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Vietnam seeks to curb inflation at 4.5 pct with flexible monetary policy

HANOI, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Vietnams central bank has pledged to keep monetary policy flexible as part of the efforts to keep inflation under 4.5 percent and ensure steady markets, local media reported on Friday.The bank set the credit growth quota for the year at 14 to 15 percent, aiming to ensure liquidity for all lenders, local newspaper Vietnam News said.The bank requires them to keep their bad debt ratio to below 3 percent and continue with the restructuring of weak credit institutions.One of the ultimate political tasks of the central bank in 2023 is to control the inflation, Deputy Governor of the central bank Dao Minh Tu told a conference.The central bank will closely monitor the economic landscape and the situations in the world and the domestic economy to manage the monetary policy in an active and flexibly manner in close coordination with the fiscal policy and other macro-economic policies, so as to control inflation and maintain macro-economic stability, he said.According to local experts, Vietnams target to keep inflation at 4.5 percent in 2023 will be a tall order due to a number of factors, including demand-driven and cost-pushed inflation.The Standard Chartered Bank forecast Vietnams economy to expand by 7.2 percent and inflation to reach 5.5 percent this year.

UK health system faces biggest day of strikes next month

The UKs crisis-hit National Health Service (NHS) is set for its biggest ever day of industrial action next month after thousands of ambulance workers announced on Friday a series of new strikes.People hold placards as they take part in a protest march organised by Doctors Association UK, NHS Workers Say No! and NHS Staff Voices, from University College London to Downing Street, in London on January 18, 2023, in support of the ongoing pay disputes. (Photo: AFP)The state-funded healthcare system will see nurses and ambulance workers from three different unions walk out on February 6 in an ongoing pay dispute with the government.Collectively, they amount to what British media describe as the biggest day of strike action that the NHS, founded in 1948, has ever experienced.The country has been hit by months of stoppages across the public and private sectors, as decades-high inflation fuels the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation.Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been resisting demands from a host of state workers for hefty salary hikes to counter rising prices. The firm stance has set up a stand-off with various NHS staff, who argue they helped the country through the pandemic but have faced real-terms pay cuts over the last decade.Sunak has also infuriated unions by introducing controversial legislation requiring some frontline workers to maintain a minimum level of service during walkouts."Rather than act to protect the NHS and negotiate an end to the dispute, the government has disgracefully chosen to demonise ambulance workers," said Unite general secretary Sharon Graham.- Teachers threaten strike -"Our members faithfully provide life and limb cover on strike days... its this governments disastrous handling of the NHS that has brought it to breaking point."Around 3,000 ambulance workers who are members of Unite will stage 10 further days of strikes across the UK in the coming weeks, including on February 6 in Wales and much of ...

Protests move into Peru's capital, met by tear gas and smoke

Thousands of protesters demanding the ouster of President Dina Boluarte poured into Peru’s capital, clashing with police who fired tear gas. Many came from remote regions, where dozens have died in unrest that has gripped the country since Peru’s first leader from a rural Andean background was removed from office last month.(Photo: agency)The protests have been marked by Peru’s worst political violence in more than two decades and highlighted deep divisions between the country’s urban elite, largely concentrated in Lima, and poor rural areas. Former President Pedro Castillo has been in detention and is expected to be tried for rebellion since he was impeached after a failed attempt to dissolve Congress.Thursday was mostly quiet, but punctuated by scuffles and tear gas. The government called on everyone who could to work from home. After sundown, clashes escalated, and late that night, a major fire broke out at a building near the historic Plaza San Martin, although no connection to the protests was immediately clear.Anger at Boluarte was the common thread Thursday as protesters chanted calls for her resignation and street sellers hawked T-shirts saying, “Out, Dina Boluarte,” “Dina murderer, Peru repudiates you,” and “New elections, let them all leave.”Peru’s ombudsman said at least 13 civilians and four police officers were injured in the Lima protests Thursday. A total of 22 police officers and 16 civilians were injured Thursday throughout the country, Interior Minister Vicente Romero Fernández said.Protesters blamed Boluarte for the violence. “Our God says thou shalt not kill your neighbor. Dina Boluarte is killing, she’s making brothers fight,” Paulina Consac said as she carried a large Bible while marching in downtown Lima with more than 2,000 protesters from Cusco.Many Lima residents also joined today’s protests, with strong presences from students and union members.“We’re at a breaking point between dictatorship and democracy,” said Pedro Mamani, a student at ...

