, as well as providing bucket-loads of science, for a high price.
-'Rationalism' perhaps split into two different policy branches, Rationalism and Ingenuity. Rationalism is best for tall/tech defence, augmenting the ability of cities to make and use science. Ingenuity best for wide, improving use of strategic resources and reverse engineering other Civs tech i.e. tech offense.
-Research agreements allow one Civ greatly accelerated research into techs already researched by the other Civ, and a boost in global science output equal to that of the smaller Civ, and a two-for-one (maintenance wise) on two of their own scientist. When the agreement ends both players get a one-time tech boost.
-High level spies can be used to take enemy scientists during a time of war.
-Being allied with city states and minor nations allows you to initiate research agreements with them free of gold charge.
-11/12 eras: Ancient, Archaic?? , Classical, Medieval, Renaissance, Enlightenment, Industrial, Modern, Atomic, Information, Genetic/Space and Synthetic eras. Science and Diplomacy win in Synthetic. Cultural in Genetic at earliest. Domination is Domination.
-Revamped Science Victory. Perhaps, Instead of building a spaceship using Information era tech, you have to do special quests. Maybe upon researching a tech in the core of the Renaissance or the Enlightenment , you are alerted to the presence of a special quest for you to follow, and that other such quests are available upon researching specific technologies, which are located far out in the branches of subsequent eras, where non-science Civs daren't tread. The quests could range from "complete this national wonder", to "City state X has this item, acquire by any means necessary", to "Conduct a special research mission at X location". These quests would give special rewards, but would also give you items (all of which) you need to complete the science victory, possibly with an interstellar mission, maybe first contact, possibly artificial intelligence, I don't know. Stick with tradition; an interstellar mission.
-More rubber banding in tech. "Core" technologies that have already been discovered by a met civilization will take ~40% less time to research, and units have a chance of "discovering" a technology when killing advanced enemy units or taking the city of a technologically superior foe.
Late Game Horrors
-Endgame apocalypse scenarios. In the late atomic era players would be notified of the possibility of a coming endgame scenario. There would be a set number of scenarios that would be presented, each with a different probability of advancing. The scenarios would begin at the start of the Information era and progress through different levels of increasingly severe effects. There would be runaway global warming with rising sea levels, desertification, flooding and such the like. A new ice age with falling sea levels, glaciations, deforestation, ecological collapse and so on. Then there could be Atmospheric Toxicity with algae blooms, poison winds, ozone holes and other ghastly stuff. Players can then either concentrate efforts to reverse the cataclysm, to the joy of weaker Civs and nations; or simply withstand it, much to the dismay of those you could help, using dome cities and similar. Perhaps persuading other Civilizations, Nations and City States to unite in efforts to prevent the cataclysm could become the new diplomatic victory. Beats buying city states.
-Nukes become far more terrifying. Each nuke deployed would advance the endgame scenario significantly. To add to this, one nuke hit would turn any city district into a "Nuclear ruins" which spawns special Barbarian units called "Antmen", which drain health of all adjacent units and city districts. Fallout would prevent any food yield and pillage all tiles affected. Some splotches of fallout may end up all over the world in random places.
-Nukes could be set to Dead Man's switch, meaning any nuclear attack on that Civilization would cause any nukes set to dead man's switch to fire at the belligerent's cities
Civics and Social Policies
-Add the quest system from IV and BE, as well as the quest decisions and such from the above two games and a splash of random event decisions from paradox.
-In addition to Social Policies like in Civ V, have Civics which are a set of Binary choices taken ~2 times per era. These would be things like: Collectivism versus Individualism and Citizen Army (low maintenance) versus Mercenary (low production) in the early game, and Religious School versus Secular School in the late era, for example. These are the things ingrained into your Civ's culture.
-Civs are given a "home turf" bonus depending on the terrain they spawn in. A Civ that spawns with more than 12 hills or desert tiles etc. within 3 tiles of the capital will gain a combat bonus and yield boosts relevant to that terrain type.
-Ideologies, like those in BNW, stay, along with their "tenets". However, a new layer is added; "Internal Diplomacy" including an 'Election/Party' system for freedom, a 'Soviet' system for order and a 'Faction' system for autocracy.
-In Civs following freedom, every few turns there would be an "Election" which would give 3 different parties, loosely modeled around Traditionalists/Conservatives, Liberals and Populists/Socialists, a certain amount of weighting/representation. Any particular action would have a certain approval with each party, and total approval (from all parties) gives bonuses or penalties. If total approval is at +80 then you are effectively in a mini Golden age. Less than -50 then you face civil disobedience and mass protest. For example, if you want to raise taxes, a large number of "traditionalists/conservatives" will make you pay, while a large number of "populists/socialists" will cheer you along. The representation of each party is dependent on several factors; large numbers of faith buildings and religious followers will help "traditionalism", culture buildings and high GPT would boost "liberalism", lots of factories or poor GPT helps "populism/socialism", gold buildings reduce "populism/socialism", and a Random Number Generator throws a boon to anyone going every few turns when there's an "election". The weighting of the RNG also throws back to the civics/social policies one takes in the early game; tradition helps traditionalists, liberty helps liberals and so on. Other social policies may change the Parties' opinions on certain actions; honour, for example, reduces opposition to war.
