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Rank #1: 【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-07-03

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2017-07-03 Special English
This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chinese scientists have announced that they have realized the real-time transmission of deep-sea data for more than 190 straight days, setting a new world record.
During an expedition to the west Pacific at the end of last year, researchers with the Institute of Oceanology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences realized the real-time transmission of deep-sea data after improving the subsurface buoy observation network.
They put a floating body on the sea, which was connected to a submersible buoy. The submersible buoy transmits data to the floating body, which then sends it to a satellite. Researchers then receive the data through the satellite.
The real-time deep-sea data includes the condition of the subsurface buoy, the flow speed, direction and pressure of seawater.
Real-time transmission of deep-sea data provides important technical support for research on the ocean environment and global climate. The data could enhance the precision in ocean climate and environment forecasts.
The previous world record for the real-time transmission of deep water data was around 90 days.
This is Special English.
China's supercomputers remain the world's fastest and second fastest machines, but America's Titan was squeezed into fourth place by an upgraded Swiss system.
The latest edition of the semiannual T0P500 list of supercomputers was released recently. China's supercomputer Sunway TaihuLight has been described by the T0P500 list as "far and away the most powerful number-cruncher on the planet. It maintained the lead since last June, when it dethroned Tianhe-2, the former champion for the previous three consecutive years.
This means that a Chinese supercomputer has topped the rankings maintained by researchers in the United States and Germany nine times in a row.
What's more, the Sunway TaihuLight was built entirely using processors designed and produced in China.
Officials say it highlights China's ability to conduct independent research in the supercomputing field.
In the latest rankings, the new number three supercomputer is the upgraded Piz Daint, a system installed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Center.
Its current performance pushed Titan, a machine installed at the U.S. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, into fourth place. Titan's performance of 17.6 petaflops has remained constant since it was installed in 2012.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The European Union has reaffirmed its support for Paris agreement on climate change when its Foreign Affairs Council convened in Luxembourg.
The Council said in a statement that the Paris Agreement is fit for purpose and cannot be renegotiated.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on June 1 that he has decided to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, a landmark global pact to fight climate change.
The Council said it deeply regretted the unilateral decision by the United States administration to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, while it welcomed the statements of commitment to the Agreement from other countries.
The Council said the EU will lead in the global fight against climate change through its climate policies and through continued support to those which are particularly vulnerable.
Besides this, the EU is strengthening its existing global partnerships and will continue to seek new alliances, from the world's largest economies to the most vulnerable island states.
The Paris Agreement was agreed on by almost every country in the world in 2015. It aims to tackle climate change by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and sets a global target of keeping the rise in the average temperature no higher than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
This is Special English.
It's possible for the European Union and Britain to strike a fair Brexit deal which is "far better than no deal".
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier told reporters that for both the EU and the UK, a fair deal is possible, and far better than no deal. He made the remarks at a joint press conference with his British counterpart David Davis, after wrapping up the opening salvo of the Brexit talks in Brussels.
His remarks obviously alluded to British Prime Minister Theresa May's catchphrase "no deal is better than a bad deal".
Barnier said the first session was "important, open and useful indeed to start off on the right foot as the clock is ticking".
He outlined a two-step negotiation, saying they agreed on dates, organization, and priorities for the negotiation.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China is achieving landmarks in science and technology at breakneck speed.
The country's Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft completed its second docking with the Tiangong-2 space lab recently. Chinese scientists have announced that they have realized the satellite-based distribution of entangled photon pairs over a record distance of more than 1,200 kilometers, a major breakthrough that could be used to deliver secure messages. China has successfully launched its first X-ray space telescope to study black holes, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts, receiving its first package of data.
Officials say such a string of achievements shows China's innovation-driven development strategy is paying off.
The latest Global Innovation Index showed that China rose three spots to 22nd place on the list of the world's most innovative nations this year, becoming the only middle-income country to join the top 25 innovative economies.
However, China stepping closer to becoming an innovative power has aroused skepticism, with some arguing that its progress poses a threat to other countries.
Chinese observers refuted the claim, saying China's science and technology innovation has injected fresh energy to the world's sluggish economy and brought a new opportunity to global industrial restructuring and sustainable development.
This is Special English.
Chinese bicycle-sharing giant Mobike says it has 100 million users worldwide.
Mobike started its business in Shanghai in April last year, before expanding into major Chinese cities and branching out abroad. Users access a Mobike account and unlock the bicycles by scanning a QR code on the bicycles.
It has over 5 million bicycles in 100 cities worldwide.
Average daily orders top 25 million.
The company says it is trying to expand its business in the European and Asian markets.
Since April last year, Mobike users have logged 2.5 billion kilometers, equivalent to cutting the emissions of 170,000 cars for a whole year.
Mobike's chief competitor is Ofo bike.
According to the China E-Commerce Research Center, there were almost 19 million users of shared bicycles nationwide at the end of last year. The number is expected to hit 50 million by the end of this year.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
Five British secondary school students have won a free trip to Hong Kong to attend university summer courses after topping a design competition.
The competition was organized earlier this year by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London. It invited British students to design a 48-hour travel itinerary for youth travelers visiting Hong Kong, with the aim of showing how the city is unique and attractive to youth travelers. The contestants were also expected to compare travel experiences between Hong Kong and a British city.
The organizers say many British students presented their submissions through a variety of means, including an essay, a video clip on Youtube, a blog post, from which five best entries were selected.
Carmen Truong was the winner from the Royal Latin School who impressed the judges with a beautiful scratch book. She will spend two weeks at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, learning Chinese and engineering.
As a Chinese girl born in London, Truong says she likes to collect information and pictures about Hong Kong; and this competition was a good chance for her to explore more about her background.
The annual competition is now in its sixth year. It seeks to encourage British students to consider going to universities in Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China.
This is Special English.
A "Chinese Ambassador Scholarship" has been launched at the Chinese Embassy in Romania.
The Chinese Ambassador to Romania says the main goal of the scholarship is to encourage Romanian students to learn Chinese. It also aims to welcome as many young people as possible to jointly push forward Sino-Romanian friendly relations.
The ambassador says learning Chinese enjoys great popularity in Romania, where over 8,000 people are studying Chinese in Confucius institutes, Confucius classrooms and other places.
At the scholarship launching ceremony, around 20 students and four teachers were awarded with mobile phones and cash prizes to honor their efforts in learning and teaching Chinese.
Romania is one of the countries along the ancient Silk Road. It is part of the Belt and Road initiative for common development. The official says this will bring about increasing demand for talents in Romania, including Romanians can speak Chinese.
The ambassador says he hopes that more and more young people in Romania can play an active role in various fields including economic and trade cooperation and cultural exchanges between the two countries.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The National Museum of China has opened an exhibition featuring the work of Dutch painter Rembrandt and other famous artists of the 17th century.
The show includes more than 70 paintings, and is the largest exhibit featuring the prime age of Dutch painting ever staged in China.
The items on display include 11 paintings by Rembrandt including Minerva in Her Study and The Unconscious Patient. The exhibition also features works by Vermeer and Rembrandt's students.
The exhibition will last until September. It is organized jointly by the National Museum of China and the Leiden Collection.
The Leiden Collection was founded in 2003 by American collector Thomas Kaplan and his wife. It has the largest collection of 17th century Dutch paintings in the world.
This is Special English.
The influential Committee for Melbourne has called for a "mega-region" to be formed along Australia's eastern coast.
The chief of the committee Martine Letts said a rapid transport link between Melbourne and Sydney could see the "mega-region" become reality within a decade.
She said the region can also include other regional centers, and it could rival others in the world including the San Francisco-Los Angeles area in the United States.
The proposal by Letts came after the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University announced that it believed a hyper loop could provide the link between Melbourne and Sydney.
The hyper loop works by propelling a pod-like vehicle through a reduced-pressure tube at the speed of sound.
A local company in Melbourne says the technology already exists to make hyper loop a reality, and it just needed to be supported by the governments. It says a hyper loop project will take three to five years to complete.
This is Special English.
A 12th century castle which played a part in seeing the first female queen gain the throne of England has re-opened after a 1.6-million-U.S.-dollar conservation project.
Framlington Castle in the southern county of Suffolk was used over centuries as the center of a vast network of power and influence to a 17th century home for the poor.
It has reopened its doors, giving visitors a chance to explore its rich history spanning 900 years.
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Jun 27 2017

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Rank #2: 【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-06-26

