This facial recognition app tells one panda from another

Having trouble discerning one furry panda from another? A facial recognition app will make it easy for you.

The app is developed by the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas

along with researchers in Singapore Nanyang Technological university and Sichuan Normal University.

The image analysis research kicked off in 2017. A database now contains about 120,000 images and 10,000 video clips of giant pandas.

Close to 10,000 panda pictures have been analyzed, marked and annotated.

Using the database, researchers are able to carry out automa

tic facial recognition on panda faces to tell one animal from another, the center said.

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uangdong ready for visa-free visita-free policy will further cem

Guangdong province in South China will allow overseas travelers

from 53 nations and regions to enjoy a 144-hour visa-free visi

t starting in May, with an aim to further promote the province’s tourism industry.

Lin Weixiong, deputy director general of the Guangdong Departme

nt of Public Security, said foreign passengers can visit a

ll of Guangdong’s 21 prefecture-level cities when they have entered the province.

“In addition to the international airports, foreigners can enter an

d leave Guangdong through the four railways, the eight land and 15 water ports in the pr

ovince,” Lin said at a press conference in the Guangdong provincial capital of Guangzhou on Tuesday.

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In terms of transportation methods, high-speed train is

 preferred by travelers for the four-day vacation. In most cases, it takes travelers under five hours to get to their destinations.

In addition Shanghai’s Disney theme park, Guangzhou’s Chimelong Safari Park and Cho

ngqing’s Hongyadong were predicted to be the hottest three tourist attractions on the Chinese mainland.

Two thousand years ago, the ancient Silk Road opened the door for Chengdu to connect with th

e rest of the world. Now, fueled by the Belt and Road Initiative, the city again stands at the forefront of ope

ning-up, developing its industries, creating value and making innovations on the global stage.

The first freight train from Luxembourg to Chengdu departed on April 4. The train, branded under the “China Railway Express” bann

er, passed through Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan, and then entered China through the Al

ashankou port in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. The travel time, from start to finish, was 15 days.

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Zhang Jianlong, head of the National Forestry and Grass

  sland Administration and also coordinator of the conferen

ce, called for crackdowns on the whole chain process. Publicity should be enhanced to increase publ

ic awareness of caring for animals and plants, and standing firm against the illegal trade, he said.

  More State-owned tourism sites for ticket price drop

  A number of government-owned tourism sites that did not r

educe ticket prices last year should undertake monitoring of their costs and lower pr

ices this year, said the National Development and Reform Commission in a notice released on Friday.

  This year, price monitoring authorities nationwide should complete the cost assessment and review for 5A an

d 4A-rated tourism sites whose ticket prices are determined by the government, the notice said. Information di

sclosure of costs and ticket prices should be promoted to curb increasing costs by such sites.

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hina turns the lights off for Earth Hourows the Olymp

Landmarks in China turned off their lights for an hour on Saturday as part of a global effort to raise awareness of threats facing planet Earth.

Five cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen in Guangdong province, Wuhan in Hubei province and Chengdu in Sichuan pro

vince – took part in the Earth Hour campaign and held supporting events, including photo exhibitions and eco-fairs.

The theme of this year’s campaign, run by the World Wildlife Fund, w

as “connect to earth”, in order to bring attention to protecting global biodiversity.

The Olympic Tower in Beijing switched off its lights, as did the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai, along with other 20 buildings in the Bund.

The Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan also went dark, as

local environmental groups and college students joined the annual bid to highlight conservation.

At the Strawberry Music Festival in Wuhan, a lead singer of a rock band unplugged his electric

instrument and performed the traditional Chinese musical instrument guzheng, or Chinese zither, to recognize the campaign.

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hina offers tax relief to overseas talent working in Greater

  China’s Ministry of Finance Saturday announced a favorable tax policy for overseas talent working in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

  Based on the individual income tax differentials between the Chinese mainland and Ho

ng Kong, overseas high-end talent and professionals in short supply that work in the Greater Bay Area will

get subsidies from Guangdong province and Shenzhen municipality to offset the differentials, according to the MOF.

  The subsidies will be exempt from paying individual income tax.

  The policy, effective from January 2019 to the end of 2023, applies to nine cities in Guangdon

g — Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing, the ministry said.

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SpaceX Crew Dragon docks with the space station in demo flight

  SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, its first spacecraft designed to carry humans, took flight for the first time Saturday.

