Tuesday, 31 January 2017

River Hongbao 2017 - 春到河畔


Usher in the Year of the Rooster and celebrate the arrival of spring at River Hongbao (RHB) 2017 from 26 Jan to 4 Feb at Singapore’s iconic floating platform. Organized by Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations, Singapore Press Holdings, Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Singapore Tourism Board and People’s Association, this annual iconic event has remained an integral part of Singapore’s Lunar New Year celebrations since 1987.

RHB 2017 has lined up 10 days of fun-filled extravaganza of lights, sights, sounds to celebrate this festivity. RHB 2017 will have modern, futuristic elements and a strong local flavor. Larger-than-life lantern displays are colourful and fun, with interesting play on the Chinese word for Rooster. With nightly fireworks and laser displays, intricate handicrafts and crowd-pleasing performances featuring local and exotic programmes from the region, be prepared to treat your senses this coming spring. Satiate your taste buds with more than 40 sumptuous varieties of local and regional delicacies served at the largest outdoor Food Street in Singapore. A myriad of fringe activities, ranging from amusement rides to carnival games to Main Stage performances, will ensure that there’s never a dull moment at River Hongbao! River Hongbao is open to public and admission is free.

为迎接丁酉鸡年,“春到河畔2017”将于2017年1月26日至2月4日在新加坡滨海湾浮动舞台隆重登场。活动由新加坡宗乡会馆联合总会、新加坡报业控股、新加坡中华总商会、新加坡旅游局以及人民协会联合呈献。自1987年开锣以来,“春到河畔”便成为新加坡人庆祝农历新年时,不可或缺的一部分。

在这喜气洋洋的新春佳节里,主办方精心准备了为期十天的精彩节目,包括声光与视觉特效大汇演,让来宾们有个感官新体验。春到河畔2017还将展现前所未见的现代和未来元素,同时也将体现强烈的本土风格。鸡年相关字样的趣味花灯也会出现在浮动舞台上,再加上夜夜璀璨的烟火激光表演,精致的手工艺示范,精彩绝伦的海内外歌舞表演,今年的春到河畔将会是一个极具震撼力的新春盛典。除此之外,户外美食街也汇聚了40多种来自世界各地的美食,准备挑逗食客的味蕾。别忘了春到河畔的一连串周边活动!从游乐设施、游戏摊位到舞台表演,春到河畔的精彩时刻不间断,必能让来宾们乐翻天。春到河畔免费开放予所有公众,万勿错过!

read more

Monday, 30 January 2017

Fu Dao 福 到 2017

Red paper Fu 福 character, posted upside-down on a wall

The above Chinese Characters are Fú Dao (Fú upside-down) and, Just the Character Fú. Fú To You!!

Discover the hidden Christian meaning in this Chinese Character!

The Mounted Fú Character is a widespread Chinese tradition associated with Chinese New Year that can be seen on the entrances of many Chinese homes worldwide. The characters are generally printed on a square piece of paper or stitched in fabric, and are posted upside-down on the front door of a home. The term fú 福 means “blessings” or “happiness”, and the practice is traditionally believed to invite prosperity and peace to the dwelling.

The essentially universal practice of posting the fu character upside-down has several different traditional explanations. The most basic of these is based on a wordplay: in nearly all varieties of Chinese, the words for “upside-down” and “to arrive” are homophonous or nearly homophonous. Therefore, the phrase “Fu upside-down” sounds either identical or nearly identical to the phrase “Fu arrives”. The practice of orienting the character upside-down is thus viewed as a natural wish for prosperity to descend upon a dwelling. However, for members of FGBMFI Fú may have a deeper meaning.  Consider what Yinghuo Chong says about this humble greeting…

The character “fu” stands for happiness and good fortune, something much desired by the Chinese, not only during Chinese New Year but all year round.

From a Christian perspective, “fu” is also something to be grasped. It links-up with other characters to mean bless (zhu-fu), blessedness (fu-ze), good news and gospel (fu-yin), and evangelism (fu-yin zhu-yi). In the Beatitudes, the character (you-fu-le) appears nine times and means blessed is.

read more

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Gong Xi Fa Cai 恭禧發財 2017

CHINESE NEW YEAR CUSTOMS EXPLAINED

Chinese New Year takes place over 15 days and preparations for this celebration begin well over 1 month before the start of the new year. Here's a brief guide on the festivities and customs that take place during this annual event.