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2017-06-26 Special English
This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
China has established its highest military award, the Order of August 1. The selection process for the first batch of winners has begun.
The award will honor those who have made outstanding contributions to safeguarding the country's sovereignty, security and development interests, and advancing the modernization of national defense and the armed forces.
A list of 17 candidates nominated by the People's Liberation Army, the armed police force and public security force has been made public to receive comments both from the military and the general public.
Chinese astronaut Jing Haipeng, commander of the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft, is among the 17 candidates.
August 1 is the founding anniversary of the Chinese military, the People's Liberation Army.
This is Special English.
A two-day ministerial meeting of the Group of Seven nations has ended in the Italy, confirming the split between the United States and its six major allies on climate change.
The U.S. refused to endorse the summit's final statement in the part concerning climate, following President Donald Trump's recent decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on cutting global carbon emissions.
Only six countries in the G7, namely, Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, and Japan, restated their pledge to implement the accord, which has been signed by 195 parties and ratified by 148 countries and regions so far.
In point 7 of the 15-page final communique, they "reaffirm strong commitment to the swift and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, which remains the global instrument for effectively and urgently tackling climate change, and adapting to its effects".
The U.S. representative did not agree on the point. The communique says the United States will continue to engage with key international partners in a manner that is consistent with its domestic priorities.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Beijing has pledged to closely cooperate and fully support the development of the Xiongan New Area and encourage people to move there as needed.
Officials from the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei development group said the New Area, south of Beijing, will be the central location for non-capital functions.
Therefore, Beijing will actively strengthen cooperation with the area on construction and services, accelerating the relocation of industries that suit the new super economic zone.
Beijing will support whatever the New Area needs during its construction and development. Beijing will assist in the planning and policy cohesion in sectors including infrastructure construction, transportation integration and public service sharing.
Beijing will also support innovative companies to set up in the area.
China announced plans to establish the New Area in April this year as part of measures to integrate the region's development and cure "urban ills" including traffic congestion and air pollution.
Located 100 kilometers southwest of downtown Beijing, the New Area mainly covers three counties in Hebei province.
This is Special English.
China will set up a community governance system led by grassroots Communist Party of China organizations by 2020.
Local governments will play a guiding role in the community governance system which also features public participation.
Governance capacity in both urban and rural communities will improve significantly by that time, as public services, management and security will be effectively ensured.
A government document says that within another five to ten years, a more mature and comprehensive community governance system will offer strong support for the party at a grassroots level, while consolidating local governments.
Issues including the basic role of autonomous organizations, the participation of social groups and the functions of communities are also included in the document.
According to the document, on major issues relating to community public interests as well as those that matter to the residents' immediate interests, the community residents' role in the decision making and dispute resolution processes should be enhanced.
Meanwhile, community services that are closely related to the residents' interests, including employment, social security, health, education, housing, public security as well as legal and arbitration services, should be made more widely available.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The Precise Service System of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite has been used in creating 317 smart cities in China.
The system provides precise positioning services for household gas and heat, power grid, water supplies, drainage and smart transportation.
Scientists say the satellite has a wide range of applications; and its precise positioning services should be developed practically. Its precise positioning services have been used in Beijing Gas Group to detect and locate gas leaks in pipelines.
Scientists say that with the development of the internet of Things, big data and artificial intelligence, there will be an increasing need for precise positioning in industries like unmanned vehicles, drones and robots.
The value of the satellite's industrial chain could reach 240 billion yuan by 2020.
This is Special English.
The principle of minimum intervention was highlighted at a forum on the protection and restoration of the Great Wall.
Cultural officials in Beijing have called for ensuring the principle of replacing bad practice, at the forum in north China's Hebei Province. The officials warned that too much restoration would damage preservation. They urged preventative protection.
The Great Wall, a symbol of China, is actually not just one wall, but many interconnected walls built between the third century B.C. and the Ming Dynasty which ended in the mid-17th century.
The existing sections are mainly the Ming Dynasty wall, which stretches over 8,800 kilometers. It was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
The United States' best-known farm in China, Kimberley Farms in Iowa, has received a group of leading think tank researchers from Beijing for the first time, after becoming an attraction for Chinese visitors since President Xi Jinping's visit five years ago.
Almost 20 members of top Chinese think tanks, including the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and China Center for International Economic Exchanges, retraced the roads that Xi traveled in 2012 as a visiting vice-president.
They ended the tour with a field trip to patches of the 1,600-hectare corn and soybean farm operated by Rick Kimberley in Maxwell, Iowa, around 60 kilometers northeast of the state capital Des Moines.
The strong wind and scorching sun on the weekend seemed not to dent their enthusiasm for learning more about agricultural trade between China and the United States. They also learned how farming is done in a safe and sustainable way in one of the top food exporters to China.
Kimberley said only three or four people work in the 1,600-hectare-farm, and these people are now helping China's Hebei province to develop a demonstration farm. The 1,200-hectare-project will use new technology that is being used in Iowa. An agreement on developing the project was signed at the end of May.
This is Special English.
More than two billion children and adults, or one third of the world's population, are now overweight or obese.
In a new study, researchers assembled data from 195 countries and territories to model trends in overweight or obese and related health problems and deaths. The study showed that the prevalence of obesity has doubled since 1980 in more than 70 countries and has continuously increased in most other nations.
Of the four million deaths attributed to excess body weight in 2015, almost 40 percent occurred among people whose body mass index, or BMI, fell below the threshold considered "obese".
The paper was published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Authors of the paper say the findings represent "a growing and disturbing global public health crisis".
The results of the study are based on data from the most recent Global Burden of Disease study, a systematic, scientific effort to quantify the magnitude of health loss from all major diseases, injuries, and risk factors by age, sex, and population.
It found excess weight affected 2 billion children and adults worldwide in 2015, including almost 108 million children and more than 600 million adults with BMI, or body mass indes, exceeding 30, the threshold for obesity.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Hotspots of established alien plant and animal species were found mainly in island and coastal mainland regions.
A study is carried out by an international team, led by Dr. Wayne Dawson from the Durham University in the UK. The team analyzed existing data of eight groups of animals including amphibians, birds and plants across 190 islands and 420 mainland regions.
The top three hotspots with the highest numbers of established alien species were the Hawaiian Islands, New Zealand's North Island and the Lesser Sunda Islands in Indonesia.
High numbers of alien species in every one of the eight groups studied could be found in the Hawaiian Islands. They include guppies among fish, now globally widespread, and feral pigs among mammals.
Florida in the U.S. is the top hotspot among coastal mainland regions, with the Burmese python, a well-known example of an invasive species among reptiles. The state is also home to a large number of less well-known non-native ant species.
The study says the reason that islands and mainland coastal regions contain higher numbers of established alien plants and animals may be that these areas have major points of entry like ports.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A total of 243 precious items from Russia's Peterhof State Museum are being exhibited in southwest China's Sichuan Province.
The items on display at the Chengdu Museum include oil paintings, porcelain, sculptures, clothes and furniture.
The exhibition also features activities including a Russian fashion show and a Tetris game.
The exhibition is among those the Chengdu Museum has held with countries along the ancient silk road to strengthen cultural exchange.
A curator of the Russian museum said the display is expected to help people in Chengdu learn more about the history of Russia.
The Peterhof State Museum is one of the most important museums that stores and displays cultural artifacts of the Russian Romanov Dynasty between 1613 and 1917. Peter the Great was the fourth tsar of the dynasty.
The display is free to the public and will be open until the end of August.
This is Special English.
The birth of a giant panda cub at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo has been toasted in Japan.
The 11-year-old Shin Shin, which means "truth", was removed from public viewing in mid-May after she began showing signs of pregnancy, including loss of appetite and increased lethargy.
The Tokyo Governor has congratulated Shin Shin on her successful delivery.
Shin Shin and her partner have been on loan from China since February 2011. They were ready for display shortly after the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, bringing some much-needed joy to Japanese fans.
In 2012, Shin Shin had a cub, the first panda born at the zoo in 24 years. It was greeted with widespread excitement. But the cub died from pneumonia six days after birth.
Shin Shin showed signs of pregnancy again in 2013, but it turned out to be a false alarm.
Panda pregnancies are relatively rare in captivity and outside China.
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Jun 25 2017

24mins

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Rank #3: 【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-06-19

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2017-06-19 Special English
This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
President Xi Jinping says expanded economic cooperation among members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will benefit the region.
Speaking at the annual summit of the organization in Astana, Kazakhstan, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for deepening practical cooperation, as regional integration and economic globalization are the trends of the time, and it is important for them to bring benefits to all countries and peoples.
To mobilize more resources and the driving force for practical cooperation under the organization framework, China supports the establishment of a mechanism for sub-national cooperation and has vigorously promoted small and medium-sized enterprises cooperation by its initiatives of economic think-tanks alliance and e-commerce alliance of the organization.
Bilateral trade relations have grown closer between China and other member countries, as trade facilitation has improved, with China becoming the largest trading partner of Russia and Kyrgyzstan.
Meanwhile, mutual investment has grown steadily, with China's non-financial direct investment in other members as of April 2017 amounting to 74 billion U.S. dollars and investment in the opposite direction totaling 1 billion U.S. dollars.
Senior Chinese officials highlighted achievements in establishing economic and trade cooperation zones, noting that China has built a total of 21 such cooperation zones within other countries, helping to expand local employment and increase tax revenue.
This is Special English.
Europe has found itself at the frontline in the fight against terrorism. The sight of armed soldiers on the streets of European cities has become all too familiar.
The spotlight has swung to Britain this time, but no-one in France, a country that has experienced several attacks in the past few years, is under the illusion that their country is completely safe.
Squads of soldiers with automatic weapons at the ready are a regular sight on the streets of Paris. Despite their presence, the French were reminded of the threat when police shot a man outside Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris earlier this month.
The suspect, a 40-year-old Algerian doctoral student, attacked an officer with a hammer while shouting "This is for Syria."
One worrying trend to emerge from the British attacks is that in all three attacks, at least one of the perpetrators was known to the authorities. The three attacks included the Westminster Bridge and London Bridge killings in London and the attack in Manchester which also targeted children.
As radicalization become ever more complex and multifaceted, many now agree that it is necessary to move beyond a mere cause-effect analysis and look at the problem from different angles.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China is making preliminary preparations for a manned lunar landing mission. That's according to Yang Liwei, deputy director general of the China Manned Space Agency.
Yang said it will not take long for the project to get official approval and funding. He made the remarks during a group conference at the Global Space Exploration Conference.
Yang is China's first astronaut. When asked whether he has any plan to step onto the Moon, he showed great excitement, saying that if he is given the opportunity, there is no problem!
A senior official from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation also said China is working on a manned lunar landing plan.
The mission will consist of a manned spaceship, a propulsion vehicle and a lunar lander. The manned spaceship and the lunar lander will be sent into circumlunar orbit separately.
This is Special English.
SpaceX's uncrewed Dragon cargo ship has arrived at the International Space Station, carrying for the first time an experiment independently designed by China and also supplies for the astronauts living in the orbiting laboratory.
NASA astronauts Jack Fischer reached out with the space station's robotic arm and grappled the spacecraft, as the space station was flying over the South Atlantic Ocean, just east off the coast of Argentina.
Dragon carried almost 6,000 pounds, roughly 2,700 kilograms of cargo for its 11th commercial resupply mission for NASA, including solar panels, tools for Earth-observation and equipment to study neutron stars.
Among the cargo is a 3.5-kilogram device from the Beijing Institute of Technology that aims to investigate how the space radiation and microgravity environment affect DNA.
The deal for the delivery was reached in 2015 with NanoRacks, a Houston-based company that offers services for the commercial utilization of the space station.
U.S. legislation known as the Wolf amendment bans cooperation between NASA and Chinese government entities, but the deal is purely commercial and therefore considered legal.
Dragon, launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on 4th of June, was expected to remain docked with the space station until early July.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A new undersea telecommunications cable known as MAREA that aims to improve connections between Europe and the United States is scheduled to reach the Spanish coast on July 12.
Deployment of the cable, which is being jointly laid by Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica, along with Microsoft and Facebook, began from the east coast of the United States on May 24. It reached the French city of Calais on June 9, before continuing to a town in northern Spain.
Microsoft described MAREA as the highest-capacity subsea cable to ever cross the Atlantic. It features eight fiber pairs and an initial estimated design capacity of 160 TeraBits per Second. That rate is 16 million times faster than a standard home internet connection.
Scientists say it's routing south of other trans-Atlantic cables means it will become "the first to connect the United States to southern Europe: from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Bilbao in Spain and then beyond to network hubs in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
This is Special English.
Eight computer science professors at Oregon State University have been tasked to make systems based on artificial intelligence, including autonomous vehicles and robots, more trustworthy.
Recent advances in autonomous systems that can perceive, learn, decide and act on their own stem from success of the deep neural networks branch of artificial intelligence, with deep-learning software mimicking the activity in layers of neurons in the neocortex, the part of the brain where thinking occurs.
The problem, however, is that the neural networks function as a black box. Instead of humans explicitly coding system behavior using traditional programming, in deep learning the computer program learns on its own from many examples.
Potential dangers arise from depending on a system that not even the system developers fully understand.
With a 6.5 million U.S. dollars grant over the next four years from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, under its Explainable Artificial Intelligence program, a news release from Oregon State University said its researchers will develop a paradigm to look inside that black box, by getting the program to explain to humans how decisions were reached.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
Experts predict that the United States, China and India are considered to be the most prospective destinations for foreign direct investment. The statement was made by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in its annual report on investment.
According to the World Investment Report 2017: Investment and the Digital Economy, global foreign direct investment flows retreated marginally in 2016 by 2 percent to 1.75 trillion U.S. dollars, amid weak economic growth and significant policy risks perceived by multinational enterprises.
Flows to developing countries were especially hard hit, with a decline of 14 percent, while foreign direct investment outflows from developed countries decreased by 11 percent, mainly owing to a slump in investments from European multinational enterprises.
The United States remained the largest recipient of foreign direct investment, attracting 391 billion U.S. dollars in inflows, followed by Britain with 254 billion dollars, and China with inflows of 134 billion dollars.
According to the report, with a surge of outflows, China also became last year the second largest investing country.
In 2017, global foreign direct investment is expected to rise by 5 percent, to almost 1.8 trillion U.S. dollars.
This is Special English.
An international research team has evaluated 145 peer-reviewed studies and concluded that "highly protected" marine reserves can help mitigate the effects of climate change.
Jane Lubchenco is a professor in the College of Science at Oregon State University and co-author on a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She said marine reserves cannot halt or completely offset the growing impacts of climate change. But they can make marine ecosystems more resilient to changes and, in some cases, help slow down the rate of climate change.
Around the world, coastal nations have committed to protecting 10 percent of their waters by 2020, but thus far only 3.5 percent of the ocean has been set aside for protection, and 1.6 percent, or less than half of that, is strongly protected from exploitation. Some researchers have argued that as much as 30 percent of the ocean should be set aside as reserves to safeguard marine ecosystems in the long-term.
The professor says protecting a portion of our oceans and coastal wetlands will help sequester carbon, limit the consequences of poor management, protect habitats and biodiversity that are key to healthy oceans of the future, and buffer coastal populations from extreme events. She says marine reserves are climate reserves.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Plant embryos have cells that function as a brain. That's according a study published recently by scientists at the University of Birmingham. The study has revealed that the group of brain cells can assess environmental conditions and dictate when seeds will germinate.
The researchers say that a plant's decision about when to germinate is one of the most important it will make during its life. Too soon, and the plant may be damaged by harsh winter conditions; too late, and it may be outcompeted by other more precocious plants.
The Birmingham scientists have shown that this trade-off between speed and accuracy is controlled by a small group of cells within the plant embryo that operate in similar way to the human brain.
The "decision-making center" in a plant contains two types of cell, one that promotes seed dormancy, and one that promotes germination.
The two groups of cells communicate with each other by moving hormones, an analogous mechanism to that employed by our own brains when we decide whether or not to move.
The scientists used mathematical modelling to show that communication between the separated elements controls the plant's sensitivity to its environment.
This is Special English.
Fossils of a complete crocodile and bones belonging to at least six different dinosaurs from the Cretaceous Period, 145 to 66 million years ago, have been excavated in northeast China's Jilin Province.
After a year of preparation, paleontologists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a local fossil center began the excavation in late May, following the discovery of dinosaur fossils in a nearby city in May 2016.
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Jun 18 2017