Foreign investment to Vietnam to reach 36-38 bln USD this year: gov't agency

HANOI, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Foreign investment inflows to Vietnam will likely reach 36 to 38 billion U.S. dollars this year, according to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.Disbursement of foreign investment is expected to hit 22 to 23 billion U.S. dollars in 2023, local newspaper Vietnam News reported on Friday, citing the agency.Vietnam would give priority to projects using new and green technologies, with high added value, modern corporate governance and high spillover effects, ensuring technology transfer and being integrated with global supply and production chains, according to Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung.To attract more foreign investment, he said, it is important to stabilize the macro economy, and improve infrastructure and the quality of human resources.Economic expert Le Dang Doanh suggested Vietnam accelerate administrative reforms, improve the investment environment, and ensure policy stability.Last year, Vietnam attracted a foreign investment of some 27.72 billion U.S. dollars. The disbursed FDI capital hit nearly 22.4 billion U.S. dollars, making it the highest amount in the past five years, according to the General Statistics Office.

US hits debt ceiling as partisan standoff sparks economic worries

The U.S. government hit its $31.4 trillion borrowing limit on Thursday, amid a standoff between the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and President Joe Bidens Democrats on lifting the ceiling, which could lead to a fiscal crisis in a few months.The Treasury Department is seen on January 18, 2023 in Washington, DC., U.S. (Photo: CFP)Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen informed congressional leaders including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy that her department had begun using extraordinary cash management measures that could stave off default until June 5.Republicans, with a newly won House majority, aim to use the time until the Treasurys emergency maneuvers are exhausted to exact spending cuts from Biden and the Democratic-led Senate.Corporate leaders and at least one credit ratings agency warned a long standoff could rattle markets and unsettle an already shaky global economy.Yellen warned that the June date was subject to "considerable uncertainty" due to the challenge of forecasting payments and government revenues months into the future."I respectfully urge Congress to act promptly to protect the full faith and credit of the United States," Yellen told congressional leaders in a letter Thursday.But there was no sign that either Republicans or Bidens Democrats were willing to budge.Republicans are trying to use their narrow House majority and the debt ceiling to force cuts to government programs, and argue that the Treasury could avoid default during a standoff by prioritizing debt payments. This idea has been explored in past standoffs, but financial experts have questioned its feasibility.The White House is rejecting the idea out of hand."There will be no negotiations over the debt ceiling," White House deputy press secretary Olivia Dalton reiterated Thursday aboard Air Force One. "Congress must address this without conditions as they did three times under (Republican former President) Donald Trump."

Indiana police kill shooter in Walmart, 1 person wounded

A gunman shot at police as he weaved through the aisles of an Indiana Walmart before officers shot and killed him late Thursday, authorities said.The gunman, who was not immediately identified, wounded at least one other person in the store, Evansville Police Department Sgt. Anna Gray told WFIE-TV. The victim was transported to an area hospital and the severity of their injuries was not immediately known. No officers were wounded, she said.(Photo: agency)Evansville police and Vanderburgh County sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of an active shooter in the store at around 10 p.m.“When officers went in, they were trying to locate the suspect and he was all over the store. He would shoot at officers and move. So it wasn’t contained to just one area inside,” Gray said.Multiple law enforcement members returned fire during the encounter and the gunman was killed, Gray said.“At this time we don’t know how many other people he shot at,” Gray said, adding that there could could be additional victims who fled.Authorities asked anyone who left the scene with injuries, no matter how small, to contact emergency medical services, WFIE reported.A Walmart representative did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking additional information.Further details would be provided from the scene at 5 a.m. Friday with a press conference later in the day, the city’s police department said in a tweet.Evansville, a city of around 116,000 residents on the Ohio River, is located 172 miles (276 kilometers) southwest of Indianapolis.A Walmart manager in Chesapeake, Virginia, killed six people when he began shooting wildly inside a break room before a routine employee meeting last November, two days ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Six people were also wounded. The gunman shot and killed himself before officers arrived.