-Order Civs have three 'soviets' in place of parties; Industrial workers (hammer), Agrarian Peasants (sickle) and Intellectuals (pen). Any action you take will reduce or increase "contentment" of each 'soviet'. Contentment of peasants affects food/growth, Industrial affects production/gold, and Intellectual affects science/culture. There are no 'elections' as with freedom, but weighting of the three soviets will depend on the amount of farms, factories and universities; if you don't have any farmers on the land you don't have to pander so much. Every ~10 turns, each soviet will set a quest (5-year-plan) such as: build a university in every city of population >6, secure a source of 6 unique luxuries, gain 10 population in X city and so on. Fulfilling these objectives will gain a boost to yields relevant to the soviet, as well as a quest decision, whilst their contentment will decrease if you fail the objective. Whilst at war these objectives are suspended. If you consistently succeed, gaining contentment and Great person points, then you get special great people called "Stakhanovites". Peasant Stakhanovites can found "ration" districts which expand the closest cities workable radius by one tile around them and boost growth by ~35%. Worker Stakhanovites can found "studio" districts which produce 10 hammers and increase build rate off units or buildings by 30%, and Intellectual Stakhanovites can produce a "Institute" district which boosts city science by 50% and culture by 40%, and gives a free scientist. They can also be expended to found a city with a full suite of growth, production or science buildings, or can found 'Order' corporations. Using Stakhanovites gives massive boosts to tourism, stability and "contentment" of the soviets.
-Autocracy Civs instead must accommodate three 'factions'; the Generals, the Oligarchs and the Ministry. This, necessarily, is quite different to the others. The Generals become restless after long periods of peace, potentially sparking rebellions and mutiny, and so Autocratic states must be at war regularly or else the generals will reduce production, stability and culture. If one fails to acquire new resources and expand gold yields then gold, science and health are massively reduced. The Ministry is responsible for counter intelligence success and food yields, and failing to chastise offending civilizations and build new units causes growth to stunt, stability to decrease and spies to begin leveling down. Autocracy Civs can however by default work a greater radius around their cities, have no penalty for annexing territory, and get replacement workers called Labour Fronts which are quicker, pay no unit maintenance and can fight as a melee unit if enemy soldiers are within the Civ's territory. These are earned through keeping the ministry happy, along with bonuses to great people generation and shorter periods of resistance in captured cities. Keeping the generals happy provides combat bonuses, as well as increased stability and spawning of "Troopers" which are up to date military units free of maintenance with a combat bonus against rebels, enemy units in friendly territory, and units belonging to Nations and City States. Keeping the oligarchy happy will result in the spawn of Autocratic Corporations, and will give conquered cities free gold buildings.
Corporations
-Corporations behave like little city states (with no territory or cities), and can undertake many different projects with you. Depending on the corporation, they may be able to research technologies which you can then use, build buildings in your cities (some of which are unobtainable any other way), build and maintain improvements (some of which, again, are unique to corporations), spawn unique great people, field a private military/security force to use against barbarians, man culture buildings, establish trade routes and practically anything else. There are several types; tech-based corporations which help with science and give scientists, entertainment/travel corporations which help with culture and tourism, manufacturers which boost production etc. The catch is that you must attract corporations to set up in your cities by following policies which are friendly to them (low taxes) and having buildings and improvements which help them, such as banks and stock exchanges. Tech corporations want universities and labs, Pharmaceutical corporations want lots of unimproved tiles (especially jungle). Trade agreements and diplomacy also attract corporations and allow corporations to operate in multiple Civs to share luxuries, gold, science and culture; however the majority of the benefits go to the Civ with the corporate headquarters. Of course, different ideologies and tenets will be able to reap the benefits of corporations more efficiently. Freedom Civs are the natural choice for taking advantage of corporations, whilst Order Civs have a much harder time; they can only gain their own corporations using special great people. The rough order is; Freedom (Optimal), Freedom, Order (Optimal), Autocracy (Optimal), Autocracy, Order. With the right tenets, Order is decent for Corporations (China), whereas Autocracy locks you in to a kind of Autarky, whereby corporations are nigh impossible to attract if not created by Oligarchs.
Gameplay Tweaks
-Maps are largetiles are smaller; allow Civs to build extremely dense populations without feeling cramped. Countries such as the Netherlands, or England, if put directly into Civ V would effectively be 10 tiles of nothing but cities.
-The vast number of notifications you get when it comes to the late game would be condensed into a "newspaper" which can be opened up and browsed for updates, rather than crowding your screen. Stories could be things like: "Owing to brilliant contributions to the research of Theology, Gottfried Leibniz has emerged as one of Medieval America's greatest Scientists!" and "King Alexander of Greece has completed the construction of his great Porcelain Tower!".
-Ranged Units, Civilian Units, Infantry Units and Cavalry/Siege Units can fit on different "layers" in each tile. Each unit more than the 1st uses 1 food. If they consume more food than the tile can provide, and they are outside the workable radius of a non-starving friendly city, then they suffer attrition damage.
-Addition of more Biomes. Gameplay-wise, there would only be the usual terrain types. However, some forests may appear as bamboo forests, some marshes as swamps or fens, some deserts have red sand and cacti etc.
-Upgrade route for Scouts, going to Explorers and Recon units, as well as Snipers. Along with this: more customizability, and take out the "Great War" units, or put them earlier. Replace them with cold war era units, like Vulcan bombers, MIGs, "Choppers" etc.
-Allow helicopter units to land between turns, allowing them to "refuel". Also allow air unit's like bombers to conduct a "Hail Mary", doubling range and damage but destroying the unit, with a chance of recovering the "pilots" for quicker replacement.
-Incorporate the quest system/binary choices into religion: poly vs monotheistic etc. Just more customization in general. Allow cults to be founded with leftover beliefs once at the enlightenment era.
