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Here are today’s picks from our editors.
China, the Philippines set up joint steering committee on oil, gas cooperation
China and the Philippines announced Thursday they would set up an intergovernmental joint steering committee on oil and gas cooperation.
The announcement was made in a press release issued after the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and visiting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
The two sides will set up a working group between relevant enterprises from the two countries on oil and gas cooperation.
The moves are aimed at promoting joint exploration of oil and gas to engineer substantial progress at an early date. (Xinhua)
EU backs US-Iran talks but says nuclear deal must stay
The EU's diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said Thursday that the bloc would support talks between the US and Tehran, but only if the current nuclear deal with Iran is preserved.
Tehran and Washington have been locked in a bitter standoff since last year when US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the 2015 deal that gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its atomic program.
The EU has desperately sought to stop the deal from collapsing completely, arguing it is the best way to stop Iran developing nuclear bombs. (AFP)
Jack Ma on AI era: more time to enjoy being human
Jack Ma, an icon of China's internet era, painted a rosy picture of the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) on Thursday, saying smarter machines will allow humans to enjoy life better.
Ma, executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, held a dialogue with Elon Musk, CEO of US electric carmaker Tesla at the opening ceremony of the 2019 World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai.
The two tech sector moguls exchanged thoughts on topics from AI and future education to Mars missions.
While Ma insisted that computers could never outsmart man, Musk believed humans are doomed to fail in the competition of intelligence. (Xinhua)
Apple welcomes India's easing of foreign investment rules
Apple has welcomed India's decision to relax rules on foreign direct investment (FDI) and says it is eager to open its first retail store in the country.
The California-based company said in a statement Thursday that it appreciates Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's support for the new rules, which ease a 30 percent local sourcing requirement for single-brand retailing and permit online sales without the prior opening of brick-and-mortar stores.
Apple couldn't open a store in India because it wasn't prepared to meet the 30 percent requirement. (AP)
Melting glaciers, as well as ice sheets, raising Earth's seas
As the planet's polar ice sheets destabilize amid rising temperatures, a landmark UN assessment of Earth's retreating frozen spaces is also set to spell out how melting mountain glaciers will impact humanity in the decades to come.
An official draft summary of the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report on oceans and the cryosphere says that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets lost roughly 400 billion tonnes of mass annually in the decade to 2015, corresponding to a sea-level rise of around 1.2 millimetres each year.
But glaciers high up mountains also lost around 280 billion tons of ice each year during the same period, raising seas a further 0.77 millimeters annually.
Melting glaciers also have other human impacts such as noticeable fall in water for irrigation and drinking, according to the draft. (AFP)
NASA invites students to name Mars 2020 rover
US space agency NASA is inviting students across the US to create a name for its next Mars rover mission, according to the latest press release from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
Starting Tuesday, K through12 (K-12) students at US public, private, and home schools can join the Mars 2020 "Name the Rover" essay contest.
To enter the contest, students must submit by November 1 their proposed rover name and a short essay, no more than 150 words, explaining why their suggested name should be chosen.
NASA will announce the winning name on February 18, 2020. (Xinhua)
Chinese animated hit 'Ne Zha' debuts in North America
Chinese box-office hit "Ne Zha," the highest-grossing animated film ever in China, debuted in North America on Thursday.
"Ne Zha" has grossed $629.6 million through Wednesday in China. It already surpassed Disney and Marvel's "Avengers: Endgame" to become the third-highest-grossing film ever in China last week, only behind Chinese home-grown science fiction blockbuster "The Wandering Earth" and Chinese action film "Wolf Warrior 2.” (Xinhua)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
And now for the Question of the Day:
Which body of water is home to the Great Barrier Reef?
(Answer: Coral Sea.)
Today’s quote is from German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900).
"Without music, life would be a mistake."
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Lance Crayon, and Elaine Yue Lin. Music by Eugene Loner.)