CHINA Fresh Start: Podcast News (1/2/2019 Wed.)


Fresh Start: Podcast News (1/2/2019 Wed.)

People's Daily app

05:11, January 02, 2019


Happy New Year and welcome to Fresh Start.

This is People’s Daily app.

Here are today’s picks from our editors. 

Hainan FTZ launches free trade account

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The free trade account for China Hainan Pilot Free Trade Zone was launched Tuesday in Hainan Province, as part of efforts to develop a sound business environment in the country's largest free trade zone established in April 2018.

The Hainan Free Trade Account is a convertible accounting system with renminbi as its base currency with unified accounting rules. The system takes into account various risk management scenarios between renminbi and foreign currencies.

The first group of commercial banks to launch the FT accounts are the Hainan Branch of the Bank of China and the Haikou Branch of the Pudong Development Bank. (China Daily) 

China launches ecological protection facilities on Nansha Islands

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China put facilities related to ecological protection and restoration into service on three Nansha Island reefs on Tuesday, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources.

The facilities on Yongshu, Zhubi and Meiji reefs will be used for coral reef protection and restoration, which are key to the ecological well-being of the Nansha Island and South China Sea region, the ministry said.

The facilities will lead to a better understanding of the coral reef ecosystem along with tailored conservation and rehabilitation measures, ministry officials said. (China Plus) 

Brazil’s Bolsonaro assumes presidency, promises big changes

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Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in as Brazil’s president Tuesday, taking the reins of Latin America’s largest and most populous nation with promises to overhaul myriad aspects of daily life and put an end to business-as-usual governing.

A fan of US President Donald Trump, the 63-year-old longtime congressman rose to power on an anti-corruption and pro-gun agenda that has energized conservatives and hard-right supporters.

Bolsonaro was the latest of several far-right leaders around the globe who have come to power by riding waves of anger at the establishment and promising to ditch the status quo. (AP) 

US and Israel exit UN cultural agency, claiming bias


The US and Israel officially quit the UN's educational, scientific and cultural agency at the stroke of midnight, the culmination of a process triggered more than a year ago amid concerns the organization fosters an anti-Israel bias.

The withdrawal is mainly procedural yet serves a new blow to UNESCO, co-founded by the US after World War II to foster peace.

The Trump administration filed its notice to withdraw in October 2017 and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu followed suit. (AP) 

Chinese online brokerage Futu to go public in US

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Futu Holdings, a Hong Kong-based online brokerage, plans to debut in the US public markets this year as it filed for an initial public offering (IPO) with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

It plans to list on the Nasdaq under “FHL” and aims to raise up to $300 million US dollars during the initial IPO offering.

The stock investment service has been backed by corporate shareholders with $215.5 million, including China's Internet giant Tencent, US private equity investment firm Matrix Partners, and US venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, according to Futu’s official website. (Xinhua) 

German police: Man intentionally drove into crowd, injured 4

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A man has been arrested in Germany after ploughing his car into a crowd of people early Tuesday, injuring at least four in what appears to have been an intentional attack directed at foreigners, police said Tuesday.

The 50-year-old driver of a silver Mercedes first attempted to hit a group of people in the western city of Bottrop shortly after midnight, but the pedestrians were able to jump out of the way, Muenster police said.

Police said those hit by the car included Syrian and Afghan citizens, and some were seriously injured.

Authorities said the driver made anti-foreigner comments during his arrest. (AP) 

130th Rose Parade boasts floral floats, singer Chaka Khan

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Floral floats and marching bands took to the streets under a sunny California sky as the 130th Rose Parade drew hundreds of thousands of spectators on New Year’s Day and millions more watched on TV.

The annual extravaganza in Pasadena kicked off with a performance by singer Chaka Khan, the grand marshal of the parade, and featured 40 floats decorated with countless flowers and waving celebrities. The theme was "The Melody of Life".

Along with the many floats, the parade featured 18 equestrian groups and 21 marching bands. Among them were bands from Ohio State University and the University of Washington, whose teams will compete in Tuesday’s Rose Bowl. (AP) 

Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.

And now for the Question of the Day:

Where is the celebration of the new year believed to have started in?

(Answer: The earliest recording of a new year celebration is believed to have been in Mesopotamia, 2000 B.C.)

Today's quote is from American writer Melody Beattie.

"The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals."

(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Lance Crayon, and Elaine Yue Lin.)

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