Tag: COMM7780/JOUR7280

Syria’s toxic war on itself

The Middle Eastern nation Syria has been in a state of civil war since last seven years with different groups trying to seize control of the country. The country has become an international battleground where various states and their proxy networks have been continuously clashing with each other. The war has taken the lives of more than 465,000 people so far and displaced more than 12 million, of which 6 million refugees have been dispersed around the world.

About Datasets

A media documentation — the Syrian Archive Dataset is an open source platform that collects, curates, verifies, and preserves visual documentation of human rights violations in Syria. It maintains an extensive video database of all known allegations in which civilians have been reported killed or injured since 2014. Till April 20, 2018, this database includes 4,384 videos which were documented by journalists, citizen reporters and activists.

A recorded death list — the Violations Documentation Center in Syria is one of the largest human rights organisations established in 2011 with staff members and contacts in all governorates and most cities inside Syria.

The complex nature of the war in Syria limits access to open database. And therefore, the data extracted could miss some important information; however, we will be analyzing the situation in Syria with precision by filling some of the gaps with the help of other dataset.

On the morning of April 14, 2018, the US, Britain and France bombarded three government sites in Syria allegedly targeting the chemical weapons facilities. Is it true that Syria has been continuously suffering from its internal turbulence which needs to be intervened by foreign players?

We drew a general picture of the Syria attacks based on the dataset of 329 which were recorded from January 1, 2017 to April 20, 2018.

Part 1 General Picture

Living Hell

In the war-torn country, Aleppo, Damascus, Idlib, Hama and Daraa are the cities documented by both the databases as the locations where most of the violations took place, despite some slight differences on the rankings of these locations.

In the war-torn country, Aleppo, Damascus, Idlib, Hama and Daraa are the cities documented by both the databases as the locations where most of the violations took place, despite some slight differences on the rankings of these locations.

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The media coverage of the locations where most violent incidents happened are highly identical to the locations recorded in the actual death list.

To be specific, the Syrian Archive, which demonstrates media coverage, witnessed most violations in Aleppo (1,920), followed by Idlib (219), Hama (103), Damascus (97) and Homs (39).

The Violations Documentation Centre of Syria, which records the actual registered death list, also presented Aleppo (7,990) as the most violation prone city in Syria, Damascus (6,372) stood tall at second, Idlib (4,434) and Deir Ezzor (2,904), a city which was absent in the media coverage database.

In terms of geographic distribution of the violent incidents in Syria, Aleppo and Idlib are the two cities ranking among the tops in both the documentations and have been the most disputed regions taken up by either rebels or jihadists, thus these are the locations where the Syrian regime and its allies have been concentrating their firepower.

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Flying in the sky, a report of air crash worldwide

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1/2560000 in 2016  VS.  ?  in history

In the past 70 years, Airplane has been an important tool for people to travel long distances. According to IATA annual report In 2016, the major aviation accident rate was 0.39, which was equivalent to only one major accident happen in every 2.56 million flights. This seemingly safe number is built on countless blood and sweat. Step down and turn back a little bit, let’s count the successes and failures in the flying history.

Data source

Data volume

  • 5534

Questions

  1. Yearly how many planes crashed? any trend? how many people were on board? how many survived? how many died?
  2. How the distribution of accidents between military and passengers? any insights?
  3. The highest number of crashes by operator and type of aircraft. The relationship between operators and types of airplanes?
  4. Find the airline routes with most accidents and try to find the reasons.
  5. Find any interesting trends/behaviors that we encounter when we analyze the dataset.

History of airplane accidents

Count of accidents by Year

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Form the picture, we can see the total accidents trend from low to high before the 1970s. After that, there are some small peaks around 1990 and 2010. But the overall trend after 1990 is gradually going down.

At the beginning of 20 centuries, 1903, Wright brothers invented plane. In 1909, French hold a big flight competition, which threatened the England and other European countries. Even there were many problems with the current planes, the military can’t wait for using it in war. The first time of airplanes’ appearing thus was in Italo-Turkish War. The power of airplane attracted other countries’ military, which leads a huge development in the military aviation industry. From 1914, the first world wartime, airplane mainly used for investigating, transporting, and some peripheral things. At the time of world war II, which is around 1940. Airplanes had widely used in battle. At the same time, World civil aviation organization (IATA) established in Havana, the capital of Cuba in 1945. In 1978, Cater, the president of the USA, signed meaningful a law in the history of American aviation legislation, which is <the airline deregulation act>. The establishment and merger of companies in the US domestic aviation industry, route selection, fare establishment, and even loss-making operations, are basically out of government control and intervention. The number of airplanes grows up fast with the high possibility of air crash occurred. The other reason we consider is that airplane technologies that at that time had weakness and need to improve. With the technologies completed, the amount of air crash will decrease. These situations are obvious after 2000.

