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2017-10-30 NEWS Plus Special English
   2017-10-27 12:55:39    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Du Lijun









This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Experts say the development of the Belt and Road Initiative has brought not only new opportunities for Europe's economic growth, but also social benefits to European citizen.
Over the past four years, European countries including Serbia, Poland, Hungary and Greece have seized the opportunities of cooperation, and accelerated their economic development.
Observers pointed out that the Belt and Road Initiative has brought momentum for the revival of the economy in Europe.
For example, China's investment in a Greek port has been helping transform the port into a more important transport hub at the crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa, making it a shining star in modern maritime Silk Road.
This is Special English.
The number of visas granted to Chinese students to study in Britain has increased by 17 percent this year.
Britain's upper chamber in the Houses of Parliament debated a growing call from politicians to remove international students from the country's net migration totals.
So far the government has refused to accept the change in the way the figures are counted, but Home Office Minister Baroness Williams made it clear in the debate there was no limit on the number of overseas people heading to Britain to study.
Lord Holmes, who sparked the debate recently in the House of Lords said that since 2010, the number of international students coming to Britain has fallen by 6 percent, with an estimated cost to the economy of 9 billion pounds, or almost 12 billion U.S. dollars, while the global market has increased by 7 percent.
Holmes said the message had to go out through the Foreign Office, the British Council and all channels, saying foreign students are welcome in the UK to be part of the country's future.
Baroness Williams said that to the academic year ending June 2017, there was a 9 percent increase in Russell group universities, and a 17 percent increase in all student visas granted for Chinese students.
The minister said that in the 2015-2016 academic year, almost half a million international students enrolled in British universities, with visa applications sponsored by universities 19 percent higher than in 2010.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The Alibaba Group says it will set up a new research institute and invest more than 100 billion yuan, roughly 15 billion U.S. dollars, over the next three years in advanced technology development.
The DAMO Academy aims to attract world-class talent in such areas as quantum computing, machine learning and network security. DAMO stands for "discovery, adventure, momentum and outlook".
It has built partnerships with more than 200 research institutes and universities and started establishing branches in Asia, America and Europe.
Among the members of the DAMO academic advisory committee are Michael I. Jordan, a leading scientist in artificial intelligence and professor at the University of California Berkeley, as well as Jeannette M. Wing, director of the Data Sciences Institute at Columbia University. The committee was made public at the opening session of "The Computing Conference 2017", held in the eastern city of Hangzhou, where Alibaba Group is headquartered.
Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma said he hopes the group, which has 25,000 engineers and scientists, can make achievements in future-oriented cutting-edge technology through the institute.
This is Special English.
A Shanghai university has opened China's first international negotiations school to train the country's future trade negotiators.
The Shanghai University of International Business and Economics inaugurated the trade talk school and the China institute for World Trade Organization studies.
The honorary dean of the school is Zhou Hanmin, a renowned national political advisor and law expert based in Shanghai.
The school will produce graduates in five areas, including national representatives specializing in bilateral or regional agreement negotiations, national representatives for multilateral negotiations in international organizations, as well as lawyers specializing in international law.
The dean of the school says that 16 years after China joined the World Trade Organization, the country has transformed from a mere follower of international trade rules to one of the rule makers.
He said China urgently needs professional talent with a global vision, who are familiar with China's national conditions and adept in foreign languages, international rules and negotiation skills.
There are 450 Chinese employees in organizations affiliated to the United Nations, accounting for only 1 percent of the total employees, and many of them only hold entry-level positions.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A British university has launched an English-language course aimed at China's future engineers.
The cost-free course by the University of Birmingham will provide intensive on-line training to help engineering students in China improve their technical language skills.
Although the course has been devised for direct-entry students planning to study electronic, electrical and systems engineering disciplines at the university, the content is being made available to any student planning to study any engineering discipline.
The new Massive Open Online Course is based on real first-year modules at the university.
The three-week course runs from Nov. 13 and has been developed by the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, led by Dr. Tim Jackson, Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering.
Jackson says this is a great opportunity for students whose first language is not English to brush up their language skills and get to grips with the key terms and concepts associated with engineering.
He said the course will be delivered in English with Mandarin Chinese transcripts to help students to gradually develop their language skills.
A spokesman at the University of Birmingham said the course will help participants build their confidence in communicating ideas and using technical vocabulary.
This is Special English.
A China-Belarus industrial park, the Great Stone, has been attracting investors, and the number of resident companies has more than doubled.
The head of the park's administration says that since the beginning of the year, more than 10 companies from a number of countries have become new residents of the industrial park. Those countries include China, Belarus, Russia, Austria and the United States.
