Welcome to Fresh Start.
This is People’s Daily app.
Happy New Year!
Here are today’s picks from our editors.
China, US to sign phase one trade agreement next week
China will sign the phase one economic and trade agreement with the US next week in Washington, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday.
At the invitation of the US side, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chief of the Chinese side of the China-US comprehensive economic dialogue, will lead a delegation to Washington from January 13 - 15, MOC spokesperson Gao Feng told a regular press conference.
The two sides are in close contact for the arrangements of the signing of the agreement, Gao added. (Xinhua)
New virus identified as cause of Wuhan pneumonia
Chinese experts identified a new type of coronavirus as the cause of pneumonia that has hospitalized more than 50 people in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province.
Experts identified the new virus on Tuesday and have obtained its genome sequence, the China Central Television (CCTV) reported Thursday.
They will continue studying the virus' etiology, epidemiology, and clinical features, the report said. (Global Times)
China ready for Spring Festival travel rush
Chinese authorities will take multiple measures to ensure a smooth Spring Festival travel rush, with around 440 million trips to be made via railway.
From January 10 to February 18, the total number of trips is likely to hit 3 billion, slightly up from last year’s travel rush, with an 8-percent growth in train trips, 8.4-percent increase in air trips and 9.6-percent hike in waterway trips, Zhao Chenxin, spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission, told a news conference Thursday.
Related departments across the country will step up security control and infectious disease prevention efforts to guarantee traveler safety during the holiday rush. (Xinhua)
US officials: ‘Highly likely’ Iran downed Ukrainian jetliner
Two US officials said Thursday it was “highly likely” that an Iranian anti-aircraft missile downed a Ukrainian jetliner late Tuesday, killing all 176 people on board.
The crash came just a few hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack against Iraqi military bases housing US troops amid a confrontation with Washington over the US drone strike that killed an Iranian Revolutionary Guard general last week. The officials said it could very well have been a mistake, and that the airliner was mistaken for a threat.
US President Donald Trump suggested that he believes Iran was responsible and wouldn’t directly lay the blame on Iran but dismissed Iran’s initial claim that it was a mechanical issue. (AP)
UK royals Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to step back from duties
British royal couple Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have surprised both Buckingham Palace and the public by announcing they are to step back from their roles as part of the country's royal family.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday evening, the Sussexes said: "We intend to step back as 'senior' members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent."
The BBC has reported that "no other royal – including the Queen or Prince William – was consulted before the statement" and quoted a Buckingham Palace spokesperson saying that the royal family was "disappointed." (CGTN)
Oscars to go without host for second year
The Oscars will again go without a host next month, repeating a format credited with boosting ratings last year, US network ABC confirmed Wednesday.
Last year, the Oscars decided to go without a host -- the first time in three decades -- after their original choice Kevin Hart pulled out when old homophobic tweets of his resurfaced.
In the end the event was considered a success and the show enjoyed a year-on-year increase in ratings. (AFP)
South Korea defeats China in Asian U23 soccer championship
Lee Dong-Jun scored a goal in injury time as South Korea edged China 1-0 in Group C at the 2020 AFC Under-23 Championship in Bangkok on Thursday.
The championship will be played in Thailand from January 8 to the 26. The top three teams will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, with hosts Japan securing automatic qualification.
China are bracketed in Group C along with defending champions Uzbekistan as well as Iran and South Korea. (Xinhua)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
And now for the Question of the Day:
According to Forbes magazine in 2004, who was the first person to become a billionaire by writing books?
(Answer: J.K. Rowling.)
Today’s quote is from English author Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927).
"Time is but the shadow of the world upon the background of Eternity."
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Lance Crayon, Elaine Yue Lin, and Paris Yelu Xu. Music by Eugene Loner.)