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Here are today’s picks from our editors.
Chinese, Vietnamese leaders agree to further promote bilateral ties
Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke over the phone with Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong on Thursday, and the two leaders agreed to make joint efforts to cement bilateral relations.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of China-Vietnam diplomatic ties, and is also of great importance in the socialist causes of both countries, noted Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.
Xi said that as both the Chinese and Vietnamese people are preparing for the traditional Spring Festival, he was pleased to have the phone conversation with Trong, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee.
China and Vietnam are good neighbors, good friends, good comrades and good partners with a closely interconnected future, Xi said, adding that the socialist causes of both countries are developing vigorously while facing increasing risks and challenges.
The Chinese leader said he is ready to strengthen strategic communication with his Vietnamese counterpart and jointly draw a blueprint to guide the development of China-Vietnam relations in the new era. (Xinhua)
China's first wholly foreign-funded insurance holding company opens in Shanghai
China's first entirely foreign-owned insurance holding company, Allianz China Holding, opened in Shanghai on Thursday.
The insurance company, owned by Allianz Group, has 2.72 billion yuan in registered capital.
The company's application was approved by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission in November.
The country has taken measures to open up the insurance industry, including removing the foreign ownership cap on life insurers that began January 1. (Xinhua)
US resumes joint military operations in Iraq: NYT
The US on Wednesday resumed joint military operations with Iraq that had been put on pause after the US drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad, the New York Times reported.
Two US military officials said the Pentagon wanted to resume operations to pick up the fight against the Islamic State group. (AFP)
US Senate approves new trade deal with Canada and Mexico
The US Senate approved a bill to implement the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on Thursday, just ahead of US President Donald Trump's impeachment trial in the upper chamber.
After the Senate passage of the bill, Trump is expected to sign it, which would put the new trilateral trade deal into effect more than a year after leaders of the three countries signed the new deal, replacing the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
The USMCA modernizes trading rules and strengthens the enforcement of labor and environmental rights, but its restrictions on auto trade and investment and on auto production "will hurt US industry," said one analyst. (Xinhua)
US military training for Saudi students could resume soon
US training for more than 800 Saudi Arabian aviation students could resume “in the coming days,” the Pentagon said Thursday, nearly six weeks after a shooting by one Saudi trainee killed three aviation students at a Florida military base.
The Pentagon had stopped all flight and field training for the approximately 850 Saudi students amid fears that others may have known about or been involved in the shooting at the Pensacola Naval Air Station.
The US completed security screenings of all the students, and on Monday the Justice Department announced that 21 were being sent home. (AP)
Boeing net orders slump to lowest in decades
Boeing reported its worst annual net orders in decades on Tuesday, along with its lowest numbers for plane deliveries in 11 years, as the grounding of its 737 MAX jet saw it fall far behind main competitor Airbus.
Boeing's gross orders plunged by 77 percent to 246 in 2019, while net orders after cancellations or conversions were just 54 compared with 893 the previous year. (CGTN)
Indian bakers make world's 'longest' cake
It was a record-baking effort. Some 1,500 bakers and chefs in India's Thrissur came together Wednesday to create what they said to be the world's longest cake, measuring about 6.5 kilometers.
The vanilla cake, 10 centimeters wide and thick, weighed about 27,000 kilograms.
Bakers and chefs wearing traditional whites and toque blanche caps spent nearly four hours putting it together using 12,000 kilograms of sugar and flour.
The group's secretary general, Naushad, said Guinness World Records had assessed the cake as being 6,500 meters but their confirmation of the exact length was pending. (AFP)
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And now for the Question of the Day:
What sort of supernatural being is Dracula?
Today’s quote is from Greek historian Thucydides (460 BC - 395 BC).
"History is Philosophy teaching by example."
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Lance Crayon, and Elaine Yue Lin. Music by Eugene Loner.)