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2014-11-18 NEWS Plus Special English
   2014-11-19 10:41:00    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Han



This is NEWS Plus Special English. I'm Yun Feng in Beijing. Here is the news.
Landing with a bounce after traveling 4 billion miles, a European spacecraft has made history by successfully reaching the icy, dusty surface of a speeding comet, a cosmic first designed to answer big questions about the universe.
The landing by the washing machine-sized craft after a decade-long journey required immense precision, as even the slightest error could have resulted in stellar calamity.
Indications were that the spacecraft touched down almost perfectly, save for an unplanned bounce.
The landing operators said that the spacecraft landed twice. Thrusters that were meant to push the lander onto the surface, and harpoons that would have anchored it to the comet failed to deploy properly. Initial data from the spacecraft indicated that it lifted off again, turned and then came to rest.
Scientists were still trying to fully understand what happened and whether those failures would affect the lander's ability to remain on the comet. But so far, most of the instruments were working fine and sending back data as hoped.
This is NEWS Plus Special English.
Chinese smart phone producers, beware. The Russians are coming.
A week after Russian President Vladimir Putin presented a domestically designed dual-screen smart phone as a gift to Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, Yota Devices, maker of the unique handset, is planning to challenge Chinese players including Xiaomi group.
The Moscow-based company says that the Yota-Phone 2 will enter the Chinese market by the first quarter of next year, largely via online channels.
It says that the arrival of the Yota-Phone 2 is a smart phone game changer; and the double-screen design and 50-hour battery life give Yota the potential to open up "completely new market opportunities".
Yota was little-known among Chinese smart phone buyers. But the company quickly became a top search entry in the country shortly after Putin showed off its reading-friendly back screen - similar to the paper-like e-ink screen on Amazon.com's Kindle.
Yota is an emerging brand, even in Russia. But the company has hired former staff of multinational tech giants including Nokia, Black Berry, Motorola and Microsoft.
Yota has sold 4 million devices capable of using fourth-generation telecom networks since 2009. It may open its own brick-and-mortar stores to boost sales in China. But it is unclear how the company will respond to the foreseeable push-back from local vendors.
You are listening to NEWS Plus Special English. I'm Yun Feng in Beijing.
Chinese Internet giant Tencent has fired a fresh salvo against leading telecom operators with its Internet calling app for mobile gadgets.
The app, WeChat phone book, allows users to make free calls using wireless networks or telecom operators' networks, send voice mails, use its phone book and even make high-definition quality voice calls. The so-called free calls can be made as long as the user links his phone number to his WeChat account.
Although Tencent tried to maintain a low profile and hardly gave the new app any publicity, its ploy of releasing it on Singles' Day, when most people are obsessed with online shopping, seems to have paid off.
Due to the large number of users of the new app, the service remained unavailable on Wednesday morning and it was forced to update users frequently on when services would be restored.
Such a customer frenzy, however, is not a new experience for Tencent as the number of active users of its services on a monthly basis surged to almost 440 million by the end of the second quarter of this year.
The Shenzhen-based company says, however, the new app's performance on the second day shows that it is still quite unstable and provides less??than-satisfactory user experiences.
This is NEWS Plus Special English.
Scientists in the United States have developed a potential gene test for identifying acute rejection in kidney transplant patients, a finding that could eventually replace the need for biopsies.
Acute rejection after kidney transplantation occurs in around 15-to-20 percent of patients, even when they are treated with immunosuppressive medications.
Rejection is usually heralded by an increase in the patient's Cr, a marker of kidney function, and a kidney biopsy is then performed to confirm whether rejection is taking place.
However, this method is not sufficiently sensitive to identify all early rejection or specific enough to prevent some unnecessary kidney biopsies, so a noninvasive means of identifying acute rejection is needed.
In the new study, researchers from the University of California San Francisco identified a 17-gene set that discriminated between patients with and without acute rejection detected by kidney biopsy.
The 17-gene set correctly identified 39 of the samples taken from 47 patients with acute rejection as being from patients with acute rejection, and 87 of 96 samples from patients without acute rejection as being from patients without acute rejection.
The researchers also found that the gene set was able to predict acute rejection up to three months before detection by biopsy, independent of age, time after transplant and sample source.
The researchers concluded that the test result has the potential to become a simple, robust, and clinically applicable blood test.
You are listening to NEWS Plus Special English. I'm Yun Feng in Beijing.
A TV documentary fair in south China has attracted buyers, producers, and directors with more than 3,000 documentaries from 85 countries and regions.
