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Hu Jintao

By: David Cote

Hu Jintao was born on Dec. 21, 1942, in Taizhou, Jiangsu, China. His father owned a tea trading business in his hometown, and the family grew up relatively poor. When Hu was seven, his mother died and he was subsequently raised by his aunt. In high school, Hu excelled in singing and dancing, as well as succeeding in classes and demonstrating a photographic memory. After high school in 1961, he entered Tsinghua University in Beijing and joined the Communist Party. During his tenure as a student, Hu became chairman of the Tsinghua Student Union, and graduated with a degree in hydraulic engineering in 1965. While at the university, Hu met Liu Yongqing, who later became his wife. They now have two children, Hu Haifeng and Hu Haiqing.  Upon graduation, Hu elected to serve in Gansu and helped with the large construction project of the Liujiaxia Hydroelectric Station.

 

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U.S. – Cuba Travel Restrictions Alleviated

By: David Cote

In a move which partially reverses almost 50 years of American foreign policy, U.S. President Barack Obama recently eased restrictions on American citizens wishing to travel to Cuba. The changes are expected to be enacted in three weeks.

Obama told reporters that by changing the long standing embargo he hopes to encourage “people to people” contacts between Americans and Cubans in academic and religious contexts.  He further hopes that the increased contact will encourage “civil society” on the communist island.

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Congress, Obama Repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

By: David Cote

As one of the most controversial federal laws in American history, the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy employed by the U.S. military has been the subject of intense debate since its inception, becoming a maelstrom during the term of President Barack Obama following his campaign promise to repeal the legislation.

    In two landmark votes on December 15 and 18, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, respectively, voted in support of a statute which would repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. On Dec. 22, President Barack Obama signed the statute into law, ending the 17-year ban on openly homosexual servicemembers.

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Arts

Gloom Clouds Hollywood

By: Brennan Carley

I can’t be the only one to notice the hot new trend that seems to be taking the movie industry by storm over the past few years, can I? It is becoming increasingly more difficult to find movies in which a relationship remains firmly intact at the plot’s end.

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Sarah Palin

By: David Cote

Sarah Louise Palin was born Feb. 11, 1964. Palin was the third of four children to science teacher Charles Heath and secretary Sarah Sheeran. As an infant, Palin’s family moved to Skagway, Alaska, where her father found work as a teacher, then moved again to Eagle River, Alaska, five years later. As a student, Palin played flute and attended Wasilla High School. In her senior year, she captained the basketball team to the Alaska state championship.

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Arts

Tron: Legacy’ Almost Hits the Mark

By: Brennan Carley

Just when it seems like filmmakers have milked nearly every angle of it, the father-son themed story comes back for another go-around. In Disney’s TRON: Legacy, the father is played by Jeff Bridges and the son by Garrett Hedlund, both actors give a laudable performance despite a thin and convoluted storyline. The valiant efforts, aided by a heart-pumping score by French techno duo Daft Punk and absolutely mind-blowing visuals, elevate TRON: Legacy to an enjoyable and memorable diversion.

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