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6.0-magnitude quake in SW China's Sichuan kills 2, injures 3


2021-09-16 浏览

As of 5am on Thursday, two people were confirmed dead and three others injured after a 6.0-magnitude earthquake jolted Luxian County of Luzhou City, southwest China's Sichuan Province.

The dead and injured were reported at Caoba Village, Fuji Township of Luxian County, local authorities said.

The earthquake, occurred at 4:33am, has also caused the collapse of some houses.

According to the China Earthquake Networks Center, the epicenter was monitored at 29.2 degrees north latitude and 105.34 degrees east longitude. The quake struck at a depth of 10 km.

Approved by the provincial government, the earthquake relief headquarters of Sichuan has activated a level-II response, the second highest in China's four-tier earthquake emergency response system.

After the quake, the Luzhou City has launched a level-I emergency response and sent personnel for disaster investigation and rescue.

Further rescue is under way.
来源: Shanghai Daily  

'Many will follow:' SpaceX sends all-civilian crew into orbit

SpaceX 送平民上太空,会有更多人尝试

2021-09-16 浏览

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying four space tourists blasted off on Wednesday night from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the first mission to orbit the globe with an all-civilian crew.

A huge fireball illuminated the sky as the rocket's nine engines began to pull away from Earth at 8:02pm (0:02am GMT on Thursday).

Around 12 minutes later, the Dragon capsule separated from the rocket's send stage as the crew entered orbit, while the reusable first stage made its way back to Earth for a vertical landing on a sea barge.

"A few have gone before and many are about to follow," said Jared Isaacman, the 38-year-old billionaire who chartered the flight.

The spaceship's trajectory will take it to an altitude of 575 kilometers, which is deeper into space than the International Space Station.

After spending three days spinning around the planet, the four-person crew, all Americans, will splash down off the Florida coast.

"The #Inspiration4 launch reminds us of what can be accomplished when we partner with private industry!" tweeted NASA administrator Bill Nelson ahead of the launch.

Building up commercial capability has been the vision of NASA's commercial crew program since it was founded in 2011.

Tough training

SpaceX hasn't disclosed what the trip cost Isaacman, a high school dropout who went on to found Shift4 Payments and is also a keen aviator. But the price tag runs into tens of millions of dollars.

Isaacman's three crewmates were selected through a competition, and their stories have been followed in a Netflix documentary.

Hayley Arceneaux, a pediatric cancer survivor, is a 29-year-old physician assistant. She will be the youngest American to go into orbit and the first person with a prosthesis, on a part of her femur.

Chris Sembroski, 42, is a US Air Force veteran who now works as an aerospace data engineer.

Sian Proctor, a 51-year-old geoscientist and educator, was almost selected to become an astronaut for NASA in 2009.

She is only the fourth African-American woman to go to space.

They bonded over the course of six months' training that included climbing Mount Rainier, high G-force conditioning and experiencing a taste of weightlessness on a parabolic flight.

The mission is aiming to raise US$200 million for St Jude's Children's Research Hospital, a leading facility in Tennessee. Arceneaux received treatment there as a child, and now works there.

The crew will take with them various objects – a ukulele, hops intended to brew space beer and several digital assets known as non-fungible tokens – that will be auctioned off for the cause.

Throughout the flight, biological data including heart rate and sleep, as well as their cognitive capacities, will be analyzed to study the health impacts of space.

The Dragon is equipped, for the first time, with a cupola observation dome – the largest ever space window – to take in the view. The dome replaces the usual mechanism used on Dragons to dock with the ISS.

Privatization of space

Beyond the charitable and scientific aspects, the mission's stated goal is to represent a turning point in the democratization of space, by proving that the cosmos is accessible to people who have not been handpicked and trained for many years as astronauts.

For SpaceX, this is nothing less than a first step toward a multi-planetary humanity – founder and CEO Musk's ultimate vision.

The flight should remain fully automated, but the crew has been trained by SpaceX to be able to take control in the event of an emergency.

