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UK parliament rejects Brexit deal, creating mounting uncertainty ahead

英国议会反对脱欧法案,不确定性增加

2019-01-16 浏览


The British parliament on Tuesday rejected overwhelmingly the Brexit deal, further complicating the country's historic exit from the European Union.

Members of Parliament voted 432 to 202 against the deal reached between the British government and the EU after a five-day debate, creating the loss that is said to be the biggest defeat for a British government since 1920s.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has three sitting days to return to parliament with a "Plan B."

Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29.

"Every day that passes without this issue being resolved means more uncertainty, more bitterness and more rancour," said May reacting to the huge government loss.

Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn tabled a motion of no confidence in the government following the deal defeat. The motion will be debated in the Commons Wednesday.

Dr. Alan Wager, research associate at The UK in a Changing Europe at King's College London, told Xinhua after the vote that the defeat, larger than most expected, has led the country into "completely unknown territories."

"It seems almost certain that her (May's) deal which she has spent the last two and a half years negotiating is now dead in the water," he said.

Wager believed that a "no-deal Brexit", which will have catastrophic consequences, has become more likely following the vote.

Before the main vote, MPs voted on an amendment by Conservative MP John Baron, which was designed to give the British government the right to terminate the Northern Ireland backstop measure without the agreement of the EU. It was defeated by 600 votes to 24.
 
来源: Shanghai Daily  



Advertising spend growth likely to slow

广告投资增长缓慢

2019-01-16 浏览


Global advertising growth is estimated at 3.8 percent in 2019, with a total value of US$625 billion, amid a relatively benign economic environment and broad-based recovery, according to Dentsu Aegis Network’s latest advertising spend forecast.

Advertising spend growth in China for 2019 is projected to be 7 percent, lower than the 7.8 percent a year ago, and will hit a total of 717 billion yuan (US$105.4 billion), fuelled by the continued expansion of domestic consumption.

However, growth is expected to be further dampened in 2020 at an estimated 6.4 percent due to economic uncertainty.

The pace of ad spend growth for the global market is also decelerating from that of the 4.1 percent seen in 2018, but it's set to rebound to 4.3 percent in 2020.

Last year, pharmaceuticals were the top industry in terms of ad spend in China with over 125 billion yuan of total expenditure, while entertainment and Internet services are the fastest-growing sectors, climbing 59 and 53 percent respectively.

The real estate sector posted the biggest drop, 35 percent, due to purchase restrictions.

As many as 32 out of the 59 markets included in the forecast are set to report slower growth this year compared to a year ago.

In China, mobile is forecast to account for more than three-quarters of 2019's digital ad spend for the first time. Globally, digital still remains the dominant force in ad spending and is forecast to grow beyond 40 percent for the first time in 2019.

“China’s digital economy continues to lead the global market, both in terms of scale and advancement," commented Susana Tsui, Group CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network China.

Online video is forecast to grow by one-fifth of total ad dollars globally in 2019, and it's the fastest growing category within digital ad spending, thanks to viewing habits on mobile devices and the popularity of streaming services.

"Digital connectivity, driven by advances in technology and consumers' fast adoption, has fundamentally changed the shape of the advertising business and will continue to do so," added Global CEO & Chairman of Dentsu Aegis Network Tim Andree.
 
来源: Shanghai Daily  



Winter sports are a model for cooperation

中芬冬季运动是合作的榜样

2019-01-16 浏览


Usually the Great Hall of the People in Beijing is reserved for important meetings or receiving distinguished guests.

But on Monday, a hall in the west wing was adorned with decorations of ice and snow, in preparation for the inaugural ceremony of the 2019 China-Finland Year of Winter Sports.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Finnish counterpart Sauli Nii­nisto officially launched the China-Finland Year of Winter Sports on Monday.

There will be huge potential for cooperation in winter sports between the two countries.

Finland is well established in winter sports training and competition, while China is home to a booming number of winter sports lovers and will host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.

Sporting ties between China and Finland stretch back to the middle of the last century.

The People’s Republic of China made its Olympic debut at the 1952 Games in Finland’s capital Helsinki.

On Monday, the two sides published a joint action plan (2019-2023) on promoting the future-oriented cooperative partnership.

A series of measures for promoting winter sports cooperation are under way, including establishing a China-Finland winter sports department at Beijing Sport University, a leading sporting institution of higher learning in China.

