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  • US President Trump to visit China next week: FM
    BEIJING - At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, US President Donald Trump will pay a state visit to China from Nov 8 to 10, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a press release on Thursday morning. The two heads of state will exchange in-depth views on China-US relations and major global and regional issues of common concern, Lu said. He said China stands ready to work with the United States to achieve important results for Trump's visit and Xi-Trump meeting, in order to inject new and strong impetus to the development of bilateral ties.
  • Debate shrouds courier firms' 11/11 price rise
    China's courier firms defended their recent move to raise prices of their delivery services for the upcoming Singles Day online shopping festival on Nov 11, which is also known as 11/11. They said they were "forced" into the move to ease the pressure of the inevitable higher 11/11-related operational costs like transportation, human resources and raw materials. Earlier this month, ZTO Express announced, without specific details, a price-rise, and said business volume in five to 10 days around 11/11 was expected to increase three to five times. ZTO also said hiring a temporary worker in the past used to cost only about 2,000 yuan ($301). Now, however, it needs to pay 5,000 yuan to 6,000 yuan to short-term hires. One of its deliverymen in Beijing said a 1-kg parcel delivery now costs 15 yuan, up from 10 yuan, with heavier loads entailing an additional charge of 8 yuan/kg, up from 5 yuan/kg. Besides, the price of corrugated paper, a material used in deliveries, surged to 4,748.30 yuan per ton in September, compared with about 2,800 yuan per ton in April, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. However, industry insiders said that most of the logistics supplies are bought by franchisees, not courier firms themselves. Stated differently, courier firms' main raw material tends to be paper receipts, whose usage rate is only about 10 percent, now that digital receipts are used widely. Industry insiders said some courier firms may be seeking to charge their franchisees more for courier receipts and delivery services, which could be passed on to consumers eventually. China Express Association data show this 11/11 could see more than 1 billion packages. So, higher delivery charges could help relieve the additional pressure on regional franchisees' capacity. Given the 11/11 craze, courier firms appear to be confident that a price rise now would not entail the risk of losing clients, insiders said. But, besides ZTO, only Yunda Express announced a prices hike this month. Other express delivery players, such as YTO, STO and SF, said they do not have any price-hike plans. Fang Xi, a researcher with the Research Center of the State Post Bureau, said it is natural for ZTO and Yunda to raise prices before Nov 11 to control the amount of deliveries. Price-rise does not necessarily mean they are seeking to make unfair profits by exploiting a situation opportunistically. Rather, price-rise helps prevent over-stocking at warehouses, he said. Fang further said international courier firms have to factor in oil prices and taxes before fixing their service price, while their Chinese counterparts are not affected by them. "That's why, the two companies (ZTO and Yunda) needed to find better rationale for raising prices." Delivery charges at the enduser level are typically shaped by market forces, and cannot be raised by one company, said Wang Yong, senior director of operations at YTO Express. Industry insiders said a better way would be to raise prices gradually...
  • Chile considers women-only subway cars to avoid sexual assault
    SANTIAGO - Chilean deputy Gabriel Silber called on Sunday for women-only subway cars to be implemented in the Santiago subway at rush hours to avoid instances of sexual assault. "This is an important problem that women suffer daily in the greater Santiago when they move by metro. We have one of the metros with the highest levels of frequency in the world during peak hours, we reach about six passengers per square meter," said Silber. The Santiago metro is the second-largest in Latin America with a network of around 103 kilometers, with another 25 kilometers currently under construction, and is the seventh most frequented in the world. The amount of people on the metro at peak hours since 2007 after a reform that led to more people using the subway has led to a sharp rise in the number of sexual assault accusations. The left-wing deputy pointed to "big cities such as Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro or Mexico city..." have implemented strong campaigns and measures destined to prevent, avoid and punish sexual assault inside the subway." "I am referring to measures such as the segregation of carriages at peak hours, some of them are pink for example, the installation of security cameras inside the carriages and police officers travelling incognito inside the cars," he explained. According to Silber, "the Santiago subway is behind in terms of public policies that seek to prevent sexual assault inside public transportation."  
