April 2019

Japan beats Iran in 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifier

TEHRAN, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) — Japan took a great leap towards the 2019 FIBA World Cup by beating Iran 97-89 here on Thursday.

Nick Fazekas had 26 points and eight rebounds for Japan. Makoto Hiejima finished with 24 points and six assists, and Joji Takeuchi added 17 points.

Mohammad Jamshidi had 33 points for Iran but he got little support as Sajjad Mashayekhi was the only other Iranian player who grabbed double-figure with 13 points.

The victory moved Japan into second in its World Cup qualifying group. Japan still needs a win over Qatar on 24 February to secure its qualification to the World Cup.

With these views it became of paramount importance that the discussion on the government measure should be sustained on the

part of the Protectionists with their utmost powers. They must prove to the country, that they could represent their cause in debate, and to this end all their energies must be directed. It would be fatal to them if the discussion were confined to one or two nights, and they overborne by the leading and habitual speakers. They must bring forward new men; they must encourage the efforts of those now unrecognized and comparatively unknown; they must overcome all reserve and false shame, and act as became men called upon to a critical and leading part, not by their arrogance or ambition, but by the desertion and treachery of those to whose abilities they had bowed without impatience and reluctance. There was a probability of several vacancies immediately taking place in counties where the seats were filled by converts, but men of too scrupulous an honour to retain the charge which they had sought and accepted as the professors of opinions contrary to those which now received their mournful adhesion. The result of these elections would greatly depend upon the spirit and figure of the party in the House of Commons, in their first encounter with the enemy.
These views, so just and so spirited, advanced with high-bred earnestness by one rarely met in political turmoils, and enforced with a freshness and an affable simplicity which were very winning, wonderfully encouraged those to whom they were addressed. All seemed touched by the flame which burned in the breast of that man, so lofty in his thoughts but so humble in his ambition, who counselled ever the highest deeds, and was himself ever prepared to undertake the humblest duties.
The business of this day was notable. Calculations were made of those who might be fairly counted on to take a part in debate; some discussion even ensued as to who should venture to reply late at night to the minister; a committee was appointed to communicate with all members on either side supposed to be favourable to the principle of Protection to the labour of the country; a parliamentary staff was organized, not only to secure the attendance of members, but to guard over the elections; finally, the form of the amendment to the government measure was discussed and settled, and it was agreed that, if possible, it should be moved by Mr. Philip Miles, the member for the city of Bristol, and who had the ear of the House not merely from the importance of his constituency, and seconded by Sir William Heathcote, the member for the county of Hampshire, a country gentleman of great accomplishments, and so highly considered by both sides that he was very generally spoken of as a probable successor to the chair.
All was furnished by this lately forlorn party except a leader, and even then many eyes were turned and some hopeful murmurs addressed towards Lord George Bentinck, who in the course of this morning had given such various proofs of his fitness and such

Lord George had always been a great supporter of railway enterprise in England, on the ground that, irrespective of all the peculiar

Lord George had always been a great supporter of railway enterprise in England, on the ground that, irrespective of all the peculiar advantages of those undertakings, the money was spent in the country; and that if our surplus capital were not directed to such channels, it would go, as it had gone before, to foreign mines and foreign loans, from which in a great degree no return would arrive. When millions were avowedly to be laid out in useless and unprofitable undertakings, it became a question whether it were not wiser even somewhat to anticipate the time when the necessities of Ireland would require railways on a considerable scale; and whether by embarking in such enterprises, we might not only find prompt and profitable employment for the people, but by giving a new character to the country and increasing its social relations and the combinations of its industry, might not greatly advance the period when such modes of communication would be absolutely requisite.
Full of these views, Lord George, in the course of the autumn, consulted in confidence some gentlemen very competent to assist him in such an inquiry, and especially Mr. Robert Stephenson, Mr. Hudson, and Mr. Laing. With their advice and at their suggestion, two engineers of great ability, Mr. Bidder and Mr. Smith, were despatched to Ireland, personally to investigate the whole question of railroads in that country.
Meditating over the condition of Ireland, a subject very frequently in his thoughts, and of the means to combat its vast and inveterate pauperism, Lord George was frequently in the habit of reverting to the years ‘41-42 in England, when there were fifteen hundred thousand persons on the parish rates; eighty-three thousand able-bodied men, actually confined within the walls of the workhouse, and more than four hundred thousand able-bodied men receiving out-door relief. What changed all this and restored England in a very brief space to a condition of affluence hardly before known in her annals? Not certainly the alterations in the tariff which were made by Sir Robert Peel at the commencement of his government, prudent and salutary as they were. No one would pretend that the abolition of the slight duty (five-sixteenths of a penny) on the raw material of the cotton manufacturer, or the free introduction of some twenty-seven thousand head of foreign cattle, or even the admission of foreign timber at reduced duties, could have effected this. Unquestionably it was the railway enterprise which then began to prevail that was the cause of this national renovation. Suddenly, and for several years, an additional sum of thirteen millions of pounds sterling a year was spent in the wages of our native industry; two hundred thousand able-bodied labourers received each upon an average twenty-two shillings a week, stimulating the revenue both in excise and customs by their enormous consumption of malt and spirits, tobacco and tea. This was the main cause of the contrast between the England of ‘41 and the England of ‘45.

