Jack Ma says movies should be made with passionij

With Green Book won best picture at the 91st Academy Awards ceremo

ny, its co-producer Alibaba Pictures Group, the movie unit of the world’s largest e-com

merce company, claimed to be the first internet film company to co-produce an Oscars winning movie.

Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group, said a good movie does not necessarily have to cost

a lot, nor tell an earth-shattering story, according to the Paper, which also said Ma watchedGreen Bo

ok with some of his friends, including Chinese computer giant Lenovo Founder Liu Chuanzhi and Chinese studio Bona P

resident Yu Dong in a Beijing cinema on Monday, though the film will not be officially screened in China until March 1.

He said a good movie is the one which is made with passion and can brin

g positive things to the society. Ma said he has seen the film, a road trip drama based on a tru

e story in segregation era, three times, and in his view, a Chinese movie is actually not far from an Oscars award.

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Trade talks expected to finalize dealNG SHUIYU,ZHONG NA

China and the United States are expected to come to an agreement soon over trade frictions, analysts said, as the negotiating teams a

re reported to be discussing the wording of an accord and considering applying the brakes to their tariff standoff.

They made the prediction after Chinese and US officials said there had been concrete p

rogress on multiple issues in the latest round of trade talks in Washington.

During the latest talks, held from Thursday to Sunday in Washington, the seventh round since February of last year, th

e two sides focused on the text of an agreement, the Chinese delegation said, according to a Xinhua News Agency report.

The negotiators also had made substantial progress on such specific issues as technology transfers, protection of i

ntellectual property rights, nontariff barriers, the service industry, agriculture and exchange rates, the delegation said.

On the basis of the latest progress, the two sides are expected to continue their work

into the next stage, in accordance with the instructions of the two countries’ top leaders, according to Xinhua.

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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.

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Critics of the Trump administration’s unconventional North

  Korea policy have assailed the President and his advisers for failing to get the North to agree to anything specific at

their June meeting — the first between a North Korean leader and a sitting US president — in Singapore.

  The US contends that talks have brought the two sides back from the brink of war and created an unprecedented opportunity to cut a deal.

  A handful of analysts believe there is an agreement to be had but question whether either side has the flexibility to compromise.

  Trump touts trust with Kim in TV interview

  ”So far, the negotiations have reduced tensions for a year and slowed the advancem

ent of the arsenal marginally. The trick now is to make those limits permanent and to make th

em strict limits,” said Adam Mount, an expert in nuclear deterrence at the Federation of American Scientists.

  Lee, the former AP Pyongyang bureau chief, likens Trump and Kim’s next meeting to a chess match. The first su

mmit helped establish a “leader-level relationship,” but Hanoi will be time to move beyond smiles and pleasantries.

  ”They (US) need to go into this next summit prepared and having done their homework,” she said.

  ”I know how tough the North Koreans are, and if you don’t understand the history and the motivations of the No

rth Koreans, it’s very easy to be swayed by the propaganda and the drama of the moment.”

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences endu

  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.

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Brexit on the brink of being delayed as Cabinet ministers split

  Brexit could be on the brink of being postponed.

  Three senior UK ministers have issued a warning to Theresa May that Britain’s depa

rture from the European Union should be delayed if there is no breakthrough on her deal in the next few days.

  Writing in the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper, cabinet members Amber Rudd, David Gauke and Greg Clark signaled th

ey would support a vote in Parliament to have the Article 50 process extended in order to prevent Britain leaving the EU without a deal.

  ”If there is no breakthrough in the coming week, the balance of opinion in Parliament is cl

ear — that it would be better to seek to extend Article 50 and delay our date of departure rather than cra

sh out of the European Union on March 29,” the trio wrote in the article published Saturday.

  They added that if a parliamentary compromise is not found soon, there won’t be enou

gh time to agree a deal and pass legislation before March 29, the date when Britain is set to exit the bloc.

  The senior ministers’ warning comes just days after three Conservative lawmakers quit the party over what they called The

resa May’s “disastrous” handling of Brexit, and the Conservative party’s shift to the right. They joined eig

ht former members of the opposition Labour party who quit a few days earlier. The former Labour MPs left their party in p

art over its handling of Brexit, but also the wave of anti-Semitism that has engulfed it.

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We can no longer act as bystanders. We are honour bound to

  We find it unconscionable that a Party once trusted on the economy, more than any other, is now recklessly marching the country to the cliff edge of no d

eal,” the group said. “No responsible government should knowingly and deliberately inflict the dire consequences of

such a destructive exit on individuals, communities and businesses and put at risk the prospect of ending austerity.”

  The MPs also rejected what they say May has presented as a “false binary choice” be

tween a “bad deal” and a “no deal,” slamming her strategy of “running down the clock” to Brexit.

  May said in a statement on Wednesday that she was “saddened” by the lawmakers’ decision to quit the party, but

was determined to deliver on Brexit, affirming that it was “the right thing for the country.”

  The Independent Group was formed on Monday when seven MPs, including Chuka Umunna, Chris Leslie and Luciana Berger, resi

gned from Labour. An eighth Labour MP, Joan Ryan, joined their ranks on Tuesday evening. The group said v

ariously that they had become ashamed of the Labour party and its shift to the hard-left, denouncing opposition le

ader Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of a wave of anti-Semitism and “betrayal” on Brexit.

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Nigeria elections: Explosions heard hours before preside

  Multiple bomb blasts rocked the northern Nigerian city of Maiduguri just hours before presidential polls opened Saturday.

  The explosions happened at a camp for internally displaced refugees at around 5 a.m. local

time Saturday, Nigerian army spokesman Onyeama Nwachukwu told CNN. There were no reports of any deaths or injuries.

  ”There was an attack this morning at the camp by the militants, but the military h

as suppressed it at the moment,” Nwachukwu said, adding that the army was still assessing the situation.

  Journalist Simpa Samson told CNN the militants targeted the Teacher’s Village camp in Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria’s

Borno state.”The military secured the place almost immediately and has stopped our cameraman from fil

ming, no one was hurt because the bombs landed outside the premises,” Samson told CNN.

  Security is often a concern in Maiduguri, a frequent target of terror group

Boko Haram. The city also has a large population of internally displaced refugees.

  The blasts came as Nigerians prepared to cast their ballots Saturday, a week after the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections were une

xpectedly postponed. It was the third consecutive vote to be delayed in Africa’s largest democracy.

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On Friday, a standoff occurred between a local indigenous comm

  unity and the military over aid delivery near Gran Sabana, on the Brazil-Venezuela border, said the town’s mayor, Emilio Go

nzalez. He told CNN the military opened fire on an indigenous group trying to facilitate the passage of aid into Venezuela.

  Gonzalez said soldiers shot and killed a 34-year-old indigenous Venezuelan woman and injured 17 others.

  National Assembly member Americo De Grazia said on his official Twitter feed that two

people had died. The second victim was an indigenous man, according to De Grazia.

  Gonzalez said indigenous guards detained 27 Venezuelan military members. Venez

uela’s Ministry of Defense told CNN it had no information on the incident.

  Tensions escalate over aid

  Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who invoked a constitutional provision last month to declare himself acting

president, condemned the incident in a tweet Friday, saying such acts by the military “will not go unpunished.”

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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.

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