Real-life “Beauty and the Beast”: Henan women stroll with baby tigers

Several women walked two tiger cubs on June 22 at a park in Luoyang, Henan province. The real-life juxtaposition of “Beauty and the Beast” attracted a great deal of attention from visitors. The two tigers were bred by a local wildlife park. According to an employee of the park, they now have a chance to freely experience nature while they are still young. They will be placed in an enclosure once they get older, the employee explained.

World’s largest automated port to become operational by year end

Phase 4 construction of the Yangshan Deep-Water Port, which is under installation and commissioning, is planned for trial operation by the end of the year.

As the core of the Shanghai International Shipping Center, the automated port is the largest in the world in terms of both scale and size.

The fourth phase has seven berths along a 2.35-kilometer quayside. After it is put into operation, the phase-4 port will have a handling capacity of four million TEUs per year and container volume will eventually be increased to 6.3 million TEUs per year.

The emergence of the Yangshan Deep-Water Port is closely related to China’s manufacturing. The construction of the port, from the facilities to the control systems to the hardware and software, entirely depends on domestic technologies.

The Yangshan Port is part of a concerted effort of backward integration with hinterland cities and towns in the prosperous Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone, which contributes about 100 million TEUs to the port, said Fang Huaijin, vice president of the Shanghai International Port Group.

A comprehensive logistic network has formed along the Yangtze River, covering 22 projects from 12 cities and regions, including Nanjing, Jiujiang, Wuhan, and Chongqing, Fang added.

The port is now seeking opportunities along the Maritime Silk Road, Fang disclosed, adding that the fourth phase of the Yangshan Deep-Water Port will serve as the gold standard for ports that want to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative.

China exports cooked poultry meat to the US for the first time


China exported cooked poultry meat to the U.S. for the first time, signifying that thecountry has reached an international standard of poultry processing and qualitysupervision.

Shipment of cooked poultry meat processed by Changguang Food Plant, which operatesunder the Nine-Alliance Group, a food factory based in Qingdao, a city in east China’sShandong province, arrived on June 26 in the U.S., according to the Shandong Entry-ExitInspection and Quarantine Bureau.

The quarantine bureau attaches great attention to the export. Before the meat left thefactory, quality-related documents and production activities were carefully inspected inorder to make sure they meet the requirements of the U.S. side and the GeneralAdministration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine, China’s top qualitywatchdog.

The cooked poultry meat will be lab tested when it arrives in the U.S., which is inaccordance with the regulations of both countries.

The U.S. officially recognized that China has food production and food safety supervisionsystems that are equivalent to its own in March 2016. China-grown poultry will beauthorized to enter the U.S. market after the latter enacts a law to officially approve theimport.

Chinese spend 3 hours a day on their smartphones, ranking 2nd in the world: survey

(file photo)

Chinese nationals spend an average of three hours a day on their smartphones, rankingsecond in the world after Brazilians who spend two additional hours on their phones,according to a survey by a German internet company.

In just a few years, smart phones have transformed from a communication tool into a dailynecessity, allowing people to order food, hail a cab, shop online, manage wealth, andsocialize at their fingertips.

But with such convenience comes overuse and addiction. People always feel uncomfortablewhenever they are not with their smartphones.

The survey found that Brazilians spend the most time on their smartphones, about fivehours a day, followed by Chinese, who spend three hours on their phones. People in theUnited States, Italy, Spain, South Korea, Canada, and the United Kingdom spend morethan two hours a day on their mobile devices.

According to UK mobile technology consultant Tomi Ahonen, people look at their phonesabout every 6.5 minutes. This means they check their phones 150 times a day over a 16hour period.

Children are also likely to follow their parents’ habit. A survey of 1,000 children rangingfrom ages 0-5 showed that 80.4% of children use smartphones, and more than half of theirparents believe that mobile phones put their children at ease.

Fear of missing out contributed to the high amount of phone checking, said Zhu Yanshao, aresearcher with the Division of Social and Engineering Psychology at the Institute ofPsychology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. They hope to finish their personalaffairs in the shortest possible time, and it becomes a habit, Zhu added.

The lack of leisure activities is the main reason for Chinese people’s smartphone addiction.Offline activities in China, such as sports, travel, art shows, and reading are not as popularas they are in other countries and regions; on the contrary, China has 668 million netizens,eight-nine percent of whom browse the internet with their phones. The internet is howthey mostly kill the time.

Though smartphones bring entertainment and conveniences, they can have negativeeffects on health. Staring at a screen for a long period of time can cause eye or spinedamage. Smartphones are also associated with lower quality of sleep, and high bloodpressure and an elevated heart rate are also unfavorable results.

