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NBC boots analyst over Japan comment at Pyeongchang Games

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..

Moncler aspires to give its puffer jackets a monthly makeover

MILAN: Italian label Moncler has already turned luxury fashion on its head by transforming casual skiwear into trendy items with its sleek puffer jackets. Now it wants to lead the sector in fast-paced production, and Chief Executive Remo Ruffini said he hopes his company can one day offer new products for all of its down coat collections on a monthly basis. Advertisement The shift highlights luxury brands' race to adapt to changing shopping habits as the sector attracts younger consumers and those more influenced by the fast pace of soci..

Ahead of Lunar New Year, China’s Xi says will banish ‘ghost’ of poverty

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..

Saudi national cultural festival honours India, is biggest in Gulf

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..

Stone Tools from India Fan Debate over Origins of Cultural Complexity

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..

Sudanese boys are 'caught between two cultures'

[unable to retrieve full-text content] Sudanese boys are 'caught between two cultures' The AustralianFull coverage

U of T PhD candidate explores the drinking culture of China’s last imperial dynasty

Long before the Communist Party rose to power during the late 1940s, China was ruled by a series of dynastic empires stretching back thousands of years. The last of those dynasties was the Qing (1644–1912), which ruled across four centuries and at its height represented one of the largest empires in world history. The Qing dynasty witnessed many problems, particularly political upheaval and bureaucratic corruption, but it was also a time when trade and culture flourished across the empire, especially when it came to alcohol. Jackson Yue Bin Guo is a PhD candidate in the department of history at U of T Scarborough who studies late imperial Chinese history and whose research focuses on the interplay between popular and elite cultures. His work specifically looks at how alcohol shook the distinctive features of social class, ethnicity, and other constructed boundaries during the Qing dynasty. He spoke to reporter Don Campbell about who was drinking what in China’s last imperial dynasty..

Tocantins, a River of Many Dams in Central Brazil

Development & Aid, Economy & Trade, Editors' Choice, Energy, Featured, Headlines, Integration and Development Brazilian-style, Latin America & the Caribbean, Projects, Regional CategoriesAccess stairway to the Tocantins River in the central Brazilian state of Tocantins, which no longer has flowing water since it was dammed to generate electricity, mostly to be used in other parts of the country, and which contributes very little to local development. Credit: Mario Osava / IPS PALMAS and PORTO NACIONAL, Brazil, Jan 12 2018 (IPS) - Tocantins, the newest of Brazil’s 26 states, which was created in 1988 to seek its own paths to development in central Brazil, fell into the common plight of expanding borders, based on soy and hydroelectricity. The area owes its name to a river that crosses the state from south to north, but which has been converted into a sequence of dams to generate electricity, almost entirely for other states. With no industries and with a population of just 1.5 mill..

Russian movies raked in $228 mln at box office in 2017

© Alexei Konstantinov/TASS MOSCOW, January 11. /TASS/. Around 55 million people went to watch Russian movies on cinema screens in 2017, which is 19.5 mln more than in 2016, Russia’s Cinema Foundation said in a statement summing up the 2017 box office results. In 2017, Russian movies rang up 13 bln rubles ($228 mln) in sales at the box office. Every fourth moviegoer bought a cinema ticket to watch a Russian flick, with a total of 213.4 mln tickets being sold in 2017. As many as 471 movies were r..

Three UM Students from Oxford to Intern in Asia this Summer

OXFORD, Miss. – Meredith Brown and Emma Scott, both of Oxford, and Daria Herasymova, an exchange student from Ukraine who attended Oxford High School, are three of 17 University of Mississippi students who will be interning in East and Southeast Asia this summer, thanks to a substantial grant from the Freeman Foundation of Stowe, Vermont. Brown is a junior in the UM Patterson School of Accounting, where her major is accountancy, and she has a second major in Chinese. She has an internship with FedEx in Shanghai. Scott is a freshman in the UM C..

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