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February 2019

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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Du Zhenqing, the actor playing the title role, said this play

  has been the biggest challenge in his over-40-year acting career. “I need to ful

ly grasp the Greek co-actors’ lines to keep the plot flowing. The director is very cre

ative and actively thinking. He integrates a lot of physical movements into the performance – It’s like nothing yo

u have seen in China, which creates a very unique experience for our audience.”

  ”Agamemnon shows remarkable directorial skills. Language, movement and

music, all the elements come together perfectly. It’s a joy to watch,” sai

d Luo Jinlin, renowned theater director and professor at the Central Academy of Drama.

  The production design and choreography also left a deep impression on the audience. “Co

mbining modernity and tradition creates a beautiful effect. I think the play is a successful introduction of

the Greek classic to Chinese people,” Song Shikun commented on Damai, the Ticketmaster of China.

  Performances will be staged at the National Theater of China through March 2.

www.boligangfuheguan.cn

State Councilor Wang Yi said Sino-US trade negotiations

have once again made concrete progress and provided positive pro

spects for bilateral relations and the global economy. Wang, also minister of foreign affa

irs, made the remark at an event on Monday, according to a statement issued by the ministry.

Yao Yang, dean of the National School of Development at Peking University, said, “It is encouraging that both sides have begu

n to work on the text of an agreement, which indicates a speeding up toward sealing a trade deal.”

“The progress also showed that effective economic diplomatic meas

ures can help resolve cumbersome issues and reduce confrontation between two nations,” Yao said.

After tit-for-tat exchanges of hefty import tariffs, President Xi Jinping and hi

s US counterpart, Donald Trump, agreed in December to halt new tariffs for 90 days to a

llow for talks. Since then, negotiations have been conducted on a wide array of topics.

Early Sunday afternoon in Washington, Trump tweeted that he “will be delaying” the incr

ease of tariffs on Chinese imports scheduled for March 1, due to “very productive” trade talks between the two countries.

www.mxhehuoren.cn

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.

www.zrwrgz.cn

Because of sanctions, Iran’s health sector is struggling to

  keep up with soaring prices of medications and medical instruments, doctors tell CNN.

  European banks, fearing secondary US penalties, are reluctant to do business with Iranian companies even those not blacklisted b

y the US. Medical companies have had to resort to paying intermediaries exorbitant sums to secure ne

eded supplies, including imported medicines and medical instruments which have more than tripled in value du

ring Iran’s rapidly dropping currency, health professionals explain.Sanctions is the first problem in our country and in ou

r system. We can’t transfer the money and make the preparations for surgery. It’s a big problem for us,” says Dr. Mo

hammad Hassan Bani Asad, managing director of the Gandhi Hotel Hospital. “We have the procedures, but we don’t hav

e the instruments. It is very difficult for patients and maybe leads to death of some patients.”

  Though most of Iran’s medicines are domestically manufactured, much of the primary materials, m

any of them imported, are in short supply. And while the state provides universal healthcare, so

me of the treatment needed for critical cases cannot be covered by state insurance.

www.qianpadae.com

Patients and their families are doubly affected by plum

  meting purchasing power across the country. It’s a situation, Emami says, that has made a lot of treatable cases lethal.

  ”I have a patient upstairs … I diagnosed him with brain cancer. The cost of biopsy, the chemotherapy and medication is

very high. So, the family asked me if I could leave him be,” says Emami. “Every day, we see this story here.”

  Even when families can afford medical equipment they often join long waiting lists. Cardia

c pacemakers are in short supply in the country, and patients must abandon their regular lifestyles, an

d become admitted to hospitals where they are hooked up to a cardiac machine.

  Emami tells CNN that some families are opting out of paying for feed

ing tubes for relatives with advanced Alzheimer’s disease. Without the feeding tubes, the pat

ients spend the rest of their days wired to machines in hospitals, instead of receiving home care.

www.qianpadbe.com

Emami recalls a family meeting in which an elderly woman’s

  children decided to go against his advice to discharge their mother with Alzheimer’s disease: “(The children) told me the patient is yours. We don’t have any money to spend on her.”

