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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-07-03

Jun 27, 2017 1499

Description:

2017-07-03 Special English
This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chinese scientists have announced that they have realized the real-time transmission of deep-sea data for more than 190 straight days, setting a new world record.
During an expedition to the west Pacific at the end of last year, researchers with the Institute of Oceanology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences realized the real-time transmission of deep-sea data after improving the subsurface buoy observation network.
They put a floating body on the sea, which was connected to a submersible buoy. The submersible buoy transmits data to the floating body, which then sends it to a satellite. Researchers then receive the data through the satellite.
The real-time deep-sea data includes the condition of the subsurface buoy, the flow speed, direction and pressure of seawater.
Real-time transmission of deep-sea data provides important technical support for research on the ocean environment and global climate. The data could enhance the precision in ocean climate and environment forecasts.
The previous world record for the real-time transmission of deep water data was around 90 days.
This is Special English.
China's supercomputers remain the world's fastest and second fastest machines, but America's Titan was squeezed into fourth place by an upgraded Swiss system.
The latest edition of the semiannual T0P500 list of supercomputers was released recently. China's supercomputer Sunway TaihuLight has been described by the T0P500 list as "far and away the most powerful number-cruncher on the planet. It maintained the lead since last June, when it dethroned Tianhe-2, the former champion for the previous three consecutive years.
This means that a Chinese supercomputer has topped the rankings maintained by researchers in the United States and Germany nine times in a row.
What's more, the Sunway TaihuLight was built entirely using processors designed and produced in China.
Officials say it highlights China's ability to conduct independent research in the supercomputing field.
In the latest rankings, the new number three supercomputer is the upgraded Piz Daint, a system installed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Center.
Its current performance pushed Titan, a machine installed at the U.S. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, into fourth place. Titan's performance of 17.6 petaflops has remained constant since it was installed in 2012.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The European Union has reaffirmed its support for Paris agreement on climate change when its Foreign Affairs Council convened in Luxembourg.
The Council said in a statement that the Paris Agreement is fit for purpose and cannot be renegotiated.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on June 1 that he has decided to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, a landmark global pact to fight climate change.
The Council said it deeply regretted the unilateral decision by the United States administration to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, while it welcomed the statements of commitment to the Agreement from other countries.
The Council said the EU will lead in the global fight against climate change through its climate policies and through continued support to those which are particularly vulnerable.
Besides this, the EU is strengthening its existing global partnerships and will continue to seek new alliances, from the world's largest economies to the most vulnerable island states.
The Paris Agreement was agreed on by almost every country in the world in 2015. It aims to tackle climate change by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and sets a global target of keeping the rise in the average temperature no higher than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
This is Special English.
It's possible for the European Union and Britain to strike a fair Brexit deal which is "far better than no deal".
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier told reporters that for both the EU and the UK, a fair deal is possible, and far better than no deal. He made the remarks at a joint press conference with his British counterpart David Davis, after wrapping up the opening salvo of the Brexit talks in Brussels.
His remarks obviously alluded to British Prime Minister Theresa May's catchphrase "no deal is better than a bad deal".
Barnier said the first session was "important, open and useful indeed to start off on the right foot as the clock is ticking".
He outlined a two-step negotiation, saying they agreed on dates, organization, and priorities for the negotiation.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China is achieving landmarks in science and technology at breakneck speed.
The country's Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft completed its second docking with the Tiangong-2 space lab recently. Chinese scientists have announced that they have realized the satellite-based distribution of entangled photon pairs over a record distance of more than 1,200 kilometers, a major breakthrough that could be used to deliver secure messages. China has successfully launched its first X-ray space telescope to study black holes, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts, receiving its first package of data.
Officials say such a string of achievements shows China's innovation-driven development strategy is paying off.
The latest Global Innovation Index showed that China rose three spots to 22nd place on the list of the world's most innovative nations this year, becoming the only middle-income country to join the top 25 innovative economies.
However, China stepping closer to becoming an innovative power has aroused skepticism, with some arguing that its progress poses a threat to other countries.
Chinese observers refuted the claim, saying China's science and technology innovation has injected fresh energy to the world's sluggish economy and brought a new opportunity to global industrial restructuring and sustainable development.
This is Special English.
Chinese bicycle-sharing giant Mobike says it has 100 million users worldwide.
Mobike started its business in Shanghai in April last year, before expanding into major Chinese cities and branching out abroad. Users access a Mobike account and unlock the bicycles by scanning a QR code on the bicycles.
It has over 5 million bicycles in 100 cities worldwide.
Average daily orders top 25 million.
The company says it is trying to expand its business in the European and Asian markets.
Since April last year, Mobike users have logged 2.5 billion kilometers, equivalent to cutting the emissions of 170,000 cars for a whole year.
Mobike's chief competitor is Ofo bike.
According to the China E-Commerce Research Center, there were almost 19 million users of shared bicycles nationwide at the end of last year. The number is expected to hit 50 million by the end of this year.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
Five British secondary school students have won a free trip to Hong Kong to attend university summer courses after topping a design competition.
The competition was organized earlier this year by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London. It invited British students to design a 48-hour travel itinerary for youth travelers visiting Hong Kong, with the aim of showing how the city is unique and attractive to youth travelers. The contestants were also expected to compare travel experiences between Hong Kong and a British city.
The organizers say many British students presented their submissions through a variety of means, including an essay, a video clip on Youtube, a blog post, from which five best entries were selected.
Carmen Truong was the winner from the Royal Latin School who impressed the judges with a beautiful scratch book. She will spend two weeks at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, learning Chinese and engineering.
As a Chinese girl born in London, Truong says she likes to collect information and pictures about Hong Kong; and this competition was a good chance for her to explore more about her background.
The annual competition is now in its sixth year. It seeks to encourage British students to consider going to universities in Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China.
This is Special English.
A "Chinese Ambassador Scholarship" has been launched at the Chinese Embassy in Romania.
The Chinese Ambassador to Romania says the main goal of the scholarship is to encourage Romanian students to learn Chinese. It also aims to welcome as many young people as possible to jointly push forward Sino-Romanian friendly relations.
The ambassador says learning Chinese enjoys great popularity in Romania, where over 8,000 people are studying Chinese in Confucius institutes, Confucius classrooms and other places.
At the scholarship launching ceremony, around 20 students and four teachers were awarded with mobile phones and cash prizes to honor their efforts in learning and teaching Chinese.
Romania is one of the countries along the ancient Silk Road. It is part of the Belt and Road initiative for common development. The official says this will bring about increasing demand for talents in Romania, including Romanians can speak Chinese.
The ambassador says he hopes that more and more young people in Romania can play an active role in various fields including economic and trade cooperation and cultural exchanges between the two countries.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The National Museum of China has opened an exhibition featuring the work of Dutch painter Rembrandt and other famous artists of the 17th century.
The show includes more than 70 paintings, and is the largest exhibit featuring the prime age of Dutch painting ever staged in China.
The items on display include 11 paintings by Rembrandt including Minerva in Her Study and The Unconscious Patient. The exhibition also features works by Vermeer and Rembrandt's students.
The exhibition will last until September. It is organized jointly by the National Museum of China and the Leiden Collection.
The Leiden Collection was founded in 2003 by American collector Thomas Kaplan and his wife. It has the largest collection of 17th century Dutch paintings in the world.
This is Special English.
The influential Committee for Melbourne has called for a "mega-region" to be formed along Australia's eastern coast.
The chief of the committee Martine Letts said a rapid transport link between Melbourne and Sydney could see the "mega-region" become reality within a decade.
She said the region can also include other regional centers, and it could rival others in the world including the San Francisco-Los Angeles area in the United States.
The proposal by Letts came after the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University announced that it believed a hyper loop could provide the link between Melbourne and Sydney.
The hyper loop works by propelling a pod-like vehicle through a reduced-pressure tube at the speed of sound.
A local company in Melbourne says the technology already exists to make hyper loop a reality, and it just needed to be supported by the governments. It says a hyper loop project will take three to five years to complete.
This is Special English.
A 12th century castle which played a part in seeing the first female queen gain the throne of England has re-opened after a 1.6-million-U.S.-dollar conservation project.
Framlington Castle in the southern county of Suffolk was used over centuries as the center of a vast network of power and influence to a 17th century home for the poor.
It has reopened its doors, giving visitors a chance to explore its rich history spanning 900 years.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-06-26

Jun 25, 2017 1499

Description:

2017-06-26 Special English
This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
China has established its highest military award, the Order of August 1. The selection process for the first batch of winners has begun.
The award will honor those who have made outstanding contributions to safeguarding the country's sovereignty, security and development interests, and advancing the modernization of national defense and the armed forces.
A list of 17 candidates nominated by the People's Liberation Army, the armed police force and public security force has been made public to receive comments both from the military and the general public.
Chinese astronaut Jing Haipeng, commander of the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft, is among the 17 candidates.
August 1 is the founding anniversary of the Chinese military, the People's Liberation Army.
This is Special English.
A two-day ministerial meeting of the Group of Seven nations has ended in the Italy, confirming the split between the United States and its six major allies on climate change.
The U.S. refused to endorse the summit's final statement in the part concerning climate, following President Donald Trump's recent decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on cutting global carbon emissions.
Only six countries in the G7, namely, Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, and Japan, restated their pledge to implement the accord, which has been signed by 195 parties and ratified by 148 countries and regions so far.
In point 7 of the 15-page final communique, they "reaffirm strong commitment to the swift and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, which remains the global instrument for effectively and urgently tackling climate change, and adapting to its effects".
The U.S. representative did not agree on the point. The communique says the United States will continue to engage with key international partners in a manner that is consistent with its domestic priorities.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Beijing has pledged to closely cooperate and fully support the development of the Xiongan New Area and encourage people to move there as needed.
Officials from the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei development group said the New Area, south of Beijing, will be the central location for non-capital functions.
Therefore, Beijing will actively strengthen cooperation with the area on construction and services, accelerating the relocation of industries that suit the new super economic zone.
Beijing will support whatever the New Area needs during its construction and development. Beijing will assist in the planning and policy cohesion in sectors including infrastructure construction, transportation integration and public service sharing.
Beijing will also support innovative companies to set up in the area.
China announced plans to establish the New Area in April this year as part of measures to integrate the region's development and cure "urban ills" including traffic congestion and air pollution.
Located 100 kilometers southwest of downtown Beijing, the New Area mainly covers three counties in Hebei province.
This is Special English.
China will set up a community governance system led by grassroots Communist Party of China organizations by 2020.
Local governments will play a guiding role in the community governance system which also features public participation.
Governance capacity in both urban and rural communities will improve significantly by that time, as public services, management and security will be effectively ensured.
A government document says that within another five to ten years, a more mature and comprehensive community governance system will offer strong support for the party at a grassroots level, while consolidating local governments.
Issues including the basic role of autonomous organizations, the participation of social groups and the functions of communities are also included in the document.
According to the document, on major issues relating to community public interests as well as those that matter to the residents' immediate interests, the community residents' role in the decision making and dispute resolution processes should be enhanced.
Meanwhile, community services that are closely related to the residents' interests, including employment, social security, health, education, housing, public security as well as legal and arbitration services, should be made more widely available.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The Precise Service System of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite has been used in creating 317 smart cities in China.
The system provides precise positioning services for household gas and heat, power grid, water supplies, drainage and smart transportation.
Scientists say the satellite has a wide range of applications; and its precise positioning services should be developed practically. Its precise positioning services have been used in Beijing Gas Group to detect and locate gas leaks in pipelines.
Scientists say that with the development of the internet of Things, big data and artificial intelligence, there will be an increasing need for precise positioning in industries like unmanned vehicles, drones and robots.
The value of the satellite's industrial chain could reach 240 billion yuan by 2020.
This is Special English.
The principle of minimum intervention was highlighted at a forum on the protection and restoration of the Great Wall.
Cultural officials in Beijing have called for ensuring the principle of replacing bad practice, at the forum in north China's Hebei Province. The officials warned that too much restoration would damage preservation. They urged preventative protection.
The Great Wall, a symbol of China, is actually not just one wall, but many interconnected walls built between the third century B.C. and the Ming Dynasty which ended in the mid-17th century.
The existing sections are mainly the Ming Dynasty wall, which stretches over 8,800 kilometers. It was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
The United States' best-known farm in China, Kimberley Farms in Iowa, has received a group of leading think tank researchers from Beijing for the first time, after becoming an attraction for Chinese visitors since President Xi Jinping's visit five years ago.
Almost 20 members of top Chinese think tanks, including the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and China Center for International Economic Exchanges, retraced the roads that Xi traveled in 2012 as a visiting vice-president.
They ended the tour with a field trip to patches of the 1,600-hectare corn and soybean farm operated by Rick Kimberley in Maxwell, Iowa, around 60 kilometers northeast of the state capital Des Moines.
The strong wind and scorching sun on the weekend seemed not to dent their enthusiasm for learning more about agricultural trade between China and the United States. They also learned how farming is done in a safe and sustainable way in one of the top food exporters to China.
Kimberley said only three or four people work in the 1,600-hectare-farm, and these people are now helping China's Hebei province to develop a demonstration farm. The 1,200-hectare-project will use new technology that is being used in Iowa. An agreement on developing the project was signed at the end of May.
This is Special English.
More than two billion children and adults, or one third of the world's population, are now overweight or obese.
In a new study, researchers assembled data from 195 countries and territories to model trends in overweight or obese and related health problems and deaths. The study showed that the prevalence of obesity has doubled since 1980 in more than 70 countries and has continuously increased in most other nations.
Of the four million deaths attributed to excess body weight in 2015, almost 40 percent occurred among people whose body mass index, or BMI, fell below the threshold considered "obese".
The paper was published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Authors of the paper say the findings represent "a growing and disturbing global public health crisis".
The results of the study are based on data from the most recent Global Burden of Disease study, a systematic, scientific effort to quantify the magnitude of health loss from all major diseases, injuries, and risk factors by age, sex, and population.
It found excess weight affected 2 billion children and adults worldwide in 2015, including almost 108 million children and more than 600 million adults with BMI, or body mass indes, exceeding 30, the threshold for obesity.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Hotspots of established alien plant and animal species were found mainly in island and coastal mainland regions.
A study is carried out by an international team, led by Dr. Wayne Dawson from the Durham University in the UK. The team analyzed existing data of eight groups of animals including amphibians, birds and plants across 190 islands and 420 mainland regions.
The top three hotspots with the highest numbers of established alien species were the Hawaiian Islands, New Zealand's North Island and the Lesser Sunda Islands in Indonesia.
High numbers of alien species in every one of the eight groups studied could be found in the Hawaiian Islands. They include guppies among fish, now globally widespread, and feral pigs among mammals.
Florida in the U.S. is the top hotspot among coastal mainland regions, with the Burmese python, a well-known example of an invasive species among reptiles. The state is also home to a large number of less well-known non-native ant species.
The study says the reason that islands and mainland coastal regions contain higher numbers of established alien plants and animals may be that these areas have major points of entry like ports.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A total of 243 precious items from Russia's Peterhof State Museum are being exhibited in southwest China's Sichuan Province.
The items on display at the Chengdu Museum include oil paintings, porcelain, sculptures, clothes and furniture.
The exhibition also features activities including a Russian fashion show and a Tetris game.
The exhibition is among those the Chengdu Museum has held with countries along the ancient silk road to strengthen cultural exchange.
A curator of the Russian museum said the display is expected to help people in Chengdu learn more about the history of Russia.
The Peterhof State Museum is one of the most important museums that stores and displays cultural artifacts of the Russian Romanov Dynasty between 1613 and 1917. Peter the Great was the fourth tsar of the dynasty.
The display is free to the public and will be open until the end of August.
This is Special English.
The birth of a giant panda cub at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo has been toasted in Japan.
The 11-year-old Shin Shin, which means "truth", was removed from public viewing in mid-May after she began showing signs of pregnancy, including loss of appetite and increased lethargy.
The Tokyo Governor has congratulated Shin Shin on her successful delivery.
Shin Shin and her partner have been on loan from China since February 2011. They were ready for display shortly after the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, bringing some much-needed joy to Japanese fans.
In 2012, Shin Shin had a cub, the first panda born at the zoo in 24 years. It was greeted with widespread excitement. But the cub died from pneumonia six days after birth.
Shin Shin showed signs of pregnancy again in 2013, but it turned out to be a false alarm.
Panda pregnancies are relatively rare in captivity and outside China.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-06-19

Jun 18, 2017 1501

Description:

2017-06-19 Special English
This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
President Xi Jinping says expanded economic cooperation among members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will benefit the region.
Speaking at the annual summit of the organization in Astana, Kazakhstan, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for deepening practical cooperation, as regional integration and economic globalization are the trends of the time, and it is important for them to bring benefits to all countries and peoples.
To mobilize more resources and the driving force for practical cooperation under the organization framework, China supports the establishment of a mechanism for sub-national cooperation and has vigorously promoted small and medium-sized enterprises cooperation by its initiatives of economic think-tanks alliance and e-commerce alliance of the organization.
Bilateral trade relations have grown closer between China and other member countries, as trade facilitation has improved, with China becoming the largest trading partner of Russia and Kyrgyzstan.
Meanwhile, mutual investment has grown steadily, with China's non-financial direct investment in other members as of April 2017 amounting to 74 billion U.S. dollars and investment in the opposite direction totaling 1 billion U.S. dollars.
Senior Chinese officials highlighted achievements in establishing economic and trade cooperation zones, noting that China has built a total of 21 such cooperation zones within other countries, helping to expand local employment and increase tax revenue.
This is Special English.
Europe has found itself at the frontline in the fight against terrorism. The sight of armed soldiers on the streets of European cities has become all too familiar.
The spotlight has swung to Britain this time, but no-one in France, a country that has experienced several attacks in the past few years, is under the illusion that their country is completely safe.
Squads of soldiers with automatic weapons at the ready are a regular sight on the streets of Paris. Despite their presence, the French were reminded of the threat when police shot a man outside Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris earlier this month.
The suspect, a 40-year-old Algerian doctoral student, attacked an officer with a hammer while shouting "This is for Syria."
One worrying trend to emerge from the British attacks is that in all three attacks, at least one of the perpetrators was known to the authorities. The three attacks included the Westminster Bridge and London Bridge killings in London and the attack in Manchester which also targeted children.
As radicalization become ever more complex and multifaceted, many now agree that it is necessary to move beyond a mere cause-effect analysis and look at the problem from different angles.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China is making preliminary preparations for a manned lunar landing mission. That's according to Yang Liwei, deputy director general of the China Manned Space Agency.
Yang said it will not take long for the project to get official approval and funding. He made the remarks during a group conference at the Global Space Exploration Conference.
Yang is China's first astronaut. When asked whether he has any plan to step onto the Moon, he showed great excitement, saying that if he is given the opportunity, there is no problem!
A senior official from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation also said China is working on a manned lunar landing plan.
The mission will consist of a manned spaceship, a propulsion vehicle and a lunar lander. The manned spaceship and the lunar lander will be sent into circumlunar orbit separately.
This is Special English.
SpaceX's uncrewed Dragon cargo ship has arrived at the International Space Station, carrying for the first time an experiment independently designed by China and also supplies for the astronauts living in the orbiting laboratory.
NASA astronauts Jack Fischer reached out with the space station's robotic arm and grappled the spacecraft, as the space station was flying over the South Atlantic Ocean, just east off the coast of Argentina.
Dragon carried almost 6,000 pounds, roughly 2,700 kilograms of cargo for its 11th commercial resupply mission for NASA, including solar panels, tools for Earth-observation and equipment to study neutron stars.
Among the cargo is a 3.5-kilogram device from the Beijing Institute of Technology that aims to investigate how the space radiation and microgravity environment affect DNA.
The deal for the delivery was reached in 2015 with NanoRacks, a Houston-based company that offers services for the commercial utilization of the space station.
U.S. legislation known as the Wolf amendment bans cooperation between NASA and Chinese government entities, but the deal is purely commercial and therefore considered legal.
Dragon, launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on 4th of June, was expected to remain docked with the space station until early July.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A new undersea telecommunications cable known as MAREA that aims to improve connections between Europe and the United States is scheduled to reach the Spanish coast on July 12.
Deployment of the cable, which is being jointly laid by Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica, along with Microsoft and Facebook, began from the east coast of the United States on May 24. It reached the French city of Calais on June 9, before continuing to a town in northern Spain.
Microsoft described MAREA as the highest-capacity subsea cable to ever cross the Atlantic. It features eight fiber pairs and an initial estimated design capacity of 160 TeraBits per Second. That rate is 16 million times faster than a standard home internet connection.
Scientists say it's routing south of other trans-Atlantic cables means it will become "the first to connect the United States to southern Europe: from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Bilbao in Spain and then beyond to network hubs in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
This is Special English.
Eight computer science professors at Oregon State University have been tasked to make systems based on artificial intelligence, including autonomous vehicles and robots, more trustworthy.
Recent advances in autonomous systems that can perceive, learn, decide and act on their own stem from success of the deep neural networks branch of artificial intelligence, with deep-learning software mimicking the activity in layers of neurons in the neocortex, the part of the brain where thinking occurs.
The problem, however, is that the neural networks function as a black box. Instead of humans explicitly coding system behavior using traditional programming, in deep learning the computer program learns on its own from many examples.
Potential dangers arise from depending on a system that not even the system developers fully understand.
With a 6.5 million U.S. dollars grant over the next four years from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, under its Explainable Artificial Intelligence program, a news release from Oregon State University said its researchers will develop a paradigm to look inside that black box, by getting the program to explain to humans how decisions were reached.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
Experts predict that the United States, China and India are considered to be the most prospective destinations for foreign direct investment. The statement was made by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in its annual report on investment.
According to the World Investment Report 2017: Investment and the Digital Economy, global foreign direct investment flows retreated marginally in 2016 by 2 percent to 1.75 trillion U.S. dollars, amid weak economic growth and significant policy risks perceived by multinational enterprises.
Flows to developing countries were especially hard hit, with a decline of 14 percent, while foreign direct investment outflows from developed countries decreased by 11 percent, mainly owing to a slump in investments from European multinational enterprises.
The United States remained the largest recipient of foreign direct investment, attracting 391 billion U.S. dollars in inflows, followed by Britain with 254 billion dollars, and China with inflows of 134 billion dollars.
According to the report, with a surge of outflows, China also became last year the second largest investing country.
In 2017, global foreign direct investment is expected to rise by 5 percent, to almost 1.8 trillion U.S. dollars.
This is Special English.
An international research team has evaluated 145 peer-reviewed studies and concluded that "highly protected" marine reserves can help mitigate the effects of climate change.
Jane Lubchenco is a professor in the College of Science at Oregon State University and co-author on a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She said marine reserves cannot halt or completely offset the growing impacts of climate change. But they can make marine ecosystems more resilient to changes and, in some cases, help slow down the rate of climate change.
Around the world, coastal nations have committed to protecting 10 percent of their waters by 2020, but thus far only 3.5 percent of the ocean has been set aside for protection, and 1.6 percent, or less than half of that, is strongly protected from exploitation. Some researchers have argued that as much as 30 percent of the ocean should be set aside as reserves to safeguard marine ecosystems in the long-term.
The professor says protecting a portion of our oceans and coastal wetlands will help sequester carbon, limit the consequences of poor management, protect habitats and biodiversity that are key to healthy oceans of the future, and buffer coastal populations from extreme events. She says marine reserves are climate reserves.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Plant embryos have cells that function as a brain. That's according a study published recently by scientists at the University of Birmingham. The study has revealed that the group of brain cells can assess environmental conditions and dictate when seeds will germinate.
The researchers say that a plant's decision about when to germinate is one of the most important it will make during its life. Too soon, and the plant may be damaged by harsh winter conditions; too late, and it may be outcompeted by other more precocious plants.
The Birmingham scientists have shown that this trade-off between speed and accuracy is controlled by a small group of cells within the plant embryo that operate in similar way to the human brain.
The "decision-making center" in a plant contains two types of cell, one that promotes seed dormancy, and one that promotes germination.
The two groups of cells communicate with each other by moving hormones, an analogous mechanism to that employed by our own brains when we decide whether or not to move.
The scientists used mathematical modelling to show that communication between the separated elements controls the plant's sensitivity to its environment.
This is Special English.
Fossils of a complete crocodile and bones belonging to at least six different dinosaurs from the Cretaceous Period, 145 to 66 million years ago, have been excavated in northeast China's Jilin Province.
After a year of preparation, paleontologists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a local fossil center began the excavation in late May, following the discovery of dinosaur fossils in a nearby city in May 2016.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-06-20

Jun 15, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-06-20 Special English
This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
A Chinese envoy to the United Nations has called on the international community to adapt to the new trends and features of terrorist groups and enhance cooperation in fighting terrorism.
Recently, multiple terrorist attacks occurred in Egypt, Afghanistan, Britain, France, Iran and other places, causing severe casualties and property losses. Chinese's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations made the remarks at a Security Council meeting which focused on the threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
He stressed that terrorism is the common enemy of mankind and its impact goes beyond borders; and no country can address terrorism by itself or keep itself from terrorism.
The Chinese envoy called for measures to reach international consensus, deal with the root causes of terrorism, stem the transnational movement of terrorists, cut off their financing channels and fight against their propaganda.
He said the international community should put solving regional hot-spot issues as a top priority, and work to promote political dialogues to address regional conflicts and maintain regional peace, stability and development, so as to eradicate the root cause of terrorism.
This is Special English.
China is working on reusable launch vehicles and has achieved progress in some key areas.
A carrier rocket official says the processes under development include parachute-landing and propulsion-landing.
Reusable lift-body launchers will be developed in three stages, namely, rocket-engine partial reusable vehicle, rocket-engine full reusable vehicle and combined cycle-engine reusable vehicle.
The official said the Long March carrier rockets still have room for improvement, adding that China is developing a heavy-lift launch vehicle with a payload of 140 tonnes to low Earth orbit and 50 tonnes to lunar transfer orbit.
The heavy-lift carrier rocket is currently called the Long March-9, and it should be sent into space by 2030.
A low-cost commercial medium launch vehicle, the Long March-8, is under development, and based on the Long March-8, a new high-orbit medium launch vehicle should be designed to improve the Long March series and enhance competitiveness.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
China's Food and Drug Administration has approved a new-generation of heart valve replacement product, which greatly reduces surgery time and increases survival rate.
The developers announced recently that the J-Valve has passed clinical tests and will be put into use across China.
Traditional solutions require doctors to make a big incision on the patients' chests and open their hearts to put the prosthetic valve inside manually. The process takes about four hours and poses risks of wrong positioning of the valve and loss of blood.
The J-Valve system features minimally invasive surgery. It is easier to implant and provides automatic positioning of the valve. Doctors only watch an electronic screen and operate outside the patients' bodies. The whole procedure lasts about 10 minutes.
This is Special English.
The World Health Organization has started a "smoke-free generation" media campaign in Beijing targeting young people in China.
A World Health Organization representative says China is in the grip of a national tobacco epidemic, and children are most susceptible with cigarettes portrayed as fashionable and alluring in popular culture.
According to World Health Organization, over half of Chinese adult men smoke, two thirds of whom started as young adults. By 2014, 73 percent Chinese students had been exposed to secondhand smoke.
The official says there is nothing cool about smoking, but there is something empowering about choosing to live a healthy, smoke-free life.
Since China ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2005, the country has made a number of tobacco control efforts, including banning tobacco advertisements, increasing tobacco taxes and putting forward regional smoking bans.
As of 2016, 18 cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, had implemented regional smoking bans.
China has set a target to reduce the smoking rate among people aged 15 and older to 20 percent by 2030 from the current 28 percent. That's according to the "Healthy China 2030" blueprint issued by the central authorities last October.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
One in 20 pregnant women in the U.S. territories with confirmed Zika virus infection had a baby or fetus with Zika virus-associated birth defects.
Among the women with confirmed Zika infection during the first trimester, eight percent, or nearly one in 12, had a baby or fetus with Zika virus-associated birth defects.
A government report, the first from the U.S. territories, represents the largest number of completed pregnancies with laboratory confirmation of Zika virus infection to date.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says as these latest findings illustrate, Zika virus poses a serious threat to pregnant women and their babies, regardless of when the infection occurs during the pregnancy.
It says women in the U.S. territories and elsewhere who have continued exposure to mosquitoes carrying Zika are at risk of infection. The government must remain vigilant and committed to preventing new Zika infections.
The new analysis reviewed the cases of 2,550 women with possible Zika virus infections who completed their pregnancies, of which 1,508 had confirmed Zika virus infections.
In this report, more than 120 pregnancies resulted in Zika-associated birth defects.
This is Special English.
Researchers at the University of California in San Francisco have found that older people with persistent pain show quicker declines in memory as they age and are more likely to have dementia years later.
Findings from their study, which appears to be the first to make this association, indicate that chronic pain could somehow be related to changes in the brain that contribute to dementia.
The researchers analyzed data from 10,000 participants aged 60 and up over a 12-year period.
The participants who said they were persistently troubled by moderate or severe pain in both years 1998 and 2000 declined 9 percent faster in tests of memory function over the next 10 years than those who said they were not troubled by pain.
Those who complained about persistent pain also had a small but significantly increased likelihood of developing dementia overall.
Researchers say the findings point toward new ways of thinking about how to protect older people from the cognitive insults of aging.
Elderly people need to maintain their cognition to stay independent. Up to one in three older people suffer from chronic pain, so understanding the relationship between pain and cognitive decline is an important first step toward finding ways to help this population.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
U.S. researchers studying autism say they were now able to use brain scans to detect functional changes in high-risk babies as young as six months of age and then predict who would be diagnosed with the condition at age two.
Autism affects roughly one out of every 68 children in the United States. Siblings of children diagnosed with autism are at higher risk of developing the disorder.
Although early diagnosis and intervention can help improve outcomes for children with autism, there currently is no method to diagnose the disease before children show symptoms.
The current study is conducted by a research team led by investigators at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The study focused on the brain's functional connectivity, or how regions of the brain work together during different tasks and during rest.
Using an imaging technique called functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers have scanned 59 high-risk, six-month-old infants while they slept naturally.
The children were deemed high-risk because they have older siblings with autism. At the age of two, 11 of the 59 infants in this group were diagnosed with autism, and nine of the 11 infants would go on to have autism.
This is Special English.
The Australian State of New South Wales' health department has announced that it will ban sugary soft drinks in all hospitals and care facilities by the end of this year, in order to combat the growing problem of obesity.
The move comes as part of its "Make Healthy Normal" campaign, which aims to achieve a five percent reduction in overweight and obesity rates in adults by 2020.
Chief health officer Kerry Chant said there's no better way to start than right here on our own doorstep. He said it is important that NSW Health provides healthy food and drink choices for all the staff and visitors.
Chant said that by establishing this model, they hope it shows how a workable strategy can be successfully implemented across any organization to assist healthier choices in any staffing environment.
According to the NSW Heart Foundation, a health advocacy and charity group, "one in two adults and more than one in five children in NSW are overweight or obese. It dramatically heightens the risk of a wide range of chronic health conditions including "type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and some cancers.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
A new study by University of Washington transportation engineers indicates that delivering packages with drones can reduce carbon dioxide emissions in certain circumstances as compared to truck deliveries.
The study suggests that drones tend to have carbon dioxide emissions advantages over trucks when the drones don't have to fly very far to their destinations or when a delivery route has few recipients; and they compete especially well for small, light packages, such as a bottle of medicine or a kid's bathing suit.
However, the carbon benefits erode as the weight of a package increases, since unmanned aerial vehicles have to use additional energy to stay aloft with a heavy load.
The study compares carbon dioxide emissions and vehicle miles traveled from drone and truck deliveries in 10 different, real-world scenarios in Los Angeles, Southern California.
The study noted that it's unlikely that drones will be used for all delivery applications but that there are some contexts in which they appear to make sense, such as shorter trips in less densely developed communities, or in controlled places like a military base or campus.
This is Special English.
"Wonder Woman" of Warner Bros. topped the box office in North America with an estimated 100 million U.S. dollars on its debut weekend, making the Patty Jenkins-directed superhero film the biggest ever opening weekend for a female director.
The latest DC Comics superhero movie is the first big-budget superhero movie with a female lead to be directed by a woman. The previous record-holder for top opening for a female director was Sam Taylor-Johnson's "Fifty Shades of Grey" which debuted with an 85 million U.S. dollars on its debut weekend in 2015.
And overseas, "Wonder Woman" also won the weekend with 122.5 million U.S. dollars from 55 markets for a global sum of 223 million U.S. dollars.
Film analysts say the movie helps to get a lackluster summer so far heading in the right direction. A perfectly cast Gal Gadot in the lead role coupled with a great release date, killer marketing campaign and above all a great movie that has both critics and audiences buzzing on social media, contributed to this better than expected result.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-06-13

Jun 8, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-06-13 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China&`&s new cyber security law, which went into effect recently, is not aimed at limiting foreign companies&`& access to the Chinese market.
China&`&s Internet regulator said the law is designed to safeguard China&`&s cyberspace sovereignty, national security, public interest, as well as the rights and interests of citizens, legal persons and other organizations.
The Cyberspace Administration of China said in a statement that it does not restrict foreign companies or their technology and products from entering the Chinese market, nor does it limit the orderly, free flow of data. The document said China is entitled to make laws and rules to regulate its cyberspace sovereignty following international practice.
The law was passed in November 2016 at a bimonthly session of the National People&`&s Congress Standing Committee after a third reading.
A regulation requiring Internet products and services that may affect national security to undergo a security review will go into effect on the same day as the cyber security law.
Reviews focus on whether the products or services are secure and sufficiently managed, and on assessing the risk of an illegal control, disruption or interruption.
They also evaluate the risk of providers using their products or services to illegally gather, store, process or make use of user information.
This is Special English.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called on Germany to help China-developed large passenger plane the C919 get an airworthiness certificate from the European Union.
Li made the call during his talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. He was on an official visit to Germany for an annual meeting between the two heads of government, a mechanism that has been in place since 2004.
The twin-engine C919 made a maiden flight on May 5 in Shanghai with five crew members on board but no passengers. The success makes China the fourth jumbo jet producer after the United States, Western Europe and Russia.
With a standard range of 4,075 kilometers, the narrow-body jet is comparable with updated Airbus 320 and Boeing&`&s new generation 737 planes, signaling the country&`&s entry into the global aviation market.
China has taken pride in developing the homegrown jumbo jet, regarding it as a symbol of national strength.
In 2007, the State Council approved plans to develop a large passenger jet. In November 2015, the first C919 jet rolled off assembly lines. More than 200,000 technicians worked on the project.
A total of 23 foreign and domestic customers, including China&`&s national carrier Air China, had placed orders for 570 aircraft as of May 5.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
U.S. President Donald Trump has said that the world would know his decision on the Paris climate agreement over the next few days.
Trump tweeted recently that he would be announcing his decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
Citing senior U.S. officials familiar with Trump&`&s plan, several U.S. mainstream media reported that Trump is expected to withdraw from the Paris Accord adopted by 196 nations in 2015.
However, CNN quoted U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity as saying that Trump&`&s position on the Paris Accord could still change until he makes his decision public.
The Trump administration was initially planning to make a final decision on the Paris Accord early this month. However, the decision was delayed till the G7 meeting in Sicily, Italy.
However, Trump left the G7 summit without agreeing to endorse the Paris Accord to cut global carbon emissions, raising eyebrows among leaders of U.S. key allies in the group.
This is Special English.
U.S. space firm SpaceX has launched supplies to the International Space Station, including an experiment from a Chinese university that will test the effects of space environments on DNA.
The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft lifted off on the company&`&s Falcon 9 rocket at 5:07 p.m. local time from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Around 10 minutes later, the rocket&`&s first stage achieved a successful landing at SpaceX&`&s Landing Zone 1, just south of the launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
On this trip, the Dragon will deliver almost 2,700 kilograms of supplies, including solar panels, tools for Earth-observation and equipment to study neutron stars.
Among the cargo is a 3.5-kilogram device from the Beijing Institute of Technology that sought to answer questions like this: "Does the space radiation and microgravity cause mutations among antibody-encoding genes and how does it happen."
There is a U.S. law in place, known as the Wolf amendment, that bans cooperation between the U.S. space agency NASA and the Chinese government entities, but this deal is purely commercial and therefore considered legal.
NASA spokesperson Kathryn Hambleton confirmed to China&`&s Xinhua News Agency that there is a Chinese experiment that is launched on this mission, known as SpaceX CRS-11.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
China&`&s manned submarine Jiaolong conducted its first dive of the year in the Yap Trench.
Jiaolong began diving at 8:43 a.m. local time on a rainy day on 4th of June, reaching a depth of 4,177 meters.
A staff member on board said Jiaolong was not afraid of the bad weather, but the rain did make it a bit more difficult for the dive. He said they cannot hear each other clearly due to the rain, so they have to be extra careful during the operation.
There will be five dives for Jiaolong in the Yap Trench, and the last dive is planned for June 12.
According to scientists on the ship, the dives will focus on research in deep-sea biotic communities and gene resources.
Jiaolong completed a series of dives in the Mariana Trench on June 1 and was transferred aboard its support ship to the Yap Trench afterward.

The Mariana and Yap trenches are located in the west Pacific Ocean. The Yap Trench has a depth of 8,527 meters, and the Mariana Trench, the deepest known point of Earth&`&s oceans, has a depth of 11,034 meters.
Named after a mythical dragon, Jiaolong reached its deepest point of 7,062 meters in the Mariana Trench in June 2012.
This is Special English.
A network of remote sensing satellite ground stations that cover all of China&`&s territory and 70 percent of Asia has passed its final acceptance examination.
The network is headquartered in Beijing and features three ground stations in a suburb in Beijing, Kashgar in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Sanya in Hainan Province, respectively.
According to the examination committee, it will be used to support various remote-sensing systems, especially for the western part of the country and the South China Sea.
The project began in 2007.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
India has launched its heaviest rocket, along with a satellite, that is believed to be able to send humans into space in the future.
The home-made rocket, named Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle or Mark III, lifted off from the southern spaceport in Andhra Pradesh state at 5:28 p.m. local time.
State-owned Indian Space Research Organisation said the communication satellite that the rocket carried weighs more than three tonnes.
The countdown for the launch of the 640-tonne rocket began Sunday.
In another development, India has successfully test fired its first all weather tracked-chassis Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile.
India&`&s state-run broadcaster All India Radio said the missile was launched from a mobile launcher in the Integrated Test Range off Odisha coast at Chandipur at around 12:39 p.m. local time.
The broadcaster reported that the test was carried out for validating various parameters of the sophisticated weapon system to further strengthen its air defence system.
This is Special English.
The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation has raised concerns that meadows and pastures are becoming increasingly endangered in Germany and has released a new red list to German press agencies.
The new red list of endangered biotypes, serves as a handbook for future conservation plans and is an update from the previous 2006 red list.
Federal Minister for the Environment Barbara Hendrick from the Social Democratic Party of Germany, presented the findings that indicated almost two-thirds of the 863 species present in habitats in Germany are under severe threat from intensive agriculture, among other causes. The threat has particularly worsened in pastures or grasslands; meadows are also under increasing pressure.
The Federal Office for Nature Conservation has reported some positive developments in coastal regions as well as next to rivers and streams which are benefiting from restoration or environmental protection plans as well as better sewage treatment plants. However, figures are much less positive for groundwater due to high nitrogen pollution caused by fertilizers from intensive farming. Many stagnant water volumes are also affected.
There are many types of natural habitats in Germany including 46 types of water environments.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
A study on young female mice reveals how puberty hormones might trigger changes in neural communication in the frontal cortices and impede some aspects of flexible youthful learning.
Scientists have found that the onset of puberty hits something like a "switch" in the brain&`&s frontal cortex that can reduce flexibility in some forms of learning.
The study was led by Linda Wilbrecht, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley, and the senior author of the study published in the journal Current Biology.
The changes occurred in a region of the frontal brain that is associated with learning, attention and behavioral regulation.
Overall, children have been found to have greater brain flexibility or "plasticity" than adults, enabling them to more easily master multiple languages and other elementary scholastic pursuits.
While they continue to learn after puberty, their cognitive focus in adolescence is often redirected to peer relationships and more social learning.
The study noted that if hormonal changes start as early as the second or third grade, when children are tasked with learning basic skills, a shift in brain function could be problematic.
Puberty onset is occurring earlier and earlier in girls in modern urban settings, driven by such factors as stress and the obesity epidemic, and has been associated with worse outcomes in terms of school and mental health.
This is Special English.
America&`&s first Nutella Cafe opened recently in downtown Chicago, with more than 400 customers lining for their favorite treat.
This is the first standalone Nutella Cafe owned by parent company Ferrero. Its menu items include grilled baguettes, fresh-roasted hazelnut, gelato and some Italian specialties.
Nutella&`&s head of marketing in North America says there&`&s an incredible dining culture in this city, and Nutella is all about the idea of sharing good food with friends and family; and they thought that Chicago would be the perfect place to do that.
The first 400 people in line were let in this two-level cafe and they received special Nutella Cafe Chicago jars, along with croissants. Some Nutella fans even arrived as early as 5 a.m. for the opening of the door.
Nutella was created in Italy and debuted in the United States in 1983. The spread is available in about 160 countries.
That is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I&`&m going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
(全文见周日微信

【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-06-12

Jun 8, 2017 1499

Description:

2017-06-12 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
China&`&s new cyber security law, which went into effect recently, is not aimed at limiting foreign companies&`& access to the Chinese market.
China&`&s Internet regulator said the law is designed to safeguard China&`&s cyberspace sovereignty, national security, public interest, as well as the rights and interests of citizens, legal persons and other organizations.
The Cyberspace Administration of China said in a statement that it does not restrict foreign companies or their technology and products from entering the Chinese market, nor does it limit the orderly, free flow of data. The document said China is entitled to make laws and rules to regulate its cyberspace sovereignty following international practice.
The law was passed in November 2016 at a bimonthly session of the National People&`&s Congress Standing Committee after a third reading.
A regulation requiring Internet products and services that may affect national security to undergo a security review will go into effect on the same day as the cyber security law.
Reviews focus on whether the products or services are secure and sufficiently managed, and on assessing the risk of illegal control, disruption or interruption.
They also evaluate the risk of providers using their products or services to illegally gather, store, process or make use of user information.
This is Special English.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called on Germany to help China-developed large passenger plane C919 get an airworthiness certificate from the European Union.
Li made the call during his talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. He was on an official visit to Germany for an annual meeting between the two heads of government, a mechanism that has been in place since 2004.
The twin-engine C919 made its maiden flight on May 5 in Shanghai with five crew members on board but no passengers. The success makes China the fourth jumbo jet producer after the United States, Western Europe and Russia.
With a standard range of 4,075 kilometers, the narrow-bodied jet is comparable with the updated Airbus 320 and Boeing&`&s new generation 737 planes, signaling the country&`&s entry into the global aviation market.
China has taken pride in developing the homegrown jumbo jet, regarding it as a symbol of national strength.
In 2007, the State Council approved plans to develop a large passenger jet. In November 2015, the first C919 jet rolled off the assembly line. More than 200,000 technicians worked on the project.
A total of 23 foreign and domestic customers, including China&`&s national carrier Air China, had placed orders for 570 aircraft as of May 5.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
U.S. space firm SpaceX has launched supplies to the International Space Station, including an experiment from a Chinese university that will test the effects of space environments on DNA.
The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft lifted off on the company&`&s Falcon 9 rocket at 5:07 p.m. local time from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Around 10 minutes later, the rocket&`&s first stage achieved a successful landing at SpaceX&`&s Landing Zone 1, just south of the launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
On this trip, the Dragon will deliver almost 2,700 kilograms of supplies, including solar panels, tools for Earth-observation and equipment to study neutron stars.
Among the cargo is a 3.5-kilogram device from the Beijing Institute of Technology that seeks to answer questions including "Does space radiation and microgravity cause mutations among antibody-encoding genes and if so, how does it happen."
There is a U.S. law in place, known as the Wolf amendment, that bans cooperation between the U.S. space agency NASA and Chinese government entities, but this deal is purely commercial and therefore considered legal.
NASA spokesperson Kathryn Hambleton confirmed to China&`&s Xinhua News Agency that there is a Chinese experiment that has been launched on this mission, known as SpaceX CRS-11.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China&`&s manned submarine Jiaolong has conducted its first dive of the year in the Yap Trench.
Jiaolong began diving at 8:43 a.m. local time on a rainy day on 4th of June, reaching a depth of 4,177 meters.
A staff member on board said Jiaolong was not afraid of the bad weather, but the rain did make it a bit more difficult for the dive. He said they cannot hear each other clearly due to the rain, so they have to be extra careful during the operation.
There will be five dives for Jiaolong in the Yap Trench, with the last dive being planned for June 12.
According to scientists on the ship, the dives will focus on research in deep-sea biotic communities and gene resources.
Jiaolong completed a series of dives in the Mariana Trench on June 1 and was transferred aboard its support ship to the Yap Trench afterwards.
The Mariana and Yap trenches are located in the west Pacific Ocean. The Yap Trench has a depth of 8,527 meters, and the Mariana Trench, the deepest known point of Earth&`&s oceans, has a depth of 11,034 meters.
Named after a mythical dragon, Jiaolong reached its deepest point of 7,062 meters in the Mariana Trench in June 2012.
This is Special English.
A network of remote sensing satellite ground stations that cover all of China&`&s territory and 70 percent of Asia has passed its final acceptance examination.
The network is headquartered in Beijing and features three ground stations in a suburb in Beijing, in Kashgar in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Sanya in Hainan Province.
According to the examination committee, it will be used to support various remote-sensing systems, especially for the western part of the country and the South China Sea.
The project began in 2007.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
India has launched its heaviest rocket, along with a satellite, that is now believed to be able to send humans into space in the future.
The domestically-produced rocket, named Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle or Mark III, lifted off from the southern spaceport in Andhra Pradesh state at 5:28 p.m. local time.
The state-owned Indian Space Research Organisation said the communication satellite that the rocket carried weighs more than three tonnes.
The countdown for the launch of the 640-tonne rocket began on Sunday.
In another development, India has successfully test fired its first all-weather tracked-chassis Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile.
India&`&s state-run broadcaster All India Radio said the missile was launched from a mobile launcher in the Integrated Test Range off the Odisha coast at Chandipur at around 12:39 p.m. local time.
The broadcaster reported that the test was carried out for validating various parameters of the sophisticated weapon system to further strengthen its air defence system.
This is Special English.
A survey of the California Current System along the U.S. West Coast of the United States found persistent, highly acidified water throughout the ecologically critical nearshore habitat.
Led by Francis Chan, a marine ecologist at Oregon State University, researchers participating in the survey said conditions will continue to worsen because the atmospheric carbon dioxide primarily to blame for the increase in acidification has been rising substantially in recent years.
While the findings of the study, which was published recently in Nature Scientific Reports, identified "hotspots" of pH, or the potential of hydrogen, measurements as low as any oceanic surface waters in the world, there were "refuges" of more moderate pH environments that could become havens for some marine organisms to escape more highly acidified waters.
The threat of ocean acidification is global and though it sometimes seems far away, it is happening on the West Coast of the United States and those waters are already hitting the beaches. Chan said that ten years ago, they were focusing on the tropics with their coral reefs as the place most likely to be affected by ocean acidification. But the California Current System is getting hit with acidification earlier and more drastically than other locations around the world.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation has raised concerns that meadows and pastures are becoming increasingly endangered in Germany and has released a new red list to the German Press Agency.
The new red list of endangered biotypes, serves as a handbook for future conservation plans and is an update from the previous 2006 red list.
Federal Minister for the Environment Barbara Hendrick from the Social Democratic Party of Germany, presented the findings that indicated almost two-thirds of the 863 species present in habitats in Germany are under severe threat from intensive agriculture, among other causes. The threat has particularly worsened in pastures or grasslands; meadows are also under increasing pressure.
The Federal Office for Nature Conservation has reported some positive developments in coastal regions as well as next to rivers and streams which are benefiting from restoration or environmental protection plans as well as better sewage treatment plants. However, figures are much less positive for groundwater due to high nitrogen pollution caused by fertilizers from intensive farming. Many stagnant water volumes are also affected.
There are many types of natural habitats in Germany including 46 types of water environments and 20 types of arable and fallow arable land.
This is Special English.
A study on young female mice reveals how puberty hormones might trigger changes in neural communication in the frontal cortices and impede some aspects of flexible youthful learning.
Scientists have found that the onset of puberty hits something like a "switch" in the brain&`&s frontal cortex that can reduce flexibility in some forms of learning.
The study was led by Linda Wilbrecht, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley, and the senior author of the study published in the journal Current Biology.
The changes occurred in a region of the frontal brain that is associated with learning, attention and behavioral regulation.
Overall, children have been found to have greater brain flexibility or "plasticity" than adults, enabling them to more easily master multiple languages and other elementary scholastic pursuits.
While they continue to learn after puberty, their cognitive focus in adolescence is often redirected to peer relationships and more social learning.
The study noted that if hormonal changes start as early as second or third grade, when children are tasked with learning basic skills, a shift in brain function could be problematic.
Puberty onset is occurring earlier and earlier in girls in modern urban settings, driven by such factors as stress and the obesity epidemic, and has been associated with worse outcomes in terms of school and mental health.
This is Special English.
America&`&s first Nutella Cafe opened recently in downtown Chicago, with more than 400 customers lining up for their favorite treat.
This is the first standalone Nutella Cafe owned by parent company Ferrero. Its menu items include grilled baguettes, fresh-roasted hazelnut, gelato and some Italian specialties.
Noah Szporn, head of marketing at Nutella North America says there&`&s an incredible dining culture in the city, and Nutella is all about the idea of sharing good food with friends and family; and they thought that Chicago would be the perfect place to do that.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-05-30

Jun 2, 2017 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I’m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
The United States Senate has voted 82-13 to approve the Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to be the new U.S. Ambassador to China.
In a statement after the confirmation, Branstad said he looks forward to working with leaders of both countries for the mutual benefit of the rest of the world.
He said that never in his wildest dreams did he think that a boy from a small farm in Leland, Iowa, would one day have the opportunity to represent his country on the world stage, working closely with one of the world&`&s most influential countries and one of America&`&s largest trading partners.
Seventy-year-old Branstad is the longest-serving governor in the United States. He has nurtured a close relationship with China and has visited China multiple times.
He served as the governor of Iowa from 1983 to 1999, and again since 2011. He was nominated by U.S. President Donald Trump to be the next U.S. ambassador to China in December last year.
During his confirmation hearing earlier this month, Branstad said that if confirmed, he would work to "positively influence" the U.S.-China relationship.
He said that as Governor of Iowa, he saw first-hand the importance of a positive and healthy trade relationship between the two countries.
This is Special English.
With housing prices and sales stagnating in China&`&s major cities following tough property controls, smaller cities are starting to join in.
Property sales were restricted in several second and third-tier cities, as speculators shift their attention to these areas. Around 30 cities have introduced sales restrictions to different extents.
In Baoding city in north China&`&s Hebei Province, certain properties are subject to a 10-year lock-up before they can be resold.
In Jiaxing city in east China&`&s Zhejiang Province, non-residents will not be able to resell houses within two years of buying them.
With such restrictions, speculators who use to borrow money to invest may have to reconsider, as it now takes much longer for the houses to generate returns and pay back the loans.
Analysts say smaller cities have become the main battleground as China strives to contain housing price as they rises through restrictions on purchases and increased minimum down payments.
In Beijing, the down payment ratio for second homes has raised to 60 percent in mid-March, a measure considered "unprecedented".
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
A new study has found that the rare but spectacular eruptions of super volcanoes can cause massive destruction and affect climate patterns on a global scale for decades.
In addition, the super eruption sites may experience ongoing, albeit smaller eruptions for tens of thousands of years after.
In the study published recently in the journal Nature Communications, Oregon State University researchers said they were able to link recent eruptions at Mt. Sinabung in northern Sumatra in Indonesia, to the last eruption on Earth of a super volcano 74,000 years ago at the Toba Caldera some 40 kilometers away.
This is the first time that researchers have been able to pinpoint what happens following the eruption of a super volcano. To qualify as a super volcano, the eruption must reach at least magnitude 8, which means the measured deposits for that eruption are greater than 1,000 cubic kilometers.
When Toba erupted, it emitted a volume of magma 28,000 times greater than that of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington State in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. It was so massive, it is thought to have created a volcanic winter on Earth lasting years, and possibly triggering a bottleneck in human evolution.
This is Special English.
A study led by the University of Washington indicates that neighborhoods with greater poverty and disorganization may play a greater role in the problem of drinking in the availability of bars and stores that sell hard liquor.
The findings were based on local neighborhood data and published online in the Journal of Urban Health. It suggests that while socioeconomics are more powerful environmental factors than even access to the substance itself, improving a neighborhood&`&s quality of life can yield a range of benefits.
In examining the combination of multiple neighborhood factors on alcohol use, researchers turned to an ongoing study the university has followed for decades, by interviewing more than 500 of the adult participants.
The researchers found that residents of neighborhoods primarily characterized by high poverty and disorganization tended to drink twice as much in a typical week as those in other types of neighborhoods. Binge-drinking, generally defined as more than four drinks at a time for women, five for men, occurred in these high-poverty, highly disorganized communities about four times as frequently as in other types of neighborhoods.
These findings are consistent with previous research indicating that people in lower income neighborhoods may be at greater risk for alcohol-related problems.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Russian Security Council said Russia&`&s crucial information infrastructure suffered no severe damage caused by the global WannaCry melware attack thanks to an effective anti-cyberattack state system.
Russia has been creating a system to detect, prevent and eliminate the consequences of computer attacks on the information resources of the Russian Federation. The program was previously approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin in a decree.
The Security Council said Russia has managed to avoid serious damage due to the mentioned state system. The critical information infrastructure was ready to resist a massive spread of this virus.
Russia&`&s critical information infrastructure includes the information systems in these sectors of defense, healthcare, energy, transport, communications, banking and finance.
A massive number of organizations across the globe have been targeted by the WannaCry malware. Hackers used the Trojan encryptor to lock computers and demand a payment for the decryption. So far, the WabbaCry ransom ware attacked has spread to 150 countries, crippling hospitals, schools, governments and businesses.
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Nepal has hosted the "Chinese Bridge" language proficiency competition for college students in Kathmandu, the nation’s capital.
This is the fourth Nepali edition of the global contest.
This year&`&s competition was organized by the Confucius Institute at Kathmandu University and the Chinese embassy in Nepal.
According to the organizers, over 50 students had taken part in the initial round and 14 students were selected from three educational institutions in Nepal.
Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong attended the ceremony to present awards to the winners. She said she was happy to see the increasing interest of Nepali students in Chinese language and culture.
In the preliminary round of the competition, 14 college students went through rounds of tests and demonstrated their language skills.
Two Bachelor students representing Kathmandu University were declared winners, who will travel to China to represent Nepal at the finals to be held later this year.
The Chinese proficiency competition is held annually in different countries for non-Chinese students to encourage them to learn about China.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
The Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, has rolled out an app in which users can learn about the museum through building their own imperial residence.
In this app, users choose a vacant site for their imperial palace and upgrade it by publishing and reading articles or completing tasks.
The museum says the app makes news and information more accessible to the public. Users are no longer mere visitors, but also architects of the museum.
The Forbidden City will release high-definition images of its cultural relics, making them available to more people worldwide.
Established in 1925, the Palace Museum is located in the imperial palace of the consecutive dynasties from the 13th century to 1911. The complex&`&s architecture and imperial collections make it one of the most prestigious museums in the world.
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China will build more theme parks in the coming years.
Tourism officials say that by 2020, China will encourage tourist areas to integrate with recreation facilities, theaters, and performing centers.
Branded theme parks from overseas will be introduced into China, while domestic theme parks are also encouraged to expand overseas.
A fantasy adventure indoor theme park opened to the public recently in Shanxi Province in north China. With laser technology and 3-D effects, the theme park aims to offer tourists immersive experiences.
Entertainment companies are strongly encouraged to use hi-tech equipment.
According to a development plan for the tourism industry, China will improve tourism infrastructure and public service facilities while pushing forward innovative development of theme parks.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
In the Chinese animation "The Tales of Effendi", a cute donkey from Kashgar in northwest China&`&s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region becomes famous as he carries his master around.
In reality, donkeys don&`&t usually have such noteworthy lives. They mostly plod around carrying heavy loads and doing tedious chores. But in Kashgar&`&s Yopurga County, farmer Abdul Kerim has turned the braying beast of burden into a cash cow.
Kerim says he had been doing various jobs to support his family since he was laid off ten years ago. Last year, he decided to go into the donkey business after hearing that donkey milk could be very profitable.
Kerim and four of his neighbors poured almost all of their savings into setting up a cooperative last year. They bought 38 donkeys of a cross-breed between the region&`&s native donkeys and those from northwest China&`&s Shaanxi Province. They built stables and stockpiled bales of hay.
After a year of hard work, the biggest donkey milk processing company in the region bought the cooperative&`&s first batch of milk for 28 yuan, roughly 4 U.S. dollars, per kilo.
Donkey farms are now springing up in this previously impoverished area. Around 27,000 donkeys are being raised for their milk, which is expected to generate an annual revenue of 250 million yuan.
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20th Century Fox&`&s "Alien: Covenant" topped North American box office with an estimated 36 million U.S. dollars during its debut weekend, dethroning "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" with a narrow victory.
Movie analysts say that featuring a terrific cast, this R-rated space adventure harkens back to the first "Alien" film that blew audience&`&s minds with its gritty dark intensity back in 1979.
The sixth installment in the "Alien" franchise directed by Ridley Scott cost 97 million U.S. dollars to make and opened 29 percent behind the first prequel, "Prometheus", which debuted to over 51 million U.S. dollars in North America in August 2012.
Disney and Marvel&`&s "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" moved to second place with an estimated 35 million U.S. dollars in North America after two weeks at the top of the charts. The Marvel&`&s superhero sequel has earned a whopping 733 million U.S. dollars globally.
Warner Bros.&`& teen romance "Everything, Everything" opened in third place with an estimated 12 million U.S. dollars in its debut weekend. The PG-13 rated film is about a young woman with an illness that prevents her from leaving the protection of her sealed environment and who falls in love with the boy next door. The film is based on the bestselling book of the same name.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-05-29

Jun 2, 2017 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I’m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
The recent WannaCry ransom ware outbreak across the world is the latest alarm about cyber security that demands immediate efforts at different levels, including international cooperation.
It has been found that measures as simple as official Microsoft patch installation and security software update can work to fend off WannaCry in the largest cyber-attack in more than a decade. The hacking highlights the need for Internet users to heighten cyber security awareness.
However, it also calls for systematic efforts as well as international cooperation to tackle cross-border challenges in a digitally connected world in order to affect a universal defense.
A senior research fellow on cyber policy and security at Stanford University told the Xinhua News Agency that international cooperation on cyber security will be essential for a safer and more secure cyberspace.
Herb Lin deplored the fact that countries have different views on how they intend to use cyberspace and the rules they want to apply have so far made it difficult to achieve international cooperation.
Some experts foresee more attacks like WannaCry, which has hit more than 200,000 computers in some 150 countries since May 12. The vast majority of successful hacks require only the most basic techniques.
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Pharmaceutical company Merck recently won approval from the China Food and Drug Administration to sell its human papillomavirus vaccine, Gardasil, to help women fight cervical cancer.
Developed by the US-based company in 2006, the vaccine has proved effective in protecting against the virus, better known as HPV, the chief cause of cervical cancer. The virus is found in almost all cervical cancer cases.
Gardasil is the first HPV vaccine in the world and the second to be licensed for use in China.
In July, Cervarix, an HPV vaccine developed by pharmaceutical GlaxoSmithKline, received approval to be sold on the Chinese mainland after almost 10 years of seeking approval.
Gardasil is expected to be commercially available on the mainland in three to six months, which means women will no longer have to seek vaccinations outside of the mainland, in places such as Hong Kong.
After breast cancer, cervical cancer is the second-most common cancer in women aged between 15 and 44 in China. China reports more than 130,000 cervical cancer cases a year, accounting for 28 percent of the global total.
The HPV vaccine, as the first anti-cancer vaccine in the world, has proved effective in preventing cervical cancer and is seen as a breakthrough in the fight against the condition.
Today, such vaccines are in use in around 120 countries and regions, including the United States, Australia and most European countries.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A 100-year-old medical technique could be used to achieve pregnancy in infertile women without the need for expensive in vitro fertilization treatments. That’s according to researchers from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.
The often overlooked historical technique, which involves "flushing" the woman&`&s fallopian tubes with iodised poppy seed oil, has been proven to be successful in aiding fertility.
Research teams in Australia and the Netherlands say that the procedure, called HSG, was first carried out in 1917 and involved flushing the tubes with the oil during an X-ray.
Professor Ben Mol from the University of Adelaide says that over the past century, pregnancy rates among infertile women reportedly increased after their tubes had been flushed with either water or oil during the X-ray procedure. Until now, it has been unclear whether the type of solution used in the procedure was influencing the change in fertility.
He said the results have been even more exciting than scientists could have predicted, helping to confirm that an age-old medical technique still has an important place in modern medicine.
According to the results of Mol&`&s study, around 35 percent of infertile women who underwent the procedure achieved successful pregnancies within six months of the HSG being performed.
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Some 1,730 new plant species were discovered globally in the last year, some of which have food and medicinal value. That’s according to an annual report released recently by the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, based in England.
Involving 128 scientists from 12 countries, RBG Kew&`&s State of the Worlds Plants report presents data never seen before on patterns affecting plants in different regions.
New species of Manihot were discovered in Brazil that have the potential to be developed into better food crops, and new species of the climbing vine genus Mucuna, used in the treatment of Parkinson&`&s disease, were found in South East Asia and South and Central America.
Kathy Willis, director of science at RBG Kew, says they have tried to make sure that this year&`&s State of the World&`&s Plants report goes beyond the numbers to look at the natural capital of plants -- how they are relevant and valuable to all aspects of our lives.
The report also reveals that plants with thicker leaves and bark, more efficient water use, deeper roots, and higher wood density are better able to cope with future climate change.
The report also highlights information on how new technology is helping to speed up the discovery and classification of plants that are providing important sign posts to the next food crops and actions in protecting some of the most important plant species globally.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Climate change is more real than ever. A new study has found a steady growth of moss in Antarctica over the past 50 years, and suggested that the continent will be greener in the future.
The study was published recently in Current Biology, a scientific journal that covers all areas of biology. The research is led by Matthew Amesbury, a researcher at the University of Exeter in Britain.
The Antarctic Peninsula might sound like a remote and untouched region, but the study showed that the effects of climate change are felt there, and it has been warming faster than the rest of the continent.
The research team looked at 150 years&`& worth of data and found clear change points in the last 50 years, which showed the increase of moss cover. That could shift the ecosystem in Antarctica, driving it to simulate what has been observed in Arctic.
Last month, the sea ice cover in the Arctic was record low, and that of Antarctic was near record low too, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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The World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa has been held with calls for increased support for youth and addressing unemployment and poverty.
Officials during the forum at the Dead Sea said providing financial and moral support to the youth in the Middle East and reforming education were key in addressing the pressing challenges facing the region.
The forum attracted more than 1,100 political and business leaders from more than 50 countries. The participants agreed that the world is facing many problems including high unemployment rate, fast population growth and political regional challenges. The problems are relentlessly seeking to thrive on the hopelessness and despair of the younger generation. The forum said providing hope and support are vital for the youth in the region.
Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan said at the forum that what young people need most is for all to take a bet on them, and to support them, morally and financially, so they can create their own impact.
The forum agreed that as 31 percent of young people in the region are unemployed, new initiatives and urgent action are needed.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
More than 30 national library curators and representatives from 20 countries and regions in Asia and Oceania gathered in Beijing to discuss the building of sustainable regional library networks.
The participants came from countries including Australia, Japan, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. They shared their experience in international cultural exchanges at the two-day conference hosted by the National Library of China.
The National Library of China is promoting the establishment of the "Silk Road" international library alliance, and most of the participating libraries are from countries along the ancient trading route.
The annual conference is hosted in turn by the participating libraries. This year marks the third time that China has hosted the event.
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A Peking opera adaptation of the Western masterpiece "Faust" was staged recently in Germany’s western city of Wiesbaden, starting its premiere tour in the country.
The opera was co-produced by China National Peking Opera Company and Italy&`&s Emilia Romagna Theater Foundation. It was performed as part of the International May Festival, a world-known traditional theater festival.
The opera is based on the Western masterpiece "Faust", written by Johann Wolfgang Goethe more than 200 years ago. The Peking Opera adaptation combines music, vocal performances, mime, dance, and acrobatics.
Since its debut in 2015, the opera has been staged over 70 times worldwide. It offers a creative blend of Western classics with oriental culture as well as presents a perfect cooperation between Chinese artists and performers from Italy and Germany.
The opera has been added to this year&`&s German-Chinese cultural program, a national event in Germany featuring the theme "China Today" to celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The first International Tea Expo has been held in east China’s Zhejiang province, attracting tea vendors and companies from both home and abroad.
The expo is held in Hangzhou, the provincial capital, at the venue where the G20 Summit was held. Over 1,000 enterprises from more than 30 countries participated in the event.
President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to be read at the opening ceremony, extending his hope that the expo would give exposure to Chinese tea culture. He said he hopes the event will grow into an important platform for exchanges and cooperation between China and the rest of the world.
The letter also included a call for the expo to promote both the tea industry and tea culture.
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The first China-themed library in Mexico has opened in a bid to promote cultural exchange.
Books on Chinese history, culture, medicine and music, as well as digital and video archives, can be found at the new Chinese Library at Mexico City&`&s Anahuac University.
Officials from China and the prestigious private university were on hand to inaugurate the 14th library of its kind worldwide, as part of celebrations marking 45 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Chinese officials say the library provides an opportunity for Mexico to know China better. It will also be a new platform for deepening educational, academic and cultural exchange between the two countries.
The library currently has 6,000 books and 80,000 digital archives with information on China&`&s politics, economy, culture, science and technology, as well as education and history.
Special software is provided, in both Spanish and English, for those who wish to learn Mandarin Chinese.
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As part of the celebration to mark the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, an exhibition about the revolution has opened at the British Library.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-06-06

Jun 1, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-06-06 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China has celebrated its first science and technology day, which means it has only been one year since the country declared its intention of becoming a leading power in Science and Technology by the middle of the century.
Things have moved pretty swiftly since.
Jiaolong, China&`&s manned submarine, went quite literally to the bottom of the ocean recently. Scientists collected samples of seawater, rock and marine life, including sea cucumbers, sponges and starfish. The geological samples will help them understand how the trench was formed.
In pursuit of the kind of quantum scientific leaps China needs, space is another frontier to be conquered.
In southwest China, the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope began scanning the skies in September. It is the world&`&s largest radio telescope. Its mission is to help scientists understand the origin and structure of the universe, and perhaps bring the search for extraterrestrial life closer to what would be an astonishing conclusion.
Meanwhile, out in actual space itself, the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft, launched in October last year, carried two astronauts to the space lab Tiangong-2, where they remained for 30 days.
In April this year, the Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft docked with Tiangong-2, refueling and resupplying the orbiting lab.
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China&`&s manned submarine Jiaolong has descended to 6,699 meters in the Mariana Trench, recording images of two swimming snailfishes.
The mission, on May 30th, was Jiaolong&`&s fourth dive in the trench this year.
The dive began at 7:03 a.m. local time and reached the planned depth at 10:21 a.m. where scientists worked for three hours and ten minutes.
Jiaolong collected samples of rock, sediment, deep-sea life and sea water in this dive, and recorded images of two swimming snailfishes.
Scientists say research on snailfish, a typical deep-sea species, deepens our understanding on the evolution of deep-sea fishes and their environmental adaptation mechanism.
Jiaolong&`&s first dive of this year in the world&`&s deepest known trench took place on May 23, with a Xinhua News Agency journalist descending inside the submarine along with scientists to a depth of 4,811 meters. The second and third dives on May 25 and 27 reached depths of 6,300 meters and 6,544 meters respectively.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
U.S. President Donald Trump has called Germany&`&s trade and military spending policies "very bad" for the United States as tensions between him and German Chancellor Angela Merkel increased.
Trump wrote on Twitter that the country have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO and military, which was very bad for the U.S. He wrote that this will change.
The blast came two days after Merkel cast doubts on EU&`&s alignment with the United States and Britain, saying that Europeans should determine their own destiny.
Merkel, addressing an election campaign at a beer tent in Germany&`&s southern state of Bavaria, said recently that following the election of Trump and Brexit, Europeans "really have to take destiny into their own hands".
Merkel said "the times when we could fully rely on others are to some extent over".
Although Merkel did not further elaborate the reasons for her unexpected remarks, many German media speculated that Merkel was referring to her frustrating experience at the G7 meeting earlier this week in Italy&`&s Sicily.
The German leader described the summit as "very difficult, not to say very unsatisfactory".
Trump and Merkel had a long history of disagreement that was previously focused on the two leaders&`& view on immigration.
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The daughter of a longtime confidante of the former South Korean President has been delivered to South Korea.
The 20-year-old is on her way home to South Korea. She was wanted for questioning in connection with a major corruption probe in her home country.
The daughter was arrested by Denmark&`&s North Jutland Police on Jan. 1. Her mother is charged with using her friendship with former president Park to extort funds from large businesses and meddling in state affairs.
The daughter is alleged to have received illegal favors when entering a prestigious South Korean university. She is also accused of being behind economic crimes in collusion with her mother, which she denied.
Initially, the young daughter fought against a local court&`&s decision to extradite her and appealed. On April 19, the Court of Aalborg upheld the extradition decision so that she can stand her trial in South Korea. She has dropped her opposition.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Li Sun, former coach of Chinese table tennis super star Zhang Yining has replaced suspended Kong Linghui to take charge of China&`&s women&`&s national team at the ongoing World Table Tennis Championships.
Head coach of the Chinese national team Liu Guoliang made the announcement as Kong had been ordered to return home from the World Championships. Liu and Kong won the men&`&s doubles gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
Kong was suspended as head coach of the Chinese women&`&s team following a lawsuit over a gambling debt filed by a Singaporean hotel.
The Singaporean hotel where Kong and his family had stayed in 2015 filed a lawsuit against him in a Hong Kong court. Media reports said Kong borrowed 1 million Singapore dollars, roughly 721,000 US dollars, from the hotel, but failed to pay back the debt in full.
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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has launched the standard gauge railway cargo train that is expected to ease congestion at the port of Mombasa.
The Chinese Ambassador to Kenya and the President of the China Communications Construction Company attended the launch ceremony.
President Kenyatta said at the unveiling of the train that it ushered in an era of fast, efficient and reliable transportation of goods.
He said this is a historic moment as Kenya begins its journey of transformation, adding that his government is banking on the cargo train to hasten industrial growth and cross-border trade.
Besides reducing the cost of ferrying goods from the port of Mombasa to the hinterlands, the cargo train will drastically reduce congestion in the highways and the environmental pollution.
According to Kenya Railways Corporation, it will cost 500 dollars to transport a single container through the train when compared to 900 dollars by road between Mombasa and Nairobi.
The president said expansion of Mombasa&`&s port and the operation of the train marked a critical milestone in Kenya&`&s quest to become an industrial and efficient trading hub.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
Sri Lanka has said it is preparing to face health concerns once the floods which lashed the country recede.
The Health Minister of Sri Lanka told reporters that while there was no spread of disease so far, diarrhea and skin diseases are expected later.
However he said health officials have been deployed to the affected areas and steps will be taken to counter the spread of any disease following the floods.
The death toll from the floods and landslides increased to 193 on May 30th and 94 others are reported missing.
Foreign assistance is continuing to flow in with China, Pakistan and India among the countries sending ship loads of humanitarian aid.
Meanwhile the World Health Organization is liaising closely with the Sri Lanka Ministry of Health and is assisting the government to provide critical healthcare services.
The main areas for support are medical team deployment, strengthening surveillance of communicable diseases, as well as provision of mental health and psychological support for survivors.
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Late night mobile phone use has devastating effects on teenager&`&s mental health. That&`&s according to a new study by Australian researchers at Murdoch and Griffith Universities.
The study is funded by the Australian Research Council and is the world&`&s first long-term assessment of adolescent mental health regarding late night mobile phone usage. The study examined student&`&s quality of sleep, along with mood, aggression and coping skills.
The process was conducted as an annual survey over four years and included 1,100 students from 29 schools.
When the subjects began the process, they were in their eighth year of education at high school; and when the program concluded, they had hit year 11.
The questionnaires focused on what time of the night students continued to receive or send text messages and phone calls.
The study found that late night phone use directly contributed to poor sleep habits, which over time led to declines in overall well-being and mental health.
Around two thirds or 65 percent of students in year eight who owned a mobile phone, reported to use it regularly after "lights out."
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
An inquiry into the accuracy of seven wristband activity monitors showed that six out of seven devices measured heart rate within 5 percent. None, however, measured energy expenditure well.
The findings were based on an evaluation of the Apple Watch, Basis Peak, Fitbit Surge, Microsoft Band, Mio Alpha 2, PulseOn and the Samsung Gear S2 in a diverse group of 60 volunteers.
Millions of people wear some kind of activity tracker and often share the data with their physician.
Euan Ashley, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford University says people are basing life decisions on the data provided by these devices. But consumer devices aren&`&t held to the same standards as medical-grade devices, and it&`&s hard for doctors to know what to make of heart-rate data and other data from a patient&`&s wearable device.

In the study, the volunteers wore the seven devices while walking or running on treadmills or using stationary bicycles. Each volunteer&`&s heart was measured with a medical-grade electrocardiograph. Metabolic rate was estimated with an instrument for measuring the oxygen and carbon dioxide in breath, a good proxy for metabolism and energy expenditure. Results from the wearable devices were then compared to the measurements from the two instruments.
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"The Square", directed by Swedish director Ruben Ostlund, has won the Palme d&`&Or of the 70th Cannes Film Festival.
This film tells the story of Christian, a respected curator of a contemporary art museum, a divorced but devoted father of two girls.
Christian&`&s next show is "The Square", an installation which invites passersby to altruism, reminding them of their role as responsible fellow human beings. Meanwhile, the museum&`&s PR agency has created an unexpected campaign for "The Square". The response is overblown and sends Christian, as well as the museum, into an existential crisis.
"The Square" presents a satirical exploration of the art world, and was seen by many as an unexpected, but solid choice for the prestigious award.
The Grand Prix, often seen as the runner-up to the Palme d&`&Or, went to French director Robin Campillo for "120 Beats Per Minute".
Chinese art film director Li Ruijun was also present at the renowned international film festival, after his film "Walking Past the Future" was chosen as an official selection for the "Un Certain Regard" category.
This is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I&`&m going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-06-05

Jun 1, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-06-05 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for efforts to build the Chinese Navy into a strong and modern force to lend support for the realization of the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation and the dream of a strong military.
President Xi is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission. He made the remarks during an inspection of the Chinese Navy headquarters recently.
The president congratulated the Party congress of the Navy, met delegates to the congress and conveyed greetings to all navy members.
He noted that the navy is a strategic military service concerning national security and overall development. He asked naval authorities to build a world-class force by promoting political awareness, reforms and rule of law.
Xi visited the navy&`&s operational command center, where he greeted navy officers who were performing duties at sea.
Via video, he first talked with the crew of flotilla 150, which was taking part in an overseas journey of a good-will visit. The crew told Xi that they had visited five countries in more than one month and were warmly welcomed by the host countries. Xi asked them to pass on friendship and contribute to world peace.
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The leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations, the G7, have signed a joint declaration on combating terrorism.
The 15-point document says the fight against violent extremism is a major priority of the G7, which will bring the fight to a higher level by relentlessly preventing, investigating and prosecuting terrorist acts, their perpetrators and supporters.
The leaders pledged to combat the misuse of the Internet by terrorists to work together to manage the risk posed by foreign fighters as they disperse from theatres of conflict and to take action to cut off sources and channels of terrorist financing.
Among the measure is the expansion of the use of Passenger Name Records and Advance Passenger Information in traveler screening.
Terrorism was pushed to the top of the G7 summit agenda after a suicide bomber claimed 22 lives and wounded dozens of others when he blew himself up at a concert in the British city of Manchester on 22nd of May.
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In view of the latest situation in Britain, the government of China&`&s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has issued an Amber Outbound Travel Alert for the country.
A spokesman of the Hong Kong regional government said residents who plan to visit the United Kingdom or who are already there should monitor the situation, exercise caution and pay attention to the advice of the local authorities.
The announcement came after the British authorities raised the country&`&s terror threat to critical, the highest level, after a suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena left 22 people dead.
The Hong Kong regional government said its Security Bureau will closely monitor the situation in Britain, and will issue updates through media and the bureau&`&s mobile app and webpage.
Residents who need assistance while in Britain may call the 24-hour hotline of the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit of the Hong Kong Immigration Department. They may also contact the Chinese Embassy in Britain at the consular protection hotline.
Hong Kong residents are encouraged to use the online Registration of Outbound Travel Information service of the Immigration Department to register their contact details and itinerary when outside Hong Kong. The information provided allows the department to disseminate practical information to them through appropriate means on a timely basis when necessary.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China says the current development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is facing new opportunities and challenges.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Charter and the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation by the organization members.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says that under the collective efforts of all members, the organization has grown into a new type of regional cooperative organization with advanced ideas on cooperation and significant international influence. It plays an important role in promoting regional peace and development.
The foreign minister pointed out that the organization is facing new opportunities and challenges in its development.
After India and Pakistan complete the process of joining the organization during the forthcoming Astana summit, it will become the world&`&s most populous and largest regional cooperative organization, which will bring unprecedented development capacity and cooperation potential.
Wang said that in the face of the rise of protectionism and regional security, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization should adhere to and be supportive of trade liberalization and facilitate and promote the process of economic integration.
Meanwhile, the organization should promote security cooperation to combat terrorism, separatism and extremism in a more precise and efficient manner, so as to safeguard the sovereignty and homeland security of all members and maintain the regional peace and stability.
This is Special English.
A cultural exchange delegation from China has given lectures on Chinese cultural diversity and traditional arts to the students of Kiev Taras Shevchenko National University in Ukraine.
In particular, the lecture offered insights into Tibet&`&s history, culture, medicine, Buddhism philosophy and arts. It attracted an audience of around 300 people.
Karina Kolyadych, a third-year student at the university&`&s faculty of regional studies, said the lecture on Tibetan thangka art kindled her particular interest. Thangka is the form of scroll paintings on paper, cloth or silk, which has a 1,300-year-old history.
The lecturers also introduced cultural features of other Chinese ethnic groups to the Ukrainian public, stressing harmony and equality among the people of all of China&`&s 56 ethnic groups.
While speaking after the lecture, a student of the university&`&s faculty of international information said ethnically diversed Ukraine has to learn from China&`&s experience in building a harmonious society.
This is Special English.
The Chinese Bridge, a Chinese language proficiency contest for foreign students, has been held in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The first prize went to Ahmad Walid Ahadi from the Confucius Institute at Kabul University and another student from Marefat, a famous private school in Afghanistan. The top winners will represent Afghanistan in the final event in China later this year.
A total of 12 students from Kabul University and Marefat took part in the contest.
There are three sections in the contest themed "Dreams Enlighten Future", namely Chinese speech, knowledge of China, and a China-related talent show.
In his speech, one of the winners, Ahadi, talked about his dream of becoming a diplomat working to improve China-Afghanistan friendly relations. Contestants also performed Wushu, the Chinese martial art, and Chinese calligraphy, for the audience.
An official from the Confucius Institute at Kabul University said that in the backdrop of the Belt and Road Initiative, they hope to facilitate such bilateral exchanges by teaching students about the Chinese language and culture.
Founded in 2008, the Confucius Institute at Kabul University has enrolled 321 students, 246 of whom have won the scholarships to study in China. It cooperates with Marefat School to further promote the Chinese language teaching and Chinese culture.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
A fund of 160 million yuan, roughly 23 million U.S. dollars, has been set up to help the development of four space science satellites, as well as advanced scientific research.
The fund was jointly set up by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, with each side sponsoring half of the investment. The fund will last from 2017 to 2020.
The four satellites are the Dark Matter Particle Explorer Satellite, retrievable scientific research satellite SJ-10, a quantum communication satellite and a hard X-ray modulation telescope satellite.
The fund will support experiments including the exploration of dark matter particles, microgravity science and space life science, as well as the observation of compact objects including black holes and neutron stars.
This is Special English.
American astronauts have successfully replaced a failed computer relay box outside the International Space Station during a short spacewalk that lasted less than three hours.
U.S. space agency NASA has declared victory on the installation of this replacement. A NASA TV commentator said around two hours into the contingency spacewalk conducted by astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer that the relay box, known as MDM, which failed on Saturday, which is one of two units that regulate the operation of radiators, solar arrays and cooling loops, have been successfully replaced.
The cause of the MDM failure is not known, but because each MDM is capable of performing the critical station functions, the crew on the station was never in danger and station operations have not been affected.
A similar MDM replacement spacewalk was conducted in April 2014.
Typical spacewalks last around six and a half hours, but Tuesday&`&s spacewalk lasted just two hours and 46 minutes.
During the spacewalk, the two astronauts also installed a pair of antennae on the station to enhance wireless communication for future spacewalks.
This is Special English.
The latest and most advanced U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, has left Norfolk naval station for acceptance trial.
Media reported that the first-of-its-class warship will conduct test operations at sea, ensuring that it was built according to contract specifications.
American navy officials say the acceptance trial, the last phase before the deliverance of the ship to the Navy, will be overseen by the Navy&`&s Board of Inspection and Survey.
Acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley predicted recently that the aircraft carrier, hull numbered CVN-78, will soon enter service upon completion of its acceptance trial.
The USS Ford completed its shipbuilder&`&s trial in April.
Construction of the USS Ford began in 2005 and was originally set to be completed in September 2015, but saw its construction delayed and its cost raised to 12.9 billion U.S. dollars, up two billion dollars from its original cost forecast.
The USS Ford is the first of a new class of supercarriers. Boasting the most advanced weapons in the world, it is part of a push by the U.S. government to bolster its naval power.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The China Xinjiang International Dance Festival will be held in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region from July 20 to August 5.
Local officials say that with the theme "Chinese dream, colorful Silk Road", the festival will be an artistic gala of dance from both home and abroad.
The festival will present more than 60 performances by art groups from Pakistan, Egypt, Russia and other countries in Asia, Africa and Europe, as well as domestic groups, including groups from Xinjiang.
This is Special English.
Archaeologists in north China&`&s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region recently found a cave painting of human hand prints that they estimate to date back to the Paleolithic Period.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-05-23

May 24, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-05-23 Special English
This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
Beijing will award scholarships to students from the Belt and Road countries studying in 160 programs at universities in the city by 2020.
The scholarship program was jointly initiated by the municipal education commission and finance bureau in December 2016. So far, a total of 64 programs have been covered by the scholarships, benefiting some 1,100 students.
From 2016 to 2020, 32 undergraduate and postgraduate programs will be chosen each year.
Last year, 32 programs of 23 universities were chosen, and 32 programs of 32 universities were chosen in 2017. The programs cover subjects including aerospace, legal studies and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Officials with the commission said they hope more high-level talent from Belt and Road countries will come study in Beijing and more educational cooperation will be carried out between Beijing and those countries.
This is Special English.
Chinese central government has called for more efforts in helping college graduates get jobs or start businesses. That's according to a statement issued recently after a national teleconference on employment.
Premier Li Keqiang's written instruction on employment was read out at the conference, which was attended by other state leaders.
The employment of college graduates matters to China's social stability, as a total of almost 8 million college students are expected to graduate this year.
The central government asked local authorities and schools to encourage the students to work in the grassroots. They are also encouraged to seek jobs and start businesses in advanced manufacturing, strategic emerging industries, service and agriculture.
In terms of general employment, the central government stressed enhanced vocational training and other public services.
China has set employment targets of 11 million new urban jobs and a registered urban unemployment rate under 4.5 percent this year.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
The length of Shanghai metro system is now the longest in the world, surpassing the size of networks in other world cities, including New York and Paris.
Shanghai Party Secretary Han Zheng said infrastructure transportation within the city is now an important part of the development between urban and rural areas of Shanghai.
Han added that Shanghai strengthened its position as global port city, with the transport of containers leading the world for the past 7 years. Freight transport out of Shanghai's main airports ranks the third in the world. Air passenger volumes have reached 100 million, which tops in China.
In the next 5 years, more efforts will be made in the transportation integration of the Yangtze River Delta. Plans are in place to make every city within the Yangtze River Delta region reachable within 90 minutes of one another.
Additionally, Shanghai will work to make public transport the most convenient means of transportation for its citizens.
This is Special English.
China has started a yearlong experiment using an airtight advanced life-support system to house eight volunteers as a way to help with the nation's goal of long-term manned deep-space exploration.
The project's operator said the Lunar Palace 365 experiment was launched at the Lunar Palace 1 bio-regenerative life-support laboratory in Beihang University in Beijing.
The eight volunteers are all postgraduate students at the university. They are divided into two teams and will undertake the experiment in three shifts. Once the team has entered the lab, team members will stay for 60 days before another team takes over. The second group will live in the lab for 200 days before the first team will complete the remaining 105 days.
Lunar Palace 1 is capable of providing a habitable environment similar to Earth's biosphere and can support four people each time. It was designed to test and verify technologies to be used on space missions of extended duration in deep space, and with multiple crews.
The 500-cubic-meter lab is sealed from the outside. During the experiment, volunteers will not leave the lab during their shifts unless they encounter emergencies.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
China will carry on phasing out sub-standard production capacity, especially in the fields of steel and iron, coal-mining, as well as coal-fired power plants, to keep up with targets set for the year.
The decision was made at a State Council executive meeting, which was presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.
Li listened to reports on the latest progress of this year's campaign to cut excess capacities of steel, iron, coal-mining and coal-fueled power generation, as well as the findings of inspections over the drive in concrete and glass sectors.
Li said the reforms offer the way forward in cutting overcapacity, which is a vital part of the supply-side structural reform.
Li said China takes the initiative to reduce production capacity based on its own national conditions. The efforts are to make the growth model and economic structure shift to new economic drivers.
The government work report Li delivered in March set targets for this year to cut steel and iron overcapacity by 50 million tonnes and coal mining by 150 million tonnes respectively. The targets also include phasing out coal-fired power generation capacity of more than 50 million kilowatts.
This is Special English.
A senior Chinese leader has urged more cooperation between Chinese and overseas Taoist circles in contributing to world peace and harmony.
The chairman of China's top advisory body made the remarks in a congratulatory letter to the fourth International Taoist Forum.
The three-day event was held in the Wudang Mountains in central China's Hubei Province, with representatives from 30 countries and regions attending.
The chairman said Taoism is rooted in Chinese culture, and could boost harmony between nations and religions. By supporting the forum, the Chinese government would like to promote exchange and understanding between Taoists in the world.
The chairman called on Taoist circles and figures to building a global community of a shared destiny, world peace and humanism.
Taoism is a religious belief originated from the writings and philosophy of Lao Tze who lived 2,500 years ago. According to his thoughts, everything in the universe was born from a vacuum, and a balance must be achieved between humans and nature.
This is Special English.
The collapse of a tunnel containing radioactive waste at the Hanford nuclear weapons complex in the United States underscored what critics have long been saying: The toxic remnants of the Cold War are being stored in haphazard and unsafe conditions, and time is running out to deal with the problem.
Kevin Kamps of the anti-nuclear group "Beyond Nuclear" said that unfortunately, the crisis at Hanford is far from an isolated incident.
For instance, at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, the government is laboring to clean up groundwater contamination along with the 40 million gallons of radioactive liquid waste stored in tanks that are decades past their projected lifespan. The site opened in the 1950s and produced plutonium and tritium. The cleaning job is likely going to take decades.
In addition to the tunnel collapse discovered recently, dozens of underground storage tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State are leaking highly radioactive materials. Some of the storage tanks dated to World War II.
Anti-nuclear activists say the problem is that the U.S. government rushed to build nuclear weapons during the Cold War with little thought given to how to permanently dispose of the resulting waste.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
Mandarin signs are being added at airports and railway stations in Italy, and free Wi-Fi services are being set up at public venues to make Chinese tourists' visits to the country easier.
A senior Italian official said the Italian government is also encouraging hotels to provide more Chinese-friendly services in preparation for the 2018 European Union-China Tourism Year. The vice-minister of culture and tourism Dorina Bianchi made the remarks during an interview in Shanghai.
She said such services will include hotel staff who are fluent in Chinese, rooms with China Central TV channels, acceptance of China UnionPay cards and hot drinking water to cater to Chinese stomachs.
China has become the seventh-largest source of tourists for Italy after years of continuous leaps since a wave of outbound travel to Italy began in 2004.
Statistics from the Italian consulate general in Guangzhou show that Italy received a record 900,000 visitors from the Chinese mainland last year, and the numbers have maintained double-digit annual growth for the past decade.
Longer stays are being considered for Chinese with tourist visas. Italy guarantees that its visa application process will be completed within 36 hours for Chinese tourists.
This is Special English.
A group of college students from the China West Normal University in Sichuan province launched a fundraising to buy a cell phone for a sanitation worker who lost his phone during work.
The sanitation worker surnamed Ren rejected the offer at first, saying a phone is too much for the students who were not making any money. But the students insisted, and he finally accepted the phone.
Sixty-three-year-old Ren lost his phone when he was cleaning a street near the university. Students tried to help him by putting up posters but the effort ended in vain.
Later one of the students suggested a fundraising; and more than 100 students donated 800 yuan, roughly 120 US dollars, to buy the cell phone.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
A photo competition on giant panda conservation and research is being held in Sichuan province in southwest China. The event lasts from May till early November.
The competition is jointly organized by the China Conservation and Research Center for the giant panda and Jiuzhaigou, a scenic attraction in the province. A total of 200,000 yuan, roughly 30,000 U.S. dollars will be offered as prize to the winners.
Award-winning works will be displayed overseas in locations including the headquarters of the United Nations in New York.
Organizers say the competition aims to increase people's attention on panda conservation and research. Entries are welcome from both at home and abroad.
Jiuzhaigou is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a natural habitat for pandas.
This is Special English.
For three hours, a dog was running back and forth at the beach, picking up waste cans, abandoned slippers and floating plastic bags. This happened in the seawater at a tourist attraction in the coastal city of Xiamen in east China's Fujian Province.
The 8-year-old golden retriever named Tiger has become an online celebrity for its dedication to cleaning the beach over the past five years. A video featuring its efforts has been viewed more than 70,000 times.
Its owner says the dog showed a keen interest in picking up floating objects five years ago.
Whenever Tiger spots garbage in the seawater, it will rush to pick it up and bring it back. But as it grew old, the dog lost some of its vision and is showing other health problems.
This is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I'm going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
This is the end of today's program. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing, and I hope you can join us every day, to learn English and learn about the world.