Espionage (Shout-out to litriod)
-If you put a "spy" into one of your own cities, they become an Agent, which work much like Civ V spies who are set to Counter-Intelligence. They will hunt foreign Spies in the city you send them to, but they won't necessarily kill them when they find them. Instead you are given several actions to choose from; Kill the Spy and send them back to their homeland as a warning, resulting in their leader disliking you, but other nations will then dislike them for spying on people. You can also send them home unharmed, and chastise their government for spying on you making the other Civ like you more for sparing their spy, but they'll send more your way in the future. Or you could allow the Spy to continue their job, with a catch; The Spy's government must pay you gold, you gain some of their intelligence, but the Spy will continue Spying on your people, and your Agent will not level up from the incident.
-When you place a spy to a Friendly Civ's city, they become a Diplomat. Diplomats aren't hidden like Spies, and the foreign government always knows their location. Diplomats give you the ability to see all of the territory owned by the city they're in, not just the two rings around the city. Diplomats will also receive information from officials about events in their empire, working like the Spy's surveillance ability. However, the foreign officials won't give you unlimited Intel, and will inform you if they're plotting against you. Diplomats can allow you to trade World Congress votes with the nation in which they're operating, and each Diplomat you field will give you 1 bonus vote in the World Congress. When war is declared on the civilization housing the diplomat, they may be killed in the crossfire, and your Diplomats are at constant risk of assassination.
-Spies placed in a Neutral Civilization's city become, well, Spies. Spies work much as they currently do: they do shady things under cover, and they risk getting caught and treated by the other player much as you could've treated theirs, but you can of course sacrifice your spy and not pay the tribute if they offer you such. Spies retain their previous abilities: stealing tech and surveillance, but also gain three new abilities; Assassination Sabotage and encouraging rebellion. Spies sent on assassination missions can kill Diplomats from other Civs. If you pull this off their home Civ will blame the civilization in which they had a diplomat, and if there are already tensions building this could start a war. Assassination is a dangerous business though, and you could fail in one of two ways. Either your spy could get caught, making both Civs distrust you, or your spy could fail to properly frame the host Civ, alerting both Civs to a plot but not telling them who by. After a successful or botched assassination, your Spy will flee the city to the Hideout for a turn or two. The second new ability is sabotage, which, if successful, delays that Civs current construction project for 2 turns. The third special ability of the Spy allows you to decease stability and increase the chance of a rebellion, requiring a decent amount of gold to send to the rebels, with greater amounts increasing rebellion chance. If they actually spawn, or are there already, you can still spend money to better equip the rebel units. All this can be a tad awkward if you are caught.
-"Spies" in cities of Guarded or Hostile Civilizations, even if you're currently at war with them, will retain the title of Spy. Spies placed in these cities have a larger risk of capture, but they also have more potential for chaos. They retain their previous abilities: surveillance, stealing tech, spreading discontent, sabotage, assassination etc. but they also gain abilities for their assassinations and sabotage. Spies in this situation can also kill Great People and VIPs; If a Great Person is present you can choose to attempt a strike, killing them if you succeed. Choosing to target a VIP will, if they succeed, result in loss of 1 population and reduce production and stability by about 10% for 5 turns. Spies can also start an insurgency, suppressing production and health, or steal scientists.
-When deploying "Spies" to a City state or Nation, you can set them either as Diplomats or Spies. They can do everything they could when in a proper Civ, but diplomats can trade technology, and "Shill" to increase influence/relations. Spies can Rig elections, increasing influence significantly, and also perform Coups d'état to either annex, puppet, change the ally (swap influence with the State's ally) or Change the ideology of the host State. Spies can also siphon off gold from said states.
-Of course, "spies" can all be leveled up in their different roles.
CIVS(must-haves marked with *)
Europe
*Great Britain- Victoria
*France- Napoleon/Louis XIV
*Rome- Augustus CaesaMarcus Aurelius
*Germany- Otto von Bismarck
*Russia- Catherine/Peter I
*Greece- Alexander
Picts- Nechtan
Spain- Isabella
Portugal- Maria I
Yugoslavia- Josip Broz Tito
Poland/Commonwealth- Sigismund II
Austria- Maria Theresa
Hungary- Coloman
Kievan Rus'- Yaroslav' I
Sweden- Gustav Adolf
Denmark/Vikings- Harald Blatand
Ottomans- Suleiman Kanuni
Armenia- Tigranes
Americas
*USA- Abraham Lincoln
Lakota- Crazy Horse
Iroquois- Hiawatha
Mississippians- Birdman?
Inuit- Mikak
Navajo- Chee Dodge
Ute- Chipeta
Mexico- Benito Juarez
Canada- John Macdonald
Shoshone- Pocatello
*Aztecs- Montezuma
Pacal-Maya
Haiti- Toussaint L'Ouverture
Gran Colombia- Simon Bolivar
Brazil- Pedro II
*Inca- Pachacuti
Argentina- Juan Manuel de Rosas
Africa
*Mali- Mansa Musa
*Egypt- Hatshepsut
*Zulu- Shaka
Ethiopia- Menelik II
South Africa- Nelson Mandela
Carthage- Dido/Hannibal
Morocco- Abdul Ghalib
Ashante- Osei Kofi Tutu
Bornu- Idris Alooma
Fulani- Bello
Kongo- Lukemi lua Nimi
Kitara- Ndahura
Asia
*Arabia- Muawiya I
Babylon- Nebuchadnezzar II
Hittites- Suppiluliuma
Israel- Solomon
*Persia- Cyrus
Mughals- Akbar
*India- Gandhi
Gurkani- Timur
*Mongolia- Genghis Khan
*China- Yong-le/Wu Xetian
*Japan- Meiji
Vietnam- Trung(s)
*Khmer- Jayavarman II
Indonesia- Hayam Wuruk/ Gajah Mada
Chola- Parantaka I
Tibet- Songtsen Gampo
Korea- Sejong
Siam- Taksin
Pacific
Australia- John Curtin
Maori- Te Rauangaanga
Philippines- Dayang Kalangitan
Polynesia- Kamehameha
End
So, now that's all done. Now to the arguments!
submitted by voggers to civ [link] [comments]

Tumult in your Model Parliament: private members overtake government bills (Fri 21 Aug 2015)

FRIDAY 21 AUGUST 2015 | NATIONAL POLITICS | CITIZENS’ PRESS
There’s finally been some activity in parliament this week. Very little of it has interfaced with the community, but at least some debates have been underway. Three new bills were introduced into the House of Representatives and could pass next week (the government’s previous commitment to public consultation has gone out the window). The first tied vote almost happened. Diplomatic relations have been extended, but the government hasn’t made any announcements. The possibility of holding any constitutional referendums at the next federal election sits on a knife edge.
