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2017-10-24 NEWS Plus Special English
   2017-10-23 10:26:36    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Du Lijun









This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China has won the bid to host the World Skills Competition in Shanghai in 2021. The Chinese government attached great importance to the bid to host the competition, hoping that the event will promote the development of the highly skilled talent in China and boost its international cooperation in this field with other countries.
Members of the World Skills International voted recently for China to host its 46th World Skills Competition in Shanghai.
Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a video message before the vote in support of China's bid. President Xi said in his message that on behalf of the Chinese government and people, he firmly supported Shanghai's bid. The president gave his assurance that Shanghai will be ready to host a highly innovative and influential event.
President Xi said the competition will promote international exchanges and cooperation in vocational skills. It will drive the Chinese people, especially its 200 million young people, to take up new vocational skills. The event will provide an opportunity for China to contribute to global development in this field.
China has been strengthening its international exchanges and cooperation in vocational skills development in recent years. In 2015, President Xi announced an initiative to help developing countries. The initiative features 100 poverty reduction programs, including establishing 100 schools and training centers, as well as training 500,000 technical personnel.
This is Special English.
A new type of hybrid rice development in China has become the highest-yielding one in the world.
The Science and Technology Daily reports that the pilot rice fields in north China has been harvested. The three plots yielded 17 tons of rice per hectare on average.
Agricultural experts who measured the harvest said that of the three plots, the one with the highest yield reached 17.7 tons per hectare, which is a new world record.
The new variety was cultivated by a team led by scientist Yuan Longping, who is known as "the father of hybrid rice" in China.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
American experts say the International Monetary Fund's move to raise its forecast for China's economic growth shows China's recent progress in trimming financial risks and deepening economic reform.
In its latest World Economic Outlook released recently, the International Monetary Fund expected the Chinese economy to grow 6.8 percent this year and 6.5 percent next year. Both figures are 0.1 percentage point higher than its previous forecast in July.
Farok Contractor, a distinguished professor at Rutgers Business School, told China's Xinhua News Agency that the growth rate is wonderful compared to the growth of many other countries.
The professor said that although it has come down from the previous eight or ten percent, it is still a very healthy growth rate and that should be the envy of any other country in the world.
According to the International Monetary Fund, the upward revision to the 2017 forecast means "the stronger-than-expected outturn in the first half of the year underpinned by previous policy easing and supply-side reforms".
The expert noted that there have been a lot of achievements in economic management in China, and the 6 percent path China is on will be sustained.
This is Special English.
China's producer price index, which measures costs for goods at the factory gate, rose almost 7 percent year on year in September.
The pace of the increase accelerated from 6.3 percent registered in August and surpassed market forecast of 6.4 percent. On a month-on-month basis, the index was up 1 percent last month.
For the first nine months of the year, the producer price index climbed 6.5 percent from one year earlier.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com says the construction of its first unmanned warehouse has been completed.
Located at JD.com's "Asia No 1" logistic center in Shanghai, the warehouse covers a combined floor area of 40,000 square meters and has a maximum storage capacity of 60,000 boxes of goods.
According to the company, all operations in the warehouse are fully automatic, including the receiving, storage, packaging and sorting of goods.
The company claims that it is the first facility of its kind in China, and possibly the world.
The warehouse is equipped with almost 1,000 robots with their functions varying. Some use mechanical arms for storage and packaging, as well as three automatically guided vehicles for sorting.
Technologies such as 3D visual identity are employed in the robots, making them capable of "clearly seeing" their surrounding environment, allowing them to avoid barriers when they move around.
Once it is put into operation, the warehouse's handling capacity is expected to exceed 200,000 orders per day.
The unmanned warehouse will greatly improve work efficiency in the logistics sector. For instance, robots are able to sort 3,600 items per hour, five to six times faster than a typical human worker.
The warehouse is also green and environmental friendly. Its roof is made of solar panels, which store excess power generated during the daytime to supply electricity at night.
JD.com says it expects to use artificial intelligence technology to reduce costs, improve operational efficiency and create a sound online shopping environment for customers.
This is Special English.
