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2014-11-17 NEWS Plus Special English
   2014-11-19 10:40:03    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Han






This is NEWS Plus special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
After successfully putting the "Jade Rabbit" lunar rover onto the moon, space experts say China's planned Mars vehicle will be larger, tougher and a better climber.
A full-sized model of the Mars rover is on display at the China Airshow in south China's Zhuhai City, offering a rare glimpse of the spacecraft still being designed.
The experts explain that the new rover will be larger in size and better at crossing obstacles than the moon rover Yutu. Yutu can climb over obstacles no higher than 20-centimetres, but has to bypass larger rocks. This will not work on Mars, where there is a full range of large rocks.
The 2-meter-long model on display is the prototype. Its final look and functions have yet to be decided.
China plans to land a Mars rover around 2020, collect samples and bring them back around 2030.
The experts expect the Mars buggy to be solar-powered, its weight close to NASA's Spirit and Opportunity rovers at around 180 kilograms. NASA's latest Curiosity rover weighs 900 kilograms and is powered by a nuclear battery. The capability of China's carrier rockets limits the size of its Mars rover.
This is NEWS Plus Special English.
It was a warm gesture on a chilly night when Vladimir Putin wrapped a shawl around the wife of Xi Jinping while the Chinese president chatted with Barack Obama.
The incident at a performance linked to the Asia-Pacific summit was originally broadcast on state broadcaster CCTV and spread online as a forwarded video. But it was soon scrubbed clean from the Chinese Internet, reflecting the intense control authorities exert over any material about top leaders while also pointing to cultural differences over what is considered acceptable behavior in public.
Beijing-based historian and independent commentator Zhang Li-fan says that China is traditionally conservative on public interaction between unrelated men and women, and the public show of consideration by Putin may provide fodder for jokes, which the big boss probably does not like.
Xi's wife, Peng Liyuan, was once a popular folk singer better known than her husband; and in contrast to her predecessors, she has taken on a much more public role, prominently joining her husband on trips abroad, as part of China's soft power push to seek global status commensurate with its economic might.
Propaganda officials have built the image of Xi and his wife as a loving couple. Photos of Xi shielding his wife from the rain on a state visit, picking flowers for her, or simply holding her hand have circulated widely on China's social media, prompting much oohing and aahing.
Blogger Luo Qing-xue says that when the president personally held the umbrella for his wife, it complied with the international norm of respecting women. Luo wrote on the news site for the party-run newspaper People's Daily last year after Xi was seen holding an umbrella over himself and Peng on a state visit to Trinidad and Tobago.
Putin looked gallant for his macho, man-of-action image on Monday night while Xi chatted with the American president.
In the video, Peng stood up, politely accepted the gray shawl or blanket offered by Putin, and thanked him with a slight bow. But she soon slipped it off and put on a black coat offered by her own attendant.
It spawned a flurry of commentary on China's social media before censors began removing any mention of the incident.
Li Xin, director of Russian and central Asian studies at Shanghai Institute for International Studies, said that Putin was just being a proper Russian and did nothing out-of-line diplomatically.
Li says it's a tradition in Russia for a man of dignity to respect ladies on public occasions, and in a cold country like Russia, it is very normal that a gentleman should help ladies take on and off their coats; but the Chinese may not be accustomed to that.
You are listening to NEWS Plus Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
British scientists found that weight loss surgery can reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes by around 80 percent in obese people.
Researchers from King's College London assessed the effect of contemporary surgical weight loss procedures on the development of diabetes.
Being overweight or obese is the main risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
The study involved more than 2,000 obese adults without diabetes who underwent one of three of the most common types of surgical procedures for weight loss.
Compared with the control group of more than 2,000 other people, diabetes incidence was reduced by around 80 percent in participants who had surgery.
However, the researchers say that although the results bring scientists a step closer to confirming the effect of surgery on the incidence of type 2 diabetes, many questions still remain unanswered, and more evidence is needed to convince scientists about the nature of this effect.
This is NEWS Plus Special English.
Myanmar's HIV transmission rate has decreased to 0.4 percent this year from almost 1 percent last year.
Myanmar plans to extend drug treatment to more than 120,000 HIV carriers in 2016.
Some 7,000 people are diagnosed with HIV in the country each year.
Meanwhile, Myanmar is working to expand its free medical service coverage for tuberculosis and TB patients. Efforts have also been put in place to control the outbreak of malaria and reduce the death toll of the disease.
Myanmar has earmarked an equivalent of 650 million U.S. dollars for overall public health development this year.
You are listening to NEWS Plus Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
People are asking: "Can Old Faithful compete with Netflix?"  The prospect of streaming wireless services deep into Yellowstone National Park in the United States is re-igniting the debate over whether there should be any place which is off limits to technology.
Yellowstone Park officials are in preliminary discussions with CenturyLink about installing a 34 million-dollar fiber-optic line through a neighboring national park and into Yellowstone. That would dramatically improve connectivity in certain areas for mobile devices.