Up until today, most of the week’s excitement in /ModelParliament and /ModelAusHR had come from lurker281 MP. Finally, on Friday, there has been some new play from the government, opposition and cross-benches. The deafening silence from most Government MPs has seen private members’ bills supplant the Greens’ legislative agenda. Conversely, Labor MPs’ non-participation has cost the Deputy Opposition Leader two votes in the House.
SOCIALIST ALTERNATIVE, LIBERAL PARTY & AUSTRALIAN PROGRESSIVES
The Socialist Alternative’s only sitting politician, lower house member for Melbourne Surrounds lurker281 MP, announced their departure from that party and has now joined the Australian Progressives instead. They retain their seat in parliament. An official statement from the MP is expected in parliament soon, announcing their move from the cross benches to the opposition benches. This move was due to party inactivity, not because of internal conflict (unless GuestAlt has any leaks to report).
Both the Liberal Party and Socialist Alternative are now gone from the 20-member parliament. The Greens, Labor, Progressives, Catholics and 3 independents remain.
More: [Public Forum] Lurker281, Member for Melbourne Surrounds. More: [PRESS CONFERENCE] Lurker281: Leaving the Socialist Alternative Party. More: [Press Conference] Lurker281: Joining the Australian Progressives.
IMMIGRATION PORTFOLIO: DETENTION OF NON-CITIZENS (OPPOSITION COALITION)
The week’s major policy development has also come from lurker281 MP who introduced their hotly-anticipated Migration Amendment bill, with personal support from the Prime Minister. It was their last act before leaving the Socialist Alternative. The new measures, if passed, will have budget implications and could undo the slashing of the Sovereign Borders budget announced two weeks ago. In-principle support from the government is due to be tested in parliament when the bill is debated.
Lurker281’s introductory speech (“second-reading debate”), highlighted measures for the humane processing of asylum seekers, new minimum standards for detention centres, and an option for community onshore processing. The effects of the bill have not yet been itemised in parliament, but a preliminary analysis of key provisions by Citizens’ Press reveals:
Section 4AAA Immigration detention: Declares detention centres as a last resort, to be used for the shortest time possible, and only to manage risks to the community while a non-citizen’s immigration status is being resolved (visa or deportation).
Section 38B Maritime crew visas & Section 114 Visas 7 Section 133F: Allow legal recourse relating to detention.
Section 133F & 137K Applications: Remove statute of limitations.
Section 154: Repeal some legal immunity from detention enforcement officers.
Section 189(1) Detention of unlawful non‑citizens: Limit the justifications for mandatory detention and make it discretionary, unless the person poses an unacceptable risk to the community.
Section 193 Application of law to certain non‑citizens while they remain in immigration detention: Remove limitations on legal rights.
Section 194A Temporary community access permission: This entirely-optional strategy (allowing a ‘detained’ person to be unrestrained and unsupervised during processing) was introduced by Rudd Labor but did not make it through parliament. An extensive discussion of it, including public submissions and parliamentary committee review, can be found IRL (PDF, 47 pages, 615 kB).
Section 256: Ensure mandatory advice is given to detainees rather than waiting for them to request it, so that no one misses out.
Section 508 Detention Centre Conditions: Raise the minimum standards for detention centre conditions and treatment will “require a significant increase in spending”.
There has not been public consultation on this bill, however some questions were raised in lurker281’s personal public forum.
Portfolio Office Bearer Party Achievements
Minister for Immigration and Tourism Hon VoteRonaldRayGun MP Australian Greens None
Private Member lurker281 MP Socialist Alternative (now Australian Progressives) Migration Amendment (introduced)
More: lurker281 MP’s introductory bill speech (second reading debate, opening remarks) More: [Public Forum] Lurker281, Member for Melbourne Surrounds. More: M2015B00009: HoR 12-8: Bill – As Introduced – Migration Amendment (Detention of Non-citizens) Bill 2015, Monday 17 August 2015
ENERGY PORTFOLIO: CARBON PRICING (GOVERNMENT) & RENEWABLE ENERGY TARGET (OPPOSITION COALITION)
The Treasurer Hon agsports MP (possibly acting in a personal capacity to spur discussion) recently floated the idea of re-introducing a fixed-price carbon tax. A public forum is currently underway in /modelparliament. So far, most of the public opinion has favoured an international capped-Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) at market rates, not a carbon tax. Add your voice today!
This comes hot on the heals of the Opposition Coalition’s (Labor and Progressives) launch an enhanced Renewable Energy Target. The government has silently supported this revised RET in parliament, but we haven’t heard how it will achieve the results, given Australia’s backward steps since 2013.
The Greens’ Energy Minister, Hon TheEvilestElf MP, has been AWOL for two weeks and has not publicly commented on any of these issues at any stage.
