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YOHJI YAMAMOTO Inc. official web store THE SHOP YOHJI YAMAMOTO will launch/carry YOHJI YAMAMOTO Brands and Lines.

TOKYO, April 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- YOHJI YAMAMOTO INC. official web store THE SHOP YOHJI YAMAMOTO will launch/carry YOHJI YAMAMOTO's brands and lines (labels in brand) such as YOHJI YAMAMOTO (HOMME), REGULATION Yohji Yamamoto, B YOHJI YAMAMOTO, BLACK Scandal Yohji Yamamoto and YOHJI YAMAMOTO +NOIR. This means all of the YOHJI YAMAMOTO Inc.'s brands and lines are available on our online shop. THE SHOP YOHJI YAMAMOTO [THE INVITATION] from THE SHOP YOHJI YAMAMOTO In commemoration of this, we will offer you THE INVITATION as a gift. THE INVITATION is literally the invitation that you can get for the existing members, the new members, and the customers who download the APP. THE INVITATION is a 100USD gift coupon that you can use when you purchase more than 300USD in total. Please take an opportunity and enjoy shopping at THE SHOP YOHJI YAMAMOTO. A gift coupon THE INVITATION will be available from April 3rd JST/Japan standard time. THE INVITATION Please access to the below for more information on THE INVITATION THE SHOP YOHJI YAMAMOTO carry the following Brands and Lines. YOHJI YAMAMOTO | YOHJI YAMAMOTO HOMME | YOHJI YAMAMOTO +NOIR | REGULATION Yohji Yamamoto (in YOHJI YAMAMOTO online boutique) B YOHJI YAMAMOTO | BLACK Scandal Yohji Yamamoto | discord Yohji Yamamoto | Y's | Y's PINK | Y's BANG ON! | LIMI feu | Ground Y | S'YTE Photo - Photo -

iClick Interactive Partners with Tencent to Launch Recommendation Management Platform for Culture and Tourism Content

HONG KONG, April 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited ("iClick" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: ICLK), an independent online marketing and enterprise data solutions provider in China, today announced the launch of a new recommendation management platform for culture and tourism content, jointly developed by iClick and Tencent Culture and Tourism. The new platform leverages Tencent Culture and Tourism's strong data capabilities and iClick's rich content resources and data tracking expertise, to provide operators of domestic tourist attractions in China with a rich array of features including customer preference analysis and ranked selections of recommended travel content. The information and features provided by the platform will help iClick's travel industry clients improve operating efficiency, manage content resources, enhance the popularity of their business and increase consumer conversion rate. This SaaS platform integrates multiple capabilities such as multi-terminal data collection, real-time user behavior analysis and user profiling to create a map of user needs and content preferences, helping tourist site operators optimize their content marketing strategies by choosing the most appropriate type of content for their target demographic. "With domestic tourist sites among the businesses in China to be hardest hit by the impact of COVID-19, iClick's new joint initiative with Tencent Culture and Tourism couldn't come at a better time, as the nation recovers from the epidemic," said Jian "T.J." Tang, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of iClick. "Our tourism content recommendation management platform represents the ideal comprehensive solution for tourist site operators, with Tencent's vast dataset allowing for detailed peer analysis and consumer profiling for essential market insights, while iClick's expertise in marketing resources and advertising placement ensuring they are able to reach their target demographic with the highest level of efficiency." The new platform has three major features: Peer analysis: The platform analyzes the relative popularity of different tourist sites and compares user characteristics, helping clients benchmark peers in real time to gain more market share; User insights: Analyzes audience trends, consumer profiling, demand maps and content preferences of comparative scenic spots, provides real-time insight into potential user needs, and captures user preferences. Content recommendation: Based on user insights, the platform recommends the tailored content resource packages to attraction operators, including packages that can create an enhanced image for the site in Chinese vertical tourism media, as well as original content created and promoted by online influencers on popular social media sites such as RED (known as "Xiaohongshu") and Bilibili. Data predictions from the Chinese Tourism Academy (CTA) indicate that the COVID-19 outbreak has had a dramatically negative impact on China's tourism industry. CTA projections show that overall numbers of Chinese domestic tourists in the first quarter of 2020 dropped 56%, with overall income from tourism dropping 69% compared with the same period of last year. The CTA also predicts that 932 million fewer Chinese will make domestic trips this year, and that overall income from domestic tourism in China will drop by RMB 1.18 trillion. Despite this, Dai Bin, director at the CTA has stated that the market fundamentals of China's domestic tourism market have not changed, and there is a strong possibility of a rebound in domestic tourism spending. The epidemic's spread has meant that domestic tourist attractions in China can no longer rely on their traditional methods of offline marketing, and must take an approach that combines both online and offline data in order to make informed marketing decisions, making iClick and Tencent Culture and Tourism's new platform an attractive proposition for when the industry recovers. The total number of internet users in China is now around 854 million, with 600 million of these internet users being followers of online influencers, known in China as "Key Opinion Leaders" or "KOLs". The content types and industry categories covered by these influencers have continued to diversify, which makes using them an increasingly attractive option for companies seeking to promote their products in China. iClick has particularly produced large quantities of travel related content, building on the Company's experience in providing content marketing services to over 100 international and domestic brands. iClick has signed partnership agreements with almost 100 KOLs, whose content is distributed on more than 20 popular Chinese social platforms including WeChat, Weibo, Bilibili, Douyin and Tmall. 40% of the KOLs iClick partners with are specialists in the travel and tourism category, and their combined followers on popular social e-commerce platform RED is more than 20 million fans. About iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited (Nasdaq: ICLK) is an independent online marketing and enterprise data solutions provider that connects worldwide marketers with audiences in China. Built on cutting-edge technologies, our proprietary platform possesses omni-channel marketing capabilities and fulfills various marketing objectives in a data-driven and automated manner, helping both international and domestic marketers reach their target audiences in China. Headquartered in Hong Kong, iClick was established in 2009 and is currently operating in ten locations worldwide including Asia and Europe. For investor and media inquiries, please contact: In China: iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited Lisa Li Phone: +86-21-3230-3931 #892 E-mail:   In the United States: Core IR John Marco Tel: +1-516-222-2560 E-mail:   View original content to download multimedia: Links :

