CHINA Fresh Start: Podcast News (7/28/2019 Sun.)

CHINA

Fresh Start: Podcast News (7/28/2019 Sun.)

People's Daily app

05:11, July 28, 2019

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Welcome to Fresh Start.

This is People’s Daily app.

Here are today’s picks from our editors. 

Xi sends congratulatory letter to Kubuqi International Desert Forum

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Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the 7th Kubuqi International Desert Forum, which opened Saturday in the city of Ordos in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Xi called for concerted efforts from the international community to enhance international cooperation on combating desertification, promote global environmental governance, and ensure full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Containing desertification in the Kubuqi desert offers China's experience in environmental treatment as well as achieving the 2030 Agenda goals, he said, adding that the country actively promoted the alignment between international cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

China also stands ready to work with all sides to push forward the global environmental governance and protection, and contribute to making the world a place with a well-preserved ecology, Xi said. (Xinhua)

Remains of late Chinese leader Li Peng to be cremated

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The remains of late Chinese leader Li Peng will be cremated in Beijing on Monday.

Li had served as a member of the Political Bureau and member of the Secretariat of the 12th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the 13th, 14th and 15th central committees of the CPC, premier, and chairman of the ninth National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.

To mourn his death, national flags will fly at half-mast on Monday at Tian'anmen Square, Xinhuamen, the Great Hall of the People, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, seats of provincial-level committees of the CPC and provincial-level governments, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macao Special Administrative Region, border ports, seaports and airports, and Chinese embassies and consulates. (Xinhua)

China sees growth in private schools in 2018

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The number of private schools in China reached 183,500 in 2018, an increase of 5,815 over the previous year, official statistics showed.

Private schools accounted for 35.36 percent of the total schools in the country, according to a statistical report on China's education in 2018 issued by the Ministry of Education.

There were 53.78 million students studying in private schools in 2018. (Xinhua)

US Supreme Court allows Trump administration to use Pentagon funds for border wall

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The Supreme Court of the United States on Friday sided with the White House in lifting a ban backed by a lower court that had frozen the administration's efforts to tap Pentagon funds for border wall construction.

The decision allowed the administration to move ahead with plans to use some $2.5 billion in military funds to replace existing fencing in the states of California, Arizona and New Mexico.

President Donald Trump celebrated the ruling on Twitter, calling it a "big win." (Xinhua)

France to implement digital tax despite Trump's threat

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French Minister of the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire said on Friday that a digital tax on internet giants was "a national decision" that the government would enact, defying a US threat of "substantial reciprocal action."

The French Parliament passed a new law to tax digital giants on July 11, making France one of the first countries to tax "GAFA" companies, namely Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple.

The French Digital Services Tax proposed a 3-percent tax on technology companies providing certain digital services to French users with total annual revenues of at least 750 million euros ($834 million) globally and 25 million euros in France. (Xinhua)

China cancels second bachelor degree program for university graduates

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Chinese universities and colleges will stop enrolling college graduates for a second bachelor degree from July, according to a guideline issued by the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council.

The committee noted that the newly-issued guideline aims to address problems of China's bachelor degree system, including lack of support for training versatile talents.

According to the guideline, students can voluntarily minor in other studies at their own universities, the document said, adding that the schools can also conduct training programs to grant two bachelor degrees to students, which will require the review and approval of provincial academic degrees committees. (Xinhua)

'Ne Zha' tops Chinese mainland box office

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"Ne Zha," a Chinese animated film, topped the Chinese mainland box office on Friday, the China Movie Data Information Network said Saturday.

The film raked in about 136.62 million yuan ($19.86 million) on its opening day, accounting for nearly 63 percent of the daily total.

It was followed by "Looking Up," a Chinese family drama, which grossed about 28.94 million yuan and had topped the Chinese mainland box office for eight straight days since its release on July 18. (Xinhua)

Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.

And now for the Question of the Day:

What is the largest country in Scandinavia?

(Answer: Sweden.)

Today’s quote is from English author Walter Bagehot (1826-1877).

"The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do."

(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Brian Lowe, and Paris Yelu Xu. Music by Eugene Loner.)

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