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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driven breakthroughs. Although among the two, the Huawei

Mate X is more practical than Galaxy Fold because the latter is folded inward to lower the risk of br

eaking apart while falling down, which is not so useful when breaking-glass insurance is popular.

More importantly, the “new” foldable smartphones are hardly of any pr

actical use. Of course, one can easily double the display of the foldable smartphone by un

folding it so it has the size of an iPad, but that’s all. In plain words, the foldable display enables users to combine a tablet an

d a smartphone into one. There might be more uses in the future, but at least not for now.

When touchable displays for smartphones was invented, they did not get popularized until certain apps that suit

ed touchable displays only, such as Fruit Ninjia, gained popularity. Now foldable smartphones faces a similar pr

oblem. Only when apps that suit the foldable smartphones are developed will the phones be truly accepted by the market.

Wu Shuyuan, a senior analyst at Sigmaintell, a company specialized in display analysis

Samsung Fold and Huawei Mate X are both foldable smartphones, but they differ greatly in terms of des

ign. The former is folded inward while the latter is folded outward, and each has its advantages and disadvantages.

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In a major scandal last year, Changchun Changsheng Life

Sciences, a vaccine producer in Changchun, Jilin province, faked production records and used expired material for the production of rabies vaccines over the past four years.

The company was ordered to suspend production, and senior executives

were detained and face criminal charges. The company was ordered to pay fines of 9.1 bi

llion yuan ($1.3 billion) for violations, one of the heaviest fines imposed on a pharmaceutical company over the past few years.

Following the revelations, top officials vowed harsh penalties and reform of the vaccine super

vision system to eliminate loopholes. A new law on the management of vaccines was drafted for review.

Fang Laiying, former head of the Beijing Municipal Health Commission, said he has faith in the overall safety of drugs in Chi

na, but individual cases involving violations of the law can tarnish the image of the whole pharmaceutical sector.

“The government is intensifying its efforts in cases involving violations of drug safety laws, including severely puni

shing criminals and setting up strict accountability systems to improve supervision of the sector,” he said.

Gao, the CDC head, said major infectious diseases such as dengue fever and AIDS will continue to be the priority in disease prevention and control this year.

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Trump could try to sell North Korea a Vietnam model. But

The night before his historic summit with US President Donald Trump last June, North Kore

an leader Kim Jong Un took a surprise stroll in downtown Singapore to see the sights of the wealthy capitalist city.

The inference seemed clear. If cash-strapped Pyongyang chooses to engage the world — and ditch its nuclear weapons — this could be its future.

Trump and Kim will this month have an even more symbolic backdrop for their next mee

ting: Vietnam, a country which transformed itself from bitter US enemy to peaceful partner in less than 50 years.

Experts believe the Trump administration plans to sell North Korea on a model such as communist Vietnam, hig

hlighting its relationship with Washington as well as its economic boom since adopting market reforms. And all th

e North Koreans have to do, Washington is expected to say, is give up their nukes.

Yet analysts are wary such a sales pitch will produce any tangible outcome. North Korea

knows how capitalism and market economies work: it’s just chosen not to embrace them.

China has for years been prodding the North to embrace economic reform, dragging for

mer North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on tours of capitalist enterprises whenever he visited.

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The same tactic has also been used within the United State

  said Van Jackson, a former Defense Department official in the Obama administration.

  ”Historically, there have been many — I know of half a dozen instances myself personally — where senior North Korean officials were brought around and shown what capi

talist industrialism looks like. They were shown what the stock market floor looks like on the New York Stock Exchange, or they were brought out to so

me tech lab in Silicon Valley,” said Jackson, author of “On the Brink: Trump, Kim, and the Threat of Nuclear War.”

  ”We’ve shown them what capitalism looks like … the idea that they will see something in Vietn

am physically that triggers something different than what we’ve shown them before is kind of non

sense.”There’s something for both Washington and Pyongyang to like when studying the US-Vietnam relationship.

  For North Korea, it’s an example of a single-party communist country that reformed its economy without democr

atizing. For the United States, it’s an example of how to redefine a relationship and make a buck at the same time.

  In 1995 — the year Hanoi and Washington normalized relations — US exports to and imports from Vietnam were

worth just $252 million and $199 million respectively. However in the first 11 months of 2018, the US exported more th

an $8 billion worth of goods to Vietnam and imported goods worth $45 billion, according to US Census figures.

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Green Book’ wins on Oscar night marked by inclusiveness

  ”Green Book” won best picture at the Oscars, marking the final twist on a night of historic firsts, filled with suspense until the final prize.