17 killed in road accident in Malawi

At least 17 people have died while 25 were seriously injured in a road accident that occurred Friday morning in Ntcheu district along Malawi’s backbone road, M1.

According to eyewitnesses, a truck coming from the direction of Lilongwe heading towards Balaka plunged into stationary commuter minibuses and traders at a local market called Kampepuza by the M1 Road and killed 17 people in the process.

Police have confirmed the accident and death of the 17 people among them traders and commuting passengers but the cause of the accident is yet to be established.

Coincidentally, Minister of Homeland Security, who is also responsible for the Department of Disaster Management Affairs, Nicholas Dausi, happened to be passing by the accident scene and he assisted in mobilizing vehicles to rush the injured to nearest hospitals.

According to police spokesperson for the strict, Hastings Chigalu, the truck driver has since been arrested for questioning.

UN chief saddened by plane crash in Ethiopia: spokesperson

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was saddened by the plane crash near the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, his spokesperson said Sunday.

“The secretary-general was deeply saddened at the tragic loss of lives in the airplane crash today near Addis Ababa,” Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

“He conveys his heartfelt sympathies and solidarity to the victims’ families and loved ones, including those of United Nations staff members, as well as sincere condolences to the government and people of Ethiopia,” the statement said.

It added the United Nations is in contact with the Ethiopian authorities and working closely with them to establish the details of UN personnel who died in this tragedy.

Earlier Sunday, all 157 people on board the Ethiopian Airlines plane died in a crash, said the airline company.

The Boeing 737-800 MAX, bound for Kenya’s Nairobi, took off at 08:38 a.m. local time from Addis Ababa and lost contact at 08:44 a.m., it said.

Benign rivalry can be catalyst for global aviation sector

US aviation giant Boeing Co is facing one of its toughest tests, as the second crash of a 737 Max jet in five months has raised questions about the safety of the company’s flagship workhorse. Some observers believe the crisis will be an opportunity for China’s domestically produced planes, especially the C919 large passenger aircraft, but we don’t agree.

When China on March 11 became the first country to order its domestic carriers to ground the Boeing 737 Max-8 fleet temporarily in the aftermath of the Ethiopian Airlines crash, some people thought China might be trying to support its nascent aviation industry by intentionally overstating the impact of the deadly crash.

However, facts have proved that those people read too much into China’s decision. The US announced its own emergency order on Wednesday grounding Boeing 737 Max jets, which showed that China made the right decision without prejudice or partiality.

China is pursuing advanced aircraft manufacturing technologies, but the country doesn’t want an antagonistic relationship in the field of aviation technology with the US or European countries.

China firmly opposes any technological cold war. China’s domestic C919 won’t be used as a tool to instigate technological antagonism with US-based Boeing or European aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

China is investing more in self-dependent innovation, but it doesn’t mean the country will close its doors and focus on homegrown technologies to compete with foreign companies.

We believe technical cooperation with other countries will help improve China’s competitiveness.

The rise of the global value chain is prompting China’s aviation industry to maintain an open mind so as to enhance technological cooperation with Boeing and Airbus.

The Ethiopian Airlines crash has had a negative effect on the aviation industry, not only in the US but also in China.

Airbus and Boeing are masters of the most advanced technologies in the world, so the crisis to some extent represents a regression in the global manufacturing of commercial jetliners.

It is irrational to deny competition exists among Boeing, Airbus and the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC), the developer of the C919, but benign competition can be a catalyst for global industrial development, especially during a crisis.

If COMAC can offer safer planes and more convenience for passengers, this will also represent some progress for the global aviation industry.

China doesn’t want to create a parallel technological world besides the US and European countries. We hope Boeing’s crisis can be properly resolved.

World leaders call for sustainable practices to reverse environmental degradation

NAIROBI, March 14 (Xinhua) — Heads of State and Government on Thursday attended the high level segment of the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi with renewed call for adoption of sustainable practices to revitalize war against climate change, pollution and habitats’ depletion.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his counterparts from France, Sri Lanka, Madagascar and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) joined delegates to endorse bold actions required to hasten progress towards a green and sustainable future.

“We must act fast to reverse environmental degradation that has been worsened by unsustainable practices,” said Kenyatta, adding that habitats destruction is to blame for mounting poverty and food insecurity.

Kenyatta said that policy realignment combined with investments in clean technologies and innovations is key to halting depletion of vital ecosystems like forests and fresh water bodies.

The Kenyan leader had earlier co-hosted the One Planet Summit with French President Emmanuel Macron where a call for action to boost environmental sustainability was renewed.

Macron in his address said that a robust multilateral system is key to boost response to environmental challenges linked to human activities.

“There is need to act on plastic pollution, climate change and deforestation but a strong multilateral order is key to achieve success,” said Macron.

He pledged support for a pan African initiative to promote reforestation and access to renewable energy as a means to enhance climate resilience in the continent.

Andry Rajoelina, President of Madagascar said that radical measures are required to halt depletion of habitats that sustain livelihoods.

