Welcome to Fresh Start.
This is People’s Daily app.
Here are today’s picks from our editors.
China summons US Embassy official to lodge protest against US Senate's passing of HK-related bill
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu on Wednesday summoned William Klein, acting charge d'affaires of the US Embassy in China, to lodge stern representations and strong protest against US Senate's passing of the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019.
"We strongly urge the US side to immediately take effective measures to prevent this act from becoming law, immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's other internal affairs. Otherwise, China will have to take strong countermeasures and the US side must face all the consequences," Ma said.
The US Senate's move, which has blatantly interfered in Hong Kong affairs and China's other internal affairs, is in serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations, and China firmly opposes it, he noted.
Hong Kong is part of China and Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs, brooking no interference from any foreign government or foreign forces, Ma said. (Xinhua)
China to further lower tax burden on individuals
China will continue to reduce the tax burden on individuals by improving and better implementing the special individual income tax deduction mechanism.
The mechanism had slashed taxes by over 440 billion yuan for 250 million taxpayers in the first nine months of this year, according to a statement released after a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang Wednesday.
The meeting decided to further lower the tax burden on low- and medium-income groups. It passed a temporary decision to exempt those whose aggregate annual income is no higher than 120,000 yuan within a period of two years from the obligation to declare the settlement and payment of individual income taxes. (Xinhua)
Sri Lankan prime minister resigns
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday stepped down from his post, just days after his presidential candidate, Sajith Premadasa, lost the presidential polls, his office said.
The government information department said Wickremesinghe will inform newly-elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in writing of his decision to step down from his position.
Local media reports said that following Wickremesinghe's resignation, Rajapaksa is likely to form a caretaker government within this week. (Xinhua)
Death toll of Israeli airstrikes on Syrian military sites rises to 23
The death toll of the Israeli airstrikes on Syrian military sites on Wednesday has risen to 23, including two civilians, a war monitor and state media reported.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said most of the killed fighters were Iranians from the Quds Force, a unit in Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps.
The death toll is likely to grow as many of the wounded fighters are in critical condition, it added. (Xinhua)
Japan's Abe becomes longest-serving prime minister in nation's history
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe became the longest-serving prime minister in Japanese history on Wednesday, marking 2,887 days in office during his current tenure since returning to power in 2012 and in a brief stint at the helm between 2006-2007.
Abe, 65, said that there are some key policies on his agenda that he still intends to tackle, with these including declaring an end to deflation, tackling the issue of the country's aging population coupled with a declining birth rate and resolving diplomatic challenges left unaddressed since the end of World War II. (Xinhua)
Disney Plus blames past hacks for user accounts sold online
Disney said Disney Plus account passwords being sold in underground hacking forums are coming from previous breaches at other companies, predating last week’s launch of its streaming service.
The company reiterated Wednesday that it found no evidence of a security breach and that account problems are limited to “a very small percentage of users” of Disney Plus.
The news site ZDNet found stolen account usernames and passwords selling for $3 on underground hacking forums. Disney’s streaming service costs $7 a month or $70 a year.
Despite warnings by security experts, users often reuse passwords at multiple services, meaning a breach at one opens the door for a hacker to gain access to the others. (AP)
China to select 2019 Chinese Character and Word of the Year
An annual campaign to select the 2019 Chinese Character and Word of the Year began Wednesday.
The event will select Chinese words and phrases which are newly created or widely used online based on experts' opinions and big data to highlight the changes of China and the world this year, according to the organizers, the Chinese National Language Monitoring and Research Center and the Commercial Press.
The results will be announced on Dec. 20. (Xinhua)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
And now for the Question of the Day:
What causes an Aurora?
(Answer: Charged particles from solar wind.)
Today’s quote is from German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804).
"Nothing is divine but what is agreeable to reason."
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Brian Lowe, and Elaine Yue Lin. Music by Eugene Loner.)