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Expo 2020 Dubai transforms into big party as night falls




As night falls on Expo 2020 Dubai, everything is just getting more fantastic. The cool breeze caresses the faces of visitors, healing them from a day of fatigue and breathing refreshing joviality into them.

People sit in outdoor cafes or restaurants, enjoying authentic food from China, Japan, Lebanon, France, and Morocco. The air smells of popcorn, ice cream, Columbian coffee, and hotdogs.

Photo taken on Jan. 9, 2022 shows the Al Wasl Plaza of Expo 2020 Dubai in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. (Xinhua/Wang Dongzhen)

The sound is pleasant too. Whether you are walking on the main avenues or wandering in alleys, you can always hear kids laughing, crickets chanting, and people exclaiming in awe.

And, of course, there is music. For every two or three pavilions you pass by, you can find art performances outside the gate. The artists are singing, making acrobatic performances, or just sitting there playing guitars or ouds while the visitors applaud and cheer.

But what really makes the Expo fantastic at night is the light.

At the China Pavilion, a special light show powered by China’s advanced technologies in drone manufacturing and the BeiDou navigation satellite system, is one of the most-watched performances at the Expo.

Photo taken on Jan. 9, 2022 shows the Iraq Pavilion of Expo 2020 Dubai in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. (Xinhua/Wang Dongzhen)

The roof of the Iraq Pavilion, which represents the ancient Mesopotamian civilization’s fishing tradition, is lit up and transforms into a gleaming, fluid curve that comes to life.

Photo taken on Jan. 9, 2022 shows the Russia Pavilion of Expo 2020 Dubai in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
(Xinhua/Wang Dongzhen)

The colorful facade of the Russia Pavilion has been brought to the next level as the daylight wanes. The shining, colorful, and enticing curves of the pavilion have become “surreal” when the lights are turned on.

Almost every pavilion has designed special light displays that make the facades more enthralling and dreamlike

“I especially love the night. All the lights and activities make me feel more like a carnival,” said Inga Vasilieva, a Russian visitor. “I feel like I’m inside Disneyland now, and even cooler.”

Photo taken on Jan. 9, 2022 shows the performance of Al Wasl Plaza of Expo 2020 Dubai in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. (Xinhua/Wang Dongzhen)

At Al Wasl Plaza, the center of the Expo site, a gigantic dome has been put up. Every night, the dome becomes a 360 degree, 25,380 square meters projection surface.

On the screen, everything has become larger-than-life and brings overwhelming emotions to the people standing under the dome. Inside the garden of the plaza, people are just lying on the ground and watching the dome’s display. Children are running around, exclaiming excitedly every now and then.

Two children take photos at the entrance of Expo 2020 Dubai, on Jan. 9, 2022, in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. (Xinhua/Wang Dongzhen)

Strolling inside the Expo at night is like walking into a great party, which almost makes you forget about the COVID-19 pandemic, except for the part where the security men are reminding everyone to properly wear their masks.

Everyone who enters the Expo is required to present a recent PCR negative result. Other social distance regulations are also enforced here. Despite the recent hike in COVID-19 cases in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Expo remains a high turnout as winter is the peak tourist season for Dubai.

According to official data, Expo 2020 Dubai recorded 8,958,132 visits from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2021.

“I think we can have a normal life, or at least what is close to one, if we can be careful enough,” said Ahmed Latif, a UAE visitor said.

DUBAI, (Xinhua)

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Pakistan’s Imran Khan calls for march on Islamabad to press early polls





Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan has called for his supporters to march peacefully on Islamabad on May 25th to press for fresh elections.

Khan, who served as prime minister for over three and half years, was ousted in April through a no-confidence vote in parliament by an alliance of all major political parties.

Since his ouster, he’s addressed rallies in several cities as he mobilises for a grand show of strength in the capital on Wednesday.

Khan’s call on Sunday came after a marathon session of leaders from his Tehreek-e-Insaf, or Pakistan Justice Party, in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

He describes the march as a move to protect the country’s sovereignty, as he alleges that the vote that removed him was a US-organised plot.

READ MORE: Shehbaz Sharif elected Pakistan’s new PM after Imran Khan’s ouster

READ MORE: ‘Are we your slaves’: Pakistani premier hits out at West over Russia letter

Parliament dissolution, fresh elections

In his speech, Khan urged authorities not to oppose the march, which will gain strength outside of Islamabad before heading to the city centre.