【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-05-22

May 24, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-05-22 Special English
This is Special English. I’m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
China will boost the development of online media by encouraging eligible websites to go public and create new mainstream media groups.
A government blueprint has been issued by the Party authority and the State Council, China’s Cabinet. The document on cultural development and reform vowed to gradually set up a modern communication system by 2020.
This is a major project to "build public opinion fronts" online. Efforts will be made to improve the communication abilities of major news websites and online radio and TV stations. It also aims to develop a system for communication on the mobile Internet.
Eligible websites will be encouraged to go public.
The authorities will give support to mainstream media institutions in developing their websites and new media. Efforts will be stepped up to guide and standardize investment in the Internet cultural sector with both state and private funds.
Meanwhile, existing laws and regulations on news and publishing will be extended to cover the management of online media.
This is Special English.
A butt joint weighing 6,000 metric tons has been lowered into the Pearl River, bringing work on an underwater tunnel linked to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge a step closer to completion.
A chief engineer at the National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center said favorable weather conditions made it suitable for connecting the butt joint, which involved 160 welders.
The tunnel is the final component of the long-awaited bridge which is scheduled to open to traffic later this year.
The Y-shaped cross-sear bridge is estimated to cost more than 10 billion yuan, roughly 1.5 billion US dollars. It is expected to play a significant role in the economic development of the area comprising Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macao.
Construction started in 2009, and the bridge is part of China's planned national highway network, linking the eastern and western banks of the Pearl River.
The bridge includes a 7-kilometer underwater tunnel and a 23-km overwater bridge, making it the longest cross-sea bridge in the world.
The service life of the bridge is expected to reach more than 120 years.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China's manned submarine Jiaolong has explored submarine turbidity currents in the South China Sea.
With a depth of 2,980 meters, Jiaolong was underwater for almost 10 hours in the ocean scientific expedition.
Three crew members in the submarine collected samples and measured environmental parameters in the ocean. They brought back sediment and seawater near the seabed as well as high-definition photos and video footage.
Scientists say China started the research on submarine turbidity currents relatively late, compared with other countries. This study is a major challenge in geoscience.
The dive helped scientists to obtain evidence of the topographic features in northeastern South China Sea. It enriched scientific understanding of canyon turbidity current in the region and provided key data and technical support for future research.
The oceanic scientific expedition started in early February. The team will conduct surveys in the Yap Trench and the Mariana Trench later in the year.
This is Special English.
China's new-generation training vessel has set sail on its maiden voyage from the port city of Dalian in northeast China to South Africa.
The 340-million-yuan, roughly 50 million US dollar-ocean-going vessel is China's most advanced cruise training ship.
The 200-meter long ship, "Yupeng", is owned by the Dalian Maritime University.
During its maiden voyage, 87 graduating students joined the crew to undergo training. It was also loaded with four locomotives and other equipment for customers in South Africa.
Founded in 1909, Dalian Maritime University is one of China's largest maritime universities. It already owns and operates another ocean-going training vessel that boasts more than a 10,000 deadweight tonnage.
The new ship has a carrying load of 30,000 tonnes and can be used for training, scientific research and shipping.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Scientists say they have switched on the world’s biggest X-ray laser, designed to capture images of structures and processes at the atomic level.
The DESY research center near Hamburg in Germany said bringing the laser to life for the first time "marks a new era of research in Europe".
Operators say the first laser pulse lasted one second. This frequency will be increased to 27,000 flashes per second by the start of September when it officially opens for research.
Scientists hope the European X-ray laser project will open up new areas of research, including mapping the molecular structure of new drugs and seeing biochemical reactions in real time.
Institutions from Germany, France, Italy and other countries are involved in the project.
This is Special English.
China has conducted a maiden flight of its dual-seat FC-1B trainer/fighter jet, aiming to seize a bigger share of the global military aircraft market.
The flight took place at an airport of the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group, a State-owned aircraft giant and the manufacturer of the plane. The flight was witnessed by executives from the Aviation Industry of China, guests from other countries and journalists.
The aircraft is capable of training pilots and engaging in aerial combat as well as striking ground targets.
Officials say the new aircraft is one of the best trainer fighter jets in the international market. It is able to carry beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles, anti-ship cruise missiles and precision land-attack ammunition.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
More than 20,000 authors from universities and research institutions across China have joined a project to write an authoritative online Chinese encyclopedia in an effort to promote China's historical heritage and soft power.
The digital encyclopedia is the third edition of the Chinese Encyclopedia. It will feature more than 300,000 entries, each with an average length of 1,000 words. It will be twice as large as the Encyclopedia Britannica. The online encyclopedia will cover more than 100 disciplines and be put into use in 2018.
The project's editor-in-chief Yang Muzhi said China faces challenges from every corner of cyberspace, so it should have its own online encyclopedia to lead public opinion."
According to Yang, the new encyclopedia's top rival is Wikipedia. The goal of the project is to surpass Wikipedia rather than play catch-up with it.
Yang said people think Wikipedia is correct and authoritative, while it claims to be a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. He said the idea is alluring, but China has the world's largest group of authors, so they can do better.
This is Special English.
The Palace Museum in Beijing plans to stop selling paper tickets from its box office, probably by later this year.
An official from the museum says an Internet-based system will be set up to better coordinate the number of visitors for different hours of the day.
He said the new plan is preliminarily scheduled to be launched in an "appropriate time in late October", but it still depends on whether conditions are ripe. Starting in July, the museum will gradually decrease the percentage of tickets available at traditional box offices.
The Palace Museum opened its online ticket system in 2011. Almost half the tickets are sold via the internet. The tickets sold at the box office in the first quarter of this year decreased by 10 percent from the same period a year earlier.
The Palace Museum, or the Forbidden City, was China's former royal palace from 1420 to 1911. It is one of the most visited museums in the world. The Forbidden City received more than 16 million visitors last year.
The Palace Museum set a daily quota of 80,000 visitors in 2015 due to safety concerns caused by overcrowding. The new move is another step to handle the crowds.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
It is critical and important for children in the United States and Europe to learn Chinese. Education experts say a booming Chinese economy provides great opportunities for foreigners who can speak both English and Chinese.
That was the consensus among teachers, students and experts who gathered to mark the Experience China Day in the United States.
The event was held by the Chinese Consulate General in New York City. It attracted more than 200 American teachers, students and parents to the Chinese Consulate General for the event. Various activities were held for people to experience traditional Chinese culture, including calligraphy and traditional Chinese musical instruments.
Acting Consul General Cheng Lei said the event aims to motivate young people' interests in learning Chinese and understanding Chinese culture.
American students entertained the crowd by playing the Kongzhu, also known as the Chinese yo-yo. They also staged a short drama in both English and Chinese.
This is Special English.
Zambia will host the first-ever Africa Cup Wushu Tournament next year. Wushu is a Chinese martial art.
The tournament has attracted kung fu experiments from around 20 countries to participate. T competition has been tentatively set for June or August.
The event is organized by the Zambia Wushu Association. Officials say the tournament is a milestone for Zambia in promoting the Chinese martial art.
Preparations for the event have already started. As a host country, Zambia will pick its final team from among many martial art athletes. Organizers say they hope the event will encourage more local people to learn Chinese kung fu.
Formed in 2013, the Zambia Wushu Association has trained 600 martial art learners in the capital and a nearby province.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A Minor Planet has been named after Chinese aerospace scientist Ye Peijian at a ceremony in Beijing.
Ye is active in the country's lunar probe and deep space missions, and an academic at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The minor planet, No. 456677, was discovered by a Chinese team at the Purple Mountain Observatory in east China's Nanjing city in 2007.
The naming suggestion was approved by the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center in January.
This is Special English.
Renowned Chinese mathematician Wu Wenjun has died in Beijing at the age of 98.
Wu became well known in the field of mathematics in the late 1940s for his contribution to research on topology, one of the major areas of mathematics.
Later, Wu devoted his attention to research on mechanical geometry theorem proof, using computers to prove complicated and time-consuming geometrical theorems.
His work has been described by mathematicians as pioneering, and some of his theories have been included in textbooks. The Wu formula and Minor Planet No.7683 were named after him.
He was the winner of China's top science and technology award in 2000.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A photo competition on giant panda conservation and research is being held in Sichuan province in southwest China. The event lasts from May till early November.
The competition is jointly organized by the China Conservation and Research Center for the giant panda and Jiuzhaigou, a scenic attraction in the province. A total of 200,000 yuan, roughly 30,000 U.S. dollars will be offered as prizes to the winners.
Award-winning works will be displayed overseas in locations including the headquarters of the United Nations in New York.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-05-16

May 19, 2017 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I’m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
The C919, China&`&s first homegrown large passenger plane, has made its debut flight in Shanghai, a breakthrough in the country&`&s innovation and manufacturing drive and a change to the landscape of the global civil aviation market.
The successful test flight of the C919 comes only nine days after the country debuted its first homegrown aircraft carrier in Dalian in northeast China. The development showed the world China’s manufacturing prowess, development of advanced technology and the national ambition to regain past glory.
The flight lasted around 80 minutes at an altitude of 3,000 meters and an average speed of 300 kilometers per hour. Then the plane returned to Shanghai Pudong International Airport, from which it had taken off.
In a letter of congratulation to the C919 project, the State Council, China’s Cabinet, said the successful maiden flight of the C919 marks a milestone for China&`&s aviation industry. The project carries great weight and importance to the country&`&s innovation drive and manufacturing upgrade push.
The letter said it is also a shot in the arm for the ongoing supply-side reform.
This is Special English.
It’ll be free. It’ll be uniquely Chinese. It’ll be an online encyclopedia to rival Wikipedia, but without the participation of the public. And don’t expect certain entries to come up in your searches, either.
Scholars and experts hand-picked by Beijing to work on the project say only they will be able to make entries, the latest example of the Chinese government’s efforts to control information available on the internet.
The scholars say truth is their guiding light, and their editing and review process is a rigorous one. If there is a difference of opinion, a committee should figure it out.
A chief editor of the history of science and technology section told The Associated Press that "Of course, science does not come from democratic votes, to convince others you will have to present the most convincing proof".
The effort to compile 300,000 entries that span science, literature, politics and history is being led by the Communist Party of China’s Central Propaganda Department. It guides public opinion through instructions to China’s media, internet companies and publishing industry as well as overseeing the education sector. It has instructed the Encyclopedia of China Publishing House, known for its offline Chinese Encyclopedia, to produce it.
Currently, the Chinese Wikipedia is inaccessible on the mainland.

【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-05-15

May 19, 2017 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
China&`&s domestically produced C919 passenger plane has completed its first public test flight, marking a milestone in the development of China&`&s civil aviation industry.
The successful flight signals China&`&s entry into the global aviation market, and moves the country one step closer to transforming itself from a manufacturer of low-cost goods to a creator of advanced technology.
Aviation experts have hailed the strong growth momentum of China&`&s aviation industry, which, they say, has taken an important step in the right direction.
Nikolay Yakubovich, an aviation engineer and aviation historian in Russia says this event could only be welcome. It indicates that the Chinese aviation industry is gaining momentum and is rising to a new level.
The twin-engine C919 is made by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China. With a standard range of 4,075 kilometers, the narrow-bodied jet is comparable with updated Airbus 320 and Boeing&`&s new generation 737 planes.
A director from Air-Insight-Research in Seattle in the United States was also impressed by the great efforts made by the Chinese government in accelerating innovation.
Officials say that despite the successful test flight, it will still take time for the C919 to take off in the market.
This is Special English.
Jiaolong, China&`&s manned submarine has retrieved a basalt sample from the South China Sea which scientists say could shed light on the formation and evolution of seamounts in the area.
Jiaolong stayed underwater for 9-and-a half hours in its third dive in the second stage of China&`&s 38th ocean scientific expedition. The maximum depth of the dive was 2,930 meters below the ocean surface.
Aside from the 5 kilogram basalt sample, the ship also brought back samples of sediments and seawater from near the seabed, as well as other biological samples. High-definition photos and video footage were recorded.
A researcher with the State Oceanic Administration said it is not easy to acquire such a basalt sample. The valuable rock will lay the foundation for the study of the formation and evolution of seamounts in the South China Sea. It is very important for the study of the region&`&s structural evolution.
Jiaolong completed four dives in the South China Sea. The oceanic scientific expedition started in February. Earlier this year, Jiaolong completed a dive in the northwestern Indian Ocean. It will travel to the Yap Trench and the Mariana Trench later this year.
Named after an auspicious mythical dragon, the Jiaolong made its deepest dive in the Mariana Trench in June 2012, at 7,062 meters.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The Chinese government plans to cultivate a large number of competitive private medical institutions to complete a diversified multi-layered healthcare system by 2020. The move aims to meet growing demands for customized services.
The target was set in a document that encourages private businesses to provide diversified medical services. Encouraging private medical services is vital to developing a prosperous healthcare industry, unleashing the potential for domestic consumption and promoting economic restructuring and upgrading.
Premier Li Keqiang said the necessity to develop healthcare industries cannot be overestimated. Healthcare has great potential as people&`&s lives are getting better, but is still in short supply. The key is to transform governmental functions and push forward administrative reforms.
As one of the document&`&s seven key tasks, the guideline eyes private businesses to set up and operate high-quality general clinics, which will offer customized services.
Support will be given to the private sector to create strongly competitive institutions with their own branding in subfields such as stomatology.

【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-05-09

May 3, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-05-09 Special English
This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China is expected to establish a national emergency and coordination committee to deal with nuclear accidents.
The draft law on nuclear safety states that the committee is responsible for organizing a response to nuclear accident. The draft was first read among legislators in November.
The latest draft highlights the need for transparency of nuclear information. It requires government departments in charge of nuclear safety supervision to publish information about nuclear accidents and other nuclear-related data.
In addition, the draft clarifies the importance of disposing of radioactive waste. Data on the source, amount, character and location of such waste should be recorded and stored permanently.
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China's conversion of coal into natural gas could prevent tens of thousands of premature deaths each year. But there's a catch. Researchers say as China shifts its use of vast coal reserves to send less smog-inducing chemicals into the air, the move threatens to undermine efforts to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.
The environmental trade-off points to the difficult choices confronting leaders of the world's second largest economy as they struggle to balance public health and financial growth with international climate change commitments.
Between 20,000 and 41,000 premature deaths annually could be prevented by converting low-quality coal in the country's western provinces into synthetic natural gas for residential use.
The findings by researchers from the United States and China have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The researchers said that if the gas were used for industrial purposes, fewer deaths would be averted and they would carry a steeper price - a dramatic increase in carbon dioxide emissions.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
U.S. Space Agency NASA's Cassini spacecraft has survived an unprecedented trip between Saturn and its rings, and has amazing pictures to show for it.
Flight controls regained contact with Cassini, one day after it became the first craft to cross this hazardous region. The rings are made up of countless icy particles, any of which could have smacked Cassini. The spacecraft's big dish antenna served as a shield as it hurtled through the narrow gap, temporarily cutting off communications.
Cassini skimmed 3,100 kilometers above Saturn's cloud tops, closer than ever before. It came within 320 kilometers of the innermost visible ring.
Scientists say Saturn continues to surprise them, after 13 years of Cassini orbiting the planet. The pictures show details never seen before. For example, there's an incredible close-up of a gigantic swirling hurricane at Saturn's North Pole.
Given their importance, data from the crossing are being sent to Earth twice, to make certain nothing is lost. It takes more than an hour for the signals to travel the 1.6 billion kilometer distance between Saturn and Earth.
Cassini was launched in 1997 from Cape Canaveral in Florida, and reached Saturn in 2004.
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Astronaut Peggy Whitson broke the U.S. record recently for the most time in space and talked up Mars during a congratulatory call from President Donald Trump.
The International Space Station's commander surpassed the record of 534 days, two hours and 48 minutes for most accumulated time in space by an American.
Trump said that it is a very special day in the glorious history of American spaceflight. His daughter and close adviser Ivanka Trump also offered congratulations to Whitson from the Oval Office.
Whitson said it's a huge honor for her to break such a record. She said it's an exciting time", as NASA prepares for human expeditions to Mars in the 2030s. The program has been included in new legislation signed by Trump last month. Whitson called the space station "a key bridge" between living on Earth and traveling into deep space. She singled out the station's recycling system that transforms astronauts' urine into drinking water.
Whitson was already the world's most experienced spacewoman and female spacewalker, as well as the oldest woman in space, at 57 years old. By the time she returns to Earth in September, she'll have logged 666 days in orbit over three flights.
The world record is 879 days. It is held by Russian Gennady Padalka. Whitson broke the NASA cumulative record set last year by astronaut Jeffrey Williams. Scott Kelly holds the U.S. record for consecutive days in space, at 340.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
Three African countries have been chosen to test the world's first malaria vaccine.
Ghana, Kenya and Malawi will be piloting the injectable vaccine next year with hundreds of thousands of young children, who have been at the highest risk of death.
The World Health Organization said the vaccine has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives if used with existing measures. The challenge is whether impoverished countries can deliver the required four doses of the vaccine for each child.
Malaria remains one of the world's most stubborn health challenges. It infects more than 200 million people every year and kills about half a million. Most of the victims are children in Africa. Bed netting and insecticides are the chief protection.
Sub-Saharan Africa is hardest hit by this disease. The area had around 90 percent of the world's cases in 2015. Malaria spreads when a mosquito bites someone already infected, sucks up blood and parasites, and then bites another person.
The World Health Organization says a global effort to counter malaria has led to 62 percent cut in deaths between 2000 and 2015.
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The White House says President Donald Trump is appointing the former president of a leading anti-abortion organization to a senior position at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Charmaine Yoest, who actively supported Trump in his campaign, will serve as assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services. From 2008 until February 2016, she was president of Americans United for Life, which campaigned at the federal and state level for tough restrictions on abortion.
Among the many state bills backed by the group under Yoest's leadership were measures that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. These measures require women seeking abortions to undergo a sonogram and impose tough regulations on abortion clinics that could lead to their closure.
The appointment was assailed by abortion-rights groups.
Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, said Charmaine Yoest has spent her whole professional life opposing access to birth control and a woman's right to safe, legal abortion.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
Increasingly strict government controls on genetic information have resulted in longer, slower registration procedures for new and developing drugs. However, experts say the procedures could pose a threat to the people's privacy.
An expert at the Chinese Academy of Sciences says that rather than providing extra safeguards, the precautions are actually making genetic information less secure. He urged greater streamlining of the procedures to the bottleneck and shorten the registration process.
In late 2015, China issued a statement outlining extra application and approval procedures for clinical drug trials conducted in collaboration with foreign pharmaceutical companies. The document also cover drug trials by research institutions funded by investment from overseas. The same rules apply if projects are overseen by foreign nationals.
The measures require tests to be conducted on a greater number of people. This has resulted in a substantial rise in the amount of personal information being collected and stored.
Scientists are saying the stricter procedures have had a negative effect on many new potential treatments in China. Many companies have reported six to nine months extra waiting time, which has seriously slowed down the approval process for badly needed new drugs.
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Global warming's milder winters will likely nudge Americans off the couch more in the future, which is a rare, small benefit of climate change.
A new study finds that with less chilly winters, Americans will be more likely to get outdoors, increasing their physical activity by as much as 2.5 percent by the end of the century.
Areas including North Dakota, Minnesota and Maine are likely to see the most dramatic increases, usually the result of more walking. The study was published in the journal Nature Human Behavior.
But this good global warming side effect is not likely to extend to the Deep South and especially the desert southwest, where hotter summer days keep people inside. The study found that Arizona, southern Nevada and southeastern California are likely to see activity drop off the most by the year 2099.
A lead author of the study said it is a small little tiny silver lining amid a series of very bad and very unfortunate events that are likely to occur. The scientist added that global warming "almost certainly will be very costly for humanity".
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
U.S. marine scientists say collisions of whales and boats off of the New England coast may be more common than previously thought.
The scientists focused on the humpback whale population in the southern Gulf of Maine, a body of water off of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. They found that almost 15 percent of the whales had injuries or scarring consistent with at least one vessel strike. The wales come to New England to feed every spring.
The researchers published their findings in the March issue of the journal Marine Mammal Science. The study shows that the occurrence of such strikes is most likely underestimated. The figure is likely low because it does not account for whales that are killed in ship strikes.
A lead author of the study said vessel strikes are a significant risk to both whales and to boaters. Long term studies can help people figure out if the outreach programs to boaters are effective.
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When Logan Snyder got hooked on pills after a prescription to treat pain from a kidney stone, she joined the millions already swept up in the nation's grim wave of addiction to opioid painkillers. She was just 14.
Youth is a drawback when it comes to kicking drugs. Only half of U.S. treatment centers accept teenagers and even fewer offer teen-focused groups or programs. After treatment, adolescents find little structured support. They are outnumbered by adults at self-help meetings. Sober youth drop-in centers are rare. Returning to school means resisting offers to get high with old friends.
But Snyder is lucky. Her slide ended when her father got her into a residential drug treatment program. Now 17 years old and clean, she credits her continued success to Hope Academy in Indianapolis, a tuition-free recovery school where she is enrolled as a junior.
The opioid epidemic is the worst addiction crisis in U.S. history. It has mostly ensnared adults, especially those in their 20s, 30s and 40s. But teens have not been spared. Each day, 1,100 start misusing pain pills. Federal data show that opioids killed 521 teens in 2015.
Not enough is known about opioids and teen brains. But getting hooked early is trouble. The vast majority of adults in treatment reports say they started using as teenagers.
This is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I'm going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
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【专题】慢速英语 (英音) 2017-05-08

May 3, 2017 1500

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2017-05-08 Special English
This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Tianzhou 1, China's first cargo spacecraft, has completed the country's first in-orbit refueling test with the unmanned Tiangong II space laboratory.
The China Manned Space Agency has called the mission a success.
The space agency said the refueling test was a major technology breakthrough and has paved the way for China to assemble and operate a space station.
The agency said China has become the third nation to complete in-orbit refueling technology, following Russia and the United States.
As the first of the planned three such tests for the cargo spacecraft, the in-orbit refueling took five days. Making sure there is no leakage of fuel is crucial.
The agency said that after the first test, the two spacecraft will stay connected as they orbit Earth for around two months. The second in-orbit refueling test will be conducted in June.
After that, the two spacecraft will undock. The cargo vessel will make sophisticated, automated maneuvers to circle the space lab, and docking with the lab at a different site.
This is Special English.
China is to extend the current nine-year compulsory education to encompass high school students nationwide by 2020.
A Guideline for Popularizing High School Education has been released by the Ministry of Education and another three ministries.
The guideline aims to raise the gross enrolment ratio for high schools to above 90 percent on average nationwide. The rates in central and western China will be substantially improved.
Last year, China's overall gross enrollment ratio was 87 percent for high schools, representing a tendency of a rise of 3 percent in the next four years.
The ratio is a statistical measurement to show the number of enrolled students to those who qualify for certain grades, ranging from primary school to middle and high school periods. Over the past few decades, China required children to attend primary and middle schools, while high school was not obligatory.
The new document is also to bridge the gap for regional disparity of high school education, as the central and western regions lag far behind eastern China.
For example, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region in southwest China still has an insufficient number of high school teachers, demanding 13,000 more to reach the national average ratio of teachers to students. What's worse is that the region's high schools have debts worth 2 billion yuan, roughly 290 million US dollars.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Police have opened a new front in the war on drugs by targeting traffickers who recruit disabled people as couriers.
Drug gangs target people with disabilities or chronic illnesses, as well as pregnant or lactating women, because Chinese laws contain a number of clauses allowing these "vulnerable people" to avoid prison. That, plus the offer of "easy money", is often enough for those from the poorest sections of society to run the risks associated with the trade.
Last year, more than 5,300 such people were detained while transporting narcotics. Among them, 780 were foreign nationals, and a large number were from Myanmar. That's according to a report released recently by China's top anti-drug authority, the Office of National Narcotics Control Commission.
In August, an 18-year-old pregnant woman from Myanmar was caught with almost 3 kilograms of methamphetamine stashed in 80 moon-cakes, a traditional Chinese delicacy.
The couriers had been hired to carry the narcotics from Myanmar to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province. The woman was caught as she was about to deliver the food to the buyer. In her confession, she said she was due to receive 5,000 yuan, roughly 730 US dollars, when the deal was closed.
This is Special English.
China's health authorities are installing vendor machines selling home HIV test kits on university campuses. The move aims to help raise awareness and fight HIV/AIDS, as the epidemic begins to hit more young people in China.
To date, 10 universities across China have joined the initiative, which many call "progressive". Sex remains largely a taboo subject in many parts of the country, and systematic sex education is still lacking.
The initiative is led by the Chinese Association of STD and AIDS Prevention and Control. The association says it cannot wait to take action, but it's hard to do so, especially on university campuses.
An official from the association says more universities are planning to join the move to install such machines on campus as an alternative option for students seeking HIV testing.
The official says many students are reluctant to visit HIV testing clinics run by health authorities, even though the visit is free of charge. Privacy concerns and fear of being discriminated against are largely the seasons they stay away.
China has seen a rapid increase in HIV cases in recent years, particularly among young students aged between 15 and 24.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Construction has begun on China's first commercial space industry center in Wuhan, the capital of central China's Hubei province.
The Wuhan National Space Industry Base aims to attract at least 100 enterprises involved in the space industry before 2020. It plans to generate 30 billion yuan, roughly 4 billion US dollars, in annual gross product by then.
The main investor is the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation. The center will occupy 70 square kilometers of land area.
"Expace Technology" is a subsidiary of the corporation. It will invest 1.7 billion yuan to build production and assembly plants for solid-fuel carrier rockets for commercial launches. The company plans to produce 20 rockets at the center each year.
In China, a commercial launch usually means a space launch financed by an entity other than a Chinese government or military agency.
The China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation will invest 300 million yuan to construct a research, development and manufacturing complex at the center to make small satellites. The corporation will launch 156 small communications satellites into low Earth orbit, at an altitude of 160 to 2,000 kilometers, before the end of 2025. They would form a network capable of global coverage.
This is Special English.
A specialized Chinese university has launched a nationwide search for students with the passion and talent to study the languages used in countries along the Belt and Road Initiative.
Beijing Foreign Studies University has kicked off an independent recruitment program to find candidates for 22 language majors that will be offered in the next academic year.
The languages are Portuguese, Hungarian, Czech, Swedish, Dutch, Finnish, Lao, Thai, Indonesian and Hausa. They are found along the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which make up the Chinese initiative aimed at boosting connectivity between Asia, Europe and Africa.
Applicants must have an outstanding high school record in Chinese and foreign language studies and will need to pass several rounds of interviews to test their commitment and potential.
The university says it hopes to ensure students recruited through the program have a strong interest in studying Belt and Road languages and have the ability to study well.
The program was launched last year to nurture talent in linguistics and regional research, and to provide intellectual support for the initiative.
The standards are strict. Of more than 2,700 applicants for 15 majors, only 270 students were admitted. The number of students admitted this year will not increase much, as the university wants to guarantee quality.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
The National Copyright Administration of China has launched its English website to enhance international communication on copyright protection.
The website has been launched to mark the 2017 World Intellectual Property Day. The website is en.ncac.gov.cn. It features news, law and regulation, as well as other subjects.
Officials say the next step is to provide more information at the website. China's intellectual property rights have made great progress in the past decade.
An annual crackdown campaign initiated by the National Copyright Administration has focused on pirated music, videos, games, animation and software for 12 consecutive years to create a good online copyright system.
This is Special English.
The face-lift of a section of the Sanlitun area of Beijing is underway. Demolitions raised mixed feelings among foreigners and locals as the decades-old bar street will likely disappear.
Heavy equipment was used to knock down dozens of illegal building additions that stretched from residential buildings to shopping malls.
Beijing has been targeting illegal constructions since the beginning of the year. Illegally constructed extensions associated with several thousand units in the city will be removed. Missing walls, windows and other elements will be restored according to their original designs.
The bar street is home to a variety of nail salons, foot massage parlors and restaurants. It has become increasingly popular in recent decades because of an influx of foreigners and diplomatic personnel.
Frank Hansen from Denmark said the special charm of the street will be gone when all the extended rooms have been removed. He used to have weekend gatherings with friends on the street. He said they will probably not go back to the new bars after the demolition.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Bike-sharing fever has spread to Tibet, with 500 shared two-wheelers appearing on the plateau.
Bright yellow Ofo bikes have been placed in over 20 spots in Xigaze, the second largest city in Tibet.
A local sponsor of the project says it hopes to make shared bikes a major means of transport for the local people in Tibet and tourists alike. The company's next target is Lhasa, the capital of the Autonomous Region.
The bike-sharing business took off in big cities in China last year. It allows riders to hire bikes for as little as one yuan, roughly 15 U.S. cents, per hour via a mobile app. Riders can drop the bikes off anywhere for the next user.
The bikes on the busy streets of Xigaze have attracted curious users. A local resident in the city, Cering says it's cheap for a short ride. He and his friends rented bikes just for fun.
Backed by two-digit economic growth for over 20 years, car sales in Tibet have been booming. The under-populated region now has 300,000 vehicles, with half of them in Lhasa. The four-wheelers have led to traffic congestion and parking problems in downtown Lhasa.
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The water levels of the Pacific Ocean off California may rise more than previously thought. Storms and high tides may hit harder than previously estimated.
California's Ocean Protection Council revised upward its predictions for how much water off California will rise as a result of globing warming. The forecast helps agencies in the nation's most populous state plan for climate change. Rising water is seeping toward low-lying airports, highways and communities, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Discoveries that ice sheets are melting increasingly fast in Antarctica largely spurred the change. Antarctica holds almost 90 percent of the world's ice.
Fossil-fuel emissions warm the Earth's atmosphere. The melting ice is expected to raise the water off California's 1,770 kilometers of coastline even more than for the world as a whole.
Officials say state agencies take climate change into account in planning and budgeting.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-05-02

Apr 28, 2017 1500

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2017-05-02 Special English
This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
An international medical journal's retraction of 107 research papers from China, many of them by clinical doctors, has reignited concerns over academic credibility in the country.
Tumor Biology, a journal published by Springer Nature, announced a couple weeks ago that it had retracted the papers after an investigation showed the peer review process had been compromised.
Peter Butler, editorial director for cell biology and biochemistry at Springer Nature, said the articles were submitted with reviewer suggestions, which had real researcher names but fabricated email addresses.
Butler told Shanghai-based news website The Paper that the editors thought the articles were being sent to genuine reviewers in the discipline. Following investigation and communication with the real reviewers, they confirmed they did not conduct the peer review.
Peer review is an evaluation of work by one or more people of similar competence to those who produce the work, which helps validate research.
The online notice about the retraction lists all 107 articles and 524 authors, nearly all of whom are clinical cancer specialists from China. The hospitals named are all top public institutions.
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Chinese citizens' personal information and the country's important data collected by Internet service providers may need evaluation and permission before being shared with non-domestic entities.
A draft guideline has been released for public opinion by the Cyberspace Administration of China. According to the guideline, Chinese citizens' personal information should be kept within the country and be subject to security assessment before being provided to anyone outside China.
The document says that to sell someone else's personal information, one must get permission from this individual.
For data related to national security, the economy or public interest, the seller should coordinate a security evaluation with the authorities. The evaluation will ensure online data is managed legally.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
China's air quality monitoring network is to be expanded to cover a wider area, especially at the grassroots level, to facilitate scientific and effective control of airborne pollution.
By March, more than 5,000 monitoring stations had been built across China. They are managed by the environmental monitoring authorities at four levels, namely State, provincial, city and county levels.
The China National Environmental Monitoring Center operates 1,500 State-level monitoring stations nationwide. The center ensures that the data collected are independent of local government oversight to prevent interference and guaranteeing accuracy and authenticity.
The 5,000-plus monitoring stations test for six "criteria" of airborne pollutants, including PM2.5, PM10 and sulfur dioxide, across different regions and locations.
This is Special English.
China imposes some of the world's toughest driving restrictions for cars, and now the checks and controls are expanding to the bicycle-sharing industry.
Police in Shenzhen in south China's Guangdong Province have clearly said they are considering restrictions on the use of shared bikes, especially during the holidays, to prevent road congestion and public disorder.
Police said that around 520,000 bikes have been put on the streets in the city in the year since bike sharing began.
A growing number of people are taking the colorful two-wheelers to work or using them for recreation, which has brought some challenges. For example, over the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday last month, paths at a local park became seriously clogged with bikes, while careless parking of the bikes often blocks traffic as well.
The police are partnering with bike-sharing companies to monitor the number of bikes in designated areas. Under the plan, if the accumulation of bikes in an area hits a certain number, a warning system will be activated that prohibits bikes from entering. Cyclists will be notified at the same time via a mobile app.
A limit on the number of bikes will also be enforced, along with temporary bans in certain public areas during peak seasons.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
Australian researchers have compiled an unparalleled database detailing the almost 6 trillion tonnes of global fishing since 1950.
The database was created by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania. It was based on more than 800 million fishing records from 1950 to 2014.
During the 65 years covered by the records, fishers from 193 countries caught almost 6 trillion tonnes of fish of 1,400 different species. Among them, 900 million tonnes have been taken illegally.
Reginald Watson, who collated the data, said the database illustrated that the global fish population was finite.
Watson said the database brings together every major international statistical collection of fisheries data since comprehensive records began, providing unique insights into the industry.
He said more than 860 million fishing records have been compiled into a single harmonized view and mapped down to tiny spatial cells, so people can see where fishing has been happening and how it's changed over time.
Watson said despite a plateau in recent years, the annual rate of fishing has grown from 27 million tonnes of fish taken in 1950 to 120 million tonnes in 2014.
Since 1950, fisheries have moved further offshore and greatly intensified. People now have more vessels of a greater size and larger storage capacity. They are spending longer time at sea and fishing in deeper waters.
This is Special English.
A new study suggests that the system of grid cells, known as the brain's global positioning system, is more complicated than anyone had thought before.
While the brain needs some basic navigational instruments to get around, just like a driver in a car, researchers have found that brain cells are similar to speedometers, compasses, GPS and even collision warning systems.
However, researchers with Stanford University in the United States report that human brains map out the world in a more complex way. Some of the neurons in the internal navigation systems look a lot like speedometers or compasses. Many others operate flexibly, each one encoding a dynamic mix of navigational variables, like a compass that somehow transforms into a GPS when driving downtown.
The project began in 2014, when scientists got a Bio-X seed grant to take a closer look at how the brain finds its way around. The same year, a Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery of grid cells, which are specialized neurons that help animals keeping track of where they are in their environments.
The findings of that time said that while some neurons fell within the ballpark of how a grid cell was supposed to behave, most provided only noisy, error-prone navigation, like a GPS on the fritz. That led the researchers to wonder whether the brain had a way to correct those errors. In 2015, they reported that the brain does have a way: boundary cells, so named because they fire when nearing walls and other landmarks.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
Car models supporting autonomous driving and Internet-based services are bright spots at the 2017 Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition.
A total of 113 models of car made their global debut at the auto show, which has attracted more than 1,000 exhibitors from 18 countries and regions. The 1,400 complete vehicle exhibitions included 160 new energy vehicles and 56 concept cars.
The theme of this year's show is "Committed to a Better Life".
The Shanghai-based electric vehicle startup Nio made its much-awaited domestic debut at the show. The company brought a model of its concept driverless car EVE, whose interior space is designed as a living room.
Li Bin, founder of Nio, said that when humans are freed from driving, the car would be transformed into a space for relaxation and entertainment.
Domestic auto maker Roewe unveiled its new model i6 16T, featuring a smart operation system that has access to mobile payment tool Alipay.
When the driver gets on the car, the system tells them to bring an umbrella if it is going to rain. It can select routes based on real-time road conditions and the driver's habits, and can even help order and pay for take-away coffee.
Another model of the carmaker, the RX5, carries a similar system. Sales of the new model have exceeded 140,000 since it was released eight months ago.
German manufacturer BMW also brought new models to the show. The new models feature intelligent driving.
This is Special English.
Beijing is taking steps to improve its vehicle parking management by encouraging the construction of parking facilities and imposing stricter penalties for illegal parking.
The Beijing Municipal Commission of Transportation released a draft of its new parking regulations recently. The document is available for public comment until May 10.
A shortage of parking lots has become a serious problem in Beijing, as the number of cars in the city continues to grow. Researchers say it requires integrated efforts in planning and management to improve the situation.
According to the draft regulations, police will set up parking areas along secondary roads near communities that have a shortage of parking lots.
For residential communities and government buildings that can sufficiently meet their own parking demand, the authority encourages them to open their parking facilities to the public and charge fees.
For existing parking areas, the government should work on raising their efficiency by improving charging systems and making full use of parking spaces in residential communities and commercial areas, as well as office buildings.
Beijing's planning and transportation departments should work together to make use of spare land by building more parking facilities, especially multi-level garages, and install smart parking systems.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
Cameras captured images of a panda in a nature reserve in southwest China's Sichuan Province three years after it has been released into the wild.
The pictures and videos of the panda were taken at a nature reserve in the Yi Autonomous Prefecture in late February.
Researchers identified the panda as one they released into the wild in 2013 and its name is Zhangxiang. The panda is living in a suitable environment where it can find enough bamboo. After further investigation, researchers revealed that the panda was in a normal physical condition.
The findings also prove that the panda has moved from one group to another. This marks another success in releasing pandas into the wilderness in China.
Zhangxiang is a female giant panda born in 2011. It was released in 2013 following two years of wilderness training.
This is Special English.
Almost 20 years after being stolen, a 1,300-year-old stone Buddhist pagoda has been returned to its home of Shanxi province in northern China with help from pilgrims across the Taiwan Straits.
The almost 2-meter-high item is part of a 3-meter-high pagoda. Based on inscriptions, scientists say the pagoda was built in 720 AD. It was included in the province's first list of key protection cultural relics in 1965. However, the top part of the relic was stolen away in 1996, and the rest became missing two years later. Only the foundation and certain parts were left at the site.
The facade of the pagoda were carved with Buddhist scriptures and decorated with colorful paintings.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-05-01

Apr 28, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-05-01 Special English
This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
More than 3,100 government officials have been held to account for the poor implementation of pollution control measures. Environmental problems have been uncovered in all seven provincial level regions included in the environmental inspections by the central authorities.
Inspectors have conducted their month-long reviews in Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing municipalities as well as in other provinces since late November. The performance audits exposed more than 15,000 violations.
The inspection reports featured the complaint that governments have not focused enough attention on the environment. The failure has resulted in worsening air and water quality in some areas.
In one case, Gansu province in northwest China made plans to control air pollution, but inspectors found that it had not fully implemented the measures. The province has failed to meet its air pollution reduction targets for 2014 and 2015.
Inspectors also found a lack of assessment in Beijing, where seven districts failed to meet targets for 2014. The municipality did not release information or punish the officials responsible.
This is Special English.
China's manned submarine Jiaolong has gone through a dive simulation in Hainan Province to prepare for a deep descent in the South China Sea.
The submarine stayed underwater for 18 minutes in the drill before returning to its support ship. The crew completed tasks including underwater training, practical operation and emergency escape.
The ship's forthcoming South China Sea dive is part of the second stage of China's 38th ocean scientific expedition. The expedition will last for around four months.
Officials say the drill was necessary to test the equipment and personnel. Currently the Jiaolong's "technological status" is stable and the cooperation among various departments is smooth.
The submarine completed a deep-sea operation in the northwestern Indian Ocean earlier this year. It will also conduct surveys in the Yap Trench and the Mariana Trench.
Named after a mythical dragon, the Jiaolong reached its deepest depth of 7,062 meters in the Mariana Trench in June 2012.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China has begun a series of changes to the rules regarding permanent residence for foreign nationals in the country.
A plan has been issued by the Ministry of Public Security. The "foreigner's permanent residence card" will be renamed as the "foreigner's permanent residence identity card".
Similar to the identity cards used by Chinese citizens, foreigners' identity information will be embedded in the chips on the machine-readable cards. The information will be shared by railways, airlines, insurance agencies, hotels and banks.
The old version cannot be read by machines, and foreigners often face difficulty in identity authentication. The reform aims to provide foreigners with easier access to public services.
The new card can be obtained at the original registration authority, while the old version can still be used until the expiry date. Related technical work is expected to be finished by June, and then foreigners can apply for the new cards.
Last year, 1,600 foreign nationals became permanent residents of China, an increase of 160 percent over the previous year.
This is Special English.
China is aiming to increase the scale of its cloud computing industry by more than 2.5 times from 2015 levels by 2019.
According to a new government plan, the scale of the cloud computing industry will be expanded to 430 billion yuan, roughly 62 billion U.S. dollars, by 2019. The action plan was issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Other targets include making breakthroughs in core technology, increasing cloud computing in manufacturing and government affairs, and strengthening the global influence of Chinese cloud computing companies.
The ministry expects that two to three Chinese cloud computing companies will lead the global market within three years. It says cloud computing should be a strong support for China's manufacturing and Internet industries and help other social and economic sectors.
The ministry pledged to enhance cloud computing network security and improve security regulation and relevant laws, as many users from key industries are still hesitating due to safety concerns.
In the next three years, China will help boost cloud computing technology and encourage local governments to work with leading cloud computing companies to build public service platforms.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Chinese search engine Baidu has succeeded in using artificial intelligence to reconnect a man with his family 27 years after he was abducted.
The company is working with a charity group dedicated to connecting missing children and their families. Baidu uses its cross-age facial recognition program to analyze pictures of abducted children and identifies potential matches through the comparison of selected facial features. The missing children's pictures were uploaded by the victims and their birth families.
Thirty-three-year-old victim Fu Gui was born in Chongqing Municipality in western China. He was abducted in 1990 and later transferred to Fujian Province in southeastern China. He registered in 2009, and his birth family did the same in early 2017.
Baidu's facial recognition program was able to draw up a short list of potential identities for the man from pictures uploaded to the site, and a DNA test later verified the correct match.
Baidu has around 200 million sample pictures that it uses to improve the sensitivity and accuracy of its facial recognition program, which can be over 99 percent accurate.
Baidu's founder and CEO Robin Li says artificial intelligence systems, including facial recognition, could be used to help find missing children. The company has suggested that there should be a central database with missing children's information installed.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
Psychologists at the University of Manchester in Britain have revealed that they have come up with a new way of helping people overcome their fear of spiders.
Dr. Warren Mansell says rather than encouraging arachnophobias to face their spider fears, which is the current approach of many therapists, giving people control over how much they approach or avoid what they are afraid of is more likely to help.
Mansell based his findings on a theory known as Perceptual Control Theory. The study was published in Journal of Anxiety Disorders.
People with a fear of spiders sat in front of a screen and they themselves were able to control how close or distant the spider would appear.
He said Perceptual Control Theory predicts that it is vital for a client to have control over their experience of important elements of the environment including the sources of threat. He said control itself is pivotal for health and well-being.
The team recruited a large sample of people with high levels of spider fear and asked them to list their reasons for avoiding spiders but also their reasons for approaching spiders.
After completing a simple task, people reported avoiding spiders less in their everyday lives two weeks later, despite their fear, and without any prompting to do so.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A new study suggests that when Coffea arabica plants were subjected to even short-duration heat waves, they became unable to produce flowers and fruit. This means there would be no coffee beans and no coffee to drink.
Researchers from the United States investigated how leaf age and heat duration affected Coffea arabica's recovery from heat stress during greenhouse testing.
The study found that the younger "expanding" leaves were particularly slow to recover compared to mature leaves, and that none of the plants that endured the simulated heat waves produced any flowers or fruit.
Coffea arabica is the dominant coffee-plant species on the globe. It grows in 80 countries in four continents in the tropics, accounting for 65 percent of the commercial production of the 9 billion kilograms of coffee consumed globally each year.
The findings emphasized how sensitive Coffea arabica is to temperature. The leaf temperature is higher than the surrounding air temperature, which is a realistic result of global climate change.
This is Special English.
A British researcher says governments worldwide should invest in global approaches to learn how carbon capture and storage works, which is a realistic way of reducing carbon emissions. That's according to a commentary published online recently by the journal Nature Energy.
David Reiner from the University of Cambridge, author of the commentary, said that like many new technologies, it is only possible to learn what works and what doesn't by building and testing demonstration projects at scale. He argues that by giving up on carbon capture and storage instead of working together to develop a global "portfolio" of projects, countries are turning their backs on a key part of a low-carbon future.
Reiner says carbon capture and storage works by separating the carbon dioxide emitted by coal and gas power plants, transporting it and then storing it underground so that the carbon dioxide cannot escape into the atmosphere.
However, the technologies have fallen out of favor with private and public sector funders in recent years. Corporations and governments worldwide, including most recently the UK, are abandoning the same technology they championed just a few years ago.
The researcher says there are several reasons why carbon capture and storage seems to have fallen out of favor with both private and public sector funders, including costs, commercial pressure and timescales, as well as a lack of international cooperation.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A special edition of the "Ukraine-China" magazine has been launched to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Ukraine.
The magazine features celebration remarks by the leaders of the two countries, as well as expert opinions on the historical path and the current state of China-Ukraine friendly relations.
The publications highlight topics including the strategic partnership between China and Ukraine, interregional cooperation, trade and economic relations, as well as collaboration in science and education.
The "Ukraine-China" magazine was first published in 1999 by the Kiev-based Institute of Oriental Studies. It was previously issued on an irregular basis, and became a periodical this year.
This is Special English.
An exhibition featuring conventional craftsmanship in Anhui Province has opened to the public at Beijing's Palace Museum.
The exhibition showcases 85 works by 20 successors of national intangible cultural heritage from the eastern Chinese Province. The items on display include ink stones, ink and brush pens, lacquer ware and bamboo carvings.
In ancient times, most calligraphy supplies used by Chinese emperors came from Huangshan city in the province. The Palace Museum and the city government launched a workshop last year, aiming to promote the craftsmanship and tourism development in the city.
Mount Huangshan is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site. It is known for its elegant architecture and high-quality green and black tea.
That is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I'm going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-04-18

Apr 20, 2017 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.

The central government and local authorities will accelerate planning for the Xiong&`&an New Area.

China&`&s top economic planner said that in addition, those governments will provide policy and financial support for key projects and budgeting.

The National Development and Reform Commission said a master blueprint of the new area, as well as overall and detailed blueprints of the initial area are among the first plans to be mapped out.

The commission will guide the Hebei provincial government and authorities as they draft the plans to ensure they meet the high standards of quality needed for the project.

Apart from having world-class urban planning, the architecture in the new area will also showcase Chinese cultural characteristics.

The central government will also give support to major transportation, ecology, water conservation, energy, and public service projects in the new area.

China announced a historic decision to establish the Xiong&`&an New Area in Hebei province as part of measures to advance the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

The new area is similar to the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and the Shanghai Pudong New Area. It is of national significance and "crucial for the millennium to come".

This is Special English.

China&`&s environmental watchdog has sent inspection teams to 7 cities to cope with a new round of severe smog.

The inspection teams have been sent by the Ministry of Environmental Protection. They went to cities including Beijing and Tianjin, in northern China.

Inspectors discovered factories fabricating pollutant data in some cities. A steel mill in a city was found to have shut down a pollutant detector. Those responsible have been detained by local police.

The inspection team found that smog emergency plans have been poorly implemented in Tianjin. Several cement producers in another city were found to have continued operations when they should have been suspended.

In Beijing, a ceramics producer and a paper maker cheated inspectors regarding the use of purifying equipment. A furniture plant in Hebei Province refused inspectors who were attempting to conduct inspections.

A new round of air pollution continues in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, with some cities issuing orange alerts, the second-highest in China&`&s four-tier warning system.

China has been under growing pressure to address air pollution as smog frequently smothers the country.

You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.

【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-04-25

Apr 20, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-04-25 Special English
This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chinese central authorities have released a detailed 10-year youth development plan, vowing better education, employment and healthcare for the nation's youth.
"Youth" in the context of the plan released by the Communist Party of China's Central Committee and the State Council refers to those aged from 14 to 35.
The Middle-and Long-term Youth Development Plan covers the period between 2016 and 2025. It sets a general goal for establishing a "youth development policy system and work mechanism" by 2020 and improving the system by 2025.
Specifically, the plan sets educational goals of an average 14 years of education for the newly added labor force and a gross higher education enrollment rate of over 50 percent within 10 years. It aims for 90 percent of the groups to meet physical standards and give them more accesses to mental and physical care.
Authorities will strengthen educational campaigns targeting different ages within the group to champion patriotism and socialism with Chinese characteristics, making the "Chinese dream" a common goal for them.
This is Special English.
The preparatory committee of the Xiong'an New Area in north China's Hebei Province has said to control illegal land and housing purchase as well as construction.
China has announced to establish the Xiong'an New Area, a landmark new economic zone near Beijing designed to integrate the capital with its surrounding areas.
The announcement attracted investors to swarm into the area, and drove up housing prices.
The committee warned all forms of illegal trade of properties are not protected by law, and vowed to crack down on illegal construction and trading of second-hand houses.
The committee said it will strictly implement the central authorities' guidelines that say "homes are for living in, not for speculating with".
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
China's top quality watchdog said more than 40 percent of consumer goods exported to China last year through e-commerce platforms fell short of standards.
Last year, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine conducted random quality inspections on 1,000 batches of the products. The items were consumer goods including toys, diapers, clothing and kitchenware. Four hundred items were found to be substandard, accounting for 41 percent of all sampled products.
In addition to meeting quality standards, imported products must be correctly labeled in Chinese.
The quality of consumer goods imported through the channels other than e-commerce proved to be higher, with only 29 percent falling short of standards.
The authority organized two large-scale inspections last year, involving more than 5,300 batches of imported consumer goods, including air purifiers, car brake blocks, household electrical appliances and clothes. More than 1,500 were found to be substandard.
Last year, quality supervision authorities across China handled 36,000 cases relating to violations of laws on quality standards, involving 2 billion yuan's, roughly 330 million U.S. dollars' worth of goods.
Quality supervision authorities at all levels have been urged to intensify quality supervision and keep cracking down on law violations to improve the quality of products and protect consumer rights.
This is Special English.
China has started the construction of one of the world's largest and most sensitive cosmic-ray facilities.
The Large High Altitude Air Shower Observatory will attempt to search for the origin of high energy cosmic rays. It aims to study the evolution of the universe and high energy celestial bodies, as well as to push forward the frontier of new physics.
The observatory is located at 4,400 meters above sea level in an mountainous area in Southwest China's Sichuan province. The total investment is 1.2 billion yuan, roughly 180 million U.S. dollars.
The construction of the project is set for completion in January 2021. It will be a key frontier project for cosmic ray research in the world.
Cosmic rays are particles that originate in outer space and are accelerated to energies higher than those that can be achieved in even the largest man-made particle accelerators. The origin of the cosmic rays has remained a mystery since they were first spotted some 100 years ago.
The observatory will be mankind's first attempt to hunt for the highest-energy Gamma ray, which is the burst of radiation thought to be produced alongside cosmic rays in the Galaxy.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
The United Nations' intellectual property agency says China is showing "quite extraordinary" growth in international patent applications, putting Chinese applicants on track to outpace their U.S. counterparts within two to three years.
Francis Gurry, director-general of the World Intellectual Property Organization, says China posted nearly 45-percent growth in such patent applications last year, saying "the country continues its journey from "Made in China" to "Created in China".
Overall, the United States was first for the 39th straight year and accounted for nearly 56,600 applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, followed by Japan at over 45,200 and China at nearly 43,200.
China's state-owned ZTE Corporation in Shenzhen, one of the world's biggest suppliers of network switching gear, was the No. 1 applicant last year, topping crosstown rival Huawei. U.S.-based Qualcomm.
This is Special English.
In Shaanxi province in southwest China, a farmer's rent-a-chicken business has helped hundreds of rural families cast off poverty. Zhang Chunpu's program is a free loan of chickens to farmers who then make money by selling the free-range eggs back to Zhang's cooperative businesses.
Over the past decade, rent-a-chicken has helped more than 800 households in Yanchang County, who previously survived on an annual per capita income of less than 2,300 yuan, roughly 335 U.S. dollars.
The idea came to Zhang by accident. In 2003, he saw profits from selling healthy eggs and acquired 6,000 chickens.
It wasn't always easy. Zhang recalled the time that the chickens nearly ate up all the grass on the nearby mountain, as well as fought with each other and didn't lay eggs. He was nearly bankrupt, but he couldn't see the birds starve to death. He started giving the birds to the villagers.
The birds he rents to farmers roam free in yards and on hillsides, eating pumpkins, cabbage and worms.
Zhang's cooperative earns 0.1 yuan from each egg, while farmers can earn 0.15 yuan. However, the real profit comes from the chickens.
Each farmer earns about 100 yuan per year per chicken, enabling them to get away from poverty.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
A group of Swedish university students who raised 1.2 million euros, roughly 1.3 million U.S. dollars, in crowd funding for their startup to build electric cars has caught the attention of German industrial heavyweight Siemens.
The two sides said they were starting a partnership that will see them create 50,000 lightweight city cars annually starting next year.
The twin-seat vehicles, called L7e, have 15 kilowatt engines with a maximum speed of 130 kilometers per hour. They weigh 400 kilograms each and have a 150 kilometer range.
The cars are made from sustainable composite materials and will be unveiled in late 2017. The first deliveries are scheduled for early 2019. The first high-end vehicle has a target price of 200,000 kronor, roughly 22,300 U.S. dollars. The price for an electric Smart Car in Sweden is at least 210,000 kronor, roughly 23,400 U.S. dollars.
The vehicle's steering system resembles a Wii controller more than a traditional car's steering wheel.
Lewis Horne, the CEO of the startup, called Uniti Sweden, says the deal gives his company "the opportunity to not only develop a sustainable car, but also manufacture it in a sustainable way at a large scale."
This is Special English.
Matt Garlock has trouble making out what his friends say in loud bars, but when he got a hearing test, the result was normal. Recent research may have found an explanation for problems like his, something called "hidden hearing loss".
Scientists have been finding evidence that loud noise, from rock concerts, leaf blowers, power tools and the like, damages our hearing in a previously unexpected way. It may not be immediately noticeable, and it does not show in standard hearing tests.
But over time, Harvard researcher M. Charles Liberman says, it can rob our ability to understand conversation in a noisy setting. It may also help explain why people have more trouble doing that as they age. And it may lead to persistent ringing in the ears.
Liberman says the bottom line is "noise is more dangerous than we thought."
His work has been done almost exclusively in animals. Nobody knows how much it explains hearing loss in people or how widespread it may be in the population. But he and others are already working on potential treatments.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
The Gulf of Oman turns green twice a year, when an algae bloom the size of Mexico spreads across the Arabian Sea all the way to India.
Scientists who study the algae say the microscopic organisms are thriving in new conditions brought about by climate change, and displacing the zooplankton that underpin the local food chain, threatening the entire marine ecosystem.
A marine biologist at the Sultan Qaboos University in Oman, wrinkles his nose as the research vessel nears the bloom. He says "Sea stench", referring to the algae's ammonia secretions.
He signals the boat to stop as it speeds up beneath a gigantic rock arch off the coast of Muscat, the capital of Oman, an arid sultanate on the southeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. The captain kills the engine and drops anchor into a slick of bright green muck surrounded by crystal-clear blue water.
The swarms of microscopic creatures beneath the surface of the Gulf of Oman were all but invisible 30 years ago. Now they form giant, murky shapes that can be seen from satellites.
Across the planet, blooms have wrecked local ecosystems. Algae can paralyze fish, clog their gills, and absorb enough oxygen to suffocate them. Whales, turtles, dolphins and manatees have died, poisoned by algal toxins, in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. These toxins have infiltrated whole marine food chains and have, in rare cases, killed people.
This is Special English.
China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region will build more kindergartens and hire more bilingual teachers to improve its three-year bilingual pre-school education.
A total of 4,400 bilingual kindergartens will be built or expanded in 2017 across the region. And 10,000 bilingual teachers will be hired this year, 6,500 more compared with previous years.
The education department announced that Xinjiang will also provide more training courses for bilingual teachers and encourage more college graduates to work as bilingual teachers.
From 2011 to 2015, Xinjiang built 2,500 new bilingual kindergartens in rural areas, bringing the region's pre-school education penetration rate to 77 percent, or 480,000 pre-schoolers.
With funds from the central government, Xinjiang plans to offer three years of bilingual pre-school education, instead of the current two years, in its rural areas in the next four years.
This is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I'm going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
This is the end of today's program. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing, and I hope you can join us every day, to learn English and learn about the world.

【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-04-24

Apr 20, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-04-24 Special English
This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Beijing has put a new medical care reform plan into effect, bringing an end to medicine price markups.
More than 3,600 medical institutions are involved in the reform and all of them have abolished the medicine price markups. That's according to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning.
It is estimated that the cost of treatment per outpatient will be reduced by around 5 percent on average thanks to cuts in medicine prices. There will be an average cost increase of 2.5 percent for inpatient treatment due to the growth of certain service charges.
Community hospitals and medical institutions have been given the same access to the medicines usually prescribed in higher-level hospitals, so that patients can have more choices.
Marking up medicine prices is a practice that has been adopted by most public hospitals in China since the 1950s. It allows hospitals to sell drugs with markups usually at a rate of 15 percent above the drugs' tag prices.
The reform aims to effectively motivate medical staff to pay more attention to the medical service they are providing, and further improve the doctor-patient relationship.
This is Special English.
China has launched its largest operation to control air pollution in the northern regions. The operation has sent more than 5,600 inspectors to push the areas to meet ambitious pollution reduction targets.
Unlike the nationwide inspections conducted last year, the yearlong, intensified inspection is being led by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
The inspectors will keep a spotlight on governments and companies in 28 major cities which are susceptible to heavy smog.
Inspectors will check important areas including governments' implementation of air pollution control efforts. They will also shut down small plants with high emissions.
Through the inspection, the ministry will push the governments and companies to fully implement measures to tackle air pollution.
The ministry will closely watch the regions with pollution problems and stick with them until all the pollution issues are resolved.
During a separate inspection, officials checked 450 companies and government departments. The inspection team found 280 violations, including companies that falsified monitoring data or discharged excessive pollutants.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A recent cooperation deal between China and Kenya has become an important step for China's nuclear power technology to go global.
The China General Nuclear Power Corporation announced recently that the company has signed a nuclear power training cooperation framework agreement with the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board.
Under the deal, China's Hualong One reactor is expected to be applied in Africa.
The 1,000-megawatt water reactor was developed by the China General Nuclear Power Corporation and the China National Nuclear Corporation. It has reached the highest international safety standards to prevent leakage of radioactive materials and resist earthquakes.
The China General Nuclear Power Corporation has formed a joint venture with Electricite de France SA to develop the Bradwell nuclear power plant in the UK, as well as to fund and design the reactor.
The British government started an assessment of the reactor design in January. The process is expected to take around five years.
Observers say there is a high possibility that the reactor design will pass the UK's approval process.
This is Special English.
Chinese scientists have extracted a medicinal compound from a natural herb called thunder god vine, which targets cell metabolism and could help tackle obesity.
Celastrol, extracted from thunder god vine, and artemisinin, developed from sweet wormwood, are among five herbal compounds believed to have the most potential to treat illnesses where no cure has been discovered, including cancer.
The discovery of artemisinin won Chinese scientist Tu Youyou a Nobel Prize in 2015.
The research team was led by Zhang Xiaokun, professor with the College of Medicine at Xiamen University. It found that celastrol from the thunder god vine can alleviate inflammation.
The team carried out the research on mice. The study found that celastrol could effectively control weight increases in mice feeding on high fat food.
The research paper was published in science journal Molecular Cell on April 6.
Scientists will continue to study how celastrol regulates metabolism to explore new drugs, with low toxicity and high efficiency, to help people lose weight.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences has earmarked 10 million yuan, roughly 1.4 million U.S. dollars, for the research and development of an advanced artificial intelligence processor.
The deep learning processor chip, the "Cambrian", is expected to become the world's first processor that simulates human nerve cells to conduct deep learning.
The program is named after the Cambrian Period, which marked a rapid diversification of life forms on earth. Scientists expect that the processor will spearhead a new era in artificial intelligence.
The investment will be used in basic research areas to explore the structure and algorithm for the next generation of artificial intelligence. The project also aims to lay a foundation for China's ambition in the global chip market.
The funds will also be used to promote and publicize the research.
Google's artificial intelligence program AlphaGo needs huge power and large servers to operate. The Cambrian aims to perform at the same level but using only one watt of power. The processor will have the size of a smartphone or a watch.
This is Special English.
Industry insiders say the planned Xiong-an New Area in Hebei province is expected to bring tourism opportunities to a large wetland area and to the province as a whole.
China announced a decision to set up the new area to boost coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province.
Over the following three days, during the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday, the Baiyangdian Lake tourist area received 18,000 visitors. Tourism income reached 16 million yuan, roughly 2.4 million US dollars. Both figures represented a 260 percent increase compared with last year.
The lake is one of North China's largest freshwater wetlands. It is located in Anxin County, which is part of the new area.
An online travel service provider said the new area has the basic infrastructure for attracting tourists. It has adequate tourism resources and easy transport. The plan of the new area has attracted the attention of people from across the country to go for a visit.
Bookings on the website during the holiday tripled that of last year. Tourists mainly came from neighboring Beijing and Shandong province. There are also people from farther afield, including Shanghai and Guangdong Province.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
A woman from the Philippines has become the first person to receive a residence permit designed for foreigners providing housekeeping service in Shanghai.
The event occurred in Shanghai's Pudong district, which houses more than 300 Fortune 500 companies and is home to the Pilot Free Trade Zone in the country.
Liu Chen is a Chinese American and president of the Shanghai Affinity Biopharmaceutical Company. Liu applied for the one-year residence permit on March 14 for the housemaid he hired. Two weeks later, she obtained the permit.
More than 20 foreign housemaids have received their residence permits in Shanghai. Liu's was the only case that has been made public.
The permission for foreign housemaids is one of the measures Shanghai has unveiled since July 2015 to attract talented foreigners as the city tries to build itself into a global technological innovation hub by 2030.
This is Special English.
Education experts say Children should have more opportunities to participate in study tours or other outdoor activities only if their safety is guaranteed.
In developed countries, including the United States and Japan, study tours such as summer camps are key activities and are always the source of unforgettable memories. That's according to Sun Yunxiao, chief expert of the China Youth and Children Research Center.
Sun says that in China, young people are having less opportunity to enjoy such activities because schools and parents are cutting down on them for security concerns.
In recent years, accidents in which children were killed or injured while participating in school outdoor activities have been reported by the media. The events raised concerns among parents.
A vice chairman of the Chinese Society of Education said a test-oriented education is also part of the reason for the shrinking number of study tours.
Another expert says student workloads are heavy, leaving them little time for traveling.
In December, 11 ministries in China jointly released a guideline, stating that study tours will become part of the curriculum system in primary and middle schools nationwide.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A new system is being introduced in southern China's Guangdong that gives parents and students more of a say over the designs of school uniforms.
The move was put forward in a document jointly published by the province's education department, the industry and commerce administration, as well as the quality and technology administration.
Manufacturers will be invited to showcase their wares in schools, but the final decision on which uniform should be adopted will be decided by a poll.
Students and parents can also offer suggestions on how manufacturers can further improve their designs and the materials used for the uniforms.
The price, design and materials used in school uniforms are decided by local education departments alone. The new plan allows different schools to have different styles of uniform.
This is Special English.
Macao has officially started its application for a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a City of Gastronomy.
Macao has officially applied to become one of the most popular choices for food and restaurants, which will add another reputation to the city.
Macao's Tourism Office listed the application as one of four major goals in 2017. It even set up a special committee in charge of the issue.
Officials say that if Macao is successfully designated as a UNESCO gastronomy city, it will add a significant international brand for Macao with far-reaching significance. It will also serve as a powerful impetus to the sustainable development of Macao's economy.
Macao held an "International Gastronomy Forum" in November as a warm-up before it officially applies for the branding.
This is Special English.
Spanning 1,100 meters across a river in southwest China's Sichuan Province, a main cable backstay bridge has been successfully installed. The bridge, on the Luding River, is part of an expressway linking two cities in the province.
This is the first suspension bridge in the province that has been built in a highly active seismic zone with complicated wind field and a large span. Around 34,000 steel cables will be used in the construction. The total length will reach 60,000 kilometers if all the cables are laid together in a single line, which is equivalent to 1.5 times of the circumference of the earth.
The bridge has dual carriage way with four lanes of traffic in each direction, allowing vehicles to travel at 80 kilometers per hour.
A drone was also used during the construction of the bridge.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-04-18

Apr 16, 2017 1501

Description:

2017-04-18 Special English
This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China has seen its air quality worsen a little in the first quarter of this year, particularly in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province.
The national environmental authority said that in the first three months, 70 percent of days in 340 cities tracked had good air quality. The figure is 1 percent higher than the same period last year.
However, the concentration of PM2.5 increased 3 percent year-on-year. PM2.5 refers to the fine particulate matter with a diameter less than 2.5 microns that is hazardous to human health. PM2.5 is one of the six air pollutants that are monitored continuously.
While the average air quality has deteriorated slightly nationwide, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region saw a major drop in air quality in the first quarter. PM2.5 concentration soared to 95 micrograms per cubic meter, a 27 percent increase year-on-year.
The national air quality standard for PM2.5 is 35 micrograms per cubic meter or less.
Six of the top ten most polluted cities were in Hebei Province, where heavy industry is an economic pillar. The provincial capital topped the list in the first quarter.
This is Special English.
Beijing residents could be rewarded with up to 500,000 yuan, roughly 72,000 US dollars, if they can provide useful information on spies or related activities.
A government policy took effect recently. Under the policy, informants are eligible to be offered rewards ranging from 10,000 yuan to 500,000 yuan, depending on how useful the information is.
Informants can pass information to authorities by calling a hotline, sending letters or visiting the bureau.
Informants' privacy and information about spy-related messages will not be disclosed. Information providers can ask authorities for protection if they or their family are in danger due to the act of informing.
The policy stipulates that informants will face punishments if they deliberately slander others or invent and spread false information.
Beijing's Public Security Bureau says China saw rapid increases in international exchanges, as well as the number of people entering or exiting the country.
Overseas espionage agencies and other hostile forces have also intensified their disruptive activities in China, including political infiltration and the stealing of intelligence. The bureau says Some Chinese individuals have also betrayed the nation to benefit their private interests.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
China has announced it had completed controlled tests on its first hot-water drill, which is capable of drilling through 1,500 meters of ice and will be used for Antarctic research.
This is the fourth test on the drill, which was conducted in Northeast China.
The drill used pressurized hot water to melt and bore into the ice. The assessment panel said it is capable of drilling 1,500 meters into the ice shelf in Antarctica.
The review panel said the drill will be invaluable to China's Antarctic scientific exploration.
The panel agreed to further testing and said the equipment should be used during China's upcoming 34th Antarctic expedition in November.
Once it passes the Antarctic test, China will be the third country in the world to have mastered hot water drilling deeper than 1,000 meters, following the United States and Australia.
The drilling helps with the detection of ice shelves which are floating ice platforms between glaciers and the ocean surface. The freeze-thaw underneath ice shelves has an important effect on the continental ice sheets, and water masses and ocean currents.
This is Special English.
Strong downstream demand led to increasing sales of excavators in China last month.
Data with China Construction Machinery Association showed that sales of excavators in March rose more than 55 percent year on year as the Chinese economy gained momentum. Analysts said April is expected to follow the same pattern.
For the January to March period, sales almost doubled from a year earlier.
Economists say excavator machinery is a barometer of new infrastructure, and its strong growth indicates that the economy could expand steadily in the first half of this year.
Adding to a slew of upbeat data on the economy, surveys on the country's manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors showed the economy had staged a strong start.
China's manufacturing sector in March stayed above the boom-bust mark for the eighth month in a row, and the non-manufacturing sector continued to expand, nearing a three-year record high.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
A fund for assisting the medical treatment of patients with rare diseases has been initiated in Shanghai.
The fund has starting money of 3 million yuan, roughly 440,000 U.S. dollars. It was jointly raised by rare disease prevention and treatment institutions in Shanghai and drug firms.
The chairman of the Shanghai Rare Disease Prevention and Treatment Fund said the funding would encourage more effective prevention and medical treatment of rare diseases.
He said the fund would help pool more financial support and company donations for rare disease patients.
Globally, there are some 6,000 to 7,000 recognized rare diseases. Only a few of them have established medical treatment.
Around 60 percent of rare disease patients are children, with 30 percent living less than five years.
There has been no epidemiological survey of rare disease patients made in China.
Early diagnosis and treatment can effectively check on the progress of rare diseases and even cure them.
It could take years for doctors to diagnose a rare disease, while patients miss the best time for treatment and suffer from inflicted problems leading to mental difficulties, heart problems and atrophied muscles.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has unveiled the 20 winners of the 7th edition of the company's Digital Talents program, offering French students two weeks of technological immersion in China.
For the first time, 20 students have been selected to travel to Huawei's base in Shenzhen in July.
Organizers say that this year, the candidates proposed their original and innovative solutions to social challenges in relation with digital transformation.
Projects involved sectors including the environment, education, employment, health and energy resources.
Huawei says it runs the program "to identify the digital talents of tomorrow".
Chaired by the former housing minister of France, the jury included a think tank founder, Huawei communications director, newspaper editor-in-chief, the director of a science institute, and the general director of Paris' economic development agency. Members of the jury met on April 4 in Paris to choose the best 20 projects.
The 20 selected projects deal with a range of issues, including connected glasses, recycling cigarette butts, cyber attacks, video games, and providing help for refugees.
This is Special English.
The School of Global Governance has been opened at Beijing Foreign Studies University, aiming to train more multilingual professionals with global vision and cross-cultural communication proficiency.
The school aims to cultivate talents who are proficient in international rules and at least two working languages of the United Nations.
It will carry out research on international organizations and provide intellectual support for China's participation in international affairs.
The school is the first of its kind in China. It offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs. It grew out of an education reform pilot program launched in 2010. Some former graduates have been employed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Pan American Health Organization, and United Nations Office at Geneva.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
In addition to 600 million yuan, roughly 87 million U.S. dollars, in box office sales in China so far, the Hollywood blockbuster "Beauty and the Beast" has given rise to countless hot-selling products.
Beast-themed puppets and tea cups often sell out at Shanghai Disneyland, and the 30-plus types of dessert based on the movie have become top choices for movie fans at Shanghai Disneyland Hotel.
Tina Dai, a merchandise team member at Shanghai Disney Resort, said the resort is planning to restock the ceramic teacups, based on one of the characters in the movie, which sell for 85 yuan each.
Dai said the popularity of movie-based products shows consumers' keen interest in Disney characters and movie stories.
While China is shifting its growth engine from the industrial to the service sector, U.S. companies are exploring new growth points.
Statistics show China-U.S. service trade exceeded 100 million U.S. dollars last year.
Global coffee chain Starbucks is among the beneficiaries of the huge Chinese market.
The corporation's fiscal report showed comparable store sales increased 6 percent in China, 3 percentage points higher than global growth. Net quarterly revenues for the China/Asia Pacific segment grew 18 percent year on year to 770 million U.S. dollars.
The robust sales growth is partly due to cooperation between Starbucks and Chinese Internet giant Tencent, which has offered mobile payment services for Chinese customers since December.
The two companies have also rolled out a digital gift-giving service on WeChat, allowing WeChat users to send and receive Starbucks digital gifts and then cash them in at offline outlets.
Starbucks is the first retail brand to use the digital gift-sharing service, supported by the social network's 850 million monthly active users.
This is Special English.
China has launched a universal network covering the data of elder care facilities across the country.
The Civil Affairs Ministry said information recorded about these institutions in the network will include internal management, service quality, security management and staff profiles.
The ministry said it has started a training program on how to use the new network. The first set of information will be entered by May 10.
China's aging society is a major social issue. There are currently more than 220 million people over 60 years of age in the country, or 16 percent of the total population, and the numbers are growing.
Authorities have said they will streamline the approval process for elder care institutions to address challenges brought by the aging population.
This is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I'm going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
This is the end of today's program. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing, and I hope you can join us every day, to learn English and learn about the world.

【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-04-11

Apr 12, 2017 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
A new fund will be set up to pool the knowledge of the country's top scientists to discover the "unique" cause of smog that frequently blankets northern China in winter.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang says blue skies will not be, and should not be, a luxury.
The premier highlighted the government's increasing financial support for smog-related research, aiming to tackle the air pollution more effectively, after some scientists pointed out that the causes of smog in northern regions in winter are unique in the world.
Environmental experts say there is little domestic research on the severe smog events, which are widespread and long lasting in northern regions in winter.
The smog has complicated components, of which 60 to 70 percent are secondary pollutants generated after chemical reactions.
Scientists found that the nitrogen oxides in the air could form sulfates, thus worsening the air pollution. It means controls on the use of nitrogen fertilizer in Northern China would work for air pollution controls.
The premier said such research results deserve more attention, and encouraged more research on smog to dig out the causes. He said targeted efforts based on thorough research could speed up the pollution control process.
This is Special English.
The Natural Science Foundation of China financed 41,000 programs last year, allocating funds of 23 billion yuan. That's roughly 3.3 billion U.S. dollars.
The programs include research on gravitational waves, robotics and the evolution of land.
The foundation will focus on areas including brain science, new materials, advanced manufacturing and information security.
It will encourage scientists to continue to push boundaries in research and development.
The foundation punished 91 people for misconduct and revoked 33 programs last year.
The fund will help to improve the research integrity system, ensure fairness and promote innovation.

