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China Lodges Objection on Telephone Conversation of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s Call with Taiwan’s first Female President Tsai Ing-wen
STATE DEPARTMENT, Dec 3, 2016: China said Saturday it has lodged an objection to the telephone conversation U.S. President-elect Donald Trump had with Taiwan’s first female president Tsai Ing-wen.
“We have already made solemn representations about it to the relevant U.S. side,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “It must be pointed out that there is only one China in the world. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory.”
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China claims democratically ruled Taiwan is part of its territory and has never renounced the use of military force to bring the island under Beijing’s control. The U.S. broke diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979.
The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2016
Interesting how the U.S. sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2016
Trump brushed off criticism of breaking diplomatic protocol, responding in a message on his Twitter account, saying, “The president of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency.”
Later, Trump said on Twitter “interesting how the U.S. sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call.”
Trump’s phone conversation with the president of Taiwan was roundly seen as an unconventional move that could risk raising tensions with China.
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The call is believed to be the first such contact between a U.S. president or president-elect and a Taiwanese leader since the United States broke diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
In the phone call, Tsai expressed her hope that the U.S. would continue to support Taiwan’s participation and contribution in international issues, according to a statement released late Friday by Taiwan’s Presidential Office.
“They also exchanged views on the regional situation in Asia, as well as the future relationship between Taiwan and the United States. The president [Tsai] looks forward to strengthening bilateral contacts and to closer cooperation,” said Taiwan’s government.
Trump’s spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway said the president-elect is “well aware” of what U.S. policy has been on Taiwan.
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“President-elect Trump is fully briefed and fully knowledgeable about these issues on an ongoing basis, regardless of who is on the other end of the phone,” Conway told CNN Friday.
Tsai speaks perfect English and no interpreter was needed in the call that lasted more than 10 minutes.
Taiwan Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee and Tsai’s National Security Advisor, Joseph Wu, were present during the call as well.
White House, State Department
The White House was not told about the call until after it happened, a senior administration official told The New York Times.
It said, however, there was “no change” to the United States’ longstanding “one China” policy after Trump’s discussion with Tsai.
“We remain firmly committed to our ‘one China’ policy,” Ned Price, a national security spokesman for President Barack Obama, told Reuters. “Our fundamental interest is in peaceful and stable cross-Strait relations.”
The State Department declined to comment if it was notified or asked to brief the transition team on current U.S. policy toward China and Taiwan prior to the phone call.
“Our job is to offer support whether that’s in terms of facilitation, translation, or context, which we have done and will continue to do,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby on Friday.
“But the degree to which it’s utilized is really for the transition team to decide, and it’s really more appropriate for them to speak to,” Kirby added.
Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee who was named by Trump as White House chief of staff, met with Tsai last October while leading a Republican delegation to Taiwan.
A game changer?
Experts said the conversation between Trump and Tsai shows a clear break with the so-called pivot to Asia and could be a “game-changer.”
“While one phone call certainly can’t replace a clear strategy for Asia or the rest of the world, President-elect Trump has shown guts in shaking up the status-quo on foreign policy issues that are of supreme importance,” Harry Kazianis, director of the Center for the National Interest Defense Studies, said.
John Bolton, who was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during former president George H.W. Bush’s administration, met with Trump Friday.
Bolton, who emerged as a contender for the next secretary of state, had advocated for “an upgrade” of Taiwan’s relations with the U.S.
“The new U.S. administration could start with receiving Taiwanese diplomats officially at the State Department; upgrading the status of U.S. representation in Taipei from a private ‘institute’ to an official diplomatic mission; inviting Taiwan’s president to travel officially to America; allowing the most senior U.S. officials to visit Taiwan to transact government business; and ultimately restoring full diplomatic recognition,” according to a commentary article Bolton wrote for the Wall Street Journal earlier this year.
Trump also talked by phone Friday with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and Philippines President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
He also promised to have most of his Cabinet posts filled by the coming week, calling his nominees “tremendous people.”
The president-elect made the statement in an interview aired on Fox NewsFriday, a day after naming Marine Corps General James Mattis as defense secretary, an appointment that will be made formal on Monday.
