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Monkey business at Thai town fruit festival******
Monkeys climb on a news photographer at the Phra Prang Sam Yod temple during the annual Monkey Buffet Festival in Lopburi, north of Bangkok, yesterday.。
Their table manners were shocking, but the guests of honor at a special banquet in the Thai town of Lopburi yesterday loved monkeying around.。
Lopburi has been laying on an annual feast of fruit for its population of macaques since the late 1980s, part religious tradition and part tourist attraction.。
This year's Monkey Buffet Festival saw around 1,000 hungry simians descend on tables and wheelchairs piled high with fruit outside the town's 800-year-old Pra Prang Sam Yod temple.。
Organizer Yongyuth Kitwatananusont said the monkeys have a special taste for durian, the popular pungent love-it-or-hate-it fruit.。
COVID restrictions meant last year's party was missing its usual crowd of spectators, but this year the humans were back in force, with more than 100 turning out to see the furry fruit fanatics.。
And the cheeky monkeys were keen to renew their acquaintance with their distant cousins, clambering over onlookers, stealing hats, chewing long hair and giving the occasional bite.。
Madeleine Albright, first female US secretary of state, dies at 84******
In this file photo taken on August 20, 1998, then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright speaks to reporters at the White House on the US attack of a terrorist base in Afghanistan.
Madeleine Albright, who came to the United States as a child refugee and rose to be the first female secretary of state, shaping American foreign policy at the end of the 20th century, has died at the age of 84.
Tapped by President Bill Clinton as ambassador to the United Nations then as the US top diplomat, Albright was one of the most influential stateswomen of her generation.
In mourning her passing, Clinton said Albright had been "a force for freedom, democracy and human rights," calling her death an "immense loss to the world."
President Joe Biden said Albright had "turned the tide of history," adding that she "defied convention and broke barriers again and again."
At the United Nations, the Security Council observed a moment of silence.
Clinton, announcing his choice of Albright to head the State Department in 1997, said gender "had nothing to do with her getting the job" and she was the most qualified candidate.
Albright, however, was aware of the significance of the appointment.
"It used to be that the only way a woman could truly make her foreign policy views felt was by marrying a diplomat and then pouring tea on an offending ambassador's lap," she once said in a speech to the Women in Foreign Policy Group.
"Today, women are engaged in every facet of global affairs."
Albright took the helm of the State Department in a post-Cold War world in which the United States had emerged as the sole superpower, leading crucial discussions with world leaders on arms control, trade, terrorism and the future of NATO.
Not since Margaret Thatcher governed Britain had a woman held such a position of global influence.
Born Marie Jana Korbelova in Czechoslovakia on May 15, 1937, Albright came to the United States as a refugee with her family in 1948 and became a US citizen in 1957.
Her father, Josef Korbel, a diplomat, had converted from Judaism to Catholicism after the family fled to London in 1939 to escape the Nazis.
Albright said she only learned about her Jewish origins late in life and the fact that three of her grandparents had perished in concentration camps.
'Short, noisy type'
Fluent in English, Czech, French and Russian, Albright earned her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College.
She earned her doctorate in political science at Columbia University and went to work for Democratic senator Edmund Muskie.
She later joined the National Security Council in the White House of President Jimmy Carter, serving under his national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, her former professor at Columbia.
After Carter's defeat, Albright began teaching at Georgetown University in Washington but remained an influential voice in Democratic foreign policymaking circles.
She was named US ambassador to the United Nations by Clinton in 1993 and served in that role until 1997, when she became secretary of state.
Albright married Joseph Albright in 1959. They had three daughters and divorced in 1982.
Her memoir, "Madam Secretary," was published in 2003.
She also wrote a book about her huge collection of brooches which, she explained to Smithsonian magazine in 2010, sometimes were "reflective of whatever issue we're dealing with."
"In every role, she used her fierce intellect and sharp wit – and often her unmatched collection of pins – to advance America's national security and promote peace around the world," Biden said.
China now has more than 4,700 national******
BEIJING, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- China has incubated 4,762 national-level "little giant" enterprises to date, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on Tuesday.。
"Little giant" firms are small enterprises that are still in the early stage of development and focus on the new generations of information technology, high-end equipment manufacturing, new energy, new materials, biomedicine and other high-end fields.。
The operating incomes and total profits of "little giant" enterprises respectively increased 31.6 percent and 67.9 percent in the first nine months of this year, Xu Xiaolan, vice minister of the MIIT, told a news briefing.。
The "little giant" enterprises have strong innovation capacities and development resilience, Xu said, adding that a majority of them are operating in basic industrial fields and have invested more than 10 million yuan (about 1.56 million U.S. dollars) in research and development.。
Zou Lan, an official with the People's Bank of China, said at the briefing that the country has also increased financial support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including "little giant" enterprises that focus on specialization, refinement, uniqueness and innovation.。
By the end of October this year, more than 70 percent of "little giant" enterprises were able to obtain loans, and their average loan balance was 75.26 million yuan.。
The MIIT will fully support the SMEs in overcoming difficulties and pursuing innovative development, Xu said. Enditem。