“Could you find your way back to your own land?” asked Perry. “And could you aid David in his search for Dian?”

“But how,” persisted Perry, “could you travel to strange country without heavenly bodies or a compass to guide you?”

Ghak didn’t know what Perry meant by heavenly bodies or a compass, but he assured us that you might blindfold any man of Pellucidar and carry him to the farthermost corner of the world, yet he would be able to come directly to his own home again by the shortest route. He seemed surprised to think that we found anything wonderful in it. Perry said it must be some sort of homing instinct such as is possessed by certain breeds of earthly pigeons. I didn’t know, of course, but it gave me an idea.

“Then Dian could have found her way directly to her own people?” I asked.

“Surely,” replied Ghak, “unless some mighty beast of prey killed her.”

I was for making the attempted escape at once, but both Perry and Ghak counseled waiting for some propitious accident which would insure us some small degree of success. I didn’t see what accident could befall a whole community in a land of perpetual daylight where the inhabitants had no fixed habits of sleep. Why, I am sure that some of the Mahars never sleep, while others may, at long intervals, crawl into the dark recesses beneath their dwellings and curl up in protracted slumber. Perry says that if a Mahar stays awake for three years he will make up all his lost sleep in a long year’s snooze. That may be all true, but I never saw but three of them asleep, and it was the sight of these three that gave me a suggestion for our means of escape.

I had been searching about far below the levels that we slaves were supposed to frequent—possibly fifty feet beneath the main floor of the building—among a network of corridors and apartments, when I came suddenly upon three Mahars curled up upon a bed of skins. At first I thought they were dead, but later their regular breathing convinced me of my error. Like a flash the thought came to me of the marvelous opportunity these sleeping reptiles offered as a means of eluding the watchfulness of our captors and the Sagoth guards.

North Korean leader Kim says ready to meet Trump ‘anytime’

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Tuesday he is ready to meet U.S. President Donald Trump again anytime to achieve their common goal of denuclearising the Korean Peninsula, but warned he may have to take an alternative path if U.S. sanctions and pressure against the country continued.

In a nationally televised New Year address, Kim said denuclearisation was his “firm will” and North Korea had “declared at home and abroad that we would neither make and test nuclear weapons any longer nor use and proliferate them.”

Kim added that Pyongyang had “taken various practical measures” and if Washington responded “with trustworthy measures and corresponding practical actions … bilateral relations will develop wonderfully at a fast pace.”

“I am always ready to sit together with the U.S. president anytime in the future, and will work hard to produce results welcomed by the international community without fail,” Kim said.

However, he warned that North Korea might be “compelled to explore a new path” to defend its sovereignty if the United States “seeks to force something upon us unilaterally … and remains unchanged in its sanctions and pressure.”

It was not clear what Kim meant by “a new path.”

“To save money when in Beijing, my father only rented a basement and

“To save money when in Beijing, my father only rented a basement and ate steamed buns with salted dry radish for his three meals,” Chen said. “After being declined by plenty of potential clients, one was finally touched by my father’s persistence. That client has been cooperating with him ever since.”

Notably, each interviewee told the Global Times that they would dedicate themselves to their family business if and when their family really needed them.

“Though I personally am not interested in entrepreneurship or operating a private business, I still want to help expand my family’s business because it contains the lifelong efforts of my uncle and father,” Chen said.

But do these young adults agree with their parents’ way of running an enterprise? What fresh ideas and new methods could they bring to their family business?

“My father has the experience to succeed, but now he relies on his past experiences too much and is too reserved to attempt to expand the business,” Zhang said. “I think he should apply more modern techniques on developing new products and opening more sales channels.”

Likewise, Lin said his father is more familiar with the traditional ways of the industry and lacks the global vision of the modern marketplace. “I’d be more interested in trying new business platforms, such as cross-border e-commerce,” he told the Global Times.

Chen said he is more sensitive about national policies than his father and would discuss and debate newly launched laws and regulations with his family. “Also, I am more attuned to new market opportunities. In the internet age, there are more cooperation opportunities among various platforms,” he said.

But Chen said he fully trusts his father’s management methods. “He is good at the art of placing certain pressure on his employees in order to get them to work harder while also making them feel they are part of our company,” he added.

They marched directly across the arena toward the rocks upon the opposite side, where, spreading their bat-like wings, they rose above the high wall of the pit, settling down upon the bowlders above. These were the reserved seats, the boxes of the elect

Reptiles that they are, the rough surface of a great stone is to them as plush as upholstery to us. Here they lolled, blinking their hideous eyes, and doubtless conversing with one another in their sixth-sense-fourth-dimension language.

For the first time I beheld their queen. She differed from the others in no feature that was appreciable to my earthly eyes, in fact all Mahars look alike to me: but when she crossed the arena after the balance of her female subjects had found their bowlders, she was preceded by a score of huge Sagoths, the largest I ever had seen, and on either side of her waddled a huge thipdar, while behind came another score of Sagoth guardsmen.

