Education as a change agent in nigeria discuss,the secret to navy seal training video,help with secret sound visual,secret online sales websites - 2016 Feature

07.04.2015
A number of these are through classic ?conspiracy" research channels, which means that you will often see Biblical scripture quoted, and the authors have a genuine and literal fear of Satan.
This is valuable as a background primer on the philosophy behind not only the shape of US education but really the status of the entire Western world at the moment. The overarching thesis here is that the ?Change Agents" are leading us towards a one-world goverment. This is a barn-burner, and you will recognize a lot of overlapping quotes from the previous two articles. This provides the detailed background that the first three articles are synthesizing and unpacking, it's a narrative of the actual research that went down in Pennsylvania which uncovered this mammoth conspiracy?and let's be clear, it really is a conspiracy, it's high-level policy makers working behind closed doors to institute changes that they know the majority of the public will not accept and do not want. For 14 years LEDP has been to the forefront of innovation and partnership on the southside of Limerick. Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership has over the past 14 years stayed true to its founding principles of employment generation and being a conduit for social, educational and economic development on the southside of and in the greater Limerick city area and beyond. While much of the energy in the early years was given to securing the property and establishing the Partnership while acting as a steadying force in the neighbourhood in terms of employment, the partnership through its alliances, has in recent years, established itself as a major force for social change in the greater Limerick Area. Through relationships established with diverse groups Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership has become an advocate and channel for change in the social, economic, educational and regenerative processes in play in the most challenged neighbourhoods of Limerick. For 10 years LEDP has been to the forefront of innovation and partnership on the southside of Limerick. But when the financial crisis and the subsequent economic recession hit his coal business, he decided it was time for another change and he fixed his mind on making wine. He named the vineyard Rongzi Chateau after a local woman who it is said to have made the first wine in China about 2,700 years ago. The soil and climate in Xiangning are all favorable for grape growing, but to ensure the success of his vineyard, Zhang invited Kong Qingshan, a top grape planting scientist at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and Jean-Claude Berrouet, a world-renowned French winemaker to be consultants, and he imported advanced wine making and storage equipment from France, the United States, Australia, Italy and Hungary.
The chateau includes a temple memorializing Rongzi and her son, a wine museum, a business school, a school of Chinese studies, a hotel and several exquisite parks. He has also donated about 62 million yuan in recent years to assist more than 300 college students from poor families and build agricultural water conservancy projects, roads and schools in local poverty-stricken villages. After his wines started wining some prizes in Europe three years ago, Zhang began receiving orders from the US, Thailand, Macao and Hong Kong, and his sales revenue was 20 million yuan in the second half of 2014, when Rongzi wines were first launched. According to Vinexpo, an international wine and spirits exhibition established in 1981 in Bordeaux, France, wine consumption started rising markedly in China in 2005.
A vineyard of Rongzi Chateau in Shanxi province, North China, where their roots can grow meters deep into the soil on the loess plateau. When talking about his more than 20 years working as a coronary artery and carotid artery surgeon, Liu Peng, 55, said that he felt sorry for his family as he seldom has any time to be with them due to his schedule of five or six operations a day. Having studied cardiovascular operations in Japan and carotid artery operations in the United States, Liu said that the workload of Chinese surgeons is about 10 or even 20 times that of their foreign counterparts, but they are paid much less. As far as the relationship between doctors and patients is concerned, Liu said that thorough communication is a necessity between the two parties. It happened five years ago, when he had a patient who was suffering from Marfan Syndrome and needed to be operated on for a chance to survive. With an increasing number of disputes between doctors and patients occurring and medical workers usually turning out to be the disadvantaged party, very few top senior high school students are choosing to take up medicine nowadays.
Liu will not allow his assistant to do an operation on his own until he has assisted at a minimum of 50 operations for fear that a slip of error by his assistant may possibly get him involved in a dispute with a patient. The 36-year-old harvested 400,000 Chinese cabbages from his 100 greenhouses in late March, bringing in a fortune of more than 2 million yuan (about $307,000). This year, An plans to add six hectares of farmland by renting land from local farmers at the price of 15,000 yuan per hectare to his current 13.8 hectares. With repeating tests, An created a planting model - planting garlic sprouts, Chinese spring cabbage and watermelons in turn in a year. An went to markets to do research and found Chinese cabbages weighing between 2 kg and 2.5 kg are most popular among buyers. An's desk is packed with books and papers on rural economy, ecological agriculture, laws and rural policies.
He registered his land as a family farm in 2013 and began using a quick response code last year. Wang said a professional farmer has to have not only planting skills, but also the ability to manage a rural business. The country needs a new-type of professional farmers who can integrate modern elements such as science and technology and machinery into agricultural development to farm the large expanse of land left by rural laborers who poured into cities, as was cited by Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu on March 5 at a national meeting. Shandong, a major agricultural province in China, will be able to cultivate 500,000 professional farmers by 2020, according to Shandong agricultural bureau.
An will open a company that provides services such as packaging in the second half of this year.
