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This is People’s Daily app.
Here are today’s picks from our editors.
Fauci dismisses theory coronavirus originated in Chinese lab
Top US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated.
While answering a question in an interview with National Geographic regarding evidence that the virus was made in or accidentally released from a lab in China, Fauci said, "If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats, and what's out there now is very, very strongly leaning toward this (virus) could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated -- the way the mutations have naturally evolved."
"A number of very qualified evolutionary biologists have said that everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that it evolved in nature and then jumped species," he said. (Xinhua)
EU forecasts 'historic' 7.7 percent eurozone recession
The European Commission said Wednesday the eurozone economy would contract by a staggering 7.7 percent in 2020, as the catastrophic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak sweep through the continent.
Calling it a "recession of historic proportions," the EU's executive said the 19-member single currency zone would then rebound by 6.3 percent in 2021, in an uncertain recovery that would be felt unevenly across the continent. (Xinhua)
Merkel announces easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Germany
COVID-19 restrictions in Germany would be eased while minimum social distance and hygiene rules would continue to apply, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on Wednesday.
"I think we can say that we have passed the first phase of the pandemic," said Merkel after a telephone conference with minister-presidents of federal states.
Merkel confirmed an "emergency mechanism" which would be triggered if more than 50 new infections over seven days per 100,000 inhabitants were locally detected in a certain region. (Xinhua)
3,000 guards on China-Russia border block illegal entries
Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province has assigned 2,850 guards to the 3,000-kilometer China-Russia border in the province to address the pressure of imported cases, especially illegal crossings, given the closure of all passenger channels between the two countries and the worsening of the epidemic in Russia.
The province has established more than 100 temporary police checkpoints and inspection stations along the border to check waterways and land channels to crack down on illegal behavior. The hard-hit border city Suifenhe has seen its police force doubled.
Besides, local authorities have established online chat groups to promote border regulations and policies and encourage residents to protect the border's safety. (Global Times)
S. Korea to fine Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche for rigging emissions data
South Korea will fine Mercedes-Benz Korea, Nissan Korea and Porsche Korea for rigging the emissions data of their diesel models sold in the country, Seoul's environment ministry said Wednesday.
The three automakers were found to have operated illegal software to manipulate selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR).
Mercedes-Benz Korea will be fined $63.4 million, with Nissan Korea and Porsche Korea to be fined $735,600 and $817,300 respectively. (CGTN)
Tom Cruise to fly into outer space for film
NASA confirmed on Tuesday that the space agency is working with actor Tom Cruise to make a movie on the International Space Station.
Cruise could be the first actor to endure extraterrestrial travel; meanwhile, the film also marks "the first feature film to be shot in outer space," CNN reported.
But it's not clear how or when Cruise will travel to the space station or what additional crew members may join him. (China Plus)
Thai elephants, out of work due to coronavirus, trudge home
The millions of unemployed in Thailand due to the coronavirus include elephants which depend on the tourist industry to feed their voracious appetites. With scant numbers of foreign visitors, commercial elephant camps and sanctuaries lack funds for their upkeep and have sent more than 100 of the animals trudging as far as 150 kilometers back to their homes.
London-based World Animal Protection says as many as 2,000 tame elephants are at risk of starvation because their owners are unable to feed them. (AP)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
And now for the Question of the Day:
Which Russian author wrote the classic novel “Anna Karenina”?
(Answer: Leo Tolstoy.)
Today's quote is from Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941).
"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough."
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Brian Lowe, and Elaine Yue Lin. Music by Eugene Loner.)