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ation and safety officials Daniel Elwell, Robert

US senators sharply questioned regulatory officials on Wedne

sday about the Federal Aviation Administration’s reliance on Boeing Co’s engineers to cert

ify the safety of the company’s new 737 Max 8 aircraft, which was involved in two fatal crashes in the past five months.

A self-certification procedure called Organization Designation Authorization came under scr

utiny at a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee’s aviation subcommittee in Washington. Testifying wer

e Daniel Elwell, acting FAA administrator; Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Saf

ety Board; and Calvin Scovel III, Transportation Department inspector general.

For decades, the FAA has delegated some authority for certifying new aircraft to the manufacturers, reducing government costs.

After the crashes of Lion Air in Indonesia in October and Ethiop

ian Airlines this month, which killed a total of 346 passengers and crew members, critics have ci

ted the self-certification process as evidence of an overly cozy relationship between the FAA and the industry.

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Information contained on flight recorders for the Indones

sia and Ethiopian planes has not been released, but analysts say the pilots may not have known h

ow to turn off the anti-stall device after it pointed the nose of the plane down, and that may have been a factor in the crashes.

On Wednesday, Mike Sinnett, Boeing’s vice-president, said he doesn’t see the need to overhaul its development of aircraft. He c

alled the new Max software “more robust” but also said the upgrade does not mean the original design was inadequate.

The upgraded MCAS will be activated by input from two sensors rather than one.

The system’s power will be limited so that the pilot can pull back on

the control column to override the system if the plane’s nose is pointed down.

Sinnett said a new training system for pilots on upgrades to the MCAS has been “provisionally approved”.

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Currently, all special purpose local government bonds are

domestically rated “AAA”, the safest level. The sale to individual investors is mainly of project-link

ed special-purpose bonds, a type of local government bond vigorously promoted by the government in re

cent years. The cash flows generated from the underlying projects will be used as the primary repayment sources.

In China, there are two types of local government bonds: general bonds and special purpose bonds. According to the country’s 2019 budget repor

t, which was approved by the top legislature earlier this month, the budgeted deficit for local governments is 930 billion yuan, up 100 billi

on yuan compared with 2018, and this fund gap will be supplemented by general bonds.

In the meantime, 2.15 trillion yuan of special purpose bonds will be issued to support la

rge infrastructure projects, such as shantytown renovation projects and railways, said the ministry.

Letting individual buyers invest in local government bonds is a way to narrow the government’s financin

g gap, said Hu Yijian, a tax professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. The gap is expected to expand, as policym

akers decided to cut about 2 trillion yuan in taxes and fees this year while at the same time increase spending on investment.

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She would also become the fourth Conservative prime min

ister in a row to have fallen foul of divisions over Europe within her centuries-old party, following David Cameron, John Major and Margaret Thatcher.

Most voters think the Brexit negotiation has been handled badly and there may now be a slight majority for staying in the EU, rec

ent polls suggest. Many Conservative MPs say May herself has caused the chaos by not negotiating harder with the EU.

“It was inevitable and I just feel she’s made the right decision. She has actually read the m

ood of the party, which was a surprise,” said Conservative lawmaker Pauline Latham.

Over two decades since her debut appearance at Wimbledon, Chinese legend Li

Na still remembers her awkward introduction to the iconic London tournament.

Li first competed there in the girls’ singles in 1998, and was tripped up by the switch f

rom hard courts to grass, not to mention the All England Club’s famous sartorial etiquette.

“I had no clue at all on how to play on grass,” Li recalled at Tuesday’s The Road to Wimbledon junior training camp in Beijing.

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It has formulated a set of support plans, such as brand coop

eration, network traffic distribution, packaging and promotion. And it will provide exclusiv

e agent for every super partner on the platform to help the super partner make decisions and amplify the effect of their contents.

In April 2017, JD for the first time launched the shopping c

ircle function, which allows users to join online interest groups of beauty products, maternal and chi

ld products, fashion, photography and food, and share recommended products and their shopping experience.

In November 2018, the mini program for WeChat based on the shopping circle function was launched.

As new e-commerce players such as Xiaohongshu taste success from social shop

ping, online celebrity and fan economy, JD also noticed that besides the traditional “sea

rch for products” mode, for an e-commerce platform there are new opportunities in community building and user-generated content.

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lawmakers seize Brexit agenda in bid to break deadlock

LONDON – British lawmakers seized a measure of control over the

stalled Brexit process from Prime Minister Theresa May‘s foundering governmeng up a seri

es of votes that could dramatically alter the course of the UK’s departure from the European Union.

