中國時報【邱祖胤╱台北報導】 哪個作曲家最懂韓國人的心？答案竟是台灣的創作才子李哲藝。本月由索尼唱片公司發行的吳忠根指揮專輯，收錄李哲藝最新作品《釜山幻想曲—奚琴與小提琴雙協奏曲》，由韓國音樂家吳忠根指揮北捷克交響樂團演出。李哲藝興奮地表示：「我的作品竟然和德弗札克的《新世界交響曲》放在同一張專輯，真的很榮幸！」 45歲的李哲藝創作量驚人，作品超過千首，曾獲第23屆金曲獎的肯定，他同時也是知名的豎琴演奏家。李哲藝表示，3年前釜山交響樂團來台考察，聽到他為高雄市立交響樂團量身訂做的《港都綺緣》後，開始邀他為樂團創作。 「當時我也很好奇，韓國的古典音樂其實發展得很成熟，也不乏優秀的作曲家，為何偏偏找上我？」對方則表示，樂團在10年間至少委託20多位韓國作曲家創作，配器精采，創意能量十足，「卻無法被觀眾接受，充其量只能在學術領域留下來。」 由於李哲藝的《港都綺緣》是為二胡、大提琴及管弦樂團所編創，巧妙融合東西方元素，充滿幻想及浪漫色彩，感染力十足，釜山交響樂團驚為天人，期待李哲藝也能試著為韓國寫一首具有韓國特色的作品。 於是李哲藝先在2014年試寫了一首以韓國傳統樂器奚琴與大提琴對話的小品《韓國幻想曲》，用3首不同的〈阿里郎〉串連，才牛刀小試，對方就表示「這就是我們要的曲子！」要李哲藝打鐵趁熱，他於是再度為奚琴量身創作，這回對話的樂器換成小提琴，加上管弦樂團的澎湃音響，終於完成這首3個樂章、長達25分鐘的《釜山幻想曲》。 奚琴是什麼樣的樂器？李哲藝表示，它長得很像胡琴，幾千年前從絲路傳到韓國，就完全和胡琴分道揚鑣，「奚琴的弦很鬆，不像胡琴的弦按下去、一拉，就是固定的音，奚琴的弦按下去之後，隨著按壓力量大小，還能變化不同的音色、音域和聲量，演奏起來就像韓國人在唱歌一樣，演很大。」 樂曲於去年首演之後，受到一位韓裔的歐洲經紀人大加讚賞，在對方牽線下，邀請釜山大學音樂系教授吳忠根於今年3月赴歐指揮樂團並錄音，完成這次跨台、韓、捷三國的跨國音樂合作工程。 李哲藝今年工作照樣滿檔，除了完成《鄧麗君主題小提琴協奏曲》之外，還為藝人澎恰恰的《釧兒》音樂劇創作樂曲，年底還將投入歌劇《弘一大師》的製作，《釜山幻想曲》的錄音發行，是他忙碌生活中的小驚喜。
Freezing temperatures have been recorded across the usually hot southern US state.