Professional farmer An Liang (right), inspects his cabbages with a local official at his greenhouses near Jinan earlier this year. Once a daily sight on every British street, a dwindling but resilient band of milkmen still go out at the crack of dawn to deliver bottles of fresh milk to the nation's doorsteps. The overwhelming majority of milk used to be sold at the front door until the supermarket revolution all but wiped out this very British institution.
But by selling more than milk and embracing the Internet, the few thousand remaining milkmen, including Neil Garner, have breathed new life into the cherished tradition. The 57-year-old has driven his milk float - an electrified, open-sided delivery van - through towns and villages in the dead of night since 1994, placing glass pint (half-litre) bottles of milk on the doorstep ready for when customers wake for their morning cereal and cups of tea.
It's not just breakfast staples like tea bags, bread, butter, eggs and bacon that Garner now has on the back of his float.
In 1980, 89 percent of all the milk bought in Britain was delivered to the door, according to trade association Dairy UK. At the depot in nearby Watford, milkmen load up crates, containing 20 one-pint bottles each, before heading into the cold at around 2 am. Garner's no-frills electric milk float is slow and exposed to the elements, but the brisk walker likes the ease of hopping on and off for his 200 to 250 deliveries. The early drops are in pitch darkness, Garner needing a torch to find his way up the garden paths.
Some customers leave rolled-up notes with instructions such as "no milk today" or "one extra pint, please", but most now go online.
A pint of milk, typically 50 pence ($0.70, 65 euro cents) at a supermarket, costs 81 pence. He relies on the few other people around to check his timing, including a man he sees getting on his bicycle each morning. The last delivery is done at 7:30 am, before Garner returns through rush-hour traffic to unload his empties at the depot. Not Eddie Platt, a British expatriate who single-handedly took on the scourge in Marseille, the southern French city where he took up residence in 2010.
The idea is simple, if not particularly sexy: Participants post selfies on a social network - Facebook, Instagram or Twitter - each time they pick up a piece of litter and put it in the rubbish bin. Ten tonnes of rescued rubbish later, the effort has cyber fans around the world from Buenos Aires to New York, and TV and newspapers are hounding Platt for interviews. In fact Platt shot his founding litter-binning selfie in Leeds' sprawling Roundhay Park, one of Europe's biggest city parks.
The Yorkshireman says he does not self-identify as green but simply as a concerned citizen. One Sunday Platt - who has only an approximate mastery of French - led some 350 Marseillais on a climb up the city's tallest hill, topped by the imposing basilica Our Lady of the Guard, for a clean-up operation. Platt is hard to miss with his infectious smile, greying beard and backwards baseball cap, not to mention his towering height - he is six foot three (1.90 meters). Legre, who says he is "100 percent Marseillais", specializes in "viral marketing" and set Platt up with his social networking tools. Platt has had a varied career, working as a restaurant manager in England for "about 10 years, to make some money", then as a sales rep for a high-tech firm, before training to teach English abroad. When it comes to growing its investment in China, what Mark Wiseman, president and chief executive of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, has in mind is China's share of the global gross domestic product. Wiseman, who manages one of the world's largest pension funds with total assets worth $215.7 billion at of the end of 2015, intends to match the fund's presence in China with the share of the Chinese economy in the world, which will represent somewhat between 25 to 30 percent of the global GDP by 2040.
The CPPIB has deployed about $10 billion investment in China so far, which accounts for about 4.3 percent of the fund's total assets globally, he said. He said he intends to grow the fund's investment in China significantly in the coming years by tapping into the rise of consumer demand and building up cross-asset portfolios that cover sectors including real estate, logistics, infrastructure and private and public equities market. One of its recent moves in China is the $500 million cornerstone investment in Postal Savings Bank of China Co, which is planning an initial public offering. The CPPIB also manages an investment quota of $1.2 billion in the Chinese equities market under the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor program. What is your assessment of the Chinese economy and how will the economic transformation in the country affect your investment strategy? We are looking at the big trends, including what is happening to the demographics and to the rise of consumer demand and how is the economy shifting away from inefficient State-owned industries to having a larger proportion of economic growth coming from more highly productive service sector. What sectors in China do you want to increase the fund's exposure to and what sectors do you plan to exit?
How do you see the volatilities of the Chinese stock market and the way the government stepped in to stem the market rout? Is there any Canadian experience on the pension fund reform that you think China can learn from?
We are very lucky in Canada that in 1997 there was a fundamental reform of the national pension scheme, which was led by then finance minister Paul Martin who tried to put in place a system that will be sustainable for generations.
I think it is better to start earlier to look at the structure of the pension system and understand that you want to be in the position to support the retirees for a long period of time. The good news is that China has time given its economic growth and the profile of the population. What is the difference between managing a pension fund and managing a regular investment firm? In many respects, we operate like an investment company because we have one client that is the national pension system.
We know very clearly our job is to make risk-adjusted return in order to pay the pensions of the 19 million people.
Germany's ranks of small and medium-sized enterprises, especially so-called hidden champions, have been key to drawing more Chinese investment, and the trend shows no signs of abating, according to Hermann Simon, one of the country's most influential business thinkers. Hidden champions are often market leaders, either worldwide or within the continent they are based in, with revenues below 5 billion euros ($5.55 billion).
