>Mount Fuji to be closed
The climbing season for Mount Fuji, Japan's highest peak, is cancelled for this year, after local officials announced on Monday that the mountain trails leading up to the summit will stay closed throughout the summer due to the novel coronavirus.
Shizuoka Prefecture, which manages three of the four trails that lead to the peak, made the announcement following a similar announcement made by a neighboring prefecture that manages the fourth trail.
It will be the first time the trails of the 3,776-meter volcanic mountain are closed since 1960.
Located about 130 km west of Tokyo, Mount Fuji attracts multitudes of hikers and tourists during its climbing season, which runs from July to September.
Some 236,000 people climbed the mountain last year, according to the Environment Ministry.
>Trump takes unproven drug
US President Donald Trump said Monday that he is taking a malaria drug to protect against the novel coronavirus.
Trump told reporters he has been taking the drug, hydroxychloroquine, and a zinc supplement daily "for about a week and a half now."
Trump said his doctor did not recommend the drug to him, but he requested it from the White House physician.
The Food and Drug Administration warned health professionals last month that the drug should not be used to treat COVID-19 outside of hospital or research settings, due to sometimes fatal side effects.
Regulators issued the alert for the drug, which can also be used to treat lupus and arthritis, after receiving reports of heart rhythm problems, including deaths, from poison control centers and other health providers.
Several prominent doctors said they worried that people would infer from Trump's example that the drug works or is safe.
>Online Minecraft commencement
The coronavirus pandemic forced UC Berkeley to cancel its plans for a commencement ceremony on campus, but it didn't stop students, staff and alumni from getting together and holding a graduation celebration inside "Minecraft".
With the university's blessing, a virtual commencement was held on May 16 in the popular video game.
A group of dedicated builders crafted a replica of the campus and allowed students, family and friends to log in and celebrate the graduation.
Newly minted grads donned virtual caps and gowns and listened to speakers such as Twitch co-founder Justin Kan and Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan.
Their speeches were broadcast via Twitch, while in-game celebrants could see their online doppelgangers and move about the virtual Memorial Stadium.
UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ and Vice Chancellor Marc Fisher also participated in the proceedings.
>Advisory body seeks opinions
Technology is playing a greater role in bringing the nation's top political advisory body closer to the people.
The 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) on May 8 launched an online platform to solicit opinions for its upcoming third session. It marks the first time an annual session of the CPPCC National Committee opens the floor to the public online for their opinions and suggestions.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, the CPPCC National Committee set up a "fast channel" for handling proposals related to epidemic prevention and control.
Under the mechanism, proposals could be sent to related departments in a timely manner.
In the past year, the CPPCC National Committee organized 26 major policy talks nationwide, which were attended by more than 90,000 people and watched online by more than 9 million people.
These were aimed at improving people's understanding of major decisions made by the Party and the government.
It also made a video series, featuring lectures by political advisers, that not only focus on policies but also major social issues.
Find more audio news on the China Daily app.