25mins

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Rank #4: 【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-06-20

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2017-06-20 Special English
This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
A Chinese envoy to the United Nations has called on the international community to adapt to the new trends and features of terrorist groups and enhance cooperation in fighting terrorism.
Recently, multiple terrorist attacks occurred in Egypt, Afghanistan, Britain, France, Iran and other places, causing severe casualties and property losses. Chinese's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations made the remarks at a Security Council meeting which focused on the threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
He stressed that terrorism is the common enemy of mankind and its impact goes beyond borders; and no country can address terrorism by itself or keep itself from terrorism.
The Chinese envoy called for measures to reach international consensus, deal with the root causes of terrorism, stem the transnational movement of terrorists, cut off their financing channels and fight against their propaganda.
He said the international community should put solving regional hot-spot issues as a top priority, and work to promote political dialogues to address regional conflicts and maintain regional peace, stability and development, so as to eradicate the root cause of terrorism.
This is Special English.
China is working on reusable launch vehicles and has achieved progress in some key areas.
A carrier rocket official says the processes under development include parachute-landing and propulsion-landing.
Reusable lift-body launchers will be developed in three stages, namely, rocket-engine partial reusable vehicle, rocket-engine full reusable vehicle and combined cycle-engine reusable vehicle.
The official said the Long March carrier rockets still have room for improvement, adding that China is developing a heavy-lift launch vehicle with a payload of 140 tonnes to low Earth orbit and 50 tonnes to lunar transfer orbit.
The heavy-lift carrier rocket is currently called the Long March-9, and it should be sent into space by 2030.
A low-cost commercial medium launch vehicle, the Long March-8, is under development, and based on the Long March-8, a new high-orbit medium launch vehicle should be designed to improve the Long March series and enhance competitiveness.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
China's Food and Drug Administration has approved a new-generation of heart valve replacement product, which greatly reduces surgery time and increases survival rate.
The developers announced recently that the J-Valve has passed clinical tests and will be put into use across China.
Traditional solutions require doctors to make a big incision on the patients' chests and open their hearts to put the prosthetic valve inside manually. The process takes about four hours and poses risks of wrong positioning of the valve and loss of blood.
The J-Valve system features minimally invasive surgery. It is easier to implant and provides automatic positioning of the valve. Doctors only watch an electronic screen and operate outside the patients' bodies. The whole procedure lasts about 10 minutes.
This is Special English.
The World Health Organization has started a "smoke-free generation" media campaign in Beijing targeting young people in China.
A World Health Organization representative says China is in the grip of a national tobacco epidemic, and children are most susceptible with cigarettes portrayed as fashionable and alluring in popular culture.
According to World Health Organization, over half of Chinese adult men smoke, two thirds of whom started as young adults. By 2014, 73 percent Chinese students had been exposed to secondhand smoke.
The official says there is nothing cool about smoking, but there is something empowering about choosing to live a healthy, smoke-free life.
Since China ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2005, the country has made a number of tobacco control efforts, including banning tobacco advertisements, increasing tobacco taxes and putting forward regional smoking bans.
As of 2016, 18 cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, had implemented regional smoking bans.
China has set a target to reduce the smoking rate among people aged 15 and older to 20 percent by 2030 from the current 28 percent. That's according to the "Healthy China 2030" blueprint issued by the central authorities last October.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
One in 20 pregnant women in the U.S. territories with confirmed Zika virus infection had a baby or fetus with Zika virus-associated birth defects.
Among the women with confirmed Zika infection during the first trimester, eight percent, or nearly one in 12, had a baby or fetus with Zika virus-associated birth defects.
A government report, the first from the U.S. territories, represents the largest number of completed pregnancies with laboratory confirmation of Zika virus infection to date.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says as these latest findings illustrate, Zika virus poses a serious threat to pregnant women and their babies, regardless of when the infection occurs during the pregnancy.
It says women in the U.S. territories and elsewhere who have continued exposure to mosquitoes carrying Zika are at risk of infection. The government must remain vigilant and committed to preventing new Zika infections.
The new analysis reviewed the cases of 2,550 women with possible Zika virus infections who completed their pregnancies, of which 1,508 had confirmed Zika virus infections.
In this report, more than 120 pregnancies resulted in Zika-associated birth defects.
This is Special English.
Researchers at the University of California in San Francisco have found that older people with persistent pain show quicker declines in memory as they age and are more likely to have dementia years later.
Findings from their study, which appears to be the first to make this association, indicate that chronic pain could somehow be related to changes in the brain that contribute to dementia.
The researchers analyzed data from 10,000 participants aged 60 and up over a 12-year period.
The participants who said they were persistently troubled by moderate or severe pain in both years 1998 and 2000 declined 9 percent faster in tests of memory function over the next 10 years than those who said they were not troubled by pain.
Those who complained about persistent pain also had a small but significantly increased likelihood of developing dementia overall.
Researchers say the findings point toward new ways of thinking about how to protect older people from the cognitive insults of aging.
Elderly people need to maintain their cognition to stay independent. Up to one in three older people suffer from chronic pain, so understanding the relationship between pain and cognitive decline is an important first step toward finding ways to help this population.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
U.S. researchers studying autism say they were now able to use brain scans to detect functional changes in high-risk babies as young as six months of age and then predict who would be diagnosed with the condition at age two.
Autism affects roughly one out of every 68 children in the United States. Siblings of children diagnosed with autism are at higher risk of developing the disorder.
Although early diagnosis and intervention can help improve outcomes for children with autism, there currently is no method to diagnose the disease before children show symptoms.
The current study is conducted by a research team led by investigators at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The study focused on the brain's functional connectivity, or how regions of the brain work together during different tasks and during rest.
Using an imaging technique called functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers have scanned 59 high-risk, six-month-old infants while they slept naturally.
The children were deemed high-risk because they have older siblings with autism. At the age of two, 11 of the 59 infants in this group were diagnosed with autism, and nine of the 11 infants would go on to have autism.
This is Special English.
The Australian State of New South Wales' health department has announced that it will ban sugary soft drinks in all hospitals and care facilities by the end of this year, in order to combat the growing problem of obesity.
The move comes as part of its "Make Healthy Normal" campaign, which aims to achieve a five percent reduction in overweight and obesity rates in adults by 2020.
Chief health officer Kerry Chant said there's no better way to start than right here on our own doorstep. He said it is important that NSW Health provides healthy food and drink choices for all the staff and visitors.
Chant said that by establishing this model, they hope it shows how a workable strategy can be successfully implemented across any organization to assist healthier choices in any staffing environment.
According to the NSW Heart Foundation, a health advocacy and charity group, "one in two adults and more than one in five children in NSW are overweight or obese. It dramatically heightens the risk of a wide range of chronic health conditions including "type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and some cancers.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
A new study by University of Washington transportation engineers indicates that delivering packages with drones can reduce carbon dioxide emissions in certain circumstances as compared to truck deliveries.
The study suggests that drones tend to have carbon dioxide emissions advantages over trucks when the drones don't have to fly very far to their destinations or when a delivery route has few recipients; and they compete especially well for small, light packages, such as a bottle of medicine or a kid's bathing suit.
However, the carbon benefits erode as the weight of a package increases, since unmanned aerial vehicles have to use additional energy to stay aloft with a heavy load.
The study compares carbon dioxide emissions and vehicle miles traveled from drone and truck deliveries in 10 different, real-world scenarios in Los Angeles, Southern California.
The study noted that it's unlikely that drones will be used for all delivery applications but that there are some contexts in which they appear to make sense, such as shorter trips in less densely developed communities, or in controlled places like a military base or campus.
This is Special English.
"Wonder Woman" of Warner Bros. topped the box office in North America with an estimated 100 million U.S. dollars on its debut weekend, making the Patty Jenkins-directed superhero film the biggest ever opening weekend for a female director.
The latest DC Comics superhero movie is the first big-budget superhero movie with a female lead to be directed by a woman. The previous record-holder for top opening for a female director was Sam Taylor-Johnson's "Fifty Shades of Grey" which debuted with an 85 million U.S. dollars on its debut weekend in 2015.
And overseas, "Wonder Woman" also won the weekend with 122.5 million U.S. dollars from 55 markets for a global sum of 223 million U.S. dollars.
Film analysts say the movie helps to get a lackluster summer so far heading in the right direction. A perfectly cast Gal Gadot in the lead role coupled with a great release date, killer marketing campaign and above all a great movie that has both critics and audiences buzzing on social media, contributed to this better than expected result.
(全文见周日微信。)

