Brendan: This is China Daily video news for Friday, Jan 18, 2008. I’m Brendan John Worrell.
Bernice: And I’m Bernice Chan. In today’s news, we’ll learn how Chinese celebrate Laba Festival. But first, some brief news:
1. UK PM Arrives in Beijing
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown arrived in Beijing today on the start of a 3-day visit. This is his first state visit to China after taking office last June.
2. Beijing – London jet crash lands
A British Airways jet that took off from Beijing with 152 passengers and crew, crash-landed short of the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport yesterday with eight people suffering minor injuries.
3. China hikes Bank Reserve ration to 15%
The central bank announced a 0.5 percent hike in the bank reserve ratio to 15 percent Wednesday in a bid to cool down the economy and curb inflation.
4. China-second West-East gas pipeline
China has laid out a plan for a gas pipeline almost 9000km long from central Asian countries via Xinjiang to the energy thirsty eastern and southern Chinese areas.
5. Jose Carreras Sings in the Egg
Spanish tenor Jose Carreras will perform tonight for the first time at the National Grand Theatre, singing a program of arias, love songs and even a Chinese song, called The Place Far Away.
1. Gearing up for Olympics
Beijing Games officials Wednesday unveiled the uniform for the torchbearers who begin their 130-day journey starting on March 25 when they will cover a distance of 137,000 km.
In other Olympic news, the gold, silver and bronze used to make the Olympic medals were handed over to Beijing Olympics officials.
2. Record Travelers for Spring Festival
Transport officials expect 2.3 billion trips will be made during the Spring Festival.
This is partly because of the cancellation of the weeklong May Day holiday and ticket prices froze this year.
To cope with the numbers, 760,000 extra buses will drive 2.15 billion people over the 40-day period.
Railways are expected to carry 179 million passengers this year and 622 more trains are added.
Twenty-two million people will fly during this holiday.
3. Indian PM winds up visit
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wound up his three-day China visit on Tuesday, which analysts said opened a new chapter in Sino-Indian relations.
A trade target of US$60 billion was set for 2010 as well as planned military exchanges that will lead to stronger ties between the two nations.
4. US and China Military Meeting
The US Pacific Command Commander-in-Chief Timothy Keating was in China for a four-day visit to speak with his Chinese counterparts.
They are working on an agreement to have direct links between the two ministries.
Keating said the Pacific Command is concerned about maintaining stability and peace in the Taiwan Strait.
Keating also went to Shanghai and Guangzhou.
1. The world's thinnest laptop unveiled
Claiming to be the world's thinnest laptop, the Apple's MacBook Air was released this week - built for the wireless world and currently valued at $1800.
2. Mystery of Mona Lisa Solved
A researcher at Germany’s University of Heidelberg has confirmed the identity of the Mona Lisa.
She is Lisa del Giocondo, wife of the Florentine businessman Francesco del Giocondo.
The expert found this in a note written in a book of a friend of Leonardo da Vinci.
3. Laba festival celebrated
Eat laba porridge, and you won't have your chin bitten off by the cold, or so goes an old Chinese saying. This week, on the eighth day of the 12th lunar month, Chinese residents ate porridge to celebrate the Laba Festival whose origins can be traced to the founding days of Buddhism.
4. Snow in Beijing
Yesterday Beijing was blanketed in the first snow this year. The city has experienced cold weather since January 9 although temperatures were higher than average since December. Apart from Beijing, Hebei, Henan and Hubei provinces were also hit by snow.
（英语点津 Celene 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
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.
Brendan is an Australian who has been involved in education and writing for over a decade. He has published most recently for the Tiger Airways Inflight magazine, The Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times and Japan's Hiroshima Outside Magazine. He holds a Masters Degree in Community Development and Management and has resided in China for over 3 years.