Specialty Chemical Company China XD Plastics Provides Update on Impact of Coronavirus Outbreak

HARBIN, China, April 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- China XD Plastics Company Limited (NASDAQ: CXDC) ("China XD Plastics" or the "Company"), one of China's leading specialty chemical companies engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of polymer composite materials primarily for automotive applications, today provided an update on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on its business and operations. While the Company's business operations and financial results for the year ended December 31, 2019 were not affected by this global pandemic, the Company had temporarily closed its manufacturing factories and corporate offices from January 24th to February 9th, 2020, as a result of the Outbreak and widespread public concerns. All company personnel had been required to stay at home until February 9th by the government based on the development of this health epidemic. The preparation of Company's financial statements and audit process have been delayed due to government-imposed quarantines, office closings and travel restrictions on Company's personnel and service providers, including auditors. In the short term, the Company expects the outbreak to have a material impact on its operations in the first quarter of 2020. The overall impact of the Coronavirus on the Company's operations and financial results for 2020 remains to be seen. Presently, the pandemic in China has been well contained. As of the date of this press release, approximately 50% of employees of the Company's administrative offices return to work. Our factories in Heilongjiang and Sichuan provinces were running at 20% capacity utilization at the end of this March and are expected to reach 70% capacity utilization by the end of this April and normal utilization rate by the end of this May.  Our factory in Dubai was not impacted by the coronavirus outbreak during January and February but only 20% employees from private sectors are now allowed to go to work due to the recent rise of coronavirus cases in UAE. On March 4, 2020, in a public statement, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton stated "The health and safety of all participants in our markets is of paramount importance. While timely public filing of Exchange Act reports is a cornerstone of well-functioning markets, we recognize that this situation may prevent certain issuers from compiling these reports within required timeframes." To address potential compliance issues, the Commission has issued an order that, subject to certain conditions, provides publicly traded companies with an additional 45 days to file certain disclosure reports that would otherwise have been due between March 1 and April 30, 2020. Among other conditions, companies must convey through a current report a summary of why the relief is needed in their particular circumstances. The Commission may extend the time period for the relief, with any additional conditions it deems appropriate, or provide additional relief as circumstances warrant. The Company is working to file its annual report for fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 prior to the above referenced extended deadline. Chairman and CEO, Mr. Jie Han, stated, "We are continuing to work closely with our provincial government to take all necessary precautions during this outbreak until such time as conditions to fully resume operations are suitable. As always, our top priority is the safety and security of our employees, customers, and their families. We expect to provide further updates as we evaluate any impact of the coronavirus outbreak on our operations in the coming weeks." About China XD Plastics Company Limited China XD Plastics Company Limited, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and sells polymer composites materials, primarily for automotive applications. The Company's products are used in the exterior and interior trim and in the functional components of 31 automobile brands manufactured in China, including without limitation, Audi, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Toyota, Buick, Chevrolet, Mazda, Volvo, Ford, Citroen, Jinbei and VW Passat, Golf, Jetta, etc. The Company's wholly-owned research center is dedicated to the research and development of polymer composites materials and benefits from its cooperation with well-known scientists from prestigious universities in China. As of September 30, 2019, 601 of the Company's products have been certified for use by one or more of the automobile manufacturers in China. For more information, please visit the Company's English website at, and the Chinese website at Safe Harbor Statement This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact in this announcement are forward-looking statements, including but not limited to, the Company's growth potential in international markets; the effectiveness and profitability of the Company's product diversification strategy; the impact of the Company's product mix shift to more advanced products and related pricing policies;  the effectiveness, profitability, and the marketability of its the ongoing mix shift to more advanced products; the prospect of the Company's Dubai facility, and the associated expansion into Middle East, Europe and other parts of Asia; the prospect of the Company's Southwest China facility, the prospects of the Company's Harbin facility, and its penetration into Northeast China; and its penetration into Southwest China; the Company's projections of its revenues for performance in fiscal 2019.   These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "expect," "project," "anticipate," "forecast," "plan," "believe," "estimate" and similar statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties and are based on current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections about the Company and the industry. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the global economic uncertainty could further impair the automotive industry and limit demand for our products; fluctuations in automotive sales and production could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and liquidity; our financial performance may be affected by the prospect of our Dubai facility and the associated expansion into Middle East, Europe and other parts of Asia; the withdrawal of preferential government policies and the tightening control over the Chinese automotive industry and automobile purchase restrictions imposed in certain major cities may limit market demand for our products; the slowing of Chinese automotive industry's growth; the concentration of our distributors, customers and suppliers; and other risks detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available on its website at The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent occurring events or circumstances, or to changes in its expectations, except as may be required by law.  Although the Company believes that the expectations expressed in these forward looking statements are reasonable, it cannot assure you that its expectations will turn out to be correct, and investors are cautioned that actual results may differ materially from the anticipated results. View original content: Links :