An official from the park says they have set a goal for this year. At least 20 resident companies have come, ten of them have begun to actively build their facilities and at least five of them have started carrying out their work. He said the park is entering an active phase of development.
The industrial park is being built near the Belarusian capital Minsk. The two countries have agreed to connect the park to China's Belt and Road Initiative, which runs through Asia and Europe.
In May, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko issued a decree to expand the benefits for resident companies of the park in a bid to attract more enterprises from around the world, including those from China.
According to the decree, resident companies will be exempted from a profit tax for 10 years after the first fiscal period during which they would start generating profits by selling goods or services.
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 Hong Kong film festival has been held in Britain's Manchester to promote the achievements of Hong Kong's film industry in the past 20 years.
The film festival, entitled "Creative Visions", was held from Oct. 7-26.  The event was a specially curated film festival featuring Hong Kong films made during the past 20 years.
Sponsored by Create Hong Kong, the festival was part of the events in London to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London says seven films were selected to showcase the progress and diversity of Hong Kong's film productions. Over the years, the city has developed into a leading arts and culture hub in the region. In particular, the film industry in Hong Kong has gained a global reputation.
The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London says that over the past 20 years, Hong Kong continues to thrive as an international business and financial center.
This is Special English.
Two major Chinese courier companies have announced price rise ahead of November 11 shopping festival, one of largest shopping events in China.
The ZTO Express and Yunda Express said the move aims to provide better services amid rising labor, material and transportation costs.
Neither company disclosed the scale of the price rise.
Industry insiders say other domestic couriers are likely to follow suit.
The China Express Association has predicted that the industry will handle more than 1 billion packages for the nationwide shopping spree between Nov. 11 and 16.
Last year, the delivery volume of China's courier sector accounted for more than 40 percent of the world's total, accounting for 60 percent of world delivery volume growth.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Money is better than plaudits for creative performance. That's according to a study by the University of Illinois in the United States.
Researchers at the university have done five experiments to examine the role of monetary rewards versus social-recognition rewards on creative performance. They found that within the context of creativity contingency, monetary rewards induce "a performance focus" while social-recognition rewards induce "a normative focus".
The conclusion of the study is that monetary rewards enhance one's motivation to be original, thereby leading to more inventiveness in a creative task, while social-recognition rewards hurt it.
A professor of business administration at the university says the team found that if you tell people to be creative and then give them monetary rewards, they will be more creative.
He said social recognition is "all about people knowing about you and your work, and thereby influencing one to act more in accordance with social norms, whereas, creativity means "coming up with something different, something novel, something that is not the norm."
But when a monetary reward is dangled, people amplify up their performance and consciously try to "blow the doors off the competition" in terms of creativity.
The research has practical applications for how people generate creative ideas, and how to motivate creative-class employees.
This is Special English.
Scientists who have long been studying diverse African groups say they have identified a handful of gene variants responsible for the vast range of skin color on the African continent.
The findings, published in the U.S. journal Science, may shed light on the evolution of skin color and inform an understanding of the genetic risk factors for conditions such as skin cancer.
A lead researcher of the study said that when people think of skin color in Africa, most would think of darker skin. But the study shows that within Africa, there is a huge amount of variation, ranging from skin as light as some Asians to the darkest skin on a global level and everything in between.
For the study, the researchers first took color meter readings from the inner arms of more than 2,000 African participants to determine the levels of skin pigment melanin.
Then, from a subset of almost 1,600 individuals, they sequenced and analyzed blood DNA and found four key areas of the genome where variation closely correlated with skin color differences.
The variant was common in populations in Ethiopia and Tanzania that were known to have ancestry from Southeast Asia and the Middle East, suggesting it was carried into Africa from those regions and, based on its frequency, may have been positively selected.
This is Special English.
Two experimental Ebola vaccines can safely elicit immune responses by one month after initial vaccination that last for at least one year.
A large clinical trial in Liberia involved 1,500 healthy adults who were rapidly enrolled at a hospital in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, in early 2015 during the West Africa Ebola outbreak.
The trial was conducted by a United States-Liberia clinical research collaboration and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Three groups of 500 volunteers received one of the experimental vaccines or a placebo, and they all provided blood samples before vaccination and again at one week, one month, six months and one year post-vaccination.
Some participants who received the investigational vaccines experienced mild to moderate side effects that resolved, such as headache, muscle pain, feverishness and fatigue.
Overall, investigators did not identify any major safety concerns related to the vaccines. Most of the serious medical issues reported during the trial were due to malaria.
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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