Monthly Archive February 2019

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Embroidery offers a way to tackle povertye of Xihe county,

Pray, Lady Qiao, come to Earth this day. Teach me embroidery and how to sew… wisdom, joy and ingenuity, do on me bestow.”

In Xihe county of Longnan city, Gansu province, these lyrics are well known to women. The county is one of 189 in China des

ignated as poverty stricken, in which 223 out of 384 villages are deeply impoverished.

Xihe county is at the upper reaches of the Jialing River, south of the West Qinling Mo

untains, and as well as having its roots in farming is also known for its scenic beauty.

For centuries, women there have been highly skilled in needlewor

k. Legend has it that they were tutored by none other than Lady Qiao, also known as the “w

eaver maid”, and who was said to be the youngest daughter of China’s folkloric Queen Mother.

Lady Qiao (qiao means ingenuity) was endowed, it is said, with not o

nly good looks but also noble righteousness, and was a magnificent embroiderer.

So local girls and young women worship her, and in the week leading to the sevent

h day of the seventh month-according to the Chinese lunar calendar-they celebrate by singing, dancing and pray

ing in a tradition called qiqiao (asking for ingenuity) that can be traced back to before the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC).

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HK, Macao legal workers to be arbitrators in Guangzhou

Legal professionals from Hong Kong and Macao will be allowed to work as arbitrators in Nansha district of Guangz

hou as part of an effort by Guangdong province to strengthen cooperation with the two special administrative regions.

Nansha lies within the Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security has approved the introduction of the legal professionals, who

will work at the Court of Arbitration for Labor and Personnel Disputes to settle competing claims.

Sources at the court said the Hong Kong-and Macao-based arbitrators will be signific

ant in promoting the business environment of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

“It will help provide high-quality, efficient and fast legal services for busine

sses, especially those whose investors include companies from Hong Kong and Macao,” the court said on Tuesday.

According to the development plan outline for the Greater Bay Area, which was unveiled on Mond

ay, Nansha district will develop into a pilot zone for closer overall cooperation in exchanges of h

uman resources, goods, materials, funds and information between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.

The court said the first group of labor arbitrators from Hong Kong and Macao will be appointed in late 2019.

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Such services provided by Hong Kong and Macao arbitrato

y Hong Kong and Macao arbitrators will increase our confidence in business investmen

t in the area,” according to a senior human resources manager surnamed Zheng with Luk Fook Holdings.

The Hong Kong-based jewelry company invested in a factory in Nansha 15 years ago.

“Because of the differences in legal and company structures between Hong K

ong and the mainland, a growing number of Hong Kong-and Macao-invested co

mpanies in Nansha have been experiencing turbulence in labor management,” Zheng said.

Companies from Hong Kong and Macao have increased their investment in Nansha in recent years, with the number of bu

sinesses invested from the two SARs more than doubling in 2018 from the previous year, according to sources at the court.

The mega Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge will play a critical role in integr

ating the infrastructure network across the Pearl River Delta region. Hzmb Authority

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It would be wrong to leave the impression that the Ba

  Hof Hotel resounded to bays for Trump’s departure. It wasn’t about him, but his specter hung over it.

  Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer of Microsoft and Robert O. Work, deputy secret

ary of defense under President Obama, gave an electrifying insight to Artificial Intelligence.

  ”AI is everything,” Smith warned, a game changer like electricity. He described the present as a “Sputnik moment.”

  The former Defense Department official said the “this is the hardest tech challenge the US has ever faced.”

  Both Smith and Work painted a picture of China chasing, catching and passing the US in this key area. They des

cribed AI as an enabler for autocracies like Russia and China and a potential threat for democracies.

  In Work’s words, “AI gives tyranny new tools it never had before and makes it more powerful than it has ever been before.”

  No one said it in the room, there was a laser like focus on the intellect and experience of these two m

en, but at the back of everyone’s minds must have been thoughts of Trump’s warmth for Presidents Putin and Xi.

  Every moment they get cut slack by Trump is more machine code, jacking up their AI prog

rams back home. “We are entering a period intense technological competition,” said Work.

  In the next war, he predicted, it will be “our AI against their AI, and the side with the best AI wins.”

  But as much as moments like this came as sobering jabs to the solar plexus, MSC 2019 also held out hope of a world after Trump.

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The event will feature performances from more than

  artists, according to the concert’s website. These include huge names in Latin America, like Colombian musical legends Carl

os Vives, Juanes and reggaetón singer Maluma — all three of whom have collaborated with pop-star Shakira in the past.

  Swedish DJ Alesso is also on the lineup, alongside Mexican rock band Mana, who

have won seven Latin Grammys and four Grammys, and Spanish singer and songwriter Alejandro Sanz.

  Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who invoked a constitutional provision last month to declare himself acting pres

ident, has been working with a raft of global partners, including the United States, to bring aid into the co

untry. Maduro has repeatedly refused assistance, leaving aid languishing on the border despite growing shortages.

  The Venezuelan government has used containers to barricade the Tienditas Bridge and prevent aid from entering.

  Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, told CNN en Espanol Thursday that he was asked to do the concert by Guaido.

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He (Guaido) will be coming to the other side of the bridge

  with maybe a million of his supporters, and I suspect both of us,

both sides, will be handing flowers to the military and the

people guarding the bridge, and seeing whether they can be persuaded to do what they must realize is the right thing,” Branson said.

  Maduro is planning to stage a rival concert on the other side of the Tienditas Bridge in Tachira, Venezuela.

  Read More: Aid is piling up on Venezuela’s border. Here’s why it’s not getting in

  Photos showed workers setting up scaffolding and stages some 1,000 feet from each oth

er, separated only by the containers that the Venezuelan government has installed to block access to the country.

  ”We just want peace and tranquility,” Maduro said during a televised speech on Thursday.

  Guaido left Caracas on Thursday with a group of lawmakers headed to the border to “welcome the humanitarian aid,” his spokesman, Edward Rodriguez, told CNN.

  A convoy of buses carrying members of Venezuela’s National Assembly, who were traveling separately from Guaido, was blocked briefly en route to the border.

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Samsung’s Galaxy S10 lineup: Foldable phones, 5G and

  A 5G device. A foldable phone that morphs into a tablet. A smartphone that can charge another smartphone when sandwiched together.

  Samsung is making bold moves with its new lineup of Galaxy S10 smartph

ones, which were announced Wednesday at its “Unpacked” press event in San Francisco.

  Following a year of slower sales growth — due largely to the S

9 models not being different enough from its successful Galaxy S8 products — the co

mpany hopes a handful of innovative features will inspire consumers to trade in existing devices for newer models.

  The Galaxy Fold

  Samsung kicked off its event with the debut of the Galaxy Fold, a 4.6 inch-smartphone that

can open up into a 7.3-inch tablet. Along with Samsung’s long teased Infinity Flex display, it has a hinge sy

stem that can’t be seen from the outside. The luxury device, which will cost $1,980, hits stores on April 26.

  ”We are creating a new dimension for your phone and your life,” a Samsung spokesper

son said during the event. “It doesn’t even define a new category; it defies a new category.”

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Could squid protein be an eco-friendly answer to our pl

  More than 8 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans each year, killing marine life and da

maging ecosystems. But the same seas might also hold the key to reducing plastic pollution.

  Proteins found in squid can be used to create sustainable alternative

s to plastics, according to a report published in Frontiers in Chemistry on Thursday.

  Squid grasp their prey using suction cups on their tentacles and arm

s. The cups are equipped with sharp “ring teeth” that hold the food in place. The teeth are made

from proteins that are similar to silk, and these have become the subject of scientific interest in the last few years.

  Melik Demirel, of Pennsylvania State University, is lead author of the new report, which revie

ws existing research on materials made from these proteins. He says his team has produced pro

totypes of fibers, coatings and 3D objects made from the squid ring teeth (SRT) proteins.

  Demirel says these natural materials are biodegradable — and could provide an “excellent” alternative to plastics.

  The SRT proteins can be produced in the laboratory using genetically engineered ba

cteria, which means they don’t need to use any squid. The process is based on fermentation, using sugar, water and oxygen.

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Representatives have until 3 p.m. Thursday to signthe resolution

  which will be introduced Friday, Pelosi wrote. The House will “move swiftly” under the Nat

ional Emergencies Act to pass it before sending it to the Senate, she added.

  Trump declared a national emergency last Friday after he signed a spending bill that would keep the gover

nment open and provide $1.375 billion for a border wall, billions less than he had sought.

  Castro had promised to curtail such a declaration prior to Trump’s announcement as a possible second partial government shutdown loomed.

  ”Historically, Presidents have declared national emergencies for urgent matters of national security. President Trump would u

nconstitutionally usurp congressional authority by declaring an emergency based upon unfounded hype rat

her than any substantive emergency,” the Texas Democrat said last Thursday in a statement.

  Castro added that “such a baseless declaration by President Trump would set a dange

rous precedent regarding the constitutional balance of powers between the executive and legislative branches.”

www.qianhuanet.com

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Swiss banking giant UBS fined more than $5 billion in fraud case

  UBS faces a massive financial penalty in France after a court there ruled that the Swiss bank helped its wealthy clients avoid taxes.

  The court delivered its verdict in Paris on Wednesday, ordering the bank to pay €4.5

billion ($5.1 billion) and finding it guilty of money laundering and illegal client solicitations.

  The fines include €800 million ($907 million) in civil damages payable to the French state.

  Shares in UBS (UBS) dropped sharply after the verdict was announced, trading

down 4.2% in Switzerland. The fines are roughly equal to the bank’s net profits for 2018.

  Switzerland’s largest bank said that it would issue a statement “as soon as possible following appli

cable disclosure requirements.” The bank previously said the “lack of a case for the prosecution” had been “very evident.”

  ”UBS believes that the amounts requested were not supported by the evidence presen

ted or the law, and that there are strong legal defenses to the relevant charges,” it said in its most recent annual report.

  The bank said Wednesday that it would appeal the court’s ruling.

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