  • Ofo announces European expansion
    On Friday, Chinese bike-sharing company Ofo Inc announced its official launch in four European countries — the Czech Republic, Italy, Russia and the Netherlands — as the company ramps up efforts to expand its booming cycle empire globally. It marks the company's latest move to meet its former ambitious goal to enter 200 cities in 20 countries by the end of this year, as competition with its arch rival Mobike Technology Co Ltd gets fiercer in the global market. "Our platform was created with the ambition of improving the environment globally by introducing our low-carbon transportation to urban dwellers," said Dai Wei, founder and CEO of Ofo. "Ofo is committed to bringing our green service to every city in need of convenient short-distance travel solutions." Ofo said it deployed an initial batch of 300 yellow shared bikes in the Praha 7 area of Prague, the Czech capital. Local residents will be charged 0.5 euro ($0.6) per half hour to ride the bikes. A local citizen rides Ofo's shared bike in Milan, Italy. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn] Petra Kolinska, deputy mayor of Prague, said this would be a great opportunity. "I support all measures that make the city more environmentally-friendly. I believe Prague will have good cooperation with the service provider, bringing the citizens of Prague many benefits." Ofo co-founder and COO Zhang Yanqi said, "We are very excited to play a part in modernizing [the city's] transportation, improving its tourists' and residents' traveling experiences and preserving its classical beauty with smart and sustainable traveling solutions." According to Ofo, its distinctive yellow bikes are already available in the streets of Milan, Italy and the number there is expected to grow to 4,000 in early October. "Milan is one of the capitals of sharing mobility. For a long time, citizens have demonstrated they really enjoy this type of service," said Marco Granelli, mobility and environment councilor of Milan. "We will soon have more than 17,000 shared bikes, which means one for every 80 residents," Granelli added. "We just launched free-floating bike sharing, which allows greater usage, even outside the city center. The Ofo yellow bikes have been active for a few days now. We are sure they will perfectly integrate into Milan's public transport network, making it easier to move around for those who live and work in the city." In Moscow, Russia, Ofo's shared bikes are set to be available in spring 2018, when the trial launch starts. The bikes will be customized to meet local standards and equipped with GPS/Glonass trackers. Two local residents ride Ofo bike near the Kremlin and the Red Square in Moscow, Russia. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn] Ofo said it would work closely with the Department of Transport to deliver high-quality localized products and services to the Russian market. "DoT follows with great interest all innovations in the transport sphere aimed at increasing transport mobility," said Alina Bisembaeva,...
  • Trumps' China trip planned
    US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he would visit China in November, and First Lady Melania Trump is expected to accompany him, according to White House and State Department sources. Speaking aboard Air Force One on Thursday, Trump said he will visit China, Japan and South Korea in November. "It will be a busy 10 days," he said, referring to his first Asia trip, which may also include Vietnam, according to a press gaggle from the White House. It would be the first state visit to China made by President Trump since he took office in January. He will be the second US president ever to pay a state visit to China within the first year of his presidency, following the November 2009 China visit by then president Barack Obama. It was not immediately clear what would be on President Trump's agenda. On Tuesday, US State Secretary Rex Tillerson said Trump is looking forward to his visit to China, during which he will map out the future development of China-US relations with his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping. Both Tillerson and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi have said that the two countries will work together to make Trump's visit a success. Analysts in Washington and Beijing have said trade and security issues, including the Korean Peninsula situation, will be highlighted during the trip. The visit will come just weeks after the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, a once-in-five-year meeting scheduled for Oct 18 that will steer the development of the world's second-largest economy in the coming years. US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told a news briefing on Wednesday that "The president plans to travel to China this fall. "I know the president and the first lady look forward to their trip to China," she added. Nauert said that preparing for the president's China visit was one of the subjects of a meeting between Tillerson and Yang Jiechi on Tuesday in Washington. "The president has a strong and close relationship with the Chinese president. The first ladies have a terrific relationship," the spokesperson said. "That is one of the subjects that came up yesterday when the state councilor was meeting with Secretary Tillerson." The US is looking forward to carrying out the first rounds of all four high-level dialogues on a series of issues with China as soon as possible, Nauert said. After the inaugural high-level dialogue on diplomacy and security, which took place in Washington in June, and the high-level dialogue on the economy in July, Beijing and Washington have yet to hold their high-level dialogues on social and cultural issues and the dialogue on law enforcement and cybersecurity. "I believe we've had two of those four meetings, and we look forward to carrying out the rest just as soon as possible," Nauert said. The four dialogues are part of the four-pronged high-level dialogue mechanisms set up by Xi and Trump during their meeting at Mar-a-Lago in Florida in April.
  • Safe and Effective Habits for More Hygienic Toilet Practices
    ① Allow your body to work naturally – Relieve yourself as soon as you feel the urge – delaying bathroom breaks too frequently can cause or potentially aggravate constipation.   ②  Avoid sitting on the toilet for prolonged periods of time – This increases unhealthy pressure on your rectum. Limit time on the toilet to 3-5 minutes per sitting.     ③  Don’t strain excessively to initiate a bowel movement – Exert gentle pressure only for no more than 30 seconds per attempt. Focus on using your abdominal and pelvic muscles.   ④  Use a squatting position on the toilet – Hemorrhoids are rarely found in countries where people squat for bowel movements .   ⑤  Find a healthier way to cleanse yourself – Using only toilet paper to clean yourself is simply not the best method of hygiene.    
