China issues work plan on national defense education

  BEIJING — China will push forward reform in national defense education in 2019, acc

ording to a circular released by the national defense education office Thursday.

  The circular said a document on deepening reform in national defense education is planned to be released this year.

  The country also plans to revise its national defense education law and work out draft regulations on promoting natio

nal defense education at educational institutions and social organizations participating in national defense education.

  According to the official in charge of the office, the country will hold a series of educational campaigns including lectu

res, contests and learning activities to attract young people to learn more about national defense.

  The country is also planning to open the barracks of the Chinese People’s Liberation Arm

y (PLA) in 10 cities to the public around Aug 1, China’s Army Day. Barracks of the PLA navy and air forces wi

ll also be available for public visits to celebrate the 70th anniversary of their founding.

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HK, Macao legal workers to be arbitrators in Guangzhou

Legal professionals from Hong Kong and Macao will be allowed to work as arbitrators in Nansha district of Guangz

hou as part of an effort by Guangdong province to strengthen cooperation with the two special administrative regions.

Nansha lies within the Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security has approved the introduction of the legal professionals, who

will work at the Court of Arbitration for Labor and Personnel Disputes to settle competing claims.

Sources at the court said the Hong Kong-and Macao-based arbitrators will be signific

ant in promoting the business environment of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

“It will help provide high-quality, efficient and fast legal services for busine

sses, especially those whose investors include companies from Hong Kong and Macao,” the court said on Tuesday.

According to the development plan outline for the Greater Bay Area, which was unveiled on Mond

ay, Nansha district will develop into a pilot zone for closer overall cooperation in exchanges of h

uman resources, goods, materials, funds and information between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.

The court said the first group of labor arbitrators from Hong Kong and Macao will be appointed in late 2019.

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As the aid delivery deadline approaches, the spotlight

  where shipments of US aid are waiting to be delivered.

  Maduro staged a rival concert a few hundred meters away on the Venezuelan side of the bridge in Tachira.

  The beleaguered President, who is facing growing calls to step down, denies that a huma

nitarian crisis exists in his country and suggests that aid efforts are part of a US plot to orchestrate a coup.

  CNN’s Jorge Luis Perez Valery reported from Caracas and Claudia Dominguez from Atlanta, w

hile Laura Smith-Spark wrote from London. CNN’s Diana Castrillon, Stefano Pozzebon, Di

ane Ruggiero, Isa Soares and Eliza Mackintosh contributed to this report.Singer R. Kelly is scheduled to ap

pear in court Saturday for a bail hearing after his arrest on charges of sexual abuse spanning from 1998 to 2010.

  Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced Friday that the R&B musician, whose full name is Robert Kelly, wa

s indicted on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse — a class two felony — involving four alleged victims.

  The indictment accuses Kelly of sexual acts with three children older than 13 but younger than 17. There is no age ran

ge listed for one of the alleged victims. The charges say Kelly used force or the threat of force.

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The European Union and the United States share the sam

  e diagnosis of the situation,” Czaputowicz said. “They have a similar perspective of problems in the Middle East, and also — let’s b

 

e open — the negative role played by Iran. … Howeve

n Union and the United States differ in terms of modus operandi, esp

ecially via evaluation of JCPOA or Special Purpose Vehicle and their possible impacts.”

  Czaputowicz said that in talks, representatives of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom had spoken about the benefits of the nuclear deal.

  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo backed up Pence’s aggressive stance on Iran during a press conference at the end of the summit.

  Pompeo was asked about Pence’s criticism of three of the US’ closest allies — the UK, France and Germany — and what

the consequences would be, given Pence’s accusation that they were trying to “break up our sanctions.”

  The top US diplomat sidestepped. “Look, we make no bones about” wa

nting Europeans to put more pressure and sanctions on Iran. “We respect the sove

reignty of every nation,” Pompeo continued. “But the United States is determined to convince all nations of the w

orld that it is in our collective best interest to deny” Iranian leaders the money they need, Pompeo said.

  Pompeo took a stab at some damage control, saying there have been “lots of places” where Europea

n countries have taken on Iran forcefully and mentioned Germany’s decision to deny landing rights to Iran’s Mahan Air.

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Samsung’s Galaxy S10 lineup: Foldable phones, 5G and

  A 5G device. A foldable phone that morphs into a tablet. A smartphone that can charge another smartphone when sandwiched together.

  Samsung is making bold moves with its new lineup of Galaxy S10 smartph

ones, which were announced Wednesday at its “Unpacked” press event in San Francisco.

  Following a year of slower sales growth — due largely to the S

9 models not being different enough from its successful Galaxy S8 products — the co

mpany hopes a handful of innovative features will inspire consumers to trade in existing devices for newer models.

  The Galaxy Fold

  Samsung kicked off its event with the debut of the Galaxy Fold, a 4.6 inch-smartphone that

can open up into a 7.3-inch tablet. Along with Samsung’s long teased Infinity Flex display, it has a hinge sy

stem that can’t be seen from the outside. The luxury device, which will cost $1,980, hits stores on April 26.

