CULTURE

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Depp under pressure in cross-examination at Sun libel case

Johnny Depp said Thursday that he has lashed out at objects but not at people, on a third day of evidence in his libel suit against a tabloid newspaper that called him a “wife-beater.”US actor Johnny Depp arrives on the third day of his libel trial against News Group Newspapers (NGN), at the High Court in London, on July 9, 2020. (Photo: AFP)Depp is suing News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun, and the paper’s executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an April 2018 article that said he’d physically abused ex-wife Amber Heard.He strongly denies ever hitting Heard, but has faced tough questioning at the High Court in London from The Sun’s lawyer, Sasha Wass.Wass alleged Thursday that Depp had lashed out at Heard during an attempt to break an addiction to the opioid Roxicodone on his private island in the Bahamas in 2014. He denied physical violence, but said Heard’s claim that he was “flipping” and “screaming” might be accurate.“I remember that I was in a great deal of pain and uncontrollable spasms and such. … So flipping could be a word that was correct,” he said.“I was not in good shape. It was the lowest point I believe I’ve ever been in in my life.”Depp accused Heard of telling “porkie pies” — slang for lies — about his behavior. He acknowledged striking out at objects, saying it was better than “taking it out on the person that I love.”He denied he could have been physically abusive and not remember it.“There were blackouts, sure, but in any blackout there are snippets of memory,” Depp said.On Wednesday Depp acknowledged that he may have done things he can’t remember while he was under the influence of alcohol and drugs.The admission came after Wass asked Depp about a 2014 private plane flight from Boston to Los Angeles. Heard alleges the actor went into a rage during the flight, slapped her and kicked her in the back because he believed she was having an affair with actor James Franco.Depp denied assaulting Heard or being out of control on the plane.Wass then pr...

Chinese singer Zhang Yixing’s new released song ‘Boom’ takes social media by storm

Promotional material of song "Boom" from Chinese singer Zhang Yixing. (Photo: Snapshot of Zhang Yixings Sina Weibo account)Chinese singer and K-pop EXO member Zhang Yixing, better known by his stage name Lay Zhang, released his new single "Boom," part of the second half of his fourth album Lit on Thursday. The song quickly climbed the trending ranks on both Twitter and Chinas Twitter-like Sina Weibo."My new single Boom is out! I just want everyone to be happy and vibe out when they hear it! I hope to see your dance moves," Zhang posted on his official Twitter and Instagram accounts on Thursday."Boom" is a smooth and catchy dance song that mixes hip-hop elements and tropical sounds, and its vibrant melody is suitable to the season of summer, according to a description on a Zhangs fan club on Sina Weibo.A video of Zhang dancing to the song has gone viral on both Twitter and Sina Weibo, with many fans imitating the dance and sharing their own videos on social media.The first half of the album Lit was released on June 1. It sold out 30 million copies in seven minutes. EXOs members Chanyeol and Sehun performed the dance for the song "Lit" on a live broadcast Tuesday night to support Zhangs new album. Many Chinese netizens complimented the group for having a "burst soul."Zhang once revealed that he collaborated with Grammy winner, producer, and composer Scott Storch on the last six songs of the album. Storch has collaborated with many artists including Beyoncé, DJ Khaled, 50 Cent, and Snoop Dogg, according to reports.

China adds two parks to list of UNESCO Global Geoparks

BEIJING, July 8 -- China has added another two geological parks to its list of UNESCO Global Geoparks, bringing the total number to 41, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration said Wednesday. The Xiangxi Geopark in central China's Hunan Province and Zhangye Geopark in northwest China's G

Xi'an's sites steeped in history undergo renovation

Xi'an's landmark Bell Tower. [Photo by Han Fei/For China Daily] .Many residents of, and tourists going to, Xi'an have recently noticed that the Bell Tower and the ancient city wall, both among the most popular destinations in the capital city of Northwest China's Shaanxi province, are under renovat

