UN exploring ‘alternative hosting options’ after Chile cancels climate meeting

BERLIN – The United Nations’ (UN) climate chief said on Wednesday that “alternative hosting options” are currently being explored after Chile has withdrawn as host of this year’s UN climate conference (COP25).

Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) based in Bonn, Germany, said in a statement that she was informed of the “decision by the government of Chile not to host COP25 in view of the difficult situation that the country is undergoing.”

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera announced earlier on Wednesday that his country will cancel the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit and COP25, citing the need to focus on the social crisis facing the South American country.

COP25 was scheduled to be held from Dec 2 to 13 this year in Santiago, Chile’s capital city.

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Educational travel conference held in Beijing

The Beijing International Educational Travel Conference, which took place on Oct 30 and was hosted by the Beijing Municipal Culture and Tourism Bureau, aimed to boost inbound study tourism in the capital.

More than 130 study tour operators from the US, Europe and Southeast Asia joined the event to seek opportunities for collaboration.

During the conference, participants experienced many of the capital’s resources for learning, including the Palace Museum and traditional Chinese medicine facilities.

The unique accumulation of science and culture will enable Beijing to claim a share in the world’s competitive educational tourism market, says Wang Yue, deputy director of the Beijing bureau.

The educational travel conference was first held last year and brought many positive outcomes to Beijing, Wang says.

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Film set in Xinjiang celebrates China’s anniversary

On Oct 28, The Wings of Songs, a film to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, premiered at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Made by the Publicity Department of Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Tianshan Film Studio, the film tells the story of three young people who insist on pursuing their musical dreams. They embark on a journey to travel to many places in Xinjiang to collect folk songs and experience local life.

Cast members worked in Xinjiang’s vast landscapes for filming and show its scenic views and diversified cultures, which include many local songs, dances and musical styles. 

“We want to show the ethnic groups’ current situation in Xinjiang, and their efforts for a better future,” said Gao Huanggang, Tianshan Film Studio’s president.

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Pliskova gets WTA Finals group stage win as injured Andreescu retires

SHENZHEN – Czech No 2 seed Karolina Pliskova notched her maiden purple group victory after 4th seeded Bianca Andreescu retired a set down (6-3) with an injured left knee.

The two players came into the match with the 19-year-old Andreescu having won their only previous encounter in Toronto earlier this month, and it was the Canadian who pulled ahead initially in this meeting as well.

Pliskova was broken at love on her first service by Andreescu who was finding her returning shots with ease. The two players then each held a service game before Andreescu had to stretch to attempt a return at a wide passing shot from Pliskova.

In visible pain, Andreescu called a medical time out and had heavy strapping applied to her knee. Andreescu was later overheard telling her coach Sylvain Bruneau that she “heard a crack” and was unable to get any movement out of her knee.

The US Open champion went on to drop five out of the next six games after her medical time out. Although Pliskova would cough up several unforced errors and stumbled through four double faults, Andreescu was hampered enough in her ability to find shots that the Czech managed to break twice more on the way to sealing the set in 46 minutes.

In terms of what this means for the draw, there is still one round-robin match left for Friday in the purple group. Although Andreescu is not barred from continuing due to the retirement, the result still counts as a win for Pliskova, so the Canadian will not be able to advance beyond the group stage.

Since both Pliskova and Simona Halep will be at one win and one loss a piece going into their clash, they will in effect be playing for the second spot in the semis behind Elina Svitolina, who clinched her weekend appearance with a straight-sets win over Halep earlier this evening.

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Treasures of Shaanxi

A rare exhibition of key artifacts from the province is an artistic and cultural showcase of Chinese civilization spanning four dynasties, Lin Qi reports.

Ask any avid museumgoer to name the artifacts that epitomize the magnificence of Chinese civilization, and he or she may list famous objects like the 3,000-year-old bronze He Zun vessel, a kneeling terracotta archer guarding Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) Emperor Qinshihuang in the afterlife, the gilt-bronze censers of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24), or even the painted three-colored glazed ceramics featuring horses and their riders from the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

They all represent a strong, influential era, and they all originated from today’s Shaanxi province, which once enjoyed prominence in Chinese history.

People have seen these celebrated objects separately at museums, and are drawn to appreciate them again and again.

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It is therefore something of a blockbuster claim when an exhibition can boast such a star-studded lineup to include all these artifacts of crucial significance to Chinese history and culture.

But the exhibition Everlasting Like the Heavens, an ongoing show at the Tsinghua University Art Museum through Dec 17, provides just that rare opportunity.

Female painter’s exhibition hails natural beauty

The works of Beijing-based ink-wash painter Zhou Ping show on one side elegance and feminine sensitivity and on the other, a philosophical thinking on life.

Her body of works includes floral themes with a vibrant palette. She also creates monochromatic paintings to discuss interpersonal relations, such as her painting titled Hide and See, which features an ink tree trunk with several eye-like patterns.

