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2017-05-09 NEWS Plus Special English
   2017-05-05 10:20:54    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Du Lijun









This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China is expected to establish a national emergency and coordination committee to deal with nuclear accidents.
The draft law on nuclear safety states that the committee is responsible for organizing a response to nuclear accident. The draft was first read among legislators in November.
The latest draft highlights the need for transparency of nuclear information. It requires government departments in charge of nuclear safety supervision to publish information about nuclear accidents and other nuclear-related data.
In addition, the draft clarifies the importance of disposing of radioactive waste. Data on the source, amount, character and location of such waste should be recorded and stored permanently.
This is Special English.
China's conversion of coal into natural gas could prevent tens of thousands of premature deaths each year. But there's a catch. Researchers say as China shifts its use of vast coal reserves to send less smog-inducing chemicals into the air, the move threatens to undermine efforts to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.
The environmental trade-off points to the difficult choices confronting leaders of the world's second largest economy as they struggle to balance public health and financial growth with international climate change commitments.
Between 20,000 and 41,000 premature deaths annually could be prevented by converting low-quality coal in the country's western provinces into synthetic natural gas for residential use.
The findings by researchers from the United States and China have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The researchers said that if the gas were used for industrial purposes, fewer deaths would be averted and they would carry a steeper price - a dramatic increase in carbon dioxide emissions.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
U.S. Space Agency NASA's Cassini spacecraft has survived an unprecedented trip between Saturn and its rings, and has amazing pictures to show for it.
Flight controls regained contact with Cassini, one day after it became the first craft to cross this hazardous region. The rings are made up of countless icy particles, any of which could have smacked Cassini. The spacecraft's big dish antenna served as a shield as it hurtled through the narrow gap, temporarily cutting off communications.
Cassini skimmed 3,100 kilometers above Saturn's cloud tops, closer than ever before. It came within 320 kilometers of the innermost visible ring.
Scientists say Saturn continues to surprise them, after 13 years of Cassini orbiting the planet. The pictures show details never seen before. For example, there's an incredible close-up of a gigantic swirling hurricane at Saturn's North Pole.
Given their importance, data from the crossing are being sent to Earth twice, to make certain nothing is lost. It takes more than an hour for the signals to travel the 1.6 billion kilometer distance between Saturn and Earth.
Cassini was launched in 1997 from Cape Canaveral in Florida, and reached Saturn in 2004.
This is Special English.
Astronaut Peggy Whitson broke the U.S. record recently for the most time in space and talked up Mars during a congratulatory call from President Donald Trump.
The International Space Station's commander surpassed the record of 534 days, two hours and 48 minutes for most accumulated time in space by an American.
Trump said that it is a very special day in the glorious history of American spaceflight. His daughter and close adviser Ivanka Trump also offered congratulations to Whitson from the Oval Office.
Whitson said it's a huge honor for her to break such a record. She said it's an exciting time", as NASA prepares for human expeditions to Mars in the 2030s. The program has been included in new legislation signed by Trump last month. Whitson called the space station "a key bridge" between living on Earth and traveling into deep space. She singled out the station's recycling system that transforms astronauts' urine into drinking water.
Whitson was already the world's most experienced spacewoman and female spacewalker, as well as the oldest woman in space, at 57 years old. By the time she returns to Earth in September, she'll have logged 666 days in orbit over three flights.
The world record is 879 days. It is held by Russian Gennady Padalka. Whitson broke the NASA cumulative record set last year by astronaut Jeffrey Williams. Scott Kelly holds the U.S. record for consecutive days in space, at 340.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
Three African countries have been chosen to test the world's first malaria vaccine.
Ghana, Kenya and Malawi will be piloting the injectable vaccine next year with hundreds of thousands of young children, who have been at the highest risk of death.
The World Health Organization said the vaccine has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives if used with existing measures. The challenge is whether impoverished countries can deliver the required four doses of the vaccine for each child.
Malaria remains one of the world's most stubborn health challenges. It infects more than 200 million people every year and kills about half a million. Most of the victims are children in Africa. Bed netting and insecticides are the chief protection.
Sub-Saharan Africa is hardest hit by this disease. The area had around 90 percent of the world's cases in 2015. Malaria spreads when a mosquito bites someone already infected, sucks up blood and parasites, and then bites another person.
