From News Of Coups To Brews To News

I read an article from Taipei Times in the 20th February 2021 edition of The Week. It’s entitled ‘A coup with China’s fingerprints all over it’ and I am reproducing it here by way of introduction

China’s response to the recent military coup in Myanmar has been “conspicuously muted”, says the Taipei Times. While the rest of the world rushed to condemn the takeover, Beijing simply declared that it had “noted” the event, which its state news agency characterised as a “major Cabinet reshuffle”. Is this because China covertly orchestrated the coup itself, or at least gave the generals its blessing? Some analysts believe so.

Beijing has long had close ties to Burmese military leaders, and in recent years it has extended billions of dollars in high-interest loans to Myanmar as part of its Belt and Road Initiative. In practice, this initiative often amounts to a form of “debt-trap diplomacy” allowing Beijing to snap up strategic assets from defaulting nations. The signs are that Myanmar’s civilian government had been trying to extricate itself from its over-reliance on Chinese loans, and was being “heavily courted by Japan and India, with New Delhi even donating the Burmese navy a submarine last year”.

Given the potential threat this posed to China’s strategic investments in Myanmar, it seems all too likely that Beijing “stepped in to protect its interests”.

Taiwan has every reason to see ‘the hand of mainland China’ everywhere, but the scenario is credible. So with that in mind, when I saw photos of Myanmar protests come up in my Twitter stream this morning, I looked at the source, which is FrontierMyanmar, and from their ‘story’ page I found their former chief reporter, Mratt Kyaw Thu, and followed him on Twitter.

Meanwhile, FrontierMyanmar has a subscription page run by, as they state, Pico. So I went to look at Pico. It offers memberships and subscriptions and a way to ‘collect signups and payments in one seamless experience’. And it’s ‘$0/mo until you grow past 500 contacts’.

I followed the sign-up process to see how it is integrated into a website bearing in mind the myriad of different platforms running memberships and subscriptions. I found a dedicated guide for WordPress and other CMSs.

On their front page there is a link to an article in TechCrunch. Strangely there is no mention of Pico there but there is a mention of Morning Brew. I went looking and found a site that offers:

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.

It has the most pared down homepage ever. Like Google, but everyone knows Google and who is behind it and what it is about. But Morning Brew? I added ~/about to the URL and that came up with a 404 but it did have links to pages with actual information on them.

Meanwhile there is also The Morning Brew, which is a blog by a software developer with links to what is going on in tech, that I’ve bookmarked.