Jun 15 2017

25mins

Play

Rank #5: 【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-06-13

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2017-06-13 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China&`&s new cyber security law, which went into effect recently, is not aimed at limiting foreign companies&`& access to the Chinese market.
China&`&s Internet regulator said the law is designed to safeguard China&`&s cyberspace sovereignty, national security, public interest, as well as the rights and interests of citizens, legal persons and other organizations.
The Cyberspace Administration of China said in a statement that it does not restrict foreign companies or their technology and products from entering the Chinese market, nor does it limit the orderly, free flow of data. The document said China is entitled to make laws and rules to regulate its cyberspace sovereignty following international practice.
The law was passed in November 2016 at a bimonthly session of the National People&`&s Congress Standing Committee after a third reading.
A regulation requiring Internet products and services that may affect national security to undergo a security review will go into effect on the same day as the cyber security law.
Reviews focus on whether the products or services are secure and sufficiently managed, and on assessing the risk of an illegal control, disruption or interruption.
They also evaluate the risk of providers using their products or services to illegally gather, store, process or make use of user information.
This is Special English.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called on Germany to help China-developed large passenger plane the C919 get an airworthiness certificate from the European Union.
Li made the call during his talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. He was on an official visit to Germany for an annual meeting between the two heads of government, a mechanism that has been in place since 2004.
The twin-engine C919 made a maiden flight on May 5 in Shanghai with five crew members on board but no passengers. The success makes China the fourth jumbo jet producer after the United States, Western Europe and Russia.
With a standard range of 4,075 kilometers, the narrow-body jet is comparable with updated Airbus 320 and Boeing&`&s new generation 737 planes, signaling the country&`&s entry into the global aviation market.
China has taken pride in developing the homegrown jumbo jet, regarding it as a symbol of national strength.
In 2007, the State Council approved plans to develop a large passenger jet. In November 2015, the first C919 jet rolled off assembly lines. More than 200,000 technicians worked on the project.
A total of 23 foreign and domestic customers, including China&`&s national carrier Air China, had placed orders for 570 aircraft as of May 5.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
U.S. President Donald Trump has said that the world would know his decision on the Paris climate agreement over the next few days.
Trump tweeted recently that he would be announcing his decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
Citing senior U.S. officials familiar with Trump&`&s plan, several U.S. mainstream media reported that Trump is expected to withdraw from the Paris Accord adopted by 196 nations in 2015.
However, CNN quoted U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity as saying that Trump&`&s position on the Paris Accord could still change until he makes his decision public.
The Trump administration was initially planning to make a final decision on the Paris Accord early this month. However, the decision was delayed till the G7 meeting in Sicily, Italy.
However, Trump left the G7 summit without agreeing to endorse the Paris Accord to cut global carbon emissions, raising eyebrows among leaders of U.S. key allies in the group.
This is Special English.
U.S. space firm SpaceX has launched supplies to the International Space Station, including an experiment from a Chinese university that will test the effects of space environments on DNA.
The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft lifted off on the company&`&s Falcon 9 rocket at 5:07 p.m. local time from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Around 10 minutes later, the rocket&`&s first stage achieved a successful landing at SpaceX&`&s Landing Zone 1, just south of the launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
On this trip, the Dragon will deliver almost 2,700 kilograms of supplies, including solar panels, tools for Earth-observation and equipment to study neutron stars.
Among the cargo is a 3.5-kilogram device from the Beijing Institute of Technology that sought to answer questions like this: "Does the space radiation and microgravity cause mutations among antibody-encoding genes and how does it happen."
There is a U.S. law in place, known as the Wolf amendment, that bans cooperation between the U.S. space agency NASA and the Chinese government entities, but this deal is purely commercial and therefore considered legal.
NASA spokesperson Kathryn Hambleton confirmed to China&`&s Xinhua News Agency that there is a Chinese experiment that is launched on this mission, known as SpaceX CRS-11.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
China&`&s manned submarine Jiaolong conducted its first dive of the year in the Yap Trench.
Jiaolong began diving at 8:43 a.m. local time on a rainy day on 4th of June, reaching a depth of 4,177 meters.
A staff member on board said Jiaolong was not afraid of the bad weather, but the rain did make it a bit more difficult for the dive. He said they cannot hear each other clearly due to the rain, so they have to be extra careful during the operation.
There will be five dives for Jiaolong in the Yap Trench, and the last dive is planned for June 12.
According to scientists on the ship, the dives will focus on research in deep-sea biotic communities and gene resources.
Jiaolong completed a series of dives in the Mariana Trench on June 1 and was transferred aboard its support ship to the Yap Trench afterward.

The Mariana and Yap trenches are located in the west Pacific Ocean. The Yap Trench has a depth of 8,527 meters, and the Mariana Trench, the deepest known point of Earth&`&s oceans, has a depth of 11,034 meters.
Named after a mythical dragon, Jiaolong reached its deepest point of 7,062 meters in the Mariana Trench in June 2012.
This is Special English.
A network of remote sensing satellite ground stations that cover all of China&`&s territory and 70 percent of Asia has passed its final acceptance examination.
The network is headquartered in Beijing and features three ground stations in a suburb in Beijing, Kashgar in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Sanya in Hainan Province, respectively.
According to the examination committee, it will be used to support various remote-sensing systems, especially for the western part of the country and the South China Sea.
The project began in 2007.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
India has launched its heaviest rocket, along with a satellite, that is believed to be able to send humans into space in the future.
The home-made rocket, named Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle or Mark III, lifted off from the southern spaceport in Andhra Pradesh state at 5:28 p.m. local time.
State-owned Indian Space Research Organisation said the communication satellite that the rocket carried weighs more than three tonnes.
The countdown for the launch of the 640-tonne rocket began Sunday.
In another development, India has successfully test fired its first all weather tracked-chassis Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile.
India&`&s state-run broadcaster All India Radio said the missile was launched from a mobile launcher in the Integrated Test Range off Odisha coast at Chandipur at around 12:39 p.m. local time.
The broadcaster reported that the test was carried out for validating various parameters of the sophisticated weapon system to further strengthen its air defence system.
This is Special English.
The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation has raised concerns that meadows and pastures are becoming increasingly endangered in Germany and has released a new red list to German press agencies.
The new red list of endangered biotypes, serves as a handbook for future conservation plans and is an update from the previous 2006 red list.
Federal Minister for the Environment Barbara Hendrick from the Social Democratic Party of Germany, presented the findings that indicated almost two-thirds of the 863 species present in habitats in Germany are under severe threat from intensive agriculture, among other causes. The threat has particularly worsened in pastures or grasslands; meadows are also under increasing pressure.
The Federal Office for Nature Conservation has reported some positive developments in coastal regions as well as next to rivers and streams which are benefiting from restoration or environmental protection plans as well as better sewage treatment plants. However, figures are much less positive for groundwater due to high nitrogen pollution caused by fertilizers from intensive farming. Many stagnant water volumes are also affected.
There are many types of natural habitats in Germany including 46 types of water environments.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
A study on young female mice reveals how puberty hormones might trigger changes in neural communication in the frontal cortices and impede some aspects of flexible youthful learning.
Scientists have found that the onset of puberty hits something like a "switch" in the brain&`&s frontal cortex that can reduce flexibility in some forms of learning.
The study was led by Linda Wilbrecht, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley, and the senior author of the study published in the journal Current Biology.
The changes occurred in a region of the frontal brain that is associated with learning, attention and behavioral regulation.
Overall, children have been found to have greater brain flexibility or "plasticity" than adults, enabling them to more easily master multiple languages and other elementary scholastic pursuits.
While they continue to learn after puberty, their cognitive focus in adolescence is often redirected to peer relationships and more social learning.
The study noted that if hormonal changes start as early as the second or third grade, when children are tasked with learning basic skills, a shift in brain function could be problematic.
Puberty onset is occurring earlier and earlier in girls in modern urban settings, driven by such factors as stress and the obesity epidemic, and has been associated with worse outcomes in terms of school and mental health.
This is Special English.
America&`&s first Nutella Cafe opened recently in downtown Chicago, with more than 400 customers lining for their favorite treat.
This is the first standalone Nutella Cafe owned by parent company Ferrero. Its menu items include grilled baguettes, fresh-roasted hazelnut, gelato and some Italian specialties.
Nutella&`&s head of marketing in North America says there&`&s an incredible dining culture in this city, and Nutella is all about the idea of sharing good food with friends and family; and they thought that Chicago would be the perfect place to do that.
The first 400 people in line were let in this two-level cafe and they received special Nutella Cafe Chicago jars, along with croissants. Some Nutella fans even arrived as early as 5 a.m. for the opening of the door.
Nutella was created in Italy and debuted in the United States in 1983. The spread is available in about 160 countries.
That is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I&`&m going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
(全文见周日微信

