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Here are today’s picks from our editors.
CPC meeting underlines core status of Xi
A key meeting convened by the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee has underlined efforts to uphold Xi Jinping's position as the core of the CPC Central Committee and the whole Party, as well as the authority of the CPC Central Committee and its centralized, unified leadership.
The two-day meeting, which ended Wednesday, also stressed strengthening the Party's consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core and keep in alignment. It also called for the thorough implementation of key decisions and policies made by the CPC Central Committee.
Xi, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, presided over the meeting and delivered a speech.
The meeting also vowed to strengthen the Party's confidence in the path, theory, system and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics, according to a statement issued after the meeting. (Xinhua)
Water Cube to become an Ice Cube for Beijing winter games
Work has begun on transforming the National Swimming Center, known colloquially as the Water Cube, into a venue that can host events at the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022. To meet the needs of the winter Olympic and Paralympic games, it will become an "Ice Cube" that will host the curling competition in the main competition hall.
Once the renovation work is complete, the Ice Cube will be the only venue in the world that can host both ice and aquatic sports simultaneously. (China Plus)
Trump in Iraq on first visit to troops in troubled region
US President Donald Trump made an unannounced visit to Iraq on Wednesday, leaving behind a partially shuttered US government to greet American troops in the Middle Eastern country.
Trump’s trip was shrouded in secrecy. Air Force One flew overnight from Washington, landing at an airbase west of Baghdad under the cover of darkness Wednesday evening. It is his first visit with troops stationed in a troubled region.
Trump’s visit comes at a time when his Middle East policy is in flux. He went against the views of his top national security advisers in announcing the Syria withdrawal, a decision that risks creating a vacuum for extremists to thrive. (AP)
US stocks rebound as traders return from Christmas holiday
Investors returned from the Christmas holiday break in a buying mood Wednesday, sending US stocks sharply higher and placing the market on track for its best day in nine months.
Gains in technology companies, retailers, health care and internet stocks drove the broad rally, which erased much of the market’s losses from a steep drop on Monday.
The S&P 500 index rose 59 points, or 2.5 percent, to 2,410. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 521 points, or 2.4 percent, to 22,338. The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 215 points, or 3.5 percent, to 6,408. (AP)
Over 20,000 displaced by Indonesia tsunami
Rescue teams have been striving to reach isolated tsunami-hit areas in Indonesia, where more victims are believed to remain under the rubble.
Meanwhile, the number of those displaced by the volcano-triggered tsunami rose sharply to over 20,000 after a warning of possible further giant waves, officials of the disaster agency said Wednesday.
The tsunami hit the district of Pandeglang and Serang of Banten province and Lampung Selatan district of Lampung province at 9:27 pm Jakarta time Saturday, killing over 400 people and injuring at least 1,400 others so far. (AP)
China approves new high-speed railway in western region
China's top economic planner has approved a high-speed railway project in west China's Shaanxi Province.
With a total investment of 55.16 billion yuan ($7.94 billion), the new railroad linking Xi'an and Yan'an aims to support western development and poverty reduction, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.
Spanning nearly 292 km, the railway will have 11 stops, and trains with a top speed of 350 kph, with a capacity of 30 million passengers a year. It will take four and a half years to complete. (Xinhua)
Japan to resume commercial whaling, but not in Antarctic
Japan announced Wednesday that it is leaving the International Whaling Commission to resume commercial hunts for the animals for the first time in 30 years, but said it would no longer go to the Antarctic for its much-criticized annual killings.
Japan switched to what it calls research whaling after the IWC imposed a moratorium on commercial whaling in the 1980s, and now says stocks have recovered enough to resume commercial hunts.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Japan would resume commercial whaling in July “in line with Japan’s basic policy of promoting sustainable use of aquatic living resources based on scientific evidence.”
"Regrettably, we have reached a position where it is impossible in the IWC to seek the coexistence of states with different views," he said at a news conference. (AP)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
And now for the Question of the Day:
What does a boxer use to protect his teeth during a match?
Today’s quote is from Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu.
"Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love."
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Brian Lowe, and Elaine Yue Lin.)