Rami Malek attended the premiere of DreamWorks Pictures’ ‘Need For Speed’ with the rest of the cast and crew at TCL Chinese Theatre on March 6, 2014 in Hollywood, California, for the films big-screen debut… and they arrived in style. Director Scott Waugh and stars Aaron Paul, Scott Mescudi, Rami Malek, and Ramon Rodriguez all arrived in cars from the film while eager fans cheered them on. WAMG was on the red carpet, and has a firsthand look at who was there to celebrate the films release.

You can view all 20+ photos from the premiere at our website


Vin Diesel Speech & Handprint-Footprint Ceremony at Chinese Theater - Furious 7 Premiere

"Financial crisis will not happen in China!", the Chinese Premier underlines at the World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

“Financial crisis will not happen in China!”, the Chinese Premier underlines at the World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China at World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos, Switzerland (WEF, 21/01/2015)

On the first day of the World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos it was the turn of the Chinese Premier to take the floor and perform a much awaited speech. Professor Schwab introduced Mr Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of…

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China Premier-In-Waiting Schooled in Era of Dissent

Reuters, October 28, 2011
BEIJING (Reuters)–Li Keqiang, China’s likely next premier, once huddled beside Yang Baikui in a Beijing university dorm, translating a book by an English judge, little separating the future Communist Party leader from his classmate who would be jailed as a subversive.

Over three decades ago, Vice Premier Li and Yang entered prestigious Peking University, both members of the storied “class of ‘77” who passed the first higher education entrance exams held after Mao Zedong’s convulsive Cultural Revolution.

More than any other Chinese party leader until now, Li was immersed in the intellectual and political ferment of the following decade of reform under Deng Xiaoping, which ended in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests that were crushed by troops.

As a law student at Peking University, Li befriended ardent pro-democracy advocates, some of whom later became outright challengers to party control. His friends included activists who went into exile after the June 1989 crackdown.

Now Li, 56, is preparing to take the reins of government, and Yang and other sometime friends wonder how those heady times will shape his role running a one-party state that has increasingly bristled at calls for political relaxation.

“When we were working on translating the book and exchanging ideas, I thought his views were very liberal,” Yang recalled of Li, who as an English speaker is a rarity among senior Chinese leaders.

“His leanings were clearly pro-Western ideas. He certainly wasn’t conservative,” said Yang, now a bald 61-year-old translator in Beijing, in a recent interview. “When he opened his mouth, it wasn’t Mao slogans.”

“I personally think his past certainly left an impact, but he’s also been an official for over two decades, and so that’s also a factor,” said Yang, who was jailed for nearly a year on “counter-revolutionary” charges after helping write petitions and offer advice in the 1989 demonstrations.

Li has visited North and South Korea this week in Beijing’s latest effort to lift his profile. The secretive Communist Party will wait until a congress in late 2012 to confirm who will succeed President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, and the new premier will then be formally anointed by parliament in early 2013.

The Chinese translation that Li, Yang and a fellow student, Liu Yongan, labored over–“The Due Process Law” by Lord Alfred Denning–was recently reissued, a perhaps inadvertent reminder of the past of the man likely to succeed Premier Wen.

Li himself has been nearly silent about his university years. But his experiences could mark him out as more politically pragmatic than present leaders, including his patron, President Hu, said classmates and acquaintances of Li.

“Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao were members of a red generation that had no opportunity to learn English or immerse themselves in new ideas or Western thought,” said Chen Ziming, back then a student-activist at another school who campaigned with Li’s classmates and got to know him.

“But the generation of Li Keqiang is different, and because of his law specialty and the length of his education, he was much more exposed to the new influences than, say, Xi Jinping,” said Chen, referring to President Hu’s likely successor.

“We don’t know for sure what this difference means, but it’s there, waiting to manifest itself in the future, if the opportunity arises,” said Chen, who was jailed after the 1989 crackdown and lives in Beijing, writing on politics.

Yang, the former classmate, said he had not had any contact with Li since the 1980s, and could only speculate at how deep a mark Li’s university years had left.

“I think it could make him more open and inclusive, more democratic, if the conditions allow. His ideas of rule of law might go deeper,” said Yang. “But he couldn’t show any of that now. That would be too dangerous.”

Berlin steps up pressure on US over snooping

Berlin steps up pressure on US over snooping

Berlin stepped up the pressure on Washington on Monday over allegations of spying in Germany by a suspected double agent with Chancellor Angela Merkel describing the claims as serious and a possible breach of trust between the two allies.

“If the reports are correct, it would be a serious case,” Ms. Merkel told a joint press conference with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing.

She said the…

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Shell, CNOOC Sign Global Strategic Alliance Agreement

Shell, CNOOC Sign Global Strategic Alliance Agreement

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Shell and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) have announced the signing of a Global Strategic Alliance Agreement that reconfirms both parties’ commitment to the existing strategic partnership in China and around the world.

Under the Agreement, the companies also commit to exploring potential cooperation opportunities in upstream, midstream and downstream. The…

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Chinese premier arrives in Kenya Friday

Chinese premier arrives in Kenya Friday

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 8 – Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang is due to arrive in Kenya on Friday as the country expects to be a big beneficiary of Asian giant’s newly increased funding to Africa.