- National Review
Senate Democrats considering the destruction of another set of Senate rules might want to heed the words of English lawyer and chancellor Sir Thomas More to his son-in-law centuries ago: And when the last law was down and the Devil turned round on you — where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? Then-Senator Harry Reid started this modern clearcutting of the rules back in 2013. He used the “nuclear option” to lower the vote threshold for confirmation in order to stack the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Senator Mitch McConnell escalated by using the same standard to confirm Supreme Court nominees. As Majority Leader Chuck Schumer toys with the idea of blowing up the legislative filibuster as well, he is potentially poised to first unravel another important — if lesser-known — Senate rule in pursuit of an all-encompassing COVID-relief bill under the terms of “budget reconciliation.” We’re talking about the Byrd Rule (named after the late Senator Robert Byrd), which limits the ability of the majority to stuff extraneous legislative goodies into budget-related proposals and still pass them with a simple-majority vote under that process. Senator Byrd saw the danger of using reconciliation, which limits amendments and debate, to pursue broader, non-budgetary legislation outside regular order. As a defender of the right of all senators to debate and amend legislation, he fastened these restrictions onto the reconciliation process. This is for the greater good: the Byrd Rule protects Social Security from the reconciliation process, for instance, while limiting committees to proposals in their jurisdiction and requiring that the budget relevance of any proposal considered under this process be more than “merely incidental.” What this means is that major legislative policy changes can be made only when all senators have the right to fully debate and amend legislation — and to filibuster. Reconciliation otherwise “streamlines” this process at the expense of the minority. Today, fueled by rage and revenge, the leaders of the Senate care nothing for the reasons behind the rules; they want only to pass their legislation as quickly as possible. Most of the attention these past weeks has gone to the $15 minimum wage contained inside the COVID-relief package. This hardly meets the reconciliation standard on its own, but there will be other violations of the Byrd Rule in the bill the House will send to the Senate. That’s why Senate Democrats could aim to break the glass on Senate rules. As described by parliamentary expert Martin Gold, there are two ways to achieve this. First, there’s the more targeted attack on the Byrd Rule. Say Vice President Harris is in the chair when a senator raises a point of order against, for example, the minimum-wage hike. The Senate parliamentarian advises her that this particular section of the reconciliation bill is out of order. Despite all evidence and precedent that the section is out of order, the VP rules otherwise. Now the section takes only a simple majority to pass. However, if a senator who supports the Byrd Rule challenges the ruling of the chair, it will require a 60-vote majority to overrule Harris. That’s a high bar. So here, the chair’s judgment, which likely would stand, changes the precedent so that any other item in the bill that violates the Byrd Rule can be ruled acceptable under the new standard just established by the vice president. Republicans would have loved this when they were trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, but they respected Senate rules protecting the rights of the minority. This limited, surgical strike on the Byrd Rule would still disrupt the precedent in perpetuity. Meanwhile, there’s a broader attack that could be implemented. In this scenario, the majority leader addresses the chair and says that waiving the Byrd Rule only takes a simple-majority vote. It is clear under the rules and the precedents that this is false. If the chair rules that it takes 60 votes to waive the Byrd Rule, the majority leader then appeals the ruling of the chair, which takes a simple-majority vote to overturn. Bingo — the protections of the Byrd Rule are dead, and now it takes only a simple-majority vote to put any legislative proposal the majority wants into the budget-reconciliation bill, bypassing legitimate debate and amendment. The result of this action would threaten any rule in the Senate. If at any time the majority wants to get rid of any rule, all they would have to do is appeal the ruling of the chair and muster a simple majority — silencing the opposition and forcing their will on the American people. Once upon a time, the U.S. Senate was called the world’s greatest deliberative body. As envisioned by Thomas Jefferson, there were rules that protected the minority and allowed for thorough debate. Sadly, it appears this current Senate majority cares little for the precedents that earned the U.S. Senate that title. But some caution on their part might be well-advised self-interest; tables have been known to turn. Editor’s Note: This piece has been updated with a corrected version of the quote attributed to Sir Thomas More.