Zhu Jing, deputy director-general of the Department of European Affairs of China’s Foreign Ministry, said that during the new year, the two sides would jointly host more than 40 events, including personnel training, games organizations and sports research.

China has overseen a robust development in winter sports as it prepares to host the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

In December, China’s State Council released guidelines to speed up the development of the sports industry, aiming to grow it into a 2 trillion yuan (US$296 billion) industry by 2025.

China aims to engage 300 million citizens in winter sports by 2022, as laid out in a plan formulated by the State General Administration of Sport in 2018.

“That enables Finland to provide a lot in terms of infrastructure construction,” said Sampo Terho, Finland’s sports and culture minister.
 
来源: Shanghai Daily  



China markets dive on trade data shock

贸易数据冲击,中国市场跳水

2019-01-15 浏览


Chinese stocks closed lower yesterday, led by losses in newly listed stocks as foreign trade data for December showed shock falls in both exports and imports.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.71 percent to 2,535.77 points and turnover shrank to 116.2 billion yuan (US$17.19 billion).

That compared with 122.3 billion yuan in the previous session. The smaller Shenzhen Component Index ended 0.87 percent lower at 7,409.2 points and the blue-chip CSI300 Index also fell 0.87 percent to 3,067.78 points. Stocks of 15 A-share companies tumbled the daily limit of 10 percent.

China’s December exports unexpectedly fell 4.4 percent from a year earlier, with demand in most of its major markets weakening.

Imports also saw a shock drop, falling 7.6 percent in their biggest decline since July 2016, China’s Customs department said.

The data was far weaker than market expectations, sparking investor concerns about weakness in the world’s second largest economy.

Investors turned to traditionally safe investments such as the gold sector.

The “sub-new” stocks (those having been listed for less than a year) nosedived after jumping at the opening. Xinjiang Communications Construction Group Co, Jiangsu Apon Medical Technology Co and Guizhou Taiyong Changzheng Technology Co were among those who fell by the daily limit.

Pharmaceutical shares were also among the biggest decliners.

Beijing Tiantan Biological Products Corporation lost 8.12 percent, and Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products Co dropped by 6.32 percent.
 
来源: Shanghai Daily  



Canadian drug smuggler sentenced to death

加拿大毒贩被判死刑

2019-01-15 浏览


Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, a Canadian national convicted of smuggling over 222 kg of methamphetamines, was sentenced to death on Monday at the Dalian Intermediate People's Court in northeast China's Liaoning Province.

All of his assets will also be confiscated, said a statement issued by the court.

The court discovered that in October 2014, a person surnamed Xu was hired by Schellenberg's accomplices as a translator, before receiving 20 tons of plastic granules containing 222 bags of methamphetamines from south China's Guangdong Province.

On November 19, Schellenberg met with Xu in Dalian and made preparations to smuggle the drugs to Australia.

On November 29, Xu reported the case to the police.

Aware of the report, Schellenberg left for Dalian Airport on December 1 attempting to flee to Thailand. At 1pm, he was arrested by police when the plane stopped in Guangzhou.

It was later verified that the 222 seized bags of methamphetamines weighed 222.035 kg.

On November 20, 2018, Schellenberg was sentenced to 15 years in jail by the Dalian Intermediate People's Court, ordered to pay 150,000 yuan (US$22,174) and bound for deportation. He appealed afterward.

On December 29, the Liaoning Provincial Higher People's Court remanded the case for retrial, saying the original sentence was inappropriate in convicting Schellenberg as an accessory criminal with an attempted crime. The Dalian People's Procuratorate later provided more evidence related to the case.

At the court, prosecutors offered photo exhibits, documentary evidence, on-the-spot written evidence, verification of the drugs, confessions by defendants in related cases, quotes by witnesses and other evidence. Xu appeared in court as a witness.

The court determined that Schellenberg, along with others, took part in organized international drug smuggling, which is a crime punishable by death in China. It said the criminal facts presented by the prosecutors were clear, and the evidence was verified and sufficient.

The court ruled that Schellenberg was the prime culprit with a consummated crime, and sentenced him to death based on the facts, nature, circumstances and severe social damage of the crime in accordance with the Criminal Law of China.

While announcing the judgment, the presiding judge informed the defendant of his right to appeal the case to the Liaoning Provincial Higher People's Court within 10 days from the second day after receiving the written judgment.