Xiao Guo Nian
On the 24th day of the 12th month of the Chinese lunar calendar is Xiao Guo Nian ("Little New Year"). On this day, the deities of the world report to the supreme deity, Yu Huang ("Jade Emperor"). Families will offer special food offerings to the Zao Jun ("Kitchen God") so that he will speak well of the family to the emperor. Firecrackers are lit to bid farewell to the deities and spring cleaning begins

Spring Cleaning
Houses are swept clean prior to the new year and traditionally, bamboo leaves are used as this is believed to drive out bad spirits. There should be no sweeping on the lunar new year itself as people believe that doing so sweeps away good luck. Festive decorations and symbols are put up around the house, like pots of kumquat and flowers, red scrolls or posters with auspicious sayings or Chun Lian ("Spring Couplets"). New clothes and haircut are also required for every individual in the family.

Reunion Dinner
The whole family gathers on Chu Xi ("eve of the new year") to feast together on dinner. The dinner symbolizes the love and respect that binds them together as a unit. Every member is expected to return for this dinner. Traditionally, all sons return to their parental homes for this occasion and married daughters share the tables of their husband's families. For this meal, the best food is served in abundance, whether the family is rich or poor, to symbolize the hope for greater material wealth in the coming year. Tuan Yuan Fan ("Togetherness Meal"), as the reunion dinner is known in Mandarin, can include delicacies like abalone soup, chicken, mushrooms, duck, fish, chap chye ("mixed vegetables"), roast pork and steam boat.

Ancestor Worship
The spirits of ancestors are ushered in to join in the family's celebrations. Before family members sit down to have their reunion dinner, they usually present offerings of food, fruits, tea and flowers to their ancestor's memorial tablets or tombs. In most families, the tablets are located either in their homes on the ancestral altar or in the temples.

Financial Accounts
After closing the accounts for the year, traditional Chinese bosses may give their workers bonuses. New year's eve is one of three days set aside in the lunar calendar for settling debts, especially for businessmen. It is considered a loss of face for persons to start a new year with unsettled debts. The other two days put aside for settling debts are the 5th day of the 5th lunar month (Dragon Boat Festival) and the 15th day of the 8th month (Mid-Autumn Festival).

New Year Vigil
Children are encouraged to stay awake until midnight to bless their parents with a happy new year early in the morning. Some Chinese believe that the longer their children keep away, the longer the lives of their parents. In return, the children are presented with hong bao before they go to bed.

Welcoming the God of Wealth
The traditional Chinese will offer joss sticks to the God of Wealth at their altar or by praying at temples. They consult a Chinese almanac for the most favorable hour and direction to receive the deity, usually between 11pm to 6am the next morning. Firecrackers are lit again to welcome the deity.

First Day of Chinese New Year
Yuan Dan (also Yuan Rim Yean Chen and Duan Ri) is the first of the 15 days marked for family visitations. It is usually reserved for close and senior family members.

Second Day
The second day is a time for married women to visit their maiden home and renew ties with their family. During this period, the God of Wealth (above) is welcomed. This and the 16th day of the lunar mont are the best "feast" days for employees.

Third Day
The third day is known as the "Loyal Dog Day" and is typically a day of rest. No visits or visitors are welcomed and it is believed evil spirits lurk on the earth in this day and it would be bad luck to be outdoors. This is why conservative Chinese businesses do not operate until the 5th day.

Seventh Day
The Ren Ri or Yan-Yat ("Birthday of Man") is celebrated with Yu Sheng ("raw fish") being served. The act is most known by its cantonese name, "Lo Hei".

Ninth Day
The birthday of the Jade Emperor falls on the 9th day of the lunar month. The Chinese people generally make offerings of thanks to this supreme deity.

Fifteenth Day
The last day of celebrations is also the time of the first full moon of the new lunar year. It is known as Yuan Xiao Jie ("First night of the full moon") and another reunion dinner, complete wih lanterns and oranges being exchanged, takes place. This festival is also known as the Deng Jie ("Lantern Festival").

read more

Friday, 27 January 2017

Nian Ye Fan 年夜飯 Reunion Dinner 2017

Preparations for the Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner

For a perfect celebration , the first thing you’ll need to look for are all of the products you’ll need for a good spring clean. Remember to clean before – not during – the 15 days of New Year festivities! This ensures that you do not “sweep away” the good luck and fortune that are bestowed upon your household during the festive period.

