People's Daily Tonight: Podcast News (1/1/2019 Tue.)
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This is People's Daily Tonight, your news source from China.


Man hits pedestrians with car, injuring 9 in Tokyo self-claimed terror attack


In the early hours of the new year, a man crashed his car into pedestrians in Shibuya Ward in Tokyo, injuring nine people in what he claimed to be a terrorist attack, local media reported Tuesday.

The attacker was arrested by the police on suspicion of attempted murder.

The incident occurred on Takeshita Street, a famous and crowded shopping street on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, where vehicles were banned from entering on Monday night.

Among the victims, a teenager was seriously injured. (Xinhua)


China launches online database of treaties with foreign countries


The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched an online database of all the treaties China has signed with foreign economies and international organizations on Monday in Beijing.

A total of 7,231 treaties are currently collected in the database that is available to internet users for free. Along with the Chinese language version, most of the treaties are provided with versions in English or other languages.

The foreign ministry started to compile the treaty books in 1957, collecting bilateral and multilateral treaties that China has ratified or participated in.

To better promote the use of the treaties and their services for the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, and to upgrade the informatization of the administration, the foreign ministry launched the project to build the online database two years ago.

It's also regarded as a part of China's efforts to develop an E-government. (People's Daily app)


Democrats seek vote to end US government shutdown


Democratic lawmakers unveiled plans to emerge out of the partial shutdown of the federal government by examining and voting on an appropriations bill as soon as they take control of the House of Representatives - on Thursday.

But the bill's future appeared uncertain. The text does not include financing for the US-Mexican border wall sought by President Donald Trump to halt illegal immigration.

In a tweet taunting Democrats for their refusal to fund the border fence, the Republican president said: "The Democrats will probably submit a Bill, being cute as always, which gives everything away but gives NOTHING to Border Security, namely the Wall."

He also reiterated his claim - so far unproven - that Mexico was paying for the border wall through the new trade deal struck between all three North American countries.

Congress is in recess for the New Year's holiday but will reopen on Thursday, while Trump has stayed in the White House through the year-end festivities, shelving his annual vacation to his private Florida golf resort amid the impasse. (AFP)


China's nonmanufacturing PMI up in December


The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's nonmanufacturing sector came in at 53.8 in December, up from 53.4 in November, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Dec 31.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.

The nonmanufacturing PMI averaged 54.4 in 2018, remaining in general at a relatively high level.

The service sector, which accounts for more than half of the country's GDP, maintained stable growth, with the sub-index measuring business activity in the industry coming in at 52.3 in December, slightly lower than 52.4 last month.

Rapid expansion was seen in sectors including rail transport, banking, insurance, and telecommunications, where the readings were all above 60, the NBS said.

Monday's data also showed that China's manufacturing PMI stood at 49.4 in December, down from 50 in November. (Xinhua)


NASA spacecraft zips by most distant world ever studied


A NASA spacecraft on Tuesday flew past the most distant world ever studied by humankind, Ultima Thule, a frozen relic of the early solar system that could reveal how planets formed.

"Go New Horizons!" said lead scientist Alan Stern as a crowd cheered at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland to mark the moment at 12:33 am (0533 GMT) when the New Horizons spacecraft aimed its cameras at the space rock four billion miles (6.4 billion kilometers) away.

Never before has a spacecraft explored something so far away.

The spaceship was to collect 900 images over the course of a few seconds as it shaved by a distance of about 2,000 miles (3,500 kilometers). (AFP)


China offers 144-hr visa-free transit in 5 more cities


China began to implement its 144-hour visa-free transit policy in five more cities on Tuesday for travelers from 53 countries.

These cities are Qingdao, a major port city in Shandong Province; Xiamen, a coastal city in Fujian Province; Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province; Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province; and Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province.

The visa-free transit policy approved by the State Council, applies to people from 53 countries including Austria, Belgium, Czech, Denmark, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

Passengers are required to carry effective international travel certificates and have definite onward travel within 144 hours, when entering those five cities. (Xinhua)


US stocks gain in final session; 2018 sees biggest decline since 2008


Wall Street closed higher in the final session of 2018 on Monday, but the year proved to be the worst for US stocks since the financial crisis a decade ago.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.2 percent to close the year at 23,327.46 -- which meant a loss of 5.6 percent from 2017.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.9 percent in the session to 2,506.85, a loss of 6.2 percent for the year.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.8 percent to end at 6,635.28, a decline of 3.9 percent for 2018. (AP)


And that's People's Daily Tonight. Thanks for joining us.

(Produced by Han Xiaomeng)