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從法案審議時長,回顧2000-2017年的香港立法會

提交法案,製定法律是立法會的重要職能。法案在刊登憲報後,須經過首讀、二讀、三讀才能成為法律。立法會通過一項法案所需的時間,關乎法案的複雜程度與爭議性。將法案的通過日期與刊登憲報日期相减,可得到該法案的審議時長。

從第二届立法會開始至今(2000-2017年),立法會每年平均處理法案數量為40件,其中通過的法案數量為37件,每件通過的法案平均審議時長為256天。

立法會議員們也在趕deadline嗎?

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上圖顯示,2000至2017年,每年通過的法案平均審議時長呈現四年一次的週期性波動,分別於2004、2008、2012與2016年達到最低值,即在這幾個年份,法案的平均審議速度加快,而這四個年份恰是立法會的換屆年。

諮詢立法會秘書處後得知,若某法案在當届立法會任期完結時未處理完畢,即失效,不得拖至下一届立法會。若欲繼續審議該法案,需重新刊登憲報,進行三讀程式。換屆年的法案通過效率有所提高,難道立法會議員們也在趕deadline嗎?

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How China Blockbuster War Movies Capture China’s Nationalism

Summary: China Blockbuster War Movies become more and more popular in the global. The national movie frequently takes on the responsibility of representing the national identity to its citizens or even the world. How does China Blockbuster War Movies Capture China’s Nationalism? What is the opinion of the public? We used Douban as the source to extract data from the film reviews of two movies (“Operation Red Sea” and “Wolf Warrior” ) on the Douban, a popular art consumption and rating website, to figure out the thought of people behind the screen and the future development of Blockbuster War Movies in China. With the help of Python, we made a Wordcloud picture of the frequent words included in the 1,000 pieces of films reviews for each movie. We found that China’s new breed of patriotic hero on the big screen reflects the rise of a superpower and  China’s War Movies is shaping the image of China.

Last month, movie tickets sales in mainland China hit 10.1 billion yuan ($1.6 billion), a box office world record for monthly sales in a single market. No film stood out more than “Operation Red Sea.”, which had grossed almost 2.5 billion yuan in just 13 days by the end of February.

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 “Operation Red Sea” is based on the Chinese navy’s March 2015 evacuation of Yemen. Set amid militant unrest in a fictional Middle Eastern country, it tells the stories of a ship’s crew and an assault team as they rescue Chinese citizens and foreign refugees, resolving a potential nuclear crisis along the way.

Similarly, last summer’s blockbuster “Wolf Warrior 2,” ($854 million), tells the stories of a loose-cannon Chinese soldier in an unnamed African country. “Operation Red Sea” tones down the patriotism of last year’s smash hit film ‘Wolf Warrior 2’, playing up gore over glorifying war.

How does China Blockbuster War Movies Capture China’s Nationalism? What are the opinion of the public in China and the globe? Can these films be a step towards making Chinese action films more palatable overseas? We will make some Analysis based on the data.

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National Congress: signs for a clearer sky in Beijing

SummaryIn this article, we collected the data of the air quality in Beijing over the past 5 years.We assumed that the significant changes or improvements in air quality were related to China’s two top Annual Sessions – the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress (CPPCC) and the National People’s Congress (NPC).Besides, there were several news and current affairs affected the air quality in Beijing. We will also take a closer look at its air quality at that time to see if there are significant pollutants reductions during those periods.

Four years ago, the Chinese premier, Li Keqiang, said at the National People’s Congress and many more Chinese citizens watching live on state television, “We will resolutely declare war against pollution as we declare war against poverty”.

Since then, cities have cut concentrations of fine particles in the air by 32 percent on average. Just a few months before the premier’s speech, the country has released a national air quality action plan to require all urban areas to reduce concentrations of fine particulate matter pollution by at least 10 percent. As the capital city, Beijing was required to reduce pollution by 25 percent, of which the city set aside a massive $120 billion yuan to achieve this target.

All the statics in this project comes from Online China’s Air Quality , which is a public platform monitoring and analyzing China’s air quality covering statistics from 367 cities with AQI, PM2.5, PM10, S02, N02, O3, CO, temperature, humidity, wind scale, wind direction, satellite cloud picture and so on.

