Sichuan to mourn the victims Saturday
The provincial government in Sichuan has assigned this Saturday as the mourning day for last week's devastating earthquake in the province.
There will be a three-minute silence tribute in the morning.
All entertainment activities will be halted throughout the day.
196-people are confirmed dead following Saturday's earthquake, with 21 others listed as missing
First H7N9 bird flu case confirmed in Jiangxi
Health authorities in east China's Jiangxi Province have confirmed the province's first human case of H7N9 avian influenza.
The 69-year-old male patient is reported to be in a critical condition.
Three other new cases were reported on Thursday, two in Zhejiang and one in Henan.
So far over 110 cases have been reported across the country with nationwide death toll standing at 23.
China adopts law to regulate tourism
China's top legislature has adopted a law on tourism as part of efforts to protect the rights of tourists.
The Standing Committee of the 12th National People's Congress approved the bill at its bi-monthly session.
The top legislature's Law Committee says the move is designed to regulate the tourism market, on top of safeguarding tourists' rights and interests.
The new law is set to take effect in October.
Chen Deming elected ARATS president
The mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits has elected Chen Deming as its president.
Prior to being elected as the Association president, Chen served as the Chinese Minister of Commerce.
The Association's previous president was Chen Yunlin, who is reportedly retiring.
ADB board elects new president
The Asian Development Bank has announced that Takehiko Nakao has been unanimously elected as president by its Board of Governors.
The 57-year-old is Japan's former Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs.
He will assume office as the Manila-based lender's ninth president on Sunday.
He will also finish the unexpired term of his predecessor Haruhiko Kuroda which ends in 2016.
Kuroda resigned as ADB president in March following his nomination as the Bank of Japan governor.
Fire in Russia's mental hospital kills at least 36
A fire in a psychiatric hospital in Russia early this Friday, killing at least 36 people.
The ITAR-TASS news agency reported that rescuers have found 36 bodies so far.
The death toll could rise to 38 though as only three out of the total 41 people in the hospital had escaped.
The fire broke out in a single-storeyed building of the hospital in Moscow's northern Dmitrovsky district.
The flames have now been brought under control.
Car sales in Europe hits lowest point since mid 90s
Car sales across Europe have dipped down to their lowest level since the mid 1990s, with new car registrations declining by double digit percentage figures in most markets in the continent.
The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association has reported that the demand for new passenger cars declined in March yet again – it's actually also the 18th consecutive month this has happened.
German manufacturers Daimler – of course famous for their Mercedes Benz brand, are saying the western European market has been struggling a lot, with demand expected to remain at a 20 year low.
1st quarter net profit for Daimler was also down by 60 percent from this time last year. Their earning forecast for this year is also lower than 2012.
Ford have also been one of the sufferers in Europe, despite posting an improvement in 1st quarter earnings, with a 20 percent jump in North American sales making up for the 462 US Dollar loss in Europe.
This was also thrice as much the loss they suffered during last year's 1st quarter.
Japan to lift grounding of Boeing dreamliners Friday night
Japan's transport ministry says it is planning to lift the grounding order of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner flights.
The decision will effectively allow the bulk of the global Dreamliner fleet to return to service.
The jet has been grounded worldwide for more than three months now, after burning batteries on two Japanese planes prompted regulators to halt all flights.
Two of Japan's biggest airlines, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, together operate 24 of the 50 Dreamliner jets in operation.
The formal decision will come following an official sign-off on flights by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, which is expected later this Friday.
Samsung Electronics profits boosted by smartphone sales
Samsung Electronics are reporting a 41 percent jump in 1st quarter profits, thought to be boosted by the growing sales of smartphones.
It made a net profit of 6.4 billion dollars during the period, which is up from 4.5 billion from a year ago.
Profits also rose from the previous quarter and the results are in sharp contrast with rivals Apple, who earlier this week reported a drop in quarterly profits for the first time in a decade.
Last year, Samsung also displaced Apple as the world's biggest smartphone makers.