“Both governments and businesses should focus on ways to reorient the way we produce and consume in order to cut down on pollution and destruction of habitats,” said Rajoelina.

Delegates attending the five-day meeting have been discussing innovative strategies to boost the planet’s health amid threats linked to rapid industrialization and population pressure.

Siim Kiisler, president of the fourth session of UNEA and environment minister for the Republic of Estonia said that political goodwill is required to boost uptake of sustainable practices among communities.

“The scientific evidence is there to spotlight what is required to create resilient economies and livelihoods. But political goodwill is key to boost resource use efficiency,” said Kiisler.

Italian students encouraged by Xi’s letter

Receiving Chinese President Xi Jinping’s reply to their letter, students at an Italian boarding school were surprised, excited and encouraged.

“I’m so happy to know that President Xi has received our letter,” Giovanni Stoppoloni, a fifth-grader at Rome Convitto Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele II, told Xinhua cheerfully.

The boy was one of the eight students who, together with President Paolo M. Reale of the school, wrote to Xi ahead of the Chinese president’s state visit to Italy to express their expectations for the visit and their willingness to promote friendship between the two countries.

In his reply on Sunday, Xi encouraged the students to be cultural ambassadors between the two countries, saying that he was very pleased to see that the students could express themselves in fluent Chinese.

“Our students have been working very hard to learn Chinese over the years,” said Reale, adding that Xi’s reply was the “best reward and recognition” for the students.

Opened in 2009, Rome Convitto Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele II is an international high school that teaches science-related courses in Chinese. The school has the largest Confucius Classroom in Italy, and learning the Chinese language and culture is popular among the students.

Stoppoloni said learning Chinese has helped him broaden horizons and understand Chinese history and culture. In the process, he added, he has also learned to cooperate and share, and become more aware of young people’s responsibilities in the future.

Ludovica Olivari, another student, said she was deeply impressed by the sentence in Xi’s letter that “Youth always goes hand in hand with dreams.”

“We are young people, who must have goals and dreams,” she said. “We will keep on studying hard and open arms to pursue our dreams.”

Mario Lomonaco’s dream is to pursue a China-related career in the future. The student said learning Chinese has brought him many opportunities and opened a door for him to a new world.

Nicolas Kovacich, a student at the school, told Xinhua that he would go to China next year to study economics and that he looks forward to his college life in the Asian country.

“I look forward to working in China as well in the future,” he said.

China aids 135 mln students in 2018

China has provided financial aid for 135 million students from preschool education to higher education in 2018, according to the Ministry of Education.

The investment was worth 204.3 billion yuan (30.5 billion US dollars), up 8.54 percent from 2017, said Ma Jianbin, an official with the ministry, at a press conference over the weekend.

Students of the nine-year compulsory education that ranges from primary school to junior high school enjoyed the policies of miscellaneous fee exemption and free textbooks in 2018, Ma said.

Nearly 44 million college students received 115 billion yuan of financial aid last year, up 9.48 percent from the previous year, said the official.

The country has provided more than one trillion yuan to 620 million students from 2012 to 2018, generally reaching the target of “not letting any student drop out of school because of financial difficulties.”

National action needed as Ofo, once a sharing-economy star, battles for survival

As Chinese bicycle-sharing services provider Ofo teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, we think it is necessary to help the company survive.

Once a star among sharing economy start-ups, Ofo has tumbled. Dai Wei, the founder and chief executive of the company, has been put on a blacklist for unpaid bills.

The company is struggling with immense cash flow problems, but its business model – praised as one of China’s four great new inventions besides high-speed railways, mobile payments and e-commerce – is still valuable.

With its yellow dockless bikes, the company offers a convenient service to about 200 million users globally and makes a positive contribution to solving urban traffic and commuting woes.

Many of those 200 million users have gotten accustomed to living in the sharing economy. Although some people are seeking a return of the deposits they paid to use the Ofo platform, they’re still trying to ride the company’s bicycles.

It doesn’t look like those people really want the company to fail.

The sharing economy is a significant digital trend dominated by start-ups. Most emerging industries must go through a trial-and-error process on the way to commercialization. Certainly, there are many defects in Ofo’s business model, but it would be regrettable if the company has no opportunity to learn from its mistakes and correct them.

China is quickly taking a global lead in developing digital economy. It needs to be very cautious in imposing a “death sentence” on a leading sharing-economy start-up because of a temporary setback.

The e-commerce sector in China survived the blow of being hit by counterfeit problems. Why can’t we be more patient when dealing with the cash flow problems of the bike-sharing industry?

The key issue is how to help Ofo survive, instead of turning a blind eye to its struggles or even encouraging its bankruptcy. The government can coordinate relevant parties to throw the start-up a lifesaver.

Digital industries are quickly re-shaping China’s economy, but the government sometimes lags behind when it comes to encouraging innovations in management. As Ofo’s difficulties mount, we must find ways to overcome them, however hard that is.

Some global giants such as South Korea’s Samsung had government support in their infancy. The Chinese government shouldn’t shy away from direct intervention into tackling Ofo’s crisis if necessary.