WASHINGTON — Action star Jackie Chan and pop diva Barbra Streisand topped a guest list including three presidents and political and media elites at a US state dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao Wednesday.
At the request of the Chinese side, the menu for the dinner honoring Hu, after a day of frank talks at the White House, was quintessentially American fare, such as poached Maine lobster and dry-aged rib eye with creamed spinach.
And nothing could be more American than the old fashioned apple pie offered as dessert in a final flourish for a meal washed down with a selection of wines from California and Washington state.
Hu, wearing a business suit, posed with President Barack Obama, in black tie, and First Lady Michelle Obama, who was wearing a flowing red and black off-the-shoulder dress, after arriving at the North Portico of the White House.
On the list of 225 guests for Obama’s third state dinner were his two predecessors as Democratic presidents, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Previous events honored the Indian and Mexican leaders.
Henry Kissinger, the Nixon-era national security adviser and secretary of state who played key role in forging relations with communist China, was also invited.
Guests from the art world and the media included cellist Yo Yo Ma, whose parents were ethnic Chinese, and Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine.
Wendi Deng, the wife of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, showed up without her husband, who she said was traveling.
After-dinner entertainment was to be provided by Herbie Hancock and Chinese classical pianist Lang Lang.
Several important Washington power players who would have normally been expected at a state dinner turned down invitations amid anger on Capitol Hill over China’s human rights record and economic policies.
Senate Democratic Majority leader Harry Reid, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican House Speaker John Boehner — now the third-ranking US elected official — all chose not to attend.
But former speaker Nancy Pelosi, who now leads the Democratic House minority, was on the guest list, despite her history of fierce denunciations of China’s human rights record.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro takes on Norway for whaling, but bungles it
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Monday responded to Norway's decision to halt its forest protection subsidies, taking to Twitter to criticise the Scandinavian country for its whaling practice and post spectacular -- albeit misleading -- images.
"Look at the killing of whales sponsored by Norway," Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter.
The post includes a video and photographs of a spectacular whale hunt, where mammals in the shallow waters of a bay are slaughtered by people wading on shore, armed with hooked knives. The whales' blood turns the waters red.
However, the images, reportedly taken on May 29 in Norway, illustrate a "grind", a type of pilot whale hunt practised exclusively in the Faroe Islands -- a Danish territory in the North Atlantic.
Orange County teens busted for singing obscure Nazi song while giving Hitler salutes
Nearly a dozen high school students from Southern California delivered Nazi salutes and sang a Nazi marching song in a video posted on social media.
The video was uploaded to Instagram by one member of the boys’ water polo team at Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, California, along with lyrics to the song played for German troops during World War II, reported The Daily Beast.
A spokesperson for the Garden Grove Unified School District told the website administrators learned of the incident in March, four months after the video was posted, but declined to say whether any of the students were disciplined.
Donald Trump is America’s clown prince
“The problem with political jokes,” Groucho Marx once said, “is that they keep getting elected.” Never has that been more true than today. We live in a world ruled by clowns. I mean that both literally and figuratively. Our century has ushered in the Age of the Clown Politician.
In Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, who played a Ukrainian president on the popular television comedy SERVANT OF THE PEOPLE, was elected to be the real president with over 70 percent of the vote. Zelensky is literally a clown. In Great Britain, Boris Johnson, who will replace Theresa May as prime minister, is a buffoon who elicits laughter –usually unintended- wherever he goes. Mr. Johnson is figuratively a clown.