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Here are today’s picks from our editors.
China to build over 4,000 km of new rail lines
China plans to build at least 4,000 kilometers of new railway lines this year, including 2,000 km of high-speed lines, said China State Railway Group.
In 2019, 802.9 billion yuan was spent on railways in China and 8,489 km of new track became operational, surpassing the annual targets of 800 billion yuan for investment and 6,800 km of new lines. (China Daily)
Iran vows ‘harsh’ response to US killing of top general
Iran vowed “harsh retaliation” for a US airstrike near Baghdad airport that killed a top Iranian general who had been the architect of its interventions across the Middle East, and the US announced Friday it was sending more troops to the region as tensions soared in the wake of the targeted killing.
The United States said it was sending nearly 3,000 more Army troops and urged American citizens to leave Iraq “immediately” following the early morning airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport that Iran’s state TV said killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani and nine others. The State Department said the embassy in Baghdad, which was attacked by Iran-backed militiamen and their supporters earlier this week, is closed and all consular services have been suspended. (AP)
Sudan plane crash kills 18 in West Darfur
A Sudanese military plane crashed on Thursday shortly after taking off from El Geneina airport in West Darfur State, killing 18.
The Antonov 12 plane crashed five minutes after takeoff, said a statement by the Sudanese army.
“Seven crew members, three judges, and eight citizens including four children were killed in the incident,” noted the statement.
Investigations are underway to determine the causes of the accident. (CGTN)
Series of bomb letters reported in Dutch cities
Following several bomb letters in recent days, a new bomb letter was reported on Friday at the Okura Hotel in the south of Amsterdam, according to Dutch police.
Employees from the mailroom of the hotel found the letter and sounded the alarm. The hotel did not have to be evacuated, police said.
Similar bomb letters have been sent to different companies in other Dutch cities, with two in Amsterdam, one in Utrecht and three in Rotterdam over a period of one week.
The motive is still unclear. (Xinhua)
Tesla 2019 sales hit goals, rise over 50 pct from previous year
Tesla’s global deliveries rose more than 50 percent last year, meaning the company surpassed the low end of its sales goals for 2019.
The announcement Friday pushed Tesla’s shares up more than 4 percent to a record high of $449.37.
The electric car maker delivered a record of about 112,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter and about 367,500 for the full year.
Tesla, based in California, had earlier projected deliveries of between 360,000 and 400,000 units worldwide. (AP)
Chinese paddlefish in Yangtze River declared extinct
Psephurus gladius, a Chinese paddlefish living in the Yangtze River, was declared extinct, according to a paper by Chinese experts at the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute.
The news came as another blow for China’s freshwater bio-diversity, following the functional extinction of the “Giant panda in water”- Lipotes vexillifer (Chinese river dolphin) and the Yangtze River shad.
Psephurus gladius is an ancient species and can be traced to the Cretaceous period of the Mesozoic Era (150 million years ago). The length of a grown psephurus gladius can reach seven to eight meters, which makes it one of the 10 largest freshwater fish species. (People's Daily)
Ice Climbing World Cup gets underway in northeast China
A leg of the 2019-2020 UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup kicked off on Friday in Changchun, capital city of northeast China's Jilin province, with Chinese athletes failing to get through the first round of qualifications in both men's and women's difficulty events.
A total of 31 players competed in the women's difficulty qualification on day 1 and six competitors reached the top with last season's champion Maria Tolokonina of Russia finishing first. All six Chinese women players failed to qualify.
Nine Chinese started the men's difficulty qualification, all failed to reach the semifinals. (Xinhua)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
And now for the Question of the Day:
What is the total number of red blood cells in a normal human body?
(Answer: 30 trillion.)
Today’s quote is from English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863).
"Follow your honest convictions and be strong."
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Brian Lowe, and Elaine Yue Lin. Music by Eugene Loner.)