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Here are today’s picks from our editors.
Xi, Conte hold talks on elevating China-Italy ties into new era
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte held talks Saturday on jointly elevating China-Italy relations to a new era and witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to advance the construction of the Belt and Road.
Calling China and Italy important strategic partners to each other, Xi urged both sides to view and handle bilateral ties from a strategic height with long-term perspective.
The two countries should take opportunities of the 15th anniversary of the China-Italy comprehensive strategic partnership this year and the 50th anniversary of China-Italy diplomatic relations next year to jointly elevate bilateral relations into a new era, and allow their practical cooperation in various fields to better serve the two peoples, Xi said.
President Xi also met with Italian Senate Speaker Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati and Roberto Fico, president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies on Friday. (Xinhua)
China to cut patent review time by 15 pct
China will cut the time needed for patent review by at least 15 percent this year, an official said Saturday.
The review time for trademarks will also be reduced to within 5 months, said Gan Shaoning, deputy head of the National Intellectual Property Administration, at the ongoing 20th China Development Forum.
The administration will further strengthen intellectual property (IP) protection by optimizing the mechanisms governing IP, raising the costs for IP infringements, and treating all market entities as equals in terms of IP protection, Gan said. (Xinhua)
Xiangshui explosion possibly started from plant's warehouse of dangerous solid waste
A warehouse storing dangerous solid waste was the possible source of the blast at the Tiyanjiyi Chemical Plant in Xiangshui County, Jiangsu Province, not benzene tanks as earlier speculated, China Chemicals Journal reported citing an insider close to the central government’s investigation team.
The blast has killed 64 people leaving 21 others hospitalized in critical condition. 28 others were still missing Saturday. (Global Times)
Kazakhstan renames capital from Astana to Nur-sultan
Kazakhstan's capital city Astana has been renamed Nur-sultan after the country's new President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a decree on the renaming in honor of his predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The decree published on the presidential website on Saturday took effect immediately.
Tokayev was sworn in as Kazakhstan's president following Nazarbayev's resignation. After his inauguration, Tokayev proposed to rename the Kazakh capital without a referendum. (Xinhua)
US-backed Kurdish forces declare victory on IS in eastern Syria
US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced on Saturday the defeat of the Islamic State (IS) militant group in eastern Syria, an SDF spokesman said.
The town of Baghouz, the last IS hold-out in eastern Syria, has been fully liberated, announced Mustafa Bali.
However, the claimed victory by the SDF doesn't mean the elimination of IS militants from Syria, as they have sleeper cells which are still capable of fomenting chaos. (Xinhua)
Trump reversing new sanctions on DPRK
US President Donald Trump says he is reversing his administration's decision to slap new sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), ordering them withdrawn.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says Trump "likes Chairman Kim and he doesn't think these sanctions will be necessary."
The White House did not immediately respond to questions about which sanctions Trump was referring to. (China Plus)
Ethiopian Airlines chief questions Max training requirements
The chief of Ethiopian Airlines says the warning and training requirements set for the now-grounded 737 Max aircraft may not have been enough.
Tewolde Gebremariam said in an interview Saturday that after the Lion Air crash off Indonesia in October, the US "FAA and Boeing came up with contents that we incorporated in our working manuals and also briefed all our pilots. But today we believe that might not have been enough."
The cause of both the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air accidents hasn't been determined, but regulators say both planes had similar erratic flight paths. (AP)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
And now for the Question of the Day:
How many chromosomes has a normal human body cell?
Today’s quote is from Swiss artist Paul Klee (1879-1940).
“The painter should not paint what he sees, but what will be seen."
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Brian Lowe, and Da Hang. Music by Eugene Loner.)