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2017-05-02 NEWS Plus Special English
   2017-04-28 11:21:40    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Du Lijun









This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
An international medical journal's retraction of 107 research papers from China, many of them by clinical doctors, has reignited concerns over academic credibility in the country.
Tumor Biology, a journal published by Springer Nature, announced a couple weeks ago that it had retracted the papers after an investigation showed the peer review process had been compromised.
Peter Butler, editorial director for cell biology and biochemistry at Springer Nature, said the articles were submitted with reviewer suggestions, which had real researcher names but fabricated email addresses.
Butler told Shanghai-based news website The Paper that the editors thought the articles were being sent to genuine reviewers in the discipline. Following investigation and communication with the real reviewers, they confirmed they did not conduct the peer review.
Peer review is an evaluation of work by one or more people of similar competence to those who produce the work, which helps validate research.
The online notice about the retraction lists all 107 articles and 524 authors, nearly all of whom are clinical cancer specialists from China. The hospitals named are all top public institutions.
This is Special English.
Chinese citizens' personal information and the country's important data collected by Internet service providers may need evaluation and permission before being shared with non-domestic entities.
A draft guideline has been released for public opinion by the Cyberspace Administration of China. According to the guideline, Chinese citizens' personal information should be kept within the country and be subject to security assessment before being provided to anyone outside China.
The document says that to sell someone else's personal information, one must get permission from this individual.
For data related to national security, the economy or public interest, the seller should coordinate a security evaluation with the authorities. The evaluation will ensure online data is managed legally. 
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
China's air quality monitoring network is to be expanded to cover a wider area, especially at the grassroots level, to facilitate scientific and effective control of airborne pollution.
By March, more than 5,000 monitoring stations had been built across China. They are managed by the environmental monitoring authorities at four levels, namely State, provincial, city and county levels.
The China National Environmental Monitoring Center operates 1,500 State-level monitoring stations nationwide. The center ensures that the data collected are independent of local government oversight to prevent interference and guaranteeing accuracy and authenticity.
The 5,000-plus monitoring stations test for six "criteria" of airborne pollutants, including PM2.5, PM10 and sulfur dioxide, across different regions and locations.
This is Special English.
China imposes some of the world's toughest driving restrictions for cars, and now the checks and controls are expanding to the bicycle-sharing industry.
Police in Shenzhen in south China's Guangdong Province have clearly said they are considering restrictions on the use of shared bikes, especially during the holidays, to prevent road congestion and public disorder.
Police said that around 520,000 bikes have been put on the streets in the city in the year since bike sharing began.
A growing number of people are taking the colorful two-wheelers to work or using them for recreation, which has brought some challenges. For example, over the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday last month, paths at a local park became seriously clogged with bikes, while careless parking of the bikes often blocks traffic as well.
The police are partnering with bike-sharing companies to monitor the number of bikes in designated areas. Under the plan, if the accumulation of bikes in an area hits a certain number, a warning system will be activated that prohibits bikes from entering. Cyclists will be notified at the same time via a mobile app.
A limit on the number of bikes will also be enforced, along with temporary bans in certain public areas during peak seasons.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
Australian researchers have compiled an unparalleled database detailing the almost 6 trillion tonnes of global fishing since 1950.
The database was created by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania. It was based on more than 800 million fishing records from 1950 to 2014.
During the 65 years covered by the records, fishers from 193 countries caught almost 6 trillion tonnes of fish of 1,400 different species. Among them, 900 million tonnes have been taken illegally.
Reginald Watson, who collated the data, said the database illustrated that the global fish population was finite.
Watson said the database brings together every major international statistical collection of fisheries data since comprehensive records began, providing unique insights into the industry.
He said more than 860 million fishing records have been compiled into a single harmonized view and mapped down to tiny spatial cells, so people can see where fishing has been happening and how it's changed over time.
Watson said despite a plateau in recent years, the annual rate of fishing has grown from 27 million tonnes of fish taken in 1950 to 120 million tonnes in 2014.
Since 1950, fisheries have moved further offshore and greatly intensified. People now have more vessels of a greater size and larger storage capacity. They are spending longer time at sea and fishing in deeper waters.
This is Special English.
A new study suggests that the system of grid cells, known as the brain's global positioning system, is more complicated than anyone had thought before.
