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Monthly Archives: February 2019

Agamemnon’ amazes audiences in Beijingmnon premiered

  The bilingual drama Agamemnon, a co-production of the National Theater Company of China a

nd the National Theater of Greece, represents a refreshing innovation for Chinese theater lovers.

  The play by ancient Greek tragedian Aeschylus, often called the “father of tragedy”, is the first part of his only extant tr

ilogy. It is a story about patriarchy, matriarchy, revenge and justice. In the story, Agamemnon s

acrifices his daughter to win the Trojan War. After his triumphant return, the king is slain by his wife and her lover.

  Directed by Stathis Livathinos, artistic director of the NTG, Agamemnon embodies a pr

ofound cooperation between China and Greece. “To have a bilingual presentation of a play means yo

u hear two languages, two kinds of actors, two schools. Of course it’s a very big risk. But it’s better to go with a risk t

han with safety. Because I really believe the National Theater should always be the avant-garde,” he said.

  ”Agamemnon is a part of something bigger that doesn’t belong only to Greece. This

is a theatrical and artistic meeting of two civilizations on stage,” Livathinos added.

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ashington DC held a housewarming event inside the giant pa

  ”Giant pandas are China’s national treasures,” said Minister Xu Xueyuan, the Chinese embassy in the United States. “Although they are large in size, they are also charm

ing, tolerant, and peace-loving, representing many values of China itself, and are loved by people all over the world.”

  ”Giant pandas are also symbolic of the China-US friendship,” she told a ceremony at the giant panda house.

  The housewarming was jointly hosted by the zoo and the Chinese embassy.

  Giant pandas live mainly in southwest China’s Sichuan Province as well as neighboring Shaanxi and Gansu.

  The latest census in 2014 found there were 1,864 giant pandas alive in the wild. The number of pand

as bred in captivity reached 548 globally as of November, 2018, according to China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

  At the zoo’s David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat currently live three giant pandas, Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and their three-year-old son, Bei Bei.

  The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is one of Washington DC’s most popular tourist desti

nations and is part of the Smithsonian Institution, a world-renowned museum and research complex.

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Mine accident leaves 21 dead, 29 hurt in Inner Mongolia

  An accident at a coal mine in Inner Mongolia that claimed 21 lives and injured 29 was c

aused by a brake glitch that forced a vehicle to go out of control and hit a ramp, according to local authorities.

  The accident occurred at about 8:20 am on Saturday at a mining company in North

China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region, when a vehicle was transporting 50 workers to the mine.

  The cause of the accident is under investigation. All 29 injured were rushed to hospital and were in stable condition.

  Fu Jianhua, vice-minister of emergency management, arrived at Inner Mongolia

at 22:00 pm on Saturday with a team to supervise the rescue and investigation work.

  An emergency center which included four working teams for medical service, security and safety was set up.

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Extended talks raise hopes there’s a deal in the offingChi

The extending of the talks between China and the United States to resolve their trade and econo

mic frictions will hopefully give substance to the optimism expressed by both sides that they can reach a deal.

US President Donald Trump, senior US officials, and Vice-Premier Liu He, the special envoy of President Xi Jinping, who is h

eading the Chinese delegation, all expressed the belief on Friday that the two sides have made significant progress to

ward reaching a comprehensive agreement that will put an end to the current trade standoff.

It is to be expected that the discussions at this stage will be the toughest test ye

t for the two teams of negotiators, and their task is not one to be envied. However, the un

scheduled two-day extension to their discussions indicates that tangible headway is being made in their joint effo

rts to find a mutually acceptable way to resolve their differences and put an end to their quarrel.

Given what was said on Friday, it seems the talks have gone more deeply and ext

ensively into the bilateral relationship than either side initially anticipated. As US P

resident Donald Trump observed, “we’re covering things that we didn’t even know we’d be covering.”

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So the fact that the to-and-fro is still in progress this far

down the line highlight that there is a shared desire to secure an accord that delivers on the rapport that has been established — also perhaps beyond both side’s expectations.

But it would be getting ahead of the situation to consider the final push tow

ard a consensus on principled, mutually beneficial cooperation all done and

dusted. That consensus, which President Xi identified as the objectiv

e of the talks when he met with the US negotiators after the previous round of neg

otiations in Beijing, has still not been completed, and probably will not be until the two leaders meet to agree on the final det

ails. But there is no doubt that both sides are aware of how momentous such a consensus would be, beyond the tangible rewards it would offer both cou

ntries. For if the two sides can iron out their core differences by abiding by the principles of mutual respect and m

utual benefit, it would reset their relationship in a way that would bode well for the future.

History in the past four decades shows that the two countries benefit in an all-around wa

y from harmonious trade and economic relations, as they provide the ballast for their relationship.

There is obviously still more work to be done. However, if neither side puts a foot wrong, a deal will finally be signed sooner or later.

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DPRK leader leaves Pyongyang for Hanoi for second DPRK

PYONGYANG — Kim Jong-un, top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), left here Saturday afternoon by train f

or Vietnamese capital Hanoi for the second DPRK-US summit, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Sunday.

Kim will meet with US President Donald Trump there on Feb 27-28. Their first meetin

g was held in June 2018 in Singapore, which resulted in improved bilateral relations.

Kim will pay an official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong before his meeting with Trump.

