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Aerobatics provide visual feast in Guizhou

An aerobatic event was held on Friday in Anshun city, Southwest China’s Guizhou province, providing a visual feast for audiences with a series of stunt performances including formation flying and somersault flight.

The 2019 Guizhou Anshun Huangguoshu Waterfalls Flight Conference invited 11 international aerobatic pilots from six world-famous aerobatic teams to participate.

Che Weiwei contributed to this story.

Unearthed skeletons reveal evidence of early skull reshaping

[File photo/IC]

CHANGCHUN — Human skeletons unearthed in the city of Da’an in northeast China’s Jilin province from 2011 to 2015 represents the earliest evidence of artificial cranial deformation, said Jilin University on Monday.

A total of 11 skeletons, aged three to 40, excavated at the ruins of Houtaomuga shows signs of the intentional reshaping of heads, dating back 5,000 to 12,000 years.

The research was jointly conducted by researchers from Jilin University and Texas AM University of the United States.

“The deformed skulls found this time have large foreheads, perhaps because in ancient times such a face signified beauty and authority,” said Zhang Quanchao, professor at Jilin University.

In the early days of human life, the skull is soft. Permanent cranial deformation can be achieved by squeezing a baby’s head. The practice is an important cultural phenomenon, but its origin, development and cause still remain unknown, according to the research team.

The findings have been published in the academic journal American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Xi’s speech at the 18th SCO Qingdao summit published

BEIJING – President Xi Jinping’s speech, made at the 18th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on June 10, has been published.

The speech was titled Carrying Forward the Shanghai Spirit to Build a Community with a Shared Future.

The booklet, published by the People’s Publishing House, is available at Xinhua Bookstore outlets across the country.

Top court directs judges nationwide to improve quality of written verdicts

Judges nationwide have been ordered to provide more detailed verdicts after trials, explaining such details as why certain evidence was dismissed and specifics on what law is being applied – especially in cases in which defendants face the death penalty.

Court rulings involving appeals and retrials, as well as complex cases or those related to new types of disputes, should also be written with more explanation, a guideline released by the Supreme People’s Court on Tuesday said.

The guideline on improved writing of rulings aims to make verdicts easier to read and more understandable for litigants and ordinary people, as well as to improve the image of judges.

Judges should use words that explain why they reached the opinion that a defendant’s behavior had broken the law or regulations. If needed, judges can use graphics and lists, the guideline said.

“A high-quality verdict not only effectively solves a dispute, but also helps the public understand court work and laws,” said Li Shaoping, vice-president of the Supreme People’s Court. “But a flawed verdict will confuse litigants, expose judges’ carelessness and harm justice.”

In November, for example, Li Hongtao, a judge from a court in Dong’an county, Hunan province, was criticized and punished after he released a one-page verdict on a civil matter that featured seven simple mistakes, such as errors in spelling, times and the litigant’s identity card number.

In May, the top court ordered courts nationwide to strictly review rulings online and select officials or senior judges to help improve the quality of rulings.

Cai Xiao, a judge at Haidian District People’s Court in Beijing, welcomed the guideline. “A quality ruling must answer all questions or doubts from both sides in a dispute,” she said.

She compared a logical and clear ruling to a high-quality calling card for a judge, adding that leaving some suggestions for litigants at the end of a verdict is a necessity.

A verdict should show judges’ professionalism but cannot be too professional, she said. “After all, an easily read ruling is more effective and practical for settling problems.”

Succulent plants take root in China

The succulent plants, which have cute shapes and are easy to take care of, have increasingly popular among young people in recent years in China, which has exceeded the expectation of Cheng Yajing, one of pioneers in this field.

Cheng Yajing, 43, has studied and planted the succulents for more than 20 years, and is also a senior gardener in Beijing Botanical Garden, which has cultivated more than 2,000 species, making it the country’s largest data source of succulents.

As one of pioneers in exploring the succulent plants, she has spent lots of time and energy on these plants. To learn how to take better care of the plants, she travelled to the botanical gardens in South Africa four times and brought back more than 1, 000 species of different succulent plants.

One of the succulents that needed most effort and attention was Welwitschia, which is regarded as the living fossil plants, since the existing oldest ones have lived for over 2,000 years.

Cheng and her team have accumulated sufficient experience in growing such precious plant in Beijing after over 10 years of research.

Check the video to explore more of Cheng’s succulent plants world and her daily life.

