CHINA Fresh Start: Podcast News (1/27/2019 Sun.)

CHINA

Fresh Start: Podcast News (1/27/2019 Sun.)

People's Daily app

06:17, January 27, 2019

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Welcome to Fresh Start.

This is People’s Daily app.

Here are today’s picks from our editors. 

Beijing 2022 Paralympic medal program announced

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The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) approved Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games medal event program and athlete quotas on Saturday.

According to IPC, Beijing 2022 could be the biggest Winter Games to date as up to 82 medal events will be featured in the games with a maximum of 748 Para athletes.

"Beijing 2022 could be the first Paralympic Winter Games to have gender parity in the number of medal events for men and women," the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced. (Xinhua)

Brazil dam disaster toll rises to 34 dead, nearly 300 missing

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At least 34 people were killed and nearly 300 others are missing after a tailings dam owned by mining giant Vale collapsed Friday afternoon in Brazil's southeastern state of Minas Gerais, according to the state government.

There were some signs of hope. Authorities announced they had found 43 more people alive Saturday.

Romeu Zema, the governor of the state of Minas Gerais, said officials expected to find many more bodies and he warned that those responsible “would be punished.”

Vale workers were eating lunch Friday afternoon when the dam collapsed, unleashing a sea of reddish-brown mud that knocked over and buried several structures. (Xinhua-AP)

US, Taliban agree to end 17-year Afghanistan conflict

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The United States and Taliban negotiators Saturday agreed in the Qatari capital Doha to put an end to the 17-year Afghanistan war, Al Jazeera news channel reported.

Taliban officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said they have reached an understanding on the withdrawal of US and NATO troops and that Afghan soil will not be used for attacks or threats against the US or other countries.

It wasn’t clear whether the Taliban will distance themselves from al-Qaida operatives. (Xinhua-AP)

Germany to phase out coal power by 2038

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A German government commission has advised that the country should phase out coal-fired power plants by the end of 2038.

A final agreement was reached after 21-hour talks, with only one opposing vote in the 28-member body.

Almost 40 percent of Germany's electricity comes from coal-fired power plants and the country failed to meet the targets under the 2015 Paris climate agreement, while renewable energy accounted for more than 40 percent of the energy mix in Germany last year.

Germany's coal-producing regions demanded firm financial commitments to cope with the structural upheaval from the transition away from fossil fuels. The plan includes relief for those stakeholders and some financial help for consumers. (Xinhua)

Oldest piece of Earth found on moon

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A rock sample collected by Apollo 14 astronauts in 1971 from the moon's surface might well be the oldest piece of the Earth, according to recent research.

The investigation by an international team of scientists revealed that the sample contains a fragment of ancient crust which scientists believe is very likely to have formed deep beneath the Earth's surface.

The analysis found that the rock is composed of quartz, feldspar and zircon, which are very common on Earth but highly unusual on the moon.

The researchers inferred that a large comet or asteroid hit the Earth and launched the rock from earth into space, where it collided with the surface of the moon about 4 billion years ago. (Xinhua)

Researchers say Amazon face-detection technology shows bias

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Facial-detection technology that Amazon is marketing to law enforcement often misidentifies women, particularly those with darker skin, according to researchers from MIT and the University of Toronto.

Privacy and civil rights advocates have called on Amazon to stop marketing its recognition service because of worries about discrimination against minorities. Some Amazon investors have also asked the company to stop out of fear that it makes Amazon vulnerable to lawsuits.

The researchers said that in their tests, Amazon’s technology labeled darker-skinned women as men 31 percent of the time. Lighter-skinned women were misidentified 7 percent of the time. (AP)

Shanghai Disneyland releases new year-round passes

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Visitors to Shanghai Disneyland can now enjoy year-round access to the park with new passes that were introduced Friday.

The passes are divided into three tiers – Sunday-only, Sunday and weekdays, as well as all-day access, and are priced according to different demographic groups. For instance, the adult price for an any-day pass is 3,299 yuan, whereas entrance fees for children are charged between 974 yuan and 2,474 yuan depending on the type of pass.

The passes can be purchased via multiple channels such as the resort’s official WeChat account and mini program, on-site ticketing booths, and the reservation hotline. (China Daily)

Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.

And now for the Question of the Day:

What phrase refers to a snobbish person?

(Answer: Toffe-nosed.) 

Today’s quote is from English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892).

" He makes no friends who never made a foe."

(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Brian Lowe, and Da Hang.)


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