While the brain needs some basic navigational instruments to get around, just like a driver in a car, researchers have found that brain cells are similar to speedometers, compasses, GPS and even collision warning systems.
However, researchers with Stanford University in the United States report that human brains map out the world in a more complex way. Some of the neurons in the internal navigation systems look a lot like speedometers or compasses. Many others operate flexibly, each one encoding a dynamic mix of navigational variables, like a compass that somehow transforms into a GPS when driving downtown.
The project began in 2014, when scientists got a Bio-X seed grant to take a closer look at how the brain finds its way around. The same year, a Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery of grid cells, which are specialized neurons that help animals keeping track of where they are in their environments.
The findings of that time said that while some neurons fell within the ballpark of how a grid cell was supposed to behave, most provided only noisy, error-prone navigation, like a GPS on the fritz. That led the researchers to wonder whether the brain had a way to correct those errors. In 2015, they reported that the brain does have a way: boundary cells, so named because they fire when nearing walls and other landmarks.
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.
Car models supporting autonomous driving and Internet-based services are bright spots at the 2017 Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition.
A total of 113 models of car made their global debut at the auto show, which has attracted more than 1,000 exhibitors from 18 countries and regions. The 1,400 complete vehicle exhibitions included 160 new energy vehicles and 56 concept cars.
The theme of this year's show is "Committed to a Better Life".
The Shanghai-based electric vehicle startup Nio made its much-awaited domestic debut at the show. The company brought a model of its concept driverless car EVE, whose interior space is designed as a living room.
Li Bin, founder of Nio, said that when humans are freed from driving, the car would be transformed into a space for relaxation and entertainment.
Domestic auto maker Roewe unveiled its new model i6 16T, featuring a smart operation system that has access to mobile payment tool Alipay.
When the driver gets on the car, the system tells them to bring an umbrella if it is going to rain. It can select routes based on real-time road conditions and the driver's habits, and can even help order and pay for take-away coffee.
Another model of the carmaker, the RX5, carries a similar system. Sales of the new model have exceeded 140,000 since it was released eight months ago.
German manufacturer BMW also brought new models to the show. The new models feature intelligent driving.
This is Special English.
Beijing is taking steps to improve its vehicle parking management by encouraging the construction of parking facilities and imposing stricter penalties for illegal parking.
The Beijing Municipal Commission of Transportation released a draft of its new parking regulations recently. The document is available for public comment until May 10.
A shortage of parking lots has become a serious problem in Beijing, as the number of cars in the city continues to grow. Researchers say it requires integrated efforts in planning and management to improve the situation.
According to the draft regulations, police will set up parking areas along secondary roads near communities that have a shortage of parking lots.
For residential communities and government buildings that can sufficiently meet their own parking demand, the authority encourages them to open their parking facilities to the public and charge fees.
For existing parking areas, the government should work on raising their efficiency by improving charging systems and making full use of parking spaces in residential communities and commercial areas, as well as office buildings.
Beijing's planning and transportation departments should work together to make use of spare land by building more parking facilities, especially multi-level garages, and install smart parking systems.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
Cameras captured images of a panda in a nature reserve in southwest China's Sichuan Province three years after it has been released into the wild.
The pictures and videos of the panda were taken at a nature reserve in the Yi Autonomous Prefecture in late February.
Researchers identified the panda as one they released into the wild in 2013 and its name is Zhangxiang. The panda is living in a suitable environment where it can find enough bamboo. After further investigation, researchers revealed that the panda was in a normal physical condition.
The findings also prove that the panda has moved from one group to another. This marks another success in releasing pandas into the wilderness in China.
Zhangxiang is a female giant panda born in 2011. It was released in 2013 following two years of wilderness training.
This is Special English.
Almost 20 years after being stolen, a 1,300-year-old stone Buddhist pagoda has been returned to its home of Shanxi province in northern China with help from pilgrims across the Taiwan Straits.
The almost 2-meter-high item is part of a 3-meter-high pagoda. Based on inscriptions, scientists say the pagoda was built in 720 AD. It was included in the province's first list of key protection cultural relics in 1965. However, the top part of the relic was stolen away in 1996, and the rest became missing two years later. Only the foundation and certain parts were left at the site.
The facade of the pagoda were carved with Buddhist scriptures and decorated with colorful paintings.
Officials say the province has an abundant Buddhist relic resources, but such exquisitely made stone pagodas are rarely seen.
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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