hinese ‘can help Notre Dame revival’stunned France wou

hina can lend a helping hand in the rebuilding of Paris’s Notre Dam

e Cathedral, whose spire and roof were destroyed by the huge fire that engulfed the 8

50-year-old Gothic building on Monday evening, said a historian from Cambridge University.

Alan Macfarlane, a historian and professor emeritus at King’s College, said that give

n China’s widely acknowledged engineering and construction expertise, “it would be a very appreciated gesture if the pe

ople of China offered their help in whatever way the French thought appropriate to rebuild a symbol for all of our world”.

“The Chinese have built the largest airport in the world, a far larger job than rebuilding

Notre Dame, in less than three years,” Macfarlane said. “They could be of immense help.”

President Xi Jinping sent a message of support to French President E

mmanuel Macron on Tuesday, expressing sincere condolences to all French people.

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Customs makes its biggest tusk bustuangpu Customs Distri

China’s customs officers have seized 2,748 ivory tusks weighing a combined 7.48 metric tons after cracking a major smuggling case.

It was the biggest haul of tusks ever recorded in an anti-smuggling bust conducted in

dependently by customs officers, the General Administration of Customs said on Monday.

The case was solved in March after a combined operation of differ

ent customs offices lasting three months. A total of 238 custo

ms officers took part from cities around the country, including Hefei, Nanjing, Beijing, Fuzhou and Qingdao.

Twenty suspects were detained for further investigation, accor

ding to Sun Zhijie, director of the administration’s anti-smuggling bureau.

Sun said the tusks, illegally shipped from African countries, were imported into China labeled as wood.

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Hu said the administration also will promote anti-smug

ling and wildlife protection knowledge among the public, and it welcomes public supervision or reports of smuggling.

As social networks and online stores have become increasingly important tools for wildlife s

mugglers, the administration has beefed up its anti-smuggling work online this year.

Customs officials are working on cases involving another 100 tons

of endangered wildlife and wildlife products, of which about 300 kilograms are tusks and ivory products.

Last year, the administration purchased advanced screening and detection equipment to improve th

e efficiency of its anti-smuggling work, according to Wang Wei, director of the administration’s ports supervision department.

People caught entering China with endangered wildlife or wildlife

products worth less than 200,000 yuan ($29,800) face up to five years in prison. If such contr

band goods are worth more than 1 million yuan, the penalty upon conviction is a minimum of 10 years in prison.

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Analysts guessing over central bank’s next move

Debates on whether the central bank needs to further ease monetary policy or not are continuing amo

ng analysts, with their emphasis on guessing the next liquidity injection through reducing banks’ reserved deposits.

Supporters of monetary easing expect that another cut in the re

serve requirement ratio (RRR) may come no later than this week, as a liquidity shorta

ge may occur after commercial banks pay back 366.5 billion yuan ($54.65 billion) to the central bank on Wedn

esday. That amount of interbank lending was conducted previously under the medium-term lending facilities (MLF) scheme.

Opponents, however, contend that the current liquidity is sufficient, and any further ea

sing will fuel inflation risks, especially as Chinese economy has started its upcycle.

The central bank’s monetary policy committee held the first quarter’s regular meeting on Friday.

The members achieved a consensus to continue the counter-cyclical measures and stren

gthen coordination between monetary and fiscal policies. Policy fine-tuning should be at the proper time, to prev

ent risks with the priority of stabilizing growth, according to a statement after the meeting.

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“Essentially, it depends on the growth of money sup

pply (M2),” said Sheng Songcheng, a central bank adviser and a former director of the central bank’s statistics department.

The central bank released M2 data on Friday, which recorded a 13-month high of 8.6 percent by the end of March, accelerating from 8 percent by February.

Aggregate social financing, a gauge to measure broader financial activities including trust funds and local govern

ment bonds, also grew faster than market expectations. That total financing amount grew to 2.86 trillion yuan in Mar

ch, or a 11.1 percent growth from a year earlier, compared with 10.6 percent in February, said the central bank.

“According to the latest economic data, there is less necessity for RR

R cuts, but it requires further observation on future changes,” said Sheng.

If the central bank further cuts the RRR, when economic growth is already stabilized, inflation wi

ll surge, and possibly lead to funds flowing into the property sector instead of supporting the real economy, he added.

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Zheng Nanning, a researcher at the Chinese Academ

 of Engineering and head of the innovation research academy of intelligent robotics at Xi’an Jiaotong Univer

sity, said the university began considering an undergraduate AI major in 2016, and it has since established an experi

mental undergraduate AI class in 2018 with 55 students taught by the country’s leading AI experts.