The space adventure bookends a summer marked by the battle of the billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos to reach the final frontier.

Branson, the Virgin Galactic founder, achieved the feat first on July 11, and was followed by the Blue Origin boss nine days later.

But these flights only offered a few minutes of weightlessness. SpaceX's mission is far more ambitious – though flights organized by a private company that contracted Russian Soyuz rockets in the 2000s took tourists to the ISS.

This is the fourth crewed mission for SpaceX, which has now sent 10 astronauts to the ISS for US space agency NASA.
来源: Shanghai Daily  

Chinese mainland reports 50 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases


2021-09-15 浏览

The Chinese mainland on Tuesday reported 50 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, all in Fujian Province, the National Health Commission said in its daily report on Wednesday.

Also reported were 23 new imported cases, including 13 in Yunnan, four in Guangdong, two in Shanghai, and one each in Tianjin, Zhejiang, Fujian and Henan.

One new suspected case arriving from outside the mainland was reported on Tuesday in Shanghai, and no new deaths related to COVID-19 were reported, the commission said.

A total of 8,701 imported cases had been reported on the mainland by the end of Tuesday. Among them, 8,105 had been discharged from hospitals following recovery, and 596 remained hospitalized. No deaths had been reported among the imported cases.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland reached 95,413 by Tuesday, including 837 patients still receiving treatment, four of whom were in severe conditions.

A total of 89,940 patients had been discharged from hospitals following recovery on the mainland, and 4,636 had died as a result of the virus.

There was one suspected COVID-19 case on the mainland on Tuesday.

A total of 16 asymptomatic cases were newly reported, 15 of whom arrived from outside the mainland and one was a local case. There were a total of 386 asymptomatic cases, of whom 360 were imported, under medical observation as of Tuesday.

By the end of Tuesday, 12,148 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 213 deaths, had been reported in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), while 63 cases had been reported in the Macau SAR, and 16,098 cases, including 839 deaths, had been reported in Taiwan.

A total of 11,854 COVID-19 patients in the Hong Kong SAR had been discharged from hospitals following recovery, while 63 had been discharged in the Macau SAR, and 13,742 had been discharged in Taiwan.
来源: Shanghai Daily  

Chinese ambassador calls on US to create necessary conditions for implementing phase-one trade deal


2021-09-15 浏览

Chinese ambassador to the United States Qin Gang on Monday called on Washington to create necessary conditions for implementing the China-US phase-one trade agreement.

"As a show of sincerity, China has been faithfully implementing the agreement despite the pandemic," Qin said during a virtual meeting with members of the US-China Business Council.

China "has made positive progress" in enhancing IPR (intellectual property rights) protection and expanding market access of agricultural products and the financial sector, he said. However, since the agreement came into force, the United States "has continued to impose sanctions and restrictions" on China, including putting more than 900 Chinese entities on various lists of restrictions, Qin noted.

"This has directly affected Chinese companies' ability and willingness to purchase from the US and has had a negative impact on the implementation of the agreement," he said.

Qin's remarks came after US media recently reported that the US government is considering launching the so-called Section 301 investigation into Chinese subsidies in an attempt to pressure China on trade issues.

"If we compare China-US relations to a giant ship, then economic and trade cooperation has been its ballast and propeller. When the ship sails against heavy winds and huge waves, we need to add more strength to the ballast and propeller," Qin said at the meeting featuring CEOs of some of the largest US corporations.
来源: Shanghai Daily  

Typhoon alert decreased to second-lowest level in Shanghai


2021-09-14 浏览

As this year's 14th typhoon, named Chanthu, weakened, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau downgraded the typhoon alert at 12pm on Tuesday.

However, two alerts still remain: a yellow typhoon alert (second-lowest level in its four-color system) and a blue rain alert (the lowest level).

The bureau withdrew the lightning alert at 9:30am this morning.

Chanthu's eye was about 175 kilometers from Shanghai at 12pm on Tuesday, with wind at speeds up to 126 kilometers per hour, said the bureau.

