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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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.

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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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The Chagos Islands never got its independence day. Instea

  Britain has now been instructed to properly finish the process of decolonizati

on, and return the Chagos Islands, located half way between Africa and Indonesia, to Mauritius.

  The ruling, though non-binding, potentially creates a huge problem for the Unite

d States. Today, Diego Garcia is one of America’s most important — and secretive — overseas assets.

  Home to over 1,000 US troops and staff, it has been used by the US Navy, the US Air Force and ev

en NASA — the island’s enormous runway was a designated emergency landing site for the spac

e shuttle. Diego Garcia has helped to launch two invasions of Iraq, served as a vital landing spot for bombers that fly mis

sions across Asia, including over the South China Sea, and has been linked to US rendition efforts.

  Many in Britain, including Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the country’s opposition Labour Party, are now calling for the

UK to return the islands to Mauritius. Should that happen experts believe the ownership of Diego Garcia co

uld be up for negotiation — a move that would make Mauritius a much more important country geopolitically.

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An ailing 82-year-old refusing to relinquish the presidenc

  resentment against a ruling civilian and military cabal, and an economy in crisis have sparked mass protests across Algeria in recent weeks.

  President Abdelaziz Bouteflika praised the peaceful nature of the ongoing demo

nstrations and “maturity of our citizens, notably youth” in a message to mark International Women’s Day on Friday.

  Bouteflika also warned Algerians over “possible infiltration of misleading partie

s” who may seek to “provoke chaos” in a statement published by the Algeria Press Service.

  Why is everyone sick of Bouteflika?

  Protesters have been hitting the streets in the capital, Algiers, and other cities across the

North African country for weeks, demanding Bouteflika withdraw from contending forthcoming elections. The

announcement on Sunday that the octogenarian will seek a fifth term in office has sparked fury among Algerians.

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Yi said the new board aims to better serve innovation

orientated enterprises and will serve as a prelude to capital market reforms in a broader scope.

To better serve high-quality economic growth, the commission will carefully evaluate the effect of various reform and innov

ation measures on the new board, based on which fine-tuning measures for the ChiNext and the National Equities E

xchange and Quotations could be pushed forward in a coordinated way, Yi stressed.

The ChiNext and the NEEQ are both existing equity trading platforms, mainly servi

ng China’s Nasdaq-style high-growth enterprises and medium to small-sized enterprises, respectively.

The commission will “pay attention to keep a balance between differe

nt sub-markets” to launch the new board in a smooth and steady way, Yi said.
US

President Donald Trump and DPRK top leader Kim Jong-un shake hands before their one-on-one chat during the sec

ond US-DPRK summit at the Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam February

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he eclectic nature of the winners — including several surprises

  seemed indicative of what was already deemed one of the most wide-open races i

n years, given the lack of consensus among guild awards leading up to Sunday’s event.

  Perhaps no surprise came bigger than best actress, as “The Favourite’s” Olivia Colman upset

seven-time nominee Glenn Close, who had marched through awards season with enough victories to m

ake her a presumptive favorite. (Colman, in an emotional speech, practically apologized to Close for wi

nning.)s for politics, a recurring theme involved the Trump administration’s immigration polices, including an early jo

ke from Maya Rudolph that among the things that wouldn’t be happening during the telecast, “Mexico is not paying for the w

all.” For his part, Malek referenced being a first-generation American, the son of Egyptian immigrants.

  Still, the most overt and rousing rejoinder belonged to Spik

e Lee — a winner for adapted screenplay for his movie “BlacKkKlansman” — who pointed to

the 2020 election, urging people to “be on the right side of history. Let’s do the right thing!” Congressman and civil-rig

hts icon John Lewis also received a prolonged ovation, introducing “Green Book.”

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