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Thai PM warns emergency decree to extend if COVID-19 situation does not ease

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday told the media after the Cabinet meeting that he may extend the state of emergency decree for another month or two should Thailand's COVID-19 situation does not ease. "The government is constantly reviewing the situation," said Prayut, "Looking at the present situation, the government is unlikely to lift the state of emergency soon." Prayut announced the state of emergency, which took effect from March 26 and goes on until April 30. The Ministry of Public Health on Tuesday reported 127 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of infections to 1,651 and and one more fatality, with total of 10, with Bangkok leading with 796 cases. At the Government House on Tuesday, Prayut said that some rules under the emergency decree can be relaxed if the situation gets better. However, state agencies are empowered to tighten some rules in areas that show no improvement, Prayut said. Prayut warned that if most people still fail to follow the guidelines of the government, then he will suspend all public transportation systems. Bangkok's adjacent province of Nonthaburi has imposed a curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., effective on Tuesday, to contain the spread of COVID-19. Nonthaburi Province reported two confirmed patients on Tuesday, bringing the total number in the province to 63, including one death two days ago, 48 of which are hospitalized. Also, Thailand's Phuket International Airport will be shut from April 10 to April 30 after Phuket Province sealed its entry points by land and sea amid the COVID-19 outbreak.(CGTN)


World lacks coordinated action of all countries to suppress COVID-19: UN chief

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Tuesday that the world lacks a coordinated action of all countries to suppress COVID-19, while noting that it does not have a global package to help the developing world. "We still do not have a coordinated action of all countries to suppress the virus under the guidance of the World Health Organization," the UN chief said at the virtual press launch of the report "Shared responsibility, global solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19," while answering questions regarding international cooperation in both suppressing the virus and boosting the global economy. Commenting on the G20 Extraordinary Leaders' Summit, which was also held virtually on Thursday, the secretary-general said that "the G20 was a step in the right direction, but I think we are still very far from where we need to be to effectively fight COVID-19 worldwide and to be able to tackle the negative impacts on the global economy and the global societies." "Guidelines from the World Health Organization were not respected in many countries of the world, and there was a tendency for each one to go its own way. We absolutely need an articulated action in which all countries join the same efforts in order to commonly suppress the transmission following the guidance of the World Health Organization," the UN chief noted. Speaking about the mobilization of over 5 trillion U.S. dollars to boost the global economy that the G20 major economies on Thursday pledged to present a "united front" against the common threat posed by COVID-19, Guterres said that "if it is true that we have already witnessed the mobilization of 5 trillion U.S. dollars, we are still far from what is needed and especially because most of what was mobilized was by the developed world to support their own economies." "We are far from having a global package to help the developing world to create the conditions both to suppress the disease and to address the dramatic consequences in their populations, in the people that lost their jobs, the small companies that are operating and risk to disappear, those that live with the informal economy that now have no chance to survive," he said. "There is a lot that needs to be done, and massive support to the developing world is still required. We are not yet there, but I hope we will be moving in that direction," the secretary-general noted. When asked how the United Nations can deal with both a response to the pandemic and an economic downturn at the same time, Guterres said that "we need to mobilize new resources." "We need to have innovative financial instruments," he said. "We need to look into all the possibilities of innovative actions in the financial systems in order to create the mechanisms that will allow the developing world also to be able to respond to the crisis." "If the developing world has not resourced both to suppress the transmission and to address the socioeconomic consequences of the virus, then we have the risk of ... the virus spreading like wildfire in the Global South, with consequences that inevitably are tragic for the Global South itself," the secretary-general added. "This is the moment of solidarity, not only because of generosity but because of the enlightened self-interest of everybody," he said.(CGTN)


Insightsmore >>

Cold-blooded Bannons destined for dustbin of history

The COVID-19 pandemic is a litmus test of character. While most people are caring for and helping each other during the global public health crisis, a few are callous enough to take advantage of the dire situation for their own agenda. In a recent report by The New York Times, Stephen Bannon, a former White House chief strategist known as a living fossil of the Cold War, went to great lengths to smear China and sell his confrontational take on China-U.S. relations, even exploiting the raging coronavirus disease to alienate the Chinese government from the Chinese people and the world. Bannon couldn't be more cold-blooded. It seems that he only views the ongoing global fight against the pandemic as a geopolitical game. Human lives do not bother him much. Bannon couldn't be more ridiculous. In his eyes, a government that has waged a rigorous battle against a previously unknown disease to protect the life and health of its people, offered timely support to those in need of help around the world, and whose prevention and control efforts have won global recognition is a threat. Bannon couldn't be more desperate. A long-standing far-right radical ideologue, Bannon is using every opportunity he can get to peddle his out-of-date zero-sum theories, without moral or humanitarian scruples whatsoever. Sometimes, many may wonder whether Bannon still lives in the Cold War era and just travels from time to time to the future to scare people with his extremist ideas that belong to the waste bin of history. Bannon is not the only mudslinger against China. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House trade advisor Peter Navarro, with their own calculations, are also in the rank of habitual China bashers. As is shown repeatedly, and recently in the U.S.' response to COVID-19, if anything goes wrong, they just blame China. However, no matter how hard they try, they will fail. First, the Bannons have failed to comprehend that the world today is no longer divided into two rival camps along an ideological entrenchment, as in the Cold War years. Rather, the fate of almost everyone has become closely connected. The novel coronavirus pandemic has only exemplified that. Sadly, the geopolitical thinking pattern has fossilized the minds of the Bannon band, and made them unable to see China's development in a rational way. In their eyes, the United States is the world's natural leader, and anyone they deem a challenge or threat needs to be contained. In the old days, it was the Soviet Union and Japan; now, the target is China. As Chinese scholar Xin Jiyan noted in her recently published book "Fake Fear: America and China Relations," "the hostility and isolation of the two countries during the Cold War decades hampered the Americans' understanding of China, leading to stereotypes that prevail to this day." Secondly, the Bannons have failed to grasp that it is normal for two major countries in today's world to cooperate and compete at the same time. Their "de-coupling" theories only serve to do both countries more harm than good. The temporary disruptions to the global supply chains amid the epidemic have to some extent staged a drill of a worldwide economic and trade decoupling, which produces nothing but chaos and the possibility of a global recession. The sober minds in the White House will not miss those monumental risks. Also, the epidemic has actually provided new opportunities to broaden China-U.S. cooperation, notably in the health sector. This is not only in the interest of China and the United States, but also conforms to the common expectation of the whole world. Last but not least, the fact that the Bannons are getting ever more agitated shows that they are increasingly frustrated by the advantage, vitality and potential of the Chinese nation and the country's unique governance system. China's development is unstoppable. Its readiness to join other nations, including the United States, to promote peace and stability worldwide, is undeniable. The ultimate failure of the Bannons' fringe dogmas will be unavoidable. During a telephone conversation with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China-U.S. relations are now at an important juncture, and that both will benefit from cooperation and lose from confrontation. Xi also urged the two sides to work together to boost cooperation in epidemic control and other fields, and develop a relationship of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. It is therefore important for both sides to ward off the disturbance of the Bannons, and jointly steer arguably the world's most important bilateral relationship in the right direction.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