Once the spring cleaning is done, fresh flowers – though not white ones – and red and gold decorations can be hung around the house. Calligraphy of symbols like blessings, happiness, and prosperity are also a great way to decorate your home.

Aside from tidying up the house, remember to tidy yourself up too! Cut, shave, and trim before the new year. Cutting hair during the 15 days of New Year festivities is considered bad luck; it’s tantamount to cutting ties and prosperity.

read more

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Trump-inspired cocks to usher in Year of the Rooster

Ring in the Year of the Rooster with a giant inflatable Donald Trump chicken
COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO?

It is nearly the Year of the Rooster and China is celebrating in true 2017 fashion — with a Donald Trump joke.

Giant "inflatable Trump roosters" have gone on sale in the country after one erected in the city of Taiyuan went viral, BuzzFeed News reports. You can order your own Trump rooster for as little as $50 for a six-foot Trump or as much as $5,300 for one that stands 52 feet tall.

While the roosters are only being sold in China for the time being, vendor Taobao reports that they've also been shipped abroad. You never know where one just might hatch.

read more

“Inflatable Trump Roosters” Are Being Sold In China
Fowl move?

This giant rooster sculpture outside of a mall in Taiyuan, China has gone viral.

It was erected to usher in the Year of the Rooster on the Chinese zodiac calendar, which will begin eight days after President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated.

The work features Trump’s often-used gestures and is accented with gold.

read more

China factory hatches giant inflatable Trump chickens

A Chinese factory is hatching giant inflatable chickens resembling Donald Trump to usher in the Year of the Rooster.

The five-metre fowls sport the distinctive golden mane of the US president-elect and mimic his signature hand gestures with their tiny wings.

Cartoon figures of animals from the Chinese zodiac are ubiquitous around Chinese New Year at the end of this month.

read more

Chinese factory ushers in Year of the Rooster by churning out huge Trump-inspired cocks

The Year of the Rooster looks to be a profitable one, at least for one balloon factory in Zhejiang province that is currently producing giant inflatable Trump chickens to help Chinese ring in the new year.

The balloons were of course inspired by a huge sculpture of a rooster looking just like US president-elect Donald Trump which appeared outside of shopping mall in Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province, late last year that was designed by Seattle-based illustrator and animator Casey Latiolais.

Believing it to be the perfect mascot for the upcoming Year of the Cock, Chinese manufacturers have seized the moment, made a few tweaks and are now offering smaller versions for sale online.

read more

China factory hatches giant Trump chickens to usher in Year of the Rooster

The 5-metre fowls sport the distinctive golden mane of Trump and mimic his signature hand gestures with their tiny wings.

Trump has captured the Chinese imagination & riled its authorities, threatening to get tough on trade practices he says are unfair after taking office on Jan 20.

He also angered China by taking a phone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, breaking with decades of US diplomatic practice.

read more

It's gonna be huge: China factory hatches giant Trump chickens

A Chinese factory is hatching giant inflatable chickens resembling Donald Trump to usher in the Year of the Rooster. Video provided by AFP Newslook

read more

Full Coverage:
Chinese Balloon Factory Welcomes Lunar New Year with Giant Trump-Inspired Cocks
Chinese factory hatches giant Trump chickens to celebrate Year of the Rooster
China factory hatches giant Trump chickens to usher in Year of the Rooster
Chinese factory ushers in Year of the Rooster with Trump chickens

Haha guys, this bird looks like Donald Trump

A curious creature with audacious golden plumage has fascinated the world. We all watch intently as he struts about, soaking in the attention he knows he commands. An enigma, is he. What secret intent lies behind those sharp blue eyes?

Anyway, enough about Donald Trump. Check out this crazy bird.

This glorious golden pheasant at the Hangzhou Safari Park has become a thing because, well, look at him. He's got that "Trump hair in the front, medieval samurai in the back" thing going on. His nickname is "Little Red." Oh, he's perfect. We really needed this today.