Portfolio Office Bearer Party Achievements
Minister for Resources and Energy Hon TheEvilestElf MP Australian Greens None
Opposition Coalition Leader Senator Hon this_guy22 Australian Labor Party RET Act (50% by 2035, 150 TWh)
More: Public consultation on re-implementation of a carbon tax More: Good Policy - The Building Blocks of a Good Government.
HEALTH PORTFOLIO: UNIVERSAL DENTAL CARE
The Progressives are making good on their [election promise of federally-provided free dental care](3d7usf) by announcing the Denticare bill today. Read their press statements, view the bill, and join in the conversation now. It’s worth up to $10 billion a year, with the cost partially offset by an increased Medicare Surcharge. Their Opposition Coalition partner Labor has challenged the government to help fund it by repealing the $3b private health rebate and removing the 50% capital gains tax discount.
Portfolio Office Bearer Party Achievements
Minister for Health ? Australian Greens ?
Shadow Minister for Health phyllicanderer MP Australian Progressives Denticare Bill (TBC)
More: [Press conference] Introducing the Dental Benefits Amendment (Denticare) Bill 2015
DEFENCE PORTFOLIO: DECLARATION OF WAR
Since the Greens announced a $4 billion cut to the military budget, there have been few if any announcements about Defence. Today, the Minister for Defence Hon MadCreek3 MP has floated the idea of Constitutionally blocking the Executive Government’s power to declare war. Currently, the Commander-in-Chief (Governor-General) can declare a time of war based on Government Ministers’ advice in the Top Secret Federal Executive Council. It is currently a signatory to the United Nations Charter which means this is only done in cooperation with the UN Security Council. The last time Australia declared war was 1939. Instead, Australia’s involvement in the modern era is usually by providing assistance to allies at war.
Community feedback so far has been against Constitutional change, especially due if it means giving up Australia’s ability to act quickly and with the necessary secrecy. Instead, it’s been suggested that some kind of parliamentary parliamentary supermajority should be required to keep our troops on the ground. This would amount to resolving that current actions are reasonable, without necessarily revealing confidential information. This kind of power could also be used to limit sub-war campaigns like in the middle east, whether combat or training. Add your voice today!
More: [Public Consultation] Parliamentary Right to Declare War
THE TIE-BREAKER THAT WASN’T TO BE
Up until now, the government and opposition have generally been able to negotiate agreement and vote together, meaning most motions pass with an absolute majority of members voting Aye (albeit rarely unanimously). But on Tuesday, a House of Reps vote was tied 4:4 for the first time, with Government MP Hon TheEvilestElf and Cross-Bencher MP Sooky88 absent. The tie was broken by a 5th Aye from the government, narrowly defeating the opposition when coalition Labor MP CyberPolis didn’t show up to vote. Speakers of the House haven’t yet needed to exercise a casting vote.
REDDIPOLL SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS
Several people in parliament still aren’t doing ReddiPoll. Last week was another low show from Greens, with only 4 turning up (out of 8 in parliament and over 40 party members flaired). ReddiPoll is going a couple of weeks without new laws for you to vote on, because nothing’s been passed through parliament recently. The current government has only introduced 2 new bills in the first 5 weeks of its term (one in the first week and one this week). The Senate is still discussing bills from nearly 60 days ago. The public confidence-in-government rating has shifted from ‘unsure’ to ‘wrong direction’. We’re now relying on private members’s bills to keep the place alive. However, Greens voters are likely to get mobilised for the Senate half-election in September, meaning results could go in any direction from now on.
More: Previous week’s summary and analysis
PUBLIC FORUMS
Compensating for the lack of official policy consultation from the government, several personal public forums have been held in /modelparliament. The ones mentioned above, plus more below:
More: [Public forum] Unhappy with the government? More: [Public Forum] MadCreek3 - MP for Melbourne Urban and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Defence
SOCIETY PORTFOLIO: MARRIAGE EQUALITY
It’s been a messy weak for Marriage Equality in parliament. [Ed: typo in weak, but it seems apt.]
There have been some anaemic attempts at debate in the Senate. Finally, a recent amendment from the Australian Catholic Party Senator Cwross has generated some counter-opposition almost 60 days since the Marriage bill was introduced. There it remains.
In the House of Representatives, the Australians Progressives’ Deputy Opposition Leader phyllicanderer MP moved to censure the Marriage Alliance’s recent actions described by some as hate speech. The Greens Attorney-General Hon Ser_Scribbles MP succeeded in watering down the motion when the (almost) tied vote went the government’s way. Immediately afterward, phyllicanderer’s attempt to restore the force of the motion failed when no one seconded it, despite Labor and the Socialist Alliance previously debating in favour of the strongest wording.
The basis of the government’s challenge was that an Australian Government has no constitutional, legal or moral right to legislate against citizens’ freedom of political speech, and therefore has no right to condemn it. Others argued that fraudulent and discriminatory speech causes harm to citizens and their rights, and so deserves the parliament’s condemnation on those grounds. Like many large scale political debates, it was a battle between the freedom of one group and the rights of others.
After waiting 8 days for MPs to debate it, it was put to the vote. Here is is:
The House of Representatives:
  1. Recognises that the Marriage Alliance has released an advertising campaign on television and online, meant to evoke fear and anger in Australians about proposed marriage equality laws; and
  2. That where the “Marriage Alliance” has stated:
    (a) that people could lose rights; and
    (b) that sex education for children would change if the proposed laws were passed; and
    (c) that children will have their rights negatively impacted under the planned new laws,
    the House categorically rejects these statements as false.
  3. That the House acknowledges that real pain has likely been caused as a result of the Marriage Alliance’s unfounded advertising campaign.
