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2017-11-13 NEWS Plus Special English
   2017-11-09 14:36:10    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Du Lijun

This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
The world's largest pork product company WH Group says its wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary Smithfield Foods has joined hands with China's largest retailer JD.com to launch online sales of U.S. produced pork in China.
The fresh food division of JD.com, "JD Fresh", will become the exclusive online sales platform for Smithfield's pork products in China.
An agreement has been signed by Smithfield, JD.com and a company in northern China.
In addition, the sides will sell more than 10 kinds of exclusive products on JD.com, and further cooperate on big data, cold chain logistics and foods traceability.
Kenneth Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Smithfield, said that through this partnership, Smithfield Foods will take yet another step in developing its e-commerce business and expand its presence in China.
Since Smithfield was acquired by WH Group in 2013, it has created more than 1,000 new jobs in its local community.
"JD Fresh" is the largest direct sales fresh food platform in China. In the first half of this year, the gross merchandise volume from direct sales of meats increased more than 780 percent year-on-year. It is now the largest online pork retail platform in China.
According to the agreement, JD will leverage its big data insights to help Smithfield in areas including data analysis and categorization of on-shelf goods. The two sides will also cooperate to carry out precisely targeted marketing campaigns based on in-depth study of consumers' shopping behavior.
In order to ensure product quality and safety, JD and Smithfield will work on seamless cooperation in cold chain logistics.
This is Special English.
American technology company Apple has launched its mobile payment platform Apple Pay in Finland, Denmark and Sweden.
The payment service is now available to Nordea Bank's customers who own iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and Mac devices in the three Nordic countries.
The ubiquitous contactless card readers that Apple Pay uses can now be found in plenty of retail stores across Finland.
The service can be used once a user creates an Apple Pay account by binding his or her credit card or debit card issued by Nordea Bank.
Twenty-eight percent of mobile phones used in Finland are iPhones.
According to a Finnish business newspaper, more banks in Finland will adopt the service, as when a big bank adopts a payment service like Apple Pay, competing banks will likely follow.
The paper believed that Apple will expand its mobile payment in the near future in Europe, when a new EU payment service directive comes into force next year.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The U.S. northern city of Chicago is offering more than two billion U.S. dollars in tax breaks in its effort to bid for the online retailer giant Amazon's second headquarters.
Top officials and legislative leaders from the State of Illinois and Chicago worked together to craft the package, and have conveyed the message to Amazon executives in an official letter.
According to the letter, the package includes more than 1 billion U.S. dollars in EDGE tax credits, which is an incentive to businesses to support employment and improve the standard of living.
Chicago city, Cook County and Illinois State have also committed to spend at least 250 million dollars in education, workforce development and city economic development grants.
A spokesperson says that everything offered in round one of the Amazon bid is consistent with current state law.
Amazon said it had received almost 240 proposals from cities and regions across North America hoping to host the company's second headquarters.
This is Special English.
Electronic cigarettes and vaping are being banned in bars, restaurants and most workplaces in the U.S. state of New York under a new law that will take effect next month.
These products are marketed as a healthier alternative to cigarettes but the reality is that they also carry long-term risks to the health of users and those around them. New York governor Andrew Cuomo says the new legislation added electronic cigarettes to the Clean Indoor Air Act which bans their use everywhere that smoking tobacco products is prohibited.
The governor said this measure closes another dangerous loophole in the law, creating a stronger, healthier New York State for all.
New York joins a growing list of U.S. states, including California, Connecticut and New Jersey, which have banned vaping in indoor public spaces such as bars and restaurants, in much the same way they restrict smoking.
In July, Cuomo signed a legislation that immediately banned the use of e-cigarettes on all public and private school grounds in the Empire state.
Electronic nicotine and vapor delivery systems include e-cigarettes, vaping pens, e-hookahs and similar devices. They typically contain nicotine. Some ingredients found in e-cigarettes are considered toxic and there is no regulation of what chemicals e-cigarettes contain and how much nicotine the user is inhaling. These factors could lead to long-term adverse health effects for e-cigarette users and bystanders.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Researchers in Norway and Britain have found a method for predicting the development of bacteria that can result in new and better vaccines.
A Norwegian public broadcaster reported that the finding provides a deeper understanding of how the immune response and the competition between bacterial strains functions at population level.
A professor at the University of Oslo says this has provided an opportunity to develop brand new and better vaccines in the future.
Several vaccines against the targeted bacteria are currently under development, and clinical trials are being conducted in places including Africa. The finding shows that the potential for developing vaccines against the bacteria is greater than has been expected.
The professor said there is a hope to develop sustainable vaccines against most bacteria that cause infections worldwide.
According to the professor, many top researchers worldwide have shown interest in the method. They regard the study as a "game changer" for the bacterial evolution. He said this may be the biggest finding regarding bacterial evolution over the last decade.
