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A 22-year-old man lost his hand and several others were also injured amid violence as police tried to break up an unauthorized rave party in western France
Lawsuits and studies cast light on wide use of physical restraints and long confinements in Japan’s vast mental health system.
Warsaw is set to hold the largest gay pride parade in the region after a pandemic-induced break — and amid a backlash in Poland and Hungary against LGBT rights
Iran’s hard-line judiciary chief has won the country’s presidential election in a landslide victory
India’s coronavirus surge that left 180,000 dead over two months has devastated its universities, with the loss of professors leaving many students feeling anxious without their knowledge, guidance and often, friendship
A two-year-old girl is lucky to have escaped with only cuts to her face after being hit by a fence panel that flew across the street before smashing through the bedroom window and landing on top of her and her mother. The little...
Raisi has expressed a willingness to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, but his presidency was certain to mark a radical departure from the Rouhani era.
Trains are back up and running ahead of the Super Rugby final at Eden Park tonight.Auckland Transport this afternoon tweeted that there were cancellations to rail services on the southern and eastern lines because of the tornado...
This story was originally published by The Spinoff A draft plan that increases by 50 per cent the amount of inner Wellington shielded from new dense housing is set to face a tough week in council, writes Justin Giovannetti. There's...
The toughness of one of Hawke's Bay's greatest annual rugby matches was again there in truckloads as the Hastings Boys' High School first fifteen won their big game against Napier Boys' High School today.In rain and surrounded by...
Test your brains with the Herald's afternoon quiz. Be sure to check back on nzherald.co.nz for the morning quiz tomorrow. To challenge yourself with more quizzes, CLICK HERE.
They may look cute and cuddly but Dama Wallabies are quite the opposite. The menacing marsupials are officially classified as an 'unwanted organism' in the Biosecurity Act. "We've had wallabies in the Rotorua area for over 100...
State Highway 1 north of Auckland was closed after a crash that left one person critically injured.A car and truck collided about midday at the intersection of State Highway 1 and Welch Dr, Warkworth.A man in his 80s was seriously...
Frustrated Wānaka businesses and workers are calling for a final answer to the town's decades-old annual winter accommodation crisis.Hospitality worker Nicola Abbott is calling for national funding support for a high-density,...
The tornado that tore through South Auckland this morning has affected more than 1200 homes with at least 60 uninhabitable. High winds tore off roofs, brought down power lines, uprooted trees and overturned vehicles.Civil Defence...
Fire safety officers and police are investigating a fire which threatened a popular, long-standing but closed backpackers lodge on Napier's Marine Parade last night.The fire was reported at 9.09pm at the rear of an access lane between...
Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) wants to own bus depots so they can be kept for public transport use rather than retail and housing.This week the Herald revealed Kilbirnie bus depot has been sold for $35 million , leaving...
A section of the Napier-Taupo highway late this morning remained closed to traffic more than 6 hours after a truck and trailer crashed and blocked the road.No injuries were reported in what police said was a single-vehicle crash....
One person is dead and another injured after a tornado ripped through a Ports of Auckland shipping container yard in South Auckland this morning. Dozens of stacked shipping containers collapsed on Wiri Station Rd, Wiri, when a tornado...
By RNZ New Zealand and the UK have committed to accelerating their free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement in principle this August, Trade Minister Damien O'Connor says."We've held constructive...
Five months after making a sexual assault complaint a Dunedin woman, rather than her alleged attacker, was the one in the dock.Helen*, who the Otago Daily Times has agreed not to identify, said she was enormously frustrated when...
Residents in some parts of South Auckland face a night without power after this morning's violent tornado that uprooted trees, severely damages homes and brought power lines down.A truck was thrown on to its side in a driveway,...
Under attack by a man he thought he knew well, Oamaru police sergeant Tony Woodbridge's thoughts turned to fellow police officer Peter Umbers, who was beaten to death with his own baton.Joshua John Chellew (33) appeared for sentence...
A culture of recording and distributing explicit images of unsuspecting teens by their peers is rampant in Otago. Daisy Hudson investigates the worrying trend, and its impact on those caught on camera. Jane* has blurry memories...
Kiwis are waking to a wet and dreary Saturday morning across much of the country, as heavy overnight falls led to some children's sports competitions being called off in Auckland.And the MetService is warning worse is to come with...
A fed-up house hunter who has missed out at more than 20 auctions claims buyers are being given false hope that they can afford homes beyond their budgets.But the real estate industry is defending the actions of agents, saying they...
Juneteenth celebrations in the United States are of a piece with celebrations of Black liberation from the Caribbean, where the moment of emancipation is more closely tethered to histories of independence from Europe’s colonial empires.
