North Korea and China announce visit by Xi Jinping envoy

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE GUARDIAN NEWS AND THE NORTH KOREAN NEWS ‘DPRK’)

 

North Korea and China announce visit by Xi Jinping envoy

Unclear if illegal nuclear program is on the agenda after Donald Trump asked Chinese president to put pressure on neighbor

Donald Trump has called on Xi Jinping to rein in North Korea.
 Donald Trump has called on Xi Jinping to rein in North Korea. Photograph: Andy Wong/AP

A senior Chinese diplomat will visit North Korea from Friday as a special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing has said, without revealing whether it is about North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

China has pushed for a diplomatic solution to the crisis but in recent months has had only limited high-level exchanges with North Korea. The last time China’s special envoy for North Korea visited the country was in February 2016.

In a brief dispatch, the official Xinhua news agency said Song Tao, who heads the Communist party’s external affairs department, would “inform the DPRK of the 19th CPC National Congress and visit the DPRK”. CPC refers to China’s recently concluded Communist party congress at which Xi further cemented his power.

North Korea’s KCNA news agency confirmed the visit but said only that it would take place “soon”.

The trip will come a week after Donald Trump visited Beijing as part of a lengthy Asia tour where he pressed for greater action to rein in North Korea, especially from China, with which North Korea does 90% of its trade.

It is not clear how long Song could stay but he has already visited Vietnam and Laos to inform them of the results of the Congress, a typical courtesy China extends other communist countries after such important meetings.

It is also unclear where Song will meet the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.

Kim and Xi exchanged messages of congratulations and thanks to the Chinese party congress but neither has visited the other’s country since assuming power.

Song’s department is in charge of the party’s relations with foreign political parties and has traditionally served as a conduit for Chinese diplomacy with North Korea.

A department official said in October that China’s Communist party continued to hold talks and maintain contacts with its North Korean counterpart, describing the two countries’ friendship as important for regional stability.

China’s new special envoy for North Korea, Kong Xuanyou, who took up his position in August, is not believed to have visited the country yet.

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# Me Too: But, From A Different Perspective

# Me Too: But From A Different Perspective 

 

As most folks know by now there has been a lot of attention being paid to sexual abuse of women in the media lately and the call sign for this movement is #Me-Too. I am by no means a person who pays any attention to the Hollywood scene so I do not know who the movers and shakers are in that ‘world’, nor do I care to be. Evidently a couple of weeks ago a bigwig male Producer was accused by several women of sexually abusing them and this started the conversation about powerful men who have been sexually abusing ladies for many decades. If I had been asked a month ago what was meant by sexual abuse I would have thought they were talking about rape or attempted rape. Reality is sexual abuse goes much further than just trying to have sex with a lady who did not want to have sex with you. I would have thought that sexual abuse would have been along the line of the ‘Directors couch’ where if you wanted to get the part in one of their movies, you had to give out sexual favors. In the business world, I would have equated it to if a woman wanted to get the promotion they had to spread their legs or get on their knees. Reality is ladies getting their butts slapped or their tits grabbed is definitely sexual abuse/harassment also. But this article today is not about sexual harassment, but it is about another (Me Too), concerning women, and some men, and not just gay men.

 

I am a straight man so I can only relay my personal experiences from this angle. I have been married now for 18 years and I have not touched another woman in a sexual manner even once since we first got together back in 1999. What I am writing this article about is women being the brunt of physical abuse as in being punched and kicked, beaten. In my life, I was blessed to know many women and there was one thing that I came across over and over again and that was that every single woman that I have ever got to know had been physically beaten by a man, and usually more than one in their life. I was raised to respect women, I loved women and I definitely enjoyed the sex, but I never struck a lady for saying no. There were a few times in my life when a lady and I were well on the path to having sex when the woman for whatever her reason changed her mind and wanted to stop. Each of those times I put my hands up and did not touch her again, at all.

 

Think about guys who rape women, or even men. To me this is stupid, there are plenty of women everywhere who like to have sex just as much as the guys do. But, if you are so scummy or ugly that you can’t get a knothole in a tree to play with you then its time to find a woman or a guy if that is your persuasion, who excepts cash or credit cards. What I am getting at is, there is no reason for anyone to sexually force themselves onto a person who is telling you no! Then comes the physical aggression bit, why does anyone think that they have the right to rape, punch or kick another person? Machoism is the only thing that I can think of. Think of the situation of prisons where a person thinks they are such a bad ass that they will physically beat another person up, then rape them, you know, showing everyone else ‘who the man is’. These are the same ‘men’ who will say, hell no, I ain’t gay. All I have to say to that is, really. If you are willing to touch another person of the same sex as yourself in a sexual manner, guess what, your gay! But really this article isn’t about being gay or not being gay. This article is about physical aggression that is put upon women by men. To me, I was always taught that only a coward physically strikes a woman, not a man.

