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National Day celebrated amid hope for better life




In an agricultural expo garden in the city of Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, more than 20 giant paddy “paintings” unfolded in a 200-hectare field, accompanied by rows of red national flags near the field.

An array of activities including exhibitions, a shopping festival and tourism promotion events were planned during the National Day holiday at the expo garden, attracting many citizens to visit and experience rural leisure tourism.

A citizen surnamed Luo brought her son to a themed exhibition on grain production, for him to “take a close look at the farming culture, the scientific and technological achievements of modern agriculture, and understand how difficult a harvest could be.”

Celebrations were held nationwide for the National Day.

In the Chinese capital of Beijing, at around 6 a.m. Saturday, some 200,000 people from all walks of life gathered at the Tian’anmen Square and its adjacent areas for a grand flag-raising ceremony.

“With the government’s good policies on agriculture, we have changed from a low-income household to a family living a moderately prosperous life,” said Zhang Dan, who watched the Tian’anmen Square flag-raising ceremony. He hails from Nanyang City, central China’s Henan Province, with the crops of wheat and corn a main source of income.

Chinese citizens enjoy a week-long holiday for the National Day. Yet some are still working on the frontline.

In a COVID-19 virus detection lab in Quannan County, east China’s Jiangxi Province, Zhong Le was still working during the holiday. Her husband sent her several photos of their son playing in a garden.

“It’s a pity that I can’t accompany my family during the holiday. As a medical worker, I feel happy to see all the smiling faces on social media and that my family members and friends can travel safely,” she said.

As the night closed in, over 400 villager-turned-performers in the Party’s revolutionary base of Jinggangshan in Jiangxi, arrived in the open-air Red Army Theatre.

They put on a large-scale live-action performance about the Party’s revolution stories in front of tourists from all over the country.

“I do farm work in the day and play in the show with my wife, which has not only increased my income, but also enriched my life,” 51-year-old Qiu Rongping said.

At a community service center of Liuyang City, central China’s Hunan Province, Yang Ruixian, 73, and nine other neighbors born in October celebrated birthday together Friday evening.

“With a strong motherland, we live a happy life today,” Yang said. It was the eighth year in a row for the community to hold the collective birthday party for residents.

“Such activities bring residents together and arouse patriotism among them,” said Liu Ying, Party chief of the community.


Source: xinhua

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U.S. uses tech companies controlling internet to spy on world: report





CAIRO, March 30 (Xinhua) — While pushing for a ban on TikTok over claims that China uses the popular app to spy on Americans, the U.S. government itself spies on the world by using tech companies that effectively control the global internet, said a report published on the English news website of Al Jazeera.

The U.S. government allows its intelligence agencies to “carry out warrantless spying” on foreigners’ emails, phones and other online communications, said the report published on Tuesday.

Compared with other countries, Washington has the advantage of having jurisdiction over the small number of companies that effectively run the modern internet, including Google, Meta, Amazon and Microsoft, it said.

“It is a case of ‘rules for thee but not for me,'” Asher Wolf, a tech researcher and privacy advocate based in Australia, was quoted as saying.

The U.S. targeted 232,432 “non-U.S. persons” for surveillance in 2021, when the most recent year for which data is available, the report said.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) estimates that the U.S. government has collected more than 1 billion communications per year since 2011, according to the report.

There have been some indications that U.S. officials see China, rather than TikTok itself, as the ultimate concern, it noted.

The U.S. moves to restrict TikTok appeared to be “more political than good policy,” Vedran Sekara, an assistant professor at the IT University of Copenhagen, was quoted as saying.

Source(s): Xinhua

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Malaysia’s Batik Air to commence operations to the Maldives





Malaysian airline, Batik Air, has geared up to commence operations to the Maldives.

As per the airline, they will commence scheduled flights to the Maldives on May 12th, which will transit in Colombo, Sri Lanka before arrival at the island nation.

The airline will be utilizing Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft for these daily operations. Batik Air previously served Sri Lanka, from 2015 to 2020.

