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2017-03-21 NEWS Plus Special English
   2017-03-17 13:34:26    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Du Lijun









This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China has launched operation "Sky Net 2017" to hunt down corruption suspects who have fled abroad.
The authorities made the announcement in a meeting convened by the office for capturing corruption suspects abroad under the central authority's anti-graft coordinating group.
According to the meeting, the campaign aims to nab suspects in duty-related crimes and recover their ill-gotten gains.
The Ministry of Public Security will launch the Fox Hunt operation to capture suspects abroad. China's central bank, the People's Bank of China, will cooperate with the ministry in cracking down on money transfers through offshore companies and underground banks.
Last year, a total of 1,000 fugitives have been returned to China from over 70 countries and regions. Among them are 130 state functionaries, 19 of whom were wanted on "red notices" for the most wanted fugitives.
The meeting said the campaign has achieved partial success, and the anti-corruption work will continue.
The central authority is calling for strengthened coordination and an improved system to make greater achievements.
This is Special English.
Beijing's neighboring Hebei province will significantly reduce its use of coal for heating this year to improve air quality.
According to the provincial authorities, by the end of this year, 90 percent of coal used in the province's rural areas will be replaced by clean energy. Environmentally friendly heat generation methods will also be employed.
The province is known for having poor air quality and frequently experiences heavy smog during the winter heating season. Household coal-burning in the winter is the main reason for heavy pollution in Hebei and neighboring Beijing as well as Tianjin.
The amount of coal used for heating in the province's rural areas topped 30 million tons in 2015, accounting for more than a half of the province's total coal used for heating. Primitive boilers in the region using poor-quality coal emit large amounts of pollutants.
Last year, coal-burning is accountable for around half of air pollution in capital city of Shijiazhuang during the heating season, compared to 20 percent outside of heating season.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
The myriad services just a swipe of the finger away are no longer limited to food delivery, airport check-ins, or finding a bike on the street. The latest novelty in China is an after-death service: organ donation.
Once beset by misconceptions and opaque proceedings, the Internet is unleashing explosive growth of people signing up for organ donation.
The China Organ Transplantation Development Foundation said the number of online applicants in two days had been equal to those registering at Red Cross offices over the past two years.
The foundation is backed by the National Health and Family Planning Commission, China's health watchdog. In December, it launched an organ donation function on Alipay, an online payment platform with 450 million users.
Alipay users can easily register as potential organ donors, because one has to submit accurate personal data to sign up as an Alipay user. It saves the foundation efforts to collect and verify potential donors' information.
People can de-list their registers from the pool by a few clicks at any time, even at the deathbed.
After three months of operations, the number of registered donors on Alipay has exceeded 100,000 and the number continues to rise.
In China, around 300,000 patients need organ transplants each year.
This is Special English.
China has established the world's largest 5G test field in the race to standardize the mobile communication technology.
Industry giants including Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corporation have joined the tests held at an outdoor site in Beijing.
The tests are set between 2016 and 2018. It includes three stages of verifications for key technology, technological solution and systems. Now the program is at its second stage test.
China started preparations for 5G network several years ago. A promotion group was set up in 2013 to coordinate efforts by mobile service operators, manufacturers and research institutes.
Years of investment has put China in a pole position to formulate the industry standard and reap the benefits of a network that provides much faster connectivity and lower energy consumption.
China aims to commercialize 5G mobile networks in 2020.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
China's first vessel capable of conducting rescues in deep, open waters has been put into service in the South China Sea.
The Ministry of Transport says this is the most advanced rescue vessel in the area and will play a key role in emergency rescues.
The all-weather, high-powered rescue ship was designed and built by China. It is 130 meters long and 16 meters wide, with a displacement of 7,300 tonnes and a range of 16,000 nautical miles.
The ship carries a towing system and autonomous underwater vehicle that can dive as deep as 6,000 meters. It is China's first rescue ship that can conduct air, sea and underwater searches at the same time.
The ship can rescue 200 people at a time and is designed for bad sea conditions including 12th grade waves and is suitable for the refueling and landing of helicopters.
China has 74 special rescue ships and 20 rescue helicopters.
This is Special English.
The Central Institute of Socialism has held its first seminar for Catholic clergy in China to discuss China's religious policies.
The seminar was attended by 49 Catholic clergy members from Beijing and east China's Jiangxi Province.
Scholars, including Canadian professor of politics Daniel Bell, have been invited to lecture on topics including Confucianism and Christianity.