The move came after May conceded that Parliament would defeat her twice-rejected divorce deal with the EU again if she put it to a third vote.

With Brexit delayed and the new departure date up in the air, the House of Commons v

oted to give itself temporary control of the parliamentary timetable starting on Wednesday so lawmakers can vote o

n alternatives to May’s withdrawal deal. The government usually controls the scheduling of votes in Parliament.

Lawmakers who backed Monday’s motion, which passed 329-302, hope the planned “indic

ative votes” will narrow the options down to one that can secure majority support. Possible options inclu

de a “soft Brexit” that maintains close economic ties with the EU or scrapping Britain’s departure altogether.

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May has come under intense pressure to quit the prime minis

 minister’s post as the price of winning support for the deal.

At a meeting Sunday at the prime minister’s country retreat, Chequers,

prominent Brexiteers told May they might back the deal — if she agreed to step d

own so a new leader could take charge of the next phase of negotiations, which will

settle Britain’s future relations with the EU.

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who attended the meeting and is likely to be a conten

der in any future Conservative leadership race, accused the government

of lacking “gumption” and chickening out on delivering Brexit.

Britaina’s best-selling newspaper, The Sun, put a call on its front page for the

prime minister to resign under the headline “Time’s up, Theresa.”

May is hanging on, hoping she can persuade Brexit-backing lawmakers that

rejecting her deal means Britain may never leave the EU.

She told lawmakers that Britain would not leave the EU without a deal unless

Parliament — which has already rejected the idea — voted for it.

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But by allowing Tsai Ing-wen, the island’s “pro-independe

ence” leader, to stop over in Hawaii on her way back to the island after an eight-day tour of thr

ee Pacific island nations this week, Washington is breaching all established protocols and violating the 1979

Joint Communiqué. Beijing lodged “stern representations” with Washington on Thursday against Tsai’s transit in Hawaii.

“We have consistently and resolutely opposed the United States or other countries which

have diplomatic relations with China arranging this kind of transit,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ge

ng Shuang said in Beijing. Beijing has urged Washington not to send “Taiwan independence forces any wrong signal”, Geng said.

The method behind fluctuating policy of US

When the US intends to maintain good relations with the mainland, it significantly reduces the

use of or even refrains from mentioning the Taiwan Relations Act. But when Washington wants to put pressure on Beijing to fina

lize a deal or sign a trade agreement in its favor, it promptly resorts to using the Act. At times, even the island’s a

uthorities stir up trouble, prompting the US to use the Act to try and browbeat or incite the mainland.

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Researchers have unearthed a trove of well-preserved

fossils representing more than 50 previously undescribed animal species dating back 518 million years.

The soft tissues of their bodies, including muscles, organs, eyes and mouths are still visible in some

of the 4,351 fossils discovered in Yichang, Hubei province, according to a new study published in the journ

al Science on Friday. The excavated fossils represent 109 species, including known jelly fish, arthropods and algae.

Fu Dongjing, associate professor at Northwest University in Xi’an, Shaanxi, also the first author of the paper, said the research g

roup started exploring the ancient ruins in the summer of 2007, in Changyang Tujia autonomous county. It was lo

cated on the bank of Qingjiang River where a representative insect from the Cambrian period was first found.

The new trove of fossils called the Qingjiang biota-the living organisms of a region-ha

ve the potential to greatly inform the understanding of early animal evolution, according to the study.

About 542 million years ago, life on earth diversified at an extremely rapid pace, known as t

he Cambrian explosion. Almost all present animal categories appeared at that time. Many creatures wen

t extinct in the process of evolution, but others became the initial form of future organisms.

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Bank of Beijing planning venture with Dutch lender NV at a bra

Bank of Beijing Co Ltd said on Friday that it has got the necessary board approvals for the estab

lishment of a joint venture with Netherlands-based ING Bank NV, in which the latter will be the majority partner.

With a total investment of 3 billion yuan ($448 million), the forthcoming joint-venture bank, which is still waiting for regulat

ory approval, may become China’s first commercial lender in which a foreign shareholder has a controlling int

erest. According to the plan, ING Bank will hold a 51 percent stake, and Bank of Beijing 49 percent.

Drawing on the experience of ING Bank in the successful development of direct banking services, the joint venture will build

a brand in the area of digital banking with the help of financial technologies and try to become a benc

hmark in terms of the implementation of China’s push to further open up its financial sector to for

eign investors, said the mid-tier commercial lender BOB in an announcement.

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