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Here are today’s picks from our editors.
China speeds up research and approval of testing kits for COVID-19
Fourteen test products for the new novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been approved for clinical use in China, an official with the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) said Friday.
China has launched new programs to develop test products for COVID-19, including more sensitive and rapid detection kits for nucleic acid and antigen and antibody testing, Cheng Jing, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said at a press conference Friday.
A newly approved nucleic acid test chip can detect and distinguish six respiratory viruses all at once, including the novel coronavirus, said Cheng. (Xinhua)
Trump signs $8.3bln bill to combat coronavirus outbreak
US President Donald Trump on Friday signed an $8.3 billion measure to help tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that has killed more than a dozen people in the US and infected over 200.
The legislation provides federal public health agencies with money for vaccines, tests, and potential treatment, and helps state and local governments prepare and respond to the virus.
The rapid spread of COVID-19 has rocked financial markets, disrupted travel, and is a threat to everyday life in the US. (AP)
Officials say gunmen kill 32 at ceremony in Afghan capital
Gunmen opened fire Friday at a ceremony in Afghanistan’s capital attended by prominent political leaders, killing at least 32 people and wounding dozens more before the two attackers were slain by police, officials said.
The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on its website.
IS militants have declared war on Afghanistan’s Shiites, and many of those at the ceremony were members of a minority Shiite sect.
The Taliban said they were not involved in the attack. (AP)
S. Korea to impose entry restrictions on Japan
South Korea's foreign ministry said on Friday they will impose entry restrictions on the Japanese in response to Japan's similar entry restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Vice Foreign Minister Cho Sei-young told reporters at the foreign ministry's headquarters in Seoul that South Korea will suspend its visa-free entry program and annul already-issued visas for Japanese beginning at midnight on March 9.
Seoul will also implement mandatory medical procedures, including health checkups, on all foreigners entering from Japan. (Xinhua)
Ceasefire deal with Russia lays ground for normalization of Idlib: Turkish president
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the ceasefire deal for Syria's Idlib Province sealed between Turkey and Russia will improve protection along Turkish borders and lay the groundwork for regional stabilization, Hurriyet Daily News reported Friday.
The ceasefire agreement would "ensure the security of Turkey and is an important step for the protection of civilians," Erdogan said.
The ceasefire went into effect on Friday. (Xinhua)
Egypt reopens ancient Step Pyramid after renovations
Egyptian authorities reopened the 4,700-year-old Step Pyramid of Djoser to the public on Thursday, after years of restoration.
The roughly 60-meter-high pyramid dominates the vast Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo and is part of the ancient capital of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Dating to 2,680 BC, the Djoser Pyramid was built under the direction of architect Imhotep. However, a 1992 earthquake caused considerable damage to the monument's interior. (CGTN)
Manny Pacquiao to return in July, fighting either Mikey Garcia or Errol Spence
Manny Pacquiao, the world's one and only boxing champion in eight divisions, on Thursday announced his decision to return to the ring in July.
"My plan is to get back into the ring this coming July, second or third week in July. Training should start in April, May, June. We have enough time," said Pacquiao to Filippino broadcaster ANC.
The only question that attracts more attention than when Pacquiao will return is who he will face when in the next fight. Pacquiao's answer to that is Mikey Garcia or Errol Spence. (CGTN)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
And now for the Question of the Day:
“Girl with a Pearl Earring” is an oil painting by which Dutch Golden Age painter?
(Answer: Johannes Vermeer.)
Today’s quote is from French novelist Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880).
"The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe."
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Lance Crayon, Brian Lowe, Elaine Yue Lin, and Da Hang. Music by Eugene Loner.)