The institute said it will hold a seminar on similar topics for representatives from the Christian community in China.
The institute was founded in 1956. It is a political academy for non-communist parties and people without party affiliation. It offered education programs to people from ethnic and religious groups.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price 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.
The Ministry of Culture said it organized more than 2,000 events around the globe to celebrate the Spring Festival which fell in January this year.
A total of 280 million people attended the celebrations which took place in more than 140 countries and regions across the world. The celebrations included a variety of shows and concerts.
The ministry said the celebrations have been welcomed and local elements were combined into the activities.
Top government leaders from almost 50 foreign countries sent their New Year greetings to Chinese people around the world.
This is Special English.
"Convergence LA" has been unveiled at downtown Los Angeles in the United States. "Convergence LA" is a landmark public art installation funded by Chinese real-estate developer Greenland.
The artwork is a digital craftsmanship that visualizes historic and real-time data of Los Angeles and displays it on a 30-meter-wide LED media wall.
The piece of art was created by two local artists.
The visuals were created by various kinds of data, including weather, news and traffic information.
A Los Angeles City Council member said the digital artwork will potentially increase the traffic in downtown L.A. area. People are going to be curious and will start visiting the attraction.
"Convergence LA" is located tight next to the "facade of Metropolis", a Greenland property that Council members described as "a huge second spark" of revitalization after the establishment of "L.A. Live". And this spark encouraged many other investors to invest in downtown L.A.
"L.A. Live" is an entertainment complex occupying more than 520,000 square meters in downtown Los Angeles, adjacent to the Staples Center and the Convention Center.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
An Alaska volcano that has erupted periodically since mid-December sent up its biggest cloud to date recently, prompting warnings to airliners and a major U.S. fishing port in the Aleutian Islands.
Bogoslof Volcano erupted early this month, spewing ash for three hours and sending a cloud of dust to 35,000 feet in the air.
The National Weather Service warned that trace amounts, less than 1 millimeter, of ash could settle on Dutch Harbor, a major port for Bering Sea crab and pollock.
It was the 36th eruption for Bogoslof over the last three months, and the first since Feb. 19. Geologists say it was the most significant event for the entire eruption.
The eruption was marked by 200 lighting strikes and elevated seismic activity that lasted for hours.
This is Special English.
There are fears that Australia's famous saltwater crocodiles could become a bigger threat to humans. Ecologists have discovered that the giant reptile's population is increasing by three percent every year.
Saltwater crocodiles can grow up to seven meters in length. They were listed as a protected species in the 1970s. However since hunting the "crocs" was declared illegal, their population has recovered dramatically.
Wildlife ecologists say the reptiles could soon pose a real risk to those who live in populated areas in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Scientists have been doing surveys of crocodiles in the King River and other parts of Western Australia since 1986. This is the longest running survey for saltwater crocodiles in the Kimberley.
In the early years, researchers found between 20 and 40 crocodiles along the 40 kilometers of river, and now there are as many as 150 animals in the same area.
The study also shows an increase in the number of larger crocodiles as well, and their population is recovering from the brink of extinction.
The research points to the crocodiles moving into more urban areas as the population continues to increase.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
An international team of researchers has found that rain and snow may play a more important role than how hot or cold it is for the evolution of plants and animals.
The team reviewed 170 published studies that measured natural selection over certain time periods for plant and animal populations worldwide. It concluded that between 20 and 40 percent of variation in selection within studies could be attributed to variability in local precipitation.
Twenty biologists from the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia published their findings in the journal Science.
The findings demonstrate that variation in selection is commonly coupled to shared climatic conditions, particularly aspects of precipitation.
A co-author on the study say that whether or not adaptive evolution will occur in response to this selection is unclear, but the study results do suggest that climate change has the potential to alter adaptation across the globe.
This is Special English.
A new study shows that trees planted by ancient people may have shaped the landscape of the Amazon rainforest.
The study has been published in the journal Science. It compared data of the trees at over 1,000 spots across the Amazon forests.
A co-author of the study said some trees were planted by people who lived there long before the arrival of European colonists. The abundant species were common in ancient times.
The study found that 85 tree species are known to have been planted by Amazonian peoples for food, shelter or other uses over the past thousands of years. They were five times more likely to be common in mature upland forests than non-domesticated species.
The study also showed that thousands of years of human settlement in the Amazon basin had a profound influence on modern-day patterns of Amazonian biodiversity.
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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