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Shanghai purrs over new Hello Kitty theme park

The world’s only Hello Kitty-themed pavilion brings a fantasy world with a retro decor for fans in Shanghai.

Hello Kitty Shanghai Times was launched by propert

y developer Shimao Group and Japanese animation powerhouse Sanrio on March 29.

By creating an immersive experience of Shanghai during three symbolic periods of the city’s history – the 1930s, 1980s and today – the

indoor theme park provides a unique experience for visitors with Sanrio’s best-known characters, incl

uding Hello Kitty, My Melody, Badtz-Maru, Pompompurin, Keroppi and Cinnamoroll.

The time travel-themed attraction is located at Shimao Festiva

l City on bustling East Nanjing Road, and is expected to attract 2 million visitors a year. S

preading across three floors, the play area takes up a total gross floor area of about 6,000 square meters.

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It’s regrettable that the US treats academics like me in

such an unfriendly and offensive manner,” Wang said, adding t

hat Washington’s decision shows that the country has become an “oversensitive and

paranoid one which has a lack of confidence in dealing with diplomatic relations”.

A number of Chinese social scientists have had similar experiences when their US visas were revoked.

Zhu Feng, executive director of the China Center for Collaborat

ive Studies of the South China Sea at Nanjing University, told the Global Times news

paper in Beijing that his 10-year US visa was crossed out by FBI agents, canceling it, whe

n he was about to board a flight back to Beijing at Los Angeles International Airport in March 2018.

Zhu said the FBI first threatened to revoke his visa if he did not cooperate with their inquiry.

“‘Go back to China’,”Zhu recalled an agent telling him during that visit. “You will receive a notification.”

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On the China-CEEC leaders’ meeting, Chen said the

mechanism has made good achievements in economic cooperation over the past several years, including freight trains running between C

hina and Europe. The mechanism should continue focusing on concrete projects in infrastructure and other key areas, she said.

People-to-people exchanges, including education and tourism, should also be stren

gthened to improve mutual understanding between their people, Chen added.

China will take key measures in a new push to improve its cities through boosting the urban pop

ulation and bolstering the nation’s high-quality and stable economic growth, the country’s top economic planner said.

Measures include relaxing residency curbs, promoting investmen

t and financing mechanisms and increasing infrastructure spending in cities.

The National Development and Reform Commission issued on Monday key tasks for 2019’s new urbanizatio

n boost, which will help maintain the country’s sustainable and healthy economic growth and overall social stability.

China aims to increase the urbanization rate by at least 1 percentage point by the end of this year, accordi

ng to a document posted on the NDRC’s website. The proportion of urban population to total population reached 59.58 percent in 2018.

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In Nanjing, the local railway authority has put more tra

ains into service. It said residents in the city would likely make about 340,000 trips by train on Friday.

Other branches of the railway system have also launched more runs to handle the increase of holiday passengers.

Tomb Sweeping Day, also known as Qingming Festival, fell on Friday this year. It i

s a traditional Chinese day on which people pay tribute to deceased family members,

friends and national heroes. Chinese people have used the day for spring outings since ancient times.

In recent years, the number of Chinese travelers, to both domestic and foreign destinations, d

uring the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday has increased annually, and most of them travel by rail for some or all of the j

ourney. For destinations within China, railways offer lower prices and more choices than airlines.

At present, China operates more than 131,000 kilometers of tracks. That fig

ure includes more than 29,000 km of high-speed rail, two-thirds of the global total.

Last year, China invested more than 338 billion yuan ($50 billion) in the construct

ion of 26 new railways and opened new lines totaling 4,683 km, most of them high-speed.

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Flight systems, however, typically are built with a

 backup system so there can be no single point of failure. Since the crashes of Max jets in Indonesi

a in October and Ethiopia last month, Boeing has modified design of the anti-stall device to include two sensors on all aircraft.

The FAA allows airlines to make minor modifications in previously certified

aircraft to meet their operational needs, a rule Boeing followed in building the 737 Max for

foreign carriers. Ethiopian Airlines and Indonesia’s Lion Air — involved in fatal crashes five months apart — repo

rtedly declined to buy two add-on safety devices that might have helped the pilots keep the doomed planes in the sky.

Neither airline purchased the “angle of attack” system display for readi

ngs of two sensors rather than one and a “disagree light” to be activated if the sensors prod

uce conflicting readings. The Lion Air crash in October killed 189 passengers and crew.

Airlines around the world, including China and the US, have flown the 737 Max, introduced in 2018, without incident.

