The six parties involved in the Korean Peninsula nuclear talks concluded their latest round of negotiations yesterday without registering substantive progress.
How to verify the declaration of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear program was the sticking point in the latest round of talks, which started on Monday in Beijing.
Aircraft purchases grounded
On Tuesday the Chinese government asked airlines to suspend the purchase of new planes to cut operation costs.
The global financial crisis has led to a drop in the number of domestic and overseas travelers, largely reducing the need for new aircraft.
To help airlines stay afloat, the Civil Aviation Administration of China will continue waiving more taxes and fees and make fuel more affordable.
Illinois governor arrested on corruption charges
The embattled Illinois governor ignored President-elect Barack Obama’s call for him to resign, clinging defiantly to power a day after he was arrested and accused of trying to sell Obama’s vacant Senate seat.
Governor Rod Blagojevich was released on bond and reported to work on Wednesday after he was arrested Tuesday by the FBI.
Muslim pilgrims gather at Mecca
Hundreds of thousands of Muslim pilgrims gathered for the annual haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
The haj retraces the path of the Prophet Muhammed 14 centuries ago, after he removed pagan idols from Mecca, his birthplace.
The pilgrimage includes visiting Mount Arafat, throwing stones at the Jamarat Bridge and circling the Kaaba, a cube-shaped structure.
Central Economic Work Conference
China’s top leadership pledged to take steps to ensure a “stable and relatively fast” economic growth next year at the Central Economic Work Conference this week.
Policy makers, led by President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, vowed to boost domestic demand and carry out economic restructuring to maintain a sound economic growth amid the financial crisis.
Creating jobs and improving people’s livelihood are at the top of the agenda.
A CCTV report says the government will increase spending on rural development, education, services, healthcare, social security, job creation, environmental protection and technological innovation.
4-month campaign on food safety launched
A four-month nationwide campaign began on Wednesday to ensure all food products are free of non-edible substances and excessive levels of additives.
The campaign will be in three phases, including law enforcement officers raiding high-risk food producers or regions, intensify random checks on markets, and check for illegal food additives like Sudan Red and Malachite Green.
Meat, dairy, brewery and other products rich in protein are high-risk food products.
The move comes after melamine-contaminated baby milk powder caused the deaths of six infants and about 290,000 with urinary tract problems.
The government has formed a team to handle compensation issues in the contaminated-milk case.
Riots and strike in Greece
Gangs of high school students hurled stones and fire bombs at police stations in Athens on Thursday, in a sixth day of anti-government violence since the police shooting of a teenager.
Central Athens was calmer than in previous days as people returned to work after a 24-hour general strike on Wednesday called by unions opposed to pension reforms and privatizations.
Data released yesterday showed that economic hardship is hitting more Greeks.
Unemployment, especially high among young people and women, rose 7.4 percent in September from 7.1 percent in August, reversing four years of decline.
Liu Xiang has foot surgery
Star hurdler Liu Xiang is expected to be back on track in six months after successful surgery on his foot recently.
Four small pieces of bone from the Achilles’ tendon of his right foot were removed in Houston.
The doctor who performed the surgery explained the injury happened over time, resulting in microscopic tearing of the tendon’s fibers, which caused bleeding.
This produced calcium and resulted in bone pieces forming on the tendon itself.
（英语点津 Helen 编辑）
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.