During the trial, the defendant's rights to defense and translation were protected by the court, according to the court statement.

In accordance with the rules, before the trial, the court informed the Canadian Embassy in China of the session, which had officials present at the court on Monday.

Over 50 people including members of the public and journalists from home and abroad attended the trial and announcement of the judgment.
 
来源: Shanghai Daily  



Taiwan sub project risks good relations

台湾潜艇项目破坏两岸关系

2019-01-15 浏览


China on Monday expressed stern opposition to participation by the United States and other countries in Taiwan’s submarine production project.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the remarks when responding to media reports that the US has permitted some of its military enterprises to export technology to help Taiwan build submarines.

Businesses from the US, Europe, Japan and India have reportedly demonstrated interest in taking part in the project.

China’s firm opposition to any countries’ arms sales to and military relations with Taiwan in any form is consistent and clear-cut, Hua stressed.

“We urge the United States and other relevant countries to fully understand how sensitive and harmful this matter is,” Hua added.

She urged these countries to adhere to the one-China principle and not to allow their enterprises to take part in Taiwan’s submarine manufacture project in any form.

They must stop any form of military ties with Taiwan.

They must also deal with Taiwan-related issues properly and cautiously to avoid severely jeopardizing relations with China, as well as the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait, she said.
 
来源: Shanghai Daily  



3D-printer bridges construction boundaries

3D打印进入建设领域

2019-01-14 浏览


Over 1,400 years ago, Chinese people built the first known stone arch bridge in an epoch we do not readily think of as technological. Now, in an age when the prominence of technology cannot be denied, the glory of those bygone civil engineers has been recreated through 3D printing technology.

Two 3D-printed bridges — the world’s largest 3D-printed concrete pedestrian bridge in Baoshan District and a resin bridge in Putuo District ­— have brought technology more widely used in education, medicine and the automobile industry into architecture and construction.

The technique is much faster and cleaner than the alternatives. The bridges are both more durable and cheaper than conventional construction techniques, according to Xu Weiguo, an architecture professor with Tsinghua University, who built the Baoshan bridge.

The 26.3-meter bridge across a canal in Wisdom Bay Innovation Park on the Wenzaobang River was completed on Saturday. It resembles the Zhaozhou Bridge, built in north China’s Hebei Province during the Sui Dynasty (581-618) and still used by pedestrians today. Construction of that bridge began in 595 and took 11 years.

The technology used to duplicate the famous bridge has made it much cheaper than any conventional structure could aspire to be and not one steel bar was used, said Xu. Two robotic arms developed by Xu’s team worked for only 450 hours to build it.

It has easily surpassed Madrid’s Alcobendas Bridge designed by the Institute of Advanced Architecture in Catalonia, formerly the world’s largest 3D-printed bridge, and a paltry 12 meters long.

The 3D-printed bridge is not remarkable for the printing technology alone: Sensors and other gadgets have been installed to monitor displacement and ensure safety. Data accumulated will be valuable to future designers, said Xu.

His team now plans to run off a house using the same printers. They have overcome some significant obstacles, including coming up with a clog-free spray head and a new formula for concrete “ink.”

“3D printing is a manufacturing revolution,” Xu said. “The technology greatly reduces the need for skilled labor, a commodity expected to be in severe short supply in China in the next decade or so.”

Over 100 guests were invited to take a first stroll across the bridge on Saturday.

“It’s beautiful! Just like the rainbow bridge in fairy tale books,” said Lin Siqi, an elementary school student who lives nearby. “But the arch is a little too steep for me,” she added.

The park, formerly a container yard, opened in 2015 and many old containers have been converted into offices and workplaces. It is home to the China 3D Printing Museum and a number of high-tech companies focused on 3D printing, intelligent manufacturing, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

The other 3D-printed bridge spans a river in Taopu Smart City, a high-tech business district. The 15-meter S-shaped bridge was made in 35 days by a giant 3D printer. It was unveiled on Friday.

Made from ASA, an engineering plastic, with fiber glass to reinforce the structure, the printer mixes and squeezes out material layer by layer. Every square meter of the bridge can bear 250 kilograms or four adults, according to Shanghai Mechanized Construction.
 
来源: Shanghai Daily  



Maradona recovering in hospital after surgery

马拉多纳手术后在医院康复

2019-01-14 浏览


Argentina's World Cup winning captain Diego Maradona was recovering in hospital on Saturday after successfully undergoing a routine operation for stomach bleeding, his lawyer said.