The only bad thing about this news is that The People's Daily in China beat us to the Platonic ideal of bird puns.

realated: New moth named in honor of Donald Trump

read more

People's Daily,ChinaVerified account ‏@PDChina

Meet the pheasant-elect: Bird sporting 'Donald Trump's hairstyle' soars to internet fame in China

read more

Meet the pheasant-elect: Bird sporting 'Donald Trump's hairstyle' soars to internet fame

A golden pheasant has become a star in China because people think he has the same hairstyle as Donald Trump.

Pictures of the animal became widely shared today on Chinese media after a journalist from Hangzhou took a picture of the male bird and pointed out the 'striking similarity' between him and the US President-elect.

Mr Gao, the keeper of the bird, told MailOnline that he was surprised to hear the news, however he had begun to notice the resemblance between the two. Mr Gao works for Hangzhou Safari Park in eastern China, where the five-year-old bird lives. He said the pheasant was called 'Little Red' because of his extremely red feathers.

read more

The Trump Presidency

read more

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

6 Most Lethal Aircraft in History

The planes that ruled the skies

With the help of some aviation experts and warplane veterans, PM took a look back over the history of single-engine planes, fighters, bombers and attack helicopters. We picked six of the most lethal fliers of the past 100 years, based on their dominance during the years they flew.

Fokker Eindecker


A6M Zero

B-29 Superfortress

 AC-130 Spectre/Spooky

A-10 Thunderbolt II

AH-64 Apache


The J-20 Vs The F-22 Stealth Fighter


The Chengdu J-20

Two Chengdu J-20 stealth fighters headlined China’s Airshow China in Zhuhai Tuesday while only flying for only minutes, Reuters reports.

But Justin Bronk, a Research Fellow specializing in combat airpower at the Royal United Services Institute, said the display left many questions unanswered.

On paper, the J-20 represents a “big leap forward in terms of the capabilities of the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) have on scene,” said Bronk.

read more



The J-31 Vs The F-35 Stealth Fighter

The J-31, which bears resemblances to the latest American F-35 stealth fighter, was showcased on the opening day of the biennial China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition, or Airshow China. Although still under development, China apparently has its sights set on beginning mass production within five years.

Air forces, defense contractors and aircraft manufacturers from various nations displayed their planes and other equipment at the show. Roughly 700 companies from 41 countries participated this year.

China has been increasingly exerting its influence in the East China Sea and South China Sea. The J-31 is expected to operate from aircraft carriers. Once the fighters are deployed aboard carriers, they will enable the requirements of most military operations to be met, reported a local newspaper.

The F-35 JSF Super Maneuverability
U.S. F-35 fighter jet

Senior defense officials from Singapore got to see U.S. Marine Corps F-35 fighter jets in action on Tuesday at the Luke Air Force Base in Arizona as the Asian country mulls buying the Lockheed Martin Corp planes, a base spokeswoman said.

The aircraft flew to Luke Air Force Base, a pilot-training center near Phoenix, from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, which is about 175 miles (280 km) away. Yuma is home to the first operational squadron of F-35 fighter jets, said First Lieutenant Candice Dillitte, a spokeswoman for the Arizona base. The Singapore officials visited the base as part of Forging Sabre, a Singapore armed forces exercise taking place at Luke and at a nearby training range, according to a news release.

Singapore is considering purchasing F-35s in the future, but has not yet committed to an order or the timetable for when it may come. The U.S. government has already approved a letter of agreement for Singapore's possible F-35 orders, which had been expected months ago.

read more

related:
China’s J-20 5th-generation Stealth Fighter
Singapore committed to planned F-35 orders
Singapore to buy a few F-35 jets
The F-35 JSF Super Maneuverability
The J-31 Vs The F-35 Stealth Fighter
The J-20 Vs The F-22 Stealth Fighter
Top 10 Fighter Aircraft
6 Most Lethal Aircraft in History
S'pore cannot outsource its security & defence to anyone else
Defending Our Lion City
Singapore buys new “BMW” submarines
Singapore acquires 2 more 218SG submarines
2 New 218SG Sub For Singapore
Singapore to get eight new warships
"Singapore - US" Bilateral Ties

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

World's most beautiful stewardess

Serving passengers with smile

Liu Miaomiao, a Shenzhen Airlines' stewardess, was named the world's most beautiful stewardess in a competition held in Shenzhen city, South China's Guangdong province, in June.

Liu, born in Xi'an city, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, decided to be a stewardess six years ago. The three-month orientation training made Liu more aware of her duties.

