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2017-03-20 NEWS Plus Special English
   2017-03-17 13:33:15    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Du Lijun









This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chang'e 5, China's newest lunar probe, will bring 2 kilograms of lunar soil and rock samples back to Earth before the end of this year.
The project's chief said the month-long Chang'e 5 mission will be the most sophisticated lunar expedition China has ever made. It will face many challenges including the great number of demanding maneuvers and the complicated conditions of its landing site.
The 8-metric ton probe has four components, an orbiter, lander, ascender and re-entry module. After the probe reaches lunar orbit, the components will separate into two parts. The orbiter and re-entry module will remain in orbit while the lander and ascender will descend towards the moon's surface.
The lander and ascender will make a soft landing, using small rockets to slow descent. They will get to work, using a drill to collect underground rocks and a mechanical arm to gather lunar soil.
After two days, the ascender's rocket will elevate it to lunar orbit to dock with the re-entry module. It will transfer lunar samples to the module, which will carry them to Earth. The samples are to be distributed to scientists around the country for research.
This is Special English.
After sending a probe to Mars in 2020, China plans to explore three asteroids and land on one of them to conduct scientific research.
The "China's Space Activities of 2016" white paper has been issued by the Information Office of the State Council recently. It mentioned asteroid exploration in outlining the major tasks of the country's space industry in the next five years.
According to the white paper, China decided to conduct expeditions to asteroids, and then to Jupiter and its satellite system after the Mars expedition.
Experts say the plan is to fly a probe by an asteroid, to fly side by side with an asteroid for a period, and to land on a third one to conduct in situ sampling analysis on the surface.
So far, only the United States and Japan have landed probes on asteroids. Japanese probe Hayabusa 1 landed on the asteroid Itokawa, and brought back samples to Earth.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Southwest China's Chengdu city has started freight trains to Belarus, the first of the city's planned 150 freight trains to countries including Belarus, Russia and Lithuania this year.
The train, carrying 41 containers of car parts, left the provincial capital of Sichuan and will reach Minsk in 12 days after a journey of more than 8,800-kilometer.
The car parts were ordered by Chinese carmaker Geely for its joint venture in Minsk.
The city of Chengdu ran 460 freight trains to cities in Poland, the Netherlands and Germany last year, more than any other Chinese city. This year, the city plans to run 1,000 freight trains to Europe.
Demand for rail freight between China and Europe, an alternative to slower and riskier ocean shipping and much costlier air travel, has exploded in recent years.
This is Special English.
China has overtaken the United States as the world's largest art market amid a sharp drop in global art sales. That's according to an annual report released by France-based website Artprice.com.
The report found that almost 13 billion US dollars' worth of art was sold at art auctions across the world last year, a 22 percent decline from the 16 billion dollars of sales in 2015. Art sales in China were almost 5 billion dollars last year, accounting for 38 percent of the world's gross.
China had been the leading art sales market since 2010, before it was overtaken by the United State in 2015.
According to the report, traditional Chinese paintings and calligraphy comprise the majority of China's art sales. The highest price fetched at a Chinese auction last year was 46 million dollars for a scroll painting by an ancient painter, and it's called Five Drunken Kings Return on Horses.
The report noted that Chinese artists were the biggest moneymakers at auctions, with three Chinese artists on the list of top five profitable artists.
Chinese artist Zhang Daqian attained the highest price, ahead of Pablo Picasso and other Chinese artists.
Hong Kong has become an unmissable destination on the contemporary art map as auctions are held increasingly frequently there.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The Chinese language has been added to the graduation exam list by an Italian high school and 29 students will take the test this year.
Sophie School, a high school specializing in linguistics, in Trento in northeastern Italy, has become the first school in the country to list Chinese as a graduation exam subject.
The Chinese course has been running at the Italian school for five years, and 145 of its 910 students have chosen to study the language.
The director of the school Maria Silva Boccardi said Chinese will become a global language in the future and they set up the course because many students had asked for it.
She said there were only a few schools in Italy which provided trial Chinese courses in the past, but now, Chinese courses have become a crucial part of their overall teaching plan. She said the school is welcoming their pioneer batch of graduates this year.
Roberto is a Sophie School student who is going to take the Chinese test before graduation. He said writing Chinese characters is the most difficult aspect of learning the language. He said when considering looking for better job opportunities overseas, China would definitely be his top choice.
This is Special English.
Samsung Electronics is speeding up its layout into the home appliances sector in China, with products ranging from televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, air purifiers and robot vacuum cleaners. The South Korean electronics company is continuing its efforts to put behind it the global recall of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone last year, triggered by reports of explosions involving the product.