Simon, chairman of Simon-Kucher & Partners, a global consultancy firm founded in Bonn, says Chinese investors, unlike some US firms, see acquisitions in Germany as long-term strategic investments. An Ernst & Young report in February shows Germany was the most attractive destination in Europe for Chinese investment last year, with 36 acquisitions.
Simon, 69, believes this trend will continue thanks to Germany's many hidden champions, a term he coined to describe relatively unknown SMEs that are the backbone of a nation's economy and have for many years sustained Germany's leading position in exports. Many German SMEs are leading niche markets globally and are valued below several billion euros, he says, which makes them natural targets as the majority of Chinese acquisitions in Europe are limited in size, and Chinese industrial companies have a strong sense of affinity or preference for German SMEs.
China is one of few nations with so many entrepreneurs that understand the concept of hidden champions, Simon says.
One prominent example he cites is a Chinese chemical products owner whom he met during a recent visit to Shandong province. On another occasion, when Simon was giving a presentation in Shanghai, he noticed the hidden champions concept was met with great interest.
There is a largely positive attitude in German business circles toward Chinese investors, according to Simon, who says that, unlike some US companies that acquired European enterprises and focused on maximizing short-term gains before looking to offload them again, Chinese buyers tend to see such purchases as strategic investments. The Chinese investment in Germany is less aggressive compared with the Americans, he says, adding that Chinese buyers in Germany behave in a moderate and reasonable way. Simon acknowledges there is concern in Germany about more Chinese investment pouring into the country, but says: "When General Motors took over Opel in 1929, or Ford built a huge automobile plant in Cologne in 1930, people said we would be dominated and conquered by the Americans, and that we would be a colony of the US. He believes Chinese investment can bring advantages for both sides and refutes the notion that Chinese companies are simply trying to extract know-how from Germany to transfer to China. In addition, he says, Chinese investment means German SMEs can gain a "stronger capital base" and access to the Chinese market. Simon, who in an online poll by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper was named the second-most influential management thinker in German-speaking countries, says German SMEs are in general becoming more open due to internationalization.
Although he believes Germany's hidden champions can be excellent role models for Chinese companies, Simon says most would still prefer to avoid a takeover if possible.
They combine specialties in products and know-how with global sales and marketing, and serve the target markets through subsidies. They are massive innovators, and the effectiveness of their R&D beats that of large companies by a factor of five. Their greatest strength is their closeness to customers, while their strategies are value oriented, not price oriented. According to Zhai, one of the reasons is that "China soon will become the largest source of travelers" for France outside Europe. Outside Europe, China was France's second biggest tourist market in 2013 after the United States, with 1.7 million visitors and $681 million of revenue, Xinhua News Agency reported. Currently the major museums in Paris provide instructions in Chinese, and Zhai said the conditions are still being improved. French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius said in August last year that "the goal we have set with our Chinese officials is to quickly reach 5 million (Chinese tourists)". Zhai noted that the French side has responded proactively by offering more convenience to Chinese tourists. Welcoming 84.1 million tourists in 2014, France confirmed its position as the world's most visited country. Zhai noted that in the past, the United States and Japan accounted for a major portion of the travelers, while the number of Chinese tourist has surged rapidly in recent years. The ambassador said that the country faced great security challenges last year, including two deadly terrorist attacks that shocked the world. Last year, Beijing worked closely with Paris to make the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris a success. Zhai said he was impressed last November by the unbeaten French spirit and the country's commitment to hosting such an event after a deadly terrorist attack that killed more than 100. Although the number of Chinese tourists going to France dropped after the attacks, it was a minor dip compared with other countries, Zhai said. The ambassador said the services provided by France for Chinese travelers have been improving, while "public security remains an issue" as cases of theft and robbery targeting Chinese travelers have been reported frequently. Due to the large number of Chinese tourists, the number of such cases is daunting and this indicates "a demanding task for the consular protection staff of our embassy and consulates", Zhai said. Zhai noted that the French have made progress in boosting public security, including increasing cameras to monitor downtown areas and strengthening police patrols.


But he thinks major improvement will not be achieved overnight because of the quickly rising number of Chinese tourists. Cao believes respect can be earned, and families will remember the good service, which is the result of years of practice. His workplace, Changshu Crematory, employs 10 cremators and cremates about 10,000 bodies each year.
He is also satisfied with his salary, saying that the pay, more than 100,000 yuan ($15,300) each year is "above average in Changshu". Charmed by a painting of Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor on the wall of his parents' sitting room in Dublin, Ireland, young Goff didn't know he would later be in charge of the place that gained China a spot in the Lonely Planet's list of world's greatest bookshops.
He is talking quickly in the Beijing Bookworm, boxed in a building with notable pink walls outside, while inside red lanterns hang high from the ceiling and great music floats in the air. Hailed as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world by many international media, it has been a "home away from home" to many.