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Elwell defended the agency’s reliance on experts from ma

anufacturers and said the current system had produced an unprecedented safety record i

n the US. He said the FAA was “fully involved” in the certification of the Boeing 737 Max 8, including “133 of the 297 flight tests”.

Senator Richard Blumenthal questioned the FAA’s oversight of the Boeing 737 Max jet, argu

ing that reliance on the manufacturer put “the fox in charge of the henhouse”.

Blumenthal said Boeing rushed to get the 737 Max in the air to compete with Europe’s Airbus and disregarded critical safety features.

“There needs to be rigorous reform so the FAA is put back in charge of safety,” he said. “The

fact is that the FAA decided to do safety on the cheap, which is neither safe nor cheap,” he said.

Senator Jerry Moran asked what it would take for the FAA on its own to certify airc

raft. Elwell said: “Ten thousand additional FAA employees and $1.8 billion” per year.

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State Council orders nationwide inspection as chemical pla

An additional 14 people were found dead in the latest search and rescue operation after an explo

sion in East China’s Jiangsu province, bringing the death toll to 78, local authorities said on Monday afternoon.

A total of 56 dead have been identified, local authorities said at a news conference, leaving 22 unaccounted for.

Among the 28 missing, 25 have been confirmed to be dead via DNA, with three confirmed safe.

A total of 566 injured people were still receiving medical care in the hospital on Monday, inclu

ding 13 in critical condition and 66 seriously wounded. Thirty-eight were discharged on Monday, according to the news conference.

Medical monitoring at hospitals near the blast site shows no cases of chemical poisoning, the rescue headquarters said on Monday.

In a notice released on Monday, the State Council has ordered a national inspection on poten

tial hazards of dangerous chemicals and safety assessments on all chemical industry parks across the country.

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Explosive device found in Ireland appears similar to thos

  A “viable improvised explosive device” contained in a plastic envelope was found in

a postal collection center in Limerick, western Ireland, the Irish police said in a statement.

  Police were alerted to a suspicious item shortly after 6 a.m. local time on Friday, authorities said in an earlier statem

ent. The army’s bomb disposal team arrived at the An Post’s collection center at 9:50 a.m. local time, where the package was found.

  ”On arrival a cordon was established and the building was evacuated for the duration of the operation. A viable impr

ovised explosive device contained in a plastic envelope was identified and made safe,” the Irish police statement said.

  London’s Metropolitan Police is cooperating with the Irish police on these investigations, both forces

said in separate statements on Friday. group calling itself the IRA previously claimed responsibility for sending five packages cont

aining improvised explosive devices to the UK earlier in March, but British police said they had only recovered four.

  On March 5, three devices were sent to major London transport hubs — Waterloo Stati

on and offices at Heathrow and City Airports — in what police said appeared to be part of a “linked series.”

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All the devices were judged to be viable, and the package

  sent to Heathrow Airport burst into flames after being opened by staff. Nobody was injured by the devices and no arrests have been made.

  The packages were posted with Irish stamps and had return addresses in Dublin, prompting Irish police to join the investigation. The packages were all A4-size

d white postal bags containing yellow padded bags, which were capable of igniting when opened.

  Police Scotland confirmed that a controlled explosion was carried out on the p

ackage found at the University of Glasgow on March 6 as a precautionary measure.

  The Metropolitan Police and Police Scotland said in a joint statem

ent that the devices “bore similarities” to past packages “linked to dissident groups asso

ciated with Northern Ireland related terrorism,” and that “officers were already looking at this as a line of enquiry.”

  The devices did not cause any injuries or damage.

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The people of Britain have voted. When is the political class

  going to give effect to that vote?” Bolton said in an interview with the British broadcaster Sky.

  Trump Jr. was more forceful in an opinion article published in the Telegraph, comparing the Brexit referen

dum to his father’s election and asserting both were subject to interference by a class of political elites.

  ”With the deadline fast approaching, it appears that democracy in the UK is all but dead,” wrote Trump Jr., who hasn’t weighed in previous

ly on foreign matters and isn’t a known expert in British politics. “Why is this important for us Americans? Because Brexit is an example of

how the establishment elites try to subvert the will of the people when they’re given the chance.”

  The White House declined to say whether Trump Jr.’s op-ed reflected the views o

f the administration, or whether he consulted with the White House about his message.

  On Brexit at least, Trump was not completely breaking from presidential norm. His predecessor President Barack Oba

ma traveled to London in the months leading up to referendum and encouraged voters against a decision to leav

e the EU, saying such a move would leave them at the “back of the queue” for a trade deal with the US.

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