The president of Samsung Electronics China, Bae Kyung-tae, told the Samsung Forum in Shanghai that this is the 25th year since Samsung entered the Chinese market.
The president said it always regarded China as one of its most important markets in the world, and invested long-term resources and advanced technology in China.
The South Korean consumer electronics giant put emphasis at the forum on its QLED TV, considered as a next generation display technology after OLED displays given its enhanced picture quality.
A vice-president of Samsung Electronics 's TV business in China, said sales of its curved-screen TV in China witnessed a growth of 87 percent year-on-year last year, while QLED sales increased by 91 percent last year, compared with the previous year.
Samsung unveiled a new 75-inch QLED TV model at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.
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.
An international team of experts has set a benchmark for global climate change by verifying the most extreme temperatures observed in Antarctica.
An expert committee of the World Meteorological Organization Commission for Climatology monitors weather and climate extremes around the globe. It has published new records for the highest temperatures recorded in the Antarctic region.
The highest temperature for the Antarctic region was observed on Jan. 30, 1982, on Signy Island.
The highest temperature for the Antarctic continent was 17.5 degrees Celsius, recorded on March 24, 2015, near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.
The highest temperature for the Antarctic Plateau was minus 7 degrees recorded on Dec. 28, 1980.
The lowest temperature recorded by ground measurements for the Antarctic region, and for the whole world, was minus 89.2 degrees at Vostok station on July 21, 1983.
Scientists say the verification of the Antarctic extremes helps to increase understanding about the Antarctic's climate. Knowledge and verification of the extremes is important in the study of weather patterns, naturally occurring climate variability and human-induced climate change at global and regional scales.
The newly defined records give the international community a benchmark for comparison with future observations in changing climate.
This is Special English.
Australian scientists said a ground-breaking research project into one family will unlock the secrets of prostate cancer.
Researchers from Melbourne's Menzies Institute will study the tumors of men from one Tasmanian family which has had 32 cases of prostate cancer in two generations to try and better understand the cancer.
The world-first study will examine the tumors to establish if they have a genetic disruption to chromosome seven, a mutation which causes aggressive prostate cancer, and weather the disruption is genetic.
Liesel FitzGerald, the lead researcher from the Menzies Institute, said the team would try to establish why the mutation occurred.
FitzGerald said she has a suspicion that it is due to two genes fusing together, and unfortunately when this happens the tumors tend to grow a lot faster, and they invade other parts of the body.
The researcher believes it might be an inherited mutation, and the inherited mutation in their normal cells causes gene fusion to occur.
She said that the island state of Tasmania, where 500 people are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, was the perfect place to study genetic diseases because of its small gene pool.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The Siberian Tiger Park in Harbin, the capital of Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, is helping more than 300 Siberian tigers to lose weight. The process is being done by adding more exercise to their daily routine and cutting back on their food intake.
Photos of the tigers circulated online and received wide attention from internet users, who compared the endangered big cats to orange tabby cats including comic-strip character Garfield.
People questioned whether the captive tigers have been overfed by tourists at the park, the world's largest Siberian tiger breeding and field training center.
A chief engineer at the park, Liu Dan, said the tigers' obesity is a seasonal phenomenon.
Liu said some tigers in the park look very chubby, but it has nothing to do with tourists feeding them. In fact, it is natural for them to devour more in order to adapt to acute weather conditions during the winter.
The weight of a male Siberian tiger increases by around 10 percent in winter. To gain the weight, their food intake increases by around 30 percent to reach 8 kilograms a day for a tiger that is normally around 250 kilograms in weight.
This is Special English.
Dignitaries and celebrities in Hong Kong attended an event to honor Jin Yong, whose picaresque tales of martial arts heroes are popular throughout the Chinese-speaking world.
The occasion marked the grand opening at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum of Jin Yong Gallery, a permanent exhibition of works by Louis Cha Leung-yung, better known by his pen name, Jin Yong.
The exhibition presents almost 300 items, including manuscripts, photographs, early editions of his novels, film posters, recordings of TV series' theme songs and the writer's personal items, including a chessboard and a camera.
Jin Yong's novels have been adapted more than 90 times for the big screen and television.
One valuable manuscript on display is "The Smiling Proud Wanderer" initially published in Singaporean newspaper Shin Min Daily News in 1967.
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 can join us every day, to learn English and learn about the world.

 

 
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