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Starbucks to drop plastic straws in Chinaplastic

Coffeehouse chain Starbucks started offering strawless sipping li

ds and paper straws instead of plastic straws on Monday in almost 1,000 outlets in Sh

anghai and Shenzhen on a trial basis, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

The eco-friendly initiative will be carried out in all Starbucks stores across China by the end of this year, fulfilling the comp

any’s promise of phasing out straws in its stores worldwide by 2020 ahead of schedule, according to Starbucks China.

Starbucks will replace plastic straws with recyclable strawless sippin

g lids for cold drinks without whipped cream and offer pap

er straws for beverages like Frappuccino, iced mocha and iced shaken peach green tea.

Starbucks is not alone. McDonald’s trialed

replacing plastic straws with strawless lids and only providing straws on request from the customer in 10 store

s in Beijing in November 2018, encouraging customers to reduce strawuse.

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More and more students are learning the Chinese cul

ulture and language through the exchange program which

is vital for our economic, cultural, education ties and growth, she added.

Political Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Namibia Yang Jun said lan

guage is the bridge for a win-win situation and enhancing Namibia-China relations.

“The education cooperation begins with language learning and tr

aining. It starts in the classrooms and ends in people’s hearts,” he added.

UNAM’s Confucius Institute this year enrolled more than 700 stu

dents, setting a new record. The institute also opened four

more Chinese learning centers in the city of Walvis Bay, Windhoek, and Swakopmund.

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Designed to empower early-stage startups, WeWork

Labs has extended its footprint to 32 cities in 15 countries since 2011.

Building on WeWork’s global resources, the platform offers community education, connections and mentorship to help entrepreneurs.

“We have seen many incubators, but do not see ourselves as one o

f them,” says Roee Adler, senior vice-president and global head of WeWork Labs.

Roee says WeWork seeks no equity and sets no time limits for startups’ growth, aiming to buil

d an innovation platform that creates an enabling ecosystem with tailor-made programs and services for its members.

As entrepreneurs, it is important to stay curious and learn to understand the nuances of different cultures, Roee says.

“So, the more you understand people, the more you can empathize and the more you might end up with meaningful relationships.”

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Meanwhile, more than 8,000 officials were punishe

 after inspectors’ revisits to ensure rectification of violations they had found earlier.

Liu Changgen, director of the central environmental inspection office, said the fourth round of in

spections is the first to have more punished officials from land resources departments than from the ecolo

gical and environmental departments, which topped the list in the earlier rounds.

“Many may think the ecological and environment departments should top the list, as they shoulder

more of the responsibilities in environmental protection. But officials at various levels of the ec

ological and environmental departments have had their awareness in environmental protection strengthened in the

past few years, which has helped them better assume their responsibilities,” Liu said.

He said he expects to see increasingly strengthened awareness of protection in other departments, too.

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The country’s central and western regions saw explo

sive year-on-year increases, with annual growth in Gansu, Guizhou and

Qinghai provinces of 290 percent, 157 percent and 155 percent, respectively.

The growth is inseparable from the regions’ economic strengths and potential, accord

ing to Li Shunde, a senior intellectual property researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Internet-related IPR cases have been surging in recent

years because of the rapid development of the sector, he said.

Of the 10 typical IPR cases last year that were released by the top court on Monday, three were internet-related.

“Efficiency in settling cases also improved significantly in 2018,” said Song Xiaoming, head of the court’s IPR tribunal.

Courts settled 319,651 cases during the year, including some they had accepted previously, Song said.

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Some of the settled cases had attracted enormous atten

ention at home and abroad. For example, in handling a dispute between

Chinese and foreign companies, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court conclu

ded a design patent of Chinese automaker Jiangling Motors Group was invalid.

Jaguar Land Rover Automotive said the LandWind X7 SUV manufactured by Jiang

ling subsidiary LandWind was an unauthorized imitation of its Range Rover Evoque.

“Technology-based disputes involving findings of complex tech

nological facts or other new types of disputes are incre

asingly emerging, bringing new adjudication challenges for handling IPR cases,” Song said.

One of the measures taken by the supreme court for improving efficie

ncy is its approval of 19 tribunals to specialize in IPR-related cases across the country.

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The company also apologized to the public, adding tha

 it had withdrawn the improperly-posted images and woul

d strengthen review of its practices in line with the law.

On the evening on April 11, the Tianjin Cyberspace Administra

tion, where the company is based, summoned senior Visual China Group executives,.

It ordered the company to review all historical stock and remov

e improper listings, as well as sending a team to inspect the “rectification” work.

On April 12, the National Copyright Administration said on its website it would launch a special crackdown to furt

her regulate copyright image this year to safeguard owners’ legitimate rights and interests.

The copyright watchdog also said: “Companies must improve copyright management and handle image copyright in a

ccordance with laws, not abuse them.” The same day, the company closed its websites to carry out “self-examination”.

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Li Shunde, a senior intellectual property researcher at

at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, applau

ded the campaign as a timely and necessary step to regulate those providing stock images.

“We should abide by laws and litigation to protect copyright in

stead of abusing them to profit improperly,” he said.

On April 15, the Shanghai Observer reported that the company, which was founde

d in June 2000 and partners with the photo agency Getty Images in the United States, had faced increased co

pyright-related disputes since it set up a special rights protection division in 2016.

The company was involved 2,279 cases in 2017 and 1,908 last year, the report said, adding that most court rulings had been in its favor.

A search by China Daily for the company’s name on China J

udgments Online, a website operated by the Supreme People’s Court that discloses ve

rdicts, resulted in more than 1,600 lawsuits being found, most of them related to copyright.

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Although the scandal involving Visual China Group e

exposed disordered copyright management by stock-image providers, legal

professionals said the increased efforts to protect copyright should be applauded.

For example, the National Copyright Administration has launched crackdowns against pira

ted works every year, aiming to increase copyright protection through administrative measures.

Last year, it took online short videos, audio material, literary articles and music as major target

s. It eliminated 1.85 million web links with content that infringed copyright, and confiscated 1.23 million pirated works.

Wang, the Beijing lawyer, said he appreciated governme

nt attempts to protect copyright, but said such efforts are still insufficient.

He called for the country to improve copyright-related laws as soon as poss

ible, and especially to issue a specific rule for footage, pictures or other photographic works.

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Tesla probes car self-ignition case in Shanghai

US auto giant Tesla said on April 22 that no one was hurt in a vehicle se

lf-ignition accident at an underground garage in Shanghai and it has sent a team to the scene.

According to the Xinmin Evening News, the self-ignition of a white Tesla sedan took

place at about 8 pm on April 21 at a community garage in Shanghai’s Xuhui district, whe

re residents living in the apartment building were evacuated following the accident.

Footage caught on a surveillance camera showed that thick smoke ro

se from the car, followed by huge flames. Cars parked nearby were also damaged.

Due to the irritating odor, firefighters closed the en

trance of the garage to spray water before going inside to clear out the fire.

Tesla said on its official micro blog that it has alerted related agencies and was cooperative in verifying the incident.

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