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2017-08-07 NEWS Plus Special English
   2017-08-04 10:25:46    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Du Lijun









This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for all-out efforts to push forward military reform with the support of the entire nation and the Communist Party of China.
President Xi is also general secretary of the party Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission. He made the remarks at a group study attended by members of the Political Bureau of the Party Central Committee.
The group study focused on reform of the military in size, structure, and formation.
The president said national defense and military reform has been carried out in a bold and resolute way; and the reform has taken historic steps and achieved historic breakthroughs in major fields, pumping great power into building a strong army.
The reform mainly includes optimizing the country's military size, structure, and formation, and solving structural contradictions that hinder the development of national defense and the armed forces.
As the reform deepens, China will have a smaller army with better combat capability and optimized structure.
He reiterated that reform on national defense and the armed forces is an overall and revolutionary change, with unprecedented strength, depth and breadth.
President Xi said that the reform should take the correct direction, inspections should be strengthened, and various reform measures should be put into practice.
This is Special English.
Chinese and Russian warships have held gun firing exercises in the Baltic Sea as part of the "Joint Sea 2017" naval drills.
The ships which were divided into two tactical groups fired their secondary guns at floating targets set by the Russian side.
A commander in charge of secondary guns on China's missile destroyer said these kinds of small and light targets are quite unsteady and thus difficult to target.
A large number of shells were fired from the ship and hit the target.
The captain of the missile destroyer said China and Russia's navy fleets were closely coordinated and reached their expected goals.
The Joint Sea 2017 drills, which ended on July 28, aimed to carry out joint rescue missions and ensure maritime economic activities.
The Chinese fleet consists of one destroyer, one frigate, one supply ship, ship-borne helicopters and marines. The Russian side had one frigate, fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and marines.
The Chinese and Russian navies will conduct a variety of joint exercises and attend a parade in St. Petersburg in Russia to mark Russia's Navy Day.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The Belt and Road Initiative will play a key role in the cooperation between China and the Philippines.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the Philippines is an important part of the ancient Maritime Silk Road, as the Southeast Asian country was the first stop of the Chinese commercial ships from Fujian province.
He said that like in history, the Philippines will once again be a vital part of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
Wang said under the framework of Belt and Road scheme, China will help the Philippines strengthen its infrastructure including bridges and roads that can facilitate connectivity in the region.
Wang made these remarks at a joint press conference with the Philippine Foreign Secretary in Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
Wang noted that the relations between the two countries have improved after the president of the Philippines visited China in October last year.
At the press conference, the Philipino official expressed support for the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative. He said the Philippines, the chairman of ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, this year, will include the initiative in the ASEAN development plan to further enhance ASEAN-China relations.
This is Special English.
China has launched a crackdown on websites, online stores, mobile applications and social media that distributes pirated or illegal publications.
The nationwide campaign aims at protecting the intellectual property rights of publications of the press, publication and media industry, and of e-commerce platforms and mobile applications.
The campaign involves a severe crackdown on actions of distributing illegal films and videos via online means, disks, applications, as well as WeChat and Weibo messaging applications. It also bans unauthorized transmission of news items via websites, mobile applications and official WeChat accounts.
Severe measures will also be taken against application stores and providers that release and distribute unauthorized news items, literature, films, videos and music.
The campaign will strengthen the supervision on big e-commerce platforms, and crack down on online stores that sell pirated books, videos, accounts and passwords of online disks, and links to pirated publications.
The action was jointly initiated by the National Copyright Administration, the State Internet Information Office, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Public Security.
The four authorities have launched crackdowns on pirated or illegal online publications for 13 years.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A total of 12 Chinese-developed underwater gliders are carrying out scientific observations in the South China Sea and sending back real-time data.
It is the largest group of gliders to perform simultaneous observations in the region.
The research vessel has left east China's Shandong Province for a maritime scientific expedition and stopped in a port in southeast China to resupply after completing the first part of the mission.
The gliders have collected detailed maritime information, including temperature, salinity, turbidity, oxygen levels as well as the intensity and direction of currents.
A scientist with the program said the 12 submersible devices will collect comprehensive ocean data over the next month.
Underwater gliders are a new type of underwater robot featuring a less energy consumption, higher efficiency and better endurance.
During the first stage of the mission, scientists also successfully placed three submersible buoys and conducted several diving missions.
The vessel has left the port for the mission's second stage.
This is China's most advanced, independently-made marine science expedition vessel. It was put into operation in April 2014. The 4,700-tonne ship is capable of conducting deep and open sea exploration and research.
This is Special English.
A new study shows that around 30 percent of German voters espouse populist views. The study was published by the Bertelsmann Foundation.
Nevertheless, the authors of the study saw little cause for alarm and emphasized that members of this group still adopted positions which were better characterized as moderate rather than radical.