【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-04-10

Apr 5, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-04-10 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called for deepening coordinated reform of medical services, health insurance, and the pharmaceutical industry.
He made the remarks in an instruction to a national teleconference on health reform. Li urged breakthroughs in integrating services of medical institutions at different levels, abolishing all markups on pharmaceuticals and reforming modes of health insurance payment.
He also stressed developing a nationwide health care database and improving the insurance system for severe diseases, among other priority areas.
The premier said the reform results should be translated into the people&`&s well-being and sense of gain.
At the meeting, Vice Premier Liu Yandong called for enhancing people&`&s access to high-quality medical resources and making family doctor services more available, starting from seniors and patients with chronic diseases.
Liu is also head of the State Council&`&s health reform leading group. She highlighted overall reforms in public hospitals as well as improving drug distribution and pricing.
This is Special English.
China&`&s Ministry of Agriculture and the United Nations World Food Program have jointly announced the launch of a strategic plan in a bid to reduce hunger in China and other developing countries.
The five-year plan lasts from 2017 to 2021. It aims to help realize the goal of ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture. This is one of the 17 goals raised by the United Nations for its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
By implementing the plan, China and the World Food Program hope to bring about several outcomes. These include reducing the stunting rate among Chinese children, providing smallholder farmers with better conditions and access to markets, as well as improving South-South cooperation between China and other countries.
Officials say the plan will not only help people in remote and poor areas in China, but also serve as an example for other developing countries to reduce poverty and hunger. This will be a new starting point for cooperation between China and the UN agency.
More than 30 million Chinese people were assisted by World Food Program projects from 1979 to 2005. For its part, China lifted 700 million people out of poverty over the past 30 years.
You are listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Chinese scientists are building the world&`&s largest multifunctional research platform for nano-science and nano-technology. The platform aims to help develop more powerful computers and more intelligent robots.
The Vacuum Interconnected Nano-X Research Facility is based in Suzhou city in eastern China. The facility will integrate state-of-art capabilities in material growth, device fabrication and testing in one ultra-high vacuum environment.
Scientists say they are exploring a new technology route of nano-scale devices production on the platform, which simulates the ultra-high vacuum environment of space.
Nano-X has received initial funding of 320 million yuan, roughly 45 million U.S. dollars, and will eventually have a budget of 1.5 billion yuan.
Construction of the first stage began in 2014 and is expected to be completed in 2018. It comprises 100-meter-long ultra-high vacuum pipelines connecting 30 pieces of equipment. Ultimately the facility will have ultra-high vacuum pipelines of around 500 meters, connecting more than 100 large pieces of equipment.
Nano-X is designed as a complete system for materials growth, device fabrication and testing. All samples can be transferred accurately, quickly and smoothly in an ultra-high vacuum environment.
This is Special English.
The number of national high-tech industrial zones in China has increased to 156, with operating revenue hitting 28 trillion yuan, roughly 4 trillion U.S. dollars, last year.
The high-tech zones accounted for 12 percent of China&`&s GDP last year and made up 18 percent of China&`&s total exports.
Officials say the high-tech zones have become a major engine to China&`&s economic growth. Almost 4,300 spaces provided services for more than 120,000 enterprises last year, attracting investment of 6 billion yuan.
Officials say high-tech zones should pay more attention to strategic emerging industries as well as scientific and technical industries; and enterprises, research institutes, universities and innovators will also be encouraged to collaborate on independent innovation.
You are listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China had 130 billion dollars worth of private start-ups by the end of last year, almost doubling the figure of the year before.
An official with the Ministry of Science and Technology made the remarks while opening an institute for small and medium enterprise research in Tianjin recently.
The official used the term "unicorn", rarely used by Chinese officials, which refers to young, unlisted companies with a market value of over 1 billion U.S. dollars, based on private funding sources.
The private start-ups are spread over 16 cities, including Beijing and Shanghai. The majority are innovation-driven tech businesses.
A report published earlier this year said half of China&`&s private start-ups are in a downtown area of Beijing, which is home to China&`&s top three private start-ups worth over 10 billion U.S. dollars.
One third of the private start-ups were born after 2014. They focus on four domains, namely e-commerce, culture and entertainment, Internet finance, and transportation.
The official said a business environment, conductive policies, and good services are key to the growth of the private companies; and unicorns have become important engine in maintaining medium to high growth and to transforming industry.
This is Special English.
A guideline published by northwest China&`&s Guizhou Province is prioritizing poverty-relief efforts for ethnic groups in a bid to eradicate the problem by 2020.
The provincial government will redouble efforts to raise living standards through infrastructure development, resettlement projects and the development of industries, in line with the objectives outlined in China&`&s Five-Year Plan spanning 2016 to 2020.
The guideline has set a target of lifting all 77 minority villages out of poverty by the end of the decade.
Areas inhabited by minority groups have many problems, including low levels of economic development, poor infrastructure, slow urbanization and a lack of cultural and public services.
The cultures of some ethnic groups are in danger of shrinking and disappearing. Cultural heritage, folk handicrafts and art forms are also in danger of being lost.
In 2015, the per capita GDP in autonomous ethnic areas was 50 percent lower than the national average.
The provincial government has named 500 key villages as targets for protection and renovation. The programs will be launched to help people learn Mandarin Chinese in addition to their own ethnic languages.
The province is one of China&`&s most ethnically diverse provinces, with 17 indigenous minority groups, eight of which have populations numbering less than 50,000 people.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
A draft plan outlining a greener Beijing has been unveiled so that the public will have an opportunity to make suggestions.
The Beijing Planning and Land Resources Management Committee said experts led and participated in 38 areas of research to draft the plan, which covers 2016 to 2030. Opinion surveys have also been prepared for it.
The forest coverage throughout the capital has more than tripled from 13 percent to 42 percent, since China launched a national tree-planting campaign in the early 1980s. The plan aims to reach more than 45 percent forest coverage by 2030.
The plan would reduce the annual average concentration of PM2.5 in Beijing to 56 micrograms per cubic meter by 2020, and 35 micrograms per cubic meter by 2030. PM2.5 is fine particulate matter that is harmful to health.
Officials say it can be challenging to bring the PM2.5 concentration down to 56 micrograms per cubic meter by 2020 considering the current situation. The average PM2.5 concentration in Beijing last year was 73 micrograms per cubic meter.
This is Special English.
China has vowed to respond to the call for establishing "safe havens" for cultural properties from regions in conflict.
China&`&s cultural heritage protection watchdog, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, said the move will allow China to offer temporary asylum for endangered cultural heritage.
National-level museums and conservation institutions are encouraged to support international actions protecting such artifacts.
China began considering taking action in December last year when an international conference was held in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, on safeguarding endangered cultural heritage items.
Chinese enterprises are encouraged to donate more to international foundations involved in protecting cultural heritage.
China will expand its cultural heritage conservation efforts beyond the nation&`&s borders and thus better serve China&`&s overall diplomacy. However, a timeline for the effort was not released, and the institution responsible for overseeing it has not been named.
Such a network was first advocated by UNESCO to respond to the endangerment of cultural relics created by wars and other threats in recent years.
Experts say it is an international responsibility to safeguard artifacts in danger; and it is clear that China will accept the responsibility.
You are listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Tibet plans to spend 30 billion yuan, roughly 4.3 billion U.S. dollars, improving people&`&s livelihoods this year.
The money will be used on 33 projects, covering poverty alleviation, education, health and social welfare.
According to the financial department, 9 billion yuan will be used on poverty alleviation projects, including one that aims to relocate at least 160,000 people to more habitable locations this year.
By the end of 2017, Tibet expects to lift arond 130,000 residents out of poverty, and the per capita disposable income of people in poverty is expected to increase by 16 percent.
Another 6 billion yuan will be invested in the development of border areas of the autonomous region. Annual subsidies to residents in these border areas will also be raised by 1,000 yuan, to between 2,500 and 2,700 yuan.
A senior official of one of the border areas said his county&`&s share of the fund is at 500 million yuan. The money would be of great help to its development.
The county borders Nepal. It is gearing up infrastructure construction for opening up a port. The money will fund projects for water, electricity and roads.
This is Special English.
A Chinese-made wearable robot that can help disabled people to walk is expected to enter the market in one to two years.
The Fourier X1 was developed by Chinese technology startup Fourier Intelligence. The robot was unveiled to the public in Shanghai last month.
The robot weighs 20 kilograms. It helps people who have suffered stroke or spinal cord injuries to walk more easily.
The developer aimed to make the robot more affordable than foreign models currently on the market.
The price of the robot is much lower than similar foreign models, which are sold for between 600,000 yuan, roughly 87,000 U.S. dollars, and 1 million yuan each.
Currently, the company is testing the robot&`&s functions including sitting, standing, walking and climbing stairs.
(全文见周六微信。)

【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-04-04

Apr 1, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-04-04 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China and Madagascar has agreed to synergize development strategies under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative and ten major plans for China-Africa cooperation.
The pledge came out of the talks between the presidents of the two countries.
Chinese president Xi Jinping said China and Madagascar enjoy great potential for mutually beneficial cooperation, welcoming Madagascar to participate in the Belt and Road construction.
He said China supports Madagascar in playing its role as a bridge between the Belt and Road and the African continent.
China is ready to establish a comprehensive partnership of cooperation with Madagascar, calling on the two sides to deepen cooperation in agriculture, fisheries, people-to-people exchanges, security, police affairs, justice and law-enforcement.
China supports Madagascar to play a bigger role in international and regional affairs, and is willing to enhance communication and coordination with the country on climate change, the UN 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development as well as peace and security of Africa.
President Xi said China will comprehensively implement the results of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation that was held in December 2015 in South Africa&`&s Johannesburg, to achieve common development with Africa.
This is Special English.
A County in central China&`&s Henan Province has announced its withdrawal from the country&`&s list of impoverished counties.
Lankao County can be removed from the list if less than 2 percent of its population is classified as impoverished. That&`&s according to a national mechanism established in April 2016 to eliminate poverty in affected regions.
In 2014, 12 percent of the population lived in poverty in the county, but the proportion has dropped to 1 percent following an assessment by the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The evaluation results were examined and approved by the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development. The provincial government green lit the county&`&s withdrawal recently.
The top party official of the county said getting rid of poverty has been the ardent wish of Lankao residents for decades.
In 2014, Chinese president Xi Jinping paid visits to the county as part of a campaign pairing top Party officials with poor areas. In the same year, the county authorities made a commitment to casting off poverty in three years and achieving moderate prosperity in seven years.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
China will not allow large-scale unemployment, given its ability and willingness to create new jobs and ensure the basic needs of those who temporarily lose their employment.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told reporters recently that this year&`&s Government Work Report sets an employment target of 11 million new jobs in urban areas, 1 million more than last year&`&s target.
Li said China has created more than 52 million jobs over the past four years. He has repeatedly emphasized the significance of jobs as the key to boosting people&`&s incomes and maintaining social stability.
More than 13 million new jobs were created in urban areas last year, exceeding the year&`&s target by 30 percent.
China will create around 50 million new jobs by 2020. That&`&s according to a guideline plan on employment released this year by the State Council, China&`&s Cabinet.
Some pressure is expected this year for job seekers, however, as a record high 8 million college students and around 5 million students at secondary occupational schools are expected to graduate this summer.
In addition, thousands of workers are waiting to be transferred to other posts from factories that are scheduled to cut excess production.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Market value of space activities is expected to increase in the coming years
A senior scientist suggests that China should build a space launch center dedicated to commercial missions
Hu Shengyun is a senior rocket designer at the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation&`&s Fourth Academy. He said the four major launch centers are administered by the government and are tasked with serving State programs including lunar exploration and manned spaceflight.
He said these government-run launch centers are well developed, but they are too busy to handle the increasing demands from the commercial space sector, and it is not uncommon that even a government-assigned mission has to wait for arrangements at those sites.
In addition, the management and operational methods of the existing centers were specifically designed for State-funded programs rather than commercial missions, so carrying out a lot of commercial launches would probably cause a lot of problems.
The scientist suggests that a new launch site could be set up in places like Inner Mongolia autonomous region in north China, the southern island province of Hainan or a suitable island off the country&`&s eastern coast.
He said the launch site must be far from the populous areas to ensure safety.
This is Special English.
A magnitude 5.1 earthquake that hit southwest China has affected the lives of 16,000 people.
The tremor jolted Yangbi County in Yunnan Province. One person was injured by falling tiles, and has been treated in time.
Damage was reported in eight other townships under the county. Houses collapsed, cracks appeared on walls, while schools, dams, and water facilities were also impaired. The local government said the lives of 2,000 people in 500 households were seriously affected.
Economic loss of the earthquake was initially estimated at 200 million yuan, roughly 30 million U.S. dollars.
The epicenter is at the depth of 12 kilometers. Four tremors measuring 3 to 5 on the Richter scale hit the same region before and after the magnitude 5.1 quake.
A multi-sector rescue team, which includes firemen, armed police and disaster relief personnel are working at the quake zone. Relief goods including tents, quilts, overcoats, cartons of food and rice have arrived in the area.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
Reducing pollution and curbing overfishing won&`&t prevent the severe bleaching that is killing coral at catastrophic rates. That&`&s according to a study of Australia&`&s Great Barrier Reef. In the end, researchers say, the only way to save the world&`&s coral from heat-induced bleaching is with a war on global warming.
Scientists are quick to note that local protection of reefs can help damaged coral recover from the stress of rising ocean temperatures. But the new research shows that such efforts are ultimately futile when it comes to stopping bleaching in the first place.
Terry Hughes is director of the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Australia and lead author of the study published in the journal Nature. Hughes said people do not have any tools to climate-proof corals, but we actually have to do something about climate change.
Scientists say the problem due to coral bleaching have grown more frequent as the temperatures of the ocean rise, mainly due to increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The hot water stresses corals, forcing them to expel the colorful algae living inside them, which leaves the coral vulnerable to disease and death.
Given enough time, bleached coral can recover if the water cools, but if the temperature stays too high for too long, the coral will die.
This is Special English.
The U.S. Navy is enlisting the help of seals, but not the kind of highly trained special operatives with whom it usually associates.
Scientists think real seals, specifically their whiskers, may be the key to a new way for ships and underwater vehicles to sense their environment.
When a fish swims by, a hungry seal senses the wake with its whiskers. It can tell characteristics of the fish, such as the shape and size, and track the location even in murky or dark water.
Despite the adorable possibilities, scientists aren&`&t looking to outfit ships and vehicles with whiskers. They&`&re studying how the whiskers function to learn how to reverse-engineer the system. The science could be applied to the development of a sensor.
Christin Murphy, a marine mammal biologist, said that if people want to design the best systems, it makes sense to take advantage of millions of years of work that nature has done for us.
The research is taking place at the Newport division of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center.
Murphy and colleagues looked to seal whiskers because they&`&re a highly sensitive system of underwater touch that employ bumps to reduce their own self-induced vibrations. The research may help increase their sensitivity to water disturbances.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
A young sea lion spotted in a Northern California farmland canal was feasting on carp as it made its way home on Wednesday, a day after rescue crews tried to get him out to be evaluated.
Dr. Cara Field of the Marine Mammal Center said the 400-pound sea lion spotted Tuesday in a canal in the inland city of Vacaville started heading back toward the Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta.
Field said the sea lion was in no danger from swimming in the fresh water and could survive for years outside the ocean with a plentiful food source.
Field says the sea lion chowed down before heading toward the delta and kept eating as he made his way home.
Marine mammal experts had mounted a rescue effort Tuesday to get the sea lion out of the canal but it hid in a cement drainage pipe. They resumed their efforts after the sea lion emerged from the pipe on Wednesday but after seeing him swim out of the canal, officials decided to let it keep going.
Field said they were prepared to rescue him but the fact was that he was swimming with such purpose and appeared comfortable in navigating his way back, and that gives confidence to the animal rescuers that the animal will be just fine.
This is Special English.
Hong Kong&`&s first sightseeing restaurant bus went into service, offering tourists and locals a fresh experience of sightseeing and dining.
Thomas Hung, chairman of the operator Crystal Bus Holding Limited, said that for tourists, there is now no need to plan where to go or worry about where to eat, sparing time for shopping.
Hung said Crystal Bus combines concepts of tourism and catering, allowing tourists to enjoy local cuisine while experiencing Hong Kong&`&s most representative attractions.
The sightseeing restaurant bus is a 47-seat double-decker furnished with wonderful lighting and sound systems. It tours around the city while serving food prepared by locally famous and Michelin starred restaurants.
Its service comprises day and night tours, with day tours covering over 20 attractions from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island or the New Territories.
The two-and-a-half-hour day tour costs each passenger 380 Hong Kong dollars, roughly 50 U.S. dollars.
Night tours are only for booking the entire bus and guests can choose the route themselves.
Like regular sightseeing buses, Crystal Bus has an audio guide system, providing passengers with information about the attractions.
Hung added that in addition to offering tourists a new way of experiencing Hong Kong, Crystal Bus also provides local residents with a fresh idea for a date or gathering with friends.
This is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I&`&m going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
(全文见周日微信。)

【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-04-03

Apr 1, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-04-03 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
China says the international community must step up efforts to combat human trafficking and slavery in regions of conflict.
China&`&s permanent representative to the United Nations made the appeal at a Security Council debate on human trafficking.
The envoy said the international community should support countries concerned in combating such criminal activities by providing them with targeted assistance in law enforcement, border control and financial regulation.
The envoy said the international community should uphold unified counter-terrorism standards and take coordinated and concerted action to fight against crimes of human trafficking and enslavement.
He added that the world need to take an integrated approach with political and economic means to stem the financial flow to terrorist organizations from human trafficking and enslavement so as to dismantle their criminal networks.
Human trafficking thrives in regions where conflict prevails and the rule of law is weak. Extremist groups have been capturing and trading enslaved women and children to obtain funding for their terrorist activities.
This is Special English.
The World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO, Director General Francis Gurry has lauded China&`&s strong performance in international patent and trademark filing.
Gurry told the press that China&`&s performance has been quite extraordinary. In terms of international patent applications, the number of applications from China rose by 44 percent in one year.
The WIPO revealed that China filed 43,000 applications under the organization&`&s patent cooperation treaty last year, up from 30,000 two years ago.
This compares to the 56,600 and 45,000 applications filed by the United States and Japan respectively.
China&`&s trademark and industrial designs filings, which are handled by WIPO&`&s Madrid and Hague systems, also showed strong growth last year, with China ranking fourth in terms of the number of global trademark applications made in 2016.
Gurry explained that China-based filers are behind much of the growth in international patent and trademark filings, making great strides in internationalizing their businesses as the country continues its journey from "Made in China" to "Created in China".
While the United States and Japan continue to lead the way in terms of the number of patent applications, growth in China has been sluggish, with the United States posting a 1 percent drop in the number of international patents filed last year.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A United Nations official says China&`&s aid to the education sector in Africa is helping to boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development.
UNESCO&`&s Regional Office for Eastern Africa recognized China&`&s contribution to Africa&`&s education sector over the years.
The director of the office said they value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession.
Through UNESCO, China donated equipment to three teacher training institutions in Uganda in March. More than 100 tutors were trained and 270 pieces of Information Communication and Technology and studio equipment were donated.
The director said tutors were skilled on how to integrate technology with traditional methods of training.
China is funding an 8-million-U.S.-dollar project through UNESCO. The project aims at narrowing the educational quality gap on the continent.
The project is called "Enhancing Teacher Education for Bridging the Education Quality Gap in Africa". It aims to accelerate progress towards the achievement of Education for All and the Sustainable Development Goal 4, which is quality education.
The four-year project that started in 2012 focuses on providing a sufficient number of qualified teachers in Africa through training programs.
This is Special English.
The AG600 amphibious aircraft is expected to make its maiden flight over land in the first half of this year and on water in the second half of 2017.
Its developer AVIC said similar in size to the Boeing 737, the AG600 will be the world&`&s largest amphibious aircraft.
The state aircraft maker, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, said the the 37-meter AG600 has a wingspan of 40 meters and a maximum take-off weight of 54 tonnes.
The aircraft has already received 17 orders due to its multiple uses in fighting forest fires and marine rescue.
The first AG600 was completed in the southern city of Zhuhai in July last year, and shown to the public at the 2016 China Airshow.
According to a chief designer, the AG600 is like a ship that can fly, due to its advanced gas-water dynamic engineering and underwater corrosion resistance technology.
With four China-made turboprop engines, the AG600 has been described as having a "ship&`&s body" with high mounted single-cantilever wing.
It can collect 12 tonnes of water in 20 seconds, and transport up to 370 tonnes of water on a single tank of fuel.
With excellent maneuverability and a relatively wide range of search scope, the AG600 is very useful in marine resource exploitation, marine environmental monitoring, resource detection and transportation.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China&`&s domestic underwater glider reached a depth of 6,300 meters during a mission in the Mariana Trench, breaking the previous record of 6,000 meters held by a U.S. vessel.
Codenamed Haiyi, which means sea wings in Chinese, the underwater glider was developed by the Shenyang Institute of Automation under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and is used to monitor the deep-sea environment in vast areas.
The Haiyi is carried by deep-sea submarine support ship Tansuo-1. It dived down 12 times and traveled over 130 kilometers during its four-day mission, collecting high-resolution data for scientific research.
This is Special English.
China aims to build 136 new airports by 2025. That&`&s according to a plan by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
The facilities could become a world-class airport complex of international and regional transport hubs.
China began an airport construction boom in 2008 when the government began spending on infrastructure to offset the global financial crisis.
Service improved remarkably, but current airports are far from adequate and are unevenly located throughout the country.
By the end of 2015, China had 207 civil airports and is expected to have around 260 by 2020.
In 2015, China&`&s airports handled 910 million passengers and are expected to deal with 1.5 billion passengers in 2020 and 2.2 billion by 2025.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
HarperCollins Publishers will translate mathematics textbooks from Chinese schools and publish them in Britain.
Under an agreement signed at the London Book Fair, some primary schools in Britain will use 36 books, including math textbooks, supplementary textbooks and teacher&`&s textbooks from Shanghai primary schools starting in September.
The textbooks will be translated from Chinese into English to deliver a complete math program for primary school students.
Apart from publishing textbooks, Britain will also spread the Shanghai Teaching for Mastery Program in the country. It is a four-year program backed by 41 million British pounds in funding announced by the British Department for Education in July 2016.
Colin Hughes, Managing Director of Collins Learning, said the collaboration can make a significant contribution to raising young people&`&s mathematics performance, which is essential to their future success in learning and in life.
Shanghai students achieved good performances in reading, math and sciences in the Program for International Student Assessment in 2009 and 2012, drawing global attention to education in the Chinese city.
A Shanghai-England teacher exchange started in 2014. In September 2014, 73 teachers and educational administrators from 45 English primary schools and relevant departments visited schools in Shanghai. Between November 2014 and March 2015, 61 mathematics teachers and researchers from Shanghai visited 48 English primary schools and performed teaching demonstrations.
This is Special English.
China is topping the list of students studying the Myanmar language at the University of Foreign Languages in Yangon which attracts many international students.
The university said the attraction for the Myanmar language study is due to the fact that Myanmar has good business opportunities in Southeast Asia.
The number of overseas students, who take Myanmar language courses for the current academic year at the university reached 250. Chinese students top the list with 112, followed by South Korean, Japanese and Thai students.
Meanwhile, almost 400 students are attending the Chinese language course, with 440 others studying English and 600 for Japanese.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China&`&s tsunami warning center in the South China Sea is expected to start trial operations this year.
The work teams of UNESCO&`&S Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, have held a meeting in Shanghai to discuss tsunami alerts in the region.
The meeting suggested that this year&`&s session should approve the testing of the center before the end of the year.
The meeting also called for collaboration between the new warning center and another two in the Pacific Ocean.
An official from China&`&s National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center said issuing tsunami alerts to the international community is an important move for China to boost regional marine cooperation and participate in global ocean governance.
The meeting also called for improving data sharing by establishing a monitoring network for earthquakes and tsunamis in the South China Sea region.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, the U.S. National Weather Service and the Japanese Meteorological Agency.
This is Special English.
A total of 1,400 people died as a result of infectious diseases on the Chinese mainland in February.
According to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, there were 486,000 cases of infectious diseases reported on the mainland in February.
Almost 280,000 cases were classified as Class B infectious diseases under China&`&s Law on the Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, and they resulted in 1,400 deaths.
Viral hepatitis, tuberculosis and syphilis accounted for 96 percent of cases in this category.
Category C diseases were responsible for more than 207,000 cases and 12 deaths. Infectious diarrhea, foot and mouth disease and influenza were the most prevalent in this category, accounting for 94 percent of cases.
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Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific has announced its first full-year loss since 2008.
The group reported an attributable loss of 575 million HK dollars, roughly 74 million U.S. dollars, for last year.
The loss per share was 15 HK cents compared to earnings per share of 153 HK cents in the previous year.
The total revenue last year dropped 9 percent to 93 billion HK dollars. The group&`&s passenger revenue last year was 67 billion HK dollars, a decrease of 8 percent from 2015.
The group&`&s cargo revenue last year was 26 billion HK dollars, a decrease of 13 percent compared to the previous year.
Total fuel costs for Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon, before the effect of fuel hedging, decreased by 5 billion HK dollars compared with 2015.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-03-28

Mar 26, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-03-28 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
China will launch a space station core module next year as the first step in completing the country&`&s first space outpost.
According to a senior engineer with China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the core module of the space station is named "Tianhe-1".
"Tianhe 1" will be launched using a new-generation Long March-5 heavyweight carrier rocket.
It will be followed by a series of launches for other components of the space station, including two space labs, which will dock with the core module while in space, in the next four years. The space station will be completed around 2022.
Assembly of the core module has already been completed and tests are currently under way.
Earlier reports said the new Chinese space station will initially be much smaller than the current International Space Station, which weighs 420 tonnes, but could be expanded for future scientific research and international cooperation.
With the International Space Station set to retire in 2024, the Chinese space station will offer a promising alternative, and China will be the only country with a permanent space station.
The Chinese outpost will function in orbit for "dozens of years", and it has been specially designed to be able to handle space debris.
This is Special English.
China has announced favorable measures to develop tourism for rural areas in poverty.
The move is part of the national strategy to eradicate poverty by 2020 through the use of targeted and precise relief measures.
The National Tourism Administration has signed agreements with the Agricultural Development Bank of China and the China Citic Bank to provide financial credit for impoverished counties to build tourist attractions.
In the 2016-2020 period, poor counties with scenic attractions will have updated infrastructure and public service facilities with the help of the banks.
China Citic Bank will lend 200 billion yuan, roughly 30 billion U.S. Dollars, to fund key projects featuring construction of distinctive scenic attractions for rural areas in poverty.
China beat its annual target by lifting 12 million people out of poverty last year.
The progress was partly due to large financial resources, amounting to more than 230 billion yuan, earmarked by the central and local budgets.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Russian scientists have successfully tested a cancer-killing drug in space. The drug can fight all sorts of malignant tumors in the human body.
A Russian professor said the drug has been named "thermal shock protein", and is based on the main active ingredient.
The protein not only protects human cells from damage but also helps cells reveal their tumor antigens to the immune system, thus strengthening the immune response.
The protein exists in the human body in minimal amounts. However, the gene responsible for its production has been identified by Russian scientists. They have created a bacterial cell that can produce the protein.
The bacterial cells multiply well, which allowed scientists to obtain unlimited amounts of the protein.
The new drug has been tested on mice and rats with melanoma and sarcoma. The results showed that there is a complete recovery even in the later stages in the majority of the cases.
Another year is needed to complete pre-clinical trials to help confirm that the new drug has zero toxicity.
This is Special English.
New Zealand scientists claimed they have identified a hormone that can help accurately predict the likelihood of readmission to hospital or even death after a heart attack.
The team studied the hormone, known as C-type CNP, in 2,000 people admitted to hospital with heart attack symptoms.
The team is internationally recognized for its research into A and B types of the hormone, particularly for bringing the B type into regular medical use identifying heart damage.
After their discharge, the patients&`& heart function and hormone status was monitored for an average of four years.
While raised levels of A and B type hormones indicate heart damage, the C type relates more to blood vessel damage caused by factors including hypertension or cholesterol.
The team believes that the research would also likely to predict vascular degenerative disease prior to an actual cardiac event.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou has unveiled more steps to restrict housing purchases in a bid to cool down the property market.
People without local "hukou", or "permanent residence permit", need records of two years of income tax and social security payments made in the last three years if they want to buy a house there. Currently they only need to have paid for one of the previous two years to be eligible.
Those who obtain local "permanent residence permits" are to be banned from buying third homes.
The city also expanded the ban to cover two more districts. Since the city resumed housing purchase restrictions in most of its urban areas in September last year, large number of home buyers bought property in other districts. Non-local buyers made more than 40 percent of purchases in the past three months.
Similar purchase restrictions have been introduced in Shenzhen in Guangdong Province, which borders Hong Kong.
Second-home sales in Shenzhen slumped 38 percent month on month, or 71 percent year on year.
Despite the decline in sales, the average price remained resilient, edging up 0.7 percent month on month to 54,500 yuan, roughly 8,000 US dollars per square meter.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
The turnover of China&`&s antique and art auctions last year surged by 16 percent year-on-year to reach almost 20 billion yuan, roughly 2.8 billion US dollars, rebounding to a level last seen in 2014.
A report about China&`&s art auctions has been published by the China Association of Auctioneers. The turnover was calculated based on the combined sales from China&`&s top 10 auction houses, which jointly account for the lion&`&s share of the national total.
The 10 auction houses include Poly Auction, China Guardian Auctions and Canton Treasure Auction. They held 400 auctions, and 65,000 items were put up for sale. More than 47,000 of the lots were sold.
Traditional Chinese art, especially classic calligraphy and paintings, remain popular items.
The top lot was the classic painting called Five Drunken Kings Return on Horses by a painter and high-ranking official in charge of water control during the Yuan Dynasty more than 650 years ago.
The gavel was struck when bids reached 303 million yuan at a sale held by Beijing Poly International Auction Company.
Last year, 270 artworks sold for more than 10 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 44 percent.
The increase in turnover was also attributed to the surge in the prices of Buddhist art items and tea sets made from purple clay.
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Sri Lanka won the "Most Popular Tourism Destination Award" at the Guangzhou International Travel Fair held recently in the southern Chinese city.
A statement from China&`&s Foreign Ministry says Sri Lanka won the prestigious award for the second consecutive year which is a testament to the country&`&s growing popularity among Chinese travelers.
China has been Sri Lanka&`&s second largest source market for tourism since 2014.
Nineteen travel and tour agents from Sri Lanka participated in this year&`&s travel fair and a seven-member dance troupe performed traditional dances at the Sri Lanka pavilion.
The Foreign Ministry says the volume of visitors to the event has been increasing annually and this has enabled Sri Lanka to gain greater exposure and visibility for its unique destination brand.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The remainder of British pop singer Adele&`&s Australian concert tour may not include pyrotechnics, after the performer revealed that her four-year-old son was hit in the eye with debris from fireworks leading up to her Perth show.
Adele said that the show had fireworks for the audience. While her son was watching in the crowd, a piece of debris went into his eye. The boy was not seriously injured.
Adele&`&s tour promoters, Live Nation, along with her management group have not confirmed whether fireworks would be included for the remainder of the concerts in Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and New Zealand.
But with 10 sold-out stadiums performances yet to come, it seems that Adele may have to rely on her booming voice to provide the fireworks for the tens of thousands of fans.
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Pavlina Melicharova, a 49-year-old woman from the Czech Republic, has embarked on an Eat Pray Love-style trip after she walked away from her unhappy relationship.
She started by photographing herself at iconic sites wearing her own wedding dress - but changed tact around six months ago as part of a voyage of self-discovery.
The mum-of-two has so far posed in around 150 traditional dresses, including glittering sarees to beaded tunics, in iconic or stunning settings.
Describing herself as "a model, photographer, designer, hairdresser, stylist and traveler in one", she takes a "follow me" photo from behind using a tripod.
So far she has taken photos in villages, towns and cities in 20 countries including India, Mexico, Bolivia, Malaysia, Hong Kong in China, Thailand and the Philippines. She has no plans to stop.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
At a time in Sydney when liquor laws are becoming more and more restrictive, late-night venues are shutting their doors and the city&`&s social calendar appears uninspiring to visiting tourists, but one event is turning heads as Sydney&`&s wildest, must see attraction.
After just 27 events, Sydney&`&s Yacht Social Club is one of the hottest tickets in town, with every party selling out in less than 24 hours, months in advance.
The boozy, sun-soaked yacht parties take place on Sydney Harbour, complete with DJ&`&s, Barbecues and the backdrop of the city&`&s most famous landmarks.
With more than 200 people from destinations all over the world, the crowd comprises young, attractive, adventure seekers leaping off boats into the harbour.
The event organizer Phil Lee says that originally, a lot of the crowd was European expats, now more and more Australians have come on board too.
He said there were quite a few Asians attending too, including Chinese tourists.
This is Special English.
The audience marvels at a massive cudgel flying in the air accompanied by the effects of thunder and lightning. The cudgel itself is a LED screen, shining in its red and yellow colors.
On the stage, the Monkey King is seen grasping a small-size cudgel while fighting a dragon, and the image of the dragon is projected onto another screen.
This is a scene from the show Monkey King, which was recently staged at the 1,700-seat Sands Cotai Theater in Macao.
The 70-minute presentation is a combination of martial arts, traditional opera, acrobatics and dance. The story is based on the classic Journey to the West, written during the Ming Dynasty more than 370 years ago. The show is about the adventures of a famous Tang Dynasty monk and his four disciples who traveled to India to collect Buddhist sutras.
The show&`&s director says the production team have done their utmost to be faithful to the original book rather than do playful stories with fabricated plots.
Li Qiankuan is an award-winning film director and the honorary president of the China Film Association.
The story has been widely adapted for cinema, television, video games and cartoons.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-03-27

Mar 23, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-03-27 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
A Long March-7 carrier rocket has arrived at a launch center in south China in preparation for the launch of China&`&s first cargo spacecraft in April.
After around a week of ocean and rail transport, the carrier rocket arrived in Hainan Province. It will undergo assembly and testing prior to the April launch of China&`&s first cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-1.
The Tianzhou-1 is expected to dock with the orbiting Tiangong-2 space lab three times and conduct propellant refueling in orbit. It will also conduct other space experiments before getting back to earth. Tiangong-2 will remain in orbit and continue its experiments.
The Long March-7 is a medium-sized carrier rocket that can carry up to 14 tonnes of cargo to low-Earth orbit. It is able to carry cargo spacecraft and man-made satellites. It made its maiden flight in June last year.
The launch of Tianzhou-1 will complete the second phase of China&`&s manned space program. It is a crucial step for China in building a space station by 2020.
This is Special English.
China and the United States have the greatest potential to lead advances in disruptive technology. That&`&s according to a recent report by an international accounting firm KPMG.
The annual report is called "The Changing Landscape of Disruptive Technologies". It is based on a survey of over 800 global technology leaders including start-up entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 executives.
This year&`&s poll reflected a slight uptick for China. Twenty-five percent of respondents said they believe China can be a leader in disruptive technology, compared with 23 percent last year.
Those endorsing the United States declined slightly from 29 percent a year ago to 26 percent now.
China continues to make rapid gains as it moves from a reliance on manufacturing to an innovation powerhouse.
Through the use of disruptive technology, including cloud computing and the Internet of Things, Chinese companies are jumping on the new business opportunities.
Visionary entrepreneurial leaders including Jack Ma of Alibaba are known and greatly respected globally.
Shanghai was identified as the top leading technology innovation hub in addition to Silicon Valley over the next four years, followed by New York, Tokyo and Beijing. The city&`&s ranking was based on its strong regional position in financial markets and numerous hi-tech parks.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
China&`&s top health authority has urged tightened supervision over the clinical use of antibiotic drugs to contain drug-resistance strains.
A warning has been issued by the National Health and Family Planning Commission, China&`&s health watchdog.
The commission said health departments and medical institutions at all levels should reinforce supervision on antibiotic use and carry out inspections at least twice a year.
It encouraged medical institutions to join the efforts to monitor the clinical use of antibiotic drugs and drug-resistant strains to improve the early warning mechanism.
Abuse of antibiotics can give rise to new strains of hardy bacteria that can live and even thrive despite the use of the medication.
At present, drug-resistant infections have become a major challenge to global public health, causing the death of 700,000 people and 230,000 newborns worldwide every year.
In August last year, the commission issued a national action plan to tighten supervision over antibiotic production, sale and use.
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China&`&s first big data research center for children&`&s health was founded in central China&`&s Hubei Province in a bid to improve children&`&s medical care system.
The center was set up by Wuhan University and a Beijing-based pediatric technology firm. It aims to develop a more complete medical care system for children in disease prevention, diagnosis and personalized treatment.
The center has collected information on more than 200,000 children in 70 hospitals across seven provinces. The collection will expand to 300 hospitals by the end of this year, and 1,000 by 2020.
The research center said it will develop into a national cloud platform for children&`&s health information, offering standards on personalized medical care and clinical treatment.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
The forest coverage of Beijing has more than tripled from 13 percent to 42 percent since China launched a national tree-planting campaign three decades ago.
The proportion of green land in urban Beijing increased from 20 percent in 1980 to 48 percent last year.
A total of 200 million saplings have been planted since the campaign began in the early 1980s.
Last year, the city planted trees on 13,000 hectares of land. This year, the city will plant one million more trees.
The tree-planting campaign has led to fewer barren mountains, and authorities have encouraged residents to register to take care of the trees.
In 1979, China designated March 12 as National Tree Planting Day.
This is Special English.
Ceremonies have been held to commemorate the 92nd anniversary of the death of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. Sun was a renowned statesman who led the revolution that ended imperial rule in China in 1911.
Representatives from all walks of life attended a ceremony in a park named after him in Beijing.
Officials and residents of east China&`&s Jiangsu Province marked the day at Sun&`&s mausoleum in Nanjing, the province&`&s capital city, honoring his achievements and role in the revolution.
Sun was born in 1866 and is known to the Chinese people as a "great revolutionary and statesman" for his leading role during the 1911 Revolution, which ended more than 2,000 years of feudal rule in China.
Sun died in Beijing in 1925.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
China will publish the Analects of Confucius in foreign languages this year. The book is a collection of ideas and sayings from the Chinese philosopher.
The China Confucius Foundation and a publishing group in east China&`&s Shandong Province will jointly complete the translation and publication of the collection. The five foreign languages are Arabic, Mongolian, Czech, Portuguese and Spanish.
The translations will be distributed to the countries through the foundation and global Confucius institutes.
The thoughts of Confucius constitute the root of Chinese traditional culture and have profoundly influenced Chinese society over the past 2,500 years.
Confucius was born in Shandong in 551. He founded a school of thought that influenced later generations and became known as Confucianism. He is believed to be the first person to set up private schools in China and enroll students including the poor.
The Analects is a collection of his famous sayings, reflecting his political views, moral principles and educational ideas. Among his classic sayings are "How happy we are to have friends from afar" and "Do not do to others what you don&`&t want to be done to you".
The Analects has already been translated into English, Japanese, Russian, Korean, French and German.
This is Special English.
Two special exhibitions are underway at the National Gallery Singapore to showcase the evolution of Chinese ink painting and its impact on Singapore art history.
The exhibition is entitled "Rediscovering Treasures". It is the first comprehensive survey by a national museum to focus on collections from Xiu Hai Lou, one of the most important ink collections in Singapore.
The exhibition offers important insights into how art collecting and patronage developed in Singapore during the early 20th century. It provides visitors with the chance to see rare masterpieces by prominent artists in China.
Chen Chong Swee was one of the first artists in Singapore to use Chinese ink painting techniques to depict local landscapes. The exhibition "Strokes of Life: The Art of Chen Chong Swee" is a major retrospective survey of Chen&`&s artistic career spanning six decades, and it focuses on his key contributions to artistic developments in Singapore from the 1950s to the 1980s.
Many of the masterpieces are rarely seen in public.
The exhibitions will run till the end of this year. The National Gallery Singapore will organize a series of complementary programs to encourage greater appreciation of ink art, including lectures by respected academics and practitioners, and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
A survey shows that Hong Kong&`&s customer service industry is in need of young talents. It also notes that only around a third of local young job seekers consider working in the industry as full-time.
The survey was conducted by the Hong Kong Association for Customer Service Excellence. It interviewed 1,300 local customers, customer service employers and graduate job seekers in December last year.
Only 32 percent of the young job seekers considered working in customer service industry as full-time. The long working hours and high pressure are the key problems of their concern.
At the same time, 74 percent of customer service employees shared the same perception.
Given the tight supply of young joiners in the market, employers must put considerable resources on recruiting and retaining job talents, including offering competitive salary and providing better career path and a happier workplace.
Helping young people understand the positive sides of the customer service industry and focusing on work-life balance are also two effective ways to attract more talents.
The survey also showed that 80 percent of local customers have experienced good customer service in the past 12 months, and the data has been at a high level since 2013.
This is Special English.
Local authorities in Southwest China&`&s Guizhou province began a search for possible siblings of a girl who was abandoned around 10 years ago and was later adopted by a Canadian couple.
If they succeed, the girl will have a good chance of curing her disease through a bone-marrow transplant.
The girl, named Hosanna, was left alone on the doorsteps of a county police station in 2007. When they failed to find her parents, the police sent her to a local welfare house.
Greg and Cathy Crowell, a couple who already had four children, adopted her later that month, knowing that she had a disease. They called her &`&Hosanna&`&, which is Hebrew for "savior".
Hosanna suffers from a severe hereditary blood disorder resulting from the poor ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen.
Following doctors&`& advice, Hosanna spent her life receiving blood transfusions every two to three weeks, as well as daily injections to remove excessive iron from the transfusions.
Hosanna can survive with blood transfusions, but she will need them for her entire life.
In the past decade, Hosanna, who will celebrate her 11th birthday this spring, has been living in Alberta, Canada, with the couple. They have returned to the welfare house during that time, but have had no luck in finding her biological parents.
Doctors in China and Canada have told the couple that the only way to cure Hosanna is through a bone-marrow transplant, which requires a match that is most likely to be found in siblings.
The couple recently posted an open letter online, announcing a search for relatives of the girl. They offered to cover the cost of the blood tests to find a match.
The letter caught the attention of the authorities in the county where Hosanna was originally found. The authorities have pledged to assist the couple in their search.
While there have been no leads so far, the couple said they remain hopeful.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-03-21

Mar 16, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-03-21 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China has launched operation "Sky Net 2017" to hunt down corruption suspects who have fled abroad.
The authorities made the announcement in a meeting convened by the office for capturing corruption suspects abroad under the central authority&`&s anti-graft coordinating group.
According to the meeting, the campaign aims to nab suspects in duty-related crimes and recover their ill-gotten gains.
The Ministry of Public Security will launch the Fox Hunt operation to capture suspects abroad. China&`&s central bank, the People&`&s Bank of China, will cooperate with the ministry in cracking down on money transfers through offshore companies and underground banks.
Last year, a total of 1,000 fugitives have been returned to China from over 70 countries and regions. Among them are 130 state functionaries, 19 of whom were wanted on "red notices" for the most wanted fugitives.
The meeting said the campaign has achieved partial success, and the anti-corruption work will continue.
The central authority is calling for strengthened coordination and an improved system to make greater achievements.
This is Special English.
Beijing&`&s neighboring Hebei province will significantly reduce its use of coal for heating this year to improve air quality.
According to the provincial authorities, by the end of this year, 90 percent of coal used in the province&`&s rural areas will be replaced by clean energy. Environmentally friendly heat generation methods will also be employed.
The province is known for having poor air quality and frequently experiences heavy smog during the winter heating season. Household coal-burning in the winter is the main reason for heavy pollution in Hebei and neighboring Beijing as well as Tianjin.
The amount of coal used for heating in the province&`&s rural areas topped 30 million tons in 2015, accounting for more than a half of the province&`&s total coal used for heating. Primitive boilers in the region using poor-quality coal emit large amounts of pollutants.
Last year, coal-burning is accountable for around half of air pollution in capital city of Shijiazhuang during the heating season, compared to 20 percent outside of heating season.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
The myriad services just a swipe of the finger away are no longer limited to food delivery, airport check-ins, or finding a bike on the street. The latest novelty in China is an after-death service: organ donation.
Once beset by misconceptions and opaque proceedings, the Internet is unleashing explosive growth of people signing up for organ donation.
The China Organ Transplantation Development Foundation said the number of online applicants in two days had been equal to those registering at Red Cross offices over the past two years.
The foundation is backed by the National Health and Family Planning Commission, China&`&s health watchdog. In December, it launched an organ donation function on Alipay, an online payment platform with 450 million users.
Alipay users can easily register as potential organ donors, because one has to submit accurate personal data to sign up as an Alipay user. It saves the foundation efforts to collect and verify potential donors&`& information.
People can de-list their registers from the pool by a few clicks at any time, even at the deathbed.
After three months of operations, the number of registered donors on Alipay has exceeded 100,000 and the number continues to rise.
In China, around 300,000 patients need organ transplants each year.
This is Special English.
China has established the world&`&s largest 5G test field in the race to standardize the mobile communication technology.
Industry giants including Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corporation have joined the tests held at an outdoor site in Beijing.
The tests are set between 2016 and 2018. It includes three stages of verifications for key technology, technological solution and systems. Now the program is at its second stage test.
China started preparations for 5G network several years ago. A promotion group was set up in 2013 to coordinate efforts by mobile service operators, manufacturers and research institutes.
Years of investment has put China in a pole position to formulate the industry standard and reap the benefits of a network that provides much faster connectivity and lower energy consumption.
China aims to commercialize 5G mobile networks in 2020.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
China&`&s first vessel capable of conducting rescues in deep, open waters has been put into service in the South China Sea.
The Ministry of Transport says this is the most advanced rescue vessel in the area and will play a key role in emergency rescues.
The all-weather, high-powered rescue ship was designed and built by China. It is 130 meters long and 16 meters wide, with a displacement of 7,300 tonnes and a range of 16,000 nautical miles.
The ship carries a towing system and autonomous underwater vehicle that can dive as deep as 6,000 meters. It is China&`&s first rescue ship that can conduct air, sea and underwater searches at the same time.
The ship can rescue 200 people at a time and is designed for bad sea conditions including 12th grade waves and is suitable for the refueling and landing of helicopters.
China has 74 special rescue ships and 20 rescue helicopters.
This is Special English.
The Central Institute of Socialism has held its first seminar for Catholic clergy in China to discuss China&`&s religious policies.
The seminar was attended by 49 Catholic clergy members from Beijing and east China&`&s Jiangxi Province.
Scholars, including Canadian professor of politics Daniel Bell, have been invited to lecture on topics including Confucianism and Christianity.
The institute said it will hold a seminar on similar topics for representatives from the Christian community in China.
The institute was founded in 1956. It is a political academy for non-communist parties and people without party affiliation. It offered education programs to people from ethnic and religious groups.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
The Ministry of Culture said it organized more than 2,000 events around the globe to celebrate the Spring Festival which fell in January this year.
A total of 280 million people attended the celebrations which took place in more than 140 countries and regions across the world. The celebrations included a variety of shows and concerts.
The ministry said the celebrations have been welcomed and local elements were combined into the activities.
Top government leaders from almost 50 foreign countries sent their New Year greetings to Chinese people around the world.
This is Special English.
"Convergence LA" has been unveiled at downtown Los Angeles in the United States. "Convergence LA" is a landmark public art installation funded by Chinese real-estate developer Greenland.
The artwork is a digital craftsmanship that visualizes historic and real-time data of Los Angeles and displays it on a 30-meter-wide LED media wall.
The piece of art was created by two local artists.
The visuals were created by various kinds of data, including weather, news and traffic information.
A Los Angeles City Council member said the digital artwork will potentially increase the traffic in downtown L.A. area. People are going to be curious and will start visiting the attraction.
"Convergence LA" is located tight next to the "facade of Metropolis", a Greenland property that Council members described as "a huge second spark" of revitalization after the establishment of "L.A. Live". And this spark encouraged many other investors to invest in downtown L.A.
"L.A. Live" is an entertainment complex occupying more than 520,000 square meters in downtown Los Angeles, adjacent to the Staples Center and the Convention Center.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
An Alaska volcano that has erupted periodically since mid-December sent up its biggest cloud to date recently, prompting warnings to airliners and a major U.S. fishing port in the Aleutian Islands.
Bogoslof Volcano erupted early this month, spewing ash for three hours and sending a cloud of dust to 35,000 feet in the air.
The National Weather Service warned that trace amounts, less than 1 millimeter, of ash could settle on Dutch Harbor, a major port for Bering Sea crab and pollock.
It was the 36th eruption for Bogoslof over the last three months, and the first since Feb. 19. Geologists say it was the most significant event for the entire eruption.
The eruption was marked by 200 lighting strikes and elevated seismic activity that lasted for hours.
This is Special English.
There are fears that Australia&`&s famous saltwater crocodiles could become a bigger threat to humans. Ecologists have discovered that the giant reptile&`&s population is increasing by three percent every year.
Saltwater crocodiles can grow up to seven meters in length. They were listed as a protected species in the 1970s. However since hunting the "crocs" was declared illegal, their population has recovered dramatically.
Wildlife ecologists say the reptiles could soon pose a real risk to those who live in populated areas in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Scientists have been doing surveys of crocodiles in the King River and other parts of Western Australia since 1986. This is the longest running survey for saltwater crocodiles in the Kimberley.
In the early years, researchers found between 20 and 40 crocodiles along the 40 kilometers of river, and now there are as many as 150 animals in the same area.
The study also shows an increase in the number of larger crocodiles as well, and their population is recovering from the brink of extinction.
The research points to the crocodiles moving into more urban areas as the population continues to increase.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
An international team of researchers has found that rain and snow may play a more important role than how hot or cold it is for the evolution of plants and animals.
The team reviewed 170 published studies that measured natural selection over certain time periods for plant and animal populations worldwide. It concluded that between 20 and 40 percent of variation in selection within studies could be attributed to variability in local precipitation.
Twenty biologists from the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia published their findings in the journal Science.
The findings demonstrate that variation in selection is commonly coupled to shared climatic conditions, particularly aspects of precipitation.
A co-author on the study say that whether or not adaptive evolution will occur in response to this selection is unclear, but the study results do suggest that climate change has the potential to alter adaptation across the globe.
This is Special English.
A new study shows that trees planted by ancient people may have shaped the landscape of the Amazon rainforest.
The study has been published in the journal Science. It compared data of the trees at over 1,000 spots across the Amazon forests.
A co-author of the study said some trees were planted by people who lived there long before the arrival of European colonists. The abundant species were common in ancient times.
The study found that 85 tree species are known to have been planted by Amazonian peoples for food, shelter or other uses over the past thousands of years. They were five times more likely to be common in mature upland forests than non-domesticated species.
(全文见周日微信。)

【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-03-20

Mar 16, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-03-20 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chang&`&e 5, China&`&s newest lunar probe, will bring 2 kilograms of lunar soil and rock samples back to Earth before the end of this year.
The project&`&s chief said the month-long Chang&`&e 5 mission will be the most sophisticated lunar expedition China has ever made. It will face many challenges including the great number of demanding maneuvers and the complicated conditions of its landing site.
The 8-metric ton probe has four components, an orbiter, lander, ascender and re-entry module. After the probe reaches lunar orbit, the components will separate into two parts. The orbiter and re-entry module will remain in orbit while the lander and ascender will descend towards the moon&`&s surface.
The lander and ascender will make a soft landing, using small rockets to slow descent. They will get to work, using a drill to collect underground rocks and a mechanical arm to gather lunar soil.
After two days, the ascender&`&s rocket will elevate it to lunar orbit to dock with the re-entry module. It will transfer lunar samples to the module, which will carry them to Earth. The samples are to be distributed to scientists around the country for research.
This is Special English.
After sending a probe to Mars in 2020, China plans to explore three asteroids and land on one of them to conduct scientific research.
The "China&`&s Space Activities of 2016" white paper has been issued by the Information Office of the State Council recently. It mentioned asteroid exploration in outlining the major tasks of the country&`&s space industry in the next five years.
According to the white paper, China decided to conduct expeditions to asteroids, and then to Jupiter and its satellite system after the Mars expedition.
Experts say the plan is to fly a probe by an asteroid, to fly side by side with an asteroid for a period, and to land on a third one to conduct in situ sampling analysis on the surface.
So far, only the United States and Japan have landed probes on asteroids. Japanese probe Hayabusa 1 landed on the asteroid Itokawa, and brought back samples to Earth.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Southwest China&`&s Chengdu city has started freight trains to Belarus, the first of the city&`&s planned 150 freight trains to countries including Belarus, Russia and Lithuania this year.
The train, carrying 41 containers of car parts, left the provincial capital of Sichuan and will reach Minsk in 12 days after a journey of more than 8,800-kilometer.
The car parts were ordered by Chinese carmaker Geely for its joint venture in Minsk.
The city of Chengdu ran 460 freight trains to cities in Poland, the Netherlands and Germany last year, more than any other Chinese city. This year, the city plans to run 1,000 freight trains to Europe.
Demand for rail freight between China and Europe, an alternative to slower and riskier ocean shipping and much costlier air travel, has exploded in recent years.
This is Special English.
China has overtaken the United States as the world&`&s largest art market amid a sharp drop in global art sales. That&`&s according to an annual report released by France-based website Artprice.com.
The report found that almost 13 billion US dollars&`& worth of art was sold at art auctions across the world last year, a 22 percent decline from the 16 billion dollars of sales in 2015. Art sales in China were almost 5 billion dollars last year, accounting for 38 percent of the world&`&s gross.
China had been the leading art sales market since 2010, before it was overtaken by the United State in 2015.
According to the report, traditional Chinese paintings and calligraphy comprise the majority of China&`&s art sales. The highest price fetched at a Chinese auction last year was 46 million dollars for a scroll painting by an ancient painter, and it&`&s called Five Drunken Kings Return on Horses.
The report noted that Chinese artists were the biggest moneymakers at auctions, with three Chinese artists on the list of top five profitable artists.
Chinese artist Zhang Daqian attained the highest price, ahead of Pablo Picasso and other Chinese artists.
Hong Kong has become an unmissable destination on the contemporary art map as auctions are held increasingly frequently there.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The Chinese language has been added to the graduation exam list by an Italian high school and 29 students will take the test this year.
Sophie School, a high school specializing in linguistics, in Trento in northeastern Italy, has become the first school in the country to list Chinese as a graduation exam subject.
The Chinese course has been running at the Italian school for five years, and 145 of its 910 students have chosen to study the language.
The director of the school Maria Silva Boccardi said Chinese will become a global language in the future and they set up the course because many students had asked for it.
She said there were only a few schools in Italy which provided trial Chinese courses in the past, but now, Chinese courses have become a crucial part of their overall teaching plan. She said the school is welcoming their pioneer batch of graduates this year.
Roberto is a Sophie School student who is going to take the Chinese test before graduation. He said writing Chinese characters is the most difficult aspect of learning the language. He said when considering looking for better job opportunities overseas, China would definitely be his top choice.
This is Special English.
Samsung Electronics is speeding up its layout into the home appliances sector in China, with products ranging from televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, air purifiers and robot vacuum cleaners. The South Korean electronics company is continuing its efforts to put behind it the global recall of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone last year, triggered by reports of explosions involving the product.
The president of Samsung Electronics China, Bae Kyung-tae, told the Samsung Forum in Shanghai that this is the 25th year since Samsung entered the Chinese market.
The president said it always regarded China as one of its most important markets in the world, and invested long-term resources and advanced technology in China.
The South Korean consumer electronics giant put emphasis at the forum on its QLED TV, considered as a next generation display technology after OLED displays given its enhanced picture quality.
A vice-president of Samsung Electronics &`&s TV business in China, said sales of its curved-screen TV in China witnessed a growth of 87 percent year-on-year last year, while QLED sales increased by 91 percent last year, compared with the previous year.
Samsung unveiled a new 75-inch QLED TV model at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
An international team of experts has set a benchmark for global climate change by verifying the most extreme temperatures observed in Antarctica.
An expert committee of the World Meteorological Organization Commission for Climatology monitors weather and climate extremes around the globe. It has published new records for the highest temperatures recorded in the Antarctic region.
The highest temperature for the Antarctic region was observed on Jan. 30, 1982, on Signy Island.
The highest temperature for the Antarctic continent was 17.5 degrees Celsius, recorded on March 24, 2015, near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.
The highest temperature for the Antarctic Plateau was minus 7 degrees recorded on Dec. 28, 1980.
The lowest temperature recorded by ground measurements for the Antarctic region, and for the whole world, was minus 89.2 degrees at Vostok station on July 21, 1983.
Scientists say the verification of the Antarctic extremes helps to increase understanding about the Antarctic&`&s climate. Knowledge and verification of the extremes is important in the study of weather patterns, naturally occurring climate variability and human-induced climate change at global and regional scales.
The newly defined records give the international community a benchmark for comparison with future observations in changing climate.
This is Special English.
Australian scientists said a ground-breaking research project into one family will unlock the secrets of prostate cancer.
Researchers from Melbourne&`&s Menzies Institute will study the tumors of men from one Tasmanian family which has had 32 cases of prostate cancer in two generations to try and better understand the cancer.
The world-first study will examine the tumors to establish if they have a genetic disruption to chromosome seven, a mutation which causes aggressive prostate cancer, and weather the disruption is genetic.
Liesel FitzGerald, the lead researcher from the Menzies Institute, said the team would try to establish why the mutation occurred.
FitzGerald said she has a suspicion that it is due to two genes fusing together, and unfortunately when this happens the tumors tend to grow a lot faster, and they invade other parts of the body.
The researcher believes it might be an inherited mutation, and the inherited mutation in their normal cells causes gene fusion to occur.
She said that the island state of Tasmania, where 500 people are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, was the perfect place to study genetic diseases because of its small gene pool.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The Siberian Tiger Park in Harbin, the capital of Northeast China&`&s Heilongjiang province, is helping more than 300 Siberian tigers to lose weight. The process is being done by adding more exercise to their daily routine and cutting back on their food intake.
Photos of the tigers circulated online and received wide attention from internet users, who compared the endangered big cats to orange tabby cats including comic-strip character Garfield.
People questioned whether the captive tigers have been overfed by tourists at the park, the world&`&s largest Siberian tiger breeding and field training center.
A chief engineer at the park, Liu Dan, said the tigers&`& obesity is a seasonal phenomenon.
Liu said some tigers in the park look very chubby, but it has nothing to do with tourists feeding them. In fact, it is natural for them to devour more in order to adapt to acute weather conditions during the winter.
The weight of a male Siberian tiger increases by around 10 percent in winter. To gain the weight, their food intake increases by around 30 percent to reach 8 kilograms a day for a tiger that is normally around 250 kilograms in weight.
This is Special English.
Dignitaries and celebrities in Hong Kong attended an event to honor Jin Yong, whose picaresque tales of martial arts heroes are popular throughout the Chinese-speaking world.
The occasion marked the grand opening at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum of Jin Yong Gallery, a permanent exhibition of works by Louis Cha Leung-yung, better known by his pen name, Jin Yong.
The exhibition presents almost 300 items, including manuscripts, photographs, early editions of his novels, film posters, recordings of TV series&`& theme songs and the writer&`&s personal items, including a chessboard and a camera.
Jin Yong&`&s novels have been adapted more than 90 times for the big screen and television.
One valuable manuscript on display is "The Smiling Proud Wanderer" initially published in Singaporean newspaper Shin Min Daily News in 1967.
That is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I&`&m going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
(全文见周六微信。)

【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-03-14

Mar 9, 2017 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China has launched an experiment satellite "TK-1", from a satellite launch center in northwest China.
The satellite, carried by the rocket "KT-2", blasted off from the launch center and it later entered its intended orbit.
"TK-1" is the first satellite independently developed by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation. It will be used for remote sensing, telecommunications and experiments in minisatellite-based technologies.
The "KT-2" rocket is one of the five carrier systems in the corporation&`&s commercial space plan. It features high carrying efficiency and adaptability.
This is Special English.
China will conduct nationwide safety checks on coal mines this year to prevent major accidents.
The State Administration of Work Safety has said the examination will last from March until the end of the year. It covers both operational mines and those previously ordered to suspend production.
Also checked will be collieries required to close as part of government plans to cut capacity but which are still operating.
The move came after a string of tragic accidents. A gas explosion killed seven people and injured 11 in southwest China&`&s Guizhou Province earlier this year.
The administration said coal mine safety was "complicated and grim".
Around 60 percent of China&`&s coal mines are small collieries with production of less than 300,000 tonnes a year.
Outdated equipment, lack of technicians and weak management at these mines were accountable for almost 80 percent of severe accidents in the mines.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
A United Nations spokesman has described the first Chinese strategy report on cyberspace cooperation as a very important one, saying "China has a big role to play" in the global cyberspace governance.
The spokesman told Xinhua News Agency that the strategy is a very important report and China has a big role to play in it.
China released its strategy on cyberspace cooperation titled "The International Strategy of Cooperation on Cyberspace". This is the first report China has released regarding the virtual domain. The report also attaches great importance to the leading role of the United Nations in promoting world cooperation on cyberspace.
This is Special English.
For the third year in a row, Washington D.C. has ranked first among the 50 largest U.S. metro areas in the 2016 Gallup Good Jobs ratings.
According to a Gallup poll released recently, state capitals once again filled the top slots after Washington D.C. All of the top six metro areas on the list include state capitals, or the nation&`&s capital, and all have been in the top 10 rankings since Gallup began comparing the 50 most populous metro areas in 2014.
The poll comes as pockets of the country continue to struggle to make ends meet, even nearly a decade after the 2007-2008 financial crisis.
But for its part, Washington D.C. was not only able to avoid the sting of the recession, but is a place where jobs are plentiful, high-paying and easy to find. Many jobs are easily in the 100,000 U.S. dollars per year range.
The past year had its share of positive economic news for the United States, including a rising stock market, low unemployment and a boost to Gallup&`&s job creation index.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
The Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS has marked Zero Discrimination Day with a "Make Some Noise" campaign, urging people to speak up against discrimination.
A UN spokesperson said discrimination takes many forms, and can be based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or age. This year&`&s campaign puts particular focus on the need for zero discrimination in health-care settings.
According to the United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS, people living with disabilities are nearly three times more likely to be denied health-care than other people.
An executive director of the program said health-care settings should be safe and supportive environments. It is unacceptable that discrimination is inhibiting access to care today.
Zero Discrimination Day highlights how everyone can be part of the transformation and take a stand for a fair and just society".
Data from 50 countries shows that one in eight people living with HIV report being denied health care.
This is Special English.
Egypt&`&s recently-appointed first female governor has vowed to meet the aspirations and expectations of her people.
Nadia Abdou told Chinese journalists that she had mixed feeling of responsibility and joy to become the first female governor in Egypt and the Arab world.
She was appointed governor of Beheira province, around 130 kilometers north of the capital Cairo, after serving as deputy governor over the past three years.
She sees the move as a step forward for greater women&`&s participation in the country&`&s political leadership.
The governor said women&`&s participation in Egypt has become fairly acceptable, as an Egyptian woman has become a minister, an ambassador, a judge and finally a governor. In addition to this, Egyptian women are also highly represented in the parliament.
She said her major challenge after taking office is to provide all necessary care and attention to women and children in order to prepare a generation that is able to endure the burdens and responsibilities of the future.
This is Special English.
The Mobile World Congress has closed following four days of exhibition, in which Chinese companies actively participated.
Chinese firms led presentations on new devices and also launched new technologies. It was recognized through the Global Mobile Awards as Chinese company Huawei received three prizes.
Among the so-called Oscars of the mobile phone industry, Huawei gained the award of the "Best Mobile Infrastructure", "Best Technology Enabler" and "Outstanding contribution for LTE Evolution to 5G", in the category of "Best Mobile Technology".
Huawei was also part of the "Innovation City" this year in which it showed some of the latest innovations on 5G, drones, apart from launching new devices including smartphones and a smart watch.
Visitors of the "Innovation City" could also learn the latest technology to protect the ocean environment, on security and automotive connectivity.
The other Chinese companies hitting headlines this year included ZTE which presented the world&`&s first smartphone with a download speed of up to 1 Gigabyte per second, while OPPO and Meizu presented new technology on photography and record-breaking 20-minute full charging time for a 3,000 mAh cell respectively.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
An emergence of baseball-version of Yao Ming, former NBA basketball star, will help boost the popularity of the game in China.
An official with Major League Baseball said "Go find us a baseball-version of Yao Ming, and that helps." Al Leiter, an analyst with Major League Basketball Network, made the remarks when answering questions by Xinhua at a briefing at Yankee Stadium in New York. The interview came on the sidelines of the upcoming World Baseball Classic, a global tournament jointly operated by Major League Basketball and the league&`&s Players Association.
In his response, Chris Park, Major League Basketball Senior Vice President, said the game has witnessed a quite rapid growth, mainly in the grass root efforts, in the past decade in China. He said this tournament comes right as a reflection of progress has been made and can be showcased.
China will be playing in Pool B. Other teams in the pool include Championship contender Japan, Cuba and Australia.
The World Basketball Classic 2017 is the fourth installment of the tournament, following 2006, 2009 and 2013.
This is Special English.
Australian scientists say the brains of obese people could be "wired" to seek out fatty foods.
Researchers from Monash University are investigating the messaging system between the brain and the body, with hopes of discovering the neurological cause of obesity.
Associate Professor Zane Andrews from Monash said there is no question the brain is the key site regulating appetite and obesity. He said there are a number of genetic mutations that increase the risk of obesity, and the majority is located somewhere in the brain.
Andrews said it is a control issue, but it&`&s not a willful conscious decision, because in obesity, the brain doesn&`&t perceive information correctly from the body. His focus was on brain cells responsible for sensing hunger that also influenced motivation and reward.
Early results indicated that the brains of obese people were not sending messages to tell the body that they already have enough energy stored.
Andrews&`& team has identified that part of the problem could form while the brain pathways are forming during childhood, with children who are rewarded for good behavior with sweet treats, forming an association between sugar and feeling good.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
An Argentine mother lost her four-year-old son in February last year to progeria, a rare condition that speeds up the aging process.
When she was mourning her son, she found a novel way to channel her grief.
In memory of her son Franco, the mother has opened a makeshift soup kitchen near her home to attend to the children of the poor and homeless families.
She said she doesn&`&t want to cry for her son or become sad. She just wanted to look up at the sky and say that she missed him. In his memory, she is going to open a soup kitchen named after him.
The soup kitchen is called "Franquito My Angel" and is located in a poor neighborhood of dirty streets and dilapidated houses in Moreno, a town some 50 kilometers west of Buenos Aires.
Franquito is one of the numerous soup kitchens popping up across Argentina in solidarity with the country&`&s poor. Decked with photos of Franco, the kitchen offers a meal twice a week to more than 30 children.
In Moreno alone, the number of kitchens to serve children from families experiencing economic difficulties increased from 45 in 2015 to 90 in June 2016.
This is Special English.
A Hong Kong comic series, Military Boxing, once drew China&`&s late Premier Zhou Enlai as a martial arts master. It sounds far-fetched, but Zhou really did learn a traditional Chinese form of boxing from kong fu master Han Muxia.
When Zhou studied in Nankai University in Tianjin, Han was invited to give students martial arts classes. And according to Han&`&s memory, Zhou was the most industrious student of boxing and achieved a lot during the practice.
Born in Tianjin in 1877, Han&`&s experience was adapted into a kung fu film in 1990.
According to traditional martial arts theories, people who are good at Chinese internal boxing are not afraid of the cold.
It is said Zhou had an excellent physical character thanks to his boxing practice. He only wore a woolen overcoat when he visited Moscow where people often wear heavy fur coats to protect them against the icy temperatures.
This is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I&`&m going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
This is the end of today&`&s program. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing, and I hope you can join us every day, to learn English and learn about the world.

【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-03-13

Mar 9, 2017 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
China&`&s environmental inspectors have named and shamed more cities for poor air quality control as the fight against smog continues.
Inspectors looked at 18 cities in north China&`&s Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province, using unannounced checks at night and undercover methods.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection found that Handan city in Hebei Province continues to illegally operate coal-fired boilers. The boilers have been dismantled and further investigations are underway.
In Cangzhou city in the same province, an oil pipe maker, a major source of emissions, was not included in the list of companies to halt production on heavily polluted days.
A cement producer in Beijing used more electricity than usual in December when it should have suspended production. Two other cement firms were wrongly exempted from production suspensions.
The environment ministry has criticized several other cities for not doing enough in curbing the use of "scattered coal". Scattered coal is burned by households or small factories for heating and is much dirtier than that used by thermal plants, which have the equipment to reduce emissions.
China is intensifying efforts to fight pollution and environmental degradation after decades of growth left the country saddled with problems including smog and contaminated soil.
This is Special English.
The new strain of H7N9 bird flu virus confirmed earlier this month could become drug-resistant. A leading specialist in respiratory diseases warns that it might be resistant already.
Human cases of the flu have been rising in China.
Two human cases of the new strain were reported in Guangdong province. It shows resistance to a commonly used drug in the prevention and treatment of flu.
Experts say although the two patients are resistant to the drug, it has been effective for most human H7N9 cases. This means that most H7N9 viruses have not mutated to the new strain.
The experts said that although the new H7N9 strain shows resistance to the drug, the drug could still have an effect on the strain.
Both patients have used the drug before, so it is not known whether the drug resistance is caused by previous use of the dug or by a mutation of the virus.
Scientists say the possible drug-resistant nature of the new strain deserves more attention.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China has issued a revised regulation on improving education for the disabled.
The regulation was signed by Premier Li Keqiang and will take effect in May.
The revision stressed stepping up efforts in developing compulsory, vocational, preschool and senior secondary education for the disabled.
For compulsory education, disabled students should be enrolled in normal or special schools near to their home. Those who cannot attend school in person should have teachers visit or receive distance education. Disabled students in regular schools should be taught by teachers with experience in special education.
The regulation says vocational education for the disabled should focus on skill cultivation and career guidance.
It also stresses raising payment for special education workers, allocating proper funds for the education of disabled people in government budgets and offering subsidies to disabled students with financial difficulties.
The initial regulation was enacted in 1994 to guarantee the rights to education for the disabled.
This is Special English.
International schools in China are posing new challenges for parents who spend huge sums but often find themselves unprepared for a range of issues.
The Legal Daily reports that in top-tier cities including Beijing and Shanghai, many parents send their children to international schools to allow them early preparation for studying abroad. Admission has become more competitive amid China&`&s rising number of high income earners and some schools now assess parental participation in community activities before admitting a child.
One recent report said international schools in China lack standards in tuition, vary greatly in educational quality, while school ownership is sometimes unclear.
International schools in the country come in different forms and many follow the International Baccalaureate curriculum or that of the country they represent.
As a new approach, some public high schools have also opened international classes to offer a quick transition abroad. They have become popular among parents, though native English speakers are in the minority as Chinese students comprise 90 percent of classes.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China&`&s biggest manufacturer of carrier rockets will soon begin to develop the next-generation Long March 8 medium-lift carrier rocket to meet the demands of commercial launch services.
Scientists say the Long March 8 will have a modular design and will use engines that have been used by the Long March 5 and Long March 7, both new rockets developed by China.
Its core stage will be based on those used by the Long March 7 and Long March 3A, and it will have two solid-propelled boosters that are 2 meters in diameter.
China will spend up to three years on its development and if everything goes well, its maiden flight will take place by the end of 2018.
The Long March 8 will be capable of sending a payload of about 5 metric tons to a sun-synchronous orbit, or 3 tons to geosynchronous transfer orbit. In a sun-synchronous orbit, a satellite circles the Earth at the same rate that the Earth orbits the sun. With a geosynchronous orbit, the satellite matches the rotation of the Earth.
Scientists say the use of the Long March 8 will extensively reduce the launch costs of low-and middle-orbit satellites, giving it bright prospects in the commercial launch market.
This is Special English.
China&`&s first high level biosafety laboratory has been accredited and will be fully operational soon.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences say the certificate was issued by the China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment.
The lab is based in Wuhan, the capital city of central China&`&s Hubei Province. It will be used to study class four pathogens, or P4, the most virulent viruses that pose a high risk of aerosol transmission.
P4 is the highest biosafety level.
The lab will help China prevent and control outbreaks of infectious diseases and aid research and development into antiviral drugs and vaccines.
All the air from the lab will go through two advanced filters before being discharged, while solid and liquid waste will also be properly processed.
The lab has undergone trial operations since its construction was completed at the end of 2014. Some of the core research teams have been trained in France and the United States.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
Chinese telecoms company ZTE has unveiled the Gigabit Phone, the world&`&s first smartphone with 5G technology, in Barcelona, the host city of the forthcoming Mobile World Congress in Spain.
The phone has a download speed of up to 1 Gigabit per second. It is powered by a processor that represents an important step for 5G technology. The company said it marks an important cornerstone for the 5G mobile era.
It said the phone will lead to a new world of mobile experience with 360-degree panoramic VR video, instant Cloud storage, entertainment upgrades and fast cache of ultra Hi-Fi music and films.
ZTE is a leading global provider of telecommunications equipment, networking solutions and one of the world&`&s fastest growing smartphone manufacturers.
This is the 13th time that ZTE has attended the Mobile World Congress, the world&`&s largest mobile industry event.
This is Special English.
The surface area of China&`&s largest inland saltwater lake has expanded over the past decade, as rainfall increases and temperatures rise.
Qinghai Lake is located in northwest China&`&s Qinghai Province. A recent survey reveals that the surface area of lake reached 4,500 square kilometers last year. It marks an increase of 170 square kilometers from 12 years ago.
The lake has been expanding since 2005 due to abundant precipitation in the surrounding areas and more snow melting due to warm weather.
In 2008, Qinghai invested 2 billion yuan, roughly 230 million U.S. dollars, in grassland restoration and reforestation projects. The project aimed to prevent the desert area around the lake from expanding.
Qinghai Lake plays an important role in the ecological security of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The lake had been shrinking since the 1950s, but the combined effects of conservation and changes to the regional climate turned things around in 2005.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Wenchang is the location of China&`&s fourth satellite launch center in tropical Hainan province. The city will be built into an international aerospace center with a focus on developing six related industries.
Wenchang is also China&`&s first coastal launch center which became operational last year. Located around 19 degrees north of the equator, the center is suitable for launching many types of satellites, large space station components, as well as lunar and interplanetary missions.
A plan has been drafted to develop the launch center into a space industry base, in a bid to open it up to international, commercial launches.
The city will focus on six related industries including heavy space equipment assembling, space science research, finance, space breeding, tourism and international training.
The mayor of the city says the launch center has provided unprecedented opportunities for Wenchang to develop, and the city is making full use of its advantages to benefit the local economy and tourism.
An official from the city government said Wenchang has started to support the development of its rural areas with space technology.
This is Special English.
A book aiming to serve as an introduction to the origins and evolution of Chinese culture has been published by China Social Sciences Press in Beijing.
The book "Concise Reader of Chinese Culture" covers a number of different perspectives, ranging from Chinese values to Chinese aesthetics. It was published in response to President Xi Jinping&`&s call to promote the country&`&s traditional culture.
A chief editor of China Social Sciences Press said the book condenses 5,000 years of history into round 200,000 words.
As the 15th publication in the "Understanding China" series, the book will be translated into English, Russian and Spanish.
Stephen C. Angle, professor of Philosophy and East Asian Studies at Wesleyan University, said it is of great importance that Chinese people understand China.
This is Special English.
A Chinese short film named "Distracted Driving" won the second prize of the 2017 Global Road Safety Film Festival.
The film was produced by the Road Traffic Safety Research Center of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security. It displayed the consequences of using smartphones while driving on the road.
Every year 1.3 million people are killed and around 50 million injured in road traffic crashes, making it one of the most pressing health emergencies of our time.
The festival brought together 230 films from countries across the globe. The winner of the grand prix prize went to "Reflections from Inside Dawn" produced by the NGO "We save lives" from the United States.
That is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I&`&m going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
(全文见周六微信。)

十二届全国人大五次会议开幕式:英语同传,直播音频

Mar 6, 2017 7133

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全国政协十二届五次会议开幕式:英语同传,直播音频

Mar 2, 2017 3926

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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-03-07

Mar 1, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-03-07 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chinese president Xi Jinping says the city planning in Beijing and preparation for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games co-hosted by the city, are two important missions for Beijing in the present and near future.
President Xi made the remarks during an inspection tour in Beijing recently.
During the two-day inspection, Xi visited the site for Beijing&`&s new international airport, a sports center, the Capital Gymnasium and a forest park.
While inspecting the construction site of Beijing&`&s new international airport terminal building, Xi Jinping said the new airport was a major landmark project of the capital, which should adopt the highest standards, best quality and the world&`&s most advanced management technology and experience.
At the Wukesong sports center, venue for the 2022 Winter Olympics ice hockey event, the president urged efforts to learn from foreign experience while strengthening domestic development and technological innovation in terms of stadium planning, design and construction.
This is Special English.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, US President Donald Trump&`&s pick for Ambassador to China, has said that he would work to ensure the continued growth of US agricultural exports to China when he begins his new job, particularly reopening the Chinese market for American beef.
He said the US-China relationship offers many opportunities to continue to grow agricultural exports" to China. Branstad made the remarks at the US Department of Agriculture&`&s annual Agricultural Outlook Forum. He said he looks forward to being an advocate for all agricultural exports in the new role.
US agricultural exports to China have grown more than 200 percent over the past decade and China was the United States&`& second-largest international market in 2015.
The governor said China has already imported more US soybeans than all the rest of the world combined, and the world&`&s second-largest economy has become a major importer of American pork as well. He noted that multi-billion dollar soybean contracts between the United States and China have become a commonplace.
In terms of his priorities as US Ambassador to China, Branstad said he hoped China to reopen the market for American beef soon. China halted beef imports from the United States in 2003 to prevent the spread of mad cow disease.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
China will push international cooperation in the cartoon and game industry in countries along the Belt and Road.
A cooperation and exchange program in the sector has been launched. That&`&s according to organizers of the China International Cartoon and Game Expo scheduled for July in Shanghai.
The event will have a special Belt and Road hall to exhibit cartoon works from participating countries and boost commercial cooperation.
China&`&s Ministry of Culture has made it a key task this year to strengthen cooperation in the cartoon and game sector along the Belt and Road.
The Belt and Road Initiative was proposed by China in 2013. It aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road trade routes.
The expo has been held annually in Shanghai since 2005. It is co-sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Shanghai municipal government.
This is Special English.
The amount of smuggled ivory tracked down in China fell 80 percent last year from previous peak years.
The State Forestry Administration made the announcement at the opening ceremony of a wildlife protection campaign, without specifying detailed numbers.
China will stop commercial processing and sales of ivory by the end of this year. Last year, it imposed a three-year ban on ivory imports in an escalated fight against illegal trading of wild animals and plants.
The number of illegal wildlife trade cases has been on the decline since last year.
Meanwhile, the numbers of critically endangered species in China, including giant pandas, the crested ibis, the Yangtze alligators and the Tibetan antelope, have been increasing steadily.
China&`&s newly-revised law on wild animal protection took effect at the start of this year, imposing harsher punishment on overkilling and illegal utilization of wild animals.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
The first international porcelain contest, "Chinese white", has been held in Dehua County in Fujian province.
Porcelain made in Dehua county is famous for its shiny, snow-white color. It is as thin as paper and can produce the sound of chimes when tapped. As early as 650 years ago, Dehua porcelain had become one of the main export commodities sent to Europe through the Maritime Silk Road.
The decision to hold the contest every other year was finalized at the first China-France Culture Forum in May last year. It aimed to provide a platform for artists from both countries to communicate and exchange ideas in the field of porcelain arts.
Around a dozen artists have arrived at Dehua on March 1 for a seven-month visit where they will create porcelain artworks. The outstanding works will go on show in France in September.
This is Special English.
China will have many more museums in the coming years.
The State Administration of Cultural Heritage said recently that it expects one museum to be available for every 250,000 people in the country by 2020.
The plan is part of a comprehensive blueprint to nurture China&`&s protection of cultural heritage and improve public participation in the process.
Chinese museums are also likely to see the total annual visitor number rise to 800 million from the current 700 million by that year.
The administration also said that the first national survey of movable cultural relics will be completed by 2020, and a database containing identity tags for State-owned artifacts, will be established.
According to the blueprint, cultural products worth at least 20 million yuan, roughly 3 million US dollars, will likely be sold in the future.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
A Chinese language proficiency competition for varsity students has been held in Bangladesh&`&s Dhaka University.
Dozens of students applied to attend the competition from a number of leading institutions including Dhaka University, Bangladesh Open University, CRI-SMF Confucius Classroom and North-South University.
Zhou Mingdong, director at Dhaka University Confucius Institute, told Xinhua News Agency that around 20 of the applicants were selected through initial processes to join the competition.
The winners have been awarded prizes and certificates according to their individual results.
Dhaka University Confucius Institute and the Institute of Modern Languages in Dhaka University organized the 2nd Chinese Poetry Recitation Competition and the 3rd Chinese Knowledge Contest.
The events are aimed at further inspiring Bangladeshi students who are learning Chinese language and building further bridges of relationship between the people of the two countries through more cultural exchanges.
All the contestants competed in two segments featuring speeches and artistic performances.
This is Special English.
A Columbia University study released recently said women who had infections early in pregnancy may be twice likely to have a child with autism.
The research team leader Milada Mahic told NBC News that the mother&`&s immune response to HSV-2 could be disrupting fetal central nervous system development, raising the risk for autism.
For instance, the Zika virus can infect a developing baby&`&s brain and some viruses may cause severe birth defects, including brain damage. The research was published in the journal mSphere, a U.S. journal that makes fundamental contributions to microbial sciences.
However, some experts drew a different conclusion. Ian Lipkin, an infectious disease expert at Columbia University oversaw the research and believes that it&`&s actually the mother&`&s immune response that causes the damage.
Lipkin said the chemicals made by inflammation cross the placenta and directly affect the developing brain of the fetus.
Autism refers to a broad range of symptoms, including relatively mild social awkwardness of Asperger&`&s syndrome, profound mental retardation which debilitates repetitive behaviors and an inability to communicate.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
More than 4 percent of the world&`&s population lives with depression, and women, youth and the elderly are the most prone to its disabling effects.
The World Health Organization said an estimated 320 million people suffered depressive disorders in 2015, a rise of 18 percent in a decade, as people live longer.
A report from the US agency said global economic losses exceed 1 trillion US dollars a year. The loss refers to lost productivity due to apathy or lack of energy that lead to an inability to function at work or cope with daily life.
Depression is the single largest contributor to years of living with disability. It is the top cause of disability in the world today. That&`&s according to Dr. Dan Chisholm from the World Health Organization.
He said depression is 1.5 times more common among women than men.
A further 250 million people suffer anxiety disorders, including phobias, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive behavior and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Some 80 percent of those stricken with mental illness live in low-and middle-income countries.
This is Special English.
Constant stress has been linked to various physical and mental health problems including hypertension, heart disease and insomnia. According to new research, days filled with stress may also increase your risk of becoming overweight.
The research was led by Sarah Jackson, a research associate at the Institute of Epidemiology and Health at the University College London. The research results were published in the journal Obesity.
For the study, researchers from the university followed over 2,500 men and women aged 54 and older for around four years.
The researchers took a sample of hair from each participant to measure the levels of cortisol, a hormone which is released into the bloodstream in times of stress. If a person is under constant stress, the level of cortisol will be much higher.
Previous research measured the levels of cortisol in blood or saliva, but these levels can also be affected by other factors, making them unreliable for research.
The researchers also collected data on participants&`& weight and compared cortisol levels in the sample to body weight. The results showed that participants with higher cortisol levels tended to have larger waist circumferences.
The research concluded that these results provide consistent evidence that long-term stress is associated with higher levels of obesity.
Based on the conclusion, Jackson suggested that people should look for better ways to manage stress.
This is Special English.
New Zealand researchers say they have made a breakthrough in potential treatments for the debilitating Parkinson&`&s disease by identifying how it spreads in the brain.
The University of Auckland scientists said they had the first strong evidence that the progressive neurodegenerative condition spread through pathological proteins, known as Lewy bodies, moving from cell to cell.
Research leader, Associate Professor Maurice Curtis said in a statement that they have the first proof in cell culture of the mechanism controlling the spread.
Curtis said the implication is that if there is a spread of the Lewy bodies in the brain, then the spread could be stopped early on.
(全文见周日微信。)