  ”We are creating a new dimension for your phone and your life,” a Samsung spokesper

son said during the event. “It doesn’t even define a new category; it defies a new category.”

www.qianpbd.com

Representatives have until 3 p.m. Thursday to signthe resolution

  which will be introduced Friday, Pelosi wrote. The House will “move swiftly” under the Nat

ional Emergencies Act to pass it before sending it to the Senate, she added.

  Trump declared a national emergency last Friday after he signed a spending bill that would keep the gover

nment open and provide $1.375 billion for a border wall, billions less than he had sought.

  Castro had promised to curtail such a declaration prior to Trump’s announcement as a possible second partial government shutdown loomed.

  ”Historically, Presidents have declared national emergencies for urgent matters of national security. President Trump would u

nconstitutionally usurp congressional authority by declaring an emergency based upon unfounded hype rat

her than any substantive emergency,” the Texas Democrat said last Thursday in a statement.

  Castro added that “such a baseless declaration by President Trump would set a dange

rous precedent regarding the constitutional balance of powers between the executive and legislative branches.”

www.qianhuanet.com

Swiss banking giant UBS fined more than $5 billion in fraud case

  UBS faces a massive financial penalty in France after a court there ruled that the Swiss bank helped its wealthy clients avoid taxes.

  The court delivered its verdict in Paris on Wednesday, ordering the bank to pay €4.5

billion ($5.1 billion) and finding it guilty of money laundering and illegal client solicitations.

  The fines include €800 million ($907 million) in civil damages payable to the French state.

  Shares in UBS (UBS) dropped sharply after the verdict was announced, trading

down 4.2% in Switzerland. The fines are roughly equal to the bank’s net profits for 2018.

  Switzerland’s largest bank said that it would issue a statement “as soon as possible following appli

cable disclosure requirements.” The bank previously said the “lack of a case for the prosecution” had been “very evident.”

  ”UBS believes that the amounts requested were not supported by the evidence presen

ted or the law, and that there are strong legal defenses to the relevant charges,” it said in its most recent annual report.

  The bank said Wednesday that it would appeal the court’s ruling.

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In short, thanks to changes in the internal and extern

al environment, China’s monetary policy is expected to sail out of the “reefs” in 2019, becoming more flexible in maintaining its prudent, neutral, and marginally loose stance.

We believe that comprehensive and targeted cuts to reserve req

uirement ratios, reductions in open market rates, and increased use of targeted medium-term l

ending facility will become the main policy tools of China’s central bank in 2019. Only when extreme changes happen in the internal and external env

ironment (for example, the Chinese economy fails to stabilize in the middle of 2019 and the Fed doesn’t raise interest rates),

will the possibility of lowering the benchmark deposit and lending interest rates rise significantly.
hina will take measures to help domestic soybe

an and corn farmers, while also seeking to expand imports of certain agricultural products that are considered in s

hortage through diversified channels, according to a central government guideline released on Tuesday.

The plan, came before a new round of trade negotiations between Chinese and US officials set fo

r Thursday and Friday, shows Chinese policymakers’ determination to be le

ss dependent on US agricultural imports such as soybeans even if a deal is likely to be reached, industry analysts said.

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Even if the 25-percent duties imposed on soybeans shipp

ed from the US are lifted as a result of upcoming bilateral trade talks and China’s decision to resume soybean imports, “the

percentage of US soybeans in China’s total imports could further dwindle in 2019″ as the nation looks for w

ays to avoid further escalation in the weakening economic relationship, Jiao said.

In 2018, China purchased 16.6 million tons of soybeans from the US, about half of 2017’s level of 32.9 million tons and the lowest since 2008

, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, the country is buying more soybeans from Brazil, Argentina and Russia.

In January, relevant departments issued a soybean “rejuvenation” plan, aiming to boos

t soybean cultivation in traditional planting areas including Northeast China, Cent

ral China’s Henan Province, East China’s Anhui and Shandong provinces and Southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

The plan also specified that China will allocate 10 million mu (666,666.7 hectares) of land for soybean planting in 2019.

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Authorities guarded Boeung Kroam Lake for more

than a month before the event – to prevent illegal fishing and ensure there would be enough to catch at the annual event.

It kicked off in the early morning with hundreds of villagers racing to the lake, spo

rting straw hats and traditional scarves to shield themselves from the blazing sun.

The mood was light-hearted and many opted to grill the morning’s catch by the lake over a smoldering fire.

But for villagers who had attended the event for several years, the day’s haul proved disappointing.

“Before, there were bigger fish,” said Chin Khoung, 50.

“Now the fish are small and there’s less [of them].”

The Southeast Asian country, which boasts the mighty Mekong River and its man

y tributaries, is heavily reliant on fish as a major source of protein for its population.

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