Cambodia's banking industry continues to enjoy high growth in 2022

PHNOM PENH, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Cambodias banking industry had continued to enjoy robust growth in both loans and deposits in 2022, according to the annual report of the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) on Friday.Outstanding loans rose by 21.7 percent year-on-year to 56 billion U.S. dollars as of last year, while customers deposits increased by 15.3 percent to 45 billion dollars, the central banks report said.The loans had been provided to key sectors such as trade, housing, construction, agriculture, hotels and restaurants and manufacturing, among others, it said.The report added that the current assets in the Southeast Asian nations banking system rose to 80 billion U.S. dollars by 2022, a year-on-year increase of 15.9 percent.NBC Governor Chea Chanto said the growth in both loans and deposits truly reflected public confidence in the countrys banking system."The banking industry remains robust and resilient, and it has continued to play an active role in supporting the kingdoms economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era," he said on Friday during the NBCs annual meeting.Meanwhile, Chanto said Cambodia recorded 17.9 million e-wallet accounts as of last year, exceeding the kingdoms population of 16 million.The country currently has 58 commercial banks, nine specialized banks, and 86 microfinance institutions, with a total of 2,614 headquarters and branches as well as 3,998 automated teller machines (ATMs) throughout the country, the NBC said.Heng Bomakara, deputy director-general of the NBCs Banking Supervision, said 67 percent of the kingdoms population have access to formal financial services by 2022, an increase from 59 percent by 2021.

South Korea evacuates 500 people over Gangnam slum fire

A massive fire broke out inside one of the last remaining slums in South Koreas capital on Friday, forcing 500 people to flee their homes ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, authorities said.Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at the Guryong village, one of South Koreas last remaining slums, in southern Seoul on January 20, 2023. (Photo: AFP)Video posted online showed flames tearing through Guryong village, a shantytown in the shadows of high-rise luxury towers in Seouls Gangnam district, which was made famous by rapper Psys global hit "Gangnam Style".The blaze, which began at around 6:30 am, is believed to have burned down around 60 homes, but was extinguished by around noon, according to authorities.No casualties have been reported and the cause of the fire is still unknown, they added."We are thinking of carrying out an additional investigation into the case," Choi Jae-young, an official from the Seoul Metropolitan Fire and Disaster Headquarters, told AFP.Residents said they were not surprised by the blaze."There have been a lot of safety concerns in the community when it comes to fire, and it looks like they were never acknowledged properly" by authorities, Lee Woon-chul, 65, who has lived in the village for 30 years, told AFP."The houses are very old, and the electric wires are dangerous and have been poorly managed. Sparks inside houses have been common," he said.Since 2012, the village has been hit by at least eight fires, Seouls Gangnam district office, the local authority which oversees the area, told AFP.The settlement was formed around 1988 by squatters evicted from other areas of Seoul in the nations push to develop its capital prior to hosting the Olympics.There were around 550 households remaining in Guryong as of last year, according to data from the state-run Seoul Housing and Communities Corporation, with many believed to be living with little or no proper sanitation.The villag...

Ukrainians wrap up landmine clearance exercises in Cambodia

A group of 15 Ukrainian deminers on Friday wrapped up a week of training in Cambodia, where experts who have cleared minefields from one of the worlds most contaminated countries shared their expertise with the relative newcomers to the dangerous job.Cambodia is still strewn with mines from three decades of war and internal conflicts that ended in 1998, while the problem in Ukraine is a new one since the Russian invasion last year.(Photo: VCG)Ukrainian deminer Stanislav Kulykiusky told reporters that his team was grateful for the training, saying that at home already 64 deminers had been injured and 13 killed in the line of duty.“It is a very difficult situation,” he said.The NGO Landmine Monitor in its 2022 report listed both Cambodia and Ukraine among the nine countries with “massive” mine contamination, meaning they had more than 100 square kilometers (38.6 square miles) of uncleared fields.Kulykiusky said that the main challenge for Ukrainian deminers was the scale of the job, but that it was critical to ensure all mines are removed before people return to villages and farms.“This is a precondition of the recovery,” he said.Cambodian deminers are among the world’s most experienced, and several thousand have been sent in the past decade under U.N. auspices to work in Africa and the Middle East.The team of Ukrainians has been at different sites over the last week learning to use an advanced Japanese mine detector known as the Advanced Landmine Imaging System.Developed at Tohoku University, the hand-held device consists of a metal detector with an integrated ground-penetrating radar that can help deminers detect and identify buried mines.On Friday, the group visited a museum dedicated to explaining the different landmines and unexploded munitions found in Cambodia, then took part in practical training at a site nearby.They wrap up their journey Saturday with a day off of training to visit Cambodias famous Angkor Wat temple complex before returning home.Th...

