Fresh Start: Podcast News (11/9/2018 Fri.)
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Welcome to Fresh Start.

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Here are today’s picks from our editors.

Xi holds talks with Cuban president to advance ties

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Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with visiting Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Thursday, calling on the two countries to cherish their traditional friendship and write a new chapter in China-Cuba friendly cooperation.

Hailing Cuba as a great country, Xi said it has won the respect of the world by insisting on its own development path despite difficulties and obstacles over the past half a century.

As socialist countries, China and Cuba are good friends, comrades and brothers, said Xi, adding this is a proven fact and the relationship has withstood the test of time and international situation changes.

He called on both countries to further consolidate mutual trust and support, conduct win-win cooperation and enhance exchanges on governance.

Diaz-Canel said that Cuba appreciates China's lasting support and the new generation of Cuban leaders will staunchly continue the traditional friendship with China. (Xinhua)

Premier Li's visit to Singapore to advance China-ASEAN ties


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Singapore from Nov. 12 to 16 will push forward bilateral ties, advance China-ASEAN cooperation and boost regional economic integration in East Asia, a senior official said Thursday.

Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong told a press briefing that at the invitation of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Li is scheduled to pay his first official visit to Singapore, attend the 21st China-ASEAN (10+1) leaders' meeting, the 21st ASEAN-China, Japan and Republic of Korea (10+3) leaders' meeting and the 13th East Asia Summit.

Li and the Singaporean leaders are expected to speed up the two countries' cooperation on the Belt and Road, innovation and multilateral trade, Chen said. (Xinhua)

US sanctions Russians over Ukraine role


The United States on Thursday announced sanctions against three people and nine entities over Russia's intervention in Ukraine, including its annexation of Crimea.

"Our sanctions are a clear reminder that efforts seeking to normalize investment and economic relationships with those operating in Crimea will not be tolerated and are subject to US and EU sanctions authorities," said Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. (AFP)

Ex-Marine identified as suspect of mass shooting in California bar


Using a smoke bomb and a handgun, a hooded Marine combat veteran dressed all in black opened fire during college night at a country music bar in Southern California, killing at least 12 people, authorities said Thursday.

The killer was identified as 28-year-old Ian David Long, a former machine gunner and decorated veteran of the war in Afghanistan. Long had been interviewed by police at his home last spring after an episode of agitated behavior that they were told might be post-traumatic stress disorder.

The gunman is believed to have taken his own life. Authorities said the motive for the attack Wednesday night was under investigation. (AP)

Missouri tour boat captain indicted after sinking kills 17


Charges have been filed against the captain of a tourist boat that sank in a Missouri lake in July killing 17 people, including nine members of an Indiana family, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

A federal indictment shows 51-year-old Kenneth Scott McKee is facing 17 counts of misconduct, negligence or inattention to duty by a ship’s officer resulting in death.

McKee is accused of not properly assessing the weather before or after the boat went into Table Rock Lake near the tourist town of Branson. McKee also allegedly failed to tell passengers to put on their lifejackets or prepare them to abandon ship as waves crashed into the boat. (AP)

New airport starts operation in China's ‘red tourism’ city


A new airport went into operation on Thursday in Yan'an, a tourist city in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

Xue Zhanhai, mayor of Yan'an, said the new airport will help the city further open to the outside world and promote local economic development.

Yan'an, a famous revolutionary base that hosted the Communist Party of China (CPC) headquarters and the center of the Chinese Communist revolution from 1935 to 1948, is a hot "red tourism" destination. (Xinhua)

Captive pandas rise to 548 globally


The number of captive pandas has reached 548 globally as of this month, said China's National Forestry and Grassland Administration Thursday.

A total of 48 pandas were born, and 45 survived this year in China, a survival rate of 93.75 percent, according to data released by the administration at the on-going International Conference for the Giant Panda Conservation and Breeding, held in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province.

The administration plans to continue the captive breeding of giant pandas and releasing them back to the wild. (Xinhua) 

Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.

And now for the Question of the Day:

What is the capital of Cuba?

(Answer: Havana.)

Today's quote is from English nurse Florence Nightingale (1820-1910).

“I attribute my success to this - I never gave or took any excuse.”

(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Lance Crayon, Brian Lowe, Elaine Yue Lin and Grace Xinyi Song.)