Kim was accompanied by Kim Yong-chol, Ri Su-yong, Kim Phyong-hae and O Su-yong, members of th

e Political Bureau and vice-chairmen of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of K

orea (WPK), Ri Yong-ho, member of the Political Bureau of the WPK Central Com

mittee and foreign minister, No Kwang-chol, alternate member of the Po

litical Bureau of the WPK Central Committee and minister of the People’s Armed Forces, among others, said the KCNA.

Kim was seen off at Pyongyang Railway Station by Kim Yong-nam, Choe Ryong-hae and Pak Pong-ju, members of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Cen

tral Committee of the WPK, and other senior officials of the party, government and armed forces, said the KCNA.

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly rejected exte

  Article 50 — the legal process under which an EU member state can leave — and refused to rule out a no-deal Brexit.

  The UK Parliament is due to debate the divorce again on Wednesday when May is expected to update lawmakers on any pr

ogress made in talks with European counterparts on the divisive issue of the Northern Irish backstop.

  This weekend she will meet European Council President Donald Tusk on the margins of

the EU-League of Arab States Summit in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

  Three Conservative MPs have quit Theresa May’s party over Brexit

  By Eliza Mackintosh, CNN

  Updated 1619 GMT (0019 HKT) February 20, 2019

  Ex-Conservative MPs Heidi Allen, second left, Anna Soubry, center, and Sarah W

ollaston, right, arrive for a press conference in Westminster in London on Wednesday.

  Ex-Conservative MPs Heidi Allen, second left, Anna Soubry, center, and Sarah

Wollaston, right, arrive for a press conference in Westminster in London on Wednesday.

  (CNN)Three lawmakers walked out of UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative party on Wednesday, joini

ng a new group in Parliament that has blown up the British political landscape in less than three days.

  The trio’s dramatic decision to join a group of eight independent MPs, who split fro

m the opposition Labour Party earlier this week, caused consternation at Westminster. They

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We can no longer act as bystanders. We are honour bound to

  We find it unconscionable that a Party once trusted on the economy, more than any other, is now recklessly marching the country to the cliff edge of no d

eal,” the group said. “No responsible government should knowingly and deliberately inflict the dire consequences of

such a destructive exit on individuals, communities and businesses and put at risk the prospect of ending austerity.”

  The MPs also rejected what they say May has presented as a “false binary choice” be

tween a “bad deal” and a “no deal,” slamming her strategy of “running down the clock” to Brexit.

  May said in a statement on Wednesday that she was “saddened” by the lawmakers’ decision to quit the party, but

was determined to deliver on Brexit, affirming that it was “the right thing for the country.”

  The Independent Group was formed on Monday when seven MPs, including Chuka Umunna, Chris Leslie and Luciana Berger, resi

gned from Labour. An eighth Labour MP, Joan Ryan, joined their ranks on Tuesday evening. The group said v

ariously that they had become ashamed of the Labour party and its shift to the hard-left, denouncing opposition le

ader Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of a wave of anti-Semitism and “betrayal” on Brexit.

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photo shared by MP John Lamont showed a smiling Berger

  snapping a selfie of the group as they took their seats in the House of

Commons. But non

e of the group asked a question of the Prime Minister, as she appeared before MPs for her weekly grill

ing, and the defections were barely addressed. The mood in the House of

Commons seemed more subdued than usual.

  The closest May came to acknowledging the issue was when she attacked Corbyn over anti-Semitism in

his party, cited as a reason for some of the defectors leaving his party.

  May said she never thought she would see the day when “a once proud

Labour party was accused of institutional Semiti

sm by a member of that party,” or,

equally, when Jewish people in the UK “were concerned about their future.”

  Responding to those accusations, Corbyn said that “anti-Semitism ha

s no place whatsoever in any of our political parties, in our lives, in our society,” be

fore laying into the Prime Minister for “pretending to negotiate” a Brexit deal with just 37 days to go.

  May, who will travel to Brussels later in the day, maintained that she was still working on alternative arrangements on the

Irish backstop — an insurance policy designed to avoid a hard border between

Northern Ireland and the Republic of Irel

and. She also reiterated her position that a no-deal exit from the EU could only be taken off the table by agreeing a deal.

  Speaking at a press conference later, Allen, Wollaston and Soubry said the Prim

e Minister had been bullied by hard-line Brexiteers onto the brink of a no-deal Brexit.

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Nigeria elections: Explosions heard hours before preside

  Multiple bomb blasts rocked the northern Nigerian city of Maiduguri just hours before presidential polls opened Saturday.

  The explosions happened at a camp for internally displaced refugees at around 5 a.m. local

time Saturday, Nigerian army spokesman Onyeama Nwachukwu told CNN. There were no reports of any deaths or injuries.

  ”There was an attack this morning at the camp by the militants, but the military h

as suppressed it at the moment,” Nwachukwu said, adding that the army was still assessing the situation.

  Journalist Simpa Samson told CNN the militants targeted the Teacher’s Village camp in Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria’s

Borno state.”The military secured the place almost immediately and has stopped our cameraman from fil

ming, no one was hurt because the bombs landed outside the premises,” Samson told CNN.

  Security is often a concern in Maiduguri, a frequent target of terror group

Boko Haram. The city also has a large population of internally displaced refugees.

  The blasts came as Nigerians prepared to cast their ballots Saturday, a week after the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections were une

xpectedly postponed. It was the third consecutive vote to be delayed in Africa’s largest democracy.

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