March for Life returns to DC with new post-Roe v. Wade focus

One year ago, the annual March for Life protest against legal abortion took place in Washington amid a mood of undisguised triumph. With a fresh conservative majority on the Supreme Court, thousands of marchers braved bitterly cold weather to celebrate the seemingly inevitable fall of Roe v. Wade.People participate in the March for Life outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 21, 2022. (File photo: AP)Now, with the constitutional right to abortion no longer the rule of the land, the March for Life returns Friday with a new focus. Instead of concentrating their attention on the Supreme Court, the marchers plan to target the building directly across the street: the U.S. Capitol.Movement leaders say they plan to warn Congress against making any attempt to curtail the multiple anti-abortion laws imposed last year in a dozen different states.“This year will be a somber reminder of the millions of lives lost to abortion in the past 50 years, but also a celebration of how far we have come and where we as a movement need to focus our effort as we enter this new era in our quest to protect life,” Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life Education and Defense Fund, said in a statement.Some movement leaders also hope to plant seeds in Congress for a potential federal abortion restriction down the line. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Pro-Life America, said she envisions an eventual “federal minimum standard” cut-off line such as 13 weeks of pregnancy after which abortion would not be permitted in any state. Dannenfelsers scenario would still leave individual states free to impose their own, stricter measures, including a total ban.That last ambition is an admitted longshot since even if it passes the newly Republican-controlled House of Representatives, it would most likely fail in the Democratic-held Senate.“We know it’s not going to happen this session, but this is the beginning,” Dannenfelser said. “Its (Congress) respons...

US, China must understand each other 'more fully': Kissinger

NEW YORK, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- The United States and China must understand each other "more fully" and cultivate a relationship more compatible with peace and progress in the world, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has said.Henry Kissinger (File photo: CGTN)That leaders from both countries met recently in Bali and stated an intention to reverse the worrisome trend in the bilateral ties is a good sign, said Kissinger in his video remarks to the annual New Year gala of the China General Chamber of Commerce -- USA (CGCC-USA) held in New York on Wednesday evening.The seasoned diplomat said he welcomes "the decisions that have been made to foster dialogue in so many fields," adding, "China has made a number of practical steps in that direction.""Each nation needs to understand the other more fully," said the 99-year-old veteran diplomat and strategist, who served under two U.S. presidents, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford."While working together, we can achieve great things, not just for our countries, but also for humanity," said Kissinger.He noted that "China and the United States have different perceptions of culture and of how to conduct themselves," and this "needs to be understood by both sides."Kissinger also underscored the importance of using "intellectual, political, and historic visions" to achieve the desired relationship, adding he has "every hope and expectation that this process will lead to the results that the people all over the world expect."Kissinger was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the CGCC-USA at Wednesdays event to recognize his achievements as a trailblazer and lifelong contributor to U.S.-China relations.

US Supreme Court fails to find source of abortion opinion leak

The US Supreme Court said Thursday that an eight-month investigation that questioned 100 possible suspects had failed to find the source of the stunning leak last year of its draft abortion ruling.(File photo: AFP)The unprecedented leak, which the court called "one of the worst breaches of trust in its history," revealed it planned to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that had guaranteed a womans right to abortion.The leak, which came seven weeks before the final decision was announced, sparked fury among pro- and anti-abortion activists, with both sides claiming that the court had succumbed to politics.Most of the 100 were quickly eliminated as suspects, and a smaller group was examined, including court officials with apparent ties to Politico, the publication that revealed the draft.Hacking of the courts systems was ruled out, but investigators discovered that there was inadequate security on many of the printers in the court that could have permitted a copy to be printed without any record.After multiple interviews of certain court employees, the court said "the team has to date been unable to identify a person responsible by a preponderance of the evidence."The court Thursday condemned the leak as an attack on its credibility."The leak was no mere misguided attempt at protest. It was a grave assault on the judicial process," it said.Former president Donald Trump demanded that the Politico reporters divulge their sources or be put "in jail until the answer is given" in a post on his Truth Social site."Stop playing games, this leaking cannot be allowed to happen... Arrest the reporter, publisher, editor - youll get your answer fast," he added.The White House condemned Trumps comments and said "freedom of the press is part of the bedrock of American democracy" in a statement sent exclusively to Politico, the news outlet reported."Calling for egregious abuses of power in order ...

