This is People's Daily Tonight, your news source from China.
US Department of Justice supports Asian American students suing Harvard over admission policy
The US Justice Department on Thursday sided with Asian-American students suing Harvard University over its consideration of race in its admissions policy.
The lawsuit by Students for Fair Admission on behalf of Asian-American students, alleges that Harvard intentionally discriminates against Asian-American applicants when making admissions decisions.
Though the school has disputed the claims in previous filings, the DOJ argued that Harvard has failed to show that it does not unlawfully discriminate against Asian Americans.
The DOJ opened a Title VI investigation into Harvard's admissions process in 2017, based upon a complaint filed by more than 60 Asian-American organizations.
The department added that while Harvard admits to using race in its admissions process, it has failed to provide any meaningful criteria to explain how it weighs race against other factors in a candidate's application, and how it limits its use of race to ensure that no illegal discrimination occurs. (Xinhua)
At least 7 killed from bus crash in US state of New Mexico
At least seven people were killed and others were seriously injured Thursday in a head-on crash involving a commercial passenger bus and a semi-truck along Interstate 40 in New Mexico State in the US.
Preliminary information indicated the semi was headed east when it blew a tire, sending the rig across the median and into oncoming traffic where it smashed into the bus.
There were 49 people aboard the Greyhound bus. Authorities said many were transported to hospitals, but they could not immediately provide an exact count of how many were hurt or their conditions.
Passing motorists described a chaotic scene with passengers on the ground and people screaming.
The National Transportation Safety Board and New Mexico state police are investigating. (AP)
Russia to present counterarguments over tariffs dispute with US at WTO: Kremlin
Moscow will put forward a wide range of counterarguments at the World Trade Organization in dispute with Washington over increased duties on a number of US products imposed by Russia.
The US had filed a complaint at the WTO requesting consultations with Russia over its "unfair" new tariffs on certain US goods.
On August 5, Russia started imposing additional import tariffs of 25 to 40 percent on a range of US goods, in retaliation to added US tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum starting on March 23.
The request for consultations served as the first step in the legal proceedings within the WTO framework.
If the consultations fail to yield results, a specific panel will be set up to settle the dispute.
On Wednesday, the Russian Economic Development Ministry also dismissed the US move, saying that Washington "incorrectly interpreted the nature of the measures taken by Moscow." (Xinhua)
China approves new law, sets income tax threshold at 5,000 yuan a month
China’s top legislature on Friday approved an amendment to the tax law, which raises the minimum threshold for personal income tax exemptions to 5,000 yuan ($730) a month. The amendment also adds special expense deductions for items like caring for the elderly, children's education, continuing education, treatment for serious diseases, as well as housing loan interest and rent.
The current law has undergone seven revisions since it was passed in 1980, when the original threshold for individual income tax exemption was 800 yuan per month.
Individual income taxes were the third major contributor to China's overall tax revenue, behind the value-added tax and enterprise income tax. In 2017, China collected individual income taxes worth nearly 1.2 trillion yuan, or about 8.3 percent of total tax revenue. (People's Daily app)
Demand for 128,000 pilots forecast in China
Chinese airlines will require nearly 130,000 new pilots over the next 20 years to meet growing air travel demand.
That’s according to research undertaken by US aircraft manufacturer Boeing. They predict that aside from the 128,500 pilots that will be needed by 2040, there will also be a requirement for a similar number of technicians, as well as 147,000 cabin crew.
It takes at least 16 months to train a new airline First Officer from scratch, and costs over $100,000. Solutions are, however, on the horizon.
Chinese companies are making significant investments in flight schools at home and overseas. They’re also investing in the latest generation of training aircraft for student pilots. For example, in March, manufacturer Piper signed a $75 million deal with a Chinese company.
The agreement will see Sichuan Fan-Mei Aviation Technologies purchase 152 Piper Archer single-engine training planes. (China Plus)
Global warming will make insects hungrier, eating up key crops: study
Researchers have found a new way that global warming is bad for the planet: more hungry bugs.
Rising temperatures will stimulate insects' appetites -- and make some prone to reproducing more quickly -- spelling danger for key staples like wheat, corn and rice which feed billions of people.
And since these three crops account for 42 percent of the calories people eat worldwide, any uptick in scarcity could give rise to food insecurity and conflict, particularly in poorer parts of the globe.
Prior studies have already warned of climate change's harmful effects on food staples, whether by making water scarce for irrigation or sapping nutritious content from cereal grains.
The latest study adds to that body of research by focusing on the boosted appetites of pests like aphids and borers.
To find out just how bad it could get, researchers ran simulations to track temperature-driven changes in metabolism and growth rates for 38 insect species from different latitudes.
Results varied by region, with cooler zones more likely to see a boost in voracious pests, and tropical areas expected to see some relief. (AFP)
New scheme unveiled to protect children's eyesight
And China rolled out a new scheme Thursday to curb the rise in nearsightedness - or myopia - among children and teenagers.
The scheme, jointly issued by the Ministry of Education, the National Health Commission and six other departments, aims to keep the myopia rate among 6-year-olds at around 3 percent by 2030, with the incidence among primary school kids dropping to below 38 percent, and the rate among junior and senior high school students will fall far below 60 percent and 70 percent, respectively.
The scheme also said the overall myopia rate of Chinese teenagers should be reduced by over 0.5 percent each year from 2018 to 2023. In high-incidence provinces, the reduction should reach 1 percent each year.
A report by Peking University's health research institutite showed more than 70 percent of high school and college students were nearsighted, warning China may be short of labor with qualified eyesight in sectors like aerospace, sophisticated manufacturing and the military in the future if myopia worsens.
Increased school workloads and heavier use of electronic devices are regarded as major reasons to worsening nearsightedness. (China Plus)
And that’s People’s Daily Tonight. Thanks for joining us.
(Produced by David Nye and Zhan Huilan)