BEIJING: China will banish the "ghosts" of poverty, Chinese President Xi Jinping told villagers in a poor southwestern part of the country during a traditional visit to outlying regions before the Lunar New Year.
Chinese leaders generally use the time around the festival to make inspection trips around the country where they flag important policy initiatives or areas of concern for the year ahead.
The week-long holiday, starting on the eve of the new year, on Thursday, is the most important in the Chinese calendar, when millions of people travel home, many for the only time in the year.
Xi has made poverty alleviation one of his signature policy issues after pledging in 2015 that China would lift the 70 million people living under the poverty level at the time out of poverty by 2020.
Visiting a remote mountainous part of Sichuan province to meet ethnic Yi people who live there, Xi was told by one villager that she used to believe ghosts were the cause of illness, state media reported o..
PYEONGCHANG: Joshua Cooper Ramo, the commentator who offended locals during coverage of the Pyeongchang Olympics opening ceremony by straying into the sensitive issue of Japan-South Korean relations, has been taken off the air, U.S. broadcaster NBC said on Monday.
"Joshua Cooper Ramo has completed his responsibilities for NBC in Pyeongchang, and will have no further role on our air," an NBC spokesman said in an email to Reuters.
NBC had announced in December that Ramo would be an on-air contributor at the Games for NBC, having previously served as an expert on culture and geo-political issues during the 2008 Beijing Olympics for the network.
Ramo, who has written books on China and is a corporate director of Starbucks Corp and FedEx Corp, said as athletes paraded into the Games stadium on Friday that “every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural, technological and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation".
Koreans around the world criticized his re..
Do you remember Lindeman’s Ben Ean Moselle? This slim-bottled, white table wine was quaffed in great quantities in the 1970s. It played a leading role in democratising wine drinking in Australia as tastes began to diversify from an almost exclusively beer-drinking nation.
As we discuss in the Journal of Australian Studies, Ben Ean’s fortunes were aligned with tremendous social flux between the 1960s and 1980s. According to industry luminary Philip Laffer, Ben Ean was invented by accident in 1956. It boomed in the 70s but began to decline in popularity in the mid-1980s as fine wine became more desirable. In 2009, the company that owned the Lindeman’s brand stopped making the wine.
In the 1970s, Ben Ean was the first wine to be advertised on TV. A breezy, comforting egalitarianism prevailed in the ad, which featured the Little River Band: “Who wants to journey on a gigantic yacht? … Who wants to be a millionaire? I don’t”.
[embedded content]Lindeman’s Ben Ean Moselle was the first wine a..
Gun control advocates point to Australia for inspiration in ending gun violence. Australian Ambassador to the United States Joe Hockey thinks they should stop.Gun control advocates point to Australia for inspiration in ending gun violence. Australian Ambassador to the United States Joe Hockey thinks they should stop.Ambassador Joe Hockey addresses the Washington International Trade Association at the Embassy of Australia in Washington, D.C.
(Photo: Molly McCluskey)
After each mass shooting in the United States, many gun control advocates point to Australia, where a bipartisan coalition passed sweeping gun legislation that effectively ended mass shootings and dramatically reduced gun violence nationwide.
More than 20 years ago, Australia had its own mass shooting, a devastating massacre in which a man with a semi-automatic rifle opened fire at a tourist destination on the Tasmanian peninsula, killing 35 and injuring 23. Twelve days later, a conservative prime minister introduced the Nat..
Al Janadria, the national cultural festival of Saudi Arabia that has India as the 'Guest of Honour' country this year, is being inaugurated on Wednesday near here by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. The festival was begun in 1985 under the patronage of the ruling monarch. This year too King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is the patron of the festival, the biggest cultural festival of the Gulf that brings to life the culture and heritage of the oil-rich desert kingdom of 32 million people.
From the rich tapestry of colours, aroma of delicacies, reverberating sound of music to insightful intellectual debates, the two-week long festival has something for all.
2018 marks the 32nd edition of the festival. Organised every year by the Saudi National Guard, a primary goal of this festival is to highlight Saudi Arabia's Islamic identity, display its national heritage and help preserve it for generations to come.