The 58-year old former Boca Juniors and Napoli player discovered the problem in early January during a check up at a hospital in Olivos, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires.

Saturday's operation, to stem bleeding caused by a hernia, was not complicated but aimed to resolve what one source said were "inconveniences" caused by the issue.

"Diego Maradona's surgical procedure is over," his lawyer Matias Morla said on Twitter. "Thank God everything went perfectly."

Maradona has suffered frequent periods in hospital over the years, often due to the extravagant lifestyle that helped make him one of the most admired players of the 20th century.

He last fell ill at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he fainted in an executive box at the Argentina-Nigeria game.

Maradona was taken into hospital in 2004 with severe heart and respiratory problems linked to cocaine use. He later underwent drug rehabilitation in Cuba and Argentina before a stomach-stapling operation in 2005 helped him lose weight.

In 2007 he checked himself into a clinic in Buenos Aires to help him overcome alcohol abuse problems.

In recent months he has walked with the aid of crutches due to problems with his knees.

Doctors discovered the bleeding shortly before Maradona was due to fly to Mexico, where he is coach of second division side Dorados de Sinaloa.

Morla said he would return to lead the club for a second season as soon as his recuperation was complete.

"Now we wait for the recovery so Diego can return to work as soon as possible," Morla said.
 
来源: Shanghai Daily  



Local science prizes welcome global brains

地方科学奖项欢迎全球科学家申请

2019-01-14 浏览


Foreign scientists are now allowed to compete in the city’s top science awards, the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission has said.

In 2006, the city introduced an international cooperation category into the Shanghai Science and Technology Awards to honor foreign scientists for their involvement in local projects.

So far, 26 expats have been the beneficiaries of these awards.

This year, for the first time, scientists from overseas have been allowed to compete directly with local scientists in a number of categories, the commission said on Friday.

“We have changed our outlook from simply recognizing foreign scientists based in Shanghai to rewarding those who have made, or are making, great contributions to the scientific life of Shanghai, no matter from where they come,” said Han Yuanjian, of the commission.

Swiss Nobel chemistry laureate Kurt Wuthrich, for example, has been recognized for his work in building the first nuclear magnetic resonance lab at ShanghaiTech University in Zhangjiang Science City.

Foreign scientists with global reputations will also be invited to be judges of the awards and encouraged to nominate projects they deem suitable for recognition.

This year, a science education category was introduced to the list of city awards.

Earlier this month, three education projects were honored in the country’s top science awards, two of which came from Shanghai.

Science education is more than just spreading knowledge. It is an important stimulus that can be used to trigger young people’s interest in science and to encourage their endeavors, said Liu Haifeng of the science and technology awards center.

The city is to offer much more prize money from this year. The winner of the top prize will receive 2 million yuan (US$300,000), four times the original prize in 2006.
 
来源: Shanghai Daily  



Trump cancels Davos trip as gov't shutdown continues

政府持续关门,特朗普将不出席达沃斯

2019-01-11 浏览


US President Donald Trump on Thursday announced that he would cancel his planned trip later this month to the Swiss ski resort of Davos for the annual World Economic Forum, due to the ongoing partial government shutdown.

"Because of the Democrats intransigence on Border Security and the great importance of Safety for our Nation, I am respectfully cancelling my very important trip to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum," the president tweeted.

Trump has locked himself in a stalemate with congressional Democrats in the dispute over his demand for more than US$5 billion for funding a wall along the US-Mexico border.

Earlier on the day, Trump told reporters before setting out for a trip to the US southern border that he "won't go" to Davos if the shutdown continues.

"Well, I intended to go and speak in front of the world financial community in Davos. That's still on, but if the shutdown continues, which is in a while from now, if the shutdown continues, I won't go," he said.

Last month, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced the presidential trip to Davos, adding that the president will be accompanied by an entourage led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

According to Sanders, the U.S. delegation comprises Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, among others.

Trump, whose presence at the 2018 WEF was the first by a US head of state since former President Bill Clinton, said Thursday that Washington has "a great story to tell" at the international gathering this year, which runs on January 22-25.

The partisan fight has forced the partial government shutdown which stretched into the 20th day and, with no end in sight, is about to make it the longest in US history.
 
来源: Shanghai Daily  



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