  ”I explained to the children that when she stays here, it means that her life expectancy is reduced by 80% … it means that she may have an infection and means the lady will die much sooner,” says Emami.Accompanied by her mother, 5-year-ol

d Dory visits Ali at work wearing a tutu skirt and a coat with leopard print. He carries her behind the bar where she pl

ays with empty juice dispensers. Later she settles on his lap and plays games on his smartphone.

  Trump admin pushes for tougher action on Iran, swipes at Europe

  It’s a break from her shuttling between home and the hospital, which she must visit at lea

st once a week. Sometimes the doctors determine that she has to stay in her hospital bed for sev

eral weeks. It’s a routine that will continue until she’s 18-years-old, her father says.

  But Ali says he’s dedicated to helping her have a normal life: “It doesn’t matter what Trump’s sanctions do, I’ll do whatever it takes to find her medication.”

  He puts a hand on his chest, puffing up his skinny frame. “I’ll even fly myself to get them for her. Whatever it takes.”

qianpadbe.com

Desperate and alone, Saudi sisters risk everything

  It was September 6, 2018. The two Saudi sisters were on a family vacation in Colombo, Sri Lanka. For weeks, they had helped their mother organize the trip, feigning

excitement at the possibility of two weeks away from Riyadh, but knowing that if all went to plan, they’d never go back.

  Failure was not an option. Every step of their escape from Saudi Arabia carried the threat of severe punishment or death.

  ”We knew the first time, if it’s not perfect, it will be the last time,” Reem says.

  CNN has changed the sisters’ names and is not showing their faces, at their request for their safety.

  The sisters say years of strict Islamic teaching and physical abuse at home had convinced them that they had no future in a socie

ty that places women under the enforced guardianship of men, and limits their aspirations.

  ”It’s slavery, because whatever the woman will do it’s the business of the male,” Rawan says.

  That’s why they say they renounced Islam.

  And that’s why aged 18 and 20, they stole back their own passports, hid their abayas under the b

edcovers, snuck out of their holiday home and boarded a flight from Colombo to Melbourne, via Hong Kong.

  The Hong Kong stopover was supposed to take less than two hours.

  Two hours has turned into five months.

www.gzbbam.com

Who does she think these mespeople that are sages come from?

  ”The people that are making those threats, I’m guessing, are the ones that killed my son. They may feel like we’re talking about this too much,” says Pricil.

  Her two other sons, Sins Dmitri and Jovency agree.

  ”But we’ll never give up,” says Dmitri.

  An earthquake in 2010 and successive hurricanes have destroyed much of Haiti’s infrastructure that hadn’t already collapsed under corruption and government mismanagement.

  Haiti protesters take the day to gather food and water as they prepare for more possible conflict

  Haiti protesters take the day to gather food and water as they prepare for more possible conflict

  Rage at life stripped of any apparent hope that things will get better is a clear motivation for the riots that gripped the country that began two days before Roberto was killed on February 9.

  Promises from the Prime Minister might serve to dilute some of that immediate anger. But the country is teetering on the brink of more chaos, with further protests being threatened by opposition leaders.

  But the rule of law in the form of government has already largely slipped away in the slums, which have become no-go areas for police.

  Roberto’s death has reinforced a widespread view among the poor that the state is their enemy.

  A sad irony — given that his ambition had always been to be a policeman.

aishedesaf.com

The UK government, a key US ally on intelligence and security

  is expected to decide this spring which suppliers can provide technology for 5G networks. If it chooses to allow the use of Huawei gear

it could seriously undermine the US campaign against the company and influence other governments that are weighing how to handle the issue.

  The UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport said in a statement earlier this w

eek that it was “looking at a range of options” and that “no decisions have been taken.”

  ’A rigorous, ruthless advancement of China’s interests’

  The RUSI report — written by former diplomat Charles Parton, who spent 22 years working in mai

nland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan — warned that the UK government needed to stay alert for int

erference from the Chinese government across a range of fronts, including politics and research.

  Britain is a particularly appealing target for interference as a close

US ally with a large Chinese ethnic community and an open, advanced economy, Parton said.

  Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei: The US ‘cannot crush us’

  ”Beijing’s interference is not aimed at subverting the West, but represents a rigorous, ruthl

ess advancement of China’s interests and values at the expense of those of the West,” he wrote.

aishedesat.com