However, Al Janadria is not only aiming to educate i..
Managing director, SAP Labs Canada
When remarking on the country's culture in late 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, "There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada." Charles Foran, CEO of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, reacted by declaring Canada to be an experiment in postnationalism.
"He was articulating a uniquely Canadian philosophy that some find bewildering, even reckless – but could represent a radical new model of nationhood," Mr. Foran said.
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That experiment has resulted in the forming of a country of extraordinary tolerance, pride, freedom and industriousness. The stability of our social and financial systems is the envy of much of the world, and most people who live in Canada are happy (79 per cent of Canadians, according to a 2016 Angus Reid Institute report).
If only more Canadian organizations realized this, they might be able to make Corporate Canada as pleasant a place to be as our homes and wilderness. As it..
Sometime around 400,000 years ago human ancestors went on an innovation bender. No longer content to make do with only the large hand axesand other hefty cutting tools that they and their predecessors had manufactured for more than a million years, they began fashioning sophisticated new kinds of stone tools. The novel tool types made more efficient use of raw material and were smaller, more portable, among other desirable traits. The shift was, by most accounts, a major technological advance, one that may have helped its makers push into previously impenetrable lands.
For decades experts have debated which human species invented this new tool-making tradition—during what is called the Middle Stone Age in Africa and the Middle Paleolithic in Eurasia—and how it came to replace the preceding Acheulean tradition at locales across the globe. One theory holds that our own species, Homo sapiens, masterminded this technological revolution in its birthplace, Africa. From there, our forebears c..
Enlarge this image A cyclist rides past a poster of the controversial film Padmaavat in Bangalore on Thursday. Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images Padmaavat, India's first 3-D IMAX spectacle, is a lavish, operatic Bollywood musical set in the 14th-century palaces and deserts of Rajasthan. It has elephant processions, kaleidoscopic tableaus of Indian palaces and gorgeous actors in bejeweled costumes. It was directed by one of India's most celebrated filmmakers, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and stars one of the country's most popular actresses, Deepika Padukone.
The film opens in India on Thursday, but from the moment it went into production, it's been plagued by violent protests over its depiction of Padukone's character, Queen Padmavati, a legendary Hindu royal.
"It's a historic film," Padukone told NPR in 2017. "And the character that I play is someone who, historically, there's a certain section of..
These days, summer smells like the scent of star jasmine, like dirt in the air before a storm rolls in. But growing up, summer was associated with dread, the sum of a series of tiny humiliations. Like the time I swallowed mouthfuls of water as I tried and failed to swim freestyle. Or the casual indifference of high-school PE instructors. Or the time I was scooped out of the deep end by a boy in Year Seven at the annual school carnival, despite the fact that I was in the kickboard relay. Nothing sums up how unnatural I’ve always felt in the water as much as the chemical tang of chlorine.
The children of immigrants tend to be painfully conscious that they’re different. To me, these differences are encapsulated by the way my Australian-born friends dive joyfully into swimming pools, the way they propel themselves headfirst into the ocean unafraid that the surf will engulf them. In a country whose version of youth is the endless summer beach party, where the national consciousness is steep..
Daniela Thomas’s “Vazante” is a powerful new film that looks into the history of African slavery in Brazil. It opens with a string of men on horseback, carriages and loaded carts. Scenes show black men linked to one another with ropes and chains around their necks as their bare feet slop through the mud in the rain. It is 1821 and we are in Brazil, its craggy, remote Diamantina mountains with their sharp peaks looming beneath the clouds in the background.
Thomas, in her feature-film debut, was inspired by a pageant she had helped prepare when the Olympic Games played in Rio, which celebrated Brazil’s history and cultural identity. A powerful sequence in the spectacle featured actors dressed as African slaves pushing plows and shuffling on shackled feet as they gradually mixed in with indigenous Brazilians. These, she realized, would be the stories “Vazante” would tell.
The film is the story of Antonio (Adriano Carvalho), a cattle-owning horseman. He is the master of a com..
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