"Besides etiquette training, such as practising my smile by biting chopsticks, I had to master the do's and don'ts of emergency rescue in case of cabin fire or evacuation, since small mistakes can cause big disasters," she said.

read more

Monday, 23 January 2017

Anti-bullying activist Lizze Velasquez

Challenges meme culture in brave Instagram post
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Lizzie Velasquez and Sara Hirsh Bordo attend AOL Build to discuss 'A Brave Heart:: The Lizzie Velasquez Story' at AOL Studios on September 24, 2015 in New York City

Lizzie Velasquez knows a thing or two about appearance-based hate, but she knows more about putting up a fight against this hate.

The anti-bullying activist spoke out against memes featuring herself and real people. The 27-year-old woman, who lives with a neonatal progeroid syndrome which prevents her from accumulating body fat, bravely posted a meme featuring herself and subtext that suggests she is undesirable because of how she looks.

In response, the Austin-native fights back against the harmful words in the meme with a challenge to the meme creators and community.

read more

Neonatal progeroid syndrome

Neonatal progeroid syndrome is a rare genetic syndrome characterized by an aged appearance at birth. Other signs and symptoms include intrauterine growth restriction, feeding difficulties, distinctive craniofacial features, hypotonia, developmental delay and mild to severe intellectual disability. In most cases, affected infants pass away before age 7 months, but rare reports exist of survival into the teens or early 20s. Although the exact underlying cause of neonatal progeroid syndrome is unknown, it is likely a genetic condition that is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. Treatment is symptomatic and supportive.

The signs and symptoms of neonatal progeroid syndrome vary but may include:
  • Subcutaneous lipoatrophy (deficiency or absence of the fat layer beneath the skin) which gives infants an aged appearance at birth
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • Failure to thrive
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Distinctive craniofacial features such as a triangular face; large skull with wide anterior (front) fontanelle; small, underdeveloped facial bones; natal teeth; low-set, posteriorly (towards the back) rotated ears, ectropion; and/or unusually sparse scalp hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes
  • Thin arms and legs with disproportionately large hands and feet
  • Small fingers and toes with underdeveloped nails
  • Osteopenia (low bone density)
  • Horizontal nystagmus
  • Developmental delay
  • Mild to severe intellectual disability
read more

A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story
Lizzie Velasquez has a rare congenital disease that impedes her from accumulating body fat. Foto: Thao Doan


Nine years ago, an anonymous person posted a video of Lizzie Velasquez at age 13 and titled it, “The World’s Ugliest Woman.” It went viral. This is her response.

There is one question I’ve been asked many times: “If you could talk to the person who posted that awful video about you, what would you say?” My answers have ranged from wanting to scream “WHY ME?!” all the way to saying I would give you the biggest hug and thank you for one of the biggest blessings in my life. To have to process what I would say after that is leaving me at a loss for words.

I believe with every fiber in my being that you and I were meant to be in each other’s lives. Mind you, I don’t know your sex, I don’t know your age and I don’t know where you’re from. At the end of the day, those are just facts. What I do know is that you have changed my life and the lives of people around the world.

read more

A Motivational Speaker
'World's ugliest woman' becomes motivational speaker

She has been given a title no woman will ever want to have.

She was labelled the world's ugliest woman by heartless netizens.

But that did not stop Ms Lizzie Velasquez, 24, from channelling the hatred into motivation and spreading the message of acceptance.

read more

Void decks remain a vital slice of HDB life

Mdm Chen Yuemei (left), 68, & her husband, Mr Wang Ye, 69, both retirees, teach elderly residents how to make dumplings at Palmwalk Cafe Corner, which is located at the void deck of Block 839, Tampines Street 83. The newly opened community cafe is where residents can interact informally over coffee and tea.ST FOTO: LIM YAOHUI

It is a Tuesday morning, about 20 elderly women are huddled at the void deck of Block 839, Tampines Street 83. 2 neighbours are teaching them how to make dumplings while they slurp free coffee and tea at the block's newly opened community cafe.

Also at the void deck is a mobile library filled with children's books, including comics & literary classics -- the perfect after-school treat for students living nearby.