In this project, we mainly focus on Beijing’s air quality including AQI, air pollution category, and main pollutants such as PM2.5 during December 2013 to March 2018.

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Li’s family business map and spring layout analysis

Summary: In this article, from the graph of major holding companies and it’s main shareholders under Richard Li Tzar Kai, Victor Li Tzar Kuoi, and Li Ka-shing, we found in what areas are they investing and the complex network of relationships between subsidiaries. By analyzing the annual reports of Victor Li Tzar Kuoi and Richard Li Tzar Kai’s company’s companies, we can determine whether Li Ka-shing made the right decision when he announced his retirement. 

Background:

Li Ka-shing, a Hong Kong billionaire who will turn 90 this summer, announced his official retirement in May 2018. In January 2015, “Forbes” magazine announced the ranking of Hong Kong’s richest man-Li Ka-shing’s net assets totaled 33.5 billion U.S. dollars, or 260 billion U.S. dollars, making him the richest man in Hong Kong, only replaced by SF Express’s founder Wang Wei in 2017.

He announced on March 16th that he’ll step down as chairman of CK Hutchison Holding Ltd. and CK asset Holding Ltd., making way for his eldest son, Victor Li Tzar Kuoi. Victor assisted Li Ka-shing to run CK holding Ltd. for many years and his youngest son, Richard Li Tzar Kai mainly invested in communications and media business outside.

Richard Li Tzar Kai

We grabbed the information from Who’s Who and HKEX(The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited) and got the name of major holding companies and main shareholder of companies. after establishing their relationship, we got graph below.

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Business Map of Richard Li Tzar Kai

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Who control the discourse power in 红楼梦?

SummaryDream of the Red Chamber, also called The Story of the Stone, composed by Cao Xueqin, is one of China’s four great classical novels. Long considered a masterpiece of Chinese literature. The novel is generally acknowledged to be the pinnacle of Chinese fiction. We use the graphics tool to analyze the short path, centralization, structure of degree, clustering coefficient and the clique of those data. And try to find out how closely those characters are connected, and who might be the Social Queen or King in this story.

According to analyst Jiang Qi, there are 448 characters in “A Dream of Red Mansions”. We picked 187 characters who are relatively more important than others in this book and use the graphics tool to analyze these data and get the network below to show their relationship in the Dream of the Red Chamber.

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The relationship between the 187 characters in the book

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Analyze tracking errors between ETF and stock market index in the last decade

5571521786922_.pic_hd.jpgSummary: In this article, under the context of Hong Kong’s Mandatory Provident Fund scheme (MPF), we find that some Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) occupy large holdings in a particular MPF fund. By calculating the tracking errors over the past ten years, the year of 2008 stands out with the highest tracking error, which corresponds with the global financial crisis. In other years with more stable stock markets, ETF performs relatively well. We also calculate returns between two ETFs and the indexes they track respectively; the results turn out to be different.

We use Python as a calculator, rely on pandas to read csv files downloaded from Yahoo Finance, and time series to present data in the form of charts.

Background

Hong Kong has a rapidly aging society. According to the Population Projections released by Census and Statistics Department, HK is expected to have a third of its population that aged 65 and above by the mid of 21st century. There is a growing concern over the issue of social security especially for the elderly, since the burden for the employed population in the future to take care of the retirees will be unbearable.

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Inside Douban’s Top 250, a door pries into the world of audiences in mainland China

Summary: In this article, we crawl and analyze the top 250 films evaluated by DouBan users, find their preference on specific directors, types and regions, and also see trends of movies in different regions, particularly in America and Hong Kong. Besides, we pay attention to analyze the rise and down of Hong Kong film productions, and also add some background information for a better understanding. 

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Douban top 250

In general, the best ways to reflect a movie’s preference and prevalence are through box office and ratings. But box office is biased since lots of movies are blocked in China and people are likely to be affected by several factors.  Thus, it’s more objective to examine it through ratings.

Douban Movie is a famous Chinese film rating site, with millions of users watching, rating, and commenting on movies day by day. Considering a large number of Douban users and the relatively objective measurement, data from the Top 250 list is suitable for our analysis.

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Some Scraping Targets and Ideas

This is a casual post to dump some target sites for scraping or just project ideas. Those messages were first sent through COMM7780/JOUR7280 WeChat group. Although we have only explored part of those possibilities this semester, the list is good for future reference. We can bounce off ideas in the comment below and enrich this list.

Top Targets: Movie, Shopping and News

Let’s first have a look at what the students care about from HW2 submission:

Scraping Targets from HW2 submission – COMM7780/JOUR7280

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