Meanwhile, Vice President-elect Mike Pence was quoted Friday in a Wall Street Journal article as saying the Trump administration will focus on illegal immigration, abolishing and replacing Obamacare (the Afordable Care Act – health care reform signed into law during the Obama administration), strengthening the military and filling the vacant post on the nation’s Supreme Court.
“Washington, D.C., is going to get an awful lot done in a short period of time,” Pence told the Journal.
New York security costs
Also Friday, two members of the New York City Council began an online petition, asking Trump to provide federal funds to reimburse the city for the increased security costs — $1 million a day — to protect his family.
Trump lives – and his transition team is working out of – Trump Towers in Manhattan.
“We ask you to commit the necessary federal funds to reimburse New York for all costs of protecting you and your family, both before and after your inauguration as president of the United States of America,” the petition said.
Police have used barricades and dump trucks filled with sand to help fortify the area around Trump’s building.
The city has estimated, according to the petition, that the cost of security at the New York residence could reach $4 billion by the end of a four-year term. (VOA)
Great historic events that have shaped the world and changed the outlines of countries are often not recorded in memory, or so we think. Wars made sure to destroy evidence and heritage, and the ones who survived told the tale of what really happened. Folklore, albeit through oral tradition kept alive many such stories, hidden in verse, limericks, and rhymes.
Ringa-ringa-roses, a common playtime rhyme among children across the world, is an example of folklore that has survived for many centuries. It tells the story of the The Great Plague of London which ravaged the city between 1665-1666.
The Plague broke out from improper disposal of garbage and poor sewage conditions. Fleas from the rats that lived in the sewers spread the disease that killed more than half of London's population. Many people fled from their homes as there was no medicine available for those who were infected.
Beak-shaped masks worn during the Great Plague of London Image source: wikimedia commons
It was around this time that masks began to be invented. The first masks were shaped like beaks, and were worn not to protect the wearer from the disease, but to the prevent them from being able to smell the decay and death around them, which they called 'miasma'. The beaks were filled with floral herbs that allowed doctors and nurses to tend to the sick without being reviled from the smell.
Children are often seen forming circles by holding hands and reciting loudly,
Pockets full of posies
We all fall down"
An illustration of the Great Plague of London, 1665 Image source: wikimedia commons
When the last line is sung, they break the circle and fall down. The roses and posies are believed to be the preferred fragrances inside the masks, and a single sneeze (a-tishoo) was enough to infect the one who was exposed to the disease. Consequently, they fell down, ill, and later died.
An alternative version of this rhyme is sung about the fall of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the aftermath of World War II. The roses and posies are interchanged with geranium and uranium, to symbolise what was used in the atomic bomb. But this version is not as famous the original.
Keywords: Rhymes, Ringa-ringa-roses, Great Plague of London, WWII, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Folklore
In modern times, many social movements aim to bring reform to the society we live in, on the basis of certain existing patterns. Patriarchy is something that many aim to cleanse our cultures of, to usher in the era of social and gender equality. Despite all these so-called movements, in southern India, certain societies that patronise matriarchy have existed since before India's independence. The Nairs and Ezhavas of Kerala, and Bunts and Billavas of Karnataka are matrilineal societies that continue to thrive in a patriarchal country.
Kerala remains separate from the rest of India in many ways. Be it literacy policy, form of government, or cultural practices, this state does not always conform to the ideal that India is known for. Even so with their social structure. Certain tribes have remained matrilineal, where the decision-making power rests with the eldest female of the family.
The Nairs and Ezhavas of Kerala, and Bunts and Billavas of Karnataka are matrilineal societies that continue to thrive in a patriarchal country. Image source: wikimedia commons
A male member, who is the close confidante of the matriarch is chosen. He plays a crucial role in representing the male members of his family, and his opinion is highly valued. He is called karavanan. The men reside in separate rooms or in separate houses, and do not interfere in the upbringing of children. Property is also passed down along the lineage of the eldest female. Among the Nairs, matriarchy is more prominently adhered to than the Ezhavas, who have some patrilocal connections.
In Karnataka, the Bunts and Billavas belong to the Tuluva ethnic group. They are also a predominantly matriarchal society, founded on the belief in a legend. Their matrilineal descent is known as Aliyasantana.