Other scientists say vaccine development is still quite old-fashioned in many ways, but this type of study is potentially very important in the long run.
This is Special English.
U.S. researchers say they have developed a synthetic "gene circuit" that triggers the body's immune system to attack cancers when it detects signs of the condition.
The "gene circuit" will only activate a therapeutic response when it detects two specific cancer markers.
The approach is billed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an advance that may open new pathways for cancer immunotherapy. It has been demonstrated successfully in several recent clinical trials.
The research team built the "gene circuit" encoded in DNA based on principles similar to the simple AND gates used in electronics, which will only switch on a circuit when two inputs are present.
Since cancer cells differ from normal cells in the profile of their gene expression, the researchers developed synthetic promoters, which are DNA sequences designed to initiate gene expression but only in cancer cells.
When the circuit is delivered to cells in the affected area of the body using a virus, the synthetic promoters will bind to certain proteins that are active in tumor cells, causing the promoters to turn on.
This allows the circuit to target tumors more accurately than existing therapies.
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.
An Australian company has created the first ever 3D-printed rib cage to be implanted into a patient in the United States.
The Australian medical device company, Anatomics, created a titanium and polymer steel rib cage with its "PoreStar" technology. It provides "bone-like" architecture to help the synthetic rib cage integrate with natural tissue.
Penelope Heller is a patient from New York who had her sternum removed after being diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer that is resistant to both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She was the recipient of the transplant, the second 3D-printed sternum and rib cage composite implanted into a person worldwide.
The surgery was made possible by a partnership between Anatomics and the CSIRO, Australia's peak scientific body. The partnership previously produced 3D-printed sternum and rib cage prosthetics for a Spanish cancer patient in 2015 and again for a man in Britain in 2016.
Anatomics' executive chairman says the new technology is shaping the future of the prosthetics industry using improvements in scanning, design and fabrication technology.
He said the advanced capabilities in personalized healthcare have opened new doors for patients in need of implants that are customized for them rather than having to use mass produced 'off-the-shelf' devices that don't fit as well.
This is Special English.
"Eco-friendly" hybrid cars regularly produce four times as much carbon dioxide as manufacturers claim.
An Australian report has been compiled by the Australian Automobile Association with the backing of industry heavyweights. The report found that in real-world testing, some new vehicles are using 59 percent more fuel than advertised.
One hybrid electric vehicle tested by the association used four times as much fuel as claimed by the manufacturer, meaning the fuel bill for owners of that vehicle is up more than 750 U.S. dollars than claimed in advertising.
The Australian Automobile Association is using the report to call on the Australian government to introduce mandatory real-world emissions testing for new cars.
Michael Bradley, Chief Executive Officer of the association said that more stringent emissions laws are meant to reduce pollution and drive down fuel use. However, he said, the results suggest such benefits largely occur only in the laboratory.
Australian motorists have a right to accurate information about fuel consumption and environmental performance when buying a new car.
The current system is misleading consumers and regulators. Only real world testing can drive down costs to consumers and deliver meaningful environmental benefit.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The car hiring app firm Uber says it will be opening a European center of excellence in Lisbon, Portugal.
The operations and support center will be the principal source of knowledge for users and drivers throughout the European region. It will also support the Lisbon launch of UberEATS, a food delivery service.
The company said it chose Lisbon because it is a growing market and because of its ability to provide a multilingual staff. Lisbon defeated Limerick in Ireland, Krakow in Poland and Paris in France to attract the new headquarters.
Uber is available in Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve. It began operating in Portugal in 2014 and has around 3,000 drivers.
Portuguese taxi drivers have repeatedly protested, saying that Uber drivers do not comply with industry regulations and licensing standards. A number of injunctions brought by the National Association of Road Carriers and Passenger Cars have sought to outlaw the company. The app was briefly banned by the Court of Lisbon, although the ruling was ultimately bypassed.
Basing the center in Lisbon will create 250 new jobs. It is due to open in 2018.
This is Special English.
Around 15 million people suffer from different mental problems in Pakistan.
A seminar has been held as Pakistan observes World Mental Health Day.
Experts at the meeting said that the number of such patients is constantly rising in the country.
Factors including economic loss, insecurity, political uncertainty, unemployment, stressful working conditions, gender discrimination and disruption of the social settings are main reasons for the mental health problems in the country.
In connection with the day, a separate seminar was held where attendees heard that depression accounts for 6 percent of all mental health problems in the country.
Apart from this, mental health doctors organized an awareness walk in the provincial capital of Lahore in Punjab Province to mark the day.
As the country marked mental health day, a panic created by an unknown knife attacker in the southern port city of Karachi widely spread throughout the city. The attacker was declared psychopath by the police.
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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