Chinese children read 40 e-books per capita: survey

[Photo/IC]

BEIJING — Chinese children read 40 e-books per capita last year, according to a national children digital reading survey reported in Beijing News Thursday.

There were 250 million potential users for children digital reading in 2018, creating a market of 500 billion yuan ($73.7 billion), the survey estimates.

The survey found animals were the most popular protagonists among child readers, and animal themed works took nearly 80 percent of all the e-books finished reading by children. E-books with Chinese content were more attractive to children.

Increasingly Chinese parents were willing to pay for digital reading for children last year, and parents born after 1990 are more receptive to paid digital reading, said the survey, adding that parents from Shanghai and Beijing mostly intended to pay for their children to digitally read.

The survey, conducted by the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication and online reading website KaDa Story, used 5 billion records from 20 million KaDa users over four years.

Beijing new airport to introduce RFID-tech in baggage tracking

Photo taken on June 18, 2019 shows the terminal building of Beijing Daxing International Airport in Beijing, capital of China. The construction of the Beijing Daxing International Airport is expected to be completed by the end of this month. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING – Beijing Daxing International Airport will comprehensively introduce radio frequency identification devices (RFID) in baggage tracking, according to China’s civil aviation authorities.

The adoption of the RFID is among multiple cutting-edge technologies of the Beijing new airport, which is poised to become the country’s first batch of smart airports, said the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

The RFID technology in airport baggage tracking could enable air passengers to follow the real-time information of their baggage with electronic devices.

Beijing’s new airport will also set up a comprehensive platform for all of its operations data, which will greatly enhance its operational efficiency with precise information and intelligent decisions.

The adoption of multiple new technologies, such as self-check-in, self baggage check-in, and facial recognition in security checks will power the Beijing Daxing International Airport to be smarter and more efficient.

Beijing Daxing International Airport will start operation in September. It was built to meet the country’s surging air service demand and relieve the tight flight pressure on Beijing Capital International Airport, whose annual passenger throughput exceeded 100 million in 2018.

China’s civil aviation authorities have been continuously enhancing the support capacity to sustain industry growth. The CAAC is focused on creating safe, green, smart and human-oriented airports.

Xi calls for hard work in new era

BEIJING – President Xi Jinping encouraged Chinese people to work hard in the new era during his Spring Festival speech on Wednesday.

“The new era belongs to those who work hard,” and happiness can only be earned by filling one’s life with endeavors, said Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

“There will be difficulties in our endeavor, but battling them will also purify our souls and strengthen our faith,” said Xi.

Xi stressed that the great endeavor of upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics will take generations, even dozens of generations, of hard work.

Those fighting in these efforts will be richest in spirit, and will have the most profound understanding of happiness, according to Xi.

Xi called on CPC members to always focus their work on the aspirations of the people to live a better life, and to always fight for the people and with the people.

There should be both competition and solidarity in the endeavor, said Xi.

At the 19th CPC National Congress last October, the Party announced that socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed the threshold into a new era with decades of hard work.

Premier sends message of condolence after Manchester explosion

Premier Li Keqiang sent a message of condolence to British Prime Minister Theresa May after the deadly explosion in Manchester on Tuesday.

Li expressed his deep remorse at the lives claimed by the blast, and offered sympathy for the relatives and friends of those who were killed or injured, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website on Tuesday afternoon.

The explosion, which took place at the Manchester Arena, killed at least 22 people with 59 others injured, BBC reported on Tuesday afternoon Beijing time.

Premier Li says China to open wider to world

BEIJING – China will take measures to expand its opening up and offer a fair and convenient environment for both Chinese and foreign businesses, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Thursday.

Li made the remarks while meeting with New Zealand’s former Prime Minister John Key.

China on Monday reported a faster-than-expected 6.9 percent growth in the first half of the year. Li said China’s economic structure had been optimized, and the service industry and consumption made prominent contributions to the country’s economic growth.

China will open its door even wider to the world, and welcomes more foreign companies to invest in the country, Li said. He vowed to provide a fair, equal and convenient business environment for Chinese and foreign enterprises.

Regarding China-New Zealand relations, Li said China hoped to work with New Zealand to maintain sound momentum for bilateral ties and cooperation, and to inject new vitality to the stability and development of both countries and the Asia-Pacific region.

John Key recalled Li’s visit to New Zealand in March this year, which facilitated new progress in bilateral relations and cooperation.

Calling the two countries good friends and partners, he said New Zealand was committed to boosting friendship and cooperation with China, and confident for greater achievements of ties.