People's Daily Tonight: Podcast News (4/16/2019 Tue.)
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This is People’s Daily Tonight, your news source from China. 


French leader vows to rebuild damaged Notre Dame


French President Emmanuel Macron promised to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral.

This, after fire gutted the iconic French church.

Macron said he is seeking international help to restore the Paris landmark.

Macron said a national fundraising campaign to restore Notre Dame would be launched, and called on the world’s “greatest talents” to help.

The French leader credited the “courage” and “great professionalism” of firefighters with sparing Notre Dame’s facade and two landmark towers from being destroyed. (AP)


China welcomes Malaysian PM Mahathir to 2nd Belt and Road forum


China welcomes Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, said China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

He made the remarks in Beijing while meeting with Muhammad Shahrul, the secretary general of the Malaysian Foreign Ministry.

China appreciates Mahathir's promotion of Asian values and Malaysia's support for the Belt and Road Initiative, Wang said.

The second Belt and Road forum is to be held in Beijing in late April. (Xinhua)


Index results bode well for quarterly GDP


Chinese economists said the country’s economic growth will remain stable in the first quarter, and is expected to land at 6.3 percent or even higher when it is released this week.

This comes after some economic indicators for March surprised the market.

Chinese bank lending surged in March by 1.69 trillion yuan.

That’s up 52 percent from a year earlier.

And the manufacturing purchasing managers index for March was back into expansion territory. (China Daily)


China reiterates resolve to protect sovereignty, territorial integrity


A Chinese mainland spokesperson said nobody should underestimate China's resolve and ability to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson with the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, made the remarks in response to the Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration's slander of recent patrols by the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

The PLA's recent training exercises are routine arrangements in the annual plan and for the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, Ma said. (Xinhua)


Ecuador says hacking attempts doubled after it ended Assange asylum


Hacking attempts on Ecuadorean government institutions have doubled since the country revoked WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's asylum at its London embassy last week.

An official said the websites of the country's presidency, central bank and foreign ministry, among others, have received 40 million hacking attempts per day since Assange was dragged out of the embassy on Thursday by London police.

Assange took refuge in the embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden in a sexual assault investigation. (CGTN)


Moscow court sentences Norwegian to 14 years in prison for espionage


The Moscow City Court sentenced Frode Berg, a retired Norwegian border guard, to 14 years in a high security prison for spying, his lawyer said Tuesday.

The lawyer said Berg would not appeal the verdict and expects the Norwegian government to undertake necessary diplomatic efforts and ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to pardon him.

Berg was arrested in December 2017 in Moscow for possession of confidential documents and was accused of sharing sensitive information about the Russian Navy with Norwegian authorities. (Xinhua)


Customs makes its biggest tusk bust


And China's customs officers have seized over 2,700 ivory tusks weighing a combined 7.5 metric tons after cracking down on a major smuggling case.

It was the biggest haul of tusks ever recorded in an anti-smuggling bust conducted independently by customs officers.

Most of the ivory was hidden in an abandoned factory.

Busts were made in several locations, which were not disclosed.

The case remains under investigation. (China Daily)


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

(Produced by David Nye, Chen Lidan and Wang Xiangyu)