Trump could try to sell North Korea a Vietnam model. But

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.

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Green Book’ wins on Oscar night marked by inclusiveness

  ”Green Book” won best picture at the Oscars, marking the final twist on a night of historic firsts, filled with suspense until the final prize.

  Despite controversies surrounding the film, and many outspoken critics, the per

iod drama about race relations in the 1960s felt like a more conventional best-picture choi

ce than its two top rivals, both of which had to overcome key hurdles: “Black Panther” represented the fi

rst superhero movie to earn such recognition, while “Roma” not only would have been the first foreign-lan

guage winner, but was likely hobbled by those who still see its distributor, Netflix, as an upstart in the movie world.

  The Oscars compensated for a host-free ceremony with a nigh

t of breakthroughs, moving briskly through the categories in a concerted effort to sh

orten the run time, amid a night marked by greater inclusiveness and that spread the wealth among the nominees.

  Award voters extended honors to a number of blockbusters, including “Black Panther,” which

earned several technical awards; and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the biography of Queen and the band’s fron

tman, Freddie Mercury, earned four Oscars — the most of any film — including Rami Malek’s first for the central role.

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Controversial Serena Williams cartoon ruled not to have br

  A widely criticized Australian newspaper cartoon showing tennis legen

d Serena Williams jumping up and down next to a broken racket and a pa

cifier which she had spat out was not racist, according to the country’s media watchdog.

  The Australian Press Council ruled that the drawing, published by Murdoch group newspaper the Hera

ld Sun, did not breach Australia’s press standards and instead was capturing Williams’ “on-co

urt tantrum” at the 2018 US Open final “using satire, caricature, exaggeration and humor.”

  The cartoon was published shortly after the bad-tempered final, in which Wi

lliams had a dispute with the umpire over his allegedly sexist treatment. The pr

ess watchdog received a number of complaints about the image, which drew international condemnation.

  The press council said the newspaper “was depicting the moment when, in a high

ly animated tantrum, Ms Williams smashed a racquet and loudly abused the ch

air umpire, calling him a thief, a liar and threatening that he would never umpire her matches again.

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national zoo holds housewarming event at giant panda house

  WASHINGTON – The Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington DC held a housewarming

event inside the giant panda house on Saturday to celebrate the completion of a new visitor exhibit.

  The celebration featured frozen treats for giant pandas and red pandas, as well as interactive games and activities for visitors.

  The new exhibit, according to the zoo, teaches visitors about the ecology, history, reproduction, conservation and c

are of giant pandas and enables them to learn about these unique bears and their natural habitat.

  It also chronicles “the advances that panda scientists in China and at the Smithsonian have made during the past four decades.”

  ”So much has changed for giant pandas, for the better, in the past decade,” Steven Monfort, the John and Adri

enne Mars Director of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, said in a statement.

  ”This updated exhibit is really inspiring because it shows how much of a difference we can

make with science and cooperation,” he said, noting that “Smithsonian and Chinese scientists have bee

n collaborating for decades, and visitors can see the results of our work as they walk through the panda house.”

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i said preventing and defusing financial risks, especially

  systemic financial risks, are the fundamental tasks of financial work, calling for accelerated construction of the fina

ncial market infrastructure and advanced efforts to nationalize key information infrastructure in the sector.

  He also urged solid statistics in the financial sector and improvement in the warning system and rules on information disclosure and management.

  Education and supervision of senior officials of financial institutions and regulators sh

ould be enhanced, and more should be done to fight corruption in the financial sector, Xi said.

  He called for dynamic supervision of domestic and cross-border capital flow to enable financial watchdogs to fully monitor all flows.

  Xi said tasks for the reform and opening-up of the financial sector should be well implem

ented, calling for the preparation and the rolling-out of new reform and opening-up measures based on

the latest development of global economy and finance as well as the strategic needs of China.

  Reforms including revamps on market access system and trading regulations should be deepened, and regulators should take a two-pronged appr

oach of enforcing both macro-prudential management and micromanagement of behaviors, he said.

  He said those causing major financial risks due to their breaches such as lax regula

tion, cover-ups or decision-making failures must be held accountable and face serious punishment.

  Efforts should be made to address the current situation where the costs of legal and

regulatory breaches in the financial sector, especially capital markets, are too low, Xi said.

  Xi urged enhancing the global competitiveness of China’s financial sector, elevating the two-way opening-up to a highe

r level and beefing up capabilities of financial management and risk prevention and control amid greater opening-up.

