CHINA Fresh Start: Podcast News (12/23/2018 Sun.)

CHINA

Fresh Start: Podcast News (12/23/2018 Sun.)

People's Daily app

05:02, December 23, 2018

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Welcome to Fresh Start.

This is People’s Daily app.

Here are today’s picks from our editors.

China unveils special individual income tax deductions

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The State Council, China's cabinet, announced special individual income tax deductions on Saturday, in order to lower the tax burden for those who have certain expenditures.

Those expenditures cover six areas, including children's education, continuing education, health treatment for serious diseases, housing loan interests, rent and elderly care.

The new temporary measures will come into effect along with the amended personal individual income tax law on Jan. 1, 2019.

For children's education, an amount of 1,000 yuan (about $145) will be deducted every month from the parents' taxable income for each child's education from preschool all the way to doctoral education, including technical education. (Xinhua)

China's imports expected to exceed $2 trillion this year

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The value of China's imports this year is expected to cross $2 trillion, said Song Xianmao, deputy director of the Foreign Trade Department of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

China will take a series of measures to expand imports and host the Second China International Import Expo next year, Song said at the National Commercial Work Conference held in Beijing on Saturday.

Song also said the country will increase imports of agricultural products, resources, nursing products for the aged, and develop new national import promotion demonstration zones. (Xinhua)

Partial shutdown of US federal government in effect after budget impasse

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A partial shutdown of the US federal government came into effect, starting Friday midnight, after failed attempts to end a budget impasse over President Donald Trump's long-promised border wall.

The shutdown is set to affect nine Cabinet-level US departments and dozens of agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security, Transportation, Interior, Agriculture, State and Justice.

It also forces some 800,000 federal employees to go on furlough or work without pay.

Trump said late Friday night that he hopes the partial shutdown will not "last long." (Xinhua)

US envoy to anti-IS coalition quits over Trump’s Syria move

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Brett McGurk, the US envoy to the global coalition fighting the Islamic State group, has resigned in protest at President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw US troops from Syria, joining Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in an administration exodus of experienced national security officials.

McGurk said in his resignation letter that the militants were on the run, but not yet defeated, and that the premature pullout of American forces from Syria would create the conditions that gave rise to IS.

Trump is acting to pull all 2,000 US troops from Syria and has now declared victory over IS, contradicting his own experts’ assessments. Many lawmakers have called his action rash and dangerous. (AP)

China launches first low-orbit broadband communication verification satellite

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The Hongyun Engineering Technology Verification Satellite was successfully launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China Saturday.

A Long March-11 rocket carrying the low-rail broadband communication satellite blasted off at 7:51 a.m. marking China’s progress in mapping the low-orbit broadband communication satellite system.

The satellite is the first experiment of the Hongyun project and will carry out Internet trial and application demonstration. (People's Daily app)

South China's Hainan to boost tourism with scenic highway around island

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China's southern province of Hainan will start building a scenic highway around the island in the first half of 2019, sources from the provincial transport department said Saturday.

The main line of the highway will measure 1,040 km for the major purpose of tourism. Tourists will enjoy ocean views on about one-fifth of the dual-lane highway, along which a total of 46 tourism stations are planned to be built.

The construction of the highway will help Hainan build a sightseeing belt around the island to further boost local tourism development, according to the plan. (Xinhua)

Renowned Chinese artist appointed as dean of leading US conservatory of music

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Renowned Chinese composer, conductor and artist Tan Dun has been appointed as Dean of the Bard College Conservatory of Music, the US Bard College said on Friday.

As dean, Tan will guide the Conservatory in fulfilling its mission of teaching young musicians both new music and music history, while deepening an understanding of its connection to history, art and culture, and society, according to a statement by Bard College.

Born and raised in southwest China's Hunan Province, Tan has made an indelible mark on the world's music scene with a creative repertoire that spans the boundaries of classical music, multimedia performance, and Eastern and Western traditions.

Tan will begin his tenure on July 1, 2019. (China Plus)

Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.

And now for the Question of the Day:

Which Olympic sport takes place in a velodrome?

(Answer: Cycling.)

Today’s quote is from French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778).

"Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet."

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

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