Ancient glory of Old Summer Palace blossoms with resurrected lotuses

Lotuses blossom again from "antique" seeds, which were buried underground for over a century in the ruins of Yuanmingyuan in Beijing. (Photos: China Daily)It is probably difficult for todays people to imagine how splendid the architecture by the shore looked, with its breathtaking backdrop of flourishing lotuses, before the havoc of 1860.That was the year when invading Anglo-French forces burned down Yuanmingyuan, or the Old Summer Palace, in Beijing. Sprawling over 340 hectares, this former Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) resort used to be hailed as the "garden of gardens".Thanks to 11 lotus seeds, unearthed by archaeologists in 2017 in the Ruyuan Park area of Yuanmingyuan, some of that splendor has returned-like envoys traveling through time to represent the strong spirit of the past, today.With July here, the flowers are blooming again in Yuanmingyuan Ruins Park, thanks to technicians devoted cultivation.The 11 seeds, the first of their kind ever found in the Yuanmingyuan ruins, were moved to the laboratory at the Institute of Botany affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, where they were protected and nurtured. Six of the seeds later sprouted."They grow much slower than regular lotus," Zhang Huijin, a botanist at the institute, says. "And buds would soon have become rotten if they stayed in earth."Consequently, it seems a better choice to let them "come home"."They have slept for such a long time, and suffering from poor nutrition," Zhao Aimei, the leading horticulturist in charge of the program, says. "We were worried whether these fragile seeds could blossom or not."Two of the sprouts were left in the lab as samples, and four returned to Yuanmingyuan last year.Even though Zhao says it feels like "nothing special" to grow these old seeds, she still gives particular attention to them. She cleaned their pond more often, compared with other young ones, and prayed for the best...

Video of six-year-old Chinese boy boxing goes viral online

A video of a six-year-old boy in China wearing boxing gloves and hitting a punching bag taller than him has recently gone viral on the Internet. The boy, Meng Xueyuan, is still in kindergarten now. In addition to hitting punching bags, the boy also boxes with his father; sometimes he can even defeat

Summer view of West Lake after rain 5 Photos

Summer view of West Lake after rain

A view of the West Lake scenic area in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, on July 7, 2020. A refreshing summer scene begins to emerge at the landmark attraction after several days of rainfall. [Photo/Xinhua] .

Over 10 million take China's college entrance exam amid tightened epidemic prevention

File photo: China DailyBEIJING, July 7 (Xinhua) -- A total of 10.71 million Chinese students Tuesday began taking the annual national college entrance examination, known as the Gaokao, amid strict COVID-19 control measures at exam centers across the country.This years Gaokao, the most important event for Chinese students, has been delayed by one month due to the epidemic. More than 7,000 exam centers have been set up, with around 400,000 examination rooms, while 945,000 people work as invigilators or service providers.In Xian, capital of northwest Chinas Shaanxi Province, body temperature checkpoints have been set up at the entrance of exam centers, and disinfection is carried out after every exam.At Xian Huanghe Middle School, students went through two temperature checks before entering the exam rooms. In between the checks, students waited in the school playground for ID verification.The school also set up three spare exam rooms for quarantine, where students with fever and cough are sent after a diagnosis.In Yinchuan, the capital of northwest Chinas Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, local educational authorities reduced the number of students in each exam room from 30 to 25 and replaced fingerprints with facial recognition to avoid contact.According to the Ministry of Education, daily temperature checks and health monitoring of Gaokao candidates and staff began across the country 14 days before the exam. Emergency plans have also been drawn in flood-hit areas.With the one-month delay, China has entered one of the hottest months and educational authorities have adopted measures to mitigate the impact of heat on students performance.In south Chinas Guangdong Province, local educational authorities said air conditioners had been installed at all exam centers across the province this year for the 674,000 students.Similar measures have also been taken in central Chinas Wuhan, a city formerly hit hard by the novel coronavirus, where...

Hot young bands like Cool find success in national competition

Tianjin-based all-girl rock group and 2019 Midi Kids Band Competition champion, Cool. (Photos provided to China Daily)They came exactly as labeled. "I want people to see how cool an all-girl rock band can be," says Zhou Zi, the 15-year-old lead vocalist and guitarist of the Tianjin-based rock band, Cool.The ensemble was crowned champion of the youngsters group at the 2019 Midi Kids Band Competition, becoming the first all-girl rock band to win the national contest.Their original song, Chase, a mixture of hip-hop and funk, which was performed during the final round of the competition, was released as part of a live album, Hai Xing A Mian, (meaning "kids can, Side A"), on June 23, by the competitions organizer, Beijing Midi Art Communication Co Ltd."I will never give up halfway, though the road ahead of me is a rough way," sings Zi, who wrote the lyrics of the song. "My future, my dream, I will chase in my own way."Founded in April 2011, the band consists of Zi, bassist Zou Yunyang, keyboardist Wu Siyu and drummer Ma Ruichen.Zi first joined a vocal group with three other girls of her age when she attended a music training center in Tianjin. Her father wanted her to learn to play a musical instrument, so he took her to a street in Tianjin which sold both Western and traditional Chinese musical instruments.Zi chose to play drums and soon began showcasing her musical talent and winning awards.It wasnt long before she turned her attention to the musical instrument she would eventually stick with-the guitar. At the same time, she set up a band along with three girls she met at the music training center, including drummer Ruichen."As I grew up, I realized that many rock bands are male-dominated. Usually girls are associated with dancing, painting, piano or guzheng (Chinese zither)," says Zi. "Though our band has gone through changes, we keep the all-girl lineup."We want to show people how girls play ...