T-Mobile says data of 37 million customers hacked

US telecom company T-Mobile announced Thursday that a recent hack impacted 37 million of its customers data.(File photo: AP)In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company said it realized on January 5 that a "bad actor" had managed to infiltrate its computer system and was siphoning off information without authorization.After identifying the source of the hack, it was fixed within 24 hours, the company said, adding that it believes the rest of its systems were not affected.The company later determined that the attack likely began around November 25.The hacked information includes T-Mobile customers names, addresses, email, phone number, dates of birth and account numbers.It does not include bank or social security card numbers, tax information or passwords, the company said."Customer accounts and finances were not put at risk directly by this event," the Deutsche Telekom-owned company said.Affected customers will be notified and an internal investigation is still underway, it added."We may incur significant expenses in connection with this incident," T-Mobile said.The latest hack comes after another episode in 2021 affected the data of 76.6 million US residents.The company agreed last summer to pay $350 million to settle lawsuits filed by plaintiffs in a class action suit and to spend $150 million on data protection and cybersecurity in 2022 and 2023.

Light show and performance marks Chinese New Year in northeast Brazil

For the second consecutive year, Recife, capital of Brazils northeast Pernambuco state, celebrated the Chinese New Year. The event took place on January 19 at Marco Zero Square, treating local residents to an amazing light show and performance.Photos by Bi Mengying, People’s DailyRecife approved a bill establishing the Chinese New Year as official holiday in the city last year. Yan Yuqing, Chinese consul general in Recife, said that making the Chinese New Year an official holiday is an acknowledgment of the contributions made by the Chinese community to the development of Recife. “The performance shows the cultural exchange between China and Brazil, and also the friendship between the people of the two countries.”The light show projected videos about Chinese New Year’s culture and tradition showcasing elements such as red lanterns, the character fu and rabbits. The videos also highlighted promos of Guangzhou and Chengdu, which are sister cities of Recife.The building of the Commercial Association of Pernambuco (ACP) has a history of 183 years. It is the main stage for the light show. Tiago Carneiro, president of the ACP told the People’s Daily that the building is of historic and cultural significance to Recife. Having the light show hosted at the building shows respect for the Chinese community’s culture and tradition, as well as their value of the friendship.In addition to the light show, the event showcased traditional Chinese performances such as lion dancing, kungfu, Chinese singing and dancing performances, as well as the Brazilian dance maracatu.

NASA, Boeing team up to develop lower-emissions aircraft

The US space agency NASA is teaming up with aviation giant Boeing to develop a next-generation commercial aircraft that emits less carbon.Boeing logo is seen on a trade pavilion at the Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough, UK, July 19, 2022. /ReutersNASA, whose purview also includes aeronautical research, will invest $425 million over seven years in the "Sustainable Flight Demonstrator" (SFD) project while Boeing and its partners will spend an estimated $725 million.The goal is to produce future commercial airliners that are "more fuel efficient, with benefits to the environment, the commercial aviation industry, and to passengers worldwide," NASA chief Bill Nelson said."If we are successful, we may see these technologies in planes that the public takes to the skies in the 2030s," Nelson said in a statement on Wednesday.The agreement calls for NASA and Boeing to build, test, and fly a full-scale single-aisle demonstrator aircraft."The technologies demonstrated and tested as part of the SFD program will inform future designs and could lead to breakthrough aerodynamics and fuel efficiency gains," Boeing said.Boeing chief engineer Greg Hyslop said it "has the potential to make a major contribution toward a sustainable future."Engineers will be seeking to design an aircraft with fuel consumption and emissions reductions of up to 30 percent relative to todays most efficient single-aisle aircraft, NASA said.The agency plans to complete SFD testing by the late 2020s so the technologies and design can be applied to the next generation of single-aisle aircraft.Single-aisle aircraft are the most common in airline fleets and account for nearly half of worldwide aviation emissions, NASA said.Boeing and NASA plan to flight-test an innovative wing known as the transonic truss-braced wing that creates less drag and results in the burning of less fuel.The extra-long, thin wings are mounted on top of the fuselage and...

Trump, lawyers fined nearly $1 million for 'political' Clinton lawsuit

(File photo: CGTN)A federal judge ordered former US President Donald Trump and his attorneys on Thursday to pay more than $937,000 in fines for filing lawsuits against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, claiming that the 2016 presidential election was rigged.