Jun 08 2017

25mins

Play

Rank #6: 【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-06-12

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2017-06-12 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
China&`&s new cyber security law, which went into effect recently, is not aimed at limiting foreign companies&`& access to the Chinese market.
China&`&s Internet regulator said the law is designed to safeguard China&`&s cyberspace sovereignty, national security, public interest, as well as the rights and interests of citizens, legal persons and other organizations.
The Cyberspace Administration of China said in a statement that it does not restrict foreign companies or their technology and products from entering the Chinese market, nor does it limit the orderly, free flow of data. The document said China is entitled to make laws and rules to regulate its cyberspace sovereignty following international practice.
The law was passed in November 2016 at a bimonthly session of the National People&`&s Congress Standing Committee after a third reading.
A regulation requiring Internet products and services that may affect national security to undergo a security review will go into effect on the same day as the cyber security law.
Reviews focus on whether the products or services are secure and sufficiently managed, and on assessing the risk of illegal control, disruption or interruption.
They also evaluate the risk of providers using their products or services to illegally gather, store, process or make use of user information.
This is Special English.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called on Germany to help China-developed large passenger plane C919 get an airworthiness certificate from the European Union.
Li made the call during his talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. He was on an official visit to Germany for an annual meeting between the two heads of government, a mechanism that has been in place since 2004.
The twin-engine C919 made its maiden flight on May 5 in Shanghai with five crew members on board but no passengers. The success makes China the fourth jumbo jet producer after the United States, Western Europe and Russia.
With a standard range of 4,075 kilometers, the narrow-bodied jet is comparable with the updated Airbus 320 and Boeing&`&s new generation 737 planes, signaling the country&`&s entry into the global aviation market.
China has taken pride in developing the homegrown jumbo jet, regarding it as a symbol of national strength.
In 2007, the State Council approved plans to develop a large passenger jet. In November 2015, the first C919 jet rolled off the assembly line. More than 200,000 technicians worked on the project.
A total of 23 foreign and domestic customers, including China&`&s national carrier Air China, had placed orders for 570 aircraft as of May 5.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
U.S. space firm SpaceX has launched supplies to the International Space Station, including an experiment from a Chinese university that will test the effects of space environments on DNA.
The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft lifted off on the company&`&s Falcon 9 rocket at 5:07 p.m. local time from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Around 10 minutes later, the rocket&`&s first stage achieved a successful landing at SpaceX&`&s Landing Zone 1, just south of the launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
On this trip, the Dragon will deliver almost 2,700 kilograms of supplies, including solar panels, tools for Earth-observation and equipment to study neutron stars.
Among the cargo is a 3.5-kilogram device from the Beijing Institute of Technology that seeks to answer questions including "Does space radiation and microgravity cause mutations among antibody-encoding genes and if so, how does it happen."
There is a U.S. law in place, known as the Wolf amendment, that bans cooperation between the U.S. space agency NASA and Chinese government entities, but this deal is purely commercial and therefore considered legal.
NASA spokesperson Kathryn Hambleton confirmed to China&`&s Xinhua News Agency that there is a Chinese experiment that has been launched on this mission, known as SpaceX CRS-11.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China&`&s manned submarine Jiaolong has conducted its first dive of the year in the Yap Trench.
Jiaolong began diving at 8:43 a.m. local time on a rainy day on 4th of June, reaching a depth of 4,177 meters.
A staff member on board said Jiaolong was not afraid of the bad weather, but the rain did make it a bit more difficult for the dive. He said they cannot hear each other clearly due to the rain, so they have to be extra careful during the operation.
There will be five dives for Jiaolong in the Yap Trench, with the last dive being planned for June 12.
According to scientists on the ship, the dives will focus on research in deep-sea biotic communities and gene resources.
Jiaolong completed a series of dives in the Mariana Trench on June 1 and was transferred aboard its support ship to the Yap Trench afterwards.
The Mariana and Yap trenches are located in the west Pacific Ocean. The Yap Trench has a depth of 8,527 meters, and the Mariana Trench, the deepest known point of Earth&`&s oceans, has a depth of 11,034 meters.
Named after a mythical dragon, Jiaolong reached its deepest point of 7,062 meters in the Mariana Trench in June 2012.
This is Special English.
A network of remote sensing satellite ground stations that cover all of China&`&s territory and 70 percent of Asia has passed its final acceptance examination.
The network is headquartered in Beijing and features three ground stations in a suburb in Beijing, in Kashgar in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Sanya in Hainan Province.
According to the examination committee, it will be used to support various remote-sensing systems, especially for the western part of the country and the South China Sea.
The project began in 2007.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
India has launched its heaviest rocket, along with a satellite, that is now believed to be able to send humans into space in the future.
The domestically-produced rocket, named Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle or Mark III, lifted off from the southern spaceport in Andhra Pradesh state at 5:28 p.m. local time.
The state-owned Indian Space Research Organisation said the communication satellite that the rocket carried weighs more than three tonnes.
The countdown for the launch of the 640-tonne rocket began on Sunday.
In another development, India has successfully test fired its first all-weather tracked-chassis Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile.
India&`&s state-run broadcaster All India Radio said the missile was launched from a mobile launcher in the Integrated Test Range off the Odisha coast at Chandipur at around 12:39 p.m. local time.
The broadcaster reported that the test was carried out for validating various parameters of the sophisticated weapon system to further strengthen its air defence system.
This is Special English.
A survey of the California Current System along the U.S. West Coast of the United States found persistent, highly acidified water throughout the ecologically critical nearshore habitat.
Led by Francis Chan, a marine ecologist at Oregon State University, researchers participating in the survey said conditions will continue to worsen because the atmospheric carbon dioxide primarily to blame for the increase in acidification has been rising substantially in recent years.
While the findings of the study, which was published recently in Nature Scientific Reports, identified "hotspots" of pH, or the potential of hydrogen, measurements as low as any oceanic surface waters in the world, there were "refuges" of more moderate pH environments that could become havens for some marine organisms to escape more highly acidified waters.
The threat of ocean acidification is global and though it sometimes seems far away, it is happening on the West Coast of the United States and those waters are already hitting the beaches. Chan said that ten years ago, they were focusing on the tropics with their coral reefs as the place most likely to be affected by ocean acidification. But the California Current System is getting hit with acidification earlier and more drastically than other locations around the world.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation has raised concerns that meadows and pastures are becoming increasingly endangered in Germany and has released a new red list to the German Press Agency.
The new red list of endangered biotypes, serves as a handbook for future conservation plans and is an update from the previous 2006 red list.
Federal Minister for the Environment Barbara Hendrick from the Social Democratic Party of Germany, presented the findings that indicated almost two-thirds of the 863 species present in habitats in Germany are under severe threat from intensive agriculture, among other causes. The threat has particularly worsened in pastures or grasslands; meadows are also under increasing pressure.
The Federal Office for Nature Conservation has reported some positive developments in coastal regions as well as next to rivers and streams which are benefiting from restoration or environmental protection plans as well as better sewage treatment plants. However, figures are much less positive for groundwater due to high nitrogen pollution caused by fertilizers from intensive farming. Many stagnant water volumes are also affected.
There are many types of natural habitats in Germany including 46 types of water environments and 20 types of arable and fallow arable land.
This is Special English.
A study on young female mice reveals how puberty hormones might trigger changes in neural communication in the frontal cortices and impede some aspects of flexible youthful learning.
Scientists have found that the onset of puberty hits something like a "switch" in the brain&`&s frontal cortex that can reduce flexibility in some forms of learning.
The study was led by Linda Wilbrecht, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley, and the senior author of the study published in the journal Current Biology.
The changes occurred in a region of the frontal brain that is associated with learning, attention and behavioral regulation.
Overall, children have been found to have greater brain flexibility or "plasticity" than adults, enabling them to more easily master multiple languages and other elementary scholastic pursuits.
While they continue to learn after puberty, their cognitive focus in adolescence is often redirected to peer relationships and more social learning.
The study noted that if hormonal changes start as early as second or third grade, when children are tasked with learning basic skills, a shift in brain function could be problematic.
Puberty onset is occurring earlier and earlier in girls in modern urban settings, driven by such factors as stress and the obesity epidemic, and has been associated with worse outcomes in terms of school and mental health.
This is Special English.
America&`&s first Nutella Cafe opened recently in downtown Chicago, with more than 400 customers lining up for their favorite treat.
This is the first standalone Nutella Cafe owned by parent company Ferrero. Its menu items include grilled baguettes, fresh-roasted hazelnut, gelato and some Italian specialties.
Noah Szporn, head of marketing at Nutella North America says there&`&s an incredible dining culture in the city, and Nutella is all about the idea of sharing good food with friends and family; and they thought that Chicago would be the perfect place to do that.
(文稿请浏览周六微信。)