The United States, however, has not yet lifted its sweeping ban on many E.U. travelers.
An Indian health official says his country, the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines, wants to resume exports of coronavirus jabs but can’t do so until its domestic needs are met
Full vaccination protects against the delta variant first found in India, Rochelle Walensky emphasized.
As parts of Europe and the United States rebound from the depths of the pandemic, two women share how their families coped, struggled and now wonder what's ahead.
The extremist threat shows no sign of slowing down.
The front-runner is Ebrahim Raisi, a conservative cleric viewed as a protege and possible successor to Iran’s supreme leader.
The move comes after calls for more aggressive action from diplomat Kyaw Moe Tun, who is still recognized by the United Nations as Myanmar’s ambassador.
The new Israeli government had planned to transfer about-to-expire vaccine doses now in exchange for the same number of doses later in the year.
The bear injured four people, and caused schools to close and flights to be canceled, before it was eventually shot.
A report says prosecutions dropped by 62 percent over the past five years even as reported rapes increased.
The Brussels court cited failures to meet the E.U. vaccine contract, but it set a lower requirement of 80 million doses delivered by the end of summer.
For Putin, there can be no U.S.-Russia reset. But there was hope of an end to the downward spiral.
China’s famous herd of wandering elephants has headed 2.6 kilometers northwest while continuing to linger in Shijie Township in the city of Yuxi, southwest China’s Yunnan Province, authorities said.A male elephant, which strayed 11 days ago, is about 19.7 kilometers from the herd now. All 15 elephants, however, are safe and sound, according to the headquarters in charge of monitoring their migration.The animals have been actively moving, complicating the efforts to guide and monitor them and take safety precautions.The headquarters have done studies related to the compensation of losses caused by the elephants and have continued to organize experts to work out plans to guide their migration.The elephants traveled about 500 kilometers from their forest home in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture before reaching Kunming, the provincial capital, late on June 2.For over a month, authorities have sent police to escort the herd, evacuated roads to facilitate their passage, and used food to distract them from entering densely populated areas.
More than six decades ago, a sandstorm blew Shi Guangyin more than 15 kilometers away while he was on his way to herd goats. Shi was lucky enough to be rescued by local herdsmen but his friend lost his life.“His body perhaps got buried somewhere under the sand,” said Shi, 69, choking with emotions as he recalled those distressing moments from his childhood.Hailing from Yulin City, northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, located on the edges of the Maowusu Desert, Shi shares familiar grief with others living in the area.Maowusu, one of China’s major deserts, stretches from Ordos in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to Yulin in Shaanxi. Its name comes from Mongolian, meaning “bad water,” and rightly so as the desert contains vast stretches of wasteland and saline-alkali water.Back in the Qin (221-207 BC) and Han (202 BC-220 AD) dynasties, Maowusu was an oasis with a warm and humid climate. Since the Qin Dynasty, Yulin had been frequently infested by wars and marred by expanding desertification of Maowusu, with the dry climate making it worse.“The desertification of Maowusu is a result of both climate change and human activities,” said Wang Lirong, deputy director of Yulin’s Forestry and Grassland Bureau.According to local chronicles, in June 1949, the forest and grass coverage rate in Yulin was just 1.8 percent. All rivers in the sandy area were turbid all year round, carrying 190 million tons of sand annually to the Yellow River.“I have known it too well that sand can ‘swallow’ a man since I was a child,” said Shi. Memories of the great scourges brought by the past sandstorms, which scattered flocks of sheep, overwhelmed farmland, choked wells and destroyed houses, are still fresh on his mind. Many local people were compelled to leave their hometown in constant fear of the sandstorms.In the 1950s, China began to promote forest conservation nationwide and started large-scale afforestation.In 1981, the local government of Yulin allocated wasteland, including barren hills, sandy beaches, slopes and ditches, to individuals for long-term use and promised that the trees they planted on the wasteland belonged to them.Shi, in the prime of his life back then, took the lead to become China’s first contractor to plant trees in the barren desert to curb sandstorms.He sold almost all of his properties — a mule and 84 sheep to raise money for his planting career. Shi also encouraged more than 300 fellow villagers to march into Maowusu for a greener future.However, only a tenth of the saplings survived at first. “This came as a disappointment for some and they refused to continue the hard work. But for me, I would rather die in the desert than quit,” Shi said.The next year, Shi made trips to consult experts in other cities. In the spring of 1988, more than 80 percent of his trees survived the harsh Maowusu environment. In a few years, Maowusu witnessed the formation of its first oasis.By the end of 2004, more than 16,000 hectares of sand and alkali beaches that Shi had taken on a lease were brought under control, with the total afforestation area exceeding 23,000 hectares.Yulin is now China’s first “forest city” among the arid and semi-arid sandy areas.
