competitiveness of domestic industries. Widened market access

and lowered entry thresholds don’t necessarily mean foreign investment will be subject to no, or even relaxed rules and regulation

s. Like in other developed markets, a proper review and supervision will still be in place to monitor the development of the relevant industries.

For instance, in the US, while there is no such limit on foreign equity ownership, the government can

still conduct a review of major foreign transactions and investments in such industries as power generation, telecommunications, shi

pping, banking and media through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), in the name of national security.

Of course, China will be unlikely to set up such a review body like the CFIUS, but

in the context of its accelerated opening-up, it is making its own preparations.

In January, a draft foreign investment law was submitted to the Standing Committee of the N

ational People’s Congress, China’s legislature, for its second review. The fast-tracked review n

ot only reflects China’s eagerness to make legislative preparation for the increased opening-up, but also indicates its

strong determination to open further up to the world and to level the ‘playing fields’ for foreign and domestic companies.

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In his opinion, the development was beyond ridiculous

More than 84 million Nigerians have been registered to vote in the postponed elections.

Ahead of the elections, enthusiasm had been high among citizens of the most populous African country. The election had also dra

wn the attention of the international community given the position and prospects of Nigeria in the global arena.

Many netizens of the country have continued to express disappointment at the postpo

nement of the elections, each one regarding it as a huge failure on the side of INEC.

Some social media commentators even called on the electoral chief to resign.

One Facebook user Olufunmilayo Odunaike said that i

f at all there was a reason for the postponement, that should have been done a few weeks earlier.

“You don’t want to be me. Woke up, dashed to the bathroom to have my bath, m

ade sandwiches, only to learn elections have been postponed,” Odunaike queried.

Temitope Adeboye, another Facebook user, called for a thorough probe of the postponement.

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Folorunsho Amsat, a journalist, told Xinhua one of the

 of the polls postponement is that it would cause many voters to be depressed and the country might record a low turnout of electorates when the election eventually holds.

“The momentum is dying. I hope it’s not dead in one week,” he said.

According to the electoral chief, shifting the polls was “a difficult decision for the Commission to take.”

For more than seven hours, the electoral chief and the 12 nation

al commissioners of the INEC were in a closed-door meeting on Friday night.

The elections were supposed to hold at 119,973 polling units across the country while collation of res

ults was to take place in 8,809 registration areas or wards, 774 local government areas in 36 states and the capital Abuja.

Sources had hinted a possible postponement of the election due to logistic challenges in some parts of the country.

The official News Agency of Nigeria, citing official sources in the north-central state of Niger

had reported that ballot papers for two of the state’s three senatorial districts were missing as of Friday evening.

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Germany claims the crown for record gathering of smurfs

group of German friends claimed a world record on Saturday for the highest

number of smurfs gathered in one place.

Fans of the blue elf-like creatures created in a Belgian comic strip during

the 1950s, managed to gather

2,762 people dressed and painted blue in regulation smurf attire – curly hats and all.

The gathering took place at the town of Lauchringen, near the German border

with Switzerland, the organizers reported on Facebook.

Their record came three years after their first attempt failed to beat the record

held by Welsh students who managed to unite 2,510 regulation smurfs in Swansea back in 2009.

The German‘s first effort failed, with only 2,149 turning up.

The rules of the game are strict: The only people counted as the genuine article are

those with any bare skin painted blue and the rest of the body clothed in smurf attire.

The group of friends made their second, victorious attempt on Saturday with the

backing of the mayor of Lauchringen, they said.

The smurfs, small, impish creatures who live in a village, were created by the

Belgian cartoonist Pierre Culliford, known as Peyo.

They became so popular that the stories eventually spilled over into cartoons and

even live-action films.

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PLA Rocket Force Weibo accounts take off in popularity

Hundreds of thousands of users on Sina Weibo, the Chinese Twitter-like social media platform, have flocked to and followed the tw

o official Weibo accounts newly created on Thursday afternoon by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force.

PLA Rocket Force, formerly the Second Artillery Corps, was established on Dec 31, 2015, and serves as the strategic and tactical missile force of China.

It marks the first time for the PLA Rocket Force to open up official Weibo accounts, making the emergence of

two at once even more remarkable. One account shared the same name with the force, wh

ile another chose the funnier and more down-to-earth name Dongfeng Kuaidi, which means “Eastwind Delivery”.

Some netizens made a guess that the former one would be used for releasing official and formal news and the latter for communicating with the sea of Weibo users.

At the time of writing, the account PLA Rocket Force had over 82,000 follo

wers and Dongfeng Kuaidi had 180,000 fans, despite the fact that neither of the a

ccounts had posted any content yet. Meanwhile, the number of followers continues to surge wildly.

Most fans are surprised by the PLA Rocket Force’s move to “land” on a social m

edia platform with hundreds of millions of users, due to its air of mystery.

Many of them have said “welcome” to the PLA Rocket Force and could not to wait to le

arn more about and interact with it on the social media platform they often use in daily life.

The PLA is comprised of the Ground Force, Air Force, Navy, Rocket Force and Strategic Support Force.

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ang Haonan, who was believed to be the heaviest man

Wang, from Laiwu in East China’s Shandong province, stood at 334 kg at his heaviest. In July

2018, he underwent a weight-loss surgery in which four-fifths of his stomach was removed.

Half a year later, his weight has dropped to 192 kg.