Her solo exhibition Live as Summer Flowers shows more than 60 paintings at the gallery of Li Keran Art Foundation in Beijing through Oct 31. The title is borrowed from Rabindranath Tagore’s verse — “let life be beautiful like summer flowers” — to show nature as Zhou’s major source of inspiration, which further leads her to reflect on life and art.

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Oxlade-Chamberlain 'proud' of Liverpool youngsters' character in thrilling Carabao Cup tie

The England international was one of the elder statesmen in a youthful Reds side which overcame his former club

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has hailed the character of Liverpool’s youngsters after the Reds booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.

On a crazy night at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp’s side battled back to beat Arsenal on penalties, after a remarkable 5-5 draw which will live long in the memory.

Liverpool trailed 3-1 and 4-2, having fielded five teenagers in their starting line-up against Unai Emery’s men.

Neco Williams made his professional debut at right back while Caoimhin Kelleher, Sepp van den Berg, Harvey Elliott, Rhian Brewster and Curtis Jones all made their Anfield bows, with 16-year-old Elliott becoming the youngest player ever to represent the Reds in a competitive game at home.

Oxlade-Chamberlain was one of the side’s senior citizens and got on the scoresheet with a 25-yard strike against his former club. And afterwards the England midfielder paid tribute to the spirit and perseverance of his younger colleagues.

“I am really proud of how the boys turned out,” he told reporters. “And especially the young lads on their first starts and debuts.

“[Arsenal] had young players out as well but I think all of those young players are pretty involved in the first team and Europa League and stuff, so they had more experience. It goes to show what quality we have here.

“More than that, it was the character. It wasn’t a plain-sailing game against tough opposition – a big club in Arsenal. A lot of boys could have gone missing or the occasion could have got the better of them but they kept going.

“I saw Pep [Lijnders, the assistant manager] talking in his press conference about the character and what the boys are going to have to do to make that step up, and tonight showed it.

“It is an education for all of us, even the more senior boys. When you make mistakes in big games like that and big moments at the start of their careers, it is about how you respond to that. They responded really well.”

Liverpool had three teenage heroes in the shootout, with goalkeeper Kelleher saving from Dani Ceballos and both Brewster and Jones converting their penalties in front of the Kop – Jones, a second-half substitute, confident enough to take the final, decisive kick.

“Curtis is a really confident lad and he’s been around us long enough to know that we trust his ability and he is comfortable with that,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said.

“It was nice to see him put his name down to take a penalty and he was always going to do that. The same with Rhian – I know how confident he is!

“To step up in front of the Kop like that, to convert all the penalties, especially with the young lads, shows a lot about the character. I am really happy with them.”

As for himself, Oxlade-Chamberlain admitted he was far from satisfied with his performance, but could reflect on another senior start – and another spectacular goal to add to his collection.

“At the minute they are not tap-ins, let’s put it that way!” he smiled. “It was a pretty good goal, so it was really hard to keep the celebrations in but that is always something that I knew I would do against my former club. I always want to show a lot of respect for Arsenal and what they did for me and the times I had there.

“I didn’t want to celebrate but it was a tough one to hold in. I wanted to take my shirt off and go mad! It was nice to get one, I have been given a license to shoot from outside the box and the last few games I’ve managed to do that. Hopefully it continues.”

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He added: “I just tried to run a bit more and get in behind and tried to get my legs going a bit more. Quality-wise, I am not too happy with my performance to be honest. I wasn’t great on the ball and not near my own personal level of where I want to be. But I put in a good shift and ran a lot.

“I watched the boys of a weekend and I know what it is about here. You have got to be at a really high physical level to go and put in a performance like that. Fabinho did really well at the weekend so I need to keep pushing myself and maybe I will get a chance.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool will assess the fitness of Naby Keita after the Guinea midfielder was substituted after 55 minutes of Wednesday’s game. Klopp confirmed afterwards that the 24-year-old had been limping after slipping during the match, but initial hopes are that the problem is not a serious one.

'Mustafi's days in the Premier League are gone' – Arsenal defender receives damning Carragher assessment

The one-time Reds centre-back believes the German is a liability at the back and will not play any more league games for the Gunners

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes that Arsenal centre-back Shkodran Mustafi’s days in the Premier League are numbered, following the Gunners’ Carabao Cup elimination.

The Germany international produced a string of high-profile errors for the Gunners last season and has been dropped this term by Unai Emery, featuring only in cup competitions.

However, the former Valencia man put in a shaky display at Anfield, scoring an own-goal as Arsenal twice threw away a two-goal advantage, conceding a total of five and losing on penalties.

And Carragher feels that Mustafi’s exile from the English top flight is likely to remain permanent, as his consistent mistakes have a negative impact on the rest of the Gunners defence.

“I think those days are gone – Mustafi playing in the Premier League,” Carragher told Sky Sports.

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“He’s just one of those defenders [that makes mistakes]. When someone does that it makes others nervous. You can’t play your own game because you’re half covering for him.