Jun 08 2017

24mins

Play

Rank #7: 【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-05-30

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This is Special English. I’m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
The United States Senate has voted 82-13 to approve the Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to be the new U.S. Ambassador to China.
In a statement after the confirmation, Branstad said he looks forward to working with leaders of both countries for the mutual benefit of the rest of the world.
He said that never in his wildest dreams did he think that a boy from a small farm in Leland, Iowa, would one day have the opportunity to represent his country on the world stage, working closely with one of the world&`&s most influential countries and one of America&`&s largest trading partners.
Seventy-year-old Branstad is the longest-serving governor in the United States. He has nurtured a close relationship with China and has visited China multiple times.
He served as the governor of Iowa from 1983 to 1999, and again since 2011. He was nominated by U.S. President Donald Trump to be the next U.S. ambassador to China in December last year.
During his confirmation hearing earlier this month, Branstad said that if confirmed, he would work to "positively influence" the U.S.-China relationship.
He said that as Governor of Iowa, he saw first-hand the importance of a positive and healthy trade relationship between the two countries.
This is Special English.
With housing prices and sales stagnating in China&`&s major cities following tough property controls, smaller cities are starting to join in.
Property sales were restricted in several second and third-tier cities, as speculators shift their attention to these areas. Around 30 cities have introduced sales restrictions to different extents.
In Baoding city in north China&`&s Hebei Province, certain properties are subject to a 10-year lock-up before they can be resold.
In Jiaxing city in east China&`&s Zhejiang Province, non-residents will not be able to resell houses within two years of buying them.
With such restrictions, speculators who use to borrow money to invest may have to reconsider, as it now takes much longer for the houses to generate returns and pay back the loans.
Analysts say smaller cities have become the main battleground as China strives to contain housing price as they rises through restrictions on purchases and increased minimum down payments.
In Beijing, the down payment ratio for second homes has raised to 60 percent in mid-March, a measure considered "unprecedented".
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
A new study has found that the rare but spectacular eruptions of super volcanoes can cause massive destruction and affect climate patterns on a global scale for decades.
In addition, the super eruption sites may experience ongoing, albeit smaller eruptions for tens of thousands of years after.
In the study published recently in the journal Nature Communications, Oregon State University researchers said they were able to link recent eruptions at Mt. Sinabung in northern Sumatra in Indonesia, to the last eruption on Earth of a super volcano 74,000 years ago at the Toba Caldera some 40 kilometers away.
This is the first time that researchers have been able to pinpoint what happens following the eruption of a super volcano. To qualify as a super volcano, the eruption must reach at least magnitude 8, which means the measured deposits for that eruption are greater than 1,000 cubic kilometers.
When Toba erupted, it emitted a volume of magma 28,000 times greater than that of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington State in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. It was so massive, it is thought to have created a volcanic winter on Earth lasting years, and possibly triggering a bottleneck in human evolution.
This is Special English.
A study led by the University of Washington indicates that neighborhoods with greater poverty and disorganization may play a greater role in the problem of drinking in the availability of bars and stores that sell hard liquor.
The findings were based on local neighborhood data and published online in the Journal of Urban Health. It suggests that while socioeconomics are more powerful environmental factors than even access to the substance itself, improving a neighborhood&`&s quality of life can yield a range of benefits.
In examining the combination of multiple neighborhood factors on alcohol use, researchers turned to an ongoing study the university has followed for decades, by interviewing more than 500 of the adult participants.
The researchers found that residents of neighborhoods primarily characterized by high poverty and disorganization tended to drink twice as much in a typical week as those in other types of neighborhoods. Binge-drinking, generally defined as more than four drinks at a time for women, five for men, occurred in these high-poverty, highly disorganized communities about four times as frequently as in other types of neighborhoods.
These findings are consistent with previous research indicating that people in lower income neighborhoods may be at greater risk for alcohol-related problems.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Russian Security Council said Russia&`&s crucial information infrastructure suffered no severe damage caused by the global WannaCry melware attack thanks to an effective anti-cyberattack state system.
Russia has been creating a system to detect, prevent and eliminate the consequences of computer attacks on the information resources of the Russian Federation. The program was previously approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin in a decree.
The Security Council said Russia has managed to avoid serious damage due to the mentioned state system. The critical information infrastructure was ready to resist a massive spread of this virus.
Russia&`&s critical information infrastructure includes the information systems in these sectors of defense, healthcare, energy, transport, communications, banking and finance.
A massive number of organizations across the globe have been targeted by the WannaCry malware. Hackers used the Trojan encryptor to lock computers and demand a payment for the decryption. So far, the WabbaCry ransom ware attacked has spread to 150 countries, crippling hospitals, schools, governments and businesses.
This is Special English.
Nepal has hosted the "Chinese Bridge" language proficiency competition for college students in Kathmandu, the nation’s capital.
This is the fourth Nepali edition of the global contest.
This year&`&s competition was organized by the Confucius Institute at Kathmandu University and the Chinese embassy in Nepal.
According to the organizers, over 50 students had taken part in the initial round and 14 students were selected from three educational institutions in Nepal.
Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong attended the ceremony to present awards to the winners. She said she was happy to see the increasing interest of Nepali students in Chinese language and culture.
In the preliminary round of the competition, 14 college students went through rounds of tests and demonstrated their language skills.
Two Bachelor students representing Kathmandu University were declared winners, who will travel to China to represent Nepal at the finals to be held later this year.
The Chinese proficiency competition is held annually in different countries for non-Chinese students to encourage them to learn about China.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
The Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, has rolled out an app in which users can learn about the museum through building their own imperial residence.
In this app, users choose a vacant site for their imperial palace and upgrade it by publishing and reading articles or completing tasks.
The museum says the app makes news and information more accessible to the public. Users are no longer mere visitors, but also architects of the museum.
The Forbidden City will release high-definition images of its cultural relics, making them available to more people worldwide.
Established in 1925, the Palace Museum is located in the imperial palace of the consecutive dynasties from the 13th century to 1911. The complex&`&s architecture and imperial collections make it one of the most prestigious museums in the world.
This is Special English.
China will build more theme parks in the coming years.
Tourism officials say that by 2020, China will encourage tourist areas to integrate with recreation facilities, theaters, and performing centers.
Branded theme parks from overseas will be introduced into China, while domestic theme parks are also encouraged to expand overseas.
A fantasy adventure indoor theme park opened to the public recently in Shanxi Province in north China. With laser technology and 3-D effects, the theme park aims to offer tourists immersive experiences.
Entertainment companies are strongly encouraged to use hi-tech equipment.
According to a development plan for the tourism industry, China will improve tourism infrastructure and public service facilities while pushing forward innovative development of theme parks.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
In the Chinese animation "The Tales of Effendi", a cute donkey from Kashgar in northwest China&`&s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region becomes famous as he carries his master around.
In reality, donkeys don&`&t usually have such noteworthy lives. They mostly plod around carrying heavy loads and doing tedious chores. But in Kashgar&`&s Yopurga County, farmer Abdul Kerim has turned the braying beast of burden into a cash cow.
Kerim says he had been doing various jobs to support his family since he was laid off ten years ago. Last year, he decided to go into the donkey business after hearing that donkey milk could be very profitable.
Kerim and four of his neighbors poured almost all of their savings into setting up a cooperative last year. They bought 38 donkeys of a cross-breed between the region&`&s native donkeys and those from northwest China&`&s Shaanxi Province. They built stables and stockpiled bales of hay.
After a year of hard work, the biggest donkey milk processing company in the region bought the cooperative&`&s first batch of milk for 28 yuan, roughly 4 U.S. dollars, per kilo.
Donkey farms are now springing up in this previously impoverished area. Around 27,000 donkeys are being raised for their milk, which is expected to generate an annual revenue of 250 million yuan.
This is Special English.
20th Century Fox&`&s "Alien: Covenant" topped North American box office with an estimated 36 million U.S. dollars during its debut weekend, dethroning "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" with a narrow victory.
Movie analysts say that featuring a terrific cast, this R-rated space adventure harkens back to the first "Alien" film that blew audience&`&s minds with its gritty dark intensity back in 1979.
The sixth installment in the "Alien" franchise directed by Ridley Scott cost 97 million U.S. dollars to make and opened 29 percent behind the first prequel, "Prometheus", which debuted to over 51 million U.S. dollars in North America in August 2012.
Disney and Marvel&`&s "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" moved to second place with an estimated 35 million U.S. dollars in North America after two weeks at the top of the charts. The Marvel&`&s superhero sequel has earned a whopping 733 million U.S. dollars globally.
Warner Bros.&`& teen romance "Everything, Everything" opened in third place with an estimated 12 million U.S. dollars in its debut weekend. The PG-13 rated film is about a young woman with an illness that prevents her from leaving the protection of her sealed environment and who falls in love with the boy next door. The film is based on the bestselling book of the same name.
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Jun 02 2017

25mins

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Rank #8: 【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-05-29

