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2017-09-04 NEWS Plus Special English
   2017-09-01 13:13:14    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Du Lijun

This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
China says its investment in Britain is mutually beneficial and win-win for both sides, rebuffing the investment threat allegation.
The Chinese Ambassador to Britain said the recent British media reports on the so-called threats of Chinese investment to British national security is a confusing mixture of paranoia and exaggeration about China's appetite to buy out Britain.
The ambassador said all these are both groundless and harmful.
So far, 18 billion pounds, roughly 23 billion U.S. dollars, of Chinese non-financial investments has come into a wide range of sectors in Britain.
The ambassador stressed that the Chinese investment is creating new jobs, generating green low carbon growth and bringing economic prosperity and stability.
Referring to the construction of the massive nuclear power station in Somerset, the senior diplomat said the Hinkley Point project partly financed by the Chinese company is expected to create 26,000 jobs and, upon completion, reduce nine million tons of carbon emission every year.
The ambassador said Britain's unchanged commitment to staying open is key to boosting the confidence of foreign investors.
After the Brexit referendum last year, the British government has been reiterating its commitment to free trade and its opposition to protectionism.
The ambassador believes that being open and inclusive has been one of the keys to Britain's continued success.
This is Special English.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree appointing former Deputy Foreign Minister Anatoly Antonov as the Russian ambassador to the United States.
Sixty-two-year-old Antonov has held various positions in the Russian Foreign Ministry and Russian diplomatic missions abroad since 1978.
He became deputy foreign minister in charge of military and political security in December 2016 after serving as the country's deputy defense minister for six years.
Antonov's predecessor returned to Russia in July after serving as the Russian envoy to the United States for nine years. The former ambassador had met with senior campaign aides to Donald Trump during the 2016 U.S. presidential race, which later became the center piece of the controversy over Russia's possible involvement in the election.
The former Russian envoy was also suspected of being one of Russia's top spies and spy-recruiters in Washington by U.S. intelligence. The Russian Foreign Ministry strongly rejected the allegations.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The "Made in China" label has long stood for cheap, inferior and low-end products. But today, such a perception no longer holds water.
In recent years, product quality in China is quietly edging up as the country is seeking to shift its growth equation away from exports and investment towards consumption.
A large number of respectable Chinese electronic brands including Huawei and Xiaomi are emerging rapidly, providing durable, top-notch and fashionable goods from appliances to smartphones and high-speed railcars.
Some high quality Chinese products not only compete with their foreign competitors when entering overseas markets, but have even begun to surpass them.
Regular delays and overcrowding have become synonomous with riding the subway in Boston, a city home to an extensive but also one of the oldest underground networks in the United States.
But in about two years, Boston riders could soon enjoy more comfortable state-of-the-art subway cars, which will have larger seats, LCD monitors, CCTV-operated display screens and automatic passenger counting systems.
The subway cars will be designed and built by China's largest high-speed railcar maker CRRC, which is the largest train maker in the world and has been rapidly expanding its presence stateside by winning contracts in major jurisdictions.
This is Special English.
U.S. fast food chain McDonald's has terminated its franchise agreement for 169 outlets in India.
The termination will see closure of the company's restaurants in north and east India.
The Indian unit of McDonald's said it has ended the pact with Connaught Plaza Restaurants Private Limited, after it breached terms relating to some restaurants.
McDonald's says it has issued a notice to the Indian company of termination of the franchise agreement between McDonald's India and the company for 169 McDonald's restaurants in north and east India.
Connaught Plaza Restaurants Private Limited was running MacDonald's outlets in north and east India.
The estranged partner said it will consider "legal remedies" against the burger chain's decision to terminate the franchise agreement.
In June, 43 outlets in the capital New Delhi were shut down due to non-renewal of eating house licences by local authorities.
With termination of the agreement, the local partner ceases the right to use McDonalds's name, trademark, and designs.
The move is likely to put hundreds of workers at these restaurants out of jobs.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Britain's most famous bell, Big Ben, has fallen silent as hundreds of people gathered in London's Parliament Square to hear the bongs one last time.
The bells in the Elizabeth Tower at the Houses of Parliament will not be heard again for four years, apart from rare special occasions, unless there is a change of heart.
Before the last chimes sounded, local media, residents and tourists held video recorders or smart phones, waiting for the moment.
One visitor from Bristol said it was like a memorial day, and it's really sad to know that it's not going to chime for four years.
The bell mechanism was switched off to enable essential repair and restoration work to take place to the clock tower, seen as one of the great symbols of Britain.
The Great Bell of Big Ben has chimed across London since July 11, 1859, and, though it has occasionally been halted for repair or maintenance, this will be the longest period of silence in the bell's history.
The initial announcement of Big Ben's four-year shutdown provoked angry headline news in national newspapers and an outcry from a number of politicians.
Even Prime Minister Theresa May intervened to question why the bells needed to be silenced until 2021, while Brexit Secretary David Davis joined the backlash saying stopping the chimes was "mad".
