Fresh Start: Podcast News (1/7/2020 Tue.)
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Welcome to Fresh Start.

This is People’s Daily app. 

Here are today’s picks from our editors.

China to strengthen tax and fee cut efforts in 2020

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China will take further steps in 2020 to consolidate and expand its achievements in cutting taxes and fees, according to the State Taxation Administration.

More efforts will be made to further optimize the tax business environment, improve tax administration efficiency, and deepen international tax cooperation, the authority said on its website after the national tax work conference on Monday.

In 2019, China introduced unprecedented tax cuts and fee reductions. Newly added tax and fee cuts exceeded 2 trillion yuan, accounting for more than 2 percent of the GDP and contributing almost 0.8 percentage points in GDP growth. (Xinhua)

Chinese research vessel returns from longest mission in western Pacific


Chinese research vessel KEXUE, or Science, returned to its homeport in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province on Sunday after finishing its longest research mission in the western Pacific Ocean. 

The vessel sailed more than 14,000 nautical miles during its 95-day voyage which began on October 3.  The journey consisted of two sections with a berth to pick up supplies at the port of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. 

Forty-four scientists from 12 research institutes and universities aboard have conducted some 40 NSFC projects in various fields including marine physics, marine biology, and marine geology. (Xinhua)

Trump threatens harsh sanctions against Iraq after parliament vote


US President Donald Trump on Sunday threatened to impose harsh sanctions on Iraq after the country's parliament passed a resolution urging the government to expel foreign troops.

"If they do ask us to leave, if we don't do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they've never seen before ever. It'll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame," Trump told reporters on Air Force One.

Trump's warning came hours after the Iraqi parliament on Sunday passed a draft law requiring the government to end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq, and prevent them from using Iraqi air, space, and water. (Xinhua)

Iran abandons nuclear deal limits


Iran announced on Sunday it would abandon limitations on enriching uranium, taking a further step back from commitments to a 2015 nuclear deal with six major powers, but it would continue to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog. 

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement on Monday that it will continue to monitor and verify Iran's nuclear activities in response to Tehran's decision. 

Iran's announcement coincided with a major escalation of hostilities with Washington following the US killing of top Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike on Friday in Baghdad. (CGTN)

Iranian-Americans report delays entering US from Canada


Civil rights groups and lawmakers were demanding information from US federal officials following reports that dozens of Iranian-Americans were held and questioned at the border as they returned to the US from Canada over the weekend.

In a statement Sunday, the Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said more than 60 Iranians and Iranian-Americans were detained and questioned at the Peace Arch Border Crossing in Blaine, Washington. 

“Those detained reported that their passports were confiscated, and they were questioned about their political views and allegiances,’’ the statement said. (AP)

New design flaw discovered in Boeing 737 Max

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Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed on Sunday they are reviewing a wiring issue that could potentially cause a short circuit for the grounded 737 MAX.

The New York Times reported Boeing is reviewing whether two bundles of wiring are too close together, which could lead to a short circuit and potentially result in a crash if pilots did not respond appropriately.

The FAA said in a statement Sunday the agency will "ensure that all safety related issues identified during this process are addressed." (CGTN)

World's oldest person turns 117 in Japan


Kane Tanaka of Japan, the world's oldest person, has extended her record in the wake of her 117th birthday celebration which was held at a nursing home in Fukuoka, Japan on Sunday.

Local televised media depicted a birthday party celebration that included nursing home employees and friends at her residence.  

Tanaka was officially confirmed the oldest person at 116 years 66 days on March 9, 2019 by the Guinness Book of World Records. (China Plus)

Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.

And now for the Question of the Day:

What do geckos do with the skin they shed?

(Answer: Eating it.) 

Today’s quote is from English writer Joseph Addison (1672-1719). 

"Talking with a friend is nothing else but thinking aloud."

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