CHINA Fresh Start: Podcast News (12/25/2018 Tue.)


Fresh Start: Podcast News (12/25/2018 Tue.)

People's Daily app

06:10, December 25, 2018


Welcome to Fresh Start.

This is People’s Daily app.

Here are today’s picks from our editors.

State Council unveils policy support for SME growth


China will intensify its support for the development of the private sector, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to boost the vitality of market entities and enhance their confidence, an executive meeting of the State Council, China's cabinet, decided on Monday. The meeting was chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

Premier Li Keqiang called for giving stronger support to private businesses and SMEs to ease their financing woes and promote the integrated development of businesses of all sizes.

The private sector in China, which is mainly composed of SMEs accounting for 90 percent of all businesses, now contributes more than 50 percent of tax revenues, over 60 percent of GDP, more than 70 percent of technological innovations and over 80 percent of urban employment. (Xinhua)

China's Fuxing family unveils new trains


China unveiled new members of the Fuxing family, the country’s newest and fastest high-speed trains in Beijing on Monday.

The new trains debuted at a show demonstrating the latest in innovation and technological advances within China's railway system.

The CR200J is expected to hit the tracks first in January, and will travel at a maximum of speed of 160 kilometers per hour.

A longer model of the Fuxing train was also unveiled Monday and will travel at speeds upwards of 350 kilometers per hour with 17 carriages. The latest capacity marks a 7.5 percent increase compared with current the current version. (People's Daily app)

China rises to 2nd largest contributor to UN budget


China will become the second largest contributor to the United Nations' regular budget starting next year, surpassing Japan.

China's contribution will rise to 12.01 percent in the next three years from 7.92 percent for the 2016-2018 period, according to a resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on Saturday.

The US will continue to be the top contributor to both the regular and peacekeeping UN budgets over the next three years.  (Xinhua) 

US stocks plunge before Christmas

US stocks.jpeg

US President Donald Trump’s attack on the Federal Reserve spooked financial markets on Christmas Eve, raising fears about an uncertain future should the White House try to undermine or remove the head of the US central bank.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin calls to the top executives of six major banks Sunday in an attempt to stabilize jittery markets had an opposite effect.

The S&P 500 index slid 65.52 points, or 2.7 percent, to 2,351.10.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 653.17 points, or 2.9 percent, to 21,792.20.

The Nasdaq skidded 140.08 points, or 2.2 percent, to 6,192.92. (AP) 

US lawmakers home for Christmas, govt workers unpaid on shutdown Day 3


US lawmakers headed home for Christmas leaving the government partially shut for a third day Monday in an impasse over President Donald Trump's demand for border wall funding.

More than 400,000 federal employees are reporting to their jobs on Monday but won't get their salaries, while nearly 400,000 others "will be locked out of work with no pay," the American Federation of Government Employees union said.

The president has dug in on his demand for $5 billion for the border wall, a signature campaign promise which he says would help curb illegal immigration and crime. (AFP) 

Pakistan's former PM sentenced to 7 years for corruption

Pakistan’s former PM.jpg

A court in Pakistan has sentenced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to seven years in prison for corruption and acquitted him in a second case.

Monday's verdict came after Sharif was removed from power last year over corruption allegations.

Sharif is accused of possessing assets beyond his known sources of income. He was arrested after the ruling was announced. He can appeal the verdict. (AP) 

Russia: Hole drilled from inside Int’l Space Station capsule

Russia Hole drilled.jpg

A Russian cosmonaut who explored a mysterious hole in a capsule docked to the International Space Station said Monday that the opening was drilled from inside the spacecraft and Russian law enforcement agencies are investigating what caused it.

Sergei Prokopyev said investigators were looking at samples he and crewmate Oleg Kononenko collected during a Dec. 12 spacewalk. Prokopyev and two other astronauts returned to Earth last week from a 197-day space station mission.

The hole in the Russian Soyuz spacecraft attached to the station was spotted on Aug. 30. The crew discovered a leak that was creating a slight loss of pressure and plugged the hole with epoxy and gauze. (AP) 

Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.

And now for the Question of the Day:

Where does the tradition to hang gifts in the Christmas tree come from?

(Answer: The Druids)

Today’s quote is from English novelist Charles Dickens (1812-1870).

"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."

(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Lance Cryaon, and Elaine Yue Lin.)

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