This Yu Garden audio tour raises money for charity

A bit of a tourist trap it may be, but Shanghai’s classical Chinese garden Yuyuan pulls in the crowds for a reason: it’s the only Ming dynasty garden in the city today and , it’s maintained its Ming style with pavilions, ponds, halls and bridges from a bygone era. Also, like a lot of old things, it’

France's Louvre Museum reopens 4 Photos

France's Louvre Museum reopens

A woman visits the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, July 6, 2020.[Photo/Xinhua] .After three and a half months of closure, the Louvre, one of the most visited museums in the world, reopened on Monday to the public, without lengthy queues of visitors as before the COIVD-19 pandemic.

Johnny Depp 'not a wife-beater', libel trial told

Johnny Depp strenuously denied being violent to his ex-wife Amber Heard and claimed a British tabloid article that accused him of being a "wife-beater" caused "serious harm" to his reputation, a London court was told on Tuesday.Johnny Depp, right, wearing a protective mask arrives at the Royal Court of Justice, in London, Tuesday, July 7, 2020. (Photo: AP)The Hollywood stars denial came at the start of his defamation case in the British capital against The Sun newspaper, which made the allegations in a 2018 article.Depp, 57, is suing The Suns publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN) and the author of the article, executive editor Dan Wootton, for libel.Wearing a dark suit, white shirt and facemask, he was met by a throng of waiting cameras at the courts front entrance. Heard, a 34-year-old actress, arrived by a separate back entrance.The case is expected to lay bare the nature of the couples relationship -- and lift the lid on the life of some of Hollywoods biggest names.Extremely unpredictableIn a written outline to the court of Depps position, his legal team accepted the couples relationship was at times "physical" but insisted it was at Heards instigation.On occasions, the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star had to defend himself from her violence, his lawyer David Sherborne said, adding: "He is not a wife-beater and never has been."The lawyer said Heards claims that he seriously assaulted and injured her were "complete lies" and that he had already publicly denied the assertion before The Sun published."The claimant (Depp) was not violent towards Ms Heard, it was she who was violent to him," he said.Heard was a "complex individual who suffered extreme mood swings, would provoke endless circular arguments, and fly into violent rages", he added.She was on a "wide range of prescribed medication and other drugs". Her behaviour, wh...

Dior strikes gold as Paris fashion makes mixed virtual debut

An employee sews a miniature dress for the recording of the Dior haute couture collection's presentation movie in Dior's sewing workshop in Paris on Saturday.The director said Dior's Italian creator Maria Grazia Chiuri gave him the idea for the storyline.Van Herpen said she found the leap to digital

Hit TV thriller brings tourism boom to unknown city in China

A Chinese hit show is putting a small and relatively unknown city on the map for holidaymakers.Zhanjiang Cityis located in the southwestern corner of Guangdong Province, some 450 kilometers from the metropolis Guangzhou.For the longest time, travelers have skipped over it when touring the countrys southern coast but now hundreds of thousands are setting their sights on a trip there – and locals have TV drama "The Bad Kids" to thank for their citys overnight popularity.The 12-episode series was released by iQiyi, a Chinese streaming service platform, in mid-June and soon became a major hit on social media. The instant success of the series had a knock-on effect on tourism in Zhanjiang City, where the show was filmed.The popularity of Zhanjiang as a tourist destination soared by 261 percent in just one week, news website ifeng reported on June 30, citing Chinese travel website Mafengwo.Fueling the newfound interest in the city is "daka" travel, a trend among young Chinese taking quick trips to popular destinations just to show their presence. Daka, meaning "punching a card", is basically a box-ticking style of tourism – less about the experience, and more about getting the trip done and going home.But thats not to say that the city is not without its appeal.A bridge at the bay of Zhanjiang City, Guangdong Province, April 20, 2020. (Photo: CFP)The first taste of the city for the show fans is the Chikan old town, the main set of the drama. It is the oldest part of Zhanjiang, going back to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) when it served as a commercial hub for trading with overseas merchants.The city blends Chinese architecture with Western structures and has managed to preserve ancient buildings, evoking among visitors the charm of old days. With 28 kilometers of beach areas, outdoor lovers can enjoy the trinity of sun, sea and sand and indulge in seafood galore.Tourists have been sharing photos of locations that appeared i...

