>Beijing issues catkins forecast
Beijing's municipal government issued this year's first forecast for catkins on Monday to help related departments deal with the fuzzy mess and remind the public to take necessary prevention measures.
As the week begins, the capital's downtown and southern parts will see willow and poplar catkins wafting through the air, and the city's northeastern areas will start to face the problem a bit later, between Wednesday and Saturday, according to the forecast jointly published by the Beijing Gardening and Greening Bureau and the city's weather bureau.
Zhang Bo, senior engineer at the greening bureau, said Beijing usually sees masses of catkins blowing throughout the city, mostly within the Fifth Ring Road, between early April and late May. "The peak time lasts for around a week," he said. "Between 10 am and 4 pm, the situation is worse than other periods during the day."
The greening bureau encourages people to wear masks, sunglasses or shawls to protect themselves during the catkins period.
People who exercise outdoors should do so in the mornings or evenings, or after rain, when there will be fewer catkins, the bureau said.
>IMF upgrades global growth forecast
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday projected that the global economy will grow by 6 percent in 2021, 0.5 percentage point above the January forecast, according to the latest World Economic Outlook.
Among emerging markets and developing economies, China is projected to grow by 8.4 percent this year, 0.3 percentage point above the January forecast, according to the report.
The newly-released report projected the global economy to expand 4.4 percent in 2022, 0.2 percentage point above its January forecast.
In 2020, the global economy saw an estimated historic contraction of 3.3 percent, according to the IMF.
The World Economic Outlook report also noted that uneven recoveries are occurring within countries as young and lower-skilled workers "remain more heavily affected," and women have suffered more, especially in emerging market and developing economies.
>Earliest cherry blossom bloom
Cherry blossoms, also known as "sakura", which experience a "peak bloom" that only lasts a few days, have been revered in Japan for more than a thousand years.
Crowds celebrate with viewing parties, flocking to the most popular locations to take photos and have picnics underneath the branches.
But this year, cherry blossom season has come and gone in the blink of an eye, in one of the earliest blooms on record -- and scientists warn it's a symptom of the larger climate crisis threatening ecosystems everywhere.
In the central city of Kyoto, cherry blossoms peaked on March 26, the earliest in more than 1,200 years.
There are two sources of increased heat, which is the main factor making the flowers bloom earlier: Urbanization and climate change.
With increased urbanization, cities tend to get warmer than the surrounding rural area, in what is called the heat island effect.
But a bigger reason is climate change, which has caused rising temperatures across the region and the world.
And these earlier dates aren't just a matter of tourists scrambling to catch peak bloom before the petals all fall -- it could have a lasting impact on entire ecosystems, and threaten the survival of many species.
>Mummies paraded to new museum
Egyptians have been witnessing a historic procession of their country's ancient rulers through the capital, Cairo. The lavish, multimillion-dollar spectacle saw 22 mummies transported from the peach-colored, neo-classical Egyptian Museum to their new resting place 5km away.
Saturday's move of the mummies was streamed online for all enthusiasts of ancient Egypt to watch.
With tight security arrangements befitting their royal blood and status as national treasures, the mummies were relocated to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in what was called The Pharaohs' Golden Parade.
Each mummy was carried on a decorated vehicle fitted with special shock-absorbers and surrounded by a motorcade, including replica horse-drawn war chariots.
While ancient mummification techniques originally preserved the pharaohs, for the move they were placed in special nitrogen-filled boxes to help protect them against external conditions.
Roads along the route also were repaved to keep the journey smooth.
Find more audio news on the China Daily app