>Manned spaceship preps for takeoff
The combination of the Shenzhou XII manned spaceship and a Long March-2F carrier rocket has been transferred to the launching area, the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) said Wednesday.
The facilities and equipment at the launch site are in good condition, and various pre-launch function checks and joint tests will be carried out as planned, said the agency.
The Shenzhou XII spacecraft will dock with the Tianhe core module of the nation's space station, and the three crew members on board will enter the core module to work inside it for three months.
Tianhe, or Harmony of Heaven, was lifted by a Long March 5B heavy-lift rocket at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province on April 29.
The largest and heaviest spacecraft China has ever built, the module is the first part of the Chinese space station.
>Global Economic Prospects released
The Chinese economy is on track to grow by 8.5% in 2021, up 0.6 percentage points from a previous projection, the World Bank Group said in its latest Global Economic Prospects released on Tuesday.
According to the semiannual report, the global economy is expected to expand 5.6% in 2021, up 1.5 percentage points from a previous projection, largely due to strong rebounds from a few major economies.
Among major economies, US growth is projected to reach 6.8% this year, reflecting large-scale fiscal support and the easing of pandemic restrictions, according to the report.
Growth in other advanced economies is also firming up, but to a lesser extent.
Emerging markets and developing economies as a group are forecast to expand 6% this year, supported by higher demand and elevated commodity prices, the report showed.
Despite the recovery, global output will be about 2% below pre-pandemic projections by the end of this year, the report showed.
Per capita income losses will not be recovered by 2022 for about two-thirds of emerging markets and developing economies.
>Biden's 1st overseas visit as president
US President Joe Biden arrived in Britain on Wednesday evening, kicking off his first official overseas trip since his election victory.
He was expected to meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday ahead of the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Britain's southwestern resort of Carbis Bay in Cornwall.
Leaders from Britain, the US, Canada, Japan, Germany, France and Italy, plus the European Union, will gather Friday for the first in-person G7 summit in almost two years.
Britain, which holds the rotating G7 presidency, also invited Australia, India, the Republic of Korea and South Africa as guest countries to the three-day meeting.
After the summit, Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are set to meet Queen Elizabeth II before heading to Brussels for NATO and EU-US summits.
He will then fly to Geneva to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
>Child labor rises to 160m
The number of children in child labor has risen to 160 million worldwide – an increase of 8.4 million children in the last four years, according to a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNICEF.
The report - released ahead of World Day Against Child Labour on June 12 - warns that progress to end child labor has stalled for the first time in 20 years.
The report points to a significant rise in the number of children aged 5 to 11 in child labor, who now account for just over half of the total global figure.
The number of children aged 5 to 17 in hazardous work has risen by 6.5 million to 79 million since 2016.
The report warns that globally, 9 million additional children are at risk of being pushed into child labor by the end of 2022 as a result of the pandemic.
Additional economic shocks and school closures caused by COVID-19 mean that children already in child labor may be working longer hours or under worsening conditions, while many more may be forced into the worst forms of child labor due to job and income losses among vulnerable families.
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