People's Daily Tonight: Podcast News (3/6/2019 Wed.)
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This is People’s Daily Tonight, your news source from China. 


China will maintain stable economic growth in 2019: top economic planner 


China maintained steady economic growth last year despite a general downward economic trend globally.

The country’s top economic planner said China's 2018 GDP reached $13.6 trillion.

That’s an increase of 6.6 percent, the biggest increase among the world’s top five economies.

He also said the country’s business environment greatly improved last year through large tax cuts and reforms to delegate power, streamline administration and optimize government services. (CGTN)


China to lower defense budget growth to 7.5%


China will lower an increase in its defense budget to 7.5 percent this year from 2018's 8.1 percent.

That’s according to a draft budget report submitted to the annual session of the National People's Congress.

The report said this year’s budget is $177.6 billion.

It marks the fourth straight year of single-digit growth following five consecutive years of double-digit increases.

A legislative session spokesman said the increase is aimed at meeting the country's demand to safeguard national security and military reform with Chinese characteristics. (China Daily)


Ex-NYC Mayor Bloomberg won't run for president in 2020


Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he will not join the crowded field of Democrats running for president in 2020.

Bloomberg said he plans to focus his energy and considerable resources on outside efforts aimed at defeating President Donald Trump, as well as on combating climate change and addressing gun violence.

Bloomberg spent months weighing a White House run, traveling to early voting states and building a team of experienced political advisers.

But aides said internal polling suggested Bloomberg's path to the Democratic nomination was narrow, particularly if Vice President Joe Biden decides to run. (AP)


5.5-magnitude earthquake strikes southern Philippines


A 5.5-magnitude earthquake struck southern Philippines Wednesday morning.

The undersea quake struck northeast of Surigao del Sur province in Mindanao.

The tremor was also felt in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur and Davao City.

The tremor, which was tectonic in origin, is not expected to cause any damage.

But seismologists said they expect aftershocks. (Xinhua)


Sacramento police who killed an unarmed black man won't be charged


California's attorney general announced that he won't charge two Sacramento police officers who fatally shot an unarmed black man last year.

He joins a local prosecutor in finding that the officers reasonably believed Stephon Clark had a gun as he moved toward them.

Clark was suspected of vandalism when he was shot seven times on March 18, 2018.

His killing prompted protests in California's capital city and across the US. (AP)


Government agencies unite to bring African swine fever under control


China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs called for the strengthening of measures to prevent and control African swine fever.

It called for a crackdown on illegal activities such as concealing epidemics, selling and arbitrarily discarding sick and dead pigs, and feeding kitchen waste to pigs.

The ministry said government agencies should further optimize the joint prevention and control system, and continue to improve information sharing, consultation and inspection systems. (Global Times)


US crude oil inventories increase last week: API


And the American Petroleum Institute reported a growth of 7.29 million barrels in US crude oil inventories for the week ending March 1.

In the previous week ending Feb. 22, API reported a drop of 4.2 million barrels of crude oil.

In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook released last month, US Energy Information Administration said US crude oil prices will fall and crude oil production will increase in 2019 and 2020.

Brent crude oil spot prices are expected to average $61 per barrel in 2019 and $62 per barrel in 2020, compared with an average of $71 per barrel in 2018. (Xinhua)


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

(Produced by David Nye and Zhan Huilan)