Portfolio Office Bearer Party Achievements
Minister for Society Senator Hon Team_Sprocket Australian Greens Marriage Equality Act
Deputy Opposition Coalition Leader phyllicanderer MP Australian Progressives Marriage Alliance Motion
Shadow MP for Society CyberPolis MP Australian Labor Party None
HOUSE OF REPRESENATATIVES: SETUP & COMMITTEES
Only one committee has been appointed, and it’s just an internal committee that doesn’t relate to portfolio policies. Therefore, the Setup thread remains pinned at the top of this sub.
The Procedure Committee only began meeting this afternoon. It now has a chance to deal with the Prime Minister’s motion to sack two members. It will also consider an Opposition amendment to re-arrange the general-purpose portfolio committees. Ministerial responsibility for Employment remains unclear.
FOREIGN AFFAIRS PORTFOLIO: AMBASSADORS & ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S PORTFOLIO: HIGH COURT
News remains under wraps.
SENATE
The Senate has remained mostly idle for another week, with a late start on Monday their foot off the throttle through much of the rest. It almost gave up on hopes of fully debating the National Integrity Commission and Marriage Equality bills in committee. With the NIC, Labor successfully passed a option to reduce penalties for threatening or causing harm or loss to witnesses: allowing a fine instead of jail time. It passed today the Green government’s support. A win for rich, corrupt politicians.
The controversial motion to change Senators’ terms has been withdrawn, so it never got a chance to be debated.
submitted by jnd-au to modelparliament [link] [comments]

Weekly Roundup | Random Chat | Notifications

News roundup for the previous week.
In International news
  1. Thai PM Set to Speed Up #Thailand China Railway Project: -speed train project between Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima province is part of the rail project primarily designed to link southwest China's Yunnan province with northeastern Thailand via northern Laos
  2. It's unfair to single out Chinese-Australians on political donations | Jieh-Yung Lo | Australia news
  3. It is believed the commander of the Fitzgerald and people found liable will be punished. We hope all US warships in the West Pacific should draw a lesson from the incident, not only for their own safety, but also for the peace of the sea passages in the region.
  4. Chinese citizen shot dead in Laos: The Chinese embassy has asked the Lao side to break the case as soon as possible, punish the assailants while taking effective measures to ensure safety of Chinese citizens and institutions in Laos
  5. China travel agencies and Crimea
  6. Presidential Political and Media Advisor Bouthaina Shaaban discussed on Saturday with China’s Special Envoy to Syria Xie Xiaoyan and the accompanying delegation enhancing the relations between the two countries.
  7. Chinese National Games invites overseas Chinese athletes for first time
  8. "While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!" - Donald Trump (lmao)
  9. Trump Announces He's Cancelling Obama's 'Completely One-Sided Deal With Cuba' (How can China trust any agreement with the U.S. if every change in government there is this possibility?)
  10. US says China should contribute more to fight against terror
  11. AIIB approves Argentina, Madagascar and Tonga as new members
  12. Germany Warns U.S. Against Ceding Lead Role to China, Russia: Wolfgang Schaeuble, Germany’s veteran finance minister, urged the U.S. to limit Russian and Chinese influence or risk bringing about “the end of our liberal world order.”
  13. Paris climate deal would have given India and China free pass: Mike Pence
  14. Spotlight: China, U.S. hold "constructive and fruitful" dialogue on diplomatic, security issues
  15. Ex-CIA officer charged with spying for China
  16. China's Growing Influence On Middle East Shouldn't Be Lost On An Impulsive Trump Administration. If Washington resorts to simplified, binary decision making regarding complex, multifaceted issues, it will be out maneuvered by Beijing
  17. Russia-China rivalry in Central Asia overblown: view of a "lingering rivalry between Russia and China" often overlooks the transparent dialogue. Russia's rather bilateral relationship with Central Asia, with a focus on security-related issues, does not conflict with China's trade projects
  18. China’s encroachment into Latin America: The Beijing regime seeks to undercut traditional American influence in the hemisphere. China places a priority on strengthening Latin America’s anti-democrats and is using its growing economic power in the region to expand its strategic options
  19. Chinese community reacts to ABC-Fairfax political donations series
  20. U.S. navy (w/ congress' support) strives to maintain dominance over China
  21. Panamanian President, Juan Carlos Varela, discusses renewed relations with China
  22. China Pushes U.S. Aside in Pakistan: “The Chinese are winning the perceptions game, whatever the reality. That then leads to political outcomes, because people see the inevitability of China’s rise and China’s power,” said Ely Ratner of the Council on Foreign Relations
In Domestic news
  1. China’s PLA ‘to play bigger role in boosting Hong Kong patriotism’
  2. From pig farmer to one of China’s highest-paid online authors: Li Zhi
  3. Increasingly Affluent Chinese Want Healthier Food and that Has Big Implications for Meat Producers
  4. Hong Kong youths turn their backs on Chinese identity: survey - Only 3.1 percent of Hong Kong youths identify themselves as "Chinese", a historic low, as the former British colony prepares to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its return to Chinese rule, a poll released on Tuesday suggests.