It is expected to move slowly over the sea 150-250 kilometers east of Shanghai from Tuesday to Wednesday. It will gradually move northeast away from Shanghai on Thursday.

Due to the typhoon's spiral rain bands, heavy rain and strong wind are likely to remain in the city and start to weaken from Thursday, said the bureau.

The temperature is expected to range between 25 and 28 degrees Celsius today and tomorrow, with the high climbing back to over 30 degrees and the low staying at around 25 on Thursday and Friday, according to the forecasters.

The Shanghai flood prevention office downgraded the emergency response to level-3, the second-lowest level, simultaneous with the typhoon alert change.

Apart from the Jinshan Railway, railway services have gradually resumed beginning at 12am on Tuesday, said the China Railway Shanghai Group.
来源: Shanghai Daily  

A letter to the space? It costs only US$3


2021-09-14 浏览

Sending mail to space is not a science-fiction plot or a movie. It is an enterprise jointly created by CASCI, the creative unit of the China Aerospace Construction Group, and China Post.

For only 19 yuan (US$2.95), you can write and mail a letter to space with the space letter set, reported China Post News recently.

Established in 2011, the Chinese Space Post Office has international and domestic mail delivery with specially approved permanent postal codes.

CASCI started the sales of the "Space Letter Package" for the first time on major online marketplaces such as Taobao.com and WeChat on June 28, with receiving addresses and postcodes printed.

The package included special space writing paper, an envelope and two postcards.

The set is priced at 19 yuan with no additional postage fee and can be mailed at any post office.

The letters will be scanned into electronic versions, stored in a chip and sent by spacecraft to the "Space Post Office" on the Chinese Space Station.

The sender will also receive an e-certificate.

Selected letters will have a chance to be shown and read to the world by astronauts.

This service aimed to garner people's attention and to increase pride in the manned space industry.

Many netizens said they want to write a letter to their deceased or beloved ones and send it to the space post office\, and some expressed that they want to write to their future self.

The letter packages have already been sold out.
来源: Shanghai Daily  

Fujian city shuts down over COVID-19 outbreak


2021-09-13 浏览

A city in southeastern China that is trying to contain a coronavirus outbreak told the public on Sunday not to leave town, suspended bus and train service, closed cinemas, bars and other facilities.

Anyone who needs to leave Putian, a city of 3.2 million people in Fujian Province, must provide proof of a negative coronavirus test within the past 48 hours, the city government announced.

China has brought the coronavirus under control in early 2020 but has suffered periodic outbreaks of the more contagious Delta variant. Authorities say most cases are traced to travelers arriving from foreign countries.

By 4pm Sunday, Putian had reported 32 new confirmed cases that were believed to have been acquired locally since the first infection was found on Friday, according to the local government. There were also 32 asymptomatic cases.

One was reported in Quanzhou city, also in Fujian.

The Putian government said the viral genome sequencing of 19 cases has preliminarily identified the strains as the highly infectious Delta variant.

The first cases in Putian were students from Xianyou County. Experts suspect the outbreak might have originated after the father of a student returned from Singapore on August 4, according to the Global Times newspaper.

The traveler, identified by his surname Lin, underwent a 14-day quarantine and nine nucleic acid and serologic tests, all of which were negative, the newspaper reported, citing local authorities. But he tested positive on Friday.

Xianyou County has classified Fengting Town as a high-risk area. Residents of villages where the infections were found have been barred from leaving the town.

The COVID-19 response headquarters of Xianyou has advised residents to work from home and wear masks on public transportation. Authorities have also banned large gatherings.

Long-distance bus and train service to Putian was suspended on Saturday, Global Times said.

Elsewhere in Putian, cinemas, card rooms, gyms, tourist sites and other facilities were ordered closed, the city government announced. Restaurants and supermarkets were told to "strictly control" customer numbers and to check for fevers. Primary and high schools as well as kindergartens were ordered to move classes online.

The National Health Commission on Saturday dispatched a working group to guide the COVID-19 prevention and control efforts in Putian.