- The Telegraph
A catastrophic explosion and fire at an Afghan customs depot has destroyed hundreds of fuel tankers and caused traders tens of millions of pounds of losses. A series of blasts hurled lorries hundreds of yards into the air and deposited the crumpled remains of fuel tanks as far as half a mile from the blast site. Nasa satellites could reportedly see the blast from space and the fire was so intense that Afghan officials appealed to neighbouring Iran for help. The blast on the Iranian border in Western Afghanistan destroyed as much as $50 million worth of vehicles and goods, the local chamber of commerce said. “It's a huge catastrophe for the private sector,” said Younis Qazizada, a spokesman for the chamber. Health officials in the nearby city of Herat said only 17 people had been injured, but with the customs depot entirely incinerated, there were fears bodies would only be found later. The cause of the blast was unknown, officials said. “The devastation is much higher than we imagined,” said Mr Qazizada. “There's no infrastructure remaining at all.” Some estimates put the number of destroyed fuel tankers as high as 500. The blast site was still smouldering on Sunday. Electricity pylons had been knocked down by the force of the blast and the highway next to the depot was blocked by incinerated vehicles. Crowds looted many of the remaining lorries and on Sunday there were repeated bursts of gunfire as soldiers tried to keep order. Local traders blamed delays by customs officials for building a dangerous backlog of tankers are the border. Iranian state media said the country had sent several helicopters, 11 fire engines and 21 ambulances to the scene after requests for help from the local governor. Units of the Iranian Army's Ground Force were also sent to the border area and the Iranian police were drafted into rescue operations.
- Associated Press
A report that Los Angeles police officers circulated a photo of George Floyd with the words “you take my breath away” in a Valentine-like format has prompted an internal investigation and drawn blistering condemnation from Floyd’s family, the district attorney and the police union. Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Saturday that investigators will try to determine how the image may have come into the workplace and who may have been involved, the Los Angeles Times reported. Moore said the officer who made the complaint would be interviewed Monday.
A real estate agent from the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles was fired recently after a video of him hurling racist comments at an Asian woman surfaced online. What happened: On Wednesday, a social media user who goes by "Em" shared the video in a now-deleted tweet.
- NBC News
"I was afraid of not making it through the night," said one Texan who lost power for most of Monday as temperatures dropped to single digits.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday reassured Ankara that Washington blames the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) for the executions of 13 kidnapped Turks in northern Iraq, after Turkey called an earlier U.S. statement on the killings "a joke." Turkey said on Sunday militants from the outlawed PKK executed the captives, including Turkish military and police personnel, amid a military operation against the group.
- National Review
New York Democrats are calling for Governor Cuomo to be subpoenaed and investigated over his administration’s coverup of its dismal handling of nursing home coronavirus deaths. Last week, reports broke that a top aide to Governor Cuomo admitted that the administration covered up the true data on nursing home deaths from the coronavirus in New York state in order to hide the magnitude of the issue from federal authorities. Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa apologized to state Democratic lawmakers during a recent video conference call, saying “we froze” out of fear that the real nursing home death numbers would “be used against us” by federal prosecutors, the New York Post reported. Representative Antonio Delgado, a Democrat representing parts of the Hudson Valley in the House, called Sunday for a probe into Cuomo’s handling of the state’s data on coronavirus nursing home deaths. “Politics should never come before people’s lives. The Secretary to the Governor’s remarks are beyond troubling and warrant a full investigation,” Delgado wrote in a tweet. “Thousands of New Yorkers lost family in nursing homes to COVID-19, a pain made worse by the inability to comfort their loved ones in their final hours. They deserve answers and accountability.” On Friday, New York State Senator Jessica Ramos, a Democrat representing east Queens, called for Cuomo and his administration to be subpoenaed for “all of the pertinent information” relating to nursing home coronavirus deaths along with a “full investigation.” “At a time when we need New Yorkers to trust their elected officials the most, the Governor and his administration knowingly chose to lie and play politics with New Yorkers’ lives,” Ramos said in a statement. “This news is another slap in the face to the many New Yorkers still grieving the loss of their loved ones across our state.” Ramos also joined a growing chorus of lawmakers calling for Governor Cuomo to be stripped of the emergency powers granted to him last year at the beginning of the pandemic. “His emergency powers must be rescinded, he and his administration must be subpoenaed for all of the pertinent information, and a full investigation must result in justice for our grieving families,” Ramos said in her statement. “It has become increasingly clear that the Governor has allowed his ego and his donor base to dictate the response to this pandemic, leaving the most vulnerable in our communities at risk and dismissing their cries for relief at every turn,” she said. The state had been tabulating the deaths of nursing home residents who died after being transported to the hospital as hospital deaths, making it difficult to ascertain the actual number of residents who died. Meanwhile, one of Cuomo’s policies signed into law on March 25 and rescinded in May required nursing homes to accept coronavirus-positive patients after they were discharged from hospitals, causing the virus to spread like wildfire among elderly nursing home residents. The policy received fierce backlash and has dogged his administration since the early days of the pandemic. The astonishing admission from the governor’s top aide of a coverup surrounding the nursing home death toll immediately sparked bipartisan calls for an investigation and for Cuomo’s prosecution. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who often spars with Cuomo on local issues, said he agrees “100 percent” with stripping Cuomo of emergency powers.
