Month: February 2019
The night before his historic summit with US President Donald Trump last June, North Kore
an leader Kim Jong Un took a surprise stroll in downtown Singapore to see the sights of the wealthy capitalist city.
The inference seemed clear. If cash-strapped Pyongyang chooses to engage the world — and ditch its nuclear weapons — this could be its future.
Trump and Kim will this month have an even more symbolic backdrop for their next mee
ting: Vietnam, a country which transformed itself from bitter US enemy to peaceful partner in less than 50 years.
Experts believe the Trump administration plans to sell North Korea on a model such as communist Vietnam, hig
hlighting its relationship with Washington as well as its economic boom since adopting market reforms. And all th
e North Koreans have to do, Washington is expected to say, is give up their nukes.
Yet analysts are wary such a sales pitch will produce any tangible outcome. North Korea
knows how capitalism and market economies work: it’s just chosen not to embrace them.
China has for years been prodding the North to embrace economic reform, dragging for
mer North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on tours of capitalist enterprises whenever he visited.
United States is particularly appealing to North Korea, who believes a good relationship with the United States can h
elp create the right environment and necessary conditions for achieving North Korea’s new strategic drive toward ec
onomic development,” said Tong Zhao, a fellow at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing.
The concept isn’t new, of course. During his time as an Asia expert at the State Department in the Clinton administration, Evans Revere said negoti
ators working with North Korea were even then trying to point them to Vietnam, which was beginning to reap t
he benefits of market reforms and becoming a member of good international standing.
”We thought, somewhat naively back then, that this would appeal to the North Koreans gre
atly and that our commitments to work with them on bringing about a modernized economy w
ould be so attractive … that they would stand down from their nuclear weapons program. We were wrong,” Revere said.
”If all of these incentives or this incentive-based approach to coaxing North Korea do
wn a new path did not work when they didn’t have nuclear weapons, and it didn’t work to prevent th
em from developing nuclear weapons, why will it work now that they are in effect a nuclear weapons state?”
red a series of missteps leading up to the telecast, beginning with the proposal to introduce a “popular film” category. That id
ea was quickly scuttled, as was a subsequent plan to move four awards into the commercial breaks to help st
reamline the ceremony, which prompted a rebellion from Academy members.
In between, Kevin Hart was chosen to host the awards, before the resurfacing of homophobic socia
l-media posts prompted the comic to withdraw. After a period of confusion, it was finally co
nfirmed the awards would be mounted without a host, the first time that’s happened in 30 years.
Much of the tumult surrounding the 91st annual Oscars can be traced back to la
st year’s awards — and more specifically, a precipitous ratings decline, fall
ing to an all-time low. Shortening the ceremony to three hours, or close to it, has been among the solutions that host net
work ABC has advocated as a means of stopping the bleeding from a Nielsen standpoint.
Williams using satire, caricature, exaggeration and humor, and the
cartoon intended to depict her behavior as childish by showing her spitting a
pacifier out while she jumps up and down.”
The cartoon showed Williams with large, exaggerated lips and nose reminiscent of racist depictions of black people in the US during the Jim Crow era.
Williams’ opponent, Japan’s Naomi Osaka, is depicted as a skinny blonde woman, to whom the umpire is saying: “Can’t you just let her win?”
The Japanese-American Osaka is of mixed heritage, and has Japanese and Haitian roots.
”Specifically, concern was expressed that the cartoon depicted Ms Willia
ms with large lips, a broad flat nose, a wild afro-styled ponytail hairstyle different to th
at worn by Ms. Williams during the match, and positioned in an ape-like pose,” said a statement from the press council.
”It was also noted that the cartoon should be considered in the context of the histo
ry of caricatures based on race and historical racist depictions of African-Americans.”
’Repugnant’When it was first published, the US-based National Association of Black Journalists said the cartoon was “repugnant on many levels.”
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.
mned the Conservative Party’s shift to the right and warned it was in danger of being taken over by extremists.
Their announcement was timed for maximum impact, dropping just before the weekly s
ession of Prime Minister’s Questions. In a move freighted with symbolism, the three ex-Conservative MPs
joined the eight former Labour lawmakers on the opposition benches in Parliament on Wednesday.
The move could mark the start of a reshaping of British politics as the clock continues to tick down to March 29, when the U
K is due to leave the European Union. With 37 days to go, Parliament has still not approved a Brexit deal.
In a joint letter to May, Heidi Allen, Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston blamed their departure on the government’s “dismal failure to stand up to
the hard line ERG [European research Group],” whose members advocate a no-deal Brexit. The three lawmakers, who have
been vocal anti-Brexit campaigners, said that Britain’s exit from the EU had “re-defined the Conservative Party — undoing all the efforts to modernize it.”
are a number of our colleagues that are deeply unhappy, particularly about no-deal Brexit,” Soubry said, responding to a quest
ion about whether more Conservative MPs would follow their lead. “We do expect people to stand up for w
hat they know is right for our country, which is not a no-deal Brexit.”
The question now is whether the now 11-stron
g Independent Group will establish itself as a new party, and it if does, whether it will have any success at general election.
Britain’s electoral system makes it tough for any new political party to win re
presentation in Parliament. A group that broke from Labour in the 1980s, the Social Democratic Party, fizzled after some early successes.
But small parties can nevertheless wield significant influence over larger ones. “UKIP is an example of a party that won su
fficient votes to frighten the Conservatives into changing its policy very significantly, ultimately forcing a vote
on Brexit,” Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London, told CNN on Tuesday.
Ali only had two hours to save his baby’s life. He careened through traffic and sped along highway
s to an east Tehran government pharmacy. When he saw some 800 people queued outside the fac
ility, he dropped to his knees. Like him, they were waiting to obtain state-funded medications.
”I cried and screamed, begging people to let me get through,” Ali — whom we have not fully identified for security reasons — recalls.
Eventually, he skipped the line and returned with the medicine in time for his one-year-old daughter, Dory, to recover.The incid
ent happened just as Iran’s landmark nuclear deal with six world powers led by the US was being sig
ned in 2015. It was a moment when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had promised Iranians an easier life, free of me
dicinal and food shortages, and where desperate scenes such as Ali’s outside the pharmacy would become a thing of the past.
Iran was halting its nuclear program in exchange for international sanctions relief, appearing to turn the pa
ge on a 36-year history of diplomatic and economic
ology in 5G networks, close allies might be less inclined to work with it in the future, the RUSI report warned.
America’s fight with Huawei is messing with the world‘s 5G plans
Britain is part of the intelligence-sharing group know
n as Five Eyes, which also includes the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
”The maintenance of a ‘Five Eyes standard’ of cyber security in telecommunications is a vital strategic and secur
ity interest, the loss of which would go far beyond a reduction in intelligence reports exchanged and might lea
d to the UK being excluded from work on developing future technologies for intelligence collection,” the report said.
It also advised devoting more resources to protecting British universities, where technology of interest to Beijing may be under development.
”Ultimately, the United Kingdom’s goal must be genuine reciproc
ity and an equal, mature and comprehensive relationship with China,” the report said.
Jethro Mullen contributed to this report.
Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker and Chuka Umunna announce their resignation from the La