Saudi Arabia’s budget airline, Flynas, is also scheduled to commence operations to the Maldives in June.

As aviation and tourism recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic – China Southern Airline resumed operations to the Maldives in February.

Commencement of the operations of the two new airlines to the Maldives is expected to further increase tourist arrivals.

Statistics shared by Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom last week show that Maldives has surpassed half a million tourist arrival mark so far into this year.


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PREVIEW: Man City v Liverpool the big game, while Arsenal host Leeds in Premier League





LONDON, March 31 (Xinhua) — Arguably the biggest game of the weekend in the Premier League is the first to be played on Saturday, as Manchester City host Liverpool in a match that is vital for City’s title hopes and Liverpool’s chances of playing in next season’s Champions League.

Top scorer Erling Haaland could miss the game for Pep Guardiola’s side with a muscle problem and if he isn’t fit, Julian Alvarez will take his place. Meanwhile, Darwin Nunez is a doubt for Liverpool, while young midfielder Stefan Bajcetic, who played a part in Liverpool’s upturn in form, will miss the rest of the season.

City go into the match eight points behind leaders Arsenal, but with a game in hand, while Liverpool are sixth, five points behind Newcastle United and seven behind fourth-placed Tottenham.

Arsenal are at home to Leeds United, who have improved since the arrival of Javi Gracia as first-team coach and Patrick Bamford’s return to fitness.

Arsenal will be without striker Eddie Nketiah, but Gabriel Jesus should be able to lead the attack after making a couple of cameo appearances before the international break, as he looks to put the ankle injury he suffered in the World Cup behind him.

There is an intriguing game at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea entertain Aston Villa. Both sides looked to be coming into form before the break, with Chelsea finally beginning to show why they hired Graham Potter as head coach, with two wins and a draw from their last three games. Aston Villa have three wins and a draw from their last four matches to give themselves an outside chance at European football next season.

Both Brighton and Brentford can claim to be the surprise package of this season and seventh-placed Brighton take on the southwest London side in what promises to be an entertaining 90 minutes on the south coast.

95 miles west of Brighton, there will also be tension on the south coast when Bournemouth take on Fulham in a vital match for Bournemouth’s survival hopes. Fulham suffered a bad couple of weeks before the break, with two league defeats and a painful FA Cup exit to Manchester United, which saw forwards Willian and Aleksandar Mitrovic sent off along with coach Marco Silva. All three are suspended for Saturday and that could give Bournemouth the chance of three vital points.

75-year-old Roy Hodgson returns to the Crystal Palace dugout with the task of halting the slide that saw Patrick Vieira sacked a fortnight ago. Palace entertain Leicester City, who could drop into the bottom three if they lose at Selhurst Park on Saturday, with coach Brendan Rodgers another man in danger of losing his job.

Wolves coach Julen Lopetegui told his players this week to “embrace the pressure” of their battle against relegation, and there won’t be much more pressure than Saturday’s trip to Nottingham Forest, who have slipped back into danger after taking just one point from four games. Forest will hope to have striker Brennan Johnson fit as both they and Wolves struggle to score goals – each side has just 22 for the season.

Third-from-bottom West Ham entertain bottom side Southampton on Sunday, with home fans again asking coach David Moyes to play a more adventurous style of football and give more freedom to England midfielder Declan Rice.

Newcastle United take on Manchester United in Sunday’s other game, with Scott McTominay set to replace the suspended Casemiro for United, after having scored four goals in two games for Scotland during the break.

Meanwhile, Alexander Isak’s return to full fitness could be vital as Newcastle aim to build on wins against Nottingham Forest and Wolves.

The last game of the weekend is on Monday as Everton take on Tottenham, with all eyes on the visitors following Antonio Conte’s exit from the club last Sunday. Will his departure free up the Tottenham players, or will the lack of discipline the Italian complained about come back to haunt them?

Source(s): Xinhua

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