- The Independent
The National Guard was in Washington DC in response to the attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters
500 Black and Asian Community Members Rally in Oakland as Holiday Weekend Sees Wave of Attacks, Robberies
Members of Black and Asian communities convened on Saturday in Oakland, CA to rally against recent anti-Asian attacks, especially those in the Bay Area. What happened: During the rally, various speakers discussed the importance of solidarity among Black and Asian communities. More than 500 people showed up at Madison Park, according to NBC Bay Area.
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday accused Australia of abdicating its responsibilities by "unilaterally" cancelling the citizenship of a woman detained in Turkey and accused of having links to the Islamic State. Turkish authorities on Monday said they had caught three New Zealanders, two children and a 26-year-old woman alleged to be a member of Islamic State, trying to enter Turkey illegally from Syria. The woman had held New Zealand and Australian citizenships, but the Australian government cancelled her citizenship, Ardern told reporters in Wellington.
- The Telegraph
Children will look back on the dangers of social media in the same way we now wonder how children in the past were allowed in cars without seatbelts, England’s Children’s Commissioner has said. Anne Longfield OBE said she feels today’s children will be angry when they grow up and realise they were left exposed to a "wild and dangerous" online environment. It comes as she expressed her "frustration" with the pace of progress being made on duty of care laws to protect children online, which could take years to come into force. In a wide-ranging interview with The Telegraph, Mrs Longfield said she would "never forget" the self-harm images she saw on social media in the wake of the death of schoolgirl Molly Russell and called for tech bosses to face criminal prosecution if children came to serious harm using their apps. Her comments come as Mrs Longfield prepares to step down as Children’s Commissioner at the end of the month when her term expires. In recent years she has emerged as a staunch proponent for children’s rights online and castigated tech companies for their "cavalier" attitude towards protecting their youngest and most vulnerable users. Mrs Longfield said: “I do think that they [today’s children] will look back on this period and they will see it literally was a time where the digital world was a wild and dangerous place. "I think they will wonder how adults ever let that happen and I think they will look at it in the same way we now look back and wonder how children were allowed to ride in cars without seatbelts.” Mrs Longfield was appointed England’s third Children’s Commissioner in 2015, a role created in 2004 as a result of the inquiry into the death of 8-year-old Victoria Climbie. Throughout her tenure, she has pushed ministers to impose a statutory duty of care on tech giants to better protect children, a measure The Telegraph has also campaigned for since 2018. The Government is currently proposing to appoint Ofcom as a new digital regulator and arm it with powers to levy fines running into the billions of pounds on tech companies, or even ban them from the UK. However, previously mooted powers to launch criminal prosecutions against senior tech executives will not be immediately activated, although Parliament can choose to give the regulator those powers at a later date. Ms Longfield said she felt Ofcom should be able to launch criminal prosecutions from the off if it found failings at tech companies had caused serious damage to children. She said: “It's really important that criminal charges are held because at the end of the day it's comparable to the level of harm that the company is allowing to take place. I think it's justified in those terms and that it will demonstrate the commitment to change that really is needed.” During her tenure, Mrs Longfield said she had seen some harrowing scenes involving children, but one thing she would never forget were the images of self-harm she saw online after the death of schoolgirl Molly Russell. Molly was just six days away from her 15th birthday when her parents found her dead at her home in Harrow, North London, in 2017. Her father Ian later accused Facebook-owned Instagram of "helping to kill" his daughter after it emerged she had been viewing suicide and self-harm images on the app as well as other sites. Following Molly’s death Instagram banned graphic self-harm images from its network.
