News & Reports 2012-12-15

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Broadcasting Time: 07:00-08:00, GMT+08:00, 2012-12-15

Hello and Welcome to News and Reports on China Radio International.

In This Edition

?China says it is necessary to send marine surveillance planes in airspace over the Diaoyu Islands in order to safeguard its sovereignty.
?A gunman has killed 28 people, including 20 children, at an elementary school in Newtown, the U.S. state of Connecticut.
?South African President Jacob Zuma faces a leadership challenge at next week's ANC congress.
?And China calling for stronger scientific and technological innovation in the development of its maritime industry.

Hot Issue Reports

?China Defends Sovereignty of Airspace over Diaoyu Islands
China has said it is necessary to send marine surveillance planes in airspace over the Diaoyu Islands in order to safeguard its sovereignty.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks while commenting on Japan's representation over China's marine surveillance plane flying over the Diaoyu Islands on Thursday.

"The Foreign Ministry has demanded many times that the Japanese side cease their illegal activities in territorial aerospace and waters of the Diaoyu Islands, including withdrawing their aircraft. The Japanese has not responded. China's maritime surveillance plane protecting China's territorial sovereignty is totally normal."

He noted Japan had deployed ships and planes to illegally enter the waters and airspace over the Diaoyu Islands since September, to which China firmly opposed.

Hong reiterated China's opposition to Japan's illegal "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands, asking Japan to take steps to solve relevant issues through talks, and drive bilateral ties back on a normal track.

?US School Shooting Kills 28
A gunman has killed 28 people, including 20 children, at an elementary school in Newtown, the U.S. state of Connecticut.

State police say the death toll included the shooter himself who was found dead on the scene.

The attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School was the latest of several mass shootings in the US this year.

The incident approached the deadly scope of the Virginia Tech university massacre in 2007 that left 32 dead.

US President Barack Obama has offered his condolences to the victims and vowed to prevent similar attacks in the future.

"Our hearts are broken today for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the adults who were lost. As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it is an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children. And we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics."

The shooting shocked a small, tranquil community in one of the wealthiest counties in the US, about 60 miles northeast of New York City.

?Rice Pulls out of Running for Secretary of State
US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, has abruptly withdrawn her name from consideration to be the next US Secretary of State.

Her withdrawal comes amid threats by Senate Republicans to block her nomination.

Liz Sidoti is the US national political editor for the Associated Press.

"Republicans have seized on her descriptions of what happened during the Benghazi attack back on September 11th and had been using that to argue that she's unfit for this position. And, frankly over the last few weeks, that drum beat had seemed to die down, but what also had become clear, at least inside the administration, was that internal support for Rice as Secretary of State was waning."

Rice has been the focus of intense Republican scrutiny over comments she made following the attack on the US consulate in Libya which left the Ambassador and 3 other Americans dead in September.

Shortly after the attack, Rice went on TV to say it was her belief the attack on the consulate in Benghazi was a spontaneous outburst of anger brought on by the film depicting the Prophet Mohammed.

The Obama administration later conceded the assault was a terrorist attack.

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is now being tapped as the likely choice to replace Hillary Clinton as the United States' top diplomat.

?Jacob Zuma to Face Kgalema Motlanthe; Unveils Statue of Mandela
Incumbent South African President Jacob Zuma is going to be facing a leadership challenge at next week's ANC congress.

Zuma's deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe, has accepted the nomination to run for the leadership of the African National Congress.

It comes as Zuma faces mounting criticism for his handling of the South African economy and government corruption.

Meanwhile, Zuma has taken time to be part of the ceremonial unveiling of a statue of former President Nelson Mandela, who remains hospitalized.

"We extend our good wishes to Madiba who is still in the Pretoria hospital where he is being treated for a lung infection. We have assured him of the love and support of all South Africans during his hospitalisation."

The statue of Mandela overlooks Bloemfontein, the country's judicial capital.

The 94-year-old has been in hospital since this past weekend with a lung infection.

His doctors say he's making good progress toward a full recovery.

?Japan - Tepco Nuclear Review
The operator of a Japanese nuclear power plant that suffered a series of meltdowns following the tsunami last year, has admitted its lack of safety and "bad habits" were behind the world's worst nuclear accident in 25 years.

It is the most forthright admission to date from Tokyo Electric Power Co.

Three reactors melted down at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, causing the worst radiological release since Chernobyl in 1986.

The fall-out contaminated wide areas of land forcing about 160,000 people from their homes.

Many of those people are unlikely to ever go home.

All of Japan's 50 nuclear reactors have since been shut down for safety checks after the disaster and only two have resumed operating.

Takefumi Anegawa, head of Tepco's Nuclear Reform Special Task Force, attended a press conference.

"There's so much description of the lack of safety culture and our bad habit in our organisation. We admit -- we completely admit -- that part of the parliamentary report."

Anegawa was responding to a reporter's question on whether the company accepted a parliamentary committee's findings that the disaster at its Fukushima Daiichi plant were "man-made" and the result of "collusion" between the company and regulators.

?Snow Hits Northern China, Bringing Havoc
Moderate snow and rain has been sweeping northern and eastern China, forcing the closure of some highways and the cancellation of flights.