Welcome to the post-virus world

Editor's note: Simon Johnson is a professor at MIT Sloan and co-chair (with Retsef Levi) of the COVID-19 Policy Alliance, focused on actionable intelligence and operational recommendations to limit the human damage from the pandemic. The article reflects the author's opinions, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.We live now in the post-virus world. For the United States, passage into this world came suddenly, less than a month ago. The world as we knew it before the arrival of COVID-19 has gone. It is never coming back.Once you reconcile yourself with this reality, many things become clearer, including how to resist the current onslaught, how to fortify ourselves against the darker days that still await, and how to reopen the economy responsibly. With the right understanding, we can rebuild appropriately, with greater resilience and more fairness.At the start of 2020, we believed random mass death did not stalk the Earth. For most of human history, infectious disease was a constant threat, and the struggle against it was an essential element of human civilization. By the mid-nineteenth century, science began to gain the upper hand against afflictions such as cholera.In the early 1900s, Europeans learned how to limit the damage from malaria and yellow fever, at least for themselves. Penicillin and streptomycin were deployed in force during the 1940s. Childhood vaccinations for smallpox, measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox soon followed.Over two centuries, roughly from the invention of inoculation against smallpox to its eradication, science rose to dominate the environment. To be sure, new diseases emerged – beginning in the 1980s, for example, when HIV/AIDS devastated some communities and countries. But the prevailing view was that such health emergencies – while needing resources and demanding attention – were not central to the organization of our economies, our societies, and our lives.The global impact of COVID-19 makes that view obsolete. Random mass death is back, and this reality will now dominate everything, for two reasons.First, and more generally, this is not the first coronavirus, and it is one of several lethal variants to emerge since the turn of the millennium, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). There is no reason to think it will be the last.Second, this particular coronavirus derives its lethal power from its specific profile: it is highly infectious and can be transmitted even by asymptomatic people. And, while many people who contract COVID-19 will suffer only a mild form, it appears most likely to kill older people and those with underlying health conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity.People wear masks as they walk in Milan, Italy, February 24, 2020. /XinhuaBut why would any future coronavirus necessarily have a similar profile? Other coronaviruses – from those that cause the common cold to the deadly ones that cause SARS and MERS – do not. It is entirely plausible, given the weak state of our scientific understanding, that a future coronavirus could profile in a different way – for example, proving more lethal to young people than to the old. Or perhaps it will target our children.Once you have had that thought, it is not possible to believe that we can return to the pre-virus world. Everything we do, all of our investments, and the way we organize ourselves will be influenced by consideration of whether we are protected from COVID-19 and its successors or made more vulnerable to them.With this understanding, several points become clear, or even – at a difficult and tragic time – potentially reassuring.The U.S. and Europe have obviously massively underinvested in preparation – including the relevant science and how to apply it – and COVID-19 will likely prove devastating in the West. But the reason is not so much a lack of available technology. After all, China eventually managed to contain its outbreak – after a two-month lockdown – while Singapore never fell behind, and South Korea pulled off an amazing escape at what appeared to be a very dangerous moment.It is not our lack of technology that has left the West vulnerable; rather, it is the interaction of COVID-19 with our social structure and healthcare provision. In the U.S., in particular, the virus exploits an unequal society and a fragmented health system.We have more than enough weapons to fight back, but too many of them are pointed in the wrong direction – designed with precision for previous and much smaller crises, such as hurricanes. Powerful organizations, with deep capabilities, are held back by leaders who fail to collect the necessary intelligence to coordinate sufficiently or even to use data in a coherent manner to make decisions.This phase will not last long. Soon, we will learn how to fight back and with full force. We will get ahead of COVID-19. Then we can start to rebuild a more resilient set of information, decision-making and healthcare systems. As part of that, we must make an unprecedented commitment to develop and deploy every scientific and organizational idea that increases the survival chances for our children and our neighbors' children.Eventually, we will prevail in the post-virus world. But it will be a long haul. The best way to shorten it is to recognize that a return to "normal" is not an option.(CGTN)


