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HELSINKI, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- A massive party involving concerts, entertainment, fireworks and street dance kicked off in downtown Helsinki midday Saturday celebrating the year 2017, the centenary year of the independence of Finland.


Centered on the newly constructed Civic Square opposite the parliament building, the event will engulf nearby streets until the early hours of New Year Day.


Traditionally, the celebration of the New Year took place in the Senate Square in the neoclassical center comprising mainly buildings from mid 1800s.


This year's celebrations will culminate on Dec. 6, 2017, marking the declaration of independence from Russia 100 years ago.


The Rolling Stones have invited Cubans to their free concert with Mick Jagger speaking Spanish in a YouTube video few people in the country will be able to watch.


"We have played in many incredible places but this concert in Havana is going to be a historic event for us http://www.cheapnfljerseysseahawks.com/frank-clark/ ," the frontman said in a voice over while the Stones' song, Jumping' Jack Flash plays to snippets of concert video.


"We hope it will be for you, too."


Less than one-third of Cubans have access to the internet, with only 3.4% of homes connected to either the internet or a local Cuban intranet http://www.cheapnfljerseysseahawks.com/rees-odhiambo/ , according to UN data.


The Stones added Cuba to the end of their Latin American tour OLE, becoming the first major international rock stars to play in the island nation.


The outdoor concert at a sports complex was postponed for five days because of the 48-hour visit by US President Barack Obama, who left Cuba on Tuesday.


The band have brought in 61 shipping containers with an estimated 500 tonnes of equipment, such as a stage http://www.cheapnfljerseysseahawks.com/jarran-reed/ , speakers, lights and video screens, the production manager, Dale Skjerseth http://www.cheapnfljerseysseahawks.com/germain-ifedi/ , told reporters on Sunday.


A crew of 140 Stones employees and at least 80 Cubans have set up on grounds including a football field and adjoining baseball fields with room for hundreds of thousands of spectators who are invited to arrive for free on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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SINGAPORE, April 29, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Visitors enjoy traditional food on the front lawn of the National Museum of Singapore on Apr. 29, 2016. Today, the Singapore HeritageFest 2016 is launched in the National Museum of Singapore. The SHF 2016 will be held from April 29 to May 15 in Singapore. (XinhuaThen Chih Wey)



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WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- The White House said Friday Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon will leave his job.


"White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.


"We are grateful for his service and wish him the best http://www.cheapnfljerseysseahawks.com/tedric-thompson/ ," she added.

Steve Bannon steps off Air Force One after a trip with President Trump in April.

Conflicting reports have emerged regarding the details of Bannon's departure, some reports said Bannon had submitted his resignation on Aug. 7, while other reports indicated Bannon had been fired by President Donald Trump.


Controversy surrounding Bannon's role in the White House have been mounting in recent months, and was heightened after a race-related clash in Charlottesville over the weekend resulted in three deaths.


When asked about whether Bannon's position in the White House was secure Tuesday http://www.cheapnfljerseysseahawks.com/amara-darboh/ , Trump said "we'll see what happens."


Trump was reportedly furious with Bannon after he contradicted the president's view on several issues including U.S.-China trade ties in an unusual interview Wednesday with The American Prospect.


"He apparently was sidelined by Trump in the past few months and he has many opponents both in and outside of the Trump administration, so he was probably just venting his frustration by making eye-catching news," Zhiqun Zhu, Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Bucknell University told Xinhua on Thursday. "In fact http://www.cheapnfljerseysseahawks.com/nazair-jones/ , he is not sure whether he can keep his job at this point."


"Bannon grossly misreads U.S.-China relations and Trump's policy towards Asia. I do not think his words about 'economic war with China' represents Trump's policy," said Zhu.


Bannon is the latest heavyweight to leave the Trump administration, after National Security advisor Michael Flynn, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus http://www.cheapnfljerseysseahawks.com/delano-hill/ , Press Secretary Sean Spicer, two Communications Director Dubke and Scaramucci, and FBI Director James Comey have stepped down.


Analysts believe Bannon's departure is expected to create big ripples inside the Trump administration as this may indicate a separation between government policies and nationalistic ideas Bannon advocates.


Allies of Bannon in the administration are also expected to follow Bannon's exit, according to local reports.


Bannon http://www.cheapnfljerseysseahawks.com/shaquill-griffin/ , former head of right-wing media Breitbart, was recruited by Trump during the campaign, and played a major role in developing domestic and international policies for the Trump administration.




DAMASCUS, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday congratulated government troops who broke the three-year-long IS siege on Deir al-Zour city http://www.cheapnfljerseysseahawks.com/ethan-pocic/ , according to the state TV.


The three-year-long siege has been lifted when the advancing Syrian army reached the besieged Brigade 137 military base in western Deir al-Zour, according to the state TV.


The Syrian flag was hoisted when the advancing troops met with the besieged forces in the base.


"Today you stood side-by-side with your comrades who came to your rescue and fought the hardest battles to break the siege on the city," Assad said in a call with the commanders of troops who had been besieged in a base in Deir al-Zour.


Syrian forces and allied fighters arrived on Tuesday at the Brigade 137 base on the western edge of .

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