A PIG that rocketed to stardom after it was found among ruins 36 days after a fatal earthquake in Wenchuan County of Sichuan Province in 2008, passed away on Wednesday evening.About 10:50pm on Wednesday, the legendary 100-kilogram pig died of old age at 13, which is equivalent to 100 years old in human years.Before the Wenchuan earthquake, the pig was raised in Tuanshan Village, Longmenshan Township, under Pengzhou, City in southwest China’s Sichuan Province. On May 12, 2008, when the deadly magnitude-8.0 earthquake hit Sichuan’s Wenchuan County, the pig was buried in the ruins of its sty and managed to survive on mere raindrops and charcoal for 36 days until it was rescued on June 17, 2008.The pig weighed only about 50kg, about one-third of its original weight when it was found by the rescuers.Its great tenacity and eagerness for life during the natural disaster moved many Chinese at that time, as more than 87,000 people were reported dead or missing and millions were left homeless due to the earthquake. Citizens fondly named the pig “Zhu Jianqiang,” meaning strong pig in Chinese.It had been raised in Jianchuan Museum, one of China’s biggest private museums, since June 22, 2008. The museum built a comfortable enclosure for the animal, with specialized keepers and regular doctor visits. It once weighed more than 150kg.The pig was originally bred for slaughter. If it had not been for the earthquake, he would have been sold and processed in less than a month.
China’s centenarian translator Xu Yuanchong passed away yesterday morning, Peking University announced.Born in 1921, Xu began his literary translation career in 1938, when he enrolled in a foreign language program at the former National Southwest Associated University in Kunming, southwest China’s Yunnan Province.Xu began teaching at Peking University in 1983 and taught there until his retirement.Throughout his life, the revered translator pursued the beauty of language and was committed to forging literary ties between Chinese, English and French speakers.In 2014, the International Federation of Translators granted Xu the Aurora Borealis Prize for Outstanding Translation of Fiction Literature, the highest award in the profession. Xu was also the first Asian translator to receive the honor since the establishment of the FIT in 1999.Through his pursuit of excellence, the master had enabled English and French-speaking audiences to better understand the beauty of Chinese literature and the wisdom beneath.“I am the only translator capable of rendering Chinese poems in English and French,” read Xu’s business card. He contributed a mind-boggling amount of translations, including over 180 novels, anthologies and plays that have reached millions of readers around the world.Xu’s work was more than just translating words from one language to another. He adapted the original wording when necessary to make it readable and relatable to its target readers.A translation should be as beautiful as or even more than the original, said Xu. Regarding translation as an art, he encouraged innovation and creation, in stark contrast to academics who advocate translation as a science and produce a strict equivalent of the original.Many of Xu’s translations are aesthetically pleasing. Examples can be found in his extensive achievements ranging from the “Book of Poetry,” the oldest collection of Chinese poetry, to the Confucian masterpiece “Thus Spoke the Master.”
A SENIOR Chinese epidemiologist said the United States should be the priority in the next phase of investigations into the origin of COVID-19 after a study showed the disease could have been circulating there as early as December 2019, state media said yesterday.
The study, published this week by the US National Institutes for Health, showed that at least seven people in five US states were infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, weeks before the United States reported its first official cases.
A China-World Health Organization joint study published in March said COVID-19 introduction through an intermediate host is “likely to very likely,” introduction through cold/food chain products is “possible,” and introduction through a laboratory incident is “extremely unlikely.”
Slow to test people
Zeng Guang, chief epidemiologist with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Global Times that attention should shift to the United States, which was slow to test people in the early stages of the outbreak, and is also the home of many biological laboratories.
“All bio-weapons related subjects that the country has should be subject to scrutiny,” he was quoted as saying.
Commenting on the US study on Wednesday, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said it was now “obvious” the COVID-19 outbreak had “multiple origins” and that other countries should cooperate with the WHO.
The origin of the pandemic has become a source of political tension between China and the United States, with US politicians pointing fingers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, located in Wuhan where the outbreak was first identified in late 2019.
A previous study has raised the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 could have been circulating in Europe as early as September.
THREE Chinese astronauts aboard the Shenzhou-12 spaceship have entered the country’s space station core module Tianhe, where they will work on the in-orbit construction of the station over three months.
The spaceship, atop a Long March-2F carrier rocket, was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gobi Desert at 9:22am yesterday. About 573 seconds after the launch, Shenzhou-12 separated from the rocket and entered its designated orbit.
The Shenzhou-12 crew is in good shape and the launch is a complete success, the China Manned Space Agency declared.