World Newsmore >>

Japan records 2,235 COVID-19 cases, concerns remain over infection rate in urban areas

Japan's health ministry and local governments said that 2,235 people had been infected with the COVID-19 virus in Japan as of 11:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday, with rising cases in urban areas prompting local authorities to request residents to restrict their movements. The death toll in Japan from the pneumonia-causing virus currently stands at a total of 77 people, according to the health ministry, with the figure including those from the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama, close to Tokyo. Of the 2,235 confirmed COVID-19 infections in Japan, the majority are still in Japan's capital city of Tokyo, which has now confirmed 521 cases. A day earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko held talks during which Koike urged Abe to decide whether to declare a state of emergency to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. She told a press briefing after the talks that the central government needs to make up its mind about the declaration and issuing a potential city lockdown. Koike has requested that Tokyo residents work from home and refrain from going outside in the evenings. Last weekend, she requested those living in the capital to stay home and some of Tokyo's surrounding prefectures urged their residents not to visit the capital in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. Osaka Prefecture, meanwhile, has currently registered 244 cases and stands behind Tokyo as the region with the most COVID-19 cases. As a result, governor of Osaka Prefecture Yoshimura Hirofumi requested people to avoid nightclubs and other night spots as a precaution amid the pandemic. Meanwhile, according to the latest data on Wednesday, Hokkaido recorded 176 COVID-19 cases, Aichi Prefecture has confirmed 178 infections, while Tokyo's neighboring prefecture of Chiba has recorded 171 cases, health ministry and local authorities said. The health ministry also said there are currently 69 patients considered severely ill and are on ventilators to receive respiratory assistance or have been admitted to intensive care units for medical treatment. The ministry added that 1,043 people have been discharged from hospitals after their symptoms improved.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


Russian spaceflight to mark Soviet victory over Nazi Germany

Russia will launch a cargo ship into space on April 25 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory against Nazi Germany on May 9, the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos said Tuesday. A Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket will transport the Progress MS-14 cargo ship from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station (ISS), Roscosmos said in a statement. The "Victory Rocket" will carry the logo of the 75th anniversary of the victory and images of the St. George ribbon with orange and black stripes, along with high military decorations awarded by the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation. The spacecraft will take more than two tons of cargo to the ISS, including fuel, gas, food and medicine.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


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14 killed in jihadist attack on Nigeria military base

Jihadists killed 14 security personnel and civilians in an attack on a military base in northeast Nigeria's Borno state on Wednesday, security sources told AFP.Suspected Boko Haram fighters in trucks fitted with machine guns launched a dawn raid on the army base in the town of Damboa, sparking intense fighting.Sources said six soldiers, four police officers and two members of a government-backed militia were killed along with two civilians."We lost six soldiers in the attack while six others were injured," a military officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.The officer claimed 13 insurgents were killed by a fighter jet as they fled the area.The leader of an anti-jihadist militia said the civilians who died were among more than 50 local residents hit by shrapnel after rocket-propelled grenades fired by the jihadists hit nearby homes.Nigeria's decade-long jihadist insurgency has killed 36 000 people and displaced two million others inside the country, and spilled into neighbouring Niger, Chad, and Cameroon.The United Nations has complained of a surge in violence in the conflict zone in recent weeks.Anger has been growing among local residents about the army's failure to stem the attacks despite repeated claims from officials that the insurgency has been defeated.(CGTN)


One dead, multiple injured shot near skate park in California

A 23-year-old male was shot dead and five others were injured following a shooting at a party near a skate park in Tulare County, California, late Wednesday night, ABC News reported citing local police.The conditions of the other shooting victims are unclear, including a 7-year-old girl who is suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, police said at a press conference.Police said a "solo suspect shooter" walked up to the party and fired multiple rounds.(CGTN)


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Tom Hanks and his wife back in U.S. after self-isolation in Australia

Hollywood megastar Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson are back home in Los Angeles after two weeks in hospital and self-isolation in Australia where they contracted the coronavirus. They were pictured driving in LA after flying home via private jet."Hey, Folks... We're home now and, like the rest of America, we carry on with sheltering in place and social distancing," the multiple Oscar-winning actor tweeted at the weekend. "Many, many thanks to everyone in Australia who looked after us," he added. "Their care and guidance made possible our return to the USA. And many thanks to all of you who reached out with well wishes. Rita and I so appreciate it." Screenshot of Tom Hanks' note of appreciation on Twitter.Hanks was on Australia's Gold Coast to film an Elvis Presley biopic when he and Wilson, both 63, came down with the disease. The pair were admitted to a hospital, where they were treated before being released into self-isolation. Wilson took to Instagram on Sunday to celebrate being a "COVID-19 survivor," saying she was taking time to reflect on her good fortune and her continued good health after suffering from cancer and kicking the disease five years ago. "I am celebrating the beauty of this life, the blessings God has given, and my continued good health, even now as a COVID-19 survivor," she wrote. "Please take a moment today to acknowledge the amazing creation your bodies are and to thank it for doing so much."(Cover image: Tom hanks and Rita Wilson are pictured driving in LA. /VCG)(AFP)