  5. Toothpick crossbow craze has China quivering
  6. Green finance to help reduce pollution, boost industrial upgrading
  7. China to levy 100% tax on overseas football transfers - China will effectively double the cost for its clubs to buy foreign football players in a move aimed at slowing the influx of pricey overseas stars and encouraging homegrown talent
  8. Chinese public criticizes calls from UN to take refugees
  9. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on claims China is tightening its grip: "Give us the evidence"
  10. China's Xi visit to Hong Kong confirmed: report
  11. More than 140 missing after landslide engulfs mountain village in China
  12. earthrise - China's Transport Revolution
  13. Chinese Bankers Flock to Hong Kong as Expats Retreat: scores of mainland professionals are filling the elite financial ranks of Hong Kong, while a series of lay-offs at Western banks has led to an exodus of expatriates
In SciTech news
  1. Quantum internet: China smashes record for beaming entangled particles
  2. China's two supercomputers still world's fastest as U.S. squeezed out of 3rd place
  3. Chinese scientists to grow potatoes on the moon: will be sealed inside a "mini ecosystem" as part the Chang'e-4 mission due to launch next year
  4. Traditional Chinese medicine might be effective as a complement or alternative to traditional Western medicine for primary and secondary prevention of heart disease, according to a state of the art review paper published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology
  5. China successfully launches x-ray satellite: will search the sky for black holes, neutron stars, and other extremely energetic phenomena. Last of four missions covered under China’s 12th 5-year plan. Other three are a dark matter probe, microgravity experiments, and long-range quantum entanglement
  6. China's first cargo spacecraft, Tianzhou-1, has successfully completed its second refuelling of the Tiangong-2 space lab in orbit, further proving a process being tested as part of plans for a large, modular space station
  7. China's Three Major Telecom Operators Will Start #5G Pre-Commercial Deployment Within Two Years: China Unicom will consider selecting two to four cities to carry out technology and network verification of 5G in the second half of this year
  8. China now ranks as the most influential country in 4 of 8 core scientific fields, tying with the U.S., according to the Japan Science and Technology Agency. Computer science, mathematics, materials science and engineering. "I was not expecting China to overtake the U.S. in many fields" said Yuko Ito
  9. Tech giants in China convene for one day to share their plans
  10. China propels rise of electric ultra-high-performance cars
  11. Meet the Chinese Finance Giant That’s Secretly an AI Company: The smartphone payments business Ant Financial is using computer vision, natural language processing, and mountains of data to reimagine banking, insurance, and more
  12. China's big investment, "brain gains" lead to scientific breakthroughs: From world's largest radio telescope, collecting samples of combustible ice, to the successful transmission of "entangled" photon pairs from space, achievements made by Chinese scientists have been drawing worldwide attention
  13. In China, a robot has started delivering packages to people
  14. China cracks down on fake peer reviews - Funding agencies announce harsh penalties and stronger policing efforts.
  15. In 2015, China's biomedical research teams ranked No. 4 on the top 10 list for the total number of new discoveries published in six top-tier journals. In 2000, China didn't even make the top 10 - JCI Insight. China spent 75% of what the U.S. spent on total R&D in 2015. In 2000, China spent 12%
  16. Piezoelectric nanogenerators for self-powered flexible sensors: small size factor, simple structure, and long-term stability make them favorable for use in powering micro/nanosystems, various small power consumer devices, remote and mobile sensors, and even wearable wireless electronics
  17. Hyundai partners with Baidu in car navigation system: Navigation systems equipped in Hyundai cars sold in China will feature the Baidu MapAuto and Duer OS Auto systems
  18. Scientists from several U.S. and Chinese universities say new findings about microbes and their interaction with other species show that Darwin's theory of evolution needs an update
In Economic news
  1. Tesla nearing deal to build factory in China, but will need to partner with local producer to do so. Is this a way for China to acquire IP? China is not keen to easily give away key markets, especially electric cars. is this a trojan horse strategy?
  2. Foreign investors bet billions on China blue-chips joining MSCI index
  3. Multinationals losing battle for Chinese consumers
  4. Chinese theme parks dominate top 20 in Asia-Pacific ranking: Although Japanese parks took the top three spots, Chinese destinations filled out 11 of the top 20 in the Asia-Pacific ranking
  5. US President Donald Trump has forced the American car giant Ford to shift production from Mexico, to China.
  6. China applying for more patents than ever before as companies push to innovate, protect brands: Enforcement via litigation can only occur if a patent is in force. Although around a quarter of all patents in force in 2015 were in the US, China’s share is growing fast, almost 1.5m from 600,000 in 2010
  7. Building stronger brands will boost China's image
  8. Ford's Signal to the Auto World: Here Comes China
  9. Chinese factories are eagerly enlisting robots to address worker shortages and automation needs, prompting Japanese manufacturers to scramble to boost output
  10. Russia offers China joint development of engines for civil aviation: “We proposed to the Chinese that we jointly create an engine for a long-haul aircraft based on the Russian PD-14 engine," Rostec spokesperson Viktor Kladov told RIA Novosti
  11. Is China the Most Protectionist Country? No, Not By a Long Shot
  12. Inevitable Chinese slowdown 'a myth'
  13. West should be more concerned with its debts than China’s
  14. Western brands risk alienating China’s young consumers with campaigns that play to Western clichés. If you compare metro systems, China’s is not only more modern, it is cleaner, faster and on time. That’s why Chinese milleninals find it frustrating to see China painted only with a prism of the past
  15. Jack Ma: This is what to study if you want a high-paying job in the future
  16. Chinese salaries has increased a lot duing the last decade
  17. Chinese electric bus firm staying out of North America
In Military news
  1. Chinese military is officially recognizing the existence of the new Chinese ZTQ and has even given it a name; Xinqingtan. The ZTQ was designed for rough, mountainous terrain as found in Tibet and the mountainous jungles on Vietnamese border