China’s newest bullet train ‘Fuxing’ to be mass-produced

Fuxing (Photo/People’s Daily)

China’s new bullet train model “Fuxing” will be mass-produced, said the Shanghai RailwayBureau (SRB) on June 26.

The new high-speed train debuted on the Shanghai-Beijing line on Monday.

The current model “Hexie” began service 10 years ago, and has gone through half of itsprojected life span. The second generation bullet trains are expected to replace theirpredecessors when the latter reaches the end of its life.

Currently, the Fuxing high-speed trains are running at a speed of 350 kilometers per hour. “The latest generation has undergone testing at 420 kilometers per hour, but we restrictedthe top speed due to multiple factors,” said Ye Dan, vice director of SRB’s locomotivemanagement department.

With greater traction power, Fuxing’s acceleration performance from 0 to 200 kilometersper hour has improved by 5.4%. Meanwhile, the new model has reduced the dragcoefficient by 11%. As a result, Fuxing shows a 17% energy savings compared to Hexie.

In addition, Fuxing’s projected life span is a decade longer than Hexie’s 20 years.

Accommodating 576 passengers, Fuxing bullet trains have optimized its sound insulation,lowering operation noise levels by two decibels. More charging sockets and USB ports havealso been added.

According to Ye, the Fuxing high-speed trains have a 6,600 kilometers maintenance cycle,greater than Hexie’s 4,400 kilometers. “By doing so, we have extended our time ofoperation and improved the service efficiency of the locomotives,” the vice director added.

China unveils new laser system for shooting down drones

Scientists at the China Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP) announced recently that they have perfected a laser gun capable of shooting down drones flying at low altitudes. The laser system performed well during experiments and tests, shooting down over 30 small aircraft, said a CAEP employee.

The laser gun disables drones after shooting lasers that burn and erode the target’s surface and functional parts. In this way, it interferes with the drone’s remote control and navigation system. The system can destroy targets within five seconds, causing no collateral damage. A single system defense set can cover an area of 12 square kilometers.

In April, 19 drones flying illegally over various Chinese airports forced many flights to be canceled. Though China has required civilian drones weighing more than 250 grams to be registered under real names since June 1, experts nevertheless warn that occasional hostile flights cannot be prevented.

The laser system has become a popular way to counter these drone issues. It can be dismantled for easier transportation. In addition, in order to effectively detect and guide the laser system, a complementary radar system is designed to work with the laser. The laser system is the first of its kind in the world.

Tastes Like Chicken: Tourists Eat Meat From 70,000 Dogs Killed in Bali Each Year

An investigative news report has found that tourists in Indonesia’s Bali are often fed dog meat, believing it to be chicken.

According to a report by Australia’s ABC, an estimated 70,000 dogs are slaughtered in Bali annually, and their meat fed to tourists as chicken.

While the exhaustive investigative report noted that eating the meat of dogs remains legal there, the use of inhumane methods, including poison, to kill the animals is against the law.

The meat of a dog killed by poisoning is also noted to be a risk to unwitting tourists, as toxins are taken up into human tissues, the International Business Times reported.

According to Lyn White, the campaign director for Animals Australia, “The dog-meat trade breaches animal cruelty laws and food safety laws.”

“Tourists will walk down a street, they’ll see a street store selling satay but what they are not realizing is the letters RW on the store mean it is dog meat being served,” she asserted.

The Australian animal rights group sponsored an undercover investigator posing as an independent filmmaker, who spent four months in the popular vacation spot, pretending to be studying local cooking.

The investigator, identified only as “Luke,” was eventually invited by Balinese locals to observe the process of catching, killing and cleaning dogs, as well as learning the methods of preparing and cooking the canine cuisine.

It is not known whether Luke was invited to taste the substances that he was reporting on, and whether he accepted the challenge.

“I began the investigation by pinpointing and getting to know the key players in Bali’s completely unregulated dog-meat industry,” Luke said. “Eventually, they invited me to join them as their gangs stole, hunted, poisoned and killed dogs.”

The Bali Animal Welfare Association, while stopping short of decrying the practice of eating dog, are nonetheless attempting to cut down on the mistreatment of the animal.

“This is not about laying blame,” stated Animals Australia’s White. “This is about unnecessary cruelty that puts the human health population at risk and is causing shocking animal cruelty.”

“It also is breaching Bali laws,” she added.

It is thought that Chinese immigrants instituted the tradition of eating dog meat, following their arrival in Indonesia.

