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2014-12-16 NEWS Plus Special English
   2014-12-16 10:22:40    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Han




This is NEWS Plus Special English. I'm Yun Feng in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has been honored as "Person of the Year" by the Russian Biographical Institute, for his role in "strengthening economic and political ties with Russia".
This is the first time the institute has granted the award to a leader of a country that doesn't belong to the Commonwealth of Independent States.
The institute is a nongovernmental and noncommercial organization based in Moscow. The "Person of the Year" award acknowledges the recipients involved as being guided by the principles of social, spiritual and moral responsibility.
Besides Xi, four other national leaders have been given the award including Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In another development, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has said he is a fan of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
"China.com.cn" has released a photo of Zuckerberg with a copy of Xi's book on his desk. The website quoted Zuckerberg as saying that he had purchased several copies of the book so he and his colleagues could learn about "socialism with Chinese characteristics".
The book, "The Governance of China", is a collection of speeches and photos of the Chinese president. It was released in October, and has so far sold more than 260,000 copies to overseas distributors only.
This is NEWS Plus Special English.
China is considering raising tobacco taxes and cigarette prices to reduce the number of smokers in the country.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission said at a press conference that the commission will work together with other agencies to push hard for a tax boost as a way to protect public health.
The commission says that China is now on the course of fiscal and tax reform, which provides a rare chance to take advantage to raise tobacco taxes and prices for tobacco control.
China raised tobacco taxes in 2009. But a report published by the World Health Organization in May said China's tax increase has had no impact on tobacco consumption because higher taxes were not passed on to the retail price of cigarettes.
Tobacco in China is very cheap, and has become much more affordable over time as average incomes have increased with China's rapid economic growth and development.
As the world's largest tobacco maker and consumer, China has more than 300 million smokers, and another 740 million people are exposed to second-hand smoke each year. Almost 1.4 million Chinese people die from smoking-related diseases annually.
China will ban all forms of advertising, sponsorship and promotion of tobacco products.
Late last year, the central government asked government officials to take the lead and stop smoking in public places.
This is NEWS Plus Special English.
An Indian court has banned the import and sale of Chinese smartphone Xiaomi over alleged patent infringement.
Hearing a case filed by Ericsson India against Xiaomi, the Delhi high court passed an ex parte order forbidding the Chinese manufacturer from importing and selling its smartphones in India.
The order has injuncted Xiaomi from selling, advertising, manufacturing or importing devices that infringe the "Standard, Essential Patents", or SEPs, in question.
It is not clear if the order will impact all Xiaomi devices sold in India or specific devices that violate the patents.
The judge has urged the customs to stop the imports while ordering local commissioners to "visit" Xiaomi India offices to ensure the implementation of the order.
The order came about after Xiaomi allegedly ignored Ericsson's repeated communication with it.
You are listening to NEWS Plus Special English. I'm Yun Feng in Beijing.
Australian scientists have discovered a new stem cell that can be programmed to become any part of the body.
The ramifications of the find mean that a transplant can be conducted by using the patient's own cells, which can be made into organs and tissue.
The discovery was made by an Australian research team together with scientists from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and South Korea. It marks a breakthrough in stem cell research.
The researchers say that the new stem cell is remarkably useful and is considered a potential prototype for the mass production of therapeutic stem cells to treat a huge range of illnesses and injuries.
Medical conditions such as blindness, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, stroke and spinal cord injury will be major beneficiaries of the new find.
This is NEWS Plus Special English.
British scientists say that the magnetic fields created by mobile phones and power lines are "likely to be safe" to human health.
Several past studies have suggested that the magnetic fields created by phones, high-voltage power lines and other electrical equipment are harmful for humans. But later studies have failed to find such a link.
Researchers from the University of Manchester studied the effects of weak magnetic fields on key human proteins, including those crucial for health.
The study found that they have no detectable impact.
The researchers say that the study definitely takes people closer to the point that power-lines, mobile phones and other similar devices are likely to be safe for humans.
This is NEWS Plus Special English.
Do you need to show your driver's license? In Iowa, the USA, there will soon be an app for that.
A smartphone app that's under development will allow users to show the digital license to law enforcement officers during traffic stops and at security checkpoints at Iowa airports.
The free app will be available sometime next year. Users will use a pin number for verification.
The technology allows people to protect their identity; and it can also be used for other licenses.
Residents will still be able to use a regular, plastic driver's license. But for those who use the digital version, it is basically their license on their phone.
