Fresh Start: Podcast News (4/15/2018 Sun.)
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Welcome to Fresh Start.

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Here are today’s picks from our editors.

China to set up investment fund to support Hainan free trade port development


China has decided to set up an investment fund to support Hainan's development of a free trade port, according to a document unveiled Saturday.

China aims to "basically establish" free trade port system in Hainan by 2025 and make the free trade port system and operational mode "more mature" by 2035.

A free trade port is the world's most open form of economic zone, which has brought prosperity to places like Singapore and Hong Kong thanks to its broad-based preferential policies on trade and investment.

The guidelines on supporting Hainan's efforts to deepen reform and opening up were jointly released by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council. (Xinhua)

Trump announces US, France, Britain strikes on Syria


In a televised speech on Friday, US President Donald Trump said he ordered “precise strikes,” with help from Britain and France, against targets related to Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities.

According to a Syrian observatory, a scientific research facility and several Syrian army bases in Damascus were struck in the attack.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement that she "authorized British armed forces to conduct coordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian regime's chemical weapons capability and deter their use.”

Syrian TV also reported that Syrian air defense responded to the strikes and had shot down 13 missiles in the Kiswah area near Damascus on Saturday. (People’s Daily app)

Syria’s Assad vows to ‘crush terrorism’ after Western attack


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani that a US-led attack on Saturday would increase Syria’s resolve to “fight and crush terrorism in every inch” of the country.

Rouhani told Assad that Iran would continue to stand by Syria, “expressing his confidence that this aggression would not weaken the determination of the Syrian people in its war against terrorism”.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said the attack on Syria by the US, France and Britain was a crime and that the three countries will not benefit from their actions.

Former Iranian ambassador Hossein Sheikholeslam told state television that the attacks would help unite Syrians behind the government. (People’s Daily app)

Putin calls US-led strikes on Syria ‘an act of aggression’


Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday condemned the recent missile strikes launched by the US, UK and France, saying the act will make matters worse in the area.

"Russia strongly condemns the attack on Syria where Russian servicemen are helping the legitimate government in the war on terrorism," Putin said.

Putin called the attack “an aggression against a sovereign state” and noted that the multi-national strikes were not sanctioned by the UN Security Council and therefore “in violation of the UN Charter and principles of international law.” (People’s Daily app)

UN chief urges restraint, avoiding escalation in Syria


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged all states on Saturday “to show restraint in these dangerous circumstances and to avoid any acts that could escalate matters and worsen the suffering of the Syrian people.”

He said international investigators were in Syria and ready to visit the site of a suspected deadly chemical weapons attack in Douma, which prompted military action by the United States, France and Britain.

Meanwhile, China has consistently opposed the use of force in international relations and has advocated respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said in response to the coordinated missile strikes in Syria by the US, the UK, and France.

Any unilateral military action taken by disregarding the Security Council is contrary to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and is in violation of the principles and basic norms of international law, the ministry's spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Saturday. (People’s Daily app)

China’s heavy-lift helicopter passes performance certification


According to the Chinese Society of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China’s heavy-lift helicopter, the AC313, passed the performance authentication of aviation experts on Saturday.

The experts said the helicopter, which was developed and manufactured by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China in Jingdezhen City in east China’s Jiangxi Province, has reached an advanced international level.

The aircraft is suitable for emergency rescue operations, forest fire response, transportation, offshore operations, medical aid, sightseeing and business trips. (People’s Daily app)

Sun Yang takes second gold in 800m freestyle at China national meet


Olympic champion Sun Yang continued his winning streak in the 800 meters freestyle on the second day of the Chinese National Swimming Championships on Saturday.

Sun led from the start to the end, clocking in at 7:50.47 seconds, earning him his 109th gold medal. Sun's time placed fourth on the current world rankings.

Sun will also compete in the 100m, 400m and 1,500m freestyle during the six-day event. (People’s Daily app)

Study shows night owls risk dying younger, should sleep in


A survey of more than 430,000 people in Britain found that people who stay up late have a 10 percent higher chance of dying young as opposed to people with normal sleep habits.

The survey was conducted for more than six years by scientists from the University of Surrey and Northwestern University in Chicago and documented the lifestyle habits of people ages 38-73 from a public database.

The study found that the ‘night owl’ group was more likely to suffer from psychological disorders, diabetes, stomach and breathing troubles, and reduced sleep hours. They were also more likely to smoke, drink alcohol and coffee, and use illegal drugs. (People’s Daily app)

Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.

This quote is by physicist Albert Einstein:

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”

(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Ziyi Zeng and Raymond Mendoza)