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This is Special English. I’m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
The recent WannaCry ransom ware outbreak across the world is the latest alarm about cyber security that demands immediate efforts at different levels, including international cooperation.
It has been found that measures as simple as official Microsoft patch installation and security software update can work to fend off WannaCry in the largest cyber-attack in more than a decade. The hacking highlights the need for Internet users to heighten cyber security awareness.
However, it also calls for systematic efforts as well as international cooperation to tackle cross-border challenges in a digitally connected world in order to affect a universal defense.
A senior research fellow on cyber policy and security at Stanford University told the Xinhua News Agency that international cooperation on cyber security will be essential for a safer and more secure cyberspace.
Herb Lin deplored the fact that countries have different views on how they intend to use cyberspace and the rules they want to apply have so far made it difficult to achieve international cooperation.
Some experts foresee more attacks like WannaCry, which has hit more than 200,000 computers in some 150 countries since May 12. The vast majority of successful hacks require only the most basic techniques.
This is Special English.
Pharmaceutical company Merck recently won approval from the China Food and Drug Administration to sell its human papillomavirus vaccine, Gardasil, to help women fight cervical cancer.
Developed by the US-based company in 2006, the vaccine has proved effective in protecting against the virus, better known as HPV, the chief cause of cervical cancer. The virus is found in almost all cervical cancer cases.
Gardasil is the first HPV vaccine in the world and the second to be licensed for use in China.
In July, Cervarix, an HPV vaccine developed by pharmaceutical GlaxoSmithKline, received approval to be sold on the Chinese mainland after almost 10 years of seeking approval.
Gardasil is expected to be commercially available on the mainland in three to six months, which means women will no longer have to seek vaccinations outside of the mainland, in places such as Hong Kong.
After breast cancer, cervical cancer is the second-most common cancer in women aged between 15 and 44 in China. China reports more than 130,000 cervical cancer cases a year, accounting for 28 percent of the global total.
The HPV vaccine, as the first anti-cancer vaccine in the world, has proved effective in preventing cervical cancer and is seen as a breakthrough in the fight against the condition.
Today, such vaccines are in use in around 120 countries and regions, including the United States, Australia and most European countries.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
A 100-year-old medical technique could be used to achieve pregnancy in infertile women without the need for expensive in vitro fertilization treatments. That’s according to researchers from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.
The often overlooked historical technique, which involves "flushing" the woman&`&s fallopian tubes with iodised poppy seed oil, has been proven to be successful in aiding fertility.
Research teams in Australia and the Netherlands say that the procedure, called HSG, was first carried out in 1917 and involved flushing the tubes with the oil during an X-ray.
Professor Ben Mol from the University of Adelaide says that over the past century, pregnancy rates among infertile women reportedly increased after their tubes had been flushed with either water or oil during the X-ray procedure. Until now, it has been unclear whether the type of solution used in the procedure was influencing the change in fertility.
He said the results have been even more exciting than scientists could have predicted, helping to confirm that an age-old medical technique still has an important place in modern medicine.
According to the results of Mol&`&s study, around 35 percent of infertile women who underwent the procedure achieved successful pregnancies within six months of the HSG being performed.
This is Special English.
Some 1,730 new plant species were discovered globally in the last year, some of which have food and medicinal value. That’s according to an annual report released recently by the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, based in England.
Involving 128 scientists from 12 countries, RBG Kew&`&s State of the Worlds Plants report presents data never seen before on patterns affecting plants in different regions.
New species of Manihot were discovered in Brazil that have the potential to be developed into better food crops, and new species of the climbing vine genus Mucuna, used in the treatment of Parkinson&`&s disease, were found in South East Asia and South and Central America.
Kathy Willis, director of science at RBG Kew, says they have tried to make sure that this year&`&s State of the World&`&s Plants report goes beyond the numbers to look at the natural capital of plants -- how they are relevant and valuable to all aspects of our lives.
The report also reveals that plants with thicker leaves and bark, more efficient water use, deeper roots, and higher wood density are better able to cope with future climate change.
The report also highlights information on how new technology is helping to speed up the discovery and classification of plants that are providing important sign posts to the next food crops and actions in protecting some of the most important plant species globally.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Climate change is more real than ever. A new study has found a steady growth of moss in Antarctica over the past 50 years, and suggested that the continent will be greener in the future.
The study was published recently in Current Biology, a scientific journal that covers all areas of biology. The research is led by Matthew Amesbury, a researcher at the University of Exeter in Britain.
The Antarctic Peninsula might sound like a remote and untouched region, but the study showed that the effects of climate change are felt there, and it has been warming faster than the rest of the continent.
The research team looked at 150 years&`& worth of data and found clear change points in the last 50 years, which showed the increase of moss cover. That could shift the ecosystem in Antarctica, driving it to simulate what has been observed in Arctic.
Last month, the sea ice cover in the Arctic was record low, and that of Antarctic was near record low too, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
This is Special English.
The World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa has been held with calls for increased support for youth and addressing unemployment and poverty.
Officials during the forum at the Dead Sea said providing financial and moral support to the youth in the Middle East and reforming education were key in addressing the pressing challenges facing the region.
The forum attracted more than 1,100 political and business leaders from more than 50 countries. The participants agreed that the world is facing many problems including high unemployment rate, fast population growth and political regional challenges. The problems are relentlessly seeking to thrive on the hopelessness and despair of the younger generation. The forum said providing hope and support are vital for the youth in the region.
Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan said at the forum that what young people need most is for all to take a bet on them, and to support them, morally and financially, so they can create their own impact.
The forum agreed that as 31 percent of young people in the region are unemployed, new initiatives and urgent action are needed.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
More than 30 national library curators and representatives from 20 countries and regions in Asia and Oceania gathered in Beijing to discuss the building of sustainable regional library networks.
The participants came from countries including Australia, Japan, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. They shared their experience in international cultural exchanges at the two-day conference hosted by the National Library of China.
The National Library of China is promoting the establishment of the "Silk Road" international library alliance, and most of the participating libraries are from countries along the ancient trading route.
The annual conference is hosted in turn by the participating libraries. This year marks the third time that China has hosted the event.
This is Special English.
A Peking opera adaptation of the Western masterpiece "Faust" was staged recently in Germany’s western city of Wiesbaden, starting its premiere tour in the country.
The opera was co-produced by China National Peking Opera Company and Italy&`&s Emilia Romagna Theater Foundation. It was performed as part of the International May Festival, a world-known traditional theater festival.
The opera is based on the Western masterpiece "Faust", written by Johann Wolfgang Goethe more than 200 years ago. The Peking Opera adaptation combines music, vocal performances, mime, dance, and acrobatics.
Since its debut in 2015, the opera has been staged over 70 times worldwide. It offers a creative blend of Western classics with oriental culture as well as presents a perfect cooperation between Chinese artists and performers from Italy and Germany.
The opera has been added to this year&`&s German-Chinese cultural program, a national event in Germany featuring the theme "China Today" to celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The first International Tea Expo has been held in east China’s Zhejiang province, attracting tea vendors and companies from both home and abroad.
The expo is held in Hangzhou, the provincial capital, at the venue where the G20 Summit was held. Over 1,000 enterprises from more than 30 countries participated in the event.
President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to be read at the opening ceremony, extending his hope that the expo would give exposure to Chinese tea culture. He said he hopes the event will grow into an important platform for exchanges and cooperation between China and the rest of the world.
The letter also included a call for the expo to promote both the tea industry and tea culture.
This is Special English.
The first China-themed library in Mexico has opened in a bid to promote cultural exchange.
Books on Chinese history, culture, medicine and music, as well as digital and video archives, can be found at the new Chinese Library at Mexico City&`&s Anahuac University.
Officials from China and the prestigious private university were on hand to inaugurate the 14th library of its kind worldwide, as part of celebrations marking 45 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Chinese officials say the library provides an opportunity for Mexico to know China better. It will also be a new platform for deepening educational, academic and cultural exchange between the two countries.
The library currently has 6,000 books and 80,000 digital archives with information on China&`&s politics, economy, culture, science and technology, as well as education and history.
Special software is provided, in both Spanish and English, for those who wish to learn Mandarin Chinese.
This is Special English.
As part of the celebration to mark the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, an exhibition about the revolution has opened at the British Library.
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Jun 02 2017

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Rank #9: 【专题】慢速英语(美音)2017-06-06

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2017-06-06 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
China has celebrated its first science and technology day, which means it has only been one year since the country declared its intention of becoming a leading power in Science and Technology by the middle of the century.
Things have moved pretty swiftly since.
Jiaolong, China&`&s manned submarine, went quite literally to the bottom of the ocean recently. Scientists collected samples of seawater, rock and marine life, including sea cucumbers, sponges and starfish. The geological samples will help them understand how the trench was formed.
In pursuit of the kind of quantum scientific leaps China needs, space is another frontier to be conquered.
In southwest China, the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope began scanning the skies in September. It is the world&`&s largest radio telescope. Its mission is to help scientists understand the origin and structure of the universe, and perhaps bring the search for extraterrestrial life closer to what would be an astonishing conclusion.
Meanwhile, out in actual space itself, the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft, launched in October last year, carried two astronauts to the space lab Tiangong-2, where they remained for 30 days.
In April this year, the Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft docked with Tiangong-2, refueling and resupplying the orbiting lab.
This is Special English.
China&`&s manned submarine Jiaolong has descended to 6,699 meters in the Mariana Trench, recording images of two swimming snailfishes.
The mission, on May 30th, was Jiaolong&`&s fourth dive in the trench this year.
The dive began at 7:03 a.m. local time and reached the planned depth at 10:21 a.m. where scientists worked for three hours and ten minutes.
Jiaolong collected samples of rock, sediment, deep-sea life and sea water in this dive, and recorded images of two swimming snailfishes.
Scientists say research on snailfish, a typical deep-sea species, deepens our understanding on the evolution of deep-sea fishes and their environmental adaptation mechanism.
Jiaolong&`&s first dive of this year in the world&`&s deepest known trench took place on May 23, with a Xinhua News Agency journalist descending inside the submarine along with scientists to a depth of 4,811 meters. The second and third dives on May 25 and 27 reached depths of 6,300 meters and 6,544 meters respectively.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
U.S. President Donald Trump has called Germany&`&s trade and military spending policies "very bad" for the United States as tensions between him and German Chancellor Angela Merkel increased.
Trump wrote on Twitter that the country have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO and military, which was very bad for the U.S. He wrote that this will change.
The blast came two days after Merkel cast doubts on EU&`&s alignment with the United States and Britain, saying that Europeans should determine their own destiny.
Merkel, addressing an election campaign at a beer tent in Germany&`&s southern state of Bavaria, said recently that following the election of Trump and Brexit, Europeans "really have to take destiny into their own hands".
Merkel said "the times when we could fully rely on others are to some extent over".
Although Merkel did not further elaborate the reasons for her unexpected remarks, many German media speculated that Merkel was referring to her frustrating experience at the G7 meeting earlier this week in Italy&`&s Sicily.
The German leader described the summit as "very difficult, not to say very unsatisfactory".
Trump and Merkel had a long history of disagreement that was previously focused on the two leaders&`& view on immigration.
This is Special English.
The daughter of a longtime confidante of the former South Korean President has been delivered to South Korea.
The 20-year-old is on her way home to South Korea. She was wanted for questioning in connection with a major corruption probe in her home country.
The daughter was arrested by Denmark&`&s North Jutland Police on Jan. 1. Her mother is charged with using her friendship with former president Park to extort funds from large businesses and meddling in state affairs.
The daughter is alleged to have received illegal favors when entering a prestigious South Korean university. She is also accused of being behind economic crimes in collusion with her mother, which she denied.
Initially, the young daughter fought against a local court&`&s decision to extradite her and appealed. On April 19, the Court of Aalborg upheld the extradition decision so that she can stand her trial in South Korea. She has dropped her opposition.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
Li Sun, former coach of Chinese table tennis super star Zhang Yining has replaced suspended Kong Linghui to take charge of China&`&s women&`&s national team at the ongoing World Table Tennis Championships.
Head coach of the Chinese national team Liu Guoliang made the announcement as Kong had been ordered to return home from the World Championships. Liu and Kong won the men&`&s doubles gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
Kong was suspended as head coach of the Chinese women&`&s team following a lawsuit over a gambling debt filed by a Singaporean hotel.
The Singaporean hotel where Kong and his family had stayed in 2015 filed a lawsuit against him in a Hong Kong court. Media reports said Kong borrowed 1 million Singapore dollars, roughly 721,000 US dollars, from the hotel, but failed to pay back the debt in full.
This is Special English.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has launched the standard gauge railway cargo train that is expected to ease congestion at the port of Mombasa.
The Chinese Ambassador to Kenya and the President of the China Communications Construction Company attended the launch ceremony.
President Kenyatta said at the unveiling of the train that it ushered in an era of fast, efficient and reliable transportation of goods.
He said this is a historic moment as Kenya begins its journey of transformation, adding that his government is banking on the cargo train to hasten industrial growth and cross-border trade.
Besides reducing the cost of ferrying goods from the port of Mombasa to the hinterlands, the cargo train will drastically reduce congestion in the highways and the environmental pollution.
According to Kenya Railways Corporation, it will cost 500 dollars to transport a single container through the train when compared to 900 dollars by road between Mombasa and Nairobi.
The president said expansion of Mombasa&`&s port and the operation of the train marked a critical milestone in Kenya&`&s quest to become an industrial and efficient trading hub.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
Sri Lanka has said it is preparing to face health concerns once the floods which lashed the country recede.
The Health Minister of Sri Lanka told reporters that while there was no spread of disease so far, diarrhea and skin diseases are expected later.
However he said health officials have been deployed to the affected areas and steps will be taken to counter the spread of any disease following the floods.
The death toll from the floods and landslides increased to 193 on May 30th and 94 others are reported missing.
Foreign assistance is continuing to flow in with China, Pakistan and India among the countries sending ship loads of humanitarian aid.
Meanwhile the World Health Organization is liaising closely with the Sri Lanka Ministry of Health and is assisting the government to provide critical healthcare services.
The main areas for support are medical team deployment, strengthening surveillance of communicable diseases, as well as provision of mental health and psychological support for survivors.
This is Special English.
Late night mobile phone use has devastating effects on teenager&`&s mental health. That&`&s according to a new study by Australian researchers at Murdoch and Griffith Universities.
The study is funded by the Australian Research Council and is the world&`&s first long-term assessment of adolescent mental health regarding late night mobile phone usage. The study examined student&`&s quality of sleep, along with mood, aggression and coping skills.
The process was conducted as an annual survey over four years and included 1,100 students from 29 schools.
When the subjects began the process, they were in their eighth year of education at high school; and when the program concluded, they had hit year 11.
The questionnaires focused on what time of the night students continued to receive or send text messages and phone calls.
The study found that late night phone use directly contributed to poor sleep habits, which over time led to declines in overall well-being and mental health.
Around two thirds or 65 percent of students in year eight who owned a mobile phone, reported to use it regularly after "lights out."
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Ryan Price in Beijing.
An inquiry into the accuracy of seven wristband activity monitors showed that six out of seven devices measured heart rate within 5 percent. None, however, measured energy expenditure well.
The findings were based on an evaluation of the Apple Watch, Basis Peak, Fitbit Surge, Microsoft Band, Mio Alpha 2, PulseOn and the Samsung Gear S2 in a diverse group of 60 volunteers.
Millions of people wear some kind of activity tracker and often share the data with their physician.
Euan Ashley, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford University says people are basing life decisions on the data provided by these devices. But consumer devices aren&`&t held to the same standards as medical-grade devices, and it&`&s hard for doctors to know what to make of heart-rate data and other data from a patient&`&s wearable device.