At 3:54pm, the spaceship, measuring about 9 meters in height and around 8 tons in weight, completed orbital status setting after entering the orbit and conducted a fast autonomous rendezvous and docking with the front docking port of Tianhe, forming a three-module complex with the cargo craft Tianzhou-2.
The whole process took approximately 6.5 hours.
It is China’s seventh crewed mission to space and the first during the construction of China’s space station.
It is also the first in nearly five years after the country’s last manned mission.
The three astronauts are commander Nie Haisheng, a 56-year-old veteran who participated in the Shenzhou-6 and Shenzhou-10 missions, Liu Boming, 54, who was part of the Shenzhou-7 mission, and Tang Hongbo, 45, who is on his first space mission.
By 6:48pm, Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo had entered the Tianhe module one by one, signifying that for the first time the Chinese have entered their own space station, the CMSA said.
The Tianhe module will be their ‘home in space.’ They will stay in orbit for three months, setting a new record for China’s manned space mission duration. The current 33-day record was kept by the Shenzhou-11 crew in 2016.
The work for the Shenzhou-12 astronauts will be more complicated and challenging than previous crewed missions, according to CMSA director Hao Chun.
The Shenzhou-12 crew will complete four major tasks in orbit, said Ji Qiming, assistant to the CMSA director, said at the launch center on Wednesday.
First, they will operate and manage the complex, including the in-orbit test of the Tianhe module, verification of a variety of subsystems and equipment. Second, they will perform two extravehicular activities (EVAs) for assembling and installing. Third, they will carry out space science experiments and technology experiments, as well as public outreach activities. Fourth, they will manage their own health through daily life care, physical exercise, and regular monitoring and assessment of their own health status.
China launched its space station core module Tianhe on April 29 and cargo craft Tianzhou-2 on May 29. The two completed a computer-orchestrated rendezvous and docking on May 30, waiting for the first crewed mission to unpack the cargo.
According to the China Academy of Space Technology, more than 160 large and small packages, including supplies for astronauts and space-science equipment, were delivered by Tianzhou-2.
Hao noted that it is a critical technology for a long-term crewed mission to guarantee the astronauts’ life and work in space.
Meanwhile, EVAs will be more and more common for astronauts in later missions for the space station construction, posing new challenges for them, Hao added.
He said that EVAs will be a comprehensive assessment of the technologies in EVA spacesuits and supporting systems, the EVA procedures, as well as the astronauts’ operation, commanding and coordination.
According to Hao, the two EVA spacesuits for this mission have been improved to enable more complicated and longer-duration operations, and a variety of equipment inside and outside Tianhe, including a mechanical arm, will also support the spacewalk.
“After passing the assessment, we will be more proficient and experienced in EVAs. In the following missions, EVAs will be regular work that must be done,” he said.
Liu Weibo, deputy chief designer of the astronaut system of China’s manned space program, said that the improved spacesuits, both designed and developed by Chinese engineers, can enable astronauts to have EVAs for seven to eight hours.
The Tianzhou-3 cargo craft and the Shenzhou-13 manned spaceship will also be launched later this year to dock with Tianhe, and another three astronauts will then begin their six-month stay in orbit, according to the CMSA.
After the five launch missions this year, China plans to have six more missions, including the launch of the Wentian and Mengtian lab modules, two cargo spacecraft and two crewed spaceships, in 2022 to complete the construction of the space station.
The total length of the core module is 16.6 meters, around the height of a five-story building. With a maximum diameter of 4.2 meters, it is more spacious than a train or subway carriage, providing astronauts with six zones for work, sleep, sanitation, dining, healthcare and exercise.
Every astronaut will have their designated sleeping area and toilet. Treadmills, spin bikes and resistance expanders will help them exercise to maintain physical health.
Astronauts will use a device called the neuromuscular electrical stimulator to stimulate the nerves in muscles in order to restore function and strength and prevent muscle atrophy. Experts on the ground can adjust the device according to the status of the astronauts.
HONG Kong police arrested five editors and executives of Apple Daily, an anti-government newspaper, on charges of colluding with foreign powers under the city’s new national security law.
Police said they had evidence that more than 30 articles published by Apple Daily played a crucial part in a conspiracy with foreign countries to impose sanctions against China’s mainland and Hong Kong.
The five people arrested were editor-in-chief Ryan Law, chief executive officer Cheung Kim-hung, Chief Operating Officer Chow Tat-kuen, Deputy Chief Editor Chan Puiman and Chief Executive Editor Cheung Chi-wai.
Hong Kong Security Minister John Lee told a news conference that police will investigate those arrested and others to establish if they have assisted in instigating or funding the offenses.