In the capital Beijing, 2 to 5 centimeters of snow fell on Thursday evening with alerts for possible blizzards to hit the region.

At least 51 domestic flights and four international flights were canceled due to the snow, operations have now been restored.

Zhu Dingzhen, an engineer with the National Meteorological Center, says rain is also on its way in the next few days.

"Temporarily, the rainfall will suspend in Beijing. But in the next three to six days, cold air will continue to affect the capital city and other areas in the northern and eastern part of the country. So those regions should brace for more snowfall or rainfall."

Northern Hebei province received its largest snowfall so far this winter, with many highways in the region closed.

Meanwhile, sleet has swept most parts of eastern Shandong province seeing 12 highways partially closed there.

?China Eyes Maritime Economy Development
Chinese government officials and business leaders are calling for stronger scientific and technological innovation to try to help bolster this country's maritime industry.

CRI's Siqi has more from the China Marine Economy Expo in Guangzhou.

The marine economy expo held in South China's economic powerhouse and port city Guangzhou demonstrates a model for China's deep-water drilling platform "Offshore Oil 981" and one-to-one scale model of China's deep-sea submersible-Jiaolong.

28-year-old Tang Jialing, the youngest pilot of Jiaolong, was invited to the expo to share his experiences.

He says Jiaolong can be vital equipment in exploring the ocean.

"Jiaolong takes on the task of resource exploration and research on ocean sciences, including marine life, marine geology and geophysics. Jiaolong is China's important equipment to learn about and explore the ocean."

The theme for this year's China Marine Economy Expo is, "develop ocean resources scientifically and promote economic transition and updates."

Liu Cigui, head of the State Oceanic Administration, says that the key to developing the marine economy lies in science and technology.

"Certainly, we need to develop traditional industries. But meanwhile, the development of emerging industries is reflected in science and technology.

Therefore, using science and technology to develop the ocean economy will be the hot spot of the future."

The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China promoted the idea of developing the marine economy and building China into a marine power.

As an essential maritime region of China, the gross marine production in Guangdong is expected to reach around 1.1 trillion yuan or some 170 billion US dollars this year.

As the country's sixth State-level New Area, the Nansha New Area in Guangzhou has been making efforts to take advantage of its ocean resources.

Scientific research and innovation are among their priorities.

Liang Yunchen, an official of Nansha Ocean and Fishery Departments, says they are speeding up the modernization of aquaculture in Nansha New Area.

"We are cooperating with research institutes, such as the South Sea Fisheries Research Institute, the Pearl River Fisheries Institute and Sun Yat-sen University, to promote new aquaculture technology and discoveries. We made some achievements in recent years. We estimate that our marine industry will produce a value of around 60 billion yuan by 2015."

Over the past decade, marine science and technology has advanced by leaps and bounds in China. New exploitable ocean resources keep being found. The ocean has become a source of vast wealth in the second largest economy of the world.

For CRI, I'm Siqi.

?CRI Marks 5th Anniversary of On-Air Confucius Institute
China Radio International has marked the 5th anniversary of the founding of its on-air Confucius Institute, a platform to promote Chinese language and culture overseas via radio.

At a celebration in Beijing, CRI President Wang Gengnian promised to expand the coverage of the institute to involve more people interested in learning Chinese.

CRI's Su Yi has the details.

The On-air Confucius Institute was launched by CRI in 2007 and has now trained 12-thousand students from overseas in Chinese language and culture.

CRI President Wang Gengnian says the On-air Confucius Institute has been serving as a cultural bridge between China and the rest of the world.

"In the last five years, we established 12 on-air Confucius classrooms under the On-air Confucius Institute in such countries as Kenya, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Italy. We have developed multilingual textbooks, like Daily Chinese, to teach learners the Chinese language through multiple platforms, including wireless and online radio as well as IPTV."

Alberto Ortolani is the foreign partner of CRI's on-air Confucius classroom in Italy. He says the classroom is popular with many Italians.

"Besides 100 registered students of our classroom, we have worked with other Confucius Institutes to ask their students to participate in our language and cultural events via multi-media platforms. We also conducted activities to arrange for Chinese living in Italy to interact with Italians interested in Chinese language and culture. "

CRI President Wang Gengnian says they are now setting higher goals for the on-air Confucius Institute.

"In the next five years, we will continue to push forward the construction of the on-air Confucius Institute and expand the scale of the overseas on-air Confucius classrooms. We aim to build a multilingual and multi-media platform to promote the Chinese language and culture across the globe."

Meanwhile, Xu Lin, director-general of Hanban, applauds CRI's contribution to China's overall campaign of bringing Chinese language and culture to the world.

"In the future, Hanban will work closely with CRI so as to make full use of its channels and platforms to promote the Chinese language and culture."

Hanban functions as the headquarters of the Confucius institutes worldwide.

CRI works in partnership with Hanban to operate the On-air Confucius Institute, which aims to meet surging overseas demand to learn the Chinese language.

For CRI, I'm Su Yi.

