The same tactic has also been used within the United State

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Some with extensive experience inside North Korea

  worry about overzealous use of the Vietnam comparison.

  Jean Lee is one of the few Western journalists who has worked in North Korea on a consistent basis. She opened the Associated Press’s bureau in Py

ongyang in 2012 after extensive haggling with the government, spending a total of three years on the ground in the country.

  She says that while Vietnam does boast options that “Kim Jong Un wants to show his people,” North Korea still sees itself as a superior nation.

  ”They will go into this discussion saying exactly that — hey, there’s no comparison here, we’re a nuclear power. And they’re goi

ng to be busting out this image of North Korea as a nuclear state as much as they can because it gives No

rth Korea much more leverage and a much stronger place at the table than if they were just another poor country,” Lee said.

  Andrei Lankov’s assessment is more blunt.

  ”Donald Trump and many other people in Washington essentially say if North Korea s

urrenders nuclear weapons and accepts foreign investment — like China did — it will become a very ric

h country, and the North Korean leaders will enjoy a lifestyle they cannot even dream of now,” Lankov said.

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Rudolph, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler introduced Sunday’s

  telecast, following Queen and Adam Lambert’s opening performance of “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Cham

pions.” The “Saturday Night Live” alums riffed off the messy build-up to this year’s awards.

  An abundance of drama surrounded the build-up to this year’s Osca

rs, even before getting around to the nailbiting best-picture finish.

  The contenders reflected the gamut of an evolving movie industry, with “Roma” representing Netflix’s arrival in mo

vies, after the streaming service’s model-bending impact on the TV business.

  On the flip side, “Black Panther” embodied the blockbusters upon which the studios have come to rely, and the th

ird-highest-grossing US release of all time at $700 million, nearly doubling that total worldwide.

  A number of individual nominees registered breakthroughs for women and people of color, only

a few years after lack of diversity among the acting categories birthed the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag.

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Controversial Serena Williams cartoon ruled not to have br

  A widely criticized Australian newspaper cartoon showing tennis legen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Xi stresses role of finance in serving real economyBEIJING

general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, underscored that China should deepen supply-side

structural reform in the financial sector and strengthen the sector’s ability to serve the real economy.

Xi made the remarks when presiding over a group study session of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau Friday afternoon.

The country should keep a fine balance between maintaining growth and forestalling risks and deal with risks in key areas

in a targeted and effective manner, he said, adding that China should deepen opening-up of the financial sector.

Xie Duo, Party secretary and chairman of Silk Road Fund Co., Ltd, briefed on the issue and made suggestions.

Xi pointed out that finance is a core competitiveness of a country, financial security is an im

portant part of national security, and the financial system is a major fundamental system in the process of economic and social development.

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly rejected exte

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

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

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

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

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

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

  By Eliza Mackintosh, CNN

  Updated 1619 GMT (0019 HKT) February 20, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Venezuelan troops defect at the border with Colombia

  Three members of the Venezuelan National Guard defected Saturday at Venezuela’s border with Colombia, the Colombian immigration department said.

  The troops abandoned their posts at the Simon Bolivar International Bridge on the Colom

bia-Venezuela border and requested help from Colombia’s immigration officials.

  Also Saturday, soldiers with Venezuela’s National Guard

fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters who were demanding to cross the border at Ur

eña into Colombia to work, according to a CNN crew that witnessed the scene at the Tienditas Bridge.

  Workers faced off with the soldiers, chanting, “We want to work!” before being disperse

d by the tear gas. Men with shirts covering their faces started throwing rocks toward the guard.

  US argues momentum for change in Venezuela is growing despite border violence

  These tense scenes played out Saturday, a day after violence broke out at a Venezuelan town near the border wit

h Brazil over aid delivery, leaving two people dead and 17 others injured, local authorities said.

  Tensions are running high at Venezuela’s borders amid opposition plans to usher aid into the country this weekend

in defiance of President Nicolas Maduro’s wishes. Maduro called on Venezuelans to “mobilize” Saturday. “Let’s

all take to the streets to defend our independence with conscience and joy,” Maduro said on his official Twitter account.

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But dreams of a new reality for Iran screeched to a halt in

  But dreams of a new reality for Iran screeched to a halt in May 2018 when President Donald Tr

ump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal. Despite repeated certifications that Iran was

sticking to its end of the bargain, Trump unleashed several rounds of stinging sanctions on the country.

  The US president said the penalties aimed to force Iran to end its military adventurism in the region, a demand that Iranian officials have repeatedly brushed off.

  Officially, the sanctions exempt humanitarian goods, such as food, medicine and medicin

al instruments. But in reality, shortages in essential goods have affected households across the country.

  Ali now gets the medicines to treat his daughter’s rare genetic disease, from friends living abr

oad. Her medical bill has more than doubled, forcing him to sell his car, work two jobs, and accu

mulate loans. He says that his entire salary from his day job as a waiter goes toward Dory’s treatment.

  ”I am a wedding singer at night. I try to stay cheery and

keep a smile on my face, but on the inside all I can think about is my daughter,” says Ali.

www.qianhuain.com

Iran parades missile during anniversary of US Embassy takeover

  Iran commemorated the 38th anniversary of the US Embassy takeover Saturday with a potent missile display as thousands of de

monstrators gathered in Tehran to mark the event that triggered the hostage crisis and sparked the decades-old rift in US-Iranian relations.

  On November 4, 1979, Iranian student revolutionaries climbed over the walls of the US E

mbassy in Tehran and seized dozens of Americans, holding them hostage for 444 days.

  The former embassy compound is known locally as the “den of espionage,” and protests take place in front of it annually.

  One of Iran’s most powerful missiles, the Qadr, was prominently featured Saturday, along with anti-US and anti-Israel signs and chanting.

  The medium-range missile is liquid-fueled, with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles), a

ccording to the semiofficial Fars News agency, which says it can reach as far as Israel.

  ”The new version of Qadr H can be launched from mobile platforms or silos in different positi

ons and can escape missile defense shields due to their radar-evading capability,” Fars reported.

  Trump says Iran violating nuclear agreement, threatens to pull out of deal

  Crowds chanted slogans condemning Washington’s policies toward Iran and shouted “Down With the US.”

  The US-Iranian relationship has grown even more strained in recent months, espec

ially after President Donald Trump publicly renounced the Iran nuclear deal in October, refusing to recer

tify the 2015 multilateral agreement in an effort to initiate tougher and more wide-ranging restrictions on Tehran.

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Desperate and alone, Saudi sisters risk everything

  It was September 6, 2018. The two Saudi sisters were on a family vacation in Colombo, Sri Lanka. For weeks, they had helped their mother organize the trip, feigning

excitement at the possibility of two weeks away from Riyadh, but knowing that if all went to plan, they’d never go back.

  Failure was not an option. Every step of their escape from Saudi Arabia carried the threat of severe punishment or death.

  ”We knew the first time, if it’s not perfect, it will be the last time,” Reem says.

  CNN has changed the sisters’ names and is not showing their faces, at their request for their safety.

  The sisters say years of strict Islamic teaching and physical abuse at home had convinced them that they had no future in a socie

ty that places women under the enforced guardianship of men, and limits their aspirations.

  ”It’s slavery, because whatever the woman will do it’s the business of the male,” Rawan says.

  That’s why they say they renounced Islam.

  And that’s why aged 18 and 20, they stole back their own passports, hid their abayas under the b

edcovers, snuck out of their holiday home and boarded a flight from Colombo to Melbourne, via Hong Kong.

  The Hong Kong stopover was supposed to take less than two hours.

  Two hours has turned into five months.

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