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Chinese, Italian presidents agree to promote greater development of ties
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Italian counterpart, Sergio Mattarella, held talks Friday, and agreed to jointly push for greater development of the China-Italy comprehensive strategic partnership in the new era.
The two heads of state agreed to guide the direction of bilateral ties from a strategic height and long-term perspective.
Xi recalled that for nearly half a century, China and Italy have respected, trusted and helped each other, enhanced high-level exchanges and strategic mutual trust, facilitated communication, cooperation and convergence of interests, and deepened mutual understanding and traditional friendship.
As the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, China is willing to carry forward the spirit of cooperation with the Italian side, strengthen strategic communication, encourage the international community to seek common ground while reserving differences and promote development through cooperation, so as to contribute new wisdom and strength to building a better world, Xi said. (Xinhua)
Xi demands all-out efforts to rescue victims after industrial park explosion kills 47
Chinese President Xi Jinping Friday demanded all-out efforts to search and rescue victims after an industrial park explosion in East China's Jiangsu Province killed at least 47 and seriously injured 90.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the instructions on his tour of overseas visits.
Xi said all-out efforts must be made to search those trapped, and the injured must be timely treated and relief work must be well done to maintain social stability. Meanwhile, environment monitoring and early warning should be strengthened to prevent environmental pollution as well as secondary disasters.
The explosion happened at about 2:48 p.m. Thursday following a fire that broke out in a chemical factory located in an industrial park in Xiangshui County of Yancheng City, according to local authorities. (Xinhua)
China extends Labor Day holiday
This year, the Labor Day holiday in China will be expanded to four days, the general office of the State Council said in a news release Friday morning.
The pre-planned one-day break falling on May 1 will be adjusted to a four-day holiday and will begin on May 1 and extend to May 4, according to the release, while April 28 and May 5 will be work days.
Tourism-related departments are urged to be prepared for transportation support and tour products supply to secure travelers a safer holiday. (China Daily)
International community concerned at Trump's Golan Heights statement
The international community on Friday expressed concern over US President Donald Trump's unexpected announcement on the necessity to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
Syria condemned Trump's announcement on Friday, calling it "irresponsible" and a failure to recognize international law.
Turkish President Recep Erdogan also said on Friday that Trump's statement was bringing the Middle East region "on the brink of a new crisis."
Israel seized the land in a war in 1967 and annexed it in the 1980s, but the international community has never recognized the move. (Xinhua)
Islamic State '100 percent' defeated in Syria: Trump
US President Donald Trump said Friday the Islamic State jihadist group has been "100 percent" defeated in Syria.
The White House declaration came after days of bombing and other attacks by Kurdish-led forces to clear the final tiny pockets of resistance by Islamic State fighters in the village of Baghouz, where they made a last stand.
IS, as ISIS is also known, declared a "caliphate" in June 2014 after seizing a vast swathe of territory larger than Britain straddling Iraq and Syria. (AFP)
Chinese HEV vaccine to begin clinical trial in US
A Chinese vaccine against the Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enter clinical trials in April.
The vaccine, sold under the trade name Hecolin, was initially developed by a research team from Xiamen University in east China's Fujian Province, and then transferred to and commercialized by the Xiamen Innovax Biotech.
Hecolin has been used in China since 2012, and is the only licensed vaccine worldwide for the prevention of hepatitis E. (Xinhua)
Pole vaulter, 84, sets her sights on more records
An 84-year-old pole vaulter isn't putting her pole down anytime soon.
Flo Filion Meiler left Thursday for the World Masters Athletics Championship Indoor in Poland, where she'll compete in events including the long jump, 60-meter hurdles, 800-meter run, pentathlon and pole vault.
The petite, energetic woman from Vermont, United States literally won't have any competition in the pole vault in the championships, which runs March 24-31 in Torun, Poland. She is the only one registered in her age group, 80-84 for the sport.
"She can serve as a role model for other seniors," said Michael LaMantia, director of the University of Vermont Center on Aging. (AP)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
And now for the Question of the Day:
What is the capital of Italy?
Today's quote is from English clergyman Thomas Fuller (1608-1661).
"Health is not valued till sickness comes."
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Brian Lowe, Lance Crayon, Elaine Yue Lin, and Da Hang. Music by Eugene Loner.)