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Index results bode well for quarterly GDPprise mark

hina’s economic growth will remain stable in the first quarter, and is expected to land at 6.3 percent or even higher year-on-year when it is released this week, e

conomists said after some economic indicators for March surprised the market on the upside.

“Downside pressure began to ease in the first quarter, as signaled by the r

ather substantial recovery in various economic indicators in March,” said Yao Jingyuan, form

er chief economist at the National Bureau of Statistics and a researcher for the Counselors’ Office of the State Council.

Chinese banks’ lending in yuan, a leading indicator for the real economy

, surged in March by 1.69 trillion yuan ($252 billion), up 52 percent from a year earli

er, according to the People’s Bank of China, the central bank. The manufacturing purchasing managers inde

x for March, which was back into expansion territory, may be a sign of accelerating industrial activities.

Exports in March also picked up, rising 14.2 percent in US dollar ter

ms from a year ago, versus 0.1 percent for the January-February period, customs data showed.

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yers do need their staff to work extra hours to meet pro

 deadlines or fulfill other tasks, they can ask them to work overtime – but not than 36 hours a month and only after consulti

ng and reaching an agreement with the labor union and the workers. More important, empl

oyers have to pay at least 1.5 times the usual salary to the employees for overtime work.

This is to protect the rights, interests and health of the workers.

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, has added fuel to the debate, by saying that empl

oyees who get the “opportunity” to work according the “996” schedule are the luc

ky ones, because in many companies employees don’t get the chance to work long hours.

But the fact is, if employers do not meet the two essential requiremen

ts to make employees work overtime – consulting wo

rkers and restricting the amount of extra work – and force the “996” schedule o

n their workers and make them work for more than 60 hours a week, they violate the Labor Law.

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Man arrested after incident in west London: British police

A man has been arrested after an incident in west London on Saturday morning. Police f

irearms and Taser were discharged, according to a latest statement released by Metropolitan Police.

According to the statement, police were called at around 8:30 am local time on Saturday, with reports o

f a car in collision with a number of parked vehicles near the Ukrainian Embassy in Holland Park, west London.

“As part of the protective security arrangements for London, armed and unarmed officers were

deployed to this incident,” said the statement, adding that “on arrival at the scene, a vehicle was driven at police officers.”

Police confirmed that firearms and Taser were discharged, the vehicle was stopped and a man in his 40s was arrested, not injured.

Andy Walker, chief superintendent in the Met’s Specialist Firearms Command, said: “as is st

andard procedure, an investigation is now ongoing into the discharge of a police firearm during this incident.”

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Tu Liangcheng, one of the leading scientists of the Tia

nqin project, said that the project has been going smoothly.

“So far nearly 200 Chinese scientists from more than 30 dome

stic research institutions and universities and about 30 researchers from at l

east eight other countries-including Russia, Italy, Germany and France-have participated in the pr

oject,” said Tu, who is also director of the gravitation center at the Wuhan university.

Shen Zhiqiang, head of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, and a membe

r of the EHT team, said the success of the first black hole image has encouraged Chinese scientists to engage in mo

re international collaboration and boost the country’s ability in studying deep space.

Chinese scientists participated in Hawaii and Spain in the observations

that yielded the black hole image. They were highly involved in follow-up data analysis and th

eoretical explanation throughout the two years that followed the five-day observations in April 2017.

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Shanghai aims to rev up car sales with trade-in subsidies

The city of Shanghai has become the first local government to answer the call of the central gove

rnment to promote automobile consumption by providing subsidies, since 10 mi

nistries and commissions of the country released six major methods of promoting car sales in January.

The official WeChat account of the Shanghai Municipal Government announced yesterday it will launch a car trade-i

n program, encouraging car owners to trade in their vehicles for new gas-powered cars complying with State-VI emi

ssions standards or new energy vehicles, according to a report by the 21st Century Business Herald.

The government will provide a subsidy of 10,000 yuan ($1,489) for a trade-in gas-powered

vehicle and 15,000 yuan for a trade-in new energy vehicle, the announcement said.

China’s automobile market saw a sales decline in 2018 for the first time

in 28 years, with passenger vehicle sales slumping for 10 consecutive months from last y

ear to March, according to the China Passenger Car Association. As the central government halved subsidies for new energy

vehicles this year, the promotion of car consumption depends more on local governments and enterprises.