The university established the academy in October 2017 and an AI school in Janua

ry. The academy has 26 master’s candidates and eight doctoral candidates, Zheng said.

“Universities should aim for major breakthroughs in basic res

earch and core technology. We are still striving to achieve

revolutionary and disruptive changes in AI theories, methods, tools and systems,” he added.

The ministry issued an action plan in 2018 to promote AI educa

tion in universities. According to the plan, universities in China will improve AI discip

line and make breakthroughs in basic theories and key technology research by 2020.

Chinese universities will become core forces for building major global AI innovation centers by 2030.

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Underscoring the increasingly important role of railw

way in social and economic development, leaders from China and the CEECs voiced support fo

r moving forward practical cooperation in the development of the China-Eur

ope Land Sea Express Line and making use of European Union (EU)-Chin

a Connectivity Platform to promote development of intermodal freight transportation.

Taking note of the Three Seas Initiative, the participants to the leaders’ meeting expressed their welcome to port cooperat

ion between China and the CEECs, including the opportunities deriving from inland waterways and the interm

odal connections to further enhance the cargo transportation between Asia and Europe.

Leaders from China and the CEECs also expressed their willingness to explo

re the possibilities of establishing a China-CEEC Customs Information Center in Hungary and

their support for the holding of the 5th China-CEEC Transport Ministers’ Meeting in 2020 in Croatia.

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Man arrested after incident in west London: British police

A man has been arrested after an incident in west London on Saturday morning. Police f

irearms and Taser were discharged, according to a latest statement released by Metropolitan Police.

According to the statement, police were called at around 8:30 am local time on Saturday, with reports o

f a car in collision with a number of parked vehicles near the Ukrainian Embassy in Holland Park, west London.

“As part of the protective security arrangements for London, armed and unarmed officers were

deployed to this incident,” said the statement, adding that “on arrival at the scene, a vehicle was driven at police officers.”

Police confirmed that firearms and Taser were discharged, the vehicle was stopped and a man in his 40s was arrested, not injured.

Andy Walker, chief superintendent in the Met’s Specialist Firearms Command, said: “as is st

andard procedure, an investigation is now ongoing into the discharge of a police firearm during this incident.”

asrunde.cn

For me this record shop felt like the right place to pres

nt the album to the public,” Yang says.Yang was talking a couple of weeks before Record Store Day, an eve

nt that a group of record store owners and employees in the United States establishe

d in 2007 aimed at highlighting the importance of record shops to the music industry.

The first Record Store Day took place on April 19, 2008 and is celebrated

by record stores around the globe. This year’s event takes place on Saturday.

Yang, also a producer and chief executive of Maybe Mars, one of the larg

est independent record labels in China – and whose founding in Beijing coincided with that of Reco

rd Store Day – announced that to mark the day this year the company would hold a live show in the capital on Apr

il 21 featuring three indie rock bands: Lonely Leary, Muzzy Mum and Streets Kill Strange Animals.

Three days before the show the record label will release a compilation of vinyls featuring the three

bands’ latest singles, and P.K 14 will contribute two singles to the compilation.When Yang gets to Free

Sound his fans are waiting in a basement room whose walls are adorne

d with concert postures featuring well-known Chinese rockers such as Dou Wei and Ma Tiao.

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lace people can visit and communicate with like

ded souls face to face.The Beijing native, who quit his job in the hospitality industry and opene

d the shop 17 years ago, says seeing people in the shop, no matter they are looking for something in particula

r or simply browsing, is a delight. Over 16 years Free Sound has sold about 300,000 records, he says.

“It started out as a dream for me and I feel so fortunate to have lived out that dream.”

Wang, in his mid-40s, was introduced to music by his parents, who played vinyl records at home. One of his

favorite singer-songwriters is the Chinese rock musician Cui Jian, and like many music lovers of his generat

ion, Wang enjoyed going to record shops. Sound quality and nostalgia are what draws him to vinyls, he says.

For many people it has long appeared that traditional physical records such as vinyl and cassettes were

on the edge of extinction in the face of online streaming brought by the internet revolution.

Between 2002 and 2005 in particular, the fall in sales of CDs and other ty

pes of musical recordings in China was precipitous, mostly as the result of piracy and online

streaming, and the customer base for record shops evaporated as people stopped buying physical records.

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