【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-03-06

Mar 1, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-03-06 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chinese president Xi Jinping has urged organizers to host an outstanding Winter Olympics in 2022 while calling for balanced development of winter sports.
President Xi visited venues for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics recently. He listened to briefings on preparatory work and watched the training of winter sports teams.
The president said the 2022 Beijing Olympics will be an iconic event and should be hosted in a sustainable, open-minded and frugal way with a lasting legacy.
He said the games will provide a good opportunity to develop the country and boost national morale. He made these remarks during a meeting attended by members of the organizing committee and other departments.
Xi also stressed the importance of post-event use of venues, saying the games must be free of corruption.
Beijing was host to the 2008 Summer Olympics. It won the rights in 2015 to co-host the 2022 Winter Olympics, with a city in neighboring Hebei Province. Beijing will become the first city in the world to have held both the winter and summer Games.
This is Special English.
A Russian supply spacecraft has successfully docked with the International Space Station.
Russia&`&s Mission Control Center said its Progress space freighter has been mechanically captured by the International Space Station.
The space ship will deliver around 2.5 tons of scientific equipment, fuel, food, water, medicine, a spacesuit and other supplies to astronauts at the space station.
The freighter was launched following a faulty one in December, in which the Progress spacecraft burned up shortly after lift-off.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Chinese tech firm Hisense Group has launched its dual-display smartphone, the Hisense A2.
The Android smartphone has a 5.5-inch AMOLED panel as its primary display, and a 5.2-inch E-ink screen on the rear side.
The E-ink screen features sunlight visibility and low power consumption. It can display a static image without using any power.
The handset has fingerprint sensors on both sides. It costs around 3,000 yuan, roughly 440 U.S. dollars.
Hisense is based in Qingdao City in the eastern province of Shandong. The company is best known for its televisions. It has launched a series of smartphones including the King Kong model, which is a tough and durable handset with a shatter proof screen and thick rubber strips adorning the top and bottom.
This is Special English.
A group of Turkish scientists are on their way to Antarctica to set up the country&`&s first scientific research base there.
A team of nine researches will conduct feasibility studies into the base.
One of the researchers told the media that their target is to set up a research base to open their studies to Turkish scientists.
During their 30 days expedition, the Turkish scientists will also focus on research into climate change and sea life.
The researcher said all the countries in the world will one day go to Antarctica for salvation from the worst-case drought scenario, as the continent holds 70 percent of the world&`&s fresh water reserve.
Antarctica is governed by the Antarctic Treaty which came into force in 1961 with 53 participant countries. Antarctica is allowed to be used for scientific research purposes only.
Turkey is one of the 25 countries with an observer status under the treaty, and has no right to vote.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
An Alliance of Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation has been launched.
The alliance is a response to the country&`&s call for mass entrepreneurship and innovation. It is hoped the initiative will further Shanghai&`&s already developing and exciting entrepreneurial scene.
The alliance intends to unite the wide range of innovative forces acting in Shanghai. It aims to promote cooperation and sharing, as well as to advance innovation in the fields of technology, product development, and business.
Another aim of the alliance is to enhance the connection between large enterprises and small and medium-sized ones. It is hoped this will be achieved through the sharing of capital and technology.
This is Special English.
More than 300 million people across the globe were living with depression in 2015, accounting for more than four percent of the world&`&s population.
According to new global health estimates by the World Health Organization, depression is the largest single contributor to global disability.
The global health estimates cover depression and other common mental disorders, providing details on the prevalence of depression and anxiety. It also looks at the health problems as a result of these disorders, at both global and regional levels.
The number of people living with depression increased at a rate of 18 percent between 2005 and 2015. This was as a result of the over all growth of the global population, and an increase in the number of people surviving to ages at which depression is more common.
Almost half of the total number of people living with depression are in South-East Asia and the West Pacific region.
The World Health Organization said low levels of recognition and access to care for depression and anxiety lead to an estimated global economic loss of a trillion U.S. dollars every year.
The World Health Organization launched a one-year campaign on depression on World Mental Health Day, on Oct. 10, last year. The overall goal of the campaign is to help more people with depression seek and get help.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
Former NBA basketball star Yao Ming has put reforming the domestic game&`&s management at the top of his agenda. Yao was newly appointed chairman of the Chinese Basketball Association.
China&`&s only NBA Hall of Famer was chosen to head the country&`&s basketball governing body by the unanimous vote at the national congress of the China Basketball Association. Yao is the association&`&s first chief drawn from outside government ranks.
Yao has been a backbone of Chinese basketball during his 14-year athletic career. He is tasked with pushing reform of every aspect of the game, including professional league operation, youth cultivation and national team development.
Yao said the most urgent need is to reform the Chinese Basketball Association league&`&s management and operation, to attract more investment and attention, while enhancing its influence.
Before the reshuffle, the Chinese Basketball Association had been run by officials promoted from within government ranks who retained all major decision-making powers, from athletic operation to commercial development.
Now 36 years old, Yao bought his hometown club, the Shanghai Sharks, in 2009. He said his personal expectation is to help the national team regain its form at the 2019 FIBA World Cup and 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
This is Special English.
A musical adapted from Taiwan pop star Jay Chou&`&s directorial debut has landed in Shanghai after its premier before Beijing audiences in December.
Produced by a top Broadway team, "The Secret" can be categorized as a jukebox musical, like the universally acclaimed Mamma Mia. The musical features over 20 popular songs by Jay Chou, which help to tell the story. The musical is based on the 2007 film. One highlight of the show is its nostalgic sentiment and the classic songs integral to the whole storyline.
The musical marks the first time in Asia that a film has been deemed adaptable by a Broadway production team.
Its success since its Beijing debut can be largely be attributed to the top-notch production crew, many of whom are Tony Award winners.
Although the musical is produced by an international group, the story itself is identical to the plot of the original film, and is entirely Chinese in origin.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Indonesia will host a series of events to mark the anniversary of the Tambora volcano&`&s devastating eruption in 1815, as part of its effort to promote tourism in the country.
The events will include festivals, sports and cultural activities being held in April and May .
The project is titled Tambora Greets the World. It is the third in a row, following similar events held in the past two years.
Various cultural activities will be held at tourist attractions in the country. People from home and abroad have been invited to participate in fun activities including mountaineering.
A 10-kilometer Marathon and cycling have been planned in Aceh province in April. Domestic and foreign athletes are expected to take part in the events.
The Tambora eruption occurred in April 1815, and was regarded as one of the most devastating eruptions in modern human history. Many parts of the world were covered by volcanic ash, resulting in extreme climate conditions.
This is Special English.
An animation series co-produced by China and Saudi Arabia has premiered in Saudi Arabia.
The 26-episode series, Kong Xiaoxi and Hakim, features a Chinese boy and his friendship with a Saudi Arabian boy who is from a family of food connoisseurs. Kong helps Hakim&`&s family restaurant defeat local Western competitors by using traditional Chinese cooking methods.
This is the first film and TV cooperation between China and Saudi Arabia. The series took three years to complete, presenting a comprehensive picture of Chinese cuisine, clothing, martial arts as well as Saudi Arabian culture and food. It will be broadcast in the two countries and other Arabian countries.
According to Chinese producers, the plan for a second season is on the agenda. The second season will focus on Hakim&`&s experience of learning traditional martial arts in China.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The remains of a fortification built 550 years ago have been found in central China&`&s Hunan province.
The walls are similar to the Great Wall in norther China. It stretches 18 kilometers on hills, with 12 kilometers well-preserved in Huaihua city.
Archaeologists say the walls might have been used to mark the boundaries between different settlements. They also found evidence of four military camps near the walls, as well as tombs, quarries and a training ground.
The ruins are one of the largest military sites in the province. The finding will help with the study into the history of China&`&s unification process in ancient times.
This is Special English.
A woman from Turkey has broken a Guinness World Record with a 120-meter horizontal apnea dive under ice.
Accompanied by her husband and coach, Derya Can completed swimming 120 meters in 1 minute 47 seconds under the 35-centimeter ice-coated Weissensee lake in Austria.
With her dive, Can shattered French Aurore Asso&`&s record of 112 meters.
In December, Can set her new record by performing a 111-meter dive in the variable weight with fins category in the southern province of Antalya, surpassing another Turkish female free diver&`&s record of 110 meters.
She had also broken the world record in the variable weight apnea without fins category, by reaching a depth of 94 meters.
This is Special English.
Aliens landed at Milan&`&s fashion week with Annakiki by Chinese designer Anna Yang, who debuted in the Italian city with an out-of-this-world collection.
Chinese designers are making serious headway in Milan, which is hosting newcomers.
Yang was born into a tailor&`&s family and became keen on fashion at the age of 8. She later studied in South Korea and France before establishing her own label in 2012. She participated and displayed her designs at the London and Paris fashion weeks in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
(全文见周六微信。)

【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-02-28

Feb 27, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-02-28 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China has started to build a new-generation supercomputer that is expected to be 10 times faster than the current world champion.
This year, China is aiming for breakthroughs in high-performance processors and other key technologies to build the world&`&s first prototype "exascale supercomputer", the Tianhe-3. The prototype is expected to be completed early next year.
"Exascale" means it will be capable of making a quintillion calculations per second. One quintillion is written as 1 followed by 18 zeros. That is at least 10 times faster than the world&`&s current speed champ, the Sunway Taihu-Light, China&`&s first supercomputer to use domestically designed processors.
The new computer will be available for public use and can help tackle some of the world&`&s toughest scientific challenges with greater speed, as well as better precision and scope.
Tianhe-3 will be made entirely in China, from processors to the operating system. It will be stationed in Tianjin and will be fully operational by 2020, earlier than the same product planned in the United States.
The exascale supercomputer will be able to analyze smog distribution on a national level, while current models can only handle information from one region at a time.
This is Special English.
China will test how its largest solar drone performs near-space flight this year.
The rainbow series drone has a wingspan of more than 40 meters, bigger than of Boeing 737 passenger air craft. The drone has just passed its first full-scale test flight.
This is one of the largest solar-powered drones in the world, second only to a model by NASA in the United States. A chief engineer says its performance index and technological capacity are among the most advanced in the world.
The drone is capable of flying at an extremely high altitude for a long period of time and its maintenance is easy and simple. It can travel to an altitude of 30 kilometers, with an maximum speed of 200 kilometers per hour.
The unmanned aerial vehicle will be used mostly for airborne early warning, aerial reconnaissance and disaster monitoring.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
A drug to treat cancer manufactured in China has hit the market. The release has ended an almost decade-long monopoly by a similar product developed in Britain and introduced to China in 2005.
This is a generic targeted drug, meaning this pharmaceutical is equivalent in dosage, effects and quality to the original product manufactured by its developer. Generic drugs often become available after the patent protection on the original drug expires.
This drug&`&s product name is Yiruike. It is a much-needed first line medicine used in targeted therapies against non-small-cell lung cancer, which accounts for around 80 percent of lung cancer cases in China.
Lung cancer kills more people than any other cancer in China. Almost 600,000 people die from lung cancer in the country every year, with more than 700,000 new cases being seen annually.
With the price of less than 2,000 yuan per pack, the new drug is a fraction of the one previously used, meaning that more people in need can be helped.
This is Special English.
A Chinese health alliance has agreed to promote the use of peak flow charts on both physical paper and smartphone apps to monitor the breath for children suffering from asthma.
The alliance is joined by the State Clinical Research Center for Respiratory Diseases, the Beijing Children&`&s Hospital, and the Chinese Pediatric Society under Chinese Medical Association.
One professor on respiratory diseases says parents&`& knowledge, compliance with medicine instructions, and regular monitoring remain key factors to control childhood asthma.
Asthma is one of the most common chronic respiratory conditions for children. China has more than 6 million children with asthma. Almost 30 percent of them do not seek treatment in time and more than two thirds have reported asthma attacks.
Some people have benefited from regular peak expiratory flow monitoring but find the process is a hassle.
A professor recommended using newly-developed smartphone apps that only require the user to breathe into an accessory connected to the phone. It automatically records the reading and produces a chart. Better still, the results can be shared via a smartphone with the family and the doctor.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Search engine Baidu will take the lead with the first national lab on deep learning as China strives to rise up in the ranks of artificial intelligence research.
The National Development and Reform Commission, the country&`&s top economic regulator, has appointed Baidu to lead the national lab on deep learning technologies and applications. The move comes as Beijing prioritizes artificial intelligence development through policy and financial support.
The company will team up with China&`&s leading institutions including Tsinghua University and Beihang University in areas including deep learning, interactive technologies and standardized services.
Baidu will also share its rich resources on computing and big data, which are crucial to beef up fundamental research in artificial intelligence.
Deep learning is a leading algorithm that aims to improve search results and computing tasks by training computers to work more like the human brain.
China is betting on the technology to advance high-end manufacturing as it shifts from an export-driven economy to one that is higher up the value chain.
Fueling the trend is a three-year initiative to boost the industry through to 2018. China aims to make breakthroughs in core artificial intelligence technologies and stay in line with global standards on fundamental research on the application front.
This is Special English.
A Chinese scientist has participated in the human gene editing committee based in the United States.
Chinese scientist Pei Duan-qing has been admitted in making recommendations for human gene editing that cover basic laboratory research and heritable genome editing.
According to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Pei, a researcher from Guangzhou, is participating in the study.
The committee who has released a report, is calling for transparency, fairness and transnational cooperation in human gene editing.
Human gene editing policies were set up by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine, following the International Summit on Human Gene Editing held in Washington D.C. in December 2015.
Pei is the only Chinese scholar in the committee, which consists of 22 scholars from countries including the United States, Britain and France.
Though a promising disease treatment method, human gene editing is controversial in many countries due to ethical considerations.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
China had 770 million 4G users at the end of last year, double the number from a year earlier.
Data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology shows that more than 58 percent of China&`&s mobile phone users were 4G subscribers.
China has the world&`&s largest 4G network and is aiming to add 2 million 4G base stations, mainly for townships and villages, by 2018.
The country is also researching and testing 5G technology with a goal to commercialize it by 2020.
The research and development has entered the second phase. International cooperation in the process will be strengthened.
5G is much faster than 4G. It is more reliable and can be used to support virtual reality technology, ultra-high definition video transmission, autopilot and smart manufacturing.
This is Special English.
Tsinghua University has denied suggestions the university&`&s new system of admission for international applicants has made it easier for foreign students to get a chance to study in the university.
A heated debate was triggered following media reports that an updated procedure had been adopted for the university&`&s international student recruitment.
According to the new rules regarding undergraduate programs, one will be admitted by the university if the applicant passes two hurdles: an "Online Application" and a "Comprehensive Evaluation", which includes an application review and interview.
Outstanding applicants recognized by Tsinghua University may have the interview waived and get an offer directly.
One of the main differences from the previous rules is that applicants don&`&t have to take an academic test.
Critics say this has made it much easier for foreigners to get into Tsinghua University, especially those who are originally Chinese citizens.
In response, the university has said the new rules do not lower standards for international applicants.
Applicants are required to provide a National and Regional Graduation Examination certificate, or a Matriculation Examination Certificate.
If applicants don&`&t have that certificate, they have to provide the Grade Point Average and the academic ranking certification from their high school.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Car-sharing services provided by a number of companies in Beijing are striving for a place in China&`&s burgeoning sharing economy. But they will encounter disappointment unless they avoid or remove the costly speed bumps ahead.
Some of these services are Gofun Chuxing launched by Beijing Shouqi Group and Car2go under the automobile giant Daimler AG.
The sharing cars, mostly powered by electricity are in good condition, and can be ready for first-time users in minutes once they finish the required registration via the service app.
In some cases they cost less than taking a cab. One of the companies offers services for a refundable deposit of 700 yuan, roughly 100 U.S. Dollars. Following that, a passenger has to pay only 1 yuan per kilometer and 0.1 yuan per minute for a ride.
However, like their bike-sharing counterparts such as Mobike, the car-sharing apps are struggling to keep illegal parking in check and bring unruly users out of the dark. There are also worries that traffic accidents involving these vehicles become more complicated issues.
This is Special English.
Archaeologists have discovered a cluster of tombs with boat-shaped coffins that are 2,200 years old.
The tombs were found in southwest China&`&s Sichuan Province. A total of 60 tombs are scattered in an area of 10,000 square meters.
The boat-shaped coffins are made of nanmu, a precious wood for making furniture and coffins.
Archeological diggings have been finished on 47 of the tombs.
Archaeologists say the site was the graveyard of an ancient indigenous tribe called Shu, which was part of the Shu Kingdom.
The discoveries include more than 300 pieces of pottery, bronze, iron and bamboo items as well as weapons, coins and a dozen marking seals.
In one of the tombs, ten bamboo baskets of well-preserved grain were found, as well as a string of crystal beads surrounding the waist of the occupant. Scientists say the delicate crystals indicate that the occupant was a wealthy person and the crystals had probably been imported from other countries via the Silk Road.
As the area is surrounded by ruins of ancient salt wells, experts say the occupant was possibly a salt administration official.
This is not the first time that boat-shaped coffins are found in the area.
The local government is planning to build a theme museum to display the findings.
This is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I&`&m going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
(全文见周日微信。)

【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-02-27

Feb 27, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-02-27 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
New kinds of vaccines for the H7N9 strain of bird flu virus have been approved for clinical trials by China&`&s top drug regulator.
The Beijing Food and Drug Administration said it will continue to provide assistance and guidance for clinical trials of the vaccines so they can enter the market as soon as possible.
The vaccines have been developed by a state-owned enterprise in Beijing.
There are currently no vaccines for the H7N9 strain of bird flu available on the market in China or overseas. The flu is most active in winter and spring.
Two human cases of H7N9 have been reported in Beijing this year, with both patients suspected of having been exposed to live poultry. Both are in critical condition.
One woman died after being infected with the bird flu in southwest China&`&s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.
The central government has intensified measures to control the spread of the flu, including shutting down live poultry markets.
This is Special English.
The World Health Organization says the shortsightedness rate among Chinese juveniles ranks first in the world, with 70 percent of high school and college students being shortsighted. The rate is almost 40 percent in primary school students, while it is only 10 percent for their peers in the United States.
A World Health Organization research report says the number of shortsighted people in China has reached 600 million, approaching half of the country&`&s total population.
Experts attribute the soaring shortsightedness rate in China to the unhealthy lifestyles and learning styles which parents impose on their children.
On the one hand, to achieve high scores in exams, children spend too much time studying indoors and don&`&t enough time outside in the sunlight. On the other hand, a growing number of high-tech products, including smart phones and tablet PCs, make children focus their eyes and attention on fluorescent screens for long periods of time, resulting in excessive eye fatigue.
Experts suggest that youngsters maintain a proper balance between study and rest so as to protect their eyesight, and parents should play a correspondingly active role in the process.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China will launch its most advanced communications satellite in April. The new satellite will be part of a huge network to expand the nation&`&s Wi-Fi access.
The satellite and its large capacity network will enable passengers on planes and high-speed trains to access the internet.
The satellite weighs around 5 metric tons. It will stay in a geostationary orbit around 36,000 kilometers above Earth for 15 years.
This is the most powerful communications satellite China has ever developed. Its transmission capacity will double that of the current ones, allowing more television channels and clearer signals to be transmitted; and internet user costs will be reduced.
China plans to establish a constellation of advanced communications satellites by 2025. After the plan is fulfilled, users will be able to access high-quality Wi-Fi services anywhere and anytime, including on bullet trains and planes.
Scientists say China still needs to catch up with the top developers in the United States and Europe, when it comes to satellite technology and capacity.
This is Special English.
China&`&s deep-sea manned submarine "Jiaolong" has departed its home port in Qingdao in eastern China to start its longest mission to date, a 124-day expedition.
The submarine is scheduled to explore northwest part of the Indian Ocean, the South China Sea and the Mariana Trench in the Western Pacific during this oceanic exploration mission. The trip is set to conclude on June 9.
Organized by the National Deep Sea Center, the mission will be carried out by more than 150 researchers from around 20 scientific research institutions nationwide.
The expedition will cover the widest range of investigation area with diversified tasks. The submarine will dive 31 times, including seven times below 6,000 meters.
The submarine holds China&`&s manned diving record. It reached a depth of 7,062 meters in the Mariana Trench in 2012.
According to the mission plan, it will perform a task in the northwest Indian Ocean polymetallic sulfides zone for the first time.
The Qingdao-based National Deep Sea Center is a supportive station for deep sea facilities. It is one of the five such deep sea centers in the world.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Beijing and its neighboring city Tianjin are planning a monthly pass for high-speed intercity trains linking the two cities. The two sides are also considering canceling expressway toll fees.
The mayor of Tianjin says the move will facilitate the integrated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province. The outline was given in 2015 to improve transportation links in the area. It also includes moving some of Beijing&`&s low-end industries to neighboring areas.
The high-speed intercity trains aim to build a modern transportation system. A unified smart prepaid traffic card has been used in 12 cities in the region, and more cities will be included by the end of the year.
In addition, a network of high-speed trains covering the whole region has been approved; and another intercity railway linking Beijing and Tianjin&`&s Binhai New Area is expected to be completed by 2020.
The Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway was the first of its kind in China. With a maximum speed of 350 kilometers per hour, a single trip between the two cities will be kept within 40 minutes. The trains will depart and arrive every 10 to 15 minutes.
This is Special English.
In 2015, every student at China&`&s almost 3,000 universities spent an average of 1,100 yuan, roughly 160 U.S. dollars, on online purchases. Each of them received 16 parcels on average last year, making university campuses key areas of competition for express delivery companies.
The volume of deliveries and on-campus management of the companies&`& operations pose problems for college administrators.
Two years ago, parcels delivered to university campuses accounted for 5 percent of the national total, which helped to create 70,000 jobs.
A report says that without unified and centralized distribution terminals, the "last kilometer transport" to campuses remains chaotic in many universities.
More than 65 percent of express companies in Guangdong Province conduct their on-campus business via a "stall model". Parcels are scattered on the ground in the care of a courier who waits to pass them on to the recipients. Different companies&`& stalls open at different times and in random locations. This means that many students do not receive their parcels on time.
The report says that the situation is the same in Beijing, which has the largest overall campus delivery business in China.
The report suggests that on campus courier stations should be designated as public welfare facilities and should be part of the campus infrastructure serving teachers and students.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
Pakistan is to start exporting seafood to China&`&s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, using a land route that China will also use to ship oil and natural gas from the Middle East.
The journey is around 1,500 kilometers. Frozen seafood will depart Pakistan&`&s Gwadar Port on the shores of the Arabian Sea in container trucks and enter China via the Khunjerab Pass, a land port in southern Xinjiang&`&s Kashgar prefecture.
Regular shipments are to start on April 1, after a successful trial last month.
Normally, it takes more than 30 days to transport seafood by sea from Pakistan to ports in South China&`&s Guangdong province. Now it takes only around 10 days for the seafood to be transported and cleared by customs on the land route.
The wholesale price of those seafood products will drop by 10 to 20 percent after the shipments become regular.
China is Pakistan&`&s biggest seafood importer, with around 75 percent of the country&`&s shrimp products sold to China.
China will provide 1 billion U.S. dollars in loans for three new road projects, to further enhance the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor along the land route.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Despite winds and deep winter chills, snow-covered areas in north China have seen quick growth in tourism during the Spring Festival holiday.
The China National Tourism Administration reported a record 340 million domestic visits paid by mainland travelers during the seven-day holiday which started on January 27th. This marks an increase of 14 percent compared with last year. Total tourism revenue reached 420 billion yuan, roughly 62 billion U.S. dollars.
The administration said ice-and-snow tourism is gaining in popularity as Beijing gears up to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. For example, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region received 15 million travelers in the seven days, an increase of 20 percent, compared with last year. The total tourism revenue reached 1.6 billion yuan, up almost 22 percent. Xinjiang shares a common border with countries including Russia, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan.
In northeast China, a national forest park in Heilongjiang province, known sometimes as the Snow Town, received more than 20,000 tourists in a single day on Jan 31.
China has invested heavily in the development of winter sports and recreation. There are over 200 skating rinks and 500 ski resorts spreading across 25 provinces. Around 30 million people have participated in winter sports and related activities in these areas.
China plans to build a total of 650 skating rinks and 800 ski resorts by 2022.
This is Special English.
After three days of searching, an injured finless porpoise has finally been found in central China&`&s Poyang Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the country.
Volunteers discovered the injured animal through a long-focus lens. It was seen to have a large fishhook in its back. But it was soon out of sight and disappeared before people could offer any help.
The authorities and scientists conducted a search for the animal in an area of the lake which was 400-meter in diameter and 20 meters under the water.
The finless porpoise is a mammal similar to the dolphin. It is an endangered species with a total population of around 1,000, fewer than the giant panda. Around 450 of them are found in Poyang Lake.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
East China&`&s Zhejiang Province used to be a "Jurassic Park", with a great number of dinosaurs some 100 million years ago.
According to a six-year research project, 82 dinosaur fossil sites have been found in the area. The fossils came from a dozen species, eight of them new in China.
The research covered an area of 11,000 square kilometers in the province. Various study techniques were adopted in the research, making it one of the most comprehensive in China.
The study shows that there were many dinosaurs in the area during the Cretaceous Period around 100 million years ago. Zhejiang has the largest number of dinosaur fossils among other southeastern provinces.
Scientists say the discoveries also support the idea that a comet or asteroid was the cause for the extinction of the dinosaurs.
This is Special English.
More than 100 plant seed grains dating back 2,000 years have been unearthed at an ancient tomb in northern China&`&s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
According to the regional institute of archaeology, the discovery was made during the excavation of a civilian tomb in western Inner Mongolia.
(全文见周六微信。)

【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-02-21

Feb 17, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-02-21 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
A senior health official has called on governments at all levels to help relieve the burden on families wanting to have a second child.
A senior official from the National Health and Family Planning Commission has said that an array of departments need to introduce measures to help resolve issues that have arisen with the introduction of the second-child policy in January last year.
Health authorities have been rolling out policies nationwide since family planning rules were relaxed, including improvements to maternal care facilities.
However, the official warned that families will need help from other government departments to handle some of the problems, including increased expenses, maternity leave and a shortage of nurseries.
Almost 19 million babies were born in China last year, up 11 percent from 2015, with 45 percent born to women who already had a child.
Over the same period, the maternal mortality rate fell from 201 per 1 million births to 199, despite the fact that half of the 90 million women who became eligible to have a second child are over 40 years old, putting them at a higher risk of complications during pregnancy.
This is Special English.
Beijing has banned high-emission vehicles from its urban areas.
Starting from Feb. 15, light-duty gasoline-powered cars that fail to meet the "National Emission Standard 3" were banned from entering Beijing&`&s fifth ring road on weekdays.
Violators will be fined 100 yuan, roughly 15 U.S. dollars, for every four hours that they drive on the road. Substandard vehicles will also be taken off the road through annual inspections or spot checks.
Beijing currently requires new cars to comply with the "Beijing 6" emission standard, which is higher than the widely-used "National Emission Standard 5" and equivalent to the "Euro 6" standard, the strictest in China.
The "National Emission Standard 1" was introduced in 1999 and the "National Emission Standard 2" followed in 2004.
Higher-polluting gasoline vehicles account for less than 10 percent of vehicles on the road, but discharge over 30 percent of nitrogen oxide and 25 percent of volatile organic compounds.
Beijing&`&s 6 million vehicles produce 500,000 tonnes of various pollutants annually and account for 30 percent of locally-generated PM 2.5, a particulate matter associated with hazardous smog, making this the prime source for PM2.5.
Plagued by smog over the past decade, Beijing has initiated a series of regulations to improve its air quality.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Last year, 1,600 foreigners became permanent Chinese residents, an increase of 160 percent on the previous year.
China has made huge progress in easing its residence and entry policies for foreigners since 2015, which has helped attract more talent from overseas and boost international exchanges and the economy.
Foreigners with permanent residence can enjoy the same rights as Chinese citizens do, including investment, housing purchases and schooling.
One year after new measures were implemented, Shanghai saw a year-on-year increase of six times the number of permanent residence applications from foreigners and their families.
The number of such applications in Beijing last year increased 430 percent from 2015.
Foreigners made over 57 million trips to China last year, up almost 10 percent from 2015.
At present, 15 Chinese cities allow a 72-hour visa-free entry for nationals of certain countries. Shanghai and the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang offer 144-hour visa-free stays for international transit passengers from certain countries.
This is Special English.
The Chinese government has issued a five-year action plan for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.
The government has vowed to make the utmost effort to find HIV-infected personnel and AIDS sufferers. It is also aimed at reducing infections through drug needles, blood transfusion and mother-to-newborn infections. Efforts will be made to minimize the fatality rate and improve patients&`& quality of life.
The plan was made for the period between 2016 and 2020. It has set multiple targets including reducing AIDS-related activities in people by at least 10 percent and keep mother-to-infant infection rate to within 4 percent.
According to the plan, more than 90 percent of the infected people and AIDS sufferers should receive anti-virus treatment, and more than 90 percent of the cases of such treatment should be successful.
International cooperation on HIV/AIDES research will be strengthened to enhance the prevention and treatment of the disease.
This is Special English.
Scientists say China should draft national standards on pesticides to reduce the amount of residue that is left on agricultural products, preventing damage to the environment.
Scientists with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences say national standards on pesticides are badly needed as the country faces mounting pressure of protecting the ecological environment in rural areas. The standards should cover the levels of the maximum amount of residue allowed on a piece of farmland, and user instructions.
The scientists say improper usage of pesticides is a matter of grave concern. Chemicals in pesticides leach into the environment, wasting resources, and posing a serious risk to the whole eco system.
Overuse of pesticides also threatens aquatic life, animals and the long-term growth of crops. To prevent the damage and enable rational use of pesticides among farmers, scientists have developed a device that can verify how much of the chemicals need to be used on farmland.
A test kit containing color-coded test cards can help users determine the quality of their sprays and calculate droplet density.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
A record 6 million trips were made by mainland tourists to overseas destinations during the seven-day Spring Festival holiday, which ended on February 2.
That is an increase of 7 percent compared with last year&`&s Spring Festival period. More than 370,000 trips were organized by travel agencies, up 3 percent from last year.
The tourism administration has reported growth from individual and high-end travelers.
Meanwhile, Chinese tourists&`& travel itineraries and preferred destinations have been different from before.
For example, "Shopping sprees" among Chinese tourists in Japan was a catchword in 2015. But this year, many people traveled to Japan for physical checkups besides sighting seeing.
One owner of a tourism agency in Tokyo says his agency arranged more than 200 physical checkups and medical treatments this year, up 50 percent from last year.
A tourism agency specializing in receiving Chinese tourists in Kenya says the country was a seldom choice for Chinese tourists in 2005. But, since 2010, more Chinese tourists have chosen the African country as a destination to experience its different biodiversity environment.
This is Special English.
People&`&s preference for dog breeds is changing. Since 2012, when a Tibetan mastiff pup sold for 20 million yuan, roughly 3 million U.S. dollars, in Shandong province, the country has become obsessed with another breed, the brown toy poodles.
A pet dog center in Beijing says the brown toy poodle has been popular in recent years because they think it is cute, small and smart.
The center says small dogs are ideal pets for many people with small apartments, adding that poodles are one of the smartest breeds.
The toy like breed is nicknamed "teddy" in China. According to Beijing Kennel Club, Beijing had around 950,000 registered dogs in 2015. More than 13 percent of them were toy poodles. It even outnumbers other breeds including the bichon frise, the golden retriever and the Welsh corgi.
Since keeping a pet was legalized in 1993, the pet market has grown quickly. Many breeds have had their moment, including the Pekingese, the Tibetan mastiff and the Labrador.
Experts say the cycle of favor for one breed is around seven years, and now the price of a brown toy poodle is dropping, meaning fewer people are buying them.
There are many reasons behind the popularity, including fashion trends and scarcity.
Insiders say that with the market becoming more mature, pet owners are becoming more likely to choose a breed based on their own demands, instead of following the crowd.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
A joint Canadian-Chinese research has found that the biochemical reactions that cause Alzheimer&`&s disease could begin during fetus period or soon after birth if the fetus or newborn does not get enough vitamin-A.
The study also showed that vitamin-A supplements given to newborns could be effective in slowing the degenerative brain disease.
The findings are based on studies of genetically-engineered mice. The research was announced recently by the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in western Canada.
The study shows that even as early as in pregnancy, marginal deficiency of vitamin-A has a detrimental effect on brain development. It has long-lasting effect that may facilitate Alzheimer&`&s disease later in life.
The findings were the result of a five-year research project that built on previous studies that linked low levels of vitamin-A with cognitive impairments.
The researchers studied 300 elderly people in China and found that 75 percent of those with vitamin-A deficiency had cognitive impairment, compared to the 47 percent of those with normal vitamin-A levels.
This is Special English.
Australian researchers have solved a long-standing puzzle on the origin of stardust recovered from meteorites.
The international team of scientists, led by Melbourne&`&s Monash University, identified the effect of a nuclear reaction within the dust grains for the first time.
The researchers say the solar system was born out of a nebula where rock-forming elements were locked inside dust grains. Some of the dust was made around stars, being effectively tiny condensed pieces of stars.
A small fraction of stardust survived the destruction process, while most of the original dust was destroyed to make up new dust, rocks and planets, including Earth.
Using special dust found on meteorites, the researchers were able to trace the evolution of the nebula from which planets were born. It also enabled them to understand physical processes inside stars where the grains were formed.
This is Special English.
Scientists have discovered a tiny creature that dates back to 500 million years and believe it may be the oldest known ancestor of a vast group of species, including humans.
The research was conducted by China&`&s Northwest University, Cambridge University, and other institutions. The finding has been published by "Nature" online.
The animal is probably the oldest example of a category of creatures that includes vertebrates.
The tiny creature, around one millimeter in size, was found in the Cambrian fossils from northwest China&`&s Shaanxi Province. Its bag-like body has a prominent mouth, and several lateral openings to expel water. One key step in its evolution was when the openings became gills.
One lead researcher of the study said the creature evolved from their even smaller ancestors 520 million years ago. Then they became primitive fish, and eventually humans.
That is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I&`&m going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
(全文见周日微信。)

【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-02-20

Feb 17, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-02-20 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Australia&`&s University of Newcastle has announced the establishment of a scholarship program supported by China&`&s Jack Ma Foundation.
The Jack Ma Foundation will give 20 million U.S. dollars, roughly 26 million Australian dollars, to fund a scholarship program at the University of Newcastle. The fund is the first of its kind and it marks the largest philanthropic commitment in the university&`&s history. This is the Foundation&`&s first philanthropic contribution in Australia.
In its initial year, "The Ma and Morley Scholarship Program" will create 30 new scholarships and support a series of other scholarship programs at the university.
When the program reaches full capacity, it will support 90 students per year.
This is Special English.
A system developed by e-commerce giant Alibaba for China&`&s Ministry of Public Security last year helped to find more than 600 missing children.
The system is called "Tuanyuan", or reunion. It is a pop-up platform that has been applied to multiple websites and apps, including AutoNavi and Alipay.
Since its launch last year, over 70 billion pop-ups have been made, sharing the information of 650 missing children. Six hundred and ten of them have been found.
Alibaba says most of these children were reported lost or had run away from home, but 4 percent were rescued from child traffickers.
Apart from updating lost and found information for children, the system also helps to refute fake information.
More Internet companies across China will join the network this year.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Beijing will intensify the battle against air pollution, as the city mayor has promised to take "extra" anti-smog measures in 2017.
Beijing mayor Cai Qi said at a media conference that the municipal government will continue to decrease coal use by helping residents in villages use clean energy.
Beijing will try to basically realize zero coal use in six major districts and in Beijing&`&s southern plain areas this year. The city will eliminate coal-fired boilers that can each produce up to 10 tonnes of steam per hour.
The mayor said the city will slash coal use by 30 percent to less than 7 million tonnes this year.
Meanwhile, Beijing will kick 300,000 old vehicles off the roads this year and promote new energy cars instead.
Cai said it is an important task for Beijing and its neighboring areas to work together and improve air quality in the region.
The average density of PM 2.5 in the Chinese capital was 73 micrograms per cubic meter last year, down 10 percent from the previous year.
This is Special English.
The Chinese government has issued a five-year action plan for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.
The government has vowed to make the utmost effort to find HIV-infected people and AIDS sufferers. It is also aimed at reducing infections through drug needles, blood transfusions and mother-to-newborn infections. Efforts will be made to minimize the fatality rate and improve patients&`& quality of life.
The plan was made for the period between 2016 and 2020. It has set multiple targets including reducing AIDS-related activities in people by at least 10 percent and keeping mother-to-infant infection rates to within 4 percent.
According to the plan, more than 90 percent of the infected people and AIDS sufferers should receive anti-viral treatment, and more than 90 percent of the cases of such treatment should be successful.
International cooperation on HIV/AIDES research will be strengthened to enhance the prevention and treatment of the disease.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Scientists say China should draft national standards on pesticides to reduce the amount of residue that is left on agricultural products, preventing damage to the environment.
Scientists with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences say national standards on pesticides are badly needed as the country faces mounting pressure of protecting the ecological environment in rural areas. The standards should cover the levels of the maximum amount of residue allowed on a piece of farmland, and user instructions.
The scientists say improper usage of pesticides is a matter of grave concern. Chemicals in pesticides leach into the environment, wasting resources, and posing a serious risk to the whole eco system.
Overuse of pesticides also threatens aquatic life, animals and the long-term growth of crops. To prevent the damage and enable rational use of pesticides by farmers, scientists have developed a device that can verify how much of the chemicals need to be used on the farmland.
A test kit containing color-coded test cards can help users determine the quality of their sprays and calculate droplet density.
This is Special English.
China plans to build a next-generation synchrotron radiation facility in Beijing.
One researcher from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, one of the country&`&s top research institutes, says construction of the project is expected to start in Nov next year. It will be completed within six years, with a total investment of 5 billion yuan, roughly 700 million U.S. dollars.
The facility has been nicknamed Beijing Light Source. It will meet national security demands and create aerospace materials among other products. It will provide high-resolution methods of finding out more about substantial structures.
The facility will be a new generation light source developed based on previous ones.
The Light Source will create the brightest X-rays in the world. It will be 70 times brighter than the United States&`& National Synchrotron Light Source II. It will also be 10 times brighter than Sweden&`&s MAX IV, the strongest of its kind in the world so far.
Bright X-rays could help measure the atomic structure of various substances, and the higher brightness will help researchers to see more detail in those substances.
Around the world, there are more than 50 such facilities providing support in many research fields. The light source plays an important role in the medical field, helping researchers discover mechanisms of tumors and understand cerebrovascular diseases better.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
A record 6 million trips were made by mainland tourists to overseas destinations during the seven-day Spring Festival holiday, which ended on February 2.
That is an increase of 7 percent compared with last year&`&s Spring Festival period. More than 370,000 trips were organized by travel agencies, a 3 percent increase.
The tourism administration has reported growth from individual and high-end travelers. In addition to first-tier and coastal cities, inland cities including those in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, became important source markets for China&`&s out-bound tourism industry.
Meanwhile, Chinese tourists&`& travel itineraries and preferred destinations are different than they were before.
For example, the phrase "Shopping spree" is a catchword among Chinese tourists visiting Japan in 2015. But this year, many people traveled to Japan for physical checkups as well as sighting seeing.
One owner of a tourism agency in Tokyo said his agency arranged more than 200 physical checkups and medical treatments this year, up 50 percent from last year.
A tourism agency specializing in receiving Chinese tourists in Kenya says the country was a rare choice for Chinese tourists in 2005. But, since 2010, more Chinese tourists have chosen this African country as a destination to experience its different biodiversity environment.
This is Special English.
People&`&s preference for dog breeds is changing. Since 2012, when a Tibetan mastiff pup sold for 20 million yuan, roughly 3 million U.S. dollars, in Shandong province, the country has become obsessed with another breed, the brown toy poodle.
A pet dog center in Beijing says the brown toy poodle has become popular in recent years because people think they are cute, small and smart.
The center says small dogs make ideal pets for many people with small apartments, adding that poodles are one of the smartest breeds.
The toy like breed has been nicknamed "the teddy" in China. According to Beijing Kennel Club, Beijing had around 950,000 registered dogs in 2015. More than 13 percent of them were toy poodles. This outnumbers other breeds including the bichon frise, the golden retriever and the Welsh corgi.
Since keeping a pet was legalized in 1993, the pet market has grown quickly. Many breeds have had their moment, including the Pekingese, the Tibetan mastiff and the Labrador.
There are many reasons behind the popularity of the breed, including fashion trends and scarcity.
Experts say the cycle of favor for one breed is around seven years, and now the price of brown toy poodles is dropping, meaning fewer people are buying them.
Insiders say that with the market becoming more mature, pet owners are becoming more likely to choose a breed based on their own demands, instead of following the crowd.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Joint Canadian-Chinese research has found that biochemical reactions that cause Alzheimer&`&s disease could begin during the fetal period or soon after birth if the fetus or newborn does not get enough vitamin-A.
The study also showed that vitamin-A supplements given to newborns could be effective in slowing the degenerative brain disease.
The findings are based on studies of genetically-engineered mice. The research was announced recently by the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in western Canada.
The study shows that even as early as in pregnancy, a marginal deficiency of vitamin-A has a detrimental effect on brain development. It has a long-lasting effect that may facilitate Alzheimer&`&s disease in later life.
The findings were the result of a five-year research project that built on previous studies that linked low levels of vitamin-A with cognitive impairment.
The researchers studied 300 elderly people in China and found that 75 percent of those with vitamin-A deficiency had cognitive impairment, compared to 47 percent of those with normal vitamin-A levels.
This is Special English.
Australian researchers have solved a long-standing puzzle on the origin of stardust recovered from meteorites.
The international team of scientists, led by Melbourne&`&s Monash University, identified the effect of a nuclear reaction within the dust grains for the first time.
The researchers say the solar system was born out of a nebula where the rock-forming elements were locked inside dust grains. Some of the dust was made around stars, being effectively tiny condensed pieces of stars.
A small fraction of stardust survived the destruction process, while most of the original dust was destroyed to make up new dust, rocks and planets, including the Earth.
Using special dust found on meteorites, the researchers were able to trace the evolution of the nebula from which planets were born. It also enabled them to understand physical processes inside stars where the grains were formed.
This is Special English.
Scientists have discovered a tiny creature that dates back 500 million years and they believe it may be the oldest known ancestor of a vast group of species, including humans.
The research was conducted by China&`&s Northwest University, Cambridge University, and other institutions. The finding has been published by "Nature" online.
The animal is probably the oldest example of a category of creatures that includes vertebrates.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-02-14

Feb 9, 2017 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China plans to launch another lunar probe at the end of November.
The mission will mark China&`&s first automated moon surface sampling and moon take-off, as well as China&`&s first unmanned docking in a lunar orbit around 400,000 kilometers from earth. It will also see China&`&s first return flight in a speed close to second cosmic velocity.
With a weight of 8 tonnes, the lunar probe has four parts, namely, an orbiter, a returner, an ascender and a lander.
The whole process goes like this. The lander collects moon samples and transfers them into the ascender. The ascender then takes off from the moon, in a journey to dock with the orbiter which is traveling around the moon with the returner. After loading the samples, the returner heads back to earth. It separates from the orbiter before landing on the earth.
This is Special English.
The number of births in China reached 17 million last year, the largest annual growth since 2000, thanks to the adoption of the second-child policy early last year.
According to the top health authority, at least 45 percent of the newborns were not the only child in the family last year, compared to 30 percent in 2013. In some places, mostly large cities in eastern China, more than 50 percent of the newborns were a second child.
The authority attributes the increase to the one-year-old universal second-child policy. A baby boom triggered by the new policy will continue in the next two years. It is expected that by 2020, the number of births will climb to 20 million each year.
The health authority plans to add 140,000 more maternity health workers in the coming years.
Top decision-makers intensified efforts in late 2013 to adjust the family control policies that were in place for three decades. The old policies allowed most couples to have just one child.
The policy change aims to address major demographic challenges including an aging population and a looming labor shortage.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
A Chinese language exam is likely to be introduced in Russian schools from next year.
According to a national-level education department in Russia, there is a plan to introduce the Chinese language test to the Basic State Exam next year and to the Unified State Exam in 2020.
Russia&`&s Basic State Exam is a series of obligatory examinations for ninth grade students and the Unified State Exam for 11th grade students necessary to qualify for university education.
Takers of the two exams currently have a choice of English, German, French and Spanish as part of the exam&`&s foreign language component.
The Chinese language is taught in 120 educational institutions across Russia. The total number of student learners exceeds 17,000.
This is Special English.
China has released a short list of eight names for the country&`&s first Mars spacecraft, which is scheduled to launch by 2020.
The eight names were the top ones chosen from over 14,500 entries by people worldwide. The names are mandarin phrases, with top scorers meaning "phoenix" and "Mars" in English.
China plans to launch its first Mars spacecraft by 2020, which will orbit, land and explore the Red Planet.
Selection work started in August last year. The eight finals were decided via online polls and a jury review.
The final choice will be announced around Space Day, on April 24.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
The week-long Spring Festival holiday witnessed 400 million passenger trips in China, up 2 percent year on year.
Between Jan. 27 and Feb. 2, the number of road trips totaled 330 million, a slight increase from last year. Train trips reached 52 million with an annual increase of 9 percent.
A total of around 3 billion trips are expected to be made during this year&`&s Spring Festival travel rush between Jan. 13 and Feb. 21. The lunar New Year is seen as the biggest human migration on earth.
The average distance traveled was 260 kilometers per person; and around 90 percent of the trips were within a range of 500 kilometers. Around 90 percent of the trips are made for family reunions.
The Guangzhou South Railway Station was the most used transportation hub during the migration, followed by Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station and Beijing West Railway Station. All the three spots are seated in major cities with significant populations of migrant workers.
This is Special English.
China has seen an increase of so-called empty-nest youth, or young people who live alone, which experts believe is a cause for public concern.
The National Bureau of Statistics reveals that 13 percent of households were inhabited by one person in 2015. The figure in 2008 was 8 percent. The Xinhua News Agency reports that specifically, of this "empty-nest" population, young people are especially common. The term "empty-nest" used to refer to elderly people living alone after their children are grown up and out of the home.
A report on "empty-nest youth" found that this group tends to feel lonelier than their peers, and their personal lives are largely kept within their rented apartments. As they typically live far from work to seek cheaper rent, these young people spend hours commuting, leaving them exhausted in the evenings.
Even so, this population chooses to live in big cities, attracted by opportunities for a better career. Some 21 percent of the group have no savings or are slightly in debt.
Experts say the emergence of empty-nest youth is a result of imbalanced social and economic development between big cities and smaller towns. It is also a natural result of China&`&s ongoing urbanization.
Still, the experts warned that the growing size of this group could bring more problems, affecting the population&`&s psychology and marital aspirations. Some recommended that the youth get in engaged in community activities.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
Super Bowl advertisers are treading carefully this year to avoid alienating customers as a divisive political climate takes some of the buzz away from what is usually the biggest spectacle on TV.
Ad critic Barbara Lippert says that while "people need an escape", like the Super Bowl, this year&`&s matchup on the field feels "so much less important than what&`&s going on politically."
To get the attention back, some advertisers are turning to nostalgia, celebrities and marketing stunts. P&G is sexing up Mr. Clean, Honda is featuring nine celebrities and Snickers is running a live ad.
Others are touching on social issues, without being too blunt about it. Budweiser won the pre-game buzz with sweeping cinematic ad showcasing founder Adolphus Busch&`&s 1857 immigration from Germany to St. Louis. Although it has been in the works since May, the ad felt topical, as it was released online just days after President Donald Trump&`&s travel ban against people from seven Muslim-majority countries. The ad got more than 8 million views on YouTube in just four days.
This is Special English.
U.S. President Donald Trump says movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger "tried hard" to make "Celebrity Apprentice" a success, but has failed.
In an early morning Twitter post recently, the president kept alive a theme he brought up a day earlier during his first appearance at the National Prayer Breakfast.
Trump, who once hosted the NBC reality TV show, took a pot shot there at Schwarzenegger, the current host and former California governor, over a ratings nosedive for the show.
Trump said in his tweet that Schwarzenegger did a bad job as Governor of California and even worse on the Apprentice, but at least he tried hard.
Schwarzenegger responded quickly to the remarks in a video on his verified Twitter account, suggesting that he and Donald Trump switch jobs.
His response to the dig from Trump came later in the day in the form of a tweeted link to a 2006 article from the Los Angeles Daily News reporting that he, then the governor, had released his tax records. Trump, as a candidate and now as president, has refused to release his own tax records.
Schwarzenegger had no further comment beyond the linked article, but his representative said the article "speaks for itself".
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Nordstrom says it will stop selling Ivanka Trump clothing and accessories, creating some questions about the future of the brand elsewhere.
The Seattle-based department store chain said the decision was based on the sales performance of the first daughter&`&s brand. Neiman Marcus may be the next one to pull back on the label, as the branded jewelry is nowhere to be seen on the upscale retailer&`&s website as of Friday.
Nordstrom said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press that it makes buying decisions based on performance; and they have got thousands of brands, more than 2,000 offered on the site alone. Reviewing their merit and making edits is part of the regular rhythm of Nordstrom&`&s business.
The move by Nordstrom comes amid a social media campaign called "Grab Your Wallet", urging a boycott of stores that stock Ivanka Trump or Donald Trump products.
Ivanka Trump announced earlier this month that she would take a leave of absence from her clothing and accessories business as well as the Trump organization.
This is Special English.
Norwegian zoologists have found around 30 plastic bags and other plastic waste in the stomach of a beaked whale that had beached on a southwestern Norway coast.
The visibly sick, 2-ton goose-beaked whale has been euthanized.
One zoologist from Bergen University says the whale&`&s stomach was full of plastic, adding that its intestine "had no food, only some remnants of a squid&`&s head in addition to a thin fat layer".
The scientists say the non-biodegradable waste was "probably the reason" why the whale repeatedly beached in shallow waters off Sotra, an island west of Bergen, 200 kilometers northwest of the capital of Oslo.
It size, around 6 meters, showed that the whale was an adult.
The United Nations estimates that 8 million tons of plastic trash is dumped into the world&`&s oceans each year.
This is Special English.
Fossils of a newly discovered otter species dating back around 6 million years have been found in southwest China&`&s Yunnan Province.
The well-preserved fossil has an almost complete cranium and mandible and a partial skeleton.
The otter weighed around 50 kilograms, around the same as a wolf, and measured up to two meters in length, almost double the size of a modern otter.
Computed tomography restoration of the skull revealed a combination of otter-like and badger-like skulls and tooth characteristics.
One scientist at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County says the species belonged to an extinct group of otters in East Asia.
Otters are semi-aquatic predators. Modern otters have worldwide distribution, but their fossil record is poor.
The new species outlined the migration paths of otters moving from Southeast Asia to China. It can help scientists better understand the evolution of the animals.
This is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I&`&m going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
This is the end of today&`&s program. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing, and I hope you can join us every day, to learn English and learn about the world.

【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-02-13

Feb 9, 2017 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
More than 18 million children were born in Chinese hospitals last year, an increase of 11 percent from 2015. More than 45 percent of the newborns were not the first child of the family.
Last year, China saw the largest number of newborns since 2000, following the abolition of the decades-long one-child policy.
Moreover, the health authority reports that the maternal and infant mortality rates also dropped last year.
China has pledged to improve maternal and child care services by increasing the number of obstetricians, midwives and hospital beds.
This is Special English.
China will host a United Nations meeting on fighting desertification in September.
An estimated 1,400 delegates from around 200 parties to a United Nations special convention on desertification will participate in the event. They will gather in Ordos in north China&`&s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region for the meeting.
The participants will discuss their national goals and action plans to achieve zero net land degradation by 2030.
China&`&s desertified areas were greatly reduced in the period between 2009 and 2014.
According to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, 12 million hectares of land are lost to desertification every year across the globe. And the figure could rise due to population growth, climatic reasons and unsustainable farming practices.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
More than 100 golf courses have been banned in China, as part of its efforts to clamp down on illegal use of land and water resources.
Of the total 680 golf courses across China, 110 have been closed since a national project was launched in 2011.
Among their illicit behavior, these golf courses were found to have illegally used large amounts of arable land or nature reserve areas, or extracted groundwater in prohibited areas.
Eighteen of the golf courses have been required to return their illegally occupied land, and another 47 have been ordered to stop business activities or construction.
The central government has ordered the rectification of the remaining 500 golf courses, of which a dozen have closed voluntarily.
China imposed a ban on the construction of new golf courses in 2004, when there were fewer than 200 in the country. However, the number continued to rise as the sport gained popularity, especially among business people and government officials.
Golf courses are seen in all provincial-level regions except Tibet.
This is Special English.
Moving some colleges out of central Beijing, either to the suburbs or other cities, is necessary to ease overcrowding; but experts say any new locations will have to first meet the needs of the employees.
Beijing&`&s rich education resources have long attracted large numbers of people from across China, leading to chronic congestion and putting a strain on public services.
To alleviate the problem, the city government released a five-year plan last year for education development. The plan aims in part to keep higher-education institutes small in size. It also aims to remove some university facilities from central areas.
Experts say it is imperative that some colleges and universities leave the city, but they expect it to be a long term process.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Seven hundred million Chinese people, or around half of the country&`&s total population, had used mobile phones to access the Internet as of the end of last year.
The number of people who used their mobile phones to surf online continued to increase by an annual 10 percent during the past three years.
Last year, almost 500 million people used mobile phones to make payments, an increase of 30 percent from a year earlier.
China has more than 700 million internet users, accounting for 53 percent of the total population. The user number increase is now stable after almost 10 years of fast growth.
Last year, the public used Internet-based government services more often than they used offline service centers and hotlines to access government information. Officials say this means that government information was disclosed to the public in an increasingly mobile, immediate and transparent manner.
This is Special English.
Surgeons in a central China hospital have succeeded in performing two complex pediatric heart surgery operations using 3D printing technology.
One of the patients was a 13-year-old girl who suffered a condition which causes her heart muscle to grow abnormally thickly. The other patient was a 3-year-old boy with severe left ventricular outflow tract obstructions.
Complexity was involved in both cases. Doctors at the hospital used a 3D printer to produce full-size replicas of the patients&`& hearts. The models allowed doctors to carefully study the condition and plan the operations.
The surgery was successful and the patients are recovering.
The event marked the first time that 3D printing technology was used in Hunan Province for pediatric cardiovascular surgery.
This is Special English.
Shanghai police have detained a gang of 83 people for faking auctions with illegal gains of 6 million yuan, roughly 870,000 U.S. dollars.
The suspects charged antique owners high commission fees for fake auctions. They then told the clients that their auction items remained unsold.
The suspects were also found to have issued fake authentication certificates and charged very high fees.
Police started investigating the case in July last year when three fake auctions were discovered in the city.
Around 100 people had been captured as of mid-December, with 83 of them facing criminal charges.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
A teenage pop star from China, Wang Yuan, has addressed a United Nations youth forum at the UN headquarters in New York.
Wang spoke at the United Nations youth forum on Jan. 31, calling for equal access to high quality education for young people worldwide.
Wang is a member of the popular boys band TFboys. He told the crowd that China has 280 million young people, which is the second largest youth population in the world. He said he is fortunate to work with the United Nations to end poverty, promote gender equality and combat climate change.
Wang said his dream for 2030 is that every young person will have access to good quality education; and girls have the same potential to achieve amazing things as boys.
The United Nations youth forum is aimed at involving the efforts of youth to eradicate poverty and promote prosperity across the globe.
This is Special English.
Beijing has received more than 2 billion cubic meters of diverted water from the Yangtze River, benefiting 11 million local people.
Since it began operation in December 2014, the south-to-north water diversion project has pumped over 2 billion cubic meters of water to Beijing, with 70 percent of the water from the Yangtze River.
The water has been stored in reservoirs or is being used for groundwater, rivers and lakes.
Officials say the project is running smoothly and safely. The water supply is stable and the water quality is up to standard.
The project has greatly relieved the water shortage problems in the city. Previously, Beijing relied mainly on underground water with high calcium and magnesium salt levels.
The middle route of the diversion project transmits water through canals and pipes from a reservoir in central China&`&s Hubei Province, bringing water to northern China.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Major parks in Beijing received a record high of 460,000 visitors in a single day on January 31, the fourth day of the Lunar New Year holiday.
The visitor numbers in a dozen parks were up 14 percent year on year.
Temple fairs, cultural exhibitions and other traditional events were held in the parks to celebrate the Spring Festival.
Major parks in Beijing attracted some 1.4 million visitors during the week-long holiday.
Beijing had blue skies for most of the holiday week, after the city had seen frequent smog earlier in the winter.
This is Special English.
The Chinese New Year was in the beginning of spotlight at a newly-founded cultural center in Athens, as Greeks celebrated the Year of the Rooster.
On the weekend of the New Year, 40 children aged four to eight attended a craft workshop where they had the chance to make their own traditional Chinese paper kite. To many of the children, this was their first experience of Chinese culture.
Excited about their new decorative toys, the children played in the vast indoor and outdoor spaces of the cultural center, flying kites.
Adults were invited to make paper mache lanterns to take home with them, as a souvenir of their participation in the celebration. Afterwards, they decorated a wire dragon figure with paper strips and lighting, and attempted their first dragon dance. The auspicious dragon is a symbol of good luck, wisdom and power in Chinese culture.
The workshops were followed by two Chinese film screenings, with one being the 2011 martial arts drama "Dragon", and the other, "The Grand master", a 2013 film based on the life of Chinese martial-arts grand master Ip Man.
A statement from the center said that starting with the Chinese New Year celebration, its goal is to introduce a new events section to initiate visitors into foreign cultures.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A naval ship has been found in southern Sweden some 400 years after it went missing.
The naval ship was the first to set sail from a naval base in southern Sweden in 1682 and is considered to have marked the launch of the famed shipbuilding history of the country.
With its 70 canons and 450-strong crew, the ship was used in the bombing of Copenhagen and King Karl the Twelfth&`&s landing in Denmark in 1700. Later, the ship fell into oblivion.
Last year, the area in southern Sweden where the ship was clearly marked out was located on old maps of the area.
Diving expeditions were carried out and it was confirmed that an old shipwreck was indeed buried in thick layers of sediment at the bottom of the sea.
Now, all evidence seem to point to it being a well-known warship and it seems it was deliberately sunk, with the intention of using it as a blockhouse.
However, the ship will likely not be salvaged because marine biologists cannot tell how much of the ship remains. But there is a theory that at least one deck is intact.
This is Special English.
A collection of over 300 works of art from Russia&`&s State Historical Museum is on display at a museum in north China&`&s Shanxi Province.
The items on display in the Shanxi Museum include oil paintings, sculptures, fashion and jewelry, as well as gold and silver ware from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The collection displays the life of the Russian people in that period. The curator of the museum says the event has helped visitors to understand Russia, as well as its culture and history.
Last November, as part of the cultural exchange program, a similar show from the province was held in Moscow.
The exhibition is free of charge and will run until May before moving on to other parts of China.
That is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I&`&m going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
That is the end of today&`&s program. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing, and I hope you will join us every day, to learn English and learn about the world.

【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-02-07

Feb 2, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-02-07 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
The health authority in Beijing is studying the long-term impact of smog on people&`&s health, including the widespread concern that smog could be a cause of lung cancer.
The Beijing News reports that the Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning in Beijing has begun to study the issue.
The report said that current studies have confirmed that inhaling smog may lead to some acute diseases in people&`&s respiratory system. Long-term exposure to pollutants could cause chronic inflammation, hypo immunity and allergies. But the exact relationship of smog and lung cancer is not clear at the moment.
The commission said it will take a decade or longer to collect data before the researchers can make clear the relationship between smog and people having a certain kind of disease.
Based on previous studies on smog, the commission and the Beijing Center for Diseases Control and Prevention have issued a list of protective measures against smog. The measures urge people to stay indoors and wear masks outdoors on smoggy days.
Smog has been a frequent issue in many Chinese cities in recent years.
This is Special English.
China has issued a plan on medical reform targets of the next five years.
The plan covers diagnosis and treatment systems, hospital administration, medical security, medical supplies and regulatory system of the sector.
A multi-tiered diagnosis and treatment system matching China&`&s conditions should be in place by 2020. The system aims to encourage patients to go to community clinics for initial diagnosis and treatment, instead of directly going to specialized hospitals.
The plan also stressed a "streamlined and orderly" medical supply system.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
China&`&s central authority has issued a guideline on mobile Internet service management, calling for more efforts to develop the sector in a healthy manner.
The guideline calls for increasing the use of mobile Internet service in sectors including transport, tourism, education and medical service, to better serve the public.
It says mobile Internet service could play a big role in poverty relief, as it provides an efficient means to connect these regions with the outside world.
The guideline also urges cultivating an orderly environment for the development of mobile Internet service.
China will resolutely crack down on criminal activities including instigating overthrowing state power and inciting religious extremism through mobile Internet services. Promoting ethnic separatist ideology and instigating violence and terror will also be targeted.
In addition, more efforts will be made to punish those involved in defamation, telecom fraud, infringement and illegal sale of others&`& personal information.
It urges preventing and eliminating risks caused by the development of mobile Internet service to ensure security of network data, technology and apps.
The guideline also called for more efforts to be made on strengthening intellectual property protection and boosting international exchange and cooperation in the sector.
This is Special English.
China has established cooperation ties in science and technology with 158 countries and regions in the world.
According to the Ministry of Science and Technology, a total of 111 intergovernmental agreements on science and technology cooperation had been signed, and China had taken part in more than 200 intergovernmental organizations devoted to boosting such cooperation.
A stable intergovernmental cooperation mechanism, which covers major countries, regions and international organizations, has taken shape, contributing to the improvement of the nation&`&s capability in science and technology.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Land-space Technology Corporation, a private aerospace company based in Beijing, said it has secured a contract with Gomspace, a Danish company, to launch a series of satellites.
The company says this is the first time for a private Chinese company to provide satellite launching services to the international market.
According to the contract, Land-space will use its rocket to put Gomspace&`&s satellites into orbit next year.
Land-space said his company could not have won recognition from the overseas client without decades of efforts by Chinese workers in the aerospace industry, which has been developing for 60 years.
The total value of the global aerospace market could hit 485 billion U.S. dollars by 2020, with the market value in China alone reaching 800 billion yuan, roughly 116 billion U.S. dollars, during the 2016-2020 period.
A scientist from the Chinese Academy of Sciences said the aerospace industry matters not only for space exploration, but also for economic and social development; and the civil aerospace industry has great potential and will grow very quickly.
This is Special English.
Chinese scientists say they have built a facility that can generate the world&`&s brightest extreme ultraviolet free electron laser.
The facility in Dalian, a coastal city in northeast China, can generate 140 trillion photons per laser pulse in one picosecond.
The Dalian Coherent Light Source facility was jointly built by scientists from Dalian and Shanghai, with a total investment of 140 million yuan, roughly 20 million U.S. dollars.
The scientists say the flashes of light will illuminate new aspects of the microscopic world. The light sources are especially useful for sensitive detection of atoms, molecules and clusters.
Brightness and pulse duration of the light source are key to such detection. The brighter the light source, the more clearly people can see the small number of atoms or molecules.
The scientists say that since many physical, chemical and biological reactions happen on a time scale with a picosecond, people need high-speed "flashlights" to capture these moments to study the process.
The technology will play a unique and important role in exploring the unknown material world and promoting technological progress.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
Renowned linguist Zhou Youguang has been remembered by Chinese Internet users since he passed away recently at age 111. Zhou is known for creating the pinyin, a system of Latin letters for reading standard Chinese.
In 1955, Zhou was an economics professor at Fudan University in Shanghai. He was asked by the central government to join a national committee to develop an accessible alphabetic writing system.
It took him and his colleagues three years to work out the system, which was adopted in 1958. Since then, the pinyin system has been used to greatly increase literacy levels across the country. It has also made it easier for foreigners to learn Chinese.
Pinyin has also facilitated the use of Chinese characters on computer keyboards and cellphones. When users entered pinyin with a keyboard, they are given choices of relevant Chinese characters.
This is Special English.
Traveling abroad is becoming more and more popular among the Chinese people, who are also found to have spent more on travel then just shopping. Meanwhile, female tourists outnumbered male.
According to one of the leading travel websites in China, bookings increased 34 percent last year compared to the previous year.
Chinese tourists are traveling greater distances. The top 10 choices last year included Switzerland, the United States, Germany and Australia. For 2015, the top tourist destinations are Phuket in Thailand, Cheju in South Korea, Bali in Indonesia, and Hawaii in the United States.
Last year, 62 percent of overseas travels were made by females, and the number of children doubled.
The website says the number of tourists from China&`&s first-tier cities including Beijing and Shanghai are growing at a steady pace, while those from second and third-tier cities are booming.
As more tourist destinations had become visa-free for China as of last year, the country has again ranked first-overall globally, in terms of the number of people traveling abroad, and for tourism spending.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
A new gibbon species has been discovered in southwest China&`&s Yunnan Province.
The new species is characterized by white eyebrows and is found mainly only in Yunnan Province.
Their beards are completely black or brown instead of white as seen in other gibbon species.
Chinese scientists began their research on the newly found gibbons in 2007, and a joint study by scientists from five other countries confirmed the discovery of the new species.
The gibbons inhabit at altitudes of 500 to 2,000 meters. Their total number is no more than 200.
Scientists suggest the new species should be categorized as endangered and need special conservation efforts.
Gibbons and siamangs are small apes inhabiting southern, eastern and southeastern Asia. The new species increases the number of recognized living species of the animals to 20.
This is Special English.
China has 50,000 medical and health institutions that offer Traditional Chinese Medicine therapies.
The State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine revealed that 40 percent of the population have access to Traditional Chinese Medicine at a local level.
The administration said that in the first nine months of last year, the average fee for traditional Chinese medicine and the per capita in-patient cost at public traditional medicine hospitals were 11 percent and 24 percent lower than treatments offered by western medicine public hospitals.
China&`&s top legislature last month adopted a law on Chinese medicine, with stricter control on the source of the medicine and qualification of doctors.
This is Special English.
Hong Kong actor and singer Andy Lau has been injured while filming a commercial in Thailand.
Lau was riding a horse during the shoot, and fell off the horse when the animal lost control of itself. The horse stepped on Lau&`&s back, causing spinal fractures.
The shoot was halted, and Lau was transported to a local hospital for treatment. He was then sent home on a medical plane to Hong Kong for further treatment.
Lau&`&s public relations spokesperson said they will update everyone with any new developments on the matter.
Lau was working at a scene in Khao Lak, a city three hours from the capital city of Bangkok. According to sources, there were several horses on set that day.
The 56-year-old actor has enjoyed tremendous stardom in the Chinese speaking world since the 1990s. He has been hailed as one of the "Four Kings" of showbiz in Hong Kong. Lau has been working tirelessly in multiple genres, including acting and singing.
This is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I&`&m going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
This is the end of today&`&s program. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing, and I hope you can join us every day, to learn English and learn about the world.

【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-02-06

Feb 2, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-02-06 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Beijing is planning to equip schools with air filtration devices as the city chokes on heavy smog.
Beijing&`&s education authority has said that air purifiers will be installed in pilot primary and secondary schools and nurseries to protect students and small children from polluted air. The program is to be subsidized by the municipal government.
According to a local newspaper, some schools in the city have installed air filtration systems using donations from businesses.
A staff member in a school equipped with an air purifier system told the Beijing News that the concentration of PM2.5 had been reduced remarkably in the school after the system was set up.
Beijing has suffered heavy air pollution since winter began. To avoid polluted air, outdoor activities have been suspended in schools, nurseries and extra-curricular education institutions.
The municipal government said children&`&s health is a priority concern of education authorities. It urged schools to raise the students&`& awareness of self-protection to prepare for days with heavy pollution.
This is Special English.
Chinese scientists are drawing a 1:2.5 million scale map of the Moon&`&s geology.
Scientists of China&`&s lunar exploration program said five universities and research institutes from across China have set standards for digital mapping. They have begun drawing the map of the Moon&`&s geological structure.
A sketch version of the map measures around 4 by 2 meters. It will be finished by 2018, and will be released by 2020.
The map will provide information on the structure and rock types of the Moon and will reflect the timeline of the Moon&`&s evolution.
Scientists say the map will clearly show the size and appearance of the Moon and the craters on it.
Creating the map depends on data and images sent from circumlunar satellites from China and other countries.
The scientists say that a lunar map is very different from that of the Earth, where scientists can go to the spot in person to learn the details.
Through the satellites, the scientists have obtained overall images of the Moon, which contribute to the precision of the lunar maps.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A total of one million registered domain names with Chinese characters are in use. The information was released by the China Internet Network Information Center.
The center said that at present, Chinese-character domain names can be used in mainstream browsers, search engines and input methods. This means that, for example, by inputting a Chinese-character domain name in a browser, users are able to reach a corresponding website, like with any regular English domain name.
Since domain names were created in the 1980s, they had long been formed with characters in the Roman alphabet.
The information center has called on Chinese Internet companies, including email service providers, to further promote the use of Chinese-character domain names.
This is Special English.
Shanghai Disney Resort is planning to expand its talent pool by partnering with local educational institutions. Shanghai Disney is Walt Disney Company&`&s latest theme park.
Walt Disney says it will sign agreements this year with 10 universities, colleges and vocational schools to launch its "Talent Class" for professional training.
Philippe Gas, general manager of Shanghai Disney Resort, says the move is part of the Disney Company&`&s goal of finally having at least 98 percent of its staff members being from the local area.
Gas says interaction with visitors is an essential part of the resort, and it relies on the company&`&s 10,000 staff members to achieve visitor satisfaction.
The training will be provided jointly by the company and the schools.
Internship opportunities are also up for grabs. Under the training, students will take on different roles including animation designers, makeup artists, accountants and mechanical technicians. Outstanding participants can apply to intern at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida in the United States, training alongside their American counterparts.
The first several schools to ink the deal include the Shanghai Polytechnic University and the Tourism College of Zhejiang.
Shanghai Disney will employ 2,000 people in full-time and part-time jobs this year, with the vacancies tailored to disabled people in China.
You are listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Toxic pollutants in the Arctic pose great health threats to polar bears, leading to brain damage in the animal.
Italian scientists analyzed the effects of persistent organic pollutants, or POPs, on species in the Arctic, and found that polar bears are exposed to greater health risks than seals. Polar bear cubs are at the highest risk.
POPs are widely used around the world in industrial production as they have been since World War II. They are toxic chemicals that have a negative impact on human health, animals and the environment. The toxins can be transported by wind and water, accumulate in the environment and pass between different species through the food chain.
In 1996, researchers in Norway observed two cases of "intersex" in polar bears. The bears were normal males by their looks but neither of them showed signs of having a Y chromosome which could determine that they were male.
Scientists believe that the number of such "intersex" polar bears may have risen as a result of hormonal disruptions caused by pollutants.
This is Special English.
Australia experienced its fourth-hottest year on record last year despite also having above average rainfall.
Australia&`&s Annual Climate Statement showed that the national mean temperature was 0.8 degrees Celsius above average, resulting in the nation&`&s fourth-warmest year on record.
2016 was one of the most eventful years in terms of weather in Australia.
Bushfires earlier in the year came about after a prolonged hot spell, while the end of the El Nino weather event later last year brought flooding rains for some states.
Despite being one of the warmest years in Australia&`&s history, annual rainfall last year was 17 percent above average.
Widespread, drought-breaking rains led to flooding in many states. Even northern Australia saw widespread rainfall, during what is usually the dry season, and in green regions that had been in drought for several years.
The World Meteorological Organization has announced that 2016 would likely be the warmest year on record for global mean temperatures.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
U.S. scientists have discovered that microscopic structures within a brain region change from childhood into adulthood over a timescale that mirrors improvements in people&`&s ability to recognize faces.
The study has overturned a central thought in neuroscience. People used to believe that as humans are born with brains riddled with excess neural connections, the amount of brain tissue goes in one direction throughout their lives, from too much to just enough.
By looking at the brains of children, the team examined a region of the brain that distinguishes faces from other objects. It&`&s only in the last 10 years that psychologists started looking at children&`&s brains.
The study shows that children are not miniature adults, and that there is still a lot of very basic knowledge to be learned about the developing brain in that age range.
The study found that there are actual changes to brain tissues and the process takes place for the whole lifetime.
The study is the first to use quantitative MRI to directly assess changes in brain regions.
This is Special English.
Plans are being made to turn China&`&s most complete 2,000-year-old cemetery into a national park.
The tomb of the "Marquis of Haihun" near Nanchang, the capital of east China&`&s Jiangxi Province, is one of the few imperial tombs that have not been looted.
The remains of the marquis were found in a coffin in an interior chamber and hoisted out in January, last year, for lab research. More than 10,000 artifacts have so far been unearthed.
Local authorities said the design of the national park by the China Architecture Design Group has been completed.
The site, which covers over 20 square kilometers, will preserve the tomb in its original form by the side of Poyang Lake, China&`&s largest freshwater lake.
The construction, landscaping and preservation are expected to cost 1.2 billion yuan, roughly 170 million U.S. dollars. A tourist center in the park is set to open in 2019.
The marquis, Liu He, was grandson of Emperor Wudi of the Western Han Dynasty, whose reign began one of the most prosperous periods in China&`&s history.
The excavation of the tomb began in 2011. It has been recognized as a model archeological research and relic protection project. Preservation was carried out alongside the archeological excavation and an application for it to be inscribed on the UNESCO world heritage list is in the pipeline.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The Belgian Cancer Foundation has presented a campaign to encourage Belgians not to drink alcohol during the month of February this year.
A total of 82 percent of Belgians consume alcohol, and as much as 51 percent consume more than 11 glasses per week.
According to the foundation&`&s website, the "Mineral Tour" campaign has been organized for the first time this year and it aims to raise awareness.
Candidates register to participate on Mineral Tour campaign website where they can find health information, testimonies, and advice on participating.
So far, public figures and celebrities including renowned tennis players, federal ministers, actors and actresses have confirmed their participation.
The campaign will also include charitable motifs including donation of money to the Cancer Foundation for research.
This is Special English.
Britain&`&s interior department says more than 200 people died in the past year after taking psychoactive drugs known as "legal highs".
The Home Office said that almost 500 people have been arrested by law enforcers since a landmark psychoactive substances law came into force six months ago which made so-called designer drugs illegal.
New powers were introduced under the new law to tackle what officials described as the menace of so-called legal highs.
Home Office figures showed that new psychoactive substances were involved in 204 deaths in Britain in the last year, an increase of 25 percent compared to the previous 12 months.
The government minister for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism Sarah Newton said that new psychoactive substances are banned because they are not safe, and can devastate lives and are not tolerated in the country.
Police forces have stopped 330 shops across Britain from selling the substances since the new law came into force.
Police Commander Simon Bray, from the National Police Chief&`&s Council, said the Psychoactive Substances Act has fundamentally changed the way police tackle the supply and distribution of dangerous drugs.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
American students have a math problem. The latest global snapshot of student performance shows declining math scores in the United States and stagnant performance in science and reading.
Education Secretary John B. King Jr. said the U.S. is losing ground, a troubling prospect when, in today&`&s knowledge-based economy, the best jobs can go anywhere in the world. (全文见周六微信。)

【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-01-31

Jan 23, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-01-31 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China will quadruple its new energy vehicle annual output to 2 million by 2020.
A government plan released by the Industry and Information Technology noted that by 2025, at least one in every five cars sold in China will be a new energy model.
Last year, China produced 517,000 new energy vehicles. The country has been the world&`&s top seller of such environment-friendly cars since 2015. The cumulative sale has exceeded 1 million.
New energy vehicles include battery electric cars, plug-in hybrids, and fuel-cell cars.
Last year, three top Chinese electric carmakers sold their models in more than 30 countries and regions around the world.
The government will continue to improve policies, boost research and development, invest in charging infrastructure construction, and promote international cooperation to help the sector grow.
In terms of charging infrastructure, China built 100,000 public charging poles in 2016, ten times the figure in 2015. A comprehensive charging grid has taken shape in big cities including Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.
China witnessed a boom of electric vehicle investment in the past few years, largely thanks to government&`&s incentives.
This is Special English.
An oil-electricity hybrid locomotive, the most powerful of its kind, has started in an experiment in extreme cold weather in northeast China.
The experiment was conducted in the northern part of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, when the local temperature was minus 40 degrees Celsius.
Despite the cold, the temperature in the cab was 25 degrees Celsius. The batteries were 12 degrees Celsius, suitable for operation.
The manufacturer says the experiment marked the end of a series of experiments for the hybrid locomotive.
In earlier experiments, the locomotive was run under a temperature of minus 30 degrees Celsius in northeast China.
Last year, it operated in high temperatures in northwest China&`&s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Hybrid locomotives are environment friendly, energy-saving and less noisy. The successful experiments mean that the world&`&s largest-power hybrid locomotive can run in all weather conditions.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Facebook is launching a journalism project aimed at strengthening its ties with media organizations. The move aims to expand their audiences, come up with new products and generally promote trusted news in today&`&s "post-truth" era.
The project is in its early stages and as such, is light on its specifics. But the company envisions Facebook engineers working with news organizations to create new ways of telling stories and novel advertising or subscription models, right from the early stages of development. The company also wants to help promote "news literacy" and support local news.
Dave Merrell, lead product manager at The Washington Post, which is among the news organizations working with Facebook, said it is very early in the process but certainly something they are really excited about. He said he worked with Facebook on numerous products over the years, but often were not involved in the product development stage.
With "Instant Articles" launched in 2015, Facebook hosts and displays news items directly instead of pointing users to news websites. Such instant stories load faster on Facebook than those on outside links, and Facebook gives participating publishers a cut of the advertising revenue from Instant Articles.
This is Special English.
The U.S. Homeland Security Department has warned about an unusual cybersecurity flaw for one manufacturer&`&s implantable heart device where it is said it could allow hackers to remotely take control of a person&`&s defibrillator or pacemaker.
Information on the security flaw was identified by researchers at MedSec Holdings in reports months ago. It was only formally made public after the manufacturer, St. Jude Medical, made a software repair available earlier this month. MedSec is a cybersecurity research company that focuses on the health-care industry.
The government advisory said security patches will be rolled out automatically over months to patients with a device transmitter at home, as long as it is plugged in and connected to the company&`&s network. These transmitters will send heart device data back to medical professionals.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
The first self-sufficient boat powered by only emission-free energy will start a six-year trip around the world in the spring.
Energy Observer is a former multi-hull race boat converted into a green vessel equipped with solar panels, wind turbines and a hydrogen fuel cell system. This means that it will be powered by the wind, the sun and self-generated hydrogen.
The 5 million euro boat is currently in a shipyard. It will set sail in Paris and make its first of 101 stops across 50 countries as part of a six-year circumnavigation.
French environmentalists say the boat will demonstrate that there are many solutions for energetic transition, and all solutions are within nature.
Designed in 1983, the boat enjoyed a successful career in open-sea sailing races. The Energy Observer project was conceived in 2015 by skippers, scuba divers and filmmakers.
The technology fitted to the 30-meter boat will enable the production of hydrogen through the process of electrolysis.
The boat is also equipped with a kite sail. It relies on the diversity of renewable energies. If there is no sun or wind, or at night, it has the option to draw in its hydrogen reservoirs. It will produce this hydrogen in a decarbonized manner through electrolysis of the sea water.
This is Special English.
Children with a genetic risk for obesity respond more strongly to fast food television advertising in a brain region associated with the reward processing. That&`&s according to a new study that may help understand why some children are more likely to over-eat unhealthy foods.
The study is the first-of-its kind to examine how a key obesity gene influences brain response to food advertisements and other cues to eat. The gene is known as the fat-mass and obesity-associated, FTO, gene.
The research was carried out by a team at the Dartmouth College, and the findings were published in the U.S. journal Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences.
In the study, 78 children, aged 9 to 12, watched a children&`&s television show in an magnetic resonance imaging scanner.
To simulate the experience of watching television from home, the show included 12 minutes of commercial breaks, half were advertisements for fast food and the other half for non-food items.
Children were also evaluated on their genetic risk for obesity based on the FTO gene, which strongly predicts obesity across the lifespan.
The study found that the part of the brain which is commonly associated with reward craving is physically larger in children with the obesity-risk FTO genotype, compared to genetically low-risk children. In addition, this part of the brain also showed a stronger craving response to the food commercials in these children.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
Lethal overdoses on prescription painkillers in Australia have almost doubled in ten years.
A new study published by Melbourne&`&s Penington Institute revealed that opioid-based painkillers were responsible for 71 per cent of all drug-related deaths in Australia in 2014.
It also found that the use of opioid-based painkillers in Australia quadrupled between 2004 and 2014.
The study shows that Australians aged 30-59 represented 78 per cent of all painkiller overdose deaths in the country.
These figures have challenged the conventional wisdom that it is young urban people who are most at risk of dying of overdose in Australia.
The study says it is now time for significant investments to be made to reduce the human toll from accidental overdose.
Researchers said comprehensive investments have been made to reduce the road toll, and there should be similar level of investment being made into overdose prevention and awareness.
Painkiller-related deaths were particularly prominent in rural areas, with 5 deaths per 100,000 people being attributed to painkiller overdoses in 2014. The figure marked an 83 per cent increase from the 3 deaths per 100,000 people recorded in 2004.
This is Special English.
A new study has found that urban sprawl is kicking one group of songbirds, called "avoiders", out of their territory, forcing divorce and stunting their ability to find new mates.
The findings were the results of a 10 year research by John Marzluff, a professor of wildlife science in the University of Washington.
Marzluff and his team monitored hundreds of individually marked songbirds from six common species found in suburbs of Seattle.
The researchers tracked bird activity in different types of landscapes. Bands were placed around the birds&`& legs, and sightings of mated pairs and nest locations were mapped.
The researchers were able to tell when a bird relocated, broke up from its mate or stayed put year to year.
Avoider birds are species that are known to decline in response to urbanization, when forested areas are removed for developments.
Monogamous birds will "divorce" their mate and move to a new territory if they have a reason to.
When forced to move, the avoiders largely failed to reproduce again for at least one year after relocating. The whole transition to a new home and often a new partner might cause a bird to lose half of its breeding years.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Northwest China&`&s tourist city Xi&`&an is to appoint "toilet chiefs" this year, in an effort to improve services.
The tourism bureau said the move aims to make all public toilets and those in restaurants and entertainment venues meet national standards, in terms of space and sanitation. All public toilets will also be free of charge.
Xi&`&an is one the most popular tourist destinations in China. The city is planning to have private enterprises and individuals to run the toilets, which are currently under municipal administration.
Toilet management will become part of the assessment for any tourist attractions and restaurants.
China is in the middle of a three-year "toilet revolution", which includes building 35,000 new toilets across the country and renovating another 25,000 by the end of the year.
This is Special English.
China has a total of 700 million 4G mobile users, and the Ministry of Science and Technology says 5G commercial operations will be launched in 2020.
The Ministry of Science and Technology said the 4G industrial chain has taken shape in China, with strengthened research and development capabilities.
Wen said the ministry will promote the formation of a global unified 5G standard and push forward the use and innovation of 5G-based mobile Internet and the Internet of Things to lay a foundation for 5G commercial operations in 2020.
This is Special English.
More than 72,000 companies were offering language and translation services across China at the end of 2015.
Among them, around 7,400 specialized in the field.
According to a report on the development of China&`&s language service industry, the sector generated an output worth 280 billion yuan, roughly 41 billion U.S. dollars, in 2015.
Experts say the development of information technology has presented brand new and huge opportunities for growth of language services.
(全文见周日微信。)