From ballroom to living room: Dance studios turn to live-streaming amid COVID-19

Eight-year-old Deng Minchuan has been learning street dance for three years. Due to COVID-19, V5 Dance Studio, a Beijing-based studio where he takes classes, was forced to temporarily close and move their lessons online. Quarantined at home since February, Deng continues to learn routines via live-streamed classes.Anyway, under the current situation, he has no choice but to take classes online at home, Deng Minchuan's mother told Although the interaction with teachers and the dancing atmosphere can't compare to the studio, it saves time since we don't need to travel there, and he can playback the tutorials and keep practicing the parts he doesn't figure out during the live-stream.According to QuestMobile, a big data service provider, the amount of time Chinese people spend on the mobile internet increased by 21.5% over the past two months since the outbreak, with video apps accounting for a significant part of the rise.Many businesses facing challenging times during the epidemic are turning to live-streaming to offset financial losses. Even dance studios, which depend largely on physical interaction, have taken to live-streaming as an effective stopgap measure.From Douyin, the Chinese counterpart to TikTok, to all kinds of professional live video streaming apps, dance studios are learning to embrace the digital world.Our members have been self-isolating at home since the end of January due to the epidemic, explained Ray, a dancer, and instructor at V5 Dance Studio. They said that they were bored and wanted to dance. After discussion, we decided to live-stream classes so that the students could dance along with us from home.He added, At first, we offered live dance classes for free on Douyin. After a week-long trial, we switched to professional live-streaming software and started paid courses.Ray(left), a dancer and instructor at V5 Dance Studio in Beijing, delivers lessons via a live-streaming app. [Photo provided to]Compared with its previous price of 100 yuan per session, the online classes at V5 Dance Studio cost only 268 yuan for 26 sessions. But without the size limitations of a studio, the virtual classes have attracted many more students.In fact, online dance classes are nothing new. Long before the recent boom in online classes, some studios started selling pre-recorded dance tutorials for those unable to make it to a dance studio. But this kind of online course was only on a small scale.There are some similarities between the pre-recorded tutorials and teaching via live-stream. But the main difference lies in the real-time interaction. I can respond to their questions live in class, Ray explained. During his eight years of teaching, he has never live-streamed classes before and only recorded videos a few times.Similar to V5 Dance Studio, Smile Dance Studio in Chengdu, Sichuan province, also responded to COVID-19 by live-streaming on Douyin. They have kept offering free daily classes since February.2020 was supposed to be a good year for pop-dance studios and the winter holiday is usually peak season, Wang Quan, owner of Smile Dance Studio, told We'd prepared a lot for the courses, but in the end, we lost the whole season. All the classes were called off and we refunded some members.After canceling the previous sessions, we followed suit hosting live dance classes online. Our dance instructors offered free tutorials at 8 p.m. every day via Douyin, attracting an average of over 2,000 viewers each night. Total views have now exceeded 100,000. For these online followers, our would-be customers, we tried to maintain contact with them by also creating WeChat groups.Smile Dance Studio, located in Chengdu, Sichuan province, set up free live-streamed lessons on Douyin, the Chinese counterpart to TikTok. [Screenshot from Smile Dance Studio's Douyin account]Wang noted that the majority of live-streaming videos for dance studios are still tutorials, so donations or tips from viewers are minimal.The ideal way to monetize is to provide high-quality paid online classes after we promote our brand and attract enough loyal followers by giving free sessions, Wang said.As the epidemic situation in China continues to improve, Smile Dance Studio is preparing both to reopen and offer paid online classes. Based on our recent experience, we're putting together a series of online classes for between just 9.9 yuan and 19.9 yuan per lesson, explained Wang.Speaking of the future of online dance classes, Wang believes that they will be an important part of their business, but the difficulty lies in studios being able to carve out their own niche and integrate both online and offline sessions.Compared to other types of online education, dancing is more special because it requires an atmosphere and keeping members physically engaged, explained Wang. The epidemic has given dance studios a chance to test the waters and let more people try out this kind of online class. Objectively, it may speed up the future trend of integrating online and offline dance lessons.(CHINA.ORG.CN)


Sportsmore >>

Lionel Messi confirms pay cut for Barcelona players, criticizes board

Lionel Messi confirmed on Monday that Barcelona's players will take a 70 percent pay cut and make financial contributions to ensure the club's other employees are paid in full during the state of alarm in Spain.In a lengthy message posted on his Instagram account, Messi also took another swipe at the Barca board, led by president Josep Maria Bartomeu, whom he accused of undermining the players during recent negotiations.Other Spanish clubs are expected to follow suit in applying temporary pay cuts, as football's hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic leaves a number of them fighting for financial survival.Atletico Madrid have said the club will impose salary reductions on staff whose hours have been affected while Espanyol have also confirmed pay cuts, although for sporting staff only."For our part, the time has come to announce that, as well as the reduction of 70 percent of our salary during the State of Alarm, we will also make contributions so the club's employees can collect 100 percent of their salary while this situation lasts," Messi wrote.He added: "We want to clarify that our desire has always been to apply a drop in salary because we fully understand that this is an exceptional situation and we are the first ones who have ALWAYS helped the club when asked."Many times we have even done it on our own initiative when we thought it necessary or important."Therefore, it never ceases to amaze us that from within the club there were those who tried to put us under the magnifying glass and tried to add pressure to do something that we always knew we would do."Messi's message was soon posted on the pages of nearly all of his Barcelona teammates, including Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba, Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong, Arturo Vidal and Marc-Andre ter Stegen.The relationship between Barca's players and board has been tense for several months, with Messi's public criticism of technical secretary Eric Abidal in February just one of a number of off-field controversies.Barcelona released their own statement shortly afterwards on Monday, which said members of "all professional sports teams and most of the basketball team" had agreed to reduce their salaries.It added: "In the case of the football first team the reduction will be more than 70 percent as agreed with the club. This additional contribution by the team, plus the contribution from the club itself, will guarantee 100 percent of the salaries of all non-sporting staff, who will be subjected to temporary redundancy this week."(AFP)