He said that the police action against the Apple Daily editors and executives is not related to “normal journalistic work.”
“The action targeted the use of journalistic work as a tool to endanger national security,” he said.
Senior superintendent Li Kwai-wah said the tabloid’s reports dated back to 2019. The legislation is not retrospective but prosecutors can use actions from before its implementation as evidence.
Police have also frozen HK$18 million (US$2.32 million) of assets owned by three companies linked to Apple Daily.
Police seized 38 computers used by its reporters, Apple Daily said.
The raid is the latest blow to media tycoon Jimmy Lai, the paper’s owner, whose assets have been frozen under the security law and who is serving prison sentences for taking part in illegal assemblies.
It was the second time national security police have raided the Apple Daily headquarters; 200 officers went in last year to arrest Lai on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces.
Lai has been in detention since December, denied bail under the security law and serving several sentences for taking part in unauthorized rallies, including during the global financial hub’s mass anti-government protests in 2019 in response to a proposed extradition law, which quickly grew violent.
The Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region said it firmly supported the just action by the police.
According to the national security law in Hong Kong, any institution, organization or individual in the HKSAR shall abide by the national security law and other laws of the region in relation to safeguarding national security and shall not engage in any act or activity which endangers national security, a spokesperson of the office said in a statement.
The Basic Law guarantees freedoms of speech, press and publication of Hong Kong residents, but rights and freedoms have boundaries and cannot breach the bottom line of national security, which is in line with relevant international conventions and the legal practices in various countries, the liaison office said.
Hong Kong is known for the rule of law and all are equal before the law, the liaison office said, stressing that media organizations should be no exception and freedom of the press is not a “shield” for illegal acts.
Anyone who violates the national security law in Hong Kong and other related laws will be severely punished by law, regardless of his or her profession and background and which force is behind, the liaison office said.
With his wife, Jean Hollander, he produced an English translation of ‘The Divine Comedy’ that was hailed as a masterpiece.
Chinese health authorities have issued a guideline to give full play to the role of traditional Chinese medicine in the prevention and treatment of new outbreaks of infectious diseases.The guideline, released by the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, also aims to promote the use of TCM in the emergency management of public health incidents.TCM has played an important role in China’s fight against COVID-19.The management of the national TCM emergency medical team will be strengthened and its emergency treatment capability will be improved, the guideline reads.The TCM emergency medical team consists of the national TCM disease prevention and control group and the national TCM emergency medical rescue group, it says.A coordination mechanism will be established with the National Health Commission to dispatch the national TCM emergency medical team, in order to ensure TCM’s prompt response to new infectious diseases.
LIU Boming, one of the three astronauts of the Shenzhou-12 mission, is fully prepared for any challenges in his upcoming second spaceflight.
The Shenzhou-12 mission is more complex and difficult, with the extravehicular time significantly increased, Liu said yesterday. “Having professional ground support and close cooperation between crew members, we are fully confident that we can meet any challenges.
“We have carried out strict, systematic and comprehensive training, and each extravehicular activity can be completed well, especially under the protection of the new-generation extravehicular spacesuit,” he added.
During the Shenzhou-7 mission in 2008, Liu helped his teammate Zhai Zhigang perform a landmark 20-minute spacewalk.
The spacewalk is a tough task. When Zhai prepared to step out of the orbital module to walk into space, the module’s hatch would not open no matter how hard he tried.
Liu passed the tools to his teammate and helped him adjust his legs. Through their close and calm cooperation, the module’s hatch was finally opened.
After Zhai exited the spaceship, Liu handed the national flag to Zhai. The historical moment, during which Zhai waved the flag through the darkness of space and said hello to the people of China and the world, will be remembered forever.
It was the first time Liu explored space. He was amazed by the beauty of Earth, the smallness of an individual, and the greatness of humanity.
Liu was born in Yi’an County, northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, in September 1966. He joined the People’s Liberation Army in 1985.
Among the three crew members aboard the Shenzhou-12 spaceship, Tang Hongbo is a space rookie.
After preparing for over a decade, Tang’s space dream is finally coming true.
“I am very proud to be selected into the Shenzhou-12 spaceship crew,” Tang said yesterday.
“This is my first spaceflight mission, and pressure is inevitable,” the 45-year-old astronaut said.
“But after 11 years of learning, training and testing, I am full of confidence in myself and our team.”
Born in 1975, Tang joined the People’s Liberation Army in 1995 and clocked 1,159 hours of safe flight. He became a member of the second batch of Chinese astronauts in 2010.
When asked about his expectation for this mission, he answered with a smile.
“I believe we crew members will work together to build the space station as our home in space. I also hope to meet with astronauts from other countries in the space station in the future.”