Liu Shaozhuang, a doctor with Qilu Hospital of Shandong University in charge of Wang’s surgery, told Beijing Youth Daily the surgery h

as not had an impact on Wang’s digestion and he only needed to chew food well before swallowing it.

Wang revealed that a philosophy of “eat less, exercise more” was also a reason for his becoming thinner. He said he did not e

at any meat during the Spring Festival holiday, a traditional time for family reunion and feasting.

Wang suffers from fatty liver, heart and lung problems due to his obesity. These conditions have i

mproved after the surgery and sleep apnea due to snoring has also been alleviated, according to Liu.

Wang now has a body mass index (BMI) of 57.3, still well above the level of 24.5 for a healthy person, Liu said.

Wang said he aims to further reduce his weight to be less than 100 kg by the end of this year

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aidu signs comprehensive deal with Ctrip-depth partnersh

hinese internet search giant Baidu Inc inked an in-depth partnership with China’s largest online travel agency Ctrip, in its latest efforts to drive the development of intelligent tourism in China.

Under the agreement, Baidu will deploy its cloud services and artificial intelligence capabilities to provide Ctrip with solutions tailor

ed to tourism scenarios and businesses. Baidu Cloud, the cloud unit of Baidu will help Ctrip impr

ove operational efficiency and customer experience and reduce costs in marketing and sales, customer acquisition and online traffic conversion.

The two companies will also continue to explore a variety of smart services in more scenarios

based on Baidu’s AI capabilities, such as speech technology and autonomous driving.

“The tourism industry is growing rapidly and Ctrip is the industry leader. Baidu looks forward to working wi

th Ctrip to upgrade tourism services with ‘cloud plus AI’, enhance customer experience, and ex

plore a viable path to intelligent tourism for the entire industry,” said Zhang Dongchen, vice-president of Baidu.

“With the vigorous development of tourism, consumer needs are more and more diversified. To better serve our customers, Ctrip

needs to be enabled by advanced cloud computing and AI technologies,” said Xiong Xing, executive vi

ce-president of Ctrip and CEO of air ticketing business unit and international business unit of the company.

Xiong said they hoped to collaborate with Baidu to create smarter customer service and more value for users.

This partnership is not limited to IT infrastructure. With Baidu Cloud’s capabilities, big data

analytics can be conducted on users’ interests, habits and preferences. Different tourism products can

be packaged by Baidu’s AI and machine learning technologies to offer every user customized solutions.

Over the past three years, Baidu Cloud has collaborated with more than 2,000 partners in

over 30 industries, such as finance, security, transportation and education, and created over 100 solutions.

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nside the workshop of Jilin province’s ‘last blacks

Tian Hongming, 67, has been dubbed the “last blacksmith by the fire” by the people of Changchun, capital of northeast China’s Jilin province.

Having picked up the skill of forging iron at the age of seven from his grandfather, Tian has made a living from the skill for more than half a century.

In the 1990s his business reached its peak, selling more than 80,000 iron products a year, Tian said.

With increaed industsrialization and the cheaper and more intricate iron products it brought however, Tian and his workshop went into decline.

Although fewer customers now choose handmade iron products, Tian sticks to the traditional craft and takes every order seriously.

In 2015 his skill was listed among the city’s intangible cultural heritages.

“Sometimes, the flow-line productions can’t meet the special needs of custo

mers, so the craft will never be replaced,” he said. “And I will continue my business as long as the market and customers need me.”

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Another post by the same blogger claimed Zhai’s doctoral gra

aduation dissertation could not be found in the CNKI database, while all graduation dissertations written by his classmates were there.

Zhai’s studio said on Friday he obtained a Ph.D. from the Beijing Film Academy in June, and all h

is academic papers and his dissertation were written by him under the guidance of supervisors.

He has met all graduation requirements from the academy and is willing to be held responsible for any academic misconduct, the studio said.

Netizens later found Zhai’s supervisor Chen Yi, former director of the performance institute of the Beijing Film Academy, on

ly has a bachelor’s degree and has not published any academic papers. However, doctoral supervisors at the university are supposed to have a do

ctoral degree and publish at least eight academic papers and two academic monographs within five years.

Zhai posted an apology letter on his Sina Weibo page Thursday.

“After I have starred in a few films and TV series, I have become full of myself and forgotten honesty is the most important principle,” he said.

“Vanity has misguided me and I brought this attitude into writing academic papers. I will

withdraw from postdoctoral research at Peking University and I am deeply sorry to my school, teachers, fans and the public.”

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Trump dislikes border security deal but Republicans urge support

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he was not happy with a deal struck

by congressional negotiators on border security that denied him funds for his promised US-M

exican border wall, but did not reject it outright as fellow Republicans urged his support.

Trump’s demand in December for $5.7 billion from Congress to help build a wall on the southern border triggered a 35-day

closure of about a quarter of the federal government. But he remains undecided about whether he will support the

agreement reached on Monday night that includes $1.37 billion for border fencing.

Nevertheless, Trump said he did not expect another shutdown, while con

tinuing to insist he could find a way to bypass Congress and build a wall without lawmakers.

Funding for the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and a host of other agencies is due to expire when the calendar turns to

Saturday after the expiration of a stopgap measure that ended the longest federal shutdown in US history. Mo

nday’s tentative funding agreement would keep the government open until Sept. 30, the end of the federal fiscal year.

“I have to study it. I’m not happy about it,” Trump told reporters at the White House about the deal, which would need to

be passed by the Democratic-led House of Representatives and Republican-controlled Senate and signed by him.

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