?China's most Expensive TV Series "Legend of Chu and Han" Debuts in Beijing
Chinese actor Chen Daoming has debuted his TV series "Legend of Chu and Han" in Beijing.

The series is based on the events in the late Qin Dynasty and ChuCHan Contention leading to the founding of the Han Dynasty.

Chen Daoming is playing Liu Bang, the first emperor of Han dynasty.

He is best known internationally for playing the King of Qin or Qin Shi Huang in the 2002 film Hero.

The king player says he's quite interested in the history of Chu-Han contention.

"I'm very interested in this part of the Chinese history. Although there are various adaptations of films and television series, and people have different understanding of them, it is still worth of further exploration."

Co-staring in the series, Qin Lan is once again playing Lv Zhi or Empress Lv, as she's cast the same figure in a recent film "The Last Super".

The series also stars Peter He (He Rundong) as Xiang Yu, Duke of country Lu.

"Legend of Chu and Han" is directed by Gao Xixi, who's previous work "Three Kingdoms" has been well received globally.

"Legend" is said to be the most expensive TV series in China.

It is scheduled to be released at the end of this month.

?Bruno Mars Scores Fourth US No-1; Taylor Swift on Golden Globe Nomination; VH1 Divas Live Show Coming Soon
Bruno Mars Scores Fourth US No-1; Taylor Swift on Golden Globe Nomination; VH1 Divas Live Show Coming Soon

Bruno Mars has topped the Billboard Hot 100 with 'Locked Out of Heaven'.

This is his fourth US number one, following 'Nothin' on You' with B.o.B, 'Just the Way You Are' and 'Grenade'.

And Taylor Swift has described her Golden Globe nomination as the best birthday surprise she has ever had.

Swift and The Civil Wars' song 'Safe & Sound' from The Hunger Games was recognised in the 'Best Original Song' category on Thursday.

It is also her 23rd birthday.

On the same day, Taylor premiered her new music video 'I Knew You Were Trouble'.

And moving on, Adam Lambert is to perform a tribute to Madonna on VH1 Divas.

Pitbull, Kelly Clarkson, Ciara and Kelly Rowland are on the bill for the annual television special.

This year's instalment airs live on Saturday on VH1.

VH1 is an American music TV channel.


"Video-ad chickens fall prey to bitter cold"

Two thousand new-born chickens that were shipped to Shanghai to be used as a prop for a video advertisement have frozen to death in the cold weather, sparking outrage among citizens.

A woman surnamed Zhang published a blog last Friday, saying that an advertising firm where her husband works had purchased 2,000 new-born chickens to be used as props.

Zhang expressed concern that the chickens would probably be left to die after their use in the ad.

She pleaded for help in the blog, which promptly drew a response from citizens and animal welfare volunteers who rushed to help.

Animal welfare volunteers and citizens rushed to adopt the chickens or despatch them to farmers but only 80 of them managed to survive by yesterday and are now being taken care of at a farmland on Chongming Island.


"New vehicle registration lottery to continue"

Authorities say Beijing will continue to limit new vehicle registrations through a lottery system next year to hold down the number of vehicles on the road.
The measure was introduced in 2011 to cap new car ownership at 240-thousand a year.

In 2011, only 173-thousand new cars were registered, a 78 percent decrease from 2010.

Under the lottery rules, applicants who fail to win in two months are automatically re-entered in subsequent drawings.

Given the number of new applicants each month, the odds of winning have been decreasing.

Beijing has taken a series of measures to ease heavy traffic in recent years. They include limiting car usage based on license plates, opening more subway lines and encouraging the use of public transportation.

The city is also considering congestion fees, according to a five-year plan from 2011 to 2015.


A new study shows that three-quarters of people use the same password for more than one account and more than a third admit to having shared their personal details with family and friends. Almost a third says they never bother changing their password.

Britons are struggling to remember the passwords for an average of 22 online accounts each and more than one in six people have more than 40 accounts to keep track of.

The research released by the Payments Council say some 25 percent of people surveyed say they keep the memory of their dead pets alive by still using their names in passwords.

The council suggests one way to make the password harder is to string together words from a phrase or song lyrics.


Older adults' eyesight may suffer irreversibly if they don't have vision insurance, suggests a new study that argues eye health should be a mandatory part of regular health insurance policies.

Researchers found that people between 40 and 65 years old with vision insurance were twice as likely to see an eye doctor in the past year, compared to those without coverage.

And people who saw an eye doctor were more likely to be able to read printed material and to recognize someone from across the street.

By 2020 it's estimated that over 5.6 million Americans will have an age-related eye disease that may lead to vision loss.

But the researchers add that permanent vision loss from some of those eye diseases - including glaucoma and cataracts - can be staved off with early detection and treatment.

They conclude that making vision coverage a mandatory part of standard insurance policies to prevent vision loss.

Market Update

US Stocks fell on Friday due to the uncertainty surrounding the "fiscal cliff" negotiations.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.27 percent to 13,135. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index shed 0.41 percent to 1,414. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.70 percent to close at 2,971.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 lost 0.13 percent to 5,922. Frankfurt's DAX rose 0.19 percent to 7,596. CAC 40 in Paris remained unchanged at 3,643.