Goff's efforts not only include being hospitable to customers and partners, and being passionate about books, he has to "be innovative" as he's managing brick-and-mortar bookshops in the digital age. The community-based Bookworm has year-round programs, and an annual literary festival that just wrapped up on Sunday. This year's Bookworm Literary Festival featured 180 writers and thinkers from 30 countries in 300 events. In the past decade, Goff has witnessed China become "more accessible than ever before" and with an increasingly attractive publishing market. Calling China "one of those major countries an international writer can't miss to visit", he advised writers to come in with open eyes and open ears, taking in as much as they can.
Goff was born in 1968 in Dublin into a family that "had no connection with China" besides that painting in the sitting room.
After graduation with a degree in journalism from Rathmines College in 1992, he worked for several newspapers that brought him to Africa and central Europe. He then arrived in Beijing "with no friends and no relatives here", stationed somewhere in the Haidian district where he studied Chinese and got an apartment before looking for a job. Beginning in 2002, he and Alexandra Pearson, daughter of a British diplomat, started to manage a big English language book collection that became the foundation of the current Bookworm.
Goff went to Chengdu, Sichuan province, to develop a Bookworm branch in 2006, and later another one in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, in 2007. Goff took over part of Pearson's responsibility as she left for home in 2013, and since then has been based mostly in Beijing. And though he doesn't travel as much as previously, he still chooses to go to literary festivals around the world, including his top holiday destinations of Toronto, London and Jaipur. I'm looking for people who write stories that are based in today and really reflect young Chinese writers' experiences of the society they're living in. People around world still have more historical views of the country-based on the movies and books they have experienced.
I always come in at lunchtime at the Bookworm, and in the afternoon, do some organizational work with the team. Investment is a personal and lonely experience, but becoming a startup entrepreneur can be even lonelier. Wei Min, founder and CEO of Yunhuo Technology, says people tend to overestimate their ability when they have a successful career path in a big company. The one thing I don't like about it is the fact that I seldom have the time or money to enjoy things.
I live in a seaside villa in Hong Kong and I own a yacht, so it's not that I don't have the money for five-star hotels. Also, most people who enjoy a good start to their business tend to underestimate the difficulties that lay ahead.
I was born into a fairly ordinary family in Dalian, which is on the northeast coast in Liaoning province. So far, I've invested about 10 million yuan in the initial development of the app, and I expect to spend another 30 million yuan on marketing. Our app is a platform that brings together job seekers and local employers looking to fill part-time positions. Although this life is much harder than just going sailing on my yacht, becoming an entrepreneur is a lifestyle full of challenges, charm and growth opportunities. Zhuo Qiang has been involved in wildlife conservation in Kenya for five years, but he says he still gets odd looks from locals and tourists when they see him reinforcing bomas, which are predator-proof cowsheds used in the Maasai Mara's Ol Kinyei Conservancy. Zhuo, who started the fund in 2011 using his savings and donations from friends, says that view has remained largely unchanged despite the visible contributions in recent years by Chinese to conservation across the continent.
In China, celebrities have gone a long way to raising awareness about wildlife protection in Africa. Yao Ming, the retired basketball star, visited Kenya in 2013 and appeared in the documentary, End of the Wild, which captured the threat posed by poachers to elephant populations. The former NBA All-Star is expected to return to the country for a star-studded summit to promote the issue in Nairobi on April 29, joining Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman, musician Elton John, US business leaders George Soros and Howard Buffett, and several heads of governments in Africa. Celebrities help to increase the visibility of a campaign, says Edwin Wanyonyi, chief strategist at Kenya Wildlife Services.
This certainly appears to have been the case in China: When the Zimbabwean government announced in September that poachers had killed 85 elephants in a wildlife sanctuary by putting cyanide in their watering holes, many Chinese took to the Internet to condemn the act and call for tough penalties for the perpetrators. According to WildAid, a US-based NGO, poaching has fallen by 80 percent in recent years thanks to the work of governments and wildlife groups.
Wanyonyi says China has made significant contributions to elephant conservation in the country.
During a three-day visit to Nairobi in 2014, Premier Li Keqiang pledged $10 million to support African wildlife protection. China and Kenya have also made significant progress in tightening surveillance of entry points for illegal ivory, he says. Moreover, the Chinese government's ban on the import of illegal ivory has been a major step. Mara Conservation Fund founder Zhou, who is known locally as "Simba", has commended his country's government for participating in Kenya's conservation efforts. However, he adds, "For wildlife conservation to be successful more Chinese NGOs need to be established to champion the cause.
He says more investigations are needed globally to understand and effectively curb the illegal trade of ivory and rhino horn, and admits he has reservations about the forthcoming CITES meeting in South Africa that will discuss proposals to legalize the trade.
Zhuo says a strong international mechanism independent from political divisions, along with a clear consensus on law and enforcement, would boost efforts to halt the trade.
Those who criticize China's involvement in Africa's development would do well to keep in mind how the partnerships already have helped African nations achieve some of their key medium-term goals, says the man running Kenya's long-term development plan. A number of years ago, as the old millennium became a new one, many countries were facing basic challenges and needed to accelerate progress.
