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China's top political advisory body opens annual session
China's top political advisory body started its annual session Thursday afternoon in Beijing.
The session will pool the wisdom and strength of political advisors to help secure a victory in poverty eradication and complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
Party and state leaders Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng and Wang Qishan attended the opening meeting of the third session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), held at the Great Hall of the People.
Attendees at Thursday's meeting paid a one-minute silent tribute to martyrs who died fighting COVID-19 and compatriots who lost their lives in the epidemic. (Xinhua)
Coronavirus infections top 5 million worldwide
Global infections from the novel coronavirus passed five million on Thursday as the pandemic played out unevenly across the planet.
The grim milestone comes after known cases of COVID-19 doubled in just one month, according to AFP data collected from official sources, with the death toll now topping 328,000 worldwide.
While many hard-hit European countries have significantly turned the tide on new infections and fatalities, Latin America is in the grip of an infection surge.
Brazil is leading the pack, logging the third-highest number of cases in the world after the US and Russia. (AFP)
Locusts, COVID-19, flooding pose ‘triple threat’ in Africa
Locusts, COVID-19 and deadly flooding pose a “triple threat” to millions of people across East Africa, officials warned Thursday.
A new and larger generation of the voracious insects, numbering in the billions, is on the move in East Africa, where some countries haven’t seen such an outbreak in 70 years.
The added threat of COVID-19 imperils a region that already was home to about 20% of the world’s population of food-insecure people, including millions in South Sudan and Somalia.
The recent floods in parts of East Africa have killed nearly 300 people and displaced 500,000, slowing locust control work and increasing the risk of the virus’ spread, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. (AP)
Deadly cyclone cuts destructive path in India and Bangladesh
Wide swaths of coastal India and Bangladesh were flooded and millions were without power Thursday as Cyclone Amphan, the most powerful storm to hit the region in more than a decade, killed over 80 people and cut a path of destruction that is still being assessed.
Officials in both countries said the full extent of the damage caused by the cyclone was not known because communications to many places were cut. Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated ahead of the storm.
Amphan came ashore Wednesday with heavy rain, a battering storm surge and sustained winds up to 190 kph. (AP)
US says pulling out of Treaty on Open Skies
US President Donald Trump on Thursday said the United States is withdrawing from the Treaty on Open Skies, the latest move to abandon a major international arms control agreement.
"Russia didn't adhere to the treaty, so until they adhere we will pull out," Trump told reporters at the White House when asked about the decision to withdraw from the treaty.
"But there is a very good chance we will make a new agreement or do something to put that agreement back together," Trump added, without elaborating.
The treaty, which became effective in 2002, allows its states-parties to conduct short-notice, unarmed reconnaissance flights over the others' entire territories to collect data on military forces and activities. (Xinhua)
Foreign visitors to Japan plummet 99.9% in April amid pandemic
The number of foreign visitors to Japan in April plummeted by 99.9 percent from a year ago due to the coronavirus pandemic, the government said in a report on Wednesday.
According to estimates by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), only 2,900 foreign visitors visited Japan in April, marking the lowest since the organization's record keeping began in 1964.
The number of visitors from the Chinese mainland fell to 200 in April from 726,132 a year earlier, and those from South Korea tumbled to 300 from 566,624, data showed. (CGTN)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
And now for the Question of the Day:
Which Disney princess has a raccoon as a sidekick?
Today's quote is from American athlete Michael Jordan.
"Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen."
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Lance Crayon, and Elaine Yue Lin. Music by Eugene Loner.)