  Despite controversies surrounding the film, and many outspoken critics, the per

iod drama about race relations in the 1960s felt like a more conventional best-picture choi

ce than its two top rivals, both of which had to overcome key hurdles: “Black Panther” represented the fi

rst superhero movie to earn such recognition, while “Roma” not only would have been the first foreign-lan

guage winner, but was likely hobbled by those who still see its distributor, Netflix, as an upstart in the movie world.

  The Oscars compensated for a host-free ceremony with a nigh

t of breakthroughs, moving briskly through the categories in a concerted effort to sh

orten the run time, amid a night marked by greater inclusiveness and that spread the wealth among the nominees.

  Award voters extended honors to a number of blockbusters, including “Black Panther,” which

earned several technical awards; and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the biography of Queen and the band’s fron

tman, Freddie Mercury, earned four Oscars — the most of any film — including Rami Malek’s first for the central role.

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ike Lee jumps in the arms of Actor Samuel L. Jackson as

  Marvel’s “Black Panther” looked like a contender by claiming a pair of early awards, and made

history in the process: Ruth E. Carter and Hannah Beachler became the first African-American w

omen to win for costume design and production design, respectively. The film was also honored for its musical score.

  ”Roma” didn’t walk away empty handed, earing best foreig

n-language film. Its director, Alfonso Cuaron, was honored for directing and cin

ematography for the black-and-white period drama, a deeply personal look back at the women who raised him.

  Cuaron’s marks the fifth time a Mexican director has won that

award in the past six years, a stretch that includes his previous win for “Gravity” in 2014.

  Guillermo Del Toro — who presented the statuette to Cuaron — was t

he victor last year for “The Shape of Water.” The third member of the “Three Amigos,” as the

y are affectionately known, is Alejandro G. Iñárritu, a winner for “Birdman” and “The Revenant.”

  Mahershala Ali received his second Oscar in three years for “Green Book,” and the film al

so won for original screenplay, despite separate controversies related to its director and w

riter. With his prior award for “Moonlight,” Ali becomes only the second African-American actor with multiple Os

cars, joining Denzel Washington. A tearful Regina King took the first award of the night, winning supporting actress f

or “If Beale Street Could Talk,” director Barry Jenkins’ adaptation of the James Baldwin novel.

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Beyond “Black Panther,” Marvel’s highlights included “Spider

  Man: Into the Spider-Verse” swinging off with best animated movie, as the Sony release topped a pair of Disney sequels, “Ralph

Breaks the Internet” and “Incredibles 2.” “Free Solo,” a hit documentary about daredevil climber Al

ex Honnold, topped the documentary feature category, which also included the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biography “RBG.” In th

eir enthusiasm, one of the filmmakers blurted out an expletive that was promptly bleeped.

  ”Bohemian Rhapsody’s” other wins came in both sound categories as

well editing. Notably, none of the “Rhapsody” winners thanked credited director, Bryan Si

nger, who was accused of sexual abuse in January, allegations that the filmmaker has denied.

  In one of the more expected victories, the team that transformed Christian Bale into former Vice Pr

esident Dick Cheney won in makeup/hairstyling for “Vice.” Visual effects, however, were something of a

surprise, going to “First Man,” the moon-landing drama about Neil Armstrong.

  Lacking a host, the producers relied on music and comedy bits to enlive

n the evening, including a duet from “A Star is Born” by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga — la

ter the winner for best song — which drew a standing ovation from the Hollywood crowd.

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Huawei strongly denies the claims and is trying har

  d to persuade the world to use its 5G technology and not cave to pressure from Washington.

  ”This is not something that should be decided by politics,” Huawei’s chairman Guo Ping said on Sunday, ahead of the formal start of Mobile World Congress.

  Guo said he was hoping “independent sovereign states” will make “independent decision

s based on their own understanding of the situation and will not just listen to someone else’s order.”

  Huawei is taking the center stage at this year’s MWC in Barcelona. The event is expected to attract around 100,000 visi

tors. To get in, they will all need a badge like this, with a Huawei lanyard. pic.twitter.com/D6PRmZpqxe

  — Ivana Kottasová (@IvanaKottasova) February 24, 2019

  The US government is trying to convince its allies to shun Huawei equip

ment, which it says could be used by the Chinese government for spying. The company vehemently denies that claim.

  ”Just because you are from a certain country doesn’t mean your equipm

ent is not secure,” Guo said. He added that Huawei must abide by Chinese law and the

laws of countries where it operates. “Huawei will never, and dare not, and cannot violate any regulations,” he said.

  Vice President Mike Pence described Huawei as a “threat.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned other cou

ntries that using Huawei would make it more difficult for the United States to “partner” with them.

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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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