The country will push forward credit information sha

ing as well as jointly reward and punishment system building among government depart

ments for high-quality development of cross-border posting and delivery services, Tu said.

In 2018, Chinese express delivery firms handled a record 50.71 billion p

arcels, up 26.6 percent from the previous year. Business revenue expan

ded by 21.8 percent to reach 603.84 billion yuan (about $90 billion).

China’s smartphone shipments fell 4.1 percent year on year in March to 26.94 million units,

data from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) showed.

Last month, smartphones made up 94.9 percent of all mobile phone shipments in the country, acc

ording to a report from the CAICT, a research institute under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Despite the mobile phone market shrinking, the drop has been moderated, said the report.

Overall mobile phone shipments went down 6 percent in March, narrowing from the 19.9-percent slump in February to 28.37 million units, among which 95.1

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The data from the ministry covered the population of per

rmanent residents in urban areas, population density and built-up areas in 666 cities between 2014 and 2017.

Sixteen shrinking cities are in Northeast China’s Heilon

gjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces, according to the National Business D

aily report. Most of the cities are resource-exhausted or old industrial bases, such as Jixi and Daqing.

Some of the shrinking cities still have increasing built-up areas in recent years, which will lead to low effic

iency in using the urban land and be not conducive to the compact development of cities, the report says.

Ding Changfa, associate economic professor from the Xiamen

University, said that small and medium cities suffered the shrinkage bec

ause they have weak industries and public services, difficult to attract talents to work and live there.

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High school graduates in China normally need to tak

o take the national college entrance examination, or gaokao, to be ad

mitted to a university. Independent enrollment was added as an alternative admission met

hod in 2003 to allow some key universities to enroll students based on subjective criteria.

Currently, 90 universities have allocated 5 percent of their enrollment slots to indepen

dent students with special talents. They admit more than 20,000 such students every year.

Tests of academic competence and interviews are usually required. Universit

ies start the independent enrollment process in March, while the gaokao takes place in June.

The gaokao is a highly competitive and stressful test, and in some provinces with large num

bers of high school graduates, a single point can separate more than 1,000 students. The exams create a lot of anxiety amo

ng students and parents, and some will do anything possible, even committing fraud, to be admitted to a better university.

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He said he hopes that the Italian Senate will continue to pl

play an active facilitating role, and create better conditions for and inject greater momentum into the development of bilateral relations.

The Italian Senate warmly welcomes Xi for his visit, Casellati said, notin

g that the Italian and Chinese peoples have always trusted each other and maintained pr

ofound friendship, with close ties in such fields as economy and trade, and culture.

The Senate speaker said she agrees with Xi on his remarks about the traditional friendly exchanges betwe

en the two countries dating back over 2,000 years, published in leading Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera ahead of his visit.

China and Italy are major countries that boast a rich culture, she said, adding that Italy is willing to boost communication and co

operation with the Chinese side in such fields as culture, art, language, heritage protection, tourism, science and tec

hnology, and innovation, and encourage their youths to increase exchanges and mutual understanding.

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As Manafort faced his judgment day, Cohen was facing

  fresh attacks on his credibility amid accusations that he lied to Congress during his explosive testimony last week.

  Trump’s former attorney told lawmakers that he had never asked for and would not ac

cept a pardon from Trump. Yet multiple sources told CNN’s Gloria Borger that the prospect of a par

don was raised more than once between Cohen’s lawyer and attorneys representing the President.

  The matter is being investigated in Congress following Cohen’s public and private testimony before three congressional committees over the past two weeks.

  In question is whether there was an effort to seek a pardon or offer a pardon in exchange for

the cooperation who will go to prison in May after admitting tax and financial crimes and lying to Congress.

  Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Maryland Democrat who chairs the House Oversight Com

mittee, said he told Cohen that he would “nail you to the cross” if he did not tell the truth to lawmakers again.

  ”I’m going to study the transcript first, that’s No. 1. I’m going to see what the allegations are and then I’ll go from there,” Cummings told CNN’s Manu Raju.

  Trump is not waiting for any investigation to take a new shot at his former legal fixer, tw

eeting an MSNBC headline: “Cohen’s lawyer contradicts Cohen’s testimony about never seeking a Presidential Pardon.

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While that struggle was raging, waste-to-energy pow

  plant business owner Lee Won-jeong in 2017 bought the site from Kim, but kept him on as manager. Lee is based in Busan, in the south of the country, and claims he was unaware of the problems at the site.