A few streets away, beneath Block 718, Tampines Street 72, a group of senior citizens are engrossed in a regular session of tile game Rummy-O which, as retiree Tan Bak Muay puts it, is "good for the brain & eyes".

related:Yishun residents turn void deck into 'kumpung central'
No staring into the void for these folks


The story behind when the “void deck” was introduced and how it was invented
The term “void deck” is a truly Singaporean invention

Every Singaporean, especially those who live in the Housing and Development Board (HDB) estates, knows what a void deck is.

They are the open communal spaces located on the ground floor of most of Singapore’s 10,000 HDB blocks.

They are the spaces of fun (youth strumming guitar, boys playing football, elderly playing chess), the spaces of joy (Malay weddings), and the spaces of grief (funeral wakes) for many Singaporeans.

read more

Creating a void in our HDB void decks
10 Everyday Void Deck Scenes We Will Soon Never See Again

Tanjong Pagar Town Council has since confirmed that the railings were set up to prevent ball games, following complaints from residents.

What is becoming more obvious is that we are less and less able to do the things that were once possible at the community void deck of HDB housing estates.

The HDB flat is the essence of a Singaporean identity, but here are some of the things that we may no longer be able to see at our void decks in the future.

read more

Bird-Singing Corner - Uniquely Singapore
A group gather to stare and listen to the birds of their friends and possibly competitors

Bird-singing corners are the only places legal for old men to display their birds for all to see, and while this unique activity is slowly dwindling, there still remains a healthy number of mainly male hobbyist looking to keep their birds in tip-top condition.

Located mainly at void-decks or communal areas in neighbourhoods, bird-singing corners are easily distinguished by the tunes of prized birds such as the oriental white-eye or mata puteh. So prized are these birds that most cages that hang from their iron hooks are made of finely-carved ornate wooden furnishings, with some even having blue-jade bowls to contain water.

The history of these bird-singing corners however remains very much a mystery, and the many prideful uncles I spoke to often rattled on about irrelevant stuff before concluding that this hobby must have been either born from the days of catching birds in the kampong or something almost in the line of a sub-culture involving shorts, singlets, cigarettes and good old kopi.

read more

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Trump inauguration as the 45th president of the US

The Trump Presidency

read more

Trump fumes over inaugural crowd size
“Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn't these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly,” Donald Trump tweeted

President Donald Trump and his team are still fuming over evidence of a relatively small crowd for his inauguration, with his chief of staff claiming the reports are an effort to “de-legitimize” Trump and another senior adviser explaining that the administration is offering “alternative facts.”

It has been an extraordinary start for the newly sworn-in president, in which Trump and his advisers have fixated on the inaugural crowd size and the well-attended protests, while also taking actions to freeze federal regulations and gut Obamacare.

Early Sunday, Trump took to Twitter to lash out at the millions of protesters worldwide who came out for the Women’s March on Washington — before sending a much more conciliatory tweet later in the morning.


BITTERNESS AND RESENTMENT AT TRUMP’S INAUGURATION
A couple of hours before Barack Obama became a former President, he was walking along the White House colonnade. A reporter called out to him, “Any final words for the American people?” He had just two. “Thank you,” he said, without breaking his stride. Donald and Melania Trump were expected for coffee, and he had run out of time. There were no more speeches to deliver, no more warnings that he could issue. In language, deed, and demeanor, Obama had done his part to make the transfer of power an orderly one. It might have been reasonable for him to hope that, at least for the next few hours, the progression of Inaugural rituals would provide some semblance of civic grace to what had been a notably unsettling time of transition in America. The causes included the talk of Russian hacking and the antic appointment to many of the most important Cabinet posts of dubious executives, men and women who are tragically unfit, from ideological extremists to unschooled plutocrats. There was the matter, too, of financial conflicts and nepotism, an autonomic reflex of aspiring authoritarians. At a pre-Inaugural black-tie dinner, Trump said to his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, “If you can’t produce peace in the Middle East, nobody can.”

When the Trumps arrived at the White House, Michelle Obama, wearing a dark-red dress, hugged Melania, in impeccable powder blue. Michelle, a practiced performer, smiled warmly. Still, then and later in the day, there were moments when her expression lost focus, as if she had finally exhausted her supply of forced cheer. The two women rode to the Capitol together; their husbands were in a separate car, as were the incoming and outgoing Vice-Presidents. Already seated on the Capitol steps were all of the living former Presidents and First Ladies except for George H. W. and Barbara Bush, who were too ill to travel. George W. Bush appeared to supply a stream of wisecracks. Jimmy Carter, who is ninety-two, and his wife, Rosalynn, had arrived the day before, on a commercial flight, on which he shook the hand of every passenger. When Bill and Hillary Clinton gamely walked down the steps to join them, someone could be heard to say, “We’re here for you.” Hillary’s presence was, by many measures, an act of civic courage.