The World Health Organization says a global effort to counter malaria has led to 62 percent cut in deaths between 2000 and 2015.
This is Special English.
The White House says President Donald Trump is appointing the former president of a leading anti-abortion organization to a senior position at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Charmaine Yoest, who actively supported Trump in his campaign, will serve as assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services. From 2008 until February 2016, she was president of Americans United for Life, which campaigned at the federal and state level for tough restrictions on abortion.
Among the many state bills backed by the group under Yoest's leadership were measures that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. These measures require women seeking abortions to undergo a sonogram and impose tough regulations on abortion clinics that could lead to their closure.
The appointment was assailed by abortion-rights groups.
Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, said Charmaine Yoest has spent her whole professional life opposing access to birth control and a woman's right to safe, legal abortion.
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.
Increasingly strict government controls on genetic information have resulted in longer, slower registration procedures for new and developing drugs. However, experts say the procedures could pose a threat to the people's privacy.
An expert at the Chinese Academy of Sciences says that rather than providing extra safeguards, the precautions are actually making genetic information less secure. He urged greater streamlining of the procedures to the bottleneck and shorten the registration process.
In late 2015, China issued a statement outlining extra application and approval procedures for clinical drug trials conducted in collaboration with foreign pharmaceutical companies. The document also cover drug trials by research institutions funded by investment from overseas. The same rules apply if projects are overseen by foreign nationals.
The measures require tests to be conducted on a greater number of people. This has resulted in a substantial rise in the amount of personal information being collected and stored.
Scientists are saying the stricter procedures have had a negative effect on many new potential treatments in China. Many companies have reported six to nine months extra waiting time, which has seriously slowed down the approval process for badly needed new drugs.
This is Special English.
Global warming's milder winters will likely nudge Americans off the couch more in the future, which is a rare, small benefit of climate change.
A new study finds that with less chilly winters, Americans will be more likely to get outdoors, increasing their physical activity by as much as 2.5 percent by the end of the century.
Areas including North Dakota, Minnesota and Maine are likely to see the most dramatic increases, usually the result of more walking. The study was published in the journal Nature Human Behavior.
But this good global warming side effect is not likely to extend to the Deep South and especially the desert southwest, where hotter summer days keep people inside. The study found that Arizona, southern Nevada and southeastern California are likely to see activity drop off the most by the year 2099.
A lead author of the study said it is a small little tiny silver lining amid a series of very bad and very unfortunate events that are likely to occur. The scientist added that global warming "almost certainly will be very costly for humanity".
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
U.S. marine scientists say collisions of whales and boats off of the New England coast may be more common than previously thought.
The scientists focused on the humpback whale population in the southern Gulf of Maine, a body of water off of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. They found that almost 15 percent of the whales had injuries or scarring consistent with at least one vessel strike. The wales come to New England to feed every spring.
The researchers published their findings in the March issue of the journal Marine Mammal Science. The study shows that the occurrence of such strikes is most likely underestimated. The figure is likely low because it does not account for whales that are killed in ship strikes.
A lead author of the study said vessel strikes are a significant risk to both whales and to boaters. Long term studies can help people figure out if the outreach programs to boaters are effective.
This is Special English.
When Logan Snyder got hooked on pills after a prescription to treat pain from a kidney stone, she joined the millions already swept up in the nation's grim wave of addiction to opioid painkillers. She was just 14.
Youth is a drawback when it comes to kicking drugs. Only half of U.S. treatment centers accept teenagers and even fewer offer teen-focused groups or programs. After treatment, adolescents find little structured support. They are outnumbered by adults at self-help meetings. Sober youth drop-in centers are rare. Returning to school means resisting offers to get high with old friends.
But Snyder is lucky. Her slide ended when her father got her into a residential drug treatment program. Now 17 years old and clean, she credits her continued success to Hope Academy in Indianapolis, a tuition-free recovery school where she is enrolled as a junior.
The opioid epidemic is the worst addiction crisis in U.S. history. It has mostly ensnared adults, especially those in their 20s, 30s and 40s. But teens have not been spared. Each day, 1,100 start misusing pain pills. Federal data show that opioids killed 521 teens in 2015.
Not enough is known about opioids and teen brains. But getting hooked early is trouble. The vast majority of adults in treatment reports say they started using as teenagers.
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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