The story is told of a demon who threatened to destroy a kingdom if the king did not sacrifice his sons, but the king's sister comes forward to offer her children in sacrifice for the sake of the kingdom. The demon is touched and does not destroy the city. Since then, the kingdom, or the property is inherited through female lineage.
In Karnataka, the Bunts and Billavas belong to the Tuluva ethnic group. They are also a predominantly matriarchal society, founded on the belief in a legend. Image source: wikimedia commons
In the recent past, many of these matriarchal societies have been reduced to matrilineal societies by certain governmental laws. They fall under the patriarchal scheme of the rest of the state but have reserved the right to pass on property and heritage through the female line. In the North east of India, matriarchal dominance is far more resilient than the south.
Keywords: Bunts, Billava, Nair, Ezhava, Aliyasantana, Matrilineal, South India, Karnataka, Kerala
Apple inc. Is an American multinational tech firm specialized in consumer electronics, computer programs, and internet services founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in 1976 to manufacture Wozniak's Apple iComputer. It is the world's top tech company in turnover (totaling $274.5 billion in 2020) and its most valuable corporation. Apple is the fourth-largest PC seller by unit sales and the fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world.
Apple has revealed a slew of new products at a special launch event that has been long-awaited. On the day of the live event, Apple announced the iPad mini, Apple Watch Series 7, iPhone 13 mini, and iPhone 13, as well as the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Apple has revealed a slew of new products at a special launch event that has been long-awaited. | Photo by Daniel Romero on Unsplash
In the first major product announcement during the event, Apple introduced the newest edition of the iPad and a 5G-capable iPad Mini.
iPad: The 10.2-inch iPad is equipped with a solid A13 processor that delivers 20 percent quicker performance than the preceding version. According to Apple, it is now three times faster than a Chromebook. A new 12MP ultra-wide camera with Center Stage, which utilizes machine learning to optimize the front-facing camera during FaceTime video chats, as well as more incredible accessory support, including compatibility with the first-generation Apple Pencil, are among the new features. For 64GB of storage, the iPad costs $329.
iPad Mini: In addition to reduced borders and more rounded edges, the 8.3-inch iPad mini also has improved front and back cameras. A liquid retina display, USB-C compatibility, magnetic support for the Apple Pencil, an enhanced speaker system, and new hues such as pink and purple are all features of the new Apple iPad Mini. The starting price is $499.
In the first major product announcement during the event, Apple introduced the newest edition of the iPad and a 5G-capable iPad Mini. | Photo by Leone Venter on Unsplash
The other major unveiled products include:
iPhone 13 and other variants: The iPhone 13 range is almost identical to the iPhone 12 lineup, with a 5.4-inch iPhone 13 Mini, a 6.1-inch iPhone 13, a 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro, and a 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max. It was also revealed that the Watch Series 7 has a smaller "S7" processor, which may allow for a bigger battery or other components to be housed in a smaller footprint. The gadgets have a revolutionary design that includes a dual-camera system, placed diagonally. Apple's iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini have longer-lasting batteries than the previous generation of devices. In addition, Apple claims that the iPhone 13 will have a battery life that is 2.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12, and the iPhone 13 mini will have a battery life that is 1.5 hours longer. A more energy-efficient display, an upgraded 5G chip, and functionality called "Cinematic Mode," similar to the famous Portrait mode function but is only available for movies, are among the other enhancements. The A15 Bionic chip present in the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini is also used in the 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max, also 6.1-inch devices. However, it also has a five-core CPU, which promises graphics that are 50% quicker than previous models. Other notable features of the Pro devices include a brilliant Super Retna XDR display with a higher refresh rate and long-lasting battery life. Now, for the price, it will start at $699 for the iPhone 13 mini with 128 GB of storage, $799 for the iPhone 13 with 128 GB of storage, and the Pro and Pro Max have starting prices of $999 $1,099, respectively.
Apple Watch Series 7: The new Apple Watch Series 7, which is smaller and has a larger screen than its previous model, was introduced by Apple on Wednesday. There is a 20% increase in screen size over Series 6 on the new watch. A complete keyboard that you can touch or slide to write out text messages can show 50% more text. It starts at $399.
Keywords: Apple, iPad, iPad Mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone Mini, Apple event 2021