  • China launches manned spacecraft
    From China Daily China launched the Shenzhou XI manned spacecraft on Monday morning to transport two astronauts to the Tiangong II space laboratory. The spacecraft was sent skyward at 7:30 am atop a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China. It is carrying two male astronauts – 49-year-old Jing Haipeng and 37-year-old Chen Dong. After the launch, the spacecraft will travel two days before docking with the Tiangong II, which was lifted from the Jiuquan center in mid-September. Then the astronauts will enter the space lab and stay there for 30 days, which will be the longest space stay by Chinese astronauts. The core tasks of the Shenzhou XI mission are to test rendezvous and docking technologies for the country's planned space station, to verify the life-support capability of the spacecraft-space lab combination as well as conduct scientific research and test engineering experiments, according to Wu Ping, deputy director of the China Manned Space Agency. Prior to the Shenzhou XI, China had sent five spacecraft and 10 astronauts to space since 2003, when it lifted the Shenzhou V to carry the nation's first astronaut Yang Liwei, who is now a senior space official, into space. China is the third country in the world that has independently fulfilled manned spaceflight following the former Soviet Union and the United States. China's manned space program, a source of national pride, aims to place a permanent manned space station, which will consist of three parts — a core module attached to two labs, each weighing about 20 metric tons —into service around 2022, according to the manned space agency. Lab shows early results After being launched into orbit on Sept 15, the scientific applications of the Tiangong II space laboratory have been tested and have returned data. Here are some of the results: ・ The cold atomic space clock, the first of its kind in space, has carried out several tests with stable results, as expected. Scientists believe that such a clock can help to synchronize other atomic clocks more precisely, and that the technological development will create more possibilities for further explorations in space. ・ The multi-angle wide-spectral imager has captured a range of information on oceans and land as well as changes to clouds, aerosols and water. ・ The stereoscopic microwave altimeter has applied interference image technology to observe sea surfaces, parts of the Yellow River, the Taklimakan Desert, lakes on the Tibetan Plateau and the Lancang-Mekong River. ・ An agricultural experiment has sprouted seeds of Arabidopsis thaliana, a small flowering plant, and rice. Samples will be cultivated in space and carried back to the Earth by astronauts. ・ The space-Earth quantum key distribution and laser communications experiment has established stable connections between the space lab and ground stations.
  • Trump's win spurs concern over possible US withdrawal from climate deal
    From China Daily  MARRAKECH, Morocco - Donald Trump's win of the US presidential election on Wednesday has triggered concerns by experts attending the climate change conference here over the US possible pull-out from the Paris Agreement, with others still expecting the president-to-be would be more measured and responsible on the issue. Salaheddine Mezouar, president of the 22nd Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), congratulated Donald Trump on his election, saying that the ongoing conference will continue to discuss and mobilize, in order to "pursue progress already made with all parties, particularly with the new American administration." He highlighted that climate change issue transcends politics and concerns the "preservation of our livelihood, dignity and the only planet on which we all live," saying that all parties will respect their commitments and stay the course in this collective effort. Trump has vowed in his presidential campaign to "cancel" the Paris Agreement once elected, calling global warming a "hoax," and to stop all payments of US tax dollars to UN global warming programs, which worried many after the agreement's entry into force on Nov 4. "Human-caused climate change is not a belief, a hoax, or a conspiracy. It is a physical reality," said an open letter released in September, signed by 375 members of the US National Academy of Sciences, including 30 Nobel laureates and renowned scientists such as Stephen Hawking. "Election results will impact tone of negotiations, but the task ahead remains the same. We need long-term vision, regardless of the US elections," said Mariana Panuncio-Feldman, senior director of international climate cooperation of World Wildlife Fund. Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy from Union of Concerned Scientists, said that it remains to be seen whether Trump would be the same "as we saw in the campaign, or a more measured and responsible Trump we saw in his acceptance speech this morning," adding that courage and expectation are needed to view him as a responsible president. He said that Trump was "very conciliatory" in his acceptance speech on Wednesday, voicing hope to work with the United States as partners rather than adversaries. According to Li Shuo, Greenpeace's senior climate policy adviser, the US economy is "decarbonizing," and developing renewable energy resources is the general direction of US action dealing with climate changes. Segolene Royal, president of COP21, called it means of campaign that Trump advocated to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, which is not worth concerning about, while Brazilian Minister of Environment Jose Sarney Filho said that dropping out the combat against climate change is unthinkable for any society in the face of the threatening issue. The Paris Agreement was signed in 2015 during COP21. Its 180 signatories committed themselves to maintaining global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius fro...
