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Former NT Chief Minister quits politics

2019年3月17日 | 苏州美甲 | Permalink

The former Chief Minister of the Northern Territory has announced his resignation from politics, almost one year after he was rolled for the top job.

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Terry Mills has sat on the backbench since being ousted by Adam Giles while on a trade trip to Japan last March.

He had only been six months into the role after the Country Liberals won back government after 11 years in opposition.

In a move unanticipated by his colleagues, Mr Mills announced his departure from politics in Parliament on Thursday night.

“I have concluded it is time to go and provide the opportunity for another to serve as Member for Blain,” Mr Mills said, News Corp reported.

He has held his seat since entering politics in a by-election in 1999, making him the NT Parliament’s longest serving member.

Since his dumping there have been rumours of a return to leadership, but in September Mr Mills said he was considering his position and would “not repeat the blood feuds of Rudd and Gillard”.

Chief Minister Adam Giles said he and the party were sad to see Mr Mills announce his retirement.

“I hope he can continue to contribute to the development and prosperity of the Northern Territory into the future,” he said in a statement.

Mr Mills said he plans to work in Indonesian-Australian affairs, and Mr Giles acknowledged his close connections “with our good friends and neighbours to the north”, especially in Indonesia.

“I wish him well in life after politics,” Mr Giles said.

Mr Mills’ retirement takes effect immediately and a date for a by-election will be set.

HP sees recovery after painful cuts

2019年3月17日 | 苏州美甲 | Permalink

Hewlett-Packard says its latest earnings report shows it is on a recovery path after two years of difficult restructuring moves.

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But initial market reaction was lukewarm after the US computer giant reported profits rose 16 per cent in the past fiscal quarter to $US1.4 billion ($A1.56 billion).

Revenues were down just one per cent at $US28.2 billion, despite the horrific slump in the personal computer market, which is still one of HP’s key segments.

In after-hours trades, HP shares were little changed after the report, which included upgraded guidance that fell somewhat short of analysts’ expectations.

But company president and chief executive Meg Whitman said the past two years of deep job cuts and other organisational changes are finally starting to pay off.

“HP is in a stronger position today than we’ve been in quite some time,” she said.

“The progress we’re making is reflected in growth across several parts of our portfolio, the growing strength of our balance sheet and the strong support we’re receiving from customers and channel partners.

“Innovation is igniting our comeback, and at a time when many of our competitors are confronting new challenges, two years of turnaround work is setting us up for an exciting future.”

HP saw some progress in the computer business as well as some other segments, such as enterprise servers.

The “personal systems” division that includes PCs had revenue gains of four per cent from the previous year, as a boost in business PC sales offset weakness in the consumer sector.

Total PC unit sales were up six per cent, with desktops down three per cent and notebook sales up five per cent, HP said.

Amit Daryanani at RBC Capital Markets said it was a “solid quarter” for HP.

Under Whitman, HP has shaken up its executive leadership team as part of an effort to regain its footing on a computing landscape being transformed by the popularity of smartphones and tablets.

Beijing wants people to forget the Sino-Vietnamese War

2019年3月17日 | 苏州美甲 | Permalink

HONG KONG — On Monday, the 35th anniversary of the Sino-Vietnamese War, Chinese online news portal Sina released a patriotic slideshow of historical photos to commemorate the date.

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The text accompanying the images called the war the Defensive Counterattack War Against Vietnam, its official name in China, and insisted that “Vietnamese forces repeatedly provoked” their Chinese opponent. But the article is noteworthy not for what it says, but that it existed at all. The images attracted more than 8,400 shares and 1,800 comments on Sina Weibo, China’s popular microblogging platform, with one young woman wondering why Chinese mainstream media “almost never mention this period in history.”