【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-01-30

Jan 23, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-01-30 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Five hundred clean energy buses have been put to use in Tianjin, a major industrial city in north China.
These public buses were jointly produced by Tianjin Bus Group and car maker BYD which is based in Shenzhen in Guangdong Province. The electric buses can run at least 200 kilometers after a full charge, enough for a bus to finish its daily task.
The Bus Group also opened a major charging station, capable of serving 80 buses at one time and a total of 450 buses in a day. This is the largest charging station in the area which also includes Beijing and Hebei Province.
Tianjin has 3,200 clean energy public buses. Among them, 1,300 are powered by electricity.
China pins its hope on clean energy to reduce its dependence on coal and gas, which has been linked to the winter smog in northern China. Tianjin is among the cities with the poorest air quality.
Since 2010, Tianjin has built 200 charging stations and 3,000 charging positions to encourage the use of clean energy transport.
This is Special English.
Australia&`&s flag carrier Qantas Airways&`& fatality free record in the jet age means it is the world&`&s safest airline, for the fourth year running.
AirlineRatings.com announced the flag carrier atop its Top 20 list recently, followed by Cathy Pacific, Middle-eastern giant Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines and local rival Virgin Australia, which are listed alphabetically.
The website&`&s editor Geoffrey Thomas said that while those in the Top 20 are always leaders in safety, Qantas remains the leader in safety enhancements and operational excellence.
Thomas said in a statement that over its 96-year history, Qantas has amassed an amazing record of firsts in safety and operations and is accepted as the world&`&s most experienced airline.
Qantas has been the lead airline in virtually every major operational safety advancement over the past 60 years.
Qantas was the leader in the Future Air Navigation System and the Flight Data Recorder developed by Australia&`&s chief scientific body to monitor the plane and crew performance. It also made advances in automatic landing and precision approaches in mountainous regions.
The ratings website said Qantas was also the lead in real-time monitoring of its engines across its fleet using satellite communications, enabling problems to be detected before they become a major safety issue.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Following 28 years of talks between China and Russia, construction has finally begun on a highway bridge connecting China and Russia across the Heilongjiang River.
Stretching some 1,300 meters, this is the first highway bridge between the two countries.
A Chinese official says the bridge is an important part of the economic corridor linking China, Mongolia and Russia. The bridge will boost trade between China and Russia, as well as China&`&s investment in Russia.
Economists expect that the bridge will benefit both Russia&`&s Far East and China&`&s initiative to revitalize the traditional industrial base of northeast China.
With a total cost of 2.5 billion yuan, roughly 360 million U.S. dollars, the bridge is scheduled to open in 2019.
This is Special English.
China plans to further improve its space debris database and space debris monitoring facilities. That&`&s according to a recent white paper entitled "China&`&s Space Activities in 2016".
The while paper said that in the next five years, China will improve the standardization system for space debris to further control near-earth objects and space climate.
Efforts will be made to build a disaster early warning and prediction platform to raise the preventative capability.
Research will be conducted on building facilities to monitor near-earth objects and to enable the country to monitor and catalog such objects.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A study with critically ill, respirator-dependent patients showed that early in-bed cycling may help the patients recover more quickly during their stay in the hospital intensive care unit, or ICU.
Canadian researchers say people may think that ICU patients are too sick for physical activity, but if patients start in-bed cycling two weeks into their ICU stay, they will be able to walk farther at hospital discharge.
Lead researcher of the study Michelle Kho says their TryCYCLE study finds it safe and feasible to systematically start in-bed cycling within the first four days of mechanical ventilation and continue throughout a patient&`&s ICU stay.
For over a year, Kho and her team conducted a study of 33 ICU patients at St. Joseph&`&s Healthcare Hamilton. The patients were 18 years of age or older, receiving mechanical ventilation, and walking independently prior to admission to the ICU.
Kho said the study achievements even surprised the researchers, and the patients&`& abilities to cycle during critical illness exceeded their expectations.
She adds that more research is needed to determine if this early cycling with critically ill patients improves their physical function.
This is Special English.
U.S. scientists have created a material that can independently heal the damage caused by mechanical wear, hence extending the service life of devices.
The material is a transparent and soft rubber-like ionic conductor which can stretch 50 times its original length.
Researchers at the University of California found that the self-healing process of the material can finish within 24 hours at room temperature after being cut.
The newly-designed material combined a polar, stretchable polymer with a mobile, high-ionic-strength salt.
In addition to solving the instability problem, the material can also improve the decaying performance of the materials within the machinery.
The researchers stressed the advantages of using the material in electrically activate transparent artificial muscles.
Scientists have begun exploring the potential applications in other fields including robotics and medical research.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
A new study shows that 20 conditions make up more than half of all health care spending in the United States. The study examined spending on diseases and injuries.
U.S. researchers tracked the costs associated with 155 conditions between 1996 and 2013. They found that a total of 30 trillion U.S. dollars was spent by Americans in personal health care over the 18-year period.
Of these conditions, diabetes was the most expensive, totaling 101 billion dollars in diagnoses and treatments in 2013, while heart disease was the second most expensive, costing 88 billion dollars the same year.
The study shows that costs associated with diabetes have grown 36 times more compared to those for heart disease. Heart disease was the number-one cause of death for the study period.
The two conditions typically affect individuals who are 65 years of age and older. Back pain is the third-most expensive condition, primarily striking adults of working age.
The three top spending categories, along with hypertension and injuries from falls, comprised 18 percent of all personal health spending, totaling 430 billion dollars in 2013.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Chinese and German archaeologists have found images of what they believe to be Arabian horses in cliff paintings dating back 2,000 years in the Yinshan Mountains of north China&`&s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
The images of Arabian horses have been found in a dozen cliff paintings, which also contain images of other animals and humans. The images are believed to be the oldest found to date.
The horses are depicted in the paintings, with armor, leather saddles and stirrups.
The pictures were painted around 210 B.C., when the nomadic Huns were at war with a nomadic tribe from north China.
More than 10,000 ancient cliff paintings have been found in the Yinshan Mountains.
Experts say the pictures suggest that the Huns had trade links with people in western Asia and northern Africa at that time.
Earlier archaeological excavations in Erdos in Inner Mongolia unearthed bronze and pottery figurines of Arabian horses.
This is Special English.
"The Ancient One" is going home.
One of the oldest and most complete skeletons found in North America will be given back to Native American tribes in Washington State for reburial.
President Barack Obama has signed a bill with a provision requiring the ancient bones known as Kennewick Man to be returned to tribes within 90 days.
Experts estimate the remains found in 1996 on federal land near the Columbia River are at least 8,400 years old. The discovery triggered a lengthy legal fight between tribes and scientists over whether the bones should be buried immediately or studied.
In 2015, new genetic evidence determined the remains were related to modern Native Americans.
The bill transfers the skeleton, which the tribes call "the Ancient One", from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to the state archaeology department, which will give it to the tribes.
The Yakama Nation is among the tribes that have pushed to rebury the bones in the manner their people have followed since ancient times. It took 20 years for the tribes to successfully fight for the return of the bones.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Australia&`&s Victorian iconic Great Ocean Road is set for a major upgrade after it was damaged by a number of natural disasters last year.
The Victorian Government has announced that 38 million U.S. dollars will be spent on urgent repairs and safety upgrades to the 240-kilometer-long national heritage-listed road.
The road runs along Victoria&`&s south-east coast, and was significantly damaged by bushfires at Wye River in December 2015 and January 2016, as well as a number of serious landslides in September caused by higher than average rainfall for the year.
The upgrades for the popular tourist destination will be retainer walls, erosion prevention, rock fall netting, electronic traveler information signs, closed circuit television monitoring and real-time traffic counters.
This is Special English.
Eight out of 10 middle-aged people in England weigh too much, drink too much or don&`&t exercise enough.
An analysis from Public Health England says modern life taking its toll on health.
Public Health England has launched a campaign to reach out to 83 percent of men and women aged 40 to 60 who are either overweight or obese, exceed alcohol guidelines or are physically inactive.
The aim of the campaign is to provide free support to help them live more healthily in 2017 and beyond.
Modern life is harming the health of the nation with 77 percent of men and 63 percent of women in middle age, overweight or obese. Obesity in adults has shot up 16 percent in the last 20 years. A spokesman for Public Health England in London said many people also can&`&t identify what a healthy body looks like, suggesting obesity has become the new normal.
The diabetes rate among this age group has doubled in this period in England.
People were urged to consider the simple steps they could take to improve their health in the run up to the New Year, by taking an online quiz. The spokesman said people need to eat better, be more active, stop smoking and consider their drinking.
This is Special English.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-01-24

Jan 18, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-01-24 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chinese scientists are working to set up the world&`&s highest altitude gravitational wave telescopes in Tibet. The move aims to detect the faintest echoes resonating from the universe, which may reveal more about the Big Bang.
Construction has begun for the first telescope, code-named Ngari No.1, in Ngari Prefecture.
The telescope, located 5,300 meters above sea level, will detect and gather precise data on gravitational waves in the Northern Hemisphere. It is expected to be operational by 2021.
The following phase will involve a series of telescopes, code-named Ngari No. 2, to be placed at 6,000 meters above sea level.
The budget for the whole project is estimated at 130 million yuan, roughly 19 million U.S. Dollars.
Ngari is known for its clear skies and minimal human activity, thanks to its high altitude. The prefecture is one of the world&`&s best spots to detect tiny twists in cosmic light.
The Ngari observatory will be among the world&`&s top primordial gravitational wave observation bases, alongside the South Pole Telescope and the facility in Chile&`&s Atacama Desert.
Gravitational waves were first proposed by Albert Einstein&`&s theory of general relativity 100 years ago. But it wasn&`&t until last year that scientists announced proof of the waves&`& existence, spurring fresh research interest around the globe.
China has announced its own gravitational wave research plans, which include the launch of satellites and setting up FAST, a 500-meter aperture spherical radio telescope in southwest China.
This is Special English.
U.S. president Barack Obama&`&s tweet following his farewell address to the nation has become the most popular post on the presidential account.
Obama tweeted from the POTUS account, saying "Thank you for everything. My last ask is the same as my first. I&`&m asking you to believe-not in my ability to create change, but in yours."
As of midday, the message had been retweeted more than 500,000 times. Twitter spokesman Nick Pacilio says it outperforms his previous top tweet, a message posted after the Supreme Court&`&s June 2015 decision to overturn state bans on gay marriage.
The POTUS account has more than 13 million followers. Obama&`&s personal BarackObama account has more than 80 million followers.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Norway has begun shutting down analog radio technology, making it the first country in the world to phase out the FM signal for national and some regional broadcasting.
The FM signal was switched off in January in one of its districts in favor of Digital Audio Broadcasting, or DAB.
The switchover was performed by a radio listener who moved a lever to drum rolls and a countdown from the audience at a public library in northern Norway. The listener said she had been listening to FM radio for more than 70 years.
Norway gradually switches to digital, and the shutdown process is due to be completed by Dec. 13.
The Norwegian government has cited its landscape with deep fjords, high mountains and scattered communities for making it expensive to operate FM networks. Norway&`&s Parliament made the decision in May 2011.
It will save the country an estimated 200 million kroner, roughly 23 million U.S. dollars.
This is Special English.
The annual Consumer Electronics Show has been held in Las Vegas in the United States. The show is one of the largest of its kind in the world.
The event has been brimming with Chinese faces, who present to the world the increasingly dazzling Chinese creations. It attracted almost 4,000 companies worldwide, with some 1,300 from China.
Chinese tech giants including Huawei and Lenovo have displayed their stunning innovative products. Huawei is known as one of the top global IT solution providers. It brought to the show its latest flagship products and its Future Mobile Plan, an integration of up-to-date technology.
Chinese mobile giant ZTE released its crowd sourced Hawkeye phone. The phone enables users to become developers and designers of their own smart phone. The product is expected to become available globally in July or August.
Computer giant Lenovo is a regular participant of the show. It made its presence this time with cutting-edge technology products. The ThinkPad series remains on the front burner of Lenovo&`&s research and development landscape, aiming a new high of its brand fame.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
A total of 720 people were detained and more than 6,000 others were held accountable in China for environment-related wrongdoing last year.
According to a national environment work conference, the cases have been discovered through public tip-offs and random checks.
The central government had carried out inspections of several provinces and municipalities including Beijing and Shanghai. Inspectors looked into 33,000 cases and imposed fines totaling 440 million yuan, roughly 64 million U.S. dollars.
Last year, the government refused a dozen of high-pollution and high-energy consuming projects, involving a total investment of 97 billion yuan. And 4 million high-emission vehicles were taken off the roads.
The conference says that partly due to these efforts, Chinese cities reported less PM2.5 pollution from last year. The average density of PM2.5 in 300 cities fell by 6 percent. The number of days with good air quality increased by 2 percent compared with a year ago.
This is Special English.
Chinese internet giant Baidu has announced a strategic partnership with automobile manufacturer BAIC Motor Corporation to expand the smart vehicle sector.
Baidu&`&s autonomous driving research and development arm, Baidu Intelligent Vehicle, will work on two key projects, in cooperation with BAIC Motor, which is based in Beijing.
The two sides have agreed to launch a car model driven by Baidu&`&s telematics solutions in the first half of this year and road test self-driving cars by the end of this year.
Baidu says intelligent vehicle technology is an increasingly important area for the company, and BAIC Motor is one of the most active automobile manufacturers worldwide in promoting smart software.
The two companies will also cooperate on high level autonomous driving technology including high definition maps.
A research lab will be launched to promote technological collaboration and the mass application of intelligent vehicle technology.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
Two Chinese scientists, physicist Zhao Zhongxian and Nobel laureate Tu Youyou, have won China&`&s top science award for their outstanding contributions to scientific and technological innovation.
President Xi Jinping presented the award certificates to the scientists and offered congratulations at an annual ceremony held to honor distinguished scientists and research achievements.
Physicist Zhao Zhongxian is a leading researcher in superconductivity, while Tu Youyou won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her discovery of artemisinin as a treatment for malaria.
This is Special English.
The average PM2.5 density in Shanghai was 45 micrograms per cubic meter last year, down 15 percent from a year earlier.
According to the local environment department, the average density of sulfur dioxide, PM10 and nitrogen dioxide last year reported a year-on-year decrease by around 10 percent each.
The number of days with air quality rated "good" or "excellent" accounted for 75 percent of the year in Shanghai last year, 5 percentage points higher than a year earlier.
PM2.5 was found to be the primary pollutant in Shanghai, accounting for almost half of the pollutants monitored during days with air quality rated "polluted".
In order to improve air quality, Shanghai upgraded nine coal-fired units to reduce emissions and removed 53,000 highly-polluting vehicles during the year.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
American engineers have built a small robot with the highest vertical jumping agility ever recorded.
The robot has been developed by engineers from the University of California in Berkeley. The robot is known as Salto, and is capable of leaping into the air and springing off a wall, or performing multiple vertical jumps in a row.
Salto weighs 100 grams, and is 26 centimeters tall when fully extended. It can jump as far as up to one meter. For the wall jump, Salto attained an average height gain of almost 4 feet, or 1.2 meters.
Salto&`&s vertical jumping agility is 1.7 meters per second, which is better than a bullfrog but falls behind the galago.
Salto&`&s design is based on the galago&`&s power modulation, which is an adaptation found in natural systems. The power modulation has been designed into some robotic systems to increase the peak power available for jumping.
The galagos jump so well because their tendons are loaded with energy by its muscles when it is crouched into position. Adapting the process to Salto enabled its ability to jump, including wall jumps.
This is Special English.
A new type of tag, known as "Advanced Dive Behavior", can record data every second for weeks at a time to provide a view of whale behavior, biology and their trips deep beneath the sea, over thousands of kilometers, as well as their interaction with the prey.
Researchers with Oregon State University in the United States outlined continued evolution and improvements made in the technology from 2007 to 2015, in which it was used on sperm whales, as well as blue and fin whales.
Data collected by the tag showed that sperm whales diving all the way to the sea floor, more than 1,000 meters deep, being submerged for up to 75 minutes, while baleen whales lunge after their food.
By using the technology, scientists have seen the full range of behavior that is specific to each of the three whale species.
The tag shows what whales do while they are underwater, when and where they feed, how they might be affected by passing ships or other noises, as well as what types of water temperatures they prefer.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
The renovation of 19 iron cannons has begun in Tianjin, a neighboring city of Beijing.
The cannons were built in 1816 in the eastern part of the city. The renovation is scheduled to take a year, at the Dagukou Fort Ruins Museum. The famous Dagukou was an important battlefield during the Second Opium War 160 years ago.
The museum says the cannons will be thoroughly cleaned to remove all rust, and sealed to prevent further corrosion. The project will set the standard for the renovation of iron antiques in China.
The Second Opium War took place between China and its rival, Britain and France. The war ended with the Anglo-French forces defeating the local army in Tianjin and approached Beijing, where the imperial family fled Beijing.
This is Special English.
The number of lawyers operating in China has surpassed 300,000, growing at an annual average of almost 10 percent in recent years. The information was released by the All China Lawyers Association.
More than 3 million lawsuits were handled every year on average, in addition to almost 1 million non-litigation cases. Lawyers also handle half a million legal assistance cases each year.
The number of law firms is also expanding. There are more than 25,000 law firms operating across the country, maintaining an average annual growth rate of 7 percent.
This is the end of this edition of Special English.
(全文见周日微信。)

【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-01-23

Jan 18, 2017 1500

Description:

2017-01-23 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Beijing has started to install air purification systems in some of the city&`&s schools and nurseries.
The city government has allocated money to help the schools cover the cost of the installation.
Beijing suffered heavy air pollution this winter, and schools and other education institutions in the city were ordered to stop outdoor classes and activities.
Many regions in China experienced heavy smog recently. The national observatory issued a red alert for fog and renewed an orange alert for smog in a number of northern, eastern and central regions.
China has a four-tier color-coded warning system for severe weather, with red being the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.
This is Special English.
China has called for more efforts to ensure food safety in the country, noting that there are still many problems despite an improving food safety situation.
President Xi Jinping said more efforts should be made to ensure food safety for the public.
During his latest instructions on China&`&s food safety work, President Xi called for the most rigorous standards and the most stringent regulations for improving food safety control.
He stressed administration under the law, enhancement of work at grassroots level and the professionalism of food safety inspectors. He also demanded a comprehensive food safety system from farm to table.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China&`&s unmanned deep sea devices have completed deep sea tests, descending over 10,000 meters into the waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Chinese scientists carried out the research at the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean in the world.
The deep sea diving involved a research vessel, a deep sea landing support ship, as well as manned and unmanned submarines capable of diving 10,000 meters underwater.
In the experiment, the submarines reached the ocean floor, took pictures and collected sediment and biological samples.
The experiment is called the Rainbow Fish project and is funded by the state and private capital.
The scientists involved in the tests said the success marks another step forward in China&`&s deep-sea research.
Globally, there are 26 trenches that are 6,500 meters or deeper. These trenches are home to a number of newly discovered fauna species, and with abundant energy and mineral resources.
In August last year, an unmanned submarine dived to a depth of 10,000 meters at the Mariana Trench, setting a new record in China.
China became the third country after the United States and Japan to build submarines capable of reaching depths of more than 10,000 meters.
This is Special English.
Bar-code technology widely used in supermarkets and industry is to be introduced into Britain&`&s National Health Service.
Scanning will be used for the first time on breast implants and replacement hips and other surgical tools used during surgical procedures.
The barcodes will also be used to trace patients and their treatments, manage medical supplies and monitor the effectiveness of equipment.
The scanning project, at a cost of 12 million pounds, roughly 15 million U.S. dollars, will help medical staff to quickly and easily track each patient through their hospital journey.
According to a spokesman for the Department for Health, by using barcodes, anything that might develop a fault years later, for example a screw used in a knee operation or breast implant, can be traced. The details, such as when it was used and the surgeon who carried out the procedure, can also be found quickly and easily.
The technology will also help to eliminate avoidable harm in hospitals, including errors such as patients being administered the wrong drugs and surgery being performed on the wrong part of the body.
Early results from 6 pilot "Scan4Safety" projects show that scanning has the potential to save lives and save more than 1 billion U.S. dollars for the National Health Service over 7 years.
Secretary of State for Health in Britain Jeremy Hunt said "Scan4Safety" is a world first in health care.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A new cargo train from Tibet has reached Zhejiang Province in eastern China, after traveling 4,500 kilometers over five days.
The train started from Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, and arrived in Ningbo, passing through several other provinces including Qinghai, Gansu, Shaanxi, Henan, and Anhui.
This is the first cargo train between the two cities.
It carried 2,000 tonnes of bottled mineral water which will be distributed to dealers in Zhejiang and Shanghai.
Tibet is rich in water resources and is often called Asia&`&s water tank. Tibet produced 400,000 tonnes of natural drinking water in 2015, but high transportation costs made it difficult to reach other parts of China.
The new rail route is designed to facilitate cargo transport from Tibet to central and eastern China. More such trains have been planned between Tibet and several other cities including Beijing.
This is Special English.
China&`&s lawmakers have adopted new legislation to improve the country&`&s cultural services.
The law will go into effect on March 1. It aims to carry forward the traditions of Chinese culture and cultural confidence.
According to the law, public cultural services must be people-orientated and "guided by socialist core values".
County-level governments and above must improve community cultural service centers, build more of them and offer more products online.
Private funds will be invited to finance public cultural facilities.
Authorities in rural areas must provide more books, films, online information, as well as festivals and sports events to ensure equal service in urban and rural areas.
Public services should serve special groups including minors, the elderly and the disabled. They must also ensure quality services for ethnic minorities and poorer areas.
International cooperation and exchanges should be expanded.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
The growth of China&`&s film market appears to have been slowed in 2016, signaling more rational and sustainable development.
Box office revenues for 2016 totaled almost 44 billion yuan, roughly 6 billion U.S. Dollars. China&`&s film industry professionals say the figure means a modest increase over the total in 2015.
It took China eight years to increase box office revenues from less than 1 billion yuan in 2002 to 10 billion yuan in 2010. The continuously rising annual box office revenues reached 44 billion yuan in 2015, an increase of almost 50 percent from 2014.
Though ticket sales show signs of slowing, the market itself has been expanding. Latest figures show the number of cinema screens in China reached almost 41,000 by the end of last year, surpassing the United States to become first in the world.
It took China around a year to increase its screens from 30,000 to 40,000. Experts say the number of screens grew by an impressive 26 per day last year.
China became the world&`&s second-largest film market in 2012. Earlier foreign assessments predicted that China will surpass the United States as the world&`&s largest film market this year.
This is Special English.
The mysterious "master" that has scored 60 straight victories against elite Go players online is the latest version of computer program AlphaGo.
AlphaGo&`&s development team has confirmed that "master" is AlphaGo&`&s AJa Huang.
"Master" released its real identity before the game with China&`&s elite Go player Gu Li. And the artificial intelligence program beat Gu to gain its 60th crown.
AlphaGo is a computer program developed by Google DeepMind in London to play the board game Go. It has become well-known after its victory over South Korea&`&s top Go player Lee Sedol in March last year.
During the game against Lee, DeepMind&`&s lead programmer Aja Huang, put the stones on board instead of AlphaGo.
DeepMind said the team has been hard at work improving AlphaGo. It has played some unofficial games online at fast time controls with their new prototype version to check if it is working as well as they hoped.
DeepMind said they are excited by the results and also by what they and the Go community can learn from some of the innovative and successful moves played by the new version of AlphaGo.
The father of AlphaGo, Demis Hassabis, said that after the unofficial faceoffs, the team will arrange some official matches this year.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China&`&s first geological park dedicated to plant fossils is set to open in Henan province in central China.
The park covers an area of 30 square kilometers and it took builders more than three years to complete. Visitors to the park will be shown how plant fossils are formed and discovered, as well as what the planet earth used to look like more than 250 million years ago.
The park has rich deposits of plant fossils, with more than 300 different species.
Experts say that plant fossils in other parts of China are buried deep underground; but the fossils in this park are almost exposed on the surface, and are much easier for people to look at.
The park will also feature exhibits of the Junci porcelain, an important type of Chinese pottery known for its complex blue glaze. The porcelain was developed locally around 1,000 years ago and owes much to the unique local clay.
This is Special English.
A recent study says there is no proof that sugar-free soft drinks can help weight loss and artificially-sweetened beverages, or ASBs, may trigger chronic diseases.
The study has been done by a group of international university professors. It says the absence of consistent evidence to support the role of ASBs in preventing weight gain and the lack of studies on other long-term effects on health strengthen the position that ASBs should not be promoted as part of a healthy diet.
The study added that taking account of ASB composition, consumption patterns and environmental impact, they are "a potential risk factor for highly prevalent chronic diseases".
The study questioned industry-sponsored research on ASB effects on weight control because they were likely to report favorable results.
The study also pointed out that previous tests on ASB influence on weight were inconclusive because they were conducted in some randomized controlled trials and led to "mixed findings, with some indicating a null effect, while others have found modest reductions in weight".
However, the study also aroused controversy. Gavin Partington, head of the British Soft Drinks Association, told The British Guardian newspaper that research showed that low-calorie sweeteners in diet drinks helped consumers manage their weight as part of a calorie-controlled diet.
Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England also told The Guardian that "maintaining a healthy weight takes more than just swapping one product for another. Calories consumed should match calories used, so looking at the whole diet is very important".
That is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I&`&m going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
That is the end of today&`&s program. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing, and I hope you will join us every day, to learn English and learn about the world.

【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-01-17

Jan 12, 2017 1501

Description:

his is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
Police have smashed a major human trafficking ring and rescued 36 children who were abducted to be sold.
Police in east China&`&s Fujian Province received information in May about a suspect surnamed Tan who was believed to be involved in child trafficking.
Further investigations found a major child trafficking ring spanning seven provinces and municipalities. Tan and other suspects were found to be responsible for the trafficking of dozens of infants since 2014.
In another case, police in several other provinces coordinated their efforts to crack down on another child trafficking ring, and 160 people were arrested.
The Ministry of Public Security said China has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to the trafficking of women and children, and it will continue to pursue these traffickers.
The ministry will also target the "buyers" in human trafficking cases.
This is Special English.
China has issued a guideline on improving work safety, seeking to plug the holes in its supervision mechanism, laws and safety standards to effectively prevent accidents.
It has vowed to optimize its supervision and management mechanism as well as laws and regulations to "significantly" reduce workplace accidents by 2020.
The guideline was jointly issued by the Party Central Committee and the State Council. It said China will not sacrifice safety for development.
The guideline has clarified the definition and division of responsibilities concerning workplace safety. Meanwhile, China has plans to amend its criminal law to include workplace malpractices that easily lead to major accidents.
It noted the country will increase financial input to enhance workplace risk control and prevent work-related illness, while improving management and auditing to make sure the money would be wisely spent.
It said China&`&s work safety has been improving, but more efforts are needed as many problems remain.
The guideline came after a series of deadly accidents, including mining disasters and power plant collapse. In one of the accidents in November, 74 people were killed when a platform for a cooling tower being constructed as part of a power plant collapsed in east China&`&s Jiangxi Province.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Scientists claimed they have figured out how the world&`&s biggest and most-valuable diamonds formed.
In a study published in the U.S. journal of Science, scientists said large gem-quality diamonds, including the world-famous Cullinan and Lesotho Promise, may be born in metallic liquid deep inside Earth&`&s mantle.
The research team, led by Evan Smith of the Gemological Institute of America, reached the conclusion after examining so-called "offcuts" of massive diamonds, which are the pieces left over after the gem&`&s facets are cut for maximum sparkle.
They found tiny metallic grains trapped inside in more than 30 exceptionally large stones, which are made up of a mixture of metallic iron and nickel, along with carbon, sulfur, methane and hydrogen.
The inclusions led the researchers to reach the conclusion that diamonds formed in the Earth&`&s mantle, but they did so under conditions in which they were saturated by liquid metal.
Most diamonds formed at depths of 150 to 200 kilometers under the continents and shoot to the surface in volcanic eruptions. But the large, rare stones formed at extreme depths, likely within 360 to 750 kilometers in the convection mantle, where rocks are known to be mobile.
This is Special English.
U.S. researchers have taken inspiration from the human brain in creating a new "deep learning" method that enables computers to teach themselves about the visual world largely on their own, much as human babies do.
In the test, the new image-processing system "deep rendering mixture model" can learn largely on their own about how to distinguish handwritten digits using a standard data-set of 10,000 digits written by federal employees and high school students.
In results, the researchers said they trained their algorithm by giving it just 10 correct examples of each handwritten digit between zero and nine and then presenting it with several thousand more examples that it used to further teach itself.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
The world&`&s first cloned goat bearing superfine cashmere wool was born in north China&`&s Inner Mongolia.
The goat was born and is raised in a base for animal husbandry research conducted by experts from agricultural universities and academies in Inner Mongolia and southwest China&`&s Yunnan Province.
The cashmere fiber from the goat is less than 14 micrometers thick, much finer than the average of 16 micrometers grown by the famous Erlang Mountain goats in Inner Mongolia.
This is Special English.
Every day, trains full of laptops and other electronics products as well as auto parts depart a remote village in southwest China heading for Europe.
For five years, trains have delivered laptops for Hewlett-Packard, car window regulators and semi-conductors, from Chongqing Municipality to Europe.
Since the trains started in 2011, there has been a business boom in the mountain city. It imported more than 2,000 cars on the international rail network in the past two years.
Six years ago, the city was struggling to attract businesses which mostly centered on China&`&s coastal areas where there are convenient shipping.
With the launch of the trains, the city got more deals because train transport costs only around one-fifth of air transport, and one-third faster than shipping by the sea.
As prices along the eastern seaboard rose, industries began to move inland. In 2010 Hewlett-Packard established a computer production line in Chongqing, seeking government help to launch a rail network to transport products overseas. That was when the China-Europe rail network was launched.
Following the footsteps of Hewlett-Packard, other brands including Acer, Toshiba and Apple set up bases in Chongqing to take advantage of the rail line.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
When it comes to surgical procedures to enhance beauty, Chinese women are twice as generous than their global peers.
According a report based on a survey by Insightful Engineers, a market research consultancy in the United Kingdom, the survey found that Chinese women spent the equivalent of around 580 yuan, roughly 84 U.S. Dollars, per month. That&`&s more than twice the global average of about 250 yuan, and 150 yuan higher than the second group on the list, women from South Korea.
A plastic surgeon from Shanghai said Chinese women are displaying an increasing interest in a range of surgical procedures, mainly to look prettier, rather than fighting aging, which may help explain why the population of plastic surgery receivers in the country is much younger than in other places.
The report also said that 74 percent of Chinese respondents associate beauty directly with facial appearance, the highest of all surveyed countries. The biggest concern for Chinese women is flabby skin and crow&`&s feet, the little wrinkles at the corner of the eyes.
The survey interviewed 7,700 "aesthetically aware" women from 16 countries, who were between 18 and 65 years of age.
This is Special English.
Paris&`& first perfume museum, the Grand Musee de Parfum, has opened its doors, inviting visitors to discover perfume history through a quite innovative sensory and olfactory exhibition.
The museum&`&s president said the Grand Musee du Parfum was created after noting the absence of an emblematic place for French perfumery in Paris despite the sector&`&s flourishing influence abroad.
The museum gathered major players in French and international perfume industry, including the Federation of Beauty Enterprises, the French Syndicate of Perfumery and the International Flavors and Fragrances.
It has three spaces with one area dedicated to the history of perfumes.
Alongside the permanent exhibition, many events and workshops for young people are planned at the museum and intend to bring together the visual arts, gastronomy, live entertainment, literature and cinema around perfume.
France has the world&`&s leading cosmetics-perfumes sector and its turnover totaled 25 billion euros, roughly 26 billion U.S. Dollars, in 2014.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
British actor Colin Firth dwells on the virtue of restraint in a wide-ranging conversation with Raymond Zhou on the art of acting.
Colin Firth joked that he was looking for offers in Chinese films, adding that he hoped to work with Chinese directors including Zhang Yimou.
The light-hearted revelation came at the end of an hourlong talk, moderated by yours truly, which was designed to encompass the highlights of an illustrious career of the much honored British actor.
Titled "A Colin Firth Retrospective", the conversation was, in turn, part of a program for the 2016 China-Briton Film Festival held in the Beijing suburb of Langfang.
Firth received a lifetime-achievement award at this festival when it opened on Dec 12.
The 2010 Academy Award winner for best actor, for The King&`&s Speech, did not randomly pick a few big names from China&`&s booming film industry to please the host country. But he did his due diligence.
Firth said he was impressed by how seamlessly American actors Tim Robbins and Adrien Brody fitted into the epic tale on the 1942 famine. He also liked the 2012 movie Mystery, and said Farewell My Concubine was one of the best movies in world of cinema.
And he was plugged in to the latest in Chinese showbiz, aware of the publicity blitz whipped up by The Great Wall, the epic tale of fighting monsters on the best-known Chinese landmark, which is a Sino-US co-production that stars Matt Damon.
This is Special English.
China&`&s northernmost province of Heilongjiang will hold an "Ice and Snow Day" to warm up its winter tourism industry and sluggish economy.
The provincial legislature adopted a decision to hold the event on Dec. 20 each year, starting this year. State-owned winter sports facilities will be open to the public for free during these event.
Travel agencies and key scenic spots will offer discounted tickets to tourists on Ice and Snow Day.
The province&`&s bitter winter, which lasts 120 days, used to be an obstacle to the area&`&s development. However, Heilongjiang has taken measures to turn the cold, snowy season into a resource to boost its economy, which has slowed in recent years amid the country&`&s economic restructuring.
The "Ice and Snow Day" will make more people to enjoy ice and snow, creating a favorable environment for developing the winter economy and tourism.
This is Special English.
The Maldives tourism industry has seen a remarkable growth in 2016, contributing to strengthening the island&`&s economy.
A press statement by the Maldives Embassy in Colombo said the growth has been achieved with the dynamic economic policies introduced by the country to transform the economy of the Maldives.
This year, the Maldives unveiled seven new resorts, featuring the world&`&s largest underwater restaurant.
The government said 20 new resorts will be unveiled in 2017.
With the opening of the new resorts and influx of tourism investments, the tourism industry has become a catalyst for the governments&`& key pledge of youth employment.
That is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I&`&m going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
(全文见周日微信。)

【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-01-16

Jan 12, 2017 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chinese scientist Yuan Longping is leading a research team to cultivate new strains of high yield "sea rice".
The research team plans to spend three years developing a breed that can withstand water with a salinity of up to 0.8 percent, and with a yield of 450 kilograms per hectare.
Yuan is a renowned scientist known for his research and development of hybrid rice.
China has around 700 million hectares of saline-alkaline soil. Yuan said it will be of great significance to convert the soil into arable land by developing sea rice with a high salinity tolerance.
More than half of the world&`&s population relies on rice as staple food, while the proportion is over 60 percent in China.
If China uses 70 million hectares of land to grow sea rice, it could produce an extra 30 billion kilograms of rice a year, enough to feed an extra 80 million people.
Sea rice is found in saline-alkaline soil at the junctures where rivers join the sea. Sea rice is resistant to pests and diseases, and does not need fertilizer to grow. Currently, the most advanced sea-rice breed in China can only be grown in water with a salinity less than 0.3 percent.
A sea-rice research center, with Yuan as the chief scientist, has been set up in Shandong Province. With dozens of breeds brought in from worldwide, the researchers will use gene sequencing technology to cultivate new strains of sea rice.
Over the decades, Yuan and his team have worked on new approaches to significantly increase rice yields.
This is Special English.
More of the world is getting into the spirit of China&`&s biggest holiday, the Lunar New Year. The Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, falls on January 28th this year, and the celebration lasts around two weeks.
China&`&s Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with local Chinese cultural organizations, will present around 2,000 cultural events for the holiday across the world.
The ministry says a variety of activities, including performance shows and shopping events, will serve as the flagship of China&`&s cultural relations with other countries.
Since 2001, the ministry has been organizing shows overseas during the Spring Festival period. In 2009, the ministry launched the more comprehensive "Happy Spring Festival" program to offer a greater diversity of celebrations.
In 2010, the program saw 65 events in 40 countries. It further expanded last year to include 2,000 events in more than 400 cities across the world, and more than 200 million people joined in the events worldwide. The ministry says this year&`&s program will essentially match that scale.
The Spring Festival is one of the major holidays for 10 other countries, including Canada, Malaysia and Mauritius. The ministry says different activities are held in different countries.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A new study has found that pregnancy affects not only a woman&`&s body, but also changes parts of her brain too.
When researchers compared brain scans of women before and after pregnancy, they spotted some differences in 11 locations in the brain. They also found hints that the alterations help women prepare for motherhood.
For example, they might help a mother understand the needs of her infant. The women were also given memory tests, and they showed no signs of decline.
Neuroscientists at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain presented the results in a paper released by the journal Nature Neuroscience.
The study included data on 25 Spanish women scanned before and after their first pregnancies, along with 20 women who didn&`&t get pregnant during the study. The brain changes in the pregnancy group emerged from comparisons of the two groups.
The results were consistent. A computer program can tell which women get pregnant just by looking at results of the MRI scans.
The changes, first documented an average of 10 weeks after giving birth, were mostly still present two years after childbirth. That&`&s based on a follow-up with 11 study participants.
Scientists say the brain is being shaped all the time, and hormones are part of the whole orchestra of processes that change the brain structurally.
This is Special English.
A link between human exposure to aluminum and Alzheimer&`&s disease has been suspected for over half a century and recent research may confirm that the metal does play a role in causing this devastating brain disease.
Chris Exley, a professor in bioinorganic chemistry at Keele University in Britain, revealed the new findings from his latest study on medical-blogging website The Hippocratic Post.
Many scientists say aluminum cannot be blamed for causing Alzheimer&`&s disease because there is not enough evidence. However, Exley said the latest research from his group makes the link even more compelling.
He added that the findings are unequivocal in their confirmation of a role for aluminum in some if not all causes of Alzheimer&`&s disease.
Scientists have known for some time that individuals who developed Alzheimer&`&s disease in their late sixties and older have accumulated more aluminum in their brain tissue than individuals of the same age without the disease.
Exley&`&s research shows that Alzheimer&`&s disease has a much earlier age of onset in individuals who have been exposed to unusually high levels of aluminum in their daily lives.
As aluminum is widely used in people&`&s daily lives, Exley suggests that people should take all possible precautions to reduce the accumulation of aluminum in their brain tissue and start to do this as soon as possible.
This is Special English.
British scientists say the belief that humans may have inherited kindness from its close relative the chimpanzee is wrong.
Instead, the new study found that unlike humans, chimpanzees are entirely "selfish creatures" who act in their own interests, turning conceived wisdom on its head.
The team includes academics from the universities of Manchester, Birmingham, and St Andrews, and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. The researchers say humans were unlikely to have inherited the trait of kindness from their primate cousins.
They found that chimpanzees are unlikely to take an interest in each other unless there is an anticipated benefit.
They said in the journal Nature Communications that previous research implying helpful behavior in chimps was likely to be a by-product of the way the experiments were designed.
The team worked with a group of 16 chimpanzees at the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, in Uganda.
Using two ingenious experiments, the team discovered chimpanzees were no more likely to help feed each other as they were to block access to a box of peanuts.
One of the principle investigators, Dr. Keith Jensen from the University of Manchester, said the evolution of social behavior and what drives individuals to act altruistically, is an important and active area of debate.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
A new scientific report has found that man-made climate change played some role in two dozen extreme weather events in 2015 but not in several other weird weather instances around the world.
An annual report released by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that climate change was a factor in 24 of 30 strange weather events. They include 11 cases of high heat, as well as unusual winter sunshine in the United Kingdom, Alaskan wildfires and odd "sunny day" flooding in Miami.
The study documented climate change-caused weather in many parts of the world including Alaska, the southeastern United States, Europe, China and Africa.
Stephanie Herring, co-editor of the report, said weather has to be measurable, but in many cases, the scientists could not detect climate change&`&s effects.
Herring highlighted the Miami flooding in September 2015. Because of rising sea levels and sinking land, extremely high tides flooded the streets with 22 inches of water.
She said it is just remarkable because there were no clouds in the sky before the event occurred, and this type of flooding is clearly becoming more frequent.
This is Special English.
Scientists have used a laser to tickle atoms of antimatter and make them shine, a key step towards answering one of the great riddles of the universe.
Theory predicts that the Big Bang produced equal amounts of matter and antimatter. Since they cancel each other out, scientists have been trying to find out why a relatively small amount of matter remained, allowing the stars, planets and ultimately life to come about, and antimatter vanished.
It took researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, decades to work out how to create an antimatter version of the most basic atom, hydrogen, and trap it for long enough to perform tests.
In a paper published online by the journal Nature, they reported the first cautious result from an experiment with anti-hydrogen. It turns out that when it&`&s stimulated with a laser, anti-hydrogen appears to produce light on the same ultraviolet frequency as its nemesis in the world of matter, hydrogen.
A physicist who wasn&`&t involved in the study said scientists had been eagerly awaiting the results of the CERN experiment for years, and successfully discovering a difference between matter and antimatter would be worthy of a Nobel Prize.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Volunteers of the Bird Watchers Association in Zhuhai in Guangdong Province have found a black-faced spoonbill inhabiting and foraging at a forest area of the city.
Zhuhai is located along the East Asia-Australia route of bird migration, one of the top eight such routes around the globe. The city attracts a large number of migratory birds in early winter every year. Egrets, teals, and sandpipers are often seen flying in flocks at Qi&`&ao Mangrove Forest, which has a favorable ecological environment.
The black-faced spoonbill gets its name from its flat spoon-like beak. It is also called the black-faced angel or dancer because of its elegant posture. The species is one of the most endangered in the world.
The newly established Zhuhai Bird Watchers Association was invited to take part in the worldwide survey of the bird. Members of the association spotted a young black-faced spoonbill at Qi&`&ao Mangrove Forest, the first time such a sighting has been made in the city.
Experts predict that more of the bird and other species are likely to be found this winter in the same area.
This is Special English.
A new study shows that non-lethal methods of predator control can be highly effective in protecting livestock from predators and in turn, saving predators from people.
The study has been published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin. It addresses the issue that top predators such as wolves, bears, lions and tigers have declined dramatically around the world over the past century and one major driver of these declines is retaliatory killing by people following predator attacks on domestic livestock.
The researchers examined 66 published, peer-reviewed research papers that measured how four categories of lethal and non-lethal mitigation techniques influenced attacks on livestock. They found that the most consistently effective tools were guard dogs, electric fencing, shock collar, and removal of predators, which includes both killing and relocation to other places.
(全文见周六微信。)

奥巴马告别演讲

Jan 11, 2017 2988

Description:

【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-01-10

Jan 4, 2017 1501

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
Police have smashed a major human trafficking ring and rescued 36 children who were abducted to be sold.
Police in east China&`&s Fujian Province received information in May about a suspect surnamed Tan who was believed to be involved in child trafficking.
Further investigations found a major child trafficking ring spanning seven provinces and municipalities. Tan and other suspects were found to be responsible for the trafficking of dozens of infants since 2014.
In another case, police in several other provinces coordinated their efforts to crack down on another child trafficking ring, and 160 people were arrested.
The Ministry of Public Security said China has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to the trafficking of women and children, and it will continue to pursue these traffickers.
The ministry will also target the "buyers" in human trafficking cases.
This is Special English.
China has issued a guideline on improving work safety, seeking to plug the holes in its supervision mechanism, laws and safety standards to effectively prevent accidents.
It has vowed to optimize its supervision and management mechanism as well as laws and regulations to "significantly" reduce workplace accidents by 2020.
The guideline was jointly issued by the Party Central Committee and the State Council. It said China will not sacrifice safety for development.
The guideline has clarified the definition and division of responsibilities concerning workplace safety. Meanwhile, China has plans to amend its criminal law to include workplace malpractices that easily lead to major accidents.
It noted the country will increase financial input to enhance workplace risk control and prevent work-related illness, while improving management and auditing to make sure the money would be wisely spent.
It said China&`&s work safety has been improving, but more efforts are needed as many problems remain.
The guideline came after a series of deadly accidents, including mining disasters and power plant collapse. In one of the accidents in November, 74 people were killed when a platform for a cooling tower being constructed as part of a power plant collapsed in east China&`&s Jiangxi Province.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Scientists claimed they have figured out how the world&`&s biggest and most-valuable diamonds formed.
In a study published in the U.S. journal of Science, scientists said large gem-quality diamonds, including the world-famous Cullinan and Lesotho Promise, may be born in metallic liquid deep inside Earth&`&s mantle.
The research team, led by Evan Smith of the Gemological Institute of America, reached the conclusion after examining so-called "offcuts" of massive diamonds, which are the pieces left over after the gem&`&s facets are cut for maximum sparkle.
They found tiny metallic grains trapped inside in more than 30 exceptionally large stones, which are made up of a mixture of metallic iron and nickel, along with carbon, sulfur, methane and hydrogen.
The inclusions led the researchers to reach the conclusion that diamonds formed in the Earth&`&s mantle, but they did so under conditions in which they were saturated by liquid metal.
Most diamonds formed at depths of 150 to 200 kilometers under the continents and shoot to the surface in volcanic eruptions. But the large, rare stones formed at extreme depths, likely within 360 to 750 kilometers in the convection mantle, where rocks are known to be mobile.
This is Special English.
U.S. researchers have taken inspiration from the human brain in creating a new "deep learning" method that enables computers to teach themselves about the visual world largely on their own, much as human babies do.
In the test, the new image-processing system "deep rendering mixture model" can learn largely on their own about how to distinguish handwritten digits using a standard data-set of 10,000 digits written by federal employees and high school students.
In results, the researchers said they trained their algorithm by giving it just 10 correct examples of each handwritten digit between zero and nine and then presenting it with several thousand more examples that it used to further teach itself.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
The world&`&s first cloned goat bearing superfine cashmere wool was born in north China&`&s Inner Mongolia.
The goat was born and is raised in a base for animal husbandry research conducted by experts from agricultural universities and academies in Inner Mongolia and southwest China&`&s Yunnan Province.
The cashmere fiber from the goat is less than 14 micrometers thick, much finer than the average of 16 micrometers grown by the famous Erlang Mountain goats in Inner Mongolia.
This is Special English.
Every day, trains full of laptops and other electronics products as well as auto parts depart a remote village in southwest China heading for Europe.
For five years, trains have delivered laptops for Hewlett-Packard, car window regulators and semi-conductors, from Chongqing Municipality to Europe.
Since the trains started in 2011, there has been a business boom in the mountain city. It imported more than 2,000 cars on the international rail network in the past two years.
Six years ago, the city was struggling to attract businesses which mostly centered on China&`&s coastal areas where there are convenient shipping.
With the launch of the trains, the city got more deals because train transport costs only around one-fifth of air transport, and one-third faster than shipping by the sea.
As prices along the eastern seaboard rose, industries began to move inland. In 2010 Hewlett-Packard established a computer production line in Chongqing, seeking government help to launch a rail network to transport products overseas. That was when the China-Europe rail network was launched.
Following the footsteps of Hewlett-Packard, other brands including Acer, Toshiba and Apple set up bases in Chongqing to take advantage of the rail line.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
When it comes to surgical procedures to enhance beauty, Chinese women are twice as generous than their global peers.
According a report based on a survey by Insightful Engineers, a market research consultancy in the United Kingdom, the survey found that Chinese women spent the equivalent of around 580 yuan, roughly 84 U.S. Dollars, per month. That&`&s more than twice the global average of about 250 yuan, and 150 yuan higher than the second group on the list, women from South Korea.
A plastic surgeon from Shanghai said Chinese women are displaying an increasing interest in a range of surgical procedures, mainly to look prettier, rather than fighting aging, which may help explain why the population of plastic surgery receivers in the country is much younger than in other places.
The report also said that 74 percent of Chinese respondents associate beauty directly with facial appearance, the highest of all surveyed countries. The biggest concern for Chinese women is flabby skin and crow&`&s feet, the little wrinkles at the corner of the eyes.
The survey interviewed 7,700 "aesthetically aware" women from 16 countries, who were between 18 and 65 years of age.
This is Special English.
Paris&`& first perfume museum, the Grand Musee de Parfum, has opened its doors, inviting visitors to discover perfume history through a quite innovative sensory and olfactory exhibition.
The museum&`&s president said the Grand Musee du Parfum was created after noting the absence of an emblematic place for French perfumery in Paris despite the sector&`&s flourishing influence abroad.
The museum gathered major players in French and international perfume industry, including the Federation of Beauty Enterprises, the French Syndicate of Perfumery and the International Flavors and Fragrances.
It has three spaces with one area dedicated to the history of perfumes.
Alongside the permanent exhibition, many events and workshops for young people are planned at the museum and intend to bring together the visual arts, gastronomy, live entertainment, literature and cinema around perfume.
France has the world&`&s leading cosmetics-perfumes sector and its turnover totaled 25 billion euros, roughly 26 billion U.S. Dollars, in 2014.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
British actor Colin Firth dwells on the virtue of restraint in a wide-ranging conversation with Raymond Zhou on the art of acting.
Colin Firth joked that he was looking for offers in Chinese films, adding that he hoped to work with Chinese directors including Zhang Yimou.
The light-hearted revelation came at the end of an hourlong talk, moderated by yours truly, which was designed to encompass the highlights of an illustrious career of the much honored British actor.
Titled "A Colin Firth Retrospective", the conversation was, in turn, part of a program for the 2016 China-Briton Film Festival held in the Beijing suburb of Langfang.
Firth received a lifetime-achievement award at this festival when it opened on Dec 12.
The 2010 Academy Award winner for best actor, for The King&`&s Speech, did not randomly pick a few big names from China&`&s booming film industry to please the host country. But he did his due diligence.
Firth said he was impressed by how seamlessly American actors Tim Robbins and Adrien Brody fitted into the epic tale on the 1942 famine. He also liked the 2012 movie Mystery, and said Farewell My Concubine was one of the best movies in world of cinema.
And he was plugged in to the latest in Chinese showbiz, aware of the publicity blitz whipped up by The Great Wall, the epic tale of fighting monsters on the best-known Chinese landmark, which is a Sino-US co-production that stars Matt Damon.
This is Special English.
China&`&s northernmost province of Heilongjiang will hold an "Ice and Snow Day" to warm up its winter tourism industry and sluggish economy.
The provincial legislature adopted a decision to hold the event on Dec. 20 each year, starting this year. State-owned winter sports facilities will be open to the public for free during these event.
Travel agencies and key scenic spots will offer discounted tickets to tourists on Ice and Snow Day.
The province&`&s bitter winter, which lasts 120 days, used to be an obstacle to the area&`&s development. However, Heilongjiang has taken measures to turn the cold, snowy season into a resource to boost its economy, which has slowed in recent years amid the country&`&s economic restructuring.
The "Ice and Snow Day" will make more people to enjoy ice and snow, creating a favorable environment for developing the winter economy and tourism.
This is Special English.
The Maldives tourism industry has seen a remarkable growth in 2016, contributing to strengthening the island&`&s economy.
A press statement by the Maldives Embassy in Colombo said the growth has been achieved with the dynamic economic policies introduced by the country to transform the economy of the Maldives.
This year, the Maldives unveiled seven new resorts, featuring the world&`&s largest underwater restaurant.
The government said 20 new resorts will be unveiled in 2017.
With the opening of the new resorts and influx of tourism investments, the tourism industry has become a catalyst for the governments&`& key pledge of youth employment.
That is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I&`&m going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
(全文见周日微信。)

【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-01-09

Jan 4, 2017 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chinese lawmakers have called for stricter management of traditional Chinese medicine production.
During panel deliberations recently, legislators discussed a draft law on Traditional Chinese Medicine, tabled for a third reading at the bimonthly session of the National People&`&s Congress Standing Committee. The legislators agreed that the quality and safety of Traditional Chinese Medicine materials should be ensured with improved regulations.
Legislator Jia Chunmei said during the discussion that bad materials lead to ineffective treatments, and cause people to mistrust Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Legislators applauded the draft as it stresses enhanced supervision over farms producing Chinese medicine materials, adding that growth hormones used for herb cultivation should be brought under control.
Legislator Zhang Boli said the overuse of growth hormones will sacrifice quality for quantity.
Meanwhile, legislators urged specific rules that clarify the civil and criminal responsibilities of those who violate the Traditional Chinese Medicine law.
This is Special English.
Anhui Province in eastern China will be the first in the country to drop the Public English Test System, an English proficiency test for Chinese students. The province will stop using the system this year and more areas will follow suit.
China plans to finally combine the two most popular English proficiency tests into one by 2020.
China has around 300 million English learners who often have to take multiple, overlapping English tests.
The Ministry of education has revealed that a new English proficiency evaluation system will be put into use this year and may be put forward across China by 2020.
The new system will correspond with international standards and set nine grades for testers ranging from elementary school graduates to English majors and exceptional talents.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Facebook is taking new measures to curb the spread of fake news on its huge and influential social network. Focusing on the worst offenders, Facebook will partner with outside fact-checkers and news organizations to sort honest news reports from made-up stories that play on people&`&s passions and preconceived notions.
Facebook will make it easier for users to report fake news, in only two steps when they see it. If enough people report a story as fake, Facebook will pass it to third-party fact-checking organizations that are part of the nonprofit Poynter Institute&`&s International Fact-Checking Network.
Five fact-checking and news organizations are working with Facebook on this, including ABC News and The Associated Press, and the group is likely to expand.
Stories that failed the fact check won&`&t be removed from Facebook, but they&`&ll be publicly flagged as "disputed", which will force them to appear lower down in people&`&s news feeds. Users will be able to click on a link to learn why that is. And if people decide they want to share the story with friends anyway, they can, but they&`&ll get another warning.
This is Special English.
German officials are stepping up their criticism of Facebook, saying the social network is doing too little to stop hate speech and could face stiff fines unless it deletes illegal content faster.
In an interview published recently, Justice Minister Heiko Maas said his ministry was checking whether it would be possible to make social networking sites legally liable for illegal posts.
Maas told media that if other measures fail to work, they have to think about fines in the end, and that would be a strong incentive to act quickly.
Germany has seen a sharp increase in vitriolic posts on social media in recent years amid a heated public debate over the influx of more than a million migrants since the start of 2015.
The country has laws against speech deemed to be racist, defamatory or inciting violence, a response to Germany&`&s Nazi legacy. But authorities have struggled with the deluge of often anonymous postings on foreign-owned websites.
Facebook, based in California in the United States, says it takes the issue seriously and has hundreds of contractors reviewing posts at a Berlin office. But it is reported that staff members there complain of inconsistent rules and overwork.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The United Nations children&`&s fund and its partners have kicked off a mass measles vaccination drive, aiming to vaccinate 54,000 children under 10 years of age in southern Somalia.
The United Nations Children&`&s Fund, UNICEF, says the vaccination drive follows a serious of outbreaks in southern Somalia.
A UNICEF representative in Somalia says measles is one of the most deadly vaccine-preventable diseases but sadly, it is far from being the only one in Somalia.
Many of the children suspected of suffering from measles in Kismayo had not been vaccinated against the disease, although there are 16 free vaccination posts in the area.
The U.N. agency has supported the swift delivery of 55,000 doses of measles vaccine to the area along with Vitamin A supplementation to boost immunity. The vaccines are funded by the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, and Japan.
According to UNICEF, measles is a key indicator of the strength of a country&`&s immunization systems. Somalia has one of the lowest immunization rates in the world.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and a leading cause of death among young children in Somalia.
This is Special English.
U.S. researchers have found that a low-dose of aspirin may inhibit the normal function of blood platelets and reduce their ability to up-regulate a protein which plays an important role in cancer cell proliferation and survival.
The mechanism means that low-dose aspirin, or "baby aspirin", may have some benefits in helping cancer prevention, especially colon cancer, in addition to protection against cardiovascular disease.
The researchers from Oregon State University say the benefit of aspirin may be due to its effect on blood cells called platelets, rather than acting directly on tumor cells.
Early cancer cells live in what&`&s actually a pretty hostile environment, where the immune system regularly attacks and attempts to eliminate them. Platelets can play a protective role for those early cancer cells. Inhibition with aspirin appears to interfere with that process.
For the first time, the study shows the ability of platelets to regulate cancer cells.
The anti-cancer benefit of aspirin occurs at very low doses. Higher doses are used to treat inflammation, headaches or pain. The new findings have enabled doctors to use low doses of aspirin, to minimize the risk of inner bleeding. Inner bleeding is a serious concern with any anti-platelet medication.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
French car maker Renault has opened China&`&s first experimental zone for self-driving cars in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
An electric autonomous driving, or AD, car by Renault has started operating on a 2-kilometer-long lakeside road in the Sino-French Wuhan Ecological Demonstration City.
Visitors are allowed to experience the autonomous vehicle in the zone, which was jointly built by Renault and its Chinese cooperation partner, the Dongfeng Company.
Autonomous systems can make car travel safer and passengers less stressed. It will make driving more enjoyable in tedious conditions, including traffic congestion.
The Renault Group plans to gradually introduce the "eyes off" technology in its core range of vehicles by 2020. Drivers are also expected to be able to take advantage of in-car connectivity safely when conditions and the law permit.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Babies born with congenital Zika virus infection may develop microcephaly, or abnormal smallness of the head, months after birth.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published its latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The report described 13 infants in Brazil with congenital Zika virus infection who did not have microcephaly at birth, but experienced slowed head growth as early as five months after birth.
Among the infants, 11 later developed microcephaly.
Congenital Zika virus infection without microcephaly at birth has been reported previously.
However, this is the first series of infants with laboratory evidence of congenital Zika virus infection documented to have poor head growth with microcephaly developing after birth.
The new findings have raised the alarm for the seemingly healthy babies born to mothers who were infected with the Zika virus worldwide.
This is Special English.
A report has found that Australia&`&s use of illegal methamphetamines including ice is at an all-time high.
Odyssey House, one of Australia&`&s largest drug rehabilitation organizations based in Melbourne released its annual report recently. It said the number of people who admitted to amphetamine use went up 53 percent in 2016.
The report said that half of the amphetamine users in Australia were seeking help for their addiction while heroin and opium use went down 45 percent last year.
The report says the growth in ice addiction was proof that the Australian government needed to increase long-term funding to fight ice addiction.
The report found that two thirds of Australian drug users last year were over the age of 30, with users reporting their first intoxication at a much earlier age than a decade ago.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The surgeon who created the life-saving Heimlich maneuver for choking died in Cincinnati in the United States recently. Dr. Henry Heimlich died of a heart attack at the age of 96.
Heimlich&`&s son, Phil Heimlich, said his father was a great man who saved many lives, and he will be missed not only by his family but by all of humanity.
Dr. Heimlich was director of surgery at the Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati in 1974 when he devised his treatment to reverse choking that made his name a household word in the United States.
Rescuers using the procedure abruptly squeeze a victim&`&s abdomen, pushing in and above the navel with the fist to create a flow of air from the lungs. The flow of air can then push objects out of the windpipe and prevent suffocation.
The maneuver has saved the lives of thousands in the United States alone. It earned Dr. Heimlich several awards and worldwide recognition.
The maneuver was adopted by public health authorities, airlines and restaurant associations across the world.
This is Special English.
Lights, baubles and other decorations are often used to decorate Christmas trees in Australia during the festive season, but one local woman was shocked to find a tiger snake playing the part of the tinsel.
After spotting the stowaway snake wrapped around the tree in her home, the woman called a professional snake handler Barry Goldsmith who happily relocated the "moving decoration".
Goldsmith&`&s photo of the slippery critter went viral on Australia&`&s social media overnight. He told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that he&`&d never seen anything quite like it.
He said that although he has found snakes around the base of Christmas trees in amongst the presents in the past, he has never found one up inside a Christmas tree.
Goldsmith said it is a one-off thing, like lightning striking, and it&`&s not going to happen again for sure, not this year.
(全文见周六微信。)

【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-01-03

Dec 30, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
Almost 700 Chinese officials have been held accountable for their poor environmental protection records in ongoing environmental inspections.
The central government dispatched seven teams in a second round of inspections to seven provincial-level regions including Beijing and Shanghai to review local government work in late November.
These teams have looked into 2,000 cases, and imposed fines totaling 66 million yuan, roughly 10 million U.S. dollars, in 1,500 cases.
A total of 3,000 officials in eight provincial-level areas were held accountable during the first round of inspections in 2016. Their offences included allowing construction in nature reserves and worsening pollution. Punishments included some being removed from their posts.
China is fighting pollution and environmental degradation after decades of economic growth that have left the country saddled with problems including smog and contaminated soil.
The central government has released a national plan on environmental improvements for the period spanning 2016 and 2020, with detailed tasks on air pollution, water and soil.
This is Special English.
North China&`&s latest bout of air pollution has been less serious than expected, thanks to counter measures adopted by local authorities.
China&`&s top environmental watchdog said at least 23 cities in north China, including Beijing and Tianjin, have activated red alerts as the air began to turn hazy starting Friday, prompting local governments to impose car restrictions on roads and cut emissions for factories.
The heavy smog came a bit later than previously forecast as efforts paid off, and pollutant density in the air has somewhat been reduced in the cities.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection said that however, further observation is needed to confirm the actual effects of the measures, and air pollution is still likely to worsen as weather conditions continue to be unfavorable.
The ministry has sent a dozen inspection teams to check whether local governments have taken appropriate measures to address heavy pollution and sanction illegal factory emissions.
China has a four-tier warning system for severe weather, the red being the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
China&`&s 81 million science and technology workers will have their own festival to celebrate, and it&`&s going to be called the "Sci-Tech Workers&`& Day" which has been designated on May 30 each year.
The State Council, China&`&s Cabinet, has designated the day to be celebrated starting in 2017.
The date was chosen because May 30, 2016 was when the country&`&s top two science and technology conferences convened.
During the events, the authority set the target for China to become a world science and technology powerhouse by the middle of this century.
The "Sci-Tech Workers&`& Day" aims to encourage all workers in the sector to remember their mission and play their roles in innovation.
This is Special English.
The Ministry of Culture is making it compulsory for presenters of online streaming to register with their real names.
The rules require operators of online streaming to identify presenters via interview or video calls. Their licenses will be issued by provincial-level cultural authorities.
The regulation also states that operators should obtain a permit from the ministry before offering channels to presenters from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, as well as from other countries.
Operators must carry out real-time supervision of online streaming and keep records of all the content.
A mechanism for handling emergencies should be established. Once an offender is found to have violated laws and regulations, the operator must suspend service, preserve relevant data, and report to the authorities.
A blacklist will be created to strengthen management of online performances and ensure the sector&`&s healthy and orderly development.
The regulation is scheduled to take effect on Jan.1.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
The First India-China Think Tank Forum has been held in New Delhi in India.
The forum was jointly organized by the Institute of Chinese Studies, the Indian Council of World Affairs, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
The forum is a bilateral platform established by a Memorandum of Understanding concluded between the Chinese Ministry of External Affairs, the India government, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Under the theme "Towards a Closer India-China Developmental Partnership", the forum carried out an in-depth discussion on various issues, including major country relations between India and China, as well as strengthening India-China strategic communication, and promoting economic ties.
The forum saw participation from prominent strategic thinkers, economists, academics, and social scientists from both countries.
The next India-China Think Tank Forum will be held in Beijing in 2017.
This is Special English.
North China&`&s Hebei Province has approved a set of measures aimed at tightening protection of the sections of the Great Wall lying within the province.
The regulation stipulates the responsibilities of local governments in protecting the Great Wall within their jurisdiction. It also covers employment and management of protection workers, and social participation in protection.
The regulation prohibits adding new stretches to the wall in the name of protection. It also elaborates acts considered harmful to historical sites and lists punitive measures.
The Great Wall was built between the third century BC and the Ming Dynasty which ended in 1644. The existing sections of 8,800 kilometers were mostly built in the Ming Dynasty. The Great Wall was recognized as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1987.
Hebei Province is home to a combined stretch of over 1,300 kilometers of the Ming-Dynasty wall, passing eight cities.
Officials say the protection work is less than satisfactory as it faces severe natural damage and vandalism in the wake of underfunding and poor management.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
Hepatitis C patients in China will soon be able to access direct-acting antiviral treatments, which can thoroughly cure the liver infection.
A senior liver disease specialist said several medicines are expected to get approval from the top drug authority and enter the Chinese market early in 2017. It will bring China&`&s hepatitis C treatment in line with international mainstream practices.
Currently, most patients with the condition are on injection interferon therapy, which takes longer and may cause serious reactions for some recipients.
By contrast, DAA medicines, are taken orally and can usually get rid of the virus and cure the disease in around 12 weeks.
A patient surnamed Bai is one of those who cannot handle the major side effects from interferon treatment. To survive, he bought DAA drugs from overseas and was cured last year.
DAA medicines have been readily available elsewhere worldwide for many years. But China, the country with the most patients, has no such drugs, largely due to "complex and lengthy drug registration processes". That&`&s according to the World Health Organization&`&s China Representative Bernhard Schwartlander.
In April, the China Food and Drug Administration announced an acceleration of the registration for DAA. Bai said Chinese patients will be able to access world-class treatments at home.
This is Special English.
The U.S. state of Texas has launched what it calls the largest effort ever in the state to track brain injuries among young athletes.
The University Interscholastic League, Texas&`& governing body for public high school sports, is partnering with the O&`& Donnell Brain Institute at UT Southwestern Medical Center for the project, from which they hope to gauge whether rules or equipment changes are improving player safety and what more can be done to protect athletes.
Officials say that a state as large as Texas, which has more than 800,000 public high school athletes, would be a key step in developing a national database of brain injuries in youths. Already, the federal Center of Disease Control and Prevention is seeking federal funding for such a database.
All 50 states in recent years have passed rules or laws to address concussions in young athletics from research to protocols for identifying concussions and setting rules for return to play. The CDC has estimated that up to 3.8 million concussions occur in sports and recreational activities each year, but some experts wonder if those numbers underestimate total brain injuries, as some individuals may not seek treatment for mild or moderate symptoms.
The Texas program will track about two-dozen sports, from football to girls&`& soccer, recording what caused an injury, recovery time and other data.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
A DNA test has confirmed that the remains of a male found recently in a desert in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region belonged to a native of Sichuan province, who went missing more than 50 years ago.
The test results were published by police in neighboring Qinghai province.
The remains were found by a group of rock collectors near the Lop Nor basin at the junction of Xinjiang and Qinghai in November.
Police officers found the remains and personal belongings of the deceased at the site including a newspaper. Police said high temperatures and a lack of rainfall was the reason why the belongings were intact.
Among the items that were found are a newspaper that was published in 1960 and letters that suggest the remains were that of a man surnamed Li, who was reported missing in the 1960s.
Police contacted Li&`&s wife, who is now 88-year-old. She remarried after Li was confirmed missing.
The couple married in 1949, a year before he was enrolled in the army to fight the Korean War. He was wounded in the war and returned home in 1951. He left home five years later, saying he would find work outside the province, and lost contact with his family.
Police said it is not known why he perished in the desert, adding that he might have also passed away in April 1961.
This is Special English.
Unable to find out who threw a yogurt bottle out of a window, the parents of a 2-year-old girl who was hurt by it sued 450 suspected homeowners.
The local court in Chongqing ruled that all of them must split the compensation and each pay 360 yuan, roughly 51 U.S. dollars.
All the homeowners who attended the court hearing accepted the ruling.
On the evening of Sept 16, 2014, the girl was playing in the neighborhood where a yogurt bottle was thrown out of a window of a nearby building and it hit the girl&`&s head.
The girl was knocked unconscious and was taken to the hospital. Her family spent more than 80,000 yuan on medical treatment for the girl&`&s skull fractures and related injuries.
As the parents could not find who was responsible, they had to sue all homes from the second to the 33rd floors and asked for a total of 300,000 yuan in compensation.
In recent years, news about objects falling from tall buildings and hitting passer-byers has drawn public attention. But most victims with minor injuries just let it go since it is so difficult to identify the person who threw the object.
However, under Chinese civil law, victims in these kind of case can be compensated by all users of a building if nobody is found responsible.
(全文见周日微信。)

【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-01-02

Dec 30, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
China&`&s first overseas land satellite ground receiving station has been put into trial operation.
The China Remote Sensing Satellite North Polar Ground Station is above the Arctic Circle, half an hour&`&s drive from Kiruna, a major mining town in Sweden.
Scientists say Kiruna is an ideal place for remote sensing satellite data reception. With this location and a high-performance antenna, China&`&s Earth observation satellites will acquire global data more efficiently, and respond to user application requirements including disaster monitoring more quickly and effective.
China has ground stations in Beijing, Hainan province, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Yunnan province. The four ground stations receive satellite signals covering 70 percent of the Asian continent.
Domestic stations can receive a signal from each satellite five times a day when they pass overhead, while the new station can receive signals up to 12 times a day.
In addition, the new station can acquire satellite data in any part of the world within two hours. It is capable of receiving all-weather, all-time and multiple resolution satellite data, being an important complement to the four domestic stations.
This is Special English.
The Information Office of the State Council, China&`&s Cabinet, has launched an application with an online briefing area to provide the latest, most authoritative information about China and to offer better services for journalists from home and abroad.
The app is available in Chinese and English. In addition to broadcast news conferences organized by the State Council Information Office, central departments, ministries and local governments, the app will provide updated information about the latest news events in China.
The online briefing area provides services for users to book online or face-to face interviews with the office.
The Information Office held 120 news conferences in 2016.
By strengthening communication with the media and offering better services, the office says it will be more open in 2017 and play a bigger role in connecting China with the rest of the world.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A rising number of government officials have been placed under investigation for alleged misuse and embezzlement of poverty relief funds.
Between January and October, national prosecuting departments investigated 1,600 government officials relating to crimes involving poverty relief funds, a 94 percent increase compared with the same period last year.
Officials say supervision loopholes and efforts to crackdown on such illegal activity have contributed to the sharp increase in the number of cases found in such crimes.
Most of the suspects are grassroots officials, including directors and accountants at village and township level, who allegedly abused their power to withhold or embezzle funds, or fabricate documents to falsely claim such funds.
One such case was uncovered in May, when a local village Party chief in Henan province was investigated for alleged graft.
When serving as the village head, the suspect abused his power, using names of his family members to falsely claim subsidies for returning farmland to forests totaling 180,000 yuan, roughly 26,500 U.S. Dollars.
This is Special English.
More than 66 percent of children in southwest China&`&s Tibet Autonomous Region have received preschool education, more than double that of six years ago.
According to the latest figures from the local education department, the gross kindergarten enrollment ratio rose to 66 percent in 2016 from 24 percent in 2010.
A total of 97,000 children were attended 1,000 kindergartens in Tibet in 2016.
All children in Tibet&`&s agricultural and pastoral areas or children in low-income urban families are entitled to free tuition and accommodation fees, plus a 3,200 yuan-, roughly 470 U.S. Dollar-, pre-school education subsidy each year.
The educational authorities are also promoting preschool classes taught in both Mandarin and Tibetan for children in Tibet.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Chinese scientists have developed a device which may instantly detect esophageal cancer by breath analysis.
In a recent experiment, scientists with Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, used a device known as proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer to analyze breath samples of 29 cancer patients and 58 healthy volunteers.
More tests are needed to confirm the findings.
The current spectrometry takes only three minutes and the accuracy rate has reached 85 to 90 percent.
In China, esophageal cancer kills 370,000 people a year. Both the prevalence and the death rate of the cancer in China are among the highest in the world. Common screening methods contain barium meals, computed tomography scans, endoscopy, and lab testing of biopsy samples. However, these invasive methods are not suitable for regular health exams or the very vulnerable.
Non-invasive screening methods help in early detection and intervention, lowering the death rate.
This is Special English.
A total of 1,800 people died as a result of infectious diseases on the Chinese mainland in November.
According to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, there were 600,000 cases of infectious diseases reported on the mainland in November.
More than 280,000 cases were classified as Class B infectious diseases under China&`&s Law on the Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, and they resulted in 1,800 deaths.
Viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, syphilis, and bacterial dysentery accounted for 93 percent of cases in this category.
Category C diseases were responsible for close to 320,000 cases, and eight deaths. Foot and mouth disease, infectious diarrhea, and influenza were the most prevalent in this category, accounting for 94 percent of cases.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
Calendars have turned into luxuriously illustrated books which are highlights of China&`&s book scene at the end of the year.
One of the most popular of such products is the Palace Museum Calendar, which has sold more than 1 million copies since it was first issued in 2010. The first printing of the 2017 version of 300,000 copies has sold out, and four more print runs are underway.
For its 2017 calendar, the Palace Museum, or the Forbidden City, is offering a bilingual version in both English and Chinese.
The Palace Museum said they did not expect people to buy the publications as collectibles. A 2010 version of the calendar of the Forbidden City is now worth 80 times its original price.
The new 2017 calendar is inspired by Chinese zodiac animals and is illustrated with photos of relics from the Palace Museum&`&s collection of some 2 million antiques.
The success of the Palace Museum Calendar has inspired more publishing entities to follow suit. A Plants and Animals Calendar and the One Way Street Calendar are among the best cellers in the new year&`&s market.
This is Special English.
A salt water well, believed to have been built during the Tang Dynasty 1,000 years ago, has been unearthed in north China&`&s Hebei Province.
The salt well is the first to be discovered in a northern coastal area. The excavation is part of an ongoing project in Huanghua, a small city on the Bohai Sea coast.
The well is 2-and-a-half meters in diameter. It was built with distinctive grooved bricks, which over time have come into contact with cinders and ash, and have turned black in color. Pieces of wooden and woven items were also found at the bottom of the well.
Archaeologists believe that the well was constructed at a saltwater-rich offshore site, and the water from the well was used to produce salt.
Other ruins have been discovered nearby including brine ditches, salt pans, brine pits, fire pits, and stoves, but their functions remain to be confirmed.
One professor at Shandong University said this is the first Tang Dynasty salt well found in north China. And the ruins are evidence of advanced salt production featuring clear processing procedures.
The findings have been welcomed by researchers of ancient salt-making techniques as well as those interested in Tang socioeconomic development.
The 1,500-square-meter site is three kilometers from the ruins which are thought to be the northern tip of the ancient Maritime Silk Road.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
An 18th-century Chinese imperial seal was auctioned for 21 million euros, roughly 22 million U.S. Dollars, in Paris, establishing a new world record for this type of bid.
During the bidding, potential buyers raised the seal&`&s price more than 20 times its estimated price.
According to the auction house, the seal in red and beige nephrite jade was used by Emperor Qianlong, the second longest serving emperor in Chinese history.
The emperor&`&s reign in China more than 200 years ago was one of the peak periods of the country&`&s prosperity, with a large population and a vast territory.
The seal was decorated with nine dragons, a symbol of supreme authority. It was used to go with the signature of Qianlong&`&s calligraphy and paintings.
The seal was reportedly acquired by a French naval doctor who traveled many times to China in the late 19th century, and has remained in his family ever since.
The new owner of the imperial seal is an unnamed Chinese collector.
This is Special English.
An exhibition of traditional Chinese hand-painted fans is underway in Buenos Aires, representing the most important Chinese art show held in the Argentine capital in a decade.
The show is entitled "Chinese style", and features 60 works selected from the China National Academy of Painting.
China&`&s Ambassador to Argentina Yang Wanming attended the opening ceremony, together with officials from Argentina&`&s Ministry of Culture, and representatives from the China National Academy of Painting.
The fan paintings range from landscapes to scenes of daily life, which are part of an artistic heritage dating back thousands of years in China.
Fans are an essential element in China&`&s theatrical presentations. This type of art work used to be seen as a type of portable painting with images of landscapes, flora and fauna, or personalities.
As the Year of China-Latin America Cultural Exchange, 2016 saw a significant number of Chinese art exhibitions, as well as stage performances and literature-related events, throughout the region.
"Chinese Style" will continue through until mid-March.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The historic story of the Six-inch Lane, rendered in the opera "Prime Minister of the Qing Dynasty" was warmly received at culture publicity week held at the Shanghai International Arts Festival lately.
The Huangmei opera, a local form of opera from east China&`&s Anhui province, traditionally tells tragic love stories to win tears. However, "Prime Minister of the Qing Dynasty" features state politics and a corruption crack-down in the Qing Dynasty.
The story is set over 100 years ago. Two state officials happened to have their family mansions built very close to one another, sharing a passageway between their courtyards.
One of the families planned to enlarge their yard and attempts to encroach on the narrow passageway. A dispute erupts between the two families, and they decide to take the case to court.
(全文见周六微信。)

【专题】慢速英语(美音)2016-12-27

Dec 22, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
Almost 700 Chinese officials have been held accountable for their poor environmental protection records in ongoing environmental inspections.
The central government dispatched seven teams in a second round of inspections to seven provincial-level regions including Beijing and Shanghai to review local government work in late November.
These teams have looked into 2,000 cases, and imposed fines totaling 66 million yuan, roughly 10 million U.S. dollars, in 1,500 cases.
A total of 3,000 officials in eight provincial-level areas were held accountable during the first round of inspections in 2016. Their offences included allowing construction in nature reserves and worsening pollution. Punishments included some being removed from their posts.
China is fighting pollution and environmental degradation after decades of economic growth that have left the country saddled with problems including smog and contaminated soil.
The central government has released a national plan on environmental improvements for the period spanning 2016 and 2020, with detailed tasks on air pollution, water and soil.
This is Special English.
North China&`&s latest bout of air pollution has been less serious than expected, thanks to counter measures adopted by local authorities.
China&`&s top environmental watchdog said at least 23 cities in north China, including Beijing and Tianjin, have activated red alerts as the air began to turn hazy starting Friday, prompting local governments to impose car restrictions on roads and cut emissions for factories.
The heavy smog came a bit later than previously forecast as efforts paid off, and pollutant density in the air has somewhat been reduced in the cities.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection said that however, further observation is needed to confirm the actual effects of the measures, and air pollution is still likely to worsen as weather conditions continue to be unfavorable.
The ministry has sent a dozen inspection teams to check whether local governments have taken appropriate measures to address heavy pollution and sanction illegal factory emissions.
China has a four-tier warning system for severe weather, the red being the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
China&`&s 81 million science and technology workers will have their own festival to celebrate, and it&`&s going to be called the "Sci-Tech Workers&`& Day" which has been designated on May 30 each year.
The State Council, China&`&s Cabinet, has designated the day to be celebrated starting in 2017.
The date was chosen because May 30, 2016 was when the country&`&s top two science and technology conferences convened.
During the events, the authority set the target for China to become a world science and technology powerhouse by the middle of this century.
The "Sci-Tech Workers&`& Day" aims to encourage all workers in the sector to remember their mission and play their roles in innovation.
This is Special English.
The Ministry of Culture is making it compulsory for presenters of online streaming to register with their real names.
The rules require operators of online streaming to identify presenters via interview or video calls. Their licenses will be issued by provincial-level cultural authorities.
The regulation also states that operators should obtain a permit from the ministry before offering channels to presenters from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, as well as from other countries.
Operators must carry out real-time supervision of online streaming and keep records of all the content.
A mechanism for handling emergencies should be established. Once an offender is found to have violated laws and regulations, the operator must suspend service, preserve relevant data, and report to the authorities.
A blacklist will be created to strengthen management of online performances and ensure the sector&`&s healthy and orderly development.
The regulation is scheduled to take effect on Jan.1.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
The First India-China Think Tank Forum has been held in New Delhi in India.
The forum was jointly organized by the Institute of Chinese Studies, the Indian Council of World Affairs, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
The forum is a bilateral platform established by a Memorandum of Understanding concluded between the Chinese Ministry of External Affairs, the India government, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Under the theme "Towards a Closer India-China Developmental Partnership", the forum carried out an in-depth discussion on various issues, including major country relations between India and China, as well as strengthening India-China strategic communication, and promoting economic ties.
The forum saw participation from prominent strategic thinkers, economists, academics, and social scientists from both countries.
The next India-China Think Tank Forum will be held in Beijing in 2017.
This is Special English.
North China&`&s Hebei Province has approved a set of measures aimed at tightening protection of the sections of the Great Wall lying within the province.
The regulation stipulates the responsibilities of local governments in protecting the Great Wall within their jurisdiction. It also covers employment and management of protection workers, and social participation in protection.
The regulation prohibits adding new stretches to the wall in the name of protection. It also elaborates acts considered harmful to historical sites and lists punitive measures.
The Great Wall was built between the third century BC and the Ming Dynasty which ended in 1644. The existing sections of 8,800 kilometers were mostly built in the Ming Dynasty. The Great Wall was recognized as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1987.
Hebei Province is home to a combined stretch of over 1,300 kilometers of the Ming-Dynasty wall, passing eight cities.
Officials say the protection work is less than satisfactory as it faces severe natural damage and vandalism in the wake of underfunding and poor management.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
Hepatitis C patients in China will soon be able to access direct-acting antiviral treatments, which can thoroughly cure the liver infection.
A senior liver disease specialist said several medicines are expected to get approval from the top drug authority and enter the Chinese market early in 2017. It will bring China&`&s hepatitis C treatment in line with international mainstream practices.
Currently, most patients with the condition are on injection interferon therapy, which takes longer and may cause serious reactions for some recipients.
By contrast, DAA medicines, are taken orally and can usually get rid of the virus and cure the disease in around 12 weeks.
A patient surnamed Bai is one of those who cannot handle the major side effects from interferon treatment. To survive, he bought DAA drugs from overseas and was cured last year.
DAA medicines have been readily available elsewhere worldwide for many years. But China, the country with the most patients, has no such drugs, largely due to "complex and lengthy drug registration processes". That&`&s according to the World Health Organization&`&s China Representative Bernhard Schwartlander.
In April, the China Food and Drug Administration announced an acceleration of the registration for DAA. Bai said Chinese patients will be able to access world-class treatments at home.
This is Special English.
The U.S. state of Texas has launched what it calls the largest effort ever in the state to track brain injuries among young athletes.
The University Interscholastic League, Texas&`& governing body for public high school sports, is partnering with the O&`& Donnell Brain Institute at UT Southwestern Medical Center for the project, from which they hope to gauge whether rules or equipment changes are improving player safety and what more can be done to protect athletes.
Officials say that a state as large as Texas, which has more than 800,000 public high school athletes, would be a key step in developing a national database of brain injuries in youths. Already, the federal Center of Disease Control and Prevention is seeking federal funding for such a database.
All 50 states in recent years have passed rules or laws to address concussions in young athletics from research to protocols for identifying concussions and setting rules for return to play. The CDC has estimated that up to 3.8 million concussions occur in sports and recreational activities each year, but some experts wonder if those numbers underestimate total brain injuries, as some individuals may not seek treatment for mild or moderate symptoms.
The Texas program will track about two-dozen sports, from football to girls&`& soccer, recording what caused an injury, recovery time and other data.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
A DNA test has confirmed that the remains of a male found recently in a desert in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region belonged to a native of Sichuan province, who went missing more than 50 years ago.
The test results were published by police in neighboring Qinghai province.
The remains were found by a group of rock collectors near the Lop Nor basin at the junction of Xinjiang and Qinghai in November.
Police officers found the remains and personal belongings of the deceased at the site including a newspaper. Police said high temperatures and a lack of rainfall was the reason why the belongings were intact.
Among the items that were found are a newspaper that was published in 1960 and letters that suggest the remains were that of a man surnamed Li, who was reported missing in the 1960s.
Police contacted Li&`&s wife, who is now 88-year-old. She remarried after Li was confirmed missing.
The couple married in 1949, a year before he was enrolled in the army to fight the Korean War. He was wounded in the war and returned home in 1951. He left home five years later, saying he would find work outside the province, and lost contact with his family.
Police said it is not known why he perished in the desert, adding that he might have also passed away in April 1961.
This is Special English.
Unable to find out who threw a yogurt bottle out of a window, the parents of a 2-year-old girl who was hurt by it sued 450 suspected homeowners.
The local court in Chongqing ruled that all of them must split the compensation and each pay 360 yuan, roughly 51 U.S. dollars.
All the homeowners who attended the court hearing accepted the ruling.
On the evening of Sept 16, 2014, the girl was playing in the neighborhood where a yogurt bottle was thrown out of a window of a nearby building and it hit the girl&`&s head.
The girl was knocked unconscious and was taken to the hospital. Her family spent more than 80,000 yuan on medical treatment for the girl&`&s skull fractures and related injuries.
As the parents could not find who was responsible, they had to sue all homes from the second to the 33rd floors and asked for a total of 300,000 yuan in compensation.
In recent years, news about objects falling from tall buildings and hitting passer-byers has drawn public attention. But most victims with minor injuries just let it go since it is so difficult to identify the person who threw the object.
However, under Chinese civil law, victims in these kind of case can be compensated by all users of a building if nobody is found responsible.
(全文见周日微信。)