Details of the Yellowstone fiber optic project were obtained by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility through a public records request.
The Washington D.C. advocacy group warned that bumping up the park's bandwidth will create more electronic distractions at the expense of the park's natural wonders.
The CenturyLink proposal coincides with a National Park Service campaign to "Go Digital" ahead of its 100th anniversary in 2016. And it comes as concession companies have been pushing for more digital access in national parks in the US, including Arizona's Grand Canyon, Texas' Big Bend and Maine's Acadia.
You're listening to NEWS Plus Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging onto NEWSPlusRadio.cn. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing us at mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. That's mansuyingyu@cri.com.cn. Now the news continues.
If you have three months and a few thousand yuan to spare, you can study for a certificate in a hotpot academy in Sichuan Province in southwest China and become a master in the cuisine.
The Chongqing Hotpot Academy has been launched in the municipality in southwest China's Sichuan Province, which is widely recognized as the place where hotpot originated.
The academy has been co-founded by the Chongqing Hotpot Association, the Cuisine Association and the Modern Vocational Training Academy in the city.
The hotpot academy will start enrolling in the spring next year and open to group and individual students. Short-term training classes vary from three to six months. The average cost is 1,000 yuan, roughly 163 US dollar, per month.
Lectures include 30 percent gastronomic theory studies and 70 percent cooking practice including hotpot garnishing, stir-frying sauces and dressings. All graduates will be granted a certificate for hotpot cuisine.
Chongqing was named "a city of hotpot" by the China Cuisine Association in 2007. The hotpot there is known for its spiciness. The city has around 50,000 hotpot restaurants and there is a shortage of professionals skilled in the cuisine.
The municipal government is stepping up efforts to protect its cultural traditions and hopes to make hotpot a national intangible cultural heritage item soon.
This is NEWS Plus Special English.
A new highway has opened to traffic in Yunnan province in southwest China, linking the home of the country's smallest ethnic group with the outside world.
Du-long-jiang Township is home to the Derung people, one of the smallest ethnic groups in China. Construction of the highway began three years ago by the local government of the Lisu Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan.
The township is located in a mountainous area bordering Myanmar to the west. Difficult geological conditions blocked access to the outside world especially in the months between October and late April each year.
The last section of the highway, a 7-kilometer tunnel was completed in April. The tunnel is the longest in Yunnan's history.
The highway was built with a total investment of 780 million yuan, roughly 130 million US dollars. It cuts the travel time by more than half for pedestrians and vehicles.
You are listening to NEWS Plus Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Ebola, the deadly virus that is running rampant in West Africa, has for the first time become one of America's top 10 concerns.
A new survey showed that 5 percent of the respondents said they were worried about the disease. A few cases of Ebola have been seen in the United States and the recent outbreak in West Africa has grabbed headlines worldwide.
The percentage in the survey ties the ratios of those concerned about federal budget deficit, ethical, moral and family decline, Iraq and education.
Still, Ebola trails five other issues, namely the economy, dissatisfaction with government, unemployment, health care and immigration.
But it ranks higher than several other high-profile issues, such as race relations and terrorism.
The survey was conducted while dozens of people in the United States were still being quarantined after coming into contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died last month from Ebola, within weeks of arriving in Dallas in the U.S. state of Texas.
Two nurses who cared for Duncan have been diagnosed with the virus. Most of the others who had contact with Duncan were quarantined for three weeks.
This is NEWS Plus Special English.
The United Nations Population Fund has expressed its commitment to a partnership with Amref Health Africa, a Kenya-based NGO, to improve the health of women and children in Africa.
The UN agency stressed the importance of providing health services at community level if Africa is to reduce maternal and child mortality.
The UN Population Fund has been working with governments, other UN agencies and partners around the world, and has helped to reduce maternal death by almost half and the deaths of children by more than 40 percent in the last two decades.
The UN agency says that Amref Health Africa has been working in Africa for more than 50 years, training health workers and improving community access to affordable health services, making the organization an ideal partner for the UN agency.
The two institutions have vowed to conduct more cooperative programs to address the challenges facing women and children in Africa.
You are listening to NEWS Plus Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Air Malta has used an animated knight to demonstrate safety features on several of the airline's Airbus aircraft fleets.
The cartoon knight, clad in silver armor, goes through all the procedures that ensure safety aboard.
Air Malta says that safety is the top priority, and this year the airline company decided to refresh its safety video to make it more captivating to passengers, by striking a friendlier tone.
The video also features Air Malta's recently approved regulation allowing mobile phones and tablets to be left on flight mode throughout the entire flight.
Many airline companies, including Virgin Atlantic, Delta, Air New Zealand, and Virgin America, have all made their in-flight safety films in entertaining, buzzy ways, in an effort to get seasoned travelers to actually watch the safety videos.
That is the end of this edition of NEWS Plus Special English. To freshen up your memory, I'm going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
That is the end of today's program. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Hope you can join us every day at CRI NEWS Plus Radio, to learn English and learn about the world.



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