Fresh Start: Podcast News (11/24/2018 Sat.)
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Here are today’s picks from our editors.

Xi's visits to Spain, Argentina, Panama, Portugal to enhance bilateral ties, G20 cooperation

XI G20.jpg

Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming visits to Spain, Argentina, Panama and Portugal will intensify respective bilateral ties and G20 cooperation, senior Chinese officials said Friday.

Xi will pay state visits to the four countries from Nov. 27 to Dec. 5, and attend the 13th Group of 20 (G20) summit from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1 in Buenos Aires.

During his state visit to Spain from Nov. 27 to 29, Xi is scheduled to meet with Spanish King Felipe VI, hold talks with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, collectively meet with President of the Senate Pio Garcia Escudero and President of the Parliament Ana Pastor Julian, and address the two houses, said Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao.

During Xi's state visit to Portugal, scheduled for Dec. 4 to 5, he will hold talks with his Portuguese counterpart Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, meet with President of the Parliament Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues and Prime Minister Antonio Costa, Wang said.

Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang said Xi's state visits to Argentina and Panama will take place from Dec. 2 to 3.

The 13th G20 summit will be Xi's sixth time to attend or preside over the summit, which shows China attaches great importance to the G20 mechanism and has a strong will to contribute to the improvement of global economic governance, Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Jun said. (Xinhua)

CPC holds symposium to commemorate 120th anniversary of Liu Shaoqi's birth


The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Friday held a symposium to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the birth of Liu Shaoqi at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, stressed carrying on the great cause Liu and other members of the older generation of revolutionaries had dedicated their life to, during his speech at the symposium.

Calling Liu a great Marxist, a great proletarian revolutionary, a great statesman, and a great theorist, Xi said Liu was one of the major Party and state leaders, one of the founders of the People's Republic of China and an integral member of the first-generation central leadership of the CPC.

Liu worked tirelessly for the country's revolutionary undertakings and its development, and was held in high esteem among the whole Party, the entire military and people of all ethnic groups, Xi said. (Xinhua)

Pakistan to protect Chinese friends like protecting its own citizens: FM


Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Friday held an urgent telephone conversation with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the latter's invitation.

During the conversation, Qureshi briefed Wang about Friday's attack against the Chinese Consulate-General in Karachi in south Pakistan and the preliminary investigation conducted by Pakistan, saying the Pakistani government and all sectors of the society strongly condemned the terrorist attack, and that the Pakistani government and its people will firmly stand together with their Chinese friends.

The Pakistan-China friendship is precious and unique and the country will protect the safety of its Chinese friends like protecting its own citizens, Qureshi said. (Xinhua)

France sanctions 18 Saudi citizens over Khashoggi murder


France said on Thursday it had imposed sanctions, including travel bans, on 18 Saudi citizens connected to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and warned that more could follow depending on results of the current investigation.

The ministry said the 18 Saudi nationals would be barred from entering French territory and "the entire Schengen area" of Europe.

It was not immediately clear whether the measures targeted the same 18 individuals who were sanctioned by the German government earlier this week. (CGTN)

Black Friday shoppers ditch their computers, flock to stores


On Black Friday, thousands of shoppers woke up before dawn the day after Thanksgiving to take part in this most famous ritual of American consumerism.

The holiday shopping season presents a big test for a US economy, whose overall growth so far this year has relied on a burst of consumer spending.

Black Friday has morphed from a single day when people got up early to score door busters into a whole month of deals. Many major stores, including Walmart, Best Buy and Macy’s, start their blockbuster deals on Thanksgiving evening, which has thinned out the Friday crowds.

Many shoppers said Black Friday shopping is as much about the spectacle as it is about the deals. (AP)

GM under investigation for faulty brake vacuum pumps


The US government is investigating more than 100 complaints of poor brake performance on 2.7 million General Motors big pickups and SUVs.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says a brake vacuum pump can deteriorate, causing increased braking effort and longer stopping distances.

The agency has 111 consumer complaints including nine crashes and two injuries.

GM is monitoring complaints and warranty claims about the brakes and is working with NHTSA to evaluate them, spokesman Tom Wilkinson said Friday. (AP)

Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.

And now for the Question of the Day:

What is the outer layer of the skin called?

(Answer: Epidermis.)

Today’s quote is from Indian politician Chanakya (350 BC - 275 BC).

“A man is great by deeds, not by birth.”

(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Brian Lowe, Da Hang, and Elaine Yue Lin.)