CHINA Fresh Start: Podcast News (1/31/2020 Fri.)


Fresh Start: Podcast News (1/31/2020 Fri.)

People's Daily app

07:08, January 31, 2020



Welcome to Fresh Start.

This is People’s Daily app. 

Here are today’s picks from our editors.

WHO: novel coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency


The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared the novel coronavirus as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). 

The International Health Regulations Emergency Committee reconvened to address the novel coronavirus in Geneva, Switzerland on Thursday where they announced the new classification.

However, the UN health body stressed that it does not recommend limiting trade and travel.

It also once again spoke highly of China's prevention and containment measures. (People's Daily app-Xinhua)

Charter flights approved to fly stranded travelers back to Wuhan


The Civil Aviation Administration of China has approved several applications by domestic airlines for charter flights to transport Wuhan residents who have been stranded abroad since the novel coronavirus outbreak.  

The civil aviation administration said airlines should not refuse any passenger who has passed a health test from boarding a plane and shall keep a record of crew members and passenger information.

So far, Wuhan residents have returned home from Krabi, Thailand, Mandalay, Myanmar, Singapore, and Osaka, Japan, according to the agency. (CGTN)

US imposes sanctions on Iran nuclear entity


The US Treasury announced on Thursday it has slapped sanctions on the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and its head amid tension.

It was also reported that Washington will renew waivers on Iran nuclear activity for another 60 days, allowing foreign companies to continue work at Iranian nuclear sites to make it more difficult for Tehran to develop a nuclear weapon. (Xinhua)

Japan issues arrest warrants for ex-US soldier, two others over Ghosn escape


Japanese authorities on Thursday issued warrants for three men on suspicion of smuggling former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn out of Japan in December. 

The three suspects are Michael Taylor, a former Green Beret with the US Army Special Forces, George-Antoine Zayek, and Peter Taylor.

Kyodo News quoted a source close to the matter as saying that Ghosn met Taylor and Zayek at a hotel in Tokyo and took a bullet train to Osaka before flying out of the Kansai International Airport. Ghosn reportedly evaded airport security checks by hiding in a box that was prepared by the suspects and flew to Turkey and then Lebanon. (CGTN)

US Authorities find longest Southwest border smuggling tunnel


US authorities on Wednesday announced the discovery of the longest smuggling tunnel ever found on the southwest border, stretching more than three-quarters of a mile from an industrial site in Tijuana, Mexico to San Diego, California.

The tunnel featured an extensive rail cart system, forced air ventilation, high voltage electrical cables and panels, an elevator at the tunnel’s entrance and a drainage system.

While there were no arrests, no drugs found at the site and no confirmed exit point in the US, the length — more than 14 football fields — stunned authorities. (AP)

UN expert says climate change may be behind locust swarms in Africa


Climate change may be powering the desert locust swarms that have invaded eastern Africa, ravaging crops, decimating pastures, and adding to an a ongoing hunger crisis, locust and climate experts said.

By June, the fast-breeding locusts – already devouring huge swathes of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia – could grow 500 times and move into Uganda and South Sudan.

Keith Cressman, senior locust forecasting officer at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the swarms formed after cyclones dumped vast amounts of rain in the deserts of Oman – creating perfect breeding conditions. (CGTN)

McDonald's global sales surpass $100 bln in 2019


Fast food giant McDonald's said Wednesday its annual sales surpassed $100 billion for the first time.

McDonald's Chief Executive Officer Chris Kempczinski said the company would spend more on technology and research in 2020, as the world's largest burger chain bets on revamped stores and menu additions to lure diners and gain market share.

McDonald's plans to open 1,400 new restaurants this year, including 450 in China. (Xinhua)

Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.

And now for the Question of the Day:

America’s first multimillionaire, John Jacob Astor, made his fortune in what trade?

(Answer: Fur Trade.) 

Today’s quote is from Chinese philosopher Xun Kuang (310 BC - 237 BC).  

"The coming of honor or disgrace must be a reflection of one's inner power."

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

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