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Here are today’s picks from our editors.
Chinese, US chief trade negotiators hold phone talks
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chief of the Chinese side of the China-US comprehensive economic dialogue, held a phone conversation with US Trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin Friday morning.
The two sides agreed that they should enhance macroeconomic and public health cooperation, create a favorable atmosphere and conditions for the implementation of the China-US phase-one trade deal, and strive for positive outcomes.
They also agreed to maintain communication and coordination. (Xinhua)
Asian economy projected to represent about 50.2 pct of the world in 2020
The Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) held an online event on Friday, to launch a flagship report "Asian Economic Outlook and Integration Progress 2020."
According to the report, the Asian economy is likely to stay on a low-speed track for years to come. Some Asian economies are likely to face greater downward pressure in 2020, and the Asian economy as a whole is expected to experience zero growth and is projected to represent about 50.2 percent of the world's total.
The report also pointed out that in the best-case scenario, if the pandemic is mitigated in the second half of the year, Asia's growth rate might still be positive. But if the virus returns or stimulus policies turn out to be ineffective, there is still a possibility for Asia's growth rate to fall below zero. (CGTN)
Screenings sparse at US airports for travelers from international flights
Just 10 percent of more than 250,000 travelers arriving at US airports from travel-restrictive countries went through temperature screenings from January 17 to March 29, a report published by the House Oversight and Reform Committee showed.
Among those travelers, just under 1,500 of them received a third screening from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials, who were primarily responsible for determining whether a traveler with symptoms needed to be federally quarantined.
The US House's latest investigation also showed that the travel restrictions issued by President Trump in January only targeted foreign travelers. (Xinhua)
Smoking does not protect against coronavirus: WHO official
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday that smoking does not protect people against COVID-19. On the contrary, smokers who get infected have a higher risk of severe disease and death.
Responding to a question that "some scientists have found that cigarette smokers are less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19," epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead on COVID-19 response at the WHO Health Emergencies Program, said that this statement is simply not true.
"The harms of tobacco are well known, and we know that millions of people die every year from tobacco use. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness and smoking causes damage to the lungs," she said. (Xinhua)
Homicide charges against Indian factory after fatal gas leak
Indian police on Friday filed charges of culpable homicide, including negligence in handling toxic substances, against a South Korean-owned chemical factory where a gas leak killed 12 people and sickened more than a thousand.
The chemical styrene, used to make plastic and rubber, leaked Thursday from the LG Polymers plant, owned by LG Chem, while workers were preparing to restart the facility after a coronavirus lockdown was eased.
The police charges accuse the plant’s operators of endangering the public through negligence. (AP)
Space agency: Human urine could help make concrete on moon
The European Space Agency said Friday that human urine could one day become a useful ingredient in making concrete to build on the moon.
The agency said researchers in a recent study it sponsored found that urea, the main organic compound in urine, would make the mixture for a “lunar concrete” more malleable before it hardens into its sturdy final form.
The main ingredient in “lunar concrete” would be a powdery soil found on the moon’s surface known as lunar regolith. ESA said urea, which can break hydrogen bonds and reduce the viscosity of fluid mixtures, would limit the amount of water necessary in the recipe. (AP)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
And now for the Question of the Day:
Who directed the movie Jaws?
(Answer: Steven Spielberg.)
Today's quote is from Polish composer Frederic Chopin (1810-1849).
"As long as I have health and strength, I will gladly work all my days."
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Brian Lowe, and Elaine Yue Lin. Music by Eugene Loner.)