She was not exaggerating: China’s state-owned media remained almost completely silent on the anniversary of the nearly month-long conflict, which ended with no clear victor, and was the most recent war fought by China. (The war began after Deng Xiaoping, China’s then-paramount leader, promised the newly friendly United States that he would “spank” the Soviet-backed Vietnamese regime for sending troops to Cambodia to topple the genocidal Khmer Rouge government.) Recent articles on Vietnam in People’s Daily, the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece that essentially declared war on its southern neighbor with an editorial on Feb. 16, 1979, lacked any mention of the conflict.

A Jan. 21 People’s Daily article about anti-Chinese feelings in Vietnam avoided mention of any armed tussle between the two countries in the late 20th century, instead blaming the negative sentiment on Vietnamese’s “sour” and “contradictory” attitude toward historical Chinese cultural influences and current economic dominance. Another People’s Daily piece from Feb. 13 profiled the bustling town of Mong Cai on the eastern Chinese-Vietnamese border, which cleared over $2.6 billion worth of import and export goods in 2013, without mentioning that it was the scene of fierce fighting 35 years ago.

But Chinese military enthusiasts, armchair historians, and veterans have not forgotten about the war. Hot debates about the conflict still rage on in corners of the Chinese Internet, notwithstanding official silence. Many Internet users commenting on the war see China’s casus belli as illegitimate, even as they honor the departed young combatants — thousands of Chinese died, though the exact numbers are unknown — who netizens feel were sent into a proverbial meat grinder. One user asked whether it was worth it to “sacrifice so many young lives to support the Khmer Rouge butchers.” Another remembered feeling excited as a high school boy listening to the radio as shelling began, but continued, “looking back, the war was totally unjustified.” For their part, ardent nationalists writing on Chinese social media often downplay China’s relationship with the Khmer Rouge, and instead attribute the casus belli to Vietnam’s poor treatment of ethnic Chinese living there, its alleged provocations along shared borders with China, and possible expansionist tendencies to consolidate Cambodia into a greater power in Indochina under the USSR’s backing. “What’s justice?” one nationalist asked rhetorically on Sina Weibo. “Whatever protects our motherland’s interests is justice!”

Vietnam also suppresses memories of the war. The Vietnamese government Monday deployed aerobic dancers to break up anti-Chinese protests in the capital city of Hanoi, while on Feb. 12 U.S. outlet Voice of America quoted an anonymous senior Vietnamese editor as saying the country’s watchdog issued “confidential instructions” to restrict coverage of the 35th anniversary of the war. China and Vietnam normalized relations in 1991 after the collapse of the USSR — Communist Vietnam’s longtime patron — and Vietnam’s withdrawal from Cambodia. Bilateral trade and economic cooperation have boomed since then, though tensions have risen recently because of territorial disputes over the Paracel and Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

Many Chinese media outlets covered the anti-Chinese protests in Vietnam, but not that of Chinese Vietnam war veterans agitating for compensation. On Feb. 13, one Weibo user posted photos of a group of veterans holding up flags in Foshan, a large city in southern Guangdong province, wrote that police had kept close watch on participants, which he claimed numbered more than 1,600. According to a blog post written by a self-identified Beijing reporter and posted on Sina, a few dozen veterans gathered in front of a government building in central Hunan province on Feb. 17, complaining that they had been “abandoned” and shortchanged in veterans benefits. The blog post also shows a banner, with sadly ironic text. “The martyrs who gave their life defending their sacred territory,” it reads, “will never be forgotten.”

Lu is the co-founder of Tea Leaf Nation.

(c) 2014, Foreign Policy.

Countdown begins for NSW liquor laws

2019年3月17日 | 苏州美甲 | Permalink

The biggest fundamental change to Sydney’s late-night bar and club scene in 30 years will go live days before one of the city’s biggest annual party nights, police say.

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The NSW government’s promised 3am last drinks and 1.30am lockouts for CBD and Kings Cross licensed premises comes into effect on Monday morning.

A statewide ban on takeaway alcohol sales after 10pm also comes into effect on Sunday night.