Heritage minister John Glen warned that silencing the clock could deter visitors and it should continue to bong for tourists at least once a week.
This is Special English.
A once-in-a-century total solar eclipse has spanned the continental United States, creating a 70-mile-wide, roughly 112-kilometer-wide path of totality, stretching from Oregon in the Pacific Northwest to South Carolina on the East Coast.
The rare astronomical event, known as Great American Eclipse, arrived at around 1:16 p.m. EDT at Salem, Oregon, with the sun's disk being seen completely blocked by the moon darkening the sky for over two minutes.
In the following two hours, it crossed 13 more U.S. states, from Idaho and Montana to North Carolina and finally South Carolina.
Observers outside the path of totality will see only a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun's disk.
The U.S. mainland hasn't seen a total solar eclipse since 1979, when it swept a handful of northwestern states. The country's last total solar eclipse stretching from coast to coast took place in 1918.
This time, U.S. space agency NASA provided a live webcast of the event, using 11 spacecraft, at least three NASA aircraft and more than 50 high-altitude balloons.
The event marked a rare opportunity to study the sun, solar system, and Earth. It also allowed the lower parts of the sun's atmosphere, or corona, to be seen in a way that cannot be replicated by current human-made instruments.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
A Chinese woman's husband and son did not discuss whether to bury her ashes in a cemetery or scatter them at sea. Instead, they had her body frozen, hoping future technology will someday return her to them.
The 49-year-old woman died from lung cancer in May. Two minutes after she was declared legally dead, scientists and doctors injected various chemicals into her body in an attempt to reduce blood clotting and damage to her brain.
Then her body was quickly transferred to a laboratory at a life sciences research institute in eastern China, where her body temperature was lowered and her blood was replaced with a mixture of anti-freeze and organ-preserving chemicals.
The temperature of her body was further lowered before she was wrapped in a "sleeping bag" and put in a metal capsule. The capsule was stored in a liquid nitrogen container at a temperature of minus 196 degrees Celsius.
The device will monitor the temperature and volume changes of the liquid nitrogen. Approximately every ten days, staff will add liquid nitrogen.
The expensive procedure was funded by the institute, which was established in 2015. Its research fields include gene engineering, stem cell technology, human cell and organ storage and resurrection.
Scientists say that theoretically, her metabolism and cellular activity are stagnant. There is no issue with keeping her body like this for centuries. Perhaps, one day when technology advances, she can be resurrected.
She was the first Chinese national to have her entire body frozen. In 2015, a Chinese science fiction editor had her head frozen and stored at a life extension foundation headquarters in the United States.
This is Special English.
After listening to the patient's symptoms, the artificial intelligence doctor provides checklists for the patient and medical advice based on the results. Then the therapy will be verified by human doctors.
A China-made Artificial Intelligence-based software made its debut recently in central China.
The software consists of diagnostic models involving more than 30 diseases, including Tuberculosis and depression, which are likely to be misdiagnosed.
Based on trial tests in several hospitals, the Artificial Intelligence doctor's successful diagnosis rate is 20 percent higher than human doctors.
The self-learning AI doctor can constantly learn medical knowledge, experience and diagnosis process. It has a large database consisting of tens of millions of clinical cases.
It is designed to be a general practitioner. Every one or two weeks, it can learn diagnosing a new disease.
The Artificial Intelligence doctor will assist human doctors rather than replace them. Researchers say that for China's medical institutions especially those in poor areas, Artificial Intelligence would be a good assistant.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Two Russian cosmonauts have returned aboard the International Space Station after a 7 and a half hour spacewalk.
Russia's mission control center said the two cosmonauts successfully completed the spacewalk and returned to the station, closing the exit hatch.
The spacewalk was scheduled to last 6 hours and 5 minutes, but the control center prolonged it as the cosmonauts did not complete their work on time.
The next Russian spacewalk is scheduled for February 2018 and is tasked to install equipment for retransmitting data to the earth via a satellite system.
The satellite system is a series of geosynchronous Russian relay satellites used to transmit live TV images, communications and other telemetry from the ISS and other orbital spacecraft to the earth.
This is Special English.
Researchers in the United States suggest that protective measures make good sense for both animals and humans as the spread of influenza among pigs is common at fairs and other gatherings.
In a study that appears in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, a publication for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the researchers tracked human cases of H3N2 swine virus associated with seven agricultural fairs in 2016.
Led by scientists at the Ohio State University, the research team tallied 18 cases in Ohio and Michigan documented after exposure to flu-infected pigs.
Ways to curtail the spread of disease without eliminating swine exhibits altogether include cutting the length of time pigs and people congregate, as a 72-hour limit to swine exhibits is likely to interrupt widespread flu transmission from pig to pig and from pigs to people.
Other measures include vaccinating pigs against flu, posting guidance for hand washing and supplying hand sanitizer near animal exhibits. Doctors also encouraged those at higher risk of flu complications, including babies, young children, adults over 65 and those with illnesses that weaken the immune system, to forego visits to animal exhibits.
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 will join us every day, to learn English and learn about the world.


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