  • APEC CEO SUMMIT PERU 2016
      The APEC CEO Summit 2016 was organized by Sociedad de Comercio Exterior del Perú – ComexPerú as Technical Secretariat of ABAC Peru (APEC Business Advisory Council) last week, during November 17th-19th 2016. ComexPerú is the private association that brings together the main international trade-related companies in Peru. The policy and strategies of ComexPerú are based on three major lines: i)Promoting the Development of International Trade, ii)Defending the Free Market iii) Encouraging Private Investment.   The LOGO   Do you know about Peru? Here is the introduction information for you.   Peru Peru, a country of immeasurable cultural wealth, tradition and natural beauty, is located on the western coast of South America. Its territory, of 1,285,615 sq km, is home to 20 million and has the world’s most complex and diverse geographic scenarios on three natural regions, the coast, the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The great variety of archaeological treasures of Peru bear witness to the amazing development of the people of its ancient cultures in areas as diverse as metalwork, agriculture, architecture, textile art and the artistic and utilitarian ceramic production. At present, Peru is taking advantage of the comparative and competitive edge of its resources, to accomplish a progressive integration to the world in the areas of investment, trade and technology, and has positioned itself as one of the fastest growing economies of the region. Amongst its main accomplishments, growth of its financial sector stands out – 15% on the average annually– being acknowledged by the World Bank, the financial inclusion model, the creation of innovative services allowing performing low-cost transactions, access points, and the potential of the sector in the future. Peru has two official languages: Spanish, Quechua and Aymara, both spoken in the highlands, plateau region, as well. Furthermore, 55 dialects are used in the Amazon region.     Lima Lima, the capital of Peru, is a city of contrasts. It has all the advantages of modern life and, at the same time, its 400-year-old historic district has true architectural jewels of the 17th and 18th century Baroque and Rococo. Due to its important archaeological sites of pre-Inca and Inca citadels, palaces and temples, Lima has been declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Its strategic geographic location on the Pacific Ocean and its large number of connections to the world make Lima the natural center of South America. The Lima airport, located in Callao, the main maritime port of Peru, is a meeting point and an international trade hub. Taste its varied and exquisite food, see its museums, old churches, archaeological sites, squares and monuments side by side with the new city that is being created by the efforts of millions of migrants, is to enjoy an unforgettable experience.
  • A BRIEF HISTORY OF TOILETS
    By Tim Lambert Toilets in the Ancient World In the ancient world people were capable of designing quite sophisticated toilets. Stone age farmers lived in a village at Skara Brae in the Orkney islands. Some of their stone huts had drains built under them and some houses had cubicles over the drains. They may have been inside toilets. In Ancient Egypt rich people had proper bathrooms and toilets in their homes. Toilet seats were made of limestone. Poor people made do with a wooden stool with a hole in it. Underneath was a container filled with sand, which had to be emptied by hand. (If you were wealthy slaves did that!) In the Indus Valley civilization (c.2,600-1,900 BC) streets were built on a grid pattern and networks of sewers were dug under them. Toilets were flushed with water. On the island of Crete the Minoan civilization flourished from 2,000 to 1,600 BC. They too built drainage systems, which also took sewage. Toilets were flushed with water. The Romans also built sewers to collect rainwater and sewage. (They even had a goddess of sewers called Cloacina!). Wealthy people had their own toilets but the Romans also built public lavatories. In them there was no privacy just stone seats next to one another without partitions of any kind. Despite the public lavatories many people still went in the street. After using the toilet people wiped their behinds with a sponge on a stick. Toilets in the Middle Ages In the Middle Ages toilets were simply pits in the ground with wooden seats over them. However in the Middle Ages monks built stone or wooden lavatories over rivers. At Portchester Castle in the 12th century monks built stone chutes leading to the sea. When the tide went in and out it would flush away the sewage. In Medieval castles the toilet was called a garderobe and it was simply a vertical shaft with a stone seat at the top. Some garderobes emptied into the moat. In the Middle Ages wealthy people might use rags to wipe their behinds. Ordinary people often used a plant called common mullein or woolly mullein. Toilets in the Modern World In 1596 Sir John Harrington invented a flushing lavatory with a cistern. However the idea failed to catch on. People continued to use chamber pots or cess pits, which were cleaned by men called gong farmers. (In the 16th century a toilet was called a jakes). However in 1775 Alexander Cumming was granted a patent for a flushing lavatory. Joseph Brahmah made a better design in 1778. Thomas Crapper did not invent the flushing toilet. That is a Historical Myth. However flushing toilets were a luxury at first and they did not become common till the late 19th century. Also popular in the 19th century were earth closets. An earth closet was a box of granulated clay over a pan. When you pulled lever clay covered the contents of the pan. In rural areas flushing lavatories did not replace earth closets until the early 20th century. In the early 19th century working class homes often did not have their ...
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