【专题】慢速英语(英音)2016-12-26

Dec 22, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Four Chinese volunteers have concluded their 180-day stay in a sealed space capsule in south China&`&s Shenzhen City, testing technology intended for space exploration.
The volunteers, three men and one woman, were selected from 2,100 candidates after the Astronaut Center of China launched a call for volunteers in May last year. They have lived in a sealed capsule with a floor space of 370 square meters for the past 180 days.
The project shed light on the physiological effects of a hermetic environment and changes to biological rhythms.
The volunteers told the Xinhua News Agency that they were exhausted and had suffered both mentally and physically during the latter part of the test.
One of the volunteers said the support and encouragement from colleagues outside motivated them to hold on. Two other volunteers said they practiced Tai chi and read books to keep busy.
One of the purposes of the project was designed to test a life support system based on technology used on the Shenzhou spacecraft.
Data was collected on the growth of plants during the experiment, as well as the emotional, intellectual and physical condition of the volunteers.
This is Special English.
A series of awards has been presented in Beijing to people and agencies who have contributed to the development of China&`&s education industry over the past year.
The annual awards, called Golden Wings, were launched by Chinese internet technology company NetEase&`&s education channel in 2009. The theme of this year&`&s awards was exploring the future of China&`&s education.
Zhou Chenggang, president of New Oriental Education and Technology Group&`&s overseas study consultancy arm Vision Overseas, won the award for outstanding contribution to education.
Actress Zhu Yuanyuan won an award for her role in the TV series A Love for Separation, which tells the story of a couple who send their young children away to study overseas.
A vice president of NetEase Media and Technology Group said in his keynote speech that China&`&s education system is improving all the time, but is still far from perfect.
A senior officer of the Chinese Society of Education said that in an era of rapidly evolving technology, the core of education is still people. He said what is significant is the interaction between teachers and students, as well as the affection between them.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
British education officials expect the benefits of the Shanghai Mastery Model for Teaching and Learning Math to reach about half the primary schools in England as a result of an exchange program now well underway.
In the third round of the program that started more than two years ago, some 30 math teachers from Shanghai ended their two-week stay in the United Kingdom, in which they shared their Chinese-style teaching methods in 35 primary schools.
In July, the UK government rolled out the Chinese mastery approach to math instruction in more than 8,000 institutions, using funding of up to 41 million pounds, roughly 52 million U.S. dollars, over four years to improve British students&`& performance.
Clare Fowler, director of math education policy for England at the UK Department for Education, said teaching methods for math in UK schools have changed a great deal.
The exchange program between China and the UK started in September 2014, when 71 British math teachers went to Shanghai to spend time with their exchange partners at high-performing schools and colleges.
Between November 2014 and March 2015, more than 120 math teachers from China taught at more than 200 schools in the UK and almost 1,000 British teachers listened to the classes taught by their Shanghai counterparts.
This is Special English.
Chinese and Israeli research institutes and companies are keen to cooperate on developing medical robots.
Nine Israeli companies attending an exposition in Guangzhou have brought with them robotics currently used in spinal surgery and 3D imaging, as well as medicinal dosage handling devices.
Israeli Robotics Association Chairperson Zvi Shiller said Israel has developed robots to help the disabled go to the toilet, shower and climb escalators. Israeli firms are actively looking for partners to produce and sell their robots in the Chinese market. More than 40 Chinese companies have shown interest during the expo, while others have pitched business ideas to their Israeli counterparts.
One Chinese tech firm is investing heavily in patrol robots. A senior company official said his team have had a hard time overcoming some technological issues two years into the project and are hoping to find Israeli partners.
Another Chinese tech company is working to combine speech recognition with health care. The company is working with its major shareholder China Mobile on a series of voice-to-text and text-to-voice applications.
In a recent experiment with Peking University, the company designed a voice recognition device for doctors. The device captures the dialogue between doctor and patient and transcribes it into a formal diagnosis report without the doctor lifting a finger.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China aims to open around 10 national development zones to seek solutions for sustainable growth as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
A plan has been released by the State Council, China&`&s Cabinet. It envisions more coordinated development between economy and society in the zones, with science and technology playing a large role.
Specific measures should address the key tasks outlined in the 2030 Agenda, endorsed by the United Nations Summit for Sustainable Development last year.
The plan lists prevention of serious and infectious disease, elder care, targeted poverty elimination, and treatment of soil and water as key tasks. Policy support, including financial backing, is promised.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a blueprint for eradicating poverty worldwide by 2030.
By piloting innovative projects in the development zones, China hopes to replicate successes nationwide and offer China&`&s solutions to other countries.
This is Special English.
Only 9 of 31 provincial-level regions on the Chinese mainland have raised the minimum wage level in 2016. This compares to 2015&`&s 27 provincial-level regions that raised the minimum wage by an average of 14 percent.
According to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, Shanghai has the highest minimum monthly wage of 2,200 yuan, roughly 320 U.S. dollars. Beijing tops the hourly minimum wage list by raising its standard to 21 yuan per hour in September.
City and provincial governments in China have the authority to set their own minimum wage standards, and are required to adjust the level at least once every two years.
China&`&s GDP grew by 6.7 percent year on year in the third quarter of 2016, holding steady with the previous two quarters, but still the slowest growth since the global financial crisis.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
A compilation of remarks by Chinese President Xi Jinping on comprehensive and strict governance of the Communist Party of China has been published by the Central Party Literature Press.
The book brings together 370 paragraphs from more than 80 sources, including speeches and articles, by Xi, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, between 2012 and 2016.
Divided into 10 subjects, the book focuses on topics including ensuring the Party&`&s role as the leader of socialism with Chinese characteristics, firming ideals and beliefs and showing zero tolerance to corruption.
Many of the remarks in the book are being published for the first time.
The publisher said in a press release that careful study of the remarks will be conducive to understanding the significance of properly governing the Party and grasping its basic requirements and key tasks.
Study will also help Party building and ensure the Party can unite and lead the people to new prospects in the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
This is Special English.
The Ministry of Education has published a tailored curriculum for blind, deaf and intellectually challenged primary and junior high school students to better cater to their needs.
This is the first time that China has formulated a specialized curriculum for disabled students since 1949.
The curriculum covers 42 subjects, including 18 for blind students, 14 for the deaf and 10 for the intellectually challenged.
The content and teaching requirements have all been modified to accommodate disabled students.
China published similar documents in the 1990s, although in a more general format.
The ministry said the new curriculum meets the requirements for improved special education and will play a major role in facilitating education equality.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
An elite primary school in Beijing has denied allegations of bullying on its campus after an open letter written by a Beijing mother about how her 10-year-old son was bullied at school went viral online.
The Zhongguancun Second Primary School said in a statement that the incident was accidental and did not constitute bullying or violence. However, the statement said that the school was sorry for any hurt caused to the student and his parents.
The faculty was told by the three students involved that one of them emptied a rubbish bin over the victim from the adjacent cubical, just, in their words, "to tease him", while the third child was watching and laughing.
The victim&`&s mother posted an open letter on WeChat, describing how her son had been bullied for almost a year, and that he suffers from acute stress disorder, which is characterized by severe anxiety and depression.
The mother&`&s open letter has been shared more than 100,000 times on WeChat, and read more than 6 million times on Weibo within days of being posted.
The parents of the "bullied" student are not immediately available for comment on the school&`&s latest statement.
This is Special English.
Procurators in Beijing have begun criminal proceedings against companies and dozens of individuals implicated in a huge fraud case involving tens of billions of yuan.
An online peer-to-peer lending platform, Ezubao, had cheated members of the public out of almost 60 billion yuan, roughly 8.6 billion U.S. dollars, through fake investment projects the company advertised on its website from June 2014 to December 2015.
The company defaulted on loans worth almost 38 billion yuan, which lead to the initial investigation.
The firm&`&s parent companies along with 10 people will stand trial on charges of fraudulent fund-raising, while 16 other individuals face charges of illegally absorbing public deposits.
The defendants were also prosecuted for smuggling precious metals, illegally possessing weapons and undocumented border-crossing.
This is Special English.
More and more Chinese people have begun to value the superb craftsmanship of historical relics restorers in the Palace Museum, the former imperial palace, in Beijing.
This happened especially after Chinese Director Xiao Han&`&s three-episode TV series was released in January.
From this Friday, his documentary film "Masters of the Forbidden City" is set to hit the big screen.
(全文见周六微信。)

【专题】慢速英语(美音)2016-12-20

Dec 16, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is calling for efforts to enhance virtue in Chinese families and make them "an important foundation" for national development, progress and social harmony.
Xi made these remarks when he met the participants at a Beijing conference to honor model families across the country. He said people from all walks of life should work for a new trend toward socialist family values featuring love for the nation, family and one another.
The conference was the first of its kind to honor model families selected nationwide. A total of 300 families won the honor in a selection that highlights patriotism, observation of law, and commitment to public welfare.
Xi said though family education has many aspects, the most important was in character building, stressing that sound moral values should be passed down to children from an early age.
This is Special English.
It is estimated that China&`&s aging population will reach a peak of 400 million by 2055, with large numbers of elderly in rural areas and a prevalence of female senior citizens.
A new report shows that the aging population is expected to climb to 280 million by 2030, and the number of people who are 65 years of age and older will account for 20 percent of the total population. The figure will become 400 million by 2055, with an accompanying percentage of 27 percent.
The report, issued by Social Science Academic Press, pointed out that the disproportionate female population is a result of the longer average life expectancy of women compared to men.
Population experts say that different from other countries, Chinas&`& aging problem is largely due to the decades long family planning policies, which had led to a low birth rate for many years.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
A documentary has been broadcast on TV in China, providing rare footage of the Tokyo Trials. The three-episode-documentary began broadcasting on Tuesday, December 13, which is China&`&s National Memorial Day for the Nanjing Massacre Victims.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Tokyo Trials, when the Allied Forces brought to trial Japanese war criminals at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East in Tokyo after World War Two. The proceedings played an important part in shaping the postwar Asia-Pacific order.
Some rare footage, including witnesses&`& testimony as well as war criminals defending themselves in court is broadcast for the first time in China.
In 2014, China designated Dec. 13 as the National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims.
This is Special English.
China has vowed to strengthen the management of online streaming, prohibiting unlawful and obscene content.
The country&`&s media watchdog says authorities will crack down on activities that use live streaming to break the law or undermine people&`&s interests.
In 2016, the authority handled more than 100 cases suspected of violating laws and regulations. The cases included online dramas, films and other audio-visual products.
A regulation on live streaming has been in effect since December 1. It requires presenters to register with their real names and service providers to censor content and blacklist users who break the rules, prohibiting them from registering again.
It also bans the use of live streams to undermine national security, destabilizing society, or infringing upon others&`& rights or interests.
Online streaming has grown rapidly in China in recent years, generating huge business opportunities while bringing challenges to regulators.
By the end of June, the number of streaming service users reached 500 million, accounting for 70 percent of China&`&s Internet population.
Reports show that watching video online has become the primary form of entertainment in China, followed by gaming and reading literature online.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
The South-to-North Water Diversion project has benefited 87 million people while easing the water crisis in Northern China. That&`&s according to a news conference held recently to mark the two year anniversary of the project&`&s launch.
Among the beneficiaries is Li Wenlan, a senior citizen living in southwest Beijing&`&s Fengtai district. Li&`&s neighborhood now receives water from a nearby water plant, a facility built specifically for receiving water from the transfer project.
Now, almost 70 percent of the water running in Beijing&`&s underground pipes comes from the diversion project. Statistics show that the hardness of pipe water, a metric showing the amount of potential water scale, has dropped to around 120 milligrams per liter, which is only one-third of what it used to be before the project.
China began to build the project in 2002 after nearly 50 years of expert evaluations. The first stage of the eastern line of the project, which directs water from the Yangtze River in Jiangsu province to Shandong province, was launched in 2013.
Initiated one year later, the middle line diverts water from a reservoir in central China to Beijing and Tianjin through Hebei province.
The Water Diversion Office says the project eased water shortage in North China and improves the water security levels along the route.
This is Special English.
A photo exhibition has been held in Haikou, the capital of southern China&`&s Hainan Province, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of China&`&s recovery of the South China Sea Islands.
Running from Monday to Sunday in Hainan Museum, the exhibition displayed 150 groups of photos showing the recovery, development and other historical events of the South China Sea Islands over the last 70 years. Some of the photos are on public display for the first time.
In November and December 1946, China took over the Xisha and Nansha Islands in compliance with the Cairo Declaration and Potsdam Proclamation, which ended Japan&`&s illegal occupation of the islands.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
A survey has found that female employees in China are more loyal to their employers and have higher brand satisfaction than their male counterparts.
The survey, entitled China Best Employers 2016, is based on feedback from more than 4 million respondents, around 53 percent of whom were women. The results were jointly published by Peking University&`&s Institute of Social Science Survey and Zhaopin.com, a Chinese human resources website.
The report found that 38 percent of the female respondents have never changed their jobs, 11 percent higher than their male counterparts. Twenty percent of the females have been in their current job for more than five years, while for males, it was half that number, 10 percent.
The survey also found that female employees care more about soft aspects of the workplace, including a positive and comfortable work environment, while at the same time, they desire equal pay for equal work.
While female employees attach great importance to learning vocational skills as their career develops, the survey found that male employees care more about promotions. Women with work experience of less than one year are the most eager to improve their skills. The survey found that 56 percent of such women think improving their skills is the most important aspect of their career over the next three years.
The report says recognition of personal capabilities and self-fulfillment are also a top concern for women, which "shows females are more worried about being replaced and more eager to win recognition".
This is Special English.
The southwestern Chinese city Chongqing will invest 15 billion yuan, roughly 2 billion U.S. dollars, to build a film and television industry park in a scenic mountainous area.
The park will have a film shooting base, a tourist town, a theme park, as well as office buildings for film industry enterprises.
The park is named after China&`&s Belt and Road Initiative, a cooperation scheme for countries along the ancient Silk Road.
The park is located in the mountainous Wulong County. Construction will begin in early 2017. Cooperation partners from a dozen foreign countries have been invited to participate in the construction of some of the projects including the theme park and the tourist town.
Local officials said the park will serve as a platform to promote exchanges and cooperation among film enterprises from China and other countries. It is expected that the park will integrate the art of film with online entertainment, gaming, and other new technology.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Reindeer living on the Arctic island of Svalbard are getting smaller - and scientists say climate change may be the cause.
Scientists from Britain and Norway have found that adult Svalbard reindeer born in 2010 weigh 12 percent less on average than those born in 1994.
Ecologist Steve Albon of Scotland&`&s James Hutton Institute says rising temperatures in the Arctic mean Svalbard is getting more rain, which is creating a hard ice sheet that the island&`&s reindeer can&`&t easily break through to reach food.
Reindeer populations are also increasing due to warmer summers, stoking the competition.
Albon says researchers think there is a correlation between rising temperatures and reindeer weight. He says more research is needed to confirm the link.
Their findings were presented recently at a meeting of the British Ecological Society.
This is Special English.
Almost 20,000 ancient trees on the renowned Mount Tai in Shandong province now have "digital ID cards" holding basic information on the trees.
The system provides basic information about the trees to help rangers examine the trees&`& growing environment, and make it easier for disease control and prevention.
There are 18,000 ancient trees on Mount Tai, and 1,800 of them have been classified as first-class ancient trees, meaning they are either more than 300 years old, or are particularly rare.
One of several very popular trees is a pine tree named Yingkesong, or Guest-Welcoming Pine. As one of the most popular tourist attractions, the more than 500-year-old pine is one of the items on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage list.
This is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I&`&m going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
This is the end of today&`&s program. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing, and I hope you can join us every day, to learn English and learn about the world.


【专题】慢速英语 (英音)2016-12-19

Dec 16, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
China will appoint local government heads as river chiefs across the country to clean up and protect its water resources.
Guidelines published by the Chinese central authorities say the river chiefs will be responsible for the management and protection of the watercourses, much as mayors and county heads are responsible for their beats.
The central government expects to turn such practices into a nationwide mechanism by the end of 2018.
China firstly appointed local government officials as river chiefs in 2007 to address pollution woes of a blue algae outbreak in Taihu Lake in eastern China.
The practice was later adopted in several regions rich in water resources to ensure strong enforcement of environmental policies and enhance coordination.
Provincial governors will be general chiefs that are responsible for all rivers and lakes in the region, while officials at various levels will be appointed as chiefs of particular rivers and lakes.
For large rivers and lakes that span across more than one administrative region, river chiefs will be responsible for different parts of the water bodies and cooperate on management.
The responsibilities of the river chiefs will include water resource protection, pollution prevention and control, and ecological restoration. Their job performance will be assessed and they will be held accountable if environmental damage occurs in the water bodies they take charge of.
This is Special English.
The Ministry of Education says the country will further open-up its educational sector to the world and raise its cultural exchange sector to a national strategic level.
Efforts will be exerted to serve both overseas students in China and Chinese students studying abroad. It will support schools jointly-run by China and other countries.
China planned to send 29,000 government-sponsored students this year as part of an initiative to train talent with global vision.
Around 520,000 Chinese people studied abroad in 2015, making China the world's top source of international students. Meanwhile, China is the world's third largest study destination, following the United States and the United Kingdom. Almost 400,000 foreign students studied in China last year.
Sino-foreign cooperative education has progressed rapidly in China in recent years. China has established more than 2,400 cooperative programs with 700 overseas universities. The country has signed agreements on the mutual recognition of academic degrees and diplomas with 44 countries and regions.
China has begun national-level educational cooperation with countries including the United States, Russia, the U.K, and France. China plans to raise such exchanges to a national strategic level in the future.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A freight train loaded with meat from Germany has arrived in Chengdu, the capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province.
The train took 13 days to travel 12,000 kilometers from Nuremberg, Germany, to Chengdu, and was loaded with 22 tonnes of German pork. All the meat products will be put on the Chinese market after passing quarantine inspection.
The train saves 45 days of transport time compared with shipping by sea, and saves costs of 10,000 yuan, roughly 1,500 U.S. dollars, per ton when compared with air freight.
The China-Europe freight train marks the opening of the railway channel for China to import meat products from Europe.
The train's terminal, an international railway depot in Chengdu, is the first meat import inland depot in western China.
This is Special English.
China has implanted artificial cochleae free of charge for more than 20,000 impoverished, severely hearing impaired children since 2009.
China's health authority told the Xinhua News Agency that the work is part of a special program launched in 2009, with a total investment of 2 billion yuan, roughly 330 million U.S. dollars.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission said at a meeting organized by the World Health Organization that China sets great store in the health of people's hearing, making significant efforts in the area.
The commission said the health authority will strengthen its efforts in this regard, especially in the prevention of birth defects and newborn screening, as well as improving the capabilities of rural health institutions.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Scientists have announced that a fossilized-feathered dinosaur tail has been discovered in a piece of amber, complete with bones and feathers.
Researchers believe that the tail belongs to a tiny dinosaur that lived around 99 million years ago during the mid-Cretaceous period.
A paper on the findings, co-authored by Chinese paleontologist Xing Lida, Canadian scientist Ryan C. McKellar and others, has been published in the journal "Current Biology".
This is the first time dinosaur material has been found fossilized in amber.
The specimen has been named "Eva".
The tail is six centimeters long, by which scientists estimate that the dinosaur was 18 centimeters long. The feathers on the tail appear to be brown on the top and pale white on the underside.
Xing said the specimen has been so well preserved that they believe it is very close to what it would have looked like when the dinosaur was alive.
The amber was found in Hukawng Valley in northern Myanmar.
Philip J. Currie, from the Academy of Science under the Royal Society of Canada, said he had never expected to see such a well preserved dinosaur specimen.
Scientists cannot confirm if Eva was a juvenile or adult based on its bones. There were no obvious signs of a violent struggle leading to the animal being encased by the sap upon death. The cause of death cannot be confirmed either.
This is Special English.
Chinese scientists say they found a new way to effectively inhibit a person's fearful memories arising from traumatic events including domestic violence and war.
Animal testing found that fear can be effectively removed by transplanting a special kind of nerve cell into the brains of an adult mouse. The study was led by Yu Yongchun, a researcher at Fudan University in Shanghai.
The findings are expected to shine new light on the treatment of severe mental conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. The study results have been published online by Neuron, an influential journal in the field of neuroscience.
The research is expected to help explore new strategies for treating PTSD, which is caused by indelible and traumatic memories including traffic accidents, hairy spiders, a nasty breakup or military combat.
Patients with PTSD often exhibit anxiety, depression, chronic pain, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, drug abuse, and alcohol addiction.
Statistics show that around 80 percent of adults have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lifetimes, while 5 to 10 percent have experienced severe psychological trauma that can be diagnosed as PTSD.
So far, the treatment of PTSD involves a combination of psychology and medication. However, mental symptoms often return after the treatment is stopped.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That's mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
A new book on the Nanjing massacre in World War Two has been released in China's eastern city of Nanjing in Jiangsu Province.
The book is called "Human Memory: the Solid Evidence of the Nanjing Massacre". It consists of around 200 documents and images from China, Japan and other countries which participated in the post-war trials.
Editor-in-chief of the book, Zhang Xianwen from Nanjing University said that only when a nation keeps its memory intact can it learn lessons and be inspired.
A research institute on the Nanjing Massacre and world peace was established by Nanjing University and other bodies in March. It selected the documents from archives and libraries in China, the United States, Germany, Britain and Japan.
The provincial government has granted peace medals to descendants of six foreigners, including John Rabe from Germany, who helped save civilians during the massacre.
Japanese troops occupied Nanjing on December 13, 1937, and began a six-week massacre. Records show that more than 300,000 people, including disarmed soldiers and civilians, were killed.
Since 2014, China has marked December 13 as National Memorial Day.
This is Special English.
China has vowed to strengthen the management of online streaming, prohibiting unlawful and obscene content.
The country's media watchdog says authorities will crack down on activities that use live streaming to break the law or undermine people's interests.
In 2016, the authority handled more than 100 cases suspected of violating laws and regulations. The cases included online dramas, films and other audio-visual products.
A regulation on live streaming has been in effect since December 1. It requires presenters to register with their real names and service providers to censor content and blacklist users who break the rules, prohibiting them from registering again.
It also bans the use of live streams to undermine national security, destabilize society, or infringe upon others' rights and interests.
Online streaming has grown rapidly in China in recent years, generating huge business opportunities while bringing challenges to regulators.
By the end of June, the number of streaming service users reached 500 million, accounting for 70 percent of China's Internet population.
Reports show that watching video online has become the primary form of entertainment in China, followed by gaming and reading literature online.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A survey has found that female employees in China are more loyal to their employers and have higher brand satisfaction than their male counterparts.
The survey, entitled China Best Employers 2016, is based on feedback from more than 4 million respondents, around 53 percent of whom were women. The results were jointly published by Peking University's Institute of Social Science Survey and Zhaopin.com, a Chinese human resources website.
The report found that 38 percent of the female respondents have never changed their jobs, 11 percent higher than male respondents. Twenty percent of the females have been in their current job for more than five years, while for males, it was half that number, 10 percent.
The survey also found that female employees care more about soft aspects of the workplace, including a positive and comfortable work environment, while at the same time, they desire equal pay for equal work.
While female employees attach great importance to learning vocational skills as their career develops, the survey found that male employees care more about promotions. Women with work experience of less than one year are the most eager to improve their skills. The survey found that 56 percent of such women think improving their skills is the most important aspect of their career over the next three years.
This is Special English.
China has more than 20,000 civilian drones, or unmanned aircraft vehicles, and half of them are operating without a license.
Officials suggest that an electric fence could be built in order to supervise and contain unlicensed drones.
They suggest that a new technology called U-Cloud would also be useful. The U-Cloud is similar to the black boxes in planes and can be used to supervise the data of civilian drones in real time.
Experts say that by registering drones and implementing effective technology, it will be possible to track the drones and the owners down.
...

【专题】慢速英语(美音)2016-12-13

Dec 8, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China has released a national plan on environmental improvements for the five years spanning 2016 and 2020, detailing tasks to cleanse polluted air, water and soil.
The plan set the goals of a more environmentally friendly way of living, considerable reduction of major pollutants, effective control of environmental risks, and a sounder ecological system by 2020.
To achieve those targets, the State Council has asked Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, as well as regions along the Yangtze River Economic Belt to draw up a bottom line, for ecological protection by the end of 2017. Meanwhile, other areas should come up with a red line before the end of 2018.
Consumption of coal, which is a major source of pollution in China, will be strictly controlled.
China&`&s environmental protection still lags behind its economic status, and decades of breakneck growth have left the country saddled with problems including smog and contaminated waterways and soil.
Northern China has frequently been choked by winter smog, showing the war on pollution is an urgent and arduous task.
This is Special English.
A mysterious banging noise on the surface of a spacecraft that baffled a Chinese astronaut turned out not to be aliens, but the result of air pressure changes.
Yang Liwei, China&`&s first astronaut, aroused public attention when he revealed in a television interview in late November that he heard an unexplained sound like "knocking an iron bucket with a wooden hammer" from outside his capsule during his maiden mission in 2003, leaving him very puzzled.
When the famed astronaut attended an event at a school in the eastern city of Ningbo in Zhejiang Province recently, the question of the mysterious noise was raised by students.
Yang replied that according to what he learned, the knocking sound was a result of decreasing air pressure that caused changes in the structure of the spacecraft as it left Earth for space.
He said air leaking out of the objects in the capsule could also cause the noise.
Yang said he thinks it was normal, and it is necessary to carefully identify the cause.
Yang&`&s explanation echoed with space scientist Liu Hong, who wrote an article for a popular Chinese science website, saying that she believes the sound comes from tiny deformations in the space capsule&`&s inner wall to changes in pressure.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
It is time to go skiing as authorities in Beijing aim to attract as many as 5 million residents to take up winter sports by 2020 as it prepares to host the upcoming winter Olympics.
Beijing, along with the city of Zhangjiakou in Hebei Province, won the bid to co-host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The Beijing municipal government approved a five-year plan spanning 2016 and 2020 on public fitness, pledging "vigorous efforts" to introduce winter sports to the public. The sports include alpine skiing, speed skating, figure skating and curling.
According to the plan, the government will use sports lottery revenue and other fiscal funds to build sporting venues, set up sports associations, and organize competitions and festivals.
It will particularly attract student enthusiasts with winter camps, sports schools, recreation centers and clubs. The amount of investment and details of the project are not yet disclosed.
This is Special English.
China&`&s "24 solar terms" has been added to UNESCO&`&s world intangible cultural heritage list.
The announcement was made in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, during the 11th session of UNESCO&`&s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritages.
China&`&s "24 solar terms" is a knowledge system and social practice formed through observations of the sun&`&s annual motion, as well as cognition of the year&`&s changes in season and climate.
The terms include Start of Spring, Awakening of Insects, Start of Summer, as well as Winter Solstice, Minor Cold and Major Cold.
The collective terms are among the 37 requests for inscription on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage is in its 10 years of service. It has inscribed 336 items onto the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
The island of Utopia, created 500 years ago, and the futuristic outer space, which seem far away from each other, came together at a conference in Beijing recently.
The International Conference of Utopian and Science Fiction Studies has been held to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the publication of "Utopia".
In 1516, English philosopher and writer Thomas More published his famous book "Utopia", depicting an almost perfect fictional society, and the term has been widely used and discussed since then.
Among various anniversary activities around the world at this time of this year, the conference in Beijing commemorates the well-known novel in a special way by discussing it together with sci-fi works, with the participation of experts and scholars from China, the United States and Japan.
While Utopia is always regarded as a political and philosophical concept, and science fiction normally focuses on technology, Kim Stanley Robinson, an American sci-fi author famous for his "Mars trilogy", said at the conference that the two are connected naturally.
According to Robinson, Utopia was initially set on an isolated island, and such a background could not be used anymore after the world was completely explored, so the background had to be switched to the future.
Guo Changbao, dean of the School of Chinese Language and Literature of Beijing Normal University, said the vast space inspired by Utopia would bring meaningful perspectives for Chinese science fiction and its studies.
This is Special English.
Taiwan investigators said they had solved the island&`&s biggest-ever drug-trafficking case and seized more than 200 kilograms of cocaine.
The market value of the seized cocaine is estimated to exceed 2 billion new Taiwan dollars, roughly 62 million U.S. dollars. Investigators said they had also seized more than 50 kilograms of meth.
Investigators received tip-offs that a Taipei company had, on multiple occasions, exported "large vehicle batteries" by sea or air to Australia at unreasonably high freight costs.
On Dec. 1, they found around 51 kilograms of meth transported along with the company&`&s 11 exported vehicle batteries.
Later they seized around 218 kilograms of cocaine transported with 30 similar batteries that the company imported from Brazil.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
Michael Phelps wants to dive into the Silicon Valley&`&s investment opportunities as he tries to make the transition from Olympic swimming star and product pitchman to entrepreneur.
Phelps says he would love to get involved, whether it&`&s in a couple little startups here and there, take a little risk, have some fun and see where it goes.
For now, Phelps isn&`&t providing any details about what he is going to do, though he says he has been getting advice from venture capitalists and other experienced investors in Silicon Valley startups.
Getting into tech investing would be a new direction for Phelps, whose business experience to date consists mostly of his own line of swimwear and endorsement deals with the likes of Under Armour, Visa and Wheaties.
These and other big brands have paid him an estimated 75 million dollars during his career. That&`&s far more than the 1.6 million dollars that he received from the U.S. Olympic Committee and Speedo for winning a record 28 medals, including 23 golds, in five Olympics. He&`&s still promoting products; he is currently doing commercials for computer chipmaker Intel in a campaign that began in October.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
A transgender student whose battle over the right to use a girls&`& bathroom has led to a landmark court ruling in Maine, and is being featured in a new HBO documentary.
"The Trans List" explores what it means to be a transgender in America.
Nicole Maines is one of several individuals featured in the documentary.
Maines says her entire family got behind her after she was bullied over a bathroom while in secondary school. The state supreme court ultimately ruled that her rights were violated.
Maines now encourages young people to advocate for themselves. In her words, "slay your own dragon, you can do it". She is currently a student at the University of Maine.
This is Special English.
Buzz Aldrin said he was evacuated from the South Pole because he became short of breath and began showing signs of altitude sickness.
The 86-year-old adventurer, who was the second man to walk on the moon, released details of his dramatic medical evacuation. He was continuing to recuperate in a hospital in Christchurch in New Zealand.
Because of the thick ice, the South Pole sits at an elevation of 2,800 meters, or 9,300 feet.
Aldrin, his son and his manager had been visiting the South Pole as tourists on a trip organized by the White Desert tour company.
Aldrin said the trip began well, and that he&`&d been planning on spending time with scientists who were studying what it would be like to live on Mars because conditions in Antarctica are similar.
After the group ventured further south, Aldrin started to feel a bit short of breath so the staff decided to check his vitals. After some examination, they noticed congestion in his lungs and that his oxygen levels were low, which indicated symptoms of altitude sickness.
This is Special English.

Infrared cameras have captured incredible scenes of wild Amur leopards and Siberian tigers this year after being installed at a national nature reserve in northeast China&`&s Heilongjiang Province.
Amur leopards were spotted 17 times this year at a nature reserve, equaling the total number from 2012 to 2015.
Siberian tigers were spotted five times, including twice when they were found roaming during the daytime.
The nature reserve said more animal activities, especially in daytime, show the rare species have become more active thanks to human retreat.
Siberian tigers were rarely found in the daytime for fear of human-related noise, including logging saws and vehicle engines at the reserve, which used to be a timber base.
In 2011, the local forestry bureau banned logging and initiated a program to build a nature reserve for wild tigers. In 2014, the reserve was upgraded to the national level.
Since the creation of the reserve, prey for carnivores, including boars and deer, have increased, which helped the big cat population rebound.
At least four Siberian tigers and seven Amur leopards currently live at the reserve. The numbers change as the animals often roam back and forth across the China-Russia border.

As one of the world&`&s most endangered species, the Amur leopard was put under top national protection in 1983. There are less than 70 left in the world. They are mostly found in Russia&`&s Far East, northeast China and the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. Around 500 Siberian tigers are believed to survive in the wild, in those same areas.
This is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I&`&m going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
This is the end of today&`&s program. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing, and I hope you can join us every day, to learn English and learn about the world.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2016-12-12

Dec 8, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
A scientist known as China&`&s "father of hybrid rice" has developed a new strain that could enable the plant to adapt to more varied growing environments at a significantly lower cost.
The strain is designed to be hardier and able to withstand lower temperatures during the plant&`&s reproductive phase. It is the third generation of hybrid rice that Yuan Longping has developed.
Yuan told the China Daily that the third generation will also incorporate the merits of the previous two generations, and its adaptability to low temperatures will increase significantly.
Low temperatures during the reproductive phase resulted in crop failure for the second generation of hybrid rice in Anhui province in 2014, triggering government scrutiny over the adaptability of the strain. It also infuriated farmers, whose yields plummeted from an expected 7.5 metric tons to 750 kilograms per hectare, or even to zero.
Yuan said the cost of breeding the new strain has also decreased significantly, making its commercial use viable in the short term.
Yuan is also developing a new strain of saltwater-resistant rice that could yield up to 4.5 tons per hectare - around 60 percent of the yield from regular paddies.
Meanwhile, his team is looking to sell the new strain to the world&`&s major rice-growing countries.
This is Special English.
Another big name is joining the world&`&s pursuit for self-driving cars, with Apple acknowledging for the first time that it is investing "heavily" in building such a car.
According to a letter from the company to the U.S. transport regulator which was revealed in the media recently, Apple declared its interest in self-driving vehicle technology, adding that the company "is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation".
The letter was written by Apple&`&s Director of Product Integrity Steve Kenner on Nov. 22 to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It urges the U.S. regulator not to introduce too many rules on the testing of self-driving cars.
The letter said established manufacturers and new entrants should be treated equally.
There has long been speculation about the computer and iPhone maker&`&s plans for expanding into transportation but it has not publicly admitted them.
A few companies are currently investing in self-driving cars, including Google which is reportedly already testing its cars on the roads, and the electric car maker Tesla, which has announced that all the cars it now builds will have the hardware installed to drive on their own.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A British Council program aiming to inspire girls and young women about the world of work has launched its online platform.
The program is entitled "Inspiring Women China". It is based on an initiative in Britain. Its online platform will enable this initiative to grow in scale across China with teachers able to connect with and invite volunteers in any chosen field or area to talk with students in their school or college.
The program is expected to inspire young people, girls and young women in particular, to raise their confidence and aspirations and enable them to make better informed choices about their career options.
At the heart of this program is a network of successful women from a broad range of backgrounds who volunteer their time to talk to students about their job, career and the path they took to get there.
Carma Elliot, head of the British Council China, says she agrees with the Chinese saying of "women hold up half the sky".
She said the program is also about inspiring the next generation of girls to fulfill their potential in society, and to make the greatest possible contribution to social and economic development.
This is Special English.
Member countries of the European Space Agency have approved an additional 440 million euros, roughly 470 million U.S. Dollars, to fund the agency&`&s next mission to Mars.
As part of the ExoMars mission, the agency sent an orbiter and a test lander to the red planet this year. The Trace Gas Orbiter was successfully deployed but the lander malfunctioned and crashed on the surface of Mars, raising fears about the next stage of the mission.
Despite the crash, officials meeting in Switzerland recently approved the budget that the agency said it requires to send a rover to Mars in 2020.
In all, member states approved 10 billion euros in funding for the agency, which will also allow it to continue participating in the International Space Station program until at least 2024.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Australian researchers have developed a world-first vaccine for gum disease.
The vaccine, developed by a team from the University of Melbourne, will eliminate, or at least significantly reduce, the need for surgery and antibiotics for severe gum disease.
Gum disease affects one in three adults worldwide and more than 50 percent of Australians over the age of 65.
The disease is commonly associated with diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia and certain types of cancer. It is a chronic condition that destroys gum tissue and bone supporting teeth, leading to tooth loss.
The vaccine targets enzymes produced by the bacteria to trigger an immune response which in turn produces antibodies that neutralize the pathogen&`&s destructive toxins.
Eric Reynolds, CEO of the Oral Health Cooperative Research Center at the University of Melbourne, said the vaccine would greatly reduce the tissue destruction caused by the pathogen.
Reynolds said the methods are helpful, and he holds high hopes for this vaccine to improve the quality of life for millions of people.
Clinical trials of the vaccine in humans are expected to begin in early 2018.
This is Special English.
Patients in an Australia state are being recruited in what is touted as the world&`&s first medicinal cannabis trial for the prevention of nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.
The clinical trial will involve 80 patients in the first stage and could expand to another 250 patients across New South Wales.
According to a statement from the office of the New South Wales Minister for Medical Research, the trial will play a critical role in developing a better understanding of how cannabis products may provide relief for cancer patients.
A new oral plant-derived, pharmaceutical-grade capsule will be used in the trial.
A lead researcher of the trial, associate Professor Peter Grimison said there was very limited high-quality research available on the role of cannabis-derived medicines in treating nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.
He said they have come a long way with conventional anti-nausea medication, but one-third of patients continue to suffer during and after chemotherapy.
The professor said the role of cannabis medicines in alleviating chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting is still unclear, and this study aims to provide a definitive answer to this question.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
Hollywood writers will be hired to train the winners of a young Chinese scriptwriters program.
The program, "Ju Ben Hui", which means "alliance of scripts", is the name of the project that was jointly developed by three Beijing-based entertainment companies.
Top Chinese directors are on the panel that will select three young scriptwriters from candidates across the country. They will be selected for a grant of up to 1 million yuan, roughly 147,000 U.S. dollars, and a chance to be coached by a Hollywood scriptwriter at a venue in North China&`&s Hebei province.
The first winners will be announced next year and the date has yet to be released.
An actor-director who is on the panel said China needs more high quality screenplays, and Hollywood&`&s rich experience in storytelling can be an inspiration.
This is Special English.
Ten foreigners who have significant influence in their social media circles including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, have gathered in Beijing to experience traditional Chinese medicine.
During the event, the foreigners experienced massage, acupuncture, hot spring treatments, and watched tai chi performance.
The event was co-sponsored by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development and China&`&s biggest online travel agency C-trip. It is part of a campaign to showcase traditional Chinese medicine to foreign visitors.
Meanwhile, C-trip has launched traditional medicine tours on its website.
Beijing has rich tourism resources, with 35 tourism destinations dedicated to
Traditional Chinese Medicine tours.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A big-budget television drama about the early life of William Shakespeare is being filmed in Wales in western Britain.
The drama will be the largest budget film ever shot in Wales. The series is being made for U.S. television.
Backed by financing from the Welsh Assembly, the production is expected to generate almost 23 million U.S. dollars for the Welsh economy.
The first series of nine episodes has been commissioned following the success of an initial pilot program that was filmed in London.
Welcoming the news, the Welsh Assembly&`&s Economy Cabinet Secretary Ken Skates described it as a great win and a huge boost for the creative industries sector in Wales.
He said the event supports the sector strategy to attract high-end drama to Wales with a specific focus on the lucrative U.S. market and with the probability of repeat series.
TNT is the American cable and satellite television channel owned by the Turner Broadcasting System division of Time Warner. The channel has ordered 10 episodes of the drama that tells the wild story of a young William Shakespeare.
Shakespeare is played by newcomer Laurie Davidson. The series is scheduled to air on U.S. television in 2017.
This is Special English.
A couple tried to hide in a Shanghai IKEA store to live broadcast their late night adventure on Saturday, December 3. IKEA security discovered them and called the police.
The police said the couple would be detained for several days.
On Friday, the man announced his plans on Weibo, saying he would invite a lady to hide in an IKEA store for the night.
The pair arrived at IKEA, hid in a cupboard and put out a live broadcast in the darkness. Later in the evening, a security guard discovered them and called the police.
Police officers came soon afterwards and found another man with the couple. The three said they wanted to experience the childhood feeling of hiding in a cupboard and meant no harm.
The live broadcaster apologized on Weibo the following day.
Live web broadcasting is becoming increasingly popular in China. The authorities published a regulation on live streaming one month ago, urging providers to obtain qualifications and act according to rules.
The regulations banned the use of live streams to undermine national security, destabilize society, disturb social order, infringe upon others&`& rights and interests, or disseminate obscene content.
This is Special English.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2016-12-06

Dec 1, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China has experienced an increase in cases of online data leaks in the past few years due to the development of the "cyber black market". That&`&s according to a report by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences&`& Institute of Information.
The report is entitled "The Annual Report on Development of Cyberspace Security in China". It says cases relating to information leaks have become more frequent since last year, including the high-profile case involving Gfan, China&`&s largest online platform for Android systems. In the case, data of the platform&`&s more than 23 million users, including their names, passwords and email addresses, were made public on the internet.
An estimated 560,000 people were engaged in the industry in the first six months of this year.
From June last year to June this year, economic losses resulting from text message spam, online scams and information leaks totaled 91 billion yuan, roughly 13 billion U.S. dollars.
Such losses were attributed to the cyber black market, a commercial chain where participants including hackers and network operators gain profits illegally. The industry is a growing multi-billion-US dollar economy.
Experts say the most effective way of addressing the problem is to pass legislation on protecting information and clarify governmental departments&`& obligation on law enforcement and supervision.
This is Special English.
Northeast China has seen a population loss of more than 1 million people in the last ten years. Among them, many are high income earners and well-educated who are seeking better jobs and lifestyles outside the region.
The National Development and Reform Commission released the information to counter earlier reports that northeast China was losing a population of one million people each year.
Northeast China refers to the three provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang. It had long been one of China&`&s industrial heartlands. But in recent decades, northeast China is seeing a slower economic growth, which is a major concern of the regional governments.
Wage levels for college graduates are similarly uncompetitive due to a relatively poor economy. The average salary levels in the region are one of the lowest in the country.
The National Development and Reform Commission says many talents in the region have turned to companies elsewhere in China which offer better terms and conditions of employment.
But some commentators suggested that it is not all about money; and the system has long applied restrains to the development of individuals.
A low birth rate has also in contributed to the downward trend in the population growth in northeast China.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei said he heard mysterious knocks during his trip in space.
Yang recalled his experience in space during a recent interview with China Central Television. He said the unusual situation he was met with in space were non-causal knocks that appeared from time to time during his travel in the spaceship more than ten years ago.
He explained the noise often suddenly appeared without any rhyme or reason. "It neither came from outside nor inside the spaceship, but it sounded like someone was knocking on the spaceship, as if someone was using a wooden hammer to hit an iron bucket."
Those were Yang&`&s words when he was talking about how he was nervous at first, and how he moved close to the porthole to try to find out what the noise was. However, nothing out of the ordinary appeared on both the inside and outside of the spaceship.
After returning to earth, he told technicians about the noise, and tried to imitate it with some instruments so as to solve the mystery. But upon reflection, Yang has said he has never heard the exact noise again.
But the same noise was heard by astronauts onboard other spaceships including the Shenzhou 6 and Shenzhou 7 space crafts.
In October 2003, Yang returned to earth in his re-entry module after a 21-hour trip in space. After his trip, Yang became the world&`&s 241st human being to visit outer space.
This is Special English.
Public facilities across Beijing will soon have their own QR codes so that the public can access the "identity information" and interact with the city management.
From things like dustbins to street signs and even bus stop boards, all facilities in Beijing will have their own QR code displayed on them before 2018.
Currently, 50 streets including Beijing&`&s central thoroughfare, the Chang&`&an Avenue, have major public facilities with QR codes on them. When scanned, the code opens an information page on the smart device. The information tells people whom to contact to report any damage to public facilities or whoever is responsible for maintenance and repair.
People can also use the social-networking app WeChat to report any issues to the management or search for the nearest metro stations or public restrooms.
This is Special English.
China&`&s top economic planner has approved a plan to build an intercity railway network linking Beijing and neighboring city Tianjin as well as Hebei province.
The blueprint targets the year 2020 as its initial phase. The whole system consists of nine rail lines with a total length of 1,100 kilometers. The National Development and Reform Commission estimated the total investment to be 250 billion yuan. That&`&s roughly 36 billion U.S. dollars.
The network is a major infrastructure project of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei integrated development plan.
Three major lines will connect Beijing, Tianjin and the capital of Hebei Province with high-speed trains traveling at up to 350 kilometers per hour. The commuting time between any pair of the three cities will be cut down to less than an hour.
Last year, China passed the Outline of Collaborative Development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province. The outline proposed removing some of Beijing&`&s noncapital functions to neighboring areas to control pollution and improve transport conditions.
Experts say the new railway network will greatly boost real estate development in the area.
The preparatory work of certain lines, including that from Beijing to Tangshan city, has already started.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
Plans are in the pipeline for an animated movie featuring the prehistoric Sanxingdui Ruins in southwest China&`&s Sichuan Province.
The film, "The Golden Mask", tells the story of a golden mask found during the excavation of some mysterious ruins.
The movie features fantasy, adventure and also time travel. It is said to be produced and screened on 3D and IMAX screens and will be released in 2019.
With an investment of 20 million U.S. dollars, the movie has secured copyright certificates from China and the United States. The crew includes a director, an art designer and a composer from Hollywood.
A spokesperson said in a recent news release that the movie aims to spread the mysterious culture that surrounds Sanxingdui Ruins.
The ruins are located some 40 kilometers from Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan. They are believed to be remnants of the ancient Shu Kingdom that disappeared for unknown reasons some 3,000 years ago.
Sprawling over an area of 12 square kilometers, the ruins are listed among China&`&s top 10 archaeological findings of the 20th century, and are seen as representing the origins of ancient Chinese civilization.
This is Special English.
Gripping tiny slices of sheer rock and hoisting himself up 3,000 feet with only his strength, Adam Ondra quietly inched his way up one of the world&`&s most challenging rock walls and into the record books.
Ondra, a 23-year-old from the Czech Republic, took eight days to finish the free-climb up the Dawn Wall of the famed El Capitan in California&`&s Yosemite National Park.
Ondra&`&s recent accomplishment was the second-ever free assent of the wall.
Nearly two years ago, U.S. climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson were first to chart and conquer the route, a feat that took the pair 19 days.
Jorgeson said it&`&s like being a proud parent, in a way, because he feels honored that Ondra was drawn to the challenge. He said that is the point: To raise the bar so someone else can do the same thing and stand on your shoulders.
Unlike climbers who need more elaborate equipment, free-climbers use their strength and ability to grasp tiny cracks and lips in the granite rock with their fingertips and toes. They use ropes and harnesses only for safety to catch if they fall.
Throughout the climb, Ondra took to social media to post about the cold, soaking rain and the pain from the granite wearing down the skin on his fingers. He also celebrated victories.
He wrote on Instagram as he neared the top that it was hard to find the words to describe how he felt. One of his posts said that he had made it up the Wino Tower and had no more hard pitches to guard his way to the top. He said this made him feel that he could not ask for a better day.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Stone helmets, armor and animal remains are among the latest archaeological finds at Emperor Qinshihuang&`&s mausoleum in Xi&`&an in northwest China.
The items have been found in the celebrated site, which is home to China&`&s iconic Terracotta Warriors.
During a recent excavation, archaeologists have found out about the mausoleum&`&s general structure, which was previously unknown.
A large number of new pits have been discovered. Among them, more than 400 were located within the mausoleum and dozens of small tombs were found near the site.
Experts believe the stone helmets and armor were not for wearing, but their real functions remained unknown. The finds also include several thousand pieces of animal remains and other animal-related objects, making it the largest number of animal-related discoveries ever found in a single site.
One of the most commonly seen animals unearthed at the site were horses. Horse images can be found on pottery and copper wares. Other animals include some very rare bird species and beasts.
This is Special English.
A total of 160 items originally received by public servants as business gifts went up for auction recently in central China&`&s Hubei Province.
The gift items were turned in by staff from almost 30 government organs, public institutions and state-owned enterprises in the past two years in Wuhan, the provincial capital.
China does not allow public servants to receive gifts. Those who take business gifts must hand them in and register them within one month. The auction was seen by many as showing the local government&`&s determination to fight corruption.
Jewelry, paintings, watches and electronic devices were among the items for the auction. The initial bidding price of all items totaled almost 600,000 yuan, roughly 86,000 U.S. dollars.
Around 200 people showed up at the event and almost the auctions were successful.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2016-12-05

Dec 1, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
World Health Organization chief Margaret Chan has hailed China&`&s ever-strengthening anti-tobacco efforts, saying she expects to see more progress in the right direction.
The World Health Organization director-general said "China has done well" tightening tobacco controls. She made the remarks on the sidelines of the Ninth Global Conference on Health Promotion which was held in Shanghai.
At least 16 Chinese cities have passed tobacco control rules. Shanghai, a leader of the campaign, is set to ban smoking in all indoor public places, workplaces and on public transport from March next year.
Chan believes China "is moving at the right direction, doing well, but needs to do more".
She encouraged mayors to introduce regulatory or fiscal measures, including increased taxes, a ban on tobacco advertisements on television and in the print media, as well as the cessation of tobacco sponsorship in sports events.
Chan said tobacco kills six million people every year. These are avoidable deaths. It&`&s a tragedy that people don&`&t prevent smoking from causing death and devastation on health.
During the four-day long conference, more than 100 mayors from cities across the globe pledged to integrate health in their key policies.
Meanwhile Chan has stressed that public health should be given priority in China&`&s development strategy.
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Acknowledging Zika is "here to stay", the United Nations health agency has lifted a 9-month-old emergency declaration and prepared for a longer-term response to the mosquito-borne virus that can result in severe neurological defects in newborns whose mothers were infected.
The World Health Organization was quick to note that the move does not mean the agency is downgrading the threat of the virus that has spread across Latin America, the Caribbean and elsewhere. Almost 30 countries have reported birth defects linked to Zika, with more than 2,100 cases of nervous-system malformations reported in Brazil alone.
The officials also emphasized that the now-lifted "Public Health Emergency of International Concern" was declared in February, when Zika clusters were appearing and a sharp increase in research was needed - with the looming Rio Olympics in mind.
The World Health Organization said the emergency measures had led the world to an "urgent and coordinated response". But the virus has continued to spread. The agency acknowledged "many aspects of the disease and associated consequences still remain to be understood, but this can best be done through sustained research.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Parents of children whose mouths were taped shut by a Russian teacher at a private school in Shanghai are demanding the tuition fees they paid be refunded.
K & H International School&`&s branch in Changning District earlier issued a statement apologizing for the incident on Nov 15. During the incident, the female teacher used double-sided adhesive tape to seal the mouths of a number of children who were being disruptive.
The district education department subsequently ordered the branch to cease all activities.
The school said that an apology had been issued to all parents, and the teacher involved had been dismissed.
In another development, a Spanish man who was working as an English language teacher at another training institute in Shanghai has been detained for drug trafficking offences.
The 28-year-old, identified only as Anthony, flew from Spain to China on Oct 14 with 277 grams of marijuana in his stomach, in 24 separate packages.
He later visited a hospital in the city&`&s downtown area, complaining of severe stomachache, after he was unable to excrete the drugs naturally.
Hospital officials alerted the police and the man was prepped for surgery, but he passed the drugs naturally later.
This is Special English.
Foreign residents are now entitled to borrow and return books without charge at any public library in Chengdu, the capital of southwest China&`&s Sichuan Province, the first such arrangement of its kind in the country.
From November, after passport registration, foreign residents can freely use the unified loan and return system, which links all 21 public libraries in Chengdu. They can also have free access to the libraries&`& remote digital resources.
The unified loan and return system in Chengdu was rolled out in 2014 and gives local residents free access to all public library resources at all branches.
It is the first time an entire public library system has covered foreign residents.
Previously, foreign residents could only return books to the library branch where the books were loaned out.
Deputy Chief Librarian in Chengdu, Xiao Ping, said the city has seen a growing number of foreigners in recent years; and as public libraries, they should provide services for all residents of the city, including foreign residents.
More than 14,000 foreigners were living in Chengdu as of October this year.
This is Special English.
Many seniors are trapped in the dilemma of staying with their family or receiving professional care, but now, a new solution means they can go to a day-care nursing home.
Seniors in Harbin, the capital of Northeast China&`&s Heilongjiang province, can take a shuttle bus to a day-care nursing home in the morning and commute back home in the evening to be with their family for the rest of the day. Just like others go to work, the nursing homes open every working day between 8 am and 5 pm.
The nursing homes provide professional care, along with fitness training, as well as calligraphy and music sessions specially designed for senior citizens.
There were almost 2 million seniors aged 60 or older in the city last year. Most seniors live at home, with less than 10 percent choose to go to a nursing home. Loneliness and a lack of care are the major problems facing the stay-at-home seniors.
Reports found that almost half of the people in the city who have retired parents support the idea of their parents going to a day-care nursing home.
The fees for the nursing homes vary according to the physical condition of senior applicants, but the costs generally stand at around 2,000 yuan, roughly 290 U.S. dollars a month.
An industry insider said the city still needs quite a number more of the nursing homes to meet the demand.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
A Spanish language learning program for Chinese speakers in Argentina has marked its 10th anniversary.
As an initiative of the University Language Center in the capital Buenos Aires, the program was established to promote closer cultural ties between the Argentine and Chinese people.
The Director General of the language center Roberto Villarruel told Chinese reporters that he saw the potential for the Spanish language to grow in China.
The director general said he visited China a decade ago and since then, the program has drawn Chinese students who have completed their university degrees in Argentina and have stayed on to work in the country.
He said he has learned about the new needs and demands of students in China, along with the expansion of ties between the two countries.
The center also helps to train staff working for top Chinese firms operating in Argentina, including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and tech-giant Huawei.
Currently, 50 Chinese students are studying in the program. With an annual average enrollment of 70 to 80 students, the program has trained more than 1,000 students so far.
This is Special English.
China has published a collection of rare ancient medical books that were once thought lost in China until they were discovered overseas.
The collection incorporates 430 ancient traditional Chinese medical books into 400 volumes.
At the launch event recently, the editor-in-chief of the collection said that since the 1990&`&s, he and his team had traveled to many countries including Japan, Germany, France and Britain, to collect the books.
China has developed unique medicine theories and practices, and a great deal of books and works have been published on the subject, some of which ended up in other countries while others have been lost.
The publication is a milestone in traditional Chinese medicine study and has been welcomed by researchers in the field.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
It may have sounded like a great idea: Forget passwords, and instead lock your phone or computer with your fingerprint. It&`&s a convenient form of security - though it&`&s also perhaps not as safe as you might think.
In their rush to do away with problematic passwords, Apple, Microsoft and other tech companies are nudging consumers to use their own fingerprints, faces and eyes as digital keys. Smartphones and other devices increasingly feature scanners that can verify your identity via these "biometric" signatures in order to unlock a gadget, sign into web accounts and authorize electronic payments.
But there are drawbacks: Hackers can still steal your fingerprint - or its digital representation. Police may have broader legal powers to make you unlock your phone. And so-called "biometric" systems are so convenient they could lull users into a false sense of security.
A computer science professor at Michigan State University in the United States said people may expect too much from biometrics. Professor Anil Jain has helped police unlock a smartphone by using a digitally enhanced ink copy of the owner&`&s fingerprints. He said that no security systems are perfect.
This is Special English.
Toys that teach aren&`&t a new thing, but a growing number are calling for kids to build with blocks, circuits or everyday items before reaching for a tablet screen.
Play is how children learn about the world around them, whether it&`&s a toddler throwing a ball or teenagers playing video games. It&`&s about seeing how things work and what happens when they do something. And over the years, toys have become more high tech to keep screen-obsessed children engaged with such play.
But there&`&s growing worry among parents and educators that toys are moving too far in that direction. Educational toys that have a math and science leaning marketed under the umbrella of STEM - are now trying to get back to basics: less screen time, more hands-on activities.
Pramod Sharma, CEO of one such toy company, Osmo, said that when children use their hands, their outcomes are much higher, and it&`&s very different than if they&`&re just staring to screen watching TV.
With Osmo, children learn everything from spelling to coding not by touching a screen, but by snapping together magnetic blocks. A screen is still part of it; an image is beamed onto an iPad through its camera. But the idea is to have children learn first with their hands, and then see their creation move to the screen.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2016-11-29

Nov 27, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
The most advanced weather satellite ever built in the United States has rocketed into space, part of an 11-billion-dollar effort to revolutionize forecasting and save lives.
The new GOES-R spacecraft will track U.S. weather as never before including hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, volcanic ash clouds, wildfires, lightning storms, and even solar flares. Around 50 TV meteorologists from around the country converged on the launch site, along with 8,000 space program workers and guests.
Scientists said what is exciting is that they&`&re going to be getting more data, more often, much more detailed, and with higher resolution. They said that in the case of tornadoes, if people can have another 10 to 20 minutes, more lives will be saved.
The scientists associated with the project said that one should think superhero speed and accuracy for forecasting, like super high-definition TV versus black-and-white. For the American public, that will mean faster, more accurate weather forecasts and warnings. That also will mean more lives saved and better environmental intelligence for government officials responsible for hurricane and other evacuations.
Airline passengers also stand to benefit, as do rocket launch teams. Improved forecasting will help pilots avoid bad weather and help rocket scientists know when to call off a launch.
This is Special English.
While last month merely tied for the world&`&s third warmest October in history, 2016 is still on track to be the hottest year on record.
The United States&`& National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that the globe averaged almost 15 degrees Celsius, which is 0.7 degrees Celsius warmer than the 20th-century average but not as warm as Octobers in 2015 and 2014.
From May last year to August this year, Earth set monthly heat records for 16 straight months.
Scientists blame continued man-made climate change from the burning of fossil fuels, goosed by a now-gone El Nino. El Nino is the occasional natural warming of parts of the Pacific that changes weather worldwide.
The first 10 months of this year have been the hottest to date, averaging 15 degrees Celsius. That beats 2015 by 0.1 degrees Celsius.
U.S. climate scientists said it is likely that this year will eclipse last year as the hottest year on record. If November and October are just average for the 21st century, it will set a new record. But the scientists said a weak La Nina, the cooling flip side of El Nino, provides a small possibility that this year will slip slightly behind last year.
Still, 2016, 2015 and 2014 will go down as the three hottest years on record. Records go back to 1880.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
China will start building research vessel Dayang Erhao, or Ocean No.2, and a support ship for manned submarine Jiaolong, both expected to be put into service in March 2019.
The China Ocean Mineral Resources Association has signed contracts with two ship manufacturers to begin construction on the research vessels with plans to finish the projects in around 28 months.
According to the association, the Ocean No.2 will have a displacement of 4,000 tonnes and measure 98 meters long and 17 meters wide.
It will contain more than 400 square meters of laboratory space and will be equipped with over 70 types of research devices.
Ocean No.2 will be capable of conducting scientific missions, including water and atmospheric research, deep-sea extreme environment detection, as well as observations on marine geology and ecology.
The new support ship, with a displacement of around 4,000 tonnes, is designed to provide support and maintenance to Jiaolong&`&s deep sea diving tasks.
At 90 meters long and 17 meters wide, the support ship will have different types of laboratories filling more than 300 square meters.
The support ship&`&s research system will be able to complete exploration tasks for Jiaolong&`&s diving activities as well as process and conduct on-site analysis of data and samples.
This is Special English.
The permanent shiplift at China&`&s Three Gorges Dam has started its round-the-clock operations after a first phase of two-month trial operation that ended recently.
The shiplift began trials in September and lasted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The round-the-clock trial will last until the water level of the Three Gorges Reservoir falls to 145 meters. Tests for night operations were conducted a week earlier.
The shiplift was designed by a team of Chinese and German scientists, and is the largest and most sophisticated of its kind in the world.
It has been installed to complement the five-tier ship lock next to it, for the world&`&s largest hydropower project on the Yangtze River, China&`&s longest river. The trial operation will last for a year.
The vertical-hoisting elevator helps ships with a maximum displacement of 3,000 tonnes, to traverse the dam. The water level behind the dam is up to 113 meters higher than the downstream river.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Almost every morning since their father&`&s stunning victory on Election Day, three of Donald Trump&`&s grown children walk through the Trump Tower lobby and board an elevator. But are Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric going to the campaign office on the fifth floor? Or are they going to their business offices on the 25th floor, or the president-elect&`&s penthouse on the 56th floor?
That uncertainty highlights the multiple roles the children play for their father. For the past year, the lines were constantly blurred between political campaign and business empire, raising questions about a possible conflict of interest between Trump&`&s White House and his sprawling business interests.
The children are poised to wield incredible influence over their father, even if they don&`&t follow him to Washington. Trump said consistently during the campaign that if he won, those children would stay in New York and run his business. But the three, plus Ivanka&`&s husband Jared Kushner, were all named to the transition team&`&s executive committee.
The U.S. Congress passed an anti-nepotism law in 1967 that prohibits the president from appointing a family member to work in the office or agency they oversee. The measure was passed as a reaction to President John F. Kennedy appointing his brother Robert as attorney general.
But the law does not appear to prevent the children from serving as unpaid advisers or providing informal counsel. Now they stand poised to be the most influential presidential children in decades.
This is Special English.
In what may be his last significant act as U.S. President Barack Obama&`&s surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy has released a report, calling for a major cultural shift in the way Americans view drug and alcohol addiction.
The report, entitled "Facing Addiction in America", details the toll addiction takes on the nation. Seventy-eight people die each day from an opioid overdose; and 20 million have a substance use disorder.
The report explains how brain science offers hope for recovery. While its findings have been reported elsewhere, including by other federal agencies, the report seeks to inspire action and sway public opinion in the style of the surgeon general&`&s landmark report on smoking.
With President-elect Donald Trump taking office, it&`&s uncertain whether access to addiction treatment will improve or deteriorate. Trump and the Republican-led Congress are pledging to repeal and replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which made addiction treatment an essential health benefit.
Murthy said in an interview recently that he hasn&`&t spoken to Trump but looks forward to working with his administration to save lives with expanded access to treatment.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
A zoo in central California in the United States is showing off a new lion cub and asking visitors to choose his name.
Reporters got a glimpse of the 5-week-old cub recently at Fresno Chaffee Zoo as he rolled in his enclosure and napped on his mom, Kiki.
Kiki gave birth to three cubs on Oct. 11, but only the unnamed cub survived.
Voting on its name runs through Nov. 27, and the little lion will likely get his public viewing a month or so later.
Zoo staff have selected six Swahili names to choose from, namely Enzi, which means powerful, Kijani, meaning warrior, Asani, which means rebellious, Erevu, meaning clever, Mansa, meaning king, and Bwani which means gentleman.
Visitors can buy a token and place it in a box corresponding to the name they like best.
This is Special English.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2016-11-28

Nov 27, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
A clinical trial of a gene-editing technique on advanced lung cancer patients in China has aroused world attention in medical circles.
The potentially revolutionary CRISPR technique allows scientists to selectively edit genome parts and replace them with new DNA stretches, in the hope that certain diseases including cancer could be cured.
CRISPR is a collection of DNA sequences that direct a certain gene where to cut and paste. The gene can edit DNA, allowing the alteration of genetic patterns by genome modification.
The trial began in late October as a group of oncologists at the West China Hospital of Sichuan University started injecting genetically modified cells into a patient with aggressive lung cancer.
The editing therapy treatment will last from eight to 13 weeks, while the whole trial could last more than a year.
Experts around the globe have been discussing the pros and cons of the groundbreaking medical technology.
Carl June, a clinical researcher in immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania, told the journal Nature that the Chinese scientists' trial is "an exciting step forward".
The United States is also planning trials that would use CRISPR for cancer treatment. U.S. experts applauded the work of the Chinese scientists and hoped that China's research, as well as the healthy competition worldwide, could improve modern medical science and finally benefit patients.
This is Special English.
Renowned Chinese developer of hybrid rice Yuan Longping has set a new world record. A hybrid rice project headed by Yuan has achieved an annual yield of 22 tonnes per hectare of farmland.
According to authorities in south China's Guangdong Province, the amount of the double-cropping rice is equal to that produced over three seasons in the past, marking a big breakthrough.
An academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering told the Xinhua News Agency that this is the fifth generation of hybrid rice technology, and the quality of the rice is as good as Japan&`&s renowned Koshihikari rice.
Known as China's "father of hybrid rice", Yuan began theoretical research around 50 years ago and continued to set new records in the average yields of hybrid rice.
The Ministry of Agriculture officially launched a hybrid rice breeding program in 1996.
Around 65 percent of Chinese people depend on rice as a staple food.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The International Space Station has gained three new residents, including the oldest and most experienced woman to orbit the world.
A bit of Mars also arrived, courtesy of a Frenchman who brought along a small piece of a Mars meteorite.
Launched from Kazakhstan, the Russian capsule docked at the 250-mile-high outpost and delivered a U.S. astronaut, a French astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut. They joined three men already on board, one American and two Russians.
This is the third space station mission for NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson who, at 56, is older than each of her crewmates.
She already holds the record for the most time spent in space for a woman, almost 400 days during her various missions. By the time she returns next spring, she should have broken the record for any American, man or woman.
A biochemist by training, Whitson will celebrate her 57th birthday in the orbiting lab in February. Until Thursday, no woman older than 55 had traveled into space.
November 20 marked the 18th anniversary of the launch of the first space station piece. Now the space station is as big as a football pitch, with a mass of 1 million pounds and eight miles of electrical wiring. Whitson and company represent its 50th full-time expedition crew.
This is Special English.
Scientists in the United States have hacked a plant&`&s genes to make it use sunlight more efficiently, a breakthrough that could eventually dramatically increase the amount of food grown.
Scientists say photosynthesis is how plants convert sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into food. But it&`&s a very inefficient process, using less than 1 percent of the energy available.
By genetically modifying part of the plant&`&s protective system, which kicks into gear when too much sunlight beams down, scientists were able to increase leaf growth between 14 and 20 percent in experiments with tobacco plants. The study has been published in the journal Science.
Lead author the study Stephen Long said it won&`&t be too difficult to do it with other crops too; and if the technology is applied to crops around the world, it would increase the yield of many millions of tons of food.
Long said that&`&s still at least 15 years away, but this is the first time scientists have been able to do something like this.
An agriculture professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln said the study makes sense, but cautioned the yield might not be quite so high for conventional food crops. But he added that still, the study remains a breakthrough.
This is Special English.
Shanghai will implement stricter tobacco control rules, banning smoking in all indoor public places, workplaces and public transport from March next year.
The Standing Committee of the Shanghai People&`&s Congress, the local legislature, has passed an amendment to existing smoking control regulations that took effect six years ago.
While the existing version allows designated areas for smokers in indoor areas of hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, as well as airports, trains and ports, the amendment closes such loopholes.
In addition, smoking will be prohibited outdoors at certain public venues visited by children, including schools, after-school education institutions and children&`&s hospitals. Outdoor auditoriums in stadiums are also subject to the ban.
China has 300 million smokers, with another 700 million exposed to second-hand smoke. Last year, more than 700,000 people in China were diagnosed with smoking-related lung cancer.
At least 16 Chinese cities, including Beijing, have passed their own tobacco control rules.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
The island nation of Kiribati has established a large shark sanctuary that will help ensure the creatures are protected across much of the central Pacific.
Vice President Kourabi Nenem said at the sanctuary&`&s launch ceremony that his country was committed to protecting sharks from exploitation and overfishing.
Kiribati has banned commercial shark fishing in the sanctuary which is about the size of India.
Palau established the first shark sanctuary in the region in 2009, followed by the Marshall Islands, French Polynesia and other countries.
One hundred million sharks are killed each year by commercial fisheries. Sharks are vulnerable to overfishing because they&`&re slow to mature and reproduce.
Sharks are prized by some for their fins, which are used in shark fin soup.
Ben Namakin, who was born in Kiribati and has pushed for the sanctuary, said he first began to consult elders and community groups with the idea four years ago. He said some people were resistant at first because Kiribati has a tradition of catching and eating sharks.
But he said the elders didn&`&t like the way commercial operators were fishing for the creatures and understood their plight more when they were told of their unusual biology.
Namakin said they came to realize that the shark sanctuary was important to protecting their culture.
This is Special English.
In a ghost town of dead coral off a remote Pacific island, scientists have found a bit more life.
In excursions a year ago and then last April, scientists examined the normally stunning coral reefs around the island of Kiritimati and pronounced it mostly a bone yard of dead coral. Around 85 percent of the coral was dead, 10 percent was sick and bleached but still technically alive, and only 5 percent was doing OK.
The same scientists returned this month and found that 6 to 7 percent of the coral is alive and not bleached.
Many of the fish that rely on the reef and had been absent seem to be back.
Hot water, mostly from El Nino, the natural occasional warming of the Pacific that changes weather worldwide, and man-made global warming had made the area one of the worst hit coral spots in the world. Later, nearby Jarvis Island was even more damaged. And the death of 85 percent of the coral of the better known and much larger Great Barrier Reef has been reported.
Scientists say that despite the mass mortality, there are a few small signs of hope, and it is clear that coral reefs have great resilience and the coral there is trying to recover.
This is Special English.
The skeleton of a dodo bird is about to take flight, at least at an auction in the U.K.
Summers Place Auctions is selling what it describes as a rare composite skeleton of a dodo bird, a creature once found on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.
Sailors hunted the species into extinction in the 17th century and it has come to symbolize the harsh impact human beings can have on the world&`&s ecosystems. The bird&`&s name recognition was enhanced by Lewis Carroll, who included a dodo in "Alice&`&s Adventures in Wonderland".
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The government of north China&`&s Shanxi Province has published a circular with details of more than 4,000 Great Wall sites in the region in an effort to enhance protection.
The circular includes the names, location, dates, and protection areas of the Great Wall sections, as well as areas where construction is strictly controlled. The sites are spread across 40 counties and districts in eight cities in the province.
Within the protected areas, no dismantling or reconstruction of the Great Wall is allowed. Construction projects and underground mining are also prohibited.
Within the construction control areas, construction projects should not affect the historical style of the Great Wall, and construction blueprints should be approved before projects begin.
The Great Wall was built between the third century B.C. and the Ming Dynasty that ended in 1644. With a total length of 9,000 kilometers, the existing sections of the Great Wall were mostly created during the Ming Dynasty some 400 years ago.
In 2006, a national regulation on Great Wall protection was released, but the sheer size of the structure has posed a challenge to enforcement. Less than 10 percent of the wall is considered well-preserved, while around 30 percent has disappeared.
This is Special English.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2016-11-22

Nov 17, 2016 1501

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
The Ministry of Education is drafting a national English proficiency test and rating system.
The ministry says the draft of the rating system has been completed and will be officially released next year; and a detailed plan about the national tests will be carried out step by step before 2020.
The education department announced in 2014 that a better assessment system on foreign languages would be established. A series of reforms in English tests after that, including reform of the national college entrance exam, represented steps in that direction.
A vice-president of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies said a unified evaluation system with consistent standards is needed in China to regulate current wide-ranging English teaching and testing approaches.
China now has 300 million English learners, and many different English tests.
But the syllabus is not consistent, and there&`&s no national standard to appraise the learners&`& performance against uniform benchmarks.
To solve the problem, the new system will connect with mature English teaching and evaluation systems around the world.
The system envisions assessment of English proficiency from a low to high level, with nine grades. Each grade has its own requirements for language skills, including listening, speaking, writing and translating.
This is Special English.
Chinese authorities have pledged to reform the income system for medical and healthcare workers as part of its efforts to provide citizens with better public services.
According to a guideline forwarded by the authorities, the reform aims to inspire medical workers to better perform their duties; and it will be conducted in line with the nature of the sector.
The guideline says a public-benefit-oriented evaluation system will be established for medical workers, and their income will see a proper rise.
Moreover, the current recruitment procedures for professional personnel and high-level staff will be streamlined. More high-level talent will be encouraged to work in local hospitals.
The guideline noted the achievements made in the reform of the medical and health sector in recent years. It says 80 percent of Chinese citizens are able to access medical services within 15 minutes, and Chinese citizens&`& average life expectancy has reached 76 years of age, up from 74 in 2010.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
A young Jack Ma look-alike has won the heart of the founder of Alibaba Group that is the real Jack Ma.
Fan Xiaoqin, or "mini Jack Ma", is 8 years old and lives in east China&`&s Jiangxi Province. Fan comes from a very poor family as his mother has polio; his father suffers from a missing leg and his grandma has Alzheimer&`&s disease.
"Mini Jack Ma" came to fame after a villager posted a video of him online last year. The internet exploded in remarks over how the two looked alike.
Once again, during this year&`&s Singles Day online shopping festival, "mini Jack Ma" won the hearts of internet users once again. They urged that Jack Ma should help Fan and his family.
The attention and buzz caught Ma&`&s attention. He has announced that he will financially support Fan until the time he graduates from university.
The Singles&`& Day is an entertaining festival widespread among young Chinese people to celebrate the fact that they are proud of being single. The date, November 11th, is chosen because the number "1" resembles an individual that is alone.
This festival has gradually become one of the largest online shopping events in the world. Sales in Alibaba&`&s sites Tmall and Taobao were valued at 14 billion U.S. dollars at last year&`&s festival event.
This is Special English.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2016-11-21

Nov 17, 2016 1501

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chinese authorities could freeze assets and take other actions against foreign hackers threatening the country&`&s infrastructure under a revised draft of a new cyber security law.
The law has been submitted for its third and final reading by the Standing Committee of the National People&`&s Congress, China&`&s legislature.
The official Xinhua News Agency reported that the draft would allow police and other agencies to freeze assets and apply "other necessary punishment" against foreign hackers. It will also require expanded security measures for industries including public communications, energy and finance.
The Associated Press reports that Cyber security has been a top source of friction between China and the United States, with both saying they suffer hacking attacks originating from the other. Chinese officials have long characterized their country as the top victim of hacking and have called for expanded law enforcement powers and more stringent regulations on imported technological equipment.
If passed in its current form, the cyber security law could introduce new rules about how Chinese citizens&`& data is stored, as well as expand data access and censorship powers for law enforcement.
Foreign technology companies, particularly Silicon Valley giants with a stake in the Chinese market, worry that the rules have a secondary motive of protecting the domestic technology sector by discouraging Chinese buyers in both the private and public sectors from purchasing foreign products.
This is Special English.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved the commercial planting of two types of potatoes that are genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine.
The approval covers Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Company&`&s Ranger Russet and Atlantic varieties of the company&`&s second generation of Innate potatoes.
The company says the potatoes will also have reduced bruising and black spot, enhanced storage capacity, and a reduced amount of a chemical created when potatoes are cooked at high temperatures which is a potential carcinogen.
A company spokesman says the company is very proud of the development.
The potatoes next must clear a voluntary review process through the Food and Drug Administration as well as get the OK from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The company says it expects those approvals in January with the potatoes entering the market next spring.
The two varieties join a third variety with the same traits called the Russet Burbank that has already attained approval from the Agriculture Department and the Food and Drug Administration, with the Environmental Protection Agency approval also expected in January.
The company said the potatoes contain only potato genes, and that the resistance to late blight, the disease that caused the Irish potato famine, comes from an Argentinian variety of potato that naturally produced a defense.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
For the third time, the U.S. firm "Johnson & Johnson" has been hit with a multimillion-dollar jury verdict over whether the talc in its iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.
A St. Louis jury awarded 70 million U.S. dollars to Deborah Giannecchini of Modesto, California, who was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in 2012. Giannecchini, who was then 59 years old, said she had used Johnson&`&s Baby Powder for more than 40 years to keep her genital area dry, as many women do. She blamed it for her cancer and accused "Johnson & Johnson" of negligence.
Two other jury trials in St. Louis reached similar outcomes earlier this year, awarding the plaintiffs 72 million and 55 million dollars respectively.
But in Johnson & Johnson&`&s home state of New Jersey, a judge recently threw out two other cases, ruling there wasn&`&t reliable evidence to prove talc causes ovarian cancer, a relatively rare disease.
"Johnson & Johnson" says its product is safe, and it is appealing all three losses. And investors don&`&t seem worried that Johnson & Johnson is in financial trouble, even though the company faces an estimated 2,000 similar lawsuits.
The next trial is set to start in January, also in St. Louis.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2016-11-15

Nov 14, 2016 1501

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China&`&s plans for a permanent space station remain firmly on track with the successful launch of its new heavy-lift Long March 5 rocket that will enable ambitious future missions, including a planned trip to Mars.
The Associated Press reports that the towering rocket that blasted off recently will be used to launch components for the Tiangong 2 space station and other massive payloads.
China launched the Tiangong 2 precursor facility in September and sent up two astronauts in mid-October to live aboard the space station for 30 days. The station&`&s 20-ton core module will be launched in 2018. The completed 60-ton station is set to come into full service in 2022 and last at least a decade.
The Tiangong, or "Heavenly Palace", stations are considered stepping stones to an unmanned mission to Mars by the end of the decade.
The Long March 5&`&s next mission will be lofting the robotic Chang&`&e 5 probe to the moon next year to land a rover before returning to Earth with samples.
The 57-meter-long two-stage rocket is China&`&s largest, capable of carrying 25 tons of payload into low-earth orbit and 14 tons to the more distant geostationary transfer orbits.
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Many nations have reached out to China, seeking to play a part in its future manned space station.
A senior space industry official from China said there is a wide range of fields suitable for such international collaboration and these prospective cooperation projects will have huge potential.
Fu Zhiheng is vice-president of China&`&s Great Wall Industry Corporation, a State-owned enterprise that is China&`&s only authorized firm for international space collaboration.
Fu said that in fact, they are in talks with some foreign countries in this regard. He spoke with China Daily on the sidelines of the 11th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai in Guangdong province.
Fu said his company has been pushing forward with related efforts. He did not name any of the nations involved.
China will start launching parts of its permanent manned space station starting in 2018 and put the space station into service around 2022.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
China has been tightening regulations on pollution control under a revised law that took effect last year. This is a move to protect the environment by introducing harsher punishments and stricter law enforcement.
The country&`&s top legislation has issued a report, saying that prosecutors and judges have made significant contributions to the handling of pollution-related cases since the revised law came into effect on Jan 1 last year.
Last year, Chinese public security authorities recorded a total of 6,000 pollution-related cases and arrested more than 12,000 suspects, marking a year-on-year increase of 16 and 42 percent respectively.
Police, courts and prosecuting departments joined the fight against pollution last year through harsher punishments and stricter law enforcement.
Chinese courts at all levels accepted 167,000 environmental disputes from January last year to June this year, of which 148,000 have been concluded.
The report said that thanks to the revised law, public-interest lawsuits brought by NGOs have been allowed, with the number of such litigations rising rapidly.
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State legislators said the central government will need to provide financial support to private schools if a revised law banning them from making a profit is passed.
A draft amendment to the law on private education aims to block schools from profiting from tuition fees for children eligible to receive the country&`&s nine-year compulsory education.
A member of the National People&`&s Congress Standing Committee said he hopes the government can provide necessary guidance to ensure private schools can keep developing and making a contribution" to the education system. He said the schools have good educational resources and have produced a number of talented students.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Taking a cue from competing online services which let workers chat and share information on the job, Microsoft is adding a new program called "Teams" to its Office 365 suite of internet productivity software.
Analysts say Microsoft is catching up to a trend in which a host of tech companies, including even Facebook, are competing to offer specialized online networks for organizations. The move came as workers increasingly find that email and simple document-sharing services are too limited for communicating and collaborating.
Like competing services, Microsoft&`&s new "Teams" product provides a central place online for workplace groups to chat, share files and perform other tasks. But unlike its competitors, Microsoft is offering the ability to easily transition into other widely used Microsoft programs, including Outlook for emails and calendars, and Skype for voice and video conferences.
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A German music industry group says it has signed an agreement with YouTube on licensing fees for its members&`& work, a deal that should mean far fewer blocked videos for viewers in Germany.
GEMA, which represents some 70,000 German composers, songwriters and music publishers, said the agreement with YouTube after seven years of "tough negotiations" will assure its members of payment for the use of copyrighted works. It didn&`&t specify financial details.
GEMA said that the agreement covers not just the future but also the period stretching back to 2009.
The German group said it and YouTube still have differing views on whether YouTube or the people who upload videos are responsible for licensing works, and called on politicians to "create a clear legal framework".
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
A simple Pap smear may one day offer a way to screen for birth defects a little earlier in pregnancy than today&`&s prenatal tests.
In the United States, women typically get a Pap during early pregnancy. Wayne State University researchers report that they can capture enough fetal DNA from the cells that test extracts to check for genetic abnormalities.
Researchers say the new study is very small, and much more research is needed. But if the approach eventually pans out, it might be possible to use as early as five weeks into the pregnancy and detect more disorders noninvasively.
Aside from better known chromosome abnormalities including Down syndrome, there are around 6,000 other genetic disorders which scientists currently have a hard time to assess noninvasively and as early.
Today&`&s main options are invasive tests that analyze a sample of amniotic fluid or placenta tissue. They carry a small risk of miscarriage.
A blood test offers a slightly earlier and less invasive option by analyzing small amounts of fetal DNA that float in a pregnant woman&`&s bloodstream. Worrisome results are supposed to be verified by an invasive test. Early diagnosis isn&`&t just about deciding whether to go forward with the pregnancy but can affect prenatal care and what care a baby might need at birth.
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Hollywood star Johnny Depp is about to enter a world of magic. The actor is set to be part of "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling&`&s "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" in a secretive role.
According to a Warner Brothers&`& representative, Depp will appear in a cameo in the first film, which opens on Nov. 18, and have a bigger role alongside star Eddie Redmayne in the sequel in 2018.
"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is based on Rowling&`&s book of the same name and set 60 years earlier than Harry Potter in 1926 New York. There are five films planned in the Warner Bros. franchise.
Depp is no stranger to franchises, having led both the live-action "Alice" films and "The Pirates of the Caribbean", both for Disney.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Investigators in the United States discovered a third body on the property of a Southern Carolina man who is now linked to seven deaths and the kidnapping of a woman who was found chained inside a storage container.
Authorities said 45-year-old Todd Kohlhepp became a suspect after the woman was found chained by her neck and ankle in a metal storage container on his 95-acre property near rural Woodruff.
The body of her boyfriend was found a day later. The couple had been missing for around two months.
The other remains were found near one another in the following couple days and authorities are not sure who they are. Investigators were expected back at the property, but police said they didn&`&t think there were any more bodies.
Following Kohlhepp&`&s arrest, he confessed to a 2003 quadruple slaying at a motorcycle shop in the small town of Chesnee. His confession came a day before the 13th anniversary of the crime, which many feared would never be solved.
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Four manatees rescued near Florida in the United States have arrived at an Ohio zoo.
Officials at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium say two of them are twins rescued after their mother was killed in a boat strike last month in the Florida Keys. They are named Millennium and Falcon.
The others were rescued from Outer Clam Bay in Naples and Stuart Canal.
As part of the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership, the zoo provides a temporary home for the rescued manatees until they are ready to be returned to the wild.
It recently transferred a male manatee rescued in 2014 to the Miami Seaquarium. The animal is expected to be released in Key Largo in January.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature says the wild manatee population is decreasing and the species is considered vulnerable.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2016-11-14