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Thanks to the extension of the subsidiary policy of new e

energy vehicles (NEV), sales of NEVs reached 111,000 in March, up 100.9 percent year-o

n-year, with NEV wholesales accounting for 254,000 units in the first quarter.

CPCA predicts a 40 percent increase in NEV sales to 1.7 million

units in 2019, based on these first quarter figures.

As China began to cut manufacturing sector VAT from 16 to 13 percent on April 1, som

e imported and high-end vehicle brands lowered prices to boost sales nationwide.

As the industrial chain of domestic-made goods are comparatively longer than that of imports howe

ver, most domestic manufacturers have not lowered prices for goods, including automobiles.

“Consumers should not expect too much on price cuts of automo

biles, but choose vehicles based on demand and affordability,” CPCA said.

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Make homeland greenering country’s nats goals for im

President outlines goals for improving, protecting country’s natural heritage

President Xi Jinping has called for mobilization at the national level and joint particip

ation from the whole of society to move forward with large-scale campaigns to make the homeland greener.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Commit

tee, made the remark as he took part in a voluntary tree planting event in Beijing on Monday.

Working alongside students, Xi shoveled soil and emptied water buckets

before planting seven trees in a forest park in the capital’s Tongzhou district.

He underscored the importance of giving play to China’s honored tradition of loving, pla

nting and protecting trees to ensure that national forestation programs yield concrete results continuously.

He noted that this year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s creation of the tree planting festival on March 12 each year. Over

the past 40 years, China’s forest coverage and its net volume of timber have doubled, he said, adding that Chin

a has made the largest contribution to the world’s increase in the area of vegetation in recent times.

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Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said Saturday that it w

was “extremely unlikely” any of the 27 countries would veto a delay.

AP”If one country was to veto an extension and, as a result, impose hardship on us, real problems for the Dutch and Belgians

and French as neighboring countries (to the UK)…they wouldn’t be forgiven for it,” he told Ireland’s RTE radio.

magnitude earthquake at a depth of 17 kilometers was detected at 1:25 pm on Sund

ay in Beijing’s Haidian district, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.

Two earthquake experts said the minor quake was a normal activity in the earth’s crust caused by chan

ges in crustal stress, and there is no need for the public to panic, according to a report on huanqiu.com.

“It is a normal and isolated event,” said Guo Xun, dean of the Civil Engineering School at the Institute of Disaster Prevention.

“As Beijing is at the junction of the earthquake zones of Shanxi province, the Hebei Plain

and Yanshan Mountain, the city will experience one to two earthquakes at around magnitude-3 degree ev

ery year, according to past experience,” Sun Shihong, a researcher at the China Earthquake Networks Center, added.

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On the same day Voice of America quoted a US State Dep

artment spokesman saying the US recognizes the one-China policy and that the AIT Taipei office’s security work is carri

ed out by a small group of US personnel and a larger number of local employees and authorities.

“China resolutely opposes any form of official exchanges and military

contacts between the US and Taiwan,” Geng told a news conference.

The US has made a clear commitment to maintaining unofficial relations with Taiwan, G

eng said, adding that Beijing has repeatedly stated its position on the issue to Washington.

The one-China principle is the political foundation for bilateral relations, he said, urgin

g the US to keep its promises and to abide by the principles of the three China-US joint communiques.

“We urge the US to correct its wrong practice and prudently and properly handle Taiw

an-related issues to avoid damaging China-US relations and cross-Straits peace and stability,” he said.

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Nearly 3.4 billion trips were made on Chinese rail line

 last year. Every day, an average of 5.5 million people use the nation’

s high-speed trains, accounting for nearly 60 percent of daily users of the country’s rail network.

The State-owned rail car manufacturer CRRC Corp, the world’s largest train maker, had sta

rted developing a new-generation of bullet train that will operate at 400 kilometers per hour.

A preliminary report issued on Thursday by Ethiopian officials found that a malfunctioning sensor sent incorrect inform

ation to a Boeing 737 Max 8 jetliner, triggering an anti-stall system that began a chain of events that ended with th

e plane nose-diving into the ground, killing 157 people on March 10, the Associated Press reported.

Boeing has acknowledged that the sensor malfunctioned in the Ethiopian Airlines 737

Max jetliner, triggering the anti-stall system when it was not needed, the AP reported.

In addition, CRRC is designing two types of maglev trains-a 600 km/h high-speed version and a 200 km/h medium-speed ver

sion. Designers said the company expects to put them into service sometime around 2021.

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