 

Think about it, my personal experience with women in my lifetime that I have gotten to know well enough where we could just talk as friends and every single one of them had been beaten by a ‘man’. This even applies to my wife and to my x-wife. Folks, this is sickening, there is no excuse for this to exist in our society, yet it does. What is it going to take to get this monster brought out of the closet, the President beating up the First Lady, in public? We need to have a movement called #Me-Too in regards to the physical beatings women are having to face in our society. How can we honestly say we have a civilized society with all this violence toward women, both sexually, or with the fist?

 

After Coup, Even Mugabe’s Own Party Is Dumping Him

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

Photo

President Robert Mugabe, center, appeared on Friday, under tight security, at a graduation ceremony at a university in Harare. Credit Ben Curtis/Associated Press

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s governing party moved on Friday to expel President Robert Mugabe from its ranks, taking the first step in legally ousting the 93-year-old leader following a military intervention two days earlier.

A majority of the leaders of the party, ZANU-PF, recommended Mr. Mugabe’s expulsion from the very organization that he had controlled with an iron grip since independence in 1980, according to ZBC, the state broadcaster.

Military officers have insisted that their takeover was not a coup, but the party’s leaders appeared on Friday to be providing political cover for the intervention. The party’s central committee, Parliament, and Mr. Mugabe’s cabinet could now take steps to officially end his presidency if he does not resign.

The military arrested Mr. Mugabe early Wednesday, effectively ending his 37-year rule, although it allowed him to appear in public on Friday to address a university graduation.

Later on Friday, party members endorsed the military’s efforts to stabilize the economy and defuse political instability. They echoed military commanders in arguing that the intervention was aimed at rooting out a cabal of corrupt interlopers who had clouded Mr. Mugabe’s judgment and his ability to govern.

Continue reading the main story

“Many of us had watched with pain as the party and government were being reduced to the personal property of a few infiltrators with traitorous histories and questionable commitment to the people of Zimbabwe,” the party leaders said in a resolution. “Clearly, the country was going down the wrong path.”

Photo

An armored personnel carrier in Harare on Friday. credit agency France-Presse — Getty Images

The resolution recommended that Mr. Mugabe be removed for taking the advice of “counterrevolutionaries and agents of neo-imperialism”; for mistreating his vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, whom Mr. Mugabe abruptly dismissed last week; and for encouraging “factionalism.” It urged the “immediate and unconditional reinstatement” of Mr. Mnangagwa, who appears poised to succeed Mr. Mugabe, at least until national elections scheduled for next year.

Party members also moved to schedule a march for Saturday in support of the military.

Over the past few days, the military has been in negotiations to find a peaceful and face-saving way for Mr. Mugabe to exit the scene, in talks mediated by South Africa and other countries in the region, and by the Roman Catholic Church.

The military has insisted that its intervention was not a coup. The Herald, the state-run newspaper, said the military “had taken action to pacify the degenerating political, social and economic situation in the country,” which “if left unchecked would have resulted in violent conflict,” and said the action was intended “to flush out reactionary and criminal elements around the president.”

On Friday, Mr. Mugabe was freed — if only temporarily — to address a university graduation ceremony. It was his first public appearance since the military placed him under house arrest — an illustration, perhaps, that this was no ordinary attempt to oust a despot.

Mr. Mugabe, 93, has dominated his country since independence from Britain 37 years ago, surviving through a blend of political skill, brutality, manipulation and patronage dispensed among a corrupt elite.

Those days “are numbered,” though, said Chris Mutsvangwa, the leader of Zimbabwe’s influential war veterans’ movement, which was founded to represent those who fought in the seven-year liberation war in the 1970s but has emerged as a powerful political force.

At a news conference, Mr. Mutsvangwa cranked up pressure on Mr. Mugabe, saying the longtime leader would face huge calls for his ouster at a rally on Saturday. 

 

In Zimbabwe Crisis, Is Mugabe’s Reign Over?

Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s 93-year-old president who has ruled for almost four decades, has been put under house arrest by the military.

By CAMILLA SCHICK and CHRIS CIRILLO on Publish DateNovember 15, 2017. Photo by Aaron Ufumeli/European Pressphoto Agency. Watch in Times Video »

At his news conference, Mr. Mutsvangwa said several key regions in Zimbabwe’s Shona-speaking heartlands — the base of ZANU-PF’s support — had approved calls for the president’s expulsion. Mr. Mugabe himself has in the past used orchestrated maneuvering in the provinces to undermine national figures in Harare.

The talks involving the Catholic Church and South African mediators are intended to devise some form of transition that would have the appearance of constitutional legitimacy while providing a decorous departure for a leader whose role in the pre-independence liberation struggle is central to the national narrative.

The military’s ultimate intention has apparently been to effect a transfer of power without the appearance of illegality that might draw further opprobrium from outside Zimbabwe or frighten off potential investors.

“The army is trying to keep people guessing” while talks continue, said Frank Chikowore, a Zimbabwean journalist.

The ZANU-PF resolution on Friday singled out the G-40, a faction of politicians aligned with Mr. Mugabe’s wife, Grace Mugabe. It denounced four of them as “criminals and counterrevolutionaries”: Jonathan N. Moyo, the minister of higher education; Ignatius M. Chombo, the finance minister; Saviour Kasukuwere, minister for local government; and Patrick Zhuwao, the minister for public services, labor and social welfare.

The party did not, however, explicitly condemn Mrs. Mugabe, whose recent aspirations to succeed her husband appear to have been a trigger for his downfall.

Outside the main cities on Friday, the military set up roadblocks on main highways, apparently to thwart any attempt at organized resistance. Buses traveling from Bulawayo, the second city, to Harare, the capital, were pulled over and boarded by soldiers who checked documents and asked passengers about their business. Sometimes, travelers reported, the soldiers ordered passengers off the buses for inspection. Some were asked if they were carrying weapons.

 

Video

Grace Mugabe’s Fierce Battle for Power in Zimbabwe

Grace Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s first lady, is in the middle of the fight for the country’s presidency. Her rising power may have prompted the military to take over.

By BARBARA MARCOLINI and CAMILLA SCHICK on Publish DateNovember 15, 2017. Photo by Joao Silva/The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »

Such was the official concern to maintain an appearance of normalcy that the state broadcaster devoted the first 10 minutes of its news bulletin on Thursday to interviews with people across the land — traders in Bulawayo, tourists at Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River — and, as if scripted, all repeated the same refrain: “It’s business as usual.” Mr. Mugabe’s appearance at the graduation ceremony — however surreal — seemed to be part of the same stratagem.

Some Zimbabweans suggested that the officers’ calculation might offer Mr. Mugabe a chance to play hardball in closed-door talks.

In the annals of Africa’s many uprisings and coups, the script often involves the strongman fleeing into exile or being imprisoned or even shot.

Instead, Zimbabwe’s military allowed Mr. Mugabe to return to State House, his official residence, and on Friday, he appeared in a bright blue cap and gown, under tight security, to oversee the graduation ceremony in Harare. At one point, he appeared to doze, his head lolling.

By appearing at the ceremony, Mr. Mugabe wanted to give “the impression that he is still in charge,” Mr. Mutsvangwa said. “He is finished.”

“He is defying the population, trying to give a semblance of normality when things are not normal,” Mr. Mutsvangwa said. “That’s why we are saying: Don’t lie to yourself; it’s a delusion. You know he has been deluding himself — he is deluded.”

26COMMENTS

Mr. Mugabe — in official portrayals at least — has maintained power as an enduring emblem of the fight to expunge colonial influence in Africa.

But he has presided over a precipitous economic decline that began with the seizing of white-owned farms starting in 2000. Joblessness has soared, and a shortage of foreign currency has driven up the price of imports. At the same time, a loyal elite around him has amassed villas, farms and high-end automobiles.

World’s 50 Most Dangerous Countries Revealed For Travelers

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE ‘BORED PANDA’ WEBSITE)

 

World’s Most Dangerous Countries Revealed, And It May Change Your Travel Plans

Just like last year, International SOS and Control Risks have released a map that shows just how tourist-friendly all countries are, and it’s worth looking at if you’re planning a trip for 2018 to a place you’ve never been before. After all, we all like coming back from a holiday with all of our limbs and other valuables.