Nov 13, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
A policy of promoting and standardizing the transfer of the right to use farmland from rural residents to commercial entities is expected to raise the efficiency of agricultural production in China.
According to the policy, rural residents will enjoy greater freedom of transferring the land they have been contracted, while their right to collectively own the land remains unchanged.
Most of China's farmland is owned collectively by the people who work on it. As the rural workforce migrated to better paid jobs in the big cities, China began, in 2008, to allow farmers to rent out, transfer and merge the land they have contracted, amid a reform to bolster modern farming and reuse unattended land.
The use of farmland is a big issue in the world's most populous country where food security and the well-being of both current and former rural residents are matters of high priority.
As China becomes increasingly urbanized, many farmers are migrating to the cities, leaving their farmland unattended. There has been a growing demand from rural residents for the transfer of farmland to others for management and production.
The new policy will lead to the formation of mechanisms that will make the transfer more standardized, while the land owners' rights will be better protected.
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When China relaxed its four-decade-old one-child policy at the start of this year, there were a variety of predictions on whether the change in family planning rules would encourage enough people to have a second child.
Some said there would be too few to offset the effects of an aging population, citing reluctance by urbanites to increase the size of their families in the face of increased costs and new lifestyles. Others predicted a baby boom.
Now the numbers are in: In the first half of this year, the proportion of Chinese newborns who were second children grew to 45 percent of total newborns.
That's an increase of some 7 percentage points over the proportion of second-child newborns for the whole of last year, which was 38 percent. A total of 8 million newborns were registered nationwide this year by the end of June.
Some regions, mostly large cities, are beginning to see second children comprising more than half of local newborns.
Available data indicate it's the highest proportion of second children since China introduced its family planning policies in the late 1970s, limiting most couples to just one child.
The universal two-child policy was adopted by China's top leadership in October last year, and it began to be implemented nationwide this year.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Leading environmental authorities in China have released a new report suggesting a quarter of all of China's cities are living with excess levels of noise.
An official of the environmental ministry said it means a quarter of cities go to sleep in noise; and the lack of clear definitions about who should be responsible within the government is making it harder to solve the problem.
Environmental, cultural, traffic, industry and commerce departments, as well as urban inspectors and local police all have the power to control noise. But when confronted with a specific problem, it remains unclear which department has jurisdiction.
An environment official from the southern province of Hainan says that as such, the top priority is to distinguish who has the responsibility.
Statistics from the central authorities show that 350,000 complains were received about noise nationwide last year, making up 35 percent of all environmental complains through the year.
Construction noise was the biggest complaint, accounting for 51 percent, while noise from industrial companies made up 17 percent. Other complaints were related to human-generated noise and vehicle traffic.
Last year, 60 percent of all noise complaints received occurred in eastern China.
The World Health Organization estimates that noise has become another environmental factor affecting human health, and may result in increased mental health issues and coronary disease.
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The Palace Museum in Beijing will build a new gallery in the northern part of the city to showcase more items, as current exhibits displayed each year account for less than 1 percent of its collection.
The curator of the museum made the announcement during the International Smart Tourism Conference in Hangzhou in Zhejiang province. He said the Palace Museum, which is a tourist destination and a cultural education institution, cannot display its abundant collection in full.
Major museums around the world usually display around 10 to 20 percent of their collections, while the Palace Museum is able to display just 0.5 percent of its entire collection over around 80 exhibitions each year.
The plan to build a new museum has been approved by the authorities and is already underway.
The new museum, which is 25 kilometers from the current site, is in a picturesque area near other tourist attractions, north of the Old Summer Palace, and south of the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs.
Cover an area of 12,500 square meters, it will showcase a large number of exhibits with different themes, and the public will be able to view the process of cultural relic restoration.
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Development of the internet of things in China faces a major challenge from a lack of industry standards.
According to a white paper released recently, the central government has put much effort into building the Internet of Things, a network of devices or objects fitted with software that allows data exchanges.
The document cited a favorable policy environment and pilot projects in sectors including agriculture, transportation, environmental protection and healthcare.
It said a coordinated multilevel working mechanism has been created on the standardization of the Internet of Things, or IoT.
However, the research and formulation of IoT standards still needs further improvement to meet the demand.
The document said IoT involves many industries, and each of them is at different development levels. The development of industry application standards is lagging behind.
A vice-president of the Wuxi IoT Industry Research Institute said creating the standards will require the combined efforts and wisdom of various departments. He said developing standards not only includes technology, but also industry knowledge.
In addition to developing more IoT standards and forming a complete system, the white paper suggested China play an active role in developing international standards.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That's mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
Ireland is seizing opportunities to boost student exchanges with China.
According to Irish education officials, the recently concluded China Annual Conference for International Education saw Irish higher education institutions sign partnership agreements with their Chinese counterparts.
Niamh Madden is a Beijing-based education market executive from Enterprise Ireland, a government agency focused on accelerating the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets.
The conference, the 17th of its kind, was held in Beijing in October. It was aimed at improving mutual knowledge and cooperation on education between China and other countries.
Irish Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, described the conference as a "very important milestone" for Ireland-China relations.
Ireland has been made the country of honor at the conference.
Statistics from Education in Ireland showed that more than 5,000 Chinese students are studying in Ireland, forming the second-largest international student group there after the United States.
Education in Ireland is managed by Enterprise Ireland under the Ministry for Education and Skills. Its mission is to promote Irish higher education institutions overseas.
This year, more than 1,800 Chinese students applied for visas to study in Ireland, a 10-percent rise from last year. And the visa acceptance rate has grown from 96 percent to 98 percent.
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Higher education institutions and companies in Denmark are seeking Chinese students and graduates to learn and work in the European country to improve its communications with China.
Six Danish companies and a dozen higher education institutions and universities have participated in "Denmark Day" events held at Peking University in Beijing, offering education and career opportunities to Chinese students.
The event marked the sixth annual Denmark Day, and was also celebrated in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Denmark's ambassador to China A. Carsten Damsgaard said "Denmark Day" has become an important initiative for his country, in tandem with ongoing massive and fast development of research, higher education and talent in China.
The ambassador made the remarks during the Beijing event, adding that Denmark's competitiveness depends on its companies being able to recruit qualified candidates with international experience.
One Chinese student in Demark, Mei Zhu is on the staff of an industrial association at China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. She is studying for a master&`&s degree in Copenhagen.
Zhu said Denmark is highly internationalized. She participated in many international events and made friends from all around the world during her stay. It helped her to gain a global perspective on things.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China's top health authority will take steps in the next few years to improve maternal health, as mortality rates have risen following the adoption of the universal second-child policy in January.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission said that 89,000 obstetrics beds will be added to hospitals across China, and local health authorities will be guided to optimize their resources.
The commission will also help local authorities improve their ability to save pregnant women and newborn babies in critical condition and better equip hospital obstetrics and pediatrics departments to deal with emergencies.
The commission will select some national training bases for midwifery techniques and organize emergency training to help pregnant women in critical condition. The commission will cooperate with other departments in the training of obstetricians and midwives, aiming to produce 140,000 more in the next few years.
More than 8 million babies were born in the first half of this year in China.
The maternal mortality rate in China in the first half of the year was 180 deaths per 1 million people, a rise of more than 30 percent over the same period last year.
The rate is slightly higher than that in the United States which was 140 deaths per million last year, but far less than the average maternal mortality rate in developing countries globally.
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The first textbook designed specifically for male pupils in primary schools has received positive feedback from parents, students and education professionals.
Earlier this month, the Shanghai Educational Publishing House unveiled the book, entitled Xiaoxiao Nanzihan or Little Man in English, aiming to help male students in the fourth and fifth grades understand sexual physiology and psychology, as well as enhance their self-protection.
The textbook, focusing on the mental health of male pupils, comes as nationwide discussion about what is called the "boys' crisis" are rife.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2016-11-08

Nov 7, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China will increase the number of beds in obstetrics units and train more midwives to meet the rapidly growing demand for maternal services resulting from the universal second-child policy.
China&`&s top health authority said in a guideline released recently that it will speed up training of obstetricians and midwives to produce 140,000 such professionals before 2020.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission also urged local health authorities nationwide to add a total of 89,000 beds in obstetrics units in the next few years to help close the gap between supply and demand of maternal services.
The guideline is intended to improve basic maternal healthcare services to ensure the universal second-child policy, implemented at the beginning of the year, is smoothly carried out.
There is a severe shortage of obstetricians and midwives in China, with just 30 midwives for every 1 million pregnant women, far below most other countries.
The birth rate has increased with the new second-child policy, especially in big cities, causing great strains on maternal resources and a shortage of medical professionals.
Occupation rates of beds in obstetrics units at major hospitals in Beijing reached an average of 108 percent last year before the policy was implemented. The commission said this means that all beds were in use and temporary solutions were required to meet demands in such hospitals.
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A century-old railway station in Beijing has been put out of service due to the construction of an intercity railway linking Beijing and Zhangjiakou city in Hebei Province.
The Qinghuayuan Railway Station, built in 1910, will be preserved as the station still retains some of its original features.
Local residents near the station have come and taken photos of the site. Some bought a ticket as a keepsake.
In addition, the Beijing North Railway Station has also suspended ticket sales to coordinate with the construction of the new intercity railway.
According to the Beijing Railway Administration, information of the affected trains and stations will be released to the public as early as possible to minimize any potential inconvenience caused by the changes.
The new intercity railway is expected to be finished in 2020 and to serve by 2022 for the Winter Olympic Games co-hosted by the two cities.
The railway will allow a maximum speed of 350 kilometers per hour. It will take only 50 minutes to travel from one city to the other, a distance of approximately 170 kilometers.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2016-11-07

Nov 6, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Work to remove air quality monitoring stations from local government control is almost complete. The move came after officials in northern China were accused of tampering with pollution data.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection said the plan is to separate all 1,500 monitoring stations nationwide from provincial, city and county bureaus and place them under the operation of companies that will report directly to the central government.
Preparation work to become independent has been completed at 92 percent of stations nationwide, while all stations in 18 areas, including Beijing, have transferred to third-party companies.
The independent monitoring network will be expanded to cover water and soil by 2018; and China plans to build a comprehensive environmental monitoring and information sharing network by 2020.
The network is intended to prevent inference from local authorities and guarantee authentic data.
Three senior environmental protection officials in Xi&`&an in Shaanxi province have been detained on suspicion of altering monitoring data.
The officials are accused of having a duplicate key made without authorization so they could gain access to air quality monitoring equipment. They are accused of masking the equipment with cotton yarn to filter the air and lower pollution data to avoid punitive actions.
This is Special English.
Departments and ministries under the State Council, China&`&s cabinet, have responded to a series of public concerns on issues including agricultural modernization and civil service examinations.
The State Council recently issued a five-year plan for strategic agricultural modernization for the period spanning 2016 to 2020. The plan has clearly defined the importance of agricultural modernization.
According to Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu, the sector has a solid basis for modernization and is entering a development stage.
According to the plan, by 2020, food security will be effectively guaranteed and rural residents&`& livelihoodS will be improved.
Civil service examination applications for central government organizations, and subordinate agencies, will be stopped in Oct next year.
Although civil service posts are popular, there are still some posts that only a few, or even no, candidates apply for.
The State Administration of Civil Service has recently issued an announcement to the public, which summarizes the posts attracting few, or no qualified, candidates.
The administration reminds applicants to rationally choose posts.
It also reminds applicants to avoid peak times of application, often, just days before the deadline, in order to boost their chances of acceptance.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Beijing&`&s transport authority has said that the city will limit the number of cars on the road to 6 million by 2020, as part of efforts to reduce traffic congestion.
According to Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport, the number of new license plates available to registered drivers, currently handled through a monthly lottery, will be reduced from the current 150,000 a year to 100,000 in 2018.
The total number of cars on the road in Beijing was 5 million at the end of last year.
The city has seen car numbers grow by 300 percent from 1998 to 2013, with many major roads plagued by severe congestion.
Since 2004, the city has adopted a set of measures to solve the problem, including introducing a plate lottery, encouraging the use of public transport, and using traffic control based on license plate numbers.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2016-11-01

Oct 28, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China&`&s second lunar probe, Chang&`&e-2, has been a huge success and is now the smallest man-made asteroid in the solar system.
According to a leading scientist of China&`&s lunar exploration project, the lunar probe, launched in 2010, has fulfilled its mission and made worthwhile achievements.
The scientist said the lunar probe has completed and published a full seven-meter-resolution map of the Moon&`&s surface for the first time.
It used X-ray observation data to fully map the Moon&`&s surface and calculate aluminum distribution on the Moon.
Currently, the Chang&`&e-2 is the smallest man-made asteroid in the solar system. It has completed over 200 million kilometers flight and will continue to fly, returning somewhere closer to the earth around 2029.
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Children from across the world have extended birthday wishes to taikonaut Jing Haipeng, who is currently orbiting the earth in space lab Tiangong-2.
"Happy birthday Uncle Jing, &`&Tashi delek&`&," said a Tibetan primary school girl using the Tibetan greeting for good luck and best wishes. She also said that it was her dream to become an astronaut.
Jing, commander of the Shenzhou-11 mission, turned 50 on Monday.
Xinhua News Agency has collected more than 10,000 birthday wishes for Jing from children all around the world. The messages, pictures and videos were sent from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan as well as from other countries including the United States and Sweden. Xinhua has sent some of the messages, pictures and videos to Jing.
A pupil in Beijing said he felt lucky to be so close to an astronaut, and he was more than willing to send his birthday wishes to Uncle Jing.
A student from a special education school in Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province sent her birthday message by sign language. Two days ago, she asked the astronauts in space whether they had seen aliens.
Jing&`&s teammate in the mission, Chen Dong, replied that he hadn&`&t seen any aliens yet, but he did harbor a hope that he would see aliens and many other peculiar things.
The two will continue to live in space for 30 days before returning to Earth.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
The Ministry of Education plans to sign more agreements on the mutual recognition of academic degrees with other countries.
The ministry said that by 2020, such mutual recognition agreements will hopefully cover most countries of the world, particularly developed countries.
An international education conference was held in Beijing recently. The annual event aims to promote study in a foreign country, and this year, it&`&s Ireland in particular.
The authority said such mutual recognition agreements represented other countries&`& recognition of the quality of China&`&s higher education.
Since 1988, China has inked such deals with 46 countries.
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Chinese students studying abroad have become younger in age.
According to a report released in a national education portal site, graduate students plunged to 40 percent of total Chinese students studying in the United States last year, compared with 80 percent 10 years ago.
The report in Education Online said that meanwhile, the number of Chinese high school students studying in the United States maintained double-digit growth, accounting for 52 percent of Chinese students in the United States.
The report said the number of Chinese students for overseas study has increased steadily. Last year, 520,000 students studied overseas, and the number is expected to keep growing this year.
The United States is the main destination for Chinese students studying abroad, hitting 320,000 so far this year.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
North China&`&s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has launched a program to attract medical graduates to work in rural areas to tackle an acute shortage of health care workers.
The region is home to many people of Mongolian ethnicity as well as people from other ethnic minority groups who make their living through grazing and animal husbandry.
Rural medical services are insufficient, although a program in effect since 2013 has provided an on-the-job training for 12,000 medical workers.
A notice issued by the regional health department showed that only 9 percent of 20,000 health workers in service in rural areas are licensed medical practitioners.
Under the newly implemented policies, vocational-school medical students willing to work in rural areas after graduation will receive tuition waivers for all three years of their schooling and be provided with subsidies for school accommodation.
The regional government hopes the program will help channel 10,000 assistant medical practitioners into village clinics over the next five years.
China is in desperate need of village doctors. But rural doctors are increasingly reluctant to stay at their job due to barriers including low pay, a lack of prestige and little room for advancement.
This is Special English.
China will offer more policy support to boost education services for its senior citizens.
A newly released State Council plan said China should establish a comprehensive elderly education system by 2020, with diversified teaching approaches and content.
Communities, nursing houses and other elderly care facilities are encouraged to offer a range of courses, and the government will provide full support, including financial subsidies and IT services.
According to the plan&`&s target, more than 20 percent of the total elderly population will be able to regularly participate in various educational activities by 2020.
As of the end of last year, people over 65 years old accounted for more than 10 percent of China&`&s total population. By 2020, the number of senior citizens will have reached 240 million, or 17 percent of the total population.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
Beijing is planning to list ice and snow sports as a compulsory course for primary and middle school students.
Municipal authorities made the announcement at the International Winter Sports Exposition held in Beijing.
The authority is hoping that the students can do at least one type of winter sport in the future.
Beijing will push the development of youth ice-snow sports, making sure young students have at least one hour to practice the sports every week.
The city is also looking to put ski resorts in the suburbs and ice rinks in six downtown districts.
Until 2022, 16 new standard indoor and 50 outdoor rinks will be built, and commercial rinks are not included in this figure.
Beijing has vigorously been pushing winter sports into school curriculums since this year. For example, rinks and ski simulators are used in several schools, and professional athletes are invited to teach children to skate.
The government will also fund the sports to lower costs for registration and competitions, as ice and snow sports such as hockey are often unaffordable for families with average income.
Beijing, accompanied by Zhangjiakou in Hebei Province, will be the host city of the 2022 Winter Olympics, which will be China&`&s first winter Olympics.
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An orange fish swims along an underwater pipeline, searching for leaks. After finding the holes, it alerts workers on shore with a loud noise.
That isn&`&t a trailer for the latest Disney cartoon, but a real-life demonstration at the 2016 World Robot Conference in Beijing.
The mechanic is called SmartTuna. It is a robot developed to help fix leaking underwater pipelines.
Sometimes it&`&s dangerous for humans to go down into the water, so people developed this robot. The demonstrators said the robot is precise, small and smart.
More than 2,000 competitors from a dozen countries were in Beijing to show off and share ideas during the five-day conference.
With an aging workforce and rising labor costs, China is determined to drive robot development. The output value of China&`&s homegrown robots last year stood at 1.6 billion yuan, roughly 240 million U.S. dollars, a year-on-year increase of 55 percent.
At the conference, Vice Premier Liu Yandong urged enhanced research and development of the industry. She said related policies should be improved, human resources should be developed and global communication should be enhanced.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2016-10-31

Oct 28, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
The Tiangong II space laboratory has released its companion satellite, Banxing-2.
The satellite weighs 47 kilograms and roughly the size of a desktop printer. The microsatellite has a series of visible light cameras, including a 25 megapixel camera and wide-angle imagers. Its mission is to take photographs of Tiangong II and the Shenzhou XI spacecraft, which docked with the lab a few days ago.
The satellite has been nicknamed by China Central Television as a "Selfie Stick". It also has an infrared camera that is temperature-sensitive.
A chief engineer of the satellite program said the companion satellite is like a private nurse for Tiangong II and Shenzhou XI. It monitors their conditions all the time, which is helpful in detecting any failures.
With three solar panels, the satellite can also generate enough power to adjust its orbit to shoot pictures of the lab and the spacecraft.
This is Special English.
China is well prepared to launch the Chang&`&e-5 lunar probe next year to collect and bring back moon rock samples for scientific research.
A chief scientist of China&`&s lunar exploration project said the launch of Chang&`&e-5 represents the third stage of China&`&s lunar exploration endeavor.
The first stage of lunar expedition was achieved by sending Chang&`&e-1, a circumlunar satellite, in 2007. For the second stage, China landed its lunar probe Chang&`&e-3 on the surface of the moon in 2013.
The scientist said the launch of Chang&`&e-5 will improve China&`&s space science technology. By analyzing the component of the samples to be collected by Chang&`&e-5, scientists will deepen their study into the formation and evolution of the moon.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Chinese civil affairs authorities have pledged to provide seniors with better nursing services by mobilizing idle social resources.
An official statement was issued by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and 10 other ministries. It asked authorities to transform abandoned factories, hospitals and other state-owned enterprises into nursing institutions for the elderly.
The move aims to provide more nursing facilities and ensure that seniors are able to access nursing services as close to their homes as possible.
The statement also called for enhanced reform to further streamline administrative approval and delegate more power to lower level governments. Applications to run such institutions should be approved in a timely manner.
China&`&s population is aging. Last year, 220 million of the country&`&s 1.3 billion citizens were aged 60 or older. The number is expected to grow at an alarming rate over the next few decades.
This is Special English.
More than 500,000 people have registered to take China&`&s national civil-service examinations, only six days since registration began. As of October 20, the registration system had already verified 520,000 candidates to participate in the exam. The figure marks an increase of 87,000 over last year.
The average number of applicants per position was almost 20 to 1.
The position with the largest number of applicants is an opening under the China Democratic League Central Committee. A total of 2,000 applicants are competing over this one vacancy. Another 10,000 people are vying for places in the country&`&s 13 provincial tax administration bureaus.
In contrast, 900 positions have not seen even a single applicant. The majority of these positions are arduous, base level jobs stationed in relatively remote rural areas. For example, a railway public security bureau in Hohhot in Inner Mongolia is looking to hire six people, but no one has yet registered for the positions.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge, one of China&`&s most famous places of interest, has been closed for repairs that will last for 27 months.
The double-decked bridge was opened in 1968 in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province. It received leaders from more than 100 countries and regions, and more than 600 foreign delegations from 1970 to 1993.
It was China&`&s first home-produced and built road and rail truss bridge, and was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest bridge with the dual functions of highway and railway. In 2014, it was listed as one of the Immovable Cultural Relics under State protection designated by the State Council, China&`&s Cabinet.
The bridge carried around 100,000 vehicles every day, which greatly surpasses its designed capacity. The lane boards of the bridge have cracked in many places, and mortar bedding cushions have fallen apart. Metal fatigue is appearing on the steel.
Since 2002, the bridge has been repaired a dozen times. It is the first time that the bridge has been completely closed for repairs because the related safety issues pose a risk to the railway on the lower deck and the vehicles on the upper deck.
Relic protection experts have been invited to design a specialized plan to protect the bridge.
This is Special English.
Police in Shanghai have arrested 19 people suspected of repackaging more than 200 tons of expired New Zealand-made Fonterra milk powder to sell on the market.
Food safety and police authorities announced that the suspects were operating under a Shanghai-registered trading firm. The suspects repackaged 270 tons of expired milk powder into smaller portions and sold them online or through retailers in several provinces for enticing lower prices.
Police were alerted in March after they discovered the repackaged products in a raid on a retailer&`&s warehouse. In subsequent raids, police confiscated 110 tons of the expired milk powder from the company&`&s warehouse. The remaining 170 tons had been sold to retailers.
Authorities say they were pursuing the dairy products in question and had ordered the closure of the retailers&`& online shops.
So far, there are no reports of any health issues in people who have used the expired milk powder.
Initial investigations show the group&`&s motive was to salvage losses from the unsold imported goods that went beyond their expiry date.
This is Special English.
Bird protection volunteers and local authorities in the northern city of Tianjin have cleared more than 10,000 meters of illegal mist nets and rescued more than 3,000 birds. The rescue efforts were carried out in the city&`&s east coast area during the national holiday week in October.
Migratory birds make a stopover in Tianjin in the autumn when they fly back to their winter habitats in the south. Illegal netting has become a serious problem by poachers who catch the birds to sell in the animal market.
A volunteer said they patrolled the coast and destroyed the nets. He said they conducted the search every year and this year&`&s was the most he had ever found.
The nets are concealed in reed beds in the wetlands. Different kinds of birds, including some endangered species, were trapped, and many had been found dead in the nets.
During the holiday week, 50 volunteers and staff members from Tianjin&`&s Binhai New Area patrolled the coast. A man has been arrested on suspicion of putting up a net to catch the birds.
Almost all of the nets along Tianjin&`&s coast have now been cleared.
Police also found a den selling birds in the border area of Tianjin and Hebei Province and seized 36,000 live birds. The birds have all been freed.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
A Chinese delegation has wrapped up its trip to Britain where they visited universities and a media house to boost exchanges in Tibetan culture.
The delegation visited universities including Oxford, Cambridge and Westminster. Delegation members talked with researchers and students in the universities on issues including Tibet&`&s opening up and religious freedom.
The delegation also visited the headquarters of the Daily Telegraph newspaper.
The head of the delegation said he hopes to present the real Tibet to the Western world and clearing up misunderstandings through the visit.
Dibyesh Anand, head of a department at the University of Westminster, said the visit of the delegation provides a different perspectives for his students to observe Tibet.
He said Tibet has made huge achievements in its economic development over the past decades but also has challenges in governance.
This is Special English.
Italian relic experts will help their Chinese counterparts preserve fine wall paintings discovered at ancient tombs dated back more than 1,000 years in northwest China.
According to an agreement signed recently, the Sino-Italian cooperation will last for three years and involves training, joint research, relic repair and protection.
The document was signed between Rome&`&s High Institute for Conservation and Restoration and the Shaanxi History Museum in Xi&`&an in Shaanxi Province.
Xi&`&an was the imperial seat of a dozen ancient Chinese dynasties and is home to some of the country&`&s richest cultural relics. The focus of the latest cooperation is tomb wall paintings of the Tang Dynasty, prime age in Chinese civilization with flourishing art cultures.
Shaanxi History Museum houses 640 wall paintings of Tang tombs. Among them, 100 are considered top quality, offering historians good materials to study the Tang Dynasty arts, culture, religion, and social life.
The museum hopes the Sino-Italian cooperation will provide vital experience for Chinese researchers to protect ancient wall paintings in general.
China started to preserve the wall paintings as early as 1952, but some of the art pieces were difficult to retrieve due to the backward technology then.
As the technology advanced in subsequent decades, the conservation efforts have made huge progress. But some tough issues remained, including the dismemberment and discoloration of certain objects.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2016-10-25

Oct 21, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China&`&s manned spacecraft Shenzhou XI will stay in space for 33 days, the longest since the country first sent a man into space in 2003. The mission presents more challenges in protecting astronauts&`& physical and mental health.
A zero-gravity environment will affect the astronauts&`& cardiovascular systems, and lead to muscle atrophy, weakened immunity and faster bone loss. These make the spacemen more vulnerable to disease.
To fight the negative impacts, spacemen will use treadmill and chest-expander to practice in the space lab, and wear penguin suits, which produce more tension with its elastic materials, to prevent muscles weakening.
Also, to relieve the stress of being astronauts, psychologists, families and colleagues on the ground will communicate with them through video, audio or e-mail.
Before the mission, the astronauts carried out 33 days of closed training. Except for weightless conditions, every process in the training lab was modeled on that in the space lab.
The eight training subjects were physical fitness, mental fitness, space environment adaption, weightless protection, rescue and survival skill, rendezvous and docking, medical first-aid, and in-orbit experiment.
Multiple experiments will be carried out when the astronauts enter the Tiangong II space lab. They will also carry out space material experiments, space plant cultivation and in-orbit maintenance of the spacecraft.
This is Special English.
The Chinese government has prioritized education in its efforts to eradicate poverty in the past 4 years.
According to a white paper unveiled recently, to ensure poor people&`&s access to education, the government has taken measures to promote balanced compulsory education and bridge the education gap between urban and rural areas.
The document was released by the State Council, China&`&s Cabinet. It said that in the period between 2012 and 2015, the central government injected 83 billion yuan, roughly 12 billion U.S. dollars, in renovating schools for compulsory education. It also earmarked 14 billion yuan to build dormitory buildings for some 300,000 teachers in remote rural areas.
In less-developed central and western parts of the country, the number of children enrolled in kindergartens rose from 21 million in 2011 to 28 million last year, up 30 percent.
China offered cost-of-living subsidies for rural teachers in poverty-stricken areas, benefiting over one million teachers.
The average annual growth rate of rural students from poor areas enrolled in key universities was kept above 10 percent.
The white paper added that the country also reinforced poverty relief efforts through developing industries with local features, improving medical security and supporting employment.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
A potentially cancer-causing chemical known as NDMA has been found in the drinking water of 44 Chinese cities. Samples from the eastern and southern parts of the country have been found to have relatively high concentrations.
Measured in nano-grams per liter, NDMA is a byproduct of the disinfection process used for chlorinating drinking water. It is considered an "emerging contaminant", together with other related chemicals known as nitrosamines.
Samples were taken from more than 100 sites in 23 provinces. The average NDMA concentrations for finished water and tap water are almost four times the figures in the United States.
The two figures in the Yangtze River Delta areas are high, posing a digestive cancer risk for residents there.
Lead researcher Chen Chao, an associate professor at Tsinghua University said the NDMA concentration in drinking water is a pressing issue that demands more research and systematic modifications.
According to the World Health Organization, NDMA and other nitrosamines cause cancer in laboratory animals. Currently, the substance is not regulated as a drinking water quality standard in China. No maximum level has been set.
Chen said it may be included soon as a standard for water safety.
This is Special English.
Checkpoints at airports and train stations in Sichuan Province have given up radiation screening after a safety outcry.
The Shuangliu International Airport in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, has stopped using X-rays in public security checks.
The airport made the change in response to a statement issued by the Ministry of Environmental Protection to the province, urging it to stop using X-ray machines for security screening.
The statement was issued by the ministry after many passengers complained that X-rays posed a health threat.
At train stations and airport checkpoints in Chengdu, passengers were required to stand in front of a machine for around 10 seconds. All passengers, including pregnant women, were subjected to the procedure without being informed about what the facility was or what it was doing.
The maker of the equipment claimed the machine used "weak photon emissions", but medical doctors said it was X-rays and using X-ray for the checks is harmful to human health and is banned in other countries.
The United States adopted X-rays for public security checks to discover weapons after the Sept 11 terrorist attack. But because of the public opposition and the development of more sophisticated technology, the equipment was banned.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
The total number of organ transplant surgeries performed in China is expected to reach 15,000 this year. The figure will be a record high and an increase of almost 50 percent over last year.
Senior officials and experts said that after the abolishment of procuring organs for transplant from executed prisoners since the beginning of last year, the number of organs donated after death has increased rapidly.
Last year, around 10,000 organ transplant surgeries were performed nationwide. Chinese officials and experts made the remarks at the International Organ Donation Conference in Beijing.
The surgery totals include transplants using organs from living donors.
The number of people who donated organs after death in China this year reached almost 3,000 by the end of September, which is an increase of 50 percent compared with the same period last year.
This could make China the second in the world, behind the United States, in the number of organ donors by the end of the year.
The total number of donated organs harvested after death last year in China exceeded 7,700, more than the total numbers for 2013 and 2014 combined.
The officials said China stopped using organs from executed prisoners on Jan 1 last year, when voluntary donations became the only legal source for transplants.
This is Special English.
Meteorological disasters have been blamed for the destruction of at least 50 billion kilograms of grain in China annually.
Climate change is having an increasing impact on food and agriculture, with each rising degree of Celsius causing 10 percent of grain loss. That&`&s according to figures released at a promotion activity in Nanjing for the 36th World Food Day.
China is one of the countries most affected by meteorological disasters, with droughts causing around 60 percent of all the losses in the country.
Officials from the China Meteorological Administration said immediate measures need to be taken to address the issue. It urged the country to play down the effect of meteorological disasters in grain production, processing and consumption.
China managed to diminish grain losses with a variety of measures in the past, including building new granaries and repairing old ones, as well as upgrading transportation equipment.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
An aging World War II-era C-47 aircraft has landed at Kunming in Yunnan province, after a commemorative "Hump flight", widely known as the most dangerous air route in China during World War II.
The plane is heading for Guilin in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. There it will be donated by the Flying Tigers Historical Organization to the Flying Tigers Heritage Park in Guilin for permanent display.
The "Hump" was one of the most important air ways connecting China with allied forces in South Asia. During the war, around 850,000 metric tons of supplies reached China from India via that route. And around 1,500 U.S. planes crashed along the way, falling victim to the formidable mountains of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and their fickle, often nasty, weather conditions. The pilots said the huge ridges looked like humps, thus the nickname.
The American Volunteer Group, also known as the Flying Tigers, took on the dangerous mission, and American C-47 aircrafts delivered the first, small load of supplies in July 1942.
The plane currently has five crew members, including two from the United States and three from Australia. Their average age is above 70 years old.
This is Special English.
A new archaeological find announced recently in Mexico attests to China&`&s age-old vocation as an exporting powerhouse.
Mexican archaeologists have uncovered thousands of fragments of a 400-year-old shipment of Chinese "export-quality porcelain" that was long buried in the Pacific Coast port of Acapulco.
The shipment of rice bowls, cups, plates and platters dates from the reign of the Ming Dynasty&`&s 13th emperor Wan Li who died in 1620. The goods are believed to have arrived in Acapulco aboard the China Galleon, which sailed regularly between Asia and the New World.
The findings include five types of export-quality porcelain which were made in China and exported around the world.
The white-and-blue porcelain was painted with images of birds, beetles, swans, and other depictions of nature. These porcelain goods were mainly made in Jingdezhen which is known as China&`&s "Porcelain Capital".
The discovery coincides with an exhibition at Mexico City&`&s Franz Mayer Museum which highlights China&`&s artistic influence on the New World through trade.
While Mexico and China are separated by a great distance, trade ties have linked the two regions for centuries.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2016-10-24

Oct 21, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
President Xi Jinping has urged local authorities to leave no stone unturned in the solid implementation of precision poverty relief measures to lift the poor out of poverty.
He made the remarks in a congratulatory statement sent to a commendation meeting held in Beijing, which honored organizations and individuals for their outstanding poverty alleviation work.
The president has called for combined efforts of local officials in poverty-stricken areas and all sectors of society to battle poverty and support the reform and innovation of poverty relief.
More than 600 million Chinese people were lifted out of poverty in the past three decades, around 70 percent of the world total. China became the first developing country to meet the millennium development target.
For the coming years, the government has named poverty reduction one of its top priorities. It vowed to help the remaining poor people shake off poverty and enjoy essential social services by 2020. There are still 70 million poor people, who live below the poverty line of 2,300 yuan in annual income.
This is Special English.
China will further enhance the capacity of its agricultural sector to cope with climate change by improving the quality of farmland and reducing food loss and waste.
Climate-related disasters account for the loss of 50 billion kilograms of grain in China every year, and climate change may further trigger uncertainties in the country&`&s natural environment.
The government will continue its efforts to implement measures to cope with the impact of climate change on the agricultural sector. The measures will include conservation tillage to increase organic content in soil and better integrate water management.
Officials and experts made the remarks at an event marking World Food Day which fell on October 16th.
Coping with climate change is one of the major issues that China is facing as it seeks to ensure food security.
China&`&s total population is expected to reach 1.5 billion by 2030. The country will have to produce an extra 100 billion kilograms of grain to meet the demand of such an increase.
However, climate change could result in a 5 to 10 percent decrease in the country&`&s total grain production in the near future.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A potentially cancer-causing chemical known as NDMA has been found in the drinking water of 44 Chinese cities. Samples from the eastern and southern parts of the country have been found to have relatively high concentrations.
Measured in nano-grams per liter, NDMA is a byproduct of the disinfection process used for chlorinating drinking water. It is considered an "emerging contaminant", together with other related chemicals known as nitrosamines.
Samples were taken from more than 100 sites in 23 provinces. The average NDMA concentrations for finished water and tap water are almost four times the figures in the United States.
The two figures in the Yangtze River Delta areas are high, posing a digestive cancer risk for residents there.
Lead researcher Chen Chao, an associate professor at Tsinghua University said the NDMA concentration in drinking water is a pressing issue that demands more research and systematic modifications.
According to the World Health Organization, NDMA and other nitrosamines cause cancer in laboratory animals. Currently, the substance is not regulated as a drinking water quality standard in China. No maximum level has been set.
Chen said it may be included soon as a standard for water safety.
This is Special English.
China has carried out almost 3,000 organ donations in the first nine months of this year, up 50 percent year on year.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission said that at present, the annual average number of organ donations in China is first in Asia and third around the world. Its annual number of organ transplants is second only to the United States.
The government started to pilot changes to the organ donation system in 2010. The unauthorized trading of organs was made illegal through an amendment to the Criminal Law. Moreover, a new system for organ management and distribution was launched in 2013 to better regulate donations.
A member of China&`&s National Organ Donation and Transplantation Committee said the increase in voluntary donations shows that the public is more confident in the distribution of donated organs.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
An aging World War II-era C-47 aircraft has landed at Kunming in Yunnan province, after a commemorative "Hump Route" flight, widely known as the most dangerous air route in China during World War II.
The plane is heading for Guilin in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. It will be donated by the Flying Tigers Historical Organization to the Flying Tigers Heritage Park in Guilin for permanent display.
The Hump Route was one of the most important air ways connecting China with allied forces in South Asia. During the war, around 850,000 metric tons of supplies reached China from India via the route.
Around 1,500 U.S. planes crashed along the way, falling victim to the formidable mountains of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and their fickle, often nasty, weather conditions. Pilots said the huge ridges looked like humps, thus the nickname.
The American Volunteer Group, also known as the Flying Tigers, took on the dangerous mission, and American C-47 aircrafts delivered the first, small load of supplies in July 1942.
The plane currently has five crew members, including two from the United States and three from Australia. Their average age is more than 70 years.
This is Special English.
A restaurant owned by Swedish furniture giant Ikea is now off-limits to those who don&`&t buy food, after it became a popular rendezvous for the elderly to socialize in Shanghai.
Ikea told its Xuhui restaurant two weeks ago to prohibit people from occupying seats if they don&`&t pay. Since then, the crowds have shrunk noticeably during the lunch hour, as much as half.
For years, elderly people flooded to the restaurant every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon to meet friends or on blind dates, at zero cost. The crowd sometimes exceeded the 700-seat capacity.
Free coffee is available, with an Ikea membership card which can be easily obtained with an ID card.
Ikea told China Daily that the restriction took effect on Oct 5. Ikea said in its written response that there had been misbehavior and the local police have becom involved.
A cup of coffee is priced at 5 yuan at the Ikea-owned restaurant for nonmembers, half the cost of many fast food chains. But experts say it wasn&`&t about the money.
A survey conducted by Renmin University of China found that half of the elderly aged above 60 live alone, and a quarter of them said they feel lonely.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
Jia Jia, the longest-living giant panda in captivity, was put to sleep on Sunday at Ocean Park in Hong Kong, where she was widely known for its fondness for playing with a lavender scented cloth and her gentle disposition.
The female panda turned 38 in August, equal to 114 human years, and held two Guinness World Records, for being the oldest giant panda in captivity and the oldest living panda in captivity. Jia Jia was found as a cub in 1980 in the wilds of a nature reserve in Sichuan province.
In the past two weeks, Jia Jia&`&s condition greatly deteriorated. She lost its appetite and her weight fell from 71 to 67 kilograms. On Sunday, she could no longer walk.
Veterinarians from Hong Kong&`&s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department decided to spare her further suffering and she was put to sleep on Sunday evening.
A senior official of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda said it was the right thing to do because her condition was beyond hope.
Ocean Park is holding a memorial event for Jia Jia inside the park and online. A video honoring her memory was uploaded to Ocean Park&`&s social media page. A memorial board was set up in front of the Panda House in the park.
Before she was sent to Hong Kong, Jia Jia lived for 18 years at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Sichuan. There she gave birth five times, having six cubs, four of which are still living.
Three pandas remain at Ocean Park. Ying Ying and Le Le, both aged 11, are in good health; while 30-year-old An An is the world&`&s second-oldest male giant panda in captivity.
This is Special English.
A man has drowned while participating in Hong Kong&`&s annual cross-harbor swimming race; and a female swimmer is said to be in critical condition in a hospital&`&s intensive-care unit.
The man, surnamed Ho, was pulled unconscious from the water by a rescue boat 300 meters from the finish line.
The 46-year-old was described by his parents as a man who loved to swim. He had completed the cross-harbor swim every year since it was reinstated in 2011. Ho was also a regular marathon runner.
The tragedy was the first recorded death in the formal swimming race since it was resumed in 2011, having been suspended for decades owing to pollution in the harbor.
A 60-year-old woman had been pulled from the water moments earlier, before Ho was taken to the hospital.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A female rock climber has spent two months painting a portrait of the young man she was attracted to on the face of a cliff in Zhejiang Province. But her expression of affection will soon be removed at the request of the local tourism authority.
The picture of a young man&`&s smiling face is 6 meters tall. It was painted on a rock atop a 500-meter-high mountain in a national park.
The painting was created in a recess of the rock, and it was not discovered until another climber posted photos of it online.
The 34-year-old female bank clerk claimed that she drew the picture.
The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the young man in the portrait is an experienced rock climber. He was known locally for being the first to attempt to climb the mountain without safety equipment in 2012. He got stuck midway up the cliff and had to be rescued.
The woman tried several means to win his heart, but her efforts ended in vain. So she decided to paint his image at his high point to impress him.
She also used imported mineral paints to draw the picture. In order to ensure accuracy, she had to climb to another mountain from time to time to view the picture from a distance.
She said she did not expect her secret to be discovered so soon.
The national park said the picture will be removed because it violets relevant laws.
This is Special English.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2016-10-18

Oct 17, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
Space scientists are developing technologies that will allow astronauts to use their thoughts to control equipment in spacecraft.
According to the China Manned Space Agency, the brain-to-computer test system will translate astronauts&`& brain impulses into words to communicate with ground control, and operate instruments in spacecraft.
The goal is to improve the efficiency of astronauts&`& interaction and coordination with machines.
The system will be tested by astronauts during a real spaceflight, making it the first such experiment in the world. The process uses astronauts&`& thoughts and does not require manual movements.
Mind-control technologies were first developed in the biomedicine field to help people with physical disabilities. They are now utilized in the aviation and space industries.
Aviation and space engineers around the world are exploring the technologies because they can enable pilots and astronauts to perform multiple tasks simultaneously. Mind-control systems can also be useful in unmanned aircraft operations as well as long-distance military missions.
Researchers in the United States and Europe have been researching and testing mind-controlled flight for the past several years.
This is Special English.
China&`&s first National GeneBank has been put into use. The gene bank is expected to offer strong support to the development of the genetics industry.
Located in Shenzhen in Guangdong province, the billion-dollar bank is now home to more than 10 million bio-samples with a data storage capacity of 20 petabytes. One petabyte can store around 400 billion pages of word documents.
The bank is the world&`&s fourth national-level gene bank, with the other three being in the United States, Europe and Japan.
The data in the bank will be open to the society.
China&`&s genetic sequencing market has become the largest in the world, with an annual growth rate of more than 20 percent.
To further support the development of the industry, the National Development and Reform Commission approved the establishment of the bank in 2011.
The bank links all elements of gene-related fields, from resources and scientific research to applications in different industries, including precision medicine and agriculture.
The National GeneBank has signed cooperation agreements with international and local partners who will provide data storage service for it.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
The Yangtze Sturgeon, an endangered species, can now be aided to breed, 16 years after it was believed to have lost the ability.
The Yangtze Sturgeon, also known as the Dabry&`&s Sturgeon, is a top class protected species in China. It was believed to have lost its ability to breed due to water pollution and overfishing.
In the experiment, four female and six male sturgeons were put into an environment simulating a natural river for two weeks. One of the females laid 32,000 eggs and at least one male was involved in the fertilization. A total of 22 baby sturgeons were bred.
An expert said although the sturgeons were artificially bred, no stimulants were used in the experiment.
Hailing the breakthrough, the expert said the experiment showed that by adjusting the environment, the secretion system of the species can be stimulated to make reproduction possible.
He said the achievement is significant for the increase of the sturgeon population as well as the maintenance of natural resources and the environment.
This is Special English.
China will soon finish construction of basic infrastructure for the new international airport in Beijing, which is expected to serve 45 million passengers annually starting in 2019.
The project authority said the terminal structure will be completed before the end of January next year and the building&`&s facade will be ready before the end of next year. Around 60 percent of the terminal&`&s concrete work has been finished.
The airport is planned for completion in May 2019 and will start trial operations late that year. The whole project costs almost 80 billion yuan, roughly 13 billion U.S. dollars.
The facility is designed to handle around 45 million passengers each year during the first five years of operation. After 2025, it is expected to be able to handle 72 million passengers and 620,000 flights annually. The government plans to expand its passenger capacity to more than 100 million per year in the future.
Airport construction began in December 2014 but the facility has not been given an official name. It is 46 kilometers south of Beijing&`&s center.
A rapid transit rail line will be built linking northern Beijing to the new airport in the south, passing through downtown Beijing.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
The rise in number of children participating in study tours overseas is leading to conflicts between parents and organizers.
Parents are being urged to ensure that they sign contracts and take time to study all the relevant information before allowing their children to take study tours overseas.
The warnings came after a number of schools and education institutions were sued by parents dissatisfied with the services provided, the subjects taught and the food and accommodations on offer.
China&`&s economic development has resulted in rising living standards and incomes, leading a growing number of Chinese people wanting to head overseas to study.
Last year, more than 500,000 Chinese citizens studied at undergraduate level overseas, compared with 300,000 in 2011. Meanwhile, a wide range of programs, including summer camps and non-degree study trips, are becoming increasingly popular.
A family from Beijing recently sued a private middle school after their 13-year-old son returned early from a 10-month study tour to the United States.
However, the dispute wasn&`&t resolved as easily as the family had hoped. They didn&`&t sign a formal contract with the school and had no evidence to prove the organizers didn&`&t deliver what they had promised.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
Many tag the young generation born in the 1990s as rebellious, and in some cases even selfish, yet a recent report revealed that when they become mothers, they tend to sacrifice more for their children, including their careers.
More than 70 percent of the young mothers chose to put their jobs aside to take care of their children, and they want to do it alone, without their parents&`& help.
By contrast, mothers born in the previous decade lean more towards the workplace. Almost half of those mothers born in the 1980s maintain a full-time job, and many have got a helping hand from their own parents.
That was the result of the 2016 National Parents-Children Relationship Report, jointly conducted by government departments and companies including the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and JD.com, a major e-commerce company.
Since April, the researchers contacted 7,500 families in different parts of China whose children are below 12 years of age.
They also found that children whose mothers have full-time jobs are more easily to get along with their families and friends, though the exact reason was unclear.
A lead researcher said the report has to some extent filled in a blank for academics that focus on young parents who have two children or plan to have a second child.
This is Special English.
The World Obesity Federation has predicted that Chinese youth will top the world in obesity by 2025. A report from the federation shows how the obesity rate in China has been growing.
The paper says that if the trend continues, obese children and teenagers aged between 5 and 18 in the Chinese mainland will reach 48 million by 2025, a number that surpasses the population of Spain. In India, obese youth will reach 17 million, and the United States will have almost 17 million.
The report says that inactivity and the consumption of junk food and soda drink contributes to the growing number of obese youth in the world.
Alongside the rising obesity rate among Chinese youth, millions of them are estimated to suffer from conditions including fatty liver, diabetes, and hypertension.
The State Council, China&`&s Cabinet, released guidelines in 2011 responding to the increase of obese children in China. It aimed to prevent more children from becoming obese.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
The excavation of the Marquis of Haihun tomb in Jiangxi Province has yielded thousands of valuable historical relics.
The tomb is the best-preserved cemetery from the Western Han Dynasty 2,000 years ago, with the most integrated structure and a distinct layout.
After five years of excavation, more than 10,000 precious relics have been unearthed, including bronze, gold, silver and jade wares, bamboo slips and inscribed wooden tablets.
Archaeologists and cultural relic conservation experts are cleaning the sludge that has covered the items for over 2,000 years to obtain more historical information. They are also restoring the broken ceramics and bronzes to showcase to the public.
The tomb belongs to Liu He, who was dethroned after 27 days in power because of his debauchery and licentious lifestyle. It was the shortest reign among Western Han monarchs. He was given the title of marquis, a title that remained with his family for three generations.
The main coffin in the tomb complex has been cleaned, and Liu&`&s remains can vaguely be seen in the inner coffin. The remains are on a gilded glass mat, with 100 pieces of gold discs under the glass mat.
So far, 480 gold artifacts have been unearthed from the tomb, the largest in China&`&s archaeological history.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2016-10-17

Oct 17, 2016 1501

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
The world&`&s largest radio telescope has been put into use in a mountainous region of southwest China&`&s Guizhou Province.
The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST, is built to explore space and hunt for extraterrestrial life.
Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to scientists, engineers and builders on the launch.
Located in a karst valley, construction of the project started in 2011, 17 years after it was proposed by Chinese astronomers. The whole project cost 1.2-billion-yuan, roughly 180 million U.S. dollars.
The installation of the telescope&`&s main structure was finished in early July. It was a 4,500-panel reflector as large as 30 football pitches.
In a recent trial observation, the telescope received a set of high-quality electromagnetic waves from a pulsar around 1,300 light-years away.
Nobel laureate Joseph Taylor at Princeton University in the United States said the telescope will certainly generate enthusiasm, bring people into science, and make China important in the world of science.
The astronomer was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 1993 for discovering indirect proof of gravitational waves with the assistance of Puerto Rico&`&s Arecibo Observatory. The observatory is home to a radio telescope that is 350 meters in diameter.
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The National Tourism Administration has released ratings, listing the best and worst scenic spots, tourism agencies, tour guides and tourists during the national holiday week in early October.
The ratings are part of new efforts by the administration to strengthen supervision and management of the tourism market and to improve services offered by scenic spots and their staff. It also aims to create a favorable environment for travelers during holidays.
In the ratings, some attractions, including the Palace Museum in Beijing, were praised for their management and smooth operations.
Other places, including the Three Gorges Tourism Zone in Hubei Province were credited for their contribution to the national "tourism toilet revolution" campaign. This is an initiative sponsored by the administration to renovate public toilets at tourism spots nationwide.
Almost 600 million trips were logged during the weeklong holiday which started on October 1.
The administration said that thanks to effective measures taken by the tourism departments at all levels, there were no serious disputes or accidents during the holiday.
Beijing Zoo received 450,000 tourists during the holiday. Four visitors were each fined 50 yuan, roughly 7 U.S. dollars and 50 cents, for feeding animals. It was the first time the zoo has issued tickets to tourists for this reason.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China has signed agreements on the mutual recognition of higher education degrees with 19 European Union member countries including France, Germany and Italy.
The Ministry of Education made the announcement at a briefing of the China-EU education ministers&`& conference and an Education Policy Dialogue between China and European countries.
The two meetings were held in Beijing on October 11, and focused on the mutual recognition of credits between higher learning institutions in China and the EU, as well as the balanced flow of students between the two parties.
More than 300,000 Chinese students were studying in EU member countries as of the end of last year. The figure represents almost a quarter of all Chinese students abroad and an increase of 7 percent from 2014.
More than 120,000 Chinese students went to study in the EU last year, almost a quarter of all students who went abroad last year. At the same time, more than 45,000 EU students came to China, accounting for 10 percent of all international students studying in China.
Last year also saw more than 3,000 EU students receiving scholarships from the Chinese government, a rise of 12 percent from the previous year.
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China&`&s seventh Arctic expedition using the Chinese icebreaker Xuelong has returned to its research base in Shanghai after a 78-day mission.
The Xuelong set out from Shanghai in July and has since traveled 13,000 nautical miles to explore marine areas including the Bering Sea and the Canada Basin.
The team has traveled as far as 83 degrees north latitude, and for the first time explored the Mendeleev Ridge in the Arctic Ocean.
Scientists studied marine meteorology, geology and chemistry, and surveyed seven ice stations, while the expedition smoothly completed all its scheduled tasks.
The expedition team laid several observation buoys in the oceans and explored deep strata by creating an artificial seismic wave.
The Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, was equipped with two helicopters, research support and emergency equipment during the expedition. The Ukraine-built vessel was first put into use in 1994 and can break ice that is 1.2 meters thick.
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China will further tighten the land management of villa construction.
The Ministry of Land and Resources said that compared with previous regulations released as early as 2003, the new rules will target terraced houses, semi-detached houses, and garden houses. The previous regulations suspended the land supply of detached villas only.
Analysts say the measure is going to make villas scarce in the future. The adoption of the universal second-child policy in China has continued to drive the demand of villa sales, but villa owners are reluctant to sell their property.
Data shows that the market price of villas in Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong province, has seen a more than 10 percent increase, especially in the outskirts of the city. However, villa sales in the city have seen a 20 percent drop in the first half of this year, compared to the same period last year.
The Chinese authorities have urged the local governments across the country to make better use of construction land. Cities and towns should specify their land use objectives before the end of this year to ensure a 20 percent cut in construction land use per unit of GDP by 2020.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That&`&s mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
New rules requiring China&`&s e-commerce platforms to improve food safety management have come into effect as of this month.
Third-party online supermarkets must take responsibility for poor-quality food products sold by stores registered on their platforms. The rules were formulated by the China Food and Drug Administration.
Online platforms must establish a sound system to check vendors&`& qualifications and the quality of their products. Violators must be suspended from their operations in a timely manner.
In another development, Chinese investigators in criminal cases will now be able to retrieve and freeze electronic data as evidence, as part of new regulations.
The regulation allows courts and police authorities to retrieve electronic data, including that posted on websites, social networks and popular communication apps, by individuals and organizations implicated in criminal cases.
Several other rules have also come into force, including one requiring professional test for drivers providing on-demand mobility services, and another one streamlining procedures for registering a new company.
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Online search giant Baidu is set to lose its top spot in China&`&s booming digital advertising market this year to its rival Alibaba Group.
According to a report from London-based market research firm eMarketeer, E-commerce heavyweight Alibaba has so far notched up a 29 percent share of China&`&s digital ad market, equating to 12 billion U.S. dollars. eMarketer researches digital marketing, media and commerce.
In previous forecasts, eMarketeer had predicted that Baidu, which uses search result listings to generate income from advertisers, would stay out in front. Last year, Baidu earned 28 percent of China&`&s digital advertising revenue, compared to Alibaba&`&s 25 percent.
But eMarketeer has downgraded its outlook for Baidu this year as it has witnessed challenges in the past few months due to tighter government controls on search result advertising. Baidu&`&s digital ad revenue is expected to see sluggish growth this year. Meanwhile, Alibaba and Tencent will continue to surge ahead and report increases of 54 percent and 68 percent respectively.
Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent are the top three firms in China&`&s internet industry. They are estimated to take a total of 60 percent in the country&`&s digital ad revenue of 42 billion this year.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China&`&s television regulator is moving to curb overvaluing and over-emphasis on TV stars during the purchase and broadcast of TV dramas.
A circular was made public recently by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. The circular banned broadcasters from nominating actors, defining the range of actors for selection, or fixing the price based on the stars involved when they purchase or broadcast TV dramas.
The administration said they should also avoid over-hyping stars during promotion of TV shows, adding that the shows&`& ideological significance, artistic style, production quality and teamwork should be highlighted instead.
The circular states that a few TV stations have been pricing TV dramas simply based on the stars involved, which led to an unreasonable composition in the budget and an imbalance in distribution; and the practice hampered the industry&`&s healthy and orderly development.
The administration asked broadcasters to appraise TV dramas in a more comprehensive way with their quality as the core criterion.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2016-10-11

Oct 13, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
Fishery experts are conducting a field investigation to assess damage to the ecosystem of the Yangtze River, after hybrid foreign sturgeons were washed away from a breeding facility in heavy floods.
Scientists worry that the almost 10,000 tons of hybrid foreign sturgeons may now interbreed with the endangered purebred wild Chinese sturgeons in the river. The Chinese sturgeon population has declined to a dangerously low level, with only 100 thought to remain in the Yangtze, China&`&s longest river.
Investigators from the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences said purebred Chinese sturgeons face a heightened threat of extinction as a result of interbreeding with the foreign and hybrid species over the coming months.
Purebred Chinese sturgeons can be dated back 140 million years ago. But they are now on the razor&`&s edge of survival. The population of adult sturgeons was estimated at around 100 at the end of last year, compared with 10,000 in the 1970s.
After a reservoir opened to release floodwater on July 19, more than 9,800 tons of foreign and hybrid sturgeons in Hubei Province were killed or escaped to the waters where wild Chinese sturgeons live.
Floodwaters washed away the net-pen facilities used to raise the non-native species, causing huge economic losses.
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A pilot program will be set up to promote reform of China&`&s high school entrance exam.
A guideline issued by the Ministry of Education said high schools should recruit students based on both their exam scores and a comprehensive assessment of their qualities. The pilot program will first be implemented in 2017 and then be expanded across China in 2020.
For years, China&`&s education system has been criticized for its exam-driven curriculum, which focuses on memorizing textbooks and getting good test scores.
The ministry said high school enrollment will not only depend on exam scores, but also students&`& morality, mental and physical health, artistic abilities and social skills.
The exam will focus more on students&`& analytical and problem-solving skills, to promote innovative spirits.
It will also encourage students to participate more in sports, as PE scores will be considered in enrollment.
An official from the Shandong Provincial Education Department said the reform will provide diverse roads and fairer opportunities for students to succeed.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
A nonprofit educational project has been launched in China aiming at creating a more comprehensive and beneficial study environment for children with disabilities. The program, called Inclusive Education, was launched by the international organization Save the Children and the United Nations. It will be carried out in the next two years.
A representative of Save the Children in China said that since many disabled children go to special schools, they do not get the needed opportunities to mix with the mainstream society. The Inclusive Education project believes in the philosophy of integrated education, as well as the right of disabled children to study in ordinary school with abled children.
An official from the Chinese Society of Education said China has a large number of school-aged disabled children who are not getting the quality of compulsory education they need.
Save the Children has launched a public campaign which calls for concerted efforts to help the children with disabilities, instead of neglecting or discriminating against them.
"Let&`&s go to school together" is the slogan of the Inclusive Education project. The organization believes it also represents the need of many children with disabilities to make friends with abled children, learn useful knowledge and lead a hopeful life.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2016-10-10

Oct 13, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
President Xi Jinping has instructed the Chinese military&`&s rocket force to continue to build itself into a strong and modern rocket force.
Xi is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission. He made the remarks during an inspection of the People&`&s Liberation Army&`&s Rocket Force, as he congratulated the first PLA Rocket Force Party congress.
President Xi described the force as a "core of strategic deterrence, a strategic buttress to the country&`&s position as a major power, and a cornerstone on which to build national security."
The PLA Rocket Force was established at the end of last year, part of a wider military structural reform drive. Xi conferred the military flag on the Rocket Force at its inauguration ceremony held in Beijing on Dec. 31, last year.
The president said that amid the changing international situation and major challenges to national security, the Rocket Force has played an irreplaceable role in containing war threats, ensuring a secure and favorable strategic posture for China, as well as maintaining global strategic balance and stability.
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A multi-department circular on fighting telecom and Internet fraud has been issued, tightening preventive measures and ordering police to hunt down perpetrators.
The circular made it obligatory for telephone accounts to be registered using real identity information. It was jointly issued by related government departments including the Supreme People&`&s Court, the Ministry of Public Security, and the People&`&s Bank of China.
The circular said all telecom service providers must make sure that 100 percent of the country&`&s telephone accounts are registered under real identities by the end of this year and suspend the use of accounts without real identity registration.
In the banking sector, the circular prolongs the period of time needed for money to be transferred from an account holder to another via ATM, or Automatic Teller Machine, to 24 hours. The new measure will go into effect on Dec 1.
In telecom fraud, swindlers often trick victims into transferring money to their accounts via ATM. In some cases, money in transfer can be frozen if victims call the police in time.
The circular aims to crack down on leaking and trade of personal information. It allows law enforcement to delete, monitor and block Trojan horse and other malicious software and personal information disseminated online.
Websites or Internet accounts found to be at fault will be shut down, and perpetrators may be subject to criminal penalties.
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A trial program to test the issuance of a single, unified work permit for foreigners is expected to ease the burden of employment in Shanghai for highly skilled expats. Starting in October, the program will replace the current system under which two government entities have issuing authority.
The trial was highlighted in a recently released notice about further deepening of measures to attract more foreign talent to speed up the development of the scientific and technological innovation hub.
Until now, the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs has been responsible for issuing a certificate qualifying some individuals to work in China, while local labor bureaus issued their own work licenses to authorize others.
In the pilot program, highly skilled applicants will not need to submit applications before entering the country, and only need to complete an online application after being recruited to work in Shanghai.
Expats who have applied at least twice for a one-year work permit will be eligible for a five-year work permit, making the process more convenient for them.
In July last year, 20 measures including 12 released by the Exit-Entry Administration Bureau of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau reduced complexity for highly skilled overseas passport holders. Meanwhile, the length of an overseas talent residence permit was extended to 10 years, opening Shanghai&`&s door wider to the world.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2016-09-27

Sep 26, 2016 1500

Description:


This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
The State Council, China's Cabinet, has issued a guideline on government information sharing.
The guideline, approved by Premier Li Keqiang, aims to increase government credibility, while improving administrative efficiency and government services.
The guideline divides government information into three categories, namely, unconditionally shared, conditionally shared and unshared.
The guideline said sharing should be the principle while unsharing should be the exception.
According to the guideline, information could be categorized as "unshared" only when backed by laws, regulations or national policies.
It said all government information systems should be linked to a national data-base, so the public will have no need to submit the same information twice.
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China's space lab the Tiangong-2 may serve for more than five years and co-exist with China's first space station which is scheduled for completion around 2020.
With a designed life of two years, Tiangong-2 was originally built as a backup to Tiangong-1, which completed its mission in March.
But space scientists expect Tiangong-2 to serve for more than five years given the introduction of an in-orbit propellant technique for the first time.
In April next year, China's first cargo spaceship Tianzhou-1 will be sent into orbit to dock with the space lab, providing fuel and other supplies.
If the fuel-supply experiment goes well, China will then become the second country after Russia to master the in-orbit propellant technique.
While in space, the 8-tonne space lab will maneuver itself into orbit almost 400 kilometers above the Earth. As it is higher than previous manned space missions, the Tiangong-2 will be more cost-effective and have a longer lifespan.
Though it looks similar to Tiangong-1, Tiangong-2's interior living quarters and life support system have been improved to allow longer astronaut stays.
It is designed to enable two astronauts to live in space for up to 30 days and to receive manned and unmanned cargo spaceships.
The space lab will also be used to conduct space science experiments on a relatively large scale compared to China's previous efforts.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has sent a letter congratulating the opening of the China-US Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University.
Xi said in the letter that education is an important force that pushes forward human civilization. Nowadays the young people in all countries should establish a world vision and raise awareness of cooperation through education.
He said the China-US exchanges in education have played a positive role in promoting understanding and friendship among the people as well as improving the relations between the two nations. He added that the two countries should deepen cooperation in this field.
He hoped that the Schwarzman College can be built into an international platform for cultivating the world's excellent talents, providing study opportunities for the youth of all countries and helping them enhance understanding and exchanges.
US President Barack Obama has also sent a congratulation letter for the opening ceremony.
The Schwarzman Scholars program of Tsinghua University is a one-year post graduate program co-founded by the university and Stephen Schwarzman. It aims to cultivate students with international vision, overall quality, leadership and knowledge of China.
The first group of 110 scholars came from 70 colleges in 31 countries.
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Chinese and Russian naval forces have carried out a joint drill on air defense and anti-submarine in the South China Sea off southern China's Guangdong Province.
Vessels that took part in the exercise included a missile destroyer, anti-submarine vessels, missile frigates, ship-based helicopters and conventional submarines.
The vessels were divided into two fleets and confrontations were staged off the eastern waters of Guangdong Province.
A senior officer of the joint drill said the exercise was carried out under a background of actual combat; and expected aim of the exercise had been reached.
Chinese and Russian navies held the "Joint Sea-2016" drill that runs from Sept. 13 to Sept. 19.
It features navy surface ships, submarines, fixed-wing aircraft, ship-borne helicopters, marine corps and amphibious armored equipment from both sides.
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The proportion of Chinese people who can communicate in Mandarin Chinese is expected to exceed 80 percent by the year 2020. That's according to a national work plan for popularizing Mandarin during the period spanning from 2016 to 2020.
The work plan has been released by the nation's Language Committee together with the Ministry of Education.
Statistics from the language committee showed that as of 2015, more than 70 percent of people across China can use Mandarin in their daily lives. However, at the end of the 20th century, the proportion was 53 percent.
The Education Ministry said a lot of efforts were made during the past decade to popularize the use of Mandarin among people from across the country.
Among the efforts is the Mandarin Chinese Week, an event launched in 1997 to help people from different ethnic groups to learn to use Mandarin.
This year, the event was held from Sept 8 to 14, for the 19th time. Some outstanding learners from ethnic groups were asked to share their experiences and benefits of learning the language.
The work plan also included increasing efforts to protect the languages of the country's other ethnic groups, particularly some of the endangered ones.
The ministry said the languages of ethnic groups are part of China's culture and the ministry will try to work out more scientific and effective ways to prevent them from dying out.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That's mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
The U.S. subsidiary of Baidu, a Chinese web services company, has been issued a permit to test self-driving vehicles in California.
The testing permit, from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, would allow the Baidu USA to test its autonomous driving technology in the Golden State.
Headquartered in Beijing, Baidu announced the formation of an autonomous driving team in the United States, as part of Baidu Autonomous Driving Unit that operates in Chinese cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
Fourteen other companies, including German automakers Mercedes Benz and BMW, as well as U.S. automaker Ford, have obtained the permit to operate self-driving vehicles on public roads in California. Following the move, Baidu said it would test its vehicles "very soon".
Baidu said it has already built a strong team in Silicon Valley to develop autonomous driving technology, and being able to do road tests will greatly accelerate their progress.
The Baidu USA is based in Sunnyvale in northern California.
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Police have detained 13 residents in a village in Guangdong province, accusing them of disrupting public order and inciting illegal assemblies.
A statement by the Lufeng city bureau of public security named the leaders of the protests.
The statement said the protests disrupted social order, preventing fishermen from going to work and others from opening their shops for business; and the crowds also disrupted the normal operation of schools. Police have therefore detained the 13 for further investigation, in an effort to safeguard the interests of the residents and restore order.
The village of Wukan came under the media spotlight at home and abroad in 2011, when the villagers staged three large-scale rallies over four months, protesting local officials' illegal land grabs and corruption, as well as violations of financing and election rules.
The rallies finally came to an end when an agreement was reached in a face-to-face talk between the residents and senior Guangdong provincial officials in 2012.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
Three security lanes created especially for women have begun processing passengers at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in Guangdong province. The move aims to protect the privacy of female passengers and help them to avoid the embarrassment of being checked by male security guards.
The lanes use pink as their identifying color. All the security guards who work in the lanes are women.
Meanwhile, children who fly with their mothers are also allowed to use the lanes. It also offers special baby baskets.
The Guangzhou airport is said to be the first on the Chinese mainland to have opened such special security lanes.
Officers checked more than 3,600 female passengers and dozens of children during the opening day.
According to the airport, by using the lanes, female passengers saved 15 percent of the time they would normally use standing in the line.
A Women's Federation official from Guangzhou said the lanes provided great convenience to women and increased efficiency for the airport.
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Many parents of lower-grade primary school students are concerned about whether their children will adapt to study, as their noon nap habits can hardly be carried out in a classroom, affecting their afternoon performance.
But the Hangzhou Danfeng Experimental Primary School in East China's Zhejiang province has reassured parents as it innovatively prepares 12 "sleeping rooms" for each first and second-grade classes, as well as pillows and blankets for each student.
The sleeping rooms are as big as a classroom, and are covered with foam pads. Children can enjoy a 50-minute noon nap until 1:05 pm after laying down on their pillows and blankets.
Every sleeping room has a teacher attending. Teachers will pacify naughty children or tuck sleeping students in quilts. If some students are unwilling to sleep, they are allowed to read books on the condition that they do not bother others.
The principal of the primary school, Cao Xiaohong, said school teachers disagreed with students napping on desks, as many do in other schools, because it was unhealthy.
Two years ago, a first grade primary student in the province reportedly went to the hospital complaining of cervical vertebra aches. The diagnosis revealed a dislocation of her cervical spine and the doctor thought it was related to her long-term napping on desks.
Cao said the school moved to a new building this year and there are enough spare classrooms.
Since sleeping on the ground would likely lead to students catching a cold during the cooler weather, the sleeping rooms will be open in May, June, September and October.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2016-09-26

Sep 25, 2016 1500

Description:


This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Renowned Chinese developer of hybrid rice, Yuan Longping, has expressed his confidence that a hybrid rice yield target projected for 2018 will be met this year.
Yuan said several demonstration plots had showed potential to produce 16 tonnes of rice per hectare.
Yuan made the remarks at a symposium marking the 20th anniversary of China's hybrid rice development.
Known as China's "father of hybrid rice", Yuan started theoretical research 50 years ago and kept setting new records in the average yields of hybrid rice plots.
China's Ministry of Agriculture officially launched its hybrid rice breeding program in 1996. Four years later, the first-phase target of 10 tonnes per hectare was achieved by Yuan's research team. The fourth-phase target of 15 tonnes per ha was hit in 2014.
Currently, farmland under hybrid rice in China has risen to 13 million hectares while that overseas totals more than 5 million hectares.
Around 65 percent of the Chinese population depends on rice as a staple food.
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Tiangong-2, China's first space lab in a real sense, was successfully launched into space on Sept 15. A brain-computer interaction test system installed in the lab will conduct a series of experiments in space.
The research team of the system said brain-computer interaction will eventually be the highest form of human-machine communication. China will conduct the first ever space brain-machine interaction experiments, ahead even of developed countries.
The brain-computer interaction test system in Tiangong-2 boasts 64 national patents. The research team has long been devoted to the research of brain-computer interactions. It previously developed two idiodynamic artificial neuron robotic systems that can help with the rehabilitation of stroke patients.
The brain-computer interaction technology will also help Tiangong-2 astronauts to more easily accomplish their assigned tasks.
For example, brain-computer interaction can transfer the astronauts' thoughts into operations, while at the same time monitoring their neurological function.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China will challenge the UK's position as second in the world for international study by 2020. That's according to the latest report led by Student.com, the accommodation provider for international students.
The report said a record breaking 397,000 international students went to China in 2015 and China has been the third most popular destination for overseas students ahead of Canada, Germany and France.
The report added that although there has been a slowdown in numbers since 2014, the number of foreign students in China has been growing on average 10 percent year-on-year since 2006.
The report forecasts that at current growth rates, China will overtake the UK to be the second most popular destination for international students, following the United States which is at number one.
The Independent newspaper from the UK also quoted experts confirming that the number of international students studying in China has risen so rapidly; and China will overtake the UK as the second most popular academic destination in the world.
The newspaper noted that the trend is thought to be partly due to a drive by the Chinese government, as well as increasingly higher education standards and scholarship programs for degree-seeking students.
Professor David Goodman leads the China Studies program at the University of Liverpool. He said international students benefit from the exposure to China and its culture, not least because of its growing economy and jobs market.
This is Special English.
As the country passed the revised edition of China's Wild Animal Protection Law which bans random releasing of captive animals into the wild, a similar incident has drawn people's attention lately causing controversy.
The Beijing News reports that a Tibetan woman in southwest China's Sichuan Province released 6,000 goats onto a prairie after she saved them from slaughter houses. It cost her 5 million yuan, roughly 760,000 U.S. dollars, of donated money.
The incident immediately drew great attention after it was exposed on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.
There have been a number of reports recently in China in which captive animals were released randomly into the wild by animal activists or by those following a Buddhist ritual known as "fangsheng" or "releasing life". The religious ritual demonstrates spiritual compassion and piety by releasing captive animals back into nature.
However, experts say an ecosystem has a very delicate balance which could be jeopardized easily by changing the number of certain species or introducing a new species to the area.
China's revised Wild Animal Protection Law is to take effect starting from the year 2017, with added special items to regulate the release of captive animals into the wild.
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After enjoying the fresh service of a new bike-lending initiative Mobike, many users have begun to complain about its flaws.
A Beijing-based newspaper, the Beijing Daily, reports that the major problem is that Mobike's distinctive orange-rimmed bicycles are too heavy and can be challenging for female users. Others include inaccurate GPS positioning, long unlocking time, and unadjustable bike seats.
Mobike started in Shanghai in April and expanded to Beijing on Sept. 1st. To take a ride, a user scans the QR code on the bike, unlocks the smart lock and starts a timer.
The standard cost is one yuan, roughly 10 U.S. cents, per 30 minutes, along with a 300 yuan security deposit. Users can pay with popular mobile payment methods including Alipay and WeChat.
To encourage proper use and parking, Mobike includes a credit system that will increase the fee to 100 yuan per 30 minutes for users with low scores.
Mobike uses a station-free concept for easier use, in comparison with Beijing's public bike rental service, which has a more complicated registration process and requires bikes to be returned to stations.
Experts say Mobike is a good supplement to the public bike rental service.
Mobike now has only 3,000 bikes in the city, but the company said it is increasing the number by hundreds every day. It has more than 10,000 bikes in Shanghai, allowing most riders to find a bike anywhere within a radius of 300 meters.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That's mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
Beijing consumers forked out billions during the Moon Festival holiday, which ran from September 15 to 17.
Retail sales of 60 major commercial companies in the foodstuffs, dining and tourism sectors exceeded 2 billion yuan, roughly 300 million U.S. dollars. The figure represents an increase of more than 6 percent year on year.
According to the Beijing municipal commission of commerce, mooncakes, the seasonal delicacy for the festival, were in less lavish packaging and came in more creative flavors this year.
Daoxiangcun, a Beijing bakery chain, sold more than 27 million mooncakes by Saturday, the last day of the holiday. The company said mooncakes that are made from 3D printing machines sell particularly well.
Popular restaurants in Beijing were heavily booked during the three-day holiday. The turnover of several catering enterprises posted 10 percent growth from last year.
The Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. The festival has been celebrated for more than 3,000 years to mark the autumn harvest. It is also an occasion for family gatherings, featuring lanterns, solving riddles and eating mooncakes.
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More than 70 percent of Chinese people believe children and adolescents should have annual physical checkups at professional hospitals, rather than at school health centers. That's according to a Chinese Medical Doctor Association survey.
The survey also shows that almost 70 percent of people believe the checkups organized for students should include psychological consultation.
The survey was based on feedback from 42,000 people in different professions from across China, including white collar workers, medical professionals, government employees, students and migrant rural laborers.
Almost 32,000 of those surveyed said children and adolescents should have checkups at professional hospitals, compared to more than 8,000 saying they should have checkups at school. The rest said they didn't care.
According to health and education regulations, students in China must have physical checkups before they are admitted to a school at a higher level; and all students should have a regular checkup every year when at school. Schools should organize students to have checkups.
A doctor at Beijing Children's Hospital said that in recent years, the number of children suffering diseases including hypertension and obesity increased, and in many cases they were diagnosed at professional hospitals rather than at school health centers.
Experts say the regulations were made decades ago and should be updated to suit the new situation.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A high-speed railway linking Zhengzhou in central China's Henan Province with Xuzhou in eastern Jiangsu Province has opened.
The 360-km line connects high-speed railways in the west with two major north-south lines, helping cut travel times between the west and the east.
The travel time between Xi'an and Shanghai has been cut to six hours from almost 11 hours.
The line has nine stations, and trains run at a speed of up to 300 km per hour in the initial period.
Construction of the line started in 2012, and test operations started in April this year.
With the operation of the new line, China's high-speed railway network has exceeded 20,000 km in total length, the world's longest.
This is Special English.
Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang Province, is witnessing a boom in interest after the Group of 20 Summit ended on Sept 5 as visitors throng to popular spots.
The park where the G20 evening gala was held has become one of the most popular attractions in the city.
A musical show by a team led by film director Zhang Yimou is staged with the majestic West Lake as its background. It's based on Zhang's "Impression of the West Lake", an astonishing performance that takes place right on the surface of the water, combining music, dance, and light effects all against a natural backdrop.
After the G20 ended, the park was packed with locals and tourists who were eager to see the conference location and the show in person.
Liu Ying is a tourist from Guizhou Province. She said she has seen the videos of the show many times; but only when she came to feel the vibe in real time was she truly impressed.
Many new souvenir sets has become available on the market after the evening gala, echoing its theme of a memorable Hangzhou. The package includes a silk clutch of a size which can hold an iPad, a fan and a fan case, as well as silk handkerchiefs.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2016-09-20

Sep 19, 2016 1501

Description:

This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chinese officials and scientists have said that as a country with the world's largest number of scientific researchers, China is benefiting and will continue to benefit from scientific exchanges and cooperation with other G20 members, particularly in exchanges of talent and young research staff.
A senior official of the China Science and Technology Exchange Center said the G20 is the largest and most important group in technological innovation worldwide. Cooperation and innovation under the G20 framework will not only benefit the members, but also is of great importance to the sustainable development of the world.
According to the China Science and Technology Talent Development Report, which was released by the ministry last year, China's human resources in this area exceeded 71 million people as of 2013, ranking it No 1 in the world.
Meanwhile, the latest statistics from the World Bank Group and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization showed that the research and development investment of 19 G20 members, excluding the European Union, accounts for 87 percent of the world total.
The academic papers that these members publish account for 76 percent of the world total and applications for patents from these members account for 97 percent.
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Silk products are synonymous with Hangzhou, the capital city of east China's Zhejiang Province. Hangzhou first exported silk 2,000 years ago. Today, the exquisite craftsmanship of silk continues to be the source of justifiable pride.
It should come as no surprise that guests at the B20 and G20 summits will find silk forming an integral part of their experience there.
To symbolize the city's attachment to the fine material, a gift package for the B20 Summit guests contains a pure silk scarf. More than 800 participants at the B20 Summit received such scarves.
Each of the silk scarves is printed and dyed around 20 times, and it takes six weeks for the process of platemaking, printing and dyeing to be completed.
China played a major role in developing sericulture, or silk farming, and one of its origins is located in northern Zhejiang province.
Archaeological digs there have unearthed silk thread, ribbons and silk from more than 4,000 years ago. After laboratory testing, they were confirmed to have come from domesticated silkworms.
Globally, the Japanese use the most silk products, and French brands like Hermes use silk for signature products. Italy is a well-known center for silk goods, and Brazil is a large silk manufacturer.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
China's quantum communication satellite, which was launched in August, is in good shape; and scientific experiments can begin this month.
A chief scientist of the project said all equipment carried by the satellite and all ground equipment are working well.
Satellite-to-earth links have been established between the satellite and five ground stations across China, laying the technical foundation for distributing quantum keys.
Scientists are confident that the project will fulfill its tasks.
China successfully launched the world's first quantum satellite on Aug. 16.
The satellite will explore "hack-proof" quantum communications by transmitting "unhackable" keys from space, and provide insight into the strangest phenomenon in quantum physics, quantum entanglement.
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The voyage taken by the research ship "Tan Suo Yi Hao" to the Marianas Trench from late June until Aug 12 made a series of breakthroughs in deep-sea scientific exploration, both domestically and internationally.
According to scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the breakthroughs include a successful nitrogen cycle experiment conducted by the "on-site experiment" deep-sea elevator. The elevator is a research device that is lowered with an anchor and was developed by the Institute of Deep-Sea Science and Engineering of the academy.
A scientist in the academy who headed the expedition said it made history among similar devices internationally.
According to the scientist, the Tianya deep-sea lander, another device taken on the voyage, also made history. It collected deep-sea water samples of more than 100 liters for the first time, much more than its counterparts from other countries did.
During the voyage, China's unmanned submarine, the Haidou, dived for the first time to a depth of more than 10,000 meters, reaching 10,767 meters.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
China will establish several national ecological experimental zones to explore reforms ranging from natural resource balance sheets to ecological performance evaluation of officials.
An official guideline has been released by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, aiming at carrying out reforms on "ecological civilization system".
According to targets set in the guideline, major progress shall be achieved by 2017; and fully-fledged ecological civilization systems shall be established by 2020, with best practices replicable across the country.
Main experiments will include establishing a natural resource property right system, compiling natural resource balance sheet, optimizing land and space planning, and incorporating ecological performance into officials' evaluation.
The provinces of Fujian, Jiangxi and Guizhou have been selected as the first batch of experimental zones, because they have "relatively optimal ecological foundation, and relatively strong environmental and resource capacity".
This is Special English.
Chinese universities will have the autonomy in transferring the intellectual property from scientific research and shall keep all the earnings.
A government document released by the Ministries of education and science and technology, said no less than half of the net earnings from transfers shall be rewarded to researchers.
The circular said major contributing researchers and faculty members should take no less than 50 percent of the total rewards.
China has created a series of policies to encourage scientists to translate their research into commercial products.
The State Council in March issued a regulation that provides detailed measures for academics and inventors on how to commercially exploit their work, as the country pushes for innovation-driven development.
Authorities are also encouraging research institutions and technical personnel to transfer or licensing their achievements or to invest with them as trade-ins.
According to the policies, performance in translating scientific outcomes to products will be considered in the overall evaluation of research and higher learning institutions.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That's mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
Tsinghua University and Peking University have for the first time broken through the top 100 global ranking of universities.
According to the 2016 Academic Ranking of World Universities released recently, Tsinghua occupies the 58th spot and Peking University is at 71. A total of 41 Chinese mainland universities are among the top 500, nine more than in 2015.
Starting from 2003, Academic Ranking of World Universities has been presenting the world top 500 universities annually based on transparent methodology and third-party data. More than 1,200 universities are included every year.
Harvard University retains its crown for the 14th year, followed by Stanford, University of California Berkeley, University of Cambridge and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Tokyo University in Japan is ranked 20 this year, the sole Asian university to be among top 20 in worldwide.
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Quarantine dogs were first employed in the Nanjing airport in 2002, after their implementation in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai.
After training for four months, quarantine dog Daxiong started work in 2009. Daxiong was good at sniffing out plant products, and its biggest discovery was 17 boxes of forbidden fruit totaling 180 kilograms.
At nine years old, Daxiong is the equivalent in dog years to a 60-year-old man, but he is nevertheless as excitable as ever when it comes to food. Daxiong is so sensitive to forbidden goods, especially meat products and fruit, that his trainer rewards his good behavior with snacks.
Quarantine dogs usually work three to four hours a day, taking a rest every half an hour. This keeps them alert and accurate.
From 2014, the department began to seek an adopter for Daxiong in preparation for his retirement. His trainer Yan Han explaines that the adopting family had to love dogs and have some experience raising them. Additionally, Yan hoped that the whole family would get on well with the dog. By this metric, a local resident surnamed Zhi became Daxiong's adopter.
To prove that Daxiong is living a happy and healthy life with his new family, Zhi provides periodic photos and videos to the dog's former handlers.
This is Special English.
A new technical manual in Shandong province encourages the use of humane methods to slaughter chickens. Supporters say the methods also promote better meat quality.
The manual was prepared by a research team at Qingdao Agricultural University and has been approved by the Shandong provincial government's quality watchdog. It sets standards to reduce the animals' suffering.
A professor of food science at the university says that complying with the humane slaughter manual is not only about showing human compassion for the animal but also could improve the quality of the meat.
The standards "ensure that suffering at slaughter can be avoided so the animals experience minimal negative feelings.
Shandong Province raises 20 percent of China's broiler chickens, and chicken accounts for 40 percent of the province's meat production.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
An Australian who raised enough money to take a stray dog that followed him during an extreme marathon in China back to his home in the UK was almost heartbroken.
Gobi, who accompanied Dion Leonard during the event in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, had disappeared and for quite some time, there was no sign of her.
Leonard had raised enough to take the animal back to Edinburgh in Scotland.
He said it was such a shock and hard to believe when he was told Gobi had gone missing.
Leonard said he was very heartbroken and saddened about it. He returned to Urumqi, the regional capital of Xinjiang, to look for the small brown animal.
Forty-one-year-old Leonard said he and Gobi formed such a strong bond during the 250-km race, and it broke his heart thinking that they might not be spending more time together. These remarks came after a couple of days of searching for Gobi with volunteers.
During this time, there have been sightings of dogs that look like Gobi, but all these signs have ended in disappointment.
The dog had been due to arrive in Beijing to start a four-month process of medical checks before being flown to the UK in time for Christmas.
Gobi ran alongside Leonard in June during the Gobi March, a 7-day race across mountainous and desert terrain in Hami prefecture, when temperatures of up to 52 degrees Celsius were recorded. They even cuddled together during the night.
At one point, Leonard had to cross a river during the race. Instead of thinking about beating others, he stopped and carried Gobi across. After the race, Leonard decided to take her home to Scotland.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2016-09-19

