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Italy Gives Xi, and China’s Vast Infrastructure Project, a Royal Welcome
President Xi Jinping of China arrived on Friday at Rome’s presidential palace with a cavalry escort usually reserved for royals.But even as Mr. Xi and his wife were serenaded at a state dinner by Andrea Bocelli, the leaders of France, Germany and the European Union huddled in Brussels hoping to strengthen the Continent’s defenses against what they considered to be China’s economic incursion.The disconnect between the two scenes laid bare the divisions and tensions in Europe, caught in the middle of a trade war between the United States and China, while trying to find its bearings and assert its power in a volatile era of shifting geopolitical alliances and American retrenchment.Even as Europe now struggles to forge a common policy toward China’s economic advance, Beijing has managed to hive off deal after deal in has also become more difficult for European allies to coordinate policies with a Trump administration that has wielded sticks — like the threat of sanctions against German automakers — where Mr. Xi offers carrots.A full-page cartoon on the front page of Thursday’s Il Foglio, showed Mr. Conte, the prime minister, leading an enormous, fire-breathing Chinese dragon with a short leash. In the cartoon, Mr. Conte says, “Take it easy guys, I can manage him. He practically eats from my hand.”
NYTimes  Europe  Italy  China  usage 
yesterday by thomas.kochi
Can or could?
Dennis: The secret is to eat as much as you can, not as much as you could
usage  language  cartoons 
5 days ago by thomas.kochi
Cardinal George Pell’s December 2018 conviction on charges of “historic sexual abuse” was a travesty of justice, thanks in part to a public atmosphere of hysterical anti-Catholicism—a fetid climate that had a devastating impact on the possibility of his receiving a fair trial. How else does one explain how 12 jurors, presented with uncorroborated charges refuted by overwhelming evidence that the alleged crimes could not have happened, completely reversed the overwhelming pro-acquittal vote delivered by a hung jury in the cardinal’s first trial last year?Cardinal Pell knew from hard personal experience how virulent the anti-Catholic atmosphere in Australia had become.The police went on a tawdry fishing expedition for something-on-Pell. A preliminary hearing sent the subsequent charges to trial, although the hearing magistrate said that, were she a juror, she wouldn’t vote for conviction on several of the alleged crimes. The first trial proved the cardinal innocent, and the re-trial returned an irrational verdict unsupported by any evidence, corroborating or otherwise.Given all this, it is not easy to understand why, the day after the conviction was announced publicly, the interim Vatican press spokesman, Alessandro Gisotti, reiterated the mantra that has become habitual in Vatican commentary on the Pell case: the Holy See, Gisotti said, has “maximum respect for the Australian judicial authorities.”Why say this? It is precisely the Australian judiciary (and the lynch-mob atmospherics in Melbourne and elsewhere) that is on trial today in the global court of public opinion. There was no need for such gratuitous puffery.
FirstThings  catholic  scandals  punishments  usage 
7 days ago by thomas.kochi
Propagating These Lies Is Dangerous.' Ohio Teen Vaccinated Against His Mother's Wishes Calls for End to Misinformation
The Ohio teenager who made headlines for getting vaccinated against his mother’s wishes told the Senate on Tuesday that spreading vaccine misinformation is dangerous — but urged the public not to vilify those who do so.“Approaching this issue with the concern of education and addressing misinformation properly can cause change, as it did for me,” 18-year-old Ethan Lindenberger said.....“Although the debate around vaccines is not necessarily centered around information, and concerns for health and safety, this is why education is so important, and also why misinformation is so dangerous.”Over time, Lindenberger said, he began to doubt his mother’s positions on vaccines, and questioned the online sources she and others turned to for support. “Her beliefs were not true, and propagating these lies is dangerous,” Lindenberger wrote in his prepared testimony. “However, it is not necessarily ill-natured.”Indeed, Lindenberger said the sites and organizations that peddle falsehoods — not the people who believe them out of concern for their loved ones — are the real problem.
Time  medical  controversies  usage 
18 days ago by thomas.kochi
With new twist on one giallo, Vatican doesn’t need another on McCarrick
For as long as anyone can remember, Italians have loved a good giallo. The word literally means “yellow,” and it refers to the yellow paper upon which cheap popular mystery stories used to be printed in Italy.In Italian argot, a giallo has come to mean an unresolved mystery, something about which people love to speculate and argue. Over the last 40 years, there’s been no more popular giallo in Roman coffee bars, taxi cabs and barber shops than the 1983 disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, at the time a 15-year-old girl and the daughter of an employee of the Prefecture of the Papal Household.No matter which hypothesis a given Italian may uphold, the one point where every conspiracy theory seems to converge is that the Vatican knows more than it’s saying...Probably, however, in the end the Orlandi family will get what it wants, because nobody wants to be accused of refusing to help a grieving family find closure. Equally probably, Emanuela’s remains will not be in the tomb, and the usual cycle of speculation followed by disappointment will continue playing out...If there’s a moral to all this, it could perhaps be expressed as follows: Try to avoid accumulating a new giallo whenever possible, because once it takes hold, it’s almost impossible to get rid of...Still, the Vatican probably would be well-advised to offer as much transparency as possible, and as quickly as possible. Otherwise, it could end up saddled with a giallo of global dimensions, one which could do damage to the Church’s credibility in venues far more consequential than the pages of Italian newspapers.
