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2017-09-11 NEWS Plus Special English
   2017-09-08 13:24:11    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Du Lijun

This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
China's Xinhua News Agency has published the full text of remarks made by Chinese President Xi Jinping when presiding over a symposium on poverty relief held in north China's Shanxi Province in June.
President Xi reiterated the need for joint efforts and precise measures to eradicate extreme poverty. He said areas suffering from abject poverty face the toughest job in poverty alleviation. And there must be better support and more effective measures.
China has set a target to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020, including the complete eradication of poverty. The task becomes more difficult as the process nears its end.
The president told the meeting that as long as we pay great attention, think correctly, take effective measures and work in a down-to-earth way, abject poverty is absolutely conquerable.
He raised a series of requirements on advancing the poverty alleviation effort in areas plagued by extreme poverty.
He said these areas must also meet the national target on eradicating poverty by 2020. Meanwhile, they need to be realistic in setting goals. Local governments should take the lead in poverty relief with financial capital playing a coordinating role.
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The International Monetary Fund says China continues to enjoy strong growth which is projected at 6.7 percent for 2017, and shows potential to sustain the increasing momentum over the medium term.
Key data released by China's State Statistics Bureau shows that the country has maintained smooth economic development with stable prices and employment in the first half of this year.
The economy is performing reasonably and stably. The first six months witnessed a year-on-year GDP increase of 6.9 percent, growing 0.2 percent faster, compared with the same period last year. Given the data falling within the range of 6.7-6.9 percent in eight straight quarters, China is improving its stability.
The employment situation is optimized. Against the background of a proactive policies aiming to promote the service sector, public entrepreneurs and innovation, almost 9 million new jobs have been created in urban areas during the period, a year-over-year increase of 200,000.
The urban surveyed unemployment rate remained low, which dropped around 5.1 percent this July, down from a year earlier.

You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Standard Chartered Global Research has raised Malaysia's full year GDP growth forecast to 5.4 percent, from 4.6 percent.
In a report, the research house attributed the upward movement to the country's much stronger-than-expected first half growth of 5.7 percent.
Two key areas that positively surprised the research house in the first half were private consumption, which rose close to 7 percent year-on-year, and private investment, that increased 10 percent year-on-year.
It said exports picked up in line with expectations, although higher imports curtailed the contribution from net exports.
Despite the strong first half economic growth, the research house maintained its view that growth will moderate in the second half.
It expects private consumption to ease, as the real wage growth which has affected consumption with a lag of about three quarters empirically, was slightly negative in the first half.
Malaysia's loan growth also remains subdued, although private investment was strong in the first half.
On external demand, it said the momentum, especially the robust electronics cycle may keep growth up in the second half, but some base effects may kick in during the fourth quarter.
This is Special English.
Nepal says it should grab the maximum benefits from China's development and growing economic prosperity.
Nepal's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Krishna Mahara made the remark at a ceremony inaugurating the newly registered "Nepal Chinese Tour Guides Association". This is an umbrella body of all the Nepali tour guides working for Chinese travelers. Mahara said his country has high hopes from China's Belt and Road Initiative.
Mahara said the tour guides are the true ambassadors to boost bilateral ties between China and Nepal, especially in enhancing people-to-people friendly relations.
The association has 250 qualified and well-trained staff members who have proficiency in the Chinese language and culture.
Addressing the event, the Chinese ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong said Nepal is rich in tourism resources, and the professional tour guides are one of the reasons that contribute to the growing number of Chinese tourists' arrivals in Nepal.
China is the second largest tourist source market for Nepal after its southern neighbor India. Chinese tourist arrivals jumped to almost 100,000 last year.