The Chinese government has committed to raise the China Africa Fund from $20 billion (Sh1.7 trillion) to $30 billion (Sh2.6 trillion) as it seeks to increase its cooperation with the continent.

Speaking on…

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No cold shoulder treatment between PNoy, Chinese premier

BRUNEI DARUSSALAM - President Aquino had a brief exchange with Chinese Premier Li Kequiang on Wednesday where Li expressed support for the crafting of a binding code of conduct in the disputed territories.

No cold shoulder treatment between PNoy, Chinese premier

China tries to censor train crash debate

China’s government has been the target of a barrage of public invective since a high-speed rail crash at the weekend claimed at least 39 lives and injured 200 people. Relatives of the victims and internet users have been angered by the government’s apparent unwillingness to answer questions about the fatal collision.


Attempts by the authorities to muzzle the media and censor public reaction have only fuelled this animosity.

Propaganda directives leaked online showed reporters were warned not to run investigative reports or commentary, or to link the incident to the country’s high-speed rail development. Instead the focus should be on “stories that are extremely moving, for example people donating blood and taxi drivers not accepting fares”.“From now on, the Wenzhou train accident should be reported along the theme of ‘major love in the face of major disaster’”.


This “arrogance”, as netizens described it, sparked a furious backlash and allegations of a cover-up. “We have the right to know the truth. That’s our basic right!” wrote one microblogger. Social networking sites have acted as an informal newswire service with, for example, footage of the authorities burying damaged carriages first posted on Sina Weibo, China’s leading Twitter-like service. “The ministry buried the locomotives because they wanted to bury the truth,” read one post.


An editorial in both the English and Chinese versions of the state-run Global Times contrasted the “bureaucratic” attitude of officials with a flourishing “public democracy” online.

            Many in the blogosphere are questioning whether China is rushing too fast to build a modern industrial economy, jeopardising safety. “China today is a train rushing through a lightning storm… we are all passengers,” said one post on Sina Weibo.


There have been repeated online postings describing the crash as a man-made disaster, not a natural one.


Since Saturday’s crash, the Chinese state-run media appear to have grown bolder, with even national broadcaster CCTV sidestepping the orders to not “question”, “elaborate” or “comment”. Several CCTV news anchors have been applauded by netizens for their line of questioning.

            In one broadcast, Qiu Qiming said: “If nobody can be safe, do we still want this speed?… Can the roads we travel on in our cities not collapse? Can we travel in safe trains? And if and when a major accident does happen, can we not be in a hurry to bury the trains? China, please slow down. If you’re too fast, you may leave the souls of your people behind,” he said.


It is this treatment of China’s people that is proving most damaging.


Rescue workers appeared more interested in clearing up the wreckage than looking for survivors.

Two-year-old Xiang Weiyi lay for 21 hours in the wreckage near her parents’ bodies after the rescue mission was called off. Her discovery was described by the railways ministry as “a miracle”. Referring to her story, an emotional CCTV newsreader Qin Fang said: “We look forward to a review of the meaning of 'development’. We don’t want any more children to become orphans, nor any more parents to lose their children. That is the real 'miracle’ we’re all looking for.”


            There have been allegations that corners were cut during construction of the high-speed network because of corruption.


China’s flagship newspaper, the People’s Daily, said on Thursday that China does not need economic growth that is smeared in blood. It is imperative to uphold the “people first” concept and avoid obsessively chasing after a higher speed of development, or even “choosing money over people’s lives,” said the commentary.


In an unusually scathing editorial published in both its English and Chinese versions, the state-run Global Times on Wednesday said the government’s handling of the accident aftermath was a “public relations disaster”. “The relationship between the government and the public is like that of a ship and water. Water can keep the ship afloat or sink it,” it said.


Premier Wen Jiabao, often referred to as “Grandpa Wen”, the man with the common touch, visited the crash scene for the first time on Thursday, in an apparent attempt to assuage public anger. Standing under the viaduct where the six carriages derailed, he vowed to punish any corrupt person found responsible for the crash, and said that safety would be the absolute priority. During the rare public news conference he said a “serious investigation” was under way and that the findings would be made public.

            But despite Mr Wen’s appearance and apologies by officials, many questions remain unanswered, with the public venom showing no signs of abating any time soon.


Even if you’ve never heard the name Tsui Hark before, his films alone are a testament to his legacy as one of Hong Kong’s most prolific film directors; since the debut of his 1979 film The Butterfly Murders (《蝶变》), Hark has directed and produced over 61 films, including the cult classic Once Upon a Time in China (《黄飞鸿》) I, II, and III. Hark’s film philosophy (he was born Vietnamese and immigrated to Hong Kong at the age of 14) often centers around using elements of Chinese history and romanticizing them for a mass audience. This idea of reinvigorating pan-Chinese culture with mass-market appeal was particularly relevant to Chinese society in Hong Kong, which at the time was reeling from news of the Cultural Revolution’s bloodshed in the mainland.

In a way, Tsui’s latest project, a re-imagining of the famous propaganda opera The Taking of Tiger Mountain, continues to follow that dynamic. Now, however, he’s enveloped the “mysticism” of early Communist propaganda within this fold of history instead: the opera was one of eight model operas that were allowed to be performed during the Cultural Revolution…

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