Wainaina says he thinks Kenya would have fallen short in meeting such targets if traditional funding sources alone had been involved. Alluding to critics who call China a neocolonial power in Africa, Wainaina says: "China is a true friend and partner. More opportunities were presented when the Chinese government announced a $60 billion fund during the Forum on China Africa Cooperation in December in Johannesburg, South Africa.
President Xi Jinping said in Johannesburg: "China has decided to provide a total of $60 billion of funding support. Wainaina says this partnership can be sustainable if projects have contracts that emphasize Africa's needs. He believes that history has buoyed Kenya's confidence in Chinese firms, including heavy Chinese involvement in such projects as the $3.2 billion Nairobi-Mombasa Standard Gauge Railway to be completed this year, the $26 billion Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport corridor, expansion of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, and modernization of Mombasa port. Such projects have converged well with the Belt and Road Initiative spearheaded by China that, among other things, earmarks the port of Mombasa as a key African hub. While noting that the Chinese firms have a leg-up in clinching government contracts, he discounts the notion that the Asian giant steers Africa's development agenda.
To achieve mutual and sustainable growth, he advises African countries to conceive goals that are achievable and then engage China as a partner. When Liu Xianfa, the Chinese ambassador to Kenya, addressed the Vision 2030 board on China and the implementation of the development plan, an important lesson taken away from the meeting is the need to translate the roadmap "into Chinese", Wainaina says. Wainaina adds, however, that the relationship is complex, with many levels, and at times there are disagreements. But being a strong believer in the free market, he says laws should not be used to protect local content at the expense of quality. He applauds Ethiopia for enforcing high taxes on imports while encouraging quality manufacturing of leather goods, and believes other African countries could use this example. He says he thinks the partnership between Kenya and China will continue to be government-led. China is increasingly providing mutually beneficial growth opportunities for less-developed countries and economies hit by the current debt crisis, according to veteran diplomat Zhou Xiaoming. Such opportunities, he says, are being created via multinational institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank (formerly BRICS Bank), and organizations like the United Nations.
Veteran diplomat Zhou Xiaoming says China's experience, resources and technology can be shared with other developing countries. China is participating in long-term development programs at the UN, especially to help realize the Sustainable Development Goals adopted last year, following the country's major contribution to the Millennium Development Goals, which led to tremendous global growth between 2000 and 2015, he says. China showed its support for the new goals when President Xi Jinping attended the UN General Assembly that launched them in September and announced a number of major initiatives, including a South-South Cooperation Fund with an initial pledge of $2 billion to help developing countries implement a sweeping sustainable development agenda over the next 15 years. Between 1990 and 2015, more than 470 million people in China were lifted out of extreme poverty, according to data from the UN Development Programme.
As the Sustainable Development Goals aims to lift another 1 billion worldwide out of poverty by 2030, China's experience, resources and technology can be shared with other developing countries, Zhou says.
He says China's contribution toward poverty reduction is twofold: "We still have about 100 million people in China living below the poverty line, so we need to eliminate poverty domestically. China's support of a UN resolution for debt-burdened developing countries last year helped in restructuring their debt in a way that allowed their economies to grow in a sustainable way, Zhou says. Such a clause is beneficial when considered within the context of the Argentinean debt crisis, which has for the past decade seen the country battle a small group of hedge funds that refused to join a deal it had agreed with more than 90 percent of creditors.
The deal would have allowed Argentina to pay back its debt at huge discounts, but the hedge funds refused and took the matter to court in New York, consequently prompting a new default by the country. The UN resolution, passed with 136 supporting votes, including that of China, was met with opposition from creditor nations such as the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom, and the European Union abstained as a whole. China, while still a developing nation, has become a global player in the world economy and a major international lender.
In addition to supporting the UN resolution, China is also exempting the debt of outstanding intergovernmental interest-free loans due by the end of 2015 owed by the least-developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing countries, as announced by Xi at the UN assembly meeting last year. Zhou, who served as minister counselor in the economic and commercial office at the Chinese embassy in London before taking up his post in Geneva last year, has seen China's rapid emergence onto the world stage through his extensive career as a diplomat. In particular, over the past five years, he says there has been tremendous growth in UK-China relations, especially in financial services, property, high-technology manufacturing, creative industries, energy and infrastructure. He attributes the growth to the UK economy being open to foreign businesses, and China's enhanced capability to meet the UK's financing needs. Looking ahead, Zhou believes China will become further integrated in the world economy as it takes a leadership role in reviving global growth. Omara Portuondo's tiny frame belies the sheer power of a sonorous voice that made her a star in Cuba well before she found global fame with the Buena Vista Social Club around the age most people start claiming their pensions. Even as the group winds down with their final farewell "Adios Tour", the 85-year-old, who has been performing since she was just 15, insists she is not ready to hang up the mic. It has been 20 years since a twist of fate led American guitarist Ry Cooder and World Circuit's Nick Gold to Cuban star Juan de Marcos Gonzez, who encouraged a coterie of the island's musical talent - some out of retirement - to join together and create a record. Crafted in just six days, the album Buena Vista Social Club - named after the long-closed members' only venue in Havana - sold millions, secured a Grammy, and along with Wim Wenders' Oscar-nominated film documenting its production, thrust Cuban music onto the international stage. It also exported a vibrant idea of Cuba to a world from which it had been largely closed off since the 1959 revolution and the Cold War.
