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Trump names hostage envoy O'Brien national security adviser


2019-09-19 浏览

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he's naming hostage negotiator Robert O'Brien, who Trump had monitor the criminal case in Sweden against American rapper A$AP Rocky, as his new national security adviser.

Trump tweeted the announcement from California, where he was opening the third and final day of a West Coast fundraising swing.

"I am pleased to announce that I will name Robert C. O'Brien, currently serving as the very successful Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the State Department, as our new National Security Advisor," Trump said. "I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!"

Trump announced that O'Brien will become his fourth national security adviser a week after he ousted John Bolton , citing policy disagreements. O'Brien was among five candidates the Republican president had said Tuesday were being considered for the post, which does not require Senate confirmation.

As the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs at the State Department, O'Brien worked closely with the families of American hostages and advised administration officials on hostage issues. He previously helped lead the department's public-private partnership for justice reform in Afghanistan during the Bush and Obama administrations.

Earlier this year, Trump dispatched O'Brien to Sweden to keep tabs on the criminal case there against A$AP Rocky, who a judge and jury ultimately found guilty of assault in August, several weeks after a street brawl in Stockholm that attracted Trump's attention.

Trump tried to intervene in the case by calling Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in July and offering to personally guarantee bail for the rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers. Lofven told Trump he couldn't interfere in a legal matter.

From 2008 through 2011, O'Brien was a presidentially appointed member of a government committee that advises on issues related to the trafficking of antiquities and other cultural items. In 2005, President George W. Bush nominated O'Brien to be U.S. Representative to the U.N. General Assembly, where he worked with Bolton. O'Brien was confirmed by the Senate.

He also was an adviser on the Republican presidential campaigns of former Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Earlier in his career, O'Brien was a senior legal officer for the U.N. Security Council commission that decided claims against Iraq that arose from the Gulf War. He was a major in the U.S. Army Reserve.

O'Brien has a law degree from the University of California-Berkeley and co-founded a law firm in Los Angeles focused on litigation and international arbitration issues. O'Brien is the author of "While America Slept," a collection of essays on U.S. national security and foreign policy billed as a "wake-up call to the American people." The book warned that the world had become more dangerous "under President Obama's lead-from-behind foreign policy."

Trump abruptly forced out Bolton on Sept. 10, after he and his hawkish national security adviser found themselves in strong disagreement over the administration's approach to Iran, Afghanistan and a host of other global challenges. The sudden exit marked the latest departure of a prominent voice of dissent from Trump's inner circle as the president has grown more comfortable following his gut instinct over the studious guidance offered by his advisers.

Bolton claimed he resigned and was not dismissed. Trump is scheduled to participate in the United Nations General Assembly next week.
来源: Shanghai Daily  

Saudi defense ministry accuses Iran of being involved in attacks against kingdom


2019-09-19 浏览

Saudi Arabia alleged on Wednesday that Iranian cruise missiles and drones attacked the heart of the kingdom’s oil industry, showing journalists the remains of the weapons while stopping short of accusing Iran of launching the assault.

Saudi military spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said the attack “came from the north,” without saying specifically where it originated. Iraq and Iran are to the north of Saudi Arabia across the Persian Gulf.

The Saturday morning attacks hit a Saudi oil field and the world’s largest crude oil processing plant, disrupting the kingdom’s oil production.

“The attack could not have originated from Yemen,” he said, disputing the claim by Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels that they launched the weapons.

Iran has repeatedly denied being behind the attack.

“They want to impose maximum ... pressure on Iran through slander,” Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said.

“We don’t want conflict in the region ... Who started the conflict?” he added, blaming Washington and its Gulf allies for the war in Yemen.

Tehran has warned the US it will retaliate “immediately” if Iran is targeted over the attack on Saudi oil installations, its state-run news agency reported yesterday, further raising Mideast tensions.

Iran’s president and foreign minister also may not be able to attend next week’s high-level meetings at the United Nations, as the US has yet to issue them visas, the official IRNA reported.

The UN meeting had been considered as an opportunity for direct talks between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and President Donald Trump amid a summer of heightened tensions and attacks in the wake of America’s unilateral withdrawal from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers a year ago.

US President Donald Trump yesterday said he ordered a major increase in sanctions on Iran as Saudi Arabia displayed remnants of drones and missiles it said Tehran used in a crippling weekend attack on its oil facilities.

Trump gave no explanation in a brief Twitter posting announcing the order. “I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase sanctions on the country of Iran!” he wrote.
来源: Shanghai Daily  

China publishes white paper on progress of women's cause in 70 years


2019-09-19 浏览

China on Thursday issued a white paper on the progress of women's cause in the past 70 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China.

The white paper, titled "Equality, Development and Sharing: Progress of Women's Cause in 70 Years Since New China's Founding," was released by the State Council Information Office.

