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Here are today’s picks from our editors.
Chinese central gov't strongly condemns US signing Hong Kong-related act into law
The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of China's State Council on Thursday strongly condemned the signing of the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 into law by the US.
The US signed it into law regardless of the strong opposition from the Chinese side, which is a blatant interference in China's internal affairs and a severe violation of international laws and the basic norms governing international relations, the office said in a statement.
"The future of Hong Kong has always been in the hands of the Chinese people with Hong Kong compatriots included, and no force can stop the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," it said. (Xinhua)
China plans new meteorological satellites
China began work on the Fengyun-5 meteorological satellites and the third-generation polar orbit meteorological satellite observation system, according to the Science and Technology Daily Thursday.
The new satellites and observation system will conduct high-precision global 3D atmospheric detection, said Zhang Peng, deputy director of National Satellite Meteorological Center (NSMC), according to the report.
China has launched a total of 17 Fengyun meteorological satellites, with seven currently in orbit. With an increasing demand for meteorological satellite data, China plans to launch another nine Fengyun satellites before 2025. (Xinhua)
Fire continues at Texas plant; 50K under evacuation order
More than 50,000 people in East Texas remained under a mandatory evacuation order Thursday as a fire continued to burn at a chemical plant, one day after two massive explosions there.
Jefferson County Sheriff Zena Stephens said the evacuation order and a 10 pm curfew order remain in effect. Officials don’t know when the evacuees will be able to return to their homes.
The Wednesday blasts blew out windows and doors of nearby homes and prompted a mandatory evacuation of a 7-kilometer radius from the plant in Port Neches in Southeast Texas. (AP)
Maldives ex-president sentenced to five years for money laundering
Former Maldives President Abdulla Yameen was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for money laundering on Thursday.
Yameen, who led the Maldives from 2013 to 2018 unexpectedly lost an election last year and has since faced investigations over deals made during his tenure.
The former president was accused of receiving $1 million in government money through a private company as part of a deal to lease tropical islands for hotel development. (CGTN)
Possible radioactive water leak at Japan's crisis hit Fukushima nuke plant
The operator of the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan said Thursday that radioactive rainwater may be leaking into the ground through an exhaust stack.
According to Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), it has not detected any "major" changes in levels of radioactivity in groundwater surrounding the leaking box and claimed there has been no adverse effects on the environment.
As the nuclear disaster plant in Northeast Japan rumbles on, the government said earlier it would be safe to release radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. (Xinhua)
Russia to test first upgraded Tu-160M strategic bomber
Russia has finished assembling its first modernized Tu-160M strategic bomber and will test it soon, local media reported on Thursday.
The upgraded Tu-160M includes new flight and navigation equipment, airborne communications system, an automated control system, a radar station, and an electronic warfare system.
The first upgraded Tu-160M would be handed over to the Russian Defense Ministry at the end of 2021. (Xinhua)
Two heartbeats a minute - blue whale heart rate measured
Researchers at Stanford University reported the first-ever recording of a blue whale heart rate, according to a study published Monday.
Experts discovered the blue whale's heart rate lowers to as little as two beats per minute when diving for food.
Analysis of the data suggests that a blue whale's heart is working at its limit, which may explain why blue whales have never evolved to be bigger, according to the study. (China Plus)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
And now for the Question of the Day:
What is the world’s tallest grass?
(Answer: Bamboo. Some species reach up to 39 meters in height.)
Today’s quote is from Italian poet Dante Alighieri (1265 - 1321).
"Pride, envy, avarice - these are the sparks have set on fire the hearts of all men."
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Lance Crayon, Elaine Yue Lin and Paris Yelu Xu. Music by Eugene Loner.)