Yousaf Ali Khan is held on charges of sedition over remarks made in London alleged to be "anti-state".
- The Independent
Charges ‘not anticipated’ to be brought against juvenile
- Associated Press
President Joe Biden spent his third week in office visiting the Pentagon, touring the National Institutes of Health and working on the administration’s COVID-19 response. It’s been used by every president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt first went there in 1943 as a personal hideaway and has been the site of major diplomatic negotiations and policy discussions throughout history, according to Michael Giorgione, who served as commander of Camp David for Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and wrote the book “Inside Camp David.”
- The Telegraph
The prime minister of New Zealand confirmed that the coronavirus infections that triggered the country’s first lockdown in months are the UK variant, raising fears of a setback to the country's previously successful fight against the disease. Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that no new community cases had been found since New Zealand’s largest city was placed into an emergency three-day lockdown on Sunday night, raising hopes that the lockdown would be short. “We were right to take a cautious approach and focus on safety because we’ve confirmed it is the UK variant,” she told Radio New Zealand. "This is a highly transmissible and a fast-moving strain, one that requires extra care in order to stamp it out, and this is exactly what our approach entails," she added. It is the first time the more infectious UK variant has been found in New Zealand, which has achieved one of the lowest infection rates in the world thanks to strict border controls. Three people - a mother, father and daughter from the same Auckland family - tested positive for coronavirus over the weekend. The mother works at Auckland’s international airport for a company that does laundry for international aircrew. Initial speculation had focused on the strain escaping from a quarantine hotel, but Mrs Ardern said genome sequencing of the latest case had failed to “link it to any of the cases we’ve had come through our managed isolation facilities ... it tells us it wasn’t someone who went from an airline into our managed isolation.” She said investigations tracing the source were focusing on three scenarios, including whether the variant arrived with a transit passenger who stayed airside at the airport, or international aircrew via a uniform cleaned by the laundry company. She said the third scenario, that the infection had come from an unsequenced patient at a quarantine hotel, was unlikely because difficulties with sequencing had generally been associated with older cases of infection. Auckland’s 1.6 million people were told to stay at home for three days from midnight on Sunday. Under tier three of the country’s four-level lockdown system people must stay at home in their household bubbles and public venues have to close. Schools will be closed except for children of key workers. Essential shops like pharmacies and food shops are allowed to remain open for face-to-face contact but must follow social distancing. Gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed for events like funerals. The rest of the country has been put into tier two, which requires people to wear masks on public transport and observe social distancing. New Zealand is one of the only countries in the world to have largely stamped out Covid-19 in the community, thanks to a combination of strict domestic lockdowns and stringent border controls. Entry to non-citizens has been closed since March. Citizens returning from overseas must spend a fortnight in a quarantine hotel. In late January the country confirmed its first case of the South African variant in the community in a 56-year-old woman who had recently returned from Europe. Health Minister Chris Hipkins said that case was probably contracted during the woman’s hotel quarantine. She only tested positive 10 days after she was released.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Game wardens rescued the reptiles on Valentine’s Day.
- Associated Press Videos
Winter weather conditions are affecting large portions of the U.S., but it is rare for them to extend so far south. The storm is prompting canceled flights, making driving perilous and reaching into areas like Texas’ Gulf Coast. (Feb. 14)
Black Americans continue to face discrimination when it comes to building wealth through homeownership. Paul Austin and his wife, Tenisha Tate Austin, of Marin City purchased their first home off-market from another Black family in 2016. “I read the appraisal,” Tate Austin told ABC7.
- NBC News
“I got picked up and thrown to where I was going to be a mashed potato,” Elias Quezada, who was hiding in his grandmother's trash can, said.