Washington: US President Barack Obama has thanked his Chinese counterpart for the role Beijing played in the “historic, long-term comprehensive nuclear deal” that the world powers reached with Iran to ensure an “exclusively peaceful” Iranian nuclear program, the White House said on Tuesday.
Obama said that the pact reached between Iran and the P5+1 countries — the US, Russia, China, France and Britain, plus Germany — “verifiably ensures Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful going forward”.
In exchange, Iran obtained the gradual raising of the international economic sanctions that have been imposed on the nation.
“Both leaders agreed on the fundamental importance of continued US-China cooperation in ensuring the full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” the statement said.
Obama reaffirmed to Xi that he looks forward to receiving him in Washington during the Chinese leader’s state visit planned for September this year.
Beijing, October 18: At the opening of a top-level political meeting Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a sober assessment of the challenges facing the world’s second-largest economy and its ruling Communist Party, laying out an ambitious vision that stretches forward to the middle of this century and pledging to build what he called a “modern socialist country” for a “new era.”
In a nearly three-and-a-half hour speech at the opening session of the 19th Party Congress, Xi spoke confidently about the country’s future and its opportunities. He also stressed that an increasingly strong Communist Party would continue to chart the path forward.
But such an effort is not without its challenges.
Xi has overseen a massive anti-corruption drive since rising to power five years ago, which has punished more than one million officials and led to the downfall of several high-ranking party members as well. He said the fight against corruption will always be in progress and is still the party’s biggest threat.
In his speech, he spoke frequently about the struggles China’s leadership faces, mentioning the word “struggle” more than two dozen times.
Xi said the demands of China’s near 1.4 billion people are becoming increasingly broad.
“Not only have their material and cultural needs grown; demands for democracy, rule of law, fairness and justice, security, and a better environment are also increasing each day,” he said.
But much like other topics Xi spoke about in his address, which left some struggling to stay awake and hungry as it pushed past noon, it was unclear how China’s ruling party would do just that.
Although the Chinese leader mentioned growing demands for democracy, he made it clear that no major political reforms were on the horizon.
“A political system cannot be criticized abstractly without consideration for social and political circumstances, and historical cultural traditions. It cannot look up to one man as the highest authority or blindly copy foreign political systems without regard for specific conditions,” Xi said.
Xi’s first five years as China’s top leader has been marked by an ever-increasing tightening of expression both online and in society. As Xi has sought to forward his vision for China, he has led a sweeping crackdown on civil society and locked up dissidents and lawyers.
He has shown little signs of loosening that grip. In fact, the 19th Party Congress is expected to further expand his power.
During the twice-a-decade gathering, China’s Communist Party rulers will reshuffle their leadership and install a new Politburo Standing Committee, a top group of leaders that will rule the country for the next five years. The body is expected to be filled with more members who are loyal to Xi and part of his faction within the party.
On the economy, Xi said that China’s development is not a threat to any country and that it would continue to open its doors to foreign companies. He said that China would expand access to its services sector and deepen market-oriented reforms while strengthening state-owned companies.
In his speech, Xi tried to balance his emphasis on socialism and state control with promises of fair play towards foreign companies who can bring in the new and innovative technologies his government eagerly wants.
“All businesses registered in China will be treated equally,” he said while promising to “protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors.”(VOA)
Vermont, September 30, 2017 : What if we tell you that a team of researchers has recognized and named 15 new species of spiders in the Caribbean after your favorite stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders?
Not in Hollywood, Washington, DC or Vermont – but you might now be able to catch a glimpse of Spintharus davidattenboroughi, S. barackobamai, S, michelleobamaae, S. berniesandersi, S. davidbowiei along with S. leonardodicaprioi on the Caribbean islands and some other southern spots.
Ingi Agnarsson, expert of spiders and professor of biology at University of Vermont, who led the new study revealed the rationale behind the undergraduate study and on choosing the intriguing names. “(We) wanted to honor people who stood up for both human rights and warned about climate change—leaders and artists who promoted sensible approaches for a better world”, he said.
Popularly recognized as a global hotspot for biodiversity, there continues to be several species in the Caribbean that are outside the spectrum of research and study. This includes the ‘smiley faced’ spider in the genus Spintharus- named for a smiley face pattern on their abdomens.
Previously recognized as one widespread species, researchers from the UVM discovered that there exist many more endemic species within the genus, 15 of which have been recognized in the research.
These samples were collected from Florida, South Carolina, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, the Lesser Antilles and Columbia.
Each team member got to decide names for the new species of spiders. Alongside naming them after friends and family members, many species have been named after distinguished figures.
“We all named the Bernie Sanders spider together,” said Lily Sargeant, one of the students who worked on the project. “We all have tremendous respect for Bernie. He presents a feeling of hope.”
Named after the great artist David Bowie, who passed away in 2016. His music will continue to inspire generations and the authors decided to honor his legacy by naming a spider in his name.
Named after the widely popular, and largely loved, former President of the United States Barack Obama. The authors love him for his statesmanship and humanitarianism, and named the spider species after him, to honor their president and his devoted service.
Named in honor of the Former First Lady of the United States for her poise, confidence and elegance, her fight for human rights and for always striving to uphold the principles of justice, fairness and equality for all.
The authors of the research also named a species of spiders after the naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, to recognize and celebrate his efforts to educate people of the wonders of the natural world and sowing a seed of caring for nature in humanity.
The study has been published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.
