Mason

Volunteers inundate blood donation center near explosion site

After an explosion at a chemical plant killed 47, residents of Xiangshui county in Ji

angsu province have flooded centers to donate bolod for the severely injured survivors.

There were so many people coming in to donate blood that the organ

izers at one center ran out of application forms, China Daily discovered Friday afternoon.

“On average, people have to wait for at least five hours for their turn,” said Meng Xiangh

ua, a member of the local labor union that has been assisting in the drive to build up blood supplies following the blast.

He said one of his neighbors came in at 8 am Friday and had to wait until 1:30 pm to d

onate. “There are so many people coming that we failed to count how many people have donated so far,” he added.

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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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With the Israeli elections approaching and Netanyahu da

  amaged by a pending indictment stemming from a corruption investigatio

n, it became increasingly clear that Trump would look to bolster one of his closest international partners.

  Netanyahu in recent weeks had begun to renew his push for the US to recognize the Go

lan Heights as part of Israel. Earlier this month, he brought US ambassador to Israel David Friedman and

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, to the Israeli-occupied territory, touting its strategic imp

ortance. Graham, a close ally of the President’s, promised Netanyahu he would personally lobby Trump to deliver.

  The Israeli ambassador’s visit was a precursor to Trump’s announcement on Thursday, a sen

ior administration official told CNN. The Golan Heights recognition had been in the works for sev

eral weeks, the official said, and culminated in a series of meetings between the President and his senior staff this week.

  US officials have offered no explanation as to w

hy Trump decided to take this step now, rather than wait until after Israel’s April 9 elections.

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Greater opening-up pledged to bolster education meets

China will expand opening-up in education, enhance mutual learning with different countri

es and jointly push forward the development of education, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday.

Xi made the remark during a meeting with Ha

rvard University President Lawrence Bacow at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Xi said China advocates mutual learning, encourages its students to

study overseas and supports exchanges and cooperation in education with other countries.

He said he hopes more positive outcomes can be achieved from people-to-people exchanges between China and the United States.

Bilateral exchanges and cooperation in education are impor

tant for China-US relations because they help enhance public support for those relations, he said.

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The visit was not only for Harvard but also on behalf of

  all of US higher education in order to promote bilateral educational exchanges, he said.

  ”I am here precisely because, like you, I believe these ties are extremely import

ant for our academic institutions, but even more importantly, for our nations,” he said.

  He noted that there are a large number of overseas students from China at Har

vard, and the Chinese language is among the most popular foreign languages at the institution.

  He also expressed his admiration for the great emphasis the Ch

inese government has placed on education and its efforts to enhance higher education, addi

ng that Harvard University is ready to move forward with exchanges with Chinese education and research inst

itutions.He calls for tapping partnership potential in such sectors as shipping, telecommunications

  China stands ready to work with Italy on the Belt and Road Initiative by strengthening its alignment with the Eur

opean country’s development strategies to bring bilateral ties to a new level, President Xi Jinping said.

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Tax cuts on the way as steps taken at meetingplement a g

China will implement a group of measures to cut value-added ta

x rates, ensuring that the tax burden on all industries will only go down, according to a

decision made by the State Council’s executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

The Government Work Report this year set out a plan for l

arger tax cuts, including lowering the VAT rate in manufacturing and other industries from 16 t

o 13 percent and the VAT rate in transportation, construction and other industries from 10 to 9 percent.

A number of concrete measures were decided upon at the

Wednesday meeting to achieve the targets, which will be enacted on April 1.

Input VAT eligible for deduction will be expanded and will cove

r passenger transportation services. Taxpayers will be able to get their input tax on real esta

te payments deducted in full on a one-time basis, instead of on two occasions in two years.

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EU ready to grant Brexit delay if UK parliament backs dealpe

LONDON – The European Union could grant Britain’s request for a short Brexit delay if parliament vote

s next week in favour of a stalled departure deal, European Council President Donald Tusk said on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Theresa May asked the European Union to allow Britain to delay its de

parture date by three months to June 30, and EU leaders are expected to discuss the matter at a summit on Thursday.

Tusk said it would be possible to grant Britain a short postponement if parlia

ment next week backs May’s divorce agreement, which it has already voted down twice.

Should that happen, Tusk said no extraordinary EU leaders’ summit would be need

ed next week before the current Brexit date of March 29. Otherwise, he might call another summit.

“I believe that a short extension will be possible, but it will be conditional on a positive v

ote on the Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons,” Tusk told journalists.

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May’s spokesman said Tusk’s comments were in keepi

  ing with her request for a short delay.She herself told a rowdy session of parliament that she c

ould not countenance the prospect of a long delay – which could give time for notional alter

native approaches to emerge, but would infuriate Brexit supporters in her own party.

  ”As prime minister, I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than the 30th of June,” she said.

  May said she planned to ask parliament to vote a third time on her departure

deal, which lawmakers have voted down twice. She did not say when the vote would happen.

  ”RATIFY OR EXIT”

  If May cannot win over enough reluctant lawmakers to pass her deal next week, Britain faces the choice of reque

sting a longer delay or leaving the EU as planned on March 29 – without a deal to cushion the economic upheaval.

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The pound fell on the uncertainty surrounding the poten

ial delay and the fact that a no-deal Brexit remained possible. By 1800 GMT it was down around 0.4 percent against the dollar.

Nearly three years after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, there is still no

clarity over how, when or even whether the world’s fifth largest economy should leave the bloc it joined in 1973.

When May set the March 29 exit date two years ago by serving the formal

Article 50 divorce papers, she declared there would be “no turning back”. But parliament’s ref

usal to ratify the withdrawal deal she agreed with the EU has thrust her government into crisis.

The Labour Party said that, by choosing a short delay, May was forcing

lawmakers to decide between accepting a deal they have already rejected or leaving without a deal.

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Short Brexit delay possible, but conditionalonald Tusk has said

short delay to Brexit is possible, but will be conditional on the House of Commons passing the Withdrawal Agreement.

“The question remains open as to the duration of such an extension,” Tusk, the President of the European Council, said.

Tusk said he spoke to Theresa May on the phone earlier this afternoon.

“May’s proposal of the 30 June, which has its merits, creates a series of questions of a leg

al and political nature,” he added. “Leaders will discuss this tomorrow.”1 hr agoDona

ld Tusk speaking nowThe President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, is giving a press conference in Brussels.

1 hr 9 min ago
MPs surprised by “downright reckless” strategy, Starmer says
Labour’s Sha

dow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer has opened the emergency debate into the Brexit delay by quoting Ther

esa May’s de facto deputy David Lidington, who said last week that if May’s divorce deal was not passed by parl

iament, seeking “a short and, critically, one-off extension would be downright reckless.”

Starmer says those statements led MPs to believe that May would reques

t a long extension if she hadn’t passed her plan — but May has asked for a delay only until June 30.

He adds that the confusion is symptomatic of May’s Brexit strategy to date — to “put parliament as far away as possible from the process.”

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