>Hot words and phrases in 2019
"Stability" was chosen as the hottest Chinese character related to domestic topics this year, but the phrase that swept the country was "me and my motherland". They topped a list of popular words and phrases collected by the National Language Resource Monitoring and Research Center and the Commercial Press to assess characters used by Chinese-language media. The most popular words and phrases for 2019 were released by the organizers on Friday. The hottest character related to international topics was "difficulty", and the hottest phrase related to international topics in 2019 was "trade frictions".
The campaign received thousands of suggestions from netizens nationwide since it started on Nov 20. It is the 14th time the list was published.
>Warming trend will continue
Next year will continue the global warming trend with temperatures again likely to rise more than one degree above pre-industrial levels.
According to the Met Office, 2020 will likely be 1.11C warmer than the average between 1850-1900.
The year ahead is set to extend the series of the warmest years on record to six in a row.
Scientists say the strongest factor causing the rise is greenhouse gas emissions.
The world first broke through one degree above pre-industrial temperatures back in 2015. Each year since then has seen temperatures close to or above this mark.
>Tree made of prohibited items
Vilnius Airport in Lithuania has unveiled its alternative festive tree - made entirely of items confiscated from passengers.
The tree which is 1.5m tall took just over two weeks to create - but it's not just been done for the novelty value.
"The aim is to send an educational message on the importance of aviation security," said a spokesperson from Vilnius Airport. "The items are prohibited to carry in hand luggage and were taken away from passengers during screening. Knives, scissors, lighters, blades, and all sorts of other dangerous goods. So if you don't want your personal, yet prohibited, belongings to land on next year's Christmas tree, better check out the baggage requirements before you pack for your next flight.
>China adjusts import tariffs
China will adjust import tariffs for a range of products starting Jan 1, 2020 to promote high-quality development of trade, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council said Monday.
Temporary tariff rates may apply to more than 850 items of imported goods, which will be lower than the most-favored-nation tax rates, to increase imports and optimize the import structure, the commission said.
For frozen pork, the tariff rate will be temporarily reduced from 12% to 8%, a measure to increase the pork supply and tame pork prices in the domestic market.
The rate for some raw materials of medicines for asthma and diabetes will be lowered to zero.
From July 1, 2020, China will cut the most-favored-nation tax rates for 176 items of information technology products, and adjust some products' temporary tariff rates accordingly, it said.
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