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DPRK quickly expels US man who entered country illegally

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea said on Friday that it had expelled a US citizen, just a month after he apparently entered the country illegally, an unusually quick move as relations between the two countries remain sensitive.The man, identified as Lawrence Bruce Byron, had been in custody after crossing into the DPRK from China on October 16, the official Korean Central News Agency reported."While being questioned, he said he had illegally entered the country under the command of the US Central Intelligence Agency," KCNA said. "Relevant authorities have decided to expel him from the country."Byron, who is in his late 50s and from Louisiana, was deported back to the US.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has traveled four times this year to Pyongyang on his diplomatic drive, sounded relieved at the quick resolution of the case."The US appreciates the cooperation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the embassy of Sweden in facilitating the release of an American citizen," Pompeo said. Sweden represents US interests in the DPRK in the absence of diplomatic relations.Media reports said that Byron had told officials from the Republic of Korea (ROK) that he sought to facilitate talks between the DPRK and the US, although he is a private citizen.A man with the same name was arrested in the ROK while trying to sneak over the inter-Korean border in November last year.It is rare for the DPRK to release an American detainee so swiftly.Most Americans held by Pyongyang have been released only after high-profile interventions.Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old US student, was jailed in the DPRK for 17 months before he was released in a comatose state in 2017. He died shortly after returning home.In May, Pyongyang freed three US detainees in an apparent goodwill gesture before a summit between DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in Singapore.Currently, there are no known US detainees still held by the DPRK.Washington last year banned its citizens from traveling to the DPRK without special permission, the only country for which such a restriction exists.‍(AFP)

New discovery shows glass made from exploding stars

Next time you're gazing out of the window in search of inspiration, keep in mind the material you're looking through was forged inside the heart of an exploding ancient star.An international team of scientists said Friday they had detected silica – the main component of glass – in the remnants of two distant supernovae billions of light-years from Earth.Researchers used NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to analyze the light emitted by the collapsing mega-cluster and obtain silica's "fingerprint" based on the specific wavelength of light the material is known to emit.A supernova occurs when a large star burns through its own fuel, causing a catastrophic collapse ending in an explosion of galactic proportions. It is in these celestial maelstroms that individual atoms fuse together to form many common elements, including sulfur and calcium.Silica makes up around 60 percent of the Earth's crust and one particular form, quartz, is a major ingredient of sand.As well as glass windows and fiberglass, silica is also an important part of the recipe for industrial concrete."We've shown for the first time that the silica produced by the supernovae was significant enough to contribute to the dust throughout the Universe, including the dust that ultimately came together to form our home planet," said Haley Gomez, from Cardiff University's School of Physics and Astronomy."Every time we gaze through a window, walk down the pavement or set foot on a sandy beach, we are interacting with material made by exploding stars that burned millions of years ago."In 2016, scientists reported they had found traces of lithium – a metal used in the manufacture of many modern-day electronics – at the heart of exploding nova, a phenomenon that occurs when a white dwarf star absorbs hydrogen from a nearby sun.The study was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.(CGTN)

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The Belt and Road

2018 Silk Road Business Summit to be held in Zhangjiajie City on October 16, 2018

On September 29, the press conference of 2018 Silk Road Business Summit in Zhangjiajie city was successfully held in Changsha, Hunan Province. Leaders from the China Association for Friendship, Hunan Sub-council of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Zhangjiajie Municipal Government, Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce (SRCIC), and more than 30 mainstream media representatives attended the press conference. The announcement was made for the summit to be held in Zhangjiajie city on 16-17 October 2018. The summit is to actively respond to the Belt and Road Initiative, to build a multilateral economic and trade platform, to promote the formulation of international standards and the building-up of the Belt and Road brands, to explore the new mode of cultural exchange, to create the international tourist attractions, to facilitate the synergy of cultural industries, cultural undertakings, and cultural tourism as contribution to the development of a shared future for the world. The abundant resources of SRCIC will uplift Hunan province in its advantages in the Belt and Road construction and in its strategy of “Innovation Leads and Open Policies for Rise” to expedite Hunan province as an important inland hub of the Belt and Road.  The Zhangjiajie Summit is the 3rd silk road business summit organized by SRCIC, following the successful summits in 2016 and 2017. It’s the first summit with its venue in a city away from Xi’an. The summit in Zhangjiajie city will give a full play to the city’s unique natural resources, ecological culture, and its tourist economy.By report, Silk Road Urban Alliance Roundtable: Belt and Road International Cooperation on Tourism is scheduled at the summit. Themed with strengthening the tourist cooperation and facilitating the Belt and Road construction, the participants are expected to share views on setting up mechanisms for the Silk Road Urban Alliance and have in-depth discussion on promoting tourist and economic development. The summit will release consensuses, international standard proposals and tourist destination development strategies.Over the five years, the Belt and Road Initiative has gained strong support from the Belt and Road countries. International commercial associations and enterprises are important participants in the Belt and Road construction. SRCIC, one of the summit organizers, is the first transnational business confederation named after the Belt and Road and mainly composed of national chambers of commerce from the Belt and Road countries. Since its establishment in 2015, SRCIC is devoted to narrating the Belt and Road stories, initiating the Belt and Road voices, and facilitating the cultural exchanges in building up pragmatic platforms for win-win cooperation. Currently SRCIC has 129 organizational members from 79 countries, including state-level business organizations and millions of affiliated enterprises. SRCIC serves as a bridge connecting enterprises and governments, providing a cooperative platform between business associations and SRCIC members. It plays a vital role in advancing economic and social development with an emphasis on international collaboration and global governance.According to the plan, the annual silk road business summits are to be held in different SRCIC member countries for bigger influence and popularity, and for building up more cooperative platforms to benefit SRCIC commercial association members and enterprise members. (ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

2018-10-01

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)

2018-06-12