It has been 11 years since Tang was selected into the second batch of Chinese astronauts.
The second batch includes seven Chinese astronauts. Among them, Liu Yang, Wang Yaping and Chen Dong participated in space missions in Shenzhou-9, Shenzhou-10 and Shenzhou-11, respectively.
"When Liu, Wang and Chen flew into space, I asked myself when could I realize my space dream and use what I have learned?"
Tang told himself to “start from scratch,” and keep training with devotion and diligence like a fresh trainee for his space dream.
Duan Jiannan, a public servant in north China’s Tianjin City, no longer has to get up early to avoid the morning rush, as a smart system operating locally helps ease traffic congestion to a large extent.“The red lights lasting forever are nowhere to be found. As soon as I drive to the intersection, I get a green light,” said Duan, 29.In the Tianjin Binhai New Area, where Duan’s home is located, a smart urban administration system called “urban brain” optimizes the operation of traffic lights to reduce vehicle waiting time and avoid traffic jams. With the use of this high-tech system, morning rush hour now ends 30 minutes earlier.A national-level new area, the BNA aims to become a smart and green model that is livable and suitable for business. It will be built as one of the “twin cities” together with the Tianjin city proper some 60 kilometers away, according to Tianjin’s 2021-2025 development plan.“What we want to build is not only high-end industrial clusters, but also a beautiful city with humanistic care. We will integrate the industrial characteristics into urban construction, making the BNA a livable and business-friendly city,” said Lian Maojun, Party chief of the BNA.A perfect example embodying the smart and green development concept is the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City in the BNA.Breaking ground on saline and alkaline land in 2008, the SSTEC is a cooperation project between China and Singapore.“If the eco-city can be built here, the experience we gain can be copied in other cities,” said Yan Xu, a local official.The “urban brain” administration system in the SSTEC not only eases traffic congestion but also visualizes the underground pipes on screens as one of the measures adopted to build a “sponge city.”Other measures include the building of scenic wetlands and permeable pavements for rainwater storage, said Yang Yong, deputy director of the SSTEC administrative committee.To cut emissions, solar panels are installed on building rooftops, outdoor benches and even garbage cans, with driverless electric buses ferrying passengers.Power of 5G and AIThe SSTEC is also renowned for spawning high-tech companies.As of January, more than 8,500 companies were registered in the eco-city with a population of about 100,000. Besides, 60 percent of the companies are smart or associated with technology.A new “5G+AI” lab with full 5G coverage was inaugurated last month for 5G-related start up companies, such as Aima, an electric bicycle producer involved in developing technology-based safe bikes for delivery personnel, and Deepinfar Ocean Technology, a company in the R&D, manufacturing and sale of underwater robots.“The lab can accelerate the incubation by pre-verifying the feasibility of 5G products before the commercial use of 5G network,” said Zeng Yansheng, director of the lab.Life in the eco-city has also become smarter, thanks to technology.By running on a smart and sensor-equipped track, joggers can obtain their running speed and calorie consumption information on the display at the entrance. The benches next to the track are equipped with solar-powered wireless mobile chargers and can also serve as a stereo system.In the Sino-Singapore Friendship Library, robots are used to shelve books and help readers find those they want to read.“I can borrow a book by scanning its barcode, and return it with my face scanned,” said the public servant Duan, who lives in the SSTEC. “The sorting robots will take care of the rest of the procedures.”
Eleven people have been found dead as rescue efforts are underway for a flooding incident that occurred last Thursday at an iron mine in north China’s Shanxi Province, local authorities said.A well at the iron mine in Daixian County flooded about 12:49pm on Thursday, according to the county’s information office. It was previously reported that a total of 13 people were trapped in the accident.Drainage has been completed where the workers were trapped, with 11 workers found dead. Further rescue work is underway to search for the two others in over 3-meter-deep mud and gravel.A preliminary investigation into the cause of the flooding has been initiated.In the process of removing the miners’ bodies, rescuers found a large number of fuses, detonators and explosives set in the tunnel. Explosive-disposal experts were sent to guide the rescue work. Continuous rainfall that began early yesterday morning in the area has added to the difficulty of the rescue work.
China’s top economic planner yesterday issued a third-level warning for an excessive slump in hog prices, alerting pig farmers to adjust their plans to stabilize supplies.The National Development and Reform Commission said increasing pig supplies and pork imports, as well as retreating seasonal demand, have combined to drive down prices.The commission pledged to closely monitor price fluctuations and adjust reserves to ensure stable operation in the hog market.Since 2021, hog prices have trended down for several consecutive months. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that hog prices went down 11.2 percent in early June compared with late May.The third-level alert is the lowest in the newly introduced warning system to alarm excessive ups and downs in hog prices.Chinese authorities last week released a work plan to improve the mechanism for adjusting pork reserves as part of efforts to stabilize the market as it has seen frequent fluctuations.
