China is on track to launching its own space station by 2020, according to a top rocket expert.
Long Lehao is a leading designer of the Long March 3A, the launch vehicle for the country's first lunar probe Chang'e I.
He described China's space station as "a small-scale 20-ton space workshop".
The construction of the first space station is the third and final installment of the country's manned space program.
Afghanistan: 50 killed in suicide blast
At least 50 people have died after a suicide attack on a parliamentary delegation in northern Afghanistan.
An official says Tuesday’s blast is the worst in the country’s history.
The attack took place at a sugar factory in the town of Baghlan. Large crowds greeted the parliamentarians, who were on an economic fact-finding mission.
The bomber was on foot and blew himself up as the delegates entered the factory. Many of the dead were school children who were part of the delegation’s greeting party.
China: More drug addicts under 35
Drug addicts in Shanghai are getting younger, according to figures from the local drug agency.
Zhou Weihang, director of the Shanghai anti-drug office, said at the end of September, more than 50 percent of the city's 32,000 registered drug users were under 35.
In 2006, the figure was 48 percent.
He added many relatively “new" drugs, like ice, ketamine and ecstasy, appeal more to young people, explaining why there are more users under 35.
Japan: Cancer fighting curry
Scientists in Japan have created two synthetic versions of a curry ingredient, noted for its potential to fight cancer.
Studies have shown that curcumin, the yellowish component in turmeric that gives curry its flavour, can suppress tumors and that people who eat lots of curry may be less prone to the disease.
However, curcumin loses its anti-cancer attributes quickly when ingested.
The chemical variations were tested on mice with colorectal cancer. The results showed the mice fared 42 to 51 per cent better than mice in the control group.
Scientists are hoping the synthetic curcumin will also fight other cancers.
Beijing: Past preserved
Bejing’s hutongs are a unique reminder of the Chinese capital’s past.
Surrounding the Forbidden City, these traditional homes once numbered several thousand.
As the city remakes itself in the 21st Century, one local artist has set himself the task to capture hutong life before it becomes history.
Marc Checkley has more.
Hutong are a community of inner-city houses that run east to west through China’s capital.
First built in the Yuan Dynasty, they are the epitome of traditional Chinese living.
The typical hutong design is four houses facing a courtyard.
The term hutong is actually the name for the alleyways between the cluster of homes.
At one time there were more than 6,000 hutong in Beijing. But today the number has dwindled to less than 2,000.
For artist Kuang Han, these homes are the last reminder of the capital’s past. And he is passionate about capturing them in his work.
Han has sketched hutong for more than 10 years.
His distinctive drawings have become popular not only with Beijingers, but also with those who visit the city.
“Beijing has very few hutong painters… Some who live here just take for granted what is actually great beauty.”
What began as a hobby has become a way to cement these homes with the stories they hold.
“I lived for six years in hutong when I was young and began sketching it. Only then did I realize that Beijing has such a profound culture. In my own way I am collecting stories of time gone by.”
What is unique about Han’s work is that he only uses pencil.
He says it’s the only media that truly reflects the colour and texture of the hutong.
“I only had two pencils at the time, one was a carpentry pencil, the other a sketching one. I used to paint in watercolour but when you look at these hutong, their walls and bricks are grey. You cannot represent this kind of feeling using oil painting. It just doesn’t feel right.”
As more hutong feel the weight of the demolition ball, Kuang Han’s sketches have become treasured memories. For some, it’s the only physical reminder of their childhood home.
At one of my exhibitions three old ladies embraced me and cried and thanked me for keeping an image of their home. My drawings are very close to the life of Beijing citizens.”
Hutongs have become Han’s life. Although he is passionate about their preservation, he understands that a city is never static.
“It’s a contradictory problem. To the aspect of culture and history we should keep them. But to the aspect of this city developing we can’t stop it. Hutong life is a hard one and the facilities are extremely basic. But we really should think about how to repair them or find another way to keep the hutong.”
Having produced more than a thousand sketches, Kuang Han has captured the colourful history of Beijing life. It’s his way of giving the next generation a chance to remember the past on paper.
（英语点津 Linda 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Marc Checkley is a freelance journalist and media producer from Auckland, New Zealand. Marc has an eclectic career in the media/arts, most recently working as a radio journalist for NewstalkZB, New Zealand’s leading news radio network, as a feature writer for Travel Inc, New Nutrition Business (UK) and contributor for Mana Magazine and the Sunday Star Times. Marc is also a passionate arts educator and is involved in various media/theatre projects in his native New Zealand and Singapore where he is currently based. Marc joins the China Daily with support from the Asia New Zealand Foundation.
Bernice Chan is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Bernice has written for newspapers and magazines in Hong Kong and most recently worked as a broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, producing current affairs shows and documentaries.