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China's top political advisory body concludes annual session
China's top political advisory body concluded its annual session Thursday, stressing the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
"Taking a clear political stand is an essential feature of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC)," said Wang Yang, newly-elected chairman of the 13th CPPCC National Committee, when addressing the closing of the session.
The CPC leadership is a fundamental political guarantee for the development of the CPPCC and a basic political principle that the advisory body must observe in the new era, Wang said.
Wang asked political advisors to uphold the CPC leadership, take Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as the guiding principle for the work of the CPPCC, perform their duties for the people, improve their consultation competence, and act within the boundaries of the Constitution and laws.
Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Zhang Gaoli, Li Zhanshu, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji and Han Zheng attended the closing meeting.
Xi and other Chinese leaders took group photos with political advisors after the meeting. (Xinhua)
China retailers to use ‘no-hassle’ return policy
On Thursday, the China Consumers Association launched a nationwide campaign encouraging brick and mortar businesses to honor a “no hassle” return policy. The announcement coincided with International Day for Protecting Consumer Rights.
Online shoppers in China already enjoy the ‘no-hassle’ return policy.
A spokesperson for the consumer association said business owners could push forward the policy gradually by adopting various forms of return policies in light of industries and commodities. (People’s Daily app)
North Korea's top diplomat due in Sweden for talks
On Thursday, North Korea's top diplomat headed to Sweden for talks which could play a role in setting up a proposed summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho will meet Swedish counterpart Margot Wallstrom where he will stay through Friday.
"The talks will focus on Sweden's consular responsibilities as a protecting power for the United States, Canada and Australia," a foreign ministry statement said. (People’s Daily app)
US hits Russia with sanctions for 'election meddling'
Donald Trump's administration on Thursday levied sanctions against Russia's top spy agencies and more than a dozen individuals for trying to influence the 2016 US presidential election and conducting separate cyber-attacks.
The measures target five entities and 19 individuals – including the FSB, Russia's top spy service; the military intelligence agency, or GRU; and 13 people recently indicted by Robert Mueller, the US special counsel handling a sprawling Russia probe.
The president has also decried allegations that his campaign colluded with the Kremlin – the subject of Mueller’s ongoing investigation that has seen several key aides indicted or make plea deals. (AFP)
Russian minister says it will 'certainly' expel UK diplomats
Russia will "certainly" expel British diplomats in a tit-for-tat response to Britain's decision to send 23 Russians home over the poisoning of a former spy, said Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister.
Lavrov told Russian media on Thursday the move would come "soon," but added Moscow would inform London via official channels before publicly announcing its countermeasures.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov wouldn't reveal how Russia will retaliate, but said the decision will come from President Vladimir Putin, "and there is no doubt that he will choose the option that best reflects Russian interests."
Moscow continues to deny allegations of trying to kill former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia, as both remain in critical condition in a hospital in Salisbury, Southwestern England after being found unconscious on March 4. (AP)
Theranos founder faces ‘massive fraud’ charges
Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos, a Silicon Valley start-up that supposedly aimed to revolutionize blood testing, faces fraud charges involving over $700 million dollars.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said Holmes and Theranos cheated investors and exaggerated the company’s technology.
Holmes started the company in 2003 when she was just 19 years old.
In 2015, Forbes magazine estimated Holmes’ wealth at $4.5 billion dollars, and within one year, the same magazine estimated her wealth to be “nothing.” (People’s Daily app)
Cairo to punish those who waste water washing cars
On Wednesday, Cairo officials launched an initiative that would impose fines and conditional jail time on residents who waste water, especially when using it to spray streets and wash cars.
Water waste fines will range from 5,000 to 10,000 Egyptian pounds. The average monthly income in Cairo is around 5,000 pounds, roughly $300 dollars.
Cairo governor Atef Abdel Hamid Mustafa noted that Egypt has now reached a “water scarcity” stage, a level worse than “water poverty.” (People’s Daily app)
Filmmaker George Lucas breaks ground on LA narrative museum
“Star Wars” filmmaker George Lucas broke ground on his new $1 billion story-telling museum on Wednesday, saying it will embrace art of all kinds.
The museum will feature some of the director’s collection of paintings, illustrations and digital art from the “Star Wars” movie franchise he started in 1977.
The Beijing-based firm MAD Architects designed the museum which is expected to take about four years to build. (Reuters)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
Today’s quote is from British physicist Stephen Hawking:
“People won't have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.”
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Lance Crayon, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Zeke Zeng Ziyi, and Terry Guanlin Li.)