De Marcos Gonzez has previously credited the band for helping begin the thaw in relations between US and Cuban administrations, by re-igniting America's curiosity about the island. It was a situation Portuondo says "none of us could ever have imagined" when they started out, describing the leader as "very warm and welcoming". Early this week Obama became the first US president to visit Cuba since 1928, with the White House describing the trip as a "Berlin Wall" moment.
Portuondo, who has attended parties thrown by the Castros, is circumspect about the fact Obama and leader Raul Castro have been in secret discussions on a rapprochement, or what it means for ordinary Cubans: "Politics is for the politicians. She dismisses criticism the Buena Vista Social Club phenomenon has created a caricature of Cuban music or that there is a disconnect between what islanders listen to and what is performed for tourists.
The 1997 Buena Vista Social Club album gave some veteran Cuban musicians a new lease of life: Ibrahim Ferrer, a great star in the 1940s, had fallen on hard times and was shining shoes in Havana to earn extra cash, while pianist Ruben Gonzalez, who helped pioneer the cha-cha and the mambo dances, had retired after struggling with arthritis, his piano riddled with termites, when they were called up to join the group. But with so many of the stars in their twilight years when the band began - death and illness has taken its toll on membership over the past 20 years.
For the diva, who began performing 70 years ago at Havana's famed Tropicana club, the Buena Vista chapter is just one high note in a remarkable career that has seen her work with stars such as Nat King Cole, Herbie Hancock, Edith Piaf, and Chico Buarque.
Three founders of the Buena Vista Social Club (from left to righ) Guajiro Mirabal, Portuondo and Barbarito Torres chat in Hong Kong.
In what could be his last show for the label, designer Hedi Slimane - the man credited with the skinny black jeans look and making grunge glam - was judged to have given the brand "the finger" by parodying its founder Yves Saint Laurent's least glorious period. The hugely-influential Women's Wear Daily was scathing about his collection which went hell for shiny snakeskin leather for late 1980s vamp, claiming it was drawing on a time when "Yves Saint Laurent was well past his creative prime". Slimane sent out a succession of very short one-shouldered dresses with gigantic bows, belts and black angel or bat wings that would not have looked out of place in "Miami Vice". Their full-throttle glamour had some style editors shifting awkwardly in their chairs, each of which carried a brass plate onto which their names had been engraved. At the celebration of the Learning Commons last month, when the lengthy project to upgrade the high school's library was deemed complete, Jack Lorenz was smiling from his home in Alabama. Former Ridgewood High School Principal Jack Lorenz (center) is joined by vice principals Basil Pizzuto (left) and Jeffrey Nyhuis at Lorenz's retirement party in 2011. Lorenz, the beloved principal who served Ridgewood High School from 2006-2011, died Saturday. To say that students and parents in Ridgewood loved Lorenz would only be telling half the story; Lorenz was an educator who truly loved the community back. David Zrike first met Lorenz about four years ago when he was driving by a high school Sweet 16 party where many teens were being arrested for drinking. This gung-ho initiative was described by many who shared memories of the former principal this week as the progressive push that the village needed.
Lorenz began making changes as soon as he entered RHS, famously taking down the blinds and opening the door to his office permanently, Zrike said. Doug Bunza, Ines's son, was helped tremendously by one of the many innovative changes Lorenz made in the district.


Before coming to Ridgewood, Lorenz was principal of Highland Park High School in Highland Park, Ill., where he also was known for his unique approach to education. Arlene Sarappo, a former Ridgewood HSA president, found out through a coincidence that Lorenz had been a "transformative leader" there as well. RHS vice principals Basil Pizzuto and Jeffrey Nyhuis both said this week that Lorenz made them better leaders with his creative style and demand for transparency. Beth Zrike, David's daughter, said she remembers as a student spending "countless lunch periods" in his office planning Backwoods or discussing Learning Commons. Flags in Ridgewood were flown at half-staff this week to honor Lorenz, whose impact reached outside the walls of the high school. Parents said he went out of his way to make a personal connection; Sarappo said he would frequently send home hand-written letters in honor of a child's achievement in academics and sports and Telesco said he would make a point to say hello to students by name when walking through the hallways. Bunza called Lorenz a "dear friend" who made an effort to keep up with students and their families after resigning in 2011.
He spent more than 600 million yuan ($92 million) to create a 400-hectare vineyard and a 30-hectare park with chateau in the county. Rongzi's son became the Jin Kingdom's king during the Warring States Period (475 BC - 221 BC) and wine-making became popular in the region.