Collecting data from the World Health Organization and other institutions, the interactive ‘Travel Risk Map’ reveals just how risky countries are regarding road safety, security and medical matters. According to The Ipsos Mori Business Resilience Trends Watch 2018, 63% of people think travel-related risks have increased during the past year. In the paper, security threats and natural disasters were cited as main reasons for changed travel plans.

Scroll down to check out how countries rank up against each other and let us know what you think about it in the comment section below!

More info: travelriskmap.com (h/t)

This is how much travelers will be risking their health in 2018 across the globe

And this is how the world looks from a security threat point of view

Finally, road safety

Argentine navy says it’s lost contact with submarine

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Argentine navy says it’s lost contact with submarine

The ARA San Juan submarine, pictured in May 2014, is delivered to the Argentine navy after repairs.

Story highlights

  • ARA San Juan submarine was last spotted Wednesday in the San Jorge Gulf
  • At least 44 crew members were on board, state-run news agency says

(CNN)The Argentine navy is looking for one of its submarines after it lost contact with the vessel off the country’s Atlantic coast, the military service said Friday.

The ARA San Juan submarine was last spotted Wednesday in the San Jorge Gulf roughly 432 kilometers (268 miles) off the east coast, the navy said.
At least 44 crew members were on board, state-run news agency Telam reported Friday.
Crews are searching for the vessel by air and sea near its last known location, navy spokesman Enrique Balbi told reporters.
“We have ordered all terrestrial communication stations along the Argentine coast to carry out a preliminary and extended search of communications and to listen in to all the possible frequencies of the submarine,” the navy said in a statement Friday.
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The vessel had been traveling from far southern Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego archipelago to its home base in Mar del Plata, a coastal city hundreds of miles to the northeast.
“The submarine knows that if it does not have communication with land for this long, it has to surface,” Balbi said.

Don Jr. And Eric Trump Are Trophy Hunters: Now You Know Why: Play Dates

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘CARE2 PETITIONS’)

 

Save Elephants and Lions – Stop Trump’s Trophy Hunting Plan

  • by: Care2 Team
  • target: US Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
57,544 SUPPORTERS
60,000 GOAL

President Donald J. Trump just opened the door to expanded sport hunting of some of the world’s most beloved — and imperiled — animals: Africa’s elephants and lions. We need your signature today to help stop him.

Near the turn of the 20th century, Africa was home to between three and five million elephants. Now less than half a million remain. Africa’s lions have seen similar declines, with lion numbers declining by 42 percent in just the last 20 years.

To save these iconic animals from extinction, the Obama administration banned the importation of elephant trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe and made importing lion pelts and other trophies more difficult.

Now President Trump — whose sons have boasted publicly of killing rare animals in Africa — has reversed this animal-saving ban.

This reversal will almost inevitably increase poaching of these rare animals. According to Jeffrey Flocken of the International Fund for Animal Welfare:

“When a species’ greatest value is as a dead trophy, its days will inevitably be numbered, just as they are when the value of their parts — like ivory tusks, tiger skins, or rhino horn — make protection from poachers nearly impossible.”

The move is also squarely at odds with public opinion in the US. 82% of Americans surveyed support banning lion trophies, and 83% support banning elephant trophies.

That’s why Care2 is calling on Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva, one of the most stalwart animal defenders in Congress, to introduce legislation to reverse the Trump administration’s trophy import decision as soon as possible.

By adding your name today you’ll show Congressman Grijalva that conservation-minded people around the world reject sport hunting of our imperiled species. And you’ll provide the public support we’ll need to restore vital protections for whales and lions.

Speak out for our imperiled elephants and lions. Please sign the petition now to stop new imports of elephant and lion trophies.

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57,544 SUPPORTERS

Saudi Arabia Threatens Hezbollah In Lebanon

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Saudi Arabia calls on Hezbollah to disarm, threatens its ouster from Lebanon

Riyadh’s foreign minister says ‘peace-loving countries’ exploring ways to reduce terrorist group’s influence in Beirut

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir addresses a joint press conference with his French counterpart in the Saudi capital Riyadh on November 16, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / Fayez Nureldine)

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir addresses a joint press conference with his French counterpart in the Saudi capital Riyadh on November 16, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / Fayez Nureldine)

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Thursday called on the Hezbollah terrorist organization to disarm, warning the group that regional efforts were underway to oust them from the Lebanese government.

