Nigerians express disappointment at postponement of g

Nigerians on Saturday expressed disappointment at the electoral body’s postponem

ent of the presidential election few hours to the commencement of voting in the country.

Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), announced the shift

ing of the polls until Feb. 23 at a midnight press conference, saying the scheduled proceeding of the voting was not “feasible.”

“Following a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plan and

the determination to conduct free, fair, and credible elections, the Commission came to the co

nclusion that proceeding with the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible,” Yakubu said.

Likewise, the electoral body postponed gubernatorial elections in the country, earlier slated for March 2, also by one week.

Although Nigerians are used to elections being postponed, the postp

onement of this year’s presidential polls in the country was greeted by criticism.

The governing All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council said i

t received with great disappointment and disillusionment the announcement of the postponement of the election by the electoral body.

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We condemn and deprecate this tardiness of the electoral

in strongest terms possible,” the party said in a statement by its campaign spokesman.

The statement noted that President Muhammadu Buhari “had cooperated fully with IN

EC by ensuring everything it demanded to conduct free and fair elections were promptly made available to it.

“We do hope that INEC will remain neutral and impartial in this process,” it said.

On its own part, the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) rejected the

shift in the dates of the general elections and described it as “an act of wickedness.”

In a statement, the party’s chairman Uche Secondus said a foul play was being suspected

and that it sensed the move as a means of thwarting the will of Nigerians in the election.

“The PDP leader warns that the party will not accept anything short of a well-organized electoral process devoid of manipulat

ion, harassment, and intimidation of voters and the opposition, particularly members of the PDP,” the statement said.

Tope Kolade Fasua, the presidential candidate of the Abundant Nigeria Ren

ewal Party (ANRP), said the election postponement will have great implications for everybody.

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Japan’s ambition is to become a global political power.

and diplomatic means alone cannot support Japan’s global ambitions. A military presence at the global level is needed if Japan is to expand its political clout.

Compared with old European powers like the UK and France, Japan’s military influence in Europe is jerkwater. But it is different after Japan signed military pac

ts with these countries – Japan’s political influence is increasing because of the support of military powers.

With the influence of the UK and France declining in the Asia-Pacific region, their military activities can get the support from Japan via the A

CSA, which will immensely boost Japan’s military clout. These European countries will not look at J

apan through the military lens, which will effectively strengthen Japan’s political might.

Meanwhile, exchange of military provisions will help enhance pe

ople-to-people exchanges between Japan and these countries, exerting Japan’s cultural influe

nce in these countries and beyond. Even if Japan fails to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council, it can still play a major role in th

e world. This has been part of the global strategies of the Abe administration.

We can see that Japan signing ACSAs with six countries is not just for d

efense and military purposes, it’s part of an overall plan to influence economics, pol

itics, military and culture, which is a long-term strategic mind-set of the Japanese government.

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sights ranking places six Chinese artificial intelligence

ina is racing to the forefront of the global artificial intelligence sector, with six domestic companies earning their place on a recent list of the top 100 AI startups in the world.

Released by venture capital database CB Insights, the list includes 23 startups headquartered ou

tside the United States, including six each from China, Israel and the United Kingdom.

Chinese companies SenseTime, YITU Technology, 4Paradigm, Face++, Momenta and Horizon Robotics made it onto the list.

CB Insights reported Chinese startups SenseTime and Face++, which focus on facial recognitio

n technologies, are the best-funded companies, followed by California-based tech company Zymergen.

A total of 11 startups on the list are unicorns, startups valued at more than $1 billion, among w

hich five are from China. SenseTime gained the top spot among those 11 with a maximum valuation of $4.5 billion.

With the blossoming of big data, cloud computing and i

nternet technologies, AI has become a new focus of international competition.

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hina has become the biggest owner of AI patents, follo

wed closely by the US and Japan, the report revealed. The three countries own 74 percent of all issued AI patents globally.

The CISTP report noted that while China has the world’s secondlargest AI talent pool, it has a lower percentage of top talents.

By the end of 2017, China had amassed more than 18,000 AI specialists, behind only the US. But, Ch

ina had only 977 top-tier AI specialists, just one-fifth of the number in the US, ranking sixth globally.

“China’s strengths are mainly shown in AI applications and it is still weak on the front of core techn

ologies of AI, such as hardware and algorithm development,” the report noted. “China’s AI de

IJING – China’s new yuan-denominated loans stood at 3.23 trillion yuan ($477 billion) in

January 2019, up 328.4 billion yuan year-on-year, central bank data showed Friday.

velopment lacks top-tier talent and has a significant gap with developed countries, especially the US, in this regard.”