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delivery people consider their job ‘promising’ Surveyter tra

  BEIJING – A recent survey by China’s State Post Bureau said 35.8 percent of delivery workers c

onsidered their occupation “promising” and would like to continue in that position.

  The survey consisted of 6,000 delivery people across China mostly born in the 1980s and 1990s.

  About 76 percent of the delivery workers are from rural areas, wh

ile nearly 16 percent are from towns or counties, according to the survey.

  Major sources of stress for delivery workers include low wages and insufficient benefits, lack of understanding of t

heir job from customers and the public, long working hours and little chances of promotion, the survey said.

  Most of those surveyed earn less than 5,000 yuan ($743) per month but gen

erally gain more during the annual Double 11 online shopping spree in No

vember, during which over 80 percent of the country’s delivery workers handle more than 200 packages per day.

  China’s express delivery industry is rapidly developing, with around 3 million delivery workers.

  ”Delivery worker” was added to the revision of the national occupation list of China in 2015, meaning it has been recognized by the state as an occupation.

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Flight inspections at new Beijing airport complete ddays early

  Beijing’s new international airport finished its flight inspections on Sunday, 19 days ahead of schedule, according to the civil aviation authority.

  At 10:20 am, an aircraft taking off from Beijing Capital Internation

al Airport in the northeastern part of the city landed smoothly on the northern run

way at Beijing Daxing International Airport. The Civil Aviation Administration’s North China Regional Bu

reau called the event a “successful completion” in a news release, referring to its series of flight inspections.

  The inspections, which lasted for 34 days, started on Jan 22 and were suppo

sed last until March 15 to cover the airport’s four runways, six landing systems, lighting facilities and other services.

  Flight inspections, which all airports must undergo before opening, are designed to ensure the airport’s flight pro

cedures and aviation navigational aids will be ready for operation, according to the news release.

  Daxing airport is scheduled to be completed by June 30 and enter commercial operation before Sept 30.

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly rejected exte

  Article 50 — the legal process under which an EU member state can leave — and refused to rule out a no-deal Brexit.

  The UK Parliament is due to debate the divorce again on Wednesday when May is expected to update lawmakers on any pr

ogress made in talks with European counterparts on the divisive issue of the Northern Irish backstop.

  This weekend she will meet European Council President Donald Tusk on the margins of

the EU-League of Arab States Summit in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

  Three Conservative MPs have quit Theresa May’s party over Brexit

  By Eliza Mackintosh, CNN

  Updated 1619 GMT (0019 HKT) February 20, 2019

  Ex-Conservative MPs Heidi Allen, second left, Anna Soubry, center, and Sarah W

ollaston, right, arrive for a press conference in Westminster in London on Wednesday.

  Ex-Conservative MPs Heidi Allen, second left, Anna Soubry, center, and Sarah

Wollaston, right, arrive for a press conference in Westminster in London on Wednesday.

  (CNN)Three lawmakers walked out of UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative party on Wednesday, joini

ng a new group in Parliament that has blown up the British political landscape in less than three days.

  The trio’s dramatic decision to join a group of eight independent MPs, who split fro

m the opposition Labour Party earlier this week, caused consternation at Westminster. They

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Soubry said the issue could prompt more defections. “There

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.

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Leaving Saudi Arabia is not a simple undertaking for women

  who rebel against the system. Permission is needed from a male guardian for many basic activities, including international travel.

  Reem and Rawan say they had been planning their escape in secret for two years. They didn’t dare discuss it in case they were

overheard, so, instead, they swapped WhatsApp messages, even while alone at night in their shared room.

  Before they fled, the Sri Lanka vacation was just like any other. They wore their niqabs

to the beach and sat away from the surf while their brothers swam and joked. They cooked the meals, and

spent most of their days inside. It was humid. Their niqabs stuck to their skin and made it hard to see.

  ”We travel to move from a box to another box. From home to hotel, nothing will change,” Rawan says. “They will go o

ut, they will live freely, the men, of course we will sit away, watching them doing what they want.”

Their five-year-old sister played in the sand, but their 12-year-old sister, like them,

didn’t. She too was learning that it’s OK to be a girl in Saudi Arabia — until you grow up.

During the trip, Rawan turned 18. The timing was no accident. The vacation was planned with gentle persuasion to co

incide with a birthday that, unbeknown to their mother, allowed Rawan to apply for an Australian tourist visa.

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