CHINA Fresh Start: Podcast News (2/8/2019 Fri.)

CHINA

Fresh Start: Podcast News (2/8/2019 Fri.)

People's Daily app

05:26, February 08, 2019

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Welcome to Fresh Start.

This is People's Daily app.

Here are today's picks from our editors. 

Post-90s lead WeChat digital red envelope frenzy

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People born in the 1990s led the red envelope frenzy on popular instant messaging platform WeChat on Chinese New Year's Eve, the platform revealed in a report.

The post-90s generation both sent and received the most digital lucky money on that night, a time-honored tradition increasingly seen online thanks to the growing popularity of mobile payment.

Beijing, Chongqing and Chengdu were the top three cities where exchanges of digital red envelopes were busiest, a WeChat report showed. (Xinhua) 

Juncker tells May EU won't reopen talks on Brexit deal

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Talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May were constructive and robust, but the European Union (EU) will not reopen negotiations on the Brexit deal, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Thursday in a joint statement.

The Withdrawal Agreement represents a carefully balanced compromise between the EU and Britain, in which both sides have made significant concessions to arrive at a deal, said the statement.

May arrived in Brussels earlier Thursday to meet Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk and President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani for further talks on Brexit concessions despite the EU's repeated denial of renegotiation. (Xinhua) 

IS 'caliphate' down to 1 percent as final assault nears

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The Islamic State group's "caliphate" has shrunk to less than one percent of its original size, the US-led coalition said Thursday, as a final onslaught in Eastern Syria loomed.

Kurdish-led forces spearheading the offensive have paused operations but US President Donald Trump predicted Wednesday that a final declaration of victory would come next week.

At its height, the jihadist proto-state proclaimed by IS in June 2014 straddled swathes of land in Syria and Iraq and was roughly the size of Britain.

More than 37,000 people, mostly wives and children of jihadist fighters, have fled IS territory since the Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by the US-led coalition, intensified its offensive in December, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. (AFP) 

Maldives ex-president to be charged with money laundering

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Police in the Maldives have asked the country's prosecutor general to charge a former president with money laundering and his former Cabinet minister with aiding him.

A police statement Wednesday night said that investigators have found grounds to charge Yameen Abdul Gayoom and his former Legal Affairs Minister Azima Shakoor.

The case stems from an allegedly shady deal to lease islands for tourist resort development and the discovery of 1 million US dollars in Yameen's bank account.

Police also said they asked the prosecutor general to charge Yameen and Shakoor with providing false information to investigators. (AP) 

Reported cases of suspected child abuse, domestic violence in Japan hit record high in 2018

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The number of reported cases of suspected child abuse and domestic violence in Japan hit record highs in 2018, according to government statistics released Thursday.

According to preliminary figures from the National Police Agency (NPA), suspected abuse cases involving minors aged below 18 years old reported by the police to child welfare officials stood at a record-high of 80,104 in 2018.

The figure has risen above the 80,000 mark for the first time since data became available for comparison and shot up by 22.4 percent from a year earlier and was more than a 2.8-fold increase compared to figures from five years ago, the NPA said. (Xinhua) 

NY Knicks retain position as most valuable NBA team

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The New York Knicks are NBA's most valuable team for a fourth consecutive year at 4 billion US dollars, according to an annual list published by business magazine Forbes on Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Lakers (3.7 billion dollars), reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors (3.5 billion dollars), Chicago Bulls (2.9 billion dollars) and Boston Celtics (2.8 billion dollars) round out the top five in the annual rankings.

The Knicks boosted their value by 11 percent in 2018, even though they have not made the playoffs since 2013. (CGTN) 

AI picked as coach for English football team

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A football team in England has become the first of its kind to employ an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool as a coach, according to the Daily Mail.

In a match scheduled for Saturday, seventh-tier Wingate & Finchley will use the AI to pick the team's starting line-up and tactics in their match against Whitehawk FC. The AI can provide strategies before and during the game and learns from the experience. (China Plus) 

Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.

And now for the Question of the Day:

What element is used on luminous watch dials?

(Answer: Radium)

Today's quote is from English poet John Keats (1795-1821).

"The excellency of every art is its intensity, capable of making all disagreeable evaporate."

(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Lance Crayon, and Elaine Yue Lin. Music by Eugene Loner.)


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