OPINION: When Amanda Gorman took to the stage to recite the poem she wrote for US President Joe Biden’s inauguration, millions around the world heard and responded to the power of her words. We learned that this African American woman was the first US national youth poet laureate to be granted this opportunity. We found out also that her anxiety over a speech impediment meant she rehearsed the poem over and over in order to deliver such a sterling performance on the day. Her bright yellow attire guaranteed her visibility, her message delivered like youthful rays of sunlight to a country torn and ravaged by the divisiveness of its history. So I felt momentarily thrilled when I heard Gorman had been snapped up, briefly imagining she had attracted literary recognition and was being offered an opportunity to enhance her verbal eloquence further. Silly me. The snapping up came courtesy of a fashion agency. IMG Models, which represents the likes of Kate Moss, confirmed to CNN it had … [Read more...] about Is it this woman’s looks, and not her words, that will leave the deepest impression?
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SINGAPORE: Even as he called this year’s Budget a forward-looking one that anchors Singapore firmly in the future, Low Thia Khiang of the Workers' Party took issue with the Government's announcement of a hike in the good and services tax (GST), saying it was an “unnecessary distraction”. His comment evoked a response from Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng, who called it “baffling”. Mr Low had earlier spoken at length about how the Government has accurately identified the major shifts of the global economic weight to Asia as well as the emergence of new technologies. He said at the heart of this shift is China, and that Singapore has to “make itself useful” in global capitalism as it did with the rise of the West 50 years ago. He said while Singapore has to find ways of transforming its economy and human capital, and emphasised the learning of Mandarin to help connect the two countries, it is also worth bearing in mind that Singapore is first and foremost a … [Read more...] about Low Thia Khiang and Ng Chee Meng exchange words over timing of GST hike announcement
Neera Tanden Neera Tanden The Memo: Biden faces first major setback as Tanden teeters On The Money: Manhattan DA obtains Trump tax returns | Biden nominee previews post-Trump trade agenda | Biden faces first setback as Tanden teeters Washington Post denounces abuse of reporter MORE 's confirmation struggles are raising the question: Do mean tweets matter in the post-Trump world? They certainly are making a difference for Tanden. Her nomination as President Biden's budget chief appears to be hanging by a thread, mostly because of GOP senators angered by her sharp tone on Twitter as head of the Center for American Progress. ADVERTISEMENT The White House is sticking with Tanden so far, but it does not appear she has 50 votes of support in the Senate. And while it is mostly Republicans complaining about her tweets, they've been joined by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin Joseph (Joe) Manchin Minimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate … [Read more...] about Mean tweets may take down Biden nominee
Padang, INDONESIA: Neni Rahdipa scurries past a dizzying array of stalls selling coconuts, spices, herbs, fish and meat, on the hunt for the 24 ingredients that make up a dish that’s part her own invention, part the child of generations of Minangkabau tradition: Mushroom rendang. Deftly navigating the morning market bustle, she finds what she’s looking for: The spices section. Amid the symphony of sweet and musky smells, she sniffs expertly at a cinnamon stick, critically tests some freshly-ground chilli padi paste, and doles out tips like how to discern if a nutmeg is fresh (it should make a sound when you shake it). We’ve travelled to Padang, capital of West Sumatra and the place most of us identify with quintessential Minang cuisine, to learn from Ms Neni – an energetic 37-year-old food entrepreneur, who is also a passionate ambassador for the local heritage cuisine. She’s known in her village of Tanjung Aua as a “masterchef”, with her own thriving online rendang business. … [Read more...] about Vegetarian rendang? In Padang, an iconic dish gets a healthier update
House Democrats are slightly modifying language in a provision on the child tax credit in their coronavirus relief package in an effort to prevent the Senate parliamentarian from ruling against the provision. The original version of the relief package directs the Treasury Department to make advance payments of the child tax credit on a monthly basis. A manager’s amendment to the bill replaces the word “monthly” with “periodic.” The House is expected to pass the relief package late Friday. From there, it goes to the Senate, where it will need to comply with the chamber’s budget-reconciliation rules in order to be able to pass with a simple majority vote. These rules include that provisions have to be related to the federal budget, and they can’t have an impact on the budget that’s “merely incidental” to the non-budgetary aspects of the provision. ADVERTISEMENT The Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough , is tasked with determining whether provisions in the relief … [Read more...] about Democrats adjust language on child tax credit in relief bill