China's economy expands 6.6 pct in 2018
In the midst of a complex external environment, China's economy has ended 2018 on firm footing, with better quality and improved structure.
The world's second-largest economy grew 6.6 percent year on year in 2018, above the official target of around 6.5 percent, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Monday.
The reading was lower than the 6.8-percent growth registered in 2017.
Growth in the fourth quarter came in at 6.4 percent, down from 6.5 percent seen in the third quarter. (Xinhua)
Chinese FM to attend meetings in France and Italy
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will attend meetings in France and Italy from Jan. 23 to 26, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying announced here Monday.
Wang will hold the 18th consultation of the coordinators for the China-France Strategic Dialogue at the invitation of French President's diplomatic advisor, Hua said.
Wang will also pay a visit to Italy and chair the ninth joint meeting of the China-Italy Government Committee during the visit, which comes at the invitation of Italian Foreign Minister, the spokesperson said. (Xinhua)
China's maternal, infant mortality rates drop in 2018
China's maternal and infant mortality rates declined in 2018 thanks to improved healthcare conditions, Health News Daily reported.
The maternal mortality rate contracted to 18.3 per 100,000 in 2018 from 19.6 per 100,000 the previous year, while the infant mortality rate dropped from 6.8 per 1,000 to 6.1, said the newspaper citing figures released by the National Health Commission.
Moreover, the mortality rate of children under the age of five declined to 8.4 per 1,000 last year, compared with 9.1 per 1,000 for 2017. (Xinhua)
British PM turns to Brexit 'Plan B'
British Prime Minister Theresa May unveils her Brexit "Plan B" to parliament on Monday after MPs shredded her EU divorce deal, deepening the political gridlock 10 weeks from departure day.
Britain will leave the European Union on March 29 without a deal unless MPs can force a delay or get their act together in time and come up with an alternative plan that Brussels is also happy with.
The world's fifth-biggest economy could lose preferential access to its largest export market overnight, affecting every sector, leading to rising costs and disruption at British ports.
London and Brussels have spent the best part of two years working on a divorce agreement but MPs in parliament's lower House of Commons comprehensively rejected it on Tuesday. (AFP)
Ticket booking for Beijing horticultural expo starts online
Online ticket sales for the upcoming the International Horticultural Exhibition 2019 in Beijing have started, with discount prices offered to online reservations.
The ticket price is 120 yuan (17.7 U.S. dollars) on ordinary days. Those who reserve online from Jan. 20 to April 28 will enjoy a 10-percent discount, according to the Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition Coordination Bureau.
Preferential prices are offered to people with disabilities, senior citizens, children, students and soldiers. (Xinhua)
Taliban target military base, police center, killing 12
A coordinated Taliban assault on a military base and police training center in eastern Afghanistan on Monday morning killed at least 12 and wounded over 30 people, provincial officials said.
The head of the area's public health department, said that most of those killed in the attack in were military personnel. Some of the wounded were taken to provincial hospitals for treatment while the more serious cases were sent to the capital, Kabul.
Deputy spokesman for the interior minister, said a suicide car bomber struck the base first, followed by insurgents who opened fire at the Afghan forces. At least two Taliban fighters were killed by Afghan troops, he added. (AP)
Guangdong releases preliminary investigation result of gene-edited babies
A preliminary investigation into the claimed "genetically edited babies" shows that Chinese researcher He Jiankui had illegally conducted the research in the pursuit of personal fame and gain.
The investigation team of Guangdong Province announced on Monday that he had avoided supervision, raised funds and organized researchers on his own to carry out the human embryo gene-editing research intended for reproduction, which is banned by Chinese law.
He Jiankui claimed in November 2018 that the world's first genetically edited babies were born, and their DNA was altered to prevent them from contracting HIV. (Xinhua)