Monthly Archive February 2019

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Great Wall Motor bets big on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

Great Wall Motor Co Ltd, one of the country’s largest SUV and pickup manufacturers, is making hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles a new focus for its bu

siness, expecting it to become a vital sector in the long term, according to a senior company executive.

The company’s first fuel cell model based on a dedicated electric ve

hicle platform is scheduled to debut in 2020, and the first fuel cell fleet will be launched during the 20

22 Winter Olympics, said Hu Shujie, senior vice-president of the Baoding, Hebei province-based automaker.

“Fuel cells are a mainstream (new energy) technology interna

tionally, and the commercial application of fuel cells has already begun in China,” said Hu.

He said Great Wall Motor has invested more than 1 billion yuan ($149 million) in research and development in hydrogen ene

rgy and fuel cell vehicles, and the company already owns a myriad of internationally prominent technologies.

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The Chinese government has set a goal to have 5,000 such

 vehicles on its roads by 2020, 50,000 by 2025 and 1 million by 2030.

Great Wall Motor’s hydrogen energy technology center in Baoding started operation in the first half of 2018. It is cap

able of manufacturing fuel cell vehicles’ core components, as well as vehicle integration and testing.

The center has the country‘s first 104 MPa high-pressure hydrogen

cycle test laboratory, first liquid-based hydrogen storage and hydrogen refueling station wi

th 70 MPa refueling capability, and first fuel cell vehicle power system testing laboratory.

The first-phase investment of the project involved an investment of about 470 million yuan.

LONDON – Britain’s opposition Labour Party said on Monday it would back calls for a sec

ond referendum on Brexit if parliament rejects its alternative plan for leaving the European Union.

With just over a month until Britain is due to leave the bloc on March 29, Prime Minis

ter Theresa May is seeking changes to her exit deal in order to break an impasse in parliament.

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hina is by far Austria’s greatest trading partner in Asia, said

Bilateral trade between China and Austria reached $6.4 billion in the first eight months of la

st year, up 20 percent year-on-year, according to the Foreign Ministry. As of August 2018, China has app

roved 1,288 investment projects from Austria, with an actual investment of $2.08 billion, signed 2,263 technology im

port contracts with Austria, with a cumulative contract value of $6.23 billion and directly invested $880 million in Austria.

“I’m pleased that a group number of Austrian companies got the chance to take part in the construction of winter sports

facilities and to provide the expertise for organizing great sports events like the Olympics,” Stift said.

“We are trying hard to get more Austrian ski instructors and traine

rs to China and the greater number of Chinese winter sports tourists to Austria”.

Besides winter sports, Austria is one of the most favorite travel destinations for Chinese tourists for is beautiful landsc

ape, food and shopping. “The growth rate, especially in winter tourism has been phenomenal the last few years,” said Glatz.

“Winter is a season when Chinese tourists should go to Austria to experi

ence a very different landscape from what they would see during the dry months in the summer months,” added Glatz.

The number of Chinese tourists in Australia might reach one million this year, said Stift.

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While the experience of teaching on Chinese campuses is

 often different to that in the West due to the prevalence of a more tradit

ional intellectual culture, the dedication of students and their zest for acquiring kno

wledge makes teaching a unique pleasure. Most faculty members find that their students are happy to adopt the Soc

ratic methods favored in Western education, encouraging a rewarding level of debate in the classroom.

An important factor that makes the process of adaptation easier for faculty members is pre

cisely the existence of joint-venture universities and other similar types of degree-granting coll

aborative projects, which allow them to remain within a Western-style administrative and academic structure whi

le becoming embedded in a different culture and sociocultural living experience.

Having a highly networked knowledge platform in China also provides scholars from interna

tional universities a chance to build bridges with Chinese counterparts, and to tackle problems to

gether in a more cohesive manner, which is essential for addressing today’s pressing global problems.

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As the aid delivery deadline approaches, the spotlight

  where shipments of US aid are waiting to be delivered.

  Maduro staged a rival concert a few hundred meters away on the Venezuelan side of the bridge in Tachira.

  The beleaguered President, who is facing growing calls to step down, denies that a huma

nitarian crisis exists in his country and suggests that aid efforts are part of a US plot to orchestrate a coup.

  CNN’s Jorge Luis Perez Valery reported from Caracas and Claudia Dominguez from Atlanta, w

hile Laura Smith-Spark wrote from London. CNN’s Diana Castrillon, Stefano Pozzebon, Di

ane Ruggiero, Isa Soares and Eliza Mackintosh contributed to this report.Singer R. Kelly is scheduled to ap

pear in court Saturday for a bail hearing after his arrest on charges of sexual abuse spanning from 1998 to 2010.

  Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced Friday that the R&B musician, whose full name is Robert Kelly, wa

s indicted on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse — a class two felony — involving four alleged victims.

  The indictment accuses Kelly of sexual acts with three children older than 13 but younger than 17. There is no age ran

ge listed for one of the alleged victims. The charges say Kelly used force or the threat of force.

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rump picks US ambassador to Canada for UN ambassador

  President Donald Trump said Friday he intends to nominate the current Ame

rican ambassador to Canada to be the new US ambassador to the United Nations.

  Trump tweeted on Friday evening that he plans to nominate Kelly Knight Craft for the position, following former Ambassador Nikki Haley‘s resignation last year.

  ”I am pleased to announce that Kelly Knight Craft, our current Ambassador to Canada, is be

ing nominated to be United States Ambassador to the United Nations,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

  He followed up in a second tweet, saying, “Kelly has done an outst

anding job representing our Nation and I have no doubt that, under her leadership, our Cou

ntry will be represented at the highest level. Congratulations to Kelly and her entire family!”

  Trump’s announcement comes a week after his first pick to replace Haley, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, withdrew her candidacy.

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Dianne Feinstein’s climate change discussion with schoolchild

  Sen. Dianne Feinstein clashed Friday with a group of children over climate change policy, criticizing their requests that she back the Green New Deal, ac

cusing them of presenting an ultimatum and contrasting their inability to vote with her three decades in office.

  The exchange comes as moderate Democrats grapple with the Green New Deal, a 10-yea

r plan to mitigate climate change championed by progressives such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

  In a video posted on Facebook by the Sunrise Movement, a youth climate-change advocacy group, more than a dozen ch

ildren and several adults meet with the senator to present her a letter they wrote and ask her to vote yes on the d

eal. The California Democrat argues that the policy is unworkable and says she doesn’t agree with it.

  ”There’s reasons why I can’t, ’cause there’s no way to pay for it,” she says, adding, “I don’t agree with what the resolution says. That’s part of it.”

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When Feinstein tries to conclude the meeting, a woman says

  the children “have decades of life that they hope to still have, and your leadership is so be

autifully, beautifully possible,” the senator replies, “That doesn’t work with me, thank you.”

  A woman urges the children to read the letter aloud.

  Once most of the children exit, several women stay and calmly chat with Feinstein. One of them says voting to support the deal is important even thou

gh it “isn’t something that’s aimed at passing right now” and the 16-year-old inquires about internship opportunities in F

einstein’s office.Even if everything goes according to plan, it will likely be months before construction on President D

onald Trump’s sought-after border wall can even start, according to senior defense officials.

  Trump recently declared a national emergency on the southern border, a move that in theory will allow his admini

stration to tap and repurpose more than $3 billion in military construction funds to build sections of the wall.

  The declaration has been challenged by several states and some members of Congress.

  Trump also said that his administration would use the Pentagon’s counter drug fund to build sections of the wall.

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But even if the court and congressional challenges do not

  process, defense officials say it will still be many months before the funds in question could be used to build a wall.

  Senior Defense officials said Friday that the Defense Department is currently awaiting a re

quest from the Department of Homeland Security to provide support for border wall construction.

  ”We’ve asked DHS for input, facts, priorities, we are waiting to receive th

ose, when we do we are going to process that, when I say process that we’ll

match that with our mission analysis and begin the process,” Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan said Th

ursday, adding that the Pentagon would brief Congress on the way forward on Friday.

  While the defense secretary is required by law to make a dete

rmination that any military construction funds tapped for a border wall are being used to sup

port the armed forces, defense officials say that there is no real criteria on which to make that determination.

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Meanwhile in California, a state senator introduced a bil

  would force priests to report suspected child abuse, even if that meant violating the seal of the Sacrament of Penance, wid

ely known as Confession. Under current church law, priests who violate the secrecy of the sacrament can face excommunication.

  ”Individuals who harm children or are suspected of harming children must be reported

so a timely investigation by law enforcement can occur,” said State Senator Jerry Hill, a Democrat from San Mateo.

  ”The law should apply equally to all professionals who have been designated as mandated reporters of these crimes — with

no exceptions, period. The exemption for clergy only protects the abuser and places children at further risk.”

  Pope’s bid to tackle abuse scandal

  The actions by US prosecutors and legislators came as nearly 200 Catholic leaders f

rom around the world descended upon the Vatican to address the clergy sexual abuse crisis.

  The four-day summit, convened by Pope Francis last September, has included a spee

ch by the Pope, talks outlining best practices and small-group discussions among bishops.

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