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每日新闻播报(September 18)

chinadaily.com.cn 2018-09-18 16:58

Many details of a Buddha head on an auction catalogue of Sotheby's resemble the historical photo of a lost Buddha head in the Longmen Grottoes in China. [Photo/Beijing Youth Daily]

>Statue resembles lost relic
The head of an ancient Chinese Buddha statue listed in an auction catalogue of Sotheby's, a prominent auction house in the US, is suspected of being stolen from the Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang, Henan. Sotheby's said that after a discussion with the sculpture's owner, the Junkunc family, the Buddha head was removed from a Sotheby's New York auction on Sept 12. The nearly 70-cm-high statue, dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907), was expected to fetch between $2 million and $3 million. Sotheby's describes the exquisite sculpture as "magnificent". In the catalog, Sotheby's compared the statue to a number of Tang dynasty Buddha statues, including those in the Longmen Grottoes, and said, "Its lips are slightly pursed, which is the style of the early Tang dynasty."



>Japan in 'tourist pollution'
Japan's traditional sense of "omotenashi", meaning to wholeheartedly look after guests, is wearing decidedly thin as residents of many of the nation's must-see tourist spots increasingly express their frustration at loud and disrespectful foreigners, crowded public transport and poor etiquette among visitors. The problem has become so bad in some towns, such as the ancient capitals of Kyoto and Kamakura, that local people are complaining to their local authorities about "tourism pollution". Locals say it is difficult to get on buses that go near the most famous sights, while demand for accommodation has encouraged unscrupulous landlords to lease out unlicensed properties. Foreign tourists also are often unaware of local customs - such as meticulously separating rubbish before it is collected - which has added to the friction with local people. More than 20 million foreign tourists arrived in Japan in the first eight months of the year and the annual total is expected to break the 30 million barrier, up from 28.7 million arrivals last year.


File photo of Japanese writer Haruki Murakami [Photo/VCG]

>Murakami rejects writers prize
Japanese writer Haruki Murakami has requested that his nomination for a new literature prize be withdrawn. Murakami was named in August as one of 4 finalists for the New Academy Prize in Literature, which was created after the Swedish Academy decided not to award a Nobel Prize in literature this year amid a sexual harassment scandal. Swedish journalists and writers created the prize as a single-year stopgap award. The organizer of the prize, the New Academy, says Murakami expressed his gratitude for the nomination but he added that he prefers to concentrate on his writing. The winner will be announced on Oct 12, after the Nobel Prize winners have been named. The award ceremony will be on Dec 9, the day before the Nobel Prize ceremony.



>GM mosquitoes fight malaria
A new front has been opened up in the battle against malaria with the release of the first ever genetically modified mosquitoes in Africa. Some 10,000 sterile male mosquitoes will be released in Burkina Faso, a country at the front line of the war against the disease. Last year there were 9.8 million cases of malaria in the country, resulting in almost 4,000 deaths. This is the first step in a program to dramatically reduce the mosquito population in the country, and hopefully beyond. The initial release of the mosquitoes will enable researchers to gather more data about the longevity and dispersal of the insects, as well as how they interact with the natural insect population. The exact timing of the release depends on how quickly scientists can bring enough modified mosquitoes to adulthood, as well as local weather conditions.

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