  An uncrewed demonstration mission took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida early Saturd

ay for the International Space Station. NASA tweet

ed early Sunday that it had attached to the International Space Station.

  ”Capture confirmed!” it said.

  The successful launch without people puts SpaceX one step closer to

an historic landmark: Crew Dragon could be the first commercially built sp

acecraft to carry NASA astronauts to orbit. And Crew Dragon — along with a capsule called Sta

rliner built by Boeing — could end the United States’ decade-long reliance on Russia for human spaceflight.

  Elon Musk, SpaceX’s chief executive and lead designer, told a cro

wd of reporters that he was “emotionally exhausted” after launch. His rocket com

pany’s main goal since it was founded in 2002 was to someday send humans to space.

  ”It’s been 17 years to get to this point,” he said. It took “an in

credible amount of hard work and sacrifice from a lot of people to get to this point.”

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So what happened in between? Moros is helping researc

  hers fill that 70 million-year gap, as well as provide a portrait of tyrannosaur lineage in North America. Moros links the earliest, smaller tyrannosaurs to Tyrannosaurus rex.

  ”With a lethal combination of bone-crunching bite forces, stereoscopic vision, rapid growth rates, and colossal size, tyrant dinosa

urs reigned uncontested for 15 million years leading up to the end-Cretaceous extinction — but it wasn’

t always that way,” said Lindsay Zanno, lead study author and paleontologist at North Carolina State Un

iversity, in a statement. “When and how quickly tyrannosaurs went from wallflower to prom king has been vexing pal

eontologists for a long time. The only way to attack this problem was to get out there and find more data on these rare animals.”

  Zanno and her team spent a decade searching for fossils from the Late Cretaceous period. Th

ey recovered teeth and a hind limb consisting of a femur, a tibia and parts of a foot belonging to Mo

ros in the same area where Zanno found the fossil of a giant carnivorous carcharodontosaur.

  But Moros stood between 3 and 4 feet tall. The dinosaur they found was 7 years old when it died, a nearly full-grown adult

that would have weighed around 172 pounds. The elongated leg and foot bones indicated that it would be a great runner.

  Giant dinosaur footprints found and saved from floods in Queensland

  ”Moros was lightweight and exceptionally fast,” Zanno said. “

These adaptations, together with advanced sensory capabilities, are the mark of a formida

ble predator. It could easily have run down prey, while avoiding confrontation with the top predators of the day.”

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Can playing China card boost BJP’s chances in India’s

The upcoming general elections are posing quite a challenge to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the situation is looking so tough that the ruling B

haratiya Janata Party (BJP) is raising just every possible issue which it thinks could work in its favor as the vote is about 60 days away.

As a last resort, the BJP is now trying hard to make an election issue of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s reported meeting with

some Chinese ministers and officials during his religious trip to Kailash Mansarovar. Addressing a rally in the eastern Indi

an state of Odisha, Gandhi had cited his recent meeting with some Chinese leaders saying India s

hould learn from the experience of China in creating jobs for youths. He mentioned China as an example to

emulate for fighting unemployment but the ruling BJP has added a new twist to his remark.

According to a government survey reported by an Indian business daily, India’s unemployment

rate stood at 6.1 percent in 2017-18 which was the highest in the past 45 years. Gandhi quickly t

urned to Twitter to hit out at the BJP dispensation, describing it as “National Disaster” but the ruling party termed it “fake news.”

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enezuelan president visits military commandos, calls for streng

ve and strengthen intelligence systems, the intelligence of the Bolivarian National Gu

ard is extraordinary; on that base we must expand the preventative intelligence,” Maduro said.

He affirmed that intelligence should be used to confront terrorism, coups and crime in all forms.

“Who wins the intelligence area, wins the battle of security, peace,” he stressed.

“The Bolivarian National Armed Forces is the backbone of the integrity and unity of the nation, and the Bolivarian National Guar

d as a component is the central element for the guarantee of national peace,” said the president.

Venezuela’s GNB is part of its armed forces and can serve as gendarmerie, civil defense force or reserve force.

Maduro also said the GNB makes a great contribution to peace in the country and is the

“guardian of co-existence and sovereignty, if there is peace in the republic, there will be sovereignty.”

Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez accompanied the president on his visit, durin

g which some 2,000 GNB commandos demonstrated their military capabilities.

Since the beginning of the week, Maduro has visited the country’s main military ba

ses as part of preparations for the military exercises to be held on Feb. 10-15.

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