Fresh Start: Podcast News (4/18/2019 Thu.)
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Welcome to Fresh Start.

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Here are today's picks from our editors. 

Xi calls for greater efforts to win battle against poverty on time


Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for greater efforts to win the battle against poverty on time and realize the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects as scheduled.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the statement during an inspection tour to southwest China's Chongqing Municipality from Monday to Wednesday.

At the symposium Tuesday afternoon, Xi said that the basic requirement and key indicator for the poverty alleviation goal by 2020 are that rural poor people have no worries about food and clothing and have access to compulsory education, basic medical services, and safe housing.

At the crucial stage in winning the battle against poverty, heads of Party committees and governments at the provincial level should take up their responsibilities, he said.

Efforts should be made to work out detailed and concrete measures, target genuinely poor households, and prevent the reoccurrence of poverty to those who had been lifted out, according to Xi. (Xinhua) 

Bells across France toll to commemorate fire


The bells of France have tolled, ringing out from the nation’s cathedrals and basilicas in commemoration of the Notre Dame fire.

From Sacre Coeur in Paris’ Montmartre district to Strasbourg in the east and Rouen in the west, the architectural treasures of France solemnly marked the inferno Wednesday evening, two days after it ravaged Notre Dame of Paris.

The Gothic cathedral is widely regarded as the soul of France. (AP) 

Airbus inaugurates first helicopter final assembly line in China

Airbus AFP.jpg

The Airbus Qingdao H135 Final Assembly Line (FAL), the first helicopter line built by a foreign manufacturer in China, was put into service Wednesday in Qingdao, a coastal city in east China's Shandong Province.

It is the first time Airbus has located final assembly facilities of the H135 helicopter outside Europe. The move marks a new chapter in Sino-European cooperation and Airbus' expanded partnership with China, according to Airbus. (Xinhua) 

Former Peruvian president shoots himself before arrest

Former Peruvian.jpg

Peru's 69-year old former President Alan Garcia shot himself at his home in Lima, capital of the country, on Wednesday morning and died after being rushed to hospital, the Peruvian official news agency Andina reported.

Peruvian police sources said Garcia shot himself when police arrived at his home to arrest him.

Peruvian Interior Minister Carlos Moran said that intervention by police strictly complied with the protocols established in Garcia’s arrest warrant.

He was allegedly involved in the corruption of Odebrecht, the largest construction company in Brazil. (People's Daily app) 

Palace Museum holds fire prevention meeting in wake of Notre Dame fire

Palace Museum IC.JPG

The management of the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, held an emergency meeting on fire prevention on Tuesday in the wake of the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral that destroyed the roof of the more than 800-year-old church.

Most of the structures in the Palace Museum are made of wood. During the 550 years of the Ming and Qing dynasties, the more than 9,000-room complex caught fire 22 times.

"The fire showed that efforts in this regard must run through the whole process of cultural relic protection, including our routine work, renovations, and personnel security at the sites under our protection, to ensure nothing goes wrong," said Song Xinchao, deputy head of the National Cultural Heritage Administration. (China Plus) 

EU threatens $12 bln in tariffs over US Boeing subsidies


The EU on Wednesday unveiled a wide-ranging list of US-made goods, from beeswax to car parts, subject to tariffs in retaliation for subsidies to Boeing as a transatlantic trade war risked re-erupting.

Europe's $12 billion claim against Boeing comes on the heels of a similar demand by the US for $11 billion in compensation for EU subsidies towards Airbus.

The Boeing-Airbus trade row has rumbled on for 14 years with the EU and US accusing each other of doling out illegal state aid since the 1990s to their respective aeronautical champions. (AFP) 

One of world's rarest soft-shell turtles dies


One of the last four surviving Yangtze giant soft-shell turtles has died in east China's Suzhou Zoo.

The death of the female turtle came a day after zoo staff made a last-ditch effort at artificial insemination with a male companion estimated to be more than 100 years old, according to the Suzhou Daily.

Concerned over the extremely low number and the turtle's inability to mate, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List declared it critically endangered in 2017. (CGTN) 

Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.

And now for the Question of the Day:

Which Australian marsupial enjoys eating eucalyptus leaves?

(Answer: Koala.)

Today's quote is from French leader Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821).

"Courage is like love; it must have hope for nourishment."

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