Augusta National donates $2 million, U.S.-Open venue to host patients

Augusta National Golf Club on Monday said it is donating 2 million U.S. dollars to assist the Augusta area in the fight against the coronavirus that has already forced it to postpone the Masters tournament it typically hosts every April.The club, the only permanent home for one of golf's four majors, said one million dollars would go to Augusta University to help expand coronavirus testing, while another million would go to the Central Savannah River Area's recently-launched COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund."It is our hope these gifts will help address the many challenges brought about by the coronavirus throughout the city of Augusta and the greater region," Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said in a new release."We believe Augusta National has an important responsibility to support and protect the community who has so generously and consistently supported us for many years."Augusta National was scheduled to host the world's best golfers in the year's first major from April 9-2 but earlier this month postponed the event until "some later date" because of concerns about the coronavirus.Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot during his men's singles final match against Daniil Medvedev of Russia of the 2019 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, U.S., September 8, 2019. /VCGMeanwhile, a portion of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, site of the U.S. Open and the crown jewel of American tennis, is set to transform into a 350-bed temporary hospital on Tuesday, the USTA said, as the coronavirus outbreak strains resources in New York City."The site is likely to be non-Covid patients, and we will evaluate based on need," New York City Emergency Management spokesman Omar Bourne said about the conversion of an indoor tennis facility at the venue.(REUTERS)


Science&Militarymore >>

Answer Bank: How to avoid COVID-19 infection from toilets?

For families in close contact with COVID-19 patients, there are risks of cross-infection in bathrooms. The China Center for Disease Control and Prevention has provided some tips to avoid cross-infection from toilets.Families with no close contact with COVID-19 patients:- Close the toilet lid before you flush.- Wash your hands properly afterward.Families in close contact with COVID-19 patients:- Use separate bathrooms.- Otherwise, use chlorine-based disinfectants to clean the bathroom and areas with high human contact, such as the flush button, toilet seat, toilet bowl and bathroom doorknob.(CGTN)


Deadlier than swine flu, coronavirus strikes older people more

Deaths caused by the novel coronavirus have a strong link with age, making it deadlier than the swine flu pandemic in 2009.While the COVID-19 death rate among patients above 80 years hovers at eight percent, in the age of below nine years, it's 0.0016 percent. For people in their 20s, the rate jumps to 0.031 percent.Even the hospitalizations are majorly age-dependent, with nearly 19 percent of patients above 80 years being admitted to a hospital, according to the first comprehensive study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal on Monday.Around 12 and 17 percent of patients in their 60s and 70s, respectively, develop symptoms severe enough for hospitalization. Nearly nine percent of people in the age range of 50-59 years were rushed to hospitals."There might be outlying cases that get a lot of media attention, but our analysis very clearly shows that at aged 50 and over, hospitalization is much more likely than in those under 50, and a greater proportion of cases are likely to be fatal," said Professor Azra Ghani from Imperial College London, UK.The death rate from confirmed cases stands at 1.38 percent. But it declines by a little less than half to 0.66 percent when unconfirmed cases are also included in the tally.The COVID-19 death rate might appear low, but when compared to the swine flu (H1N1) pandemic in 2009, it's much more lethal. Between April 2009 and April 2010, more than 60.8 million cases of swine flu were reported in the U.S., with over 274,000 hospitalizations and nearly 12,500 deaths.The swine flu had a death rate of only 0.02 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. (CDC).The study analyzed 70,117 coronavirus cases on the Chinese mainland and 689 similar cases of people who were evacuated from Wuhan, the epicenter of the pandemic.As the coronavirus continues to spread, researchers warn that the virus may infect 50 to 80 percent of the global population overwhelming hospitals in the most advanced economies.The findings can be replicated by other countries to prepare their health system to deal with a large number of coronavirus patients. "Our estimates can be applied to any country to inform decisions around the best containment policies for COVID-19," added Ghani."This study provides critical estimates on the proportion of people requiring hospitalization, which, when applied to the UK population, enabled us to get a handle on how many people might need to access NHS services," said Professor Neil Ferguson from Imperial College London, UK."As the UK epidemic unfolds, more data are becoming available, and at the moment, the proportion of people in each age group most likely to require hospitalization, and most likely to die from infection, are consistent with the estimates in this study."However, the death rate varies, depending on the availability of testing kits, ensuring social distancing and preparedness of the health systems.In Italy — worst affected by the pandemic — the death rate is over 10 percent, and in Germany, it's below 0.9 percent. Globally, the virus has killed more than 37,640 as of March 31, Italy alone reported nearly 11,591 deaths.Dr. Shigui Ruan, from the University of Miami, who was not involved in the study, pointed out that such differences are because of prevention, control, and mitigation policies implemented."The case fatality ratio is substantially affected by the preparedness and availability of health care," said Ruan.(CGTN)


Businessmore >>

Chinese city offers e-vouchers to boost consumption

The city of Jiaxing in eastern China's Zhejiang Province announced a plan to issue e-vouchers worth 200 million yuan (about 28.2 million U.S. dollars) to boost consumption hit hard by the novel coronavirus outbreak.Starting at 8:00 p.m. Sunday, residents in Jiaxing could apply e-vouchers on a WeChat public account in six rounds until the end of April. In the first round, 300,000 vouchers will be handed out.The coupons could be spent in brick-and-mortar stores in sectors including catering and tourism across the city.Jiaxing is among a number of Chinese cities that have rolled out similar voucher programs to stimulate consumption hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang, issued e-vouchers worth 1.68 billion yuan to help recover consumption curbed by the epidemic.Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, announced the issuance of over 300 million yuan of vouchers to its residents and those in difficulties to spur spending and accelerate the resurgence of its service industry.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