You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A team of researchers led by Australians have finally solved the puzzle and answered the question why leaf sizes are different for all plants around the globe.
The worldwide team utilized "big data" sets for thousands of species around the globe, and from every continent with vegetation, to discover the secret to why plants have different sized leaves.
The study found that it was the cold temperature, and not heat that was the determining factor for the size of leaves, as larger leaves have thicker "boundary layers" of still air, that slows their ability to absorb heat from their environment - with that heat compensating for the energy lost to the night sky.
Using the modelling, the scientists were able to conclude that the changes between daytime and nighttime leaf-to-air temperatures were the key metric that applies when assessing the size of leaves in the environment.
A lead scientist said this theory was pointed out first maybe a century ago but not until now have they had a comprehensive explanation for what's going on with the world's leaves in relation to site climate.
Leaf size which can vary 1 million fold in size - from as small as one square millimeter to one square meter - and scientists have long sought to discover the secret as to what causes the dramatic differences, with traditional thinking being that in wetter environments leaves are larger, while in hotter environments leaves would be smaller.
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More than 140 items, including 83 antiques and around 60 replicas, are on exhibition in the Shanghai Lu Xun Museum, showing the late literary master's friendship with over 100 foreigners.
Lu lived between 1881 and 1936. His most popular short stories include "The True Story of Ah Q" and "A Madman's Diary". He was honored as one of the leading Chinese writers that ushered Chinese literature into the modern age.
During his stay in Shanghai from 1927 to 1936, Lu maintained close contact with many foreigners, including American journalist Edgar Snow and Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw.
The items on display include his handwriting and photos, which showcase the writer's effort to encourage communication between China and other countries through art and literature.
The exhibition in the Shanghai Lu Xun Museum will last until November 20.
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.
The 20th anniversary of the tragic death of Princess Diana, the Princess of Wales, has been remembered by fans across Britain.
Floral tributes and candles were placed outside Kensington Palace, London, where the princess had lived.
Described as the people's princess, Princess Diana died in a car crash in a Parisian underpass on August 31, 1997, at the age of 36.
Many people stood in silence outside the palace gates in solemn memory.
With no official events planned to mark the anniversary, media reports said the Princess' two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry were reflecting on their mother's memory privately at Kensington Palace.
The two princes spent some time looking at the flowers left at the palace gates and the nearby Princess Diana memorial garden, ahead of their plan to stay out of the limelight on the actual anniversary.
In a formal acknowledgment, a spokesperson at Kensington Palace said the two princes were grateful for the many flowers, letters and messages they had received, and thanked those who made the journey to Kensington Palace.
Mildmay Mission Aids hospital in London, where Diana was a regular visitor comforting patients with HIV, organized a remembrance in honor of the Royal who famously comforted people with AIDS.
Princess Diana married Prince Charles at St Paul's Cathedral in London in July 1981. The ceremony was watched by a global audience of 750 million people.
The royal couple divorced in 1996, just a year before her death in Paris.
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An official student-run account of the University of California, Los Angeles, wryly tweeted: "USC, the only place in America that can unveil a statue as the centerpiece of a 700 million-dollar project and manage to misspell Shakespeare."
The University of Southern California unveiled a new statue of Hecuba, queen of Troy, mentioned in Shakespeare's Hamlet. The statue, with a quote from Hamlet, is supposed to be the centerpiece of the university's 700-million-US  dollar new "Village" project.
But the 20-foot new statue of Greek mythological queen has left some students scratching their heads.
The sculpture, created by sculptor Christopher Slatoff, featured an excerpt attributed to "Shakespeare's Hamlet", which was noticeably missing the final "e" in the dramatist's last name.
The common spelling of the world's most famous playwright's name is "Shakespeare" with an e on the end. Many visitors to the university also noticed the curious spelling. One viewer was heard muttering "Did the sculptor make a mistake?"
Despite some criticism, the university is standing by the strange spelling, saying that the spelling is intentional, because of the way the statue looks.
The university quipped in a statement "To E, or not to E, that is the question". "Over the centuries his surname has been spelled 20 different ways. The university said it chose an older spelling because of the ancient feel of the statue, even though it is not the most common form.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities has transferred 13 securities and currencies to China, with some dating back to late Qing dynasty, between 1644 and 1911.
At a ceremony held at the Egyptian National Museum in Cairo, the minister said the historical relics had been confiscated before being trafficked outside Egypt, adding that the country has been committed to fighting any kind of relic smuggling, including foreign relics.
The securities and currencies include a 20-yuan banknote issued by China's Central Soviet Area in the early 1930s and a banknote issued in 1900.
The Chinese Ambassador to Egypt said the transfer is an important part of bilateral cooperation, as well as a specific move to jointly protect antiquities.
At the ceremony, Egypt also transferred 44 currencies to Iraq. The currencies  date back to the period between 1921 and 1958.
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A wild giant panda has been spotted on a mountain in southwest China's Sichuan Province.
In the Wawu Mountain Nature Reserve, a forest ranger spotted the panda and quickly took two photos. One photo showed the panda sleeping in a tree and the other displayed the panda running away after seeing the ranger.
The nature reserve said the area has bamboo shoots and the panda was searching for food.
Wild giant pandas have been spotted in the area several times before. The nature reserve rescued wild pandas in 2005 and 2009. In 2014, a camera photographed a wild panda in the forest.
Giant pandas mainly live in the mountains of northern Sichuan Province as well as southern Gansu and Shaanxi provinces.
With improved habitat environment, the population of wild pandas has grown. A national survey showed that by the end of 2013, China had 1,864 wild pandas, and 375 in captivity.
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A study indicates that a common antidepressant medication may worsen a condition known as tinnitus that millions of people suffer. The study was done by Oregon Health and Science University researchers.
People with tinnitus have the constant sensation of ringing or buzzing in the ears, creating constant irritation for some and severe anxiety for others. A common class of antidepressants known as SSRIs have been used to alleviate symptoms of moderate to severe depression and anxiety.
SSRIs work by increasing the level of serotonin, a chemical compound that acts as a neurotransmitter thought to be responsible for maintaining mood balance.
Detailed in a paper recently published in the journal Cell Reports, the researchers examined brain tissue in mice, specifically where sensory integration and tinnitus occurs. They discovered that neurons within this portion of the brain become hyperactive and hypersensitive to stimuli when exposed to serotonin.
The researchers said they saw "the activity of the neurons go through the roof".
The finding suggests that SSRIs prescribed to treat anxiety or depression may sometimes worsen patients' tinnitus, which is defined as the chronic perception of sound when there is no internal or external acoustic source.
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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