Besides a preface and a conclusion, the white paper consisted of nine sections: "Women's Cause Remains High Priority and Is Actively Promoted in China," "The Legal System for Protection of Women Rights Constantly Improved," "Women's Role in Economic and Social Development Becoming Increasingly Prominent," "Women's Political Status Has Grown Significantly," "Women's Education Level Has Risen Significantly," "Women's Health Condition Has Improved Dramatically," "Social Security for Women Continues to Improve," "Women Play Unique Role in Cultivation of Family Virtues," "Women Taking Part in Extensive International Exchanges and Cooperation Activities."
来源: Shanghai Daily  

China, Russia to enhance sci-tech innovation cooperation


2019-09-18 浏览

China and Russia agreed here on Tuesday to strengthen cooperation in scientific and technological innovation.

The agreement was made when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, co-chaired the 24th regular meeting between Chinese and Russian heads of government.

Li called on the two sides to harness their complementary advantages, fully tap cooperation potential in such areas as basic research, applied research as well as the application of scientific and technological achievements in production.

For his part, Medvedev also expressed his willingness to reinforce cooperation with China in high-tech fields.

In face of increasing instability and rising protectionism, Russia stands ready to deepen strategic communication and practical cooperation with China, and expand cooperation in high-tech fields such as artificial intelligence and robotics while developing cooperation in such traditional sectors as energy, said the Russian prime minister.

China and Russia have designated the years of 2020 and 2021 "Year of Scientific and Technological Innovation" in each other's country.
来源: Shanghai Daily  

Panda twins born to wild, captive parents in China


2019-09-18 浏览

A pair of panda twins were born to both captive and wild parents in southwest China's Sichuan Province, according to China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda.

Panda Qiao Qiao, 10, gave birth to the twins at the Hetaoping panda base in Wolong on September 16. One of the cubs is male and weighs 206.6 grams, the gender and weight of the other are still unknown as it is under the close protection of the mother. Experts say it is very rare for a panda cub to weigh over 200 grams.

Rescued from the wild, Qiao Qiao grew up in captivity. She was released into the wild in March and mated with a wild panda in April.

China initiated a panda reintroduction program to increase the genetic diversity of captive pandas in 2017. Panda Cao Cao was the first to mate with a wild panda and has given birth to five cubs so far.

"The successful breedings have given us confidence and scientific data to explore a new method of wild training to effectively increase the genetic diversity and sustainable development of the wild panda population," said Zhang Hemin, a panda expert.

The number of captive pandas was 548 globally as of November last year. Fewer than 2,000 pandas live in the wild, mostly in the provinces of Sichuan and Shaanxi.
来源: Shanghai Daily  

"Ne Zha" given extended box office run on Chinese mainland


2019-09-18 浏览

Chinese animation hit "Ne Zha" has been given another extended run at the Chinese mainland box office and will be screened until October 26, the film's official Weibo account announced.

Hitting screens on July 26, the film has raked in over 4.9 billion yuan (US$693 million), making it the second-highest-grossing film in Chinese box office history.

It is set to pass the 5-billion-yuan mark in the coming days, a milestone that has only been reached by the 2017 action film "Wolf Warrior 2."

The film managed to maintain its momentum after over 50 days of screening, grossing about 61.06 million yuan during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, which ran from Sept. 13 to 15.

Loosely based on the tale of Nezha, a mythological figure from Chinese legends, the film depicts Nezha as a mischievous boy with cute and ugly features instead of the attractive young figure that appeared in recent remakes.

"Ne Zha" has grossed over 3.3 million dollars at the North American box office.
来源: Shanghai Daily  

China appreciates Solomon Islands' break of 'diplomatic relations' with Taiwan


2019-09-17 浏览

China highly appreciates the decision of the Solomon Islands' government to recognize the one-China principle and break the so-called "diplomatic ties" with the Taiwan authorities, a spokesperson said on Monday.

On September 16, the Solomon Islands' government decided at a cabinet meeting that it would recognize the one-China principle and sever "diplomatic ties" with the Taiwan authorities and establish diplomatic relationship with China.

"We support this important decision which the Solomon Islands has made by itself as an independent sovereign state," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

Stressing that there is but one China in the world, that the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government that represents the whole of China, and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory, Hua said this is a basic fact and the universal consensus of the international community.

"On the basis of the one-China principle, China has established official diplomatic relationships with 178 countries around the world," Hua said. "The decision of the Solomon Islands' government to recognize the one-China principle and establish diplomatic ties with China again fully testifies to the fact that the one-China principle meets the shared aspiration of the people and constitutes an irresistible trend of the times."
来源: Shanghai Daily  

Longevity, high-quality mark new trends of China's demographic shifts


2019-09-17 浏览

In the past 70 years, China's total population has increased to nearly 1.4 billion in 2018 from 540 million in 1949, bracing for remarkable demographic shifts toward a healthier and more educated population.