The annual event has been listed by the State Council, China's cabinet, as one of the key national projects exporting Chinese culture.
The three-day fair was first initiated by Guangzhou city government in 2003, and has been upgraded as the only national fair for international TV documentaries.
Organizers say the event aims to become a platform in Asia for trading the best international documentaries.
China has pinned TV documentary as one of the most important strategies for introducing its culture to the world.
China's media regulatory authorities have provided strong support to the production of documentaries about the Chinese Dream of rejuvenating the nation, and have given full play to market mechanism in distribution.
China will put more investment on the production of quality documentaries for the overseas market.
This is NEWS Plus Special English.
In a related development: Documentary used to be served as an "appetizer" in movie theaters in China. The China Central Television, CCTV, unveiled a documentary channel on Jan. 1, 2011.
One of the hottest broadcasts ever since is "A Bite of China", which tells stories about Chinese cuisines with human touch. The successful documentary has also changed Chinese people's stereotype about documentaries.
Renowned director Wong Kar-wai is given a lifetime achievement award when he hits the Indian city of Goa to attend the 45th International Film Festival of India.
The festival's focus this year is on China. Wong's recent kungfu drama "The Grand-master" closes out the festival.
Mainland actress Zhang Ziyi, who stars in "The Grand-master", is on hand as one of the event's guests of honor.
Kicking off the event is Iranian helmer Mohsen Makhmalbaf's "The President". The film tells the story of a ruthless dictator that is overthrown and goes on the run, where he encounters the people he subjugated.
The first meeting of the Indo-China Joint Working Group will also commence on the sidelines of the fest.
You're listening to NEWS Plus Special English. I'm Yun Feng in Beijing. You can access our 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.
iQiyi, film arm of Chinese web giant Baidu, will offer one-thousand Hollywood movie titles next year to movie-fans on the mainland.
iQiyi CEO Gong Yu says that American films have become the most popular titles on the video platform, citing that Hollywood titles overtook Chinese features at the summer box office.
Gong is currently in Los Angeles at the American Film Market looking for titles to offer on the video website.
The move coincides with iQiyi's plans to produce seven big-screen domestic features and one Hollywood title next year.
The company recently received a 300-million-U.S.-dollar investment from China's largest cell phone producer, Xiaomi.
This is NEWS Plus Special English.
To science, she's simply known as "184". But on the empirical cuteness scale, the world's first test-tube penguin scores a "100".
The still unnamed baby Magellanic penguin was hatched at Sea World in San Diego in the United States 12 weeks ago, but the first images of her have just been released to the public.
She's the first penguin to be born using artificial insemination, a technique researchers say will help them increase diversity in the captive penguin population and help their studies of the creatures.
The baby penguin is reportedly doing well. Twelve weeks after her birth, she is mingling with the natural-born penguins and has transitioned from being hand-fed by a team of biologists to eating fish on her own.
You are listening to NEWS Plus Special English. I'm Yun Feng in Beijing.
Six-year-old He Yide, who was recognized by Guinness World Records last year as the youngest person in the world to pilot a plane, is in the news again after traversing the dangerous Lop Nur desert with 13 other people.
The boy, nicknamed Duoduo, has been known to Chinese people as the "Running Naked Boy" since February 2012, when an online video clip uploaded by his father showed the boy crying while running almost naked in New York in subzero temperature.
The boy's father, He Liesheng, a businessman in Nanjing city in central China, said that a lot of preparation was made before the desert trek, which was done on foot and by vehicle.
Together with three other families, who were chosen by He from hundreds of applicants, Duoduo and his father entered Lop Nur, known to Chinese as "the Sea of the Dead", to start the 20-day journey in mid-October.
During the 3,000-kilometer journey, the four children in the group must walk at least 100 kilometers.
The businessman said that during the journey, the children learned lots of knowledge that could not be acquired at school, including how to tell directions, scare away wild animals at night and find water in the desert.
Duoduo said that they once scared away three wolves using flashlights. They also visited the monument of Peng Jiamu, a Chinese biochemist and explorer, who disappeared in the Lop Nur in the 1980s.
He Liesheng, the father, denied that traversing Lop Nur was for publicity purposes, saying that the only aim of the adventure was to train the children to become more courageous.
45-year-old He's unconventional training methods have stirred public debate since 2012.
Many education experts and web users say that dangerous training may harm a child's physical and psychological health rather than "making them more courageous".
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 Yun Feng 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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