China has reported 4,636 coronavirus deaths out of 95,199 confirmed cases by Saturday.
来源: Shanghai Daily  

FBI releases declassified 9/11 document after Biden order


2021-09-13 浏览

The FBI on Saturday released the first document related to its investigation of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and allegations of Saudi government support for the hijackers, following an executive order by President Joe Biden.

Relatives of the victims had called on Biden to skip memorial events to mark Saturday's 20th anniversary if he did not declassify documents that they have contended will show Saudi Arabian authorities supported the plot.

The partially redacted 16-page document released by the FBI outlined contacts between the hijackers and Saudi associates, but no evidence the government in Riyadh was complicit in the attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.

Saudi Arabia has long said it had no role in the attacks. The Saudi embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent out of hours late on Saturday.

In a statement issued on September 8, the embassy said Saudi Arabia had always advocated for transparency around the events of September 11, 2001, and welcomed the release by the United States of classified documents relating to the attacks.

"As past investigations have revealed, including the 9/11 Commission and the release of the so-called '28 Pages,' no evidence has ever emerged to indicate that the Saudi government or its officials had previous knowledge of the terrorist attack or were in any way involved," the embassy's statement said.

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. A US government commission found no evidence that Saudi Arabia directly funded al-Qaeda, the group given safe haven by the Taliban in Afghanistan at the time. It left open whether individual Saudi officials might have.

The families of roughly 2,500 of those killed, and more than 20,000 people who suffered injuries, businesses and various insurers, have sued Saudi Arabia seeking billions of dollars.

In a statement on behalf of the organization 9/11 Families United, Terry Strada, whose husband Tom was killed on September 11, said the document released by the FBI put to bed any doubts about Saudi complicity in the attacks.

America marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with pleas for unity at solemn ceremonies across the country.

"We love you and we miss you," relatives said as somber violin music played at the official ceremony, attended by President Joe Biden and former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
来源: Shanghai Daily  

China's famous wandering elephants finally make it home


2021-09-10 浏览

China's famous migrating elephant herd has successfully entered its traditional habitat in the country's southwest region, China Central Television reported.

Crossing the turbulent Babian River safely, the elephants ultimately entered their traditional habitat in Ninger Hani and Yi Autonomous County, Yunnan Province, at around 1am today.

To assist and monitor the 14 wild Asian elephants, Yunnan authorities had assigned a force of over 25,000 police and sent many vehicles with food supplies for them.

All relocation support personnel have been withdrawn.
来源: Shanghai Daily  

Xi holds extensive strategic communication with Biden


2021-09-10 浏览

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday morning took a phone call from his US counterpart, Joseph R. Biden, and the two leaders had candid, in-depth and extensive strategic communication and exchanges on China-US relations and relevant issues of mutual interest.

Noting that China and the United States are respectively the biggest developing country and the biggest developed country, Xi pointed out that whether they can handle their relationship well bears on the future of the world, and it is a question of the century to which the two countries must provide a good answer.

With the international community facing many common challenges, China and the United States need to show broad vision and shoulder great responsibilities, he said, adding that the two countries should look ahead and press forward, demonstrate strategic courage and political resolve, and bring China-US relations back to the right track of stable development as soon as possible for the good of the people in both countries and around the world.

On the basis of respecting each other's core concerns and properly managing differences, the relevant departments of the two countries may continue their engagement and dialogue to advance coordination and cooperation on climate change, COVID-19 response and economic recovery as well as on major international and regional issues, Xi said.

In the meantime, the two sides may tap more potential of cooperation to inject more positive dynamics into the relationship, he added.

For his part, Biden said that the two countries have no interest in letting competition veer into conflict, and that the US side has no intention to change the one-China policy.

The US side, he added, is prepared to have more candid exchanges and constructive discussions with China to identify key and priority areas where cooperation is possible, avoid miscommunication, miscalculation and unintended conflict, and get US-China relations back on track.
来源: Shanghai Daily  

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