Archive February 2019

Today, these young women are drawing on their wisdom

and ingenuity to gain the power to build their own embroidery brands, thus improving their lives and helping to lift their county out of poverty.

Zhang Qin, 43, a respected embroiderer in the Daliu village of the county who founded the local embroidery associ

ation, Qiqiao Workshop, says: “Women around here are good at needlework, and I’m particularly int

erested in it. When I was a kid, I liked watching and learning as the women were sewing.”

She made her first “bucket of gold” when she was 8, she says.

“I sewed 10 pillowslips and sold them for 4 yuan ($0.6). At the time my family was too poo

r even to buy me new clothes, so I bought a large piece of red cloth and made myself a new undercoat with the money.”

Zhang gradually gained a reputation for her exquisite work, and women in the village often went to her for guidance.

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In 2008, her work was selected for sale at expositions

the first being the Xihe Qiqiao Cultural Festival, and it proved to be highly popular with tourists.

Soon, she began to take orders, and then recruited locals to work for her.

“As my life improves, I want to help others

to make better lives for themselves through their embroidery,” says Zhang.

In 2015, with the help of her family, she built a house to be used as a work site and named it Qiqiao Workshop.

At first, she recruited a dozen members. After that the num

ber has kept growing as the factory developed into an infl

uential embroidery organization, the Qiqiao Workshop Association.

By last year, it had 179 women as members, 30 of w

hom were from registered poverty-stricken households. It h

ad reached a turnover of 1 million yuan by last year, and members earned 4,000 yuan on average.

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With the federation’s support, these women have also lear

learned to sell their work online.

Meanwhile, Lyu registered an online store on Taobao in 2016 and says she has since earned 50,000 yuan.

Speaking about the efforts, Luo Shumei, the president of the Wo

men’s Federation of Changdao village, Xihe county, says: “It’s a good thing to see embroidery pro

duction in Xihe county is shifting from being scattered to being more organized.

“But one drawback is that we are yet to find a good market.”

Separately, in 2016, the Xihe Culture, Radio and

Broadcasting Administration designated Luo, now 32, as a Xihe Qiqiao culture “inheritor”.

As for the future prospects, Luo says: “To be honest, o

ur production is at a bit of a standstill now because we don’t know when the next order will come in.

“And we are reluctant to produce en masse beca

use of the risk of overstocking. But when an order does come in, we’ll work very hard.

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When Feinstein tries to conclude the meeting, a woman says

  the children “have decades of life that they hope to still have, and your leadership is so be

autifully, beautifully possible,” the senator replies, “That doesn’t work with me, thank you.”

  A woman urges the children to read the letter aloud.

  Once most of the children exit, several women stay and calmly chat with Feinstein. One of them says voting to support the deal is important even thou

gh it “isn’t something that’s aimed at passing right now” and the 16-year-old inquires about internship opportunities in F

einstein’s office.Even if everything goes according to plan, it will likely be months before construction on President D

onald Trump’s sought-after border wall can even start, according to senior defense officials.

  Trump recently declared a national emergency on the southern border, a move that in theory will allow his admini

stration to tap and repurpose more than $3 billion in military construction funds to build sections of the wall.

  The declaration has been challenged by several states and some members of Congress.

  Trump also said that his administration would use the Pentagon’s counter drug fund to build sections of the wall.

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He got immediate and huge applause, of the type Pence

  can only have wished for.Biden’s antidote to Trump’s two years was to promise change.

  ”And I promise you, I promise you. As my mother would say, ‘this too shall pass.’ We will be back. We will be back. Don’t have any doubt about that.”

  Right on cue more applause fell about him.

  No need to guess whom the Munich crowd would put in the White House given the chance.

  Two years of Trump has had an impact.

  In the hotel this weekend the view is that he is not a safe pair of hands for today’s security challenges.

  At a presentation titled “NATO at 70: An Alliance in Crisis,” two for

mer US representatives to the organization, Douglas Lute and Nicholas Burns, shared insi

ghts from its 55 pages. Those insights were garnered, they said, from 60 past and present ambassadors and cabinet sec

retaries. They concluded that Trump, and his inability to lead, is the biggest of the 10 imminent threats to NATO.

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Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the ma

  behind that report, said Thursday on Twitter that “the Pope promised real change to protec

t children. Based on our investigation, it’s clear that the church can not be trusted to police itself.”