Tokyo Disney park reopens with infection-prevention measures

Visitors in facemasks lined up to enter Tokyo Disney Resort on July 1. The resort reopened for the first time in four months after being closed due to the coronavirus. They were encouraged to clean their hands, pay without cash and avoid screaming while enjoying one of Japan's largest theme parks.

Virtual ceremony sends graduates into real world

Part of the class of 2020 students at Peking University attend a graduation ceremony on campus on Thursday. Most of the university graduates watched the graduation ceremony online due to the COVID-19 pandemic."Because of the change in the pandemic, many students who planned to return to school were

Online culture week to boost China-UAE cultural and economic ties

The UAE Embassy to China officially launched China-UAE Culture Week, a five-day marathon of virtual events, on Sunday, with the aim of building an ever-stronger cultural and economic bridge between the two countries and taking the robust comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level. “Unders

Britain to give $2 billion to virus-hit culture sector

The British government on Monday announced a nearly $2 billion package to help theatres, museums, heritage sites and live music venues survive the coronavirus crisis, but faced accusations of acting too late.Photo: AFPThe mix of grants and loans worth £1.57-billion ($1.96 billion (1.73 billion euro), was unveiled after increasingly desperate warnings that thousands of jobs and many cultural bodies were at risk.A national shutdown was imposed in late March and is only now easing, as shops, pubs, hairdressers and museums have reopened in recent weeks.But live performances remain banned because of the risks they pose of spreading COVID-19.Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "From iconic theatre and musicals, mesmerising exhibitions at our world-class galleries to gigs performed in local basement venues, the UKs cultural industry is the beating heart of this country."This money will help safeguard the sector for future generations, ensuring arts groups and venues across the UK can stay afloat and support their staff whilst their doors remain closed and curtains remain down."The funds were warmly welcomed across the sector, which employs 700,000 people, according to government figures."This news is truly welcome at a time when so many theatres, orchestras, entertainment venues and other arts organisations face such a bleak future," said theatre legend Andrew Lloyd Webber."It is absolutely critical that Britains cultural sector is restored to health as soon as possible."Simon Rattle, director of the London Symphony Orchestra, said: "We hope it will be distributed as fast as possible... as so many institutions and individual artists have been staring into the abyss."Some 1,500 acts including Ed Sheeran and The Rolling Stones last week made an impassioned call for help from ministers to protect the live music industry from collapse.Their letter followed warnings from a string of institutions, including Shakespeare&...

Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone dead at 91

Ennio Morricone, one of the worlds best-known and most prolific film composers, died in Rome on Monday at the age of 91.In this file photo taken on July 03, 2017 Italian composer Ennio Morricone poses during an interview in Rome. (Photo: AFP)He composed the music for about 500 films, including his old childhood friend Sergio Leones 1966 spaghetti western "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" and Quentin Tarantinos "The Hateful Eight" for which he won an Oscar in 2016.Morricone died in hospital where he was being treated for a fractured femur following a fall, according to a statement from a lawyer and family friend.A statement issued by lawyer and family friend Giorgio Assuma said Morricone "passed away in the early hours of July 6 with the comfort of his faith".He remained "fully lucid and with great dignity right until the end," the statement said.Adieu maestroTributes began pouring in for the maestro soon after his death was announced."We will remember forever and with infinite gratitude the artistic genius of maestro Ennio Morricone," Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said."He made us dream, he moved us and made us think, writing unforgettable notes that will remain forever in the history of music and cinema," he said on Twitter.Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza wrote in a tweet: "Adieu maestro, and thank you for the emotions you gave us."Gilles Jacob, the former head of the Cannes film festival, described him as the "emperor" of film music.Born on November 10, 1928, Morricone began composing at the tender age of six, and at just 10 he enrolled in a trumpet school at prestigious Saint-Cecilia conservatory in Rome.His film career began in 1961, when he was 33, with a collaboration with director Luciano Salce in "Mission Ultra-secrete" before going to gain fame with the score for "A Fistful of Dollars" starring ...

Online voting starts for annual China Film Directors' Guild awards

BEIJING, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Online voting started Monday for members of the China Film Directors Guild (CFDG) to nominate candidates for the guilds 2019 awards from a preliminary list of 25 selected films.File photo: CGTNA list of nominees for the awards in six categories, namely the best director, film, actor, actress, emerging director and screenwriter of the year, will be formed based on results of the voting set to run until July 31, according to a CFDG announcement via social media Monday.Among the 25 films on the preliminary list, all released in 2019, are blockbusters "Ne Zha," "The Wandering Earth" and "My People, My Country," as well as critically acclaimed art house films "So Long, My Son" and "Send Me to the Clouds."

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