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hina sees progress in revitalizing traditional crafts

ina has seen progress in its effort to revitalize traditional crafts and turn them int

o targeted measures for poverty alleviation, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The ministry said it has organized extensive training for inheritors of traditional c

rafts and supported setting up relevant workstations in collaboration with different departments.

The ministry has set up 57 workshops for intangible cultural heritage and provided training for 2,500 people in poverty-stricken areas

, including a county in southwest China’s Guizhou Province that is home to the ethnic Miao people.

The campaign has also raised the awareness of provincial-level authorities. A total of 26 provinces, autonomous re

gions and municipalities have issued plans for revitalizing traditional crafts in their regions.

The ministry said it will continue to focus on policy implementation and the inclusion of social forces in the future.

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Brazil’s Bolsonaro released from hospital after 17 days

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro was released from the Albert Einstein

Hospital in Sao Paulo on Wednesday after convalescing from surgery and returned to the capital, Brasilia.

Bolsonaro spent 17 days in recovery, mainly in intensive or semi-intensive care units, but worked from his bedside for m

ost of that time, with his vice president, Hamilton Mourao, filling in for him for two of those days.

On the presidential campaign trail last year, Bolsonaro was stabbed in the abdomen by

a lone attacker. He required a colostomy and underwent surgery in late January to reverse the procedure.

The surgical procedure reportedly went well, but his recovery had some complications. Last week, he had fever and was diagn

osed with pneumonia, but his health improved and doctors said he was able to leave the hospital and return to Brasilia.

Bolsonaro commented on social networks about leaving the hospital, noting that the ma

n named Adelio Bispo who had attacked him had been a member of the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL).

At the time of the attack, the PSOL admitted Bispo had been a member, but said he quit the political organization years ago and was never very active.

So far, investigations have not uncovered a connection between the attacker and any Brazilian political party.

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Valentine’s Day: Yes, men can be romanticong the trees at H

As Valentine’s Day approaches, I felt compelled to write an article to share my thoughts about the misconception that men in

general are unromantic. I hope that I can motivate members of the male gender to rise to the challenge of cor

recting that misconstrued assumption about their romantic notions or inclinations being nonexistent.

During research for my first book, I received a consensus from most of the women I talked to that the majority of m

en are unromantic by nature. As a man who considers himself to be more romantic, I went on a continuous journey to d

iscover the truth behind that misconception in an attempt to understand and rectify it.

I realized from my discussion with members of both genders that men and women tend to deal with romance in slightly different ways. Many women perm

it their hearts to control their perspectives when it comes to romance, while many men use their minds to deal with

the issue of romance. For many women, romantic gestures must touch their hearts deeply enough to awe them. M

any men, meanwhile, tend to evaluate those gestures based upon the impact that they have on their brains.

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Imax shatters Chinese New Year opening box office record

Imax box offices set a new record over the Chinese New Year period starting on Feb 5, grossing 217 million yuan ($32.3 million) across its 599 theaters in China.

Imax Corporation and Imax China said in a news release on Feb 11 that the results were driven by the

strong performances of three local-language films – The Wandering Earth, Crazy Alien and Peg

asus. The sales figures marked Imax China’s best Chinese New Year performance ever, up 40 percent year-on-year.

The Wandering Earth, China’s first big-budget sci-fi film, led the pack by grossing more than

185 million yuan in Imax theaters to become the highest grossing local-language film in Imax hi

story, surpassing Mojin: The Lost Legend. Imax screenings accounted for more than 9 percent of the film’s gross ov

erall takings. The film also set new Imax records for the biggest opening week, surpassing Avengers: Infinity War, as

well as the biggest single day and best three-day performance for a local-language title.

“We are very pleased with these record-breaking Chinese New Year results, which are particularly significant when com

pared to 2018’s record performance that was up 80 percent over the previous year,” said Imax CEO Richard L. Gelfond.

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The Ministry of Civil Affairs has urged national-level

industrial organizations and chambers of commerce to lower membership fees and refr

ain from imposing unreasonable charges to reduce the burden on businesses.

The ministry said in a statement on Feb 3 that it will conduct the annual examination

of national-level social organizations, and such organizations are also expected to report fee adjustments in their annual reports.

The lowering of membership fees will be an important criteria for the ministry in evaluating na

tional organizations. Other criteria include whether the organizations have imposed charges against regulations or been found to have m

isused funds. Those who fail the evaluations will be disqualified, the ministry said.

Social organizations found to be engaged in activities that harm national reunification, national security, ethnic un

ity or jeopardize the national interest will also be disqualified and punished according to law, the ministry said.

A third-party will conduct random on-site verification of information submitted, it added.

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