  Lee says that after the sale, Kim deposited more than 80 times the amount of g

arbage permitted at the site, including household waste, construction materials, and discarded polymer.

  The manager of the site had a permit to dump 2,000 tons of waste, the site holds more than 80 times that now.

  As the trash mountain decomposed, gas built up under the surface. In December last year, fires began to appear.

  Lee says that when he learned of Kim’s misconduct he fired him. Kim has since disappeared and CNN was unable to reach him for comment.

  Kwon Hyun-soo, the Uiseong county environmental supervisor, says local authorities ar

e using their own resources to tackle the trash but the flaming mountain is too big for them to resolve.

  ”The waste is mostly from outside of our region. It’s too much for us to take care of the issue at the local level,” says Kwon.

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During the TCT Asia trade show last week, Stratasys also

unveiled the voxel-level 3D printing solution that allows users to exercise control of their design at volumetric pixel level with access to more materials.

For instance, it has teamed up with one car manufacturer to allow customers to customize car body p

atterns using 3D printing solutions, which Agam called a ‘true revolution”.

“Till now the 3D printing remains largely a B2B business. This is for the first time that

customers can come and actually have an impact on what the products are going to look like,” he said.

The company has rosy prospects on the technology’s adoption in automotive, medical and consumer electronics.

The Chinese government is making the development of additive ma

nufacturing technology in the country a priority. Foreign companies are encouraged to set up b

ranches and R&D centers in China, and a few domestic companies, which have already had their products rec

ognized internationally and will be able to compete in the international market, will be fostered.

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That resolution will not pass the Senate, and you can take that

  back to whoever sent you here,” she says, citing that the deal doesn’t have a

single Republican in favor of the proposal and “the k

ey to good legislation is to tailor something that you write so that it can pass, and you can get a step ahead.”

  When a girl urges her to vote yes anyway, Feinstein replies, “I may do that … but it’s not a good resolution.”

  In a statement Friday night about the confrontation, Feinstein said she “always welcomes the oppo

rtunity to hear from Californians who feel passionately about this issue and it remains a top priority of mine.”

  ”Unfortunately, it was a brief meeting but I want the children to know they were heard loud and clear. I have been and rem

ain committed to doing everything I can to enact real, meaningful climate change legislation,” Feinstein said.

  ”We had a spirited discussion and I presented the group with my draft resolution

that provides specific responses to the climate change crisis, which I plan to introduce soon.”

  The conversation at times grew heated, especially when Feinstein dismissed the group’s request due to their tone and their youth.

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On Thursday, the pontiff opened the summit by urging he b

  nd other church leaders to commit to taking concrete actions.

  ”The holy people of God are looking at us and expect from us not simple condemnat

ions,” Francis said, “but concrete and effective measures to put in place. We need to be concrete.”

  The Pope then said he had made a list of 21 “reflection points” that were handed out to the assembly of church leaders, wh

ich included preparing a “practical handbook” of guidelines for handling abuse cases when accusations emerge.

  Also included are instructions to inform civil authorities and church officials whenever an accusation is made, esta

blishing provisions to include non-clergy experts in investigations, as well as formulating “mandatory codes of c

onduct” for all church clergy, personnel and volunteers “to outline appropriate boundaries in personal relationships.”

  More controversially, the Pope proposed that dioceses and Catholic organizations around the world not publish

lists of clergy accused of abuse before a preliminary investigation and “definitive” condemnation have occurred.

  ”The principle of natural and canon law of presumption of innocence must be also be saf

eguarded until the guilt of the accused is proven,” the Pope said in the “reflection points.”

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more C919 jets to make maiden test flights this yearakes its mai

Another three prototypes for China’s first homegrown large passenger jet, the C919, will conduct their maiden flights this year, follow

ing the success of a third one on Dec 28, 2018, according to the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd (COMAC), the maker of the jet.

The 104 prototype test aircraft of the China-made C919 has entered its final assembly stage, the 10

5 is undergoing the assembly of major components, and the main components of the 106 are in pro

duction. The maiden test flights for all three new prototype jets are expected to take place before the end of 2019.

The addition of these three would bring the total number of C919 prototype test aircraft to six.

To date, domestic and overseas buyers have placed orders for 815 of the China-m

ade C919 aircraft.Chinese communities around the world welcomed the Year of th

e Pig on Feb 5, ushering in Lunar New Year with prayers, family feasts and shopping sprees.

Celebrations took place across the globe, ranging from Southeast Asia’s centuries-old Chi

nese communities to the more recently established Chinatowns of Sydney, London, Vancouver, Los Angeles and beyond.

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