Happy Lunar New Year!
Welcome to Fresh Start.
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Here are today's picks from our editors.
1.17 billion watch Spring Festival gala
New figures have revealed that 1.17 billion people turned in to Monday's Spring Festival gala, up 42 million viewers than last year.
239 domestic TV channels broadcast the live show. The gala was also seen in 162 countries and regions through cooperation agreements with 218 overseas partners.
Viewership analysis also revealed that the number of people who watched the gala on new media platforms hit 527 million, up 96 million from 2018 numbers. (China Plus)
China firmly opposes mercenary activities in Africa, says Chinese envoy
China firmly opposes mercenary activities in Africa, and will always support African nations' pursuit of peace and prosperity, said Chinese Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ma Zhaoxu on Monday.
Mercenary activities are a threat to peace and stability in African countries, and China calls for greater international efforts to address the problem, said Ma as Chinese President Xi Jinping's special representative at a UN Security Council meeting on mercenary activities in Africa.
He said these activities interfere with the internal affairs of the developing countries, and infringe on their sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, adding that china stands firmly against such activities.
The Chinese representative urged the international community to support African countries in accelerating their development, reducing poverty, eliminating the root causes for conflict and turmoil, and stepping up socio-economic development in the African countries. (Xinhua)
Fire in wealthy Paris district kills at least 10, woman arrested
At least 10 people perished and 30 others were injured from a blaze at an apartment complex in the French capital on Monday, local prosecutors said on Tuesday.
The death toll could rise as a search on the building's top floor is still underway.
A 40-year-old female resident, said to have a history of psychiatric problems, was arrested on the street in the hours after the 1 am blaze, as French police opened a criminal investigation into voluntary arson resulting in death.
Officials said the unnamed woman, who is in police custody, was drunk.
Multiple neighbors said they heard the suspect and her neighbor, an off-duty firefighter, arguing over the woman's music before the fire broke out. (CGTN-AP)
Belgian climate minister denounces protest marches as plot
Belgian environment minister Joke Schauvliege resigned Tuesday after claiming she had confirmation from state security services that massive climate demonstrations in recent weeks were staged as a plot against her.
Over the past two months, tens of thousands of protesters have demonstrated across Belgium for better climate protections and have often targeted Schauvliege's policies, which they consider woefully insufficient.
At first she welcomed the marches, but over the weekend, she said "a lot of people in these marches don’t realize that they are part of a system which is a setup."
Though she initially failed to step down after admitting she had no such information from intelligence officials, she resigned after talks with her party leadership. (AP)
Third of Himalayan glaciers can no longer be saved: study
One-third of Himalayan glaciers will melt by the end of the century due to climate change, threatening water sources for 1.9 billion people, even if current efforts to reduce climate change succeed, an assessment warns.
If global efforts to curb climate change fail, the impact could be far worse: a loss of two-thirds of the region's glaciers by 2100, said the Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment released Monday by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development.
The assessment said that the impact of the melting could range from flooding from the increased runoff to increased air pollution from black carbon and dust deposited on the glaciers. (China Plus)
Chinese box office: 'Crazy Alien' emerges as the winner
Eight films hit theaters in China on the first day of the Chinese New Year to cash in on the joyful ambiance across the country.
The films include comedies like "Crazy alien", "Pegasus", "The New King of Comedy", and the sci-fi drama "The Wondering Earth.”
Comedy sci-fi "Crazy Alien,” starring Shen Teng, Huang Bo and Xu Zheng, earned $56.2 million in 11 hours after it opened.
Another Shen Teng film, "Pegasus,” is number 2. The film has pocketed roughly $42.5 million at the box office so far. (CGTN)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
And now for the Question of the Day:
Why do the Chinese light firecrackers on the Chinese New Year?
(Answer: As in the myth about Nian, firecrackers are supposed to scare away monsters and bad luck. Therefore, people stay up on Chinese New Year's Eve and set off firecrackers at midnight.)
Today's quote is from American journalist Bill Vaughan (1915-1977).
"An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves."
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Lance Crayon, and Elaine Yue Lin.)