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chinadaily.com.cn 2018-09-13 17:07

A file photo of Hanazono University [Photo/Wikipedia]

>Free tuition to 100-yr-olds
For some time now, schools in Japan have been feeling the crunch of their aging society, and the plummeting number of potential students that come with it. Hanazono University in Kyoto has taken the bull by the horns and established the "100 Years of Learning Scholarship" program, aimed at wooing in the rapidly growing population of people over 50 to fill the gap left by the dwindling number of young students. The way the scholarship works is simple: the decade of your age corresponds to the amount deducted from your tuition. For example, if you're 62 years old, a four-year undergraduate course in literature that would cost a regular student 3,184,000 yen in tuition would only set you back 1,273,600 yen which amounts to 60% off. Likewise, people in their 50s get 50% off, 70s get 70%, and so on. In the end, anyone over the age of 100 will be eligible for four years of post secondary education absolutely free of tuition.


Pingshu master Shan Tianfang performs in Tianjin, January 9, 2010.[Photo/VCG]

>Storytelling master Shan dies
One of China's top pingshu masters, Shan Tianfang, died at the age of 84 in Beijing on Tuesday. The traditional Chinese art form, pingshu, or storytelling, was born in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and has been popular with audiences mostly in northern China. With a  backdrop - usually a pair of screen doors, a table, a folding fan and a block of wood (known as xingmu) - Shan won a large base of enthusiastic fans for his solid techniques and improvisation, describing the scenes in the book in vivid and captivating ways, like movie clips. Born as Shan Chuanzhong in Yingkou, Liaoning, Shan was influenced by his family, most of whom were local folk artists. Shan launched his career as a pingshu performer in 1953 at age 19. He made his stage debut when he was 24 and soon rose to fame by performing classic pingshu works, including "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" and "The Romance of the Sui and Tang Dynasties". In 2007, he announced his retirement. In 2012, Shan won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 7th Peony Awards for China Quyi - a general term for traditional folk art forms, including ballad singing, storytelling and crosstalk.


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. [Photo/IC]

>Pompeo secures housing
As a congressman and before he moved to Washington, Mike Pompeo lived in a 5,500-square-foot house in Wichita, Kansas, replete with vaulted ceilings, four bedrooms and five bathrooms. But what he could afford then could not compare when he relocated to the capital as the director of the CIA and then secretary of state. Instead, Pompeo and his wife now rent a modest home in Virginia. After months of quiet back-and-forth, the Defense Department has agreed to rent Pompeo a flag officer's home on a military base in the Washington area. Heather Nauert, the State Department's spokeswoman, said the new home would be modest. "Secretary Pompeo will personally pay fair market value for the residence," Nauert said .


Cast member Kevin Spacey poses at the premiere for the second season of the television series "House of Cards" at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles, California February 13, 2014. [Photo/VCG]

>Frank Underwood has died
Frank Underwood has officially died, according to a trailer for political series "House of Cards", which returns to television in November without lead actor Kevin Spacey. The trailer, released by Netflix, shows Robin Wright, who plays Spacey's screen wife Claire, standing by Frank Underwood's grave and delivering a few emotionless words. The trailer gave no details of how Underwood dies in the show but Netflix has said that the sixth and final season of the show will focus on Claire's devious character, who became US president at the end of season five. Underwood's death should come as no shock to "House of Cards" fans. Netflix announced they were cutting ties with Spacey in November 2017, days after he was accused of sexual misconduct.

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