There were 215 million single people in China at the

end of 2017, accounting for about 16 percent of the population, ac

cording to the National Bureau of Statistics. Marriage registrations have fallen every year

since 2014, while the divorce rate has risen for 16 consecutive years, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Dining, traveling and pursuing activities individually have also become increasingly popular with singles in China.

Tang Chuan, a researcher with Sinolink Securities, said that without family burdens, singles

seem to be less inclined to save money, and their willingness to spend offers great potential for boosting the economy.

Sinolink Securities conducted research on singles born from 1985 to 1995 and found that about 40 percent of those in first- an

d second-tier cities live from paycheck to paycheck, while in lower-tier cities, the proportion is as high as 76 percent.

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Icebreaker returns home early after hitting iceberg

The Chinese icebreaker Xuelong, carrying the 349 members of China’s 35th research mission to Antarctica, returne

d to Shanghai safely on Tuesday, about a month earlier than originally scheduled due to a collision with an iceberg.

Despite the Jan 19 collision in the Amundsen Sea, the crew managed to carry out com

prehensive research at five stations, including Changcheng, Zhongshan and Taishan, aerial geop

hysical remote sensing observation in the southeast polar ice cap, and marine surveys in the Amundsen Sea.

“Our team obtained valuable data and samples on the expedition, and filled the scientific ga

ps in the investigation of the Amundsen Sea area,” said Li Yuhong, an assistant researcher from No 3 Marine In

stitute of the Department of Natural Resources, who joined the 35th expedition

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Scientists discovered the possible presence of krill bree

ding grounds around Peter I Island in the Amundsen Sea area. The distribution of phytoplankton in the eastern Amundsen Sea a

rea was preliminarily proved through the first application of a trace metal sampling method developed by China.

At Changcheng station, scientists conducted ecological environment monitoring, glacier

monitoring and regular meteorological observation projects. Seismic stations there have bee

n upgraded, and a radar sea-level observation system has been constructed, the administration said.

Nearly 200 kilograms of samples of soil, water, animal and plant spec

imens and other materials, were collected at Changcheng station. Scientists also estab

lished the country’s first polar region sodium fluorescence laser Doppler radar room at Zhongshan sta

tion. During its trial run, about 51 hours of valid data and 2.5 GB of original data were collected.

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The administration will also promote the ecological restor

ation of grasslands and push forward the establishment of pilot national parks.

China is rich in grassland resources – with nearly 400 million hect

ares of natural grassland accounting for 41.7 perc

ent of the country’s land. Protection and restoration of grassland resources will be strengthened, Zhang said.

Measures to be taken include finding out the entire picture of grassland resources, assessing

current pol2olkcimcn-2ting a guideline on how to strengthen grassland protection and restoration, he said.

As for national parks, Zhang said that after the central authorities released an overall plan for introducing a national park

mechanism, the administration drafted a layout of national parks and standards for their protection.

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The reductions will be up by more than 50 percent on

with tax cuts alone accounting for more than 10 percent of the tax revenue target this year, according to the government budget, Wang said.

The cuts aim to reduce the burden on manufacturing companies, small

and micro-sized enterprises, and the working class, in an effort to stabilize em

ployment, the financial sector, trade, domestic investment and market confidence, Wang said.

He made the comments during an interview at the annua

l meetings of the national legislature and China’s top political advisory body.

“This scale of tax cuts and fee reductions has rarely been seen over the past decades, both

inside and outside China. It demonstrates the resolution, confidence, wisdom and power of our Party and gov

ernment to overcome difficulties and make great efforts to build a strong state,” he said.

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said it provided tailored services for the major gov

ernment campaigns aimed at addressing three causes of popular discont

ent, namely cracking down on organized crimes, crimes disrupting the poverty relief

program, and those ruining the national environmental protection campaign.

The Supreme People’s Court said in its report that it had fulfilled the task it set itself in 201

6 to “basically resolve the problem of difficulties in implementing court rulings in two or three years”, an achi

evement that has boosted judicial credibility and strengthened public confidence in the entire justice system.

National security, crimes endangering public safety, and the correcting of wrong verdicts have

been priority concerns on the national judiciary’s recent agenda, and they will no doubt continue to have prid

e of place, and not just this year, as they are of great significance to society’s overall stability.

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The most notable change ahead, as both reports indic

indicate, is the emphasis that is now being put on helping private companies and protecting intellectual property rig

hts. The top court’s report, for instance, vowed to “enhance judicial protection for intellectual property rig

hts, promote the transfer of old and new kinetic energies, and serve the economy’s high-quality development”. And

in addition to completing international business dispute resolution mechanisms related to the Belt and Road Initi

ative, it has pledged to offer “equal protection for legal rights and interests of all kinds of market entities”.

This reflects the importance the country has attached to unswervingly encouraging, supporting and guiding the develop

ment of the nonpublic sector and shows the judicial and procuratorial organs will play their due roles in pro

moting the country’s all-around opening-up by ensuring a level and rules-based playing field.

In essence, the two reports made clear that security, democracy, rule of law, fairnes

s and justice, and a better environment are the focus of judicial and procuratorial work in the new era.

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Iranian human rights lawyer sentenced to 38 years in prison, her

  Prominent Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes, according to her family.

  Sotoudeh is well known for representing human rights defenders, dissiden

ts and women who protested against the compulsory wearing of a headscarf in Iran.

  According to IRNA, Iran’s state-owned news service, the human rights lawyer w

as convicted of “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security” and for “insulting the Supreme Leader”.

  A Facebook post by her husband Reza Khandan said the ruling sentenced her to 33 years and 148 lashes. He added that the pu

nishment brings her prison time to 38 years. In 2016, she was sentenced in absentia to five years, according to Khandan.

  But state media said that Sotoudeh was sentenced to seven years in prison, citing the jud

ge in the case, Mohammad Moghiseh. The reasons for the discrepancy in the reports was not immediately clear.

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Nasrin Sotoudeh has dedicated her life to defending wom

  en’s rights and speaking out against the death penalty — it is utterly outrageous that Ir

an’s authorities are punishing her for her human rights work,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty Int

ernational’s Middle East and North Africa research and advocacy director, in a statement on Monday.

  Last June, Sotoudeh was arrested at her home in Tehran and taken to Evin prison, a notorious jail just outside the capital.

  According to Amnesty International, Iran conducted its “worst” crackdown in a decade in 2018, arresting over 7,000 dissidents.

  Women in Iran have been protesting the obligatory Islamic headscarf by taking theirs off and waving them on sticks.

  Sotoudeh, a winner of the European Parliament‘s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, is serving a jail sentence for a secon

d time. In 2010, she was sentenced to 11 years in prison on charges related to her work defending detained Iranian dem

onstrators during the 2009 Green Movement, a protest movement sparked by widespread accusations of electoral fraud.

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Berners-Lee, who has previously rallied for improvements to

  most important causes of our time.” He added: “You can’t just blame one government, one social network or the hu

man spirit….To get this right, we will need to come together as a global web community.”

  The computer scientist submitted his first proposal for an “information ma

nagement system” on 12 March 1989 — plans that his boss called “vague but exciting.”

  Thirty years later, around half the world’s population is online — but tech giants that do

minate the internet, including Google, Facebook and Twitter, have been criticized in recent years for fai

ling to stem the spread of misinformation and harassment on their platforms.

  Berners-Lee identified three major “sources of dysfunction” affecting the web: deliberate

malicious intent, system design and unintended negative consequences of benevolent design

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