(Source: Sputniknews)

Russia Looks to Maintain Huge Share of Global Arms Market

One of Russia’s top arms trade officials believes markets will remain pretty steady over the next few years — and that Moscow won’t be losing any ground as the world’s second largest arms exporter.

Dmitry Shugaev, director of the Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation, the Russian Federation’s external-facing arms trading agency, “does not see an upsurge” in sales over the next three years, he told an international audience at the Paris Air Show on June 20, but he expressed optimism that Russia would continue to play a major role in the international weapons market.

“We are quite positive about the future,” he said.

In 20015, the global arms market saw about $80 billion exchanged between different countries, which represented a 10.1-percent market contraction from the year before, when $89 billion worth of weapons and accompanying services was traded.

Russian exports accounted for approximately $15 billion in 2015, according to Defense News.  Shugaev analyzed the market from a Russian perspective by breaking down that up to half of Moscow’s defense sales stem from aircraft, about a third are ground attack and missile defense systems, while naval systems account for about 15 percent of foreign arms sales, the Defense News report added.

Sergey Denisentsev, senior research fellow at the Center for the Analysis of Strategies and Technology in Moscow, suggested in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies headquarters in Washington this past April that the “domestic market will be the main priority for the Russian defense industry,” as supply facilities keep up with the demand from Russia’s own military.

Indian buyers account for approximately 31 percent of Moscow’s outbound weapons and military equipment, while Beijing was the second largest customer with demand amounting to 21 percent of Russia’s annual arms exports, the think tank analyst said.

Nevertheless, Shugaev sees cooperation on new technological and weapons developments with other countries as a route that could benefit multiple parties. For instance, clients seeking the next generation of weapons not currently available can partner with Russia and then produce the weapons locally. “We’re flexible, we’re ready to cooperate,” he emphasized.

A study conducted by the US Congressional Research Service (CRS) confirmed as much, noting that “Russia has made significant efforts to provide more creative financing and payment options for prospective arms purchasers … Russia has agreed to engage in counter-trade, offsets, debt-swapping, and in key cases, to make significant licensed production agreements in order to sell its weapons.”

India and Vietnam have begun to look toward US-made weapons in recent years, while China’s domestic industry has matured significantly in its own right. When asked whether this might erode Moscow’s market share, Shugaev replied, “We’re living in the real world, we’ve witnessed the new trend… taking that all into account, but we don’t think there is a substantial shift in those markets.”

“It’s not in our common interest that sanctions continue,” Shugaev said when asked whether Western sanctions might hamstring revenue growth in the sector. “I believe our share in the defense market will remain as high as it is.”

(Source: Sputniknews)

Not by Oil Alone: Russian Scientists Research New Algae Biofuel

Enterprising Russian scientists have managed to discover the secret of a bio-oil made from microalgae which may help turn it into a more efficient fuel.

Scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Moscow State University and the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology have managed to determine the exact chemical composition of biofuel derived from Spirulina platensis microalgae, according to a study published in the European Journal of Mass Spectrometry.

Due to the fact that algae tend to accumulate biomass much faster than other photosynthesizing organisms, many researchers consider them a perfect raw material for manufacturing biofuel that may eventually replace gasoline.

“Further efforts should be focused on using the varieties of algae containing highest possible levels of fats, and creating such algae varieties via genetic modifications. It will allow us to procure the most effective raw material for producing biofuel,” Evgeny Nikolaev, a professor at Skoltech and one of the study’s authors, said.

In order to make biofuel out of microalgae, the biomass gets heated to about 300 degrees Celsius while simultaneously being subjected to extremely high pressure. The process is known as hydrothermal liquefaction.

As a result, the biomass gets separated into liquid fuel and a dense residue, both of them containing thousands of various substances which makes it extremely difficult to determine their exact composition and thus discover a way to improve the process in order to enhance the quality of biofuel thus produced.

In order to deal with this problem, the scientists treated the biomass with deuterium oxide, also known as heavy water. Due to the fact that molecules containing deuterium have a slightly different profile as compared to their ‘normal’ counterparts, the researchers were able to employ mass spectrometry to decipher the exact formula of all of the biofuel’s compounds.

The researchers determined that the bio-oil produced from algae resembles brilliant green dye rather than petroleum in terms of consistency and qualities, and that most of the compounds it consists of have little in common with hydrocarbons.

Further study of this substance will help to determine which varieties of algae are more suited for making biofuel, and how the existing varieties of algae can be genetically enhanced in order to produce fuel that may eventually replace gasoline.

(Source: Sputniknews)