Iowa is one of more than 30 states that allow drivers to show their proof of insurance via an electronic device. A mobile driver's license is logical because of people's reliance on the technology.
You're listening to NEWS Plus Special English. I'm Yun Feng in Beijing. You can access the program by logging onto NEWSPlusRadio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That's mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
The Palace Museum, the Forbidden City in Beijing, will open more areas to the public ahead of its 90th anniversary, which is on October 10th next year.
The renovation of a hall at the Meridian Gate is expected to be completed in May next year. The hall will be turned into a 2,800-square-meter exhibition area to display cultural relics from overseas exhibitors.
In fact, the exhibition space is already booked-up through 2017, with museums across the world contacting the Palace Museum to register.
The first exhibition in the hall will be for the 90th anniversary celebration, and most of the exhibits have never been shown to the public.
In addition, the chambers in the western part of the palace will be open to the public for the first time. Among the chambers, the Palace of Compassion and Tranquility, which was home of the Empresses, will become an exhibition hall for the Palace Museum's more than 10,000 sculptures.
Located in the heart of Beijing, the Forbidden City was home to China's royal families between 1420 and 1911. It attracts more than 15 million visitors annually.
This is NEWS Plus Special English.
Ragged clothes, a tragic story and a begging bowl: beggars are not uncommon in busy city squares or subway trains. But are they quite what they seem? Some could be richer than you.
Four "professional beggars" have been caught in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, for allegedly cheating money out of local people.
Local police were informed that four people were faking penniless migrant workers who were unable to go home in the rural areas. When the police took the four to a local public security bureau, they got more than they bargained for.
Initial investigations found the four to be from east China's Anhui Province. They were disguised as beggars before going on a "cheating tour" around the country. They often claim to be migrant workers who lack the money to go home, and the public fall for it.
Last month, the "beggars" flew to Chongqing to "collect money" to prepare for the Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year, which is a month from now. So far, each beggar has raised 800 yuan, roughly 130 U.S. dollars. They have pricey watches and iPhones. One of them has an iPhone 6 Plus.
An online discussion of the matter has attracted more than 3,000 comments.
People are growing doubtful of beggars in China. In a recent survey of more than 20,000 respondents, 82 percent regard begging as cheating.
Stories of fake beggars in China abound and have frequently angered the public. Several beggars were recently pictured counting money in a Beijing subway station, with one of them taking selfies with an iPhone.
This is NEWS Plus Special English.
Joe DiMaggio's love letter to Marilyn Monroe has sold for around 78,000 dollars at a Beverly Hills auction in the U.S.
Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills says the letter, written by the baseball player after Monroe announced she was divorcing him, have been sold to an undisclosed buyer.
The letter went for auction together with 300 other items collectively dubbed "Marilyn Monroe's Lost Archives".
A handwritten letter from Monroe to her third and final husband, playwright Arthur Miller, sold for almost 44,000 dollars.
Monroe died of a drug overdose at age 36 in 1962. She willed the collection of letters to her mentor, the legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg.
This is NEWS Plus Special English.
A video of a kitty has gone viral on YouTube for two years.
The cat is known as Grumpy Cat and was named after its seemingly unhappy facial expression.
Within the last two years, Grumpy Cat became the model for stuffed animals and commercials. There is also a bestselling book based on the cat's life.
To date, the grumpy feline has earned more than 6 million pounds, roughly 10 million US dollars for its caretaker; and the number is still growing.
Its owner, Tabatha Bundesen, says that the two-year-old kitty's financial steps are unstoppable.
The cat's real name is Tardar Sauce. It looks grumpy because of diseases that halted its bone development. Last month, the cat starred in its first film, "Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever".
This is NEWS Plus Special English.
The last one of the giant panda triplets has joined its mother in a zoo in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province.
The event marks the first complete family reunion of the cubs and the mother since July, when she gave birth to the cubs. The triplets are believed to be the only living giant panda triplets in the world.
All the cubs were fed and taken care of by zoo workers, before two of the cubs were allowed to return to their mother last month. She was unable to look after the cubs because of a poor health condition.
Of the cubs, the eldest is female and the younger ones are male.
Giant panda triplets have only a 1 percent chance of surviving at birth.
That is the end of this edition of NEWS Plus Special English. To freshen up your memory, I'm going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
That is the end of today's program. I'm Yun Feng in Beijing. Hope you can join us every day at CRI NEWS Plus Radio, to learn English and learn about the world.




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