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2017-03-13 NEWS Plus Special English
   2017-03-10 12:50:15    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Du Lijun

This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
China's environmental inspectors have named and shamed more cities for poor air quality control as the fight against smog continues.
Inspectors looked at 18 cities in north China's Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province, using unannounced checks at night and undercover methods.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection found that Handan city in Hebei Province continues to illegally operate coal-fired boilers. The boilers have been dismantled and further investigations are underway.
In Cangzhou city in the same province, an oil pipe maker, a major source of emissions, was not included in the list of companies to halt production on heavily polluted days.
A cement producer in Beijing used more electricity than usual in December when it should have suspended production. Two other cement firms were wrongly exempted from production suspensions.
The environment ministry has criticized several other cities for not doing enough in curbing the use of "scattered coal". Scattered coal is burned by households or small factories for heating and is much dirtier than that used by thermal plants, which have the equipment to reduce emissions.
China is intensifying efforts to fight pollution and environmental degradation after decades of growth left the country saddled with problems including smog and contaminated soil.
This is Special English.
The new strain of H7N9 bird flu virus confirmed earlier this month could become drug-resistant. A leading specialist in respiratory diseases warns that it might be resistant already.
Human cases of the flu have been rising in China.
Two human cases of the new strain were reported in Guangdong province. It shows resistance to a commonly used drug in the prevention and treatment of flu.
Experts say although the two patients are resistant to the drug, it has been effective for most human H7N9 cases. This means that most H7N9 viruses have not mutated to the new strain.
The experts said that although the new H7N9 strain shows resistance to the drug, the drug could still have an effect on the strain.
Both patients have used the drug before, so it is not known whether the drug resistance is caused by previous use of the dug or by a mutation of the virus.
Scientists say the possible drug-resistant nature of the new strain deserves more attention.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China has issued a revised regulation on improving education for the disabled.
The regulation was signed by Premier Li Keqiang and will take effect in May.
The revision stressed stepping up efforts in developing compulsory, vocational, preschool and senior secondary education for the disabled.
For compulsory education, disabled students should be enrolled in normal or special schools near to their home. Those who cannot attend school in person should have teachers visit or receive distance education. Disabled students in regular schools should be taught by teachers with experience in special education.
The regulation says vocational education for the disabled should focus on skill cultivation and career guidance.
It also stresses raising payment for special education workers, allocating proper funds for the education of disabled people in government budgets and offering subsidies to disabled students with financial difficulties.
The initial regulation was enacted in 1994 to guarantee the rights to education for the disabled.
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International schools in China are posing new challenges for parents who spend huge sums but often find themselves unprepared for a range of issues.
The Legal Daily reports that in top-tier cities including Beijing and Shanghai, many parents send their children to international schools to allow them early preparation for studying abroad. Admission has become more competitive amid China's rising number of high income earners and some schools now assess parental participation in community activities before admitting a child.
One recent report said international schools in China lack standards in tuition, vary greatly in educational quality, while school ownership is sometimes unclear.
International schools in the country come in different forms and many follow the International Baccalaureate curriculum or that of the country they represent.
As a new approach, some public high schools have also opened international classes to offer a quick transition abroad. They have become popular among parents, though native English speakers are in the minority as Chinese students comprise 90 percent of classes.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China's biggest manufacturer of carrier rockets will soon begin to develop the next-generation Long March 8 medium-lift carrier rocket to meet the demands of commercial launch services.
Scientists say the Long March 8 will have a modular design and will use engines that have been used by the Long March 5 and Long March 7, both new rockets developed by China.
Its core stage will be based on those used by the Long March 7 and Long March 3A, and it will have two solid-propelled boosters that are 2 meters in diameter.
China will spend up to three years on its development and if everything goes well, its maiden flight will take place by the end of 2018.
The Long March 8 will be capable of sending a payload of about 5 metric tons to a sun-synchronous orbit, or 3 tons to geosynchronous transfer orbit. In a sun-synchronous orbit, a satellite circles the Earth at the same rate that the Earth orbits the sun. With a geosynchronous orbit, the satellite matches the rotation of the Earth.
Scientists say the use of the Long March 8 will extensively reduce the launch costs of low-and middle-orbit satellites, giving it bright prospects in the commercial launch market.