Life expenctancy doubled

Suffering from a scarcity of food and underdeveloped healthcare, the average life expectancy of Chinese people was merely 35 years in 1949.

However, with full basic medical coverage and significant breakthroughs in the treatment of critical illnesses achieved, the life span of Chinese people has more than doubled to 77 years in 2018.

Meanwhile, the infant mortality rate, another important marker of the overall health of a country, also witnessed a stark contrast from 200 deaths per thousand live births since the founding of New China to 6.1 deaths per thousand live births in 2018.

Over the last few decades, China's continuous efforts to cure infectious diseases have paid off. Smallpox has been eliminated, and endemic diseases, such as iodine deficiency disorders, have been effectively controlled or eliminated.

With minor illnesses no longer an issue, leading a healthy life has increasingly become the norm of Chinese people. The Chinese government has issued a Healthy China initiative to promote people's health.

Boosted by the nationwide sports vibe, the amount of active monthly users in China's fitness sports industry rose 1.7 percent year on year to 64.22 million by the end of May 2019, an industrial report showed.

From demographic dividends to talent dividends

After going through a rapid growth period from 1949 to 1970, China's population has been steadily expanding at a slower pace, settling at a rate of about 0.5 percent since 1991.

Even though the world's most populous country has seen a downward trend in the number of working-age people in recent years, its gross workforce remained at about 900 million in 2018.

Talent dividends brought about by improved education levels, which have replaced demographic dividends as the engine boosting economic growth, are beginning to emerge as a solid base for economic development.

Over the past 70 years, the education level of Chinese people has achieved quantitative leaps from an 80-percent illiteracy rate and less than 20 percent of the primary school enrollment to having nearly one in three people with a high school diploma or above.

The average schooling years of working-age people rose to 10.63 years in 2018 from just over eight years in 1982.

With a more educated population, China's vast workforce will continue to offer strong support for the country's high-quality development.
来源: Shanghai Daily  

Train derails near Hong Kong's Hung Hom MTR station


2019-09-17 浏览

A train derailed when departing from the Hung Hom Mass Transit Railway station in Hong Kong's Kowloon during the rush hour on Tuesday morning.

The police said they received reports about an East Rail Link train's derailing at 8:32am local time, but there has been no report of injuries yet.

Video from the scene showed passengers lowering themselves onto the tracks after the accident.

The MTR Corporation said its staff were helping the passengers leave the scene, and the reason for the accident is being investigated.

The metro company announced the closure of Hung Hom Station and the suspension of train service between Hung Hom Station and Mong Kok East Station.

Trains between Mong Kok East and Lo Wu were running at six-minute intervals, while trains to and from Lok Ma Chau were running every 18 minutes.
来源: Shanghai Daily  

Chinese premier eyes practical cooperation with Russia to higher level


2019-09-16 浏览

China and Russia will take stock of the progress that has been made and plan for the future to raise the bilateral practical cooperation to a higher level, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in an interview published on a Russian newspaper on Monday.

On the eve of his official visit to Russia from Sept. 16 to 18 and the 24th regular meeting between the Chinese and Russian heads of government, Li gave a written interview to Russia's TASS news agency. Russian Gazette published the full text of the interview.

The China-Russia relationship has grown increasingly stable, mature and resilient, and is now at its best in history, Li said, as the visit comes as the two countries are embracing the 70th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic ties.

The bilateral relationship was elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era during the meeting of the two countries' heads of state in June.

In face of the shifting dynamics in the international environment, Li said China-Russia relations "have come to a new starting point with new opportunities, new tasks and new challenges."

He said the two sides need to enhance the synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union, as well as to expand the convergence of interests to cement the material foundation for their relations.

The Chinese premier will co-chair the 24th regular meeting between the two countries' heads of government with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev. Speaking highly of the mechanism, Li said it has been playing an increasingly strong role in planning, coordinating and advancing bilateral cooperation in the past 23 years.

"We have succeeded in pushing forward cooperation in both traditional sectors and emerging industries, and achieved an uplift in both quantity and quality," Li said.

The two countries have also engaged in close coordination on international affairs and actively fulfilled their responsibilities for world peace and stability, he said.

As 2020 and 2021 have been designed as "Year of Scientific and Technological Innovation" for both sides, Li said China will take the opportunity to integrate its industrial, capital and market advantages with Russia's strengths in resource, technology and talent to lend new impetus to their economic and social progress.

Responding to questions on China's role in globalization, Li recalled China's journey of development, noting that "China has been both a beneficiary of and a contributor to economic globalization."

"The world is seeing increasing uncertainties and destabilizing factors," he said, adding that multilateralism and free trade face mounting new challenges.

In such a context, China will continue to steadfastly support economic globalization, and work with other countries to safeguard the multilateral trading system centering around the World Trade Organization, and promote global trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, Li said.
来源: Shanghai Daily  

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