J.Allen  Crux  catholic  scandals  usage 
18 days ago by thomas.kochi
Corey Feldman Defends Michael Jackson Against ‘One-Sided’ HBO Doc ‘Leaving Neverland
Corey Feldman, who as a child actor spent time with Michael Jackson, is defending the late King of Pop against the devastating sexual abuse allegations in Leaving Neverland.Wade Robson and James Safechuck allege in the two-part HBO documentary that Jackson molested them when they were children.“All I know is what I experienced, and yes, every experience was the same right up to the sex part,” he tweeted. “That is where it becomes La La Land, instead of Neverland for me.” So as much as those two men deserve to have their voices heard, so do the thousands of kids who hung around him, that don’t agree!” “So given the opportunity which he certainly had w me & others, being alone, w no parents around, how did he control those urges so well, while so blatantly sexual w those two boys? It doesn’t really fit the profile,” he wrote. “But what motive besides $ do they hav? Abandonment is a strong 1.”Feldman also slammed the documentary for only including interviews with the accusers and their families.“I do take issue with the fact that this whole thing is 1 sided W no chance of defence from a dead man and no evidence other than the word of two men who as adults defended him in court,”
celebrities  scandals  movies  music  usage 
19 days ago by thomas.kochi
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
In this book, Atlas serves as a metaphor for all the smart, creative "doers" in the world: the industrialists, the artists, the engineers, the professors, etc. Just like Atlas, these are the people responsible for supporting the entire world. In Rand's opinion, they are all mistreated and are opposed by bad government policies. So they all go on strike and basically "shrug" off the weight of the world. The shrug part is important here. This strike of heroic individuals is a nonviolent one. That's why the book isn't called "Atlas Threw Off the World." EXAMPLE:But the Abramoves were unstinting in their support for the man everyone here knows as Bibi.“I would rather have a dishonest but strong leader than an honest but clueless leader,” said Ms. Abramove, 42. “He is the one holding this country up.”And if Atlas were to shrug?“Look around,” her husband, 45, chimed in. “Israel under his leadership has gotten stronger and safer. Only Bibi can run this country.”
books  usage 
21 days ago by thomas.kochi
SpaceX's Successful Launch Paves the Way for a New Era of American Spaceflight
There have been four Olympic Games, nine Super Bowls and 30 changes of season since the last time American astronauts launched from American soil on an American spacecraft. That unhappy streak began in July, 2011, when the space shuttle Atlantis lifted off for the final flight of the 30-year shuttle program. The wait has not ended yet, but it came a lot closer to at last being over with the successful launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Crew Dragon spacecraft from Cape Canaveral at 2:49 a.m. ET Saturday morning, as lightning flashed in the far distance.SpaceX’s mission was a very long time coming. It was in 2009 that then-President Barack Obama announced that after the shuttle retired, NASA would get out of the business of flying astronauts to low-Earth orbit—including to the ISS—and outsource the work to private companies instead. In 2014, newcomer SpaceX and legacy aerospace firm Boeing were picked as the two companies that would build America’s new spaceships, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations William H. Gerstenmaier did his best to lower expectations. “I fully expect we’re going to learn something on this flight,” he said. “I guarantee you everything will not work exactly right. And that’s cool.”While the launch was successful, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon still has a week of work ahead of it, presenting multiple opportunities for things to go wrong.
Time  space  usage  technology 
22 days ago by thomas.kochi
Vatican summit organizer: Gay subculture in seminaries has ‘nothing to do with sex abuse of minors’
.. as we saw in the United States, much of the abuse came out of decades of a subculture of homosexuality and sins of sodomy, if we want to call it that, in the seminaries. Now fortunately, in the US a lot of that has been cleaned up and the seminaries are making good progress in that. But in other parts of the world that’s not the case.So just to clarify: while we shouldn’t generalize about categories of persons, do you think — and a wider question for the cardinals — do you all think that it’s important to address this sort of sin among the clergy which fosters coverup?Archbishop Scicluna responded to LifeSite’s question tersely, saying: “The simple [answer] is ‘yes’ but this has nothing to do with sexual abuse of minors.”“I think you were very clear in your premise, and I’m very grateful for that,” he told LifeSite. “You cannot not address misconduct of that nature, which is sinful,” Scicluna said, “but this is not about the sexual abuse of minors.”
catholic  scandals  sexuality  summits  criticism  usage 
26 days ago by thomas.kochi
The Nation's Former Top Banker Thinks Donald Trump Doesn't Understand Basic Economics
The former head of the Federal Reserve thinks President Donald Trump doesn’t understand basic economics, the central banking system or international trade. But she said it in such a way that you might have missed it.Her other comments were equally harsh and extremely unusual for the nation’s former top banker to say about a U.S. president, but they were framed in the typical circumlocution of the Federal Reserve, where she served for 14 years.Yellen and Trump have a complicated history. During the 2016 election, Trump harshly criticized her, arguing without evidence that she was doing the bidding of President Barack Obama at the strictly independent central bank. As president, he considered reappointing her but reportedly asked economic advisers if the 5-foot-3 economist was too short for the job.
Time  Trump  criticism  economics  usage 
26 days ago by thomas.kochi

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