  2. A more loyal PLA rebuffs the heresy of separating the Party and military
  3. China to set up military bases in Pakistan - Pentagon report
  4. China, #Finland willing to advance military cooperation: Niinisto said Finland highly values the collaboration with China in various areas including national defense and military, and is willing to work with Chinese partners to further develop the relations between the armies of the two sides
  5. American and Chinese aircraft could be flying 4,000 miles per hour by 2030: CASIC debuted the Teng Yun spacecraft design during the Global Space Exploration 2017. CASC's hypersonic spaceplane, announced in August 2016. Its engine and other critical technology are slated for completion by 2020
  6. China 'deploys submarine-hunting aircraft to South China Sea' in defiance of US warnings
  7. China may have the world’s most powerful submarine detector
Other Notables
  1. Does the current Chinese leadership make offerings at the Mausoleum of the Yellow Emperor? (as Qin Shi Huang to Mao Ze Dong did)
  2. Cultural confidence plays vital role in China’s further development
  3. Dress show combining traditional and contemporary styles held at princely mansion
  4. The Glory of Daming Palace
  5. A total of 73.7 percent of people support providing Good Samaritans with rewards when they take a stand against injustice, according to a survey conducted by the Social Survey Center of China Youth Daily and online survey platform Wenjuan.com
  6. Western hypocrisy and historical revisionism regarding Hong Kong
  7. Lin Shan Ju – Homophobic Taiwanese White Supremacist and Ex-Candidate of the One Nation Party
  8. Master Jiang and the Six Kingdoms (Release 2018)
  9. Contact Fairfax Directly and Protest at their mistreatment of the Australian Chinese Community
  10. Pamela Anderson promised to write a love letter to the nation of China and visit the country if the Chinese government and people supported Assange’s release (we have to get this most important of news to President Xi)
  11. Little Hong Kong girl with a big voice handles pressure and critics with aplomb, father says: Family support behind why nine-year-old Celine Tam Tsz-kwan has the confidence of an adult superstar. “We as parents are just trying hard to give her the best of what she has always wanted,” Steve Tam
  12. Beijing strengthens protection of historical buildings: This year, Xicheng and Dongcheng districts in the center of the city will take measures to relocate current residents from 26 historical buildings, such as ancient guild halls, temples, and former residences of historical figures
  13. Zeus can throw lightning bolts, Yahweh (the Christian God) causes mega floods, but what does the Jade Emperor have in terms of supernatural powers?
  14. Making the OnePus 5
  15. Is there someone who will always hold your hand, regardless of old age or disease, until death do you apart?
  16. Samples of sea cucumbers collected by China's manned submersible Jiaolong after its dive in Yap Trench
  17. Little Orphan Island on the Yangtze River, 1870s
  18. Voice of China: US should look in the mirror before lecturing the world on human rights
  19. The Swiss Witnesses to China’s Cultural Revolution
  20. Forever Chang’an
  21. Voice of China: US should look in the mirror before lecturing the world on human rights
  22. Determined actions to frustrate the imperial machinations of the US on the ground should be matched with strong words. The China-Russia nexus must not only articulate their vision for a new international order but also expose the hurdles that stand in its way without mincing any words.
  23. Review: Wait, Was That Confucius? PBS’s Rushed ‘Story of China’
  24. Butt hurt writer is angry at Europeans for observing Chinese sovereignty
  25. Chinese - The Sinitic Languages
  26. Newsweek Ponders: how separate is hong kong to china?
  27. How Russians succeed in Chinese Kung fu
  28. Biography of Yellow Turban leader Bo Cai
  29. He Was Bullied as a Kid For Being Chinese, Now He's the Black Power Ranger
  30. Good books on Chinese politics?
  31. Warning: Graphic Images Whales massacred by locals on beach in Faroe Islands (I sure hope Chinese media reported this story for the reasons I think they should)
  32. Today: Sino-Soviet split, June 22 Remember: every day is history.
  33. The Forbidden City
  34. Father and daughter run for challenge: Running together has allowed Tian and his daughter to spend time with each other, as well as enable them to stay physically fit, while inspiring family and friends to do the same
  35. How China’s fearsome Tiger Dads found their way back into fashion: Strict fathers are winning support as society resists rising Western influence to embrace traditional Chinese parenting style
  36. 30 Story Building In China Built In 15 Days Time Lapse
  37. How Western Fake News Took Over China’s Social Media
  38. Where Stories of Peaceful Coexistence Are Written in Stone
  39. Body Folding Kung Fu With a Master
  40. Panama's Diplomatic Switch from ROC to PRC has everything to do with PRC's previous plan to fund and build the "Nicaragua Canal", which was announced in May 2017 to be either "paralyzed, or nonexistent" (I.e. PRC Threatened to end Panama Canal's monopoly in the region, and Panama caved)
  41. Spouts of Fury: When Tea and Kung Fu Collide
  42. The Art of Making 9-Foot Noodles by Hand
  43. Shaolin Temple Kung Fu Academy, Mount Song, Henan
  44. Translation of Cheng Pu's official SGZ biography
  45. What do you guys think about the Tui Bei Tu? (prophecy in China)
  46. DJI - SkyPixel - A New Way Up
  47. Someone spent 2 years painstakingly replicating China's Forbidden City in 'Minecraft': The team was led by 22-year-old Su Yijun from Guangzhou, who orchestrated the plan from scratch in 2014
  48. Fairy Footsteps in Green land
  49. So what is the Chinese Equivalent of 4chan/8chan?
  50. China’s old Silk Road revival: hi-speed trains, massive skyscrapers and free-trade zones
  51. Classic Chinese Music II [不裝飾你的夢]
  52. Female pilots fly JH-7 fighter bombers
  53. Qing Dynasty vase breaks Irish record at auction: was sold for $825,000 at Sheppard's auction in Ireland. The item is believed to date from the reign of the Qianlong Emperor, the fourth emperor of the dynasty, who lived between 1711 and 1799
  54. GT editorial: Dialogue may lead to better ties if Trump can ignore US media criticism
  55. Mongols/Yuan should be considered Chinese or not...?
  56. A 7-year-old Romanian girl named Nana wows Chinese judges with fluent Chinese song
  57. California looks to build high-speed rail in cooperation with China
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