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.

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Samsung Fold looks not so perfect from the outside beca

ause the camera must not be covered during the folding, while the battery is also thicker. Huawei Mate X looks better, but its display is not protected as well as that of Samsung Fold and faces higher risk of breaking should the phone be dropped.

The two share one thing in common, namely a high price — Both are rather expensive. The Samsu

ng Fold is priced at $1,980 while the Huawei Mate X is priced at 2,299 euros ($2,606). The high price will

quite seriously limit the marketing of the two products and make them the luxuries of rich people only.

According to our analysis and market forecasts, in 2019, the number of f

oldable smartphones and tablets sold globally might reach 900,000, which might do

uble in 2020. As a comparison, people globally bought 1.4 billion smartphones in 2018. In a word, unless its cost fall sh

arply, the market for foldable smartphones will be limited for the foreseeable future.

Yet both Huawei and Samsung have invested huge resources in the research, publicity, and mark

eting of foldable smartphones. There are two main causes for that. First, smartphones are already so

developed that there is hardly any new space for innovation. The iPhone 4 miracle of Steven Jobs can hardly be re

peated in the near future, so both companies need to show the world that they are innovating.

Second, foldable displays need special materials that are quite scarce i

n the market, so neither of the two companies can afford to wait for the other to rise. B

oth need to keep the market in a balance so as to ensure its own share of products.

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Group to map way out of vaccine morassational w s to ens

China has set up a national work group for immunization planning that will suggest ways

to ensure vaccines are safe, the head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday.

The work group, led by a vice-minister of health, will analyze all incidents involving vaccine safety over the past few years to find

the root sources of problems, Gao Fu, head of the center, said at a news conference. He didn’t name the minister.

“Vaccines made in China are some of the best in the world,” said Gao, who is also a member of China’s top poli

tical advisory body. “We should have no doubt about the role of vaccines in disease prevention or the quality of vaccines made in China.”

For example, he said, by promoting immunization, some infectious diseases that

once seriously harmed people’s health in China, such as smallpox, have been eliminated.

Hepatitis B once infected more than 10 percent of the population of China, but now only 0.3 p

ercent of children under 5 years old are carriers because of mandatory immunization.

Gao made the comments in light of a series of incidents involving vaccine safety over the past few years.

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In a major scandal last year, Changchun Changsheng Life

Sciences, a vaccine producer in Changchun, Jilin province, faked production records and used expired material for the production of rabies vaccines over the past four years.

The company was ordered to suspend production, and senior executives

were detained and face criminal charges. The company was ordered to pay fines of 9.1 bi

llion yuan ($1.3 billion) for violations, one of the heaviest fines imposed on a pharmaceutical company over the past few years.

Following the revelations, top officials vowed harsh penalties and reform of the vaccine super

vision system to eliminate loopholes. A new law on the management of vaccines was drafted for review.

Fang Laiying, former head of the Beijing Municipal Health Commission, said he has faith in the overall safety of drugs in Chi

na, but individual cases involving violations of the law can tarnish the image of the whole pharmaceutical sector.

“The government is intensifying its efforts in cases involving violations of drug safety laws, including severely puni

shing criminals and setting up strict accountability systems to improve supervision of the sector,” he said.

Gao, the CDC head, said major infectious diseases such as dengue fever and AIDS will continue to be the priority in disease prevention and control this year.

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The same tactic has also been used within the United State

  said Van Jackson, a former Defense Department official in the Obama administration.

  ”Historically, there have been many — I know of half a dozen instances myself personally — where senior North Korean officials were brought around and shown what capi

talist industrialism looks like. They were shown what the stock market floor looks like on the New York Stock Exchange, or they were brought out to so

me tech lab in Silicon Valley,” said Jackson, author of “On the Brink: Trump, Kim, and the Threat of Nuclear War.”

  ”We’ve shown them what capitalism looks like … the idea that they will see something in Vietn

am physically that triggers something different than what we’ve shown them before is kind of non

sense.”There’s something for both Washington and Pyongyang to like when studying the US-Vietnam relationship.

  For North Korea, it’s an example of a single-party communist country that reformed its economy without democr

atizing. For the United States, it’s an example of how to redefine a relationship and make a buck at the same time.

  In 1995 — the year Hanoi and Washington normalized relations — US exports to and imports from Vietnam were

worth just $252 million and $199 million respectively. However in the first 11 months of 2018, the US exported more th

an $8 billion worth of goods to Vietnam and imported goods worth $45 billion, according to US Census figures.

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Vietnam’s path from a mortal enemy to a friendly partn

  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?”

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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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Polls across the country were scheduled to open at 8 a.m

  (2 a.m. ET) and close at 2 p.m. (8 a.m. ET) Saturday, but reports soon emerged of widespread delays.

  In the megacity of Lagos, CNN visited multiple polling stations, all of which opened hours la

ter than planned. Voters said they had lined up for hours before electoral officers arrived with voting materials.

  To cast their ballots Saturday, voters were expected to complete an accreditation process in which officials from Nigeria’s Independent National Elec

toral Commission take their fingerprints and scan their permanent voting cards.

  A nurse told CNN she turned up at a polling station after working a night shift, only to face a long wait.

  ”I am supposed to be resting now, but I came to the polling station (at) 7:30 a.m. thinking they the electoral commissi

on officials) will be here, but it’s two hours now, and they have not come,” Juliet Emoedin said.

  Festus Okoye, a national commissioner for the electoral commission, sa

id stations that opened late would close an hour later, according to the Nigerian Television Authority, the state

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