It said they do not reject the institutions of democracy or the European Union in principle, but instead criticize their functioning.
Amongst the group identified as populists, more than two thirds still approved Germany's membership of the European Union, and 85 percent were in favor of democracy as a political system.
The arrival of more than one million refugees in Germany since 2015 was the topic which was most likely to mobilize populists. Environmental issues had the lowest saliency for the group.
In summary of his findings, the author of the study said populists in Germany are often disappointed democrats, but not radical enemies of democracy.
For the overwhelming majority of the electorate populist positions were not decisive in determining for whom to cast their vote. Almost 37 percent of respondents rejected populist positions, while 34 percent only partially agreed with them.
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.
The University of Sydney has announced its quantum computing partnership with multinational technology leader Microsoft.
Scientists from both sides believe the partnership signals a strengthened relationship between education and industry, and has the potential to change the world.
Professor David Reilly, who holds a joint position with Microsoft and the university, said the benefits of the collaboration are incalculable, and many students will benefit from it.
Reilly told China's Xinhua News Agency that it's an opportunity for the best and brightest students to become part of the effort to try and realize this technology.
Microsoft has built only a select number of Station Q sites, research centers dedicated to creating a universal quantum computer. The selection of Sydney as the city to house one of only four centers in the world is a prestigious achievement.
David Pritchard, Microsoft's Chief of Staff for Technology and Research, said that Sydney's reputation for technological excellence in quantum science was the reason behind its selection.
Station Q Sydney is now located at the university's state-of-the-art Nanoscience Lab, a 150-million-dollar-, roughly 120-million-U.S. dollar-, complex, one of the most technologically advanced scientific facilities in the world.
This is Special English.
A technique called digital holographic microscopy, which uses lasers to record 3-D images, may help scientists to spot extraterrestrial microbes.
According to new research by NASA, it's harder to distinguish between a microbe and a speck of dust than people would think.
American scientists said they have to differentiate between Brownian motion, which is the random motion of matter, and the intentional, self-directed motion of a living organism.
Whereas standard microscopes can only view a thin slice of a drop of water, the new detection method adds more.
The journal Astrobiology recently published a special issue dedicated to the search for life on Saturn's icy moon Enceladus.
Enceladus is the sixth-largest moon of Saturn, and has a lot of water, an ocean's worth, hidden beneath an icy shell that coats the entire surface. When the Saturn probe Cassini flew by Enceladus in 2005, it spotted water vapor plumes in the south polar region blasting icy particles at almost 2,000 kilometers per hour to an altitude of almost 500 kilometers above the surface.
Even if life does exist there in some microbial fashion, the difficulty for scientists on Earth is identifying those microbes from 790 million miles away.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Human ancestors living in Sub-Sahara Africa may have interbred with unknown "ghost" species of early hominins. That's according to a study on the evolutionary history of a salivary protein.
Scientists at the State University of New York at Buffalo said this unknown human relative could be a species that has been discovered, including a subspecies of Homo erectus, or an undiscovered hominin.
Scientists call it a "ghost" species because they don't have the fossils.
The new research is among more recent genetic analyses indicating that ancient Africans also had trysts with other early hominins.
The research team traced the evolution of an important protein called MUC7 that was found in human saliva, examining its gene in more than 2,500 modern human genomes.
When researchers looked at the history of the gene that codes for the protein, they see the signature of archaic admixture in modern day Sub-Saharan African populations.
The research team found that a group of genomes from Sub-Saharan African populations had a version of the gene that was wildly different from versions found in other modern humans, even beyond the differences between modern humans and the Neanderthals.
The finding was published in Britain's Molecular Biology and Evolution journal. The study showed that the ancestry of Homo sapiens is more complicated than originally believed.
This is Special English.
Biosecurity remains a concern at Australia's largest airport, as new data revealed that despite a reduction in the number of seizures in 2016, some illegal items have seen sharp increases.
According to the figures, during the course of 2016, there was a 1 percent increase in biosecurity risk items being seized at Sydney Airport, which saw a 9 percent increase in travelers throughout the year.
The head of biosecurity operations at the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, told China's Xinhua News Agency that visitors need to "consider what they are risking" when they pack their bags before they travel to Australia.
He said that if you're unsure, don't bring it or declare it. There has been an increase of almost 16 percent in the volume of seafood products seized at the airport last year.
That has placed Sydney's iconic harbor and beaches, the marine environment and Australia's 3 billion Australian dollar-, roughly 2 billion U.S. dollar-, fisheries and aquaculture industries at risk.
But seafood was not the only risk item that saw a rise over the course of the year, and there were other, more everyday foods, that were being brought in that could serve tremendous risk to the local agricultural industry.
That is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I'm going to read one of the news stories 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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