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Here are today’s picks from our editors.
Xi's upcoming visit to Russia to inject new impetus to ties
Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to Russia is expected to inject new impetus to the two countries' comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, a senior official said Friday.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced that Xi would attend the fourth Eastern Economic Forum from Sept. 11 to 12 in Vladivostok, Russia, at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It will be the very first time for the Chinese head of state to attend the Eastern Economic Forum, marking the most important high-level exchanges between China and Russia in the second half of the year, assistant foreign minister Zhang Hanhui told a press briefing.
The Eastern Economic Forum, proposed by Putin in 2015, represents Russia's efforts to push forward cooperation in the Far East, he said.
According to Zhang, Xi is scheduled to attend several bilateral and multilateral events, among which will be the two presidents' third meeting this year, the signing of documents, a joint meeting with the press, and a banquet.
"The two heads of state will also attend some activities to facilitate people-to-people exchanges and economic and local cooperation," Zhang said, adding that Xi will deliver a speech at the annual meeting of the forum, and have friendly communication with other state leaders. (Xinhua)
China signs MOUs with 37 African countries
China had signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with 37 African countries and the African Union (AU) on jointly developing the Belt and Road as of Thursday, an official said Friday.
The number of African countries who signed the MOUs account for 70 percent of all the 53 African nations that attended the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) that concluded Tuesday, according to Xia Qing, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
Xia, who is deputy head of the NDRC's international cooperation department, noted that 28 African countries and the AU inked the MOUs during the summit while the other nine countries had signed before the summit.
China aims to sign cooperation documents on the Belt and Road development with all African countries and will steadily push cooperation to achieve tangible results and benefit African people, according to Xia.
So far, China has signed 123 cooperation documents on the Belt and Road development with 105 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the South Pacific region, and 26 such documents with 29 international organizations. (Xinhua)
Japan quake toll up to 18 as searchers look under landslides
Officials say 18 people died or are presumed dead after a powerful earthquake on Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido unleashed scores of landslides.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said nearly half of the households have had their power restored after a day of island-wide blackouts.
The regional government said the bullet train to the provincial capital, Sapporo, was due to reopen later in the day despite severe damage to the city and houses. (People’s Daily app - AP)
Western nations back Britain's accusation over poisoned spy
Major Western nations on Thursday expressed firm support for Britain's accusations against Russia over the alleged poisoning of an ex-spy and his daughter, while Russia denied the accusations.
According to a statement issued by the US State Department, leaders of France, Germany, the US, Canada, and Britain reiterated their outrage on the use of chemical weapons.
Britain's analysis, verified by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), indicated "the exact same chemical nerve agent was used in the poisoning of Dawn Sturgess and Charles Rowley as was used in the poisoning of the Skripals.”
The leaders urged Russia to provide full disclosure of its Novichok program to the OPCW and anyone else with information on the attacks. (Xinhua)
British Airways investigates theft of customer data
British Airways (BA) is investigating the theft of customer data from its website and app as around 380,000 payment cards had been compromised between Aug. 21 and Sept. 5.
The airline said it is investigating the matter and assured the public that the stolen data did not include travel or passport details.
The airline said the breach has been resolved and it has notified the police and relevant authorities and urged customers affected to contact their banks or credit card providers. (Xinhua)
Brazil museum fire ruins 700 ancient Egyptian artifacts
A massive fire that recently hit the National Museum of Brazil destroyed all 700 ancient Egyptian artifacts on display, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.
A ministry representative explained that most of the Egyptian objects in the Brazilian museum were bought by Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil from antiquities traders in the 19th century.
Most of the 20 million items at the 200-year-old National Museum of Brazil were destroyed when the museum caught fire on Sunday. (Xinhua)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
And now for the Question of the Day:
When is the Mid-Autumn Festival usually held each year?
(Answer: The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of Chinese lunar calendar.)
Today’s quote is from Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
“To regret the past, to hope in the future, and never to be satisfied with the present: that is what I spend my whole life doing.”
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Terry Guanlin Li, Raymond Mendoza, and Da Hang)