Once everyone was in place, the ceremony moved quickly. Justice Clarence Thomas administered the oath of office to Vice-President Mike Pence. After an interlude of song from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, John Roberts, the Chief Justice, swore in the new President, and got the words right—he hadn’t in 2009, the first time he swore in Obama. Melania, who had been holding Abraham Lincoln’s Bible and one given to her husband when he was a child, sat down to listen to him speak. As he began his oration, she lifted an umbrella. It had started to rain.


Donald Trump inauguration: Booing speaks poorly of those in crowd, says Democrat Chuck Schumer

The most senior Democrat in the Senate has condemned supporters of Donald Trump who booed at his inauguration speech in which he called for an inclusive America.

Chuck Schumer was among those who spoke during Friday’s inauguration ceremony, and his slot was scheduled just minutes before Donald Trump took the oath of office.

“We Americans have always been a forward-looking, problem-solving, optimistic, patriotic and decent people,” said Mr Schumer, the only Democrat to address the crowds.


Donald Trump’s Inauguration Draws 18% Fewer Viewers Than Barack Obama’s in 2009

Television coverage of Donald Trump's presidential inauguration reached an average total of 30.6 million viewers across the 12 broadcast and cable news networks that provided live updates throughout the day, about 18% down from the viewers who tuned in when Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009.

About 38 million people watched coverage of the 2009 inauguration, far more than for Trump's swearing-in ceremony. Throughout his campaign, Trump bragged about his ability to get high TV ratings.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Fox News Channel led the networks in coverage, and was the only network that saw an increase in viewers from 2009. NBC News came in second.


Two million protest against Trump's inauguration worldwide

Hope appeared to emerge from fear among Donald Trump’s opponents at the weekend as up to two million people around the world, mostly women, staged protests against the new US president and proclaimed the birth of a new political movement.

In raucous but peaceful scenes, more than half a million joined the Women’s March on Washington DC in what was thought to be the largest ever inauguration protest, dwarfing the 60,000 who protested against the Vietnam war before Richard Nixon re-took office in 1973. "Welcome to your first day, we will not go away!” they chanted in the direction of the White House.

More than 600 “sister marches” took place across the US and around the globe with 250,000 reported to have gathered in Chicago, and around 100,000 each in Los Angeles and Boston. In New York, 400,000 anti-Trump activists marched past Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, according to the office of the Democrat mayor, Bill De Blasio. Around 100,000 people also mobilised in London, with other smaller marches in countries including Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Hungary, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Canada.


Inauguration Day in the United States
Inauguration Day occurs in the USA once every four years on January 20. It occurs in the year after presidential elections have been held

The head of state of the USA has been a president since 1789. In that year, George Washington was elected and inaugurated as president of the United States of America. He was inaugurated for the first time on April 30, 1789, and for the second time on March 4, 1793. Subsequent inaugurations were held on March 4 until the second inauguration of President Franklin Roosevelt on January 20, 1937. Since then Inauguration Day has been held on January 20 and the term of office officially starts at 12:00 noon on that date.

Usually, the vice-president is sworn in first and the president at exactly 12:00 noon. After they have been sworn in, the president and vice-president are given four ruffles and flourishes. The ruffles are played on drums and the flourishes on bugles, which are simple brass instruments with no valves. The ruffles and flourishes form a fanfare before a performance of the president's anthem, "Hail to the Chief", and the vice-president's anthem, "Hail, Columbia". There is then a 21-gun salute from the howitzers of the military district of Washington.

After the ceremony, the president and vice-president are guests of honor at a luncheon given by the United States Congress. Later in the day, they parade down Pennsylvania Avenue and walk part of the way from the Capitol to the White House. If Inauguration Day falls on is a Sunday, the presidential oath is usually administered in a private ceremony on that day and a public ceremony and celebrations are held on the following day.

On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama was be the first African-American president to be inaugurated. He is succeded by Republican Donald John Trump, who won the 2016 elections where he was up against Hillary Clinton.