At the barrier the Sagoths clambered up the steep side with truly apelike agility, while behind them the haughty queen rose upon her wings with her two frightful dragons close beside her, and settled down upon the largest bowlder of them all in the exact center of that side of the amphitheater which is reserved for the dominant race. Here she squatted, a most repulsive and uninteresting queen; though doubtless quite as well assured of her beauty and divine right to rule as the proudest monarch of the outer world.

And then the music started—music without sound! The Mahars cannot hear, so the drums and fifes and horns of earthly bands are unknown among them. The “band” consists of a score or more Mahars. It filed out in the center of the arena where the creatures upon the rocks might see it, and there it performed for fifteen or twenty minutes.

Their technic consisted in waving their tails and moving their heads in a regular succession of measured movements resulting in a cadence which evidently pleased the eye of the Mahar as the cadence of our own instrumental music pleases our ears. Sometimes the band took measured steps in unison to one side or the other, or backward and again forward—it all seemed very silly and meaningless to me, but at the end of the first piece the Mahars upon the rocks showed the first indications of enthusiasm that I had seen displayed by the dominant race of Pellucidar. They beat their great wings up and down, and smote their rocky perches with their mighty tails until the ground shook. Then the band started another piece, and all was again as silent as the grave. That was one

India shuts down airports in Indian-controlled Kashmir, Amritsar amid escalating tension with Pakistan

Indian authorities Wednesday ordered closure of airports for civilian aeroplanes in Indian-controlled Kashmir and Amritsar of Punjab state in wake of the growing tension with neighboring Pakistan, officials said.

“The air traffic of civilian flights in all the airports here including Srinagar and Jammu have been suspended,” an official in Srinagar said, adding that “the civilian aeroplanes that are parked here will not be allowed to take off until further orders.”

Earlier on Wednesday a pilot and a co-pilot of Indian Air Force (IAF) were reported to be killed after an Mi-17 jet crashed in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Pakistan army said its air force shot down two Indian fighter jets inside Pakistani airspace, adding one of the aircraft fell inside Pakistan-administered Kashmir while the other fell inside Indian-controlled Kashmir.

On Tuesday, Pakistani army said Indian fighter jets violated the Line of Control (LoC) and released payloads in the Pakistani side.

India claimed that its air force had targeted a camp of Jaish-e-Muhammad group in Tuesday’s attack. The group was blamed for the Feb. 14 suicide bombing in Indian-controlled Kashmir that killed some 40 Indian paramilitary troopers.

Private airlines have issued statements about cancellation of flights after the decision to shutdown the airports.

Changing eras chronicle Japan’s journey

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has announced the name of Japan’s next imperial era “Reiwa.” It is adopted from Manyoshu, an eighth-century anthology of classical poetry. The period will formally begin on May 1 when Crown Prince Naruhito succeeds his father Emperor Akihito on the Chrysanthemum throne, ending the 30-year run of the Heisei era (1989-2019).

Looking back at Japan’s modern and contemporary history, one finds that compared to the Showa era (1926-89), which was full of changes and progress, the Heisei era has been a period of inactivity. It’s true that the past 30 years have seen Japan achieve success in many fields. Japanese scientists have impressed the world by frequently winning the Nobel Prizes, particularly after the millennium dawned.

However, seeds of the achievements that were accomplished in the Heisei era were sown during the Showa era. The early Showa period (1926-45) featured militarism and wars. The dividends and glory Japan enjoyed in the Heisei period mainly stem from the creativity and resource accumulation in the middle and late years of the Showa era (1945-89).

For instance, the coming into force of the Constitution in 1947 not only changed Japanese militarism to democracy, but also paved the way for rapid economic development thereafter. The Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan, signed in 1951, avoided the risk of involvement in international or regional disputes, thus enabling Japan to concentrate more on economic reconstruction.

In 1955, the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP) was formed, marking the start of the 1955 system, in which the party successively held majority government. The dominance of the LDP, though sometimes shaking the foundation of Japan’s democratic system, improved administrative efficiency and policy continuity. The diplomatic tune set during the middle and late years of the Showa era made Japan quickly recover from defeat in WWII and helped it become a developed country.

When we look at Japan in the Heisei era today, we find that political instability and economic downturn are two prominent features. Therefore, it may not have left a rich legacy for the Reiwa era.

Russian photographer wins China Int’l Press Photo Contest

Russian photographer Sergey Ponomarev won the highest award of China International Press Photo Contest (CHIPP) with his work on refugees ferrying to Europe, the contest’s jury announced Friday.

The contest’s jury chose “Europe refugees” from more than 30,000 photos from around the world as photo of the year for 2015. It showed a boat full of refugees arriving at the coast of Greek island Lesbos in November 2015.

The heart-wrenching photo tells a complex and emotional story with simple photographic language. “Although we see no conflict or confrontation, we sense the hardship that awaits the people in the photo and fear for their fate,” Qi Heng, deputy secretary general of the Photojournalist Society of China spoke for the jury.