A roadmap for the International Lunar Research Station was jointly released by the China National Space Administration and Russia’s space agency Roscosmos yesterday.
The ILRS is a complex set of experimental research facilities created on the surface and/or in the orbit of the moon with possible involvement with other countries and international organizations and partners, a joint declaration released by CNSA and Roscosmos in April said.
China is poised to unveil a much tougher than anticipated crackdown on the country’s US$120 billion private tutoring industry, including trial bans on vacation tutoring and restrictions on advertising.The new rules, which aim to both to ease pressure on school children and boost the country’s birth rate by lowering family living costs, could be announced as early as next week and take effect next month, two of the people with knowledge of the plans said.The imposition of a trial ban on both online and offline tutoring over the summer and winter holidays in Beijing, Shanghai and other major cities, goes much further than the planned measures previously reported.The trial vacation ban, which adds to plans to bar online and offline tutoring on weekends during term time, could deprive tutoring companies of as much as 70-80 percent of their annual revenue, two of the sources said.The changes being drafted by the Ministry of Education and other authorities target the cutthroat tutoring market for school students from kindergarten through 12th grade.More than 75 percent of K-12 students — roughly aged from 6 to 18 — in China attended after-school tutoring classes in 2016, according to the most recent figures from the Chinese Society of Education.
Astronauts for China’s first crewed mission to its new space station will have a choice of 120 different types of food and “space treadmills” for exercise when they lift off today, China’s space agency said.
The mission will be China’s longest crewed space mission to date and the first in nearly five years, as China pushes forward with its ambitious space program.
The astronauts will spend three months on the Tiangong station, which has separate living modules for each of them as well as a shared bathroom, dining area, and a communication center to send e-mails and allow video calls with ground control.
The planned stay would break the country’s record of 30 days, set by the 2016 mission — China’s last crewed flight — of Chen Dong and Jing Haipeng to a prototype station.
The trio will be able to work off their range of dinner options — which officials assured reporters were all nutritious and tasty — on the special treadmills or exercise bikes.
The Long March-2F rocket that will get them there will lift off at 9:22am local time from the Jiuquan launch center in northwest China’s Gobi desert, the China Manned Space Agency said yesterday.
“Over the past decades, we have written several glorious chapters in China’s space history and this mission embodies the expectations of the people and the Party itself,” the mission’s commander, Nie Haisheng, told reporters.
His team has undergone over 6,000 hours of training, including hundreds of underwater somersaults in full space gear, to get accustomed to their suits for spacewalks.
Nie was among the first batch of Chinese astronauts selected for training in 1998, and has already been on two space missions.
He is a decorated air force pilot, and the others in his team are also members of the Chinese military.
Asked what he would pack for the long trip, Nie — speaking to reporters from behind a glass wall to keep the astronauts quarantined — said his bag was full of “things for entertainment and for hosting mini get-togethers.”
Crew member Tang Hongbo said in a separate interview with state broadcaster CCTV that he had taken videos of everyday life with his son and wife to watch on the space station.
Their Shenzhou-12 spacecraft will dock with the main section of the Tiangong space station, named Tianhe, which was placed in orbit on April 29.
Another 11 missions are planned over the next year and a half to complete the construction of Tiangong in orbit, including the attachment of solar panels and two laboratory modules.
The astronauts will be kept busy testing and maintaining the systems onboard, conducting spacewalks and undertaking scientific experiments.
Footage from CCTV showed them preparing by working in a pool with spacesuits on to simulate making repairs to the station during a spacewalk.
“Over the past decades, we have been struggling every minute to realize our space dreams,” said Liu Boming, the third member of the Shenzhou-12 crew.
“(I) have dedicated myself to the cause.”
The mission aims to conduct in-orbit verification of major technologies in China’s space station construction and operation.
The technologies to be tested include those concerning the astronauts’ long-term stay and health care, recycling and life support system, supply of space materials, extravehicular activities and operations, as well as in-orbit maintenance, said Ji Qiming, assistant to the director of the CMSA.
Assisted by the mechanical arm, astronauts will carry out extravehicular activities for a relatively long time for operations including equipment installation and maintenance, Ji said.
The space-Earth transport system for manned space missions will be tested further as part of the mission, he added.
The mission will carry out multi-field space applications and experiments, and for the first time examine the astronaut research and rescue capabilities at the Dongfeng landing site in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Ji said.
Chinese astronauts have had a relatively low international profile.