  The Pope promised real change to protect children. Based on our investigation, it’s clear that the church can not be trusted to police itself. To fully addr

ess the crisis and ensure that the abuse and cover up of this scale never happens again, I believe they must do 5 things:

  — Josh Shapiro (@JoshShapiroPA) February 21, 2019

  Shapiro’s comments come just two days after Catholic leaders in Denver reached an agreem

ent with the Colorado attorney general to allow a former federal prosecutor to review its files re

lated to allegations of sexual abuse. Attorney General Phil Weiser stressed, however, that it is not a criminal investigation.

  ”I am confident in the steps we have taken to address this issue and that there are no priests in

active ministry currently under investigation,” said Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila.

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On Thursday, the pontiff opened the summit by urging he b

  nd other church leaders to commit to taking concrete actions.

  ”The holy people of God are looking at us and expect from us not simple condemnat

ions,” Francis said, “but concrete and effective measures to put in place. We need to be concrete.”

  The Pope then said he had made a list of 21 “reflection points” that were handed out to the assembly of church leaders, wh

ich included preparing a “practical handbook” of guidelines for handling abuse cases when accusations emerge.

  Also included are instructions to inform civil authorities and church officials whenever an accusation is made, esta

blishing provisions to include non-clergy experts in investigations, as well as formulating “mandatory codes of c

onduct” for all church clergy, personnel and volunteers “to outline appropriate boundaries in personal relationships.”

  More controversially, the Pope proposed that dioceses and Catholic organizations around the world not publish

lists of clergy accused of abuse before a preliminary investigation and “definitive” condemnation have occurred.

  ”The principle of natural and canon law of presumption of innocence must be also be saf

eguarded until the guilt of the accused is proven,” the Pope said in the “reflection points.”

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Abuse survivors often argue that the public should be

  notified whenever an accusation is made, both to protect the community and to encourage other potential victims to come forward.

  ”This seems to say that if a priest or a nun or deacon gets accused they don’t tell the parish until the accusation is ‘proven,'” said Tim Len

non, of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, who is in Rome participating in vigils with other victims of clergy abuse.

  ”Well, who proves this? The police or the bishops? We’ve seen for 35 years that bishops o

ften cover up, so no one trusts that they are going to be good arbiters of guilt and innocence.”

  Billionaire businessman Richard Branson says he hopes his Live Aid-inspired concert to raise funds for Venezuelans will persuade members of th

e country’s military to defy President Nicolas Maduro and allow humanitarian aid to cross the border.

  Branson, who will host “Venezuela Aid Live” on Friday in the Colom

bian border town of Cucuta, said he is aiming to raise about $100 million to buy food a

nd medicine, essential supplies for the country, which is gripped by a political and humanitarian crisis.

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Japan Inc poured billions into Britain. Now it’s having regrets

  Japan’s top companies are losing patience with the United Kingdom as Brexit fast approaches.

  Honda (HMC) became the latest to reduce its exposure to the British economy, announcing Tuesday that it will shu

tter its only manufacturing plant in the country by 2021, a move that is expected to result in the loss of at least 3,500 jobs.

  The company denied any link with Brexit but auto industry experts sa

id the uncertainty over future market access and the risk of tariffs must have played a part.

  Honda’s bombshell follows the decision by rival automaker Nissan (NSANF) to sc

rap plans to build a new SUV model in northern England. Electronics firms Sony (SNE) and Pan

asonic (PCRFF) have both said they will move their European legal bases out of the country because of Brexit.

  Japanese executives are fed up after warning for years of the risks inherent in a rupture with Europe.

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Even leaving the bloc under the agreement Prime Min

  ster Theresa May has negotiated with the European Union would mean continued uncertainty over future terms of trade.

  More uncertainty is the last thing needed by a car industry that has already been slammed by a

collapse in diesel sales in Europe and dramatically weaker demand in China.

  Japan’s Nissan (NSANF) earlier this month scrapped plans to build its new X-Trail SUV at its fact

ory in the English city of Sunderland. It cited uncertainty over Brexit as one reason for the decision.

  Britain’s biggest car maker, Jaguar Land Rover, announced plans last month to reduce its gl

obal workforce by 4,500. That’s in addition to 1,500 people who left the company last year.

  The company, owned by India’s Tata Motors (TTM), has also warned that crashing out of the

European Union would wipe out more than £1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) of its annual profit.

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