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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.
Alipay, the country’s top mobile payment platform, announced on Tuesday a major anti-fraud u
pgrade on its application by teaming up with 26 public security departments nationwide.
The new function, dubbed “Security Guard”, allows users to set up related accounts among f
amily members or close friends. Should any abnormalities on transactions occur, the system would send
out alerts to all related accounts in order to prevent the fraud from materializing and minimize loss of funds.
“Security is the lifeline of Alipay, and we hope to fight fraud in a manner as harsh as dru
nk driving,” said Rui Xiongwen, vice-president of Ant Financial, Alipay’s parent company.
Alipay users can choose to delay payment for two hours or 24 hours and raise an alert
on the platform if they deem such transactions potentially misdirected or fraudulent.
The system has been linked to local public security authorities to help freeze any transaction
s in doubt. The money will be credited back to the user’s account if authorities determine fraud has been committed.
A number of local anti-fraud centers in cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhe
n also pledged to cooperate with Alipay on financial security education and anti-fraud alarming systems.
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.
need money.”Lankov is one of the few foreigners ever to study at Kim Il Sung University, the country’s most pr
estigious institution of higher learning. Today he runs the Korea Risk Group consultancy, teaches at Kookmin Uni
versity in Seoul and is considered one of the world’s experts on the inner workings of North Korea.
He says Kim and his top advisers are cold, realistic and brutally rational. They believe that nuclear weapons are the key to their survival given the fate of Moa
mmar Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein and Ukraine as well as Trump’s decision to ditch the Iran nuclear deal.
”For the North Koreans, security comes first. And they believe that their security is imperfect if they don’t have some
nuclear weapons. A reduction of nuclear weapons can be negotiated, but denuclearization is a pipe dream,” Lankov said.
Jackson, the former Defense Department official, is also unconvinced that Kim Jong Un is the reformer many hoped he would be.
Though Kim is a millennial leader educated in the West, he has n
ow been in power for seven years — during which time he’s overseen more missile and nu
clear tests than his father and grandfather combined, without “meaningful signs” of economic change.
”What is different now than the previous 30 years that makes that control-versus-opening tradeoff worthwhile?” Jackson said.
seemed indicative of what was already deemed one of the most wide-open races i
n years, given the lack of consensus among guild awards leading up to Sunday’s event.
Perhaps no surprise came bigger than best actress, as “The Favourite’s” Olivia Colman upset
seven-time nominee Glenn Close, who had marched through awards season with enough victories to m
ake her a presumptive favorite. (Colman, in an emotional speech, practically apologized to Close for wi
nning.)s for politics, a recurring theme involved the Trump administration’s immigration polices, including an early jo
ke from Maya Rudolph that among the things that wouldn’t be happening during the telecast, “Mexico is not paying for the w
all.” For his part, Malek referenced being a first-generation American, the son of Egyptian immigrants.
Still, the most overt and rousing rejoinder belonged to Spik
e Lee — a winner for adapted screenplay for his movie “BlacKkKlansman” — who pointed to
the 2020 election, urging people to “be on the right side of history. Let’s do the right thing!” Congressman and civil-rig
hts icon John Lewis also received a prolonged ovation, introducing “Green Book.”
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.
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.