WhatsApp fined for breaching EU privacy laws again

One of the EUs top privacy regulators has fined Metas messaging service WhatsApp €5.5 million ($5.95 million) for breaching the blocs privacy laws on the use of personal data.WhatsApp, a subsidiary of Mark Zuckerbergs Meta, has been fined again for breaching EU privacy laws. /Laure Andrillon/ReutersIrelands Data Privacy Commissioner (DPC), the EUs leading watchdog that monitors Mark Zuckerbergs umbrella company, said WhatsApp had to reconsider how it utilizes its users data for service improvements.The ruling follows a similar decision made by the regulator last month, ordering Metas other main platforms, Facebook and Instagram, to reassess the legal basis upon which they use personal data for targeted advertisements.The DPC had said that the platforms could not "force consent" by saying consumers had to accept how their data was used or leave the platform.Meta said it intended to appeal the ruling from December 2022, as well as the fines imposed, adding that the decisions would not stop it from using personalized advertising.The DPC had directed Meta to bring its data processing operations into compliance within three months, despite Meta contesting the ruling.The regulator, which is the lead privacy regulator for many of the worlds largest technology companies within the EU, also fined WhatsApp €225 million ($243mn) two years ago for breaches that took place over the same period as the complaint dealt with on Thursday.The regulator has fined Meta €1.3 billion ($1.41bn) in total and has 10 other ongoing inquiries into its services.

Clumsy communication, rampant political division in US harm public health in COVID-19: media

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Three years of COVID-19 have shown how clumsy communication, poor coordination and rampant political division can harm public health. The need to repair these divisions is especially acute, a recent report by the American magazine Vanity Fair has said.(File photo: Xinhua)As COVID-19 enters its fourth year, the United States has seen more than 1 million deaths, and the highly infectious XBB.1.5 variant is contributing to rising cases. At the same time, "the goal of eliminating pandemic threats seems as distant as ever," said the report published Tuesday."Since the beginning of the pandemic, our public health institutions were unable to persuade a large portion of the population to get vaccinated or boosted or wear a face mask," James Lawler, co-director of the Global Center for Health Security at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, was quoted as saying.Politicized topics are the ones most likely to cause Americans to question the "recommendations of the federal health agencies," according to data analyzed by Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. "COVID polarized," she said."In the US, our political will is flagging. Our public health workforce is exhausted and demoralized. Our deep political divisions have impacted everything from funding streams to a basic belief in science," said the report.

Data suggests COVID-19 still leading cause of death in US in 2022: media

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Early data suggests COVID-19 was still a leading cause of death in the United States in 2022, CNN said in a recent report.(File photo: Xinhua)COVID-19 has killed more than one million people in the United States since the start of the pandemic, and life expectancy has been cut by nearly 2.5 years since 2020, said the report on Tuesday.An early look at data from 2022 suggests that there were significantly fewer COVID-19 deaths in the third year of the pandemic than in the first two, according to the report.More than 267,000 people died of COVID-19 in 2022, according to preliminary data from Johns Hopkins University, compared with more than 350,000 COVID-19 deaths in 2020 and more than 475,000 COVID-19 deaths in 2021.Despite the lower death toll, however, COVID-19 will likely remain the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2022 for the third year in a row, said the report.

Chinese Embassy in Iceland holds 'Warm Welcome to the Spring' Chinese Film Festival

Stockholm (Peoples Daily) - Chinese Ambassador to Iceland He Rulong and Madam Shen Ting held the "Warm Welcome to the Spring" Chinese Film Festival at BíóParadís Cinema in Reykjavik on Tuesday and Wednesday to mark the impending arrival of the Chinese Year of Rabbit.Photos credit to Chinese embassy in IcelandAttending the event were Permanent Secretary Martin Eyjólfsson of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, Chairman Bjarni Jónsson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Alþingi, Director General María Mjöll Jónsdóttir of the Directorate of International Affairs and Policy and Director General Ragnar Kristjansson of External Trade and Economic Affairs of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, former education and culture minister Illugi Gunnarsson, and about 300 other friends from all walks of life in Iceland, including from the Icelandic-Chinese Cultural Society, Icelandic-Chinese Trade Council, diplomatic communities in Iceland, overseas Chinese and students.Ambassador He delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the film festival, speaking highly of the important role film plays in strengthening cultural exchanges between people around the world, and in showcasing the ethical state and cultural pursuits of their respective countries. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Iceland 52 years ago, the relationship between the two countries has always maintained healthy and stable development. People-to-people and cultural exchanges constitute an important part of the relationship, greatly narrowing the distance between the two peoples.Ambassador He pointed out that the purpose of holding the Chinese Film Festival featuring "Warm Welcome to the Spring" is to use film as a medium to share with the Icelandic people Chinas profound history, culture, philosophy and thinking, as well as the daily life and cultural pursuits of the Chinese people, to further deepen mutual understanding between the two peoples.Ambassador...

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