“The Battle of the sexes” starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell talks about issue of gender equality- in both pay disparity and directing opportunity
It’s a great thing for the filmmakers to have what is usually a pretty film-oriented, film-loving audience
The filmmakers say they are expecting a variety of opinions in any one audience at Toronto International Film Festival
New York, USA, September 7, 2017: Few institutions in cinema can match the teeming, overwhelming Toronto International Film Festival as a conversation-starting force. It simply has a lot of movies worth talking about.
And this year, many of the films that will parade down at Toronto International Film Festival’s red carpets will hope to shift the dialogue not just in terms of awards buzz, but in other directions, too: equality in Hollywood; politics in Washington; even about nature of the movies, themselves. At TIFF, expect debate.
That’s what the filmmakers behind “The Battle of the Sexes,” one of the anticipated films heading to Toronto International Film Festival in the coming days, are hoping for. After the festival opens today with another tennis movie, the rivalry drama “Borg/McEnroe,” at Toronto International Film Festival with Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (the directing duo who helmed 2006’s “Little Miss Sunshine”) will premiere their drama about the 1973 showdown between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.
The movie, starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell, holds obvious parallels for a movie industry with its own issues of gender equality, in both pay disparity and directing opportunity. For others, it will recall issues that dominated last year’s U.S. presidential campaign. But “Battle of the Sexes” may surprise moviegoers in its broad sympathies on both sides of the net.
“The one thing we didn’t want to have happened was this polarizing political document,” said Dayton. “Right now, there’s enough of that in the world. We wanted to tell a more personal story and keep it from becoming too binary.”
The filmmakers say they are expecting “a variety of opinions in any one audience” at Toronto International Film Festival.
“It’s really the best way to release a film, at a festival like Telluride or Toronto,” said Faris. “It’s a great way to get the word out about a film. It’s a great thing for the filmmakers to have what is usually a pretty film-oriented, film-loving audience. It gives you hope that they’re still out there.”
The Toronto International Film Festival comes right on the heels of the Venice and Telluride festivals, but the size and scope of Toronto have long made it the centerpiece of the fall movie season. It’s where much of the coming awards season gets handicapped, debated and solidified. It’s also a significant market for new films, and this year several intriguing films — “I, Tonya,” with Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding, and “Hostiles,” a brutal Western with Christian Bale — are on the block.
But most eyes will be on the gala premieres of the fall’s biggest films at Toronto International Film Festival, including Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing,” Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” George Clooney’s “Suburbicon,” and maybe the most explosive movie of the season, Darren Aronofsky’s mystery-shrouded allegorical thriller “mother!”
It can be a competitive landscape, with dozens of daily movie premieres and their respective parties, all trying to stand out. But several first-time directors may end up stealing the spotlight at Toronto International Film Festival. Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” will sail into Toronto on waves of rave reviews from Telluride. Aaron Sorkin, arguably the top screenwriter in Hollywood for two decades, will present his directorial debut, “Molly’s Game.”
Sorkin didn’t initially anticipate he’d direct his script. But he became, he says, obsessed with the story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), the former elite skier who was indicted for running a high-stakes poker game in Los Angeles. It’s a potentially career-redefining movie for Sorkin — and he’s appropriately anxious.
“I’d feel the same way if we were launching it in Wyoming. I’m nervous because other than test audiences, this will be the first time people see it,” said Sorkin. “The Toronto Film Festival is a very prestigious place to debut a film, so I’m aware of the company I’m in and what’s expected in the movie. It will be up to others to decide if it delivered.”
“The Disaster Artist” poses a similar turning point for its star and director, James Franco. It’s about the making of what’s widely considered one of the worst movies ever made — the cult favorite “The Room,” by Tommy Wiseau. Franco, who plays Wiseau, considers it a new step for him as a filmmaker and says the film’s parody is laced with affection.
“The characters are outsiders. They are weirdos,” said Franco. “But everybody can relate to having a dream and trying to break into this incredibly hard business.”
The film will premiere to a surely raucous audience at a midnight screening. Franco, who first saw “The Room” with an especially excitable Vancouver audience, expects it to be the perfect debut for his film: “Canadians know how to do ‘The Room.”’
“The Disaster Artist,” which A24 will release in December, might give TIFF what “La La Land” did last year — a happily escapist movie about Hollywood. Other films will tackle less comic real-life tales, including Angelina Jolie’s searing Cambodia drama “First They Killed My Father,” the Winston Churchill biopic “Darkest Hour,” with Gary Oldman; and the documentary “The Final Year,” about the last year of Barack Obama’s administration.
Cameron Bailey, artistic director of the festival, said Trump’s presidency “was not a factor in the films we selected,” though he expects it to color the reception of many.
“Some of them will be received with the current political climate in mind,” said Bailey. “One of the things I think you learn from films like (the Watergate drama) ‘Mark Felt’ and (the Ted Kennedy drama) ‘Chappaquiddick’ and others that we have here is that the process of politics is not a pretty one. It involves a lot of conflicted motives, shall we say.”
And who better to make sense of the current political landscape than Armando Iannucci (“Veep,” “The Thick of It”), the master of rapid-fire political farce. In his second feature film, “The Death of Stalin,” he travels back to 1950s Russia only to find an expectedly timely tale of the madcap machinations of political power.
“It is bizarre, isn’t it? When I started showing it to people in January and February earlier this year, people said it resonated with Trump and Putin and fake news,” said Iannucci. “It is about autocracy. It is about what happens when democracy falls apart and one person decides everything. I’m kind of glad it does resonate now. But am I pleased?” (VOA)