The timing of the introduction means that the first Saturday that police and liquor inspectors will spend enforcing the new laws around central Sydney is also Mardi Gras parade night on March 1.

Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to line the inner Sydney parade route to watch 10,000 people march as part of the annual gay and lesbian pride festival.

“Come Friday night we’ll have an extra 80 police above what we usually have and then of course on Saturday night, Mardi Gras, it’ll be many hundreds of additional police on the street,” NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch told reporters on Friday.

“Mardi Gras will give us a bit of a false sense of what it’s going to be like because there will be tens of thousands of extra punters in the city we would not normally have.”

But Mr Murdoch expected many Mardi Gras revellers to leave the city shortly after the parade.

Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing executive director Paul Newson said anyone gearing up for a night out in the Sydney city-Kings Cross entertainment precinct needed to plan for the changes.

“By 1.30am, they need to be in a licensed venue,” Mr Newson said.

“If a patron gets ejected or is refused admission, they can’t access either that venue or any other venue in the precinct.”

Mr Murdoch said police were bracing for a possible drift of locked-out revellers to late-night bars in city fringe suburbs such as Newtown, Pyrmont, Balmain and Surry Hills.

“This is the biggest fundamental change we’ve seen in 30 years in terms of how we operate late-night trading in the city,” he said.

“We’re going to have to suck it and see.”

Police Minister Mike Gallacher said he was confident the measures, introduced in the wake of a series of high-profile alcohol-fuelled attacks on Sydney streets, would not hit businesses.

“If they are producing a product that is a good product that young people want to go to, they’re going to go there,” Mr Gallacher said.

There are about 1300 licensed premises within the designated precinct but some are exempt from the new restrictions.

Fausto Puglisi’s colourful collection

2019年3月17日 | 苏州美甲 | Permalink

Fashion designer Fausto Puglisi wanted his Autumn/Winter 14 line to represent a wife and mistress at the same time.

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The designer was the last to show on the first day of Milan Fashion Week on Thursday. He eschewed the muted colour palette often associated with the season, going for bold hues and geometric prints which clashed.

“It’s ladylike and young; it’s wife and mistress at the same time; chic and shock; sophisticated and a little bit vulgar,” he told WWD.

There were two main colour schemes: black, ivory and red or purple, black and turquoise.

The former featured on a demure knee-length slim-fitting dress with long sleeves. It might otherwise have looked pretty standard, but the triangular geometric patterned ensured it was a fresh take on the look. Seven of the large shapes stretched down the front of the frock, each in one of the colours. To ensure all eyes were on the design, the model’s blonde hair was loose around her shoulders and her make-up was kept barely there in what is surely one of the key looks of the season.

The same dress was also shown with a matching coat which fell to the same length as the frock. The look was eye-catching in the extreme, not least because of the lilac pointed pumps on the model’s feet.

Many of the turquoise, purple and black looks were graphic, with tailoring one of the key looks. A mini-dress boasted a flared skirt which jutted out over the hips in black and pale blue, with the spaghetti strap top in purple.

There was also a pair of leggings in all three colours – again featuring the triangle pattern – which were teamed with a tux jacket. The piece was updated thanks to the lapels, as one was purple and the other turquoise.

Alberta Ferretti also unveiled her new collection but stuck to a more traditional set of colours. Her pieces were green, burnt orange, dark red and chocolate brown which reflected her inspiration perfectly.

“I imagined animated woods, where nature embraced the body of a woman,” she said.

Embellishment was big news on the catwalk, with textures mixed too so a brocade jacket had a fur trim around the collar.

Applique was also used liberally, with fake birds sewn on to dresses and knitted into sweaters.

Gucci’s Frida Giannini wanted to create pieces for real women, so tailoring was one of the big looks. An example would be a light blue pea coat with silver buttons and rolled cuffs which was worn over a green blouse and slim fitting jeans. The palette was interesting too – pastels have been a huge look over the last couple of seasons and Gucci stuck to the theme for Autumn/Winter 14 too.