This is Special English.
China's first high level biosafety laboratory has been accredited and will be fully operational soon.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences say the certificate was issued by the China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment.
The lab is based in Wuhan, the capital city of central China's Hubei Province. It will be used to study class four pathogens, or P4, the most virulent viruses that pose a high risk of aerosol transmission.
P4 is the highest biosafety level.
The lab will help China prevent and control outbreaks of infectious diseases and aid research and development into antiviral drugs and vaccines.
All the air from the lab will go through two advanced filters before being discharged, while solid and liquid waste will also be properly processed.
The lab has undergone trial operations since its construction was completed at the end of 2014. Some of the core research teams have been trained in France and the United States.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
Chinese telecoms company ZTE has unveiled the Gigabit Phone, the world's first smartphone with 5G technology, in Barcelona, the host city of the forthcoming Mobile World Congress in Spain.
The phone has a download speed of up to 1 Gigabit per second. It is powered by a processor that represents an important step for 5G technology. The company said it marks an important cornerstone for the 5G mobile era.
It said the phone will lead to a new world of mobile experience with 360-degree panoramic VR video, instant Cloud storage, entertainment upgrades and fast cache of ultra Hi-Fi music and films.
ZTE is a leading global provider of telecommunications equipment, networking solutions and one of the world's fastest growing smartphone manufacturers.
This is the 13th time that ZTE has attended the Mobile World Congress, the world's largest mobile industry event.
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The surface area of China's largest inland saltwater lake has expanded over the past decade, as rainfall increases and temperatures rise.
Qinghai Lake is located in northwest China's Qinghai Province. A recent survey reveals that the surface area of lake reached 4,500 square kilometers last year. It marks an increase of 170 square kilometers from 12 years ago.
The lake has been expanding since 2005 due to abundant precipitation in the surrounding areas and more snow melting due to warm weather.
In 2008, Qinghai invested 2 billion yuan, roughly 230 million U.S. dollars, in grassland restoration and reforestation projects. The project aimed to prevent the desert area around the lake from expanding.
Qinghai Lake plays an important role in the ecological security of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The lake had been shrinking since the 1950s, but the combined effects of conservation and changes to the regional climate turned things around in 2005.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Wenchang is the location of China's fourth satellite launch center in tropical Hainan province. The city will be built into an international aerospace center with a focus on developing six related industries.
Wenchang is also China's first coastal launch center which became operational last year. Located around 19 degrees north of the equator, the center is suitable for launching many types of satellites, large space station components, as well as lunar and interplanetary missions.
A plan has been drafted to develop the launch center into a space industry base, in a bid to open it up to international, commercial launches.
The city will focus on six related industries including heavy space equipment assembling, space science research, finance, space breeding, tourism and international training.
The mayor of the city says the launch center has provided unprecedented opportunities for Wenchang to develop, and the city is making full use of its advantages to benefit the local economy and tourism.
An official from the city government said Wenchang has started to support the development of its rural areas with space technology.
This is Special English.
A book aiming to serve as an introduction to the origins and evolution of Chinese culture has been published by China Social Sciences Press in Beijing.
The book "Concise Reader of Chinese Culture" covers a number of different perspectives, ranging from Chinese values to Chinese aesthetics. It was published in response to President Xi Jinping's call to promote the country's traditional culture.
A chief editor of China Social Sciences Press said the book condenses 5,000 years of history into round 200,000 words.
As the 15th publication in the "Understanding China" series, the book will be translated into English, Russian and Spanish.
Stephen C. Angle, professor of Philosophy and East Asian Studies at Wesleyan University, said it is of great importance that Chinese people understand China.
This is Special English.
A Chinese short film named "Distracted Driving" won the second prize of the 2017 Global Road Safety Film Festival.
The film was produced by the Road Traffic Safety Research Center of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security. It displayed the consequences of using smartphones while driving on the road.
Every year 1.3 million people are killed and around 50 million injured in road traffic crashes, making it one of the most pressing health emergencies of our time.
The festival brought together 230 films from countries across the globe. The winner of the grand prix prize went to "Reflections from Inside Dawn" produced by the NGO "We save lives" from the United States.
That 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.
That is the end of today's program. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing, and I hope you will join us every day, to learn English and learn about the world.




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