There, he said his supporters will remain until Parliament is dissolved and new elections are called.

Thousands have come to his rallies in the past.

Khan claims America wanted him gone because of his foreign policy choices in favour of Russia and China, and a visit he made on Feb 24 to Moscow, where he held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin as Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine.

He has also said the US dislikes his strident criticism of Washington’s war on terror.

The US State Department has denied any involvement in Pakistan’s internal politics.

READ MORE: Pakistan boosts Imran Khan’s security after his claim of deadly plot

Source: TRTWorld

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China, Pakistan vow to strengthen all-round cooperation





China and Pakistan vowed on Sunday to further deepen all-round cooperation in areas such as energy, industry, agriculture, information technology and transportation infrastructure.

The agreement was made during a meeting between Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in Guangzhou City, south China’s Guangdong Province.

Noting that this is Bilawal’s first bilateral visit abroad since assuming office last month and also the first offline high-level interaction between the two countries after the establishment of the new Pakistani government, Wang said the visit has further consolidated the traditional friendship between the two countries.

The solidarity and cooperation of the two countries has become an important stabilizing factor in a turbulent and changing world, he said, calling for joint efforts in building a closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future.

Bilawal, for his part, said Pakistan, as an “iron-clad” friend of China, is glad to see its achievements and is convinced that no force can stop it from moving forward.

The Pakistan-China friendship is the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign relations, and also the inevitable choice of Pakistan, he said.

The Pakistani side is committed to the one-China policy, and supports China in safeguarding all of its core interests, he added.

The two sides also agreed that any terrorist attack against Chinese citizens in Pakistan is unacceptable and any despicable attempt to undermine China-Pakistan friendship will not succeed.

Three Chinese teachers and a Pakistani national were killed in an explosion at the University of Karachi on April 26, which was claimed by the Baloch Liberation Army.

Wang said, China supports Pakistan in speeding up the investigation of the case, finding the perpetrators and punishing them, and will continue to provide support and assistance to Pakistan in its fight against terrorism.

The two sides agreed that the world has entered a period of turbulence and change, and the international community’s call for peace and development has become stronger, he said.

The two sides also agreed that the sound situation of peace, stability, cooperation and development in Asia is the result of the concerted efforts of countries in the region and should be cherished all the more, he added.

(Cover: Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) meets Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in Guangzhou City, south China’s Guangdong Province, May 22, 2022. /China’s Foreign Ministry)


Source: CGTN

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Australia swears in Anthony Albanese as new PM





Centre-left leader is sworn in as Australia’s 31st prime minister, a few hours before flying out to attend an international security summit in Tokyo.

Australia’s Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese has been sworn in as the country’s new prime minister as he promised a “journey of change” vowing to tackle climate crisis and rising living costs.

Along with Albanese, deputy Labor leader Richard Marles and three key ministers in waiting –– Penny Wong in foreign affairs, Jim Chalmers as treasurer and Katy Gallagher in finance –– were sworn in on Monday at a ceremony in the national capital, Canberra.

Albanese was sworn in a few hours before flying out to attend an international summit in Tokyo. Albanese, who says Australia is willing to engage with the world on climate crisis, is joining a summit on Tuesday with the US, Japanese and Indian leaders, known as the Quad.

“It’s a big day in my life but a big day for the country, when we change the government,” Albanese told reporters outside his Sydney suburban home ahead of the ceremony.

“I want to channel the opportunity that we have to shape change so that we bring people with us on the journey of change. I want to bring the country together.”

Albanese said he spoke to US President Joe Biden on Sunday night and was looking forward to meeting him during the Quad summit on Tuesday alongside the prime ministers of Japan and India.

He will return to Australia on Wednesday.

Back after nine years in opposition 

Labor will retake power after nine years in opposition as a wave of unprecedented support for the Greens and climate-focussed independents, mostly women, helped end nearly a decade of rule by the conservative coalition.

Labor’s campaign heavily spotlighted Albanese’s working-class credentials –– a boy raised in public housing by a single mother on a disability pension –– and his image as a pragmatic unifier.

Centre-left Labor still remains four seats short of a majority of 76 in the 151 seat lower house with about a dozen races too close to call, according to television channels.

Some predicted Labor might get enough seats to govern on their own.

Official results could be several days away, with the counting of a record 2.7 million postal votes underway on Sunday.

Source: TRTWorld 

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