A US law banning NASA from any connection with China means its astronauts have not been to the more than two-decade-old International Space Station, visited by more than 240 men and women of various nationalities.
The ISS, a collaboration between the US, Russia, Canada, Europe and Japan, is due for retirement after 2024, although NASA has said it could potentially remain functional beyond 2028.
Tiangong is expected to have a lifespan of at least 10 years.
China said it plans to carry out more extensive and in-depth international cooperation on its space station, making it a space lab for the benefit of all mankind.
“We welcome cooperation in this regard in general,” Ji of the CMSA said. “It is believed that, in the near future, after the completion of the Chinese space station, we will see Chinese and foreign astronauts fly and work together.”
Seven people are trapped following a coal mine collapse in Linxian County, north China’s Shanxi Province, local authorities said yesterday. The accident happened about 8am yesterday in a transportation tunnel of a coal mine operated by Shanxi Jinliu energy company. Rescuers have established contact with those trapped and they are in stable condition. Food and water have been delivered to them.
NIE Haisheng is set to create a record for the longest stay in space by a Chinese astronaut as he is slated to take part in his third space mission.
The commander of a three-man crew of the Shenzhou-12 manned spaceship, Nie, together with two teammates, will stay in orbit for three months, the longest in the country’s manned space program.
“We are honored to take the lead in a series of manned missions for the space station construction,” Nie told media yesterday ahead of the launch. “We will make the core module a ‘space home.’”
Nie, who has a doctoral degree, is one of China’s most experienced astronauts. He has logged more than 19 days (470 hours) in space during his previous two missions.
Born in 1964 in central China’s Hubei Province, Nie comes from a humble financial background. He lived in a village with his six elder sisters and a younger brother doing farm work and studying until he turned 18.
After graduating from high school, he was enrolled as a fighter pilot trainee by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force in 1984.
Nearly 15 years later, Nie joined the country’s first team of astronauts, receiving training much tougher than that for a fighter pilot. He stood out and was selected as one of the final three candidates for China’s first manned space mission in 2003, which sent astronaut Yang Liwei into space.
On October 12, 2005, his efforts were put to the test as Shenzhou-6 spacecraft lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.
He celebrated his 41st birthday during the space mission. His wife and daughter were brought to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center to send him birthday wishes.
State television showed his 11-year-old daughter singing “Happy Birthday,” which moved Nie to tears. The astronaut said his success would not have been possible without the support of his family.
Nie was slightly overweight when he started training as an astronaut. His wife and daughter worked out with him and took care of the diet. His daughter often complained: “No good meal when dad stays at home.”
The 56-year-old space traveler still has the drive and enthusiasm of an astronaut half his age. “The oldest astronaut in the world to ever travel in space is 77 years old, so I am still young,” Nie said with a grin. “As long as my health permits, I am looking forward to undertaking more space missions.”
China’s health literacy rate reached 23.15 percent in 2020, up 3.98 percentage points from the previous year and marking the highest ever rate of increase, a Chinese health official said yesterday.The current health literacy rate indicates 23 in 100 people have acquired healthcare knowledge and skills, said Mi Feng, a spokesperson with the National Health Commission.Aiming to promote people’s health, China launched an action plan for the Healthy China initiative in mid-2019 with 15 special campaigns, said Mi, adding that the popularization of healthcare knowledge was the first action.A total of 1,065 individuals were first included in a national-level expert pool for the popularization of healthcare knowledge.And provincial-level expert pools have also been established across the country over the past two years as part of the campaign.Mi added that such actions, frequent and widespread, also played a supportive role in helping China win the battle against its COVID-19 pandemic.
China’s famous herd of wandering elephants continued to linger in the Shijie Township in the city of Yuxi in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, authorities said.A male elephant that strayed nine days ago was about 17.4 kilometers from the herd, and all the 15 elephants were safe and sound, according to the headquarters in charge of monitoring their migration.The herd traveled about 500 kilometers from their forest home in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture before reaching Kunming on June 2.For over a month, authorities have sent police to escort the herd, evacuated roads to facilitate their passage, and used food to distract them from densely populated areas.Asian elephants are under A-level state protection in China, where they are mostly found in Yunnan. Thanks to enhanced protection, the wild elephant population in the province has grown to about 300, up from 193 in the 1980s.
An Australian member of a UN committee about discrimination against women describes the Prime Minister's reference to a threat of violence against female protesters as "saddening".
News Corp says it has reached a multi-year agreement with Facebook that covers its major Australian mastheads, including The Australian, Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, as well as regional publications.
Australian health advisors and the government remain committed to the rollout of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, despite safety concerns overseas and on the backbench.