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Here are today’s picks from our editors.
Chang'e–4 probe enters elliptical lunar orbit for moon-landing
At 8:55 am, Beijing time, Sunday morning, China’s lunar probe Chang’e-4 successfully changed orbit in preparation for the first-ever soft landing on the moon’s far side, according to China National Space Administration.
The probe injected maneuver parameters at 4:55 am and its engine successfully ignited four hours later, which allows the probe to get into an elliptical lunar orbit with the perilune at about 15 km and the apolune at about 100 km at 8:55 am, said CNSA.
Since the Chang'e-4 entered the lunar orbit on December 12, ground control center in Beijing trimmed the probe's orbit twice, making four tests on the communication link between the probe and relay satellite Queqiao. (People's Daily app)
UN chief: 'reasons for hope' in a world still on 'red alert' in 2019
The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued “a red alert” over a range of dangers that confronted the world during 2018, and which "still persist" as 2019 approaches.
Record numbers of people are moving in search of safety and protection, inequality is growing and "people are questioning a world in which a handful of people hold the same wealth as half of humanity," Guterres said.
"But," Guterres continued, "there are also reasons for hope," notably in Yemen where breakthrough talks have created an opportunity at least, for peace.
The Secretary-General also cited the September agreement signed in Riyadh between Ethiopia and Eritrea, which has eased long-running tensions and brought improved prospects to an entire region as cause for optimism.
"When international cooperation works, the world wins," the UN chief stressed. (People's Daily app)
N. Korean leader sends hand-written letter to Moon: Yonhap
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent a letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Sunday to call for continued efforts to build peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula next year, Yonhap reported.
Kim also said the leaders of the two Koreas have taken practical measures this year helping to get over long-running confrontations across their border, Cheong Wa Dae, spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom, told reporters.
The official said that Kim also expressed disappointment for not making his promised trip to Seoul by year's end but emphasized a strong willingness to honor the promise while closely watching relevant situations. (People's Daily app)
No talk of solution to shutdown, US president tweets blame
US President Donald Trump fired Twitter barbs at Democrats over the weekend as talks to end a weeklong partial government shutdown remained at a stalemate.
As the disruption in federal services and public employees' pay appeared set to continue into the new year, there were no signs of any substantive negotiation between the blame-trading parties.
Trump held out for billions in federal funds for a border wall between the US and Mexico, which Democrats have said they were intent on blocking.
Trump also brushed off criticism that his administration bore any responsibility for the recent deaths of two migrant children in Border Patrol custody. Trump claimed the deaths were "strictly the fault of the Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies that allow people to make the long trek thinking they can enter our country illegally." (AP)
VW to recall over 357,000 vehicles for short circuit risk
German carmaker Volkswagen and its Chinese joint ventures will recall over 357,000 vehicles in China due to a possible short-circuiting risk of their sunroof LED lighting modules.
Humidity may cause the short circuit in the LED modules, which could lead to fire, according to a statement on the website of the State Administration for Market Regulation.
Volkswagen and its JVs, the SAIC Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen, will fix the issue in the recalled vehicles free of charge. (Xinhua)
Ring in the New Year: NYPD drone to oversee Times Square revelry
For the first time, a police drone will be keeping watch over the New Year’s Eve celebration in New York’s Times Square.
About 7,000 police officers will be on duty for Monday night’s festivities in Times Square, including counterterrorism teams with long guns and bomb-sniffing dogs. Police cars and sand-filled sanitation trucks will be positioned to stop vehicles from driving into crowds.
And, above it all, a remote-controlled quadcopter will be giving police a unique view of the merriment — and any potential mayhem.
“That’s going to give us a visual aid and the flexibility of being able to move a camera to a certain spot with great rapidity through a tremendous crowd,” said Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism, John Miller. (AP)
Study tells whether colder temperatures affect lifespan
While many believe that animal species live longer at lower temperatures than they do at higher temperatures, a study from the University of Chicago (U. Chicago) indicates that the extent to which temperature affects lifespan depends on an individual's genes.
The study was conducted in the rotifer, a tiny animal that the researchers have been developing as a modern model system for aging research.
The median lifespan increase ranged from 6 percent to 100 percent across the strains, the researchers found. They also observed differences in mortality rates.
The results show that the change in lifespan under low temperature is likely actively controlled by specific genes. (Xinhua)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
And now for the Question of the Day:
How far does the ball in Times Square drop on New Year’s Eve?
(Answer: 141 feet.)
Today’s quote is from Irish dramatist Oscar Wilde (1854-1900).
"Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result."
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Lance Crayon, and Chelle Wenqian Zeng.)