Sep 18, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
The world's largest radio telescope will be completed and in use in late September, accompanied by regulations to protect the facility.
The construction of the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST, has entered its final phase in the mountainous southwestern province of Guizhou.
With a dish the size of 30 football pitches, the telescope, which measures 500 meters in diameter, dwarfs Puerto Rico's 300-meter Arecibo Observatory.
The provincial legislature passed a rule to guarantee the safe operation of the facility. The rule will come into effect later this month.
Under the regulation, the telescope requires radio silence within a 10-kilometer radius.
Construction of irrelevant projects will be prohibited in the core area and violators will be fined up to 100,000 yuan, roughly 15,000 U.S. dollars.
The regulation also bans activities including hunting, wood gathering or land reclamation in the core area, and underscores forest fire prevention work.
The rule sets Sept. 25 as the prefecture's astronomical science day.
Construction of the telescope began in March 2011 at a cost of 1.2 billion yuan.
Some 8,000 people in the core area will be relocated.
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China's top legal authorities have for the first time clearly stipulated that victims of miscarriages of justice have the right to compensation for mental anguish.
The Supreme People's Court has revealed a judicial explanation saying that compensation applications can be filed in non-criminal cases where people have been wrongfully subjected to law enforcement.
To redress judicial infringement, the court and its staff should eliminate ill effects, rehabilitate reputations and extend formal apologies to victims.
For mishandled cases which result in serious harm, the judiciary should apologize and pay compensation for mental suffering.
Those who have had their assets illegally frozen or sold off by the court can also ask for compensation.
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China is moving quickly to implement the anti-corruption consensus reached at the Group of 20 Summit by setting up the group's first anti-graft research center in Beijing.
The center will provide intelligence support in the hunt for economic fugitives and confiscation of their ill-gotten assets.
The center is based at Beijing Normal University and will officially begin operations in a few months.
Dozens of experts and professionals who specialize in graft-related studies from China and other G20 economies will be recruited.
The country's top discipline watchdog said the establishment of such a center will lay a solid foundation for studies of cross-border corruption crimes and offer intelligence support to fight corruption globally.
The center will conduct in-depth research among G20 members on corruption crimes, including comparing domestic and foreign laws, procedures for confiscating illegal assets and extradition and judicial assistance. Transnational commercial bribery will also be studied.
The center will also set up a database of experts and lawyers from G20 members with knowledge of anti-corruption law enforcement, criminal law and asset recovery. These experts will conduct research and training and will share their experiences in tackling such problems.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Authorities and experts have warned of the risks of the Zika virus spreading in China and are urging precautionary measures, as the number of cases in Southeast Asia increases.
Authorities responsible for entry and exit inspection and quarantine across China are urged to intensify monitoring and cooperation in the prevention and control of the virus.
Visitors to countries and regions with a Zika outbreak should take precautionary measures, including wearing long-sleeve clothes and long trousers, and should see doctors quickly if they are bitten by mosquitoes and display symptoms such as fever and rash.
Those who plan to return from such countries should make declarations to the exit-entry inspection and quarantine authorities.
Southeast Asian countries including Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand, and many South American countries, have reported Zika cases.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 2 billion people living in Asia, Africa and the Pacific could be at risk.
The risks for China will depend on importation of the disease, the presence of a suitable host and the country's capacity to detect and respond to its spread.
The Zika virus is primarily spread through mosquitoes, and around 20 percent of those infected could display symptoms including fever, rash or headache. Death may occur in rare cases.
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A 144-hour visa-free entry policy, which allows greater flexibility for foreigners who go to Shanghai and nearby provinces, has boosted the number of inbound tourists in the Yangtze River Delta.
The Shanghai General Station of Immigration Inspection said that as of Sept 1, more than 18,000 foreign tourists had taken advantage of the policy to enter Shanghai for a short stay. That's 60 percent more than in 2015.
Since Jan 30, when China enacted the expanded visa-free policy, eligible visitors or businesspeople traveling in the Yangtze River Delta area, including Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing, automatically qualify for 144 hours for business or simply to explore the region. Visitors from 51 countries can enjoy the policy, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan.
In the past, Shanghai and other important mainland tourism destinations only offered a 72-hour visa-free stay for inbound foreign visitors. Travel industry insiders say the average stay of foreign visitors is around 102 hours.
Industry insiders all attribute the growth to a rebound in inbound tourism in China. In the first half of this year, almost 68 million visits were paid by overseas visitors, a jump of 4 percent year-on-year. Visits by foreigners reached 13 million, a 9 percent increase.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That's mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
The Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum hopes that documents about Jewish refugees' life experience in Shanghai during World War II will eventually be listed in China's national legacy archives.
The museum said it will continue enriching and improving its collection of historical materials and make the material part of the national legacy archives, and then global archives.
It revealed the plan at the third Jewish Studies Youth Forum.
At least 20,000 Jewish people sought shelter in Shanghai during the war, or used the city as a jumping-off point for other safe destinations.
Documents related to Jewish refugees' lives in Shanghai during the 1930s and 1940s were listed in the municipality's legacy archives last year.
The museum has registered 550 items documenting the Jewish experience so far, including tickets for the voyage from Europe to Shanghai, certificates for job applications, as well as audio and video recordings of interviews with former refugees.
The Hongkou district was Shanghai's Jewish quarter in the 1940s, when a large number of Jewish refugees poured from Europe into the open harbor of Shanghai, which didn't require a visa for entrance.
Shanghai had a Jewish community as early as the late 19th century. The Jews there engaged in various businesses including running cafés and photo studios.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Chinese researchers at Stanford University have developed a plastic-based textile that can cool the human body and may someday reduce demand for air conditioning.
The material cools by not only taking away sweat like ordinary fabrics do but also by allowing the heat that the body emits as infrared radiation to pass through, which makes the wearers feel cooler than they would when wearing cotton clothes.
The researchers' study was recently published in the journal Science.
The lead author of the study, Yi Cui, is an associate professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford. He said by cooling the person rather than an entire building, a substantial impact could be made on global energy use.
The human body emits mid-infrared radiation, an invisible and benign wavelength of light. That contributes to more than 50 percent of the total body-heat loss in a typical indoor setting like an office. However, traditional textiles are not designed for infrared radiation control.
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The Bruce Lee Club in Hong Kong founded by fans of the legendary kung fu star has closed, after 15 years of operation due to rising rent in one of the world's most expensive property markets.
This mini-museum and souvenir shop in Kowloon has action figures, toys, films and memorabilia related to the martial arts icon.
It held an auction of its collection on Sept. 3 including a rare porcelain figure of Bruce Lee with an estimated market value of 100,000 Hong Kong dollars, roughly 13,000 U.S. dollars. Income from the auction will be used to cover expenses and for redundancy pay.
The club said it aimed to bring members from around the world together to express and exchange their feelings towards Bruce Lee and to promote martial arts, philosophy and arts films.
The shop had already cut its space by half to reduce costs, but was still unable to cover the rising rent.
Chairman W Wong said the shop was in operation for 15 years, and it was more like a venue for fans to meet rather than a profit-making business.
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Preliminary competitions are going on for the first ever national contest of the traditional Chinese poker game "The Landlord", or Dou Di Zhu in mandarin. The competition, entitled "Two-Against-One Poker Championships" was co-sponsored by China's General Administration of Sport.
The winner will be rewarded with five million yuan, and all players can cumulate their master points that will be the basis for a national ranking of Landlord poker players.
Online registrations are open and free of charge. Preliminary matches will be held online and last until June next year. More than 2,000 players will be selected for the final competition.
A deputy director from the administration said she is confident that the competition will become a popular event. The administration is expected to see a total of more than 100 million people enrolling online.
The event came after the administration granted official status to the poker game in the "card and chess category" for the national games earlier this year.
The authority also published a set of rules and regulations for the poker game and an assessment system for points and ranking.
"The Landlord" normally consists of at least three players: one being the landlord and the other two, the uprising peasants. The peasants play in a team against the landlord. Any player who feels confident about his or her cards can claim to be the Landlord at the beginning and receive three extra cards.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2016-09-13

Sep 13, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
The gaokao, China's national college entrance exam, is winning more recognition as a way for universities overseas to evaluate Chinese students.
Stanley Nel, vice-president of international relations at the University of San Francisco in the United States, said they have had several inquiries from US universities about how to recruit Chinese students on the basis of their gaokao scores. Nel is responsible for the university's admissions from China.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language and the Scholastic Aptitude Test have long been two musts for students from other countries, including China, to apply to study in the US.
USF, a private university in California, started a pilot program to accept Chinese students based on their gaokao scores in 2015.
The idea came from USF President Paul Fitzgerald's belief that standardized tests like the SAT are not very good predictors of how well students will do at the university.
He said they are aware of many criticisms that have been made of the gaokao, but it has the advantage of being what educational experts call a 'criterion-referenced' exam. It tests whether students are able to master a given body of knowledge, as well as their ability to work hard and consistently.
Currently, at least four higher education institutions in the US are recruiting Chinese students based on their gaokao performances. The Illinois Institute of Technology, a private institution in Chicago, started the practice first, in 2009.
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China has more than 15 million full-time teachers nationwide.
The Ministry of Education said there are more than 15 million teachers working in the country's schools, colleges and universities last year, marking an increase of 300,000 teachers since 2014.
Among these teachers, a total of 2 million work in preschool education, almost 2 million are college or university teachers, and 50,000 are special education teachers.
The ministry has launched a series of campaigns to improve the professional quality and treatment of teachers in rural areas, with the central government earmarking 3 billion yuan, roughly 450 million U.S. dollars, in subsidies for them this year.
A pilot program for qualification exams and registration of teachers is also being launched.
Last year, almost 2 million people applied to register as first-time teachers, with almost all of them being approved.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
The State Council has reviewed a draft film law with a key focus on making sure that people working in film industry maintain professional ethics.
According to the draft, people working in the film industry should strive for "excellence in both professional skills and moral integrity", and build a positive public image.
The past few years have seen a string of high-profile arrests of film celebrities involved in drug abuse and prostitution.
In 2014, China's media watchdog banned screenings involving anybody who had engaged in criminal activity. It is establishing a professional ethics committee, aiming to guide organizations and people in the media to practice core socialist values.
Works featuring "tainted artists" will be ineligible for awards.
The revisions add clarity regarding domestic movie screenings, stating that cinemas should properly arrange screenings and time slots of films made by domestic organizations. Homegrown films should take up at least two thirds of the total movie run time.
The draft also stressed that film distribution companies and cinemas should not fabricate movie ticket sales or engage in improper methods.
Those involved in illegal activity will be liable for administrative punishments, including fines up to 500,000 yuan, roughly 75,000 U.S. dollars, business suspensions or outright bans.
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China's State Forestry Administration has said it is too early to downgrade the giant panda's conservation status after an international group reclassified them from "endangered" to "vulnerable".
The International Union for Conservation of Nature announced the change in a report, after reviewing the results of conservation efforts that have boosted the panda's population.
The administration has insisted that the pandas remain classed as endangered. It stressed that there are still threats to the animal's survival.
The wild giant panda population is fragmented into 33 isolated groups, with some having fewer than 10 animals, which limits the gene pool for reproduction.
Meanwhile, climate change is predicted to wipe out more than one third of the panda's bamboo habitat, a situation that will only be exacerbated by insufficient funding and technical support.
Over the years, China has implemented a series of environmental initiatives, including the establishment of nature reserves, to increase the giant panda's population.
China has almost 2,000 giant pandas in the wild, increasing from 1,000 in the year 2000, and there were 420 in captivity.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
From artificial intelligence to smog control, the Chinese Academy of Sciences has unveiled 60 major science and technology breakthroughs China aspires to make in the next five years.
The academy said it will strive to occupy the international high ground in strategic hotspot fields and blaze the trail in cutting-edge and cross-discipline areas.
It also vowed to achieve a series of major original achievements, technology and products. The academy made the announcement while unveiling its new five-year plan spanning from 2016 to 2020.
Key projects on its bucket list include organ repair and reconstruction, water pollution control, research on Moon samples, a low-frequency radio telescope on the far side of the Moon and the development of a ground application system for the Mars mission.
China recently released images of a Mars probe and rover which the country plans to send to the Red Planet within five years.
The projects span the fields of life and health, resources and environment, new generation materials, energy, oceans, information, and space.
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China will establish a rehabilitation university before 2020 to help disabled people.
The China Disabled Persons' Federation said an estimated 85 million disabled people live in China, and around 26 million of them are registered.
The federation said it aims to provide high quality rehab services; and the current main problem is the lack of trained professionals.
Under the current system, fewer than 8,000 rehab students graduate every year, and 70 percent of them are from two-year colleges, far from meeting the demand for such services.
Last year, only 30 percent of registered disabled people received any kind of rehabilitation services.
According to the federation, China had 7,000 rehab centers as of last year, with 230,000 employees.
Establishment of more rehab programs was written into the country's national Five-Year-Plan spanning 2016 to 2020.
You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That's mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
Science-fiction author Hao Jingfang has become the first female in China to win a Hugo Award, beating best-selling horror and fantasy writer Stephen King in the best novelette category.
The 32-year-old from Tianjin received the prize for Folding Beijing, in which she depicts the Chinese capital as a city divided by social class.
Hao said her story suggests a possibility for the future and also proposes a solution. She made the remarks when accepting her award at the Kansas City Convention Center Grand Ballroom. She said that in her story, the future is brighter than people thought, and she hopes it is even better.
Hao said she was not confident about winning and joked that she had been planning to attend the Hugo losers' party after the ceremony. She added that "sci-fi writers always consider all possibilities".
Her win comes a year after Liu Cixin won a Hugo for his novel "The Three-Body Problem". He was the first Chinese author to win the prize.
In Folding Beijing, the city is separated into three areas, and the residents of the First Space see the extra soil as part of their privilege. Hao's story, which was translated by Ken Liu and published last year by "Uncanny" magazine.
At an earlier book event in Beijing, Hao said the story is about the societal and wealth gaps that she has observed in her own life.
Last year's Hugo winner Liu told China Daily that he thinks Hao's stories convey warmth and a unique color like "golden sunlight".
He believes the growing global acceptance of Chinese sci-fi stories is thanks to experienced translators like Ken Liu, who promote Chinese works, and the stronger presence of Chinese culture as a whole.
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China's e-commerce giant JD.com has announced that its first-ever driverless delivery vehicle is undergoing road test and will be put into trial soon.
The company formed a partnership with a robots company earlier this year to automate its logistic network and develop delivery drones and driverless vehicles.
The autonomous scooter launched by the company is 1 meter long, 80 centimeters wide and 60 centimeters tall. It has six different sized compartments to carry the deliveries.
Equipped with an advanced navigation system, along with multiple radar-based sensors, the vehicle can calculate the shortest route to the costumer, as well as how to avoid traffic jams.
While in motion, it can identify the potential obstacles as well as traffic lights to change its route if needed.
When it reaches its destination, it can automatically send the customer a passcode via an app or text message that allows the customer to unlock the right compartment.
The application of driverless vehicles is confined to temporary deliveries as of now, and the traditional delivery method will be replaced gradually. That's according to JD's X Lab, a business unit dedicated to adopting cutting-edge technology in logistics and delivery.
The company will start the trial run in October and the automatic delivery method is expected to be put into wide use next year.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2016-09-12

Sep 13, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chinese officials and scientists have said that as a country with the world's largest number of scientific researchers, China is benefiting and will continue to benefit from scientific exchanges and cooperation with other G20 members, particularly in exchanges of talent and young research staff.
A senior official of the China Science and Technology Exchange Center said the G20 is the largest and most important group in technological innovation worldwide. Cooperation and innovation under the G20 framework will not only benefit the members, but will also be of great importance to the sustainable development of the world.
According to the China Science and Technology Talent Development Report, which was released by the ministry last year, China's human resources in this area exceeded 71 million people as of 2013, ranking it No 1 in the world.
Meanwhile, the latest statistics from the World Bank Group and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization showed that the research and development investment of 19 G20 members, excluding the European Union, accounts for 87 percent of the world total.
The academic papers that these members publish account for 76 percent of the world total and applications for patents from these members account for 97 percent.
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Silk products are synonymous with Hangzhou, the capital city of east China's Zhejiang Province. Hangzhou first exported silk 2,000 years ago. Today, the exquisite craftsmanship of silk continues to be the source of justifiable pride.
It should come as no surprise that guests at the B20 and G20 summits will find silk forming an integral part of their experience there.
To symbolize the city's attachment to the fine material, a gift package for the B20 Summit guests contains a pure silk scarf. More than 800 participants at the B20 Summit received such scarves.
Each of the silk scarves is printed and dyed around 20 times, and it takes six weeks for the process of platemaking, printing and dyeing to be completed.
China played a major role in developing sericulture, or silk farming, and one of its origins is located in northern Zhejiang province.
Archaeological digs there have unearthed silk thread, ribbons and silk from more than 4,000 years ago. After laboratory testing, they were confirmed to have come from domesticated silkworms.
Globally, the Japanese use the most silk products, and French brands like Hermes use silk for signature products. Italy is a well-known center for silk goods, and Brazil is a large silk manufacturer.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China's quantum communication satellite, which was launched in August, is in good shape; and scientific experiments can begin this month.
A chief scientist of the project said all equipment carried by the satellite and all ground equipment is working well.
Satellite-to-earth links have been established between the satellite and five ground stations across China, laying the technical foundation for distributing quantum keys.
Scientists are confident that the project will fulfill its tasks.
China successfully launched the world's first quantum satellite on Aug. 16.
The satellite will explore "hack-proof" quantum communications by transmitting "unhackable" keys from space, and provide insight into the strangest phenomenon in quantum physics, quantum entanglement.
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The voyage taken by the research ship "Tan Suo Yi Hao" to the Marianas Trench from late June until Aug 12 made a series of breakthroughs in deep-sea scientific exploration, both domestically and internationally.
According to scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the breakthroughs include a successful nitrogen cycle experiment conducted by the "on-site experiment" deep-sea elevator. The elevator is a research device that is lowered with an anchor and was developed by the Institute of Deep-Sea Science and Engineering of the academy.
A scientist in the academy who headed the expedition said it made history among similar devices internationally.
According to the scientist, the Tianya deep-sea lander, another device taken on the voyage, also made history. It collected deep-sea water samples of more than 100 liters for the first time, much more than its counterparts from other countries have done.
During the voyage, China's unmanned submarine, the Haidou, dived for the first time to a depth of more than 10,000 meters, reaching 10,767 meters.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China will establish several national ecological experimental zones to explore reforms ranging from natural resource balance sheets to the ecological performance evaluation of officials.
An official guideline has been released by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, aimed at carrying out reforms on the "ecological civilization system".
According to targets set in the guideline, major progress shall be achieved by 2017; and fully-fledged ecological civilization systems shall be established by 2020, with best practices replicable across the country.
The main experiments will include establishing a natural resource property right system, compiling a natural resource balance sheet, optimizing land and space planning, and incorporating ecological performance into officials' evaluation.
The provinces of Fujian, Jiangxi and Guizhou have been selected as the first batch of experimental zones, because they have "relatively optimal ecological foundations, and relatively strong environmental and resource capacity".
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Chinese universities will have the autonomy in transferring the intellectual property from scientific research and shall keep all the earnings.
A government document released by the Ministries of education and science and technology, said no less than half of the net earnings from transfers shall be rewarded to researchers.
The circular said major contributing researchers and faculty members should take no less than 50 percent of the total rewards.
China has created a series of policies to encourage scientists to translate their research into commercial products.
In March, the State Council issued a regulation that provides detailed measures for academics and inventors on how to commercially exploit their work, as the country pushes for innovation-driven development.
The authorities are also encouraging research institutions and technical personnel to transfer or licensing their achievements or to invest with them as trade-ins.
According to the policies, performance in translating scientific outcomes to products will be considered in the overall evaluation of research and higher learning institutions.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That's mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
Tsinghua University and Peking University have for the first time broken through the top 100 global ranking of universities.
According to the 2016 Academic Ranking of World Universities released recently, Tsinghua occupies the 58th spot and Peking University is at 71. A total of 41 Chinese mainland universities are among the top 500, nine more than in 2015.
Starting from 2003, Academic Ranking of World Universities has been presenting the world top 500 universities annually based on transparent methodology and third-party data. More than 1,200 universities are included every year.
Harvard University retains its crown for the 14th year, followed by Stanford, the University of California Berkeley, University of Cambridge and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Tokyo University in Japan is ranked 20 this year, the sole Asian university to be among the top 20 worldwide.
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Quarantine dogs were first employed at Nanjing airport in 2002, after their implementation in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai.
After training for four months, quarantine dog Daxiong started work in 2009. Daxiong was good at sniffing out plant products, and its biggest discovery was 17 boxes of forbidden fruit totaling 180 kilograms.
At nine years old, Daxiong is the equivalent in dog years to a 60-year-old man, but he is nevertheless as excitable as ever when it comes to food. Daxiong is so sensitive to forbidden goods, especially meat products and fruit, that his trainer rewards his good behavior with snacks.
Quarantine dogs usually work three to four hours a day, taking a rest every half hour. This keeps them alert and accurate.
From 2014, the department began to seek an adopter for Daxiong in preparation for his retirement. His trainer Yan Han explaines that the adopting family had to love dogs and have some experience of looking after them. Additionally, Yan hoped that the whole family would get on well with the dog. By this metric, a local resident surnamed Zhi became Daxiong's adopter.
To prove that Daxiong is living a happy and healthy life with his new family, Zhi provides periodic photos and videos to the dog's former handlers.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2016-09-06

Sep 6, 2016 1500

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This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China's unmanned submarine has dived to a depth of 10,767 meters, setting a new record for the country.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences said the "Haidou-1" set the record in the West Pacific.
During a scientific expedition between June and August, the submarine dived more than 10,000 meters below the sea surface twice.
The new record makes China the third country after Japan and the United States to have built submarines capable of reaching depths in excess of 10,000 meters.
During the expedition, scientists also collected more than 2,000 biological samples in the deep sea, including some unidentified species.
In 2012, China's manned submarine the "Jiaolong" reached a depth of 7,000 meters, marking a breakthrough for China's deep sea experiment.
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China has unveiled the design of its Mars probe, hours after announcing that one of its unmanned submarines had dived to a depth of more than 10,000 meters in the ocean.
The Mars probe will consist of three parts, which are the orbiter, the lander and the rover. The rover will have six wheels and four solar panels.
China plans to send an unmanned probe to Mars to orbit and land on the planet around 2020.
Officials of China's Mars exploration program said the mission is on schedule, with Chinese scientists having completed their technological preparations and finalizing the probe's design.
Scientists have begun to produce the probe's subsystems. The mission will be accomplished in 2020 without delay. The officials explain that the favorable launch time for a Mars mission appears once every 26 months, so there will be three such opportunities before the end of 2020.
The distance between the Earth and Mars is around 400 million kilometers, and it will take the probe almost seven months before it reaches the Martian atmosphere.
The orbiter will then release the lander and the rover and continue to orbit Mars to survey the planet. The lander will soft-land on the Martian surface and deploy the rover. The entire process will require good communication among each craft and between them and Earth.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
Four major cities in Northeast China have announced in a joint statement that they will work together to build a world-class city cluster in a bid to boost the region's economy.
Harbin in Heilongjiang province, Shenyang and Dalian of Liaoning province and Changchun in Jilin province will consolidate their leading roles in Northeast China and build a large urban cluster of major cities in the region.
The cities aim to break a new path in revitalizing the old northeastern industrial bases and collaborate in accelerating regional economic integration.
According to the plans, they will carry out structural reforms and foster emerging industries and new engines for economic growth, as well as enhance cooperation and exchange.
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Shanghai has invited its residents to contribute ideas to its ambitious plan for development through 2040, aiming to lift the living, working and learning conditions of the city's people to a new high.
The public can provide opinions through September 21.
The basic philosophy of the development plan is to prioritize people as well as to further make Shanghai "a city of prosperity, innovation, happiness and humanity".
Shanghai's planning bureau said many changes are planned by which Shanghai will strive to place itself in the world's first echelon of economic, financial and cultural centers.
According to the Shanghai Master Plan for the period between 2016 and 2040, Shanghai will pursue a path of meticulous growth. The ceilings will be set for the city's permanent resident population and the overall land planned for construction.
The ceiling for the city's permanent resident population is targeted for around 25 million by 2040, an increase of 850,000 from the current figure. Overall land planned for construction will be kept within 3,200 square kilometers, an increase of around 100 square kilometers from the present.
Researchers at Tongji University say that Shanghai is ranked in the world's top 10 regarding economic development, but it lags far behind when it comes to cultural and environmental indicators.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That's mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
As giant panda cub Bei Bei in the Washington National Zoo turns one year old, Chinese President Xi Jinping's wife Peng Liyuan sent a message to wish him a healthy and happy childhood.
Peng said in the message that as Bei Bei's first birthday draws near, she is sending greetings from China, the home country of pandas, half way around the world.
She said giant pandas are China's national treasure. Bei Bei's birth is the fruit of collaboration between China and the United States and a strong symbol of their friendly relations.
She also thanked the staff of the National Zoo for taking good care of Bei Bei and to all American friends who love and cherish pandas.
Peng recalled her visit last September with the U.S. first lady Michelle Obama to the zoo and jointly named Bei Bei, which means "precious treasure" in Chinese. She was in town accompanying her husband, President Xi, who was on his first state visit to the United States at the time.
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama also celebrated Bei Bei's birthday via social media.
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Around 900 Malaysians rode the bullet train from Beijing to Tianjin to experience the trademark Chinese technology in the wake of the announcement of a planned Malaysia-to-Singapore high-speed rail link.
Fauwati Abdul Rahman, a businesswoman from Malaysia, said she was excited to ride the train.
Rahman was part of a trip organized by the Malaysia-China Friendship Association, which invited Malaysians, especially those with high social and economic status, to visit China and experience its high-speed rail.
Malaysia is planning to invest in a new urban transportation system, including the Malaysia-Singapore high-speed rail plan.
Last month, the Singapore and Malaysia governments announced plans for a high-speed rail linking Singapore with the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. Chinese companies have shown an interest in bidding on the project, as are others from Japan, Europe and South Korea.
In recent years, China has eyed many high-speed rail projects. It built the Jakarta-Bandung railway in Indonesia and the Moscow-Kazan railway in Russia.
China Railway Corporation said China has mastered world-leading technology to build high-speed railways. In addition, it has experience in various environments, including extremely hot and cold weather conditions.
China's high-speed rail network covers more than 19,000 kilometers, accounting for 60 percent of the world's high-speed rail tracks.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
Effective pollution control measures adopted in 160 major Chinese cities have greatly improved air quality.
A green organization said that of the cities, 90 percent have reached their goals, and 14 cities have managed to cut their PM2.5 concentration by over 20 percent.
Clean Air Asia is an environmental group headquartered in Manila in the Philippines. It released an annual assessment of the Chinese government's efforts to fight air pollution.
Last year, major pollutants including sulfur dioxide were reduced by 22 percent year-on-year, and the average PM2.5 reading was lowered by 14 percent in the cities.
However, the report said eight cities saw increases in PM2.5 levels. PM2.5 refers to airborne particulate matter with a diameter less than 2.5 microns that poses risks to human health.
An environment expert at Tsinghua University says reducing pollution is not a simple issue that only needs strong determination. It also requires scientific and technological support. The expert said cities didn't realize the importance of the technology behind their ambitious targets.
The report said that among the thorny issues concerning environment protection is the increasing ground-level ozone, making it the second biggest pollutant in the country.
Environmental experts agreed that most of the cities can reach the targets set for 2017.
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The Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, has begun to renovate one of its major former imperial courtyard houses. The move aims to better protect the building that is almost 500 years old and to set an example for preserving other historical buildings.
The Yangxin Dian, or the Hall of Mental Cultivation, was built in 1537, and hasn't been renovated in around 35 years. It is expected to be reopened in 2020 with almost 2,000 ancient artifacts on display.
The courtyard compound was the residence and office of eight emperors in China's last dynasty, the Qing Dynasty, which ended in 1911. It was where the emperors managed state affairs and received senior officials.
The Palace Museum said that as a pivotal place for the former Qing authorities, the heritage has enormous historical value with the finest Chinese paintings, collections of ancient books and decorations of bronze, porcelain and jade.
A comprehensive plan has been made for the three-year renovation project after a year of thorough investigation into the history and culture of the heritage.
The renovation includes preserving the building itself and setting up a database for the collections in the compound.
According to previous media reports, 220 million yuan, roughly 33 million U.S. dollars, is slated for the renovation project. The funds were mostly from donations.
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Tourists who suffer from vertigo need not apply. The world's highest glass-bottom bridge has opened in Zhangjiajie, one of the most popular tourist destinations in China.
The bridge spans the canyon between two mountain cliffs in the national park in Central China's Hunan province. It is 430 meters long and 300 meters above ground.
The bridge is six meters wide and made of 99 panels of clear glass. It is capable of holding up to 800 people at the same time.
Tourists can walk across the bridge, which is the longest glass-bottom bridge in the world. It is designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan.
After another glass bridge cracked in Central China's Henan province last year, authorities in Zhangjiajie were eager to demonstrate the safety of the structure.
They organized a string of media events, including one where people were encouraged to try to smash the bridge's glass panels with a sledgehammer, and another where they drove a car across it.
Only 8,000 people are allowed to walk across the bridge each day.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2016-09-05

Sep 5, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Following the implementation in January of harsher rules against bribes and gifts, provincial governments are abolishing special accounts that have been misused by officials to hide ill-gotten gains.
In August, the Guizhou government joined at least three other provinces in canceling a special bank account that officials had used to deposit money and remain under the radar of graft investigators.
The first "clean governance accounts" were established in the 1990s to reduce corruption while protecting the privacy of officials. Over a dozen provincial-level governments had established such accounts. The provinces of Sichuan and Gansu, as well as the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, recently eliminated them.
Usually, the accounts are managed by the local discipline inspection authorities and banks. The names of the depositor and the sum are not disclosed, and the money is turned over to the local treasury.
Zhuang Deshui, a professor at Peking University, explained that the accounts were designed as an outlet for officials who are remorseful.
However, some officials have misused the service. Many use the account as an umbrella or safe haven. For example, some corrupt officials only deposit bribes when they face an investigation.
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This year will witness 7.6 million students graduating from universities and colleges across China. This summer is also the first employment season after the universal two-child policy came into effect. As a result, female graduates are facing more severe competition and pressure in job hunting.
Overt and covert gender discrimination floods recruitment notices. Examples of more explicit discrimination include "only male", "male preferred", "married mother preferred", "higher educational background for female candidates", "appearance and height required" and "obligations of no marriage and no reproduction in certain years".
However, even covert discrimination can be quite obvious, such as when employers inquire about female applicants' marital status and thoughts on family planning, or stress that the position requires frequent overtime and is therefore more suitable for men.
According to a 2014 survey conducted by the Women's Studies Institute of China, WSIC, 86 percent of female graduates in Beijing, Hebei and Shandong say they have experienced gender discrimination while job hunting.
Marriage, childbearing and employment are all women's rights, and are protected by law, explained Ma Yan, a researcher with WSIC. However, Ma said, childbearing does increase costs to employers. For example, in the wake of the universal two-child policy, many local governments have extended mandated maternity from one month to three.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China has launched a new high-resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar imaging satellite from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province.
The Gaofen-3 satellite was launched off the back of a Long March 4C rocket. It was the 233rd flight mission by a Long March carrier rocket.
This is China's first Synthetic Aperture Radar imaging satellite that is accurate to one meter in distance. It covers the globe with an all-weather, 24-hour observation service and will be used for disaster warning, weather forecasting, water resource assessments, and the protection of maritime rights.
With 12 imaging modes, the high-definition observation satellite is capable of taking wide pictures of earth and photographing detailed scenarios of specific areas.
Gaofen-3 is also China's first low orbit remote sensing satellite that has a lifespan of eight years. It is able to provide high-definition remote sensing data for its users over long periods of time.
Since the inception of the Gaofen project in 2013, China has had an increasingly clear view of the planet.
Launched in April 2013, Gaofen-1 can cover the globe in just four days.
Gaofen-2 was sent into space in August 2014 and is accurate to 0.8 of a meter in full color and can collect multispectral images of objects 3 meters or longer in length.
Gaofen-4, launched late last year, is China's first geosynchronous orbit high-definition optical imaging satellite and the world's most sophisticated.
The Gaofen-3 and the Long March 4C rocket were developed by the China Academy of Space Technology and the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, under the guidance of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
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China's military is likely to deploy the Type-96B tank as the pillar of its tank fleet, replacing most of its old models.
Military observers say the excellent capabilities of the Type-96B qualified it to be the backbone of China's tank force.
The Type-96B is the strongest variant of the Type-96 family and is truly an advanced, third-generation main battle tank. The army will use it to replace the old tanks including the Type-59 and Type-69 models.
The latest developments came as the Type-96B delivered impressive performances in the Masters of Automobile and Tank Hardware competition, also known as the Tank Biathlon, held recently in Moscow.
China sent several Type-96B tanks to take part in the tank competition, the most watched part of the Russia-hosted International Army Games. The eight-day individual part of the competition involved 54 teams from 17 countries, with the Chinese delegation scoring the highest.
The Chinese military had more than 7,000 tanks in active service by the end of last year, and the majority of the armored force is still equipped with tanks made several decades ago.
However, experts say it is unrealistic for the Chinese military to purchase and deploy the new tanks on a large scale due to their high price and limited production capacity.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A Chinese woman has received 1.7 million yuan, roughly 260,000 U.S dollars, for a wrongful murder conviction that put her behind bars for 13 years.
The court in Yunnan Province ruled that Qian Renfeng's confession was made under duress and that she was not guilty of the murder charge she was convicted for in 2002.
Qian was working at a nursery where a toddler died of food poisoning and two other children were hospitalized.
Qian, who had prepared the children's meals that day, was forced into confessing that she had mixed rat poison into the food. It was on the basis of this forced confession that she was found guilty of murder.
In 2013, procurators in the province reopened her case. The investigation took almost two years. Last year, the procurators ruled that there was a lack of evidence to support the conviction, and advised the provincial higher court to rehear the case.
In December last year, the higher court quashed the sentence, ruling that it lacked sufficient evidence to determine guilt beyond reasonable doubt. She was exonerated and released.
Qian had filed for up to 9 million yuan, roughly 1.5 million U.S. dollars, in damages.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That's mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
The designer of the tall, lane-straddling bus Song Youzhou has said the bus can run smoothly despite doubts raised in some quarters. The bus, known as the Transit Elevated Bus, allows cars to pass beneath.
The feasibility of the vehicle was questioned after a test run last month in Hebei Province.
The bus is 22 meters long, 8 meters wide and 5 meters tall. It is designed with a passenger area high above the ground, with a capacity of 300 people.
The legs of the bus reach over lanes of ordinary traffic, creating a sort of moving tunnel. Vehicles less than 2 meters high can pass beneath it.
The bus was designed to relieve traffic pressure on roads. But media and internet users have questioned whether the bus will work as expected, because some vehicles are taller than two meters and the huge vehicle can face many challenges on the road.
According to Song, more than 90 percent of the vehicles in cities are salon cars and SUVs which are within 2 meters in height. He said most of them can run under the bus, thus helping to improve the utilization rate of roads.
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Though tipping is not widely practiced on the Chinese mainland, some restaurants in the economic powerhouse of Shanghai are now facilitating rewards for waiters through scanning a QR code, usually for 3 to 5 yuan, roughly 45 to 75 US cents.
Using a loudspeaker, a barbecue store in Shanghai suggests that customers are welcome to tip through online payment platforms including WeChat, in recognition of the good service they receive.
At the entrance to another restaurant, an eye-catching poster pledges a 10 yuan coupon to those who have given tips of up to 3 yuan.
Another store, which is part of a restaurant chain, also joined the trend in encouraging tipping, as a means to improve service.
A restaurant worker said she received as many as 60 tips a day for her excellent service, which brings her 3,600 yuan extra a month. She said she felt a sense of self-worth through the tips.
But one customer said she was embarrassed to give 4 yuan in cash to a waiter but was happy to scan a QR code to transfer the money via her cellphone. But there are also customers who are clearly not ready for the practice simply because tipping is not a must in China.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A college student from East China says her dream is to see more Chinese women succeed in their ambition to become entrepreneurs.
Twenty-one-year-old Hong Xinyu was China's representative at the Girls-20 Summit in Beijing. She told the international gathering that her plan is to open a workshop to help women who are unable to go to college get training in management.
Hong said Chinese women still don't have enough opportunities to achieve career success. One important reason is that many of them lack management ability and entrepreneurship.
Twenty-four young women joined this year's Girls 20 summit. They were chosen for their experience, ambition and learning ability among more than 1,700 applicants from G20 member countries.
The Girls20 was established in 2009. It is an organization based in Canada that is devoted to promoting greater female participation in the workforce around the world.
The head of Girls 20, Farah Mohamed, said China stands out internationally for producing impressive examples of women who are in power, particularly in business.
Eight of the world's top-10 richest self-made women are from China, compared with two from the United States.
Zhou Qunfei, who heads touch-screen maker Lens Technology, stormed to the top of the list with her 8 billion U.S.-dollar fortune.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2016-08-29

Aug 29, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chinese scientists are working on a new type of aerospace vehicle that will allow passengers to travel in space without any pre-training and at much lower cost.
China Central Television reports that scientists from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation have started work on the new vehicle integrating different kinds of engine technology.
The vehicle will use different air-breathing engines, allowing it to operate as a normal plane in the atmosphere. It will take off and land at a normal airport, instead of at special launch pads. The viehcle will be reusable, and cost will be greatly reduced.
Scientist from the corporation said they expect to master the key technology in around three to five years, and significantly improve the vehicle's capabilities during the application.
The vehicle is expected to be used for suborbital flight and orbital insertion by 2030. The expeditions will be between dozens to hundreds of kilometers from the earth.
Compared with spacecraft which use partially recovered carrier rockets, by integrating different engines, the new vehicle has many more advantages in maintenance and application.
In early July, it was reported that several institutes of the corporation were coordinating efforts to study the new vehicle.
An engineer at the corporation said that in around 10 years, passengers will not need special training to travel into space on the vehicle.
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Chinese scientists have defined a subset of a type of virus-specific cell that play a vital role in the control of viral replication in chronic viral infection. The discovery will possibly pave the way for new ways to treat chronic diseases including HIV/AIDS and cancer.
According to research published online by Nature magazine, virus-specific cells, CD8 +T, appear to deplete during chronic viral infection.
However, according to the research findings, the cells are able to control viral replication in both animal models and HIV infection.
Researchers found a unique subset that offers higher anti-viral potential than previously known, thus, showing greater therapeutic potential.
The research also identified an important regulator for the generation of this subset.
The research was led by the Third Military Medical University in Chongqing Municipality, with a number of partner institutions. It began in early 2013 with government financial support.
Current therapies can only contain viral replication, but cannot purge them completely in chronic diseases such as HIV.
Chinese researchers will now use the findings to further research into immunotherapy in cancer and HIV.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A genome project for newborns has been launched in Shanghai to aid the early identification and treatment of hereditary diseases.
The project was jointly initiated by the Chinese Board of Genetic Counseling and the Children's Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai. It will carry out genetic testing on 100,000 newborn babies over the coming five years.
The findings will be recorded in a database and a genetic testing standard for hereditary diseases will be developed, which will improve the identification and treatment of such conditions.
Experts say early identification can help doctors make better treatment strategies and improve the patients' quality of life.
In another development, the Chinese Board of Genetic Counseling and Reproductive Hospital, which is affiliated with Shandong University, jointly launched China's embryo genome project.
An embryo genome database will improve research and understanding of the development of embryos and improve diagnostic rates.
There are some 7,000 kinds of inherited diseases and China sees around 900,000 babies born with birth defects every year.
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Health experts are calling for sex education to be included in China's school curriculum. They say the lack of formal tuition, allied with misunderstandings and outdated ideas, is putting young people at risk of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
The topic has recently been at the center of a heated debate on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter, after campaigners condemned a sex education textbook that claimed premarital sex has a "tremendously negative psychological and physical impact on girls".
For thousands of years, sex could not be discussed openly in China. Even today, it is taboo in most of China's schools.
According to Gou Ping, a professor of psychology at Chengdu University, sex education is a comprehensive definition and is a fully developed concept related to many other issues. The university is the higher learning institute in the country that offers sex education as a minor course.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Chinese firm FiberHome has developed a type of optical fiber that can transmit 400 terabytes of data per second, breaking the world record for the amount of data that can be transmitted using optic fibers.
Such capacity can allow for simultaneous phone calls by almost 5 billion people and the transmission of 40,000 blue-ray high definition films in one second.
The company is based in Wuhan, the capital of central China's Hubei Province.
The transmission of 400 terabytes of data is accomplished on multi-core mono-mode optical fiber, which can be simply understood as breaking down the fiber into multiple paths to enhance transmission capacity.
Such expansion in transmission capacity is a welcoming development amid growing demand for high speed transmission of data for VR, the Internet of Things, cloud computing and other emerging technology.
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Consumers in China will be entitled to a full refund on unsatisfactory products purchased online, even if the packages have been unsealed.
A draft regulation that protects buyers' rights has been released by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, and is based on China's consumer protection law. Public opinion is being sought until Sept 5.
The draft says businesses must provide refunds to consumers within seven days of receiving returned products.
The draft says the returned goods must be intact.
The rule does not apply to several types of goods including those that can pose hazards to personal safety or health after being opened, or perishable goods that are near their expiry dates.
Under China's consumer rights protection law, consumers can return goods for up to seven days, and get a refund for items that fail quality standards.
In the case of goods purchased online or by telephone or television, consumers can make returns within seven days and get a refund without specifying a reason for most products. The only exceptions are four types of goods, including those that are perishable and prone to spoilage, as well as videodiscs that have been opened.
This is the first draft regulation in China that specifies clearly that goods bought online can be returned for a refund, even if the packages have been opened.
The regulation was made because there have been a number of disputes in recent years involving businesses refusing to offer refunds for goods that they sold online, using the excuse that the packages have been opened.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That's mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
Archeologists have discovered more than 1,000 cliff paintings dating back more than 1,000 years in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
Experts say the paintings are surprisingly well preserved, and feature sheep, camels, elks, tigers, wolves and people hunting.
The images are believed to have been engraved by the ancient tribal people 1,500 years ago.
The new findings are among many found across the Yinshan Mountains and will greatly inform research into ancient nomadic people.
More than 10,000 ancient cliff paintings have been discovered in the area.
In 2012, 18 cliff paintings dating back more than 4,000 years were discovered in the same area. Among them, a picture of seven human faces has been interpreted as the seven stars in the "Plough" constellation.
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China's largest Siberian tiger breeding center has announced that more than 50 tiger cubs have been born in the park so far this year.
Located in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, the Siberian Tiger Park is home to more than 1,000 Siberian tigers. Scientists handpick certain tigers, using a DNA database, to breed the next generation every year.
Chief engineer Liu Dan said the park has been controlling the tigers' population to around 1,000 in order to maintain the ecological balance.
The peak season for the breeding of Siberian tigers is in May and June. The cubs will be sent to the semi-wild environment after living with their mothers for around 100 days to learn how to hunt.
Siberian tigers are among the world's most endangered species. They mostly live in northeast China and eastern Russia. The Heilongjiang Siberian Tiger Park was established in 1986 for better protection of the species.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Chinese internet company LeEco is in talks with online video-streaming site Netflix for possible cooperation in content. Details will be announced in September, as the Beijing-based firm steps up efforts to expand its presence in the United States.
Analysts say that the deal, if goes through, could also serve as a steppingstone for California-based Netflix to crack its China market, which it has been eyeing for a long time.
China Daily reports that LeEco was looking for content partners in the United States, where it will launch its smartphones and Televisions this year.
The deal with Netflix will be announced in September.
The news came shortly after LeEco spent 2 billion U.S. dollars acquiring Vizio, a major U.S. television manufacturer. It is expected to give LeEco around 20 million big-screen users. The firm also purchased land in California as the center for its overseas operations.
LeEco started as an online video-streaming site, but managed a rapid rise by selling internet-enabled devices that are bundled with video content.
Since January, the company has intensified efforts to go global, listing the United States, India and Russia as its key overseas markets.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2016-08-23

Aug 22, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
Government news conferences must be held within 24 hours of serious major events and incidents to deal with public concerns. That's according to a statement released by the State Council, China's Cabinet.
The statement further specified the responsibility of national and local government agencies in responding to public opinion on government affairs.
The development of the internet in recent years has been changing how people communicate. Social media have the ability to incite and expand public sentiment quickly and often. But, the release said some government officials do not respond to public sentiment quickly and effectively.
It said government agencies must react promptly, if they are to be effective, so news conferences should be held within 24 hours of major emergencies.
Regarding public reaction to smaller government affairs, agencies should respond within 48 hours and keep updating with authoritative information on the latest developments.
When there is notable public opinion on major State Council policies and decisions, the central government agencies directly involved should be the first to respond. Similarly, local government agencies should be the first to address the public's reaction in matters directly related to them.
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Nongovernmental organizations have called on the Chinese government to impose a total ban on the ivory trade in the country within the next two years, and with no expiration date or financial compensation for those who would lose business.
A wildlife trade specialist at the World Wildlife Fund in China said the majority of Chinese consumers would stop buying ivory products if the legal trade channel was shut down. The specialist said it would also leave no room for speculators to operate if the ban on the ivory trade in China were permanent.
The World Wildlife Fund and TRAFFIC, a nongovernmental organization that monitors the global wildlife trade, are compiling a feasibility report on banning the ivory trade in China, hoping that it will become a technical reference document for the Chinese government.
The head of the China program at TRAFFIC, Zhou Fei, said the African elephant population had dropped from 3 to 5 million, to only 500,000 in recent years.
Zhou said if they don't do anything, African elephants will be functionally extinct within two decades.
At present, the trade and manufacture of registered ivory products is legal in China.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
Chinese biologist Han Chunyu has provided his experimental data to Nature magazine as requested to help peer researchers replicate his work, but the controversy has not gone away.
According to the journal's website, Han has been working to replicate his own work.
The incident now is evolving into a battle between the widely recognized gene editing tool CRISPR and a potentially better substitute, NgAgo, presented by Han, a geneticist at Hebei University of Science and Technology.
Three months ago, Han announced that NgAgo can be used to edit human genes, and an article was published in Nature Biotechnology. However, some researchers in Australia and other countries said they had been unable to replicate Han's work.
In response, the journal initiated an investigation and asked Han to submit his experimental protocols and original data. Further investigations are underway.
A Chinese biology researcher in Beijing, who wants to remain anonymous, told China Daily that Han's updating of his protocol is a good start, and other scientists should allow for more time and be patient.
Han is known for focusing on his research and maintaining a low-key lifestyle. The article about him on Nature's website said he didn't like to travel, and a trip to visit a collaborator in Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province five months ago was the first time the 42-year-old had ever boarded a plane.
This is Special English.
The first national alliance of hospitals providing air ambulance services has taken off, covering vast regions in eight provinces with swift evacuations for people from remote rural areas to clogged city streets.
Air ambulances have become a key supplement in medical emergencies to save lives despite congestion or remote location, leading to the growth of such services in China.
A helicopter took off from Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, and picked up a 58-year-old patient in neighboring Huzhou city who needed an emergency operation. It brought the patient to a landing pad at the hospital in Hangzhou.
The round trip was brief. Within two hours, including flight time, the patient, who had suffered a heart attack, was out of surgery.
The patient, surnamed Ding, said the helicopter was so quick and convenient that it made him feel like this hospital was located in front of his home.
Without the helicopter, it would likely take an ambulance more than two hours just for the return trip, instead of the 30 minutes by air.
Eyeing the huge potential of air emergency services, 14 provincial level hospitals initiated the China Air Emergency Hospital Alliance, which is the largest domestic alliance in the air ambulance service industry.
This is Special English.
With bulbous red noses, colorful curly wigs and exaggerated makeup, a group of 40 medical workers in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, have offered patients something to smile about.
By dispensing hope and humor, the medical clowns lift the mood and inject vitality into the wards.
A medical clown training center, jointly launched by China and Israel, has been established at Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital.
Forty doctors and nurses in Chengdu will learn from the world's leading professional medical clowns this year.
Amir Lati, consul general with the Consulate General of Israel in Chengdu, said Israel is a world leader in medical clowning. In Israel, the profession is a serious business.
Israel set up the world's first clown care course at the University of Haifa in 2006.
When people are entertained, laughing especially, the brain releases more endorphins, which can help relieve pain and produces more leukocytes, which help improve the immune system. Lati said medical clowns have been proven to help the healing process.
The trainee Chinese medical clowns will be taught medical care, psychology, physiotherapy as well as magic performance, puppet shows and acting by the Israeli practitioners.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That's mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
Officials in Huichang, a county in southern Jiangxi Province are being encouraged to read more books by both Chinese and foreign writers to improve their governing abilities.
The activity was initiated by the county head Cai Xiaowei. The original reading list contained just 12 books, but this year's list contains 23 and covers a wider range of topics.
In addition to traditional best-sellers, including Stephen Covey's The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, the reading list also features a critique of Industry 4.0, or the fourth industrial revolution. The book is a strategic initiative related to a manufacturing technology by the German government, and a graphic book to educate people about legal issues.
A number of books about improving governance at the grassroots level, and others related to environmental protection and sustainable development have also been recommended.
The head of the county's finance bureau, Peng Changchun, is one of a large number of officials that have joined the literary trend.
One of the books Peng has read is a collection of essays by D. Gale Johnson, an economist from the United States. The essays feature issues related to China's agricultural sector, the rural area and farmers. Peng said the book objectively displays some real situations in China's rural areas.
Peng is seeking inspiration about how financial resources can be used more efficiently to lift rural areas out of poverty, and how rural residents can become more involved in the governance of their home areas.
This is Special English.
A middle school student in Jiaozhou, Shandong province, whose application was tampered with by a fellow classmate, has got his application restored and has been admitted to Shaanxi Normal University in Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi Province.
The Shandong Provincial Academy of Education, Recruitment and Examination said it has negotiated with the university and decided to accept Chang's application. The university also agreed to enroll the student.
According to The Paper, a Chinese media platform based in Shanghai, local police have confirmed that 19-year-old Chang Sheng, failed to enroll into the university in the first place only because his application was tampered with by a classmate surnamed Guo.
Local police said Guo has been detained for investigation after Chang's family reported the case to the police in July.
Earlier, Chinese media had reported Chang's story, triggering hot discussion online. Chang is from an impoverished farming family. He applied to study physical education at Shaanxi Normal University, and would have been exempt from tuition if enrolled.
Chang said he was not enrolled which was a surprise because his college entrance exam scores met the standard, and the university didn't receive enough applications.
Chang checked his records and found that his application had not been submitted to the correct university.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
A 32-year-old Shanghai woman who fell off a cruise ship that was returning to China from Japan was miraculously saved after floating in the sea for more than 38 hours. She even fell asleep for a while.
The woman, whose name was not disclosed, was traveling with her parents aboard the ship when her companions noticed she was missing. She had gone for a walk on the deck at around 8:30 pm but didn't return. Her parents and more than 100 volunteers searched the boat but failed to find her.
The parents gave up hope. A police officer on the ship told the father that there was no chance of survival if his daughter had fallen from the deck, which is 20 meters above water.
The woman said she fell off the cruise ship while leaning over a 1.4-meter-high rail. She managed to swim and remained drifted in the water until someone saved her. She suffered only minor injuries on her arms.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2016-08-22

Aug 18, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
China is planning an overhaul of the Communist Youth League to reinforce youth belief in the Communist Party of China and pump vigor into the cause of national rejuvenation.
The Party Central Committee has published a document outlining plans for the reform. The league committees will be downsized, with more staff assigned to the grassroots level to serve the youth, with bureaucratic procedures streamlined.
Positions in the League should be filled by talented Party members and League workers who "understand and love young people".
The document said League delegates should pay more attention to the opinions of Party members and ordinary young people. It should also take responsibility for serving and protecting teenagers' lawful rights.
The League was founded in 1922, the following year after the founding of the Party. It was designed to be a bridge linking youth with the Party and a talent reserve for the Party.
As of last year, the League had around 88 million members and almost 4 million organizations across the country.
There have been worries that the league has lost its connection with young people and formed undesirable work styles, including formalism and a focus on entertainment.
This is Special English.
The journal Nature Biotechnology has said it will investigate criticisms of what was thought to be a breakthrough gene-editing technique developed by Chinese scientist Han Chunyu.
The journal published Han's research findings online in May. But a scientist from Australia has said his lab was not able to replicate Han's results.
Forty-two-year-old Han is a geneticist at Hebei University of Science and Technology. He rose to prominence with the publication of his cutting-edge gene editing technique known as NgAgo, and was perceived as a contender for a Nobel Prize.
The journal said it had been contacted by several researchers who said they had not been able to reproduce Han's published results. The journal said it takes seriously any concerns raised about any paper, and considers them carefully, adding that it is now following an established process to investigate the issues.
Han was quoted in a Beijing-based newspaper as saying that he will repeat the experiment and share his original data if the journal requests.
Before NgAgo, efforts and investments were directed heavily towards the widely recognized genome-editing technique known as CRSPR. It allows researchers to clip a specific DNA sequence and replace it with a new one, offering the potential to cure diseases caused by faulty genes.
The NgAgo technique for editing DNA was initially believed to surpass CRISPR in precision and efficiency.
You are listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A new guideline says China must shut down outmoded facilities, consolidate production and reduce pollution to increase the competitiveness of its petrochemical industry.
According to the guideline issued by the State Council, China's cabinet, the development of the petrochemical industry is hindered by overcapacity along with security and environmental constraints. Foreign companies are to be allowed to participate in mergers and acquisitions in the sector.
Seven planned coastal petrochemical production bases will be built to consolidate the sector.
By 2020, energy consumption per 10,000 yuan of output, roughly 1,500 U.S. dollars, will be cut by 8 percent from the 2015 level, with cuts in carbon dioxide emissions and water consumption of 10 percent and 14 percent, respectively.
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A new judicial interpretation has been issued by the top court to regulate online judicial auctions.
The Regulations on Online Auctions for Judicial Sales were mapped out by the Supreme People's Court, and will take effect on Jan 1 next year.
A law enforcement official from the Supreme People's Court said online auctions will lower the cost of judicial sales and allow people from anywhere to take part. They are expected to help increase transparency of law enforcement and better protect creditors' interests.
Each e-auction organized by a court requires a deposit, even in auctions for small items, which is different to the practice in auction houses.
The regulations stipulate that the deposit should not exceed 20 percent of the starting bidding price and each online auction is required to last at least 24 hours to better enable all parties to take part.
More than 1,400 courts have organized online auctions since 2010, when such practices were allowed for judicial sales. Deals worth more than 150 billion yuan, roughly 23 billion U.S. dollars, have been reached.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
An 8-year-old boy from central China's Hunan Province has sued three hospitals, seeking compensation after being infected with AIDS.
The boy was confirmed HIV positive in July last year. He received treatment in the hospitals for serious traffic accident injuries obtained in 2014. His HIV screening tests were negative before the initial treatment which included a blood transfusion.
The local health authority says it is difficult to determine the exact source of the infection.
During a period of 18 months following the traffic accident, the child was hospitalized eight times in three different hospitals in the local area, the provincial capital Changsha and Shanghai. He also spent considerable time outside the hospitals, which makes ascertaining the precise source of the infection difficult.
In addition to the three hospitals, the co-defendants also include a blood supplier organization and a biological produt company.
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Chinese experts are expected to arrive in Abidjan, the capital of Cote d'Ivoire to reinforce agricultural cooperation between the two countries, and help modernize the agricultural sector of the African country.
In September, China will send 30 agricultural experts with different expertise to evaluate national needs in domains including cocoa, cashew nuts, rice, pineapples and mangoes.
Cote d'Ivoire's agricultural ministry said in a statement that five Cote d'Ivoire villages will benefit from the program dubbed "one village, one company". It was initiated by China to increase incomes for farmers. The project will be carried out in 100 African villages.
China currently provides support for Cote d'Ivoire's agricultural sector through a hydro-agricultural project, 180 km south of Abidjan. The project is for rice farming.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That's mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
When China opened its arms to international universities, foreign educators saw the jointly founded institutions as transforming Chinese higher education.
Denis Simon is an executive vice-chancellor of Duke University's campus in Kunshan in eastern China. Simon says the idea of allowing seven foreign universities to have campuses in China is something people wouldn't have thought would happen 20 years ago. He says the number will soon grow to nine.
Simon told China Daily that he sees it as a watershed moment in Chinese higher education.
Located in Kunshan in Jiangsu province, Duke Kunshan University was jointly founded in 2013 by two prestigious universities, Duke University in the United States and China's Wuhan University. It was designed as a new model to advance China's higher learning system.
Simon said Duke came specifically to deliver a liberal arts education to China, and to provide an innovative educational platform.
Since 2004, the Chinese government has approved the establishment of independent Sino-foreign universities across the country in the hope that these joint-ventures will help to facilitate the transfer of international educational experiences and import advanced management, teaching methods as well as curriculum systems.
Duke Kunshan received its first class in 2014 and currently offers four master's programs, namely global health, environmental policy, medical physics and management studies. In addition, there's an undergraduate program called the Global Learning Semester.
The campus has seen its first graduates in global health and medical physics. Its management program has already had graduates for two years.
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After its successful Shanghai debut, the stage drama, "Three Body Problem", has begun its performance in Beijing. The drama is based on Chinese author Liu Cixin's first book of a trilogy entitled "Remembrance of Earth's Past", also known as the "Three Body Problem".
The story features human's first but frustrating contact with an alien civilization. It won the Hugo Award for Best Novel last year.
Along with the storyline of ups and downs, the drama invites multimedia technology to showcase magnificent 3D scenes, bringing audience a visual feast.
The scene of "three suns" particularly impressed many viewers. Audience members saw flaring suns being swept from the stage into the auditorium. In fact, the "suns" were controlled by several unmanned aerial vehicles, with motion trails calculated accurately.
The lighting is another highlight. Hundreds of beams went around back and forth or were projected on semitransparent curtains, creating a vivid 3D world.
The director of the show Liu Fangqi says this is a new form of drama combined with stage art and special-effects in a theater with great surround sound. It might be the best way for science fiction novels to be showcased on stage.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Fifteen people from seven countries in the European Union have finally wrapped up their tour of China.
Members of the group were winners of an EU-wide contest where they had to submit articles, pictures, videos and paintings on the theme of China-EU friendship. The event was jointly sponsored by the Confucius Institute and the Mission of China to the EU.
The winners include a former ambassador to China and a corporate consultant, as well as an artist and a college student.
They visited museums and traveled to communities and villages in Beijing and northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. During their trip, they learned about China's economic and social development. They also witnessed local governments' poverty relief efforts.
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The number of tourists from the Chinese mainland visiting Taiwan decreased by 12 percent in May and June, compared with the same period last year. Nevertheless, the mainland has remained the largest source of visitors in Taiwan so far this year.
More than 2 million visitors from the Chinese mainland visited the island in the first half of the year, accounting for almost 40 percent of all visitors to Taiwan.
Despite the marked drop in May and June, visitor numbers still grew by 3 percent in the first six month.
However, tourism experts in Taiwan worried that the number of mainland tourists will continue to drop in the months to come.
Taiwan-based Ezfly International Travel says people in the tourism industry want a change. Around 90 percent of the company's clients are from the mainland. The company says the number of mainland tourists began to decline sharply after Taiwan's new leader took office in May.
This is Special English.
A new song has become popular among Internet users in China, who feel it is a vivid description of their lives as workaholics who always work overtime.
The song is entitled My Body is Hollowed Out.
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【专题】慢速英语(英音)2016-08-15

Aug 12, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
China is striving to become an innovation powerhouse by 2020.
A national program for science and technology was recently adopted as part of the Five-Year Plan for national socioeconomic development.
Premier Li Keqiang said the plan fully demonstrates that the country has given top priority to innovation. He added that the plan is a fresh impetus to the national movement of supporting and encouraging innovation launched in 2013.
With science and technology parks and entrepreneur roadshows, Chinese cities are fiercely competing to win reputations for accommodating business startups and mass innovation.
So far, more than 200 maker-space projects, 1,600 business incubators, and more than 100 high-tech zones and science and technology parks have been created nationwide. They help concentrate resources for innovation and nurturing start-ups launched by business executives, scientific researchers and even college students.
According to data released by the local government in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, the total number of newly registered enterprises jumped 34 percent in the city last year, compared with the previous year. The number of invention patent applications was up by more than 35 percent in the same period.
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The latest anti-terrorism regulation in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region will help to prevent terrorists from using religion to attract people into terrorist activities.
The new regulation took effect earlier this month. Under the regulation, people who expand the concept of halal to include other areas of life will face detention and fines. The concept in Islam means adherence to dietary laws.
In recent years, the region has seen many cases of terrorists and extremists making people believe that bank notes, ID cards and marriage certificates are not halal, so people become isolated from modern society and are easily radicalized.
The new regulation is a legal interpretation of China's Anti-Terrorism Law. It also punishes those who use the preaching of religious teachings to promote terrorism or extremism.
An anti-terrorism expert says the detailed regulation has been drafted to deal with the anti-terrorism situations that are unique in Xinjiang. The area faces a greater terrorist threat than any other place in China.
Xinjiang has always been China's front line against terrorism. The penetration of religious extremism has led to an increasing number of terrorist attacks in recent years.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
When China introduced the one-child family planning policy more than 35 years ago, elderly people, who traditionally relied on their children for care, were told to look to the State to provide support.
The policy was intended to reduce family sizes and people's reliance on their children, so there would no longer be any point in having a large family, especially many sons. The story didn't unfold as expected though, especially for the large number of disabled elderly people and their struggling families.
Du Ping, a resident of the Jianye district of Nanjing, the capital of East China's Jiangsu province, has become increasingly frustrated after many failed attempts to hire a long-term qualified care worker for his 73-year-old father.
The elderly man was diagnosed with dementia in 2014 and is also paralyzed and incontinent, so he is dependent on other people.
Du resumed his search two weeks ago, when the most-recent caregiver quit, even though her monthly salary was 5,000 yuan, roughly 750 U.S. dollars. That's almost twice the average salary of 3,000 yuan per month for a caregiver in the city.
Du said the salary is a considerable sum of money, almost half of the couple's combined monthly income. It will cost even more if they place his father in a nursing home.
This is Special English.
Chinese scientists are scheduled to perform the world's first genetic editing trial on humans this month in an attempt to find a cure for lung cancer.
A group of oncologist from Sichuan University will inject patients with cells that have been modified using a new gene-editing technique.
The technique, CRISPR, was named "2015 Breakthrough of the Year" by US journal Science. It allows scientists to selectively edit genome parts and replace them with new DNA stretches.
The leader of the trial, Lu You, said his team was formed at the end of last year and the trial received ethical approval last month.
Lu and his team plan to select ten volunteers, all advanced lung cancer patients who have undergone chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other types of treatment. He has received a lot of applications and is now busy screening and drawing up the final list.
The treatments will lasts between eight weeks and three months and the trial project will last at least 12 months.
Doctors will extract T cells, a type of immune cell, from a patient's blood and then knock out the gene that encodes the PD-1 protein, which normally limits the cell's capacity to launch an immune response.
The edited cells will be multiplied in the lab before being reintroduced to the patients. This process will hopefully kick start the T cells to launch an attack on the tumor cells.
This is Special English.
Chinese geneticist Han Chunyu defended the authenticity of his gene-editing technique after the head of a genetics lab in Australia said the lab was unable to replicate it.
Han's paper describing his research findings on a new gene-editing technology called NgAgo was published online in early May by Nature Biotechnology, a monthly scientific journal of Nature Publishing Group. It drew instant international attention.
Three months later, a group of peer scientists began to question the research's viability, largely because they have not been able to replicate the results so far.
Forty-two-year-old Han is an associate professor at Hebei University of Science and Technology. He has vowed to repeat the experimental results.
The new technology had been touted as being better than the current mainstream gene-editing technique CRISPR in precision, efficiency and flexibility.
According to a regional news portal in China, it's about more than just the science. It comes with a potentially huge business impact, especially for companies already heavily invested in the CRISPR technology.
The portal said NgAgo is a possible replacement for CRISPR once it is widely confirmed; and it will inevitably undermine colossal business interests and investments based on CRISPR.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That's mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
A huge deposit of potassium, which China desperately needs for agriculture, has been discovered in the northwestern province of Qinghai.
The Ministry of Land and Resources announced that almost 160 million tonnes of potassium chloride was found during a preliminary exploration in the western part of the Qaidam Basin.
The ministry expected more deposits to be discovered.
The Ministry has called the discovery a "milestone", as China currently imports 70 percent of its potassium.
Around 30 million hectares of farmland in China uses potassium; and 6 million tonnes of potassium fertilizer is imported every year.
Canada, Russia and Belarus own 60 percent of the world's potassium fertilizer resources and production.
This is Special English.
Chinese colleges have signed strategic agreements with their counterparts in Southeast Asian countries to train skilled railway transportation talent for ASEAN member countries.
The agreements involve a number of Chinese universities including the Beijing Jiaotong University and Guiyang Vocational and Technical College. The Chinese universities will enroll international students for two-year training programs and four-year bachelor's degree programs.
As China has inked an increasing number of contracts with ASEAN countries to build new railways, the need for technicians capable of railway construction, operations and maintenance is growing.
Under the agreements, faculty members and students from the two sides will conduct more visits to each other's countries for academic and cultural exchanges.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Former Olympic hurdles champion Liu Xiang has filed a lawsuit against online ride-hailing service provider Didi for using his image without authorization in online ads.
In the indictment, Liu says the company released news of his retirement and six images of him through its official microblog account in 2015.
Liu said the company violated his rights of publicity for commercial use and misled the public to believe Liu had been hired as the company's brand spokesman or had cooperated with the company.
Liu requested the company to apologize, delete the web links and photos, as well as pay compensation of more than 1.2 million yuan, roughly 190,000 U.S. dollars.
It is not known when the hearing is scheduled.
This is Special English.
More than 40 percent of employees in Taiwan have plans to leave the island to broaden their vision and seek better opportunities.
According to an online survey released by a business services company based in Taiwan, around 10 percent of respondents said they were considering setting up businesses outside Taiwan. They cited reasons which included the highly competitive market and unfavorable environment for new businesses on the island. Catering services and public relations firms were among the most desired businesses.
According to the survey, the Chinese mainland was the first choice of destination, followed by Japan and the United States.
Daniel Lee, who carried out the survey, said the Chinese mainland was the top choice because good business relationships are already well-established, in addition to the benefits of Chinese language and culture.
More than 21 percent of respondents said they already had working experience outside the island.
The survey was conducted last month and it involved the interviewing of more than 500 office workers in Taiwan.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Pengzhou city in southwest China is known as a home of longevity, with 50 centenarians among its population of 780,000. The seniors share some common traits for living longer, which include being optimistic and eating simple food.
Pengzhou is located 36 kilometers northwest of Sichuan Province's capital Chengdu. It has a warm weather, with abundant rainfall as well as a beautiful natural environment. Most of the long-living seniors live in the rural areas and spent the whole life in farm work.
Most of the seniors eat coarse grains and vegetables, and avoid overeating.
However, unlike most seniors in the area, 103-year-old Lin Yongqing's favorite foods are eggs and meat. Lin eats six meals a day, and his wife, who is in her 90s, is always around to cook.
Lin was an accountant in a bank and a bank cashier when he was younger. In his late years, he became keen on counting bank notes as a hobby and sometimes can do it all day long. Lin also smokes cigarettes.
This is Special English.
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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2016-08-16

Aug 11, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
The production center for an innovative bus appears deserted with no sign of construction, raising questions about the scheduled launch next year.
The bus is a sort of moving tunnel that straddles highway lanes to allow cars to pass beneath. The vehicle looks like a giant double-decker but is hollow on the ground level. Passengers can sit on the top floor while cars pass below.
In December, a Beijing-based company signed a contract with the local authorities in Zhoukou city in Henan province to produce the Transit Elevated Bus in its research and manufacturing center.
However, the Beijing Youth Daily reports that the site is now full of thick weeds; and farmers feed their sheep in the area.
A local farmer surnamed Yuan told journalists that a groundbreaking ceremony was held last month. Yuan said "They built a platform. People who stood on the platform were dressed up. It seemed like it was a big day, but there has been no activity since."
A local official said the project has been delayed. The environmental impact assessment of the project has not been approved yet, and many documents are still waiting to be signed.
The contract includes an investment of 10 billion yuan, roughly 1.5 billion U.S. dollars, and an annual production of 1,000 buses.
This is Special English.
An insurance product has become a hot topic around the Qixi, the Chinese Valentine's Day, which fell on August 9th this year. It costs 600 yuan, roughly 90 U.S. dollars, and guarantees a payout of 11,000 yuan if the applicant marries his or her current sweetheart in three to 10 years.
The applicants are required to submit non-marital status certificates for both prospective spouses when purchasing the product. If they marry within the specified time frame, they will get 11,000 yuan.
A staff member with the China Taiping Insurance said there have been numerous phone calls inquiring about the product, but she declined to say how many policies have been sold.
Some people saw the offer as smart marketing. They believe the insurance company set the bracket of years after painstaking calculations. Insurance companies cannot lose on the deal because the majority of sweethearts will break up.
Others say it also shows that more than 5 percent of the sweethearts will finally become husband and wife.
Relationships in big cities including Shanghai seem most fragile these days. Marriages are not long lasting. Almost 53,000 people divorced in Shanghai in 2014, second only to Beijing. Among them, 41,000 people were below the age of 40. The average age for marriage in Shanghai is 35 for men and 32 for women.
In related news, flower prices in China started to recover ahead of the Qixi festival, after overproduction, combined with natural disasters, dampened sales.
Last year, as many as 7 million flowers were sold during the festival at the Kunming International Flora Auction Trading Center.
Seeing the profit, flower growers nationwide boosted their expectations and supplied most of their flowers ahead of the festival, which resulted in a 30 percent increase in flower production.
However, disastrous flooding nationwide and unusually high temperatures since July have cut into demand. Torrential rains have caused massive outbreaks of diseases among flowers, damaging their quality and hurting business.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
A genome project for newborns has been launched in Shanghai to aid the early identification and treatment of hereditary diseases.
The project was jointly initiated by the Chinese Board of Genetic Counseling and the Children's Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai. It will carry out genetic testing in 100,000 newborn babies over the coming five years.
The findings will be recorded in a database and a genetic testing standard for hereditary diseases will be developed, which will improve the identification and treatment of such conditions.
Experts say early identification can help doctors make better treatment strategies and improve the patients' quality of life.
In another development, the Chinese Board of Genetic Counseling and Reproductive Hospital, which is affiliated with Shandong University, jointly launched China's embryo genome project.
An embryo genome database will improve research and understanding of the development of embryos and improve diagnostic rates.
There are some 7,000 kinds of inherited diseases and China sees around 900,000 babies born with birth defects every year.
This is Special English.
Chinese scientists are working on a new type of aerospace vehicle that will allow passengers to travel in space without any pre-training and at a much lower cost.
China Central Television reports that scientists from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation have started to work on the new vehicle integrating different kinds of engine technology.
The vehicle will use different air-breathing engines, allowing it to operate as a normal plane in the atmosphere. The plane will take off and land at normal airports, instead of using any kind of special launch pads. The viehcle will be reusable, and greatly reduce the cost of space travel.
Scientist from the corporation said they expect to master key technology in around three to five years, and significantly improve the vehicle's capability during the application.
The vehicle is expected to be used for suborbital flight and orbital insertion by 2030. The expeditions will be between dozens to hundreds of kilometers from the earth.
Compared with the space shuttles and the partially recovered carrier rockets, by integrating different engines, the new vehicle has much more advantages in maintenance and application.
In early July, the corporation said several institutes of the corporation were coordinating efforts to study the new vehicle.
An engineer of the corporation said that in around 10 years, passengers will not need special training to travel to space on the vehicle.
This is Special English.
A Chinese firm FiberHome has developed a type of optic fiber that can transmit 400 terabytes of data per second, breaking the world record for the amount of data that can be transferred on optic fibers.
Such capacity can allow for simultaneous phone calls by almost 5 billion people and the transmission of 40,000 blue-ray high definition movies in one second.
The company is based in Wuhan, the capital of central China's Hubei Province.
The transmission of 400 terabytes of data is accomplished on multi-core mono-mode optic fibers, which can be simply understood as breaking down the fiber into multiple paths to enhance transmission capacity.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That's mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
A training course for senior foreign police officers on United Nations peacekeeping missions has started in Beijing.
It is the first time China's Ministry of Public Security and the United Nations have cooperated in this endeavor. The course focuses on passing on China's practical experience.
The trainees include 17 senior officers from countries including Angola, Kenya and Liberia. Four Chinese peacekeeping police representatives will also attend the course.
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced measures to back United Nations peacekeeping missions. Addressing a peacekeeping summit in the UN headquarters last year, President Xi declared that China will help train 2,000 foreign peacekeepers in the next five years.
Since 2000, China has dispatched more than 2,400 peacekeepers to nine areas. At present, 170 Chinese police officers are still in Liberia, South Sudan and Cyprus.
This is Special English.
A new Confucius Classroom has been inaugurated Mexico.
During the inauguration ceremony, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong said Mexican students' fluent Chinese and great performances made her feel the charm of cultural exchange. She also sees the bright future of friendly ties between China and Mexico.
Bilateral relations were upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Mexico in 2013.
Liu said China hopes to work together with Mexico to deepen pragmatic cooperation in various fields and bring more benefits to people of the two countries.
Next year will mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Mexico. Liu said that along with the deepened cooperation between China and Mexico, more and more young people in China are learning Spanish. More than 30 universities teach the Spanish language in China.
Meanwhile, she said, the Chinese language is also gaining increasing importance in Latin American countries.
Mexico has established five Confucius Institutes that together have 30,000 registered students, making an important contribution to cultural exchange between the two countries.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
Born in Harbin in northeast China, Maruyama Iwao was just 11 years old when he was repatriated to his native country Japan in 1946.
Now 81 years old, Iwao's story has been made into a documentary entitled "Travel with Me: A Journey of Gratitude over 70 Years", which is being screened in China.
The documentary tells the story of Iwao's recent bicycle trip, where he retraced the journey he made from Harbin to Huludao in Liaoning Province 70 year ago.
He said that along the way, he was touched by the helpfulness of the Chinese people he met, just like in the old days.
Tian Yuhong, vice head of China Radio International, which produced the documentary, said they would like the film to make people reflect on history, and enhance Sino-Japanese relations, and call for the respect of peace and life.
When the war ended in 1945, more than 35 million Chinese people were killed or injured. During the following three years, more than one million Japanese people were sent back home.
Iwao had the idea of retracing his journey in China in 2011 when he was working as a volunteer, following the massive earthquake in Japan. He met another man who planned to travel in China by bike and decided to join him.
This is Special English.
A survey has begun in the southwestern province of Sichuan to determine if wild giant pandas are at risk from epidemic diseases.
Researchers will collect samples of droppings and hair across ten nature reserves in the province.
The survey is the first of its kind in the province, and will be completed by the end of October.
Sichuan is home to 1,400 wild giant pandas, accounting for 74 percent of China's wild panda population.
The samples will be analyzed to identify the pathogens carried by the animals.
Wild giant pandas are known to be carriers of pathogens, but a more detailed survey is needed to define the exact condition.
This is Special English.
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【专题】速来报名!10月邀你去美国!

Aug 7, 2016 61

Description:

“中美大学生对话”(From University to the World)是中国国际广播电台英语中心品牌活动,迄今为止已经举办四届。金秋十月,我们将首度在美国纽约举办“2016中美大学生对话”。届时,中国国际广播电台《圆桌议事》(RoundTable)的主持人赫扬将带领获邀的中国大学生到美国与来自美国纽约大学的小伙伴们一起展望中美两国的未来,就相关话题直接对话,活动过程将通过网络平台第一时间呈现给全世界网友!

现在,我们诚邀三位中国大学生赴美参加本次对话活动,并承担中国大学生赴美参加本次活动的全部费用。只要你是在校中国大学生并年满18岁,英语够棒,头脑够灵活,反应够快,对你的祖国够了解,就有机会跟我们一起去纽约!

报名方式:
报名选手请录制一段3分钟以内的短视频。
- 视频主题:3分钟讲好中国故事。
- 内容要求:参赛选手必须亲自出镜,用英文向海外观众讲述一个关于中国的故事。
- 拍摄方式:横屏拍摄;拍摄时,固定住拍摄器材,防止画面抖动;
- 视频格式:mov或mp4;
- 视频长度:1-3分钟;
- 视频大小:不超过500M。

登录以下网页下载报名表格:
http://english.cri.cn/other/20160802_from_university_to_the_world/

将填好的报名表和视频发送至:crinewsplus@qq.com

报名截止时间:8月14日(以收到邮件时间为准)。

除了去美国的机会外,还有其他丰厚奖励,欢迎登录我们的官网了解详情。赶紧行动吧!

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【专题】慢速英语(美音)2016-08-09

Aug 4, 2016 1500

Description:

This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
President Xi Jinping's wife Peng Liyuan says people from all walks of life should do more to support children orphaned by HIV and AIDS.
Peng made the remarks at an opening ceremony for the 2016 summer camp for Chinese and African children. The event, entitled "Love in the Sunshine", has been held at the Palace Museum in Beijing. Peng is the World Health Organization goodwill ambassador for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
Peng said that despite their nationality or race, children orphaned by AIDS are the future of the world. It is the common responsibility of society to love and care for children orphaned by HIV and AIDS, so that they can grow up soundly and happily.
The event was a part of the follow-up actions of a China-Africa anti-AIDS advocacy campaign launched last year by Peng and the Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS.
The summer camp is sponsored by the Chinese Association of STD and AIDS Prevention and Control, and is the 7th in a row since the camp began in 2010.
Fifty-seven children orphaned by AIDS from China, South Africa, Ghana and Zimbabwe attended this year's summer camp.
This is Special English.
With its open culture and growing economy, China is becoming a popular destination for higher education seekers in Australia.
According to a report by The Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday, there are 5,000 Australians studying in Chinese universities, up by 83 percent compared with the figure in 2011.
The report said the number of Australian students studying in China has kept growing in recent years, attributing the change to China's open society and healthy economy.
A Chinese education expert was quoted as saying that local Chinese companies are rising and they are becoming more and more competitive. Other factors have also contributed, including economic growth, a more service-orientated economy, and a more technologically-focused economy.
Though the number of Australian students in China is increasing, it pales comparing with that of Chinese students heading to Australia and non-Australian international students in China.
According to the Chinese Education Ministry, Chinese universities have an enrolment of almost 200,000 international students last year, surging 12 percent from a year earlier.
Last year, students from South Korea, the United States and Thailand ranked the three biggest groups in China, while Beijing, Shanghai and Zhejiang province in eastern China are the top three destinations of foreign students.
China now has 2,800 higher educational institutions, the second biggest number in the world. Aiming to attract up to 500,000 foreign students in 2020, China has kept increasing its educational input in recent years.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
China is planning to build its first domestically produced polar icebreaker.
The Shanghai-based Jiangnan Shipyard has made the announcement, saying construction will start by the end of this year.
China's current largest polar icebreaker, the "Xuelong", or Snow Dragon, was bought from the Ukrainian in 1993. China refitted it into a polar research vessel at a cost of 31 million yuan, almost 5 million U.S. dollars. The icebreaker was put into service the following year. So far, it has completed 32 expeditions in Antarctica and is now on its 7th Arctic expedition.
The new home produced vessel will be 120 meters long which is smaller than the "Xuelong", but with stronger icebreaking power. The "Xuelong" can work non-stop, breaking 1-meter thick ice at a sailing speed of 2 knots; while the new vessel is designed to break 1-and-a-half-meter thick ice at a sailing speed of 3 knots.
This is Special English.
China will expand international exchange in the training of astronauts in a bid to push it closer to becoming a space power.
The Astronaut Center of China made the announcement recently while briefing an international training mission for astronauts. Chinese astronaut Ye Guangfu participated in the mission.
Ye is the first Chinese citizen to receive "CAVES" training organized by the European Space Agency. "CAVES" is short for Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising human behavior and performance Skills. It is an advanced training course for astronauts.
The training took place in underground caves in Sardinia in Italy. Prospective astronauts from Japan, Russia, Spain and the United States also took part in the training.
The Astronaut Center of China says that in the future, China will strengthen international communication in astronaut training while also relying on its own efforts. It is not known whether further Chinese astronauts will be selected for CAVES training.
China is considering the possibility of starting its own CAVES program, and had examined several potential sites.
Ye and five others spent several days underground from July 1-7, simulating a mission exploring another planet. CAVES training puts them in environments that simulate spaceflight, as well as improving leadership, teamwork, decision-making and problem-solving skills.
This is Special English.
Relocation of two top Chinese airlines to a new airport in Beijing will help cut airfares for international passengers. The move will also improve services for national flagship carrier Air China, which will remain at Beijing Capital International Airport.
China Eastern and China Southern Airlines, along with some other SkyTeam Alliance members, will move to Beijing's new international airport when it begins operation in 2019.
Other carriers to be relocated will include Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Korean Air.
National carrier Air China and other Star Alliance partners, including United Airlines, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines and Japanese airline ANA, will stay.
Slot shortages at Beijing Capital International Airport have made it increasingly difficult for airlines to add flights and launch new routes.
The ultra-large new airport will be in Daxing district in Beijing's southeastern suburbs. It is expected to serve those who travel to and from Beijing and its neighbors Tianjin and Hebei province.
As the southern part of Beijing further develops, with more businesses and government agencies moving there, passengers will find it increasingly convenient to use the new airport.
Since the new airport will be almost 50 kilometers from the downtown area, airline companies based there will likely offer cheaper ticket prices to attract passengers and tour groups.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to newsplusradio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That's mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
China will spend 36 million yuan, roughly 5 million US dollars, on geological disaster surveys in northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Starting in July, the fund will be allocated over three years to launch systematic surveys in two counties in the northern part of Kunlun Mountain, which is susceptible to frequent earthquakes.
The surveys will focus on disaster risk levels and monitoring to help locals improve their ability of pre-warning and damage prevention.
Satellites and drones will be used to collect data and monitor disasters in the area, while locals will attend training sessions on prevention.
Xinjiang has complex weather and natural conditions, with 1 million square km, or 64 percent of the region's area, prone to geological disasters.
A massive landslide killed 35 people in a village and forced the relocation of 200 others last month.
This is Special English.
Beijing's green industries could be worth 250 billion yuan, roughly 38 billion U.S. dollars, by 2020, particularly those focused on recycling and waste treatment.
By the end of 2020, Beijing intends to employ some new technology including wastewater management and plastic recycling.
A municipal official said recently that Beijing has laid out a plan to develop cutting-edge technology for environmental protection, including garbage processing and fuel control in some industries.
According to Beijing's Action Plan on Technological Innovation, by next year, 20 major innovation projects will be carried out, some of which will improve the quality of the water discharged from wastewater recycling plants.
One such project is an underground network that will benefit around 11 million residents in central China.
Other projects have helped make it easier for local residents around Beijing to recycle household items including plastic bottles, electronic waste and clothes.
Automatic recycling machines for plastic bottles were introduced in Beijing in 2012, allowing users to process used bottles and get paid directly through their smartphones.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
More than half of Chinese children aged six months or younger are purely breastfed. The National Health and Family Planning Commission made the announcement to mark the 2016 World Breastfeeding Week last week.
The breastfeeding rate for newborns under six months was 59 percent in 2013, a surge from 28 percent in 2008.
The commission will formulate guidelines to standardize breastfeeding rooms in public places. It encourages public and private entities to set up such facilities in workplaces and public venues, to address the problem of insufficient and substandard breastfeeding sites in the country.
This is Special English.
(全文见周日微信。)

【专题】慢速英语(英音)2016-08-08

Aug 4, 2016 1501

Description:

2016-08-08 Special English
This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
China has urged authorities at various levels to report natural disasters in a timely and accurate manner, and those who try to conceal the truth will be punished.
The Civil Affairs Ministry says authorities must be aware that any lies will be exposed on the Internet and through new media, as the public now actively participate in disaster relief and in the supervision of officials.
The ministry says once major natural disasters occur, local civil affairs authorities should quickly assess the situation and release all relevant information. The disasters it referred to include floods, mudslides and landslides.
It notes that the authorities should not wait to be forced to release relevant information or do so under pressure from the public nor be late and inaccurate in the information released.
Last month, the mayor of Xingtai City in north China's Hebei Province apologized for inadequate response to a disaster, as well as late, inaccurate reporting of floods that killed at least 25 people in the city.
This is Special English.
Chinese tourists on the country's blacklist for uncivilized behavior will face restrictions when they take flights, join travel groups or take overseas trips.
Under a newly revised draft of travel regulations, tourism authorities at provincial and national levels can maintain the records and share the information with travel agencies and other industry organizations.
The records can also be shared with other government agencies including public security, customs, inspection and quarantine, border protection, transportation and finance.
Punishments can be imposed by travel agencies and related organizations based on the record.
Several incidents involving Chinese tourists have had a negative impact in China and overseas. The China National Tourism Administration introduced a rule last year to deal with the problem by keeping records of the violators. Nineteen people have been recorded on the blacklist so far.
The bad behavior includes violating order on public transportation, damaging public facilities, ignoring social customs at tourism destinations, as well as involvement in gambling or prostitution.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China's on-demand mobility firm Didi has announced that it will take over Uber's