“I think once he goes it will be better for everyone at Arsenal.”

Arsenal went behind at Anfield as the German turned a low cross into his own net, but the Gunners recovered to take a 3-1 lead as Lucas Torreira equalised before Gabriel Martinelli struck twice in the space of 10 minutes.

The Brazilian gave away a penalty on Harvey Elliott which James Milner converted just before half-time, however, giving the Reds a route back into the contest.

Any hopes of a comeback appeared to have been ended when Mesut Ozil – making just his third start of the season – set Ainsley Maitland-Niles up brilliantly to restore Arsenal’s two-goal advantage.

However, former Gunner Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Divock Origi produced thumping, long-range efforts to restore parity just after the hour mark, but Joe Willock responded with a pearler of his own to make it 5-4 as the tie continued to provide entertainment.

They could not hold on though, in what is fast becoming a defining feature of Emery’s tenure at Arsenal, as Origi struck again deep into stoppage time to force penalties.

Dani Ceballos was the only man to see his spot-kick saved, before academy graduate Curtis Jones slotted home the winning penalty.

Ibrahimovic set for LA Galaxy talks with GM Te Kloese

The forward is wanted by several sides as his contract with expires

LA Galaxy general manager Dennis te Kloese says he expects to have talks with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the coming days as reports continue to swirl surrounding the forward’s future.

Ibrahimovic’s contract is set to expire following the Galaxy’s elimination from the MLS playoffs and the 38-year-old striker is attracting interest.

Former Manchester United, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus star Ibrahimovic has been linked with a move to La Liga, as well as Napoli, Bologna and Inter amid talk of a return to Europe.

The forward furthered rumours of a potential departure on Tuesday with a post hinting at a potential visit, or move, to Spain.

However, Te Kloese says Ibrahimovic’s departure is far from imminent as he will have discussions with the Swedish star in the coming weeks.

“My deal with him, and I have known him for a long time, is to sit down with him after things have calmed down postseason and evaluate what is good for him, his family, his fitness and for us as well,” Te Kloese told ESPN Deportes .

He added: “You all already know Zlatan. He is a topic all by himself, he is a unique character, with so many facets.

“And I think he helped us this year, basically and obviously, with the number of goals he scored, which was so impressive.

“And all of that we will be talking about, for sure, next week when he returns. He is a very mature athlete in that sense and so we will first and foremost be speaking like adults and after that we will determine what is the best for all parties involved.”

A-League side Perth Glory have also thrown their hat into the ring to bring the ex-Sweden international to Australia on a reported guest-player deal for up to six games this year.

“An approach has been made to his agent [Mino Raiola],” Glory CEO Tony Pignata told Fairfax.

“We’ve asked the question firstly about his availability and secondly of his interest.”

Ibrahimovic has flourished since moving to Los Angeles from Premier League giants Man Utd in 2018 – scoring 53 goals across two seasons for the Galaxy.

Man United are 'going places' – Rashford sees an end to tough times under Solskjaer

Having fired Manchester United past Chelsea in the Carabao Cup, Marcus Rashford can see light at the end of the tunnel for the Red Devils.

Marcus Rashford believes Manchester United are “definitely going places” after their 2-1 Carabao Cup victory over Chelsea on Wednesday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side made it three away wins in a row in all competitions thanks to Rashford’s double at Stamford Bridge, which secured their place in the quarter-finals.

Rashford, who missed a penalty before scoring in the weekend’s 3-1 Premier League win at Norwich City, broke the deadlock from the spot in the first half and secured the win with a spectacular free-kick after Michy Batshuayi had drawn Chelsea level.

The Red Devils appeared to be facing a crisis when they lost 1-0 to struggling Newcastle United on October 6, but they claimed a creditable 1-1 draw with Liverpool before their three-game winning run on the road.

Their upturn in form has left Rashford feeling confident that better times are on the horizon.

“We have been in a tough place,” he told Sky Sports. “We are still getting through that phase and the only way to do it is to fight your way through it.

“The main focus for us is just improvement and development because we are definitely going places.

“We have done a lot of good work. The start of the season wasn’t exactly what we expected but we have got to get through it and get back to winning games.”

Rashford’s decisive strike, his fifth career goal against Chelsea, was a stunning free-kick from 30 yards out that dipped and swerved past the helpless Willy Caballero.

The England international says training with the Carabao Cup ball gave him the belief to try his luck from distance.

“To be honest, it was the balls,” he said. “When we were training with them and we were shooting, there was this up-and-down motion and they can go anywhere. Thankfully, today it went in the top corner. It is a positive day.”

Rashford was also relieved to keep his cool from the penalty spot, having been denied by Tim Krul against Norwich.

“You always step forward to take it and when the moment comes it is just about trying to be relaxed. Thankfully, today I was,” he added.

“It made the game a little bit easier for us but the second goal was the one that killed the game.”

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