CHINA Fresh Start: Podcast News (3/18/2020 Wed.)

CHINA

Fresh Start: Podcast News (3/18/2020 Wed.)

People's Daily app

07:12, March 18, 2020

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Welcome to Fresh Start.

This is People’s Daily app. 

Here are today’s picks from our editors.

China's COVID-19 vaccines expected to enter clinical trials soon

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Some vaccines for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are expected to enter clinical trials as soon as possible in China, officials said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Chinese scientists have been racing to develop COVID-19 vaccines by five approaches, namely inactivated vaccines, genetic engineering subunit vaccines, adenovirus vector vaccines, nucleic acid vaccines, and vaccines using attenuated influenza virus as vectors, said Wang Junzhi, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

So far, most teams are expected to complete preclinical research in April and some are moving forward faster, said Wang. (Xinhua)

White House seeks $850 billion economic stimulus for virus response

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The White House was asking Congress on Tuesday to approve a sweeping emergency stimulus package to help businesses and taxpayers cope with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s the most far-reaching economic rescue package since the Great Recession of 2008.

Bigger than the 2008 bank bailout or the 2009 recovery act, the White House proposal aims to provide a massive tax cut for wage-earners, $50 billion for the airline industry and relief for small businesses.

The White House hopes the measure will pass quickly, possibly this week, an enormous political undertaking as the administration scrambled to contain the economic fallout of the severe disruptions to American life from the outbreak. (AP)

EU to ban most foreign travelers for 30 days to curb virus

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The leaders of European Union nations have agreed to institute a travel ban that prohibits most foreigners from entering the bloc for 30 days to discourage the spread of the new coronavirus.

EU leaders agreed on Tuesday to shut down the 27-nation’s bloc’s external borders immediately.

The EU leaders also agreed to coordinate the repatriation of EU citizens stranded outside the bloc, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. (AP)

Japan to continue preparing for Olympics as planned despite COVID-19 concerns

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Japan's top government spokesperson said Tuesday that Japan will continue as planned with preparations to host the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games as scheduled this summer.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga made the remarks at a press briefing following the Group of Seven (G7) leaders holding a video conference to discuss their coordinated action to combat the coronavirus pandemic.  (Xinhua)

Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson released from hospital after virus quarantine

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Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have been released from the Australian hospital where they were in isolation since testing positive for the coronavirus last week, their son Chet said.

"They're still self-quarantined obviously, but they're feeling a lot better, so that's a relief," he said.

The multiple Oscar-winning actor was on the Gold Coast near Brisbane to film an Elvis Presley biopic when he and Wilson, both 63, came down with the disease. (AFP)

Panda livestreaming keeps global fans close amid coronavirus outbreak

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As many of China's panda bases in southwest China's Sichuan Province were closed due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, local institutions have been using livestreaming to keep global fans close to their beloved bear.

The livestreaming is launched by the cooperation between China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda, which closed its four panda bases on Jan. 25.

Relevant contents on the site have been browsed over 700 million times globally since the bases were closed, with 200 million views on videos and 5 million interactions, according to the institution. (Xinhua)

Restoration of soil can absorb billions of tons of carbon

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Restoring and protecting the world's soil could absorb more than five billion tons of carbon dioxide each year -- roughly the US annual emits -- new research shows.

A new paper in the journal Nature Sustainability analyzed the potential for carbon sequestration in soils and found it could, if properly managed, contribute a quarter of absorption on land.

Most of this potential, around 40 percent, can be achieved simply by leaving existing soil alone, that is, not continuing to expand agriculture and plantation growth across the globe. (CGTN)

Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.

And now for the Question of the Day:

Ancient humans used which kind of rock to make arrowheads and other sharp weapons?

(Answer: Flint.) 

Today’s quote is from Polish scientist Marie Curie (1867-1934).     

"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child."

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


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