Photographers from more than 70 countries and regions participated in the contest held in southwest China’s Chengdu. In addition to photo of the year, gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded to winners in eight categories, such as war and conflict, disaster and disease as well as general news.

The contest is a review of the past year through photos. As the award-winning photos return to the spotlight, they invite reflection on the world’s common causes such as promoting peace and eradicating poverty, Xu Zugen, chief of Photojournalist Society of China, said.

The award-winning photos will be exhibited in Chengdu in June before touring overseas. The contest, hosted by the China Photojournalist Society, was first held in 2005 and has earned international acclaim since then.

Chinese companies must prepare for worst-case scenario in ongoing trade dispute with US

Some people believe downward pressure on the US economy will give the White House less leeway to carry out a trade war, easing tensions with China, but this is not necessarily the case.

Although the US economy is experiencing one of its longest expansions on record, a slowdown is looming. Some analysts believe the US economy will lose steam in the second half of next year as the effects of the tax cut fade.

Concern about an economic slowdown is one reason behind the year-end volatility in the stock market. US shares have been on a wild ride recently, with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 turning negative last week.

As tariff rhetoric starts to bite, many people hope Washington can stop the trade war and advance its relationship with US trade partners. However, downward pressure on the US economy may mean these people are disappointed.

History shows there were always more protectionist measures in the US when the economy slipped into recession. Trade protectionism rose during the Great Depression of the 1930s, as well as during the two oil crises of the 1970s, and again in 2002 when the steel industry had a hard time.

Amid these downturns, pressures forced the US government to resort to protectionist measures to tackle unemployment.

US President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to bring back manufacturing jobs after decades of decline. US factory output has surged, along with new orders, but the trade war is also creating difficulties for some US companies and forcing them to close plants in the US.

The rise of global value chains has dramatically altered the production of goods in recent decades. For products made in the US, manufacturers always procure components from a large number of suppliers in China.

Tariffs on Chinese goods will ultimately restrict the development of the US manufacturing industry and increase downward pressure on the economy.

This will perhaps lead to a downward spiral. That would be the worst-case scenario, but Chinese firms should be prepared. The trade war has made a possible slowdown of the US economy especially dangerous. The only solution is to resolve trade problems before the US economy enters a downward economic cycle.

As an emerging power and an economy in transformation,

lthough raising the retirement age can address the problem of a declining workforce in the short-term, it cannot be a permanent solution for the problem. The problem could also be tackled by improving the country’s human capital, and China, as a developing country, is in a good position to do so.

As an emerging power and an economy in transformation, China should deepen factor market reforms and use market mechanisms to effectively distribute the workforce in urban and rural areas, and different regions and industries, in order to realize the full potential of its workforce.

Also, the authorities should make more efforts to build a free competition market for the labor force. They should expand the public service network so that it covers all migrant workers and deepen the hukou (household registration) system reform. This can be done by, among other things, delinking public services with hukou, which will also help migrant workers to better enjoy the fruits of urban development.

Moreover, once measures are taken to ensure universal coverage of social welfare services, social security and other welfare services should be made “potable”-that is, a worker moving from one region to another in search of work should be able to enjoy all the social welfare benefits he or she is entitled to in his/her place of birth. This will ease the flow of workers from one region to another.

Building a national unified social security and social welfare system is a crucial part of reform. But since huge fiscal expenditure is required to build such a system, the central government should share a certain part of the expenditure so as to ease the local governments’ economic burden.

Besides, the talent competition campaigns launched by many cities are welcome. But talent competition should be based on the actual demand and industrial development of a place, because that would also facilitate the flow of the right kind of workforce among regions.

More important, the authorities should not encourage population flow only from rural to urban areas. As talents are also required for modernizing agriculture, some professionals should also be encouraged to move to rural areas, in order to prevent “the empty countryside” phenomenon.

You need to set up a sustainable system in order to develop soccer over the long term.

China cannot improve with only good tactics. I found that problem during this year’s Asian Cup. And what I saw tonight confirmed my judgment.”

Before the start of the China Cup, Cannavaro said that fans and media need to focus on long term development of Chinese soccer instead of what happens at the tournament.

“It’s like building a house-the first job is to build a solid foundation,” he said

“Based on that, we can have success. Compared to Japan and South Korea, their plans started decades ago.

“They are 20 to 25 years ahead of China in terms of their soccer development.”

Another factor was that Cannavaro did not recall China’s best striker, Wu Lei, who is now playing for Espanyol in La Liga.

Other experienced veterans, such as captain Zheng Zhi, were passed over in order to make way for younger players.

Cannavaro said he sought out the opinion of Lippi, who now serves as an adviser, including player selection.

“The China Cup players are all those who had good performances in the previous rounds of the CSL, along with young players,” said Cannavaro.

“What we need is a sustainable system that will allow the best coaches all around the world to work here in the future. It’s not a short-term play. It will take time.”

Team China’s next match is set for Monday.