In early April, the US increased military interactions

with the island by officially acknowledging that military personnel have been posted in the Taipei office of the American Institute in Taiwan since 2005.

US weapons manufacturer Raytheon was also granted a $9 million contract to upgrade Taiwan’s Patriot missile defense system.

Senior Colonel Liang Fang, a professor at PLA National Defense Universit

y, said the recent drill will test and enhance the PLA’s joint operating capabilities.

“It will increase the PLA’s ability to protect national sovereignty, and warn thos

e who are trying to undermine it to abandon their illusions,” she said. “Similar drills

will be more common in the future, with increasingly sophisticated equipment and training methods.”

Xiu Chunping, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social

Sciences’ Institute of Taiwan Studies, said the recent drill serves to warn the US and separati

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When he took up residence inside the Ecuadorian Em

mbassy in 2012, it was to avoid answering the sexual allegations against him in Sweden, which had sought his extraditi

on for questioning. He also sought refuge because of fears he would ultimately be extradited to the US

Swedish prosecutors opened an investigation into Assange af

ter two women accused him of sexual offenses during a 2010 visit to Sweden.

Some of the sexual misconduct accusations are no longer viable because their time ran out. But Swedish prosecutors

have said a rape case could be reactivated before the statute of limitations ends in August 2020.

After Assange’s arrest, Swedish prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson was tapped to look

into a request from a lawyer for one of the accusers to find out whether the case can be pursued.

Elisabeth Massi Fritz, the lawyer for the woman who reported bei

ng raped by Assange, told The Associated Press that she w

ould “do everything” to have the Swedish case reopened so Assange can be extradited to Sweden and prosecuted.

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Besides the successful capture of the first black

k hole image, two earlier detections of gravitational waves from

black hole mergers also were products of international collaboration.

In February 2016, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory in the United States announ

ced the first observation of gravitational waves generated by a black hole merger. The following June, it annou

nced the second detection of a gravitational wave event from colliding black holes.

Wu said Tianqin has potential for even greater discoveries.

“LIGO used interferometers on the ground with an arm length of 4 km. But with satellites, the arm length will increas

e to 170,000 km. So the space-based probes (enabled by Tianqin) will be able to detect gravitational waves at much l

ower frequencies generated by the merging of massive or supermassive black holes,” he said.

“It will also enable us to see the smaller black holes during the infancy of the universe, as w

ell as understand the history of black hole growth and the evolution of galaxies,” he said

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Former Chongqing court official killedestigated by

Tan Zhihua, former vice-president of the No 2 Intermediate Peopl

e’s Court in Chongqing, was killed during an alleged burglary, ThePaper.cn reported on Sunday.

The Shanghai-based website said the news was from an authorized source, but it did not disclose it.

The case is being investigated by local police, it said.

Tan, 55, a Chongqing native, was removed from his court post in December 2016.

CHENGDU — A forest fire that killed 27 firefighters and three locals in southwest China’s Sich

uan province a week ago started to burn again Saturday afternoon, local authorities said Sunday.

Around 5 pm on Saturday, the fire was found to have started in the northeastern part of the fo

rest, according to the sources with Muli County, Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture.

So far, 350 firefighters are battling the fire and other 440 locals from neighboring towns have rushed to the site.

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I am offering to sit down with the leader of the op

osition and to try to agree a plan that we would both stick to ensure that we leave the European Union and that we do so with a deal.”

The pound rallied against the dollar as much as 0.3 percent to above $1.31. It also strengthened against the euro to 85.43 pence.

May said that if she could not agree a unified approach with

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn then the government would agree a number of options o

n the future relationship with the EU and put them before the House of Commons in a series of votes.

The government, she said, would then abide by the decision of the House of Commons.

Her divorce deal with the EU has been defeated three times by the lower house of the Briti

sh parliament, which failed on Monday to find a majority of its own for any alternatives.

The impasse has already delayed Brexit for at least two weeks beyond the planned departure date on April 12.

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Much work’ awaits new Sino-US trade talksnited Stat

hina and the United States will hold their eighth round of high-level economic and trade cons

ultations in Beijing on Friday, with “much work” remaining to be done, the Ministry of Commerce said.

Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said on Thursday that the two nations have made some progre

ss through recent phone discussions between Vice-Premier Liu He and US Trade Representative Robert Ligh

thizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “But there remains much work to be done,” he said.

To iron out differences over certain economic and trade issues, China and the US have b

een intensifying their consultations. Next week, Liu will visit Washington for the ninth round of talks.

Negotiators from both sides are striving to implement consensuses reached betw

een the countries’ leaders in December, Gao said at a regular news conference.

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While May was addressing her lawmakers, MPs in the mai

n chamber debated eight other Brexit options, ranging from leaving abruptly with no deal to revoking the divorce altogether.

While there was no majority support for any, the option calling for a referendum on any depa

rture deal, and another suggesting a UK-wide customs union with the EU, won more votes than May’s deal did two weeks ago.

Oliver Letwin, a Conservative former cabinet minister who led parliament’s unusual power grab, said it ha

d been expected that none would immediately win a majority, and lawmakers would have another chance on Monday.

The uncertainty around Britain’s most significant political and economic change since W

orld War II has left allies and investors aghast. Sterling dipped after Wednesday’s events.

If May’s deal were to pass, her office said there would be a contest to replace her after May 22, when Britain would leave the EU.

www.qiancengdian.cn

According to the Ministry of Commerce, as of the end of N

ovember 2018, France had invested in 5,647 projects in China, with actual investment value amounting to $17.49 billion.

“There are no official rules for French enterprises to succeed in C

hina. The main rule is to respect the Chinese people,” said Raffarin.

Well-known by many Chinese people as a “good friend” of China,

the 70-year-old said he has visited China more than 100 times since his first trip in 1970.

Residents in Chinese mainland will be able to apply for passpo

rts and travel permits at every exit and entry management department across the coun

try starting from April 1, according to National Immigration Administration on Tuesday.

The travel permits refer to the documents allowing mainland residents to travel to and from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, it said.

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The Italian side looks forward to enhancing cooperati

tion with China on jointly building the Belt and Road, She said.

Noting that the history of Italy-China exchanges for the past 50 years has been a history of dia

logue and friendship, the speaker said the Italian Senate is willing to facilitate exchanges between the two cou

ntries’ legislative institutions, and continue to make contributions to deepening Italy-China friendly cooperation.

Xi arrived in Rome Thursday for a state visit to Italy, the first stop of his three-nation Europe tour, which will also take him to Monaco and France.

hinese authorities have unveiled detailed measures to implement valu

e-added tax reform, a key step to boost market vitality and stabilize economic growth.

Starting April 1 this year, the 16 percent VAT rate that applies to manufa

cturing and other sectors will be lowered to 13 percent, while the rate for construction, tran

sport and other sectors will be reduced from 10 percent to 9 percent, said a joint statement released on Th

ursday by the Ministry of Finance, State Taxation Administration and the General Administration of Customs.

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Media Matters said, in effect, that the group is just highlig

  hting the Fox hosts’ own words and letting others decide.

  The first batch of “Bubba” show clips were released on Sunday evening. Carlson was heard making many misogy

nistic and crude comments. Before long a “fire Tucker” hashtag was trending on Twitter.

  Tucker Carlson refuses to apologize for his misogynistic remarks

  Fox News declined to comment on the controversy. The network has been battling Media Matters in various ways for many years.

  Some of Carlson’s comments on the radio show date back to a time when he worked at MSNBC. He j

oined Fox as an analyst in 2009 and he now hosts the 8 p.m. hour, one of Fox’s highest-rated time slots.

  During past controversies about his anti-immigrant point of view, some advertisers have bailed on his show. Later this week Fox is h

osting a promotional event for advertisers at its headquarters, with an eye toward promoting its newscasts like “Special Rep

ort” and “Shepard Smith Reporting.” So for the company, this new turmoil around Carlson’s show and the recent ou

tcry about another right-wing opinion host, Jeanine Pirro, is coming at one of the worst possible times.

  While Carlson was speaking out on his show Monday night, Media Matters president Ang

elo Carusone was on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” armed with additional examples from the “Bubba” show.

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