About 200 local residents work at the chateau, and more than 3,000 farmers from 22 villages work in the vineyard. It more than doubled to 50 million yuan last year, and Zhang predicts the figure will hit 80 million yuan this year, as wine grows more popular in the country. For patients who have problems with their coronary arteries and carotid arteries at the same time, Liu tries to perform the two operations at a single sitting, which can reduce the risks of heart failure. It took him five hours to successfully do both during a single operation on a patient in 2014, and he has done such double operations together on more than 70 patients since. Back in 2003 when Beijing was struck by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital was designated as special medical facility for receiving SARS patients and Liu was appointed director of the Intensive Care Unit. However, a medical material needed for the operation was not available at the hospital then. Whether the development of the overall healthcare provision in the country will see progress in the future and whether medical science will have bright prospects or not, is cause for concern. Although caution is never too much when it comes to the safety of an operation, it is equally important for young surgeons to accumulate experience by performing operations on their own with the guidance of their teachers. A company based in Hainan has signed a contract with An to buy all of the melons he grows at a favorable price. After years of hard work in the city, An found life in the city not as good as he dreamed of.
The future's looking bright," said Garner, the customer-nominated Milkman of the Year at Milk and More, the country's biggest doorstep delivery firm. He talks about his idea all the time, and he's really into social networking," says his friend Georges-Edouard Legre.
But as he was hitchhiking in the general direction he blew in to Marseille, and it was love at first sight. Some of its high-profile deals include the $314.5 million investment in China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd since 2011 as well as the joint venture it formed last year with China's largest residential developer Vanke Co Ltd to invest a total of $250 million in the Chinese real estate market. Instead of looking at the short-term movements in the equities and foreign exchange markets, the fund focuses on the larger trends, including the shift of the Chinese economy away from the inefficient industries to the more productive private and service sectors, he said.
By 2040, the expectation is that China will represent somewhere between 25 to 30 percent of the global GDP. Anything that is essentially attached to the Chinese consumers, directly or indirectly, is of interest for us.
So the more long-term institutional investors with deep experience that are able to participate freely in the market, the less volatility and the greater degree of rationality that will be in the market. It is because as investors are coming in and out, selling and buying, we keep our eyes focused on the horizon, which will allow us to find deep value. I think in many respects, we have an easier time managing our portfolio than either a private asset management firm that has many different clients with many different needs or a sovereign wealth fund where it is often not clear who the client is. To focus on his core business, the Chinese entrepreneur gave up a couple of businesses and as a result is now the world leader in three chemical compounds. The hosting efforts continued and more attention was paid to anti-terror and other affairs," he said. Many Chinese prefer holding high-end bags in their hands after purchasing them," he said, adding that another bad habit is carrying large amounts of money to pay by cash.
Where we're trying to develop is through the community, where lots of events are organized," he said.
Goff has also tried launching a magazine, plus holding a literary award and running a press.
In previous sessions, Peter Hessler, Benjamin Zephaniah, Howard Goldblatt as well as home authors Mo Yan, Yan Lianke and Bi Feiyu were festival speakers.
He said many of the writers from outside of China have arrived "with their own educational purposes". They are engaging in wider discussions over the years with topics like environmental awareness, a sense of self, of belonging and of social justice," he added.
At that time he "caught the China bug", and was "struck by how dynamic China was as it was going through a period of such frenetic change" he wrote in a column in China Daily in 2015. A social community platform where people would come in, listen to music, eat nice food, just hang out and meet people from all around the world," he said.
He developed a "hot and spicy" tooth there, and loves to take international writers to hot pot dinners even when they are in Beijing. He carried on the quake relief efforts until 2015, when he and the team handed over a school to the local authorities.
I love its atmosphere, and bought a house there that I call my second home after Dublin," he said.
And there's all those issues they're dealing with: all the issues of urbanization, job pressure, relationship pressure, family pressure, environmental pressures, that all those different things coming together and all being seen on a daily basis. It's important that those new things get out, not to ignore the great historical materials, but also have with that, contemporary material, contemporary writers who are young, energetic, charming, smart people. The biggest threat to our existence every month is how to pay rent, how to raise money to pay for those flights for so many authors. The people we invited to this year's Bookworm festival are some of my favorite writers: A Yi, Han Song, Yi Sha. Yet there are so many unexpected difficulties that need to be conquered, and it can be a miserable life.
To save cash, I fly economy and stay in cheap chain hotels that cost no more than 200 yuan ($30; 27 euros) a night. I quit that job to start my own oil-trading fund, which in four years saw profits soar 480 percent. I set up two personal wealth management companies in 2012, but I eventually had to shut both down because I couldn't find the right talent. People tend to overestimate their ability when they have a successful career path in a big company. After its launch in mid-March, the number of the active customers hit about 10,000 within a week, which is a good start for a startup like us. He is the first Chinese national to found a wildlife conservation not-for-profit organization in Kenya. The government of Kenya confirms that just 57 elephants and 5 rhinos were killed in Kenya in 2015.
And shortly after President Xi Jinping's visit to Zimbabwe in December last year, China donated vehicles and equipment to anti-poaching forces there, too.
He is CEO of China House, an organization in Nairobi that helps Chinese companies with social projects in Kenya, including wildlife conservation.
