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2017-02-14 NEWS Plus Special English
   2017-02-10 12:56:09    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Du Lijun









This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China plans to launch another lunar probe at the end of November.
The mission will mark China's first automated moon surface sampling and moon take-off, as well as China's first unmanned docking in a lunar orbit around 400,000 kilometers from earth. It will also see China's first return flight in a speed close to second cosmic velocity.
With a weight of 8 tonnes, the lunar probe has four parts, namely, an orbiter, a returner, an ascender and a lander.
The whole process goes like this. The lander collects moon samples and transfers them into the ascender. The ascender then takes off from the moon, in a journey to dock with the orbiter which is traveling around the moon with the returner. After loading the samples, the returner heads back to earth. It separates from the orbiter before landing on the earth.
This is Special English.
The number of births in China reached 17 million last year, the largest annual growth since 2000, thanks to the adoption of the second-child policy early last year.
According to the top health authority, at least 45 percent of the newborns were not the only child in the family last year, compared to 30 percent in 2013. In some places, mostly large cities in eastern China, more than 50 percent of the newborns were a second child.
The authority attributes the increase to the one-year-old universal second-child policy. A baby boom triggered by the new policy will continue in the next two years. It is expected that by 2020, the number of births will climb to 20 million each year.
The health authority plans to add 140,000 more maternity health workers in the coming years.
Top decision-makers intensified efforts in late 2013 to adjust the family control policies that were in place for three decades. The old policies allowed most couples to have just one child.
The policy change aims to address major demographic challenges including an aging population and a looming labor shortage.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
A Chinese language exam is likely to be introduced in Russian schools from next year.
According to a national-level education department in Russia, there is a plan to introduce the Chinese language test to the Basic State Exam next year and to the Unified State Exam in 2020.
Russia's Basic State Exam is a series of obligatory examinations for ninth grade students and the Unified State Exam for 11th grade students necessary to qualify for university education.
Takers of the two exams currently have a choice of English, German, French and Spanish as part of the exam's foreign language component.
The Chinese language is taught in 120 educational institutions across Russia. The total number of student learners exceeds 17,000.
This is Special English.
China has released a short list of eight names for the country's first Mars spacecraft, which is scheduled to launch by 2020.
The eight names were the top ones chosen from over 14,500 entries by people worldwide. The names are mandarin phrases, with top scorers meaning "phoenix" and "Mars" in English.
China plans to launch its first Mars spacecraft by 2020, which will orbit, land and explore the Red Planet.
Selection work started in August last year. The eight finals were decided via online polls and a jury review.
The final choice will be announced around Space Day, on April 24.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
The week-long Spring Festival holiday witnessed 400 million passenger trips in China, up 2 percent year on year.
Between Jan. 27 and Feb. 2, the number of road trips totaled 330 million, a slight increase from last year. Train trips reached 52 million with an annual increase of 9 percent.
A total of around 3 billion trips are expected to be made during this year's Spring Festival travel rush between Jan. 13 and Feb. 21. The lunar New Year is seen as the biggest human migration on earth.
The average distance traveled was 260 kilometers per person; and around 90 percent of the trips were within a range of 500 kilometers. Around 90 percent of the trips are made for family reunions.
The Guangzhou South Railway Station was the most used transportation hub during the migration, followed by Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station and Beijing West Railway Station. All the three spots are seated in major cities with significant populations of migrant workers.
This is Special English.
China has seen an increase of so-called empty-nest youth, or young people who live alone, which experts believe is a cause for public concern.
The National Bureau of Statistics reveals that 13 percent of households were inhabited by one person in 2015. The figure in 2008 was 8 percent. The Xinhua News Agency reports that specifically, of this "empty-nest" population, young people are especially common. The term "empty-nest" used to refer to elderly people living alone after their children are grown up and out of the home.
A report on "empty-nest youth" found that this group tends to feel lonelier than their peers, and their personal lives are largely kept within their rented apartments. As they typically live far from work to seek cheaper rent, these young people spend hours commuting, leaving them exhausted in the evenings.
Even so, this population chooses to live in big cities, attracted by opportunities for a better career. Some 21 percent of the group have no savings or are slightly in debt.
Experts say the emergence of empty-nest youth is a result of imbalanced social and economic development between big cities and smaller towns. It is also a natural result of China's ongoing urbanization.