Chinese car maker BYD unveils "blade battery"

China's leading new energy vehicle (NEV) manufacturer BYD unveiled a new blade-shaped battery Sunday in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, which is expected to solve battery-related safety hazards in electric vehicles.This new type of battery has been rolled off its production line in Chongqing Municipality and will be used in the Han pure electric vehicle, the company's flagship sedan model slated for launch this June.The company also said that compared with traditional batteries, the blade battery pack could increase space utilization by 50 percent due to its long and thin shape.At the press conference, the blade battery successfully passed nail penetration tests, a type of safety testing recognized in the industry as the most stringent testing method for the safety of batteries.BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu said that electric vehicles equipped with the blade battery would be far less likely to catch fire.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


chinamore >>

Xi calls for making major cities "smarter"

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said major cities can become "smarter" by using big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence technologies to modernize urban governance. He made the remarks while visiting the City Brain, a smart city platform aiming to improve urban management, in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province Tuesday.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


Chinese embassy slams some British media over "groundless" coronavirus accusation

The Chinese embassy in London on Tuesday said some British media reports claiming that China's "misinformation blitz" around the COVID-19 epidemic has led to a "lack of testing" in Britain are untrue and their accusations are groundless. The embassy's spokesperson said these reports completely disregard the tremendous efforts and huge sacrifices made by China and its people in the battle against COVID-19, and deny China's significant contribution to global public health and safety. "We are shocked and deeply concerned," said the spokesperson. Some British media also said that China is seeking economic power with "predatory offers of help," and that some British government officials "are furious over China's campaign of misinformation" and "demand an urgent review" of Britain's relationship with China. The spokesperson said after the outbreak of COVID-19, China wasted no time identifying the pathogen of the virus, sharing its genetic sequence with the World Health Organization, taking the most effective, strict and comprehensive measures to contain the spread of the disease, sharing experience with other countries in need and providing assistance to more than 120 countries, including Britain and four international organizations. These efforts and contributions made by China should not be distorted or defamed, said the spokesperson. The Chinese Embassy in Britain has expressed grave concern to the British side regarding those claims and remarks, and has urged the latter to clarify them, according to the spokesperson. "Senior officials of the British government have replied that the reported remarks do not represent government position, and that the British side speaks highly of China's contribution to the global response to COVID-19 and regards China-UK relationship as fundamentally important," the spokesperson said. Prejudice, vilification and discrediting would only undermine global response to COVID-19, the spokesperson said, urging relevant British media and politicians to abandon their arrogance and prejudice, and objectively view China's efforts and achievements in combating COVID-19, and help boost global public health and safety, instead of doing the opposite.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


The Belt and Roadmore >>

Belt and Road Initiative paves way for win-win cooperation between China and Czech

By APD Writer He WeiIn July last year, the first China-EU freight train departed from Prague, captial of Czech,to Yiwu, a city in east China’s Zhejang Province. The new cargo train service marked the official launch of “the Belt and Road Initiative” in Czech. Thanks to joint efforts of both sides, the economic and trade ties between China and Czech Republic is heading for a bright future.During the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May 2017, two months before the opening, China signed the Memorandum of Understanding to Jointly Coordinate and Promote Cooperation and Project Implementation with Czech. According to the memorandum, more efforts will be made to set up a China-Czech Cooperation Center under the Belt and Road initiative, a key project bank and a cooperation platform, integrate domestic and foreign resources, as well as adjoin and implement projects On the sidelines of the The Working Conference of China-Czech Jointly Coordinating and Monitoring Cooperation Plan and Projects under the Framework of the “Belt and Road Initiative”, Liu Jielei, vice chairman of the Czech-China Friendship Association, told the Asia Pacific Daily (APD) that besides geographic advantage, Czech enjoys a sound investment environment because of its stable domestic policies, friendly policy toward China, lower business taxes and labor cost than that of in other European countries.The "Yixin’ou (Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe) cargo train, which began in Yiwu, was hailed as an important bridge linking Asian and European continents and a signficiant achievement in the early stage of the initative by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xu Jie, general manager of Rongsheng Travelling (Czech) Investment Co., Ltd., said because of its important location, they have launched two projects including the Czech-Chinese Technology Business District (CCTBD) project and the South Moravia Chinese Herbal Spa Project in Prague during the past two years, stressing that initial success has been achieved thanks to the initiative.Transalated by Hu Yahui(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


Work conference held in Yiwu for China, Czech to coordinate their efforts in promoting Belt and Road Initiative cooperation

By APD Writer He Wei The conference, which jointly organized by the western development department of the National Development and Reform Commission and the second foreign policy department of the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade kicked off on June 6, 2018. It is of great significance in implementing the plan for China-Czech cooperation and promoting bilateral communication and cooperation. Both sides took a review on the development of the plan and held a talk over the cooperation prospects on trade, finance, think tank and projects. The priority work of the China and Czech cooperation in the next phase was discussed during the conference.Both sides reached an agreement on enhancing the cooperation on the field of policy coordination, facility connectivity, economic and trade, investment, finance and culture aiming at boosting the economy of both countries and benefiting the people. Almost 100 people from government officials, financial institutions, think tanks  and enterprises of both countries attended the conference.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)