In the study, the volunteers wore the seven devices while walking or running on treadmills or using stationary bicycles. Each volunteer&`&s heart was measured with a medical-grade electrocardiograph. Metabolic rate was estimated with an instrument for measuring the oxygen and carbon dioxide in breath, a good proxy for metabolism and energy expenditure. Results from the wearable devices were then compared to the measurements from the two instruments.
This is Special English.
"The Square", directed by Swedish director Ruben Ostlund, has won the Palme d&`&Or of the 70th Cannes Film Festival.
This film tells the story of Christian, a respected curator of a contemporary art museum, a divorced but devoted father of two girls.
Christian&`&s next show is "The Square", an installation which invites passersby to altruism, reminding them of their role as responsible fellow human beings. Meanwhile, the museum&`&s PR agency has created an unexpected campaign for "The Square". The response is overblown and sends Christian, as well as the museum, into an existential crisis.
"The Square" presents a satirical exploration of the art world, and was seen by many as an unexpected, but solid choice for the prestigious award.
The Grand Prix, often seen as the runner-up to the Palme d&`&Or, went to French director Robin Campillo for "120 Beats Per Minute".
Chinese art film director Li Ruijun was also present at the renowned international film festival, after his film "Walking Past the Future" was chosen as an official selection for the "Un Certain Regard" category.
This is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I&`&m going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
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Jun 01 2017

25mins

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Rank #10: 【专题】慢速英语(英音)2017-06-05

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2017-06-05 Special English
This is Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for efforts to build the Chinese Navy into a strong and modern force to lend support for the realization of the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation and the dream of a strong military.
President Xi is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission. He made the remarks during an inspection of the Chinese Navy headquarters recently.
The president congratulated the Party congress of the Navy, met delegates to the congress and conveyed greetings to all navy members.
He noted that the navy is a strategic military service concerning national security and overall development. He asked naval authorities to build a world-class force by promoting political awareness, reforms and rule of law.
Xi visited the navy&`&s operational command center, where he greeted navy officers who were performing duties at sea.
Via video, he first talked with the crew of flotilla 150, which was taking part in an overseas journey of a good-will visit. The crew told Xi that they had visited five countries in more than one month and were warmly welcomed by the host countries. Xi asked them to pass on friendship and contribute to world peace.
This is Special English.
The leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations, the G7, have signed a joint declaration on combating terrorism.
The 15-point document says the fight against violent extremism is a major priority of the G7, which will bring the fight to a higher level by relentlessly preventing, investigating and prosecuting terrorist acts, their perpetrators and supporters.
The leaders pledged to combat the misuse of the Internet by terrorists to work together to manage the risk posed by foreign fighters as they disperse from theatres of conflict and to take action to cut off sources and channels of terrorist financing.
Among the measure is the expansion of the use of Passenger Name Records and Advance Passenger Information in traveler screening.
Terrorism was pushed to the top of the G7 summit agenda after a suicide bomber claimed 22 lives and wounded dozens of others when he blew himself up at a concert in the British city of Manchester on 22nd of May.
This is Special English.
In view of the latest situation in Britain, the government of China&`&s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has issued an Amber Outbound Travel Alert for the country.
A spokesman of the Hong Kong regional government said residents who plan to visit the United Kingdom or who are already there should monitor the situation, exercise caution and pay attention to the advice of the local authorities.
The announcement came after the British authorities raised the country&`&s terror threat to critical, the highest level, after a suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena left 22 people dead.
The Hong Kong regional government said its Security Bureau will closely monitor the situation in Britain, and will issue updates through media and the bureau&`&s mobile app and webpage.
Residents who need assistance while in Britain may call the 24-hour hotline of the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit of the Hong Kong Immigration Department. They may also contact the Chinese Embassy in Britain at the consular protection hotline.
Hong Kong residents are encouraged to use the online Registration of Outbound Travel Information service of the Immigration Department to register their contact details and itinerary when outside Hong Kong. The information provided allows the department to disseminate practical information to them through appropriate means on a timely basis when necessary.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
China says the current development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is facing new opportunities and challenges.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Charter and the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation by the organization members.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says that under the collective efforts of all members, the organization has grown into a new type of regional cooperative organization with advanced ideas on cooperation and significant international influence. It plays an important role in promoting regional peace and development.
The foreign minister pointed out that the organization is facing new opportunities and challenges in its development.
After India and Pakistan complete the process of joining the organization during the forthcoming Astana summit, it will become the world&`&s most populous and largest regional cooperative organization, which will bring unprecedented development capacity and cooperation potential.
Wang said that in the face of the rise of protectionism and regional security, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization should adhere to and be supportive of trade liberalization and facilitate and promote the process of economic integration.
Meanwhile, the organization should promote security cooperation to combat terrorism, separatism and extremism in a more precise and efficient manner, so as to safeguard the sovereignty and homeland security of all members and maintain the regional peace and stability.
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A cultural exchange delegation from China has given lectures on Chinese cultural diversity and traditional arts to the students of Kiev Taras Shevchenko National University in Ukraine.
In particular, the lecture offered insights into Tibet&`&s history, culture, medicine, Buddhism philosophy and arts. It attracted an audience of around 300 people.
Karina Kolyadych, a third-year student at the university&`&s faculty of regional studies, said the lecture on Tibetan thangka art kindled her particular interest. Thangka is the form of scroll paintings on paper, cloth or silk, which has a 1,300-year-old history.
The lecturers also introduced cultural features of other Chinese ethnic groups to the Ukrainian public, stressing harmony and equality among the people of all of China&`&s 56 ethnic groups.
While speaking after the lecture, a student of the university&`&s faculty of international information said ethnically diversed Ukraine has to learn from China&`&s experience in building a harmonious society.
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The Chinese Bridge, a Chinese language proficiency contest for foreign students, has been held in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The first prize went to Ahmad Walid Ahadi from the Confucius Institute at Kabul University and another student from Marefat, a famous private school in Afghanistan. The top winners will represent Afghanistan in the final event in China later this year.
A total of 12 students from Kabul University and Marefat took part in the contest.
There are three sections in the contest themed "Dreams Enlighten Future", namely Chinese speech, knowledge of China, and a China-related talent show.
In his speech, one of the winners, Ahadi, talked about his dream of becoming a diplomat working to improve China-Afghanistan friendly relations. Contestants also performed Wushu, the Chinese martial art, and Chinese calligraphy, for the audience.
An official from the Confucius Institute at Kabul University said that in the backdrop of the Belt and Road Initiative, they hope to facilitate such bilateral exchanges by teaching students about the Chinese language and culture.
Founded in 2008, the Confucius Institute at Kabul University has enrolled 321 students, 246 of whom have won the scholarships to study in China. It cooperates with Marefat School to further promote the Chinese language teaching and Chinese culture.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
A fund of 160 million yuan, roughly 23 million U.S. dollars, has been set up to help the development of four space science satellites, as well as advanced scientific research.
The fund was jointly set up by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, with each side sponsoring half of the investment. The fund will last from 2017 to 2020.
The four satellites are the Dark Matter Particle Explorer Satellite, retrievable scientific research satellite SJ-10, a quantum communication satellite and a hard X-ray modulation telescope satellite.
The fund will support experiments including the exploration of dark matter particles, microgravity science and space life science, as well as the observation of compact objects including black holes and neutron stars.
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American astronauts have successfully replaced a failed computer relay box outside the International Space Station during a short spacewalk that lasted less than three hours.
U.S. space agency NASA has declared victory on the installation of this replacement. A NASA TV commentator said around two hours into the contingency spacewalk conducted by astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer that the relay box, known as MDM, which failed on Saturday, which is one of two units that regulate the operation of radiators, solar arrays and cooling loops, have been successfully replaced.
The cause of the MDM failure is not known, but because each MDM is capable of performing the critical station functions, the crew on the station was never in danger and station operations have not been affected.
A similar MDM replacement spacewalk was conducted in April 2014.
Typical spacewalks last around six and a half hours, but Tuesday&`&s spacewalk lasted just two hours and 46 minutes.
During the spacewalk, the two astronauts also installed a pair of antennae on the station to enhance wireless communication for future spacewalks.
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The latest and most advanced U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, has left Norfolk naval station for acceptance trial.
Media reported that the first-of-its-class warship will conduct test operations at sea, ensuring that it was built according to contract specifications.
American navy officials say the acceptance trial, the last phase before the deliverance of the ship to the Navy, will be overseen by the Navy&`&s Board of Inspection and Survey.
Acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley predicted recently that the aircraft carrier, hull numbered CVN-78, will soon enter service upon completion of its acceptance trial.
The USS Ford completed its shipbuilder&`&s trial in April.
Construction of the USS Ford began in 2005 and was originally set to be completed in September 2015, but saw its construction delayed and its cost raised to 12.9 billion U.S. dollars, up two billion dollars from its original cost forecast.
The USS Ford is the first of a new class of supercarriers. Boasting the most advanced weapons in the world, it is part of a push by the U.S. government to bolster its naval power.
You&`&re listening to Special English. I&`&m Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
The China Xinjiang International Dance Festival will be held in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region from July 20 to August 5.
Local officials say that with the theme "Chinese dream, colorful Silk Road", the festival will be an artistic gala of dance from both home and abroad.
The festival will present more than 60 performances by art groups from Pakistan, Egypt, Russia and other countries in Asia, Africa and Europe, as well as domestic groups, including groups from Xinjiang.
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Archaeologists in north China&`&s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region recently found a cave painting of human hand prints that they estimate to date back to the Paleolithic Period.
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Jun 01 2017

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