Still, the experts warned that the growing size of this group could bring more problems, affecting the population's psychology and marital aspirations. Some recommended that the youth get in engaged in community activities.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to 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.
Super Bowl advertisers are treading carefully this year to avoid alienating customers as a divisive political climate takes some of the buzz away from what is usually the biggest spectacle on TV.
Ad critic Barbara Lippert says that while "people need an escape", like the Super Bowl, this year's matchup on the field feels "so much less important than what's going on politically."
To get the attention back, some advertisers are turning to nostalgia, celebrities and marketing stunts. P&G is sexing up Mr. Clean, Honda is featuring nine celebrities and Snickers is running a live ad.
Others are touching on social issues, without being too blunt about it. Budweiser won the pre-game buzz with sweeping cinematic ad showcasing founder Adolphus Busch's 1857 immigration from Germany to St. Louis. Although it has been in the works since May, the ad felt topical, as it was released online just days after President Donald Trump's travel ban against people from seven Muslim-majority countries. The ad got more than 8 million views on YouTube in just four days.
This is Special English.
U.S. President Donald Trump says movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger "tried hard" to make "Celebrity Apprentice" a success, but has failed.
In an early morning Twitter post recently, the president kept alive a theme he brought up a day earlier during his first appearance at the National Prayer Breakfast.
Trump, who once hosted the NBC reality TV show, took a pot shot there at Schwarzenegger, the current host and former California governor, over a ratings nosedive for the show.
Trump said in his tweet that Schwarzenegger did a bad job as Governor of California and even worse on the Apprentice, but at least he tried hard.
Schwarzenegger responded quickly to the remarks in a video on his verified Twitter account, suggesting that he and Donald Trump switch jobs.
His response to the dig from Trump came later in the day in the form of a tweeted link to a 2006 article from the Los Angeles Daily News reporting that he, then the governor, had released his tax records. Trump, as a candidate and now as president, has refused to release his own tax records.
Schwarzenegger had no further comment beyond the linked article, but his representative said the article "speaks for itself".
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
Nordstrom says it will stop selling Ivanka Trump clothing and accessories, creating some questions about the future of the brand elsewhere.
The Seattle-based department store chain said the decision was based on the sales performance of the first daughter's brand. Neiman Marcus may be the next one to pull back on the label, as the branded jewelry is nowhere to be seen on the upscale retailer's website as of Friday.
Nordstrom said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press that it makes buying decisions based on performance; and they have got thousands of brands, more than 2,000 offered on the site alone. Reviewing their merit and making edits is part of the regular rhythm of Nordstrom's business.
The move by Nordstrom comes amid a social media campaign called "Grab Your Wallet", urging a boycott of stores that stock Ivanka Trump or Donald Trump products.
Ivanka Trump announced earlier this month that she would take a leave of absence from her clothing and accessories business as well as the Trump organization.
This is Special English.
Norwegian zoologists have found around 30 plastic bags and other plastic waste in the stomach of a beaked whale that had beached on a southwestern Norway coast.
The visibly sick, 2-ton goose-beaked whale has been euthanized.
One zoologist from Bergen University says the whale's stomach was full of plastic, adding that its intestine "had no food, only some remnants of a squid's head in addition to a thin fat layer".
The scientists say the non-biodegradable waste was "probably the reason" why the whale repeatedly beached in shallow waters off Sotra, an island west of Bergen, 200 kilometers northwest of the capital of Oslo.
It size, around 6 meters, showed that the whale was an adult.
The United Nations estimates that 8 million tons of plastic trash is dumped into the world's oceans each year.
This is Special English.
Fossils of a newly discovered otter species dating back around 6 million years have been found in southwest China's Yunnan Province.
The well-preserved fossil has an almost complete cranium and mandible and a partial skeleton.
The otter weighed around 50 kilograms, around the same as a wolf, and measured up to two meters in length, almost double the size of a modern otter.
Computed tomography restoration of the skull revealed a combination of otter-like and badger-like skulls and tooth characteristics.
One scientist at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County says the species belonged to an extinct group of otters in East Asia.
Otters are semi-aquatic predators. Modern otters have worldwide distribution, but their fossil record is poor.
The new species outlined the migration paths of otters moving from Southeast Asia to China. It can help scientists better understand the evolution of the animals.
This is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I'm going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
This is the end of today's program. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing, and I hope you can join us every day, to learn English and learn about the world.

 

 
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