Rocker-Turned Director
Blue Sky Bones, the first feature film directed by Chinese rocker Cui Jian, receives the Special Mention Award at the Eighth Rome Film Festival
A Hero Acknowledged
Yan Jun, a 26-year-old Chinese student in Osaka, Japan, is presented with a certificate of gratitude by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his official residence in Tokyo

"As I reflect on my tenure as ambassador, I do so knowing that U.S.-China relations continue to grow stronger. While our bilateral relationship is a complex one, I remain confident in the ability of our leaders to manage differences and increase cooperation in areas of mutual concern to the benefit of not just our two great peoples, but the entire world."

U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Faye Locke, when declaring his decision to leave his post early in 2014 through a statement on November 20

"Rural teaching jobs will become increasingly attractive with incomes expected to exceed those of urban teachers."

Xu Tao, a senior official with the Ministry of Education, on an expected policy to offer more allowances to teachers in primary and middle schools in China's poverty-stricken areas, at a press conference in Beijing on November 19

"Only for festivals can we prepare shows of great innovation with huge input. Outside of festivals, because of economic concerns, there are only tedious and redundant commercial shows like monocycles and the flying trapeze."

Zuo Jinying, a teacher from Wuqiao Acrobatics Art Institute in China, talking about acrobats' struggles with commercialization

"Seeds contribute more than 50 percent to increases in output and quality. If seeds are controlled by outsiders, national security will be threatened."

Sun Deling, Vice President of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Tianjin, on increasing competition from foreign companies that Chinese vegetable seed researchers and producers are facing

Retirement Delay

Global Times
November 20

The recent Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the CPC proposed to formulate progressive retirement delay policies. The sensitive area would thus ultimately be part of future reform.

China's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security explained that progressive retirement delay meant going ahead with short steps and that there would be a buffer time of a couple of years.

Gaokao Reform

China Youth Daily
November 19

The college entrance examination, or gaokao, has been operating in China for decades. To reform this talent selection mechanism would be a tough task. Still, it was decided during the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the CPC that the reform is necessary.

The difficulty in pushing forward such reform lies in the gaokao's special significance. Colleges are interested in recruiting students freely and select only the most excellent while parents remain concerned about fairness. Society hopes reform would help promote quality-oriented education among Chinese students.

Break Schedule Tourists visit the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, in Beijing (XINHUA)
Snow Battle Sanitation workers in Harbin, northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, clear snow on the street on November 19, after the worst snowstorm in 50 years hit the city (WANG SONG)
Fastest Computer
The world's fastest supercomputer, the Tianhe-2, began formal operations at the National Supercomputing Center in Guangzhou
Sanitary Toilets
An estimated 72 percent of households in rural China have access to sanitary toilets
Attack in Xinjiang
Nine assailants are shot dead on after they killed two auxiliary police officers while attacking a police station in Xinjiang
Hi-Tech Helps Sell Apples A buyer in Yan’an, Shaanxi Province, reads information about apples from Luochuan County of Shaanxi after scanning a QR code with a smartphone (LIU XIAO)
Green Kitchen, Smart Kitchen A visitor studies the family vegetable bar at the China Hi-tech Fair, held in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, from November 16 to 21 (MAO SIQIAN)
Home Price Rise
Home prices in major Chinese cities continued to rise in October despite the government's persistent efforts to cool the property market
Goods Safety
China's quality watchdog is considering a consumer goods safety law for better consumer rights protection
Shopping Portal
After more than a month of testing, the cross-border e-commerce platform of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone starts its dry run
Bitcoin Beginning to Gain Traction
From the start of November, the online virtual currency bitcoin has constantly appreciated
More T-bonds
China's Ministry of Finance announces that it is to float another 28 billion yuan in book-entry Treasury bonds as part of an issuance effort that began in August
Banking in New Zealand
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country's largest bank, has become the 23rd bank registered to operate in New Zealand, according to an announcement by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand
    Aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya is berthed at a pier of the Sevmash Shipyard in Severodvinsk before it was inducted to the Indian navy on November 16. India purchased the modified Kiev-class aircraft carrier from Russia for $2.35 billion (XINHUA/AFP)
    Officers with the U.S. Fish and Wildfire Service destroy 6 tons of confiscated ivory at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge on November 14 in Commerce City, Colorado (XINHUA/AFP)
    Nokia shareholders approve a historic decision to sell the company’s mobile business to Microsoft at an extraordinary general meeting on November 19 in Helsinki (XINHUA/AFP)
    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (left) and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton arrive for closed-door nuclear talks in Geneva on November 20 (XINHUA/AFP)
    Rescue workers search the wreckage of a helicopter after it crashed into a 30-story apartment building in Seoul’s Gangnam District on November 16 and left two pilots dead (XINHUA/AFP)
    Workers of Tokyo Electric Power Co. lift and move nuclear fuel rods from a pool at the unit 4 reactor building of Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in the town of Okuma in Fukushima Prefecture on November 18, which is the most difficult and dangerous task since the 2011 tsunami triggered a nuclear leak in the facility (XINHUA/AFP)
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