During a recent presentation in Nairobi, he said: "There's just no tangible data that can be used to support this idea. This, he believes, will require key contributions from the United Nations Environment Program, the United States, China and the European Union. This was achieved and the (Kenyan) economy recorded 7 percent growth in 2007," says Gituro Wainaina, acting director-general of Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat.
Africa started witnessing true and sustainable growth after China's entry because they are working cohesively with African governments," he says. The initiative would connect China with Europe, Africa and other areas by means of investment and infrastructure along the traditional Silk Road routes. Audits should be carried out often to revise goals while re-engaging China in the areas of need. By that he means designing the language and tone of the program to be easily understood by Chinese investors.
He says there has been some controversy about the involvement of Chinese entrepreneurs in small businesses. Internationally, we can contribute in many ways: trade expansion, economic aid, productive capacity building, and infrastructure development. Loans from the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China to investment in African countries have, for example, outnumbered the lending of the World Bank. In addition, the UK's expertise in building a knowledge economy is also helpful to China as the country experiences a structural transition from a growth model fueled by manufacturing to one led by services and consumption.
For a generation coming of age in the 1990s in the West, the music of Buena Vista Social Club added a burst of colour to the perceived grey palette of Castro's Communism - encouraging people to see the place for themselves.
Last October the group performed for President Barack Obama at the White House, where he reportedly revealed he too had bought the iconic album.
Diplomatic ties between the two nations, which broke off in 1960, were restored in July last year. Portuondo is one of a few from the original line-up to remain, and just this month Jesus 'Aguaje' Ramos pulled out of the Hong Kong performance for health reasons.
Tour pays homage to the band's history combining new talent with the veterans, as well as images and footage of elder statesmen of Cuban music now passed.
Portuondo’s tiny frame belies the sheer power of a sonorous voice that made her a star in Cuba well before she found global fame with the Buena Vista Social Club around the age most people start claiming their pensions. While one style editor wryly described one dress as "Batwoman", a red heart-shaped fur coat provoked another fashion fan to tweet: "I can't believe Saint Laurent murdered Gossamer from Looney Tunes to make a coat" - referring to the hairy red monster who is always trying to eat Bugs Bunny. In 2009, Lorenz created SAIL (Strategic Actions and Innovations for Learning), a special education program that prepares students for the workforce. One of the young men said waking up early was among the hardest adjustments to the working world. The great number of patients they treat provides Chinese doctors, those in big hospitals in particular, with more than enough opportunities to accumulate clinical experience, but China is not the right place for doctors wanting to make a lot of money, Liu said.
To save the life of the patient, Liu proposed that the family directly contact the producer to get the material and they did so. He needs to train someone who is as skillful as he is and as dedicated to the work as he is to take over from him. We look at opportunities in sectors related to the growing middle class and the growing consumer demand driven by the private sector as opposed to the State-owned sector.
We want to make sure that we understand the risks and we are able to get compensated appropriately. But you also have a population in terms of structure that is going to be disproportionally old as a result of the one-child policy.
It's an honor in many ways, because China is a wonderful country with an incredible past and a really exciting future. I don't mind, whatever way works for a bookshop to keep still open, I'm very happy to do that.
It's about this generation of Chinese youth, where they're going to, what problems they are facing, how they are moving out into the world.
I've become much more mature and gained a lot of valuable business management experience from my two failures.
When I saw the news in 2014 about Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba listing in the United States, I was amazed by its achievements. It pushed us to rein in the tide as we were considered the source, transit and destination countries. The international community should recognize this, as China can become a leader in global wildlife conservation," he says. Vision 2030 outlines development of key infrastructure to move the economy into the middle-income bracket. He emphasizes the need for strong domestic policies and regulations to defuse such conflicts by encouraging partnerships. The injection of young talent means the ensemble now performs under the name Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club. The program kept many students in district, saving Ridgewood hundred of thousands of dollars, and Lorenz was honored by the county for the program in 2011. This man, who wore a pin-striped suit every day, was in his office meeting with an Education Center administrator while wearing a long-haired blond wig, leather jacket and jeans.
While he was not infected by the virus, several of his colleagues were not so lucky and they are still suffering from the sequelae after they were infected at that time. We don't focus on what happens to the Shanghai Stock Exchange on Wednesday or what currency markets do on Thursday.
The challenge for us is how we take this 4.3 percent and get something closer to 25 percent.
It also involves being incredibly diligent when we decide to make any individual investment, whether it is a piece of real estate or in a PE company.
I think my philosophy is that taking risk is part of the job and part of constructing a good portfolio.
And I think it's just great to have the opportunity to be present to watch these rapid changes happen on a day-to-day basis, watch the society blossom, and watch China become a real high-profile member on every level of the world society.
Despite the fact that it is common for the dangerous operation to fail and the patient's family had signed a consent form for the operation exempting the surgeon from responsibility if the operation was not successful, the family accused Liu of collaboration with the medical material producer. The job of getting more capital into the market is one of the most important strategic issues that we have. What defines what we do at the CPPIB is constant learning and refinement of the processes and our knowledge. Liu said that although he had no connection with the producer, in the end, the hospital paid the patient's family compensation.



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