At a press conference in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, al-Jubeir denounced Hezbollah as “a tool of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards” and “a first-class terrorist organization used by Iran to destabilize Lebanon and the region.”

“Hezbollah has kidnapped the Lebanese system,” he said.

Al-Jubeir added that “consultations and coordination between peace-loving countries and Lebanon-loving countries are underway to try to find a way that would restore sovereignty to Lebanon and reduce the negative action which Hezbollah is conducting in Lebanon.”

The minister’s remarks came as the kingdom rejected accusations that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was being detained in Riyadh following his shock resignation earlier this month.

Former Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri gives his first televised interview on November 12, 2017, eight days after announcing his resignation. (Future TV via AP)

“The accusation that the kingdom would hold a prime minister or a former prime minister is not true, especially a political ally like” Hariri, al-Jubeir said at the news conference flanked by his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

“I don’t know the source of these accusations. But they are rejected and are baseless and untrue,” al-Jubeir said, adding that Hariri is in Saudi Arabia of his own free will and “he leaves when he wants to.”

Hariri has been in Riyadh since giving a statement on television on November 4 that he was stepping down because he feared for his life while also accusing Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of destabilizing Lebanon.

But Lebanese President Michel Aoun refused to accept his resignation from abroad, and accused Saudi authorities of “detaining” Hariri in Riyadh against his will.

At Thursday’s press conference, it was announced that Hariri had accepted an invitation to visit France in the coming days.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil delivers a press conference in Paris, November 14, 2017. (AFP/Lionel BONAVENTURE)

Aoun confirmed that Hariri and his family would arrive Saturday in France, “where he will rest for a few days” before returning to Beirut to make “a decision regarding the resignation.”

He welcomed Hariri’s decision to accept the French invitation, saying he hoped it “opened the door for a resolution” of the political crisis in Lebanon.

“I wait for the return of President (of the council of ministers) Hariri to decide the next move regarding the government,” Aoun told journalists.

Separately on Thursday, Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil, on a European tour over the crisis, told reporters that “our concern is that he (Hariri) returns and takes the decision that he wants.”

Bassil spoke at a news conference in Berlin with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who called the situation in Lebanon “very dangerous.”

He warned other countries not to interfere or do anything to threaten the unity and stability of Lebanon, saying “every attack will backfire and will make the entire region suffer.”

READ MORE:

Facebook and Twitter: Threats to our democracy?

In early November 2017, legal representatives of Twitter, Facebook and Google faced questioning before Congress concerning the accusation that Russia exploited their websites to interfere with the 2016 US Presidential election.

Facebook, Google and Twitter executives testifying before US Congress, Wednesday 1st November 2017. Source: https://www.recode.net/2017/11/1/16588374/live-updates-facebook-google-twitter-testify-senate-congress-russia-president-election

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All About the “Me too” hashtag

TheCagedBirdSings

You must have come across hundreds of females posting the “me too” hashtag (#me_too) on social media sites like twitter and facebook.

Where did the trend start?

This comes in the wake of the accusations of sexual harrasment held against hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinston. American actress Alyssa Milano, called on Twitter users on Sunday to post “Me too” to share their experiences of being harrassed or worse. Since then the hashtag has spread like wild fire on Twitter and Facebook. This includes actresses like Anna Paquin, Patricia Arquette, Debra Messing and Anika Noni Rose and singer Lady Gaga.

The accusers of Weinston include actresses Gwyenth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie. Although the 65 year old Weinston denies having consensual sex with anyone.

Reality:Let me tell you the actual number runs into millions of women, and even transgenders and men, whether or not they acknowledged it with the hashtag, because…

View original post 241 more words

What plays a crucial role in maintaining democracy in India?

daneelyunus

Democracy is a system in which the government is elected by the people in the general elections .India is proud to be a democratic country. Every general election is celebrated as a grand occasion in our country. In elections, people cast their vote to bring a suitable candidate to power

Image result for democracy

People expect the new government to work for them. In a democratic country, if the government cannot fulfill the expectations of a common man, people can exercise their rights to bring another party in power. It is the basic strength of the democracy. It empowers people to protest against various government policies and issues such as price rise, unemployment and poverty among others.

There are four pillars in the democracy

  • Government
  • Administration
  • Judiciary
  • Media

If one of the pillars is not functioning properly, it affects the overall working of the democratic country.

Government:

In recent times, political parties including the…

View original post 444 more words

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