Chinese and foreign scientists have unveiled their findings in the first genome-wide study of an ancient human in China, a 40,000-year-old individual from a cave near Beijing.
The study is jointly conducted by Chinese researchers and their counterparts in other countries including Germany. The study was published in the journal Current Biology. The article is entitled "40,000-Year-Old Individual from Asia Provides Insight into Early Population Structure in Eurasia".
Scientists generated genome-wide data from the ancient man to study his relationship to ancient and present-day humans. They found that he was more closely related to present-day and ancient Asians than to Europeans.
However, the study found that this individual was not from a population that is directly ancestral to any group of present-day East or Southeast Asians, but rather belonged to a population that diverged from the humans that directly contributed to present-day East and Southeast Asia.
The study highlighted the complex migration and subdivision of early human populations in Eurasia.
Researchers found genetic similarities between the ancient man and a 35,000-year-old individual from Belgium, but similarities were not found between him and other ancient humans in Europe.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
Norway has become the first country in Europe to test all newborns for serious immune deficiency diseases, which can save the lives of many children.
The new government regulation incorporated immune deficiency diseases into the screening of all newborns in Norway.
After necessary practical preparation is done, the amendments will enter into force in the beginning of next year. The health authorities in Norway are obliged to offer screening of all newborns.
Immune deficiency diseases can lead to serious health damage or death during the first year of life. If the diseases are discovered early and the treatment starts quickly, the children can get healthy.
Researchers from Oslo University Hospital say there are several pilot projects in many European countries, but their team will be the first to start from January 1. And the team's way of doing it gives very few false positive answers to the samples.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
The population of obese children and adolescents worldwide has risen tenfold in the past four decades. The issue has become a global health crisis that threatens to worsen unless drastic actions are taken.
On the occasion of World Obesity Day, the World Health Organization and the Imperial College London released their latest study on childhood and adolescent obesity worldwide.
It analyzed weight and height measurements from nearly 130 million people aged over five years of age, including 32 million aged five to 19, and 97 million aged 20 and older. It has been the largest number ever of participants involved in an epidemiological study. Meanwhile, more than 1,000 contributors participated in the study which looked at body mass index and how obesity has changed worldwide from 1975 to 2016.
The figures show that the obesity rates in the world's children and adolescents increased from less than one percent in 1975 to almost 6 percent in girls and 8 percent in boys in 2016. The number of obese 5- to 19-year-olds rose more than tenfold globally, from 11 million in 1975 to 124 million last year. Meanwhile, an additional 213 million were overweight but fell below the threshold for obesity last year .
A professor at Imperial College London, who was the study's lead author, says these worrying trends reflect the impact of food marketing and policies across the globe.
The study predicts that if the trends continue, by 2020, the global level of child and adolescent obesity will surpass those for moderately and severely underweight youth from the same age group.
This is Special English.
A new study  found that the pre-retirement generation in the United States has more health problems and health-related limits on their lives than prior generations did when they were in their late 50s.
Researchers from the University of Michigan used data from the Health and Retirement Study and the National Health Interview Survey. They grouped older Americans into five birth cohorts.
The study found that older workers face more challenges than their predecessors as they continue to work, seek employment, apply for Social Security disability payments, or try to retire on other income over the next decade.
A lead author of the study said other research has found similar trends in the health of Americans who are now in the 50s and 60s, but this is the first study to look specifically at groups, or cohorts, of Americans by Social Security retirement age, which has specific policy implications.
The study found that younger cohorts are facing more burdensome health issues, even as they have to wait until an older age to retire, so they will have to do so in poorer health.
The U.S. government enacted a change in the federal retirement age in 1983. At that time, demographers predicted that people were likely to live longer on average than their parents' generations.
This is Special English.
Chinese scientists have discovered 800-year-old city walls in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.
The discovery site was once a very important military fortress. And the dig was launched at the site in February.
Over the first six months, twenty sections of city's walls, gates, defense towers and armories have been found. Some of the discoveries have been confirmed to be 800 years old.
More than 300 other relics have also been unearthed, including iron weapons, as well as ceramic, copper and stone artifacts.
The new discoveries have helped prove that a complete defense system had been formed near this section of the Yangtze River in ancient times.
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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