Fresh Start: Podcast News (4/20/2019 Sat.)
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Welcome to Fresh Start.

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Here are today's picks from our editors. 

CPC holds meeting to discuss economy, poverty alleviation, Party publicity work


The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Friday held a meeting to discuss the current economic situation, poverty alleviation work in 2018, and a regulation on CPC publicity work.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, presided over the meeting.

The meeting stressed the need to consolidate general economic and social stability through new progress in reform and opening-up as well as structural adjustment.

China still faces a daunting task of fighting poverty over the next two years, as those left are the poorest of the poor. Strict assessment should be continued, and the results should be put to good use, the statement said.

In face of new situations, tasks and requirements, the Party needs better legal and institutional arrangements for publicity work, the statement said, explaining the purpose of drafting the regulation on publicity work. (Xinhua) 

First foreign vessel arrives to join multinational navy event for Chinese navy anniversary

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A frigate from the Singapore navy arrived at Dagang port in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province, on Friday morning to attend the multinational navy event to mark the 70th founding anniversary of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.

It is the first foreign naval vessel to arrive for the four-day event which starts on April 22.

Navy delegations from more than 60 countries and vessels from more than 10 countries were invited to participate. (Xinhua) 

First list of companies to 2nd CIIE released

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Organizers of the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) have released the first list of companies that will attend the event in Shanghai in November.

There are seven exhibition areas at the expo including automobiles, food and agricultural products, and medical equipment.

More than 1,800 companies have signed up for the expo. Over 900 companies from 77 countries and regions, including 17 Group of Twenty (G20) members and over 30 countries along the route of the Belt and Road Initiative, have confirmed participation as exhibitors. (Xinhua) 

Putin, Kim to discuss bilateral ties, Korean denuclearization

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Kim Jong Un will discuss bilateral relations, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and regional cooperation, the Kremlin said Friday.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the non-disclosure of information about the place and exact date of the meeting between the two leaders is related to security concerns.

Speculation is growing that the meeting could take place in the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok. (Xinhua) 

IOC pledges 500,000 euros to help ensure Notre Dame ready for Paris 2024

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The International Olympic Committee on Thursday pledged 500,000 euros to help ensure Notre Dame is restored in time for the 2024 Paris Games.

The IOC's contribution joins donations totaling 850 million euros made since the landmark was gutted by fire on Monday.

Notre Dame figures on the route for the 2024 Olympic marathon and on the road cycling circuit. (AFP) 

America's 1st female astronaut candidate, Jerrie Cobb, dies

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America's first female astronaut candidate, pilot Jerrie Cobb died in Florida at age 88 following a brief illness.

In 1961, Cobb became the first woman to pass astronaut testing. Altogether, 13 women passed the arduous physical testing and became known as the Mercury 13. But NASA already had its Mercury 7 astronauts, all jet test pilots and all military men.

None of the Mercury 13 ever reached space.

Cobb served for decades as a humanitarian aid pilot in the Amazon jungle. (AP) 

US researchers discover ancient giant 'lion' in Kenya

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A giant lion with enormous fangs that roamed the Kenyan savannah more than 20 million years ago was one of the largest ever meat-eating mammals, researchers said.

A US team unearthed the lower jaw, teeth and other bones of a new species, Simbakubwa kutokaafrika -- Swahili for "big African lion".

They calculated it would have weighed up to 1,500 kilograms and could have preyed upon the elephant-like creatures that lived there at the time. (AFP) 

Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.

And now for the Question of the Day:

Which major planet is nearest to the Sun?

(Answer: Mercury.)

Today's quote is from Chinese philosopher Mencius (372 BC - 289 BC).

"There is no greater delight than to be conscious of sincerity on self-examination."

(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Lance Crayon, Brian Lowe, and Elaine Yue Lin. Music by Eugene Loner.)